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Thursday, July 30

Gapers Block

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Review Wed Jul 29 2015

Yoni Wolf and Serengeti End Their Rap Tour at Schubas

yoniwolf.jpgYoni Wolf's musical output has consistently straddled the line between hip hop and indie rock. His band Why? is a great amalgamation of the two genres, never settling on either one. I was introduced to Wolf through acts like Greenthink and cLOUDEAD. Those groups definitely leaned heavier on the hip hop genre their influence is very apparent on Wolf's current work. So seeing him embark on a solo tour not only makes sense, it's a necessary treat. This weekend he brought the end of his tour with the Chicago favorite Serengeti to Schubas, where they put on a pair of crowd pleasing alternative hip hop sets.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

News Wed Jul 29 2015

Neo Closes Iconic Lincoln Park Location

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Neo's famous alleyway. Photo by Stephanie Griffin.

After a lease dispute with the building's owner, legendary Chicago club Neo will be closing the doors on its home for the last 36 years, 2350 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park. Neo has been home to fans of punk, new wave, goth, and industrial (as well as people who just like to get weird) for decades.

While Neo's owners look for a new spot for the club, their popular Thursday and Friday night programming will be moving to Debonair Social Club at 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave starting August 6th. Everyone from Neo's door staff to bartenders will be working at Debonair, so if you're bummed about Neo's closure, making the trek to Wicker Park is a good way to show your support.

There's still two more chances to hit the dance floor at the current location - once a haunt of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Trent Reznor, and the Wachowski siblings, among others. Tonight Neo hosts a Fare Thee Well: Dark Wave Disco night featuring DJ sets by Kill Hannah and Dark Wave Disco. Neo's final night at 2350 N. Clark will be tomorrow, the last Living on Video night for this dance floor.

Neo opens each night at 10pm but plan to arrive early if you want to make it inside. Last week's 36th Anniversary parties drew lines all the way to Fullerton and around the block, and these final two nights will be even more crowded.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (0)

Lollapalooza Wed Jul 29 2015

A Gapers Block Guide to Lollapalooza 2015


Lollapalooza, among Chicago's most notable large-scale music festivals, returns this weekend with a jam-packed schedule in Grant Park. Along with notable veterans including Paul McCartney, there are newly established up-and-comers as well as hometown favorites. We've rounded up our picks for what we think will be the best performances of Lollapalooza 2015 throughout this glorious weekend.

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Transmission / Comments (0)

Lollapalooza Tue Jul 28 2015

Your Lollapalooza 2015 Party Guide

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Between your tickets, lobster corndogs, and band merch, Lollapalooza weekend can get pricey. Rejoice freeloaders, gutterpunks, and party people! Here is your guide to completely free Lollapalooza pre- and after-parties. All of these parties include many of the artists you'll find at Lolla, plus many of these sponsored events include free drinks. Just remember, kids: Lollapalooza is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't want to be the loser who passes out behind a dumpster in a puddle of your own vomit, or even worse - the guy who does a back flip into the Chicago River.

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Stephanie Griffin / Comments (0)

Review Tue Jul 28 2015

Toro Y Moi Headlines Special Olympics Illinois Benefit

Lollapalooza aftershows can often be a blurry, stinky mess of sunburnt festgoers looking to continue the groove long after getting schwasted in Grant Park's massive mosh pit.
The annual aftershow called Nelarusky, however, takes a different approach.

Taking place before the festival--Wednesday, July 27--at Chicago's Metro, the 9th annual Nelarusky raises money to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.

Since its inception by young entrepreneur Lauren McClusky, then 17, Nelarusky has raised approximately $200,000 toward the organization. Over the years, Nelarusky has featured artists such as Imagine Dragons, Icona Pop, Alabama Shakes and First Aid Kit.

This year, Toro Y Moi will debut his fourth album What For? to Chicago.

Nelarusky will also feature sets by Young Buffalo and John Splithoff. Tickets are $25 for the show on July 29 at 8pm.

Emily Ornberg / Comments (0)

Review Mon Jul 27 2015

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Relived Their Debut at Lincoln Hall

cyhsy2.jpgThere's no denying that Alec Ounsworth output has changed drastically since Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's self-titled album. Ounsworth has taken his band's sound into a much fuller and atmospheric realm, filling in any gaps that were originally there with synths textured ambiance. While the evolution of the band has been interesting and actually quite good, there is still something immensely interesting about jangly self-released debut. It rambled along with a rawness and genuineness that most releases fail to achieve. It's no surprise that the beloved album's tenth anniversary has prompted Ounsworth to play the album in its entirety, reminding fans of a simpler and time. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah came to Lincoln Hall this weekend and transported people back to where they were a decade ago; giving the crowd a performance they had been eagerly anticipating.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (0)

Review Mon Jul 27 2015

Wicker Park Fest - Sunday in Review


More people crowded the modest-sized streets of Milwaukee Avenue for Wicker Park Fest Sunday than the previous day. As the festival went on, the bands sounded a lot harder, especially with the headliners Deafheaven and Veruca Salt. Whereas Saturday had a fair share of R&B, hiphop, and indie rock, Sunday had a lot of cinematic sounding bands, with explosive drums, driving basslines, and emotive vocals.

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Colin Smith / Comments (0)

Interview Mon Jul 27 2015

Giving the Suburban Music Scene a Shout at House of Blues


For all the flak the suburbs take for being less interesting and more urban sprawl-y than Chicago, they sure don't suffer a lack of quality bands. Last night at the House of Blues, six such examples--Brian Moroney, Cup Check, Aubrey Terrace, Everyone Says, Detour North and Traces of Auburn--made the pilgrimage to the big city to play on a big stage in front of a big crowd. Well over 200 people packed the floor at the House of Blues, an impressive urban draw for artists that hail from such far-flung towns as Downers Grove and Roselle, and they were treated to a high-energy show that showcased the variety of rock coming out of Chicago's belt. After the music died away, I got the chance to speak with a few of the bands about the suburban music scene and making the leap to playing one of Chicago's notable mid-sized venues.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (0)

Review Mon Jul 27 2015

Reelin' in the Years with Steely Dan at Ravinia

The cultural melange of the late 1960s contributed mightily to the history of rock music, producing out-size heroes and legends whose names we all recognize. But of the more durable acts is one whose longevity seems, on the face, somewhat surprising. Almost a month on from the pomp of the Grateful Dead's farewell blowout at Soldier Field, another odd artifact, Steely Dan, quietly sold out Ravinia's expansive grounds for a pair of concerts that served well to highlight other aspects of the 1960s and '70s music scene.

The creative engine of the group, the partnership between Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, was born when the two met at Bard College. After a stint in New York, the pair moved to LA, where work began on their debut album, Can't Buy A Thrill. With the success of that album, the Steely Dan partnership was cemented, and a unique sound was forged. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Steely Dan veered sharply away from the boogie based psychedelia and oft-indulgent noodling of other bands of similar vintage. In its place were multi┬Člayered melodies, intricate studio production, and hyper-literate, often inscrutable lyrics that wove seamy vignettes of '70s hustlers and hucksters. No pie-eyed longhairs twirling through these songs, but the weird guy in the corner at the party with the clench-jawed grin and leather jacket. It was a formula that worked well on record, and served the band as it transitioned to a purely studio act in the mid-'70s and released a string of successful records through 1980's Gaucho. The band was silent through the 1980s, but the '90s saw a trickle of new material and renewed focus on touring with top-notch pick up bands to back the band's core duo.

Saturday night's show at Ravinia seemed an appropriate for the band. Not necessarily known for on-stage pyrotechnics, it was a rock-solid revue of many of their major works throughout their career. The band turned in a consummately professional performance, with standout performances by drummer Keith Carlock and guitarist Jon Herington. Highlights of the classic-heavy set included spirited renditions of "Aja" and "Bhodisattva," and an interesting arrangement of "Show Biz Kids." The satisfied crowd of graying rockers shuffled to the lots, shuttles, and trains having enjoyed an act that has managed to stay vital and remain a touchstone to music's shared history.

Dan Snedigar / Comments (5)

Review Sun Jul 26 2015

Wicker Park Fest - Saturday in Review


Unlike Pitchfork last weekend, the sun shined during Wicker Park Fest during its Saturday lineup. Better yet, the festival is free (with the option of donating $5), offering plenty of opportunities to get up close to see some of the upcoming bands of tomorrow, and the classics of today.

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Colin Smith / Comments (0)

Preview Fri Jul 24 2015

Six Best Bets for Wicker Park Fest

Wicker Park Fest is coming to the crotch of Wicker Park-Bucktown July 25 and 26. Here's a collection of artists we're looking forward to seeing. Not sure who you want to see? Give them a listen -- you just might find something you like.

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Mike Ewing / Comments (0)

Review Fri Jul 24 2015

Kansas Bible Company Totally Fills The Abbey


The biggest question on my mind as I walked into Irving Park's The Abbey last night was how Kansas Bible Company's twelve members would fit on the stage. The band functions as one big happy family--they drive a school bus-sized van to their shows and at one point they all lived in the same house in Nashville, their adopted hometown--so it went without saying that they would figure out a way to scrunch together for their hour-long set. Not only did they succeed in cramming five horn players, three guitarists, two drummers, a bassist and a keyboard player onto the same smallish square platform, but they also managed to meld these instruments together seamlessly into what can only be described as Phil Spector's fantasy: the perfect wall of sound.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (0)

Interview Fri Jul 24 2015

Pinwheel Records Opens its Doors in Pilsen


Open to the public for just over a week now, Pinwheel Records is both a haven for eclectic records and a communal space to unwind and celebrate music's immense influence upon our lives. With a cozy address in the neighborhood of Pilsen, Pinwheel Records aims to create an experience for its customers, with in-store performances (the first occurring this Sunday, July 26) and a record collection with distinct personality. I spoke with the store's founder, Scott Schaaf, regarding the store's creation, curating the collection, and the importance of community.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (0)

Interview Thu Jul 23 2015

RLYR: Breaking the Post-Hardcore Mold

By Chris Zois


RLYR is a band that is still in its infancy, but its members are no strangers to the Chicago music scene. Guitarist Trevor Shelley de Brauw (Pelican, Chord and Let's Pet), bassist Colin DeKuiper (Bloodiest and Lasers & Fast & Shit) and drummer Steven Hess (Locrian, Pan American and Cleared) have all made a name for themselves in other bands and they came together to try something new. The trio will be opening for black-metal darlings Deafheaven at Subterranean on July 25 and Shelley de Brauw was nice enough to take time out of his day to talk to us about the band and the upcoming gig.

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Transmission / Comments (0)

Review Wed Jul 22 2015

Eleventh Dream Day Beats the Future in a Staring Contest with New Album

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For a band that's fast approaching the thirty year anniversary of its debut release, Eleventh Dream Day still rules the Chicago alt-rock scene with the energetic, feedback-laced fist of a twenty-something. This is nothing new. But what's different about the band's latest release, Works for Tomorrow (available in stores July 24), is that there's the experience of an aging rocker added to the pre-existing defiance. Over the course of the album's ten songs, the five-piece group grounds its sound firmly in its tumultuous past but points confidently into the unknown future, spitting hypnotic, fuzzy riffs and rebellious words into the wind without regard for which way it's blowing.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (1)

Classical Tue Jul 07 2015

Pulling Strings: For Classical Music in Chicago, You Got a Guy - July 2015

By Elliot Mandel

Escape the heat and giant crowds during these dog days and check out some intimate chamber music with some of Chicago's best locally-based artists.

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  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


Wed Jul 29 2015
Toro Y Moi @ Metro

Wed Jul 29 2015
Avalon String Quartet @ Preston Bradley Hall

Thu Jul 30 2015
"A House Dance Class" @ The Chicago Cultural Center

Fri Jul 31 2015
David Duchovny @ Joe's Bar

Fri Jul 31 2015
Planes Mistaken For Stars @ Fizz Bar & Grill

Sat Aug 1 2015
Kelly Clarkson @ Allstate Arena

Sun Aug 2 2015
Get Off the Couch @ Hideout

Sun Aug 2 2015
Hood Internet @ Beauty Bar

Mon Aug 3 2015
Maximum Pelt Showcase @ Empty Bottle

Tue Aug 4 2015
Steve Coleman Farewell Concert @ The Logan Center for the Arts

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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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