Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks

In 1984, Articles of Faith would go into the studio to record their seminal debut lp Give Thanks on Reflex Records. With Bob Mould from Husker Du at the helm of production duties, Articles Of Faith would expand on their Midwest meets DC sound to create one of the most unique hardcore lp's of the early 80's. Articles Of Faith formed in 1981 in Chicago releasing the excellent What We Want Is Free 7" in '82, followed by the Wait 7" the following year. The band would really up the ante by releasing a complex lp with songwriting that sounds years beyond what other hardcore bands were creating during the time. Give Thanks opens with the self titled track that is just straight up mind blowing. The dense dual leads throughout the record really create a unique listening experience without sacrificing the bands hardcore roots. Vocalist Vic Bondi's lyrics divulges cynically often articulated with anger an emotion without being preachy. As mentioned before, Bob Mould would twist the knobs on this record and he does a great job in capturing such bold song writing efforts with a great production. I can't recommend this album enough. Seminal Chicago hardcore. Articles would release another lp the following year before disbanding in 1985.

Download Give Thanks HERE

AoF Give Thanks promo video.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Show Review - Outbreak, Soul Control, Opus Noir, Nightwatch - 11/15/09 @ Knickerbockers

I intended this show to be like any other that I have attended and shoot the bands. Instead I learned a hard lesson... check your gear before you leave for the show. By the time I got to the venue the first local band Nightwatch was in mid-set. I quickly tried to get my camera set up to shoot but I couldn't get it to power up. By the time I changed out 3 different sets of batteries I came to find out that taking any show photos was out of the question. By the time I was putting all my gear back into my pack Nightwatch was finishing up their set. Nightwatch are form Omaha, Nebraska and they play a slightly down tuned, harder edged style of hardcore. I think they are pretty good at the style especially for being a young band. But guys... a Reign Supreme cover? I hope with time these guys can find a more original style, but at least they play pretty tight live and they sounded pretty good on Knickerbockers sound stage. I spent the rest of the show up front at the stage and watched the second band play, also from Omaha. Opus Noir play a heavy modern d-beat inspired brand of hardcore and featured their new singer Austin. This was probably the 3rd time I've seen these guys and they get tighter every show. Opus Noir is a band that greatly benefits from playing on a loud sound stage, and they played a near flawless set. Although there wasn't much movement from the crowd, everyone seemed to enjoy their performance. Soul Control from Providence, RI played next and they were the main reason why I wanted to go to the show. After seeing Soul Control at Ghost House just a month before, I was really excited to see them again but playing on the big stage of Knickerbockers. These guys don't disappoint. The band played through what I felt was a fairly short set rocking their heavy groove, post-hardcore styled brand of hardcore played tightly while their vocalist was giving a high energy performance. I really wish I had a working camera for them, but it was fun to watch from up front for a change and hang out with some friends while the bands played. Outbreak played last, and were obviously the crowd favorite for the evening. They played some new songs off the new lp, but when the well known early songs were played, a lot of crowd participation would break out with bursts of sing a longs and plenty of side to side mosh. Outbreak always seems to have a revolving door of members, but the current lineup sure does have an energetic stage presence. Lots of moving about and jumping around throughout that would have made awesome photos. The whole night seemed to go by really fast, and before I knew it the show was over. Overall, it was a pretty good show. All the bands played really well, the turnout wasn't bad and a lot of new faces were in the crowd. Plus, everyone seemed to have a good time. It was pretty fun for me to hang out up front as well. This show happened during the time I spent away from the internet, so it felt really rewarding to just hang out in a fun person to person kind of way. I also learned a valuable lesson: always check your gear before hand. Lesson learned.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Show Pics - Death Before Dishonor, Steel Nation, Nightwatch, Still Alive - 10/27/09 @ In Commons

Crucial Changes is back from life.

As you may have noticed from my previous post, I took a 10+ day cleanse from the e-world. Within those 10 days, Crucial Changes HQ totally shut down: My computer and internet was unplugged, and the cell phone was turned off. Within that time I didn't check any of my email, nor social networking sites but instead had to communicate with everyone in a face to face manner. The only thing I can think of as far as wanting access to instant information were simple things like finding a show and time listing at the movie theatre or map directions to specific locations. With a phone call or two I was able to overcome said "problems".

My time away from the e-world for me was a complete success. Without the distractions of bright glow from the computer screen I was able to take care of things that I have been putting off here at the CCHQ and well as things in my personal life. Here is a broad list of the things I did during my 10 days away:

Detail cleaned the CCHQ, including all the closets and cupboards.

Got out and played 4 game sessions with my board game group.

Went on 3 nature hikes.

Shot 3 rolls of film with a new camera.

Read 4 books.

Listened to 50+ hardcore 7"s, 20+ lp's

Started a new workout routine.

Attended a hardcore show.

Set up future plans for Crucial Changes in 2010.

Got into a good sleeping schedule.

Now that I'm back, CC will be up and rolling in full speed for the remainder of the month. Expect to see plenty of updates, as well as upcoming news and events from the CCHQ. Comments are open, and if anyone else also embarked on a break from the e-world, I would like to hear your experience. Get in touch.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crucial Changes HQ is going off-line (for a week)

The Crucial Changes HQ will be taking a break from the e-world for a week. Starting tonight at midnight: no Internet, no cell phones, no video games, no TV. I will have my land line phone on during this time, so if there is a show coming up that I should be at, you are going to have to call or talk to me face to face. Expect an update of what I did with my time when I get back. You are welcome to join in.

Outbreak and Soul Control will be playing Lincoln on the 15th, and I hope to see all the locals there. Expect show all the show photos soon as well as the Death Before Dishonor photos from a while back.

That's it, see you all next week. Peace.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Clean Sweep announces final show.

Aurora crew hardcore band Clean Sweep (aka Waiting For Change) have decided to break up after playing out for two years, and will have a final show later this week on Nov.14th. Clean Sweep recorded a demo earlier this year, plus a new split cd with pop-punkers Minkus from Omaha. I would like to hope that these kids will continue to play hardcore music. Here is the official word from the bands Myspace page:

We encourage anyone who is our friend or enjoyed us over the years to please come and see us off with a smile. Clean Sweep began in January of 2008, originally named Waiting for Change, making it almost two years of our lives. On our 2009 Hella-Weeners Tour Split, our inserts have a list of thank you's as follows: "Clean Sweep would like to thank: Parents, Friends, Family, Evan Ziska, Nick Miller, Greg Sallans, Sarah Vrana, Brad, Shannon, Justin Rodriguez, Matt Vicars, Moose, Joe, Cody, Mark, Mike, Ian, Nic, Kyra Sallans, Dylan, Dakotah Boeck, John Pinning, Corey Loveland, Tyler Conrad, Alex Kinnerk, Brock, Keith, Lucas@Black Heart Booking, Jeremy Shaeffer, Daybreak Photo and Design, Northeast Audio, WOW Coffeeshop, The Ghost House, Nerdcore House, Millhouse, Lardhouse, Minkus, ERA(rip), Hercules, Ghost Towns(rip), Thunderbolts, Hoof Hearted, Smartbomb, Energy, Punch, Red Handed, The Recession, Gumbi, Greenfields, Scut Farkus, Koizumi, High Dive, Dead Shred, Muridia, Nightwatch, Get Gnarly(rip), Labora Tori, Chuke, Take Charge, Reviver, Kevin Seconds, Off With Their Heads, Cave Kids, Kepi Ghoulie, No Harm Done, Bear Trap, POW, Opus Noir, Give To the Winds, More Than Conquerers, Falling to Grace and anyone who has ever bought a CD, watched us, or listened.


And no thanks to Timothy Ostdiek of Scottsbluff, NE. We hope you get what's coming to you

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Accidental Therapy presents: Starving Artist Art Sale

Ross @ Accidental Therapy will be hosting a big underground art sale on Nov. 15th @ The Bourbon Theatre (1415 O St.) in Lincoln, NE. Starving Artist Art Sale will feature the work of local and national artists: Raws, The Butch Dick Collection, Ben Swift, Pawl Tisdale, Courtney Lore, Ron Albertson, Zef, Stacey Roller. Showing lasts from 5pm to 9pm w/ live music from Kansas City industrial unit Sewn Leather playing at 8pm. $1 donation. All art is under $50.

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:
- raws.
- 28
- Lincoln, NE
- Wasteoid
- Plack Blague
- Ezra
- dj:okyo-ton
- 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
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?


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: (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

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.