“Best In Local Music 2020” January Issue Of Activator Magazine Available

Oops, we almost forgot to mention! It’s that special time of the year again. It’s happening a little bit later into January than usual, but it’s the time of the year when we release our poll results for our annual Best of Local Music poll, and we team up with Activator Magazine for their January issue featuring all of the results.

We will be posting some of the results to our polls online here in the coming days. For now though, we are letting you know that we have a few copies available of the new Activator for free in our store! You can also pick them up at different locations around town. And thank you to everyone who helped us in contributing write-ups for this issue!

Consider checking out Activator’s Patreon page online!

Activator Magazine November 2020 Issue Available Now

We’re well into November now – today is 11-11 in fact, so that means we have a brand new issue of Activator Magazine available for free in our store.

This issue features long-running hip hop artist Cornbread featured on the cover! Cornbread has a new album coming out later this month. This issue is also jam-packed with other content, as always. As usual, there are plenty of write-ups on new local and also national releases. You can find interviews with “The Truth Council” a Central Illinois prog/rock band, “The Lettermans” – pop punk from Philadelphia, “Searching For Silence”- a metal group from Peoria, “Black Mountain” from St. Louis, and also an interview with Jesica Knight-Carnes about First Try Sessions. All of that and much, much more!

You can find issues of Activator Magazine for free at our store and various other local businesses around town. Also consider checking out Activator’s Patreon page and donating to them online!

Activator October 2020 Issue Available Now

Wow, we are already halfway through October. It will be November before you know it, and we will all be stuck inside for the rest of the winter. This is a little bit of a late post to let you know that we have new copies of Activator Magazine (October 2020 edition) available for free inside our store.

This one features Peoria-based artist (and also full band) Ashley Bean on the cover. It’s jam-packed with other stuff too. There are plenty of local and non-local album write-ups and reviews, also an interview with another Peoria-based band Terribly Happy, Champaign-based artist Emily Blue, another Peoria band called Still Shine, hip hop artist “KP”, Failed Poem Records, a photospread of 217 Burlesque & Curiosities Troupe, and more! Wow!

Pick up a copy of Activator Magazine for free at Dumb Records or other various locations around Central Illinois. Also consider supporting Activator Magazine by donating to their Patreon page!

September Issue of Activator Available Now

Whoops, it’s about halfway through the month and we are just now letting you know that we have the new new issue of Activator Magazine for September 2020! As you can see, this one features the band Attic Salt on the cover. They have a brand new album, Get Wise, coming out this month! They are interviewed in this new issue of Activator.

What else does this issue have? No live show calendars, as we are still in strange and scary times, but plenty of album reviews. There is an interview with Jacksonville-based psych band The Dixie Narcos and about how they have been putting out three albums a year for the past three years. Other interviews with Free Range Youth from Decatur, Voldrega the Black Mage from Champaign, a photo spread of some acts at The Alamo, 10 up 10 down with Boss Maseiano, and an interview with Don Brazel of The Bastard Squad, and much much more!

You can pick up a copy of Activator Magazine here at Dumb Records for free, or at other different local locations around Central Illinois.

Activator Presents: Mark Schwartz (Video)

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Activator Magazine is continuing their teaming up with Crowdson Creative as part of their ongoing video series, usually featuring local musical acts which are also featured on the magazine’s cover for the month. This time around Mark Schwartz is featured in the video series. Mark is a recording artist in town with multiple recording project names that he is constantly releasing new music under. Mark sits down with the Activator team and describes the differences in each project and also shows his studio setup along with some wacky instruments and what his creative process is like. Check out that video below!

Also pick up a copy of Activator Magazine at our store or various other locations around town for free!

Activator Magazine July + Black Artists Matter Issues Available Now


Whoops, what do you know it’s already July 20th and we have not yet done a post here to let you know that we have not one but TWO new issues of Activator Magazine in our store!!

One is the regular July 2020 issue. This one is a fun issue for us because we have a big interview spread about our new arcade and new renovations that we have been working on during the pandemic here at Dumb Records! Featured on the cover and interviewed in this issue is Junior Pasaré (TJ Byrd) and Meezy Killafield. The two talk about their upcoming collaborative project. In addition to this there are album reviews, and interviews with Edward David Anderson, Kaream Williams, Gargantuan, Champaign Cypher Series, Church The Voice, and more. There are poems, art, and photo spreads as well.

The second issue is a bonus issue for this month, and that is the “Black Artists Matter” issue focusing on black artists in Central Illinois. This includes artists, poets, musicians, and more. You can find a commentary by Wilma J Wofford, an interview with Michelle Smith, an artist directory, a list of local black owned businesses and more.

You can pick up both issues for free in our store, or various other locations around town!

Activator June 2020 “Music In The Time Of Corona” Issue Available Now

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Hello friends, looks like we blinked and we are already a good chunk of the way through June, but hopefully now isn’t too late to tell you about this month’s issue of Activator Magazine that we have in stock!

This issue is called “Music In The Time Of Corona” and the focus is catching up with local musicians on what they have been up to these past few months during the lockdown and global pandemic. This issue is packed, there is also a feature touching base with all of the record stores in Central Illinois, music reviews, and no live music calendars this time (sorry). Interviews on this one also include Jared Grabb Among Thieves from Peoria, local activist John Keating, Peach from DeKalb, SonnyD Artistry, and XEA. All of that and MORE.

Come pick up your copy of Activator Magazine for FREE in our store (we are open from 12-6pm every day now). If you place an order with us online we will also deliver. Activator also just recently came out with a new mini-zine available to those who support their online Patreon campaign.

May Issue of Activator Magazine Available (We Are Sending With Orders)


It’s another month, and another issue of Activator Magazine is here – and this time the print issue is back! Of course this month is different, with our physical store and many other locations Activator is usually available for free being closed. We plan on distributing the magazine ourselves by sending it out with most of our curbside pickup and delivery orders while we have copies available! Some other local spots are doing the same (check the Activator facebook page), there is also a newsstand outside of Penny Lane that has free copies that you can pull up and grab.

This issue features local musician Dexter Anodyne on the cover. It also features various interviews with local musicians on what they are doing during this pandemic while normal live shows aren’t an option. There are also album reviews, more interviews with Square of the Roots, Rings, Stick People, Courtboy, and much more. No live music calendar this time around though, sorry.

Activator April “Social Distancing” Issue Available Now Online


It’s April, and another month usually means a new issue of Activator Magazine available for free in our store! This month of course is pretty wild and different with all of us staying at home, and our physical store not even being open! For this month’s issue, Activator has put together a special “Social Distancing” issue and it’s available for free online! Find the link to check that out right here.

This issue includes the usual local music write-ups, and scene reports for both Springfield and Champaign, however no Central Illinois or St. Louis show calendars because all shows are cancelled! The issue is however still packed with a list of recourses for musicians effected by COVID-19, and article about live-streams becoming more popular during this time, and more.

Consider supporting Activator Magazine by also checking out their online Patreon page.

Next Activator Print Issue Postponed Until May, Digital “Stay At Home” Issue Coming


As all of our local businesses and lives are adapting to the times that we are in, Activator Magazine is also adapting to the times as well and have announced that they will be skipping the month of April for having a physical print copies. From the Activator Magazine facebook page:

So the world is crazy right now. In light of everything going on in relation to COV-19 we’ve decided to not have a print edition of Activator Magazine for April. We’ll move the cover artist for that issue into May. Hopefully we’ll be back with a full regular print issue at that point.

However in its place we are going to release a special digital “Stay and home and listen to music” edition. It’ll have some good content (we’re still figuring out what that’s going to be). We’ll also be working on some Spotify playlists for the Activator community and maybe some fun surprises.

If your reading this and would like to submit anything for this special issue (ie scene reports, poetry, comics, art) shoot me an email at activatormagazine@gmail.com.

Everyone stay safe and healthy and we’ll all get through this crazy time together.

You can continue supporting Activator Magazine online by contributing to their ongoing
Patreon page. Keep an eye on the Activator facebook page as well because there may be things in the works as far as organizing live streaming “shows” happening with Central Illinois bands.