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Preview Sat Aug 01 2015

Buke and Gase + Landlady Headline Schubas on 8/4


One band just released an EP on cassette tape. The other named itself after its two members' handmade instruments, a miniature guitar and a guitar-bass hybrid. If that isn't enough to provoke your interest, let it be known that both Landlady and Buke and Gase live up to the intrigue with art-rock that successfully integrates mind-bending soundscaping with accessible melodies. The two New York-based acts will co-headline Schubas on Tuesday night, with Chicago's own Crown Larks opening the evening's festivities.

bandg.jpgBuke and Gase, comprised of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez, uses its unique instruments to craft complex, rhythmic avant-garde punk with a growling tone. The band sees no reason to be contained by a 4/4 time signature, Sanchez's "gase" leaping all over the place above basic primal drum beats that Dyer and Sanchez power with their feet on stage. It shouldn't work as pop music, and yet because Dyer finds sweet melodic spots in the fuzzy acoustic haze to fill with her clear voice, Buke and Gase is able to convince the ears to accept the experimentation. This juxtaposition of the familiar and the weird is captured ideally on the band's latest single, "Seam Esteem," which features a hypnotic waltzing electronic drum beat and thick, harmonized buke and gase riffs under a lead vocal that sticks the brain like a ghost.

Landlady falls into a very different territory of the artistic, experimenting not through idiosyncratic instruments and prog-fuzz rhythmic elements but through anxious lyrics, gripping chord progressions, and neoclassical ambience that have garnered comparisons to Dirty Projectors, Talking Heads, and Vampire Weekend. Lead singer Adam Schatz has just the right amount of vulnerable waver in his breathy voice to convey the sense of uncertainty with life, the world, and relationships that make Landlady's music so relatable to listeners. Songs like "I'm Afraid," which comes off the band's EP Heat and combines a spaced-out modernist piano theme with a fundamental insecurity, demarcate the lighter end of the band's sonic spectrum, while at its heaviest Landlady's thudding, almost symphonic grooves underlie a frantic lyrical energy. Its 2014 album Upright Behavior earned the praise of Wilco and serves as Landlady's mission statement of sorts, proclaiming wonderment with existential dread on tracks like "The Globe" and "Dying Day" while the band's five musicians craft a punkedelic aesthetic.

crownlarks.jpgOpening the show is local act Crown Larks, whose stormy neo-psychedelic jazz-rock evokes the darkness and avant-garde tendencies of some of King Crimson's heavier material. The band's April debut LP, Blood Dancer, features droning vocals over freeform jams and swirling synths--the album takes listeners on a chaotic journey through the depths of the sonic solar system. Certainly less pop-friendly than either headliner, Crown Larks should get the show off to a brilliant and raging experimental start.

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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
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Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
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Chicago Singles Club
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