Posts Tagged ‘The Leftovers’

Punk Rock Shows and Black Cigs

April 13, 2010

I found myself lost in Youtube for over an hour and ended up where I always do, watching old Side Project videos. Then I started thinking about how much I miss going to those shows. Sure, there are still shows in Ashland and and a few of the same bands played, but it’s just not the same.

I remember my first Washburn show and how I only knew 4 songs the entire night, but it was still amazing. It was the first time I had seen a real pit, the first time I smelled Djarum Black’s, and the first “party” I ever went to. I miss the days when people didn’t care about how they looked at the shows and actually went there to have fun. Believe it or not, people used to dance, jump, and mosh at shows. Now you’re lucky to have 4 perfectly straight lines of people looking at you with their arms crossed and their heads tilted to the side.

It probably doesn’t mean much to the few people that read this because they weren’t there and it’s just another show to them. To me it’s more than just the bands and dancing though. It used to be a very different experience than it is now. I was always with the group of kids that shows up early for the show, but that group of kids doesn’t exist anymore. After waiting on the front steps of the Civic for sometimes an hour, Ben would show up and let us in, and we’d pay our $4 and go upstairs.

There was always a certain feeling in the air at shows. There were the kids that everyone knew and the new kids that were clearly scared to be there. Back then I didn’t know every person that was there because there was more than just one group of kids that went. Now you basically have to beg your friends to come to the show, and it wasn’t even to see your band. You have to beg them to come so that you can get their $5, so you can pay the touring bands enough to make it to the next city.

I didn’t mean to make this a comparison, but there are a lot of differences between the shows now and how they were then. Back then I would leave every show sweaty and thankful for the cool summer air. After a night of rocking out and screaming my lungs off, I would go to the gas station and buy the first drink that I could get my hands on. Everyone would be looking for something to do because it’s 10 on a Saturday night and nobody had made any plans because of the show.

This is going to sound deep, but it’s very true. The shows really changed who I am as a person. I discovered my favorite band, I found music and people that I could relate to, I found something to look forward to every month or two, and it gave me  reason to learn how to play bass. I made friends,became a much more confident and outspoken person, not to mention I learned to appreciate certain things a little more. Who needs a big stage, a pro sound system and a lighting rack? Sure we had to tape mics to stands sometimes, but at least kids had fun and looked forward to shows. Don’t have money to pay for professional shirts? Paint your band’s name on a Goodwill shirt, I’ll buy it.

I know I missed the start of the Washburn pop-punk scene, and really I was only there for the last part of it, but I still miss it just the same. Now that the music scene has moved to Ashland and I have to book the shows, it just doesn’t have the same feeling of excitement to it. It’s almost more of a sense of responsibility  than anything. I hope someday  there will be a few people and a few bands that start caring about music in the area again.


Wait, They Played In Ashland!?

September 18, 2009

Like I said in my last blog, a lot of people say they listen to “everything”, but I have never seen them at any local shows. Their excuse is always “Well I don’t know any of the bands”, which is because you have never gone before. Now I’ll be honest, there have been a lot of really bad local bands, but their have been a lot of bands that played here and got big right after it. Here’s 10 bands I bet you didn’t know played in Ashland.

1. Children 18:3 (
These guys went from playing at the Civic Center in Ashland to international tours in the time I was in High School. Look for them in full page ads in Alternative Press and their tickets on Ticketmaster, because they ARE there. These guys are signed by Tooth & Nail records and have a HUGE following now, but you missed them…too bad…

2.Decyfer Down (
These guys are in the same boat as Children 18:3, they came to Ashland, played on the bed of a semi truck for maybe 40 kids and the next day their album released and sold 10’s of thousands of copies(I own the first one ever sold and it’s signed by all of them). These guys haven’t played a show for less than 300 kids since that one show in Ashland. Where were you for that?

3.The Silver Heart Club (
I’ve had the privileged of sharing the stage with these guys 3 or 4 times now and they are better every time. They have lived in WI, MN, and AZ, and picked up quite the following in that time. These guys have played with more big bands than you even listen to, let me start the list. Nevershoutnever!, All Time Low, The Rocket Summer, The Matches, Sonny(of From First To Last), Forever The Sickest Kids, and the list goes on. Check their myspace for the full list.

4.The Leftovers (
The Leftovers have played in Ashland many times, as recent as this past summer. They have played big festivals such as Insubordination Fest and are currently signed by Rally Records. I know most of the non-show-goers don’t really care/ know what that is, but it’s a big deal. I know all of you will get this though, they are going on a European tour with Bowling For Soup. I KNOW you know who they are. I have a feeling these guys will be back in the near future, so you better not miss them next time.

5.Project 27(
First off, these guys are an absolute blast. Even if you don’t like there music (which seems nearly impossible), you will like them as people. Their music is insanely catchy and rumor has it they once coverd a Blink 182 song. They have releases on Rally Records and you can get it on iTunes right now.  I’m happy to say that I have shared both the stage and my house with these guys. They drove all the way from Long Beach, NY to play in Ashland (granted they made a few stops on the way). Check out their Myspace for a free sampler and if you like it then you can order their CD of there too.

6.The Tattletales (
If you could even see the crowd for TTT when they are in town you would understand. Nobody gets a better crowd reaction than these guys. They have been all over the world playing music and they still make a special stop in Washburn every year.(Though because people had to ruin things it will be Ashland from now on). 5 years from now you will all be wearing there shirts asking me if I have ever heard of them, I promise. Even if you are deaf there is a reason to go to their shows, and her name is Anya. Just go and you will understand.

7. The Guts (
Though they only played here once and the turnout was bad(It was a school night), I had a ton of fun at their show. These guys have worked with so many pop-punk legends it’s ridiculous. Joe Queer, Ben Weasel, not to mention they have releases on Rally,Kid-Tested, and Go Kart records. They have a live album, and two studio albums on iTunes. You get like 25 songs for $10, it’s a steal. Let’s pray that they come back again.

8.Rational Anthem (
Probably the first and only band from Florida to play in Ashland, Rational Anthem  is the epitome of hard work. These guys(and 1 girl) travel the entire US every summer promoting their music. I’ve played with these guys twice now and they just keep getting better. Backed up Traffic Street records it’s hard to deny that these guys will only get bigger. Rumor has it they might  be making a big move to the midwest, hopefully that’s true. I’m sure they will be back next summer, so pick up there stuff on the Traffic Street website and be ready for them next time.

9.The Jetty Boys (
Yeah these guys are from Wisconsin and don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to get here, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t amazing. Not surprisingly these guys are signed by Rally records as well (gotta love those guys). I could rave about how energetic and catchy their music is, but words won’t do them justice. They’ll be in Ashland again and next time you won’t miss them.

10.Nathan Parent(
I know this is sort of cheating, but for those of you that have been living under a rock(or in marengo) you might not know who Nate is I’ll sum him up for you. You know the guy that works at The Black Cat, but doesn’t actually go to Northland? That’s him. He plays acoustic shows everywhere and even took a trip or two to Norway to play some shows. If you are lucky you’ll catch him with a full band and that’s a totally different experience. He has been working on an album for like 5 years and when it comes out it will be amazing. You can pick up a sweet, sweet sample of his stuff on iTunes(or CDbaby :P). You know what else Nate does? (Here comes the shameless plug) He plays live shows with my band Aphamy!(