Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Scene Report 2013


Hey, what up?  I just celebrated my birthday yesterday and even though I do feel somewhat old, yet still feel young in the mind.  I often go through phases in my mind where I go back n’ forth with following punk rock as close as I do both locally and nationally, but it is something that I have truly love and cannot just walk away from it all.  Even though I live in a city/area of the country that doesn't have a large following of punk/hardcore/metal, the small scene that we do have is quite passionate about what we do, and it’s too important for me not to stop covering it.   The shows I have been attending recently have also been a lot of fun, and it‘s been great to get to know the local bands and show-goers.

I have been thinking about some new format ideas for the zines and one of the new ideas I’m doing from now on is dividing the scene reports on each city instead of a long rambling paragraph.  This will allow me to leave more room to talk about unique happenings in each city as free up more room to talk about more bands.  It has also appeared that I have been making short journal entries along the way.


Just saw a really fun all-local show last night, with Relentless Approach playing their tour kick-off show.  Sister Kisser and Pisswalker also played.  It was a pretty relaxing atmosphere, and the bands fucking CRUSHED.  I am quite impressed with these three bands right now, and I can’t wait to hear recorded material from Pisswalker.  I was actually expecting a lot more people being there, but everyone who showed up were among friends.  In between bands/set up I took the time to actually check out the gallery section of the show space and got to meet someone new who follows the CC blog, always a fun experience.

Summer Scene Report 2013


Astral Menace
After a mild and rainy spring season, summer is finally here.  As the weather gets warmer here in Nebraska, the frequency of shows and local bands activity seems to heat up as well.  Starting off, local grind freaks Astral Menace have recently released their debut cassette album titled Fuck Your Planet via Purity Records and have continued to play out shows frequently quickly becoming one of my most frequently seen local bands for the first half of the year.  Astral Menace play straight up grind metal, with a lot of death metal influences thrown in.  The band has fairly recently expanded from a 2-piece guitar and drums duo to a 3-piece adding a vocalist Mitch who also provides backing noize.  The new lineup has really brought the band to a different level live making them really exciting to see them play.  Astral Menace has been playing out on the road a bit as well, so be sure to check em’ out if they come to an area near you.

Hardcore punks Relentless Approach continues it’s high output of releases and constant touring well throughout the year.  Expect a new 7”  flexi to be released any day now titled Constant State Of Conflict a split label release on Bezerker Records/World Trade Records.  The band has a  tour lined up in support of the new record.  Relentless Approach will be making another appearance at Beer Fest in Wisconsin later this summer.  Relentless Approach vocalist Thomas Parkinson  has also been a breath of fresh air in the local scene since moving here eastern Iowa and along with bringing with him his own record label, he also has been busy filming videos of local hardcore and punk shows, as well as providing some screen printing for people throughout the city, including screen printing CD-rs and stickers for Crucial Changes.

Other bands playing out and doing things include doom masters Bruja who have recently added a bassist making their live set even more brutal.  Bruja has some new demos floating around, so with luck an official release of some sort is just around the corner.  These guys are really fucking powerful live and are definitely worth seeing.  Local upstart hardcore punks Pisswalker have been playing out a bit more.  Word is from vocalist Martin Gonzalez, a demo is currently in the works with a release date later this summer.   Rounding out Omaha, I’ve recently caught local punk band Sister Kisser recently at a basement show and they are always fun to see live.  They play a unique mid-paced style of punk that is really refreshing.  They are also a really strong draw in town making the shows really interesting bringing in a fresh mix of people to the shows.  Rounding out the Omaha local scene news, a new split tape is available now from harsh noize/power electronics duo Moralton Eggtrade, this time teaming up with Aqua-Eroticum that I’m sure you will hate.  Also coming out this summer are the debut 7” by heavy rock gods Feral Hands slated to be out in July, and a new cassette demo by long-running metal act Borealis out in August.  Lastly, brand new hardcore/stoner rock influenced band Varmint plan on releasing a demo this summer.


The underground scene in Lincoln seems to really be moving into full gear right now, with a lot of bands playing out, releasing records, and touring.  Mosh masters Bent Life have been quite busy in the last year or so after singing to LA hardcore label 6131 Records, playing out of town that seems like all the time, and even playing larger hardcore fests on the coasts.  It’s really interesting for me to see friends of mine playing in a successful touring band and yet, still get very little attention locally in both Lincoln and Omaha.  Bent Life are slated to drop their follow up 7” soon via 6131 Records titled Full Skull.  Bent Life tours all the time and play all over, so be sure to check em’ out if they come near you.

Death metal/grind powerhouse Feeder/Gainer has been playing out a bit more in Omaha allowing me to
catch their impressive live show recently.  These guys play super tight live and are heavy as fuck.  Their songs are really quite long as well that really adds to the impressiveness of their set.  Every show I see them play they continue to grow in songwriting ability and tightness.  Feeder/Gainer have recently hit the road for a week with Omaha grind band Astral Menace playing dates down to Texas and back.  I expect these guys to be around a good while with a lot of promise for the future.

The cult of burning hair aka Vickers has been continually playing out and being active since their inception playing shows out of town, as well as plans to release a new 7” titled Satanic Blasphemy due out soon.   These guys play out quite a bit, so be sure to check em’ out if you get a chance.  They put on quite the show.

The long running old school death metal band Ezra, has been super active in recent months expanding their live shows out to Omaha as well as hosting well received local shows put on in Lincoln.  Every time I see these guys live, they floor me getting faster, more brutal and tighter.  Singer/vocalist Scott Schlesinger has a strong stage presence as he plays his ass off.  I would love to hear updated recordings of this band, their live show is brutal as fuck

Rounding out the local Lincoln scene, metal seems to really be up and coming with bands who have been around for a little while getting better promotion adding a lot more variety to local shows.  Insane total blasting grind/death metal band Garoted have recently been getting shows in Lincoln and from what I've heard is that they are impressive live.  Hopefully sometime this summer I can catch them soon.  Another grind band Drowning In The Platte seem to be getting more active playing out playing in support with Ezra in Lincoln in an upcoming all-local metal show.  Drowning In The Platte were cool enough to submit a song to my latest compilation mix CD-r, and even though I was totally unfamiliar with the band, the song they sent me was impressive, so it went on the comp.  Good shit.

Crucial Changes News

Here at the CCHQ, things have been quite busy with a really strong interest in my zines and recent compilation CD-r that has come out a few months.  I am currently on my 3rd printing of my Spring 2013 issue with only a few remaining.  I have been waiting patiently for MRR to review this issue to see what they think.  They always seem to write good things, and once their reviews are printed I usually get a stream of out-of-state orders to fulfill.  I will keep printings available for a a short while as well for anyone who has missed getting a copy.  I am also on my 4th printing of my third all-local cd-r compilation with still a handful of copies left.  Contact me if you are interested in getting one, I’m really happy with how the entire project turned out with so many bands participating.

I am still waiting patiently to get a printable version of the next issue of Pointless Existence from local Martin Gonzalez.  It will be available when it’s ready, that is the only news I have on the project currently.  I would also like to report that there will not be a reprinting of issue #2 of local art zine Devil’s Blues.  Zine creator Taylor Smith has different plans for his creativity, but hopefully he will continue to produce a zine sometime in the future.  If he ever changes his mind,  expect Crucial Changes Printing Press to print it.

In other Crucial Changes news, I have recently purchased a new film camera to shoot shows with.  I found a Pentax ME Super on eBay that came with a lens, flash kit, nylon carrying case, and a manual that was at such a great price I couldn't pass it up.  The camera itself is pretty much fully manual creating a new and exciting challenge for my photography skills.  I have currently shot 1 show with this new camera and have yet to get it developed.  I'm expecting some interesting results.  My birthday was just yesterday (34 now), and as a gift from my parents, I'll be getting a bed scanner/film negative scanner sometime soon (later than sooner).  Once I get a bed scanner, I can begin to create true cut-and-paste style layouts for my zines making them more aesthetically appealing.  The model I will be getting also has a feature that lets you scan film negatives.  If this feature works well, I will then be completely DIY in the respect that I will be doing everything in-house when it comes to the production of my zines/projects.  I have plans in the future to meet up with a friend who really knows a lot about developing film to hook me up with a canister and teach me how to use it.  Once I am completely self-sustained creatively,  I will be able to upload photos much more quickly than before hopefully making the blog and zines more relevant.  There will be a learning curve involved with my new ideas, but I feel once I learn everything, the quality will be at a high level.

I recently went on a 120mm film tirade shooting 5 shows in a row with my Holga camera.  I recently got the photos back, and they always turn out so amazing.  For such a cheap/simple camera, it really does produce such great photos.  Because they turned out so good, I'm really inspired to continue to shoot shows in 120mm with this camera.

In final Crucial Changes news, I have recently been asked to participate in a an art showing displaying my photography at the Sweatshop Gallery in Omaha.  It‘s been a slow process commutating back and fourth with the gallery,  but my plans are to display my favorite live band shots of local bands from the last 3-6 months as well as a one-off photo zine featuring the same photos as those displayed on the walls.  Both prints and zines will be available at affordable prices.  More info on that once it completely solidifies.  That’s it!  Have a great and safe summer.  Cheers!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Live show footage of local shows by Thomas Parkinson

Thomas Parkinson was nice enough to let me blog live show footage from recent punk and hardcore shows he's been attending.  He also is the vocalist/guitarist of the awesome local hardcore punk band Relentless Approach.  You can view all of his other videos via his youtube channel.

Photos from last night's all-local Feeder//Gainer + Astral Menace tour kickoff show 6/6/13.  See them live.

Tiger Blowjob


Astral Menace

Sister Kisser