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Friday, October 15

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« SXSW 2014 Tour Diary: Robbie Fulks, Day 5 SXSW 2014 Diary: Archie Powell & the Exports, Day 5 »

sxsw2014 Sun Mar 16 2014

SXSW 2014 Diary: Archie Powell & the Exports, Day 4

Chicago at SXSW 2014Archie Powell & the Exports' Ryan Lynch has Friday's updates for us. Things are a little troubling. But at the center is still some good Chicago love.
- Anne


"Hey man, how's your testicle?" a concerned friend yelled into my ear while at the Chuggin Monkey this afternoon. "I'm back at 100% now!" was my reply. "Ready to do this whole thing over again today"

My band mates (and wife, Laura via text) have had constant updates on the status of a weird aching man-parts situation I've been dealing with the past 36 hours. Still not entirely sure what the deal was, but possible theories include: sleeping funny on a tile floor, walking too much in tight jeans, rocking too hard, and "bro, you're just backed up."
I'm gonna chalk it up to the physical toll that SXSW takes on every band involved. By three days in, the sunburn, dehydration, hangovers, ringing ears, overstimulation, miles of walking and insane load-in and parking situation at most shows leaves everyone with a 100-mile-stare and desire to be cooked sous-vide in a hot tub until all your flesh falls off the bone like a perfectly cooked pork shoulder.


To avoid a complete meltdown, we decided to start the day with Flatstock, the secret best part of SXSW. An impressive display of the best gig posters in the world, the biggest names in screen printing come together to show their goods. As the band's resident graphic designer and poster artist, Flatstock is a mandatory stop for me, and Adam and Archie are always on board as well. There's something about a quiet convention hall, and turning off your ears while your eyes take over that makes the experience that much more rejuvenating.


The calm doesn't last long as we plot the shows we're going to see all evening. After seeing our best buds The Noise FM crush one at the Chuggin' Monkey, Our group piled into Side Bar to see Stepdad, one of our favorite bands of all time. Archie Powell & The Exports all geeked out over this set, danced and sang every word like a bunch of One Directioners. The opportunity to get stupid at a show and then finally talk to a band that you've been meaning to connect with for a long time is what this whole fracas is all about.
It's a pow wow of all the different music tribes coming together¬≠ — a beautiful sight to behold if you can stop for a second and take it all in. The put-together LA fashion rockers, the Toronto indie rockers with floppy hair and perfect jeans, neon color-coded rap crews, the tucked-in-plaid Americana guys, the way-too-dapper how-are-you-wearing-a-3-piece suit folk bands, and stoner punks who look like extras from Wayne's World all in the same space for the same reason: we fucking love playing music.


The past two nights, our tribe all seemed to end up at Licha's Cantina for the Audiotree and Chicago Mixtape showcase for nothing less than a giant Chicago love-fest. Our pals in The Kickback, legends of the game Mutts, and our collective tour crush The Damn Choir all played mind-blowing sets. The vibe was less like a concert and more like one of those house shows we all grew up playing in VFWs or basements. We passed around flasks of Malort, wore each other's band shirts and ran into people from the neighborhood. Our friends were playing for each other and playing for themselves.

The cynic in me wants to call out SXSW for being a sprawling disaster¬≠ — too much effort for too little reward. In the end, though, it was well worth the grueling shitshow, exhaustion and bodily harm (which I'm going to have looked at when I get home) to be able to connect with our city on an entirely new level. If it takes a couple margaritas in a back yard in Austin to get the Chicago scene to finally come together, so be it. I'm here, man.

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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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