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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Concert Wed Sep 11 2013

Review/Photos: Deerhunter with Marnie Stern @ Cabaret Metro 09/10/13

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Bradford Cox might present as a reinvented post-modern Joey Ramone but Deerhunter's songs are far spookier than anything The Ramones dreamed up in their darkest nightmares. Swirling reverb and bass so heavy it made the floors and walls shake tended to mark the show as the songs swayed between dissolving lucid noise to a complete transcendental experience.

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The band's stage presence was owned primarily by Cox himself who towered over the sold out mass with his eyes obscured by a nappy black wig and his slender form bathed in back-lighting. The songs took awhile to unfold at times but the packed audience was rewarded for their patience as the band played songs primarily from their last two albums (2013's Monomania and 2010's Halcyon Digest and, aside from the occasional lost of timing, pulled the songs from their main set off very well.

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Live, with the reverb and some of the chord progressions drawn out, the songs came off as more eerie than catchy for the majority Deerhunter spent on stage. Or, the music was as catchy as you can imagine the songs of Angelo Badalamenti being if he were to reinvent guitar rock. Though some of the songs succeeded more than others, all of the songs were effective on some level of creating a richly cinematic mood throughout their 95 minute long set. The melodies soared in their repetition with the characteristic possessed sounding Bradford Cox scream making most of the songs take on further intensity and resonance. And, though previous bassist Josh Fauver was missed, the rest of the band did a nice job covering for his absence.

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Deerhunter saved the title track and biggest single off their new record, "Monomania" for nearly last which dissolved into a bit of a train wreck with Bradford Cox pulling off his wig and collapsing into a heap while he cradled his guitar. At the same time, it was a wreck one didn't mind too much witnessing in a way as it made Cox less of a reinvented actor and more like the real and vulnerable human being fans always knew he was. Most of us stayed until the very end and heard Cox exorcise all his demons rather exhaustively and , at the very same time, triumphantly

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Although Marnie Stern played with a bassist (who at times also sang backup vocals) and a drummer, as usual all of the awe the audience felt about the wonder woman was primarily from her guitar shredding. Her vocals are also quite pleasing to the ear and are a little less frenetic sounding. No one can deny how talented she is but she also had a rather amusing stage presence with tons of banter on stage about random topics that ranged from Woody Allen and coffee talk with Bradford Cox all the way to instagrams she posted of a new pair of hideous sneakers. One really couldn't predict what she might talk about next, which definitely made her 45 minute set more fun.

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Jeff Benson / September 11, 2013 12:18 PM

It's too bad that Deerhunter made their fans wait for almost half an hour for no reason and with no apology. I had to leave before their show was finished because my feet and back were in agony after waiting through two opening acts.

Matt / September 11, 2013 6:59 PM

I think what you meant to say about Marnie was: the further she is from the mic, the more tolerable her music is.

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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
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
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

  Labels, Promoters
  & 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
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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