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. 


Thursday, June 24

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Life in a Few Stolen Moments Wilco's new album gets welcome reception in rare intimate venue appearance »

Concert Sat May 12 2007

Three-quarters alien, and no signs of stopping

Tonight: XYIMALLOO, Panicsville, Silvum, Walter Carson, Caves
Location: Nihilist, 2255 S. Michigan, apt 4E (ring buzzer)
Date/time: Tonight (May 12), 8 p.m.
Cost: $5

Please put down your Shaggs bendable action figures, turn off your Daniel Johnston interactive adventure game (just....just save your location then, OK?), and for God's sake, take off those damn Wild Man Fischer plush slippers and hie thine ass down to Chinatown tonight - there's something happening here that is much much MUCH more important than your weekly date with Roky Erickson's ouija board.

For the past 30 years, the musician XYIMALLOO (nee Naofumi Ishimaru), a musician so far outside of the "outside" that using the awful, codified term "outsider art" feels so, so insulting, has been blowing a couple hundred minds per country (his best known release was an LP retrospective on Old Gold about 10 years ago) with tape after tape (and lately, CDr) of completely personal, affectless, ORIGINAL music that seems to be without precedent or follower. YXIMALLOO's muse seemed to be born with himself, and I see nobody really picking up the flag, so I suspect it'll die with YXIMALLOO (but you better see him live before that happens!).

Using broken guitars, homemade folk instruments, and very, very, VERY old casio keyboards, he's created his own one-man folk music - Jad Fair at his most shambolic is sort of a reasonable comparison, so it's no surprise that the two of them collaborated on two CDs in the '90s ("Half Robot" and "Half Alien"), but really, XYIMALLOO's skin glows green, while Jad's just kind of gets paler by the year.

I mean really, I can mix metaphors and sputter on about this all night. I can tell you that he played a performance in the bathroom of an auto plant in Japan - not as a revolutionary gesture, but just for fun ("I was not saying 'buy this kind of car' or 'don't buy this kind of car.' I was just playing my music."). But for crying out loud, just check out those Myspace samples - that should be all the proof you need. Get a babysitter, cancel your dinner plans, get down to south Michigan Ave, ring 4E on the buzzer, pay the man $5, and luxuriate in true sideways beauty.

Also on the bill will be Nihilist's own Panicsville, a nightmare of latex and big synth tones; Silvum, that golden-toned somnambulator from Champaign, IL; and another pair of touring monsters, Walter Carson and Caves, from Lexington, KY. $5, and you get to keep the mug.

GB store
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

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15