Sunday, June 21, 2020

Interview: Shi (死)


Formed in 2015, Louisville's Shi (死) has been playing their particular brand of depressive suicidal stoner doom for 5 years, culminating in 5 EPs and a new full length, aptly titled "Depressive Suicidal Stoner Doom." We spoke band members Bob Lowrey, Tyler Lewis, and Jayce Wraley about their style, new album, and what is next  for SHI.




37-What is the meaning behind the band's name, 死?

Bob Lowrey- That kanji represents death in Japanese (shi, pronounced like “she”). I’d been mulling around various names, trying to find something simple but not too derivative. Being a nerd, Japanese culture is super interesting to me; utilizing such a direct and simple concept and character in the band name made sense.

37-The title of your new album, "Depressive Suicidal Stoner Doom" practically says it all in terms of sound. What gave you the idea for that title?

Bob- I think we’d been talking about black metal (Jayce and Tyler started a project, Crown ov Serpents, which I play bass for) and we were talking about how best to describe the Shi sound - depressive suicidal black metal came up during a chat and I’d jokingly said that Shi basically is that, but about getting high before offing yourself - Depressive Suicidal Stoner Doom

Tyler Lewis- Yeah what Bob said, it was just the funniest/easiest way to describe our mix of stoner doom songwriting with hefty sad boi aesthetic.



37- Besides getting super high and dying, the lyrical content of DSSD takes on a sci-fi angle, such as soothsayers and hags with tendrils. What's your inspiration for writing lyrics?

Bob- When I’m writing lyrics, I usually end up going either introspective and cathartic, or I just try to tell stories. I enjoy most nerdy/”weirdo” stuff like horror movies, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. A lot of times I find it easier to create a narrative scenario to describe in lyrics than it is to open up and write about myself or my experiences without sounding cliche. Those final three songs (Swamp Hag, Mudman, Danksquatch) incorporate a narrative arc that runs through all three, while still maintaining a lyrical undertone that matches the overall Depressive Suicidal Stoner Doom idiom.



37- The lone holdout stylistically is Interlude.  It's an impressive track all on its own, but what was the idea of having a traditional sounding track on an album titled "Depressive Suicidal Stoner Doom"?

Bob- I try to keep varied musical inspiration in my rotations, and one genre I’ve really grown to enjoy in recent years has been bluegrass and older country/honky-tonk. I’ve got an upright bass and a banjo, and figured why not try and bring those instruments into the mix somehow. We’d used them very briefly during a part on the song “No Holy Men” off our Cellar 1 EP, and a few friends had mentioned really digging that bit. It felt natural to bring that back in as an interlude and introduction/transition into that final 3-song run on the album.



37- Bob, your vocal style has altered on recordings from fairly unaffected to full on doom. DSSD has abandoned the straight forward vocal style for a very unique doom style. How is this layered vocal technique accomplished?

Bob- Figuring out how I wanted to do vocals was definitely a big part of finding “our sound”, while also acknowledging the heavy influence of bands like Weedeater and Bongzilla in there. On the album, the vocals are two separate takes of me yelling, which then got blended together by Devin (Harper, Nocturnal Media) during post-production. We’d tried clean singing on earlier releases, and may reincorporate that a bit in the future, but the shout/yell/scream has definitely been the style I’m most comfortable with when it comes to writing and feeling OK with the performance.

37- Jayce Wraley, you joined in 2017 and added a new layer to the SHI sound. What is your background and what do you see as your role in the writing process of the band?

Jayce- Well, I used to jam with Tyler and Zach years ago, nothing serious, just covers and improvisation. Then they formed SHI and I would go see them live. One thing led to another, they wanted a second guitarist and asked me to join. I don't write much of the music in SHI. Bob will just show me the riff and I follow. I'll add a little dank to the riff if it sounds right.

Bob- Usually Tyler and I will flesh out an initial idea, bring it to Zach who adds his two cents, then we bring it to Jayce and he adds that final bit of special something - often times it’s a harmonized guitar lick, or maybe adjusting the arrangement of when each of us come in on a riff.

37- What is next for SHI?

Bob- We are currently self-recording a covers EP that we hope to have out in the coming months. As venues and bars start to re-open for live performance and we can safely enjoy those spaces together we definitely look forward to the opportunity to play live again - Ideally we’d like to try and do a weekend run into a few regional cities we’ve not played yet (looking at a run starting up in Pittsburgh and working our way back down via Columbus, Cincinnati, etc). Other than that, we’re working on writing new material for our 2nd album.

Tyler- Yeah I just can’t wait to move through this pandemic and get back out playing again when the time is right. Like Bob said we’re trying to get out of Kentucky more often so if you want to see us in your area shoot us a message and we’ll make it happen!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Editorial: The Murder Mayor Must Go



In the wake of unspeakable brutality from our police department and the solidarity of our people to demand change -and under the constant threat of unwarranted continued police abuse- the response from our elected mayor, as well as the response of the LMPD is unfathomable. It is almost difficult to describe despite the amount of international coverage in the ongoing belligerent attitude of our local government.

Not that we, here at 37FLOOD, haven't tried. Soon after being elected we began to post editorials about Greg Fischer's criminal  dealings in the Mayor's Office; from raiding the city's coffers in blatant sweetheart landholding deals, such as selling city property well below market value for his friends to immediately flip for handsome profits to his forgivable loans to developers to gentrify low income neighborhoods pushing Louisville's poor into even worse financial situations and using the 'Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund' as a way for Fischer to hand over city funds to his developer buddies so they can have free money to buy up properties in low income neighborhoods and make a fortune with our tax dollars by gentrifying the areas causing one of the biggest cost-of-living increases in the US in the last decade.

It was horrifying the way our mayor so unabashedly targeted and destroyed our lower income citizens for profit causing a major jump in families living in poverty (according to the U.S. Census). But his actions could almost be understood as the actions of a greedy & powerful privileged dick putting profits over human lives, horrifying yes, but sadly we've gotten apathetic to the actions of privileged dicks. But somewhere in his second term his actions took a different tone, seemingly not motivated by stealing vast sums of money from the people, but something even more dark.  After brokering dirty deals, like giving $30 million of the city's money for the soccer arena in a move that further punished the poor and shot the cost of living through the roof he refused to raise minimum wage over $9/hr causing a 34% increase in residents who pay more than 50% of their earnings to housing costs. And after sweeping the poorest into the street to die in order to steal money hand over fist Fischer seemed to enjoy making the process as painful and humiliating as possible for our city's most vulnerable. If that wasn't bad enough he waited until December 8th, 2017, in freezing temperatures, to bulldoze a homeless camp on the arena property in a heartless move that could only be described as sadistic.


By then the mayor was into his third term and without worrying about a reelection he seemed to really ramp up his criminal actions, beyond dirty business deals into behaviour that is more related to ruthless barbarism. While similarly sized cities like Minneapolis have voted to replace the police force with a community-led model, the mayor releases his budget proposal for next year, a whopping $190 million for the police, and just $34 million for public health.  He hasn't even gotten Louisville's Covid-19 Contact Tracing Program started yet and the first reported case in Louisville was early March.

  It's hard to understand his sadistic actions when there doesn't seem to be any monetary or political gain, only for the sake of crushing others because he can. In this defining moment in our city Fischer has the chance to become a great leader, to make solid changes and heal a community in pain, but instead is choosing to show his might as the world shakes its head in confusion and horror. He won't even release the name of (much less fire) the officer who purposely fired rubber bullets at a news crew filming live on air during the protests. The officer, known only as L6, is still on the job after shooting, reloading, and shooting again on the WAVE 3 news crew who were behind police lines and not breaking any law. What is the point of keeping brutal cops on the force besides showing your power during a time when condemnation is coming in from literally the entire world? Other cities are cracking down on police that abuse peaceful protestors but the mayor is going to great lengths to protect them at the expense of the community.

As the world mourns the death of Breonna Taylor and the nation's cities are burning, the Mayor has done more to thumb his nose at a grieving city and make matters worse. The LMPD did all it could to lie, slow up investigations, and railroad Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker, and the mayor did nothing. The Police said they knocked during a No-Knock warrant, witnesses said they did not, using  a battering ram to kick in the door. The police originally said Taylor shot at them although Walker admitted to firing the single shot at police, and only after Taylor repeatedly called out asking the intruders to announce themselves.

The Mayor could say he helped the attempted murder charges against Walker get dropped, but that was 2 months later. He could say they released Walker's 911 call, but that was only after Taylor's family released it first, and the city still won't release 911 calls from witnesses. The Mayor could say he fired the Police Chief, but that was after Conrad announced he was retiring at the end of the month anyway. The 'You Can't Quit Because You're Fired' defense is of little consolation. He could say He signed Breonna's Law banning No-Knock Warrants, but after a unanimous vote by the city council he had little choice. The choices he does have, he has chosen to do next to nothing. The officers involved in Taylor's killing are still on the force. The killers of George Floyd were fired and arrested. The mayor could have at least put them on leave but he didn't, and one of the officers, Brett Hankison, has 15 years worth of complaints against him including rape and serious bodily injury against another officer and is not only still on the job but a member of the Louisville Police Merit Board. When Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear demanded the body cam footage from the officers at David McAtee's killing the mayor said none of the police turned their cams on. This insolence doesn't end and Louisville is paying the price with human lives.  What does it take for a brutal officer to be removed from the force besides retiring? Either the LMPD has some major dirt on the mayor keeping him from doing the slightest thing to curtail police corruption or he is just drunk on his own power keeping him from protecting us. When the LMPD famously walked out on the mayor showing their absolute disregard for the law and chain of command again the mayor did nothing and we are getting murdered over it.


The mayor can't do one thing to pretend like he gives a damn but just continues to show his disdain for justice and civility. After 3 long months of non-action the city finally released its report on Taylor's  death, a report the whole world would see, and it was a big 'Fuck You' to Taylor's family, the Racial Justice Movement, and to the city of Louisville. He knew the world would be waiting for this report, so to release a nearly blank document that basically only includes only the time, date, case number and the victim's name, and the misinformation stating Taylor received no injuries, and that there was no forced entry is beyond blatant incompetence, it is simply criminal. Unions are important, but in the case of the FOP, this is a union that aides in facilitating murder and shielding lawbreakers from justice. We need to follow Minneapolis and Canton in a complete restructure of the police force before more innocent lives are lost to a corrupt local government.
If the mayor can deem the Police Chief unfit, we as a city need to call Greg Fischer unfit for office (if not brought up on human rights abuse charges) and demand his removal immediately before more lives are lost to his incompetence, his disregard to the health and safety of our city, and his flagrant abuse of power. Greg Fischer's continual actions (and inaction in the case of the LMPD) are literally killing innocent Louisvillians. If we love our city the time is now to demand a change.

In 2017, after a record breaking year of homicides (124 in 2016), the Metro Council gave a vote of no-confidence of Louisville police Chief Steve Conrad and recommended that the mayor replace him. Imagine the brutality that would have not happened if he had, or the lives that could have been saved. Instead the mayor not only ignored the council but lashed out against them, saying "too many (council) members are just critics and simplistically target one person for a complex problem." (which is what he himself did after the killing of McAtee) adding that "Chief Conrad and the dedicated men and women of the LMPD have my full support and appreciation, and clearly that of the vast majority of Louisville citizens." The mayor clearly has no idea what the vast majority of citizens want, or doesn't care, and he certainly has no control over the police that have shown they will do what they want, and if they don't like what the mayor is doing, they walk out on him. It is time to end this cycle of violence. Please contact your Metro Councilperson now and demand Greg Fischer be removed from office. It's very easy, just click the link and leave a message demanding immediate action be taken now before more lives are lost.

You can also email the US Conference of Mayors here voice your opposition to Greg Fischer as the Vice President and incoming President of their organization. 

Friday, May 8, 2020

Interview: Boone Williams of Tiny Tiny


Sommerset, Kentucky, musician Boone Williams has been playing under the moniker Tiny Tiny since 2013. In December of 2019 he released the Stripes EP, and is set to release a new EP, The Close Up, on Friday, May 22nd. Pre-orders are available as of today.

37: How long have you been playing together?

BW: I have been putting out music under the Tiny Tiny moniker since 2013. It started out as a solo project and over the years has been quite a few different things with quite a few different lineups.

 Right now, and going forward as much as I can tell, it’s a band though. Aaron Todd is playing guitar and Phillip Claunch is on drums and some production, multi-instrument stuff. We’ve all known each other a long time, all from Somerset, and have played together in a bunch of different projects. We all got together and wrote/recorded ‘Stripes’ in the summer of 2019 and started playing shows.


 We started recording ‘The Close-Up’ about 2 weeks before the quarantine started and luckily were able to get enough of the bones of the songs to be able to finish remotely. I have a studio space and we have all used it separately to finish any tracking that we needed. Phil and Aaron both live on the same street as I, literally I can throw a rock and it land in Phil’s yard, but we kept social distance to finish the ep. It was really interesting, we were all sort of ghosts to each other.

37: What is the music scene like in Sommerset?

BW: Somerset has had a little bit of a boom over the last couple years in terms of music scene. Somerset only started selling alcohol about 5 or 6 years ago, that brought bars, venues etc…Before that it was mostly living room and basement shows. It’s a little fractured but there’s a punk presence with some of the younger kids that has been really cool to see pop up. There’s also a lot of roots and americana type stuff.. I think those would be the most visible. Master Musician Festival is here every year and I think it goes a long way to sort of set the taste for what people expect to see at least. We like to think we’re sort of weird but we’ve found that people are generally pretty open to hearing new things.



37: The new EP, The Close Up, differs in your last EP, Stripes, a little somber maybe, not less upbeat in terms of sound, but in lyrical content...

BW: On Stripes I was in this mood the whole time that was really optimistic and maybe over confident even, so I think those songs, lyrically are my honest reactions about my life at the time but they are sort of manic, I guess? I think Stripes is able to laugh about things where The Close-Up isn’t. I feel like The Close-Up is a realization, or the swing back the other way. I think with both we have been interested in ways to have really subtle darkness wrapped in a frenetic energy. Like that feeling in a movie when you start laughing about things you shouldn’t.

37: The song Not A Riddle is asking, not to make things better, but does the listener want to try and make things better. What was the motivation for this song?

BW: I have this thing where I just notice power lines a lot. They are one of the things that doesn’t fade into background for me, not sure why. But I really liked the idea of our identities and thoughts and relationships riding through wires and lines and cords, and on Not a Riddle I was really into painting that with broad strokes. I was thinking about how technology kind of allows you to know what you want about a person and not know what you don’t want know. Sometimes it feels like with dating apps and just the nature of how a lot of relationships start online that there is this unsaid agreement that everyone can take really artistic liberties with who they make themselves out to be….I approach lyrics in general as a collage, so I’m always reacting to them like a listener in a lot of ways.

37: The title track is a laundry list of all the things we will lose in this life, but gives a slight glimmer of hope in a world built on loss; asking the listener to "come back to the light", which could be seen as religious in nature, at least offering some redemption; care to expand on this?

BW: I’m really glad you asked about the title track. I’m influenced by movies probably more than anything else and I have a really clear movie in my head about that song, it’s kind of bizarre.

It’s basically a character study of the sleaziest savior/messiah figure I could think up. Like, is there a way that he could wield his powers for self gain? Like, he’s talking about all these things that you will lose in your life, but don’t worry, baby, I would never leave. And ‘come back to the light’, I am just in love with the imagery of this character being a movie director and he sort of anoints you, or baptizes you in the light of the camera. It’s probably sacrilege but I love thinking about it.

37: What is next for Tiny Tiny?

BW: As for what’s next for us, we have settled in pretty nicely to our ‘recording under quarantine’ process, so at the very least we want to keep writing and putting out new material. We played Social Distance Fest a couple of weeks ago, an online festival organized by the Master Musician Festival people, it was really great and ended up being a really memorable thing to be a part of. It was early days of quarantine and there was a real unknown feeling in the air. Made for a really heightened experience. But like everyone else, we’re really excited for when we can safely get into a room with other people and play again.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review: Danzig Sings Elvis



Twice in my life I had been faced with 2 difficult questions from music enthusiasts. The first being "Which album do people generally stop listening to the Misfits?" and other, more difficult question, was "How could one man, Glenn Danzig, be at one time the coolest man alive and at another time be the uncoolest?"

The answer to the first question, for most Misfits fans, would be American Psycho, followed by Famous Monsters (with replacement singer Michale Graves). After all the fighting and lawsuits between Danzig and Jerry Only, Danzig still graced us with reissuing early Misfits recordings that are well worth having. When the lawsuits settled and Only and his brother Doyle were given the legal clearance to release new music under the Misfits moniker, Danzig was replaced by singer Michale Graves. Die hard fans would not recognize American Psycho and Famous Monsters as true Misfits albums. It's a hard pill to swallow; Danzig was the heart and soul of the Misfits, and yet Danzig's later offerings lacked the magic that was soaked into the bones of the Misfits.



Sure, the first two Danzig albums have stood the test of time, but later albums could be labeled "For Fans Only." And, as it were, history has also largely changed its mind about American Psycho and Famous Monsters. 'Saturday Night' from Famous Monsters and 'Dig Up Her Bones' from American Psycho are considered by some as Misfits classics.



Could history change its mind about Danzig, after decades public tantrums and an infamous video of Danzig being knocked out cold after schoolyard squabble? On April 24th Danzig released Danzig Sings Elvis. It's no secret Danzig has been a lifelong Elvis fan, garnering him the label "Evil Elvis" and this project is probably way overdue, but might have grabbed more media attention if it came out in the Danzig heyday rather than 30 years after he lost relevance.  It probably would have sounded different too. Danzig's voice is worn away some, and it shows on this album (which was recorded in 2016). No longer could his voice be heard as a mirror of the King himself, as evident on the Elvis-esque Misfits song 'American Nightmare.'



The 14 track, sparsely arranged, album is mostly cheeky, with a humorous tone. 'Baby Let's Play House' is straight up corny. But there is something to be said about Danzig allowing himself to be seen in a more playful light. And some songs on the album are solid and true representations, such as 'Love Me' and 'It Is So Strange.' 'Always On my Mind' 'Pocket Full Of Rainbows' and 'Fever' are surprisingly delightful, and risk bringing new fans to the Danzig catalog.



It is probably safe to say Danzig Sings Elvis should be labeled 'For Fans Only' but for the chance to see Danzig not take himself so seriously, and possibly having fun for the first time in a long time, this 'For Fans Only' album might just help bring back some fans that stopped listening a long time ago.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Quarantine Stay-Creative challenge: Record A Misfits Cover Song For Upcoming Compilation



In 1994 the Analog Distillery label released a compilation of Louisville artists covering the Misfits, In 2007, for the 13th anniversary, Louisville Is For Lovers released a follow up, Louisville Babylon II, and now, as it is at the 13th anniversary of Babylon II, Louisville Is For Lovers has issued a quarantine Stay-Creative challenge asking Louisville artists to record a Misfits cover at home for a third Louisville Babylon compilation that will release later this year. Details here.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Deadline to Submit to LFPL Artist In Residence March 31st


The Louisville Free Public Library has plans to continue the Artist In Residence Program, known as Collider, from July through December. Louisville based artists working in any field are welcome to apply here. Past artist in residence participants have included ballet dancers, glass artists, paper artists, hip hop artists, and photographers. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Review: Drift City 'Mercurial Mirrors' LP

Hot off the heels of their very impressive contribution, Make Believe, from the 2020 Louisville Is For Lovers Valentine's compilation 'Dreaming In Love City' comes the first full length LP by the band Drift City, headed by the elusive J Rivers, titled Mercurial Mirrors.


The solid 8 song LP begins like a fever dream, halfway etherial, halfway ephemeral, as if saddling the ghost of Sparklehorse.

The album's first single, Sailor, sounds as if the ghostly dreampop of David Lynch collided with Johnny Jewel's candy coated synth-pop to create a smoldering Chromatics album at the dark end of the street. J Rivers vocal work evokes a feeling of beautiful agony that resonates throughout the entire LP.


Side B starts with the hopeful, gospel anchored Show Me The Way, before drifting back into twilight with Flock of Birds featuring Louisville legend Chris Rodehoffer's haunting peddle steel, but returns to a more hopeful feeling with So Memory. Unlike side A, which is masterful in its tragic beauty, side B shows the other hand, an uplifting and hopeful -if not a little more country- side to Drift City, like Hope Sandoval wrapped in southern charm.

In all, Mercurial Mirrors is a must for anyone who has kept up with the work of Drift City, or anyone who enjoys their dreampop a little darker and dipped in Kentucky roots.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

2/14 FREE Valentine's Day Events in Louisville

Valentine's Day at the Louisville Visitor Center Stop in to 301 South Fourth St from 10 am-5pm for free Schimpff’s (Indiana candy makers) Red Hot hearts and flowers. More Info Here.

Louisville Is For Lovers Live Lunch with The Excuses and Rebecca Williams. Noon. WFPK Studios. Lunch provided by New Wave Burritos. More Info Here.

PAL-ENTINE’S DAY at Nachbar with The Winger Brothers, Underberglers, and DJ McKinley Moore.  Bring a box of children's Valentines to swap. 8pm. More Info Here.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Review: Batwizard 'Voidfiend' EP



It can be said that all things music comes back around again. Genres like punk and grunge are continually resurrected with a new twist added each time. The Misfits turned campy 50s horror rock into a respectable punk genre that has endured for decades.

In recent years both doom and thrash metal have made leaps outside of the diehard metal circles that hung in from their heyday in the 1980s to again claim their seat in popular culture. With Agent Orange on a nonstop years long tour, and Sleep awakening to commercial success. Body Count never stopped, and is set to release a new album, Carnivore, in March. And then there new players on the scene like Louisville's Total Void and Batwizard.




 Batwizard snatches the most mineable bits of California thrash and doom into their new 4 song EP, Voidfiend, released last week. In 2018 Batwizard released Medustrich in which the 8 songs largely alternated between doom and thrash, while Voidfiend blends the best of both at once, mixing the mystics of Iron Maiden with the earthly anguish of Suicidal Tendencies and more than a dash of good old fashion doom.

BATWIZARD

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Our Most Popular Posts of the Decade: 2010-2019


It's hard to imagine that 37FLOOD got its start 13 Years ago, on March 7th (37 born on 3/7) 2007,  all these years later we have the distinction of being Louisville's longest running Music & Entertainment blog, with over half a million individual readers since our first post!

Here are some of our most popular posts since 2010:



J Perry's Best of The Decade List: We often ask musicians to share their favorite music and entertainment lists. J Perry of the Deloreans gave us his favorites list from 2000-2010, which is our Most read 'Favorites' list of all time!



The most read editorial of the last decade was John King's expose of the city government covering up bad publicity of Gill Holland's gentrification attempts of Portland while running for city councilmen (which he lost). The article is called How To Deal With Louisville's Refugees of Economicide.  It remains the most read editorial in 37FLOOD history!



Our most read album review of the last decade was of Scott H. Biram's Bad Testament LP (and we adored it) that was released in February of 2017. Our 2nd most popular album review was of Jack White's Boarding House Reach (which we were less favorable).


Our most read interview of the decade was from April 2017 with Craig Bell, founding member of influential classic punk bands Rocket From The Tombs, X_____X, and Mirrors.


Our most read event review of the last decade was a review of Forecastle 2018 called It's the End Of the World, about the dangerous atmosphere in Party Cove, and how our reporter and photographer were threatened by event goers. Despite having the record for the longest online news source to cover the annual event, we have not been invited back by Forecastle management.

Our second most read  event review was of Forecastle 2010 written by 37FLOOD writer Dylan Greenwood. Dylan's review also holds the distinction of having the most viewed photo on 37FLOOD:
This photo of Grace Potter playing Forecastle 2010 is the most viewed photo on 37FLOOD, which brings us to the most used Google search term (besides 37FLOOD) sending traffic to our site: Grace Potter legs.