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Sunday, August 2

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Preview Sat Aug 01 2015

Buke and Gase + Landlady Headline Schuba's on 8/4


One band just released an EP on cassette tape. The other named itself after its two members' handmade instruments, a miniature guitar and a guitar-bass hybrid. If that isn't enough to provoke your interest, let it be known that both Landlady and Buke and Gase live up to the intrigue with art-rock that successfully integrates mind-bending soundscaping with accessible melodies. The two New York-based acts will co-headline Schuba's on Tuesday night, with Chicago's own Crown Larks opening the evening's festivities.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (0)

Review Fri Jul 31 2015

Review: The War on Drugs @ Metro, 7/30

Midway through Thursday night's War on Drugs show, singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel dropped a simple "Thanks for coming to see us" as if everyone at a jam-packed Metro just happened to be walking along Clark and thinking, "I feel like hearing some live music tonight. I wonder who's playing nearby."

If that actually was the case for anyone, like any of the numerous people "looking for 1" outside, they lucked into quite a show. It's not like the War on Drugs popped out of nowhere, but the year and a half since the release of their fawned over Lost in the Dream album has elevated them to the type of band who sells out Metro in minutes.

Their anthemic rock'n'roll songs with a heavy dollop of noise were alive on Thursday. Granduciel owned center stage, accompanied by a full band and a pedalboard larger than my kitchen table. But it all fit together perfectly as they ran through songs from throughout the band's decade-long history. By the time they reached "An Ocean in Between Waves", it was guitar solo city with no filler. Songs went long. Arrangements varied. Quality never dipped. Why end when everyone's having a good time? Why not keep pummeling ears with a barrage of guitar riffs and licks? It's not like what anyone's hearing on the album and it's not being duplicated tomorrow night. Roll with it. And that they did.

Around the 100-minute mark, the band wrapped things up to conclude a night with earworming melodies, blistering guitar solos and some of the best "woo!"s you've heard in years. And because of how good they sounded, you walk out thinking, "That's the smallest place I'll ever see them again." If that's the case, it'll be well deserved.

James Ziegenfus / Comments (0)

Review Fri Jul 31 2015

A Communal Evening With Laura Marling

lauramarling.jpgThis past Wednesday, Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, and Marika Hackman came to Lincoln Hall and did something special. Most shows are very typical affairs with the opener, middle, and headliner never actually connecting with one another. Just different bands playing and different times and that's that. Sometimes you'll see one member play with another, but it's rarely made into a big deal. That was not the case with this trio of musicians. They created a communal event where stories and jokes were peppered between collaborations, making for the truest and most entertaining folk show I've seen and heard.

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Julian Ramirez / Comments (1)

Preview Thu Jul 30 2015

Five Concerts This Weekend That Aren't Lollapalooza


Lollapalooza will be the center of the Chicago music world this weekend, and for good reason. On top of the stacked three-day festival itself (check out Transmission's recommended acts here), there will be various parties and aftershows filling the city's various venues with Lolla artists and celebrities for the next four nights. If you aren't taking part in the revelries but still want to catch some live music this weekend, your options are understandably limited, but not totally nonexistent. Here are five of the more interesting non-Lollapalooza shows happening over the next few days.

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Zach Blumenfeld / Comments (0)

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)

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


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

Wed Aug 5 2015
Scopitone Party @ Comfort Station

Wed Aug 5 2015
Hot Mix Lunch @ Daley Plaza

Thu Aug 6 2015
Mud Queens @ Reggie's

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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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