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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, April 14

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Chicago Believes in a Thing Called Love Youth Lagoon was the Phantom of Thalia Hall's Opera House »

Review Thu Oct 22 2015

Chasing Skirts, Chasing Dreams: A Lesson From Dan Kanvis

Last Friday night felt all too familiar, and it started out the same way it always does -- one drink to hold you over while you're waiting, another to get the conversation going, and maybe a third just for Friday's sake.

Everyone who came through the door was searching for someone they knew. Tiny colorful lights twinkled from neat rows of arcade games at Emporium in Wicker Park, and guided its evening visitors to familiar faces. The evening was a complimentary alternative to the "new normal" of Netflix and chill.

Close friends traveled back and forth between two rooms, unable to choose which games to tackle first. A sweet mix of radio favorites hummed noisily throughout the venue, and a few couples took that as a sign to lean in closely and continue their conversations.

It was a little past nine, and Via Rosa stepped onto the stage. Her black leather jacket, Star Wars t-shirt and skirt matched her mood -- calm, cool and collected.

Thumbnail image for FullSizeRender (6).jpg

Rosa gripped the mic with one hand and held a drink in the other. Standing only within an arm's length from her DJ, the stage suddenly shrank, and all eyes turned to her direction.

Scenes from Hellraiser unintentionally played on a large projection screen behind her, but it didn't distract the audience from her natural glow. As she opened her set with an eclectic cover of Peggy Lee's "Fever," a rush of warmth overcame the cold October air that traveled from the venue's entrance.

The flick's most frightening scenes mirrored Rosa's fear of the unknown, as she confessed to a small crowd that she had just quit her job to pursue her passion.

Her voice trembled and transcended into a mist of soothing, ambient sounds, and she pieced together pages of her diary and threaded memories of missed opportunities, unwarranted dreams and relationships that craved for reflection.

The transitions to her songs were not smooth, and most of them ended abruptly like a writer who had stopped in mid-sentence or a lover who boldly made the first move. More than anything, her songs captured the intensity of a first kiss and the quietest moments in a lovers' quarrel.

Those constant bouts of habit cemented her authenticity and prepped the audience for Deep Fayed, a four-piece instrumental band that redefined the meaning of sophistication and breathed life back into jazz.

Their loose-fitting, unbuttoned polo shirts, tousled hair and spontaneous dance moves caught casual Friday by surprise, and the crowd was quick to respond. The groove was contagious, and everyone on the dance floor picked a moment in Fayed's performance to welcome the start of the weekend.

Thumbnail image for FullSizeRender (5).jpg

The group's invitation to share the spotlight with a couple of notable guests verified the necessary turn up, and local rapper Dan Kanvis picked up right where they left off.

The room was now dark, and the screen, which was once flashed psychedelic images from Fayed's set, now switched from amber, to dark red, to bright green. An outline of Kanvis' shadow followed the rhythm of his rhymes, and he revealed glimpses of his face as he hit center stage.


Every now and then, his name appeared in white up against a vibrant backdrop. He recited lines from his latest EP, Parallel, and his debut work, Windows, which filled in the missing blanks in Rosa's loved letters but upheld Fayed's humor and happiness.

Slowly, the crowd began to break off into smaller groups, giving each other the opportunity to show off their skills. Couples moved in to seal each of Kanvis' song with a kiss, while others tried their hand at their own version of a two-step, as they felt his flow run through their veins.

One by one, the stage lights began to turn on, and one of Kanvis' last words echoed through the venue: "I feel closer to you than I ever did before now...than I ever did before now."

Those words rang true for those who stayed to salvage the rest of their night, but were brave enough to see what an early Saturday morning would bring.

GB store
GB store

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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15