Jenny Sawyer / NPR Illinois: “Springfield’s DIY Scene Before Black Sheep”

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Rachel Otwell of NPR Illinois is continuing a series featuring different thoughts and reflections of our most recent Black Sheep announcement on the current state of the venue, show attendance, and things we are currently struggling with. The most recent piece is one written by Jenny Sawyer – show go-er in Springfield from 2001 to 2005 about shows and venues during that time. Check out that full piece along with a few photos of that time right here. From the article:

I have mostly fond memories of this time growing up in the scene, but there was always a presence at these shows that unnerved me, and on several occasions even made me question whether or not it was safe to be there. There were a small group of individuals I came to know as the neo-Nazis. They typically sported white shirts, steel-toed boots and shaved heads. They used intimidation and threats of violence to carve out a space for their rhetoric in a scene that would have otherwise felt inclusive.

It was obvious that they made people extremely uncomfortable, but no one seemed willing or able to confront them. I certainly didn’t feel able to, being a shy petite teenage girl. There were a few incidents that I witnessed or had recalled to me by friends. Words were thrown around, kids were chased, bats were wielded. In what I’ve never been able to determine was an accident or not, I was once shoved over a table at the edge of a mosh-pit by one of them. Unfortunately, their presence at shows went mostly unchecked but over time they started to show up less and less.

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Looming: “Queen”

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Springfield / Pittsburg hit band Looming released a second single from their upcoming album Seed yesterday via New Noise Magazine online. You can check out that song called “Queen” on the player streaming below, or the full article from New Noise Magazine right here.

Seed is being released by No Sleep Records and is officially out on September 29th. We very recently announced the official release show for the album happening at Black Sheep on Monday, October 2nd along with Screaming Females, Street Eaters, and Choir Vandals. Better get your tickets for that now if you haven’t already. Looming also released another single, “Down” through Brooklyn Vegan off of the album earlier this summer.

Black Sheep Roundtable Meeting This Sunday

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Welcome to September! With our more recent announcement last week that things over at Black Sheep are looking rough in terms of show attendance and we are not sure how much longer we can keep up with things, a lot of you have a lot of things to say. We felt that Rachel Otwell of NPR Illinois summed up a lot of feelings us as the owners of the venue have as well about the state of things for us right now, and we also did our best to answer some FAQ’s that might be coming to fruition after our original announcement.

This Sunday, September 3rd at 7:00 pm inside of Black Sheep we will be holding a roundtable meeting open to the public. We are not necessarily interested in holding a meeting where an audience only throws out suggestions at us on how to change things. Instead, we are more focused on reiterating how things are looking for us right now as a venue, to answer any questions you may have about that, or further the discussion. We also want to reiterate that our space is a community-driven one, and that we are here for everyone who wants to set up shows or events.