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, December 3

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Television Wed May 20 2015

Numero's Secret Role in "Mad Men"

Mad Men dance

If you've ever heard a song on "Mad Men" and wondered where it was from, or maybe smiled smugly to yourself that you could identify what's probably a rare track to most folks, then we have some info for you.

Local label Numero Group proudly notes that many of its songs were used across the seven seasons of "Mad Men." Season six seems to have been when the label's hits were most popular (which makes sense, given the historical timeline involved). See a full list and snag some of the albums yourself at Numero's website.

I'm pretty partial to this Big Mack Label "Crooked Woman" track by Edd Henry. Rowr!

Anne Holub

Television Thu Aug 04 2011

CANTV Music Mini-Series from The Renaissance Society

An excerpt from Tony Conrad's performance in the Bergman Gallery
at The Renaissance Society, January 23, 2011.

The Renaissance Society has been recording its contemporary chamber concerts since the 1990s, and it's going to be airing a selection of the standouts on CANTV over the next few months. Set your DVR to record every Sunday from August 7 through October 7 at 8pm to catch them all.

The full schedule is below.

Continue reading this entry »

David Schalliol

Television Mon Apr 25 2011

Beer, Guns, and Ha Ha Tonka

Did you catch sight of Bloodshot Records artists Ha Ha Tonka on the recent Ozarks episode of Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations? The band was featured strumming and chumming around near the Missouri barn where they recorded their latest album, Death of Decade. Here's a clip:

Anne Holub

Television Tue Mar 16 2010

Revamped JBTV Premieres Wednesday Night

Back in January, I posted that Jerry Bryant, the man responsible for turning me into a music geek back in the '90s, would be skimming down his hosting duties at Chicago music mainstay JBTV, while the show would be adding on new hosts and working its way toward becoming a full 24-hour online music station in the vein of MTV and VH1 (if MTV and VH1 actually played music). Since then, I've joined the staff at JBTV, and they've also brought in a slew of new hosts, including former Q101 DJ Ryan Manno, Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew Girl Jenna Martinelli, Lawrence Arms front man Brendan Kelly, Red Scare Industries founder Toby Jeg, and hip hop artist Jeff Baraka. In short, more hosts than you can shake a stick at.

The first episode of the 'new' JBTV airs tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 11pm on WJYS Channel 62. Lollapalooza 2009 favorites Portugal. The Man are the featured guests on the show, which will also include unseen footage from Jeff Buckley's final Metro performance and live footage of locals Treaty of Paris on the JBTV HD soundstage. The episode will be streaming online in full at starting Thursday afternoon.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

Television Tue Jan 12 2010

JBTV Announces New Host

PhotobucketJerry Bryant has been a staple in my house every Wednesday night since I was a wee teenager discovering alternative music for the first time. Between his big bushy gray beard and signature chuckle, the man was like my own personal Santa Claus bringing the gift of this world of music of which I had been completely oblivious. I cannot even count the number of times I pestered him via email to play the latest Smashing Pumpkins video -- requests which he usually obliged until one day he responded, "Enough Smashing Pumpkins!"

Now in its 25th year, Jerry Bryant's "JBTV" is the longest-running independent music television show. This morning, the show has announced that former Q101 DJ Ryan Manno (pictured above) will be taking the reigns as the new host. Considering Jerry Bryant has produced and hosted over 3,613 episodes of the show, these are pretty lofty shoes to fill. Never fear -- we'll still be treated with a Jerry Bryant fix via a weekly segment highlighting Jerry's archived footage from the past 25 years. Here's to an exciting new chapter in an iconic Chicago television show.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

Television Mon Nov 16 2009

Late Night TV with Kid Sister and Flosstradamus

In case you missed it, our own Kid Sister and Flosstradamus appeared on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" Friday night. Check out the episode above via Hulu.

Speaking of Ms. Melisa, her long-awaited album Ultraviolet drops tomorrow (finally!). She'll also be hitting up the House of Blues next Wednesday night (November 25th). The show is all ages and $16 - 18. She's made a habit of performing in Chicago the night before Thanksgiving, a time when this writer is never in the city. If you won't be off visiting the 'rents that weekend, pick up your tickets here and let me know how it goes.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

Television Fri Nov 06 2009

MTV Jams Invades Chicago

Photobucket I'm kicking myself right now for not having cable (or a working television, for that matter). Why? MTV Jams will be dedicating an entire day to the city of Chicago on Saturday, November 14th. Mark your calendars! The day will feature videos from the likes of Kid Sister, Lupe Fiasco, Common, R. Kelly, and Twista, among others, along with interviews with Chicago musicians and residents. Fake Shore Drive will be accepting submissions for any of you artists hoping to get involved. Very cool.

(Via Fake Shore Drive)

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

Radio Tue Jul 15 2008

Radio on the TV

No, that's not a mistake -- I'm talking about vintage TV commercials for radio stations. Through the magic of YouTube, all sorts of embarrassingly bad commercials for stations of varying quality live on.

"If you haven't tried WXRT lately, give our rock a listen!"

"Q101. The Q stands for quality music."

You stay classy, WBMX.

The Loop presages the lip-syncing of the '80s.

The same actress returned a couple years later to lure people back.

This one from WMET is still pretty much in use today in one form or another.

Andrew Huff

Blog Tue Mar 04 2008

Trade your Rabbit Ears for a Pitchfork

Say what you will about the boys and girls of Pitchfork - they've been sneered at and cheered at for their reviews, most recently being slammed by URB for chicago-post-rock-centric favoritism. But whatever your opinion of them, you can't argue with their latest decision - to fill the gaping void of 24-music television with

"We're documenting artists and featuring them in ways we've never been able to," says Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber. " is really an extension of the kinds of features we've been doing on Pitchfork for years—it's a new way to see these artists and get to know them better as people."

In addition to regular music videos, will air full-length feature films, vintage concerts, and music DVDs free of charge, sharing a different feature every week. The channel will also include interviews with bands on the road and in the studio. For a dash of Beatles/U2 charisma, the channel is featuring "Don't Look Down", a series of New York and Chicago shows performed entirely on rooftops. The channel is set for a soft release on April 7th.

Dan Morgridge / Comments (1)

Television Thu Feb 07 2008

For the Love of a Shoe

As you're watching (or Tivo-ing) the 50th Annual Grammy Awards this Sunday, keep this little bit of trivia in the back of your mind as they read out the nominees for "Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group" — it's all about the love of a 25-year old shoe. The song, "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)", which features Chicago's Kanye West along with Nas, Rakim and KRS-One, was commissioned by Nike in honor of the 25-year-old Air Force 1 sneaker, is the first time that the company's commissioned work has received a Grammy nod. What's a nice change is that there's some philanthropic intent behind the tune. All proceeds from the sale of the track will be donated to the Nike Youth Sport for Change Fund to support two chapters of Baltimore's Boys & Girls Club of America — Jackson Unit Boys & Girls Club of America and The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of America.

If you're in the market for some AF1's for yourself, you could always get one of these sweet customized Kanye West "Graduation" pairs.

Below is video of the DJ Premier remix:

Anne Holub

Television Wed May 02 2007

King of Primetime For A Day

For that huge crossover audience of Chicago indie rockers and family dramedy TV watchers, The CW gave a little treat - amongst a slew of equally under-the-radar bands, Bobby Conn was name-dropped on the Gilmore Girls last night. Bizarre? Absolutely. Completely mis-targeted? Probably. But unprecedented? Mike Patton and "Days of Our Lives" thinks not.

(If you know of a clip of this mention, let us know!)

Dan Morgridge

Television Mon Feb 26 2007

Ted Leo Documentary - World Television Premiere

For those of you who are paying for expanded cable, or those who built a homemade dish out of tin cans, an umbrella, and an inexplicable string of christmas lights - prepare for a good evening concert from your couch. Touch and Go's shiny new acquisition Ted Leo will have his 2003 concert documentary Dirty Old Town shown on Starz tonight at 10PM. Commercially released in 2004, it depicts a summer day in Coney Island with the band, both performing tunes and telling the camera about road life glamor and how the line-up has completely solidified since the mix-and-match accompaniment of the first Pharmacists albums.
Then again, tell us, Dorian and Ida: where have all the rude girls gone?

Dan Morgridge

Television Fri Feb 09 2007

The Naked Sea

Local rockers Tortoise, who are reportedly set to release an album later this year, provide the soundtrack to this breakthrough Vaseline commercial currently airing overseas.

Some "making-of" clips can also be found here and here (Possibly NSFW).

JP Pfafflin

Television Wed Jan 17 2007

Get a Preview of My Kind of Tunes

My Kind of Tunes: A Celebration of Great Chicago Songwriters will showcase some of the people responsible for writing the music that has garnered Chicago's strong musical reputation since the 1920s. The performance is Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center. Thursday's "Chicago Tonight" on WTTW will broadcast interviews with Saturday's performers, Audrey Morris, Tom Michael, and Beckie Menzie.

James Ziegenfus

Television Wed Jan 10 2007

Rhymefest on Chicago Tonight...tonight

As a part of their live music Wednesday segment, the WTTW show "Chicago Tonight" will feature innovative South Side rapper Rhymefest tonight during its 7pm broadcast. I reviewed Rhymefest's 2006 album Blue Collar a while back, and it's still one of my favorites from last year. Check it out, and tune in later tonight.

Anne Holub

Television Thu Jan 04 2007

Makes me wish I got "Noggin"

Maybe watching kids shows can be something to add to your musical to-do list, especially in the case of Highland Park-born "Jack's Big Music Show," which runs on the Noggin channel. Jack, a music-loving puppet who entertains his pals at a rocking clubhouse, has already lined up a envious amount of A-list music and entertainment stars including Jon Stewart, Cheryl Hines, kids-music sensation Laurie Berkner and Chicago musicians Andrew Bird, Anne Harris and Justin Roberts. Spiffy Pictures, which created the show, also says that the Groundhog Day episode with Stewart will feature the debut of a video collaboration between the Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd and former "Blues Clues" host Steve Burns. Dang.

Anne Holub

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

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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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