Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick update - Second printing of Mix CD-R Vol. 1 nearly finished

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the second and final printing of the Crucial Changes Mix CD-R Vol. 1 is nearly finished.  I spent most of the afternoon and evening re-designing the cd sleeves, printing, cutting, and manufacturing.  Second print is limited to 40 pieces, with four different sleeve colors:  red, orange, yellow, and blue on heavy 64 weight textured cardstock.  Due to the thickness of the paper, only one side could be printed.  The insert booklet from first printing remains.  Tomorrow, I burn the cds and will have everyting ready to sell the following day.  Expect an update once they are ready, and how they can be purchased.  That's it for now, NYC travel story will be up next.  Peace.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Review - Rainy Road Records' Record Store Day special

As some of you know, last Saturday was Record Store Day.  I was among some of the few who trudged out that morning to hit up the local record stores to peep out some exclusives and to have a few hours to myself before I had to head to work.  My favorite local spot for wax has always been the Antiquarium, and after looking around in the racks I noticed a hand written note that read something along the lines of "Record Day Special - buy both Rainy Road Records tapes and get the 7" for $3 off".  I was just at the store earlier in the week so I pretty much knew what was in the dust bins, so I thought, "Fuck it, it's local music I haven't heard before, I'll check it out".  The tapes are: The Shanks "I'd Fuck Me", and Peace Of Shit self titled effort, along with the Watching The Train Wreck - Serve Very Loud 7".  Here is my review...

I'm gonna start with the Watching The Train Wreck 7" titled : Serve Very Loud, first because it has the fewest songs.  OK, first things first... this record plays at 45rpm but the label says 33 1/3, hhhmmmm?  Anyway, Watching The Train Wreck play what sounds to me like a garage rock version of Nirvana, especially the 1st side with it's locked grooves and a vocal presence not unlike that of everyone's favorite dead 90's rocker.  Side 2 mixes it up style wise with more pronounced jangly guitar lines.  All the songs are pretty lo-fi, and pretty much stay at a medium pace never straying anywhere near hardcore speeds.  The four songs on this 7" are all played tightly, and the shredding fuzzed guitar leads are the highlights of the songwriting for me.  Not bad.  I'd like to see these guys live.  The packaging on this 7" is screen printed heavy cardstock that give the record a personal touch.  The record it's self is lathe cut clear plastic, which to me doesn't sound as good as vinyl, but after researching the process on how lathe records are made, it's a good alternative if you plan on releasing limited quantities of your record.  This record is limited to 50 pieces, I got number 20.  The price tag on the record may scare you away, but luckily for you cheap skates out there, you can stream the entire record HERE.  4-song 7"  No lyric sheet.

Peace Of Shit serves up 10 tracks on their self titled debut cassette.  After a short drum/guitar intro, a nice barrage of "77 style 3 chord punk (with ample amounts of reverb) is whipped into a fury with the song "Out Of Our Heads".  Hot leads and lots of screaming!  Fuck yeah, not a bad start.  However, this tape seems to have a split personality with awesome straightforward punk tunes sprinkled in with mostly pop oriented garage rock songs that really don't do much for me.  The song "Panic In the Streets" has a nice punk vibe a la The Spits.  If this were a 45 single of "Out Of Our Heads" b/w "Panic In The Streets", this would be THE SHIT.  As a whole though, it's only OK.  Stream the entire tape HERE.  10-song pro printed cassette, limited to 100.  No lyric sheet.

The Shanks play straight punk complete with barre-chords and a 1-2 drum beat.  With great song titles like:  "She Could Be A Hooker", "I Got Fleas", "Throwaway Girls", and "Sex Feels So Good", you get 15 sleazy tracks on this cassette of b-sides and rarities appropriately titled: "I'd Fuck Me".  The song writing stays well within the mid-paced range with more of an emphasis of attitude than power.  The vocalist gets most of my attention here with his strains, shrieks, and groans as he shouts throughout the songs.  The actual playing on these songs sound quite sloppy but adds to the mood the songs create.  Not bad.  I'd love to see these guys in a house show setting.  Stream the entire tape HERE.  15-song pro printed cassette, limited to 100.  No lyric sheet.

Rainy Road Records
P.O. Box 31704
Omaha, NE 68131

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Scene Report


Mad Ave in Lincoln
We have survived yet another winter out here in the Great Plains, and after a fairly mild season it's time to get things rolling for spring.  As cliche as could be, spring always brings new and changing events. The local Nebraska hardcore scene has and will be going through considerable changes throughout the year.  Down in Lincoln, the new all ages venue Mad Ave will be opening it's doors next month and the folks there have been getting the shows for the spring and summer booked.  This is an exciting chapter just beginning for the city of Lincoln, and the state in general.  I wish them the best of luck.  Just as Nebraska is getting a new venue in Lincoln, Omaha's punk house The Manor has ended due to fire damage in an accident last month.  Don't worry, no one was injured.  This is been somewhat of a setback for the local scene, but other local establishments have been stepping it up working with the promoters to fill in the gaps.  I hope the people formally of The Manor can find a new house to host shows.  Expect updates on the story as it happens.  Newer Omaha venue The Sandbox has been upping the amount of shows happening in area.  I finally got a chance to check the place out and it's a nice space.

Bent Life
For local band activity, Wasteoid, Bent Life, and The Fucking Party have upcoming tours planned.  Tour dates are listed below.  In other local band news, John from Vandal Eyez will be moving away, but the band will remain intact with a new vocalist and band name.  Melodic rockers, Ties has been actively playing out, and are finishing up recording their debut album as I type this.  They have been playing some new songs live and they sounds pretty good.  I'm hoping this new record comes out soon, and expect a review once I get my paws on a copy. Omaha rockers The Fucking Party have been playing out and have been recording just in time to head out on an extensive month long tour in July. They also recently started a new blog that has all the bands updates to keep everyone in-the-know. Finally, tapes are still available from Places We Slept and Vickers, so be sure to scoop one up before they are gone.  Read my reviews on both bands releases HERE.

Crucial Changes staff hard at work
In Crucial Changes news; the first run of the Mix CD-R are long gone.  The production of the cds takes some time, so expect to see the 2nd and final run produced and ready to sell within a week or two.  Also lined up is a new zine featuring reprints of all the Local Spotlights since the printing of my first zine, plus a printed exclusive feature to be announced later.  Mid-summer, I'd like to open submissions for a second mix cd.  Other plans I have here at the CCHQ include more local record reviews of bands that I don't necessarily get to see play out.  All reviews will continue to be genre specific to punk/hardcore/noise.  Local bands, get in touch.  Only physical releases will be reviewed.  That's it for now, see everyone at the shows.  Peace.



May 26th - Lincoln, NE @ Mad Ave
May 27th - Minneapolis, MN @ The Rat Hole
May 28th - Madison, WI - @ Willies St. Pub and Grill
May 29th - Chicago, IL - @ tba
The Fucking Party
Summer Tour 2011
7/3 Iowa City
7/4 Madison, WI
7/5 Milwaukee, WI
7/6 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
7/7 Indianapolis, IN
7/8 Columbus, OH
7/10 Cleveland, OH @ Now Thats Class
7/11 Pittsburgh, PA
7/12 Philadelphia, PA
7/13 NYC
7/14 NYC
7/15 Washington, DC
7/16 Richmond, VA
7/17 Raleigh, NC
7/18 Asheville, NC
7/19 Atlanta, GA
7/20 Birmingham, TN
7/21 Memphis, TN
7/22 Springfield, MO
7/23 St. Louis, MO
7/24 Columbia, MO
7/25 Kansas City, MO

Here is a list of some of the shows booked at Mad Ave for late spring/early summer:

Tuesday, May 24th
- Weekend Nachos (IL)
- The Afternoon Gentlemen (UK)
- Bear Trap (MA)
- Caulfield (CA)
- Discourse
- Wooden Coat

Thursday, May 26th
- Wasteoid *TOUR KICKOFF*

Sunday, May 29th
- The Truth Inside
- The Wasteoids

Saturday, June 4th
- Gorilla Warfare
- For The Life Of Me
- Learning To Fall
- Light The Fuse

Thursday, June 9th
- Witch Haven

Saturday, June 11th
- Tinsel Teeth

Monday, June 13th
- Algernon Cadwallader

Friday, June 24th
- Bent Life *Return Home Show*

Tuesday, July 12th
- Full Of Hell
- Agress

Lots of underground shows are always happening; check Nebraska DIY for all the listings.

Thursday, April 14, 2011