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Tuesday, September 23

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Transmission

Video Wed Aug 13 2014

A Theme Song for a Good Cause

"Windy City Live" host Ryan Chiaverini recorded a new song about Chicago, with proceeds benefiting the Illinois Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The video debuted on YouTube and iTunes Monday, before news broke of Robin Williams' death. Chiaverini's younger brother committed suicide five years ago, and he's been active with AFSP ever since.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Wed Jun 25 2014

Honoring "Purple Rain's" 30th Anniversary

SixTwentyFive.jpgIn honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of Prince's hit "Purple Rain," Forest Park musician Pat Battle recorded a remix of the song, titled "SixTwentyFive." The video, directed by Ian Hitre, the video stars four local dancers lip-syncing and dancing to the classic.

Spot the timely movie and song samples in there, too.

Download the track for free on Soundcloud.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Wed Apr 30 2014

Color Yourself with a New Video from The Kickback

Chicago indie pop group The Kickback released a video this week for the song "Sting's Teacher Years." The video really harkens back to the olde days of MTV videos full of stop-motion camera tricks, and a clever, though simple effect.

Thanks to Kickstarter, you can enjoy this tune on the band's new LP, Sorry All Over The Place, due out this summer.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Wed Apr 16 2014

ShowYouSuck Goes Low-Res VHS for New Video

ShowYouSuck dives into a world of VHS in the video for his latest song, "All Wavy Everything." He's playing with Kid Sister -- who hasn't been heard from that much lately, though her latest video has her going full Jamaican -- at Reggies Friday night, along with Syd tha Kid, Angel and Mr. E. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, which opens at 8:30pm.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Wed Mar 19 2014

Kenwood Academy Gets Happy

Students at Kenwood Academy High School on the South Side put together their own version of Pharrell's contagious "Happy" video showing off, among other things: their Billy the Bronco mascot, the swim team, some twerking faculty, student dancers, and the school choir singing their own rendition of the song at the end. If you need a pick-me-up, definitely take a look:

Amundsen High School in Ravenswood has also made their own student version of the video. If you know of other local schools who've created their video, let us know in the comments!

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Tue Dec 10 2013

Watch Royale's Ethereal "1981" Video

Local "progressive sci-fi yacht metal" outfit Royale has released a video for its new single "1981."

Drummer Nate Bauman put together the video using clips by designer and animator Mike Winklemann, aka Beeple, who collaborates with Flying Lotus and whose Creative Commons-licensed animations have been used by such acts as Amon Tobin, deadmau5, Skrillex and more. Bauman says that after he contacted Beeple, "He ended up sharing his whole catalog of animations to use under one condition. He said, 'You have to promise me one thing; that you'll have fun.'"

"Initially, I immediately thought of something you'd typically see on CN and Adult Swim," Bauman explained. "Then I remembered Daft Punk's initial popular videos. Even Queens of the Stone Age have done multiple videos with animated characters. The foundation of the video is this man hooked to a chair in laboratory with scientists conducting experiments on his brain. With each psychedelic cut and transition, we are seeing through the eyes & brain of this poor man being experimented on. "

You can stream "1981" and listen to more from Royale on SoundCloud.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Thu Oct 31 2013

A Real Chicago Halloween Comes with Jan Terri

Franklin Park, native Jan Terri is either someone completely unknown to you or an internet superstar you treasure. To me, it can't be truly Halloween in Chicago without an annual viewing of Jan's video for her song, "Get Down Goblin." So, enjoy:

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Fri Aug 23 2013

Gemini Club Releases "Sparklers" Video

Shot in Chicago, the local indie/dance group Gemini Club released a video for its single "Sparklers". (You might remember Gemini Club from our SXSW Tour Diaries this past spring.)


"Sparklers" is also available as a free mp3 download. The band plays the North Coast Music Festival next weekend.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Wed Jun 19 2013

A Star-studded New Video for JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

With friends who can goon for the camera, a rock star can always pull off an entertaining music video. In the case of JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, the band's connection with "New Girl" star Jake Johnson and "Parks and Recreation" actress Aubrey Plaza means that their new video for "Rouse Yourself" (off of their latest album, Howl) is clever and cute all at once. Check it out.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Tue Dec 11 2012

How Records Saved the Record Store

Re-Vinylized a 30-minute documentary by John Boston of Whiskey Bender Productions about independent record stores in Chicago, is now watchable online.

The film was an official selection of the 2012 Chicago International REEL Shorts Festival, and features interviews with the owners of Permanent Records, Record Emporium, Vintage Vinyl, Val's Halla and other shops, as well as music journalists Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, in a celebration of the culture of independent record stores, the effects of the Internet on the business, and the stores' resurgence with the vinyl record.

Speaking of Val's Halla, the Oak Park music mainstay is on the verge of closure due to mounting bills. There's a "Help Val Keep the Lights On" house party happening this Thursday, Dec. 13; it's sold out, but donations are still being accepted.

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

Video Tue Nov 27 2012

Summer Girlfriends Premiere Video for "Goth Beach Party"

What happens at a goth beach party?

When yours hosts are Chicago garage-rockers Summer Girlfriends, palm trees are chopped down, black beach clothes are worn, and everybody eventually winds up back in the garage rocking out.

Such is the case in the band's new music video, which premiered yesterday on Loud Loop Press, for "Goth Beach Party", off their debut album Shockwaves, released earlier this year on Addenda Records.

Watch the video below, and don't miss Summer Girlfriends at Lincoln Hall this Thursday at the launch party for CHIRP Radio's brand new website. Outer Minds, Heavy Times, and Sidecar Static also perform. Tickets are $12, and the show begins at 8pm. Lincoln Hall is located at 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.

Continue reading this entry »

Marc Fishman / Comments (0)

Video Mon Nov 05 2012

The Sea and Cake Release New Stop-Motion Animation Video

The music video is still thriving in the Internet age, despite the fact that MTV and VH1 have long given up their role as purveyors of the medium. For proof, check out the new video for local favorites The Sea and Cake's latest single "On and On", off their most recent Thrill Jockey release, Runner.

The band enlisted Japanese artist Naomi Nagata to create a stop-motion animation using lines and patterns made with sand on a Japanese paper scroll, resulting in a visual experience not unlike watching the waveform generator in your iTunes library.

The band released the video today on NOWNESS, the editorially-independent website of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, of all places. Watch it below:

Continue reading this entry »

Marc Fishman / Comments (0)

Video Tue Sep 25 2012

Field Report Goes Undercover for "Chicago"

Milwaukee's Field Report were the last band into A.V. Club's "A.V. Undercover: Season Three" cover series, which meant that they had no choice but to cover Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago," the only remaining song on the list. They took it in an even dreamier direction than the original.

Next Tuesday, Oct. 2, is the season finale of A.V. Undercover, and the last performance in the "little round room" in River North. A special guest will cover Kansas' "Carry On My Wayward Son." Stay tuned.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Fri Aug 31 2012

Kill'em Already

Hunter Hunt-Hendrix of Liturgy performed Shellac's "Prayer to God" a cappella in the latest of A.V. Club's "Undercover" cover song series.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Tue Aug 21 2012

The Grid: LAMPO

"LAMPO" is the ninth installment of our short film series, The Grid. These documentaries are posted throughout Gapers Block and compiled in their own multimedia feature section.


Since 1997, LAMPO has presented experimental music and intermedia events to adventurous Chicago audiences. Find out about upcoming shows at lampo.org, and hear more about LAMPO from Director Andrew Fenchel on WBEZ.

About The Grid

This video is part of a series profiling Chicago businesses, subcultures and landscapes. These short, lyrical documentaries aspire to be art cinema, ethnographies, and experiments in form. Producer Ben Kolak's directorial debut, Scrappers, scrappersmovie.com, won Best Documentary at the Chicago Underground Film Festival and made Roger Ebert's list of top documentaries for 2010. Sound recordist and editor Alex Inglizian does sound for LAMPO and is chief engineer at Experimental Sound Studio. Graphic Designer Akemi Hong is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's graduate program in Visual Communication Design.

The Grid is funded in part by the Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation Digital Media Production Fund.

Transmission / Comments (0)

Video Thu Aug 16 2012

Video Premiere: "I'm Pregnant" by Ami Saraiya & The Outcome

If you're wondering what accordions and animated chalk animals have in common, they're both alive and well in the latest video showcasing the wistful, cabaret sounds of Ami Saraiya & The Outcome. The song, "I'm Pregnant," off of the band's latest album, Soundproof Box, made its debut at their show last night at Lincoln Hall, but we're very pleased to be the first to bring it to you online. It's a pleasant way to daydream yourself through a rainy Thursday, don't you think?

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Thu Aug 09 2012

A 13-Year-Old Rapper Shocks the City with "Get Smoked"

Lil Mouse is a 13-year-old rapper from the Wild 100s. He's already recorded several videos, the first when he was still 12. His latest track, "Get Smoked," has attracted attention for its glorification of popping pills, selling drugs, having sex, shooting people and other activities not usually associated with barely teenaged kids.

In the Sun-Times, Mary Mitchell asks where the outrage is over a child producing gangsta rap. She includes a quote from Che "Rhymefest" Smith, whose first single came out when he was 20.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff / Comments (4)

Video Tue Jul 24 2012

Andrew Bird's Latest Video is a Little Creepy

The video for "Give It Away," the latest single off Andrew Bird's album Break It Yourself, features a living piñata pouring candy out of himself at a children's birthday party -- ultimately inviting the birthday boy to deliver a death blow across his chest with a stick. It's a good metaphor for the song's lyrics dealing with giving away one's love for free, but in practice it's a rather odd and disquieting image. The fact that the parents and most (but not all )of the kids are white and the piñata man is brown(-paper)-skinned adds another, different form of tension to the imagery.

What do you think? Does the heartwarming ending save the video from being creepy?

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

Video Mon Jul 16 2012

James Iha Premieres New Music Video


Today ex-Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha debuted a video for the track "To Who Knows Where", the first from his upcoming album Look to the Sky, to be released worldwide September 18th. This track marks the first solo material we've heard from Iha since 1998's Let It Come Down (that is, if we're not counting his soundtrack score for 2005's Linda Linda Linda). The video was influenced by David Bowie's The Man Who Fell To Earth and was filmed in Joshua Tree, California. The album is already available for pre-order here and the first 100 pre-orders come with a Polaroid and button hand-made by Iha himself.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

Video Mon Jun 11 2012

Radiohead Debut New Song at First Midwest Amphitheater


Among a set list that included "Street Spirit", "Karma Police" and even a tease of R.E.M.'s "The One I Love", Radiohead premiered a new song titled "Full Stop" last night during their show at Tinley Park's First Midwest Amphitheater. Previously, a muddled fan recording of the song being played during a sound check in Cincinatti spread like wildfire across the internet last week. Here's a full video of the song performed last night, as best as I could manage from my seat near the back.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (0)

Album Thu May 31 2012

Mucca Pazza Release New Album, Video for "Boss Taurus"

Safety Fifth, the new album by Mucca Pazza, Chicago's number one punk marching band, comes out June 12 on Electric Cowbell Records. That very night, they'll be celebrating with a concert at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Tickets are $15 online or at the door -- if there are any left. Above is a music video for "Boss Taurus" off the album (is that a "Bitchin' Camaro" allusion?)

You can pre-order Safety Fifth now on vinyl or CD, and if you do so before the 12th, you'll receive a free poster designed by Kathleen Judge.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Preview Mon May 07 2012

Preview: Mayer Hawthorne & The County @ Park West, 5/17

MayerHawthorne.jpg

Motown soul meets retro funk flavor and epitomizes the problem with labels and genre, in a sound that can only be best described as Mayer Hawthorne. The singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist will be taking the stage at the Park West on May 17, sharing some of the revamped vintage goodness that his latest album, How Do You Do, is filled with.

Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, not far from the Motor City, it isn't hard to tell where a great deal of his influence stems from. Influence aside, there's no doubt he's been doing something fresh from the vine since his debut album, A Strange Arrangement, released back in 2009. There's an air of confidence in his latest tracks from How Do You Do, however, that sounds like the perfect balance between the music of the good ol' days and a sound, style, and presentation of something not yet explored.

Tickets are sold out, but a limited quantity can be found at Stubhub.com. The Park West is located at 322 W. Armitage Ave. Music begins at 7:30pm with The Stepkids. 18+.

Ricardo Villarreal / Comments (0)

Video Fri Apr 20 2012

JC Brooks, The Uptown Sound, and a Puppet

No joke. Here's a cure for the rainy day blues. If you like this, check out JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound live (likely sans scatting Muppet er, puppet) at the Metro on April 27, 2012. Tickets are $12. 18+.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Mon Apr 16 2012

Hip Hop on Film

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, is an upcoming documentary by Ice-T about the roots, culture and artistry of rap and hip hop. The film includes interviews with dozens of artists from both the new school and old school, including Chicagoans Common and Kanye West.

Meanwhile, local music video producer Konee Rok has put together a documentary of his own: The Rebirth of Chicago Cool, telling the story of how nightclub owner Joe Russo came back to Chicago to open The Shrine.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Tue Apr 10 2012

Watch This: Perfume Genius, "Hood"


If you're looking for some last-minute plans tonight, check out this music video for Perfume Genius' "Hood" off his sophomore release Put Your Back N 2 It on Matador Records, and you won't be able to resist catching his show at Schubas tonight. The video features gay porn star Arpad Miklos, who is shown doing everything from brushing the emotional singer's hair and applying his lipstick to dressing up as Freddy Krueger.

Perfume Genius plays tonight at Schubas, 3159 North Southport Avenue. The show is $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and starts at 8 pm. Parenthetical Girls open. 21+.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (0)

Blues Thu Apr 05 2012

Happy 97th Birthday, Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters would have turned 97 on April 4. In 1974, the very first episode of "Soundstage" on PBS featured a "blues summit," featuring Muddy joined by an all-star band: Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Dr. John, Buddy Miles, Junior Wells, Nick Gravenites, Johnny Winter and Mike Bloomfield (as well as an uncredited Pinetop Perkins). Here it is in its entirety.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Tue Feb 14 2012

A Lull Wants To Show You "Some Love"

Though it was released last fall, the video for A Lull's song "Some Love" is perfectly timed for a cloudy, cold Valentine's Day. Enjoy a dream-pop road trip, complete with dancing, bonfires, and fireworks (and a little sexiness, too). [You can decide if nudes rendered in spray paint is NSFW or not.] "Some Love" is the title track of their forthcoming EP available for free download from their website.

Like the tune? Also enjoy a remix version, perfect for slow jams:

[mp3] - A Lull - "Some Love" (Brothertiger Remix)

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Mon Feb 06 2012

OK Go Driving

okgo-chevy-sonic.jpg

Yep, Chicago expats OK Go were in a commercial during the Super Bowl. This time around, they performed "Needing/Getting" in and with a Chevy Sonic -- using various appendages attached to the car to play instruments and other constructions set up along a rambling desert track. The commercial took months of planning and four days of shooting, and apparently 1,000 instruments were spread out over the two-mile course.

Car and Driver has a great behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Mon Jan 30 2012

Wilco Eats Spinach, Plays with Popeye

Well, this explains Wilco's unexpected appearance in a recent Popeye comic strip: the band's latest music video is a black-and-white cartoon featuring Popeye, Olive Oyl, Swee' Pea, Wimpy and Bluto. In it, Olive falls for Jeff Tweedy while Bluto and Popeye vie for her attention.

The video for "Dawned On Me" off The Whole Love is the first new Popeye cartoon since the character's 75th anniversary in 2004, and the first hand-drawn Popeye cartoon in more than 30 years. Apparently the band's collaboration with King Features Syndicate was the brainchild of director Darren Romanelli. There's a website for the collaboration, wilcospinach.com, that offers a free download of a live version of "Dawned On Me," and also seems to hint that actual cans of Wilco brand spinach may be in the offing. Not going to hold my breath on that one.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Wed Jan 25 2012

Blah Blah Blah to the Rescue

Local, self-described "Ballroom Rock" dreamboats Blah Blah Blah released a new music video this week, and it's SO DAMN CHICAGO! Look! The Bloomingdale Trail! The Flat Iron! Reckless Records! Union Station! If January's got you hating Chicago, watch this video. It'll fix you right up.

Kelly Reaves / Comments (0)

Video Mon Jan 09 2012

Lowe & Staples Put the Load Right On Wilco

Nick Lowe and Mavis Staples joined Wilco for a rendition of The Band's classic "The Weight" as the finale at Wilco's date at the Civic Opera House back in December. Here's footage of them all rehearsing it backstage before the show.

The whole concert can be listened to on WilcoWorld.net. [via]

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Transmission Tue Dec 27 2011

The Whoevers Speak "Spectacular Vernacular" in Latest Video Release

http://f0.bcbits.com/z/31/15/3115533336-1.jpg
The Whoevers' album, Renovations

Local emcees J. Arthur and DotKom combine their drive, talents, and roots in the soulful and gritty sounds that make up their style, to create the hip-hop duo known as The Whoevers. They've earned the respect of listeners from the tops of several stages in the city, including one at Wicker Park Fest this past year.

With the digital release of their first album, Renovations, back in September, The Whoevers are wrapping up their biggest year yet, with their midnight release of the music video for "Spectacular Vernacular," the second track off the EP.

Ricardo Villarreal / Comments (0)

Video Tue Dec 13 2011

GONZO's Chicago in 2011, or Why We Love Our Live Music Scene

Local music blogger and general music fan GONZO CHICAGO recently released a video he created comprising of the best clips from the best shows he went to in 2011. If it doesn't get you psyched about our bubbling underground scene, I don't know what will:

While you're at it, check out the original entry on his blog, GONZO CHICAGO. It's definitely a blog to keep on your radar if you're into music. And since you're here, I'm gonna assume you are.

Kelly Reaves / Comments (0)

Video Wed Nov 30 2011

It's Taco Time with The Hood Internet

You just can't beat tacos as art. Local mixmasters The Hood Internet created an amazing, larger-than-life version of their new album cover with over $450 worth of Taco Bell tacos.

Their new (and totally free) self-titled album of remixes and production work comes out on December 6th at mishkanyc.com. My mouth is already watering.

Catch The Hood Internet live on December 30th and December 31st (New Years Eve) at Lincoln Hall. Tickets as well as Two-Day Passes are still available.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Tue Nov 15 2011

Kid Sister Gets Her Gucci Rag Top Detailed With Danny Brown

Neon bright Chicago MC Kid Sister just dropped her video for the remix of Gucci Rag Top featuring fellow Fools Gold MC Danny Brown. The remix Xzibit Pimps the original track into a Missy Elliot sampling Rick Rubin-esque 808s and gated guitar party shaker as Kid Sister and Danny Brown engage in a battle of who's sexual libido is best represented by their choice of vehicular transportation.

Continue reading this entry »

Jason Olexa / Comments (0)

Video Tue Nov 08 2011

Exclusive Premiere: "Killin' Your Brother" Video Promoting CeaseFire Chicago

You may be familiar with CeaseFire Chicago (we've written about it previously) but Brad Cole, who lost a brother to gun violence, is hoping to raise awareness about the organization's efforts with a new song and music video. He teamed up with hip-hop artist Staff Johnson, and brothers Baron and Jason Harper (members of the local band Scattered Trees) who also lost family members to gun violence in the last year. They created "Killin' Your Brother," and we're happy to premiere the video here on Gapers Block today.

Check out an mp3 of the song on Brad's Facebook page.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Music & Film Wed Oct 12 2011

Ministry is Fixed

Ministry made its start in Chicago in 1981, part of the Wax Trax! constellation of new wave and industrial bands. So it makes sense that FIX, a documentary about the band, would screen here. And in fact it made its debut at the Chicago International Music and Movie Festival back in April. FIX is back, appropriately enough, for a Halloween screening at the Music Box on Oct. 27. Tickets are $10 in advance or at the box office.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Thu Sep 08 2011

Wilco is Born Alone

Overshadowed by Jeff Tweedy's Black Eyed Peas covers at the @MayorEmanuel book release party, Wilco released a video this week for the new song "Born Alone" from the band's forthcoming album, The Whole Love. It was directed by Mark Greenberg, proprietor of Mayfair Workshop and a member of The Coctails. GB contributor Dave Elfving interviewed Greenberg in 2005 about music-making and odd instruments. Greenberg is credited as an assistant producer on the album, so it's possible some of those instruments are woven into the background.

The Whole Love is due out Sept. 27 on their own dBpm Records. NPR will stream the album at 1pm Chicago time on Sept. 19, and will have members of the band on afterward to answer your questions.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Wed Aug 31 2011

Video Premiere: Paper Thick Walls' "Orange Tree"

Rising indie stars Paper Thick Walls are set to release their debut music video "Orange Tree" at Schubas on Friday and if you've been following them on Facebook at all, you know they're pretty darn pumped about it. Lucky for anxious Gapers Block readers, we've got an exclusive first look at the new music video. The video, which was directed by Kevin Pickman and Stefeni Tormanen, is simple and sweet with the obligatory owl usage. It suits the kitsch-less-catch of "Orange Tree" and more importantly finally answers the age old question of what two Indie kids would do if they were stuck in a tent all night.

Orange Tree from Paper Thick Walls on Vimeo. Directed by Kevin Pickman and Stefeni Tormanen.

Lead singers Kate Schell and Eric Michaels make loving their light and breezy harmonies easy by blending lyrics with an assortment of pleasantly interesting instruments such as the trumpet, upright bass and fiddle. With their soft voices and deep instrumental backgrounds, they give slight deja vu to The Stars; they are the kind of band meant to perform a NPR tiny desk concert.

Although none of the band members are originally from Chicago, they are headquartered here or, as the band puts it, "stuck for the time being" like the dysfunctional family that they are. (For more on their complex connections, read playground misnomer's interview with the band.). With the backing of sound engineer Mike Hagler (Neko Case and Wilco) and performances at SXSW, NXNE and Summer Fest already under their belts, it looks like this Chicago-trapped band is set to become a Chicago favorite.

Paper Thick Walls fans have two options for seeing the band perform this weekend. They will perform along with Dastardly and Sleeping in the Aviary on Friday at Schubas. Show starts at 9pm and tickets are a steal for eight bucks. Fans can get an even better deal by stopping by the Paper Machete show at The Horseshoe (4115 N. Lincoln Ave.) on Saturday at 3pm for a free show. Live it up, Chicago!

Niki Fritz / Comments (0)

Video Tue Aug 16 2011

YAWN Open Season Preview

Here is a preview of what you can except from the new album from YAWN, Open Season. The album will be released by Feeltrip/Englophile on August 30th.

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

Video Thu Aug 11 2011

"Ghetto Dreams" Video Debuts

Kanye and Jay-Z aren't the only hip-hop dream doubleteam right now. The other is Common and Nas, whose "Ghetto Dreams" has been rocking turntables and booming out of cars for the past month. The official video just debuted; thanks to Fake Shore Drive for the tip.

"Ghetto Dreams" is on Common's forthcoming album, The Dreamer, The Believer, due out Nov. 22.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Wed Jul 27 2011

Video Premiere: "August Song" by Roommate

Kent Lambert's Roommate has been hard at work through Chicago for years now, dating back to 2001 but really coming alive on 2006's Songs the Animals Taught Us. This year's Guilty Rainbow showcases Lambert and band finding a delicate groove in their lo-fi electronic style. With "August Song", the album reaches a point of despair buried in organic textures of synths, programming, violin, vibraphone and, of course, a Buchla Music Easel. Former Chicagoan Jodie Mack (now teaching animation at Dartmouth) worked on its mesmerizing and trippy video that Gapers Block has the pleasure of premiering... right now.


Roommate opens for the Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum at Quenchers on Thursday, the 28th. The show's 21+ and starts at 9PM. Quenchers is at the corner of Western & Fullerton.

James Ziegenfus / Comments (0)

Video Tue Jul 12 2011

Canasta in Masks

Back in April, we posted a call for extras for Canasta's first music video. The video, for their song "Mexico City," is done and has made its debut on YouTube. See if you spot any friends -- and if you're in it, let us know in the comments.

Your next opportunity to catch the band live is July 24 at Sheffield Garden Walk.

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

Video Mon Jun 06 2011

Squat The Condos

3363688253-1.jpgSquat The Condos is an eclectic band combining bubble gum pop, and early '90s garage pop on their recent free debut EP We Should Be Together. The band has a knack for creating get melodies and it makes their EP a fun summer listen.

Squat The Condos recently recorded a session in their living room for the wonderful Coach Potato series. They performed my favorite track from the EP "Missing You" which the most catchy track I've heard in awhile.

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

Video Tue May 24 2011

J.D. McPherson and Hi-Style Records

It is sunny outside, still early in the week, and many of us are sitting behind a desk in a drab cubicle. I think a temporary cure to this office illness may be Oklahoma's J.D. McPherson. He put out his debut album "Signs and Signifiers" last fall on Chicago's Hi-Style Records and is now touring Europe.

McPherson's "North Side Gal" always gets my foot tapping and my chair swiveling, and eases my workplace blues.

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

Video Thu May 05 2011

Surrender to Cinco de Mayo

It's Cinco de Mayo, and what better way to celebrate than with Cheap Trick and a mariachi band? Actually, I can think of a number of better ways, but the "mashup" version of "Surrender" nobody was asking for has happened anyway.

It sounds to me like there's a pretty interesting mariachi version of the song hiding in there. Unfortunately, this is a promo for Hornitos Tequila's Mariachi Mashup contest (bands! enter to win!) so a couple of different takes have been awkwardly blended together. Maybe once the contest is over we'll get a clean version of it.

Andrew Huff / Comments (2)

Video Fri Apr 15 2011

Be on MTV

Well, maybe just YouTube... Canasta is filming a video for their song "Mexico City" this Saturday, and they need your help. The band is looking for 30-40 extras to appear in the video. If you're interested, contact info@canastamusic.com and be ready to spend Saturday afternoon dressed in black in a West Lincoln Park warehouse space. You know, like you usually do.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Fri Mar 11 2011

The Grid: Congress Conducts El at Cal's

"Congress Conducts El at Cal's" is the second short film in our new series, The Grid. These documentaries are posted throughout Gapers Block and compiled in their own multimedia feature section.

The Congress Parkway congestion is meditated upon at nearby Cal's Liquors/Bar, where astromusicologists El is a Sound of Joy take cinematic cues from traffic conductors.

About The Grid

The Grid is a series profiling Chicago businesses, subcultures and landscapes. These short, lyrical documentaries aspire to be art cinema, ethnographies and experiments in form. Ben Kolak and Brian Ashby's directorial debut, Scrappers, won Best Documentary at the 2010 Chicago Underground Film Festival and made Roger Ebert's top 10 list of documentary films in 2010. Editor Dave Nagel is a recent University of Chicago graduate.

David Schalliol / Comments (0)

Video Fri Mar 04 2011

Introducing the Catalyst Ranch Studio Sessions

Catalyst Ranch, an eclectically decorated meeting space in the West Loop, has started a studio session series in the spirit of Daytrotter. Indie rockers Hemmingbirds were the first to perform, playing an acoustic version of their song "Mellow Gold Haze."

THE HEMMINGBIRDS -- MELLOW GOLD HAZE from Catalyst Ranch Studio Sessions on Vimeo.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Artist Mon Feb 07 2011

Kill Hannah Wakes Up with a Promise

Kill Hannah debuted the first single from their upcoming latest album, Wake Up the Sleepers, on Bandcamp today. "Promise Me" is available as a four-track digital album, with the album version and three alternate versions, for $1.99. The band promises "other goodies" later in the week. [via]

Kill Hanna, "Promise Me" official music video (v1) on Vimeo.

UPDATE: As Marijn notes in the comments, Wake Up the Sleepers came out last year. Apologies for the error.

Andrew Huff / Comments (2)

Video Tue Dec 14 2010

The Smith Westerns Release Video for "Weekend"

Today underage Chicago rockers The Smith Westerns released this video for their Britpoppy tune "Weekend," the first single off their upcoming album Dye It Blonde. Frontman Cullen Omori may coo about "a girl like you" on this upbeat track, but the fairer sex is nowhere to be seen in the video, directed by Focus Creeps. Instead, the band roams malls and convenience stores, browsing DVDs and overdosing on sugary snacks, during a typical day in their life in the suburbs--that is, until the video culminates with a ritualistic tree-chopping and the trippy, context-less image of a microphone dripping with honey, hinting that there may be more to this simple day than meets the eye.

Nathalie Lagerfeld / Comments (4)

Video Tue Dec 14 2010

The Fold's Oprah Moment

The Fold has a special holiday single, "This Christmas," available on iTunes, and recently got a little help from a certain media mogul:

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Tue Nov 09 2010

OK Go's Last Leaf

OK Go's latest video, for "Last Leaf" off Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, is making the rounds today.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Wed Sep 22 2010

Re-live NYE 2009 With Girl Talk

Whenever you go to a really amazing show, there's nothing better than re-living it, whether it be through photos, critic reviews, or just saying "remember when" with your friends who were there. Fans who rang in 2010 with Girl Talk (or anyone who's ever seen Girl Talk perform) are in for a special treat since JP Coakley made a short film documenting the show, including a unique look at Gregg Gillis and friends prepping for it. Check out the film below; Parts two and three are after the jump.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes / Comments (0)

Video Mon Sep 20 2010

OK Go Has "White Knuckles"

Could OK Go's music videos get any more impressive? The answer is yes. For "White Knuckles," the latest single off their newest album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, the native Chicago band teams up with some "friends" in the form of incredibly well trained canines for another single-take endeavor.

Watch it, share it with your friends, and then watch it again and see all those things you didn't notice the first time around.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (0)

Video Tue Sep 07 2010

Oval: Ah!

Thrill Jockey's Oval released a new video for his track "Ah!" late last week. Directed by Darko Dragicevic, the video features ballet dancer Isabelle Rune. "Ah!" appears on the Oval's new album, O which was released today, September 7th.

[MP3] Oval - Ah!

Oval will be performing this Friday (9/10) at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of Sonar Festival.

Jason Behrends / Comments (1)

Video Fri Aug 27 2010

Endless Spring

My favorite discovery of the summer has been the local duo Houses. They have been lighting fires around the internet all summer with their single "Endless Spring" and a couple of collaborations with Teen Daze. Now the duo has signed with Lefse Records, home to Neon Indian, Dominant Legs, How To Dress Well, and others, and plan to release their debut album, All Night, on October 19th.

The story of Houses is a story of a lay-off, a two-weeks notice, and an adventure that landed two Chicagoans in a little cabin in Papaikou, Hawaii. The sounds and lyrics on their debut album reflect this journey. The duo just released a video for the song "Endless Spring", and I am sure they have big plans for the fall.

Jason Behrends / Comments (1)

Video Fri Aug 13 2010

The Hood Internet + Kid Static: "City Chi" Video and Release Party

From Chicago mixmasters The Hood Internet and rapper extraordinaire Kid Static comes the official video for "Chi City," a collaborative song that'll be on a new 7" release due out September 7th on Whistler/TTD records. Note the (now kind of nostalgic and wistful) Olympics-themed hijinks and some rad (do not try at home) stunts around town. This video has nothing but love for Chi-town.

If you want to party down with the boys, get your tickets to their release party going down at Lincoln Hall on September 11th. 18+ Tickets $10. Music starts at 10:30pm with The Hood Internet, Kid Static, DVAS, Kid Color, and Just Desserts.


Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Wed Aug 11 2010

Bands Under Cover

Since March, A.V. Club Chicago has been producing A.V. Undercover, a weekly video of bands covering one of their favorite songs. Here's The Swell Season covering Neutral Milk Hotel's "Two-Headed Boy" when they were in town in July for a show at Ravinia:


The Swell Season covers Neutral Milk Hotel

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Mon Aug 02 2010

Margaret Cho Kills Andrew Bird

Not really, of course. But our favorite whistling violinist accompanies the comedian/actor/burlesque vamp/now singer on the song "I'm Sorry" off her upcoming album, Cho-Dependent. The album features Cho working with a wide range of indie-rock superstars, from Ani DiFranco to Grant Lee Buffalo to Tegan and Sarah. It's due out Aug. 24, and is available for preorder now.

[via]

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Sat Jul 24 2010

Kid Sister Premieres Video for Big N Bad

Kid Sister has been on our radar this week with her killer performance at Millennium Park Monday night while the man tried to keep her down, and now she's ending the week in style with her new video for Ultraviolet's "Big N Bad". She captures the summertime spirit with two of my favorite sunny season hot spots - the roller rink and Superdawg. Check it out below, and catch some behind the scenes action here.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (0)

Video Thu Jun 17 2010

Dastardly at Lincoln Hall 6/19; Live Video

Chicago-based Americana band Dastardly have released a live performance video for their song, "Villain." The video can be viewed below. Dastardly play Lincoln Hall (2424 N Lincoln) this Saturday, June 19 with Aktar Aktar and Automata. The show is at 10pm, $8 in advance and $10 at the door.


Brian Leli / Comments (0)

Video Wed Jun 16 2010

New Hey Champ Video: "Neverest" (We're calling it NSFW)

Hey Champ released their latest music video yesterday for the song "Neverest," the lead single off their impending debut album, Star. While the video is technically safe for work, I still wouldn't watch it at the office. Lead singer Saam Hagshenas even looks a little freaked out in it himself. See for yourself below.

The guys have been traveling quite a bit lately, but you can see them live and in person when they play After Dark at the Art Institute on June 25, or at Wicker Park Fest on July 31 at. Star is due out July 13.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (0)

Video Mon May 10 2010

Loyal Divide Go Stick-Figure

Production team BBGUN have made a very nice video for Loyal Divide's "Vision Vision."

I'm not crazy about the prominent production card at the beginning (do acts get a discount if they let videomakers do that?) but as a whole it's an interesting technique and a stylish video.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Tue Apr 27 2010

The Birth of Chicago House

It's amazing how many interviews and documentaries about Chicago House exist, now easily accessible through YouTube:

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Mon Feb 22 2010

New Skybox Music Video

The guys in Skybox have been busy. The very same day they played as part of Schubas' Tomorrow Never Knows fest last month, they filmed this music video for "In A Dream," the lead single off their new album Morning After Cuts (which was released two days later).

Step inside the mind of our hero in this Japanese-style monster fight. Let's just say things get weird.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (0)

News Fri Jan 29 2010

Phoenix Phenom vs. Black Eyed Peas

Curious about that lawsuit filed against the Black Eyed Peas by Aurora-based producer Manny Mohr and Chicago singer Phoenix Phenom (aka Ebony Latrice Batts)? Compare the two songs in question:

"Boom Dynamite" by Phoenix Phenom:

"Boom Boom Pow" by Black Eyed Peas:

Now, consider that "Boom Dynamite" was released in January of 2008, while "Boom Boom Pow" was released as a single in March of 2009. The lawsuit contends that Phoenix Phenom sent their song to Black Eyed Peas' label Interscope in hopes of getting Fergie to sing with Batts. Whether the band ever heard the song is unknown, but it'd be hard to argue that there's no similarity between the former and the latter. We'll see how far the lawsuit goes.

Andrew Huff / Comments (2)

Artist Tue Jan 12 2010

Herbie Hancock at TED

Legendary Chicago jazz musician Herbie Hancock gave a talk and performance at TED last year. The video was just posted:

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Fri Dec 18 2009

Every Band in The USA

For a band that has been around a few years, released and album and ep, it seems like there has be something almost gimmicky to launch you into something bigger. Case in point would be Ok Go and their treadmills. The band was good, and everyone in the city knew it, but it took that video to transform then into the superstars they are today. Well, The Fold have taken a similar approach, but this time in the form a hilarious parody song. Posted on youtube (and available for free download on the band's site) just three weeks ago, their Miley Cyrus parody already has over 200,000 views and the song is currently burning up the airwaves in Detroit. Could this be the bands big break? I don't know, but I love watching this video!

The Fold will be a part of The Metro's Songs From A Scene on December 26th with Lucky Boys Confusion, The Action Blast & The Attraction.

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

News Tue Dec 15 2009

Tweedy Son Sits In on Beck's Record Club

We've mentioned before how cool we think Spencer Tweedy (teenage son of Wilco extradionare Jeff Tweedy) is, and now he has something else under his belt to brag about.

Beck has been doing these one day "Record Club" sessions described as an "informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day." Back in June that album was Skip Spence's Oar and in house that day were Leslie Feist, Jamie Lidell and the members of Wilco... including one, Spencer Tweedy. The "club" has been posting a song a week (to keep you wanting more I suppose), and this week's release is a kickass version of "Weighted Down" (video below).

The track Spencer sat in on drums for isn't up yet, but keep your eyes posted to his blog for when it goes live (and just to read how exciting it was to meet Beck).

Record Club: Skip Spence "Weighted Down" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.


Michelle Meywes / Comments (0)

Video Tue Dec 08 2009

New Rhymefest Video: "Give It to Me"

Producer Konee Rok mines the cartoon archive for this new video for "Give It to Me" of Rhymefest's upcoming album, El Che, supposedly now due out next spring.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Blog Fri Nov 27 2009

Friday Quick Links

When we haven't been cleaning, cooking, eating, or taking post-turkey naps. We've been looking at these things on the internet:

  • NPR provided a soundtrack for stuffing bread up a bird's hoo-hah. (Also good if you're putting together any food-themed mixtapes.)
  • Pitchfork put out its own 2009 Gift Guide which is great for the music-lover on your list (or yourself. Dang.)
  • Grab a new track from Pelican at RCDLBL.
  • Fake Shore Drive also has the latest track from Nikki Lynnette (who you might have seen if you stayed late at our last GB Anniversary Party at the Metro)
  • Get your speakers ready for Big Rock Candy Mountain's annual Holiday Music post-fest! The links get hot starting today!
  • What to Wear During an Orange Alert has a review of the latest from Boston's Truman Peyote. They head to Chicago in mid-January.
  • Get this: Elvis + Blago + Columbia College. Details here (and it's <em>free</em>).
  • Look at photos from Peaches' show at Metro last week by Tankboy. (And if opener Amanda Blank isn't doing American Apparel ads yet, she should be.)

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

Video Wed Nov 18 2009

Skinny Girls With C's

Slightly disturbing and funky as hell, Charlie Deets has returned with the video for the first single from his forthcoming album, The Power of Suggestion. "Skinny Girls With C's" is video filled not with skinny girls, but really the exact opposite. The album will be released via Paribus Records on February 14th.

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

Video Wed Nov 18 2009

OKGO WTF HTF BBQ

I was just wondering the other day: What ever happened to OK Go? Turns out they've just been hiding out in a studio somewhere, recording their new album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, out Dec. 1. Here's the psychedelidonkeykong video by Tim Nackashi for their first single, "WTF?"

Pretty damn cool, no? Wondering HTF OKGO WTFed? Here's Damien and Tim to explain:

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Mon Nov 16 2009

Wilco Live Concert Stream This Afternoon

Bored at work? Stream Wilco's live concert from Paradiso in Amsterdam this afternoon at 1:45pm (Chicago time).

Come on, those expense reports can wait another hour...

Michelle Meywes / Comments (0)

Video Mon Nov 02 2009

Billy Corgan on DLF.TV

dlftvcorgan.pngThe David Lynch Foundation's DLF.TV interviews Billy Corgan about his music past and present, sits in on drummer auditions, and uncovers the story behind Corgan's song "Eye" from the Lost Highway soundtrack. Check out the video here.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Tue Sep 08 2009

Have a Nice Video

Chicago's Kinetic Stereokids just released a video for "Have a Nice Day" off their new album, Kid Moves.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Thu Sep 03 2009

On the Road with Calexico

Possibly the best road trip mix ever is one that the band in the back seat can perform live for you. Calexico throws down "Victor Jara's Hands" in quite a tight space.

Calexico from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.

Anne Holub / Comments (0)

News Mon Aug 17 2009

Anticipating Pearl Jam's Backspacer Release?

pjam dclinch.jpgPearl Jam's new album, Backspacer, doesn't come out until next month (September 20th to be exact), but right now you can watch a documentary on the making of the new record on MySpace Music. The ten minute short was directed by Danny Clinch and produced by Three on the Tree. You can preview the band's current single, "The Fixer," on MySpace as well. Also, don't forget they roll through town next week with two shows at the United Center on August 23 and 24. Tickets are $66.

(Photo by Danny Clinch)

Michelle Meywes / Comments (0)

Video Mon Aug 03 2009

TheMDR's "Foreign Tongue" Video Shot at Flashpoint

TheMDR recently visited Flashpoint Academy to produce the video for their single "foreign tongue" -- the video was staged, filmed and recorded by Flashpoint students working with the pros. Other than the aspect ratio being a little wonky on YouTube, it turned out pretty well:

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Hip Hop Tue Jul 14 2009

North Side There's No Juke

BBU (aka either Bin Laden Blowin' Up or Black, Brown and Ugly) have a hit on their hands with "Chi Don't Dance." Check it out:

BBU is performing with Hood Internet and the Life During Wartime DJs at UR Magazine's Dickfork night at Darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago Ave. The show starts at 9pm and is free before 11pm with RSVP or all night if you have a Pitchfork ticket or wristband (it's $5 after 11 if you don't). 21+

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Album Wed Jul 01 2009

Let Kate Simko Take You There

Classically trained pianist turned house music producer Kate Simko released her new ep "Take You There" on Ghostly International this week as a 12" and digital release. Kate's smooth beat and detail ear have produced another set of irresistible track that play as nicely on sun-drenched patios as they do in deep secluded basement. You can download an exclusive track from the ep at RCD LBL right now. Kate is listing a show on July 25th at an undisclosed location on her myspace page, but does have a confirmed show scheduled at Sonotheque on August 22nd.

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

Video Wed Jun 10 2009

Steve Albini's Conversation With Soft Focus Finally Up at VBS TV

lolbiniprotoolz.jpg

(Image thanks to We Listen For You)

A while back I had the lovely opportunity to attend the VBS (Vice Magazine's television station) taping of Soft Focus, the interview series where Ian Svenonius sits down with artist and other luminaries of their respective industries and has a conversation in front of a live audience. We just got word that the conversation with Steve Albini that was taped that night is now up at VBS.

You can check out the video of the interview here, and watch as Albini has a delightfully sarcastic (and sometimes awkward) conversation with Svenonius. And make sure to check out the most recent work that Albini had a hand in, Jarvis Cocker's latest release, Further Complications. It's some of Cocker's most innovative work in a long time, already one of my favorite albums of the year, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I think a large part of this album is due to him (thankfully) working with Albini.

Lisa White / Comments (0)

Artist Mon Jun 08 2009

"The Wikipedia Files" with St. Vincent

WBEZ's Justin Kauffman interviews multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Annie Clark -- aka St. Vincent -- to clear up some of the details on her Wikipedia entry.

St. Vincent will be performing a free concert tonight in Millennium Park in the Pritzker Pavilion, with Allá opening. The show starts at 6:30pm.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Fri Jun 05 2009

Stomp The Pedal

It may not be the most natural pairing, but Yea Big & Kid Static has teamed up with French animator, comic artist and illustrator, Ronald Grandpey to create a fascinating animated video for the second single from their new album The Future's Looking Grim. The world premiere of "Stomp The Pedal" took place in Barcelona, Spain late last month, during a small illustration/comics festival. The video is basically a series of pencil drawings and the entire process was documented here.

The Future's Looking Grim is now available digitally on iTunes, Amazon and eMusic, and physical copies can be purchased directly through YB & KS's myspace page.

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

Video Tue May 12 2009

New Video for Rhymefest's "Chicago"

Konee Rok directs the video for Rhymefest's single "Chicago" off the upcoming album, El Che. See if you can count how many superheroes and villains our Che Smith turns into.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Video Mon Apr 27 2009

I Fight Dragons "Money"

I Fight Dragons combine your favorite sounds and images from those Nintendo days gone by with a vibrant and infectious sense of indie pop. Their debut ep, Cool is Just a Number, is available for free on their website (when you sign-up for their newsletter), and is filled with this creative mixture. The band just released a new video for the song "Money" which was directed by Boram Encargado Kim, and just watching it makes my thumbs throb!

Jason Behrends / Comments (0)

Video Tue Mar 03 2009

Bird & Band

Andrew Bird gets a little help from Mucca Pazza in this new video for "Fitz and the Dizzy Spells," recorded live at the Hideout Dec. 14 and 15, presumably either before or after his recent two-night stand there.

Andrew Bird with Mucca Pazza - "Fitz & The Dizzyspells"

Andrew Huff / Comments (2)

Video Tue Dec 16 2008

Booze and Bootlegs

mikkeyhalsted.jpg

Check out former Cash Money Records member Mikkey Halsted in this very cool Liquor Store video. Mikkey originally came up with Kanye and has even been called an inspiration by Lil Wayne. The song itself was inspired by a liquor store on 71st and Halsted, and Mikkey makes it pretty clear what he thinks of these establishments. The desertification of low-income neighborhoods has long been a problem in Chicago, leaving many communities with corner shops and fast food joints instead of grocery stores and restaurants. Even before the video came out, the song was already stirring up trouble. Many of these corner liquor stores sell mixtapes of local artists, and their owners had taken offense to Mikkey's criticism. For some time Mikkey, and anyone associated with him, were banned from selling their CDs at a number of stores on the south side. Controversy ensued, but it has mostly blown over by now. Anyways, enjoy the video.

Continue reading this entry »

Raf Miastkowski / Comments (1)

Video Fri Dec 05 2008

Video: "Buck Town (City of Wind)"

Here's a video for "Buck Town (City of Wind)" by Primeridian featuring Naledge of Kidz in the Hall, shot and directed by Pugs Atomz.

Andrew Huff / Comments (1)

Classical Thu Sep 04 2014

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - September 2014

By Elliot Mandel

It's gonna be a great season.

Read this feature »

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Tue Sep 23 2014
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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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