On June 1st the Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Alaska Native Culture in at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. ”Worshiping dead cultures” is one of the flimsy reasons given for the protest, which is interesting coming from a bunch people spouting hate based on a book that was written 2000 years ago.
This is hitting pretty close to home. I was born and raised in Anchorage, where I often disagreed with the other, mostly conservative, residents (it is, after all, the state that produced and was governed by the Fox News programmed hockey wench most people know as Sarah Palin). But the reaction that this news has been getting from the state’s residents proves that most people can tell the difference between the sharing of beliefs and the spewing of blind hatred.
There is a group of people planning on protesting the WBC’s protest, and if you’re anywhere near the Anchorage area on June 1st, I urge you to join them. The group has grown from 200 people last night to over a thousand and counting this morning so even if you can’t be there in person, please join the group and show your support. No community should allow this type of bigotry and discrimination and no community should have to endure it.
Music events are vital to a healthy and thriving arts community. Help us to our unique approach organizing a new, all-ages music festival.
Help the dudes over at SIGNED magazine raise money for this bad ass music fest in Bellingham! The goal is pretty modest but there’s still a gap to fill with 2 weeks left! The idea is to host an all ages, DIY music festival in Bellingham (much like Yellingham) but each show will showcase bands from a different northwest based record label. Tons of great local bands are set to play (Chunky Wonder and Noise Toys) as well as Seattle’s excellent Special Explosion (recently signed to Topshelf Records!), members of Sub Pop’s Rose Window and Portland singer-songwriter Laura Gibson to name a few.
For a full list of bands, record labels participating, set times, etc., follow the link, and when you’re there donate a few bucks if you can for a great cause. The link also has a great video explaining what the festival will be like, how it came to be, and what they need as far as donations and participation.
And as all Bellingham all ages shows go remember: No booze, no drugs, no jerks.
Help the Bham all ages DIY scene stay alive and thriving! Spread the word and donate if you can.
"You said you’re trapped in your body and getting deeper every day. They diagnosed you born that way. They say in runs in your family. A conscious erasure of working class background where despair trickles down imbalanced chemical crutch. Open up. Swallow down. You said ‘remember me for me. I need to set my spirit free.’”
The Ergs! are one of those bands that I never really sunk my teeth into until they had already broken up, which sucks because they’re one of my favorite bands now. This is a band that was a regular opener for legendary bands like the Bouncing Souls and Lifetime, who put out one of the best pop-punk records of all time, Dork Rock Cork Rod, and who’s members are in about a million other great punk bands (okay maybe that’s just Mikey). The Ergs! have become one of the most beloved bands in the pop-punk genre with their foolproof recipe: three talented musicians making punk inventive and creative without sounding forced or pretentious with clever, sometimes silly lyrics that will make you say “yeah that dude read my high school diary.” Desperate and angst fill but hopelessly hopeful at the same time, the Ergs! encapsulated what it was like to be a shy, awkward, nerdy kid growing up.
This acoustic LP was recorded in 2005, somewhere in between the Ergs’ two most celebrated works, 2004’s Dork Rock Cork Rod and 2005’s Jersey’s Best Prancers. The album contains acoustic renditions of some of the band’s fan favorites (most notably 5 of the are from Dork Rock) as well as a few covers (check out that Ramones medley!). Basically, if you’re a fan of the Ergs! and you haven’t heard this, you definitely need to give it a listen. If you’ve never heard of the Ergs!, this isn’t a bad place to start (though either of the records mentioned above would probably be best).
Track Listing: 1. A Very Special Song For A Very Special Young Lady Part 2 2. Warm + Sharp 3. Time With You (fIREHOSE cover) 4. Saturday Night Crap-O-Rama 5. Ergs Songs Played Similarly (“More Vocal in the Monitor”) 6. It’s Never Going To Be The Same Again 7. Trains & Boats & Planes (Burt Bacharach cover) 8. Running, Jumping, Standing Still 9. I’ll Call You When You Think Of Me 10. Everything Falls Apart & More 11. Computer Love (Kraftwerk cover) 12. Ramones Medley (“I want you around”/ “I wanna be your boyfriend”/ “I wanna be well”)
*Also the strip at the top is from an awesome comic that Liz Prince and Jim Kettner did about the Ergs’ reunion in 2011
When I was younger and more awkward (yes it is possible) I decided that scouring the internet for rarities and demos from my favorite bands was better worth my time than getting drunk with coked up hockey players, using herpes ridden red cups, and hanging the creepy 35 year old substitute who provided the booze and insisted on always staying (aka the life of a high school kid in anchorage). Still a valid decision, in my opinion. ANYWAYS, I started going through my old blog where I posted a lot of those demos/rarities/etc (Blogging Nothing Out of Something) and decided to start posting some of the stuff I still have on my hard drive, since all of the links on the old site are dead. (*warning: my commentary when I was 16 is similar to that of today, mediocre and slightly embarrassing at best*). I don’t know how many I’ll post, but if there’s something on the old site that has a dead link, just message me and I’ll do my best.
The first installment of ‘The Past in Present’ is the four song demo for Minus the Bear’s first full length album Highly Refined Pirates. I found it on the vinyl collective message boards a while back by someone named ‘jerkpie’ whose link has since been broken. The demos are relatively close to what you hear on the actual album, just less production so it’s a little raw. The coolest part of hearing these for me is that Matt Bayles' keyboard and effects are more prominent and exaggerated. HRP meant a lot to me growing up and even if I’ve lost interest in the past few years, Minus the Bear are an incredibly talented band that are well worth your time. Definitely take a listen if you’re already a fan of the band, or just a fan of indie/emo/dancy/math-rock. Enjoy!