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Transmission
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Preview Mon Aug 10 2015

Nikki Lane Headlining The Empty Bottle on 8/12

NikkiLane1.jpg

As befits her rugged, give-no-damns style of music, Nikki Lane doesn't need no Social Distortion to fill a club. She's taking a one-night stand away from the opening slot on the noted punk band's tour to headline The Empty Bottle on Wednesday, bringing along Americana strummer Frankie Lee and local garage riffers North by North to create a lineup dominated by a fierce independent streak.

Nikki Lane brings a fresh female voice to the traditionally male-dominated outlaw country genre, singing about love, heartbreak, and her willingness to break society's rules on her latest release, 2014's All or Nothing, which was produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and recorded in Nashville, Lane's adopted hometown. The album's been well received, with Paste Magazine writing that "To be frank without resorting to trailer-life clich├ęs is Lane's great gift" and The A.V. Club praising her "painful honesty." The LP's opening track, "Right Time," sets the tone for the other eleven tracks with a soundscape of thumping boot-tapping beat, arching, lonesome steel guitar, and Lane's own raspy voice with a subtle, sultry twang. It'll stick in your head like gum to the bottom of a shoe, the mantra "It's always the right time to do the wrong thing" impossible to scrape off, inviting you to join in with acts of creative debauchery.

Lane's music is impossible to separate from her personal life, which has seen her drop out of high school in South Carolina, move to New York, and go through a horrible breakup than resulted in her going to find herself in Nashville, where she opened a clothing store called High Class Hillbilly in addition to crafting her tough-as-nails, lick-your-wounds style of songwriting. All or Nothing covers topics from bitter, failing love ("Good Man") to the carefree hedonism of its aftermath ("Sleep With a Stranger"), proving that women can live the dusty southern barroom lifestyle just as vigorously as the cowboys. Indeed, on songs like "Man Up" Lane flashes her brilliant storytelling and depicts her unwillingness to let a man control her heart or any other aspect of her life.

While Lane is sure to put on a hell of a show, don't ignore the undercard. Frankie Lee makes some solid roots rock and has an eye-catching promotional video, while North by North packs a heavily distorted punch with traces of space rock and Wolfmother-esque '70s revival riffery. The show starts at 9:00 PM on Wednesday night, and you can get your tickets for $13 here.

 
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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 »

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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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