Gapers Block has ceased publication.

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 Mon Oct 07 2013

Singing Dark Doo Wop With MS MR, 9/30

*Writer apologizes for the delay of this review, caused by unresponsive and malfunctioning laptop.

Gaining popularity this year immensely, it's likely you've heard MS MR's music, even if you don't know it. Featured in TV show promos and episodes, if you're an avid Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, or Grey's Anatomy fan, you've inadvertently heard their music before. Friends have told me to listen to their dynamic first single, "Hurricane." The beat resonates in my mind as a sample of one of 2013's best releases thus far. Just looking at that in itself speaks for the wide fan base that MS MR's music caters to. MS MR: The MS, lead singer Lizzy Plapinger, and the MR, Max Hershenow. Both unique musicians, brought together by their alma mater, Vassar College. Graduating in 2010, the indie pop duo MS MR went on to create their first studio album, Secondhand Rapture, just this year after releasing their first EP, Candy Bar Creep Show, in 2012. Playing a set at Lollapalooza, and then a sold out set on Monday evening at Lincoln Hall, MS MR proved their staying power by showcasing their unique musicality.

Wildcat! Wildcat! opened up the show. Hailing from Los Angeles, the group is on its way to becoming a breakout group of 2013. They produced their first, self-titled EP in their home studio just this year. They played a set at SXSW this year as well, gaining a fledgling fan base. Their sound is inventive and rhythmic; depending on the beats that are created, and blending them with crystal clear pitch, Wildcat! Wildcat! creates a pleasant tone that I honestly cannot compare to other groups out there right now. Though only four songs, their EP is an excellent culmination into their sound. Almost trancelike, the melody line created by the rhythms they produce are lilting and float throughout the sound waves. The vocal range is vast, which creates an interesting sound and effects for the group to present to listeners. They conveyed this sense of uniqueness to the crowd on Monday evening. Executing rhythms and pitches almost perfectly, I couldn't help but sway to the music even a little bit. They sounded extremely on point, and no doubt gained some new fans in the process.

By the time MS MR was about to begin, Lincoln Hall was at capacity. Individuals waited on the stairs, and there was no space to idly stand by anymore. Emerging onstage to a huge cheer, Lizzy and Max took the stage flanked by a backing band.

"It's a Monday night. I don't care; it's a Saturday in our hearts, and we're gonna make it rain," Max declared. In all honestly, it did feel like a Saturday night, one that I didn't want to end, whose end approached far too soon. Lizzy's lime green hair was juxtaposed against her unique outfit; combining cheetah print legging pants with a furry pink coat and black tank underneath, she owns her uniqueness and rocks it. Exuding confidence, the pair worked the stage at Lincoln Hall, not disappointing the crowd one bit. They opened with haunting "Bones," which pulsated with power and seemed even stronger than it does when you listen to their recorded material. Playing songs off their only full-length album, including "BTSK," "Fantasy," and "Ash Tree Lane," they also balanced these out with danceable covers of familiar hits: namely, "Do I Wanna Know" by Arctic Monkeys, and a delightful cover of LCD Soundsystem's "Dance Yrself Clean." Holding our attention throughout the show, I can tell you that MS MR is going to be big; they already are in their one year of recorded material being released. Wait a few more years, and this group is going to be a staple in our musical catalogues.

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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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