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.
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Sunday, May 9

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« Three to hear: Chicago Jazz Labels Rock Dropping Bombs »

Concert Fri Dec 07 2007



I first wrote about Comptroller Records a few months ago, when referencing the brilliant EP Bridget Quits, from the Sharks. Well, tomorrow, the good people at this brand new local label will circle the wagons at Ronny’s and suit up for their coming-out party, Comptrollin’ on a Saturday Night, and they promise an ecstatically good time.

Kicking things off at 9pm is the debut of the Spectacles, a two-person, boy-girl, keys-guitar-drum machine outfit spotlighting the usual brand of synth pop expected from this particular formation. Thankfully for me, I happen to find this sound totally endearing and cute, especially when a girl sings about ice cream and sweetness and love over a simple and blistering riff, like they do on “insatiable”. It’s almost as if they’re envisioning some anthem for a 14-year old girl, re-cast in an alternate universe of butterflies and chocolate and dreams that don’t actually exist in real life. And kudos to them for tackling one of my favorite songs, the Talking Heads’ “Naïve Melody” and closing it with the solo from the Stop Making Sense version.

Playing second are the Sharks. The past few months have done nothing to dull my love of Bridget Quits, their 5-song debut and the very first Comptroller release. The music on the EP is fast, loose, noisy rock’n’roll of the kind rarely seen since the mid-90s, and listening to “the kidz know best” gets me all-nostalgic for teenage basement parties I never actually attended. Echoing what seems to be a refreshing trend for Comptroller Records, the Sharks refuse to take themselves and their music too seriously, but they’re skilled enough to make seriously awesome music. The re-addition of Evan “The General” Skow on keys means a more diverse sound, but there’s no way that will turn down the charm. In fact, since I wasn’t able to catch their record release a few months ago, I’m most excited to catch this endearing bunch of Islamofascists turned conventional rock band (and forgive me for once again printing that ridiculous back-story but I think it’s perversely hilarious).

Closing the set for the evening will be the Fake Fictions, returning to Chicago stages with a brand new album in tow, Krakatoa. While I’m unfamiliar with the band that is being called a “local favorite” (I know, I’m real uncool), the band has called their newest release “raw, stripped down, and loud”, three adjectives that light my rock’n’roll flame and I hope to be back in a few months with a review of the new record.

Comptroller Records have a good thing going, a no bullshit approach to fun, catchy, stripped-down tunes, the kind of sonic elements that make rock’n’roll so irresistible in the first place. Tomorrow, in addition all of the heavy hitters, they will showcase an elaborate set design by Mechazilla, an acoustic performance by Mark Danjer of Poem2Song and the vaudeville trickery of Magic Superstars. The whole night should be festive and spirited, a great way to battle the cold weather blues.

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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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