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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, February 9

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Deke Dickerson Rolls into Reggies Saturday Night Disclosure Brings Beats Across the Pond to the House of Blues »

Preview Mon Oct 21 2013

Tempest in an ICEcube: International Contemporary Ensemble plays John Zorn

zorn.jpgLike the elephant to the blind men, composer John Zorn looks completely different depending on where you first experienced him, and like Walt Whitman, he contains multitudes. No single description will wrap it all up tight. If you watched "120 Minutes" in the '90s, you remember being pinned to the wall any time his group Naked City strafed your susceptible mind. Perhaps you even went further with his "death jazz" group Painkiller, and he hepped you to Japanese noise and grindcore terror. If jazz was your bag, perhaps you have fond memories of Masada, his "Judaism meets Ornette Coleman" project, with 500 compositions and dozens of recordings on display. Free improv fans remember seeing the weird, cartoonish mayhem of his game-based improv pieces like Cobra, Archery, or Xu Feng. Maybe your heard him blow duck calls on early Golden Palominos records, or subliminally took in his scads of soundtrack work. Back in the day when Best Buy and Borders catered to all tastes, you might have taken a chance on releases on his ultra-prolific Tzadik and Avant labels.

But amidst this sprawling hedge-maze of musical styles and approaches, John Zorn is first and foremost a composer. His works for variable ensemble units range from Feldman-like rivers of calm ("Redbird") to blood-draining exorcisms ("Kristallnacht").

This Saturday, Chicago's International Contemporary Ensemble perform an evening of Zorn compositions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, including pieces written specifically for ICE, and several receiving their Chicago premiere.

The 90-minute program features works from many eras of Zorn's work, including a piece ("Canon to Stravinsky, in memoriam") written in 1972, when Zorn was 19 years old. Other works include a solo piece for virtuoso clarinetist Joshua Rubin based on Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf"; a 14-minute musical adaptation on Shakespeare's "The Tempest," written specifically for the musicians of ICE; the aggressively dissonant string trio "Walpurgistnacht"; a canon and interludes for cello and piano ("Occam's Razor"); and a 3-part ensemble work influenced by the works of poet and noted opium enthusiast Charles Baudelaire.

Though it would be easy enough to stay home and listen to any of the hundreds of John Zorn records in the marketplace, ICE's Joshua Rubin notes that "Music is storytelling, and Zorn's connection with the people he works with is, of course, only made clear to the audience in performance."

MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $28, $22 for MCA members. A limited number of student tickets ($10) are also available. Click here for ordering info. The performance begins at 7:30pm.

GB store
GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15