The All-Ages Scene

By Duncan Barlow

Through the tasteless sludge of winter the year unravels, drawing us all a bit closer to the pollen-filled winds of spring and summer — spring usually providing the city with outdoor shows and festivals, and summer depriving the city of its bands as they go on tour and into the recording studios.

This past winter, although lacking in big shows, proved rather prosperous in small, angst-ridden underground performances. I would have to say that it has shown a huge revitalization in the connection, support, and energy of the all-ages scene.

I once wrote earlier in my history with Louisville Music News that the words "all ages" meant just what it stated — all ages. I still stand by what I wrote those three years ago.

One day I was talking to a colleague who literally refuses to go to an all-ages show because of "the way those kids act."

I still do not understand what she meant.

Was she not attracted to the energy, or was it because alcohol couldn't be served at the show. It is truly amazing how many people turn out at an all-ages show when alcohol is served. I suppose aggressive music and alcohol are a rather bad mixture. Well, let me stray from such topics and talk about the fruits that the all-ages scene has harvested this month.

I received a package from Tak, the guitarist from the almost legendary Undermine. He is working for a label called ZK Records in Japan.

Small Town Kids just released a split seven-inch with the Twerps, and Cherub Scourge. The Twerps side contains songs that deal with the pains of growing up, and not being taken seriously. Perhaps If I had heard these songs in 1985 I would have been excited. The reasons I say this are: I was thirteen, and I could relate to the topics better, and secondly the music has an eighties retro punk sound. If you enjoy music from that era this band might tickle your fancy ketchup.

The Cherub Scourge side would not surprise any Cherub Scourge fan. It hits exactly where one might want it to. Popish punk melodies, with driving rhythms.

I prefer the first track, "New Role Model," over the second track. This seven-inch comes complete with Cherub Scourge discography. Don't expect to find it at ear X-tacy, or Tower. Small Town Kids doesn't sell their wax there. But you can obtain the shiny new Cherub Scourge CD at ear X-tacy, because they put it out!

The new Hedge CD has just been released and is selling well. I was surprised when I heard the product. The music has progressed significantly. Just think. these boys are still in high school!

I would say that the Hedge record may be rhe release of I996. Music that wrestles in the open octave Fugazi sound. and vocals that tangle No Means No's style a bit.

My Own Victim will be leaving for Europe on March lst. They will be opening for New York's Lee Way. My Own Victim just played a show at the Toy Tiger with Union and Four Rose Society. Union opened. Although I did not see them (I arrived late), I was told that their set was fantastic. I arrived just as Four Rose Society began to play. This was perhaps the first time I had seen them with such a good mix and I was very impressed with how much the group had improved over the last few months. My Own Victim headlined the night, but had to play a short set due to the bass player's illness.

They really got the fans worked up into a body-slamming frenzy. I chose not to toss my body into the south end bodycrushing dance floor, and watched the group's set from the side. My Own Victim is by far the heaviest band in Louisville; they deserve every bit of respect that is given to them.

Many people are curious about the debate between many all-ages bands and the Cherokee located on Bardstown Road. Well, rumor had it that the Cherokee was going out of business.

Andy Tinsley was interested in opening a new club — an all-ages club in the building. Andy, a local booking agent, pulled out all of his shows and moved them to other locations so as not to give the Cherokee any more business. The owner of the Cherokee club grew very angry about the decision and banned more than ten bands from his club, simply because they knew Andy Tinsley.

Among the bands that will never play the Cherokee are: Enkindel, Guilt, By The Grace of God, Elliot, Kiwi, Four Rose Society, and others. When representatives of these bands attempted to approach the owner of the Cherokee they were treated unfairly and told to leave. I report this in as unbiased a manner as I possibly can, considering my band was banned from the club without my knowledge. It is rumored that The Cherokee is planning to quit doing all-ages shows soon, because the owner made enough money to keep his doors open for over-ages shows.

There will be a show on March l at The Flashback on Preston Highway.

The cover is five dollars and will include a free seven-inch that has on it the bands that are playing the show.

The bands are Castner, By The Grace of God, Four Rose Society, and Union.

On March 23 the Beechmont Community Center is doing a free show.

Unfortunately Us Versus Them closed its doors in February.