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.
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Thursday, March 23

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Review Mon Nov 02 2015

Lil Debbie and the Morning After

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in college is that impulsively saying "yes" to an open party invitation could lead to either one of the best or worst nights ever, and only the morning after could determine that decision.

This Halloween was a true testament to that, and the night began in the same way that it ended -- at The Abbey.

If you've ever been, it's in a bit of a strange spot. The venue rests along Elston Avenue, and its half-lit red marquee is married to veteran street lights that fade into the distance. Hidden in the shadows of nightlife and adolescent chaos, residential homes complete its seemingly cozy air.

The evening is surprisingly quiet. Some of the city's ghosts, ghouls and goblins have found comfort at the bottom of their glasses at Abbey's bar.

Anticipation for the party to begin at the main stage slowly sets in, and a new wave of a casually dressed crowd creeped into the crevices of the nearly empty space.

The doors have just opened, and the drinks have just been poured. Small doses of danger and diversion were garnished on the rims of white plastic cups filled to the brim with the bartenders' favorite cocktails. Those armored with PBRs were enticed by the sound of crushing the can.

At best, the night was a recreation of scenes from a college party. Glimpses of bare skin reconfigured the rhythm of juking, and the low windowsills collected wallflowers, observers and "the fashionably late" attendees. A select few arrived in outlandish, well-thought-out costumes. A man dressed as restauranteur Guy Fieri snagged a sweet spot at the foot of the stage with one mission in mind: to high-five every performer.

As the minutes clocked into a couple hours, the exceedingly growing audience was given a taste of the Windy City's up-and-coming talent. An exhaustive list of 10 local rappers gave their most devoted fans a fix of their style and lyricism.

Each performer represented a corner of the city, and they were all after creating a milestone with the spotlight. They crafted a short set list comprised of songs that revealed their presence as an artist and a poet, while giving gratitude and sharing center stage with their "day one" crew and exiting with their signature dance moves.

The first of November began to unveil itself, and Lil Debbie stepped onto the stage as if she had just stepped onto the scene of her neighbor's house party. Her carefree, west coast vibe was deeply appreciated by Midwesterners looking to top off their Halloween.

Lil Debbie at the Abbey ChicagoThe California-based rapper kept a blunt lit during her performance. In between puffs, she took swigs from her bottled water and repeatedly gave thanks to those who continued to "fuck with her" music and her free-spirit.

The former White Girl Mob member shamelessly fed her fans their favorites with "Bake A Cake" and "2 Cups." Her feel-good songs are a tribute to her Cali lifestyle and her confidence, which are both trademarked by being a bad bitch.

Her infamous tell-it-to-me attitude is the foundation of her claim to being that bad bitch, and honesty continues to takeover her heart and mind at the centerfold.

Lil Debbie remains unapologetic when it comes to living life in the fast lane. Luxury is the name of the game, but she warns her listeners that being rich is only the end game.

As she continues to search for success in the limelight, her work survives under the radar. Like silent water, her music and her words run deep. Lil Debbie continues to evolve through her sense of respect for creativity, commitment and aspiration, and she thrives in pop culture criticism.

On that note, she leaves her audience with this: "You and me -- we are not the same. Lil Debbie -- a household name. You a cookie cutter -- Easy Bake."

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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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