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Copyrights: Ringing in a Punk-rock New Year

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Copyrights

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Copyrights

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

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Copyrights' Trademark Punk Rock
Copyrights, Masked Intruder, and Not Scientists: Pop-punk Tour Brings the Noise to Illinois
Copyrights: Stranded on North Sentinel Island
Copyrights: Carbondale’s Premier Punks Issue a Report


Who: Copyrights / Seven Daze / Seamstress
What: punk showcase
Where:
When: 2016-12-31
The Copyrights formed in Carbondale in 2002 and are still playing hard-driving, catchy punk rock. We
Craig Wilson
Video Comentary

The Copyrights formed in Carbondale in 2002 and are still playing hard-driving, catchy punk rock. We Didn’t Come Here to Die, their first full length LP, was released in 2003 on Insubordination Records and repressed in 2008. Another full-length Insubordination release, Mutiny Pop from 2006, was followed by four albums on the Red Scare Industries label. With a series of EPs, split recordings, a compilation, and numerous tours, it seems the Copyrights have quite a few accomplishments to show for their efforts during the last decade.

The band— currently consisting of Adam Fletcher on bass and vocals, Brett Hunter on guitar and vocals, Kevin Rotter on guitar and vocals, and Luke McNeill on drums and vocals— appears at a New Years’ Eve show at the Hangar 9 along with fellow punks 7Daze and Seamstress.

Nightlife caught up with band members Adam Fletcher and Luke McNeill. Here’s an edited transcript of the interview.

What’s your history with Carbondale’s and Chicago’s music scene?

McNeill: Adam and I played in a punk band called Moloko Plus in the nineties. We played primarily in Carbondale, especially at a place called Java House, which was in the basement of the building that Fat Patties is in now. It was an all-ages place that us, ‘Boro City Rollers, Team Aids, Waxdolls, and tons of other bands played. We finally got some Hangar 9 shows with Moloko in the mid-nineties, but Adam and I were so young that one of our parents would have to go and we’d have to leave early. Copyrights started in 2002 or 2003. At first I thought of it as a side project: basic, Ramones-styled pop-punk. But we’ve been doing it pretty much nonstop for almost fifteen years now. As for Chicago, Adam lived up there for awhile, so we got the opportunity to play and become friends with a lot of Chicago punk bands.

Fletcher: We still call ourselves a Carbondale band even though we only play here a few times a year. We played our first Carbondale show like, fourteen years ago.

Looks like your last release was the 2014 EP No Knocks on Fat Wreck Chords and that you’ve worked with four different record companies over the years. Any thoughts on how all that has come together?

McNeill: Our last release was actually the LP Report, on Red Scare, which has been our de-facto home for ten years. Since we all grew up listening to Fat Wreck releases, the Fat EP was a dream come true. But Red Scare is our home. [Owner Toby Jeg] always treated us fairly and ethically, and always supported us. The same can be said for our friends at It’s Alive Records, who still put out our vinyl sometimes, and Insubordination, who were the first label that gave us a chance. We’ll always be grateful for all the help.

I know you’ve done some touring. Care to mention a few favorite shows and tour experiences?

Fletcher: We’ve been playing like one-hundred shows a year for ten years or more. Touring that much will take a few years off your life, that’s for sure. We’ve played some amazing shows. I probably have enough tour stories to fill this whole paper. Last time we played at the Slidebar in California I was eating a burrito at the bar and I look up from my plate and Dennis Rodman was walking in. I’m convinced he was just hunting for Pokeman or something. Touring is super boring for the hours you spend driving to get where you’re headed, but then sometimes things like that happen to remind me I’d never experience it while sitting at home.

McNeill: Our first European tour was mind-blowing. We got to play in these amazing cities that are older than our whole country by hundreds of years. Everyone treated us so nicely, and we toured with a British band called Zatopeks that became lifelong friends.

How has the songwriting and playing changed in your band over the years?

McNeill: I would say with age, everyone has honed their playing down to what works best in the band. As I’ve written more and more songs, I’ve learned to self-edit more, to know when a part doesn’t work or is dragging on too long. I feel like I’ve become better at knowing which part can be a hook or a chorus in a song.

When crafting a live set, do you tend to focus on certain albums or do you draw from all your releases?

Fletcher: We try to focus on all the albums, but that’s really hard when you have so many songs and only forty-five minutes to play. We try to stick to the bangers, and if time permits we’ll throw in some deep cuts. This year at the Fest [in Gainesville, Florida], we played two shows and forty songs. That’s a lot of words to memorize.

McNeill: We usually play stuff from all albums, but lately our set has had a lot from Report, which I think is great. Love playing those songs live.

What’s in store for the crowd at the Hangar on New Year’s?

McNeill: We always love playing Carbondale, and I can’t think of a better place to spend New Year’s Eve. We will probably play more older stuff than usual. Our friends who’ve been there since we started appreciate and remember those old songs. Should be fun!

who: Copyrights / Seven Daze / Seamstress

what: punk showcase

where: Hangar 9

 

when: Saturday, December 31

Hangar 9 • Carbondale: Copyrights / Make War / Good Friends (punk showcase)

Copyrights - 57 North - Learn the Hard Way

57 North

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Copyrights - Charlie Birger Time - Learn the Hard Way

Charlie Birger Time

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Copyrights - Kids of the Black Hole - Make Sound

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Copyrights - Kill The Captains - Mutiny Pop

Kill the Captains

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Copyrights - Pentagrams - Make Sound

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PK's • Carbondale: Copyrights / Bad Taste / Buzzzard (punk showcase)

Copyrights - 57 North - Learn the Hard Way

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Copyrights - Charlie Birger Time - Learn the Hard Way

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Copyrights - Kids of the Black Hole - Make Sound

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Copyrights - Kill The Captains - Mutiny Pop

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Copyrights - Pentagrams - Make Sound

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Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival 2016: Seven Years to Cheer More Beers!

Venues & Businesses
Big Muddy Monster Brew Fest

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Rusty Nail: Rowdy, Rocked-out Irish Punk


Who: Friends of Murphysboro
What: Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival w/ Nine88s (bluegrass) / Rusty Nail (Irish punk)
Where:
When: 2016-10-15
Pictured: Rusty Nail.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Beer lovers, rejoice, for a local fall festival has you in mind.

The seventh-annual Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival returns Saturday, October 15 to Riverside Park in Murphysboro. The ever-expanding event has new attractions and conveniences to help make the afternoon as smooth as possible.

The festival begins at 1 p.m. and continues until 4 p.m.

Brad Fager, an organizer for the event, tells Nightlife the festival had lined up forty-six vendors and hopes that more will sign on in the coming week, topping off the event with more than fifty.

“That’s the most we’ve ever had,” Fager said. “It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We’re expanding to the whole park.”

Vendors will bring in food and about three-hundred different kinds of craft beers. Most are from the local area and Midwest, with a couple from California.

Murphysboro has a brewing legacy. According to the Murphysboro Brewing website, Prussian immigrant Conrad Broeg started a brewery in the city in 1870. In 1886, Rudolph Stecher, a German immigrant, purchased the brewery. By 1912, the Stecher Brewing Company produced more than forty-thousand barrels of beer each year, a stellar feat for a local business.

After Prohibition and Stecher’s death in 1926, however, Murphysboro’s local-beer industry remained quiet until Chuck Stuhrenberg opened Big Muddy Brewing in 2009. Since then, Von Jakob, Scratch, Little Egypt, Abbey Ridge, and Saint Nicholas all began producing local beer. In 2009, the Friends of Murphysboro began celebrating the local craft-beer scene with the Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival.

New this year: Organizers will provide free, safe transportation to and from the festival. Buses will run back and forth between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., with stops at the Brews Brothers Taproom in Murphysboro and near Pagliai’s and the Hangar 9 in Carbondale.

Fager also said patrons may take photos with a seven-foot tall Big Muddy Monster photo board. The Big Muddy Monster is a legendary creature that reportedly haunted the region about forty years ago.

A vintage base ball game between the Murphysboro Clarkes and Belleville Stags is also scheduled for the day. So is the announcement of the winners of the festival’s home-brew competition.

Fager said the Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival provides an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Southern Illinois autumn with unique craft beers.

“Every brewery can always make it different,” he said. “They may use a different recipe or different water. That’s why there are so many popping up here and all over the place. I think it’s good for tourism. Every year it grows and gets better.”

General-admission tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the gate.

Event-goers can also buy tickets to the Imperial Tent, which includes a meal with food from local eateries, a special tasting snifter glass, and general admission to the festival. Imperial Tent tickets are $50 in advance and $60 on the festival date. Only 250 tickets to the Imperial Tent will be available, so if this sounds ideal, act fast.

Advance tickets will sell at Illinois Liquor Mart locations in Carbondale, Murphysboro, and Marion.

Proceeds from the fest support the Friends of Murphysboro’s continued efforts to improve Riverside Park.

For more information, check out <http://www.BigMuddyMonsterBrewFest.com>.

who: Friends of Murphysboro

what: Big Muddy Monster Brew Festival w/ Nine88s (bluegrass) / Rusty Nail (Irish punk)

where: Riverside Park

 

when: Saturday, October 15

NIL8: Aloha Means Goodbye at the CarbondaleRocks Revival

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Carbondale Rocks Revival

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NIL8 Returns: A Quarter Century of Punk Rock


Who: NIL8 / Copyrights / Scifilands
What: CarbondaleRocks Revival Music Festival (hardcore punk)
Where:
When: 2016-10-01
NIL8, from Springfield, Illinois, will appear Saturday, October 1 at the Carbondale Rocks Revival mu
Craig Wilson
Video Comentary

NIL8, from Springfield, Illinois, will appear Saturday, October 1 at the Carbondale Rocks Revival music festival’s DaVinci Stage on Washington Street. Solidly a punk band, NIL8 also draws from musical traditions like ska and rap. They got their start playing classic hardcore punk covers and a few originals in Springfield’s basements. Their original lineup was guitarist Jeff Williams, bassist Bruce Williams, drummer Gary Swaggerty, and vocalist Terry Wilson. Songwriter Jeff Williams eventually took on vocal duties alongside the guitar. The Williams brothers have been mainstays for their entire career.

Their first recording was a seven-inch called “Last Flash of Paisley Pastel/Too Loud,” followed by Six Inch Extension, Hallelujah I’m Gonna Kill Myself, Eunuch, Hallelujah I’m Gonna Kiss Myself, Doug, and Aloha Means Goodbye You Filthy Explorer, the latter released in 2005. Their diversity shines through on songs like the quick and catchy “The Silicone Seems to be Seeping Somewhere” with its dual vocals, the uptempo thrasher “Old McDonald’s Straight Edge Dilemma,” the mid-tempo heaviness of “Medicine Man,” and “Switch Drops,” with its more mellow introduction. Jeff Williams’s distinctive vocals also help make NIL8 a memorable listening experience.

Their current lineup is Jeff Williams on guitar and vocals, Bruce Williams on bass, Damon Soper on guitar, and Wes Selinger on the drums. Jeff Williams told Nightlife a little bit more about the band’s history and current projects.

You were originally active from 1982 and the Rock Against Reagan years up until 1998. Obviously you reformed sometime before 2005 when you released Aloha Means Goodbye You Filthy Explorer. What inspired you to reactivate the band?

From the early 1990s until the late 1990s we were a touring band and we were making a living that way. Our main source of income besides recording other bands were occasional jobs. When [guitarist Eric White and drummer Gary “Walnuts” Swaggerty] wanted a break from touring, my brother and I realized we should probably focus on something other than full-time touring. After a bit of a break we realized we could just do occasional tours and shows. I am a graphic designer for the University of Illinois Springfield. It eventually made sense that we could play shows and still have a band life that wasn’t necessarily touring full time.

You taught yourself how to sing and play guitar at the same time. What advice do you have for new musicians seeking those skills?

I learned some music theory while playing the darn trombone in junior-high school and took some bass lessons. At the same time, my brother, who started out playing trumpet, began taking guitar lessons. At one point I started playing more guitar and my brother played more bass.

We didn’t take too many lessons, which might have helped with my songwriting. I didn’t approach writing in a theoretical way. Some found the way I wrote unorthodox, but I was just trying to write so I could play guitar and sing at the same time because I really didn’t know what the beeeeeep I was doing! Sometimes I come up with a piece of music and then wait until the proper lyrical feel or statement seems to fit together.

We have a couple songs— “Northwest Incinerator,” “Mama Cheeseburger,” or “The Silicone Seems to be Seeping Somewhere”— where years and years passed before we added music to the words, but we also have songs like “Bikes Against Buzzbombs” where the words and music came together basically within hours.

If the cover of Aloha Means Goodbye is any indication, you address some social and political concerns with your lyrics. How would you describe your outlook in this regard?

I try not to preach in my lyrics, but I try to get a point across like a very roundabout glancing blow. Like having people watch me throw a boomerang aimed at a kangaroo, and the kangaroo didn’t do anything to me! Well, the boomerang ends up hitting me in the head and everyone maybe learns a lesson easier than if I just lyrically said, “Yo! Don’t throw boomerangs! You are just hurting yourself!”

In a quote from the Iowa State Daily in 1998, you mentioned the possibility of releasing a live CD. Unless I’m missing something I don’t see evidence of this anywhere. Is this something you might still do?

Oh, we did one: Nil8 Live Halloween Hogwash in South Central Illinois. It sold out and we haven’t repressed. I need to get that thing up in Spotify or something.

I’ve heard of your tours with Mindless Self Indulgence, the Vandals, Billy Goat, and Carbondale’s own Blue Meanies. Do you have any plans to undertake national tours these days?

The Mindless Self Indulgence tour was one of the most fun and easiest! Touring with the Blue Meanies was great and they were one of the reasons we initially played Carbondale. We played house parties, then started hitting the Hangar 9 before you crazy people burned it down. That’s the rumor in the rest of Illinois, you know— that it was due to a Halloween party where students burned the place down, causing the city to pass laws to squash Halloween parties and male nipple exposure!

[Editor’s note: Halloween restrictions started going into place by 1989, and the Carbondale City Council lifted most of them two years ago. An ice storm caused the original Hangar 9 building to collapse in 2009.]

We played with bands like Uncle Tupelo, Fear, Avail, Faith No More, Smashing Pumpkins, Let’s Go Bowling, Less Than Jake, the Queers, MU-330, L7, AFI, and such.

How does it feel to be playing these old and new songs with this band you started while still in high school?

Though most of the songs are old, they may not sound necessarily dated in a negative context. Now that could all just be people being nice to me in my old age!

What’s next for NIL8?

If people want to make a roadtrip, they can come see us in Saint Louis with another band we used to play with in Carbondale, Fragile Porcelain Mice, the day before Thanksgiving, so watch for that!

who: NIL8

what: CarbondaleRocks Revival Music Festival (hardcore punk)

where: Washington Street DaVinci Stage

 

when: Saturday, October 1

Lost Cross Thirtieth Anniversary Festival and Tim Beaty Day: A Two-Day Music Fest

Bands
Copyrights

Venues & Businesses
Carbondale Main Street
Hangar 9
PK's


Who: Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4 mark a thirty-year celebration of Carbondale’s Lost Cross and the underground punk and independent-music scene. Nearly thirty local, regional, and national bands are scheduled to play at different locations throughout the weekend. This will be a rare occasion to take in a lot of the region’s historical acts, some of whom no longer regularly play or who will reform for these shows. A Saturday matinee show with eight bands will take place at an outdoor city- approved stage on Elm and Beveridge Streets. Locals Hans Predator will open the show at 5 p.m., followed by It Burns, Big Fat Nothing, Moloko Plus, Waxdolls, Blood Stained Tool, Bad Taste, and Diet Christ. Concertgoers may bring drinks, but must leave glass containers and lawn chairs at home. Anyone with alcohol must provide photo identification to prove they are at least twenty-one. Carbondale mayor Mike Henry has designated Sunday as Tim Beaty Day to commemorate the local drummer who died while helping others take shelter from gunfire in March, so on Sunday, September 4 the Hangar 9 will open in the daytime for a memorial show. Beaty played for numerous bands during his sixteen years in Carbondale, including the Hateful Dead, Bourbon Knights, Blast Radius, and Acumen. All proceeds from the door and the silent auction at the Hangar event will benefit Beaty’s family. Diet Christ and Blood Stained Tool, who will both appear at the outdoor stage on Saturday, were the first bands spawned from Lost Cross in the late eighties. They share a raw, ferocious, vintage hardcore sound and had common members Mike Kartje and James Ricks. This time around, Ricks will play bass for Diet Christ and guitar for Blood Stained Tool. Diet Christ vocalist Mikey Snot actually cofounded Lost Cross with Chris Radzinski in 1986 and common friends and musicians have continued its traditions. Waxdolls will bring their rough guitar pop, akin to Social Distortion, the Replacements, and the Ramones, to the outdoor stage on Saturday. Bassist Jon E. Rector explained their history: “We called it a day sometime in ninety-nine. We’ve done several reunion shows, but this will be the first time we’ve performed since December 2009.... I find it truly amazing that everyone’s on board for this official celebration and the honoring of the great Tim Beaty and all the other loved ones we have lost.” Among those other musicians who can’t attend is Matthew Dierker, who was killed by an intoxicated driver in 2014. Dierker, along with Beaty, played in the Bourbon Knights. Another Bourbon Knight, Sean “Irish” Born, died in 2008 after a two-year bout with cancer. Diet Christ guitarist Bill Hartley died from a heart condition in 2009. Expect the musicians who attend to pay tribute to these and other late, former comrades throughout the festival. While this is a punk fest with plenty of raw, high-energy bands, there will also be garage rock from Hans Predator, pop and post-punk from the Black Blacks and Staring Problem, psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll from Blast Radius, and instrumental math rock by the Goddamn Jets. In a documentary about the twenty-fifth Lost Cross anniversary events, veteran musician James Ricks described the do-it-yourself ethic that has inspired much local music-making and encouraged new players to jump in: “Don’t be afraid to start up a band and sound like crap for a few months just to get the feel for it. The underground music scene has always historically been the entity that has driven community music.” As Adam Fletcher, bassist for melodic punkers Moloko Plus, originally active in the 1990s, and now with the Copyrights, summed up, “This is a pretty big deal. Not only is thirty years a huge milestone for Lost Cross, but to be recognized by the city as a place that’s been so important to the music culture here is great.... You should come out with us and make some new memories.” All-access wristbands are $15 through the Carbondale Music Coalition’s website at <http://CarbondaleMusicCoalition.com>, or at the Elm Street stage. Wristbands will grant access to the street festival as well as the after-parties at the Hangar 9 and PK’s. See Nightlife’s Entertainment Guide to find out where each act is performing. who: dozens of punk, hardcore, and alternative bands what: Lost Cross Thirtieth Anniversary Festival and Tim Beaty Memorial Show where: Elm Street, Hangar 9, PK’s when: Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4
What: Lost Cross Thirtieth Anniversary Festival and Tim Beaty Memorial Show
Where:
When: 2016-09-03 - 2016-09-04
Pictured: Diet Christ in 1990.
Craig Wilson
Video Comentary

Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4 mark a thirty-year celebration of Carbondale’s Lost Cross and the underground punk and independent-music scene. Nearly thirty local, regional, and national bands are scheduled to play at different locations throughout the weekend. This will be a rare occasion to take in a lot of the region’s historical acts, some of whom no longer regularly play or who will reform for these shows.

A Saturday matinee show with eight bands will take place at an outdoor city- approved stage on Elm and Beveridge Streets. Locals Hans Predator will open the show at 5 p.m., followed by It Burns, Big Fat Nothing, Moloko Plus, Waxdolls, Blood Stained Tool, Bad Taste, and Diet Christ. Concertgoers may bring drinks, but must leave glass containers and lawn chairs at home. Anyone with alcohol must provide photo identification to prove they are at least twenty-one.

Carbondale mayor Mike Henry has designated Sunday as Tim Beaty Day to commemorate the local drummer who died while helping others take shelter from gunfire in March, so on Sunday, September 4 the Hangar 9 will open in the daytime for a memorial show. Beaty played for numerous bands during his sixteen years in Carbondale, including the Hateful Dead, Bourbon Knights, Blast Radius, and Acumen. All proceeds from the door and the silent auction at the Hangar event will benefit Beaty’s family.

Diet Christ and Blood Stained Tool, who will both appear at the outdoor stage on Saturday, were the first bands spawned from Lost Cross in the late eighties. They share a raw, ferocious, vintage hardcore sound and had common members Mike Kartje and James Ricks. This time around, Ricks will play bass for Diet Christ and guitar for Blood Stained Tool. Diet Christ vocalist Mikey Snot actually cofounded Lost Cross with Chris Radzinski in 1986 and common friends and musicians have continued its traditions.

Waxdolls will bring their rough guitar pop, akin to Social Distortion, the Replacements, and the Ramones, to the outdoor stage on Saturday. Bassist Jon E. Rector explained their history: “We called it a day sometime in ninety-nine. We’ve done several reunion shows, but this will be the first time we’ve performed since December 2009.... I find it truly amazing that everyone’s on board for this official celebration and the honoring of the great Tim Beaty and all the other loved ones we have lost.”

Among those other musicians who can’t attend is Matthew Dierker, who was killed by an intoxicated driver in 2014. Dierker, along with Beaty, played in the Bourbon Knights. Another Bourbon Knight, Sean “Irish” Born, died in 2008 after a two-year bout with cancer. Diet Christ guitarist Bill Hartley died from a heart condition in 2009. Expect the musicians who attend to pay tribute to these and other late, former comrades throughout the festival.

While this is a punk fest with plenty of raw, high-energy bands, there will also be garage rock from Hans Predator, pop and post-punk from the Black Blacks and Staring Problem, psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll from Blast Radius, and instrumental math rock by the Goddamn Jets.

In a documentary about the twenty-fifth Lost Cross anniversary events, veteran musician James Ricks described the do-it-yourself ethic that has inspired much local music-making and encouraged new players to jump in: “Don’t be afraid to start up a band and sound like crap for a few months just to get the feel for it. The underground music scene has always historically been the entity that has driven community music.”

As Adam Fletcher, bassist for melodic punkers Moloko Plus, originally active in the 1990s, and now with the Copyrights, summed up, “This is a pretty big deal. Not only is thirty years a huge milestone for Lost Cross, but to be recognized by the city as a place that’s been so important to the music culture here is great.... You should come out with us and make some new memories.”

All-access wristbands are $15 through the Carbondale Music Coalition’s website at <http://CarbondaleMusicCoalition.com>, or at the Elm Street stage. Wristbands will grant access to the street festival as well as the after-parties at the Hangar 9 and PK’s. See Nightlife’s Entertainment Guide to find out where each act is performing.

who: dozens of punk, hardcore, and alternative bands

what: Lost Cross Thirtieth Anniversary Festival and Tim Beaty Memorial Show

where: Elm Street, Hangar 9, PK’s

 

when: Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4

Frack Free Fest: Fighting an Environmental Hazard With a Party

Bands
Fiddle Rick with the Big Dippers
Honey and Tar
Kelven

MP3's
Fiddle Rick

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Fiddle Rick Johnson

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Venues & Businesses
Alto Vineyards

More Articles
Fiddle Rick Johnson: The Knows of You Never Know
Fiddle Rick Johnson: A New CD All Over Again
Fiddle Rick Johnson’s Children Come Home
Hans Predator: Local Garage Rockers Don a Mars Tuxedo


Who: Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment
What: Frack Free Fest w/ People Versus Hugh DeNeal / Hans Predator / Bad Taste / Teen Angst / Dead Pretty / Kelven / Honey and Tar / Fiddle Rick Johnson and the Bourbon Boys / Kindred Moon
Where:
When: 2016-08-28
Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment will hold the annual Frack Free Fest Sunday,
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment will hold the annual Frack Free Fest Sunday, August 28 at 1 p.m. at Alto Vineyards.

“We’re going to have some of the most awesome bands in Southern Illinois,” Brent Ritzel, an event organizer, told Nightlife, “and in between the bands there’s going to be a number of different speakers talking about the harms of fracking and different things we’re working on now to solve it— a variety of different perspectives like that. It’s going to be an awesome day.”

The Frack Free Fest is geared toward raising money to help stop fracking in Southern Illinois. Admission is by donation, and auctions and a raffle will take place. Event organizers also want people to come out and learn about the problems with fracking.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping water and incredibly toxic chemicals into the ground to force natural gas out. The process pollutes groundwater, and gas that escapes capture pollutes the air. Earthquakes are another consequence of pumping fluid into the ground— and Southern Illinois sits on the New Madrid Fault Line, which has produced some of the biggest earthquakes known to have struck North America.

Proponents say fracking will bring jobs to Southern Illinois, a claim Ritzel dismissed. So much of the tourism in Southern Illinois comes from wineries and centers on the natural beauty of the region. Fracking and the pollution it causes, Ritzel said, will cost more long-term jobs than it will create. Irrigating a winery’s grapes with water polluted by fracking chemicals, for example, might not produce the best vintage.

“The problem with fracking is that is does create some short-term jobs that mainly people from other states are going to get, but it also eliminates local jobs in areas like tourism and agriculture, which is kind of our bread and butter in Southern Illinois,” Ritzel said. “If [fracking] does come here, we will be losing the long-term jobs that actually mean something to the long-term reality of our region, which is agriculture and tourism.”

Luckily, right now, the price of competing fossil fuels— particularly oil— has dropped to the point where the cost of fracking exceeds what a company can make from the gas it produces. This has given SAFE and other groups, including the Southern Illinois Rights Project, time to prepare for when the price of oil rebounds.

One way to combat fracking is to promote clean, viable alternatives, including wind and solar. Organizers and speakers will discuss renewables at the Frack Free Fest.

“We got all the answers, and that’s what we’ll be celebrating at the Frack Free Fest,” Ritzel said. “The more we engage in the solution, the more problems becomes less of a problem. I think that is a big part of what we are doing.”

The Frack Free Fest should be a fun way Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment to get more information out to people.

“That’s what the Frack Free Fest is all about,” Ritzel said. “It is to energize people and remind them that this fight is far from over. We are regathering the troops and making sure that people are really well-informed.”

Find out more at <http://www.DontFractureIllinois.net>.

who: Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment

what: Frack Free Fest w/ People Versus Hugh DeNeal / Hans Predator / Bad Taste / Teen Angst / Dead Pretty / Kelven / Honey and Tar / Fiddle Rick Johnson and the Bourbon Boys / Kindred Moon

where: Alto Vineyards and Winery

 

when: Sunday, August 28

LouderNow: Emo and Pop-punk from the Aughts

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: LouderNow
What: emo and pup-punk tribute
Where:
When: 2016-08-27
A Chicago-based cover band is bringing back music from the early aughts’ emo and pop-punk scene.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

A Chicago-based cover band is bringing back music from the early aughts’ emo and pop-punk scene.

LouderNow performs Saturday, August 27 in the Pinch Penny Pub beer garden (with the Copper Dragon Brewing Company as the rain location). The band brings back blasts from the not-so-distant past with a common interest in songs with which the guys grew up.

LouderNow includes Davey Carlson, Gary Weissman, Keaton O’Brien, Dan Zemanek, and Steve Zywica. Nightlife caught up with them before one of their rehearsals to talk about bringing back the music from the beginning of the millennium and how band politics and a fair-selection system helps keep a steady stream of music in their system.

The brainstorm behind the band’s concept comes from a night out. The five friends were within earshot of a fellow bar patron’s jukebox choices and almost immediately they had the idea of entering a setlist of their own.

“There was this kid playing a bunch of songs right in a row,” Zywica said, “and we were like, ‘Whoa! We haven’t heard that in awhile.’”

Carlson added: “We thought, ‘What if there were a band that played all of these songs?’”

The decision to bring back the glory days of skinny jeans, studded belts, eye liner, Vans, and screaming along to favorite emo and pop-punk songs featured on MySpace should satisfy a niche market thus far untouched on the regional touring circuit.

“There were a lot of cover bands playing songs from the seventies, eighties, and even some of the nineties,” said Weissman, “but we weren’t really hearing anyone play anything from this era.”

LouderNow performs tunes by Taking Back Sunday, the Used, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Brand New, Good Charlotte, Paramore, Simple Plan, Jimmy Eat World, Sugarcult, the All-American Rejects, and Cute Is What We Aim For.

LouderNow band members say they developed a democratic system where everyone gets to choose a song to perform.

“That is one thing that is great about the free-pass system,” Zemanek said. “It gives us all a chance to have a say, and for the others it allows them to play something they might not have thought to include.”

LouderNow doesn’t plan to branch out. Even though the band’s members have a shared interest in emo and pop-punk, their other musical tastes diverge from there.

“It’d really be hard for all of us to agree on what to play,” Carlson said. “We differ that much.”

Up next for LouderNow are more tour dates, including in their hometown, Chicago. They all said they are excited about the upcoming show in Carbondale.

“We are all really looking forward to coming down,” Zywica said.

For more information about LouderNow, check out <http://www.LouderNowBand.com>.

who: Louder Now

what: emo and pup-punk tribute

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, August 27

Drunken Cuddle: A One-Night Stand

Venues & Businesses
PK's


Who: Drunken Cuddle
What: cowpunk
Where:
When: 2016-08-25
At Nightlife, we know you wish you had a time machine so you could go back and see Johnny Cash and t
Thomas Henry Horan
Video Comentary

words by Thomas Henry Horan

picture by Peter Lee

At Nightlife, we know you wish you had a time machine so you could go back and see Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two or Jerry Lee Lewis when they were young and raw and more than a little bit punk. Now, imagine kidnapping them and taking them forward a few years to hang out with the Sex Pistols and the Circle Jerks and Suicidal Tendencies and drink Jack Daniels watered down with nitromethane. Now, imagine you collected the DNA from the bottle lips and fed it into your do-it-yourself Jurassic Park Monster Cloning Doohickey. And just to be sure, you raised the little darlings thus hatched on My Bloody Valentine and Sergio Leone movies and nights out with the Number Nine Blacktops. What would you get? You’d get the Drunken Cuddle, that’s what. Bad. Ass. Country. Punk.

Yes, country punk is a thing, and the Drunken Cuddle are a country punk thing to behold.

Hatched by Katie Marie Sternig (plays drums like Keith Moon’s revenge) and guitarist/singer Erik Arvoy (shreds paint right off the wall) in Denver in 2013, the Drunken Cuddle plays Thursday, August 25 at PK’s. The PK’s stage allows audiences to get right up close to the band. And the Drunken Cuddle are the perfect band to do just that with.

Their music is edgy and inventive and old-fashioned and gutsy and hilarious and contemplative. They’re a dust devil full of rag dolls and saw blades and pecan pralines. In short, they’re a hoot. And they’re only in Carbondale for one night.

That’s good, because they’re almost impossible to catch in Denver. They tour relentlessly, like a one-car Mongol horde, and Nightlife just managed to keep our top-secret rocket car in the passing lane long enough to score an interview with Arvoy himself:

According to the bio on the Little Class Records website, you are either a duo or a trio. Are there two of you? Three of you? Have you counted lately? Does it matter?

Ha! There are a few of us. We tour as a two-piece most often, guitar and drums, but we have alternate members who join in on harmonica and upright bass. We actually started as four members, including a mandolinist.

Which came first for you in your musical development, punk or country? Or something else?

We both have very different music backgrounds, yet a lot of common tastes. Katie is big into punk rock her whole life, along with tons of other influences. I kinda jumped around a lot of genres, mostly performing acoustic guitar for all of my bands. Together, we have my acoustic style smashed in with Katie’s fast punk beats— almost too fast sometimes! All in all, we just appreciate talented musicians.

Next question—three words: “Chicken wire stages.” Go.

Blues Brothers rule. We also play both country and western.

As you know, Tupac Shakur is now a hologram. Would Drunken Cuddle be more likely to perform with a hologram of Johnny Cash or Sid Vicious?

Tough one! I think both of them would dig our sound and attitude. But I think I’d have to go with Johnny Cash.

who: Drunken Cuddle

what: cowpunk

where: PK’s

 

when: Thursday, August 25

Curtain Call: Skyline Creek Productions’ American Idiot: The Musical

Venues & Businesses
Marion Cultural and Civic Center

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Curtain Call: Skyline Creek Productions’ The Rocky Horror Show
Curtain Call: Skyline Creek Productions’ The Rocky Horror Show


Who: Skyline Creek Productions
What: Green Day’s American Idiot (live theater)
Where:
When: 2016-04-29 - 2016-05-01
American Idiot: The Musical will make a Southern Illinois run between April 29 and May 2 at the Mari
Craig Wilson
Video Comentary

American Idiot: The Musical will make a Southern Illinois run between April 29 and May 2 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. It’s an award-winning stage adaptation of pop-punk band Green Day’s concept album American Idiot structured as a sung-through punk-rock opera. Marion’s show, directed by Sam Bursich, is brought to life by a local cast and regional musicians.

The musical first came into being last decade when theater director Michael Mayer, known for his work in Spring Awakening, approached Green Day about bringing the 2004 album to the stage. The premise was further developed from a book cowritten by Mayer and Green Day vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong. The musical score includes not only the American Idiot album but other material including original numbers written for the show.

After its Berkeley premiere in 2009, the show went to Broadway for another year. Armstrong appeared as the character Saint Jimmy on and off during the run. Green Day didn’t appear in the show as a band, but played alongside the cast at a gala closing celebration. The musical won two Tony Awards in 2010 and received a nomination for Best Musical; the Broadway cast recording received a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. An international tour took place between 2011 and 2014; there were more shows in the United States as well as in Scandinavia and the West End. It’s headed to Rio de Janeiro in 2017.

The Marion production will have a five-piece stage band of local musicians consisting of Joe Palermo and Eric Bandera on guitars, Jeff Beers on bass, Grady Adams on drums, and Derek Hamblin on keyboards. All vocals will be sung by the cast.

Bursich told Nightlife that the musical is “an amazing experience like nothing else. I don’t think many people in this area have seen such a thing.”

Derek Hamblin, who is also the musical and orchestra director, said, “This is the first and probably the only time the musical will play in Southern Illinois. It’s exciting to be the musical director.”

The plot centers on a trio of young people unhappily living in Jingletown, USA in the wake of September 11; wars are raging. Johnny, Will, and Tunny are old friends feeling alienated from their suburban environment. Johnny, played by Zachery Stout, calls himself the Jesus of Suburbia and challenges his friends to break out of their frustration; he manages to get bus tickets for the three to go the city. The friends’ circle is disrupted by an unexpected pregnancy that causes Will, played by Joey Vargas, to drop out from the trip.

Johnny and Tunny, played by Dylan Kroder, take off for the city with other restless youth. Johnny gets into hard drugs and manifests a split personality character, Saint Jimmy, the drug-dealing rebel, played here by Kaleb Triplett. The friends go their separate ways when Johnny falls in love with the woman in the window, and Tunny, in a misplaced personal quest, enlists in the Army. The pivotal features of the story are set at this juncture.

Viewers should be aware the show contains mature language and themes.

The Friday and Saturday performances take place at 7 p.m., while the Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15. For tickets, stop by or call the civic center box office at (618) 997-4030 or visit <http://www.MarionCCC.org>.

who: Skyline Creek Productions

what: Green Day’s American Idiot (live theater)

where: Marion Cultural and Civic Center

 

when: Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1

Girls Rock Camp Benefit 2016: An Expression of Power

Venues & Businesses
Carbondale Community Arts
Hangar 9

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Girls Rock Camp Benefit: Amped Up for a Good Cause


Who: Teen Angst / Amanda Mayflower and Company / Thee Mistakes / Eshé Bhairavi / Funs / Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rocumentary
What: Carbondale Community Arts Girls Rock Camp fundraiser
Where:
When: 2016-03-12
Pictured: Teen Angst.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The Girls Rock Camp, a Carbondale Community Arts-sponsored initiative to get more young women involved in music, is back to rock another year. A fundraiser for the camp takes place Saturday, March 12 at the Hangar 9.

The benefit opens with the public premiere of Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rockumentary, a film that documents the inaugural camp, which took place last summer. Live entertainment will include Teen Angst, a group whose members attended the 2015 Girls Rock Camp. The rest of the lineup consists of Wichita, Kansas-transplant to Carbondale Amanda Mayflower and Company, local feminist post-punks Thee Mistakes, local hip-hop artist Eshé Bhairavi, and the Chicago-based psychedelic indie-pop duo the Funs.

Items in the silent auction include a screen-printing package from MerchOp, ten hours of recording time at Misunderstudio, a glam-rock photo-shoot package from Pop Rocks, locally made art, surprise package deals, and tattoo gift certificates. (Artists who want to donate work to the auction may do so at the Carbondale Community Arts office at 304 Walnut Street during business hours or Saturday, March 12 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hangar 9.)

The benefit will also feature a fifty/fifty raffle, various giveaways, and several live artists working onstage during performances.

The Girls Rock Camp takes place during seven days and is open to young women in grades four to twelve. There, campers learn how to play instruments and form bands with peers. They write original songs and perform them at a local venue on the last day of camp. This year’s camp will take place at Carbondale Community High School, and the showcase is scheduled for the Hangar 9.

“The kids engage in amazing, empowering workshops that focus on feminist values, egalitarianism, critical-thinking skills, women in history, and the arts in writing, performance, and [promotional] media such as screen printing— a workshop generously donated by MerchOp,” Jessica Lynn, executive director of Carbondale Community Arts, said.

Lynn added that organizers look forward to providing another fulfilling experience for the campers this year.

“We’re expecting to have a tighter workshop curriculum, segregate advanced from beginning music instruction, and give the campers more of an opportunity to experiment with performance— theatrical and musical— in front of their peers,” Lynn said. “We also have assembled a team of glam-rock aficionados who will help campers develop their special rocking style prior to the showcase.”

Lynn explained that the camp strives to be an “all-inclusive community organization and [we] welcome gender-nonconforming and trans- volunteers and youth....

“Camp is all about having fun and developing a sense of self as well as learning how to build cooperative relationships with others,” Lynn said. “It’s more than a music camp— it’s an expression of empowerment.”

Lynn said the Girls Rock Camp has a positive impact on everyone involved.

“Any organization that promotes issues like accessibility, community, egalitarianism, feminism, anti-racism, and critical thinking is an important organization to have in Southern Illinois— especially for youth,” Lynn said. “This camp specifically intends to free youths’ voices, highlight ways that women have been artists, writers, performers, activists, and musicians throughout history, but who have faced marginalization in the media, and give youth a wider breadth of role models in whom they can see themselves.”

Feedback from the campers has been inspiring.

“Last season we had an overwhelming positive emotional response throughout and at the end of the camp from parents and kids,” Lynn said. “We have had several parents tell us that camp literally changed their kid’s life by giving them a platform to use their voice. One participant is interested in interning at camp if she can’t be a repeat camper and teaching smaller kids bass basics—according to her mother, this is something she never would have done prior to camp. Volunteers themselves also reported life-changing experiences working with the kids. Just watch the rockumentary— and bring tissue.”

Girls Rock Carbondale is currently hosting an instrument drive where people can donate money through GoFundMe or give or loan equipment to the camp. Lynn said Carbondale Community Arts wants to raise between $5,000 and $8,000 this year to buy all of its own equipment.

Carbondale Community Arts is also accepting donations to provide campers with lunch.

Lynn said the community has been instrumental in the camp’s continued success, and the future of Girls Rock is contingent on its volunteers, especially instrument instructors.

“[We] have a lot of excellent organizer volunteers, but providing the music instruction in a community with few, or exceptionally busy, working women musicians has been challenging,” Lynn said. “We are anticipating networking with other camps somewhat regionally and are or will be in communication with girls-rock organizers in Chicago, Indianapolis, Southern Girls Rock [in Tennessee], and Saint Louis to do volunteer exchange, or bring volunteers to Carbondale for the week of camp to help staff our session. I fully expect to extend couches [and] pull out sofas, hammocks, and floor space at my place for out-of-town musicians and organizers who want to come help at our camp.”

Tuition for camp is based on a sliding scale, and no one is turned away for lack of ability to pay, although space is limited.

To volunteer, register for the camp, or more information, log on to <http://www.GirlsRockCarbondale.com>.

who: Teen Angst / Amanda Mayflower and Company / Thee Mistakes / Eshé Bhairavi / Funs / Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rocumentary

what: Carbondale Community Arts Girls Rock Camp fundraiser

where: Hangar

 

when: Saturday, March 12

William Feigns Releases Soul Remains Part II

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Copyrights
William Feigns

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
Copyrights' Trademark Punk Rock
Copyrights, Masked Intruder, and Not Scientists: Pop-punk Tour Brings the Noise to Illinois
Copyrights: Stranded on North Sentinel Island
Copyrights: Carbondale’s Premier Punks Issue a Report
William Feigns: Psychedelically Spooky


Who: Copyrights / Mizzerables / William Feigns
What: Soul Remains Part II release party
Where:
When: 2016-02-19
Josh Murphy was born with a curious and creative mind. Murphy was raised in a small town in Southern
Alex Kirt
Video Comentary

Josh Murphy was born with a curious and creative mind. Murphy was raised in a small town in Southern Illinois where the conservative values of the working class, coupled with the moral teachings of Protestant Christianity, reigned supreme. As Murphy grew older, he sought to find the answers to many of his questions outside the realm of understanding that was presented to him in the region of his upbringing.

Murphy, known to many as William Feigns, recently completed the second of a three-part musical odyssey entitled Soul Remains.

For the recording of Soul Remains Parts I and II, William Feigns and his collaborators embarked upon a journey to a recording studio called the Bomb Factory in Nashville, Tennessee, where sound engineer Billy Bennett used his vintage studio equipment to capture the sounds. Feigns’s musical collaborators on this project include bassist Jeff Beers, drummer Chris Wittman, percussionist Jimmy Beers, and coproducer Marcus Lappin.

Soul Remains Part I was unveiled in digital form on the world wide web in December 2015. A release party for Soul Remains Part II, which will come out on audio cassette tape, will take place Friday, February 19 at the Hangar 9. There, Feigns will share the evening with local pop-punk greats the Copyrights and, from Chicago, the Mizzerables. (The final installment of Soul Remains will be distributed on compact disc in late March or early April, featuring the Soul Remains project in its entirety.)

Feigns and his collaborators have internalized the artistic practices of expressionism and surrealism, interpreting these artistic practices into musical expressions coupled with a healthy helping of psychedelia, random ponderings, and various ruminations, resulting in a tremor that tenderly fondles the hair cells of the inner ear.

Feigns acknowledges that some listeners may equate the sounds of Soul Remains to the bygone era of flower power. Yet one cannot simply chalk up Soul Remains as just another tip of the hat to the Leary generation, for there is much more to this collection of refrains. It is not an uncommon occurrence to witness young musicians seeking to emulate their heroes, but Feigns and his collaborators have reached their creative maturity and are well beyond imitations in their work. In true artistic fashion, Feigns references his sources rather than plagiarizing them. He builds upon ideas rather than borrowing them. Metaphorically speaking, he is creating his own landscapes— he just happens to be using the same brush and canvas as his sources.

Whether we are talking science, engineering, art, music, dance, theater, or language, all creations and inventions are derived from other sources, just as the twigs of a tree bring forth new fruit. Soul Remains represents the fruit of William Feigns’s twig on the branch of the limb of the tree of our collective musical history, with veins extending down beneath the surface into the roots of human communication and self-expression. By paying careful attention, listeners will likely find that although William Feigns may create sounds that vaguely ring of the Velvet Underground, the Byrds, Red Krayola, or Hawkwind, his twig has deviated and morphed into a fruit of a new and different variety.

This is an example of exactly what every “original” artist has done throughout the known history of humankind. They learn from their teachers, through observation, and employ their education to make their own statements from their own unique perspectives. When others find that they can relate to and identify with an artist’s work, internalizing the work by likening it to one’s own life experiences— this is how I identify a successful work of art. To my ears, Soul Remains fits neatly into this definition.

In addition to the vibrational musings of Soul Remains, Feigns has labored diligently throughout his most recent trip around the sun, producing an impressive variety of creative endeavors. Two items that may be of special interest are his twenty-one-page poetry booklet, Wall of Sound, and the cinematic production entitled Watersnakes, starring Dylan Frost, Maren Celest, and Laura Partain. Watersnakes was written and directed by Murphy and produced by William Feigns, who describes the project as “A silent film about a young prince under a spell that takes him on a hallucinatory journey through illusions and madness.” The film is dedicated to Carl G. Jung and Luis Bunuel, the latter of whom seems to have provided no small measure of creative inspiration to Feigns.

Watersnakes, Wall of Sound, and Soul Remains are for sale at Plaza Records, or at any William Feigns live performances, or online via the William Feigns Bandcamp page.

who: Copyrights / Mizzerables / William Feigns

what: Soul Remains Part II release party

where: Hangar 9

 

when: Friday, February 19

Scifislands: A New CD in Time for the New Year

Bands
Scifislands

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9


Who: Scifislands CD release party / Idle Bloom / Western Medication
What: surf
Where:
When: 2015-12-12
The typical year-end mercury levels may dip way below comfortable temperatures, but one local band i
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The typical year-end mercury levels may dip way below comfortable temperatures, but one local band is at least offering up sounds of not-too-distant sunny shores. Alternative surf group Scifislands is offering up its self-titled debut album, roiling with a signature surf sound that details life’s difficult transitions.

“It’s got a very current sound, very beachy,” Scifislands guitarist and vocalist David Martin tells Nightlife about the band’s new record. “It sounds like it is really warm outside, even though it’s winter.”

Life can be a beach, and the Scifislands perform with Idle Bloom and Western Medication Saturday, December 12 at the Hangar 9.

Founded in 2014, Scifislands features Martin, Chris Byrn, Dylan Frost, and Carson Edmonds. For the new album, the band solicited production and engineering help from Marcus Lappin and Chris Wittman of the Flowers of Evil and William Feigns.

“It’s an honor for two people we respected come in and work with us,” Martin said.

The first single, “Glamazon,” is presently streaming on the band’s Facebook page.

Martin said that topics on the new album came from real-life experiences. He described Scifislands as a “diary of what is going on over the last year.... It’s about that time after college when you are really trying to figure it all out. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re just there. It’s been interesting to play with the different sounds, and it has been really reassuring all the positive feedback we have received.”

Martin said he is grateful for the support Scifislands has received while gigging in Southern Illinois.

“I want to say how sort of surprising it was to find out how receptive and how respectful everyone is in here in Carbondale,” Martin said. “It’s been amazing, the love and respect everyone has shown. I knew it was [a great place to play], but I didn’t really know it was until I started playing in a band.”

Martin said the band is presently waiting for physical copies of the album to arrive and hopes to have it available at the Hangar.

“We will at least have them posted online on Bandcamp the night of the show,” he said, “so everyone should check it out.”

For more information about Scifislands, search for them on Bandcamp or Facebook.

who: Scifislands CD release party / Idle Bloom / Western Medication

what: surf

where: Hangar 9

 

when: Saturday, December 12

Copyrights, Masked Intruder, and Not Scientists: Pop-punk Tour Brings the Noise to Illinois

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Copyrights

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Copyrights

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
Copyrights' Trademark Punk Rock
Copyrights: Stranded on North Sentinel Island
Copyrights: Carbondale’s Premier Punks Issue a Report


Who: Copyrights / Masked Intruder / Not Scientist
What: punk showcase
Where:
When: 2015-11-06
Pictured: Masked Intruder.
Alex Kirt
Video Comentary

Men in brightly colored ski masks, known to the world as Masked Intruder from Madison, Wisconsin, will take the stage Friday, November 6 at the Hangar 9 and steal the hearts of local punk-music fans. The band consists of Blue (vocals and guitar), Green (guitar and backup vocals), Yellow, or also known as Orange (bass and backup vocals), and Red (drums).

I took the time to check out their music and videos online. I was surprised by their highly produced pop-punk sound. After seeing photos of the band, I didn’t expect them to sound that way at all. I had anticipated that four guys wearing ski masks would have a hard-edged, lo-fi “Oi” sound in the same vein as Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects, the Exploited, or Agnostic Front. To the contrary, Masked Intruder’s sound is much more aligned with Blink-182, Green Day, and Fall Out Boy, featuring fast, driving punk rhythms with a clean pop sheen on top. Like other pop-punk bands, Masked Intruder have traded the grime, grit, and attitude of early punk for a more sentimental and easily approachable radio-friendly sound.

After I got over how they don’t sound anything like they look, I did an overview of their material. One single, “Crime Spree,” is a sentimental song about a guy who invites his love interest to accompany him on a date in which they will go around stealing things like Bonnie and Clyde.

Another single, “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone Tonight,” is reminiscent of the hopeless romantic punk lyrics that can be found in numerous songs by the Ramones. The official video for the song is an old-school videogame in which the boys in the band are running away from the cops. When they get caught, the cops shoot them in the face, blowing their heads off, with blood splattering all over the place. Again, the imagery doesn’t match the song, which seems to be the trademark of this band.

Not Scientists, hailing from Lyon, France, are a unique treat on the tour. (Seriously, when was the last time a French band played in Carbondale?) The band members are simply known as Jim (guitar and vocals), Ed (guitar and vocals), Le Bazile (drums), and Thibault (bass). They fit in perfectly with the other bands on this tour, with finely tuned, finger-snapping, smoothly produced pop-punk brilliance. Their single “Leave Stickers on our Graves” is an anthemic tip of the hat to the cultural phenomenon of fan stickers. “Wrong Side of the Highway” lives in the long tradition of songs about being born in the working-class part of town. Not Scientists’ songs show a great deal of intricacy and musicianship, with artfully crafted and meticulously arranged musical interludes. They are an extremely tight unit with a heap of good energy.

Also on the tour are local pop-punk greats the Copyrights, who are among the most successful bands to come out of Carbondale within the past fifteen years. To make my case for the Copyrights, they have toured far and wide, with some of the biggest names in punk rock, releasing numerous albums along the way, and they even played on the Warped Tour. I recently caught up with lead vocalist/bassist Adam Fletcher for a bit of Q&A.

I see that you’re heading out on the road again in a couple weeks with Masked Intruder. Are there any particular shows on the tour that you’re especially excited about?

I’m pretty excited to be playing the Fest in Gainesville, Florida, again, which is the pretty much the main reason for this upcoming tour. I know it’s something like our eighth or ninth year playing at that thing, but we always know it’ll be fun. There are so many great bands and so many people from all over the world there; it’s the big punk-rock reunion weekend. Not Scientists are from Lyon, France, and it’s their first time touring the States, so I’m looking forward to showing them around.

Among the local musicians, you’re known as a master of thriftiness. For example, a mutual friend of ours told me that when you’re getting ready for a tour, that you buy some cheap towels, cut them into strips, and use them as disposable rags for showering so that you don’t have to worry with finding a laundromat quite as often while out on the road. When I was touring, I found that little things like that really could make a huge difference. Would you mind sharing some of your other thrifty tips for touring? (I personally find this topic to be quite interesting and potentially helpful for other traveling musicians.)

I don’t do that towel thing, but I’ve known people that have. I’ve had the same towel and sleeping bag on every tour we’ve ever done. I guess that’s my own strange superstition. Off the top of my head, I guess a few suggestions would be...  Super Eight Motels are usually your best choice, always ask for the late checkout, don’t bring a trailer for your gear unless it’s absolutely necessary, if you see broken glass in the gutter don’t park there, don’t forget to charge your cell phone. This is a good question; I could probably come up with a million more of them once you get me thinking about it.

What has kept you in the area? Have you considered relocating to a larger city where there are more opportunities for a professional touring band?

At this point, only two band members are living in the area. Luke [McNeill, drums] is in Springfield, and Kevin [Clifford, guitar] is in Chicago. Brett [Hunter, guitar] and I are still in Carbondale. That’s one of the reasons why we don’t get to play locally as much as we used to— it’s just harder to get all of us together at the same time. Luckily we’re blessed with the ability to tour all over the world, so we get the opportunity to get out of Southern Illinois every now and then.

How do you feel that your collective creative voice has changed from the early years of Nowhere Near Chicago to the material on Report? Do you feel that your sound has changed over time? If so, in what ways?

Yes and no. We’ve definitely made albums that have more of a polished production type of sound on our last couple releases. I think that’s just a natural progression for us. I think if you go back and listen to our early songs and compare it to our new stuff, there’s no doubt that it sounds like us. We’ve managed to maintain the same type of sound but we’ve just added some style with each one of our albums to keep it fresh.

Do you have any interesting tales of triumph, toil, amazing sights, or horror stories from the road?

Oh, boy. Yeah we’ve got plenty! Let’s see. We’ve been arrested and banned from the U.K. We’ve had our van break down countless times all across America and Europe. We’ve been broke and homeless and shoplifted for gas money. We’ve been constantly touring a few months a year for over ten years now, so we’re bound to run into some trouble every now and then.

who: Copyrights / Masked Intruder / Not Scientist

what: punk showcase

where: Hangar 9

 

when: Friday, November 6

Full Terror Assault: Napalm Death and Obituary Bring Headbanging Heaven to Little Egypt

Venues & Businesses
Full Terror Assualt

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Nashville Pussy: Hedonistic, Hell-bent Hard Rock


Who: seventy-five acts, including Obituary, Napalm Death, Eyehategod, Terrorizer, and Nashville Pussy
What: Full Terror Assault extreme-music festival
Where:
When: 2015-09-10 - 2015-09-12
Pictured: Napalm Death.
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

Headbanging heaven will hit Southern Illinois Thursday through Saturday, September 10 through September 12 at Hog Rock Ranch and Campground in Cave-in-Rock during the Full Terror Assault extreme-music and camping festival. In fact, organizers are calling Full Terror Assault the first European-style open-air festival for extreme-music fans in the United States.

The lineup will boast some seventy-five acts hammering away on three stages. Headliners will include seminal metal acts Napalm Death and Obituary.

Both groups got their start in the 1980s, with Napalm Death inventing the combination of punk, industrial music, and metal called grindcore, while Obituary claims credit for creating death metal. Despite overkill amplification and (sometimes) blistering tempos, however, both produced intricate, challenging— but still eminently headbanging— music.

Moreover, thirty years on, neither has mellowed much, though Napalm Death has undergone more radical transformations, finding newer and more innovative ways to create thunderous roars, from the avant-garde jazz influences of their fan John Zorn to the numbing dirges of Swans. Napalm Death is also noteworthy for the liberal politics their lyrics often propagate. As early as 1992 they excoriated homophobia in song, and not long afterward they covered an antifascist Dead Kennedys classic. Their latest album, Apex Predator— Easy Meat, released in January, includes angry critiques of capitalism’s excesses (“Hierarchies”) and defiant endorsements of nonviolence (“Bloodless Coup”).

Also headlining: the more conventional hard-rock/classic-metal sounds of Nashville Pussy (see last week’s issue for more about that fire-breathing quartet), grindcore pioneers Terrorizer, and sludgy stoner metal band Eyehategod.

Deeper into the lineup, fans will find tons of innovative, up-and-coming talent, from the many alloys of metal to industrial music, punk, hardcore, and thrash.

“I really feel like there is a lot of solid bands on this bill, bands that in the next five years people will look back at the first year and say, ‘Wow, that was such a great lineup,” organizer Shane Bottens tells Nightlife. “I will say this: Just try to check out as many as possible, because there is a lot of different styles to keep it from getting boring and, I think, something for everyone.”

Those who love heavy music— metal in particular— are often more devoted to it than fans of any other musical style. So why did it take so long for someone to organize a twenty-four-hour camping festival around these genres?

I know a lot of people have talked about it for years, how the U.S.A. needs something like the European festivals,” Bottens says. “Me, personally, I have had this in the works for probably six years now. My band Waco Jesus— shameless plug— has toured Europe countless times and has the opportunity of playing festivals like this.

“Maybe the scene was waiting for someone dumb enough to actually give it a try, because there is a lot of work involved in pulling something like this off,” Bottens adds. “I’m hoping this will be the Wacken Festival of the U.S.A., where it can grow yearly and fans can come from all over the globe.”

Bottens chose Southern Illinois, and more specifically Hog Rock Ranch and Campground, as ground zero for Full Terror Assault because of his past experiences playing here in 2012 with his other band, the Hollywood Dirtbags.

“[W]hen I got down there, I knew that place would be perfect for my dream of putting something like [Full Terror Assault] together,” Bottens says. “So I kept in contact with the owner and met with him last year, and now here we are about eleven months later and this historic event is set to take place next week.

“I really can’t believe it is almost showtime, and I will say this: I could not have done it without the help of the campground owner Tim York,” Bottens concludes. “It has been a wild ride getting to this point, and as a music fan and lover of all music genres, it has been rewarding and nerve-wracking at the same time.”

A basic three-day Full Terror Assault pass runs $59.50, with extra charges for parking and recreational-vehicle hookups. The entire schedule and many more details are available at <http://FullTerrorAssault.com>.

who: seventy-five acts, including Obituary, Napalm Death, Eyehategod, Terrorizer, and Nashville Pussy

what: Full Terror Assault extreme-music festival

where: Hog Rock Ranch and Campground

 

when: Thursday through Saturday, September 10 through September 12

NIL8 Returns: A Quarter Century of Punk Rock

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Copyrights

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
Copyrights' Trademark Punk Rock
Copyrights: Stranded on North Sentinel Island
Copyrights: Carbondale’s Premier Punks Issue a Report


Who: NIL8 / Copyrights / Scifilands
What: punk showcase
Where:
When: 2015-04-18
After a long absence, NIL8 returns Saturday, April 18 to the Hangar 9. Locals the Copyrights and Sci
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

After a long absence, NIL8 returns Saturday, April 18 to the Hangar 9. Locals the Copyrights and Scifilands will warm up.

The amped-up foursome from Springfield is celebrating more than twenty-five years of making music. Debuting in 1989, NIL8 tore up the region with raw, punk-pure energy, and that year, the band released their first seven-inch vinyl record, “Last Flash of Paisley Pastel” and “Too Loud.” The followup, Six Inch Extension, came out in 1991, and a couple of years later, the guys signed with Fundamental Records. From there, NIL8 was immersed in the nineties punk-rock scene, performing intense live shows and filling releases with socially conscious songs.

Nightlife recently swapped emails with NIL8 founder Jeff Williams. Read on to find out how Williams feels about making music with his high-school band three decades later and his favorite memories of the Blue Meanies. He also had much to say about love for old technologies and unfortunate cussing fits in front of family.

When you first began playing with NIL8, did you think you would still be playing today?

What? Are you kidding? When I was eighteen and we first started playing, there was no way I thought I would live to thirty, let alone forty or fifty! And now I have been on planet earth for five decades. I’m still in the only band I have ever really been in! The other guys in the band— Damon Soper, Wes Selinger, and my brother Bruce Williams— all play in other bands. The Timmys and Mag have actually both played with us in the old Hangar. But to be around playing the style of music we have played for this long is pretty unbelievable if I try to look at it from the outside. It’s pretty normal to me since I have lived it, I suppose.

What are some of your favorite memories with the band?

Touring with the Blue Meanies, who were our label mates on Chicago-based Fuse Records and who formed in Carbondale. Those were great tours! We got along really well. They had a million people in their band. We could barely make it touring North American through most of the nineties and we were a four-piece. Heck the Meanies had a four-piece horn and organ section.... almost! Good thing we liked peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

We would tour the South and West Coast and Colorado ski-resort towns in the winter. Then East Coast or upper Midwest in summers.

Oh, another really fun tour was opening for Mindless Self Indulgence! That was great!

Of course the first shows you play with a band like that, a band with really loyal fans, you have to not mess about as an opener. We saw a band get destroyed but the crowd. Well, it was because the singer of this other band got too big for his very own britches and tore his shirt off on song number one of their set, tried to do a couple of Iggy Pop moves and tried to emulate that Strokes persona. Oh, the crowd caught on and felt he was being fake, and oh my god, they were ruthless. Booing the literal beep out of them. We were spooked! We thought we were doomed for sure. I think the crowd was being super nice to us, but we had great shows opening for [Mindless Self Indulgence].

The Vandals and Millions of Dead Cops were other bands we had fun touring with. We also played with Uncle Tupelo— members of Wilco and Son Volt— the Specials, Flaming Lips, AFI, Avail, the Jesus Lizard, L7, Less Than Jake, Smashing Pumpkins, Fear. So many. Played the Rock Against Reagan tour with Millions of Dead Cops at the old Illinois state capitol, and yes, there was a police... presence, oops.

What is it like working with your brother?

I love being in a band with my brother! When we used to tour full-time, I know there were times we wanted to strangle the other band members, but that’s just from being in the back of a short bus with no air conditioning for month at a time, tour after tour. Once I flipped out in the Rockies on way to Seattle. I ended up covering myself in ketchup packets. My brother just ignored it and continued resting. I looked like I’d been through the ringer, but he was unfazed by my melodramatics by that point of touring!

What do you hope someone gets from attending a NIL8 show?

Well, I know I don’t want anyone getting hepatitis, but mostly I want to see people having fun, maybe come up and sing part of a song if I ask them to. Also, if my mama happens to come to Carbondale and makes it into the show, please warn me! My mom always seems to appear out of nowhere when I am having my biggest cuss fits! It’s terrible. I try not to talk filthy, but some times I get egged on. It sucks.

How has the industry changed since you first started playing?

Well, it’s nice to have music available for people to hear easily, like Spotify or even Youtube vids, though I still like cassettes and vinyl— just something about those old technologies that I still like.

Do you have any plans to record anytime soon?

Well, I wrote a song called “Twyla, why did you take my oops baby/You know that child’s half mine.” Yeah, we need to record that song for sure! I have been working on paintings for art shows [the] last few years, so we don’t get to play as much as we used to. But it makes me appreciate the moments when we do play. I enjoy them that much more!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am quite sure I have blathered enough. See you son of a bucks soon!

who: NIL8 / Copyrights / Scifilands

what: punk showcase

where: Hangar 9

 

when: Saturday, April 18

Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy: High Energy Brass and Grass

Venues & Businesses
Tres Hombres


Who: Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy
What: punk, bluegrass
Where:
When: 2015-02-18
For one Midwest band, even downtime is filled with to-do lists and coming excitement. “In
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

For one Midwest band, even downtime is filled with to-do lists and coming excitement.

“In the winter we tend to hibernate,” Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy’s lead singer, Jarrod Starling, said. “We are setting on finishing our tours, but we’ve got a lot coming up the rest of the year.”

Carrie Nation rumbles Wednesday, February 18 into Tres Hombres with a high-octane take on Americana bluegrass refashioned in an old-fashioned yet modern way.

Since 2007, the acoustic five-piece band from Wichita, Kansas, has perfected a sound that has been described as a stagecoach in overdrive. The band’s blend of punk, bluegrass, and Dixieland beckons the promise of a wild, spontaneous live performance.

“We are very high-energy,” Starling said. “There is a lot of fast playing.”

Carrie Nation includes Starling, his brother Zachary on the drums and washboard, Tyler Grubb on the slushpump and mandolin, Rev. Aaron Morris on the trumpet, and Garrett Briggeman on the five-string banjo. The band just recently acquired Mark Landry, who had previously been played with rebel bluegrass group Cletus Got Shot, on the bass.

“He’s working out really well,” Starling said. “We had known each other for awhile and seen each other at different shows. He’s a great bass player.”

The hard-working band is used to life on the road, playing more than 250 dates a year in forty states. The band’s first European tour, meanwhile, is coming up this summer.

Starling explained that this work ethic is necessary to gain and regain a musical following in the current, rapidly changing musical climate.

“It’s the way the music industry is nowadays,” Starling said. “It’s hard for any [do-it-yourself] band to make it and stay relevant without being on tour. It’s that way for the bigger acts [too].”

Despite the speed and energy with which they play, Carrie Nation incorporates thoughtful songwriting that attempts to meander through deep, interesting themes. The band’s songs run the gamut of topics about life and love, social satire and labor unions, Civil War ballads, whiskey and women.

Starling, who writes the songs for the band, said he could not choose a favorite tune.

“That’s like trying to choose between your children,” he said.

Carrie Nation has always had the desire to break on through to the other side. Through self-recording, self-publishing and self-booking promotions, Starling explained that each step forward gets the group closer to the future that the members had always dreamed about.

“We always didn’t start out to get rich,” Starling said. “We’d be in the wrong kind of business for that. In the beginning we were just a hometown band of friends. Then we just kept going and hoping to make it a bit further, maybe even pay some of our bills. Then it became, maybe we can pay all of our bills with our playing. And so on. We really just do it for the playing. We all do this to have fun.”

When he is onstage, what does Starling think about?

“Hopefully nothing,” Starling said. “Otherwise the music is not getting the full attention. That’s when you can really get into it. You can’t focus too hard on that there may be only twenty people that have shown up. Once you start thinking that, you can get really down on yourself. And then you’re not having any fun.”

For more information, check out <http://www.CarrieNationAndTheSpeakeasy.com>.

who: Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy

what: punk, bluegrass

where: Tres Hombres

 

when: Wednesday, February 18

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