Last Day To Vote in 2016 Springfield Music Poll

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Come on people! Come on! The year 2016 is drawing to a close and today is the last day to participate in our year end Springfield music poll where we ask you your favorite local albums, songs, and shows of the year. *Note: the only category you have to fill in is for the releases! You don’t have to be a Springfield-music whiz kid to participate in the poll!

The deadline for participating in this is this afternoon at 3:33 pm. Go vote in the poll right here! And tell your friends to vote too!

We will be putting up the results of the top ten from each category (hopefully) starting this Thursday the 29th, and going in to the 30th and 31st featuring different write ups by local musicians, artists, and those involved in our community. We are excited to highlight things that happened for us in 2016 and also bring on a new year!

Deadline for Springfield 2016 Music Poll Extended

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Since we’ve got more releases than ever this year and there’s still more days left in the year – we are extending the deadline to vote in our year end poll for 2016 Springfield Music. The original deadline was going to be tonight, but we are going to push things back now to a nice Monday afternoon (December 26th) to 3:33 pm. Now you have a few extra days to vote in our poll – and if you play in a band that has released something this year or played any important shows, get your pals to vote!

Go vote in our year end poll right here.

Check out our original post for links to listen to all 34 Springfield releases that we can think of that came out this year. If you heard any of these at all, or went to any shows this year in Springfield- let us know your favorites!

Vote in Our Best of Springfield Music 2016 Poll

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After much careful research on what was released in local Springfield music this year, we finally have our year end survey together for 2016! We came up with a grand total of 34 Springfield releases this year, which is much more than we had last year in 2015! Great job all of you creative artists and musicians out there! Our survey includes your favorite local releases of the year, also a question to list off your favorite songs, and also your favorite shows that happened in town. We’ve also included a suggestion box if you have any input on the types of things you want to see in 2017 around Southtown or on our website.

Check out that survey RIGHT HERE. We’ll be taking responses from now up until EDIT: 3:33 pm on the dot on Monday, December 26th.

Again, here is the list of local releases from this past year with links for you to listen to all of them if you want to study up on this year in local music! And if we are still forgetting something, you can still comment below or email us at blacksheepspringfield@gmail.com and we will add it to the survey as soon as possible.

Alec James – Carried By Cold Water
Alec James – Cold River, Wide River & Winds of the West
Animals With Human Names – The First Tape

Austin Connelly – I’m Sorry
Caterpillar Club – Theosis
Epsom – Serf’s Up, Hose Down
Eric Marvel – Spaces EP
Diaper Rash / Gnargoyle – Shitty Splitty
Dog of Panic – …Of All Ambition
Fill In The Blank – I Heart Mom
Fuck///\\\\Mountain – The I Love You Project
Good Times & Company – Different Things
GUSH – Unreleased Stuff
Hospital Job / Capitalist Kids – Split 7″
Livin’ Thing – It’s A Livin’ Thing
The Nine Elevens – Never Forget Us
Moondead – Moondead
Our Lady – Lure
Our Lady – Unreleased / Unrefined
Pretend I’m Not There – Transient

Pryss – I Fear No Man
Rustocrat – Chromatose
Sammy & The Punk – Abducted Alien
Say Something – Black Coffee Black Hearts
Set Fire To Salem – 2016 Demo
Shark Week – Demonstrations
Slacker Tapehead – Schappy

Starlorde – Starlorde
Stereo Static – The Neat EP
The Suction Cups – The Lost Tapes
The Suction Cups – Do They Walk Among Us?
Sweet Bippy – Cosmic Filth (When I Fell)

Synzu – Synzu
Xtortion Tha Don – Smoke In The City

Help Us List Springfield Releases of 2016!

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The end of the year 2016 is finally coming, which means you can expect an announcement for New Years plans from us soon, and we are also starting to get together our 2016 local music year-end poll. It certainly has been a great year in Springfield music, and we are very excited to what the future may bring with the introduction of Southtown Sound early next year. This will be the fifth year conducting the poll on our site! Check out results for 2015’s releases here, songs here, and shows here. This year the poll is going to be structured the same – we will be highlighting ten of your favorite local releases, songs, and shows that happened in the year 2016. But first we need some help to make sure we aren’t forgetting any releases that came out this year! Below is a list we have come up with of everything local to Springfield that was released this year. If you know of anything not on this list, comment below or email us at blacksheepspringfield@gmail.com! The actual voting for the poll will begin very soon and our best of’s will be featured on our site the last few days of the year.

Animals With Human Names – The First Tape
Austin Connelly – I’m Sorry
Caterpillar Club – Theosis
Epsom – Serf’s Up, Hose Down
Eric Marvel – Spaces EP
Diaper Rash / Gnargoyle – Shitty Splitty
Dog of Panic – …Of All Ambition
Fill In The Blank – I Heart Mom
Fuck///\\\\Mountain – The I Love You Project
Good Times & Company – Different Things
GUSH – Unreleased Stuff
Hospital Job / Capitalist Kids – Split 7″
Livin’ Thing – It’s A Livin’ Thing
The Nine Elevens – Never Forget Us
Moondead – Moondead
Our Lady – Lure
Our Lady – Unreleased / Unrefined
Pretend I’m Not There – Transient

Pryss – I Fear No Man
Rustocrat – Chromatose
Sammy & The Punk – Abducted Alien
Say Something – Black Coffee Black Hearts
Set Fire To Salem – 2016 Demo
Shark Week – Demonstrations
Starlorde – Starlorde
Stereo Static – The Neat EP
The Suction Cups – The Lost Tapes
The Suction Cups – Do They Walk Among Us?
Synzu – Synzu
Xtortion Tha Don – Smoke In The City

Another little project we have been working on over the years and refining recently is listing off every Springfield release EVER in it’s history. We have a page on our forum going for this right here, where we have close to 215 releases listed off currently. We could also use some help listing off releases from any year!

Best of Springfield 2015: Shows

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Here we are at the third and final part of our Best Of Springfield Music 2015 series- and that is the part where go over your favorite shows of 2015. These of course are not limited to just Black Sheep shows, they could be any show that happened in Springfield this year. Once again we have different members of the music community doing write-ups for each favorite.

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10. Black Sheep Band Lotto Round 2 (11-21-15)
No matter how good other shows may be, there is always something irreplaceable about seeing a new, homegrown band making its first, historical act. That there were six groups of randomly organized community members doing their first acts in one show was what you got in this year’s band lotto. For opening we had Band #2, consisted of musicians of Panzys and Bad Banshee (Kyle Gietl, Tyler Nelson, and BJ Pearce) who ditched their panziness and badness in pursuit of this passionate thrashcore-like act fronted by Tesla Hudgeons, whose black robe preacher image, solitary notebook, and powerful verbal delivery quickly turned a number of engrossed audience into Band #2 believers. The next act by Band #1 featured Kinze Rae on vocal and spoken words, Clare Franchey on drums, and John Phillips on [[bass/guitar]]. Phillips’ crazy guitar skills and pedal works went out of control when he started to play the [[bass/guitar]] like a fiddle. Everyone has gotten stares; but if you have not already I am sure you would have, without blinking of an eye, paid to experience Franchey’s special, 10-minute stares that helped to channel the melodic drum beats and poetry into your own retinas. Something more theatrical followed. To enact Band #4’s performance, Kyler [Rich // Bandifoot?]] successfully conveyed his energy coming from a state of extreme mental uncertainty. At the edge of the stage he made a series of instinctual sounds, ranging from pleasing woooooos to finally sustained painful screams—the primal language that we understand. In the same interval of time, Bobby William of TANG, apparently amused, in good measure used both his bass guitar and secret instrument to push his co-performer to his final limit. Band #5 was headed by Brandon Carnes, who grouped together acting phenomenon BJ Pearce, good friend Danny Kerwin, and BXS 5-star chef Apryl Kay Mayes to perform a short play. Those who know Carnes from his million projects may be dazzled by his talents and “multiple selves.” But could this play—about a small studio owner futilely trying to form a rock band—possibly be a repressed memory of an inner struggle with his past band and the true reason to the development of the song “My Name Kyle”? We do not know. An epic act was carried out by Band #6. Devon Fluelen articulated encrypted messages in increasing volume, as avid skateboarder Nighthawk switched from clear-minded guitar playing to mad-and-confused drumming and then to a state of trancing. Apparently crippled for unknown reasons, Nighthawk crawled toward the Black Sheep entrance that, symbolically speaking, no one has managed to escape unscathed by the life-changing underground scene experience upon initial entrance. Mike Tirehaus of King Worm’s bass notes and intense outcry might have subtly directed these actions. In the closing act by Band #8, Haleigh Parks (drums), Tony Calantino (guitar), Brian Galecki (bass), Kristin Walker (vocal) walked the disoriented audience from the dark to a lighter spot of the tunnel through easier beats that suggested happiness, flirtation, and potential beginning. In all, the night’s sanity was restored and good mood ensued.
-Gordon Chang

10. Hank & The Cupcakes, The Luzhin Defense @ Bar None 7/1/2015
Hank and Cupcakes are one of the best live bands out there right now!!!
Originally hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel the duo relocated to the art filled streets of Brooklyn, New York where they developed a huge sound that defies categorization. They are rock… without guitars. They are dance… without synthesizers. They are pop… with substance. Listening to their records will bring you joy and make you feel; but, they are clearly at home in the live environment. These two exude chemistry, love, passion and sexuality. Experiencing them live is contagious and cannot be overstated.

This show took place on a Wednesday but, ANY day with Hank and Cupcakes feels like a weekend. The band had just played a packed PrideFest in St Louis and they brought the Pride energy along with them to Springfield. They danced, they grooved and they got everyone in the room joining in. At one point Sagit stood on her bass drum to lead the crowd in an acapella sing-a-long of a brand new track. This may not have worked for any other band but… Hank and Cupcakes are definitely not any other band.
-John Phillips (The Complaint Line)

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9. Los Kung Fu Monkeys, The Complaint Line, Yogi Beara@ Bar None
It was only by unfortunate happenstance that this show happened at all. Los Kung-Fu Monkeys (great, high-energy ska punk from Mexico and Canada) had some major van trouble and needed some last minute shows around our neck of the woods to get fixed up and back on the road. Luky for them- and us – someone was able to get them a last minute gig at Bar None with local pop/rock group the Complaint Line and bluesy garage rock duo Yogi Beara. They also had to play without their horn ensemble, as several of their members had to leave back to Mexico. But they managed to improvise, filling in the missing brass with an extra guitar and some accordion action (that’s right, accordion), and put on a killer set. The crowd wasn’t big, as can be expected for a Sunday evening in Springfield at a show announced only a few days prior, but the vibes were positive, the bands sounded great and the folks that managed to come out didn’t leave disappointed. From what I understand, the Monkeys were able to get back on the road and get home safely. Hopefully, they’ll be returning back through these parts again soon.
-Adam Rembert

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8. ACxDC, Sunlight’s Bane, Lowered A.D., Table Drama, GUSH @ Black Sheep 12-9-15
One of the shows at Black Sheep that really stuck out to me in 2015 as being one of the most rockin’ gigs would definately be the ACxDX/Sunlights Bane/Table Drama/Lowered A.D./Gush show. It isn’t as common for a good “metal” show to grace the stage of Black Sheep, but for any person who grew up appreciating the heavier side of music this show was undeniably STACKED. And getting to play two out of the five sets that night had me beyond stoked that night! Gush opened up with our less than 10 minute fastcore bro-worship set. Lowered A.D., the crushing Entombedcore powerhouse from southern Illinois, could have practically beat the life outta ya. Following, Springfield’s very own infamous wrestling-themed grind bunch Table Drama returned to the stage to ruin everybody’s night. (But c’mon, ya’ll know ya can’t stand up to the Pukester. Plebs.) Sunlights Bane, a band I admittedly had never heard til the show, KILLED IT with their nihilistic hardcore/grind fusion tunes. AND FINALLY ACxDC (also known as Antichrist Demoncore) brought the house down! Hailing from Los Angeles, California, this powerviolence materpiece that started in ’03 was long overdue to come play at the Sheep. I was blown away at how much this band brought it. They told us they were gonna play more songs than their were minutes in their set, and by golly they did that. 10/10. \m/
-Kylie McCowen (GUSH, Table Drama)

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7. Black Sheep 10-Year Anniversary Show @ Black Sheep 9-16-15
The ten year anniversary show was a fitting capstone and celebration of the first decade of bxs. I think it is safe to say no one thought ten years ago that we would reach this milestone. Jeff’s drone project opened the show. It is fitting Jeff was the first act on the bill, Jeff was one of the few still around that was at the very first show we had. Jeff was probably 16. Soap Scum played next. I’m probably a little biased but I thought this set was really fun! People went nuts. This kind of energy and chaos is still one of things I still love about hardcore and punk music. The venue was founded on this kind of stuff. If people aren’t flying around on their friends and having fun it isn’t worth it. Our Lady followed suit with a heart felt and atmospheric set. As far as I remember Our Lady formed in 2010. I think it’s cool Tim, Molly, and the dudes have played bxs through half of its existence. It was BJ’s first bxs show with them as well. These guys always slay. Then came the SKA! This unholy conglomerate merged what I refer to as “The Big Three”: Don’t Mess With Winkie, Donner Party of 5, and Bastognes Best. These three bands defined the early bxs years. Those shows also were the first to draw more than 100 kids. The experience of seeing those songs revisited along with a few Bad Banshee’s and even one by Jim’s old band was great to see. Adam killed it too! It was good to see everybody’s favorite dude go nuts on the mic! Looming ended the night. It was cool seeing all four of those people in that band (who all uniformly grew up with the venue) play such a killer set. I’ve seen them all develop into talented people and write some great songs along the way. Earlier that week people were sharing memories of their time and experience with bxs. I was thinking throughout the course of the night how many people have come through that door. All the stories, all those years. This show was a fitting tribute to all of those pictures in the mind’s eye and the future ones to come.
-Kevin Bradford (Black Sheep, Soap Scum, WARRS)

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6. Downhome Music Festival @ Downtown August 7th+8th, 2015
The fifth annual Downhome Music, Beer and Art Festival this past August was a truly eclectic affair, with artists ranging from rhythmically ambitious prog by Dog of Panic to the traditional
bluegrass of the River Ramblers. Nowhere on the Downhome schedule was this variety in styles more apparent than on Saturday night when a typically (but not quite literally) balls-out set by The Timmys was scheduled as a lead-in for the harmonious, gentle singer-songwriter sounds of The Deep Hollow. But wait! Apparently this musical moodswing wasn’t considered wide enough because after The Timmys finished and before Deep Hollow went on, a previously low-key side stage was stormed by none other than Diaper Rash. It’s reasonable to assume that most people reading this already have some idea what the Diaper Rash experience entails. Part precision thrash, part performance art and part stand-up comedy, Diaper Rash is perhaps both the most aggro and the most hilarious band in town. That is, if you are in on the joke. However – any audience members who might be (1) unaccustomed to thrash sounds in the first place; (2) unprepared to process the sight of mysterious frontperson Big Baby in all of his diapered glory; or (3) irony-impaired enough to take the words of a dude wearing nothing but a diaper at face value – may not have such an easy time when confronted with Diaper Rash. And judging from the looks on the faces of onlookers during their Downhome set, all three of the above-listed categories were amply represented. For the rest of us, seeing Big Baby stalking the stage like a caged animal, spitting absurd insults at other local musicians (by name), roaring maniacally through the DR catalog and preaching to a crowd of the clearly non- converted was a truly singular experience. Elsewhere, organizers Josh Catalano and Shane Turnidge kept things lively with a fair number of Black Sheep-affiliated bands, including a blistering afternoon set from Our Lady, not to mention the Dumb Records kiosk doing brisk(ish) business all day and night right there on the thoroughfare. My own band, Epsom, stepped in to the opening slot on Saturday to fill a sudden gap in the schedule and played what was probably our best-sounding set of the year at 2 p.m. to an audience made up mainly of people walking in and out of the Hilton hotel. Now that’s rock and roll.
-Scott Faingold (Epsom, The Scene on WUIS)

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5. Looming (album release), Park, The Choir Vandals, and Hidden Hospitals @ Black Sheep 8-14-15
Looming’s Album release show for their full length recording, Nailbiter, was my favorite of the year. BXS was packed, awesome bands opened for Looming, and the collective vibe was magical. Some of you may know me by name, others may know me as the old guy that is at shows every once in a while. I’ll simply say that BXS is an all ages venue wink emoticon. I loved the fact that Park played just before Looming took the stage. Years earlier, probably late 1990s or early 2000s I had an intern that worked for me and he asked if I wanted to attend a show with him to hear a great local band. I agreed. I think the show was at the space that was located about where the CVS just off of Wabash is today. The band was Park and they were amazing. Over the years I’ve seen them a time or two since. Always great. So cool that Looming drummer Brandon Carnes debuted as Park’s bass player that night too. We old shits are often looking for connections, for links between the present and past ….. Park delivered!

In my mind the coolest aspect of show was that Looming had been doing shows since 2013 or so. So, in the months leading up to Nailbiter’s release, many of us had heard many of the songs either at BXS shows, or downtown at the 2015 Pridefest celebration, or at bar gigs Looming played. As a result, the crowd was singing along on every tune and that was, well, electric.. Looming played the album from opening instrumental, in order, to the last song on the album/CD ( Nailbiter). The crowd and the band had a blast. To top it all off, Brian Galecki of Dumb Records, asked all there to be part of the shop’s famed ‘Record of the Day’ snapshot. That picture says it all, you can see and feel the love, the joy, the excitement of the evening in that picture.
-Joe Coffey …. sometime old fucker at BXS Shows 😉

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4. G.L.O.S.S., Asthma, Garter, GUSH @ Black Sheep 9-7-15
G.L.O.S.S/Asthma/Garter/Gush – September 7 2015 The show began with Gush. I like to think of this band as Garter’s angry, in-your-face sister. Garter played, and I was so excited to be at this all queer band show. It was amazing playing in a band with three of the most talented musicians I know (Brian, Nighthawk and Nick Murphy) and having one of my role models, Sadie, watch our entire set and actually compliment us! Wow. Total dream come true. Asthma played. I think this was one of their last sets. It was hard and heavy, as usual. Jess, Drew and Nick were what made this band so freaking good. They persevered through the bullshit and Springfield should be proud to have people like them making bands and doing amazing shit. Blacksheep was humbled to have G.L.O.S.S. come to Springfield. Vocalist, Sadie, began their set with the refreshing the request of “girls to the front.” Sadie captured the audience between songs, taking time to explain what each was about. The crowd was all smiles. It was a great day to be queer.
– Cassie Crawford (Garter)

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3. Dumb Fest 3-D @ Black Sheep + Skank Skates June 13th+14th
My summer of seven local music festivals began at the second day of Dumb Fest 3D on June 13th. Hanging out in the DIY music community in St. Louis, I had heard of the alternative reality of the Springfield scene, but this was my first attempt to take the 2-hour drive to Springfield to see a show. The music looked totally worth the drive. The day promised Springfield bands that I had liked when they came through St. Louis (like King Worm and SAP), touring bands that always put on a good show (like Pregnancy Test and Tenement), and a couple of STL favorites (Cal & the Calories and Animal Teeth). Still, I arrived with some slight trepidation about meeting a whole new group of people. There was no reason for anxiety, the Black Seep community was extremely friendly and welcoming. With performances alternating between the skate park and Black Sheep Café itself, there was plenty of chance to talk with folks and meet new people as we walked back and forth between the performances. A mud-covered Diaper Rash opened the day by terrorizing the skate park. The enthusiastic response from the early arrivers set the bar high and the rest of the day did not disappoint. For my first performance inside Black Sheep itself, I was treated to Nectar from Champaign and given hope that the day would not be all guys screaming. (Not that there is anything wrong with screaming guys, but it is nice to see some of the other genders represented as well.) The alternating between the heat of the skate park and the air conditioning of the café made the long day easier to bear physically. However, when the crowd embraced the mosh, the heat in the café climbed as well. The audience was engaged with all the musicians, but big props to Big Zit and King Worm who each induced the crowd to the most raucous moshing of the day. Suzy Vogenthol’s beautiful, rambling introductions to The Wrong’s songs also deserves a special mention as well. It was a great day of music with more than 25 bands each delivering strong performances, and as I drove home tired and sweaty, I was really glad I made the journey to Springfield. One programming note, did Bugg, Slugbug, The Bug really have to be scheduled one after another? This old brain had a hard time keeping their pictures and videos properly labeled.
-Stephen Houldsworth (St. Louis)

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2. Screaming Females, Shellshag, Kowabunga! Kid, Looming @ Black Sheep 3-25-15
When I walked into Black Sheep on the night of the show, Screaming Females singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster was sprawled out on the lap of Shellshag’s lady member. Looking all miserable and brooding. But also like she was having fun being that way. Paternoster is a BA for lots of reasons, but here are a few: At the age of 29 she has been living the touring musician life with the same band for a DECADE. She covered her band van in pictures of Korn. She toured while sick with mononucleosis. I mean even that disease sounds cool … but it is definitely not. She played shows while dealing with severe chronic pain. She wears the best vintage dresses when performing. Her band now is the same trio who met during her college days. They came up in the DIY scene of New Brunswick, New Jersey. They played all-ages basement shows instead of getting into the bar scene.

From what I have heard, Black Sheep – which consistently knows exactly what is up, had been trying to book indie/rock/punk group Screaming Females for a while. They had pitched the band to play Dumb Fest, which hadn’t panned out. When word got back to the band how awesome Springfield’s scene was though – they agreed to do their own show. And thank goddess. The band released Rose Mountain in 2015 – their sixth full-length album which lyrically dealt much with Paternoster’s sickness (literal) and made plenty of room for her sick (not-literal) guitar solos. Paternoster is a musician who elicits statements like, “Whoa bro. I didn’t know a chick could shred like that.” Well she can. And everyone at the show that night got to behold it IRL – along with her powerful, ultra-vibratoed voice. How lucky we were.

King Mike on bass, and Jarrett Dougherty on drums, held it down as well. Screaming Females shared the stage with their supporting/touring act – the aforementioned Shellshag, a punk duo reminiscent of Moldy Peaches and also on Don Giovanni records. Local darlings Looming were openers, along with “pop black metal” group Kowabunga! Kid from Champaign. Screaming Females seemed to enjoy their time in town. They posed for a picture on the Dumb Records couch holding a Nas album, after all. They are living embodiment of the DIY attitude and aesthetic, and Paternoster is keeping the riot grrrl vibes of her foremothers alive and fresh, with her own individual stamp. Fingers crossed we’ll be seeing them again in Springfield. We deserve each other.

You can check out an interview I did with Paternoster to preview the show, here: http://wuis.org/post/screaming-females-will-rock-springfield#stream/0
-Rachel Otwell (The Scene on WUIS)

12109952_10207380192610760_83679978132557517_o1. The Coneheads, King Worm, Cal & The Cruisers, Wolf Luv @ Rock N Roll Hardees 10-3-15
To be honest I thought it be crazy to have a show at rock and roll hardies but it actually turn out to be an amazing show. There was a lot of awesome people there and friends to be around with all the time and especially the crazy moshing. The Coneheads was really good and had a pretty awesome set. Hopefully they have another rock and roll hardies show next year but more crazy 😊
– Devon Fluelen (Pineapple Boys)

Brian is standing right behind me as I type this. I can feel his mustache grazing the back of my ear. “Write about the Rock n Roll Hardee’s shoooow..”, he’s whispering, hot breath on my neck. “O-o-okay, Brian”, I manage to sweat out.

I guess my story starts a while back when me, “Long Tall” Brian Galaxy (nee Galecki), and Clare Freakay were driving to the college campus to give uninterested scholars some flyers for an upcoming Black Sheep Show. It was either a bee-yew-tiful spring day or a slightly chilled (brr brr), maybe-a-windbreaker-and-turtleneck autumn day (I can’t remember) and we all hopped into Brain’s big, smooth Oldie. THAT THING! THAT THING looked like a tank but floated on air. Man, I miss that wagon.

Anyway… we’re all coasting happily along, singin’ songs, gettin’ happy when Big Bad B turns around and yells (you know the yell) “WHERE DO YOU GUYS WANNA EAT?!”. Now, I don’t know why but for years and years my immediate, gut reaction to that question has been to barf out the words ROCKUNRULLHARDEE and this time was no exception. I think I caught my car-mates’ attention with that one and without a second thought Beautiful Boy spun the big wheel on his mystery ship and we were headed in the direction of the promised land.

So, by now you all know the location, you were there, you bought the fries.ROCK AND ROLL HARDEES. Slow down, it wasn’t always the most punk place in town. Oh ho no no no.

We (“we” being myself, Clearly Friendly, and Bashful Bri) pulled up on this seemingly normal Hardee’s completely unaware that this particular burger house was THE site of an annual Mid-western tradition. JESUS FEST 3 MF’ERS

Holy cow, hoooooo-leeeee cow. We had made it. We saw the top of the mountain. Now, let me paint you a picture: (is that how you do that?) A buncha people sittin’ on a buncha tushies, facing a little band shell or whatever-you-call-it clapping politely at a band finishing up an apparently delightful set of ?Christmas? songs? (whatever they sing at the church), weird enough but not mind-blowing. This is getting boring to type, I can’t even imagine reading it. But hang on, cuz you’re in store for a treat.

Some “props” are brought out by an average-looking man while me and my amigos scratch our heads and have a little giggle at the absurdity of the whole experience. A phonebook here, a wooden baseball bat there, some cinder blocks for good measure. Intrigued yet? Hmm? I was.

The sun was high in the sky when a mountain of a boy stepped in to cover us in shadow and , unbeknownst to us, shed some LordLight at the same time. Enter Tyler, stage (band shell, parking lot) right. This was going to be good.

All my memories of it are a blur of shredded phonebooks, broken bats, and busted cinder blocks. This boy (angel) was channeling the strength of the Lord and who was I (or anyone) to stop him? Gosh dang, what a good day. Little did I know, that day would light an unquenchable fire in the breast of “Our Pal” Brian Galecki.

Jump ahead, like, a few months and Spaghetti Man Galecki informs me that he’s in talks with the PRESIDENT OF ROCK AND ROLL HARDEES to put on a live punk rock show at our town’s most venerable institution. I just shook my head and laughed, what could I do? When Banana Boat gets an idea in his mop-top head, we all just kind of have to go along with it. Fearless Leader and all that. Over the course of the next few weeks or whatever, this scheme became more and more a reality.

It was cool to watch it all kind of coalesce, because everyone was stoked to be playing/attending/experiencing this show at a Milkshake Mansion. It was hard not to be swept up in the magic. The line-up, if you fools don’t remember, was…legendary.

WOLF LUV ripped a fast, short and furry whirlwind of a set that got everybody riled up and rearin’ for more.

CAL AND THE CRUISERS brought the wackness and had everybody drooling on their French fries.

I remember telling my very quiet friend, Mark Lee, that this next band was going to be the wildest, weirdest set of the night and the one most likely to have the mothers and fathers of Springfield wagging their fingers at the collective of freaks, mutants, skaters, long-hairs (Nick DeMarco), and ne’er-do-wells gathered in the parking lot,

KING WORM was loud, unhinged and rowdy. I like to think some of that LordLight was shining on “Springfield” Mike and his boys that night (thanks, Ty). Love ‘em.

Next, was THE BAND. THE BAND whose name was on EVERYBODY’S TONGUES and LIPS. THE BAND THAT TOOK THE WORLD BY STORM. And the reason for all the excitement.
CONEHEADS, BABY!

We were all snortin’ and kickin’ and hee-hawin’ for this band of mysterious alien-men to start playing and when they did? Hoo boy, everybody pogoed and danced and did other punk movements. By the end of the set, they were off the stage (band shell) and everybody was freakin and jiving and everything was sloppy. BUT, we were all communed in the parking lot of a HARDEE’S and everybody was laughing and drinking milkshakes and eating French fries and looking at each other like “What the HELL was that?” and “We GOTTA do that AGAIN”.

Peace, Al. (SAP, War Magic)

Best of Springfield 2015: Songs

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It’s time for the second of the three-part series that makes up our Best of Springfield Local Music 2015! Yesterday we brought you your top picked albums/releases by Springfield bands in 2015, and today we are going to move onto the songs. Much like yesterday’s post, we are going to go over your top ten voted picks, each one featuring a different writeup by a member of our music community. This time around we are going to start with our #1 pick and then work our way down.


1. “Party Girl” by GUSH
Party!!!! I like to party. Very good song, I like the original style. Very brutal. I think it’s about some type of leprechauns. Angry leprechauns, I hear the metal. I can see them dancing in the field in the distance and before I get near they’re gone! The sky blackens, it’s full of clouds, just no rain but tons of lightning. And everyone’s dancing and then I wake up and I come to Black Sheep and saw the set and it was pretty sweet. The singer sings and the guitarist guitars, and the baser, they play the bass. And the drummer, that’s Drew. Long story short, I like the band. I think it’s a pretty unique combination of riffs and partying. It’s just the right amount of professionalism and partyism I think.
-Nighthawk (Garter)


2. “Cotton Tongue” by Looming

After Looming was unsurprisingly invited to sign with No Sleep Records last year, we were all blessed with the release of their first full-length album, “Nailbiter”. As the first full song on the album, “Cotton Tongue” captures any listener immediately before you’d even know it. The thick and heavy chords, distant vocal effects, and Jess’s unbelievably unique, entrancing voice – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel completely in love with this song. Lyrically haunting, the story this song tells cleverly captures a specific situation, but also allows listeners to relate in their own personal ways. We can’t get over it! The fully layered guitar parts, the complex yet understandable drum rhythms, the wholeness of the bass – it’s no wonder this song has captured everyone’s attention.
-Dani Sakach (Wilt Candy, Moondead)


3. “The Frost Giant’s Lament” by Sgt Karate

Sgt Karate’s “The Frost Giant’s Lament” comes in an old NES style box featuring some Castlevania inspired art, except Simon Belmont is wearing corpse paint and wielding a guitar. The game itself is a modern love letter to the classic side scrolling adventures of your childhood. You traverse beautifully rendered 16-bit era levels fighting demons and ghouls along the way. Light puzzle mechanics vary up the tried and true gameplay loop of ‘kill things, tremolo pick, repeat.’ There are plenty of secret items and power ups hidden away that need unlocking so the game will keep you busy for quite a while. After it was all said and done i was left very satisfied. A must buy.
-Nick Demarco (Our Lady, Livin Thing)


4. “Dinosaur Baby” by SAP

Although Springfield didn’t have nearly as many releases this year as last, the recordings that did get to see the light of day in 2015 were extremely strong. SAP’s ‘Maiden, Mother, Crone’ was certainly no exception. SAP got started back in late 2013 and finally released their first cassette in early 2015 on local label Ooey Gooey Tapes. The entire album is exceptionally good, but one song that certainly stands out and was voted by you as one of the best for 2015 was the second tune, titled “Dinosaur Baby”. I’ve gotta say, this tune caught my attention right away. It took me back to the early 1990’s, sitting in my room as a youth, going through obscure cassettes and CDs, discovering what would eventually become some of my most favorite bands. SAP’s sound reminds me a lot of a Sub Pop or a Dischord band from this era. Interesting arrangements, witty vocals, and dissonant chords that capture your attention and take you on a wonderfully strange ride down a road littered by a variety of topics. If you haven’t had the chance to catch one of SAP’s shows or listen to any of their recordings, do yourself a favor and check ’em out now! Clare, Kyle, and Alistair are writing some wonderful tunes that will certainly stand the test of time in my book and should not go unnoticed. “Dinosaur Baby” is one helluva “earworm”. It’s tough to get this one out of your head even after one listen. I can pretty well promise that you’ll be going about your day singing that chorus to yourself over and over again. I’m excited to see what 2016 brings from these kids!
– Anthony Bollero (Somethings Can’t Be Ignored, The Seething Coast)


5. “My Name Kyle” by South Town Studio
Among the foggy uncertainty of the Springfield radio pop scene, Brandon Carnes channeled his inner boy band soul to save the day once again. Bringing many of us out of a dark and delinquent deep sea dwelling, “My Name Kyle”, straight from Ditty internet stardom, changed the way we think about the very notion of music itself. A staple of party playlists and elevators alike, “My Name Kyle” refuses to leave your head from the second you hit play. Brandon’s luscious vocals tug at your funny bones while juicy leads pry your fingers apart into air guitar mode. It’s a mystery how this infectious track hasn’t topped the Billboard charts yet. At it’s core though, the song leaves a positive message for anyone, listener or not: “it’s a good day to have a good day.”
-Mario Cannamela (Wir Können, Livin Thing)


6. “Hey Hey” by Hospital Job

Take 2 minutes out of my busy day to write a review for “Hey Hey”, the second song on the THIRD Hospital Job album? Sure. To me it doesn’t matter what style of music you play, as long as it is good. And HJ are good at what they do: solid song writing, melody, hooks, vocal harmonies and a bunch of hey’s (natch), fuck’s, oh’s, no’s, yeah’s and shit’s and it even -breaks the 3 minute mark. Top Of The Pops!
– Ollie Clampet (Punk Rock Dissertation, TANG)


7. “Happy Birthday” by The Complaint Line
I’ve seen The Complaint Line’s name on flyers and events for a while, but never got to listen to them until now. “Happy Birthday” starts out with pounding beats, followed by fuzz-filled, buzzsaw guitars that would bring a tear to J Mascis’s eye. Vocally, it’s very reminiscent of Kim Deal and Black Francis, which are all positives for me. The song is very upfront, to-the-point, and packs a punch. I’d jam this to the Scott Pilgrim game. Overall, I’d give the song an “A”, since I’m a sucker for 80’s/90’s Alt-Revival.
-Alex Reed (Lavender)


8. “I Blame Society” by Epsom
This song is the perfect blend of psychedelic riffs that snake through your brain and sludgy 90’s garage rock bass lines that push forward, taking us through the swamp of centuries worth of societal norms built up to a crispy peak. The defiant vocals portray the pointing of fingers towards the conglomerate mind of the masses, with hints of disgust and irritation at the human condition spat into every syllable. The consistent melody is reminiscent of the enticing trance in which we all fall under as the systems under which we live calm us into a functional complacency and homeostasis. This song, an epic portrayal of the effects of groupthink on the small intricacies within the ideals of the masses, is a testament. Behind the slithering of the top 1% and their puppet strings is a mess of people who have varying and often screwed up ideas on how life and thinking should be, thanks to the social institutions that tower over us. The old fashioned notions of life that no longer ring true to us are snuffed out by the driving yet droney force of this song. Listen to this song and be reminded that you need to blame society instead of the kids on top because a good portion of the bottom 99% the ones that are enabling or allowing it all at the end of the day. Cheers.
-Clare Frachey (SAP, Shark Week)


9. “Working Girl” by Garter
Garter’s “Working Girl” is a hard hitting funky dance to the music jam, with sick beats by Nick Murphy who’s hart hittin to the bone, and bass licks by none other than Brian Galecki himself, who’s bass line also carves the song in its beauty. Famous city slicker Nighthawk (Todd) who’s guitar riffs can’t compete in this groovy tune. Save the best for last for this awesome lead singer Cassie who’s lyrics define the song in its entirety and hard hitting meaning to make you grab a bud and dance the night away.
-Kyle Gietl (Panzys, Rows of Teeth)

10. “Machines Don’t Cry” by Spooky Action
There was a lot of spooky action that went down this year at the old Black Sheep music hall. There was a lot of action that went down in general and some of this action was not spooky but, generally speaking, when it came to the action happening around here at the Black Sheep Show Space the action was definitely something that I think you could call ‘spooky’. Spooky Action competed in the “Battle O’ The bands” at Black Sheep Rock Space this year. This action was spooky, I can almost guarantee you. I was not there because I was working my adult job making baked potatoes and shrimp plates for the rich and corrupt. My good friend Alistair was there though and assured me that Spooky Action did “pretty good”, a seal of approval from Alistair, an old curmudgeon of note. I can only imagine that “Machines Don’t Cry” was performed that night because, if the logic follows, that song must be “pretty good” too! Regularly I will leap from my bed and argue that Machines can indeed cry. I say, beaming with a sickly pride “Papa! Papa! I looked in the eyes of the automata who rests next to me and I saw the eyes of god peering back, in that I have seen the eyes of man.” That evening I was struck by a realization that if the machine held something comparable to the soul of man then the machine could be taught the constructs of emotion. Pulling from that thread it then became apparent that the automata could be designed with the mechanics of crying as a response to appropriate emotions. Theoretically, from my own experience I suggest that while “Machines Don’t Cry” may indeed be a “pretty good” song, on a theoretical level it is unfounded and personally offensive. “Action” has been confirmed as “Spooky” and the song “Machines Don’t Cry” has been confirmed as “pretty good” but I’ll be damned if I suggest that machines are not capable of shedding a tear.
-Mike Tirehaus (King Worm, Livin Thing)

Best of Springfield 2015: Albums/Releases

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The end of the year is finally here, and it’s time to go over your picks for favorite albums/releases, songs, and shows of Springfield in 2015! We are going to start today off with your favorite albums/releases of 2015. Each of the top ten favorites for each category come with a writeup from different musicians or people somehow involved in the Springfield music community. Let’s get into it!

10. Sgt Karate – The Frost Giant’s Lament karate
Sgt KARATE is the first Springfield based black metal project I’m familiar with, and it is killer. It’s a one man black metal project that has come nasty riffs and abrasive blasts that are broken up by somber slowed down sections that break out of the rigid traditional black metal sound. The project features a few layers of instrumentation that culminate into something fearsome. A must listen for anyone interested in metal and the Springfield music scene.
-Drew Kodrich (Ooey Gooey Tapes, GUSH)

9. SAP/Person – Split sapsmall
SAP is still killin it with their new bangers on this split, my favorite being the first track “U.V.” Still holding down those bass driven groovy songs, with grungy riffs and Clare’s spooky and melodic vocals. SAP knows how to construct a song for a build up that will give you goosebumps. They just know when to get loud.
-Tater Cronin (Mouthsex, Pryss)

8. The Complaint Line – Stick Ninjacomplaintsmall
The Complaint Line is no stranger to chunky rock songs. Last years write up made that clear. July ’15 brought us their next effort. This time around, they’ve turned up their amps. The four piece waste no time laying out what they’re all about in the guise of buzzed out, punchy indie songs. One right after another, “Stick Ninja” sonically nods even deeper into the no frill “Sixteen Candles”-flannel-clad-sunglasses-at-night rock world that put loud guitars back onto pop charts. They don’t waste time on gristle or beefy egos. The Complaint Line doesn’t have time for any of that. All they want to do is serve the almighty “hook.” This quick record is honest, raw, catchy and fuzzy. What more could you want?
-Cory VanMeter (Say Something, Attic Salt)

7. Epsom – Ah, Youth! epsomsmall
There were three LPs that were released by local bands this year on vinyl- of course Looming’s Nailbiter, the more recent Never Get Cold by Hospital Job, and one that might have gone more overlooked by the regular Black Sheep community- Ah, Youth by Epsom. The Epsom album was the band doing it all themselves, pressing something like a limited 100 copies. The album features a good number of guest musicians from other bands in the Springfield area such as Eric Rogers of Luzhin Defense, Josie Lowder, and Bruce Williams and Damon Sooper of NIL8 (there are probably a good handful of others that I don’t even know about). Most of the Black Sheep crowd might dismiss this as “not punk” or whatever. If punk is what you’re looking for, I encourage you to look into where this band is coming from. This video of vocalist Scott and drummer Tim’s previous band “Backwards Day” performing their song “Satan on Acid” at Douglas Park in 1992 is quite possibly the punkest thing I have ever seen. Once you understand all of that and listen to Backwards Day, Epsom’s music makes a whole lot more sense (to me at least). The band describes themselves as “acid reflux rock” which I would say is also pretty accurate. This band and album is weird, and in a great way.
-Brian Galecki (Dumb Records, Black Sheep)

6. Hospital Job – Never Get ColdHOOsmall
Any PBR/Mike’s Lemonade toting punker can tell you that winter sucks, Santa isn’t real and there a lot of people who try to put coal in your stocking; there is one band who can tell you about this with catchy lyrics, conducive guitar riffs, and driving jams all at about 150 bpm.

Hospital Job’s newest LP, Never Get Cold, will be that warm soothing wave of warmth you need to battle the +50 degrees this winter has been so far. The record starts off with some hard hitting and driving Anthems that you can yell out of your car windows on the west side of Springfield at Middle Class Normies with nothing better to do. These are all songs that we know Hospital Job for and it’s the ‘thing they do’ but the ladder half of the record turns the page. The last half of the record has tons of riff-age, tasteful starts and stops, and quiet breaks that take us on the voyage from the loud all the time jams we know.

So in conclusion, if you listen to this record its going to take more then doing some beers do get these lyrics out of your head. It’s power pop at what it needs to be heard at; simple structure with catchy lyrics with giant waves of volume, noise, and riffs sprinkled with the message of how life can suck. Good job hospital.
-B.J. Pearce (Our Lady, GUSH)

5. Diaper Rash – Demo 4: Eat, Shit, and Crysmallbaby
EAT, SHIT, AND CRY: first of all I’m gonna say that Diaper Rash is one of my favorite local bands and I love listening to their music and seeing them perform and when I found out that they released another demo I was really stoked because they release new stuff like it’s nothing and it never disappoints. DEMO 4 is Rowdy, loud, in your face, catchy, and anybody can get into it. I really liked the riffs, the bass groves, the drumming and especially the fit throwing vocals. I really hope to see more from Diaper rash.
– Dontrell (WARRS)

4. Garter – Demogarterdmeo
Please listen to this band, Brendan Durbin you play the guitar like Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth and i’m so proud of you for dedicating yourself to a project and i feel like it’s really paying off grin emoticon Cassie Crawford you make bikini kill sound like the wiggles (your vocals A+) Brian Galecki your bass lines remind me of Agent Orange’s Living In Darkness album Nick Murphy you kill it as always! The overall energy of this band brings a lot of excitement to their shows. The Garter experience has never let me down. Also, NightHawk Rulez.
– Quincy Curran (Mystery Gift)

3. GUSH – Naughty NuFF malslsugug
“Naughty NuFF,” the debut tape from GUSH, is a solid release. It’s packed with plenty of feedback, driving drums, gritty bass, and a unique near-blood-curdling vocal delivery. It feels like a natural step from the 2014 slimey thing that was buzzing around Springfield, but with moshier (dare I say bro-ey?) flare. Split-second breaks from circle pits to floor punches make the songs on Naughty NuFF an interesting listen that’s sure to get you moving. For fans of: eating your own skin, being a party girl, hating everything.
-Brandon Carnes (Looming, South Town Studio)

2. SAP – Maiden, Mother, Cronea1703322422_10
Maiden Mother Crone was SAPs first release this year (followed by a split with Person!) and they killed it right off the bat. Clare’s chilling vocals paired with sporadic guitar and melodic bass lines gives the album a vibe you can’t help but love. The lyrics are dreamy and thoughtful but provoking and emotive. It quickly became one of my favorite releases to ever come out of the Springfield music scene.
– Jessica Knight (Looming)

1. Looming – Nailbitera1569498307_10
I think the Nailbiter LP had our community floored and immediately in love, as well as so proud and in awe of our friends Brandon, Jess, Mitch, and Jordan for putting together such a hit release.

Looming’s first full-length is an album brims with total raw emotion as well as musical intention; the theme of change and the anxieties related ring clearly and elegantly throughout the entirety of the LP, with the order of the songs themselves fitting together meaningfully.

Nailbiter opens with a refreshing and reflective intro, a piece that delicately coaxes the audience seemingly into the beginning of a sort of adventure, and is immediately followed by “Cotton Tongue”, an angsty in-your-face song that reels us in with lyrical metaphor “I can feel it… the monster breathing.” That being said, one of the most interesting aspects of the album is Jess’s lyrical content, which consistently depict a sophisticated pattern of acute body awareness in the midst of processing challenging emotions and interpersonal situations, with lines such as Cotton Tongue’s “Do you hold your breath, when your eyes meet mine?”, New Eye’s “Sometimes I think about you, and the way that you hold in place, as the air puts a mode on your body, your lips across your face”, or Impermanence’s “I long to kiss you on the mouth.”

With such relateable yet personal worldplay, the songs themselves are able to carry meaning that is realistic and true to the difficulties that everyone in life faces, and invites listeners to fairly and expressively process their own issues in regards to personal transformation.

With intentional and creative percussive strength, drummer Brandon hauls the musical weight as guitarists Jordan and Mitch weave whimsical yet poignant melodies, while bassist and vocalist Jess brings it all together with strong yet romantic basslines.

The album ends aptly with warm and inviting song “Nailbiter”, with cathartic lyrics “The worst that can happen, is it all will stay the same”, allowing a sort of compassion that looks forward with clear vision at the fragility of emotional progression, and the strength of human willpower to press forward despite all challenges and changes. As the final song draws to a close, there is a note of hope that suggests that the adventure of life continues.

The entirety of the pop album Nailbiter is truly magical as well as thoughtful, and has set the highly emotive tone that resonates with pure enchanting honesty, angst, and compassion in the hearts and minds of all its listeners in 2015.
-Kristin Walker (Bad Banshee, Moondead)

2015 was a huge year, especially for local superstars Jess Knight, Mitch Baker, Jordan Fein, and Brandon Carnes. First, being signed to No Sleep Records (Former home to Into It. Over It., Balance and Composure, La Dispute, The Wonder Years, etc.), then announcing their first full-length LP. Looming’s “Nailbiter” was one of the most anticipated releases of 2015, and for sure lived up to the hype. This album, track after track, hits you in all the right places, with emotional depth and dope riffage. This is the sickest of the sick, and the tightest of the tight. I’m so proud of everyone person in this band. They’re on tour right now with Run Forever, and hopefully 2016 will bring even bigger opportunities for these guys. They deserve it.
– Austin Connelly (Wir Können, GRINN)

Last Day To Vote In Best of Springfield Music 2015 Poll

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Our Best of Springfield Music Poll 2015 is still going on, and today is your last chance to vote! The poll will be open to everyone until 8:00 pm tonight. Find the link to vote in the poll below:

GO VOTE!

This is our fourth year doing our annual poll highlighting your favorites in Springfield local music. Like the previous three years we have the voting split into categories of best albums/releases, best songs, and best shows that happened in the year 2015. This is limited to all Springfield music- not just shows or bands that frequently play Black Sheep. Once the results are in and collected, we will have different members of Springfield bands and different people involved in the Springfield music/arts scene do write-ups on each winner. Check out the results from last year’s poll below:

Best of 2014 Springfield Albums/Releases
Best of 2014 Springfield Songs
Best of 2014 Springfield Shows

Vote in our Best of Springfield Music 2015 Poll

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It’s time to kick off our annual Springfield “Best of” Music poll for 2015 here on blacksheepspringfield.com! You are all invite to vote! Voting will go from now until 8:00 pm on Wednesday, December 23rd.

VOTE HERE!!

This marks the fourth year we have done our Springfield local music year-end poll. Like the other three years, we are asking for your favorite shows, albums/releases, and songs by your favorite local bands. Don’t forget that this poll embodies all of Springfield music – not just limited to shows or bands that frequently play Black Sheep. Last year we added a suggestion box to the poll and got some interesting results, so we decided to do the same again this year. We will release the results from the top five in each category before the end of the year with little write-ups by our staff writers and other members of local bands. Check out the results from last year’s poll below:

Best of 2014 Springfield Albums/Releases
Best of 2014 Springfield Songs
Best of 2014 Springfield Shows

Help Us List Springfield Releases of 2015!

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It’s that time of year again! Time for us to sit down and come up with our year-end lists, and time for us to reflect on all of the great music that has come out of Springfield in 2015. There were a lot of shows and releases this year, and a lot of bands making music. We are going to kick off our year-end poll this year to highlight some of your favorite local releases, songs, and shows of the past year. Before we start the poll, we need your help making sure we have all of the local releases that have come out this year listed! We have started a list and have it below. If you know of any other releases that have been put out by any Springfield bands in the year 2015, comment below or email us at blacksheepspringfield@gmail.com.

Bad Banshee – 2015 Demo
Borealis – Nauseous Spells
The Complaint Line – Stick Ninja EP
Diaper Rash – Demo 4: Eat, Shit, And Cry
Epsom – Ah Youth
Fill In The Blank – Slacker

Garter – Demo
GRINN – First EP
GRINN – GRINN Again
GUSH – Naughty Nuff
Hospital Job – Never Get Cold
Looming – Nailbiter
Panzys – Panzys
Rella – 3 Birds
Rella – Dixxon
SAP – Maiden, Mother, Crone
SAP/Person – Split
Sgt Karate – The Frost Giant’s Lament

Slacker Tapehead – Slacker Tapehead
TANG – TANG

War Magic – War Magic
WARRS – Demo

Be on the lookout for our poll to go up some time this next week! After voting is done we will compile a list of ten of the best releases, songs, and shows of this year and have different members of the Springfield music community do write-ups.