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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finding Eden

Finding Eden
(Did you take this photo? Let me know!)
      In less than a year, Marysville, the small Michigan town 45 minutes northeast of Detroit, home of Every Avenue, has revived it's music scene and is bigger than ever! One key component to the revival is the amazing support of the local music enthusiasts. Finding Eden, local post-hardcore band, is very glad to have helped rebuild the scene and says they couldn't ask for a better local fanbase.

      The band consists of Dave Kessler (vocals), Mike Obdziejewski (keyboard), Brendan Tunrbull (rhythm guitar), Erik Steele (lead guitar), Pat Ulrich (bass) and Brent Gates (drums).

      Finding Eden released their debut EP, Lies Lead To Heartache, on March 26, 2010 and have plans to release their next EP, Autonomy, next month. The band insists that their latest EP is far better than there first attempt. "Our new E.P. Autonomy is 10 times better in my opinion. We have grown so much as a band over the last year. I dont think one song on the Lies Lead to Heartache EP is half as good as our new songs." Says Brendan Turnbull, the band's rhythm guitarist.

      Most of the band has been friends for years. They all have much love for music and take pride in their 'outside-the box' sound. "We have a lot of faith in each other." Says the Band.

      A friend of the band introduced the band to online radio DJ, DJ Deadboy, who put them on regular rotation on his radio show and because of the band's buzz in Michigan, 89X Radio Detroit contacted the band and put them on regular rotation. Also, New York City based e-magazine, Rockhard Magazine, featured the band in the e-zine ln March 29th, 2010, a day after they released their first EP. Give the band great exposure. In the same month, the band won a contest hosted by which the band won in a landslide. The same site also featured the band as the 'Spotlight Band' for that month. "It was pretty awesome we got a lot of new fans from all over the US, UK & Canada."

Finding Eden
      Apart from the long and impressive resume comes the band's stage performance, which is equally impressive. With close to 200-300 people showing up to local shows, The band must be doing something right. "We go all out, everytime we touch the stage. Always have, always will! We try to give the fans their money's worth. its important to us to make sure everyone has a great time." The band opened for Hawthorne Heights last summer in Mt. Clemens, MI at The Hayloft and the show was sold out. "The line seemed to go on for days. So after we loaded our equipment, we went out to meet and greet people. After all, we all know what its like standing outside trying to get into a show in the Summer!"

      Don't forget to like the band on Facebook and keep an eye out for their EP, Autonomy, which should be out next month! They will be booking shows out of state to try and boost their fanbase. Look for them around the Midwest! And of course, vote the band to play warped tour this summer!


Finding Eden - "From Rags to Riches" - Autonomy EP

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Uncharted Battlefest Highlight: Derek 'Blaze' Nguyen


      Derek Nguyen, known as Blaze to everyone in the 'Forest City' Rockford-based battle leage, Midwest Battlefest, has been making music since the age of fourteen. Now, at age 19, he is CEO of the rapidly growing company. Of course, Blaze hasn't forgotten where he's come from.

      Blaze started his music ventures in a group, Outlaw Recordz, for a short while before internal conflicts caused them to disband. Blaze went solo and soon met up with fellow music artists, Ronald "T.R.I.M. Forte" Watson and Akeem Kizart in '09. Blaze was introduced to Hustle and Culture, one he considers his first REAL music group. To tis day, he reps the music company alongside other artists, including Zachary "Ayngel Halow" Coble. Blaze helped them produce their first mixtape, Jedi Mic Tricks, within a few short weeks.

      Through Facebook, Blaze met Keith "Da Rambla" Cotto from West Christiansburg , VA. After kind words, Keith invited Blaze to work with his personal affiliates, EMB/Most Hayyyted, alongside Zac "Da-Vine" Garcia. The two were the only artists in the affiliated with the group from outside the VA area and supported Da Rambla's newest album, You Can Hate Me Now.

      Febuary 2010, Blaze took a long hiatus from music. He felt that he had burned himself out after pushing out his tapes, The Initial Spark and Flashfire. He began focusing more on Battlefest and helping fellow artists improve their crafts. Whenever he wasn't doing what he could to support the local hip-hop scene, he was dealing with the everyday life of a teenager. School and work took priorety over his musical ventures.

      Any work he COULD get in was spent writing, rather than recording music. "I have many songs that are written on my computer that have yet to be recorded, some spanning all the way back til 2008." Says Blaze.

      In the last several months, Blaze has been working on several projects, including "Back To Basics (B2B)" and "God Mode". Blaze has several music artist connections, including ties to Darian (Elgin, IL), Cassandra "Freshkidd" Ramirez (Oceanside, CA), Rohan Raj (Canada), Santhi Long (Iowa), the group BXC, Casmira Baclawski (Kenosha, WI), and most recently Axe and Xen of the Wisemen, which he is now a part of.

      Blaze showcases a versatile lyrical style and great vocal control which works in his favor, as he explores a vast variety of genres from Club, R&B, Old Skool and even Pop!

      "I Love music. This is my escape from the hardships of life. This is where I can express myself and to give my thoughts and ideas a medium to be projected. Music literally saved my life. my passion for this won't ever die and come summer 2011, Blaze will be back and will heat up the game for sure." - Blaze


Uncharted Battlefest Highlight: Spud


      Having just won his second battle in Forest City's own Midwest Battlefest, Spud is working on a new mixtape, Graduation, due June 5th. The mixtape is a follow up to his last mixtape titled, Cram Session. Graduation, will have a 'high school' theme, which includes flashbacks and everything.
      The Mixtape will showcase Spud's own GOBLIN camp and a few other hopefuls. "Anyone that wants to be on it can just hit me up"    

      Spud aquired his odd nickname through a chain of funny stories. It began when his father nicknamed him 'Sputnik' after being born in the same year as the russian satellite. His uncle called him Spud instead of Sputnik and it stuck. It's a name that he enjoys because it gives him the comfortability and coonfidence he needs to use the spud for more serious uses.

       Spud's first ever battling event took place fairly recently in March at Battlefest Presents: March Massacre 2 (Shout out to, Blaze!) "My first battle was against Baby Ben, it went great. I got a comanding w. Before the battle, I was just in my own corner, thinking, getting over the nerves. I was quiet most of the time. I talked to Rude Flow and Dijion some. During the battle, I wasn't really thinking. It was like pure instinct. I knew bars and I delivered them like a robot on a task. (Laughs) After, it was great! My hands had stop sweating and I caught a lot of people by suprise, that was a good feeling. I could get comfortable and speak to people" Says Spud.

      Spud's music is about all the things he has seen and experienced. A lot of high school experiences and getting through the challenges.

      "I have a couple producers and numerous beats from fellow student, producer/rapper, Jdoug." Says Spud about his new mixtape, Graduation, coming out June th. "I got Anthony Dismuke, who produced beats for fellow GOBLIN camp artists, Ash-tre. I'm looking foward to getting produced by several members from the BXC camp. Right now, I'm just gathering to make Graduation the best that I can" says Spud.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Still The Sky

Still The Sky

      Still The Sky, Rockford metalcore band, formed in October of 2010. The band consists of Tarek (vocals), Brett (synth/samples/vocals), Dustin (guitar/programming), Travis (guitar), and Tony (bass/vocals).

      The band started when Dustin and a friend were playing in his basement. Travis was first to join and the drummer they were playing with was the first to quit. Travis and Dustin had no interest in stopping there, so they called upon Josh (formerly of Mariana) to play drums so that they could continue working on songs. Tony (formerly of The Rage Inside) and Austin (formerly of Mariana) met them at a get-together and somehow, they all ended up jamming together and joining the band.

      Then drummer, Josh, left the band for numerous reasons after tensions arose between the band as they searched for a bassist.The band was at the very end of their rope and everyone started fearing for the worst. Just as the band was considering calling it quits, they received a surprise phone call from band friend, Tyler, a talented drummer, who took up the position. Tony moved to bass and the band started making music again.

      Soon, Austin would leave the band and Tarek (drummer for A Journey To Fall) would take his place as the lead vocalist. "Tarek's vocals definitely brought alot to the table. His vocals bring the calm to the music. But it's great because he also has a powerful scream." Says the band. After joining the band, Tarek felt the band needed some synths so he brought in Brett, who would go on to wing it at his first show. He has been with the band since. Brett will also contribute more vocals in the newer music.

Tour Flyer
      When asked about their music, the band replied "Our music is intended to make you feel the basic emotions. Happiness, love, hate, sadness, and apathy. Because music to us is more than something you listen to. It's something you want to feel." The band has no interest in being the poster child for metalcore. "We live for music. It's what we love, and it's what we will continue to always have in our life. So why not make the best of it while we have it? We're not wanting to be your average "Oh hey dude check out this breakdown!", or "Look at these really high vocals!". We want a dreamy upbeat sound that can effect you emotionally, and that's precisely what we're going for."

      The band went on to win the 104.9 Battle of the Bands, held in downtown Freeport and plan to do some early summer touring with A Journey to Fall and Circuits to help promote their upcoming EP, Something Devious Is Upon Us.

      The EP has been confirmed to be a concept album that won't disappointed.  According to the band, the EP tells the "underlying story of a man's insane life. Finding new love, suffering through a broken heart, turning into a murdering cannibal, and living as an old man regretting the mistakes he's made." says the band.

      Check out the band's Facebook and keep a lookout for their EP this summer! The band will be playing lots of shows and you can catch them touring with A Journey to Fall and Circuits!


The Sasparillas

The Sasparillas

      The Sasparillas, blues rockers from Pecatonica, IL are more than just avid root beer fans. As most root beer fans know, old-fashioned root beer is made from the sasparilla root found in central america. "Sasparilla is the root of root beer. That's where the deliciousness of root beer comes from. We like to think that we go back to the root of music and what started all the deliciousness." Says the band.

      The band consists of Hannah Hovland (vocals), Ryan Countryman (guitar), Jake Mullen (bass/back-up vocals) and Noah Karvelis (drums/mandolin). Everyone, with the exception of Hannah, has known each other since the 5th grade. When all of their previous bands and projects didn't work out, they looked to start a band. They knew Hannah from high school, and through Facebook, she was contacted to join the band and soon after they were practicing together.

The Sasparillas live show
      "We sound like someone took the classic blues rock sounds of Led Zeppelin, sprinkled in a decent amount of The Jimi Hendrix Experience's funkiness, and threw in a bit of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's groove." Says the band, "Along with that, Howlin' Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, Muddy Waters, and Albert King are our main blues influences. The blues is really important to us and we feel that it's something that needs to be respected and carried on."

      The band writes about people in their lives or specific events that have occurred, and often times write happier songs. On the flip-side, when Noah's girlfriend's father died, he transferred all the emotion into the song, "Gone Away". "We have been dating for over 14 months, so when that happened I went through all the steps with her. Going to the hospital just after it happened, the funeral planning, the first time the family saw him at the visitation. It was a really sad time and a lot of the confusion and stress from the time comes out in that song." Says Noah.

      "Hannah puts on one of the best stage shows that you can find in the area. She really gets moved by the music and just unleashes a flurry of emotion." Says the band. They play two to three hour shows nearly every weekend and sometimes busts out some classic rock covers. "We play a lot of Hendrix, Zeppelin, Stones, and Beatles. Also, we play our original songs. They range from classic blues-sounding songs, to funky songs, to just straight rock."

The Sasparillas @ The RAMI Youth Charity Jam
Photo: Greg Farnham
      The band has a number of accomplishments under their belt, including the 'Pastor's choice' award at The Rave Battle of the Bands last January (2010). They finished as finalists and again a month later in second place at the RAMI Youth Charity Jam in February (2010) and March (2010). They were selected to play at Music on Chicago and On The Waterfront. "We are very proud of the fact that we were leading at The Hope and Anchor's Battle of the Bands for over a month and were close to winning. We were one of the few teen bands, with most of them being 20-30 year olds. The staff enjoyed us some much, that they bought more votes and voted for us to win."

      The band is working hard on getting tshirts printed, and getting their EP made and ready. "Our main interest right now is just to get our name out there and play shows and increase our fan base." Like the band on Facebook!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Patience Pending

Patience Pending 
(Photo: Jon Van Gilder) 
      In Spring 2009, in Freeport, Il, Andrew Dorsey (vocals) and Austin Collins (guitar) joined forces and started a blues and jazz band during a fine arts competition. Austin's brother, Andrei Collins (keys), joined soon after, as did, Caleb Hanson (bass) and then drummer, Laurent. Shortly after forming, the band realized that they weren't exactly a blues band anymore, causing the band to shift over onto the more fitting alternative rock genre.

      Patience Pending has accomplished a lot in a few short years and with God on their side, it's easy to see the band progressing forward in the near future. The band, which sometimes sings about faith and religion, wants to reassure everyone that they are much more than a 'Christian band.' 

      "We want to be able to play and share our music and faith through examples or words, in any venue, and when you hear the phrase 'Christian band' a secular venue is going to think 'oh gosh, here comes a buncha goody two-shoes who are gonna sing kum by ya and make us hold hands'" says the band. "Thats not what we are. We are here to rock your faces off, and if you hear about Jesus in the process, well thats awesome. We don't want to just be called a "Christian Band" because that can incorrectly describe sound. "Christian Melodic Hardcore" or "Christian Metal" is fine because that's exactly what we are."

      In late November of '09, the band decided to participate in Crave Student Ministries' Battle of the Bands. There, the band won "Pastor's Choice." Unfortunately, in the summer of 2010. Laurent had to part ways with the band. Joseph Nagel, who left his previous band, offered his services and from there, the band made another slight shift in genre, leaning towards the wonderful world of melodic hardcore.

Patience Pending playing live
      In November 2010, Gabrielle Zittle joined the band as an additional vocalist. The band went on to win several competitions and awards including "Audience Choice" at the 2010 Crossroads Battle of the Bands and first place in both the Christian Band and Contemporary Instrumental categories of the 2011 state level fine arts competition (which was Joe Fry's first show with the band as rhythm guitarist.)

      The band tries to keep their sound fresh and likes to use variety. If they want to venture into punk rockish sounds, they will. If the band wants songs filled with breakdowns and dissonant chords, again they will have it. They just like to push the melodic hardcore genre to it's limits and back again. 

      The band sometimes gets criticism about being a hardcore band with no screaming vocals. The band gave a fairly honorably reply when asked about the kind of criticism they receive. "We get both extremes. I think that its important to take it all with a grain of salt, and not let good criticism get to your head or bad get you down. We are what we are, we love it, and we hope you do too."

      Check out the band's Facebook! Also, show the band support this Friday, May 13th as they play with Prepare for Glory at the Park Hills Youth room in Freeport, IL.

Patience Pending
(Photo: Jon Van Gilder)

Halfway To Nowhere

Halfway to Nowhere

      In August of '09, a few young musicians from Lombard, IL were down and unable to find bands that were built to last or succeed in the long run, they turned to each other and created the melodic, post-hardcore band, Halfway to Nowhere.

      The name comes from an instance when Dave Catanese, the band drummer, was walking home and realized he had lost his keys. He said the phrase and it kind of just stuck. When writing music, the band chooses to stay away from disrespectful themes that would offend individuals. They like to think that their music reflects themselves as people and stay away from hateful topics.

      The band is Mike Sumang on vox, Logan Lundgren and Jake Burton on guitars, Nick Collis on the bass, and Dave Catanese on Drums. The band has about a dozen shows to their name and have released one EP entitled Fathoms.

Halfway To Nowhere live!
      The band released their Fathoms EP and had this to say about it:
"Musically, we wanted to write music and play what we loved and enjoyed. The EP itself was never lyrically about anything. (We) wanted to record all of the songs we had written. We think it shows that no matter what, we can achieve the goals we set, no matter how short or how stressfull the times can be"
      The band hopes to play a few shows in IL/WI this summer, so keep a look out for events on the band's Facebook! The band is set to play the Uncharted Midwest Music Fest on July 3rd! Keep an eye on the blog for updates on the blog's first EVER music event!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Cain & Abel's Secret To a Better Family/Band

Cain & Abel

      Cain & Abel, the Hardcore band from Menomonee, WI, has been around longer than a lot of the bands currently in the scene. Not only that, but the band has had the same line-up since their formation in '08. If your jaw isn't hanging open right now, you must not be aware of how often bands are forming, breaking up, and switching members.

      "The secret to our story is that we didn't really set out to form a band. We were just good friends, who had some musical talent and liked to jam." Says the band. Five of the six band members have known each other since grade school, having attended the same catholic school. They met up with lead singer, Tyler Trokan, their first or second year of high school and he was soon considered a good friend. From backyard shows and school projects to full-length albums and headlining shows, the band still maintains a strong friendship among each other and it seems to be working just fine!

Are they a band, or a happy family? Both?
      Cain & Abel consists of friends, Tyler Trokan (vocals), Jake Noggle (vocals), Jared Block (guitar), Ike Weins (guitar), Jeff Jalenchick (bass) and Josh Fox (drums). "Our stage presence is unmatched," says the band. "We also have the music to back it up. We put on our best performance whether its in front of 30 people or 300 people. Our music is also very hard hitting between the unique dual-vocals and melodic instrumentation."

      On December 28th, 2010, the band was ready to play their CD release show at the Miramar Theater in Milwaukee, WI. They had no idea how many people would show up, but to their surprise, people were lining up outside waiting to get into the show. "We didn't expect it to sell out, but with the help of the bands (Sleep Serapis Sleep, The Color Morale [Rise Records], Hail Archer, and Blank Image) and the hype of our first full-length CD it did indeed sell out." The crowd was very energetic and participated well. The band is very proud of this moment in their career and were happy to have sold over 60 albums that night.

Cain & Abel's CD Release Show Flyer
      They are doing pretty well for themselves, having racked up anywhere between 75 and 100 shows, selling out their album release show with over 350 people in attending last December, being one of five bands chosen to play Milwaukee's stop at the 2010 Warped Tour, and being featured as one of Alternative Press's Hometown Heroes in February of 2011. Cain & Abel has a resume that many bands would kill for, figuratively speaking.

      You can catch them this summer! They will be touring for ten days in Mid-June. They are also in the running to play both the Cornerstone Music Festival near Bushnell, IL and this year's Warped Tour in Milwaukee, which they played last year. So help them reclaim their spot and vote until Mid-July!

      The band has lots of neat things going on this summer, and to top it all off, keep your eyes peeled for new summer merch and even some new music! Follow the band on Facebook!


joeEFFINGmayo@ Battlefest Presents Mayday Mayhem!

Battlefest Logo
      Hey everyone! This weekend, I was able to get out to Mayday Mayhem, presented by Battlefest and MeleeTv, out at the Pirate Ninja Print Shop, on E. State Street and I have to say, it was great! The event was held in the Rawkspace on the 3rd floor of the print shop building. The Rockford event consisted of several battle rappers in the Battlefest league competing against one another, 1-on-1, in a lyrical brawl.

      I spoke to Battlefest CEO, Derek 'Blaze' Nguyen, and he told me that Battlefest has come a long way, thus far. The first ever Battlefest 'event' was held in August of '09 at Twin Sisters Park with a whopping turnout of about 7 people. More recently, according to Blaze, Battlefest is doing very well and is accumulating some revenue and press.

Souless battles the infamous, Kay-Gee

      Since saving a quick dime is very useful in today's economy, Battlefest gave me an option that would make me smugger than a hybrid car driver. For every two canned goods I brought, they bumped off a dollar from the admission, and ten cans equaled free admission. So, I brought twenty-two cans, ten for me, and ten for my younger brother, and an extra two for bragging rights. Battlefest has taken it upon themselves to donate all donated cans to the Rockford Rescue Mission. The event gathered over a hundred cans! Blaze hopes to battle the negative press surrounding hip-hop with good Samaritan deeds!

      I can't put a number on how many people showed up to the event, but no less than fifty, and I'm no good at estimating, so it could have been more! From what I could tell, everyone was having a great time. There were very slight set-backs but Blaze and the team kept everything running smoothly! I was definitely impressed with everyones ability to keep it cool even though at times, it got a little hot. You'll definitely find me at the next event!

LP battles Akeem Kizart at March Massacre 2

      The next Battlefest event will be held sometime in July and I'll be sure to keep everyone updated. Stay tuned and check the blog in the upcoming days I will be getting a hold of some Battlefest rappers and talking to them about battle rapping and their music!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Quicksand Swimclub; Looking for shows in IL this summer!

Quicksand Swimclub

      To normal people, Quicksand Swimclub sounds like a failed YMCA group meeting, but to three guys and a girl in Michigan, it's the name of their indie progressive rock band. The band consists of Dan Amaro on guitar and vocals, Nik Cousin on guitar, Andrew Demercurtio on bass, and last, but certainly not least, Megan Chaaban on the drums!

      When it comes to lyrical content, the band tends to stick to themes revolving around life and progressing in life. Growing up, Dan had lots of passion for music, growing up in an up-and-coming music scene consisting of I See Stars and We Are The Union, to name a few. During the summer of 2010, Dan started recording some of his ideas in his basement. He turned to Nik to write some more guitar parts to his original melodies and from there, they formed a collaboration. With Andrew and Megan in the lineup, the band says they are ready and that great things are coming.

      With their EP set to be released on May 14th, the band is looking to play shows all around the Midwest! "(We want to) tour and play the Midwest this summer, get our name known for playing a  great show." Says the band, adding,"(We want to) make enough money to fully support our passion as musicians, join a management (company) to help add us on tours or MI shows, eventually become peoples favorite band!"

Quicksand Swimclub
      The band is no stranger to the stage, having played all over Michigan, and most recently, played in Bowling Green, Ohio and they are even having an EP release show in their hometown of Northville, MI on the 14th. They were finalists in the Hayloft's Battle of the Bands! They are even sponsored by the Freda Clothing Company.

      Quicksand SwimClub will be in Illinois during the cornerstone festival on the green lights production stage June 30-July 3rd in Bushel, Illinois. The band would really appreciate some shows that would schedule well with these dates! Contact them about playing shows vie email at!

      Like the band on Facebook and help them book some shows in the area this summer! The band also has a YouTube and Myspace! Help out our Midwest brothers (and sister)!


Friday, May 6, 2011

1000+ Views; Thank You

joeEFFINGmayo Thanks You!
      Ok, so the blog, just about 3 weeks old, has reached 1000+ page views and I'd like to take some time out to properly thank everyone who took the time to check out the blog and all the bands that gave me their time. I want to thank everyone who have given me positive feedback about the blog and everyone who has told me they appreciated what I was doing.

      I want to thank Nate Gustafson, of A Journey to Fall, for being supportive as well as Alex Mienert, lead singer of Luna Stella, who I had the privilege of meeting on the Cinco De Mayo. I'd like to thank Rigo 'Souless' Aviles, Diego Morales, and Eric Ross, friends of mine who have showed great interest and support for the blog. I'd like to thank Mason Lovell for letting me cover Feckbawlz Fest, even though he had no idea whether or not I was capable of writing an article, ha.

      Again, thanks to everybody who checks up on the blog! I hope I thanked everybody, if not, I'm sorry! Suggest the blog to all your FB friends and don't forget to like the FB page


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cardinal; 'Barddas' Spring Demo Now Available!

Cover of the Spring Demo, Barddas
      Feast your eyes on Freeport's own Indie band, Cardinal! Their 2011 3 track spring demo, Barddas, was recently released by very independent label, Still Here Records, based in the Midwest.

      Cardinal formed in February of 2010 and consists of Alexa Janicke on vocals, Brian Nissen on piccolo bass, Mars Bars Van Raalte on the drumkit and Chris Ranney on e. bass. The band played for about 60 people at City Coffee Company in Freeport, IL on March 30th.

Cardinal Performing
      The band started as an acoustic project between Alexa and Brian, a few months later, they added drums and another bass, and the songs started being written differently. The band uses two bassists which makes them unique from other bands in the area.

      Although there are several metal and bar bands and some indie-like acoustic coffee house bands in Freeport, Cardinal says they sound nothing like the other bands and aren't influenced by them as far as sound goes. Some bands that do influence the band include Circa Survive, So Long Forgotten, As Cities Burn, and some Felix Culpa. The band also has literature influences in the literature work by authors Joseph Conrad, Robinson Jeffers, Charles Dickens, and Robert Broewning.

A portrait drawn by a member of the band. 
      Now that the demo is out, the band hopes to get more shows and perform. Like the band on Facebook!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pajama Jam 2011; Jam in your jammies May 13th!

The Pajama Jam Flyer!
      Get ready to sport your favorite (appropriate) nightwear and listen to some of the best local bands! Pajama Jam, which was originally set to be at The Palace in Freeport, will now be held on May 13th at Apple River Middle School in Apple River from 5:30PM to 11PM, just 50 minutes northwest of Freeport. There will be performances from Disgust For Your Kind, An Hero, Still The Sky, Witness The Burning, In The Year of The Plague, and A Journey To Fall! The show costs $5($4 with pajamas).

      Event planner, TJ Davis, lead singer of An Hero, and Travis Lou Bauscher, guitarist for Still The Sky, were thinking of show ideas and it was originally set to be a regular show, but during school, TJ received a text from Travis with the idea.

      For a few weeks, the event did not have a venue, and there was a scramble to find a new venue. TJ Davis explains the situation, “Well, we hit some trouble when the owner of The Palace called me and
told me that they had accidentally scheduled 2 shows for the same night. since the other one was more solid ours got the boot. Travis and I had been looking everywhere and nobody returned our calls. One of the members in my band told me that one of his friends owned the school in Apple River and told me to ask her. I called her up and she talked to her dad and he said the show was a go. That's how we ended up with it (at the school).”

      TJ has previous event experience, having planned the show, Headbanging For Hunger. The show forwarded all profits and donations to the food pantry in Lena, IL. The show raised lots of many and over 100 people attended.

      “Travis has a very creative mind and you never know what he will come up with next,” says TJ when asked about future themed shows that were mentioned on his Facebook, including a toga themed show. “I'm not entirely certain how the theme ideas started, they just sort of happened. Pajama Jam will be our first themed show.”

      It's important to mention that Pajama Jam will not have refreshments available at the show, so bring a water bottle or two! Keep the drugs and alcohol far away from the show or you may be escorted out without a refund! Also, encourage attending bands to bring merch if you're interested in buying some goodies! Make sure to let TJ and Travis know you're going to be there by RSVP-ing to the show on the Facebook event page! Again, the show will be on May 13th at Apple River Middle School, 50 minutes northwest of Freeport, IL.

      “I would like to thank Kirk Wedig, from I the Creator, for helping make the amazing flier!” ~ TJ Davis


P.S. The event has one available slot for a band, if interested, shoot them a wall post on the Event Page!

Fallen Fortune, Rising Company

Fallen Fortune Company Logo

      In Whitewater, WI, lies band booking and managing company, Fallen Fortune Productions, a company with the selfless mission to keep the local music scene alive and help local bands.

      24 year-old, Brandon Downs started out as a music promoter about 6 years ago, ”I just wanted to help local bands that I felt sounded good and had potential by getting their name out there. I set-up an artist MySpace account and would find good bands and post their info on there and try to get people to check them out.”

      What started as a music promotion company on MySpace run by Brandon, has turned into a small team of people booking concerts in the Midwest with both local and national acts. They hope to start managing bands very soon and have several interested bands. Brandon says, “Over the past 6 years or so we have went from a simple band advertising company to a full service booking agency and managing service. Just recently we have been getting offers from larger bands from all over the country and a few international acts.” The company consists of co-owners Brandon Downs and Ryan Kilday along with new addition, Jordan Weinke.
Fallen Fortune Tshirts Available
      When asked about future expansions, Brandon replied, “Right now we are in the process of setting up our own venue here in Whitewater, we are still in the planning stages, but if things go as planned we will hopefully have a fully operating music venue right here in Whitewater.” He hopes it will be a place where teens can hang out and enjoy live music and, Brandon adds, ”a place where they can get a drink or something to eat and hang out with friends, a place where the local bands can come and play and not have to worry about getting screwed out of money by the big venues that will only cater to the national acts.”

      Until the company can secure a permanent venue, it uses the Old Armory in Whitewater for many of their concerts. The Old Armory isn't exactly a full service venue. “its an old gym that we have concerts in. We have to supply our own lights, sound and stage. This is why we are trying to open our own venue. (That) way we can have more shows more often, we are limited on how many shows we can have at the armory, as its open to any one that wants to use it.”

      The company has booked over 30 acts such as Alanas Mark, Another Hero Dies, Rooks, Dr. Acula, Apollyon and many more at The Old Armory and have also had shows at The Rave, The Walworth County Fairgrounds and at Starin Park in Whitewater. Fallen Fortune does most of it's business online but hopes that once they get a venue, they can use it as a makeshift HQ. “We will have a place so we can meet with bands, have company meetings and meet with other potential investors.” Says Downs.

Fallen Fortune Tshirt Designs
      Brandon, who raised over $1000 for the MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) in 2008, also has plans to continue supporting and raising money for the charity. “Muscular Dystrophy Association is an organization that raises money for people with Muscular Dystrophy which is a disease that eats away the muscles, which then makes it so the person cannot walk, has issues breathing, opens them up to bacteria and sickness's. They raise money to help with medical costs and to get the things they need to live a normal life. MD runs in my family so it is something I am very passionate about helping out with.”

      Fallen Fortune has several upcoming events, Brandon says, “Right now, we have a show on May 16th with Dr. Acula, Ocellus, Amor Emarta, Alanas Mark and a few others. Then, we have May 25th with Gemini Syndrome, Product of Hate, Hester Prynne, Nightshade and a few others. We are also currently working on a June 25th show and a few fundraisers to raise money for the venue.” Get the company news and merch on their website and show them some love on Facebook and contact Brandon Downs @ about booking in the Whitewater, WI area!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Prepare for Prepare For Glory!

Prepare for Glory playing a live set
      November, 2010, Prepare For Glory was formed. The hardcore band, from Davis, IL, won the Highland Community College Battle of the Bands a few months ago in January. The band has about 15 shows to their name, but when they performed at Mediocre Saturday with From The Mire on the 23rd of April, there was a turnout of between 100 and 150 people. The band is off to a great start!

      A statement on the band's Facebook page reads,
After being in and out of different bands, the four of us came together to do what we love. We want to show that there is hope and everyone has a purpose. Through our music, we hope to demonstrate the love and passion we have for what we do and who we are. We want to show the right way to have fun and set an example for more people to follow. Prepare to witness something good, Prepare for Glory.
      The band consists of Luke Franzen on vocals, Tyler Townsend on guitar, Evan Russell on bass, and Brandon Holliday on drums. The band is set to play a show with Patience Pending in Freeport, IL. They have no recordings available, but the band is currently working on an EP!

Prepare For Glory
      Like the band on Facebook! And don't forget to show them support at the free upcoming Friday the 13th Show at the Park Hills Youthroom in Freeport, IL with Patience Pending