Illinois Times: “Best of Springfield 2020” Results

The day is finally here – that time of year once again when the results are released for the Illinois Times’s “Best of Springfield” poll. The time of the year when many of us are frustrated with results in the reader-generated polls, and that is okay. It is important to remain positive and focus on all of the great local businesses and people doing things in this city! The Illinois Times wrote a nice intro piece this year explaining how the polls work and answering some frequently asked questions about it.

The results are all available online right here. You can also view the results in the print-issue of the Illinois Times, available all over town.

This year we were fortunate enough to be a finalist as Dumb Records in three different categories: “Best Music Shop,” “Best Music Venue (small),” and “Best Place To Go Downtown.” Best Music Shop went to Recycled Records, Best Small Music Venue went to The Curve Inn, and Best Place To Go Downtown went to The Old Capitol Farmers Market.

We usually do our own “Best of Springfield Music” poll at the end of each year on our site, and the last couple of years have been teaming up with Activator Magazine to publish the results! We are unsure on what we are doing for that this year, but you can probably expect something!

Illinois Times “Best of Springfield 2020” Finalist Voting

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, and you all know it! All of your favorite local businesses, bartenders, radio personalities, artists, and bands are asking you to vote for them for the annual Illinois Times “Best of Springfield” awards. This year, we are lucky enough to be featured in THREE categories (even though the sign in the photo up there has two listed). Those are:


We didn’t want to push the music venue part too hard because we are still not anywhere near it being safe enough for us to have shows or crowds of people here and probably will be for the rest of the year if not a while longer.

To vote, go check out the poll online right here!

We were also very blessed to be the winners of “Best New Business Downtown” in last year’s Best Of’s poll.

Illinois Times Best Of’s 2020 Nominee Voting Begins Now


It’s that time of year again. Yes, even a pandemic can not stop it. The time that we all love, and we all hate at the same time. The Illinois Times Best Of’s series. This time: 2020 edition. And the same with previous years, first is “nominee voting” where we all place nominations for our favorite local businesses, people, and events to go on as finalists in another round. Nominee voting goes from August 13th-24th. Then the real deal finalist voting is September 17th-28th. Then winners are selected and published in October.

To go vote in the nominee voting, head on over to the Illinois Times website right here.

We were lucky enough to win in the category of “Best New Business Downtown” last year. (A category we can only win once). This year we are once again in the running for “place to go downtown,” “best venue (small)”, and “best music shop.” Feel free to vote for us if you want! In addition to all of those categories, there is voting for your favorite local bands and musicians, restaurants and food spots, etc.

We usually do our own “best of’s” poll at the end of each year highlighting shows (R.I.P. for 2020) and local band releases.

The State Journal-Register’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2020 Voting


Happy Monday everyone, we are here today to tell you that the official voting for the State Journal-Register’s annual “Readers’ Choice Awards” for 2020 is now live!

Categories this year include: Health & Medical, Dining, Entertainment, Home and Family Services, Home Services, Shopping, Top Businesses, and Vehicles.

Go vote online right here! Voting is open now until March 12th.

This year we are in the running for… absolutely nothing!!! We didn’t make it in as a finalist in best venue category, or best music store or… anything!!! We did win the “Best New Downtown Business” category of The Illinois Times Best of Springfield poll this past fall for 2019, and are very grateful for anyone who voted for us in that.

For the “Best Live Entertainment” category we have other live entertainment venues such as Boondocks, Buzzbomb, The Curve Inn, and… Idle Oath?? (the acoustic/folk duo)?

For “Best Music Store” we have our friends Capital City Music, Elf Shelf, House of Music, Recycled Records, and The Music Shoppe.

Best of Springfield Music 2019: Albums/Releases #11-20


Here we are back with another installment of our Best of Springfield Music 2019 series!! This time we are finally to the albums / releases. We are going to divide this segment into two parts – one to be posted now and the other tomorrow. We are just running down your picks #11-20 right now. Again, each pick features different write-ups by different members of the Springfield music community! And, all of these results are available in print in the newest issue of Activator Magazine at our store and other locations around town. Here are your picks!

#11. Satisfy – Take A Deep Dive Into What I Go Through
Take a deep dive into what I go through is a poetic compiling of songs showing the pain carried within an individuals heart. Looking at ones own reflection is often difficult, and can be as damaging as it is humbling. A passion for creation whether artistic or academic becomes an avenue for self-expression, aswell as evaluation, and may free the heart from the weight of daily life.
– Spiff Hutchinson

#12. Emily Hough – Glass EP
Over the top of the excellently recorded and mastered 5-track EP, “Glass,” is the voice of 17 year old Emily Hough. As a young woman who’s been passionate about music since the age of 7, this will be her second officially listed EP featuring alternative folk musical pieces such as, “Like the Weather,” “Losing Sleep,” and title track, “Glass,” which highlight Emily’s deeper sense of soul and musical maturity. Accompanied by well rehearsed guitar talent and on-point vocal harmonies, “Glass” is more than a miraculous act of musical showmanship as it portals you into an alternate space within yourself. Sit in your car, on a train, or in the privacy of your bedroom with your headphones on, and this EP becomes a hug from yourself to yourself to cradle you through the sadness, nostalgia, healing, and closure of which the intimately sung lyrics and melodies provoke within you. “Glass” is available for streaming and purchase on Spotify and Apple Music, as well as on physical copies you can pick up at one of Emily’s upcoming shows for $7.00. Get your copy of, “Glass” and make it to an Emily Hough show this 2020 before the chance is gone!
– Dexter Anodyne

#13. Meezy Killafield – Killafield Kronicles
Meezy Killagfield had been a fixture in the 217 hip-hop scene for a long-time, but the Killafield Kronicles Vol. 1 represents his first full-length album and he put together a release that showcases his versatility, his talent, and his vulnerability as a human being. Grappling with emotions ranging from success to suicide, and all that comes in between, Meezy mixed together the varying levels of his existence and brought us tracks to smoke and kick it, like “Bad Habitz” and “Day Drinking”, along with heartfelt tracks like “Smile”, “Lies”, and “Runnin’”, giving his fans something more than a one-note release. Meezy’s development as an artist has been about continual growth, and Killafield Kronicles Vol.1 showcases that commitment to reaching his peak while making songs for everyone who loves music with heart. One of the best hip-hop releases of 2019 without a doubt!!!
– Ken Pacha (Hiphop Humpday, Activator)

#14. Animals With Human Names – Anti-Social / Duck Guts
Animals with Human Names is super underrated. Listening to Anti-Social/Duck’s Guts, you can instantly tell how much Human Names loves hip hop. The beat for Anti Social is that classic boom-boom-clap that will make any head bob theirs. Lyrically, this verse is as funny as it is smart with lines like “I woulda bought a chain but I couldn’t find a groupon” and “still making tasty shit tho my styles expired/with all these sleepy emcees it’s hard to stay inspired/and I woulda burned out but I got bald tires”. This track sounds like if Del was in the Beastie Boys. Duck’s Guts takes the funk up a notch with an Another One Bites The Dust style bass line and a great warbly guitar sound, he doesn’t hold back on the raps here. Don’t mistake his casual delivery for weak writing or cheap rhymes, he’s got bars. This release has everything I love about hip hop good beats, and solid rapping. If you like boom bap, backpack or just real emceeing, don’t sleep on Animals With Human Names.
– Zack Embery (Baristie Boys, Til We Die Podcast)

#15. Iris Wake – Demo
Does music put pictures in your mind? Listening to the latest demo by Iris Wake conjures images of the cold woods, murky air and grey skies as if by spell. The two tracks are made up of dissonant guitar, haunting vocals, subtle ambience, and lyrics abstract yet effective in portraying emotional spaces difficult to navigate. A quiet anger, the pain of change, and the bitter sweetness of pushing through it all to find you are still there, running, breathing, waking, evolving. Finding your place all over again.
– Kate Laine (Kate The Band)


#16. Black Box – What Happens Inside
Black Box has nailed what punk should be sounding like. Something with some smart guy riffs and lyrics, but that’s not afraid to get down right dumb. Everything is fast paced and full of a fresh energy that keeps everything from feeling predictable. “The Crawl” features a super addictive chuggy riff spliced into it that makes it stick out as my personal favorite, while “The Beauty” is top slamming song #1. Bands like Black Box keep local punk exciting for me, and it should for you too!
– Drew Kodrich (Prevention, Final Order)


#17. Idle Oath – Community Outreach
There’s something about fresh spring dandelions, clean linen sheets, and fresh new indie folk duos. It warms the heart. The album starts with “Blue Chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace” with a beautiful voice and ukulele. Seems to be laying that indie folk rather thick, right? You feel like you know where this is going until you hit the 2nd track “Charmingly 3rd Time”, and then it’s like well ok wait just a minute. Karen Nickerson and Mark Beanblossom have done a wondrous job of keeping things interesting throughout the album, even after multiple listens. Duly noted every song on this album has “(Demo)” in the title, just to remind us this is only going to get better from here. I can certainly attest to that after seeing the live set. These two humans have strikingly different musical sensibilities and yet work together so well. I’m looking forward to more great things to come from this band!
– Jeff Black (The Radon Lounge / Dumb Records)

#18. KaBass – Dead Static EP
KaBass’s Dead Static EP is anything but what its namesake may lead you to believe. The Springfield native delivers two tracks full of his instantly recognizable cerebral and distorted sound design, rich sample work, and heavy sub bass. While the EP may offer much more sonically than just “dead static”, both selections still paint vivid imagery of a technological dystopia in which at any moment, an alien entity could materialize from within the lonely tube television on the album art. This release marks one of many in 2019 for this quickly up and coming producer but is undoubtedly an important and defining moment in his growing catalog and local electronic music as a whole.
– Jordan Ward

#19 Ty Witty / Junior Pasaré – Half Full EP
Simply showing off at this point, Ty Witty and JunioR Pasáre dropped an EP in August that should have hit the national radar, given the smooth blend of TJ’s fierce bars and smooth delivery meshed with Ty’s absolute wizardry on the mic. With only five songs, this EP delivers a hit in every track, tackling serious topics on tracks like “Everybody Dies” and “Alive” while sharing space with more playful pursuits on “Next” and “Half Full”. While both artists dropped a solo release in 2019, this collaborative effort was a notable effort, giving fans of both artists something that’s long-awaited, while also giving new fans a taste of all they have to offer. 2020 only promises greater things for two of the 217’s best, and if you haven’t become familiar with their output, now’s a great time to become acquainted with their catalogue by enjoying one of 2019’s best EP’s.
– Ken Pacha (Hiphop Humpday, Activator Magazine)


#20. Final Order – Tainted Tradition
The world is fucked up – racist cops, perverted priests, abusive parents, addiction – injustices existing in broken systems, that everyone knows about but never seem to change, continuing to exist as Tainted Traditions. Final Order’s debut release Tainted Traditions starts with vocalist Nat, begging for a fight and it doesn’t calm down from there. This record is tough and pissed off. Musically, it’s all over the place,  fast in parts and slow and chunky in others. Interesting guitar riffs and the character that is the vocals is what makes this release for me though. Lyrically, the tape ranges from seemingly very personal experiences of abuse to broader ideas of corruption and injustice. Final Order seems to be able to pay homage to hardcore of all sorts, while still making a cohesive piece of art and still completely being their own. It’s everything a hardcore record should be: riffs and breakdowns, loud and aggressive, fun and motivating. Background music for the revolution or maybe just a riot… anyway A.C.A.B.
-Zack Embery (Baristie Boys, Til We Die Podcast.

#20. Prevention – Your Bad Habbits
Prevention’s “Your bad habits” starts with an aggressive chant of “cant, cant look away” and why would you want to? This was my favorite Springfield release of the year. This band is tough and has something to say. The tape starts with an emotional song about alcoholism and quickly moves into a few songs about the bigger problem. Prevention doesn’t just want you not to drink or use drugs; they want you to challenge the system at the source. “Another World” lyrically looks at how much money is to be made from addiction and how fucked that is, musically it starts with an intense build up and then takes off into the fast hardcore punk we all love, but then comes the completely primal breakdown that could turn the coolest of hardcore kids to full caveman mode. “Overstep” acknowledges that it’s not as easy as “don’t do drugs” for some communities, and that the War on Drugs targets poor people and especially P.O.C by incarcerating them at a much higher rate… “racist machines oiled in blood”. The album then takes a turn for the posi with “Don’t Forget” and closing with a straight edge anthem and title track “Your Bad Habits.”

  • Mario Cannamela (Bottom Bracket, Looming)


Prevention’s “Your bad habits” starts with an aggressive chant of “cant, cant look away” and why would you want to? This was my favorite Springfield release of the year. This band is tough and has something to say. The tape starts with an emotional song about alcoholism and quickly moves into a few songs about the bigger problem. Prevention doesn’t just want you not to drink or use drugs; they want you to challenge the system at the source. “Another World” lyrically looks at how much money is to be made from addiction and how fucked that is, musically it starts with an intense build up and then takes off into the fast hardcore punk we all love, but then comes the completely primal breakdown that could turn the coolest of hardcore kids to full caveman mode. “Overstep” acknowledges that it’s not as easy as “don’t do drugs” for some communities, and that the War on Drugs targets poor people and especially P.O.C by incarcerating them at a much higher rate… “racist machines oiled in blood”. The album then takes a turn for the posi with “Don’t Forget” and closing with a straight edge anthem and title track “Your Bad Habits.”

  • Zack Embery (Baristie Boys, Til We Die Podcast)






Best of Springfield Music 2019: Songs


Here we are back again today with the second installment of our Best of Springfield 2019 Music Series! Today we bring you the top 10 songs that you all voted for from local bands and musicians of the past year. Again, all of these results are available all in this month’s issue of Activator Magazine, which is available for free at Dumb Records and other locations around town.

Once again, write-ups are done by different members of the Springfield music community. There were a couple we didn’t get write-ups done for, but only because there was so much for us to cover! Wow! Some of these songs you can find streaming next to the listing, but ones that we don’t have players embedded we still have the listing with a link you can click on and take you to the song.


#1. Dexter Anodyne – “The River”
This song is a great example of, not only how great of a performer Dexter is, but of how impeccable her craftsmanship is. I think my favorite part is how the song builds. Layers are brought in, building a sort of pressure feeling, that is then released when the bass drops off. The song is beautiful and the sophistication showcased here is unprecedented in Springfield.
– Ricki Marvel

#2. Vincent Sebastian – “Not Alone”
“Not Alone” is a fresh and unique composition. This is a dark, chill, psychedelic styled jam that is easy to leave on repeat. Vincent’s lyrics are catchy and can be relatable to the listener. “Not Alone” is a great example of complex simplicity and Vincent does this very well, It’s no wonder that it was nominated this year.
– Brady Gudgel (KaBass)


#3. Chance Reiniesch – “Divine”
“I think what qualifies a song as a ‘good’ song is its ability to make anyone in earshot feel like dancing and that is exactly what Chance Reiniesch has done in creating this bop. From his clever lyrics to the song’s catchy beat, you’ll be on your feet and singing along in no time. From the perspective of a fellow artist, this song is a masterpiece. The layering, vocal harmonies, and overall development make ‘Divine’ exactly that—divine.”  – Stephanie Hannel

#4. Meezy Killafield feat Mariah and Vinal Luciano – “Smile”
This track showcases two of the 217 hip-hop scene’s most talented veterans, with Meezy Killafield continuing his hot streak throughout 2019, building on the February release of Killafield Kronicles Vol. 1 and a continual stream of videos, and Vinal Luciano fresh off the release of his EP Growing Pains, along with a new rising talent, with Mariah showcasing her impressive vocal ability on a track that spreads a positive message and seeks to shine a brighter light on other people’s lives. While people tend to only see the negative, this track aimed to bring a smile to the face of anyone who’s just trying to make it in this world, with the video, shot by Twenty One Seven Studios at the Illinois State Fair, serving to bring this fantastic track to life and spread the positivity that it radiates. People say hip-hop only spreads a negative mindstate, and this track flaunts its blatant disregard for those tired expectations and outdated assumptions.

#5. Deezy Da Paperboy – “Trap”
*It appears that this is one of Deezy Da Paperboy’s songs from 2018, but it somehow made it on to fifth place on our 2019 list, so here it is!

#6. Satisfy – “Hurt”


#7. Idle Oath – “Blue Chicory”
Is the Ukulele still hip? Idle Oath’s Karen Nickerson certainly clears up for me why every teen girl I know wanted one last year. Whether pining for a lost love of a gone-by summer or youth in general, her soft songbird voice and gentle plucking brings all the feels in Blue Chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace, which kicks off the album like a flower in springtime, fresh and sweet and eager to grow. The very first album offering from Karen and husband Mark Beanblossom, “Community Outreach” has caused an immediate sensation, their “outreach” has made them the scene’s newest darlings. They are everywhere and I’m not mad.
– Carol Weems (Activator Magazine)


#8. Ty Witty – “Raindrops”
Ty Witty has established himself as one of the premier voices of the Springfield music scene. The multi-talented creator delivered one of the area’s best songs with “Raindrops”. The song captures feelings of loss, depression, and healing. Opening up about his own struggles allow the listeners a chance to identify with Mr. Witty’s experiences and see them as their own.
– Aaron “Uncanny” Phillips


#9. Kate The Band – “Wine & Dine”
On ‘Wine and Dine’, Kate The Band brings a healthy dose of indie rock nostalgia. A driving rhythm section (provided by BJ Pearce and Jessica Knight) is the backbone for Kate’s swirling, reverberating vocal arrangements as the song pushes it’s way through a steady dynamic swell. The final chorus growls with distorted guitars before settling into gentle ‘oohs’, offering a glimpse of both the Kate Laine so many of us know and love and the power that a full KATE THE BAND brings to the table.
– Brandon Carnes (Looming)

#10. Kid Ziggy, Papa Luke, RJC & Kdoe2x- Double Dribble
This track is an absolute monster. If you’ve been to a Zippir Collective show, you’ll become familiar with this track, as the audience knows every word, and the considerable talent they possess is on full display. Employing a playful and ribald style, while building on the covert sexuality of the title, this track is just pure fucking fun with a chorus that features lines like “Booty soft marshmallow/I go hard, armadillo/smoking on weeping willow/two hoes double dribble.”, while everyone is going bonkers on the track, and this is a major reason this track is streaming at 150k so far on Spotify. It’s an electric track, and promises greater things to come for Kid Ziggy, Papa Luke, & RJC. Giving it all they’ve got throughout, which is practically their creed, with Kdoe2x joining in on the fun with a verse that shows why he belongs on this track, and showcasing his own lyrical skill, Double Dribble is one of 2019’s best local tracks, across genres, and if you don’t agree, the problem is you. -Ken Pacha (Hip Hop Humpday)








Best of Springfield Music 2019: Shows


Today we bring you the first installment of our Best of Springfield Music 2019 series! We know we are two weeks or so into 2020 already, and we meant to post this yesterday, but we got caught up rearranging our venue space for the future! Sorry!

Thanks to all of you who voted on our poll last month, we have compiled top ten lists of your favorite shows, songs, and albums from Springfield bands from the year 2019. This year once again we are teaming up with Activator Magazine, which has published all of these results in their January issue, which you can pick up for free at our store and plenty of other locations around town! Here are the top shows, and we have featured write-ups done by different members of the Springfield music community! How fun! We will be following this up with your top voted songs and then releases in the next coming days! Let’s dive right in!



#1. Downhome Music Festival @ Downtown Springfield (July 26th & 27th):
Downhome Fest never disappoints. It is refreshing that they have built their reputation as one of Springfields best music festivals while showcasing 100% original music from the Springfield area. As in years past, Downhome has offered a wildly diverse lineup providing a little something for most everyone. Each year you hear music from up and coming bands as well as some old favorites. It’s no surprise that it ranks highly on everyone’s favorite shows list every year. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Downhome yet, get after it. Personally, I caught several noteworthy performances over the course of the two day Fest this year. Thanks to events like Downhome Fest and some new venues springing up, downtown original music/art are thriving in Springfield. So, before you think you need to leave town to catch a good show, think again. Your next favorite band could be playing on a stage right in your own backyard! Until next time, Zesty – Shawna Phillips (The Complaint Line)


#2. Shonen Knife, The Hooten Hallers @ Rock N’ Roll Hardees, September 30th
Every once in a great while, a concert occurs in Springfield that boggles perception. One recalls with skepticism, for instance, the 1987 Dead Milkmen / Mojo Nixon show at Prairie Capitol Convention Center. Or That time Wu Tang Clan legend Raekwon the Chef did a set at Bar None on a Tuesday night in 2011. Add to this list the surreal but easily verifiable fact that Japanese pop-punk icons Shonen Knife played an enthusiastically received set on the outdoor stage in the parking lot of Hardee’s on Stevenson Drive this past September. As the trio tore into “Twist Barbie” I remember looking around at the crowd and literally wondering if I was dreaming. But no- it was all too real.
– Scott Faingold (Activator, Epsom)


#3. Chance Reiniesch, Vincent Sebastian @ Dumb Records, August 24th
Having the release show at Dumb Records was such a treat! It was a simple production with just a guitar, piano and drums supporting me, but being able to interact with my supporters in a beautiful space made me feel like a rockstar. So grateful for the Dumb Records team.
– Chance Reiniesch


#4. Mac Xavier, Satisfy, Spiff, 36 N Brimstone, Deion @ Dumb Records, November 9th
November 9th, 2019 was an incredible night of talented artists, laughter, and high spirits as DB Entertainment’s Mac Xavier, Satisfy, Spiff, and 36 N Brimstone put on an unforgettable experience for Springfield’s Dumb Records! Roivas of 36 N Brimstone kicked the party off with a vicious set showcasing his remarkable lyricism. Following one of the most passionate performances of the night by King Deezy, Satisfy took the stage by storm and captivated the Springfield crowd! Dumb Records was packed, primarily due to the amazing talent in the co-headliner Spiff! Fresh off the release of an instant classic, Yellow Kelso,  Spiff give his fans a taste of the entire album before finishing his set with a fresh feeling single titled “Tropics”! As the night came to an end, Mac Xavier capped the night of with his amazing live performance. Performing an original remix to 0–100, and covering “Swimming Pools” by Kendrick Lamar, Mac kept the audience engaged and put on one hell of a show! DB Entertainment and the artists they represent would like to thank Dumb Records for the opportunity and consideration as well as Activator Magazine for the recognition and appreciation!
– Deion Brown (DB Entertainment)


#5. Kate The Band, Moss Jaw, Treadles, Vincent Sebastian @ Radon Lounge, November 9th
It was a warm Saturday in November, there was a slight chill that evening.  Walking on South Fifth you could here a subtle rumble from the basement of one of the Craftsman style homes.  Coming up the driveway the arrow shaped sign reads ‘Radon’, it’s outlined with lightbulbs and pointing to the basement.  You descend the stairs and enter the room, the art is to the right, and the pinballs to the left. I made some new paintings, and Jeff just refurbished another classic machine.  There’s a rich, lush sound that fills the room as you walk in further. The rhythmic pulse of locals Vincent Sebastian, layering synth beats with a live band, then adding layers of vocals and vocal distortion to the mix.   Creating atmospheric pop with a good beat, lyrical substance and a whimsical feel. Next up is, Moss Jaw, who came down from Kalamazoo, they brought a big, warm sound with them. A four piece band, with keys, creating dreamlike soundscapes with enchanting melodies with enough distortion to fill the room with electricity.  There’s clapping, a moment of quiet, then the talk, and the shuffling between sets, you can hear the pinball machines and smell the coffee. Treadles is setting up, they came up from New Orleans and played this show as a power duo, bass, nice crunchy guitar riffs and raw and powerful vocals. There was an emotional charge to the set, with quiet, melodic, introspective moments and loud screeching howls.  They had the honesty of one telling the whole story. Kate the Band played the last set, a local trio composed of key players from other bands. They’re unique with a tight rhythm section and the synergy of two strong female vocalists. One number began soft with the ambiance of Kate’s guitar and her voice low and gentle, like faint memory. Then the drums, and the bass, the tempo picks up and you’re up, out of your seat;  Jess’s voice harmonizes with Kate’s and the tone has changed, it’s bright and clear as day, like an epiphany. A beautiful sound, and a cohesive variance of tone and energy. There’s the clapping, cheering, shuffling, and the talk is inspired as the people disperse. Each band was sincere, and each had it’s own sound, and there was the feeling of having shared something real and beautiful.
– Will Redwood (local artist)

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#6. Holy Pinto, Foam Fangers, Blushe, Sadface Killer, Marble Teeth @ Dumb Records, October 31
The past few years, I’ve put on a Halloween show at BXS and really had a good time doing it. Last year, we went all out doing a big spider on the ceiling and having Chili Bowl Mullet Man at the show with great punk bands however; I do gotta say this year’s Halloween Special at Dumb Records was one to remember! It was a SUPER SNOWY NIGHT on Halloween during the week but the place was still packed with Ghouls and Galecki-s. The Old Man even bobbed for apples in the venue. Water got everywhere and I had to clean it up. The lineup was a stacked one; Foam Fangers / Blushe / Holy Pinto / Sadface Killer / Marble teeth, and what might have been even more impressive was the lineup and free Pizza. I ate a lot, took a nap, and moshed during Holy Pinto’s set which included both a wall of death and a conga line. For the first Halloween I’ve done in the space I’m just excited for next year. Out of all the shows that go on during the year, the Halloween one is always one I look forward to planning. Big ole shout out to my mom Jill for helping get everything ready and set up for the show with me.
– BJ Pearce (Bottom Bracket, Kate The Band, Prevention)


#7. Hallowicked @ The Mansion, October 19th / 20th (?)
Saturday, October 20 marked the sixth annual celebration/packed set list of Hollowicked, hosted by Paperboy Entertainment, courtesy of local artist/promoter extraordinaire Deezy Da Paperboy. This year’s event was the biggest one yet, with a long list of performers rocking the Mansion (34382 E. Frontage Road near Virden) along with the pool house stages. Performers included Animals With Human Names, Meezy Killafield (with special guest, Mariah), Cornbread 217 (aka Trash Panda), Joe Dividends, Dre Lotto, Kall Me Hunnit, Kid Ziggy with Papa Luke, RJC, & Danny J, Hollista Wayne, Prophet, Zamm2Turnt, Garcia, City, $ojo The Poet, Brandon Daz and Alpha Gang Music Group, as well as a blowout performance from Deezy himself before the man of the night, Montana of 300, rolled in and blew it up. Montana gave a frenzied and energetic performance that had the entire pool house literally going crazy. Extra respect and recognition to Aaron “Uncanny” Phillips – DJ, hype man, and host extraordinaire, who helped keep the energy alive and the acts organized.
– Ken No (from Nov 2019 Activator)



#8. The Skatalites @ Levitt AMP Music Series (June 6th)
The Ska-Talites’ Levitt Amp Concert Series performance put an exclamation mark on Springfield’s surprising cultural richness. This seminal band that laid the Ska Music foundations for Reggae in the 1960s came to whare their signature versions of instrumentals including the James Bond Theme and vocal numbers, setting everyone to smiling and dancing. The 2019 touring band sounded as good as ever, with no need for gimmicks or fancy PA wizardry. Warm sparkling “Queen of Ska” Singer Doreen Shaffer was a member of the original Ska-Talites in the 1960’s; Drummer Trevor “Sparrow” Thompson has played shows wih Bob Marley and the Wailers, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer and Bassist Val Douglas has worked with Bob Marley and The Wailers, Toots & The Maytals, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Peter Tosh, and many others.  The organizers took a chance, hiring a famous band representing a nearly unknown music style, and the 1,000s of all ages who came were just thrilled this could happen on the Y-Block in Springfield. Congratulations Levitt Amp Series!
– Frank Trompeter, (Jazz musician)

74480266_2656829307688989_813702157185318912_n.jpg#9. Foamfest @ Rock N’ Roll Hardee’s, November 2nd
 Foamfest was located at the infamous rock and roll Hardee’s. Where the Prevention, Blood Soaked Boogie Bandits, Complaint Line a Line and Foam Fangers, made a lot of noise for all of Springfield to hear. They hope to get more bands on the bill for next year and make it a annual music festival.
– Shaun Kerr (Foam Fangers)

#10. Homeless Gospel Choir, Mikey Erg, Jon Snodgrass, Looming @ The Radon Lounge (September 27th)
Every year, when these lists come out, I try to lock down those moments throughout the year. The Local Drags and Black Box EPs, seeing “Midsommer” twice, and feeling when I saw Mikey Erg’s name on a flier. To all you Ergsheads reading this, you know the feeling. “Wait, he’s playing in Springfield in my friend’s basement? And I have a babysitter??” Not to mention Looming, Hopeless Gospel Choir, and Jon Snodgrass of Drag The River are playing too. Pretty surreal. The Radon Lounge, stand-alone, was a great venue (RIP). But Jeff absolutely aced it with this one. We got to crush sletzys all night and saw “Pray For Rain” live. Hard to top that. Thank you, Jeff.
– Cory VanMeter (Night Night Boy)


Activator: Best of Springfield Music 2019 (January Issue) Is Here!


Wow!! We know we are already ten days into this year, but it’s finally time to share with you all the results from our Best of Springfield Music 2019 survey that we teamed up with Activator Magazine to compile! The issue of Activator is finally out and available for free inside of our store and other locations around town! This is exciting!

As with every previous year, we came up with top ten lists for Springfield shows, songs from local bands – and a top twenty list for albums / releases from local bands and artists. There was a lot of great stuff from this past year highlighted in this issue, and we are excited to share it all with you.

We will be posting the results from the polls in separate categories over the next four days, starting with the shows category later this afternoon!

2019 Best Of Springfield Music Results Are In, We Need Writers!!


This is definitely a time of the year where there is a LOT going on that we can hardly keep up with. Our Best Of Springfield Music 2019 annual poll has wrapped up on voting, and we are to the point now where we are scrambling searching for people to assist with short write-ups for each of the finalists for the categories of best albums/releases, songs, and shows that came out of Springfield during this past year. This year we are once again teaming up with Activator Magazine to have this as their January issue. We are aiming for write-ups for the top ten songs, top ten shows, and top twenty releases.

If you are interested in doing a write-up, we can have you chose from a list of finalists to take on, and we are only looking for a short paragraph!! We do need these quick though, like within the next two days!! If you are interested in doing a write-up, which will be featured on our site and also in Activator Magazine, reach out to us at and we will send you a list of finalists we need write-ups for!

Vote In Our Best of Springfield Music 2019 Year End Poll!!


The time has come! It’s December, which means that it’s once again time for our annual Best of Springfield Music poll! This is the EIGHTH time we have done this poll, started on this site in 2012. This time we are once again teaming up with Activator Magazine and the results will be published along with fun write-ups by members of our music and art community of the top choices. We came up with a total of 59 total releases to come out of Springfield this year by bands, hip hop acts, and solo artists. We understand that we may still be missing some, so let us know or email us at if you know of any we are missing and we will add them to the poll as soon as possible. As with past years, our poll is divided into three categories: best local releases, best local songs, and best local shows of the year 2019. Of course the shows category is not at all limited to Dumb Records, it could be any show that happened anywhere in town.


Voting will be active NOW until exactly one week from now, December 15th at 11:11 pm. Good luck out there! Results will be published in your top ten choices for each category (maybe top 20 for albums) at the very end of this month or beginning of January and also in next month’s Activator Magazine. Check out the results from the top ten releases of 2018 last year right here.