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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Thursday, May 23

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« A Chat with Hospitality The Black Angels and Roky Erickson Play In the Dark; Park West, 2/5 »

Concert Wed Feb 05 2014

Bass Drum of Death Search and Destroy the Empty Bottle

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Photography credit - Rory O'Connor

Bass Drum of Death make swampy garage rock and they do it incredibly well. It makes sense then that they're from the depths of Mississippi where bluesmen such as RL Burnside call home. Started as solo project by former Fat Possum employee John Barrett, he recorded the album GB City off hours DIY style using simple tools such as a drum kit, a guitar and a USB microphone. The band has since filled out to include a touring drummer and guitarist. It was with this lineup that they played to a fervent sold out crowd at the Empty Bottle last Thursday.

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Security had their hands full as people tried in vain to crowd surf while the room filled with the sounds of distorted guitars and warped vocals. Songs like "Bad Reputation" and "Nerve Jamming" took on a newfound form of intensity as massive mosh pits emerged within the crowd. Throughout it all, Barrett and his band kept the momentum up as they played a large amount of both of their albums to a completely enthralled crowd, occasionally punctuating songs with random onomatopoeic sounds yelped into his microphone with an echoing effect.

Before Bass Drum of Death took the stage, I was able to catch a set from Blasted Diplomats, a local garage rock quartet who just released their self titled album via BLVD Records and I really dig what I heard. Afterwards, I sought out some of their things on Bandcamp and it's been on regular rotation as of late. Both bands provided an excellent soundtrack to an evening of drinking and revelry amongst friends, and in the end this was all that was wanted.

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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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