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No charges filed in horrific Vancouver accident (updated with VPD statement)

Just after midnight on Saturday October 12, Off With Their Head’s bassist, Robbie Swartwood was involved in a gruesome accident which resulted in a young woman’s severe obstruction to her face. In a statement from Sergeant Aaron Roed of the Vancouver Police Department, it was confirmed what many social media speculators have already estimated. There is video evidence of Desiree Evancio (24) crossing the street between the band’s van and trailer while at a stop. This went unnoticed by the driver, and she was then dragged for several city blocks once the vehicle resumed motion. While authorities quickly made the scene, early witness reports have described a trail of blood down the street, which made it apparent this was no ordinary accident.

Evancio’s family and friends have rallied to her side, to date raising nearly $200,000 of their million dollar goal to aid in her recovery. (Go Fund Me linked here.) She is expected to be hospitalized for the next year, undergoing various procedures, and her recovery from this, truly, may never end.

Off With Their Heads has since cancelled their tour and refunded all ticket values. Sergeant Roed’s statement is included below



Choking Victim Adds Stacked Second Night at Market Hotel

Photo by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Choking Victim at their last New York City headlining set October 30, 2016.

As if the excitement wasn’t high enough for one Choking Victim show in New York City on June 14,  Scenic Presents decided to hit the Big Apple off with another dose of Crack Rock Steady on June 15. The Friday night lineup was already completely ridiculous with the Crack Rock Steady originators being joined by The Pist, All Torn Up, Trashy, and Eve Minor.  But the Saturday night rowdy down has to be one of the best punk lineups to hit the Empire City in a decade and it’s all devoid of corporate dollars as all Scenic shows are.

For the second night of musical mayhem, Scenic went out and tapped the otherworldly entertaining World/Inferno Friendship Society, Philadelphia heavy-hitters Soul Glo, New Jersey’s wildest in Crazy & the Brains, and Wisconsin’s own folk-punks We the Heathens. Anyone of these bands as direct support for Choking Victim is already an unbelievably stacked bill, but all of them together following what is a wild lineup on the June 14th show … it’s like true love, this doesn’t happen every day.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and they will be on sale tomorrow. This one is going to sell out so get ’em early. … can you hear that? It’s the WIFS faithful chanting “Tonight, we’re gonna, fuck shit up!” before Jack and Scott lead an uproarious crowd in obliterating Bushwick’s Market Hotel.

 



DS Staff Picks: Anarchopunk’s Top Ten Albums of 2018

Well….damn. It’s already time for another year end list?!? That was pretty quick. I’m gonna keep it short this year because I’m a busy man, comrades. I’m sure you’ll all let me know if you don’t agree. So get to readin’ and then take to social media to tell me how lame I am using as many obscenities as possible. 2018’s Top Ten Albums of the Year list is below!

*If you want to stream all of the albums in their entirety, head over to Spotify and take a more comprehensive listen to my AoTY Playlist



DS Staff Picks: Carson Winter’s Best of 2018

There was no greater highlight in my year than going to Fest. Folks like me, the unpaid soldiers of DIY fortune—we write about punk rock all year around. We talk about what we like, what we don’t like. We wrap it all up in superlatives; we conjure up images of sweaty clubs and throat-shredding anthemics. Sometimes we use the right weapons for the job, sometimes it’s perfunctory dialogue—the punk rock journalist’s toolbox of favorite words. But, Fest was something special. It brought all those things we say to life, it made good on all of the promises of punk and then some. For one wonderful weekend, I found myself howling Menzingers’ lyrics in the arms of new, sweaty friends; caterwauling from body to body over beer-soaked floors. There were a lot of great albums released in 2018, but make no mistake: for me, The Fest made music vivid again. 
 
It reminded me that punk is a stone that’s ever rolling, and it’s the community that does the pushing. The best-of’s last year inspire the best-of’s this year, and the cycle continues in perennial inspiration as audience becomes artist and artist becomes audience. The notion of DIY keeps the punks creating, and it means that there will always be fresh, exciting takes on our favorite genre. In 2018, tons of new or at least new-to-me acts caught my ear and a good amount of them ended up on this very list. Whether it was rollicking mental health ballads or blue-collar fuck-yous, there was something to love.
 
So, here’s to more music, dive bars, and sweaty singalongs. Another year in the books, and another to look forward to. Click here for my picks.


DS Exclusive: Zen man saves stories for stage, an interview with T.S.O.L. front man, Jack Grisham

Photo by: Danielle Nicol

 My best buds and absolute American heroes in Noogy just ended a 6-day Texas stretch with legendary punk band, T.S.O.L., who is currently on tour promoting their 2017 release, The Trigger Complex. I hit Andre (Noogy) up wondering if it would be at all possible to set up an interview with the man who has become one of my idols – novelist, singer, and American demon – Jack Grisham. He and Anthony hit me back a few nights later from San Antonio, in between sets of rocking out with Piňata Protest and Dead 77, to let me know it was on. I was already planning to roadie the show at Three Links (Dallas), and the conceptualization of this conversation began to dawn on me. Did you read the book? (American Demon) Jack Grisham’s nuts! I knew right away that we were going to be best friends. Read that story below. [short read: 1 minute/ long read: 20 minutes]



Hub City Stompers Jenny Whiskey spills on her life as a 20 year veteran of the ska-punk skinhead scene

Jenny Whiskey has been playing the saxophone and singing in Ska/Punk bands for over 20 years and has garnered a reputation as one of the most accomplished and sought after sax players in the scene today. Here we were able catch up with her a little and hear about her beginnings, and what got her into her local ska/punk and skinhead scene.

Read her story below.



DS Exclusive: They’re Still Alive in Chicago & Their Record Release Party Proves It!

Still Alive

July 14, 2018, found Chicago’s Still Alive hosting their record release show at GMan Tavern, just a few yards down from the legendary Metro Chicago, and almost directly across the street the Wrigley Field. The iconic baseball stadium had Def Leppard and Journey co-headlining at the Friendly Confines. For those who chose the more intimate setting of Gman Tavern, they witnessed some raw punk rock served up sans the glitz and frills afforded to stadium rockers. I’m betting none of those in attendance at the smaller show would have traded locations.

Chicago’s Still Alive at its record release show at GMan Tavern

The group’s new record, “Assemble,” is made up of 7 tracks including Schedule One. The band’s description of the tune: “This song is about cannabis being categorized as a schedule one substance. A schedule one drug is one that has no medicinal value and is highly addictive, yet the American government holds the THC patent as medicine. We call bullshit.”

Still Alive’s current lineup is made up of Dan Alfonsi on guitar/vocals, Dom Burdi on guitar/vocals, Mikey Cervenka on drums, and Bryan Schroth on bass. I caught up with Alfonsi a few days later and we discussed the band’s formation 9 years ago, their history thus far, and plans for the future as far as he can see from now.

Still Alive

Alfonsi describes the band’s founding, “Still Alive started in 2009 with 3 other friends from other bands that I liked.  We all played in some variation of a punk/ska band so we took that and made it a little heavier. From there we just wanted to play fast and heavy while maintaining the ska roots.”

Cervanka and Alfonsi got their musical start early while Burdi “his own way,” and Bryan seems to have grabbed musical influences from just about everywhere.”

Still Alive

Alfonsi recalls a few of the issues they faced and why he characterizes the band’s start as slow. “We played our first show in 2009 once we were able to hold down a line up long enough practice a full set. Things were definitely slow going for a while. We even played a few songs from my old band Young Til We die to fill in the gaps. 2012 was when we really started to play more often and out of the city.”

Still Alive

Getting to play on bills with many of their favorite bands from growing up has been a highlight in itself. Amongst those Alfonsi and his bandmates feel fortunate for having the chance to share a stage with include Suicide Machines, Choking Victim; and Leftover Crack.

However, Alfonsi is quick to point out that the camaraderie experienced by being in a band and a part of the punk rock community, both local and nationwide, is his favorite part  “Jumping in the van with some of my best buds and playing out of town is always a blast. Another awesome aspect has been getting to know so many rad people along the way. Meeting other bands and like-minded individuals have made any hard work well worth it.”

The name Still Alive was partially inspired by the name of Alfonsi’s previous band, Young til We Die. The other half came down to the band members picking it out of a hat. Alfonsi tells me he believes the other options were: “Bloodied Up” and “Drink the Punch.”

Alfonsi describes who the group is at its core: “We are a DIY band. We gave the label thing a spin and it wasn’t for us. We write and produce all of our music with the help of our buddy Justin Yates who keeps us in check when recording.”

“Every member that has played in Still Alive is a Chicago area native minus Chuck Vroom who played bass for a bit before moving back to Detroit. There he’s played with The A Gang, Bastardous, For Dire Life Sake and a bunch more,” says Alfonsi

Still Alive

“Mikey works as a Warehouse Manager in the western ‘burbs. Bryan works at Bandago renting vans to touring bands. In addition to Bandago, he is the merchman extraordinaire for Lagwagon, Me First, Less Than Jake and whoever else needs him haha. Dom works as an office manager with insurance dealings. Dom has another band called Beat The Smart Kids that that is pretty killer. Fun ska stuff. I work as an Interior Painter in the city and I also do some festival work when it’s in season. Besides Still Alive I play bass in a hardcore band called The Ox King, drums in The Ridgelands and also drums in rarely active Brick Assassin. All Chicago bands.”

Still Alive

Alfonsi tells me that he cannot nail down his favorite bands long enough to set a list of them in stone. “Personally, my list of favorite bands is too long and constantly changing so I’ll list my top three local bands. There are so many to choose from, but these are my favorites. All three work super hard and put a lot of time and effort into their music. It shows in the recordings and it really shows live: La Armada, Kali Masi, and Blood People. Honorable mention: Bomblower, Turnspit, and Counterpunch.”   

Still Alive

As for the future for Still Alive? Dan Alfonsi tells me the band is brewing some exciting things up. Some they can announce and some they are not quite ready to do so.

“Moving forward we just recorded five songs with Justin Yates at A Million Yen Studio. The recordings are for a split with Rebel Spies from Detroit and Justin Shwier of Underground Comminque is putting it out.  Aside from that, we have some cool shows coming up to round out the year that aren’t announced yet, stay tuned.”

Of course, we turned the topic to, as must be done, to the role of punk rock in the era of the Trump Presidency:

“Life is becoming more surreal every day under this administration to the point that we as a people are almost used to it. It’s crazy. There is certainly no shortage of topic to write about, but the toll it’s taking in the meantime is frightening to say the least. The best we can do at this point is to treat each other well and hope that closed minds will start to open.”

As great as the record release party was, however, the night did end with a bummer as Alfonsi explains:

“A few hours following our release show 7/14 I was involved in a collision with a motorist while on my bicycle. I can’t get into too much detail because it’s an ongoing thing, but I urge everyone to pay better attention to your surroundings.”

Needless to say Alfonsi, his friends, his family; and the band’s fans are relieved that Dan is Still Alive and on the road to recovery.

We at Dying Scene wish Dan a speedy and full recovery as well so he can be back onstage as soon as possible.

 

https://stillalive.bandcamp.com/



Nothington announce split/indefinite hiatus after 2018 and the breaking of my heart

Nothington has announced that they’re calling it good after this year. The band made the announcement on their Facebook page this morning.

The split appears to be amicable, with the announcement stating that came to the decision “simply because we have other musical, artistic, and career-related aspirations to pursue as individuals.”

This year will be the band’s final appearances at The Fest and Punk Rock Bowling. They will be playing their last tours in the second half of 2018 with “a few select dates leading into spring of 2019.”

You can find the full announcement below.

The band’s most recent album, “In the End” was released April 2017 and was one of my top albums of the year. You should definitely try to catch them if they tour near you before the split. I haven’t caught them since a 2007 or so basement show with Off With Their Heads in Minneapolis, and it was easily one of the best shows I’ve been to.

Despite the sting of probably not getting any more material from Nothington, I am definitely looking forward to any projects that will come out of the split.



DS Editorial: Crusades—A Eulogy

Photo courtesy of Laura Collins

Fest has been announced, and with that, so have Crusades’ last shows. Here at Dying Scene, we love Crusades and wanted to give them a proper send-off. Read below for a career retrospective and click here for more information regarding Crusades and Fest. And if you’re local to them, expect a hometown goodbye at Ottawa Explosion Weekend Festival in June!

Following in the footsteps of Refused, Fugazi, Jawbreaker, and a thousand other greats, Ontario punk act Crusades have decided to join the long list of good ones in the sky. That’s right, after eight years of activity, Crusades is fucking dead. The split comes amicably; and realistically, is inevitable. It’s the difference between opening act and classic, between living and (fucking) dead.



10 Songs to Jumpstart Your Week (curated by DS editor Bizarro Dustin)

Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately?  We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands.  This week’s playlist is brought to you by DS editor Bizarro Dustin.

Discover some great tunes, and get your shuffle on with Dustin’s playlist below.



10 Punk Songs to Jumpstart Your Week (Curated by DS Editor Daron)

Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately?  We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands. This week we go to Minnesota, the land of 10,000 ways to pass off passive/aggressiveness as “being nice,” with Daron.

Discover some great new tunes, and find out what makes him tick by streaming Daron’s personal picks below.



Behind The Album: Big D and the Kids Table – “How It Goes 2004”

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

It was now 2004 and Big D was a writing machine. Dissimilar to many other bands we were not writing our new songs to impress gatekeepers outside of the our unit in the woeful hope to make it into punk royalty. Instead, we were stirred by everyone in the band’s different inspirations, thus having How It Goes become an eclectic album of musical genres and topical emotions. Every musician was encouraged to write and every idea was worked on with encouragement. Receptivity.

From L.A.X to Safe Haven, Girls Against Drunk Bitches to Burn Something, you can pickup that Big D wasn’t, isn’t and will never be easy to identify. After a colleague of mine implored that the album must start with L.A.X, because of his music business reasoning, I intentionally put The Sounds Of Allston Village before said track to set those who play by his rule book to judge and dismiss the album. Big D does not want to live by any hyperactive music business rules.

People will tell you, “music is a business”. Those people have lost what music is. Sure music takes work; Sure music is more than simply singing a song. Love takes work, being in a relationship takes work, but neither is a business. Music is your heart. Music is your soul. Music is the fire inside you. Music is comfort. Music is a friend. Music is you sharing time with the one you love most. Consider never saying “music is a business” or better, go ahead and say it, but stay away from me. Like I often say, love and music are the last two things you can hold onto after you become an adult and I’m not looking to taint either. Music is a business to business men. Music is life to musicians.

Sophomaniacs told us to start How It Goes with L.A.X, sophomaniacs told us to have 10 songs and not 20, sophomaniacs told us not to do that cover, because logos and art were in, sophomaniacs go on and on and on and on. But in Big D fashion we just did what we collectively wanted to do and we are very proud of How It Goes. You’re Me Now is so weird.

Big D saved up the money needed to record with Jim Siegel at The Outpost by playing shows. Up to this point and beyond Big D members never got paid for playing music or selling albums/t-shirts, we always saved the money to record, buy a van, print shirts, pin, patches or to pay bills (rehearsal space rent, van/trailer insurance, copies of our albums, etc.). And Big D wouldn’t get paid for many years to come. “That’s just how it goes”…we would always say. Being an orphan to the scene, “Well…that’s just how it goes”, was often said to make sense of the always punctual struggles of life.

The cover photo was taken outside 76 Franklin St. (Trash House) in Allston Massachusetts where I lived with Todd (lyrics from Breaking The Bottle) & Johnny Trouble (lyrics from Shining On). The rest of the guys lived walking distance, down the streets of lower Allston. If you can, it’s best to live walking distance from your band mates. Brotherhood. All the lyrics are in that book between my feet. The L.A.X video was shot at this location as well by Dan Dobi. Thanks Dan! Let’s do another video again someday.

Some of my favorite songs from How It Goes are You’re Me Now, Flashlight, Burn Something, Girls Against Drunk Bitches, L.A.X & My Girlfriends On Drugs. People often ask who sang on My Girl Friends On Drugs & Girls Against Drunk Bitches. MGFOD is my good friend Hillary, who is a wonderful light inside an often times dark humanity and she has a wicked fun laugh. GADB is my friend Marz or Mariam (prob not spelled how she prefers). We went to college together; She sang in the sludge-core band Mancain. She would have taken over the world, if the world had been something she wanted.

The tours that followed How It Goes were some of Big D’s favorites. The lot of us still didn’t feel like we were in a real band, more, we felt like a bunch of guys that were somehow allowed to play on the bill and get free beer. We had a beautiful time being too SKA for the punk bands and too punk for the SKA bands. Not many, maybe none, of the successful bands ever chose to make friends with us. But you know, that’s just how it goes and it was always fine by us. Being ugly is underrated.

—-

Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



10 Punk Songs To Jumpstart Your Week (curated by DS founder Dave Buck)

Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately?  We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands.  This week we’re kicking things off with Dying Scene founder and head honcho Dave Buck.

Discover some great new tunes, and find out what makes him tick by streaming Dave’s personal picks below.



DS Staff Picks – Jerry’s Top 10 albums of 2017

2017 was a year filled with things I had been looking forward to for a long time as well as some surprises in life, movies, TV (Twin Peaks Season 3 anyone?), and of course in music.  Aside from multiple honorable mentions, which you can see at the bottom, this years list of favorite albums was surprisingly easy to narrow down for me.  Check out what caught my ear this year below!



DS Staff Picks: AnarchoPunk’s Top Ten Albums of 2017

I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of pleasantries because I don’t have time for it, so we’re gonna just hop right into this.  If you wanna know what I’m busy with, check out the Featured Stream section to the right hand section of this page, over there >>> yea, that’s me. Or you could listen to Dying Scene Radio, (The Official Podcast of DyingScene.com) to hear my silky smooth, baritone voice. Or you could go check out out my Instagram page which features pictures from the 125+ sets I shot this year. Damn….I need a break. In between all of that, I also managed to listen to some pretty fantastic albums! Peep my top ten favorites from the year that was, below!