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

« West of the Fields Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dancing »

Concert Tue May 15 2007

Respekt Is Due

There are pianists, there are vocalists, and then there is a subgenre mix of the two that is the Quirky Piano Chick (see: Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, et al).

Regina Spektor is the latest in this breed, and her May 13 concert/recital at the Riviera showcased that which is gloriously captial-Q Quirky about the Russian-born, Brooklyn-raised performer. All the necessary accoutrements were in place: female-heavy fanbase, singing along with every word? Check. Stuffed snake draped around the neck as a fashion accessory? Check and check.

Fellow New Yawker Only Son (Jack Dishel, of Stipplicon and the Moldy Peaches) opened, a lone man armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a dream. Unfortunately, he could've benefited from a backing band as well (which he apparently sometimes performs with). Instead, backing instrumentation was provided by pressing "Play" on a stool-bound Ipod. Whether it was due to bad soundboard mixing, or simply forgetting one's band members at home, Only Son's guitar playing was lost in the shuffle. The effect was largely that of watching someone at karaoke.

Spektor arrived shortly after, wielding her snake and plenty of charm. Equally alone onstage, Spektor took to the solitude far better, providing her own percussive elements, whether vocally or by clapping, tapping, stomping, or, as in "Poor Little Rich Boy," playing a nearby chair with a drumstick.

Her twisted vowels, vocal theatrics, and staccato punches translated as well onstage as they do on her CDs, and she played a wide range of songs from her albums, including Songs, Soviet Kitsch, and her most recent, Begin to Hope. "Flowers" was appropriately moody, launching into the Quirky, Russian folk tune-driven portion seamlessly, her gasps lending a sexuality not usually present in the recorded version. Many songs took on a childish, playground aspect, while others were laced with a jazz-influenced and even rockabilly sensibility. Unfortunately, she often sped through songs, admitting at one point she had swilled a pre-show triple latte.

The show seemed to run long, and folks started to sack out on the hallway couches, raising their arms only to applaud. She continued to hurry through her five-song encore, sapping the energy out of the joyous "Us." Still, the closing rendition of "Hotel Song," with beatbox vocals provided by Only Son, gave both audience and performers the most fun they had all evening.

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