The All-Ages Beat

By Duncan Barlow

With the Release of Slamdek A to Z, a book that contains the history of the scene as it pertains to Slamdek Record Company, I have really been thinking about the whole concept of the scene. I suppose the underground punk scene is a unique monster.

There used to be a very tight-knit, friendly, family-like atmosphere about it. Sure, many people involved in the family were like those crazy relatives that one rarely talked to at family outings, but nonetheless everyone knew that they had support in times of need. This curious connection still exists, in a watered-down fashion. It is strange to see how segregated the Louisville scene has actually become.

The reason I have begun this month's article with this concept is because I wanted to give readers who are not too familiar with the all-ages punk scene a small amount of background before I got into the actual meat of this article.

Scene support is a very vital part of what has always kept the punk scene on edge, and powerful. Well, in 1996 scene support seems to be a street seldom traveled. I'll admit that I too am guilty of being so political, or so insulted by another person's actions, that I have refused to attend certain shows. But I have since decided against this mentality, to a certain extent. As long as the bands are not being completely taken for granted (as they were when the Maze was doing shows before it became the Machine), everyone should come and give the local bands support.

On Sunday, March 17, The Cherokee opened its doors for an AIDS benefit, donating all of the money gained to the cause. The Cherokee will be hosting a series of all-ages shows this month, and not all the dates are booked, so bands wishing to play should get in touch with the Cherokee soon before all of the best slots are taken.

Flashback hosted an all-ages show on March 1. Four Rose Society, Union, Castner, and By The Grace Of God all played, and the show had a great feeling. With the admission price each person received a free seven-inch containing a cut by each of the four bands. The entire show had an incredible sense of unity.

By The Grace Of God opened. Castner played second and was plagued with constant equipment problems. This was unfortunate as I was rather excited to see them. Four Rose Society played next, and they too had equipment troubles.

Union headlined the show and performed wonderfully. Digger, from Eleven Eleven, filled in on bass for them at the show, so I thought they might be a bit shaky. But the makeshift bassist situation did not slow Union down, not to mention Digger is a good bassist. Union is a really strong band, and the group does not receive the credit they deserve. They are tight, loud, and heavy.

The seven-inch that was given at the door is a fair slice of what each band represents. If you have a chance to pick up the seven-inch, The Sunny Side Of Louisville, it would be worth your money. Castner's song is very tense, drawing from influences like Enkindel and Earth Crisis. Union provides its typical style of straightforward "d" tuned hard-core. By The Grace Of God takes a 1987 approach to punk, and Four Rose Society throws a bit of Born Against style to make an interesting record.

Louisville is still awaiting the Enkindel record. The band will be playing an album release part at ear X-tacy on Bardstown Road.

By The Grace Of God just recorded a record for Victory Records. The album, entitled "for the love of indie rock...," will be in stores in early May.

Madison just recorded a song for a local compilation, and their cut has surprised many people who have given it a listen. I would expect to see these boys really take off before the end of the year. Sometime this year the Solution Unknown CD should be released, and it is hoped that the band will do a reunion when that happens. For those who are interested, Mike B. at Blue Moon Records should have more information.

The Highlands Youth Community has been arranging shows, with a limited capacity, at the Douglass Community Center. These shows are an attempt to raise money and provide a service to the Highland Youth Area.

Avail and Enkindel will be playing with newcomers Kiwi at the Brewery. The date has not yet been confirmed, so keep your eyes peeled.

Guilt will be playing a long-awaited show with Kerosene 454, Back of Dave, and special guests on Sunday, April 14; the location is still being debated.

Hedge is preparing to venture on its first tour. A first tour is a scary situation, so give them as much support as you can. I wish them the best of luck.

Out of Step, a minor threat cover band, is about to be released or unleashed on Louisville.... Prepare for total show chaos!

Rumors are circulating that some of the local punk youth are trying to start a punk collective. If anyone involved would like coverage, they should notify me and I will post meeting dates in this column.

Thanks again, and please mail any show information or releases to me for mention in the column. Have a nice spring break.