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. 


Saturday, May 18

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sxsw2011 Mon Mar 21 2011

SXSW Tour Diary: White Mystery

[Editor's note: Here's a SXSW tour diary from White Mystery, who played the SXSW Music Festival as part of their ongoing tour.]

Photo by CraSH.

SXSW is a celebration of bands, and the people who love them from around the world. Hundreds of thousands converge on Austin to partake in a total free for all, where every restaurant, cafe, and vintage shop form a loose confederation of concerts that take shape as an internationally acclaimed, city-wide festival.

White Mystery embarked on tour weeks ago and shredded shows with amazing bands in Iowa City, Omaha, Kansas City, Memphis, and Dallas en route. Terrain, weather, and punk cultures change like a gradient from the Midwest to the South in March, with leather jackets in blizzards to sweat-drenched rockers in sweltering weather.

Francis and I are siblings, and a band. White Mystery played eight shows in five days, ranging from the Ice Cream Man showcase with the Screaming Females at Club Deville on Tuesday, where the outdoor stage is surrounded by natural cliff-like walls and the crowd is huge (see photo above), to PBR Blast-Off surrounded by beer-fueled native Chicagoans like Rabble Rabble and My Gold Mask, then off to the California-based Burger Records Showcase with King Tuff and Apache sponsored by CHIRP at a lawless record shop called Trailer Space (tell Spot that Alex White sent you), slaying a secret show with the Black Lips and Greenhornes at the Sailor Jerry festival, to playing with Thee Ohsees and Davilla 666 at Beerland.

We spent the week tromping the litter-strewn streets of Austin, cruising VICE parties to see buzz bands Davilla 666, OFF! and Odd Future, and partaking in generous helpings of street food. Congestion in Austin is over the top, but eerily similar to the Wicker Park Six Corners on a Saturday night, with persistent hipster traffic stumbling out of bars, carrying bags full of records, and eating hotdogs.

The goal at SXSW is to play with your favorite bands, at festival where the line between musician and fan is blurred. That mission was accomplished.

Check out White Mystery tour photos on Facebook here, and upcoming White Mystery concerts here. Our new record, Blood & Venom drops on April 20 with release shows at Pancho's in Chicago. Miss Alex White is a native Chicagoan and musician whose band blog is right here.


sxsw2011 Sat Mar 19 2011

SXSW 2011 Coverage: Friday

Like any good stereotypical "spring break" type of event (many music industry people refer to SXSW as the "music business's spring break"), sometimes SXSW is all about winging it. Bands cancel, capacity is reached (even for badge holders), and sometimes you wake up to find the power is out in the apartment you're staying at. But it's all a great adventure.

In fact, let me describe to you the place we're staying in. Instead of booking a hotel 20 minutes out of the city, we decided to crash a few miles from downtown with a few lovely girls from Chicago. The apartment is a 2 room little bungalow, no air but a nice breeze, chickens roaming in the backyard, and a dream catcher hanging next to the door. A tent is being rented out in the back yard during SXSW. We've never seen said tent person, but we've heard them cough, so they're there. It's like I've stepped into Richard Linklater's film Slacker. If you haven't been to Austin, and truly want to get a feel for many of the inhabitants of this town, watch that movie. It's just scenes of people and conversations in Austin in the 90s, and for much of the city and people, it's very true to life. This city has a bizarre charm about it, and things that might seem odd in another context fit right in down here in Austin.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White

sxsw2011 Sat Mar 19 2011

SXSW Band Diary: Rabble Rabble -- Thursday

Day 3 started out with a hang over and bad news. Matt's bass head blew up the night before at the super chaotic house of guys show. With the mics crapping out and other technical difficulties things had to get insane. So we pulled our usual move; turn up louder get rowdy and start dancing.

Continue reading this entry »


sxsw2011 Fri Mar 18 2011

SXSW 2011: Thursday

The main thing I learned Thursday during SXSW is that a huge throng of music fans, bands, and people celebrating St. Patrick's Day isn't necessarily the best mix of humans to encounter. But we'll get to that later.

As any good Chicagoan does when encountering nice weather, I've got to boast a little about how gorgeous it is down here in Austin. We started off Thursday waiting for the bus downtown in 70 degrees with the sun shining and a light breeze. Not a bad way to start the day.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White

sxsw2011 Fri Mar 18 2011

SXSW Band Diary: Rabble Rabble -- Wednesday

With our first day and gig at SxSW behind us we got hungry. Real hungry. So first thing Wednesday we got some Bar Be Que and Brews at Uncle Billy's Brew and Que. Pat Rios from the Chicago band Meah! meet up with us and we all got big ol' Texan meat plates. I personally doubled up on the ribs which was a GREAT idea!

Continue reading this entry »


sxsw2011 Thu Mar 17 2011

SXSW 2011 Coverage: Wednesday

After 20 hours in a car, a handful of truck stops, and one lost detour in the middle of nowhere in Arkansas, I've arrived (and somewhat rested up) in Austin, TX for SXSW. Along with the lovely bands sharing their adventures with Gapers Block, I'll be posting about some of the great music I catch, interesting panels, and the always bizarre encounters you come across during SXSW. Now onward with Day 1.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White

sxsw2011 Thu Mar 17 2011

SXSW Band Diary: Netherfriends -- Tuesday

sxsw 2011In true Netherfriends fashion, I got in trouble for using people's and companies' real names on the internet. Oops...but seriously though, really? How did you google search that shit? Soooo sorry to all my friends, but your name will be changed.

Tuesday morning started out with a little bit of a freak-out. I really didn't want to head downtown with my van. I came up with the idea of bringing my bike in my van and parking somewhere east and free and riding my bike the rest of the way. I met up with Ramber and we got tacos at this place called Torchy's Tacos for some of my favorite migas breakfast tacos. After that, I went to get my artist packet. I opted for the cash option instead of the artist wristband. It was funny when someone at the Austin Convention Center told me I might be able to get a wristband as well and when I asked another man at the help desk he told me I had my chance and that I blew it. He tried to persuade me to buy the artist wristband. I laughed at him and walked away. There are so many free events with free booze! Why would I want a wristband? So I can see that band (that rhymes with) Ravves again? Most official shows have zero free booze as well. After that whole ordeal, I went to the (rhymes with) Rice Rream Ruck Ran show and saw some Dan Deacon-sounding guy play. Ate some ice cream and drank some free Rarks alcoholic energy drink. It made me feel like I was in college again and for some reason they taste way better now.

Our first show downtown was at Cedar Street Courtyard and it was sponsored by a beer company RBR that was put on my friend Rason of the band Rornery Rittle Rarlings. It was all Chicago bands and I got to see a lot of my friends from Alaska, Richmond, Philly and Chicago. The sound on stage was incredible! One of my cables crapped out on me during my set, but I fixed it quickly and people commended me on the way I handled the situation. What else was I supposed to do? Throw a tantrum on stage? After the show, I hung out with my buddies in Labble Labble and Right Rollution. Some guy with huge red hair asked me to get him a beer. Sorry dude... not a bartender. So glad we played early because the band members got drunk (as usual) one of them acted a fool (as usual) and then later sent me a sloppy drunk text saying he doesn't want to play with me anymore. Which makes zero sense. He hugged me before I left and told me he loves me. Ahh, the power of alcohol.

--Shawn from Netherfriends

Continue reading this entry »


sxsw2011 Wed Mar 16 2011

SXSW Band Diary: Rabble Rabble -- Monday & Tuesday


[Editor's note: Here's the first SXSW tour diary from Rabble Rabble. They'll be posting more throughout the week!]

So our first day at SxSW pretty much consisted of us pretty much passing out for the majority of the afternoon. We drove for 20 hours straight to get here and that was brutal.

Continue reading this entry »


sxsw2011 Mon Mar 14 2011

SXSW Band Diary: Netherfriends -- Sunday & Monday


SXSW is a lot like New Years Eve. It's a great way of finding out which of your friends drink heavily on a regular basis and which of them do not.

I was convinced that Sunday would be the day of relaxing. I was wrong. Yes, there were a bunch of open bar events, but not lot of music. I rode my bike downtown to meet up with my friend Kevin, who is another Austin host of mine. Can I please plead with people heading down to SXSW, if it's not too late: bring a bike!!!!! Taxis are hard to find and the bike rickshaw things are pricey. I severely dislike walking and HATE walking through large masses of drunk assholes. So we really had no plan of action when we got downtown. We hit up a coffee shop on the east side of 6th Street called Rio Rita to use internet to find some last minute events and drink iced tea in the sun.

Continue reading this entry »

Transmission / Comments (1)

sxsw2011 Mon Mar 14 2011

SXSW Band Diary: Netherfriends -- Friday & Saturday

sxsw 2011[Editor's note: Here's the first SXSW tour diary from Shawn of Netherfriends. We'll be posting more throughout the week!]


Playing at SXSW is a lot like playing New York City (Especially as a small band from Chicago.) You are surrounded by millions of people in bands, it's over congested, and no one there gives a fuck about you...NO ONE! Four days before the festival, I went through a giant list of free shows forwarded to me by a booking agent friend and after 15 minutes of aimlessly searching for events with free booze, free food, and swag to rsvp to, my brain began throbbing. I almost questioned attending any show other than the 9 or 10 that Netherfriends were about to endure during the festival. I had just got done two extensive tours and was only just returning to Austin (my temporary home) a few days before the festival. I am not as jaded as I am sounding right now, but after playing shows every day for over three weeks straight, the last thing you want to do is see more live music. It's kind of like asking a plumber on his day off to fix your broken toilet and drippy sink. At least I can drink on the job.

Continue reading this entry »

Transmission / Comments (1)

SXSW Mon Mar 07 2011

Chicago (and the Region) at SXSW 2011 - Bands & Showcases

sxsw2011.jpgLisa White posted a partial list last Sunday, but thanks to some computer wizardry, we're now able to share a much more complete list of the Chicagoland acts on the South by Southwest Music Festival -- as well as those from Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin and the rest of Illinois. We've also put together an expanded list of showcases hosted by local labels, venues, publications and others. Consider this your clearinghouse for Chicago at SXSW 2011.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff / Comments (14)

sxsw2011 Sun Feb 27 2011

SXSW 2011: Chicago Edition

sxsw2011.jpgAfter one of the snowiest winters in the cities history, Chicago bands and members of the music community are surely looking forward to escaping the city and thawing out in Austin, TX during SXSW 2011. If you're not heading south, we'll keep you up to date, since I'll be roadtripping down to provide you with daily coverage of the best showcases, panels, and bands coming out of Austin that week. Know of something you'd like covered? Leave a comment and I'll try to check it out. Because SXSW is really about finding new and interesting music. And drinking a considerable amount of gratuitous booze and consuming your weight in free tacos. After the jump you'll get some highlights of Chicago bands and venues who will be participating in SXSW 2011.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White / Comments (9)

SXSW Tue Dec 14 2010

SXSW 2011: Early Confirmations

sxsw2011.jpgWe do our best to cover Chicago's contributions to the annual SXSW Music Festival down in Austin, TX, and while it's still four months away and the majority of the showcased acts haven't been announced yet, there are a couple locals who've already been confirmed:

Joan of Arc
Light Pollution
Maps & Atlases
Paul Cary

Stay tuned for more SXSW news in the new year.

Andrew Huff

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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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Editor: Sarah Brooks,
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