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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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Thursday, May 23

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Preview Tue Mar 04 2014

Saintseneca to Mix up the Mood at the Empty Bottle Friday

By Jen Emmert

The vibrant music of Columbus-based band Saintseneca is full of triumphant contrasts — they're the hammock you want to lay in on an endlessly sunny, summer day, and they're the hearty, comforting stew that you want to eat after a long winter's shoveling. Their sound is reminiscent of of Neutral Milk Hotel mixed with Violent Femmes and The Cure, not to mention tinges of the rural music of Appalachia (deriving from front-man and songwriter Zac Little). Floating leisurely like dust particles in an empty room, the buildup of so many influences create dynamically melodic molecules eager to reach listeners everywhere and anywhere.


Not only does the band incorporate varying eclectic instrumentation like floor percussion, mandolin, Turkish Baglama, balalaika and dulcimer, but they also use familiar elements like electric guitars and synths to ultimately concoct the signature Sainteseneca sound. That, and the band's frequent shows with electric bands around their hometown and in unconventional settings (including under bridges and in highway overpasses) allows much diversion and diversity to pool into Saintseneca's aesthetic. One might speculate that this punk and folk integration could be the origins of a new genre called "polk," so in many ways, Saintseneca is a legend in the making.

Saintseneca releases its sophomore full-length album, Dark Arc, on April 1. Check out "Happy Alone," the album's first single:

According to the band's label, Anti-Records, Dark Arc highlights more of the band's contrasts, particularly the play between light and darkness, and relives highly imagistic dreams of frontman Little. The recording process reached greater depth, starting in a friend's attic and then Mike Mogis's (bright Eyes, M. Ward, First Aid Kit) studio in Nebraska nine months later, establishing the effect of Little's expectation — a minimalist acoustic folk group and a rock band. The result remains as simultaneous doom and delight. Spotify currently features three songs from the upcoming album and the band heads to SXSW this week as well.

Saintseneca stops in Chicago this Friday at the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.) with The Melodic, Busman's Holiday and Al Scorch. Tickets are $10 and music starts at 9pm.

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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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