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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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Concert Wed Jul 15 2009

You've Got to Dance with the Ghost Group

fantasma.jpgFor years it's been common knowledge that there's something in Austin's water to account for its numerous rock bands that've broken big across the country. (I can't think of a town with a smaller population that claims more popular musicians as its own.) But it's not just the rock bands that are good there. Far from it. On Friday night one of its best live bands, Grupo Fantasma, visit Chicago for their biggest gig here yet.

The Latin/funk/psychedelic 11-piece pulls its influences from early Santana (think Abraxas), Joe Bataan and the Fania All-Stars. Early in their career, especially on 2004's Movimiento Popular, the group's sound was dominated by salsa and cumbia. Over the years they've slid a generous dose of psychedelic rock into the mix. In fact, "Bacalao con Pan" from 2008's Sonidos Gold begins with straight-up psychedelic guitar. But that doesn't mean they've forgotten their roots. The ultra-catchy "Mentiras" from their live album showcases a heavy rhythm section and smooth horns that are solidly entrenched in Latin music. Also on that album is a nod to one of the genre's pioneers with a cover of Ray Barretto's classic "Cocinando."

With slots backing Prince and Spoon (separate gigs, of course) and two appearances on "Austin City Limits" under their belt, Grupo Fantasma won't remain a secret outside of the Latin music community for long. Their reputation as an exciting live band has been growing for most of this decade and they're only getting better at it as they tour relentlessly.

Grupo Fantasma plays at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, on Friday the 17th. Numero Group's Rob Sevier opens at 10PM with a DJ set. The show is 21+ and tickets are $15. (Wear your dancing shoes.)

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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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