Monday, November 2, 2009
Local Spotlight #4 Double Feature! - Accidental Therapy and Blackheart Booking
Finally I have a new local spotlight for all the readers of Crucial Changes! This time my local spotlight is a double feature of two local show promoters: Ross from Accidental Therapy and Lucas from Blackheart Booking. These guys have been doing underground DIY shows in Nebraska for some years now, and have brought a lot of great acts to the stages and basements of Lincoln and Omaha. Here are the interviews, enjoy.
Interview with Ross from Accidental Therapy:
Tell me about yourself and what Accidental Therapy is:
- Lincoln, NE
- Plack Blague
- backup dancer for Faggot
- Skull servant
- Accidental Therapy
- Accidental Therapy is an idea of expanding minds through visual and audio conceptions. It also defines myself as a person with music, art, and just everyday living. It revolves around making things happen in a town where counterculture ideals are just kind of shrugged off and looked down upon. Accidental Therapy brings traveling bands, artists, and freaks to Lincoln, Nebraska where hopefully it provides a sort of entertainment to the pubic and to myself.
How did AT get started? What was your first show?
- Accidental Therapy started basically because I just wanted to see bands that I really enjoy play shows here. I have also released cassettes under the name and have done one zine so far, consisting of flyers that I have made for shows I booked or at least played. Its about meeting new people from anywhere in the world and bonding with like-mind individuals. I was also intrigued by the people that hosted shows for touring underground bands when I started going to shows. I guess I just really appreciated the work they did to have amazing bands play in the middle of nowhere. I started booking shows in Lincoln in 1999 and eventually the Accidental Therapy tag and logo just started appearing on my flyers. It was kind of a joke at first, like I was some sort of "production" agency, but I just stuck with it. Its kind of a way of letting people know what kind of show or party they're getting themselves into.
The first "real" show I booked was in January of '99 with Wormwood, Esoteric and The Scientific Method. It was as my friend Phil's house on 34th and Vine here in Lincoln. Wormwood was from Lawrence, Kansas at the time and I was super into knowing any or all bass and drum bands around. I was also really into writing bands alt the time, making pen-pals, trading tapes, zines and such. So, I asked Wormwood to play and it actually happened!! (haha) I remember just how fucking sick and heavy it was. Esoteric seriously blew me away that night and it was my first of many experiences with Wormwood. It was very memorable because it was sort of a first time that I really got to meet people I had been corresponding with through the mail. It was also a night where I really got to make a lot of new friends here and it really felt like a "scene" was establishing. (edit: the people in charge of booking the punk shows at the time were starting to get burnt out by it and I knew I could step in and take over!!)
What are the top 5 shows that AT has put on over the years?
- Man, there really are so many fun and crazy shows that have happened over the years that its hard to come up with just five.
1. White Mice / Coughs / Plack Blague / Clean Plate Club @ Duffy's Tavern - I've never seen a show where people actually felt sickened by a band. Coughs were this sort of no-wave noise metal band out of Chicago. When they were playing, the singer was just going nuts at the audience, screaming her brains out. She was walking up to people taking their drinks out of their hands and dumping them on her head, then continuing to head bang their drinks at them. She was walking around on the tables freaking out, dumping the trash cans on her, wearing the trash cans while performing and stomping on broken glass. She cut her foot real bad and every step she took would just create a puddle of blood on the floor. People seriously got grossed out and couldn't handle it. The crowd just totally moved back away from the band actually started walking out. I thought it was the most brutal shit to happen. Oh yeah, and one of the guys in the band had implanted boobs. White Mice played in super bloody lab coats and giant bloody mice heads to the loudest and noisiest metal possible. Their presence alone was astonishing!
2. SSION / PLACK BLAGUE / SAT IN WHAT @ Box Awesome - Sold Out! Ssion puts on some of the best live performances around. They're really over the top sleazy pop music with videos, stage props, make-up and major dance parties. This was just a night of debauchery with nudity and all. The Box was super packed that night and by the time it was over, everybody there was drenched in sweat and smiles on their faces.
3. FAGGOT (every show they played here) - This band is close to my heart and some of my best friends, so every time they're around, its going to be nuts. They did shows at the Via Punx house, Box Awesome, The Chatterbox, and Duffy's. Their show at Duffy's was definitely the craziest of them all...the singer got sucked off on stage by some random crowd participant. By the end of their sets, people are usually naked and covered in glitter.
4. THE LOCUST / LE SHOK / WASTEOID / ARMATRON / THE CONVOCATION OF.. @ the Culture Center - This was my first "big" show where people came from all over the Midwest. There were well over 200 people in attendance and it was super gratifying to me and cool seeing so many kids traveling just for this show. I remember The Locust being really late for this and time was a weird factor because you could only rent the building for a few hours. It was kind of stressful at the time, but everything worked out fine. I actually think Le Shok stole the show, since The Locust had played in Lincoln about 5 times before this.
5. FRIENDS FOREVER @ Van Dorn Parking lot - I think anyone that was at this show can agree that this was possibly the coolest show to ever happen in Lincoln. Friends Forever had pulled up to this parking lot and set up this makeshift football stadium in and around their van....that the drummer played inside of. They had AstroTurf on the ground where they played and a rotating goal post on top of the van. A whole bunch of people showed up for this show and partied in the park for it. The Friends just went off on their noise, blowing fireworks off their heads, smoke machines in the van, tons of lights and sirens going off, throwing footballs over the goal post and just causing a racket. The cops showed up and just stood there wondering what the hell is going on. (This is also on the first anniversary of 9/11) They didn't know what to do so they just stood there smiling and watched till the band was finished. All they said was, "make sure nobody is drinking out here", then left. It was amazing.
Who is the most interesting band you've done a show for?
Do you only put on shows that you are interested in or can bands contact you?
- Its actually both. A lot of the time, the bands that contact me are either people I know and am already interested in or people I want to get interested in. Bands can contact me all they like, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I want to just book ANY bands. I'm interested in bands and artists that ARE interesting, maybe even a little shocking.
What are AT's plans for the future?
- Its kind of hard to pinpoint what to expect. I hope to provide bigger shows and actually set up more art shows. I would like to get another flyer zine done soon since I have enough material to probably even make two. So if you have any printer hookups, get in touch with me!! Maybe even make a living as Accidental Therapy!! (god, that is soooooo not punk)
Any good shows coming up soon that we should know about?
- GWAR / EZRA / DIRTFEDD / BLOODCOW @ the Bourbon Theatre - November 10th
- SSION and 'BOY' movie premier - February??
What is your current playlist?
- Kylie Minogue - 'Boombox' single/remixes
- Cripple Bastards - 'Variante Alla Morte'
- Minch - 'discography'
- Psychic TV - 'Allegory and Self'
- Burning Witch - 'Towers'
- Violator X Plack Blague remixes
- Master - 'Slaves To Society'
- J.J. Fad - 'Now Really' single
Top releases of the year so far?
1. THIS COMP KILLS FASCISTS - double lp and 7x7" box set
2. BRUTAL TRUTH - 'Evolution Through Revolution'
3. FAGGOT - 'The Cleaner' music video by Troma Entertainment
4. COCK E.S.P. / EXTREME NOISE TERROR - split 5"
5. BASTARD NOISE - 'Rogue Astronaut' & 'Our Earth's Blood IV'
6. 'SEXPRESSIONIST PORTRAITS' book by: Steven Johnson Leyba
Most underrated local band?
- Sat In What
Sad Wings Of Destiny or Sin After Sin?
- ROCKA ROLLA
I see you do original artwork too. Is it all for AT shows exclusively or is it something separate?
- Well, I consider Accidental Therapy as part of my music, booking bands, and my art. At times my artwork is a separate entity, but I sometimes showcase my artwork with the Accidental Therapy name. I have been doing a lot of painting and photography over the years and of course flyer making is a big part of my artwork. Even when I make flyers for non AT shows, I still tag the flyer with my logo in the sense of a signature. I also did a collection of flyers that were put together in a half-size zine. It was mostly distributed on the last Wasteoid west coast tour. I'm very interested in classic "punk" flyers and artwork as well as collage and mixed media work.
Any final shout outs and rants?
- Thanks to you Keith and Crucial Changes. I appreciate the work you put into this by taking photos, going to shows, and being resourceful to the Nebraska "underground" scene. Feel free to contact me at:
http://www.accidentaltherapy.com (hopefully I'll update by the time this is out)
Interview with Lucas from Blackheart Booking:
Briefly tell me about yourself and what Blackheart Booking is:
I'm Lucas Wright. I work as a graphic designer doing promotional material for a company that sells RV parts during the day. When I was in high school I found out that I was better at helping to run/put together shows than I was singing and playing guitar. So I started setting up shows for my friends bands. I like all kinds of different music from punk to folk and country or hip hop. kinda depends on my mood. I have 2 boys and my girlfriend Heather and I moved to Omaha from Kearney in May of 2008.
Well, Black Heart Booking is basically just me, Lucas Wright doing all different types of shows. For about 90% of Black Heart Booking shows I make arrangements, design flyers, promote and run door or sound (or both) etc etc. Black Heart Booking is just a name I can put on flyers and websites so I don't have to say "Lucas Wright presents..."
What services does BHB provide?
Pretty much everything! I've set up mini-tours (anywhere from 4-16 consecutive dates); I set up shows by talking to bands and venues; design/print/distribute flyers; promote shows in unique ways (for one show we handed out balloons with the flyer info on them and I gave away free cd's with songs from the bands that will play an up-coming show, etc); promote shows online with myspace/facebook/diy board; run the door and/or sound at the show (I also have my own PA if anybody is in a bind and needs some good equipment!).
What were shows in Kearney NE like, and why the move to Omaha?
Well, being a college town the "scene" would change every few years I discovered over my time living there. I worked with about or 5 main all ages venues over the 6 years I booked shows there. A few main-stays and a few places that would spring up and then close down in a relatively short amount of time. At the height of things there were regularly 100-150 people at most shows and I'd barely have to promote, mostly due to word of mouth. (not bragging, just sayin'). Also the fact that there wasn't really any competition because it was such a small town.
Heather (my girlfriend) and I left Kearney because we wanted to raise our family here in Omaha where there is a lot more opportunity as far as jobs and diversity for our children. Also, there are a LOT of venues in Omaha!! We moved here when she was 9 months pregnant, 3 weeks before our 1st son was born. Also, the scene in Kearney was reeeeally going down hill. When I left there was basically one all ages venue left in town (the Roman) which has since closed.
What are your favorite shows you have set up over the years?
Wow! that's a really tough question! but honestly, I'd have to say those shows that ended up resulting in long-term relationships with bands are my favorite ones. Or doing shows with my friends. same thing really.
For example, I always look forward to doing shows with my old buddies Kev & Lance (from mother pile/life of a scarecrow/dave granger/for the warrior). Or my pals Mike Got Spiked from Ireland. Those end up being crazy drunken nights! The Rainman Suite from LA are good friends of mine. Samuel Locke-Ward from Iowa City is in a few different bands and is a super rad guy. I always try to help out these bands and help all of my friends whenever I can to get them a show make sure they have a good time!
What was the most interesting show you have put on?
Interesting can be interpreted in so many ways...
If you mean craziest most out of control, I'd have to say my graduation party, Puke-A-Palooza. 9 different bands played over a 6 hour period and we collectively went through 4 kegs! haha
One time the owner of the Roman went up on stage and turned off one of the amps of a band member because they were "too loud". things really got crazy that night!
What are the future plans for BHB?
I'm not really sure. I'll probably continue to do what I've been doing for the last 7 years which is doing shows with bands I like and my friends.
Any good shows coming up you think we should know about?
Well, I think all of my shows are good shows! I know your main audience is punk/hardcore and I listen to a lot of different types of music and I guess that's reflected in my shows. But the up-coming shows I have that Crucial Changes readers would probably like most are:
Oct 24th: Gordon Shumway / Aseethe / Shores of the Tundra @ the 49'r (doom/metal/ambient for fans of Sunn 0))), Pelican, Isis, etc) Aseethe & SOTT are from Iowa City.
Nov 7th: Byleth / Truth In Ruin / Gordon Shumway / Humanoid Typhoon / Rivercourt @ the Commons (black metal/hardcore/pop punk) a good all local show!
Nov 13th: Get Laid (from MA) / Life Of A Scarecrow / Wooden Coat @ 12 Deep (metal / prog / punk / hardcore mix of bands)
for a complete list of shows you can visit myspace.com/blackheartbooking
What are your favorite local hardcore/punk bands?
Mail Your Bombs, Hercules, Mother Pile/Life Of A Scarecrow, Hominoid, Eastern Turkish, Truth In Ruin. There are a ton of bands I'd like to see but I don't make it out to a lot of shows besides the ones I book since I have a family and this "responsibility" thing!
FUN STUFF: If you were on a desert island and can only have 1 album to listen to, what would it be?
Easy, the Clash's Sandista.
If you could book shows at any US venue, large or small, what would it be, and what bands would be the ultimate show?
Good question. If it were any band at any time over the history of music, I'd book the Clash, the Ramones, Johnny Cash & Hank Williams. Outlaw Country was punk rock before there was punk rock if you think about it. I mean, decades before punk, Hank Williams was an alcoholic pill-poppin' rebel who died in the back of a Cadillac and Johnny Cash had his own drug addiction and was wearing black and trashing hotel rooms and stuff way before that was "cool".
As far as the venue...I'd probably just do it at Sokol! haha I mean, I've been to some of the larger venues in the region (in Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, KC) and a lot of them are either just too big or too impersonal. Sokol is just about right and the sound is always really decent there. The Slowdown would be a close second. That place is rad but Sokol's capacity is more.
Would you ever consider opening your own venue?
I would love to if I could afford it and make enough money to support myself and my family.
Any final shout outs or rants?
Um, I'd like to thank everybody that'd I've met so far since I've been here in Omaha (all the bands, Ghost House crew, etc etc) and I really look forward to doing shows in Omaha for years to come! If you see me at a show, feel free to chat me up! I'm a pretty laid-back easy-going kinda guy! :)
Thank you Keith! you rule for doing Crucial Changes! you're awesome at taking pictures too.