The Illinois Times: “Music Ties That Bind”


With two colossal punk / alternative & new wave bands from Springfield’s past reuniting this upcoming weekend at Black Sheep (Food & Money and Backwards Day) – Tom Irwin and The Illinois Times are commemorating the upcoming reunions by publishing a cover story this week with an in-depth look at the history of both bands and punk music in Springfield as a whole. The front page article is “Music Ties That Bind” – Generations of local punk and new wave musicians unite for a concert. The concert the article refers to of course is this Saturday at Black Sheep with Food & Money, Backwards Day, Livin’ Thing, and Spellbreaker and includes punk music coming from four? five? different decades in Springfield from the 1970’s to the present. From the article:

Springfield has gone through four periods of what rock music genre critics named “punk/new wave/alternative,” a style created to disturb the status quo of contemporary popular music. Our first era coincided with the appearance of “punk” on the national and international stage, when, in the mid-to-late 1970s, after a period of easy listening hits and progressive rock meanderings, pop music seemed ripe for a change. Local musicians in town reacted to this music revolution by forming bands such as Food & Money, The Strand/Condition 90, Bad Cake, Bux da Hoota, Nervous Soldier, Will To Dance and NIL8, plus many more.

You can pick up a copy of The Illinois Times at various local businesses around town including Dumb Records, or check out the full online article right here. The rest of the article includes a look at different waves of punk music in Springfield, more photos, and more.

Food & Money (1979-1982) and Backwards Day (1988-1994) will be reuniting this Saturday at Black Sheep. For more info on the show you can go right here. Food & Money also have an LP of unreleased material coming out for this reunion released by Alona’s Dream Records. Check out one of the songs from that LP streaming below.

Illinois Times: “Wise Up To Dumb Fest”


Yes, that’s right! The Illinois Times is all about that Dumb Fest too- Tom Irwin’s column this week is mainly centered around the event with a photo of Warm Bodies (above, by Garrett Fisbeck). Check out the article “Wise Up To Dumb Fest” online right here, or pick up a copy of the Times today inside Dumb Records. From the article:

Welcome to Dumb Fest weekend, which covers three days worth of very cool and extremely expressive bands, based mostly in the world of what one might call various degrees of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) punk rock music. Categorizing the music is like saying Woodstock was just a rock concert festival and ignoring the grand diversity of the artists performing. Along the same lines, a few weeks ago, the John Hartford Memorial Festival featured several groups related through bluegrass/acoustic sounds. To some, the bands might seem the same, but to devotees of the music, each artist has a distinct sound within the genre.

Dumb Fest 5 kicks off at 6:00 pm inside Black Sheep tomorrow! For a full breakdown and a schedule of who’s playing you can check out our Dumb Fe5t page right here. Time is up to by 3-day passes, but you can still pay at the door for all of the shows. Find a Dumb Fest facebook event right here.

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!