Thursday, December 29, 2016

1/20 Library After Dark Series

Happy New Year! 37FLOOD is turning 10 years old this year! And to mark this occasion, we have exciting projects in the works for 2017. One exciting project we are a part of for January, is being a sponsor of the Louisville Free Public Library's new local streaming service 'Louisville Mix' and the new 'Library After Dark' music series! Louisville Mix is a streaming service of local music hosted by LFPL. (read more about Louisville Mix here).


Please join us on Jan. 20th at the main branch at 301 York Street from 7-11 for a 2 stage, 6 band Louisville Mix showcase host by 1200!
the event is free and all ages and includes music by Jonathan Glen Wood, RMLLW2LLZ, Justin Paul Lewis, Billy Nelson, Brooks Ritter and more! The event page is here.




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Interview: Pat King of Skam Impaired

Interview with Pat King of the Post Ska-Punk louisville band Skam Impaired on the Reunion show at Headliners Dec. 30th 15 years to the day after their last show in 2001 (following a 5 year career releasing 3 LPs)

37) it's been 15 years since your last show, what was the motivation for dusting off the ol' plaid pants and reuniting?

PK- So the idea spawned back in March.  It had been one year since my niece had passed away and I was having one of those nights of reflection.  For whatever reason, the idea of playing a reunion show popped into my head.  I really didn’t expect the idea to manifest into anything real, but suddenly I started writing to the members of Skam Impaired, Left Out, Five Hours (members of the Kodiaks) and the Lynnwoods.  I knew it couldn’t just be a Skam show. If it was going to happen, it was going to be with our friends.  

Skam, Left Out and The Lynnwoods played so many shows together throughout the 90s that it wouldn’t have felt right not doing this with at least one of them.  Left Out was the first to confirm.  They were great friends and also played their last show in 2001.  That was enough for me to make this thing real.  Five Hours agreed to play at first, but not all the core members could commit in the end.  A few of the members went on to start the Kodiaks around 2001 or 2002, and confirmed that they would be able to play.  Ultimately, the Lynnwoods couldn’t commit to the date.  

To answer the question, if it weren’t for Left Out and The Kodiaks joining in, then this show wouldn’t be happening.  The most important aspect of Skam Impaired for me was the community.  I’m excited to play again, but I'm even more excited that I’ll have a chance to stand in the audience and hang out with old friends watching my favorite bands from that era.



37) the reunion show falls on the 20th anniversary of your first full length album 'If It Ain’t Too Broke' was this planned or a coincidence?

PK- Not planned! The stranger coincidence is that it is exactly 15 years since we played our last show on Dec. 30th of 2001.  When we booked the show, the date was more about finding a time that worked for everyone. It wasn’t until after we nailed down the date that I realized the milestone significance to the last time we played together.  


37) who from the original line up will be in the reunited band, and what new faces will we see?

PK- The biggest unknown has been whether or not Nick Dixon will be joining us on the drums in some capacity.  We adore Nick.  He’s been a dear friend and was a solid drummer, but wasn’t able to commit to the show.  So we reached out to a few other drummers to see who could fill in and found Sean Johnson.  It’s our first time playing with Sean, but he was a regular face at Skam shows...that familiar connection feels right.  He’s also a talented drummer and just a great person. We’re completely looking forward to adding his energy to the band.

Otherwise, we’ve got the remaining core members joining in.  We’ve also added Melanie Dillman on trumpet to help round out the horn section. 

37) from 1994 to 2001 Skam-Impaired released 3 full length albums as well as 7"s and cassettes, how much of your catalogue will you be covering, and will any of it be available at the show?

PK- Our set will span through our entire catalogue, but we’re definitely focused on the historical crowd favorites.  We’re not trying to pull any surprises musically.  Largely our efforts are going to be just making sure we can actually pull this off!  Whatever happens, it will be fun.  Apart from the music, we will be telling many anecdotes of the past and will have a nice collage of old photos, flyers and video shots projected behind us throughout the show.  If we can recreate at least of the feeling of when we were active, I’ll be over the moon. 

We're going to have new t-shirts, a very limited supply of old t-shirts and patches (from us and other bands from the time), a limited supply of the 'Monster Themes For J' CD, and thumb drives for sale which include our discography, digital photos and flyers and complete footage from our last show in 2001.

37) what have you been doing musically and otherwise over the last 15 years, and what have the other members been up to?

PK- Nick Dixon (drums) is married and living in Louisville. He has a beautiful daughter and is making a great life for himself.  As far as I know, Nick stopped playing drums after Skam. 

Carlos Ramos (bass) has two adorable children and is currently living in Louisville. He’s played in a few projects over the years and was planning on putting out a solo album at one point, but I’m still waiting! 

Will Spiro (saxophone) is married with 2 kiddos and living outside of Washington, D.C. He was jamming with some people in the D.C. area, but currently is focused on family and work. 

Dennis Sheridan is married with 2 kids and currently living in California.  After Skam, Dennis focused on guitar and songwriting and had pretty decent success the bands The Blue Goat War and then Follow The Train.  Dennis has continued to make music in different capacities and has continued exploring music out on the West Coast. 

After Skam, I played in a band called Tastyface with Carlos Ramos (Skam’s bass player) and Jason Hester on drums.  Carlos left the band early on to travel the country with his wife.  We ended up releasing one album on Little Heart Records and wrapped up our career in 2005 with Jesse Spiro on bass. That same year, I graduated from IUS with a BA in Music Business and decided it was time to try something outside of Louisville. I moved to Limerick, Ireland to work as the tour manager for the Irish Chamber Orchestra.  After meeting my (now) wife, I moved to Northampton, MA in 2006 where I currently live.  I still play music, but haven’t been actively playing with bands for some time.  I started working with a video game studio in the area as an audio engineer and composer in 2007 and have been largely focused on game development since.  

Even from Massachusetts, my connection to the Louisville music community has remained strong and I’ve continued to work hard to incorporate Louisville music into my projects.  In one project I negotiated a few Louisville bands, including Wax Fang, to contribute music to one of our games.  I started my own game studio in 2014 called Woodpenny.  This past year we partnered with Kentucky native Ben Sollee to crowdfund a Virtual Reality animated music video app for him called the Vanishing Point.  It was released earlier this year on iOS and Android mobile devices.  While I’m not writing as much music, I still play guitar nearly every day and am largely enjoying being a father of two girls (4 and 6).  I still love performing live and am very much looking forward to this show! 



The Skam-Impaired Reunion show will be at Headliners Music Hall Dec. 30th with Left out and The Kodiaks ($12)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Best Of: 2016

37FLOOD has been doing year end reviews, and also decade end reviews (yes, we've been around that long) since 2010, and filing them under the category of 'Best Of'. Last year we heard a compelling argument by a Louisville musician on why he declined to accept a 'Louisville Music Award'. His argument was that music is subjective to the listener, and not objective, therefore cannot be quantified and measured as such.  "you can have a 'tallest building' award but it is not possible to prove mathematically a 'best song'." We here at 37FLOOD agree, and have changed our categories to 'Favorite' instead of 'Best'. We, however, will still put our 'Favorite lists' on the 'Best Of' page to preserve continuity, with the previous 'Best Of' lists.

And, so, we give you 37FLOOD's 'Favorite's of 2016'. Last year we asked one of our writers if he would like to make a 'Best of 2015' list. His response was that there wasn't enough great music in 2015 to justify a list (however we disagreed and made a 2015 list anyway, found here).
Regardless of the overwhelming evidence that 2016 in general sucked, we found the music in 2016 to be extraordinary, with an above average output of quality music!

But not just extraordinary in a few genres, but holistically, as seen reflected in our 'Favorite Albums' list. You will find our favorite albums this year include Hip Hop, Psychedelia, Black Metal, Folk, Instrumentalia, and even Disco.  And, of course, half of the music and media on our lists are Louisville based, including Twin Limb, Sea Hero, Jaye Jayle, Sick Velvet, and more, including the local media outlets Never Nervous and Kath In The Bath.

Among our favorites, we have included Leonard Cohen's last LP, You Want It Darker, recorded as he was dying. The album is genius, with several tracks reaching the hight of masterpieces, including the title track, Treaty, and Leaving The Table.  Due to the high amount of musical related deaths this year, You Want It Darker was largely overlooked. But as for a look into death, this LP is as true as it gets; it's a heartbreaking trek through the mind of someone who knows he is not getting out.

Car Seat Headrest's first physical release, Teens Of Denial, get top marks, as the double LP is solid from stem to sternum. Will Toledo's focus has been tightened while still keeping the 'Jonathan Richman' style New England shrug to life's uphill battles.

Some of our favorites failed to get a physical release, but deserve a seat at the Favorites table none the less. Knox Brown's Searching EP was released by Virgin EMI Records, but only as a download, but is very worth a physical release. Drugdealer's debut 'The End of Comedy' was released physically, but not in the U.S. which is a large oversight, as it's disco overtones only enhance the mystical feel added by Weyes Blood and other contributors.

Take a look at our picks, and let us know what your 2016 picks are. Send your list to us here by Jan. 1st, and we will pick 5 lists at random to receive a free download of Louisville Is For Lovers 2016 compilation!


Favorite Albums:

Car Seat Headrest

15. Drugdealer "The End Of Comedy" 
14. Freakwater "Scheherazade"
13. Survive "rr7349"
12.  Angel Olsen "My Woman"
11. Louisville Is For Lovers "LIFE"
10. Black Mountain "IV"
9. Jaye Jayle "House Cricks and Other Excuses to Get Out"
8. Frankie Cosmos "Next Thing"
7. Sea Hero "Graustark"
6. Charles Bradley "Changes"
5. Anagnorisis 'Peripeteia'
4. NxWorries "Yes Lawd!" (Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge)
3. Twin Limb 'Haplo'
2. Leonard Cohen 'You Want It Darker'
1. Car seat Headrest "Teens of Denial" (37FLOOD Approved!)

 
Favorite EPs & Singles:

10. Hot Prowlers "Neon"
9. Brenda "Nightschool"
8. Team Totoro "Democrasexxy"
7. IamIs "Go Supernovae"
6. Sick Velvet "S/T"
5. The Fervor "Nightfall in the Kali Yuga"
4. Tender Mercy "It Was You"
3. Dr. Dundiff & Otis Junior 'Jakarta Dubplate #5' 
2. Knox Brown "Searching" EP
1. Twin Limb "Anything Is Possible And Nothing Makes Sense"* (37FLOOD Approved!)
*the digital version was released November 2015 and the vinyl edition in October of 2016. This will be an issue to work out in the future as record labels move in a segmented release standard of releasing digital and CD copies 6 months before Vinyl copies.  
Twin Limb


Reissues & Compilations:
15. Louisville Is For Lovers Vol.2
14. Louisville Is For Lovers Vol.1
13. White Zombie "It Came From NYC"
12. V/A "Return Of The Living Dead" (on Brain Matter grey vinyl)
11. Dr. Dundiff & Friends 
10. Gubbey Records "Head Cleaner Vol.7-11"
9. Lucero "Tennessee"
8. V/A "God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson"
7.  The Gallery Singers At The Electric Church Of The Tambourine "From The Galley To The Gallows: 15 Years" Compilation
6. Damien Jurado "Ghost Of David"
5.Louisville Is For Lovers "Live" 
4. Damien Jurado "Rehearsals For Departure"
3. Louisville Is For Lovers "Louisville babylon II"
2. The Staple Singers "Amen/Why?"
1. Louisville Is For Lovers "TRAFOZSATSFM: A Louisville Is For Lovers Tribute To Ziggy Stardust" (37FLOOD Approved!)

TRAFOZSATSFM


Favorite Websites:



This Week In Louisville History 
Proud of your City? This Week In Louisville History gives you a peak into the past on how our city was shaped over the last couple centuries, with interesting facts you probably didn't know.
Did you know Louisville was founded on a small Island, called Corn Island, in the Ohio River?  Did you know that the island was mined by companies so much that it washed away? All this and much much more at thisweekinlouisvillehistory.culturearchivist.com


The Louisville Free Public Library's new local music archive and streaming service with over 100 local albums to stream free. The service includes music by Jonathan Glen Wood, RMLLW2LLZ, Justin Paul Lewis, Billy Nelson, 1200, Brooks Ritter and Louisville Is For Lovers compilations! 

A live music showcase on Jan. 20th, at the main branch at 301 York Street from 7-11, will have a 2 stage, 6 band Louisville Mix showcase to introduce the service and host by 1200. the event is free and all ages.


Never Nervous
These boys don't sleep, between daily content on their own site as well as writing for LEO, there's no rest in the world of Rock N Roll. Aside from the daily rock news they often run themed series, such as Louisville Loves Horror, or The Louisville Music Community Speaks Out About Trump! series.
Always Serious/Never Nervous 


This Day In Pop Culture
Not a ''what's hot this week" culture website, This Day In pop Culture serves up a daily story of people & events that has shaped the world around us, reaching far beyond this week or this year. This Day In pop Culture explains how our society was shaped over the decades and centuries featuring biographies and stories including public executions of elephants for family entertainment, how Nazi politics drove a wedge between 2 brothers and in the process gave birth to the modern gym shoe, and how a New Orleans voodoo Queen was the reason the world's first Horror Punk band was arrested for grave robbing. (37FLOOD Approved!)

This Day In Pop Culture


Favorite Instagram:

Me and Cereal Every Saturday
Daniel Disparte adds a new self portrait every Saturday morning having some cereal. More creative than it sounds, each post takes it's theme from the cereal he spotlights. Daniel's captivating portraits and dedication (not even skipping a post when his child was born) have gained him a cult following.

Me And Cereal


Kath In The Bath


"This Is Your Captain Peeing" - Kath In The Bath
This highly creative (if not highly personal) Instagram account archives the exploits of Louisville's Kathy M, as she takes us on a tour of Louisville's bathrooms. Described as "Coming drunk and disorderly to a porcelain throne near you" this Instagram feed often portrays Kathy's adventures in costume or themed with holidays, and circle around our city's bars and nightlife in a bathroom setting, or in some cases, bathroom behavior nowhere near a proper bathroom.  (37FLOOD approved!)

instagram.com/kath_in_the_bath


Sunday, December 18, 2016

12/29 KFTC fundraiser with Boner City & Hot Prowlers at Cathouse

Say goodbye to 2016 and prepare for the good fight in 2017 at the Kentuckians For The Commonwealth End Of Year Fundraiser. Bands include Boner City, Hot Prowlers, Shark Sandwich, and Gymkata. The event will be Thursday December 29th 7pm-11pm at the Cathouse (747 S Preston St, Louisville, KY). The event is FREE but donations are welcome and go to support the Jefferson County chapter of KFTC.


Donate now here. Event information here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12/16 Quiet Hollers' Holiday Yuletide Food-Drive at Headliners

Friday, Dec. 16, is the Quiet Hollers' Holiday Yuletide Food-Drive at Headliners. $1 from every ticket purchased goes directly to Dare to Care Food Bank. Canned goods and non-perishables will also be collected at the door.
Quiet Hollers will be playing brand new songs from their forthcoming album (now in production). Opening will be Third Man Records' Sun Seeker, and Louisville Hip Hop duo, Shadowpact.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Review: Fred Armisen releases limited 12" vinyl single about chicken for FREE



Today, December 13th, is the day that 12 record stores across the nation will give away copies of Fred Armisen's new 12" lathe cut vinyl single about Hot Chicken, billed under the name “KFC’s Nashville Colonel and His Fabulous Band.” The chosen stores received about 7 records each in the mail and were told to hide them around the stores and those who find one can have it for free.
Guestroom Records in Louisville is one of the stores and plan to have their 7 copies of the single hidden in the shop before the doors open at 11 am.

Armisen recorded these 2 songs as part of his new gig portraying Colonel Sanders for KFC, the latest in a long line of doomed actors who have tried their hand at the cursed role before getting the axe. The songs themselves consist of one track about Colonel Sanders' suit and one about Nashville, the home of Nashville style hot chicken (at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack at 123 Ewing Dr, Nashville). The songs are in the Country Standard Style, bordering on stereotyping the genres of the regions, so much so that natives of Kentucky and Tennessee might find it offensive.

The song about Nashville, called 'Nashville-Centric Boogie', is literally Armisen reading facts about the city from Wikipedia (he even admits this in the song), and 'C-O-L-O-N-E-L', the song dedicated to Colonel Harlan Sanders, is about how the Kentucky Colonel went insane from wearing the same suit everyday. Both songs seem like the comedian walked into the recording studio without  forethought of what the songs should be and without any knowledge of the subjects he intended to sing about.

Regardless of  the semi-offensive nature of the songs, news of the limited edition scavenger hunt sent audiophiles and hopeful collectors searching the isles of Guestroom Records in Louisville a full day before the release date to no avail. All 7 of the hidden copies at Guestroom were found within minutes of the store opening.
Other record stores that have hidden copies of the single include Grimey's in Nashville and Landlocked in Bloomington Indiana, find the full list here.
  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Win $1000 Louisville Giftcard from LIBA

LIBA (Louisville Independent Business Association), the folks behind Keep Louisville Weird, is giving away a $1,000 giftcard to one Louisvillian on Jan. 6th usable at nearly 1,000 local businesses. The contest is called HoLOUdays and to enter, collect receipts from businesses in the LIBA family (see list here)  and upload pics of your receipts here.
It's not the easiest way to enter a contest, but you can also take receipts to any Heine Brothers' Coffee or Feeders Supply locations to be registered to win. Each receipt is good for one entry, and you can enter as many times as you like until Jan. 3rd, and a winner will be picked on Jan. 6th.

Monday, November 21, 2016

12/14: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds film 'One More Time With Feeling' (Newport KY)

When the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 3D film, One More Time With Feeling (about the making of the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds LP Skeleton Tree) was released on September 8th,  it was screened in 850 theaters worldwide but not in a single theater in Kentucky.

But the folks at Everybody's RecordsBlack Plastic records (both in Cincinnati) have set out to change that.
Working with the site TUGG, they hope to screen One More Time With Feeling Wednesday, December 14, at 7:30pm at AMC Newport On The Levee 20.  TUGG works like a crowd funding site, for just screening films. Anyone can set up a TUGG account for a specific film, and if they sell enough advanced tickets the show moves ahead as planned. If the goal is not reached the ticket sales are refunded to purchasers.

The Newport event only has a little more to go to ensure the screening, with only 75 tickets total needed by Dec. 7th it seems likely, but if you are interested don't wait! Grab your tickets now here. All Ages. $12. 12/14 7:30PM.




Thursday, November 17, 2016

11/23 Winger Brothers at Butchertown Grocery


The Winger Brothers will be playing at Butchertown Grocery on Thanksgiving Eve at 9pm. A turkey dinner at Butchertown Grocery will probably cost you a whole month's rent, but you better believe the music will be just right.   

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

FREE MUSIC: new Team Totoro EP (& video)

Louisville favorite hip hop duo Team Totoro are no strangers to the political game. In 2011 they released a free EP, Broken Monocles (and video), to support the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Today, for the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, they are releasing a new FREE EP called Democrasexxy available right here!
To accompany the EP they have also released a video for the new single Hot Staxx, to help you get in the democratic spirit!


Download the new EP so you'll have a soundtrack while you are out there voting!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review: Anagnorisis 'Peripeteia' LP


Quite possibly one of the most solid offerings in Black Metal to date, and most likely the  most important offering this year for the genre, Louisville's Anagnorisis' 7th release, Peripeteia, hits the shelves on Thursday (Nov. 3rd. Digital release was October 21st). Peripeteia cuts deep unlike most in the Black Metal genre (that typically go for surface cuts of gross and fictional brutality) but with truly brutal introspectives (seemingly an autobiography of vocalist Zachary Kerr) Peripeteia tells a true tale of a life boxed in from birth.

Lyrics like "If this is the sum of it all, then the moments leading me here have led me astray. That which is crying should also be dead As peace is a distant lullaby for the fragile and the weak. Taught to hate myself, through hating you. Lessons in humility by watching you" on Disgust & Remorse, Pt II only cut up the listener to line up the full body blow ending "You've fucked my life for far too long. Let me live my own regret."

The album is spliced with recordings of  Kerr's own childhood and layered sounds to solidify the theme of life in lost depression, far from the obligatory double bass drum onslaught typically found on releases in the genre, and truly brutal lyrics that kick harder than a metaphysical beast, such as "No longer claiming ruined flesh, just wasted time in wasted skin. Wasted namesake to pass mental disease. Afraid to exist. So exhausted from hiding."



Anagnorisis' Peripeteia release show is Thursday at Haymarket Whiskey Bar ( $10. 21+) and kicks off a 15 date US tour. Tour Info Here.  Double LP can be ordered here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: Twin Limb "Haplo" LP


This friday, October 28th, the highly (highly) anticipated full length album, Haplo, from Louisville darlings Twin Limb hits the streets. Original members Maryliz Bender and Lacey Guthrie have brought producing/engineering legend Kevin Ratterman in as a full member, blending the solid duo vocal melodies we have seen on earlier Twin Limb albums (such as the solid Anything Is Possible And Nothing Makes Sense EP) and Ratterman's mix magic and composition skills heard on his early 2000's rock group Elliot and his solo efforts as Boundless and Starstruck, to create Haplo, a perfect mixture of a haunting old world and a bright unending future.

The first track is a version of Long Shadow, first heard as an early 2015 single that has resurfaced as extended remixes and psychedelic experiments before returning to form as a perfect resemblance of the beginning and future of group.

Ratterman's mix-mastery is heard on tracks like Luca and Gold From Teeth that howl and haunt with sounds from another world. Other tracks hit like a brick due to the heart pounding honesty, with lyrics like "Everything is gonna be alright... someway" or  "I love her like wine/ the shadow is long/ you can see it from space/ and you can see it on my face/this too shall pass/ this too shall pass over you"  delivered by Bender and Guthrie's delicate vocals followed by their feverish percussive assault, that at once seems like it could reverberate forever but leaves you needing more.

The future could very well revere Haplo as an important effort from the trio and in pop music in general; free from current trends or values and brutally honest in all the ways the count.


Twin Limb Haplo release party with James Lindsey & Teach Me Equals 9:00 pm $10 Headliners 18+

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10/31 Lucius & The Cactus Blossoms at Headliners (FREE Download)

Brother duo, The Cactus Blossoms, will be joining Lucius at their Halloween show on Mon, Oct 31st at Headliners, and they are offering you an early Halloween treat of a FREE MP3 of their single “Stoplight Kisses” from the 2016 album 'You're Dreaming'.
Download the single here and  find the album here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Editorial: If Your Friends Jumped off a Building Would You?


King Rappelling down the side of
Marriott Downtown Hotel, at 280 West Jefferson Street

I am not a thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie by any means, nor have I ever rappelled anything in my life, much less a 16 story building. But if this is the way I can do my part to help a great organization such as the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana, than how could I say no?

Growing up downtown in the 1980s was a unique experience for me. It was a very different landscape than it is now. Of the few families that lived there, most were working class just trying to survive. We were lucky enough to have the East End Boys and Girls Club in my neighborhood (Butchertown), as well as the Wesley House that had been working in Butchertown for over 100 years. Both offered services and programs for children and families of the Butchertown and East Downtown Districts (now referred to by some as NuLu).

Both the East End Boys and Girls Club and the Wesley House closed it's operations in Butchertown as the area became gentrified and the working families were pushed further south. Both organizations have since opened new locations in South Louisville to help accommodate the dispersed community. Not only are organizations like these necessary for working communities, but it is also a way to understand what is happening to the hard working families in our community.

I think it is a normal reaction to see the transformation of neighborhoods like Butchertown, Nulu, and Old Louisville and the plethora of new restaurants, Bars, and shops and believe it is a positive change for the city. Unfortunately without proper social and government programs, as well as a properly informed public, there are massive negative repercussions that fall unfairly on Louisville's working classes. Areas like Portland (and Butchertown a decade ago), had very low property values that are very enticing for property speculators hoping to double or triple their investments.

Unfortunately most working class families in these areas are renters despite being in the neighborhood for decades or generations. Areas are targeted due to their proximity to downtown or the river and become gentrified pushing the original population further away from the city center. This means an unfair burden to these families with longer commutes, higher rents, less work opportunities, as well as isolation and a severance to their schools, communities, churches, and ancestral roots.

Community Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club have the opportunity to enrich, strengthen, and educate neighborhoods that are at risk to the extremely harmful effects of gentrification, hopefully preventing more families from being marginalized by the population boom that Louisville is now facing. We can only survive by working as a community, and I believe the Boys and Girls Club helps provide this.

This is why, when the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana asked me to jump off a building, I said yes. Am I terrified? You better believe it! But it is far less terrifying than the idea that the hard working families in our fair city are being left behind in the race to become a global metropolis.

So on Friday October 28th at 1pm I will rappel down the side of the 16 story Marriott Downtown Hotel, at 280 West Jefferson Street, and I hope you all can come and watch me panic.

The purpose of this stunt is to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana, so if you have ever been a member of the Boys and Girls Club, or just know how important community programs are for our fellow Louisvillians, perhaps you could toss in a dollar or two. Any amount is better than no amount as they say, and you know it'll go to some good use. Here's the link to donate.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Louisville Babylon: A Tribute To The Misfits reissued for Halloween

Louisville Is For Lovers and the Louisville Free Public Library announced today that as part of their partnership they will be reissuing the 2007 local music compilation, Louisville Babylon II, on LFPL's  new free local music streaming service 'Louisville Mix'.
 The  Louisville Is For Lovers compilation LOUISVILLE BABYLON II: A Misfits Tribute was originally released in October of 2007 and includes over a dozen Misfits covers by Louisville artists such as My Morning Jacket, Wax Fang, Dave Pajo, and many more and will be available to stream for free at lfpl.org on October 28th just in time for Halloween!




If you can't wait until Halloween, you can hear a exclusive sneak preview of Louisville Babylon right now at leoweekly.com!

As an added bonus, Louisville Is For Lovers is taking pre-orders now for a digital download of the 2007 Misfits tribute album  for just $1.38, and on Oct. 31st the download will sent you or as a Halloween gift to the special ghoul of your choosing!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Editorial: How to deal with Louisville's Refuges of Economicide



John King with his 'My Dream For Lou' photo and essay
(with white bar covering Gill Holland's name) at Muhammad Ali Center 

Reading last week's 'Reader's Choice' edition of The LEO I was surprised by comments made by Executive Editor Aaron Yarmouth when describing Gill Holland's Award for Best Entrepreneur.   Yarmouth lays out his reasoning why 'We all owe' Holland 'a huge thank you' for transforming the East Market District -what Yarmouth called a 'drive-past territory'- into a 'thriving hub' that Holland renamed 'NULU'.

     At first glance I am sure many readers didn't catch the comment that is so shocking to me, and I am sure Aaron Yarmouth didn't realize himself the implications he was making.  As a contributing writer for the LEO I know first hand how compassionate and thoughtful the young Editor is; as is evident in his actions, after reading this essay of giving his blessing for me to air my grievance in calling my childhood home a 'drive-past territory'. I think it would have been more meaningful if the LEO had published this letter themselves, but after losing one job recently for my political views, I really don't need to lose the other..  And I think the Leo is already learning a big lesson in undermining their reader's voice,  after the fallout of them vetoing the reader's choice of Amari King's award.

 Regardless of how you feel about the gentrification of the East Market District, and the replacement of it's people and businesses with more 'acceptable' people and businesses, surely you would take exception to anyone referring to your neighborhood as not worth noticing.

     I grew up at Clay and East Market st, and as the popularity of the neighborhood grew I was slowly pushed outward (living at times on main st, Washington st, and Franklin st) until I could no longer afford to live in the area I called home. It is heartbreaking that a respected media outlet like the LEO  would so casually suggest that my home, my family, my friends, are not worth acknowledging.  Unfortunately the casual dismissal of Louisville's poor has become all too common in recent years and lately becoming outright hostile at times as we have seen with residents in the Norton Commons neighborhood coming together in an effort to stop anyone who makes less than $50,000 a year from living there. Which, by the way, is no where even close to the poverty line,  but shows the contempt that some members in our community have for those who even slightly do not resemble Privilege.
 
  Even in well meaning efforts to help those targeted and displaced by the Gentrification of urban Louisville come across as insulting. Last Thursday I attended the 10th annual Center of Health Equity's public forum with the Mayor. Concerns about poor people displaced by the gentrification of Louisville's Downtown were raised, and the most popular solution was that the city build 'Affordable Housing Units' in every neighborhood so that the burden of housing poor folks would be equal across the city. Now, I've attended the Center's meetings before, and most of the members are truly well meaning, but as someone who has never crossed the poverty line, I am tired of being referred to as a burden, as not worth noticing, or as not being good enough to live in certain parts of my own city.

       But the main issue I see with all the recent conversations in the media over gentrification and displacement of poor people is this: Louisville's poor aren't allowed in to the conversation about what is happening to them and what should be done for them.  I don't want to be warehoused in an 'affordable housing' project in a neighborhood that I have no ties to and that doesn't want me anyway. I want to be in my neighborhood where I grew up, where my family and friends live, and worship at the spiritual center of my choice, but I can't because that neighborhood no longer exists.      
 Real estate speculators started buying up cheap properties and replacing poor tenants with those who could pay 3 or 4 times as much on rent, and this happened long before Holland took it upon himself to change the name of my neighborhood and aggressively began seeking investors in property speculation. But he does deserve some credit to the dismantling and displacement of an entire community.  For changing the name of a place does a lot when trying to assume control of a people. Erasing the history of a people is the first step in conquering them. We see this quite often, especially recently by the Islamic State by destroying the cultural heritage of the people of Iraq, Syria, and Libya. By erasing a community's history we devalue their social capitol making it easier to divide and conquer them. Holland's actions are no different.

      Some have argued that the quality of the structures in the East Market District and also in Portland were poor, and the gentrification of these areas are saving the historical buildings. But you must keep in mind that poor people by and large do not own the houses they live in. Rich people do. If the state of the buildings are sub-standard it is not the fault of the occupants but the landlords. Despite popular belief poor people do not enjoy living in squalor, we are forced to by lack of options, opportunity, and the support of the governing body.

    What is happening to the poor neighborhoods by property speculators such as Gill Holland (or how he describes it "private-sector community revitalization") is deplorable, and the health and well being of a community should not be in the hands of the private sector but in the hands of the community itself.  But the true extent of what is happening is not widely known because the local government and the city's media outlets refuse to allow those who are being exploited a voice. How can opponents of gentrification speak out against Holland's efforts when he himself is on the Board of Directors at Louisville Public Media, and has been publicly endorsed by the LEO in the very article thanking him for 'transforming a drive-past area'?
(Full disclosure I worked at Louisville Public Media until last month when I was abruptly let go).

         To toot my own horn for a minute, during the Health Equity Meeting on Thursday several photographs and essays were on display for the 'My Dream of Lou Photovoice' exhibit at the Muhammad Ali Center, and two photos and two essays I submitted were chosen for it.
In one essay I wrote about the issues surrounding gentrification and I mentioned Greg Fischer and Gill Holland by name; specifically Fischer's promise to veto any minimum wage increase over $9/hr, as well as Holland's recent targeting of Portland for 'private sector revitalization'. When the essay was displayed a bar was added covering Holland's name (see photo above). Too be fair, the government office in charge informed me they would be redacting  Holland's name from my essay, but this sort of behavior is not democratic and is teetering into some very dark waters. Especially since Gil Holland is not just a public figure but also (since January of this year) has been running for public office.

Holland announced his bid for city council representing District 16; which is not the district where Portland is located (were he claims to be helping), but the district where Norton Commons is located (further speaking to Holland's motives of revitalizing poor neighborhoods).

      Questioning and voicing opposition of public officials and those running for office is protected by the First Amendment and at the very least our governing body cannot censor speech critical of itself, and for that matter media outlets should allow more than one side of the conversation to be voiced.

     My intent here is not to try and connivence you that Gill Holland's actions have caused immeasurable harm to entire communities for profit and personal benefit (although I firmly believe this). But no matter how you feel about someone,  no public figure or a candidate for public office should be untouchable from critical debate, and no community should be ignored. My hope is that as a community we realize that the most affected group in this situation is being ignored and dismissed and that as Louisvillians we realize that all of us deserve dignity, protection, and a voice.

Editor's Note: You can help by reaching out to your Louisville councilperson asking for more oversight in 'revitalization' efforts, Government policies that protect and help low income families, and an end to government censorship of oppositional voices. You can email your councilperson by following this link. You can contact local media outlets asking for equal representation for opponents of Gill Holland and his For-Profit Business practices, and to release public support of public officials or those running for office as board members of media outlets in the name of transparency and democracy.  Here is a list of local media outlets you can reach out to: Louisville Public MediaLEOCourier Journal.

One of King's photo/ essays chosen for the
My Dream For Lou exhibit at the Muhammad Ali Center


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

FREE TICKET GIVE A WAY: Tobacco at Zanzabr 10/20

Ghostly International electronic producer Tobacco will be playing tomorrow on 10/20 at Zanzabar, on a national tour to support his recent release 'Sweatbox Dynasty', and we have 2 tickets to give away!  (Update: Congrats to Nik V! He has two shiny new tickets to Tobacco at Zbar!)
10/20 at Zanzabar with HIGH TIDES, Odonis Odonis. $15. 9PM.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Holloween Weekend Events

Friday October 28th at Zanzabar:  "Ville Communication"  Jaxon Swain (of Ladybirds fame) with members of BRENDA and Cat Casual recreate the music of THE BEASTIE BOYS  as well as
Twenty First Century Fox covering The B-52s and Voodoo Economics become the The White Stripes. $10. Cash prize costume contest.


Saturday October 29th at Haymarket Whiskey Bar  Brenda as Pixies, The Winger Brothers as Dixie Chicks, and Projector as Radiohead. FREE.

Friday, October 7, 2016

6 songs by Electric Six you should hear

The new Electric Six album, Fresh Blood For Tired Vampyres, hits the shelves today (containing the danceable track [be my] skin caboose)  & will be burning through town in 2 days, October 9th,  at Zanzabar.
The first Electric Six album, Fire, hit the world by surprise in 2003, and the band has released an astonishing 1 album a year since (as well as front man Dick Valentine's solo LPs).
To help get you ready for Sunday here are 6 danceable Electric Six songs you should know before the show:









Thursday, October 6, 2016

Open Call: Louisville Is For Lovers 2017 Valentine's Comp Now Taking Submissions


Local record label Louisville Is For Lovers, now in it's 15th year,  is currently taking submissions for the Louisville Is For Lovers 2017 Valentine's Compilation. Started by John King, the first Valentine's compilation was released in 2001, and the label has since released 11 valentine's comps and over 20 other releases including music by My Morning Jacket, Bonnie 'prince' Billy, White Reaper, and hundreds of other Louisville artists.
Visit the Louisville Is For Lovers  site for details.

Monday, October 3, 2016

10/3 New Louisville Music Archive unveiled by Louisville Free Public Library

LFPL.org/Music
The Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) has started a new program entitled Louisville Mix,  a free streaming service unveiled today (October 3rd) on their Website  that will archive and stream music by Louisville bands. To start there are over 50 full releases by Louisville bands including Twin Limb, Andrew Rinehart, Team Totoro, Cheyenne Mize, 23 String Band, Mudcat Blues Band, and others.
LFPL has also teamed up with Louisville Is For Lovers and  the entire LISFORL collection will be available to stream through Louisville Mix. All of the Louisville Is For Lovers Valentine's releases will be available to start, and the entire 15 year catalogue will be available by January 20th, when the Library will release the full archive to date (with music added continuously after).

 The Louisville Free Public Library has also paired up with 37FLOOD to help recruit local bands for the Louisville Mix Project. In January for 37FLOOD's 10th Anniversary (yep! we've been doing this for almost a decade!) We will be co-hosting a live Louisville Mix Showcase at the LFPL main branch with Louisville bands playing an 'After Dark' event. And in February Louisville Is For Lovers in partnership with Louisville Free Public Library will unveil the 2017 Valentine's release.
To commemorate the partnership with LFPL, Louisville Is For Lovers has released  Vol. 1 & 2  of it's Valentine's series digitally here.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: Midpoint Music Fest (Cincinnati)

Midpoint Music Festival
photo: Spooky Fitzgerald

In a tale of two fests, Cincinnati's Midpoint Music Festival, September 23-25, was at once one of the best of fests and one of the worst of fests simultaneously. At the apex of this schizophrenic fest is a controversy that has the city split on two opposing sides over an argument only a Cincinnatian could  understand (and even then, probably only slightly).
    The Festival takes place in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood (also referred to as OTR). A recent study by Alice Skirtz, in  Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor, shows that this neighborhood has been the focal point of gentrification over the last 15 years, (which has been controversial due to the displacement of African Americans and low income residents) and that a comparison of the 2010 and 2000 federal censuses shows that over 1000 African Americans left this area during the decade. As of 2016, this is a primarily white, wealthy and exclusive neighborhood.
Over-The-Rhine Neighborhood. Photo: Spooky Fitzgerald
   
          The festival was started in 2001 by a local bar owner,  Dan McCabe of MOTR Bar, wanting to bring attention to the new bars and restaurants springing up in the recently gentrified neighborhood. The idea was the fest would take place over a weekend in these bars and restaurants, having festival goers walk from place to place, and in the process get acquainted with the newly reappropriated OTR. The fest was a success, and  over the last 15 years the Neighborhood and the fest grew quickly (Festival attendance has grown from 13,500 in 2008 to around 30,000 this year). As the fest grew in size it became too big to hold in the original locations so McCabe turned it over to another company, EMEI, last year. 2016 was the first time Midpoint was hosted by EMEI (managed by Rick McCarty) but McCabe and other bar owners in the Neighborhood were upset over the fest moving away from a format of several local bars showcasing bands into a street fest, although it seems they recognized it could no longer be held in local bars and handed it off to an event production company. The fest was still held in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, bring in almost 30,000 patrons to visit the local bars, shops, restaurants, food trucks, and local vendors. Even still McCabe and other OTR business owners staged a successful boycott of the festival it once owned. A visit to MOTR Bar and other bars in the area such as Woodward Bar were packed with neighborhood inhabitants showing their support for the boycott. Of the festival moving to a street fest format, one MOTR patron told me "It's not an experience, not a community". Although I never heard anyone mention the community that was originally in OTR, that were displaced when these bars first moved in.
      MOTR Bar and Woodward staged their own showcases with bands Wussy, The Yugos, and others  in their original format, even though the new Midpoint street fest seemed to do the same for the neighborhood as the original format, sending festival goers to local restaurants, bars, and AirBNBs. One employee at MOTR even remarked that they pulled in more sales during this year's Midpoint than they ever did when the festival was in their own building.
Pinball selection at the MOTR music venue & barcade. 

      Even still the shop owners in this neighborhood had grievance enough to stage a boycott on the grounds that the 'street fest' format was stealing sales from them, the very same local shops that a decade ago organized to gentrify the neighborhood and pushing out the original-original inhabitants. Even the staff at Midpoint vocalized their disdain for the new format and sided with the trendy bars and restaurants. They, the staff, were also dealing with an extremely unorganized street event.
Midpoint this year consisted of two streets in Over-the-Rhine cordoned off, with a main stage and a public radio stage (obligatory these days for city music fests) nestled in parking lots accessible only with purchased wrist bands, and a small stage in the middle of one street that was open to the public.  The staff were not properly informed on the fest rules and layout; staff and patrons alike couldn't seem to figure out how to get tickets, check in, where bands played or had merch tables (merch booths were usually a block away from where bands played) and other simple tasks. Also, there seemed to be an oversight in guest safety logistics; there were only alcohol booths, no water stations and with the hot sun beating down on the asphalt streets the fest was nearly unbearable during daylight hours.
 
Natalie Felker of the Fervor. photo: John King

Ben Felker of The Fervor. photo: John King

   Louisville/Lexington band The Fervor, having the unlucky slot of the first band on the WNKU (public radio) Stage (1pm Sunday afternoon) had only 3 audience members to start due to the oppressive heat, but grew to a modest, but appreciative 50 guests baking in the hot sun bouncing off the blacktop (which was twice the crowd that the headliner, Honduras, had at the same time on the main stage). Many lined up along the fence on the side of the parking lot to take advantage of the 9 inches or so of shade. Even in the disastrous heat and asphalt mix  Keyboard/guitarist/singer and primary songwriter Natalie Felker was right at home offering choice selections across the Fervor catalogue including songs from the new single, "Nightfall in the Kali Yuga", before diving into tracks from 2011's solid effort, 'Arise Great Warrior'.

Langhorne Slim's Soul & gospel review. Photo: Spooky Fitzgerald

Midpoint began with modest crowds on Friday September 23rd starting with Lau, the Scottish trio playing for more than a decade, with fiddle player, hollow body guitarist and multi-instrumentalist (accordion, keyboard) that is something like a AAA version of The Dirty Three without the bite.
   Things turned around at 9pm with Langhorne Slim on the littler WNKU stage with way more people watching Slim than those watching the headliner on the main stage. Slim started off with the title track from the  2015 album The Spirit Moves, a crowd favorite, before playing 'A Song For Syd", about his grandfather. Langhorne Slim knows how to entertain a large audience while still maintaining an intimate feel, with little footnotes to the crowd such as  "All I ever wanted to be was a musician and  to be older.. And I am achieving both of those things." before diving into the gospel charged songs that was well represented on Spirit Moves.  Slim ended the show with the rocking and soulful Past Lives (complete with crowd call-and-response "everybody say YEAH"!) to a grateful yet subdued Cincinnati crowd.

Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands. Photo: Spooky Fitzgerald

      Hitting the ground running on the main stage at 9:30 was Future Islands to the biggest crowd of the night, and the best performance of the entire fest. Crowd favorites included "walking through the Door" and "long flight" from their 2010 album In Evening Air. Singer Samuel T. Herring, addressing crowd after an amazing rendition of Long Flight (faster with more of his baritone style vocals than on the album version) by saying 'We are future islands, and this is the fuck we do' to a mesmerized crowd, eating out of his hand (the hand that is almost always reaching out to them). Herring putting his patented (and often unfairly criticized) stage presence of jerking and jumping and falling to the stage floor beating his chest,  on full display to full crowd delight; sprinkling brand new unreleased songs into the set.   "I feel like a scarecrow's in my throat" growls Hearing, excusing his gruffer than normal voice, but for any Future Islands fan, the more gruff the better. Hearing seemed to be right in his element, regaling stories to the crowd (such as a story about the first time they played Cincinnati in March 2007, playing 2 1/2 songs and then breaking up onstage.. But soon they reconciled and are 'happy to come back and do it right.') and then dedicating an ultra powered version of 'Tin Man' to the crowd across the street watching for free from the 6 story parking garage.
crowd watching Future Islands from the free comfort
of the parking garage across the street. Photo: Spooky Fitzgerald

In a festival rarity Future Islands returned to the stage for an encore of fan favorite 'inch of dust' from In Evening Air as well as 'Little Dreamer' ('to send you off into the night' said Herring) from their first release 'Wave Like Home' (2008) to an exhausted and grateful midwestern crowd.
Future Islands. Photo: Spooky Fitzgerald

       Saturday September 23rd saw larger crowds than Friday and mostly played to the 45+ year old crowd flocking to Bob Mould and The Mountain Goats but the standout performances included newer groups Car Seat Headrest,  Helms Alee, and Chicago instrumental force of nature Russian Circles.
Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest. photo: John King

       At 6:45pm Car Seat Headrest started with a bang playing first song from Teens Of Denial "Fill In The Blank" followed by 'unforgiving girl'. A very young band, led by Will Toledo, was seemingly not intimidated by the large crowd, or playing after seasoned musician Bob Mould. All band members yelped and hollered during the set, encouraging each other on (the drummer would point at different members of the band during solos to prompt the crowd to cheer them on.. which isn't an easy task for this modest Midwestern city) and enthusiastically backed up Toledo's Jonathan Richman style vocals on songs like '1937 State Park'. All but one song (Cute Thing from the album Twin Fantasy), was off of 2016s Teens of Denial.
The sun setting on Car Seat Headrest. photo: John King 

     The breakout track from the 2016 release Teens of Denial, "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales", was enough to coax the quiet crowd into an ovation before launching into a uptempo version of 'Vincent'. The entire band was warm and welcoming to the crowd; and even invited the entire audience to hang out after the show while pointed to the near by WKNU tent (which most took them up on). In a move that mirrored their doomed but brilliant track from the new album 'not just what I needed' that moved into the Cars 'just what I needed' for a brief moment (that Cars frontman Ric Ocasek demanded be taken off Car Seat Headrest's new album causing delays and untold expenses while the label destroyed physical copies and reprinted new ones with the 45 seconds in question removed) they ended their set with Cosmic Hero that morphed into a lovely rendition of the Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane (which Lou Reed would have been proud of) for a powerful end to a near perfect set.


Ben Verellen of  Helms Alee on guitar,
Lovebirds in crowd. 
photo: John King
The stand out performance on Saturday was Seattle's Helms Alee on the free stage. Sludge rock at its finest featuring  battle cry vocals by Singer /guitarist Ben Verellen (who builds the group's equipment through his company Verellen Amps) and blood curdling backing vocals by warrior drummer  Hozoji Margullis.
     The idea of having half the fest free to the public is a great one. Most of the sponsors and vendors were located in the free section, essentially doubling their exposure to patrons. From what I could tell all of the food trucks and vendors were local, and the free section allowed for guests to wonder in and out of the local shops of the Over-The-Rhine area. The music selection in the free section was also excellent, as was the curation of the entire fest. For half the price of other regional fests such as Forecastle and Bonnaroo it had twice the bands that are worth seeing (at the very least). Midpoint's mission statement of being a fest to "meet your new favorite band." certainly rings true, with booking unique talent instead of just big time names. the management behind Midpoint seems to want to book emerging and critically acclaimed artists regardless of their album sales or billboard charts, which paid off big time, but spent less time needed working on logistics and community relations.
          I would say this ranks up there with the best Festivals the midwest has to offer in means of talent, but the senseless fight between original OTR gentrifiers and new OTR gentrifiers makes for a confusing and uncomfortable atmosphere for those of us who just showed up for music.

Russian Circles on the FREE stage

Russian Circles photo: John King

37FLOOD represent 

Cincinnati silk screener with Houndmouth poster photo: John King

Over-The-Rhine gentrification pangs/store providing 'Yoga Poetry'. photo: John King

Local food vendor in the free section.