January 2022 Activator Magazine: Best Of Local Music 2021 Issue Available Now

Good morning! We are late to the game on letting you know about this one here on our site, but that new January issue of Activator Magazine is now available in our store and various locations around town, and now we’ve even been re-stocked!

This is the annual Best In Local Music 2021 issue that we usually collaborate with Activator on putting together! Featuring your picks for best 2021 local releases, songs, hip hop releases, and shows! Thank you to everyone who contributed to this one as always! In addition to the best-of features on this issue, there are also more music reviews, interviews, live music calendars, and more.

Pick up a copy here at Dumb Records anytime! You should also check out the Activator Patreon page online and consider donating to help keeping the magazine going!

Best Of Springfield Music 2021 Poll

It’s that special time of year again. Boy it sure snuck up on us. That time when team up with Activator Magazine and we all get together and talk about our favorite local releases that came out this year! Also our favorite songs, shows, and all of that good stuff!

This year we have a total of 110 local releases listed out into three sections: a general category, hip hop releases, and then Mark Schwartz related projects. *That number is subject to change too if we can think of any more, or if anybody gives us any more to add. Usually we keep track of these things along with links to listen on our Springfield Album Archive Page, but we are very behind on that this year. We have to give a special shout-out to Activator for helping compile most of this list!

Our poll is live online RIGHT HERE! It will be open for voting now through 11:59pm on Wednesday, December 15th!

In addition to voting for your favorite releases, we are once again asking for you to list your favorite songs that came out from local artists in 2021, and this time around we brought the “live shows” section back as well! We also added a section for any mentions of other Central Illinois releases outside of Springfield, and also suggestion boxes for Activator and Dumb Records.

The results of this poll will be published in the January 2022 issue of Activator! It might be published online on our site at some point after that. We might be looking for help in doing write-ups for all of the winning entries here in the coming days and weeks.

Illinois Times’ Best Of Springfield 2021 Finalist Voting (Now Through September 27th)

We are excited for this finalist round in the annual Illinois Times’s “Best Of Springfield 2021” poll. As far as we can tell, we have made it on to finalists in FOUR different categories as Dumb Records and those are as follows:


Okay, all of those things sound great! Don’t vote for us for best vintage / antique shop though, you should vote for Springfield Vintage around the corner for us! 😂 Really, vote for whoever you want to in all of those categories, and all of your other favorite local businesses and people in all of the other categories as well.

Voting is online right here at the Illinois Times website from now up until 11:59pm on September 27th one week from now. The winners will be published in the October 28th issue of the Illinois Times.

Illinois Times: Best of Springfield 2021 Nominee Voting Now Open

Great news! It’s everyone’s favorite (maybe some of your least favorite) time of the year! It’s time for the annual Best of Springfield polls, put together by The Illinois Times! The time where we all vote for our favorite local businesses, artists, musicians, and people in various categories. The “nominee round” is now active online and goes until August 23rd at midnight. (That would be the night of August 22nd, right?)


Finalists will be chosen from the nominee voting and the regular voting among those finalists goes from September 16th through September 27th.

This year as always there is a pretty hefty Music category where you can vote for your favorite musicians, bands, and venues. There is also an “Arts, Culture & Entertainment” section. Dumb Records is in the running for “Best Music Store” under the “Retail” section. Also “Best Place To Go Downtown” under Arts, Culture & Entertainment and “Best Small Music Venue” under Music.

Good luck to everyone out there! Results will be published in the October 28th issue of the Illinois Times.

Best of Springfield Music 2020: Releases #1-10

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to the final part of our Best of Springfield Music 2020 series! Today we are bringing you your top voted albums / releases from local bands and artists in 2020 in the non-hip hop category numbers 1-10. We kept track of a total of 93 local releases in 2020, which you can see the full list of on our Springfield album archive page. All of this series along with many write-ups are featured in the January 2021 issue of Activator Magazine, which we still have a few copies of available in the store. Thanks to all who contributed this year by doing write-ups! Okay let’s dive into this list! We’ve embedded the music for listings that we could. Shortcode

#1. Attic Salt: “Get Wise”
Attic Salts’ Get Wise is like receiving bad news in the best way possible. With songs about being a fool, dealing with breakups, and lies, it’s not as emotional as you think. It’s really fun to listen to. It has many ups and downs which keeps the record interesting. You won’t just cry, you will dance and cry simultaneously. Also, the two vocalists mix up the sound too! It’s not just one vocalist. Many bands don’t have two main vocalists but Attic Salt executes that well. Many people can relate to the lyrics of the songs. It’s also hard to stay still with this record. I need to dance, walk, or nod my head while listening to this. The upbeat rock sound is something I will turn on while hanging with friends. My favorite track from the record is Fool 4 U! It’s so relatable and catchy! Stream Attic Salt’s new release Get Wise! The whole album is bop! – Nia TillerShortcode

#2. Bottom Bracket: “I Don’t Care Enough To Stay”
I’ve enjoyed watching Bottom Bracket just continually progress since their inception. In my opinion, they are one of the better bands to come out of Springfield in quite some time. Their second effort, “I Don’t Care Enough to Stay”, was my top release of 2020 out of Springfield. To me this album harks back to the 2000s, a release that could be heard on labels such as Deep Elm. Kick back, find the groove and nod yo head. Mario’s licks and vocals shine. BJ’s drumming always fits in so well and Carter can flat out hold it down. Production is great. Just a super solid record. Favorite track, “Doggie Heaven” – Fred Malcom (Attic Salt) 

If you haven’t heard Bottom Bracket already, you’re missing out on one of the most exciting musical projects coming out of Illinois right now. Mathy indie rock can sometimes sound technically impressive at the expense of sounding good, but Bottom Bracket’s focus on dynamic songwriting ensures that even their LP’s most complex riffs feel effortless. “I Don’t Care Enough to Stay” is the most contemplative work Bottom Bracket has released to date, but there isn’t a track on the album that can’t elicit an enthusiastic groove. Standout tracks like “Failures,” “Doggie Heaven,” and “Touching Face” showcase this band’s ability to be thematically mature while still feeling youthfully energetic. “I Don’t Care Enough to Stay” is essential listening for anyone interested in where Midwest emo could go in the 2020s. – Mitch Baker (Looming)Shortcode

#3. Blushe: “MAD”
MAD is Blushe’s debut EP and a snapshot of a band intent on pushing themselves. This no-bullshit, concise 5-track punk album features grunge-tinted guitars, a solid rhythmic backbone, and a melodic vocal delivery that ranges from serene to frantic. MAD gives a sonic nod to the 90’s, but doesn’t feel stuck there and if you haven’t listened to it yet, you should probably be MAD at yourself. – Brandon Carnes (Looming)Shortcode

#4. Stick People: “Mondoduke”
“I think I’m in control but I’m not entirely sure”, says singer Blake Durbin on “The College Try”, with an accepted weariness that would make J Mascis proud. Thus opens the chaotic door of “Monoduke”, the soundtrack to watching your emotions squeeze through your tight fist. The lyrics- weary, angry, disillusioned- are elevated by the musicianship. The rolling chaos of Chaz Davis’ drums (“We Didn’t Have To”), the dancing, barbed-wire of Kevin Carman’s lead guitar (“Homebody”, “Idwg”), and Durbin’s catchy, clever bass lines (“Spiked Lemonade”) act like a powerhouse tide washing over you, pulling you into the sea. “Somewhere, somehow, someone will” sings Durbin on “Somewhere, Somehow”, summing up the emotional waves you find here: Self-deprecation, painful honesty, regret, and ultimately, unexpectedly, hope. – Mark Beanblossom (Idle Oath) Shortcode

#5. The Telephone Junkies: “Dress It Up And Call It Living”
The Junkies put in the work on their first ever full-length LP “Dress It Up & Call It Living” and it really shows. It’s an understatement to say that it blew me away on the first listen, and sonically they have stepped up their game with something as uniquely ambitious as it is impressive. The self-proclaimed soft grunge band establishes the vibe of the album early on with the first few moments of “Midwest Band (We’re A)”, which feature a satisfying build of steady reverberated guitar before the band breaks through the wash, led by drummer Jack Moore’s first of many tasteful grooves. And that vibe train stays rolling through all 12 tracks. “Date Night” is one track that stands out to me as a true gem. Not only does it include an extremely catchy chorus-drenched guitar lead, but there’s this one moment where vocalist Jacob Armbrecht sings “I’ll tell you about my rock n’ roll band” just before the juiciest guitar lick comes out of nowhere. It’s an easter egg that when you hear it, your face immediately scrunches into a ball in ecstasy. Other notably stellar moments include the somber slide guitar intro to “Goodbye My Silent Friend (ode to)” as well as the pulsating contemplation of “So I Left the Party (Part 1)”. I distinctly remember hearing the latter at a live show pre-covid, feeling like I was transferred back to a typical college Friday night, a blur of cheap beer, awkwardness, a can-do attitude, and possibly a little bit of heartbreak. If there’s one thing crystal clear after listening to Dress It Up, it’s that the Telephone Junkies mean business and have more tricks up their sleeves than they’ve been given credit for. Major props to them is deserved for not just releasing an album during a pandemic, but a truly excellent one that should absolutely not be slept on. – Mario Cannamela (Bottom Bracket, Looming)Shortcode

#6. Vector Noise: “Vec Vec Vec”
Vector Noise self describes themselves in two words: Fast and Loud. I think they should add a third word: Exceptional. The outfit’s second entry, “Vec Vec Vec”, is a master class in technical prowess, intelligent composition, and inspired industrial beats. The fearlessness of the record’s opener, I Need Help, sets the stage for experimentation and the unexpected, enticing the listener to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. The title track is my favorite song on the record, featuring a build up that never gets too excited and a bassline that isn’t afraid to get dirty. The culmination of this album, Father Johnathan, could get any dance floor in the country moving. If there’s one thing that gets me excited about 2021, it’s the possibility of seeing Vector Noise spin these jams in person. – Kolton Ray (Tilt Warning)Shortcode

#7. Vector Noise: “Spilling A White Claw And Mopping It Up With Your Sock”
With 2020 putting limits on social gatherings, live shows, and practice sessions for many bands as we know them, it was the perfect time for recording projects to thrive. Local artist Vincent Sgro was no stranger to experimenting with recording different mediums on his own in his own home studio before the pandemic (Vincent released his debut solo album, Interference under his own name last year where he performed all of the instruments and recorded all songs himself). So it comes as no surprise that one of Vincent’s newer electronic noise projects called “Vector Noise” cranked out two EPs this year. Spilling A White Claw And Mopping It Up With Your Sock (yes, that is the full name of this release) is five tracks clocking in at under ten minutes and it’s the project’s latest. It’s loud and in-your-face electronic music, but perhaps less noisy and more dance-y compared to the project’s previous effort Vec Vec Vec. Will we ever see this project perform live? Who knows… but I honestly don’t mind a wet sock.  – Brian Galecki (Dumb Records)Shortcode

#8. Headbug: “Pain Pill”
Headbug is made up of vocalist and lyricist Bri Skeels and backup vocalist, musician, and producer Cee Jones. (The very same that brought us the projects Rootbound and, my personal favorite ever, FunMachine.exe-All Our Friends Are Algorithms.) Self defined “Generalists” the pair are no strangers to experimenting in mediums and genres. Working in everything from clothes to puppets to video games and beyond, their individual creative talent is real and their passion for creative expression is undeniable in this first glimpse at what the pair can do when they put their collective talents together.  In “Pain Pill” Cee and Bri have given us 7 tracks over 12 minutes which pair, and often contrast, the affecting nature of Bri’s soul bearing and intense spoken word poetry and boppy sing song voice with jarring glitchy effects and vocal distortions. The stand out track, for me, is the title track Pain Pill. The longest track on the album at just over 3 minutes is a harsh look into “maladaptive escapism” (something I am relatively certain most us in the “scene” know at least a little something about) as well as an observation of the Midwest opioid crisis. It works you through the extremes of t upbeat highs and frantic heart pounding lows of addictive behavior by beginning with Bri’s bubbly exuberant delivery of gritty, even gut wrenching lyrics and it feels wrong. You know shit’s about to go sideways…and then it does. – Carol Weems (Activator)Shortcode

#10. Mark Schwarts – On Guitar

Best of Springfield Music 2020: Hip Hop Releases #1-10

Surprise! Welcome back to another portion of our Best of Springfield Music 2020 series. This year we are throwing in a completely new category which is something we have never done before, and that is a category just for local hip hop releases that came out this past year. (We have included hip hop in our polls before of course, we just decided to run it as a separate poll this year). (This way we make sure different genres are highlighted in our best-of’s, and it give more releases the chance to be highlighted) (It also maybe kinda makes up for us not having a “shows” section this year)? (Not quite, we know). We don’t have any write-ups for this category, but we do link to the music or embed music for you to listen to below. And of course you can pick up a copy of January’s Activator Magazine for the full Best of Springfield Music 2020 series.

1. Zippir Collective: “Zippir Vol. 1

2. Papa Luke: “Drinking By Myself

3. Cornbread: “Negros & Jazz

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1057545148&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true 36 N BRIMSTONE · ANAXPHOBIA CHAPTER 1: ROADSHOW

4. 36 N Brimstone: “Chapter 1 & 2

5. Spiff: “Fall For You

6. Spiff: “Fire

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1078891456&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true CornBread217 · Quarantine E.P.

7. Cornbread: “Quarantine EP

8. Satisfy: “Anomaly

9. JunioR Pasare & Meezy Killafield: “Byrds In The Killafield

Best of Springfield Music 2020: Albums/Releases #11-20

Good morning! We are continuing our best of Springfield Music 2020 series today and diving into your TOP voted albums / releases of 2020! Yes, we know 2020 was a minute ago now but we are still doing this. These were all featured in the January print issue of Activator Magazine, which we still have a few copies of left at Dumb Records. Thank you for everyone who contributed in doing write-ups for this series. We’ll be back again tomorrow with the top ten voted releases for the year.

20. Marble Teeth: “Park”
Park is a great release. Marble Teeth is a project that continues to grow now into mixed instrumental sounds that carries Caleb’s message, creating new and pioneering textures that we all can be influenced by. Every time I listen back to this release, I always find something new in a sound on a different track or I pick up a new chord change that catches my ear. Caleb’s epitaphs of emotional instances and fables will indeed grow fondly with Park but, I keep finding myself wanting to hear loud drums and big guitar swells. Maybe, that is just the post rock indie guy in me. Bob Dylan once said, “my favorite sound is the sound of a song played on an AM radio across a busy street.” I hope Marble Teeth will be that sound Dylan pleasantly discovers one day. I hope. -BJ Pearce (Bottom Bracket)

#19: Bonards: “Mask To Protect
The Bonards may arguably be the closest thing Springfield, Illinois has ever had to the experimental, anonymous -weirdo geniuses, The Residents. From the late eighties and on through the early 2000s, These cats made a point of keeping their  identities on the hush. It may not have been that hard to figure out who Exacto Mundo (vocals) or Nomad Repos (guitar) or even Zaphod Beeblebass (Bass) were,  but the whereabouts of the periphery members [Cynthia Sugercane-(Synth-guitar), ButterMonkey- (Noises/ Sounds), Hanger The Cat- (Drums) and Dave the Hot Dog Cook- (Grill)] was, and remains a minor mystery. I remember once watching the oddity known as The Bonards play in the early 2000s. While this fascinating sound and visual experience was happening, I had to shake my head and laugh at the ensemble’a slendered-up hot dog cook. His sheerly confident  grilling abilities whilst grilling those damned wieners. Working on his physique by pumping iron at the same time as grilling. This was dada-esque  In the perfectly odd mix of experimental music and outlier performance. On their latest release, “Masked To Protect”, The Bonards present 18 tracks that Exacto and Nomad recorded during shelter in place orders that were issued due to Covid-19. They recorded these songs by emailing WAV sound files back and forth until each song was as finished as those grilled hot dogs. “Masked To Protect” has more of a “techno/politico rap (feel) than any of their early recordings”, states Nomad himself.  The song “Confusion”, may be the best example of Nomad’s description, as it revisits the sound of the mid 1980s, when exploring this newer (to many) and exploding music form known as “rap” or “hip-hop” grew from urban America to worldwide phenomenon.  – Jeff Williams (NIL8)

18. Demons On Wheels – “Still Left Standing

17. Mark Schwartz – “Suite Aidan

16. Forest Saints – Backyard Twilight Symphony

15. Baby Ocho: “Demos EP”
Im kicking back to another 2020 pandemic evening. I’ve got my eggnog and am thinking back to years ago when Baby Ocho rocked the house in one of the last few Dumb Records shows before we all had to go home forever. That night they played full band and Rocked it! It seems the followup release is a nice quiet chill batch of solid accoustic tracks. It has a bit of an alt country vibe with some Bazan level of morose wistfulness. The title of the EP straight up tells you these songs are going to be a little rough around the edges, but there also lies the charm. Still since this came out back in April, I’m thinking someone better check on Mateusz as he was cranking out these bummer jams back then and has been a bit quiet since… Still has anyone come up with a more killer lyric as “I could be your dog, I’d lay down at your feet, just to watch you sleep, until i die”. – Jeff Black (Dumb Records)

14. The Dixie Narcos: “Nantucket 2”
I’ve got a fairly blank, yet vivid memory. A show at Black Sheep, a band from Jacksonville, IL called Flamingo. They opened, I think, and destroyed. That’s all i remember. I don’t remember what the show was, who booked it, if I did or someone else, who else played. The only detail that stuck was goddamned Flamingo. I became a fan. A few years ago, there I was minding my own business, and band pops on the feed. Lo and behold, it was The Dixie Narcos. And John Franz came so absolutely correct. They haven’t missed a beat since with album after album after EP after album. Just cranking out good ass tunes. And 2020’s been no different with two full lengths and a new EP. Nantucket 2 (IE Charley) is now the 2nd most recent release by the John Franz helmed Dixie Narcos. And it wastes no time, a psychedelic barnburner straight out of quarantine. Great songwriting and melodies, LOUD recording, cool visualizations. Just a straight up cool record. It’s a real heart warmer knowing this came out from our corner of the globe. All I can say is I’m stoked to finally see this band again, as we inch closer to be on the other side of 2020. Recommended listen: “Samsara” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Meth Mouth” into “Stuck In Line at the Post Office With the Methamphetamine Psychosis Blues Again” – Cory VanMeter (Caterpillar Club, Night Night Boy)

13. Imaginary Colours: “HEAD_SPACE”
This year, Imaginary Colours, the electronic project of Michael LeFrance (Balki Bros, Snuff Rider, and drummer of other past groups) came out with another release called HEAD_SPACE. Head_space feels like it’s not meant to be individual songs to be played by Imaginary Colours live, but rather a listening experience for us to take in while alone. Perhaps kicking off with the first track “Drifter” while you are coming up on the Stanford Overpass at 3:00 am, with absolutely no other traffic in sight in a very quiet city. It’s foggy out. Then you get to the title track “Head_Space” and the sun is starting to rise. You’ve made it all the way down Wabash to Centenial Park. With “City Limits” the sun is out and shining brighter than ever. Okay, with “Up All Night” we’ve made it to the party that we were heading to. Okay, I change my mind, this  is the song that would be good to hear Michael do live. There are a bunch of aliens and robots dancing at the party and a bunch of lasers. Then the tone of things takes a turn. “Broken Memories” is about a ghost that lives deep within the rubble of the Pillsbury Factory, who is very sad. Then with the last track “Stay With Me” the camera shifts focus to a leaf or a feather that is blowing past the buildings of the factory through the air. The wind blows it up very high. We see the city in the background and we are reminded that life is beautiful and things maybe aren’t so bad. The end. – Brian Galecki (Dumb Records)

12. Demons On Wheels: “Souvenirs

11. Ricki Marvel: “The Prisoner”
Ricki Marvel has created something powerful with “The Prisoner.” The album is filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, and incredible emotion both in what is said, and in what is left unsaid. Ricki creatively uses varying material and patterned sounds to build her rhythms, and it works to develop her sometimes mechanical grooves that you’ll feel in your body. But she does not hide behind rhythm by any means, choosing to often venture beyond any traditional structure. There are no limits in this record. Ricki takes this music where it was meant to go, creating deep and immersive synth soundscapes that could easily be the score to an art pop film. Never does the music feel bare or underdeveloped. There seems to be intention in the quieter, more sparing parts of her songs. The vocals speak to a beautiful but challenging journey of bravery and authenticity. There is so much honesty in this record, and the listener walks away knowing a deeper Ricki. – Dani Sakach (Blushe) 

Best of Springfield Music 2020: Songs

Hahaha, WHOOPS. We wanted to post the results for our annual Best of Springfield Music Poll this year a little bit after the print-version was published in the January issue of Activator Magazine. Here we are in the middle of February and we are finally getting around to it! (Because we are snowed in). You can still pick up copies of this for free at Dumb Records, where all of the results and write-ups are printed. Today we are going to kick off posting the series online starting with your best voted SONGS that Springfield bands and artists put out in 2020. We only have write-ups for some of these listings, and we are also going to try to embed songs for each listing when we can! Alright, check it all out below.

  1. Kxynggami feat. Kid Ziggy & 6randon: “Lifestyle”
    In the midst of a pandemic, 217 artist Kxynggami still manages to work, proof being his single “Lifestyle”.  With solid production quality, catchy vocal melodies, and flow for days, Lifestyle stands up to any modern day radio hit. The track also features 2 other midwest rappers, Kid Ziggy (of Zippir Collective) and 6randon to put the icing on the cake. Kid Ziggy’s verse is a perfect fit for the vibe of track, and delivers killer melodies as usual, then 6randon comes in to offer a chill vibe before coming back into the fantastic chorus that’s just so catchy! This track is at home in any playlist that’s got any form of hip-hop in it. -Paul Wilby
  1. Kid Ziggy / Papa Luke / JunioR Pasaré: “Monster”
    Zippir Collective hasn’t let the pandemic effect their ability to release quality material and connect with their fans. Released in April 2020 amid the spike of Covid 19, Kid Ziggy, Papa Luke, and Junior Pasare connect to enlighten listeners to their internal demons. The melodic hook and powerful verses make “Monster” one of the many great 2020 releases from this iconic central Illinois clique! -Deion Brown (DB Entertainment)

3. Sensai Doog: “Battle Cry”
(from the album Sincerely Yourz)

4. Satisfy feat ANoyd: “This Is How I’m Comin'”

5. Satisfy: “To The Max”

6. Blushe: “Tantrum”
“Close the door cuz this ain’t pretty.” With that opening salvo, Blushe is off and running with this five song EP that ranks near the very top of any local music released in 2020.  With solid musicianship and songwriting while navigating a punkish garage rock with startling economy, Blushe demands your attention and doesn’t let you go for the next fourteen minutes.  The key to great songs is whether the band, specifically, the singer, can get the listener to buy in to the story being told.  Blushe draws you in with provocative lyrics and music that often takes an unexpected hard left.  I cannot wait to see this band in a live setting. -Jason Perry (The Seething Coast, Epsom)

7. Bottom Bracket: “Failures”
Bottom Bracket’s first track “Failures” on their new album I Don’t Care Enough to Stay packs a powerful punch from the very first chord. Singer and guitarist Mario Cannamela begins his melancholic  journey through past regrets before the music falls into dizzying guitar licks held down by BJ Pearce’s heavy and steady drum beats. This album opener showcases Bottom Bracket’s growth as a group, yet retains all of the components of their previous work that made us all fall in love with them in the first place. This is a band that has gained confidence in themselves and rightfully so. They effortlessly move from section to section with perfectly timed off-beat hits to accent the differences. This is a track that draws the listener in and promises an emo record filled with tracks each begging to be visited. Brandon Carne’s recordings of this excellent Springfield band showcase how this trio can fill up the sound space without clutter. Each instrument has room to showcase the players’ talent. The small gaps between the bands perfectly syncopated hits allow this song to breathe in ways that expand Bottom Bracket’s sound further than ever before. This is a band that can (and will) go anywhere sonically. With a clever and well shot music video (that involves some serious spaghetti tossing), this band proves that DIY is an artform unto itself. The song is titled “Failures”, but this track is certainly anything but. – Jacob Armbrecht (The Telephone Junkies)

8. Stick People: “Somewhere, Somehow”
Stick Peoples Somewhere, Somehow, you know it’s a hit as soon it starts. The melodic guitars in the beginning brings me back to the late 90s early 2000s and just that carefree time. As the song progresses to the chorus it begins hit heavier and bring out those heartbreak emotions. The drums and bass really carry the song by taking you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I hear heavy influences from Jimmy Eat World, Dinosaur Jr., and Midnight Reruns. This song is great and so is their whole album. You guys should be extremely proud and I cant wait to see them live again someday. – Michael LaFrance (Imaginary Colours, Balki Bros)

9. Kid Ziggy: “Upside Down”

10. Foot: “Straight From The Sea”
This song rips from start to finish, kicking off immediately with fast riffs and wild layered vocals. Foot keeps it fast with some truly fantastic guitar work that shines through swells and solos, eventually coming down into a thrashy mid-tempo section with more repetitive vocals driving home the mental distress that comes from humanity’s impact on the planet and our plates. The song caps off with a nasty breakdown that will have you moshing alone in your room remembering what it was like to be at places. Straight from seeeeeea will be stuck in your head, guaranteed.  -Drew Kodrich (Prevention)

Last Day of Voting For Best of Springfield Music Poll 2020 Today!

This is your final reminder that the LAST day of voting in our annual Best of Springfield Music Poll for 2020 is today!!! Our poll is turned on until TONIGHT at 11:59pm. You better get your votes in before then! Find the link to vote right below:


Find our original post with a long list of local releases and links to listen to most of them right here. This year we have hip hop releases in a whole separate category since there were so many of them. The results will be featured along with different write-ups in the January issue of Activator Magazine, and we will also post results on our site.

In addition to asking for you favorite songs and albums of 2020, we also have a category this year for you to tell us about any other favorite Central Illinois releases that may have came out this year outside of Springfield. There is also a suggestion box for both Dumb Records and Activator Magazine. Find the results from last year (2019) right here and right here.

Best In Springfield Local Music 2020 Poll

Happy Monday everyone! We are finally ready to launch our big annual Best of Springfield Music poll, once again teaming up with Activator Magazine here in the year 2020! Now’s the time of the year where we want to hear about your favorite local songs and releases that have recently came out.

This year the poll is slightly different than years past – of course the “shows” section has taken a cut. There were a few shows at the start of the year up until March, but we are just focusing on songs and releases this time around. Since the local hip hop scene continues to explode, we decided to put local hip hop releases in it’s own separate poll. There will be a top 10 or 20 in both non-hip hop and hip hop categories. There were a total of 87 local releases that we kept track of so far this year. There’s also a write-in box for any that we may have missed. We will also include that list at the bottom of this post with links to listen to most of the releases.

Find the poll online right here!

The poll will run from now until 11:59pm the night of December 15th (we will be gathering results for one week)! Then the results will be featured along with different write-ups in the January issue of Activator Magazine, and we will also post results on our site.

In addition to asking for you favorite songs and albums of 2020, we also have a category this year for you to tell us about any other favorite Central Illinois releases that may have came out this year outside of Springfield. There is also a suggestion box for both Dumb Records and Activator Magazine. Find the results from last year (2019) right here and right here.

Attic Salt – Get Wise
Baby Ocho – Demo EP 
Blushe – MAD
Bonards – Mask To Protect
Bottom Bracket – I Don’t Care Enough To Stay
Demons on Wheels – Souvenirs
Demons on Wheels – Still Left Standing
Forest Saints – Backyard Twilight Symphony
Forest Saints – The Pensive Innocents 
Gargantuan – Upon The Golgothan Plains
Headbug – Pain Pill
Hospital Job – Covers
Imaginary Colours – HEAD_SPACE
Jeff Cowhick – Tempered
Kenyon DeShasier – My Dream Girl
Mark Schwartz – The Way It Falls Apart In Numbers
Mark Schwartz – Suite Adian
Mark Schwartz – The Atomic Trilogy
Mark Schwartz – Landscape Elements
Mark Schartz – Le Nuit Noire
Mark Schwartz – Mark Schwartz On Guitar
Mark Schwartz – The Boy/Girl/Woman Who
Mark Schwartz – Vesak EP
Marble Teeth – Park
Musical Realists – Go Bananas!!
Ricki Marvel – The Prisoner
Solar Chariot – II
Starter Jackets / Raging Nathans – Split 7″
Stick People – Mondoduke 
The Telephone Junkies – Dress It Up & Call It Living
Thabo – Places Are People Too
Tilt Shift – Game Over EP
Timothy Donavan Russell – Got 2 Rock
Timothy Donavan Russell – Rest
Timothy Donavan Russell – Steps
Timothy Donavan Russell – Storment Drome
Tin Ghost – Galleons of Time
Vector Noise – Spilling A White Claw
Vector Noise – Vec Vec Vec

BG Tune – IL Lusion
Big Homie Hom – Big Homie Season 
Chase Baby & Haze Carbajal – Call It A Day
Church The Voice – Social Distancing EP
Church The Voice – Cloud Mine EP
Cornbread – Negro’s & Jazz
Cornbread – Quarantine EP
Danny J – Young Dumb Idiot
Dirty Da Don – Project Legendary 5 Built 4 This
Doe Doe – Bad Blood 
DreTheGuy – “The Fall”ow Up
DSavInDaCut – Goat Mode
FBH Jay I – Pain Don’t Last
Fly G – Bottom Lock Shawty
Gambino Indacut – Mob Ties
Jav NoCap – NoCap Season 2
JunioR Pasáre & Papa Luke – Birdie
JunioR Pasare / Meezy Killafield – Byrds In The Killafield
Kdoe2x – 2x
KD ABM – 2 Hot The Mixtape
Meezy Killafield – Killafield Kronicles 2
MME (JGotDaJuice, Six 0 Da Goat, and Whitney L) – Money Makin’ Empire
Nykeyla Henderson / Keyng – Keyng The Tape
Offwhyte “Propel Exact”
Papa Luke – Drinking By Myself 
Prince Cash – Heart 2 Froze
Prince Cash – Quarantined
Reco And Kai – Applying Pressure
Reina 217 – Pretty Mess 
Satisfy – Anomaly EP
SaveYourSelf – Silent Suicide Chapter 1
Sensai Doog “Sincerely Yourz”
Spiff – Fall For You EP
Spiff – Fire
Ty Witty – Embers
Vinal Luciano – Growing Pains 2
Wage Slave – Eco Anarchy EP
WeirdMarc 300 – Halloween on Latte Street 
WeirdMarc 300 – Liz 2.0
Weird Marc 300 – A Very Pandemic Christmas
Weird Marc 300 / Cornbread – Welcome To The Zu
Xtortion Da Don – The Eargasm
Zach Moad & Young Frost – High Definition
Zach Moad / V.G.E. – High Definition 2
Zippir Collective – Zippir Vol. 1
36 N Brimstone – Anaxphobia Chapter 1: Roadshow
36 N Brimstone – Anaxphobia Chapter 2: War Zone