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Hideout Block Party Tue Sep 10 2013

Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest 2013: A Snapshot Review

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Hideout Block Party (photo by Joshua Mellin)

In its 17th year, the Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest continued to bring local music to our city for one glorious weekend. If you were there, you probably know that each day was filled with unprecedented musical surprises, ranging from comedic onstage banter or performances that shook your soul to its core. We've lined up this year's most memorable moments of the Block Party for you, as we sit back and reminisce on another wonderful year.

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Mavis Staples (photo by Joshua Mellin)

1. Mavis Staples Taking Us to Church
As 93XRT's Terri Hemmert addressed the crowd to further announce Mavis Staples's appearance, she mentioned, "there will be no twerking tonight," as chuckles rang out from the audience. However, I noticed that there was a bit of movement occurring within the crowd during the set. Maybe not twerking, thank goodness, but if you looked around, you couldn't help seeing every member of the crowd smiling, swaying, dancing and head-bobbing to the music. Mavis Staples is truly a living legend and a polished master at her craft of spiritual soul music. She brought us all to her church of music as she sang her own ballads interspersed with powerful covers. Ending with a jam session to "I'll Take You There," Mavis had all of us submitting to her religion of soul as we listened to her preach.
-Sarah Brooks

2. Neko Case's A Cappella Singalong and Banter with Kelly Hogan
I could write a paragraph about how much adoration I feel for Neko Case, but I will spare you all. If polling the crowd, individuals would jump at the chance to speak about her music. Simply put, she is a songstress that Chicago absolutely adores, as I watched the crowd amass more and more festival attendees until the boundary walls faded away. From overhearing excited comments from the folks around me, I could glean that most of these people, like me, have been listening to Neko Case for a long, long time. After all, she did get her start right in this city, which made this appearance even more meaningful. When she played her set, it was truly something special. From the comedic stage banter with Kelly Hogan peppered between songs that gave the crowd many strong belly laughs, to playing a set full of crowd-pleasing favorites, Neko Case brought it home, literally. The moment of her set in which I'm pretty sure there was magic in the air was when she and Kelly decided to experiment and sing a cappella ballad "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu." Shivers creeped up my spine, as I could hear nothing but their voices ringing out into the night, while the crowd watched in a hushed reverence of true talent.
-Sarah Brooks

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Trampled by Turtles (photo by Joshua Mellin)

3. Trampled By Turtles and Their Quick Strumming
I had never seen Trampled By Turtles live before, yet was a big fan, so had pretty high expectations that I was trying to ignore, not wanting to be let down in a sad case of disappointment. However, they completely matched my expectations and even exceeded them. Juxtaposing frenetic, feverish numbers such as "Gasoline" immediately followed by pensive and sweet ballad "Alone," they kept the crowd alert, and most of the time, dancing or toe-tapping in a wild frenzy, for the duration of their set. They truly showed what a versatile act they were, and as the sun blazed down upon them, they only strummed their guitars faster and sang a little louder.
-Sarah Brooks

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Tim Tuten (photo by Joshua Mellin)

4. Tim Tuten Announcing Everything
If you're like me, each year you go to The Hideout Block Party you truly look forward to Tim Tuten's announcements prior to each act. Co-owner of The Hideout, his excitement and passion for the venue has never once waned, and you can hear it in his voice each time he presents. He cracks jokes as his voice gets louder and louder, until you feel like you're in the midst of some sort of musical rally where the cause is backing creative expression. I can honestly say that I have never heard someone announce a musical act's presence with such fervor and heart. He literally gets you riled up to the point where you feel like each act is going to bring about some sort of spiritual experience for you, and sometimes, this does ring true. To see someone show steadfast love for an idea they had decades ago as they watched their dreams come to fruition is truly nothing but inspiring.
-Sarah Brooks

Some Guitarkestra participants get set to jam (photo by Joshua Mellin)

5. Guitarkestra's Epic Jam Session
This open jam session is a staple of the Block Party, leading off the day with an unholy assortment of ragtag rockers and their axes. Acoustics, electrics, acoustic-electrics, flying Vs, Steinbergers. And the personalities are equally diverse. Show-offs toss their guitars around while experienced musicians stoically shred and novices quietly pick out chords. The sound would be one big distorted belch if not for the pair of drummers at the center of the circle, directing the twenty-odd dudes through the epic, half-hour jam. No matter the music you fancy, it's a sight to behold.
-Timothy Schuler

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Girl Group Chicago (photo by Joshua Mellin)

6. Twenty-Six Women Channeling 1963
It was as if the Hideout's Fairy Godmother waved her wand and turned Guitarkestra into a 1960s girl group. Beehives and powder-blue dresses. Knee-high boots. The aptly named Girl Group Chicago looked the part and sounded it too, nailing the bright, sequined shimmer of the era that spawned artists like the Ronettes and the Chiffons. Unlike during that time period, however, when men still called the shots, this girl group is all-girl.
-Timothy Schuler

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A satisfied Portraits by Beckett customer (photo by Joshua Mellin)

7. Portraits by Beckett
Even though he wasn't part of the official lineup, one of the best acts of Saturday was a kid named Beckett — rumor had it he was related to the owners of the Hideout — who had a booth by Jeni's Ice Cream where he'd draw your portrait for a donation. Portraits by Beckett, the sign read. It didn't matter that the pictures looked about the same — oblong head with a skinny little neck, bright eyes ringed with lashes — it was a highlight of the day for anyone who stumbled on to it. I'm guessing there are plenty of Beckett originals hanging on fridges right now.
-Timothy Schuler

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Aimee Mann (photo by Joshua Mellin)

8. A New Entry Point for Aimee Mann
Most of my friends have been fans of Aimee Mann since she wrote most of the music for Magnolia, but younger generations may soon have a different reference point: Both. Mann's new collaboration with guitarist and vocalist Ted Leo has more than just the best band name I've heard in a while; it's got a rock aesthetic that allows for guitar solos that aren't the least bit gratuitous. Even more impressive is the way these two incongruous voices mesh. Looking forward to the Both album that allegedly drops in February.
-Timothy Schuler

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
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Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
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Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
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Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
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Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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