Ricki Marvel: “The Prisoner”


Here we are today to bring you another release from a local artist that has come out already this year in the year 2020. That is Ricki Marvel‘s new album, The Prisoner. You can stream that full album on the bandcamp player below or find it on bandcamp right here where you can also purchase the download. Here is a description of the album from Ricki’s bandcamp page:

This was written and recorded on cassette tape during an 18 month period of time. The goal was to make the process as free as possible. This means no deadline, no pressure, no genre, and definitely no dread. The result is a labor of love. A snapshot of my emotions and self reflection leading up to me realizing I am transgender.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for any Ricki Marvel shows coming up at our space being announced at some point soon. We are also adding this one on to our Springfield album archive page for the year 2020, it’s our second release for this year!

Our Top Posts From 2019

Is it too late for top 2019 posts? Yes? We are already over half way through January? Okay. Well, just in case anybody out there cares, we were looking at what our most viewed website posts were in the year 2019 and we thought we’d share with the class. Here, we’ll just do the top ten and list them out for you. We’ll link each article too.


1. “Good Heart Tattoos” Coming Next Door To Dumb Records Later This Fall

This did indeed happen, and Benny of Good Heart Tattoos has been our neighbor next door since his grand opening back in early November. The announcement was made back in September.

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

(Posted on December 8th, 2019) Our year-end poll is a hit every year, and hundreds of you participated in this one yet again! The results we’re posted until early this year so those are 2020 posts we guess (sorry).

3. Best of Springfield Music 2018: Songs

(Posted on January 4th, 2019) Ha! Well there you have it! Now we are talking about a year that is now two years ago! Part of our Best-Of results from 2018.


4. WQNA FM Community Radio Ending After 40 Years

(Posted on August 8th, 2019) Well, this is a sad one. And it’s especially sad because a few months after this the plug was pulled without warning at the studio and the station license was officially sold to a Catholic Radio group, and 88.3 WQNA as we knew it remains off air. A lot of people come into our store asking us for updates on where Springfield Community Broadcasters (the group of DJ’s) are at with acquiring any sort of new license or getting back on air. Their live stream is in fact back up online right here, but there still have been no updates on anything with a new station being obtained yet.

5. Illinois Times Best Of Springfield 2019 Nominee Voting Has Begun

(Posted on August 10th, 2019) The Illinois Times Best Of’s are a big deal to a lot of local businesses and people every year. Sometimes people go wild over trying to get those votes. It turns out we must have gotten some votes, because we were awarded winner of the “New Business Downtown” category.

6. Our List of Expected Record Store Day Releases

(Posted on March 28th, 2019) Every year in April, Record Store Day for us constantly ends up being our biggest day, and constantly shatters the record for previous years. With this being our first Record Store Day downtown, we went all out for this one. We carried close to 2/3rds of the total releases that came out this day (which is hundreds of titles), and had our biggest day ever by far. We are excited for the upcoming Record Store Day to be even bigger for us than the last! (Which is happening Saturday, April 18th by the way, mark your calendars)

7. Best of Springfield Music 2018: Albums/Releases #1-10

(Posted on January 6th, 2019) What do you know, it’s another part of our best of 2018 series.


8. We Are Searching For Sponsors To Make A Really Big Show At Rock N’ Roll Hardee’s Happen This September.

(Posted on July 3rd, 2019) This was an interesting one, where we were attempting to pull off a huge show with the help of local sponsors for a big international act that we couldn’t announce just yet. Turns out this post ended up being bigger than the actual announcement! Probably because it got everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out who it was. Who was it??? It was Shonen Knife, from Japan! Yes we were successful in pulling off this show, it recently made it to the list of top shows of 2019!


9. Kate The Band: “Wine & Dine” / “Starry Eyes”

(Posted on June 12th, 2019) Interesting to see a local band’s release end up on this list! It makes sense for this one, because Kate The Band approached us about exclusively releasing the songs from our site, which we were more than happy to do! The two songs are also great – they made it on to our best songs of 2019 AND best releases of 2019!


10. Thank You To All Who Helped Make Last Night Possible!

(Posted on October 1st, 2019) Haha ohhhh, this one was about Shonen Knife playing at Rock N’ Roll Hardee’s. What a successful night indeed, we estimated somewhere between 400 and 500 people out there in the crowd, and then we pulled off an aftershow at our space featuring the band Slingshot Dakota from Ohio.

Best of Springfield Music 2019: Albums/Releases #1-10


Here we are with the grand finale of our Best of Springfield Music 2019 series – your top voted Springfield albums / releases of the past year! We are here today to bring you your top ten picks, numbers 1 through 10. As will our other lists, each entry has a little write-up by different members of the Springfield music community. Thanks to everyone who helped do write-ups for the whole series! And again, all of these results are published in this month’s issue of Activator Magazine with is available for free at our store and different locations around town. Let’s get to it!

#1. Chance Reiniesch – People Pleaser
Well I may not be Chance’s target market, at least I can fit the description of “stained white t-shirt” in the album’s opening lines, but that’s about it. I missed out on the packed crowd when this album was debuted at Dumb Records this year. Fortunately for me, it’s readily available on Spotify. Obviously Chance is very talented and certainly sounds to me like major pop star material. Natural vocal abilities abound throughout the album with some added interesting effects that are not overdone. Although the album is relatively short, it certainly showcases Chance’s abilities. From the pop standard material “Divine” and “Cloudz” to the acoustic duet “Hit n Run” and ending on an epic note with a very earnest “Tranquility”, and oh those strings! Production on this album is rich but doesn’t feel overproduced which is very easy to do in this genre. I expect this is only the beginning for this young vocalist virtuoso, and one heck of a start.
– Jeff Black (The Radon Lounge / Dumb Records)

The dedication and hard work that has been put into Chance’s latest release, People Pleaser, is unmatched. Chance’s voice is raw with emotion and each lyric paints a picture. The beautiful but unique production behind each song sends chills down my spine. Chance doesn’t just sing a song; he tells a story and captivates the hearts of listeners. People Pleaser has the right mix of everything you could want in an album.
Juliann Hendricks

#2. Dexter Anodyne – Weeping Venus
Like the stomping of smoke or the fierce whirlwind of a million flapping butterfly wings, Weeping Venus comes out of nowhere with ethereal beauty and grace yet with the power and determination of a Midwestern blizzard.  Tracks such as “Recurring Dreams” and “Ghosts” are gentle yet firm soundscapes that nestle you peacefully into the artfully chosen lyrics and encourage you to howl into the night along with Dexter. Weeping Venus as an album is magnificent and singular.  As an experience, it’s essential and should be seen as one of the most important Springfield albums of the last decade.
– Ian Winterbauer (local poet, Vachel Lindsay Association)

#3. Vincent Sebastian – Interference
Vincent Sebastian’s album, Interference, is a piece of work that demands a second listen. The production of each track is intricate, but not overdone. His lyrics are unapologetic and tell a story in a way that every listener can understand. However, the most impressive aspect of this project is its ability to connect each track flawlessly without sounding monogamous.  Overall, Interference is an impressive release.
– Chance Reiniesch

#4. Lick Creek – Too Damn Country
This is the third release for this Springfield Illinois based outlaw country band. Released June 14, 2019 it is a blend of country and southern rock with a touch of blues. Title track “Too Damn Country” is an easy to like outlaw country song while “Big Dogs” switches gears to swampy blues. Check out “Mississippi” for some great vocal harmonies from lead singers Lance Stone and Maddie Brown. All in all a great effort and production, definitely worth checking out.
– James Schroyer (The Rick Mari Band)

#5 Ty Witty – For When It Rains
Continuing a streak of successful singles and releases over the last couple years, Ty Witty continues to grow and perfect his craft, working across varying genres to great success and growing his fanbase of dedicated listeners and hardcore followers. FWIR is a departure from the more hip-hop tinged singles of recent fare, although that element is still in attendance, and the sensitive, vulnerable nature of Ty Witty is put in the forefront, and this release sees him playing with more melodic and pop-influenced tracks. Ty puts forth an effusive and honest release that fulfills the promise of its title while offering a worthy addition to any playlist, opening a portal to the experiences and tribulations that encompass his existence while painting a striking portrait of what could have been and will come to pass in this chaotic world.
– Ken Pacha (Hiphop Humpday, Activator Magazine)

#6. Foam Fangers – Trash Talk And Taco Trucks EP
“Trash Talk and Taco Tracks” harkens back to The sounds and feel of West Coast Punk in the 80s. Fast songs and angry lyrics about being mistaken for a celebrity (Chum Lee), finding food (Taco Truck) and censorship (Uncensored). FFO: skate videos, early Black Flag, Circle Jerks
– John EP (The Complaint Line)

#7. Spiff – Yellow Kelso
On the first of October this year, Springfield’s local rap artist Spiff released his fourth full-length album, Yellow Kelso. This new release from Spiff displays the artist writing richly emotional songs for a quieter, more meditative space. With Yellow Kelso’s unobtrusive instrumentation, the album itself could be mistaken for background music. But then Spiff’s voice enters, and then the overall quietness turns into a soft spotlight, capturing attention. Many tracks feel minimalistic, with only the plain strumming of an electric guitar or foggy atmospherics left behind. But they mesmerize. Even a song like “Blue Summit”, which sounds straight forward with its shards of silvery chords and midtempo beat, eventually turns into an unexpected shredding solo before ending with what sounds like a dream heard underwater. “Blue Summit” is not an anomaly, it is Yellow Kelso’s centerpiece. “Blue summit, top of the mountain, they said check the view but don’t plummet”, he sings on “Blue Summit”, the sixth track from Yellow Kelso. This song proves to be a whirlwind of calmness and serenity. Aside from the heady, exotic lyrics, this track’s unique instrumentation will have listeners wanting to keep “Blue Summit” on repeat. This album contracts itself at nearly every turn. It’s sparseness suggests that a person in a small apartment with only a keyboard and a guitar and thoughts for company. But it isn’t just anyone emoting from the abyss, it’s Spiff. In his possession, such intimacy displayed from this album attracts the ear, raises hair, and ceases heartbeats. These songs are not for rebellion, but they still serve a purpose. They are about everyday lives, about the feat of just existing, which is a statement in its own right. Listen to Spiff’s Yellow Kelso on all available streaming platforms.
Zack Goriszewski

#8. Deezy Da Paperboy / Cornbread – Kush Kollabs
When two of the heavyweights of the 217 hip-hop scene come together on a project to combine their styles and unique outlooks, you know you’re in for something special and Trash Pandacoot and The Midwest Miracle do not disappoint with their collaborative EP Kush n’ Kollabs. While birthed from their desire to make a smoke session tape with the five tracks functioning as their “5 On It,” Bread and Deezy put their considerable talents on display with lyricism and skillful wordplay taking center stage over beats created out of Superior Sounds Studios that set a tone of of pure bliss, serving notice that there’s more to be found here than just songs about getting high. Those familiar with the solo work of the Trash Panda and Da Paperboy know they always deliver the goods and they do that and more on this outstanding effort. Kush n’ Kollabs is aptly named, with 217 greats Meezy Killafield, Kool Krew, JunioR Pasáre and Jayy Wills joining in on the fun and lending their considerable talents to an EP that offers a glimpse of the collective brilliance this group of artists has to offer, showcasing just how much talent is regularly overlooked in the central Illinois area.
– Ken Pacha (Hiphop Humpday, Activator Magazine)


#9. Master Bastard – Drinking With Children
There’s no question that Master Bastard is familiar with excellent guitar work, and Drinking with Children is a great example. The Intro to their album is 2 1/2 minutes of lyric-less solid, heavy riffs that will get you nodding your head without realizing it. In my opinion the group lends very talented heavy metal skills to a punk/alternative album, as exemplified by the track Breakdown of the Century. Indeed, some songs may pleasingly manifest what would happen, say, if Bad Religion had more guitar chops- or the Deftones were more punk. Catchy lyrics on tracks like Joose and Crimson Teeth (as well as the aforementioned Breakdown of the Century) will bubble up in your mind days after listening, while in-your-face tracks like Roadster definitely command replay value. Although the vocal melodies might not be incredibly creative, the guitar work and song composition skills more than make up for it.
Brian Tippy (Legacy of Giving Music Festival)


#10. Kate The Band – Wine & Dine / Starry Eyes
Wine & Dine sounds like two slices of pent-up 2 a.m. energy, uncoiling in a desperate attempt to find some meaning in life before the morning spoils it all. A soundtrack to outrunning your troubles while you can, it evokes the gentle rawness of the Pixies’ quieter moments. BJ Pearce’s tight snare and rolling fills build tension and momentum, while Jessica Knight’s low end reminds you of the constant murmur of your heart. On top of it all is Kate Laine’s guitar, a wash of starry arpeggios and glimmering harmonics, and her voice, the border between the excitement of endless possibilities and the pain of the ticking clock.
– Mark Beanblossom (Idle Oath)




Tonight at Dumb Records: Black Box, Blushe, Freon, Prevention


Looks like we’ve got ourselves a 90% chance of snow at 7:00 pm tonight, but that is also going to be start time for this hot hot punk gig that’s going on at our space! Tonight is big cassette tape release show for local hardcore band Black Box, who also just got done touring the country. The Black Box demo – “What Happens Inside” is already up streaming online, which you can check out on the player below. Also on this show is local Springfield/Bloomington band Blushe. Also coming up from St. Louis is… a newer group called “Freon”! Opening things up… looks like we’ve got another Prevention!

All of that starts tonight at 7:00 pm and the show is only $5 (what a deal). Find a facebook event for this one right here. Be sure to check out our shows page for a good look at what else is coming up at Dumb Records in the near future.

Help Us List Springfield Releases Of 2019


It’s that time of the year again. Yep, it’s time for us to get ready for our annual Best of Springfield Music 2019 end of the year poll and write-ups that we do here on this site. Which means right now we gotta get our ducks in a row and figure out all of what came out this year on a local level. We’ve been building up our Springfield album archive page and have listed off 52* releases so far this year. Those are as follows:

Animals With Human Names – Anti Social / Duck Guts
Black Box – What Happens Inside
Bruce Kodrich – Don’t Leave Empty Handed
Chance Reiniesch – People Pleaser
CityFME – Lost N The Muzik 3
CompositionC – Back To The Beginning
Deezy Da Paperboy / Cornbread – Kush & Kollabs
Demons on Wheels – The Well-Worn Tale
Dexter Anodyne – Weeping Venus
The Dixie Narcos – Soda Pop!
The Dixie Narcos – Tinder Folk
DJ Reco – Dope: The Mixtape
DreTheGuy – Lapis Effect
Emily Hough – Glass EP
Emily Hough – Jewel Tones EP
Kate The Band – Wine & Dine
Final Order – Tainted Tradition
Foam Fangers – The Trash Talk And Taco Trucks
Forest Saints – Intergalactic Radio
Forest Saints – The Book Of Descents & Ascensions
Funmachine.exe – All Our Friends Are Algorithms
Imaginary Colours – Among The Horizon
Iris Wake – Demo
Jeff Cowhick – Cauterized
Junior Pasáre – We Gone Win
Levi Tucker – The Shoestring EP
Lick Creek – Too Damn Country
The Little Death – No Such Thing As Fiction
Local Drags – Shit’s Lookin’ Up
Master Bastard – Drinking With Children
Meezy Killafield – Killafield Kronicles
Musical Realists – Hill of Beans
Mvrty1300 – True Colors
Prevention – Your Bad Habits
Prince Cash – Menace Of Society
Renegade – Flowers EP
Satisfy – Take A Deep Dive Into What I Go Through
Spiff – Yellow Kelso
Stuart Smith – The Sun EP
TaQsem – American Dream
Terrell Burns – TBH EP
Timothy Donavan Russell – Antibody
Timothy Donavan Russell – Dark Light
Timothy Donavan Russell – Public Domain 2019
Timothy Donavan Russell – Messages
Timothy Donavan Russell – Then (From Now)
Tin Ghost – Ghost Stories- The Early Years
Tin Ghost – Life, At It’s Best
Tin Ghost – Into The Arms Of The Great Unknown
Tony Colantino – Extradimensional
Ty Witty – For When It Rains…
Ty Witty / Junior Pasáre – Half Full EP
Vincent Sebastian – Interference
Zetaretic – United $lave$ of America


Nice, we’ve even got all of the links right there! Okay this is where we need your help listing off any that we are missing. Let’s say a release includes a grouping of two or more original songs by a local Springfield band or artist – we’ll include nearby cities such as Jacksonville, Taylorville, or Decatur. If you know of any, comment below, or email us at dumbrecs@gmail.com! We are going to kick off our poll as early as five days from now or something, and publish results at the end of the month / beginning of next month. Oh! And we are also teaming up with Activator Magazine once again for this feature to be in their January of 2020 issue!

Our end of the year poll usually includes the best shows, songs, and albums from local bands or artists for the year. We will likely do this format again, featuring the top 10 picks from each category.

X-E-A: “Interdimensional Catwalk”


Today we bring you a tid-bit of new Springfield music in the form of this short instrumental track by local recording project called “X-E-A”. The song is called “Interdimensional Catwalk” and you can find it streaming on the player below. The piece was inspired by or created for an event at The Pharmacy Gallery downtown that happened this past weekend, and there is a video from the event on the X-E-A facebook page which you can check out right here. Head over to the X-E-A bandcamp page to download the track at your own price.

On Friday the The Pharmacy Gallery & Art Space held a collaborative fashion show featuring local designers, artists, and models. This video consists of clips from the finale, as well as shots from the gallery space.

The music is a piece I wrote, inspired by Timothy Donavan Russell‘s selection of songs for the evening. You can download it for free at: https://x-e-a.bandcamp.com/track/interdimensional-catwalk

Congratulations to everyone involved on a sucessful show!

Videography: Bri Skeels and XEA
Editing/Music: XEA

Station Director Jim Pemberton On The Future Of WQNA


We haven’t been able to clear the air much on what has been going on with our community radio station which is home of The Dumb Records Radio Show, WQNA, since it was announced that the station was being sold by The Capitol Area Career Center a month or so ago now. There has been a lot happening behind the scenes of WQNA since that announcement and there have been a few meetings even inside our very own space with station DJs as far as discussion for any options of continuing the station in some form or another.

We did get the chance to sit down with station director of 20 years Jim Pemberton on our radio show a couple of weeks ago to discuss in detail where WQNA as a station currently stands and what could happen as far as the station continuing. Jim seems confident that the station at this point will be continuing in some form or another (even if it is just online only), and things will be playing out in coming weeks and months. We were finally able to type up most of the interview which you can find below, also stream the whole entire episode on the player embedded directly below for the full interview.

For the past forty years that the station has existed it has been owned and operated by the board of governors of the Capitol Area Career Center, which is the school that the station is located in. And they have allowed us as community volunteers to basically do whatever we wanted for the past twenty years, which if you think about it is just plain crazy. That doesn’t happen anywhere else. The fact that we can do this for the past twenty years with almost a completely free hand is astonishing. For a lot of understandable reasons they have decided they are going to sell the radio station. The reason they had the radio station to begin with was to act as a teaching tool for high school students and in some cases early college students to learn broadcasting and to possibly take those skills into a professional job in communications. To make a long story short the enrollment has been dropping steadily – not just with the program here but throughout the country. There are a lot of reasons why that has happened. It had gotten to a point about six months ago where they told us “look, we are going to try to get the numbers up, we would prefer to keep the station if we can, but if we can’t keep the numbers up we might not be able to justify keeping it.” Well, the numbers did not come up so it was decided that they were in fact going to sell the radio station.

So what does that mean for us? Well, what I can say now at this particular juncture I am 99.999% certain that the WQNA format that you are listening to now – the same programs, the same jocks, the whole bit… is going to continue in some form. Now what does that some form mean? Does that mean we continue as an internet only radio station? Does that mean we continue as an FM station on another frequency? OR does that mean we continue as 88.3 FM right here where we are now? That it is too soon to say. But I can tell you – and you (Brian) can vouch for this because you have been in the meetings – I can tell you that all three possibilities are being discussed. Meetings have happened, negotiations have happened. We have met specifically with the board that runs CACC, and I won’t go into specifics as far as what was discussed but I will tell you that we did meet with them and it did go very well, it was very positive. So, something good will come out of this. I’m not sure which good thing it will be, but like I say I am almost entirely certain that one way or another we are going to keep doing this even after the station is sold by the CACC, it might be still on 88.3, it might be another place on the dial, or it might be internet only. Either way, what we are doing now is kind of getting the legal end of it taken care of. Several of us have been involved with getting that done, we are working on getting 501c3 non for profit status that we would be able to operate either this station or another station or the internet thing as a non-for-profit, legit, charitable endeavor and keep it running kind of as it is now like a community-based, not for profit radio station. One of the questions I’ve been asked a lot is could you, if you were to take ownership of the station, could you turn it into a commercial station and sell advertising? No, we could not do that. And the reason we couldn’t is because the way the FCC has set it up is that everything on the FM dial at 91.9 or lower is considered the “non-commercial band.” So you’ll notice – 91.9 that’s where WUIS is, right below that you’ve got WLUJ which is a Christian station, you got WILL the classical station out of Urbana – all of them non-commercial stations. So, because we are 88.3 on the dial on the non-commercial band, we will always be a non-commercial radio station so that’s how we will have to operate it. So to do that, even if it’s just internet only, we’re still going to have to get money together and that’s going to have to mean soliciting funds, and that’s got to mean we’ve got to do everything transparently and to the board. And if the question is asked us “what’s my money going to”, we can answer that question. So what we’re doing now is we’re getting the 501C3 stuff taken care of – it’s a slog – you know it takes a little while to do this, but one of the things you can do while you are waiting for your application to go through (which it should, as long as you do your paperwork right you should be okay), you can get another organization that has 501C3 status to potentially sponsor you and act as your umbrella to vouch for you. We think, I’m not going to say who because it’s not official yet, we think we found the organization that’s willing to do that for us. So once that goes through we actually can start saying “alright, this is the amount of money we are shooting for.” We can say “alright, if we can’t buy the radio station we are at least going to keep it going as an internet station or go elsewhere on the dial.” So we’ve got a plan B and a plan C if plan A doesn’t come through. It’s not going to be the easiest thing we did, it’s going to be a tall mountain because it’s going to require quite a bit of money. For example if we were able to get ahold of this place we are going to have to pay the purchase price, and plus there’s going to be location to another building, there’s going to be equipment upgrades, there are things in this building that are held together with duct tape and spit. It wouldn’t be easy, but I’m not entirely convinced we couldn’t do it. That’s the thing, nobody wants to give up. When the hammer kind of fell everybody was like “alright, what are we going to do about this?” I have been asked from people so many times – the biggest question they have asked is “what can I do?” Even right now there is not an easy answer to that because a few more dominoes have to fall into place, but once that happens, once we are able to go out and legally ask for a specific amount of money, and we can say this is what we are going to try to do, then we can talk about it.

The people who have been our audience for the past twenty years and still are are what make it all worth it.

– Jim Pemberton, WQNA Station Director

WQNA does have a website at wqnaradio.org that you can follow, also a newly created facebook page right here that any future updates will possibly be posted to.