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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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Review Thu Sep 26 2013

Review: No Joy, Hand Practices & Alex Calder @ Schubas 9/14

By Julian Ramirez

When it comes to smaller venues, people tend to trickle in at inconsistent rates. Opening bands end up playing for less than half empty rooms. More often than not, one ends up missing a gem of a band that can hold their own just as well as the headliner.

Such was the case at Schubas when last minute addition Alex Calder and his band began playing. Calder's sound, very much indebted to the '60s pop, truly deserved a bigger audience. The songs played a little quicker and a little heavier than I thought they would, almost as if taking a quick detour through '90s alternative to get to the show. A larger crowd would have definitely added to the energy as Calder's guitar work contained several moments of brilliance. Calder's set was short but incredibly good; the band was determined to set up a night of psychedelic sound. Thankfully, they succeeded.

Up next were local Chicago band Hand Practices, who were easily the most vocal group of the night. They constantly bantered with one another and the crowd, really trying to bring the ever-growing audience into the mix. Lead singer Josh Kalvelage started the show with a quick introduction and imploring the audience not to spoil "Breaking Bad" between songs, seeing as how none of the members of the band were caught up. Whether it was jokingly accusing each other of being stoners (save for one member) or chugging a pint before the final two new songs, Hand Practices were immensely entertaining. Their songs really filled up Schubas as they jammed out on practically every song. Their penultimate song, "MptyWndW," was performed with adamant sincerity as Kalvelage sang, "I got so high that I saw God/but he couldn't hear me shouting." The drug-laden track droned on quite well, especially as the chorus paralleled the performance, "Help me I am peaking."

Hand Practices Schubas 9/24/13

No Joy came out with more mystery and mystique than any venue could have held. After setting up their equipment, not a single word that was not an integral part of a song was uttered. Jasamine White-Gluz, Laura Lloyd and Garland Hasting (the newest member of No Joy) offered no introduction and no mention of Alex Calder's bassist joining them on stage. Instead they delivered a nonstop hypnotizing set.

No Joy Schubas 9/24/13

The shoegazing never let up as they played tracks from their latest album, Wait to Pleasure. The vocals were almost completely merged with the rest of the band, but White-Glutz's calming voice occasionally broke through and took over. No Joy was so focused that they were nearly unaware of the nicely filled room. White-Glutz and Llyod brightly blonde hair hung across their faces, all while they shredded their guitars nearly to pieces. "Lizard Kids" in particular sent my head spinning with its strong bass line and frantic drumming. No Joy finished up the night with more fuzz and knob turning effects than one ever could have imagined. I wouldn't be surprised if the crowd can still hear them playing in the back of their heads.

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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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