Two days later and I get to see Hot Water Music and Leatherface again, this time in a much better venue. Jamie Arthurs and I began working on this show together, but by the time the show came around I was a bit disillusioned by the whole booking agent thing, which just wasn't my idea of how punk bands operate, that I let Jamie take things on himself and stepped back from booking these big shows that would be held at the Church and stuck to helping out the smaller bands at smaller venues. I still helped Jamie staff the Church shows but I just had no interest in being involved in dealing with parties other than the band members. Hot Water Music were one of my favorite bands at the time and they played a great, hot, sweaty set. Leatherface were great to see live and thankfully played a set full of hits sprinkled with a couple of songs from their split with HWM. It was cool to see a bunch of "older" people come out of the woodwork for them. Swank was kind of a funk/ska/punk band from Virginia featuring the inimitable Tony Weinbender, future head honcho of The Fest in Gainesville, FL. Dave from Codeseven also played trombone for them sometimes as a fill in, but I can't remember if he played this show or not. It sounds like an odd combination of sounds, but they made it work. Very high energy and especially fun live. Panthro UK United 13 were a solid band from Gainesville on No Idea Records. They had a couple of really good songs and then a handful of decent ones. The bass player Jimmy "The Truth" would move to DC a few years later to start SuperChinchillaRescueMission with members of Latebloomer and De Nada. Good stuff.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
June 13th, 1999: Hot Water Music, Kid Dynamite, Leatherface, Radar Mercury @ Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA
What a line up. I think I went to this show by myself which, looking back, kind of blows my mind that I couldn't find anyone else to travel an hour and a half with me for this show. Maybe cuz it was a work night, but that's no excuse. This was my first time seeing Leatherface. Unfortunately it was at the Chameleon Club which is a terrible venue for hardcore/punk shows. Shitty staff, meathead security, and a barrier in front of the stage. Weak. If I remember correctly Kid Dynamite's split 10" with 88 Fingers Louie had come out just before this show. Their songs on that split were great. All the bands on this show were really good but it was just a lame vibe cuz of the venue. Thankfully I'd be seeing HWM and Leatherface again in College Park a couple of days later.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
This is the flyer for the final two shows held at the Sound Exchange in Ellicott City, MD. SX was run by the genial Josh Greenbaum and staffed (I think mostly voluntarily) by a good group of Columbia/Ellicott City punks, notably Jon Falk and Aaron Fishbein (the Falsies). I found the place on a whim when I moved into a house in between Ellicott City and Catonsville and took a bike ride into old EC. To my surprise I found a little punk rock record shop nestled cozily amongst the antique stores and boutiques. I checked it out and found some flyers for some upcoming shows, one of which was for Kill Your Idols. Stoked that the place was doing shows for cool bands I became a regular there and met many of the people that I am still close with today. I saw and booked a lot of rad shows there. Josh lived in the apartment above the store and during and after the shows he would hold Tetris tournaments up there. Lots of rad late night hangouts. Josh was working on writing a book about those years of his life but I'm not sure if it's still being worked on or not. As you can see by the flyer, Josh was always super supportive of local bands and the store was really an important factor in getting a lot of Columbia, Baltimore, Annapolis, and College Park area bands some good shows. For those with poor eyesight, the line ups for the shows were: Kill Your Idols, Codeseven, Torn Apart, El Secondhand, Chernobyl Kids, Allied War Effort, Bullet Holes and Blood Stains, and Third Strike on the first day and Purpose, Two Man Advantage, Crispus Attucks, De Nada, Mendoza, East Liberty, The Falsies, Code Blue, and Third Strike on the second day. Josh now lives in Brooklyn working quite happily as a pet groomer. It's always good when I get to bump into him. Thanks for the memories and the friendships Josh.
BONUS TIDBIT: I used to live up the road from the Sound Exchange. Literally up the road. You went up a big hill from Ellicott City to get to my house, so I became known to those around the store as "Mike From Up the Street". If you read this blog regularly you know that I have a terrible memory. The time that the Sound Exchange was around was the time before everyone had a cell phone. I know most of the people I knew did not. I called the Sound Exchange so often to chat or book shows that it was one of the few phone numbers I had memorized. One night while driving some friends to the movies in Towson (on a suspended driver's license) I got pulled over for speeding and got arrested. I got taken to a police station somewhere around Reisterstown and the only phone number I could think to call was Josh's. He and his roommate Jason came to bail me out and from then on out I became known as "Mike From Up the River". That crew was the best.
Monday, September 27, 2010
I found a bunch of photos that I scanned and edited but forgot to upload for the March 19th, 1999 show entry (Kid Dynamite, Grey Area, Kill Your Idols, Fast Times. Sorry, no Good Clean Fun photos). I forgot that Kid Dynamite was in between bass players at this time so Ernie from Grey Area Played bass for them this night.
Here's those photos from MACRoCk 1999. I couldn't find any of the ones of bands playing, though I know I have some. Maybe one day. Until then, here's the MD posse...
(I don't remember the names of the four on the left. The group on the right is Alex D at top left, Cristin Ryan to his right, Mike D to her right, Aaron Fishbein in the middle, Funny at bottom left and Chris Penna at bottom right.)
A few weeks after my last visit and I'm back in Philly at Stalag 13 for another show. I never liked Committed. The fact that the singer really tried to ape Ray Cappo always bothered me. Good Clean Fun were still pretty fun at this time. I remember them covering "Not Just Boys Fun" and most of the crowd going apeshit. Kill Your Idols were the band I primarily went to see. They were great. I broke my hand getting rammed into the speaker during their Sheer Terror cover by Jesse from Something In the Water. To this day I wonder if it was on purpose or not since I was friends with some of the people that went to his house to fuck with him after he made a rather disrespectful comment about the frontman of a very popular band at the time. I never cared for the dude and that didn't help matters. Ensign's Cast the First Stone album had just come out and while there were a few decent songs on it, it didn't really grab me like their previous stuff had. Actually, to this day I still think their debut 7" and their split with Good Riddance contain their best stuff. They played a good amount of of the older songs at this show along with the best songs off their new album so it was a good set, although my hand was a bit sore (I didn't realize it was broken until the next day) so I couldn't fully enjoy it. Good show.
EDIT: Former Ensign/Something In the Water/Purpose member Chris Oliver noted that I was remembering some of my history incorrectly...It wasn't Jesse's house that they visited but Jesse said something along the same lines when Looks Like Rain played a house show in New Brunswick with Something In the Water, Tear It Up, and Holding On, and that had gotten back to that same group of people, though this time nothing came of it except for some words on some message boards, but he said something that made me think he thought it was me that said something, and that's why I wondered if the shove during KYI's set in Philly was purposeful, but the New Brunswick house show wasn't until August of 2001 so this was not the show where I broke my hand, it was another KYI set and it may have been at the Killtime since I think Stalag 13 was not still running in August of 2001. My memory sucks.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
April 30th, 1999: Daybreak, De Nada, Kojak, Lycosa, Midian, Noothgrush, Page 99, Pig Destroyer, Xibalba @ E-Level, JHU, Baltimore, MD
Here's another flyer for a show at a room on a college campus that I'm pretty sure doesn't exist anymore due to renovations. I only heard about ten or so shows booked at E-Level at Johns Hopkins University, and I probably caught four of them. Strike Anywhere played there when they still only had a demo out. This was the first show I saw there. Keeve from Daybreak booked it. I think this may have been the only Necrofest. Solid line up of grind, powerviolence, and metal bands. Xibalba was Ben Valis (Small Intestine, Stars of the Dogon), Dan Jensen, and friends doing some evil metal. Pig Destroyer is one of my all time favorite heavy band names. I don't remember what they sounded like back then compared to now, but everyone into that stuff in the area was super into them from the start, so I'm sure they ruled then as they rule now. I remember picking up the Pg. 99 /Enemy Soil split 7" at this show. This kinda stuff was never really my scene so I couldn't tell you anything about Noothgrush, Midian, Lycosa, or Kojak. I'm sure some of my readers will have a better recollection of this show.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
April 23rd, 1999: Zegota, Page 99, De Nada, Hiretsukan, Haddonfield @ Stamp Student Union, UMD, College Park, MD
Let's see here...I remember catching Haddonfield and seeing Colin play drums for the first time and being really impressed. Wait, I think I probably saw Colin play drums for Disbelief, but my memory is a little hazy there. Anyway, Colin was young and he was a beast. He went on to play drums for Most Precious Blood and the reformed Damnation AD. Joe Denney sang if I remember correctly. Solid line up of locals. Good heavy band. I think there was a demo. I didn't care much for Hiretsukan or Zegota and De Nada and Page 99 were great as usual. I know there were a few shows at the Stamp Student Union, which I don't think exists anymore, but I think this was the only one I caught there. My memory sucks. Someone help me out with better details of this show.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
This would have been the record release show for The Process Of... which was a pretty good Turmoil record, but I didn't like it quite as much as Anchor. Actually, those are the only two Turmoil records I ever listen to. I didn't care much for From Bleeding Hands and I stopped paying attention after The Process Of... I honestly don't remember anything about this show. You read my thoughts on The Judas Factor in one of last week's posts and I thought Another Victim were pretty boring. Stalag 13 was a rad DIY venue in west Philadelphia that had a pretty good run and hosted some great shows in the late 90s/early 2000s. It was a pretty much gutted house so the show room was almost the size of the entire first floor. I think the old kitchen was still walled off and there was a backyard you could hang out in. I never went upstairs, but I remember it being accessible at one time. It had a good sized stage and a decent enough PA. The neighborhood was probably about the same as where the Loft was in Baltimore, so if you were used to going to shows in west Baltimore, it didn't seem like that big of a deal, but I remember constantly hearing complaints from out-of-towners about how sketchy the neighborhood was. Whatever, there was a pretty good pizza place a few blocks away and parking was almost never a problem.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I found those photos that I promised in the last post but I just got a new computer and my scanner is so old there are no updated drivers for it, so I have to go get a new scanner. Pics coming shortly...
Here we have a flyer from the second day of the MACRoCk festival. This show was a blast. I was really stoked on almost every band on this show. I'm not sure if the Submerge on the flyer is the band from Long Island or not. Not even sure I caught them on this night. Radar Mercury were a pretty decent indie/rock/punk band from NJ featuring some of the guys from Endeavor and the bassist from Bound. I think Doghouse put out their debut EP. It had some pretty good songs on it. I never loved the Jazz June, but they were a decent band. ErrorType:11 were an indie rock band from New York on Walter Schreifels's label, Some Records, with an all-star cast of Long Islanders from bands like Mind Over Matter, Bad Trip, Clockwise, and Milhouse. I have their debut CD, their EP on Crank, and their split with Gameface on Revelation and I like it all. Ann Beretta's Bitter Tongues CD is still on regular rotation on my iPod. Didn't care much for anything after that but they were great live at this time (unlike at the reunion shows from a couple of years ago when they played everything at half speed). I was super pumped to see Discount as I had only seen them once before and they were great. They mostly played stuff from Crash Diagnostic, which is a fine record, but it was the Half Fiction songs that really got me excited. Hot Water Music played an incredible set. I loved everything they had released at this point and they played a good mix of all of it. I remember most of our crew being right up front for this show and everyone singing their hearts out and having a blast. I've got some pictures of this set. Coming soon, I promise.
Friday, September 17, 2010
This would have been the second or third MACRoCk (Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference) festival I attended. It's held annually at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and while I haven't paid attention since 2000 or so when I stopped being a part of the UMBC radio station (except when The Spark played in 2006) I remember the ones in the late 90s being chock-full of great bands. The first one I went to had Archers of Loaf as the headliner with the Get Up Kids (pre-Something To Write Home About) on the same bill. I also saw Alkaline Trio for the first time (pre-From Here To Infirmary) at a MACRoCk festival. I remember this particular trip to the festival being really fun as we had a good group of people from Baltimore and College Park all traveling and staying together. That bottom flyer is kinda funny to think about these days. Darkest Hour as the opener. Saves the Day on a show with a bunch of metal and metalcore bands. Nothingface, who nobody ever gave a shit about, not even in Baltimore, their hometown, as the headliner. I don't remember too much about the Lovitt showcase. I think I only went to watch Frodus. I may have caught Engine Down as well as I always thought they were good live. I've got some good pics of our crew, featuring Alex Dimattesa (with dyed blonde hair), Cristin Ryan, Chris Penna, Funny, and others, that'll I'll have to dig up.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
March 24th, 1999: Angels In the Architecture, Ampersand, Houseboy, Midway @ Sound Exchange, Ellicott City, MD
Here's a flyer for Ampersand's first show at the Sound Exchange in Ellicott City. By the looks of it I'd say it was a collaborative show between Josh, who ran the SX, and Johnny or Carl from Ampersand. It's definitely a Carl Caracia flyer. Ampersand was Johnny and Adam from Prisoner of Conscience teaming up with Carl from Underneath. I can't remember who played drums, but it might have been George from P.O.C. (and later The Convocation Of...). I recorded their demo at UMBC for a studio recording class I was taking at the time. The band was very much influenced by the mid - late 90s Dischord bands. Kinda heavy, but with a touch of groove. A little Fugazi, a little Lungfish, as well as some other influences. They definitely had some cool songs. Angels In the Architecture were a post-hardcore/indie/emo band from Michigan (I think). Not really my thing but they were friends with John from Ampersand. I have no idea who the other two bands are. This was definitely a sparsely attended show but the record store was small so it worked well for that sort of thing.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
March 21st, 1999: Turmoil, Torn Apart, the Judas Factor, the Old Grey Whistle Test @ Phantasmagoria, Wheaton, MD
I don't remember too much from this show except that I had never heard of The Old Grey Whistle Test before this night and I was really impressed by them. I believe they were from northern Virginia, but I couldn't tell you who was in the band or what any of the members went on to do. I don't even know if they ever put a demo or anything out. They were just a really good melodic rock-influenced hardcore band. If anyone has any info on them, or knows of any available recordings, please let me know. The Judas Factor was Rob Fish's band after 108 broke up. They had a similar discordant heavy sound, but none of their stuff ever really grabbed me like 108 did. Torn Apart were always fun to see live and I liked Turmoil live better than I did on record. There's a couple songs they have that just slay in a live setting. Chris Brady did this show.
Monday, September 13, 2010
March 19th, 1999: Kid Dynamite, Kill Your Idols, Fast Times, Grey Area, Good Clean Fun @ St. Andrew's Church, College Park, MD
This is one of my favorite shows I ever booked. Probably the biggest one as well. It was also the first show at St. Andrew's Church, which eventually became a somewhat legendary venue for the area. This show was originally booked at the Chop Shop so when it got shut down I had to scramble for a new venue and make sure it was gonna be big enough for the show. This is when John Mutchler and Steve Clark stepped in. They were trying to get their Second Wind Revolution shows going in the DC area so they'd been looking around for possible venues. One of the places they had talked to was St. Andrew's Church in College Park. The location was perfect as it was in between Baltimore and DC/NoVA and the hc/punk scene around College Park was at it's height with loads of people doing bands and a bunch of houses hosting shows, as well as a few places around the UMD campus like the radio station (WMUC) and the Food Co-op. They solidified the Church as the venue for the show and we got to work getting the word out about the show. I knew it would be one of the bigger shows I had ever booked at the time, but I was quite surprised by the turnout. I don't remember the exact number right now, but the church was a big space and it was at least half-full. It definitely would have been way too big for the Chop Shop. Every band was great, as you might imagine, and everyone had a blast. Kid Dynamite ended up using photos from this show taken by Mark Beemer on a release. I'd have to look but I think it was the 88 Fingers Louie split. The photos with Jason wearing a Redskins t-shirt are the ones from this show. You can see some video of it in their DVD as well. A few other people began using the church as a venue for shows with Jamie Arthurs eventually "taking it over" and booking a bunch of really big and really memorable shows. I'm pretty sure Steve Clark made this flyer. Amazing show.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Here's another flyer for a show at the Ottobar in it's original location on Davis St which later became the Talking Head and is now slated to be a parking lot I think. I didn't like too much of what was coming out on Dischord post In On the Kill Taker until I heard Bluetip's Join Us LP. Something about that record just grabbed me. I'd always been into Swiz so maybe it was the Jason Farrell connection, even though the sound wasn't really similar at all. I just think he's a really cool guitar player. I quite enjoyed them at this show. I don't remember who the Farewell Bend were. The French Mistake were a band with my friend and fellow UMBC student Mike Borneman. I'm pretty sure they put a CD out but I never picked it up. Don't remember exactly what they sounded like. Great Blazing Saddles reference though.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
February 6th, 1999: In My Eyes, Ten Yard Fight, Brother's Keeper, Reach the Sky @ Phantasmagoria, Wheaton, MD
We're back! (No lie, Youth of Today came on my iPod while typing this.) Sorry for the delay but I generally only have time to work on these posts at work and things have been pretty busy around here lately. Our busy season is slowing down however so hopefully I can get back to regular updates here. Thanks for all the encouraging words over the interim. Enjoy.
Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the final flyer for this show. As you can see above this show was originally slated to be held at the Chop Shop, but as you read in the last post the venue got shut down, so we had to scramble to find new venues for all of our shows. I don't remember how many shows I'd been to at Phantasmagoria in Wheaton, MD (a suburb of DC) before this but this definitely wasn't my first experience with the venue. It was a pretty cool coffee shop / record store with a good sized stage in it. I definitely saw some pretty cool shows there. (It's now a place called the Charles Gilchrist Cultural Center. No shows there as far as I know.) Jamie Arthurs secured the venue for this show with a week's notice. I don't remember the exact turnout for this one but it was pretty good. Definitely a room full of kids getting their pile-ons and stagedives on. I was super psyched on all of these bands at this time so I had a blast. I know there was a fifth band and I think it was Redline, who I may have mentioned before featured people that went on to play in the Chase and FVK DC. Any time I put "special guest" on a flyer, it had nothing to do with hyping up some secret act, but a nod to one of the funniest movies of all time, Fear Of A Black Hat. I know Alex D will understand. It was a real bummer that the Chop Shop got shut down but I was really happy that we were able to pick up and move on and get just about every show moved to a new venue.