The Illinois Times: “The Radon Lounge Keep Concerts On The Down-Low”


The Illinois Times are on a roll this week with covering things going on in the D.I.Y. music community in Springfield! Here’s another article in this week’s issue on The Radon Louge – also written by Scott Faingold who also wrote the article on Southtown Sound which we posted about earlier today. The Radon Lounge are a Springfield house venue that has been going for a whole five years now, which is a good chunk of Black Sheep’s existence. We have always been supportive of what’s going on over at The Radon and consider them a much needed asset to our community. From the article:

For the past five years, the Radon Lounge has been hosting an impressive variety of local and touring bands, averaging one show per month. However, like a post-millennial speakeasy, anyone wanting to attend a concert at Radon is obliged to contact the venue via email or social media, simply to discover where it’s located. Venue founder Jeff Black, who also books all the talent, explains that this is a matter of neighborly consideration rather than mystique. The reason is simple enough: The Radon Lounge is in fact the basement of his home, located in the heart of a Springfield residential neighborhood.

Check out the full article online right here, or pick up a copy of The Illinois Times at various local businesses around town.

And what do you know, The Radon Lounge also have a show going on tonight at the same time as our hip hop show. Theirs starts at 7:00 pm and features Bonesetters, Blind Social, Eric Marvel, Ian Winterbrauer, Jen Santarelli, and Copper Pot Cooking Studios. More on that show right here.

Illinois Times: “The Business of Spreading Music Success” (HISO)


We are excited to see our friends over at HISO Music Entertainment on the cover of The Illinois Times this week – making two weeks in a row of groups on the front of the Times that Black Sheep has worked with in the past. Check out last week’s cover story on local poets right here. This week’s cover story is on HISO Music – a booking, consulting, and entertainment group of musicians and creative minds founded by Ayo Dele. HISO recently acquired their own space and has been hard at work with a recording studio, dance studio and more at their new location on Yale Blvd. From the article:

In a long brick building within a rented suite on Yale Boulevard in Springfield’s Harvard Park neighborhood, a quiet, yet profound revolution is underway. Here is the headquarters of HISO (pronounced high-so) Music Entertainment, a consulting company conceived by Springfield resident Ayo Abitogun to provide music business services to groups and individuals. The 26-year-old musician, rapper and singer-songwriter, also known professionally as Ayo Dele, is the inspirational leader of HISO, as well as the founder and CEO.

The organization formed two and half years ago when Ayo began building his own music career. While searching for professional members to add to his entertainment team, he discovered others searching for music business success based on his beliefs in positive thinking and avoiding the negative images and stereotypes found in certain forms of pop music today. As he shared his idea of engaging fellow music artists in constructive careers, the group around him expanded to include a trustworthy and enthusiastic team of dedicated friends and co-workers.

Check out the full article online right here, or pick up a copy of the Illinois Times inside Dumb Records for free.

Illinois Times: “Young Poets Society”


Some of you may have noticed on that the cover of The Illinois Times this week features an article about some of those who are active in Springfield’s DIY poetry scene – Johari Osayi Idusuyi, Ian Winterbauer and Emma R. Wilson – all of whom have performed and have helped set up events at Black Sheep in the past. Did you also know that we have started carrying free copies of The Illinois Times at Dumb Records (pictured above)? Stop by the shop and pick up an issue today! Check out the article on “Young Poets Society” online right here. From the article:

Idusuyi, Wilson and Winterbauer have developed a camaraderie based in their shared passion for poetry – they often attend events together and also critique each other’s writing in workshops. Stylistically, however, the three are quite distinct from each other, with Idusuyi’s writing focused largely on social and political concerns while Wilson tends to dissect the intimate corners of her own psyche. Winterbauer’s work, meanwhile, provides laconic and often acerbic observations of life as he experiences it in the Midwest.

No poetry events are currently lined up at Black Sheep, but stay tuned for more info on an open mic happening at Dumb Records soon!

Illinois Times 2016 “Best Of” Results


It’s that time of year again and the results are up! For the Illinois Times‘s annual “Best Of’s” polls. It’s that time of year when some great local businesses, people, and bands are highlighted and then there are always those who don’t win and aren’t too happy about it! This year Black Sheep didn’t win first place for best music venue (congrats to Boondocks, but we are mentioned as a top finalist! We are also mentioned as a top finalist in the category of best hip hop venue! We are happy for any mention in the best of’s, so thank you Illinois Times and all who voted!

Check out the full Best Of’s results online right here, and specifically the Music and Arts section right here. We will also be doing our own Best Of 2016 on our site at the end of this year to highlight your top shows, songs, and releases that Springfield bands put out this year.Stay tuned for that!

The Illinois Times Best of 2016: Nominees


It’s the time of the year again for The Illinois Times to open up their ballots for your vote of your favorite local businesses, people, bands and other things for the year 2016. We aren’t quite there yet though- before the actual voting begins there is a nomination period of the polling, which has started right now and goes until September 4th.

To nominate your favorites for different categories of the poll, go here. Categories are split up into music/arts, food, people, local life, and places. Specific favorites include best large and small music venue, best punk band, best rock/pop band, and more. Feel free to nominate anyone you see fit!

The Illinois Times: “Dumb, Dumber, Dumb Fest”


The Illinois Times this week features a great article on Dumb Fest, which if you can believe it kicks off here at Black Sheep tomorrow night. The issue of The Illinois Times came out today, and the article takes more of an in depth look at the planning behind this year’s festival, including road blocks and community members stepping up after festival organizer Brian Galecki has ended up in the hospital for the past couple of weeks with a collapsed lung (he is out as of yesterday). The Illinois Times also talks directly to George Sinclair and Kyle Ratliff. From the article:

One positive byproduct of Galecki’s illness is that it is forcing other members of the scene to take ownership, a prospect that Ratliff sees as both intimidating and exhilarating. “It’s really a beautiful thing, everyone stepping up, making CDs, making flyers, printing out handbills, promoting as much as we can and getting the grounds of Southtown up to snuff so we can host 50 bands. It’s stressful but I think all of us are working toward that moment where it’ll be like, hey, we can actually do this. We’ve got this!”

Check out the full article online right here, or pick up a copy of The Illinois Times at different locations around town for the next week. Check out our Dumb Fest 4-Ever page for more info on the fest right here.

The Illinois Times: “Making Springfield Look Cool” [The Studio Show]


New Springfield TV show and youtube channel “The Studio Show” continues to go hard into new episodes and is getting more and more coverage as they go along! You may have noticed the show made it to the front of The Illinois Times this week with the article “Making Springfield Look Cool” by Scott Faingold. From the article:

Comedy is only part of the reason “The Studio Show” exists. The program, described memorably by Isham in one episode as “something special and unique and heartfelt and community-oriented,” is indeed a one-of-a-kind showcase for the city of Springfield as a place where creativity flourishes. The first several episodes feature interviews with a variety of area artists, including painters Jeff Williams and Amanda Greive, sculptor Michael Dunbar, cartoonist Brett James Freeman and poet Shatriya Smith. In addition, musical guests have included regional talent ranging from the close-harmony folk-pop of the Deep Hollow to the raw garage rock of SAP to the hip-hop stylings of Deezy Da Paperboy.

You can check out the full article in this week’s copy of The Illinois Times or head over to the Illinois Times website where you can view the full thing right here.

In addition to the article, The Studio Show also released their tenth episode last week, which you can find streaming below. The episode features local artist Michelle Smith and a new musical duo called “Cri8” (featuring one member of NIL8). Also head over to The Studio Show’s youtube page for a good look at all of the episodes and videos released so far.