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Interview about Head Cleaner-A Louisville Music Compilation 2015 with Insider Louisville

Insider Louisville

Louisville’s Gubbey Records accepting new music for ‘Head Cleaner’ compilation


Louisville independent music label Gubbey Records is sending out a call to any and all Louisville musicians to submit a track for its upcoming releaseHead Cleaner — A Louisville Music Compilation. The submission deadline is Sept. 1.

The compilation will be released on cassette, hence the title. And when we say Gubbey is open to all musicians in Louisville, we mean it. Last year’s project featured 106 local music acts and came out to more than six-and-a-half hours of music. It was released via three cassettes, with an additional download volume. This will be the compilation’s third year.

Label owner Dave Rucinski says the point of including so many bands is to document a year of Louisville music from all genres.

Last year’s edition featured at least two of Louisville’s better-known, up-and-coming bands: Small Time Napoleon and Twin Limb. The rest were a mixed bag, by design.

“We will only reject if there are any homophobic or racial slurs in the music. Thus far we have never received anything … that would require us to reject a track,” says Rucinski.

Why cassettes? Readers of a certain age — I’m 43 — will remember them being ruined in hot cars, prone to getting chewed by cassette players, and generally featuring mediocre sound quality.

Rucinski says it’s because vinyl records — that other nostalgic music medium of choice — would simply take too long to create. And cassettes are hot, believe it or not.

“We’re selling more cassettes than CDs,” he says. “I’m not sure why.”

He adds that each cassette also is sold with a free digital download.

Gubbey has a few demands for submitting songs. Musical acts have to include the title of the song, a contact email or website, and a listing of everyone who played on it, in addition to what instruments the musicians played. Gubbey also needs to know where and when the song was recorded.

Gubbey is asking any interested musical acts to submit songs via the WAV format, as it offers superior sound quality to MP3s. The songs should be from 1 to 4:30 minutes long. Also, musicians should send the music via Dropbox or Sendspace, as WAV files are typically too big to send via email. To send a track, go to either dropbox.com or sendspace.com, and then alert the label at GubbeyRecords@gmail.com.

Rucinski doesn’t yet know how much the compilation will sell for, because he doesn’t know how big it will be. Last year’s three-cassette behemoth retailed for $15. He says there will be two live shows in conjunction with the compilation’s release, each one likely having four bands. No further details about the shows are available yet.

To learn more, contact Rucinski at Gubbey’s website.

Review of Blind Tigers- Mosquito EP Cassette from the Never Nervous blog

Blind Tigers
Gubbey Records

After a few listens to Mosquito it's easy for me to conclude that Blind Tigers are exceptionally good at writing stripped down garage rock songs. This trio isn't here to wow you with their guitar chops and drum solos, and for that we can all thank the maker. I'm not saying that this band isn't technically proficient, it's just nice to hear all substance with no filler, which is absolutely the case with Mosquito.

Dia Thompson's voice is my favorite component to Blind Tigers. Her vocals take center stage thoughout Mosquito, serving as the perfect piece to decorate each song around. "Do or Die" is my favorite example, as the song starts off with mix of heavy guitar and pulsating bass and climaxes with a fabulous vocally driven chorus.  I also particularly enjoy "Turnin Up My Radio" which strangely reminds me of a JEFF the Brotherhood meets The B-52's hybrid.  Without Fred Schneider, of course, because only Fred Schneider can be Fred Schneider.

Mosquito weighs in at a quick six songs all hovering around the three minute mark.  These songs get straight to the point, serving their purpose to the fullest. The format of this release happens to be cassette, a platform that continues it's unforeseen resurgence to modern music.  Don't have a tape player?  That's ok, because each copy comes with a free digital download.  Also, I have to say that Kurt Dinse's album art is pretty awesome.  It looks like a movie poster to a 50's sci-fi B-movie. 

This is an easy release for me to recommend because I absolutely love it.  Pick your copy of Mosquito at one of Louisville's fine record shops around town.

 Phillip Olympia


Review of Blind Tigers- Mosquito EP Cassette from Louisville.com


As I listened to Blind Tigers' new music for the first time, I was really struggling to figure out how to think of them. The guitars are distorted and aggressive, making me think it's for the hard rock crowd and yet their progression make me think hooks all day. Then singer Dia Thompson's sweet but sinister voice over top of it all make me wonder even more where to fit this band.

When I actually looked at the tracklist for the first time while listening to track 5 of the 6 song EP, I realized they did all the work for me. The song's title, "Violent Pop," is an extremely accurate description for them. Blind Tigers is hard enough for you to gnarl along with their passion but also keep the beat along with their occasional synchronized clapping and ooohs and ahhhhs. 

The EP entitled Mosquito wraps up in about 19 minutes but they make the most of it. There is hardly a dull moment in this release and you can expect more of the same at the release show this Saturday at Modern Cult Records. The all ages show starts at 8 p.m. with openers Satellite Twin and Opposable Thumbs. A $5 donation is requested but no one will be turned away because of lack of funds. BYOB. Mosquito comes in cassette form with a digital download. 

Review of Blind Tigers- Mosquito EP Cassette from The Iron Post Blog

The Iron Post Blog

Blind Tigers – Mosquito EP

Sludgy Pop Punk

Gubbey Records – Released April 11th, 2015

Mosquito is the soon-to-come release from Louisville’s Blind Tigers, and its a very strong one at that. The six songs that make up the EP are quick and to the point – putting this out as a cassette only adds to the general punk aesthetic they’ve got going on (I love the art work, by the way).

“Do or Die” starts with a sustained strum on an overdriven electric guitar before picking up with the constantly descending progression – the chorus has a nice, dissonant crunch to it, and pairs well with the vocal harmonies that were added. “Night of 1000 Eyes” is even sludgier than the first track, and is my favorite track of the EP. Everything except the drums has a bit of distortion on it, and the guitar solo at the end is pretty great, too. As the EP progresses, it introduces more instruments, straying away from just guitar, bass, and drums. “Smooth Talker” layers in some handclaps, “Talk Demon to Me” adds some synth (or maybe theremin?), and “Turn Up My Radio” even imitates the sound of radio dials being tuned in. “Violent Pop” was the track that caught my ear on the first listen – the background vocals, super-catchy chorus, and guitar solo are all really great.

Blind Tigers releases the cassette with a show on April 11th at Modern Cult Records with Opposable Thumbs and Satellite Twin. If you like rock and roll, this is a good one to check out – it sounds great on cassette and headphones, alike.

Tracks I Liked: Do or Die, Night of 1000 Eyes, Violent Pop

Ben Southworth – March 29th, 2015 – Park Avenue


Interview with Blind Tigers about the Mosquito EP with Never Nervous

Never Nervous

INTERVIEW: Blind Tigers Talk About Their New Cassette, bands in Louisville, and Where They'd Take Me for a Night on the Town!

Indie rock trio Blind Tigers have a new cassette called Mosquito dropping this Saturday, April 11th via Gubbey Records. To celebrate the release, an all ages release show will happen the same day at Modern Cult with Opposable Thumbs and Satellite Twin rounding out the bill. The show will start at 8PM and outside alcohol is allowed from what I understand. Go here for more information on the event.

To promote the release of Mosquito, Blind Tigers made a music video for their song "Talk Demon To Me" which can be seen below:

Earlier this week, the folks in Blind Tigers were kind enough to collectively answer a few questions about their band, the new release, and Louisville's music community.

Never Nervous: How did Blind Tigers form? Is there a fascinating origin story behind the three of you coming together?

Blind Tigers: We formed in 2013 as a duo with Dia on guitar and Jason on drums. We played our first show in early 2014 at Mag Bar and were approached after the show by Paul. We ended up calling him and that was that.

NN: What can you tell us about your upcoming cassette Mosquito?

BT: We wanted to evoke a feeling of tamed aggression. To be able to tell a story with the songs, starting out strong, pulling it in a little bit, letting loose and then bringing it in at the end.

NN: How does the writing process work? Is it a collaborative effort?

BT: Yeah, we all contribute to the writing process. Each member brings a song or an idea and we elaborate on it.

NN: How did Blind Tigers hook up with Gubbey Records?

BT: We submitted a song called "Fish For Lions" to the first Head Cleaner release. We really dig what Dave is doing with Gubbey Records and wanted to be a part of that.

NN: After the release of Mosquito are there any plans to tour or to promote the cassette beyond Louisville?

BT: The plan is wide open. We love Louisville and would like to start a small Midwest tour as well.

NN: Talk about some of the inspirations and influences behind the music Blind Tigers creates.

BT: Well we are influenced by grunge bands such as Nirvana and L7. We are also heavily influenced by punk bands like The Ramones and New York Dolls. We like a lot of bubble gum and glam rock like 1910 Fruitgum Company and T.Rex. We like fuzzy guitar, a driving bass and heavy drums and like to have sing along vocals.

NN: Lets say your band decided to take me out for a night on the town in Louisville. Where are we going to eat, drink and be merry? I'm a cheap date, by the way.

BT: We would start out with a delicious and affordable dinner at Golden Corral, taking in the Never Ending Chocolate Waterfall. Then head out to Mag Bar for some drinks and dancing and hit up Dizzy Whiz for a famous Whiz Burger on the way home. Then we could catch up on a marathon of the TV show Snapped.

"We would start out with a delicious and affordable dinner at Golden Corral, taking in the Never Ending Chocolate Waterfall. Then head out to Mag Bar for some drinks and dancing and hit up Dizzy Whiz for a famous Whiz Burger on the way home. Then we could catch up on a marathon of the TV show Snapped."

NN: From your point of view, what constitutes a "good show" as a performer, and/or as an innocent bystander?

BT: A good show in our opinion is a band that is really into what they are doing. Whether it’s tight or loose, as long as they love it, it is a good time.

NN: Talk about a few current bands/artists in Louisville that you've been paying attention to lately. What do you like about them?

BT: Louisville has a lot of great bands right now. Graffiti, Opposable Thumbs, Andy Matter and the Ten Wet Dollars and The New Bravado are all bands that are putting out some good tunes. Opposable Thumbs will be playing our release show with us on April 11th and we dig their Talking Heads-ish sound.

"Louisville has a lot of great bands right now."

NN: Now that Winter is officially behind us, would you care to recommend any of your personal favorite warm weather records?

BT: These are all albums we enjoy for summer weather. Apocalypse Hoboken: Now’s Not a Good Time. Beastie Boys: Ill Communication. Dax Riggs: Say Goodnight to the World. Sonic Youth: Dirty. A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders.

NN: What is your favorite thing to do outside on a perfect-weather day? Or are you a "I'm gonna stay inside and watch movies anyway because I don't give a shit about nice weather" kind of person?

BT: Little bit of both. When it’s really nice out it’s always fun to have a cookout, play some frisbee and drink beer. I think we would all consider ourselves to be tv junkies though. Paul likes to hit up the skate parks when it’s nice out.

NN: Are you excited about the new Star Wars sequels? Or would you rather have more Indiana Jones movies? Or do you just really really hate George Lucas?

BT: Jason is kind of excited to see the new Star Wars movie. Dia is waiting on the release of Pee Wee’s Big Holiday and Paul always has his lightsaber out. Overall, George Lucas is pretty cool.

 Phillip Olympia


Review of Blind Tigers- Mosquito EP Cassette from Leo Weekly

Blind Tigers: Mosquito


For lo-fi garage rock with straightforward guitar hooks and barebones, heavy-handed drumming mixed with generally icy vocals, there’s a lot going on with “Mosquito,” the debut from Blind Tigers. The chugging guitars and the explosive drums set the pace of the entire album, which mostly works in their favor, sounding more cohesive than dull, for two reasons: 1) Like most good punk/garage-rock songs, they get in and out quickly, and 2) They splice in subtle, outside-the-box elements — indie handclaps, scattered psychedelic touches, muffed harmonies and other slight studio tricks that still keep the gritty feel intact — to not let you get bored, without seemingly begging you (with some sort of grand gesture) not to get bored. The only way it works against them is when the vocals — which are on point when collected and cold — try to match the energy of the instruments and can’t quite catch up.


Review of Blind Tigers- Mosquito EP Cassette from Doodlehound Blog


Monday, March 30, 2015

Kentucky Music Review - Blind Tigers - Mosquito (Gubbey Records)

Blind Tigers began as far as I know in 2013 when they released the heavy yet poppy “Fish For Lions” on the epic Gubbey Records release “Head Cleaner: A Louisville Music Compilation Vol. 1 & 2” with plenty of songs hidden in the brains of this trio ready to be released. Normally I have some involvement with Gubbey Records releases but I played no part in putting this together so personally I find it thrilling to go into this project as a pure listener rather than a visual part of the creative process. The album cover depicts a wicked hand-drawn depiction of a raging mosquito about to drop the bomb with plenty of bright colors contrasting the black cassette and layout. Damned awesome right off the bat and a solid premonition of what’s to come.
The album begins with a sludgy, crunchy guitar tone leading into a massive rhythm balanced by the sweet vocal delivery of Dia Thompson. “Night of 1000 Eyes” sounds like what would happen if you crossed dirty grunge with pop-infused rock to create an opener that’s downright infectious right from the get-go! “Smooth Talker” and “Turnin Up My Radio” follow with up-tempo punky vibe and bubblegum influence under a wall of big sound, the latter displaying some really sugary singing and the fun closing lyrics of “Dancin’ on my bed”. “Do or Die” and “Violent Pop” keep the high-energy pop going with an explosive, catchy charisma before coming down from this unique sugar high in the charging, sexy closer of “Talk Demon To Me”.
 The discreet rhythm and lovable voice speak early 90s indie & pop but the guitar borders on thick sludge creating a twisted balance that works really well, like a piece of bitterness to prevent it from being too sweet and maintaining a palatable feel through the entire 19 minutes of this EP. Dave Rucinski’s mastering makes this record rattle the eyeballs with the right sound system but keeps everything perfectly balanced. In closing the more I listen to it the harder it is to put down any of the addicting tunes within and just at the perfect time close to summer nonetheless! Put it on, crank it and let the mosquito suck your inner ear spectrum dry.
Highly Recommended!
Check out Blind Tigers at http://www.blindtigersusa.com
Check out Gubbey Records! – http://www.gubbeyrecords.net
“Mosquito” will be officially released on April 11 at Modern Cult Records in Louisville, KY with Opposable Thumbs and Satellite Twin as openers.


Review of Andy Matter-Pacific Midwest Cassette from American Gloam

Andy Matter, Pacific Midwest

American Gloam

Posted by brine

I think it was winter.

"Look for his car; I never know which house it is unless his car is on the street."

Soon inside, we hovered over Albini's version of Cheap Trick's In Color. We drank, smoked, rolled. On an exercise ball. It's here I heard some of the first rough cuts of Pacific Midwest. Shawn saved my notes and read them back to me:

Tom Hanks in Big.
"Is it like you were milking a cow?"
"You have chosen wisely, son."
Jack journals.
"Don't take the Chalice from the palace."

I don't know what any of that fucking means (except jack journals, which I'll explain in person next time I see you), but I'll try and remain true to my gut drafts and fit them in here.

Andy Matter's kick-drummed himself into being a basic constituent element of the physical reality that is Louisville music. The Touched, Red Light Relay, Health and Happiness Gospel Band, Opposable Thumbs, Mimi Von Schnitzel, Furlong, Adventure, Butter, Legba Bentonia, Whiskey Dick, etc...His hands have been in so many cookie jars, both his crumbs and crud rock are strewn throughout this music scene.

Pacific Midwest has been a labor of love for the multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter. It's a potage that stews the experiences, sounds, influences and flat bullfrog weirdnesses Andy has performed and survived into one catchy postcard that culminates into a fun read. Almost like TOM HANKS IN BIG, Andy has moved from the toy store to dancing "Chopsticks" on the giant piano. (wow...I can't do it anymore. that was painful.)

Less of the Stooges-influenced crud rock Andy marauded his drums to in the early 2000s, Pacific Midwest is more of a dissolve into a collage of garage anthems pitted with heart-on-sleeve vocal deliveries in almost storytelling frames. It's a mix of personable observations that builds upon clever lyrical delivery through a voice that hovers between assertiveness just as it might waver into a bettering worriment. Lines from these tunes are as likely to get across someone with ire and frustration as they are to put across something with aspiration and hopes.

As much emotion is worn on truth, so are influences. The melodic rock of Guided By Voices, The Replacements, even Sugar, posture themselves into tunes that create golden choruses. This has the drive of a bombastic rattled rock that can morph into the pleasures of a bouncy jangle pop and back again in a snap. The vocals can waver and shake like Eric Bachmann or Doug Martsch. Check out the first video from the record, "Carbonation," a barnburner brandishing a nailed slap-backed riff:

Pacific Midwest is loaded with these types of hooks: "Nova No Va," "Alive for Days," "Final War," "Tonight and Every Night," and the track list goes on. And more aces from heartful sleeves are pulled with bandmates from other L'ville bands guesting throughout the album, including J Glenn (Mimi Von Schnitzel), Bob Dixon (Health & Happiness), Eric Suplee and Bill Montgomery (Opposable Thumbs), Jaye Wood (Red Light Relay) and Benn Lally and Jason Walker (New Bravado/Ten Wet Dollars).

Fuck it, let's all just put this album on and go swimming at the quarry. Good beginning to summer.

PS: Is it like you were milking a cow? See: jack journals.

Andy Matter's record release show for the cassette + download Pacific Midwest on Gubbey Records will be Saturday, May 17 at Modern Cult Records. Also on the bill are The Teeth and Tag Team Guys.

Review of Andy Matter-Pacific Midwest Cassette from Tobacco Magazine

Tobacco Zine

Review of New Bravado-Sol Similar Cassingle from Never Nervous

Never Nervous

New Bravado
Sol Similar
Gubbey Records

The fellas in sludgey psych-rock band New Bravado obviously love Black Sabbath, but it's what is underneath that initial layer that sets them apart from other 60's/70's garage/fuzz clones. Whether it be intentional or not, I'm feeling a consistent vibe from late 80's/early 90's grunge bands from Seattle like Screaming Trees and Soundgarden. And considering those are two bands I grew up being infatuated with, I consider that to be a good thing.

Their latest offering comes in the form of a two-song cassette single, which is intended to serve as a precursor to their upcoming full-length Sun and Moon, which will be released later this year. While the A-side, titled "Sol Similar" is certainly enchanting, I prefer the B-Side "Long Head Blues," an engaged number that wastes no time getting started with a righteous head-banging wah-wah riff. It settles in to a nice, vocals-driven 60's throw-back, completing a short, but enjoyable listening experience.

While I recommend you giving this release your attention, I can't say I'm completely satisfied, but only because of the short two-song sampling offered. I have no idea when their full-length will see the light of day, but I'm certainly ready for a plus-sized helping of New Bravado tunes. Stay up to date with them by following them on facebook and/or visiting their site here.

Review of New Bravado-Sol Similar Cassingle from American Gloam

American Gloam

Posted by brine

Chained to a crownwork of droll, lulling proles humming a repetitive low. A misunderstood hoof through the boredoms of a grey pod day. Stick this in the tape player. Play and blossom. Succumb to all these things that are cured in heat with hugs of distortion.

It is this. This New Bravado. This new cassette single. All and that. Sucked into the menage of instrumentation of this "Sol Similar." A slow drool of softly drifting vocals and camouflaged in strums and skies and drips from the reverb.

New Bravado returns to us from atop a golden star making golden showers of golden acid on our brown, dirty heads. Blueing and blacking, this band has appreciated further time travels, backpassing Sabbath and instead bounding into the heavy psych and power fuzz of the 60s, whence came Eden's Children, Banchee, Lincoln Street Exit.

Play and suddenly it's summer, 1971, a dirt yard, sweating out moonshine, dosing, and starting anew. Staring at the sun for years, until finally realizing it's the sun's reflection off the hodgepodge chrome from your front yard van, yawning with you, a magic arrow of Abaris abating your mind into a numb blur.

Then it's night, and the shift is unnoticeable, and you don't know how, and it all happens again with the Moon, and soon friends have stopped by, and the panning chants begin in the abracadabra of the dark, warm, narcotic Kentucky night.

"Sol Similar" and "Long Head Blues" are about the groove drowning in an analphabetic swamp of words and riffs. Ben Lally's voice retires further and downward into a retreat of reverb. Lower. Fading into soft echoes. Adam Copelin's bass leads everyone into a rabbit hole of misty strums lined on scriptured mirrors and near whispers, until the chords become heavy firefly trails.

This is about the clock and its banishment. And downstrokes onto Big Things like God and Zeus and Love. New Bravado just broke open some real shit and is passing it out, mad hatter style.

This band became one of my favorites in Louisville with the release of their debut full-length Unconscious Afternoon in 2013. The new "Sol Similar" cassingle shows the band has only upped its style and presence. Looking forward to more, hopefully in the near future.

New Bravado will celebrate the release of "Sol Similar" on Gubbey Records with a show at Modern Cult Records on Saturday, April 19, and will be joined by Opposable Thumbs.


Head Cleaner A Louisville Music Compilation Vol 1&2 Interview with Tobacco Magazine

Tobacco Zine


Head Cleaner A Louisville Music Compilation Vol 1&2 Interview with Leo Weekly


Louisville’s love letter

Called “a love letter from the Louisville music scene,” Head Cleaner: A Louisville Music Compilation is a collection of 46 new songs from local artists of all stripes. Gubbey Records head Dave Rucinski decided to invest himself in this “labor of love” to call attention to the scene and expose it to both locals and those in the world outside our bubble.

“It is my belief that the Louisville music scene is at the very best it has been since the mid-to-late ’90s,” Rucinski says. “There are so many styles and numerous bands in town making high-quality original music that it rivals even the biggest music scenes across the country.”

As a “history freak,” Rucinski wanted to showcase what he was seeing and hearing and preserve it “so it was not lost to the air, and could be easily found in one place in a high-quality document form.”

Gubbey announced an open call in May for artists to submit one song each. The 46 songs received made the process “overwhelming, yet extremely awesome,” says Rucinski. Another open call was made for visual art; Matt Humble’s painting of the Belle of Louisville won that honor. As for the music chosen, “No one was turned away,” Rucinski says. “We did not play favorites for this release.”

He issued it primarily on cassette, “based on our love for releasing on odd, dead formats. I grew up listening to cassettes, and they will always sound better than a CD to me.” The cassettes also include a card leading to a digital download. Due to cost, a vinyl release is not planned.

The most challenging aspects were first mastering audio from 46 different sources to make the collection sound consistent in quality and volume, and then to sequence everything to make it feel as coherent as possible. Rucinski estimates that 155 musicians contributed, in addition to the five others who helped him with backstage details.

Despite taking up a large part of the year, Rucinski and Gubbey plan to do it again annually.

The New Vintage hosts a two-night release party, Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.


KFJC, a southern Califonia radio station showcases Head Cleaner and Louisville bands, listen below
California's KFJC 89.7 FM gave some serious Louisville love and played 10 songs in a row from Head Cleaner-A Louisville Music Compilation-Vol.1&2-You can listen below to the broadcast, starts around 26:50---Music from: Opposable Thumbs, Plastic Bubble, Rude Weirdo, Black Birds of Paradise, Danica Ransom, GodTicklerPlus, Humongous, Thaniel Ion Lee, D'Arkestra & Whistlin' Rufus! So awesome! Major THANKS!



Head Cleaner A Louisville Music Compilation Vol 1&2 Review/Preview from The Courier Journal

This week's top 5, as chosen by music writer Jeffrey Lee Puckett and arts writer Elizabeth Kramer

'Head Cleaner’

Louisville’s Gubbey Records is celebrating its most ambitious release to date: “Head Cleaner — A Louisville Music Compilation, Vols. 1 & 2,” a 46-artist collection that digs into aspects of the city’s sound. . Go to www.gubbeyrecords.net for schedule.

WHAT: Gubbey Records release party

WHEN: Friday and Saturday

WHERE: Modern Cult Records, 2100 Frankfort Ave. (1 p.m. Friday) and The New Vintage, 2126 S. Preston St. (9 p.m. Friday and Saturday)

COST: Modern Cult is free; The New Vintage, $5 each night


Head Cleaner A Louisville Music Compilation Vol 1&2 Review/Preview from 37 Flood blog

This Weekend: Gubbey Records- Head Cleaner Vol. 1&2

This Friday (Nov. 29) Gubbey Records is releasing what they call a love letter from the Louisville music scene, a compilation called Head Cleaner Vol. 1&2. Due, I'm sure, to the album's length it is only available in cassette format which comes with a digital download. Though you'd be hard pressed to find a functioning cassette player outside of an Oldsmobile these days, this release stands alone as Louisville's longest analog-format compilation, documenting forty six Louisville acts.
We at 37flood have been anxiously awaiting this release for quite some time now (the promo poster's been hanging up at HQ for the past couple months). Boasting genres from bluegrass, power pop, avant garde, noise, experimental hip-hop, and punk, Gubbey lives up to their reputation of promoting obscure, isolated, and eclectic Louisville music made in Louisville, by Louisville, and for Louisville.
Here's our top 20 (ordered as they appear on the album):

Rude Weirdo- Rodney the King
The Cut Family Foundation- Wrecked
Asm A Tik- Temporalis
Furlong- Hoarder Fire
Humongous- Russian Space Things
Adventure- Pollen in my Beard
The Decline Effect- Serpent to Slay
D'arkestra- Tonight
Bush League- Doublethink
Bus Hus- The Freedom you Were, The Fascist you Are
Sick City Four- Kamui Song
Whistlin' Rufus- The Kentucky One-step
The Sandpaper Dolls- Across the wire
Mr. Samples- Stimulate This
Empira Vultura- Grace
Hitchhike- June Bug
Blackbirds of Paradise- I Love You (But I don't know why)
Plastic Bubble- Respectable Establishment
Vice Tricks- Holiday
The Mack- New Way to Begin
For ten dollars, this tape is a steal. You couldn't even get this much music on itunes for less than fifty bucks, so why not hop in the Oldsmobile and cruise for a couple hours, match the sights of the city to the sounds?

To go with Head Cleaner Vol. 1&2, Gubbey Records is having an equally massive release show this weekend with three separate events at Modern Cult and The New Vintage.


Head Cleaner A Louisville Music Compilation Vol 1&2 Review/Preview from The Iron Post Blog

“Head Cleaner” – A Louisville Music Compilation Vol. 1&2
Released November 29th, 2013 – Gubbey Records

Genre: Louisville

I can safely say this is the first piece of mail that IronPost has received that has required the acquisition of a new piece of equipment to listen to. As a twenty year old, I remember growing up with a few cassettes, but I think that even then, they were probably on their way out – making way for CDs and eventually for MP3s. That said, cassettes seem to be regaining popularity, and this compilation – spread over two cassette tapes – is stuffed with forty-six songs from Louisville bands. Much in the same way Louisville’s music scene isn’t devoted to one or two genres, this release is a (excuse the cliche) smorgasbord of sounds, jumping track-by-track from lo-fi indie, to hardcore rock, to jazz fusion unapologetically.

The quality of the music is superb, and though there were several groups and musicians who I’d never heard of, it’s clear that the folks at Gubbey were careful in picking good tunes for this release. And though plenty of bands I did know weren’t included on the release, most of them already have music that resides on some form of physical media – I’d say the majority of the bands on Head Cleaner haven’t had an opportunity to put their music out on something like this. It’s endearing, to say the least, to see so many bands and musicians – spanning ages, cultures, genders, and genres of all kinds – being brought together for a compilation like this.

In the meantime, I’ll be listening to Head Cleaner for the next good chunk of time – I’ve got some work to do in order to figure out how to navigate cassettes all over again. If you’re challenged by antiquated forms of musical media like I am, you’re in luck – the cassette comes with a download code that can be redeemed on Gubbey’s website. If you’re new to Louisville, to Kentucky, or simply want to find out what music is right for you in this massive collection of bands, I can’t think of much better a place to start.

If you’re wanting to catch some of this stuff live, and celebrate the release of this massive compilation, you can enjoy a series of shows on November 29th and 30th – click here to read more.

For the time being – until November 29th, when the compilation is released, that is – you can hear a handful of songs from Head Cleaner on Gubbey’s Soundcloud page.

Ben Southworth – November 23rd, 2013 – Maxwell and Hagermann

  Head Cleaner A Louisville Music Compilation Vol 1&2 Review/Preview from the Doodlehound Blog

Local... Just Local: Head Cleaner - A Louisville Music Compilation Volume 1 & 2

I'm sure you've heard it a million times that Louisville, Kentucky is a bustling beacon of music. Of course the non-local listener has likely heard of the obvious bands that everyone knows but you'd have to think a town like this has more than 8-10 bands tops. The more I got to personally work on the project the more obvious the magnitude of it all hit me. Even with being involved with a simple thing such as layout I've only got to recently hear the whole thing in it's 2 1/2 hour glory. So with that said, here's some knowledge on this insane compilation, where to get it and the Louisville shows that are praising the release of it!

The main things you should know about Head Cleaner:

-- Variety --

What you can expect right from the first few songs is you won't be hearing a series of bands playing the same music with slight nuances to create interchangeable differences or a clique of bands coming together. Here you have 46 bands in all walks of life in Louisville and with that all musical walks as well. From pop (Tamara Dearing, IamIs) to punk (Vice Tricks, Bush League) to indie (Plastic Melodies, Weird Girl, Black Birds of Paradise) to noise/experimental (Black Kaspar, MU, Sick City Four) to electronica (Light Box) to rock (Opposable Thumbs, The Uncommon House Flies) to metal (Stonecutters, Empiria Vultura) to general weirdness (Rude Weirdo, Humongous, Bus Hus) and back again. It covers just about any seam that could be touched yet at the same time flows seamlessly from song to song, side to side. It's consistent at not being repetitive in any way.

-- There is No Comfort Zone --

Louisville as known for it's eclectic scene may well be also known to some as a town of scenes and fragmentation. People find their small scene of 5-10 bands and 30-50 friends and they follow it. In all sincerity, this compilation may well be as unbiased as it gets. There is no comfort zone nor any selective hearings and staff picks as what you see in this list of bands are the ones willing to send music. You have local legends like Bush League and The Glasspack amongst rising bands like D'arkestra, Blind Tigers, Weird Girl, New Bravado and The Decline Effect... Amongst genuine obscurities and mysterious outsiders like Light Box, Anderson, Thaniel Ion Lee and Mimi Von Schnitzl! In a personal perspective this compilation would be something I'd really appreciate as it follows the mindsets of shying away the comfort zone in favor of open-minded variety.

-- This is Local Music: The Lineup and Tracklisting --

The important point consistently brought about is that it's not a compilation of one genre or one label showcase, but rather a display of what an entire town has to offer in all walks of aural life. No out-of-town guests, all Louisville. So here is the band/song list to Head Cleaner Vol. 1 & 2 as a whole...

Vol.1-Side A

1. The Bottom Sop- Bank Robbin’ Daddy
2. Tamara Dearing - Little Blizzard
3. Rude Weirdo - Rodney the King
4.Opposable Thumbs - Big Red
5. The Cut Family Foundation - Wrecked
6. IamIs - Don’t Be Long
7. Asm A Tik - Temporalis
8. Furlong - Hoarder Fire
9. Humongous - Russian Space Things
10. Light Box - Drum Song
11. Blind Tigers - Fish For Lions
12. Black Kaspar - Taste the Rainbow
13. Tender Mercy - Same

Vol.1-Side B

1. Adventure - Pollen in My Beard
2. The Decline Effect - Serpent to Slay
3. D’arkestra - Tonight
4. Bush League - Doublethink
5. Danica Ransom - Slowbanger
6. Bus Hus - The Freedom You Were, The Fascist You Are
7. Foor - The Cardboard King
8. Rare Treats - Mary Has a Pet Spider
9. Weird Girl - All I Wanna Do
10. Luxor - Rings From Saturn
11. Sick City Four - Kamui Song

Vol.2-Side C

1. Whistlin’ Rufus - The Kentucky One-Step
2. Sandpaper Dolls - Across the Wire
3. New Bravado - Get Sane
4. Plastic Melodies - Forward Stance
5.Andy Matter - Roll On Top
6. Mr. Samples - Stimulate This
7. Empiria Vultura - Grace
8. GodTicklerPlus - Red
9. Thaniel Ion Lee - Opisthenar
10. Anderson - 150 West
11. Mimi Von Schnitzl - Jenkum Jam

Vol.2-Side D

1. Hitchhike - June Bug
2. The Glasspack - My Other Ride is Your Mom
3. Ruff Patches - Jettison
4. Black Birds of Paradise- I Love You (But I Don’t Know Why)
5. Plastic Bubble - Respectable Establishment
6. Stonecutters - Seekers of Truth
7. Vice Tricks - Holiday
8. Hoosier Pete - (The Dead Buried In) Shipping Port
9. The Mack - New Way to Begin
10. MU - Teeth
11. The Uncommon House Flies - Mystery Blend

-- Where Can I Get This? --

This compilation is being released by Louisville label Gubbey Records on November 29 and is only ten bucks for a double cassette with digital downloads.

-- What About the Release Parties? --

First off, there's a kick-off party on November 29th at local record store Modern Cult Records (2001 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville, KY 40206) hosting a fall Black Friday Edition of Record Store Day along with the release of this double cassette compilation. The bands performing this night will be New Bravado, Adventure and Andy Matter & Ten Wet Dollars.

The same night of November 29th will be hosting day one of the release party at The New Vintage (2126 South Preston St., Louisville, KY 40217) with DJ performances of The Cut Family Foundation along with performances by Sandpaper Dolls, Whistlin' Rufus, Weird Girl and Bus Hus. Five bucks will give you this barrage of music.

November 30th hosts the second night and a truly eclectic variety of performances, featuring The Bottom Sop, The Decline Effect, Asm A Tik and D'arkestra. Five bucks will also get you in for this one of a kind local gallery.

The artist who conceived the beautiful artwork, Matt Humble, will also be painting live at the New Vintage shows of each respective band during their performances.

With that said, open your mind, check out some music, and prepare for the Head Cleaner.


IamIs & Tamara Dearing Split 7 inch review from the 7-Inches blog

7 Inches

Thursday, January 30, 2014
IAMIS / Tamara Dearing split on Gubbey Records

I covered the last volume of this seven inch series from Gubbey Records who have been documenting the Louisville, Kentucky scene exclusively the past few years and actually just released a double cassette of over two hours illustrating the diversity of sound in Louisville, doing away with the idea of this part (or any other really) of the country having any kind of cohesive sound. This split with IamIs and Tamara Dearing makes sense paired together while still not having much to do with this part of the country in any stereotypical way.

IamIs is a duo of Shawna Dellecave and Jason Cox in a Mates of State arrangement of drums and organ but approaching these layers with more of a Flaming Lips or Quasi baroque pop feel. In A-Side's "Paperface" the guitar is sandwiched mid level in the mix while Jason on vocals takes a narrative route working in sweet harmonies with himself that are elevated when Shawna finally joins in on this chorus. Real dreamy stuff about a broken projector over jazzy high hat beats and breathy Hammond. The focus is always on those vocals and the layers of harmonies working on each verse. It's a dense kind of swirly pop that piles on thick out of what should just be this married duo layering in jittery drums and an organ off on weird parallels to the guitar's jangle. The abstract smooth psych vocals remind me of the Apples in Stereo slick pop sound but IamIs they have the advantage of immaculate guy/girl harmonies and their mind altering organ.

Tamara Dearing's B-Side track "Break Your Heart" features another keyboard cleaner and bigger in this mix and vocally she's got a fluttery Feist style echo. Live sounding drums and she's tracked herself in for the harmonies here with a slight country snarl about not wanting to break your heart. Well - just don't then. In the meantime she's going home and listening to records when she can't stand up straight. It's all delivered in an unassuming delicate Rhodes whir that could sound sensitive and heartbreaking. Now I think she's warning the audience. She doesn't mean to break it, she's just trying to sing a couple of songs with this Jenny Lewis attitude and style that got her into this solo place. Now I'm thanking her for the warning.

Get this on Pink vinyl from Gubbey Records. All Louisville...which apparently is everything. Are they kind of ruining the very reason the label is focused on this specific place? Are they saying it doesn't even matter? If you can find a cassette player it's yours to answer. Silly obsolete medium. Tiny records are the future obviously

IamIs & Tamara Dearing Split 7 inch review from Never Nervous

Never Nervous

REVIEW: IamIs & Tamara Dearing Split 7inch

IamIs & Tamara Dearing
Split Series Vol. 3
Gubbey Records

I love seven-inch records that pair a couple of bands/artists that aren't exactly on the same wave length. Not as a novelty, just as a quick sample of two not-so-similar acts. On this collaboration, Tamara Dearing and IamIs team up for somewhat of an unlikely alliance. On one hand, you've got the singer/songwriter approach with Dearing, while on the other you're offered a pop song with more of a rock approach. Also worth noting: this record is served on beautiful bubblegum pink vinyl, so that's a nice added bonus to the effort. I know colored vinyl doesn't make the songs better, but fuck me, colors are pretty!

Side A belongs to IamIs and their song "Paper Face," an infectious, rockin' little pop rock tune. When I say it's infectious, I mean it for better or worse, as the chorus/hook in this track will stay with you hours after listening. Vocally, I'm instantly reminded of Geoff Farina of Karate fame. Well, sort of. Lots of well-blended vocal harmonies thicken this song up as the guitar and bass playing stick to their supporting roles. To be honest, I wasn't very familiar with IamIs before hearing this song, but they've certainly got my attention now.

On the flip side, Tamara Dearing goes to work with her own song titled "Break Your Heart." It's about what you'd expect from her: another well written toe-tapping folky piano-pop song. Not to say this cut doesn't stand out on its own, she just seems to have used a successful singer-songwriter formula that has continued to work for years. Recommended for fans of St. Vincent and/or Fiona Apple.

Pairing Tamara Dearing with IamIs seems a bit unnatural, but it works for me as a nice, quick two-song sampler. Don't forget, only 300 of these were printed, so don't sleep on this! Closing statement: Over the past few years the folks at Gubbey Records continue to quietly put out some of the better records in Louisville including the debut record from Opposable Thumbs and an upcoming 45-song compilation featuring only Louisville bands/artists. This release is no different and implies that the label isn't slowing down.

Buy the split online here.


IamIs & Tamara Dearing Split 7 inch review from 37 Flood

37 Flood

Review: IamIs & Tamara Dearing Split 7"

Gubbey Records released Vol. 3 of its Split Series on Saturday. The single features IamIs' song "Paperface" and Tamara Dearing's "Break Your Heart" on a vinyl only release with a download card including five bonus tracks. Not to mention the fact that it's on bubblegum pink vinyl as a tribute to the single's "sugary sweet sound."

The first track of this release that Gubbey Records calls a "little honeycomb", is a psychedelic pop ballad brought to you to by two prominent contributors of the Slow Break and the Cut Family Foundation: Shawna Dellecave and Jason Cox. The duo wastes no time leaping headlong into this organ and humbucker fueled drive down a summer country road, lyrically climaxing with the lines: "you gotta' shake hands naturally/ sell yourself, that's the key/ you're a brand, that's all."

Tamara Dearing knows how to use a Wurlitzer, and for proof of this, look no further than the B side of this hot pink piece of wax in your hands. You must have an awesome record collection. On "Break Your Heart," Dearing's keyboards and lyrics sing like a doo-wop outfit while her drums groove like feel-good gangster rap, proclaiming "these are the records I play when I can't stand up straight."

This release is limited to 300 hand numbered copies, so be sure to pick it up while you still can!


IamIs & Tamara Dearing Split 7 inch review from The Iron Post Blog

The Iron Post

Gubbey Records - Split Series Vol. 3]

For the first chunk of time as a record collector, I had a tough time finding the novelty of 7″ records – it ran parallel to my preference for albums over songs. But recently I’ve seen the light: there’s a special charm to them when they’re produced right, and the folks at Gubbey Records are making sure to do just that.

Upon opening the package that I found in my mail last week (getting packages is another favorite thing of mine,) I found a multitude of things included in the plastic sleeve. Other than the bubble-gum pink vinyl (we’ll talk more about that later,) there were inserts that gave information about the artists, the songs on the forty-five, a mini-poster for the release party, and a download card that granted access to another five songs, digitally. Not a bad deal for the five dollars they’re asking for their last two split 7″ records on their online store.

The music and the vinyl itself are both great too – the poppy sounds of Iamis and Tamara Dearing make a good pairing for the opposite sides of the candy-colored record. Both songs remind me a bit of fellow Kentuckians, Big Fresh, and Dearing’s voice shares some quality with Fiona Apple at times. Where I’m a fan of the limited edition pressings that folks like Soul Step and Third Man put out, this one fits right along – it explores a totally different genre than Volume 2 (some super noisy jazz was involved,) but keeps some common elements involved, placing the artists at the forefront of attention.

Check out Gubbey’s promo video for the split

Like Gubbey Records on Facebook


Opposable Thumbs CD Review From American Gloam Blog

American Gloam

Opposable Thumbs
Posted by brine

What's set forth on the debut from Opposable Thumbs is a punk that's broken down into beaten beakers of some of the best sloppy crud rock ever bridled onto a laudatory synth-monster. It's part party and part sweated garage rock. The band proofs between slushy guitar that swims through heavy bass and a tightened tug of percussion while backboarded by thrashing electronics. "She Rolls It" just made me throw a beer cap at my classical guitar.

OT is not a band that subscribes to one overall leading factor, which makes the CD a nice well-rounded pop to the head. Every instrument is as key and in your face; none overtake the order of the chaos being preached. It's stripped down post-punk that has a almost considerable dance to it. Not dance rock; fuck that. This digs into late 70s/early 80s vibes. I spent New Years weekend blasting this with my frequent collaborator JT Dockery and he threw in that it definitely had a Gang of Four sense, and I agree with that.

The crud rock reference comes from a genealogy that dates back to the late 90s/early 2000s Louisville scene. Synthist Bill Montgomery goes back to The Shit House Poets and The Heels, two of the first bands I ever knew of from Louisville, back when I was in laudanum land in Lexington and had lost touch with my Louisville roots. He also sports time in Sapat and Lost Subway. Bassist Terri Whitehouse has been present throughout the scene, spending time in the awesome Four Banger. Guitarist Eric Supplee has been a scene staple and lent fucked up guitar to Activated Peat, Whiskey Dick and The Bad Blood. Drummer Andy Matter held court in The Touched, one of the biggest bands in my head of all time, as well as Red Light Relay, Furlong, Mimi Von Schnitzl and The Health and Happiness Family Gospel Band. And singer Jeremy Bauer has been in and out of time with Truckbed Love and Trashy Cougar before bending his voice to this project.

In a way, Opposable Thumbs acts as a super group of crud, brought forth in a futuristic form. It's synth and plunked bass providing a back beat that lets Eric's bent guitar rip and chug through like a chariot on fire and the rest of the players poised in mostly minute and a half atlases of graveling trash rock that travels through time.

Seeing the stage show, singer Jeremy jaunts and waves his brains and arms in preacher-stance, giving sermons of jagged punk amongst stripped down rhythm and soul. And lo, though he may be delivering words of fire and apocalypse, they come right next to righteous talk of rolling and feeling good. Terri's bass style acts as a potent anchor that bounds through the recording and binds the band. Eric splatters his guitar all over the wall of this record, smearing strings, spilling riffs, and wallowing in somewhere in a wedge of garage and post-something or another. Goddamn it, Andy Matter has been one of my favorite drummers since I first saw him blam behind the aforementioned crud bands back in the early 2000s. He's someone who has always straddled a heavy-handed precision mixed with an unruly fuck-all pounding. And Bill's synths add the extra secret ingredient of OT. Often hiding behind a steel suitcase that makes him look like a secret agent buried in his laboratory experiments, his head popping up in between songs to breathe after submersing himself in pressurized mechanized blurts of terror and fight. I keep expecting him to eventually rise from behind his shielded suitcase of noise and attack the crowd with balloons full of lasers. Only time will tell, I guess.

This band seems to me to be a perfect culmination of a history of Louisville's crud rock scene rolled together and spit out. The unhinged destruction of convention still exists pounded through a discipline that keeps the songs together and groovy. When I listen to this, I want to smell like beer.

Recommended. Out on Gubbey Records, available through their site and all the fine record stores in Louisville.

Opposable Thumbs will hold a record release party for the album at Zazoo's (102 Bauer Ave) on Saturday, January 5.



Opposable Thumbs CD Review From The Iron Post Blog

The Iron Post

Opposable Thumbs – “Opposable Thumbs”
Released January 5th, 2013 – Gubbey Records

Genre: Fast-Driving Punk(ish) Rock

Gubbey Records is self-described as a label that strives to promote “obscure, isolated and eclectic Louisville music” – their 13th release, slated to release this Saturday, features Louisville band, Opposable Thumbs on their debut, self-titled LP, and does a great job of doing just that. The album is fast paced, and each song is a great journey of punk infused rock and roll, and Jeremy Bauer’s vocals are a great fit for the genre. The outfit itself is a little larger than you might expect from a punk band – Bauer doesn’t play guitar, and they’ve thrown in a synth player (who adds some pretty interesting effects that you wouldn’t usually hear in the genre) – but they manage to retain a pretty characteristic sound for all of these idiosyncrasies. The songs are all pretty great, and they get through them quickly – the album flies through ten songs in just over eighteen minutes, thanks to the fact that most of the songs are less than two minutes, with none longer than three. If you, like the label, are interested in getting into the eclectic music that Louisville has to offer, this would probably be a great fit for you.

Tracks I Liked: She Roll It!!, Goat, Because it Feels Good!, Hello Babies!!, Die King!, G.O.T.S.!, Miss Represented!


Opposable Thumbs Staff Pick From Leo Weekly

Leo Weekly

Saturday, Jan. 5

Opposable Thumbs


102 Bauer Ave.

$3; 9 p.m.

Sometimes it’s all about showing up. Because the new self-titled album from Opposable Thumbs will be released Jan. 5, I can confidently declare it to be the best album I’ve heard all year. Don’t mistake that for faint praise or a mere silly joke — it’s a damn good album I expect to still be amongst my favorites a year from now. The now-quintet sounds as fresh as a baby’s first coo as they skillfully roll through a collection of melodically vital post-punk, reminiscent in the best ways of Devo, Pere Ubu and Wire. No wonder they call themselves “a slice of organized chaos.” Fellow local punk new originals Hal Dolls and the more experimental and collegiate Plastic Melodies open the night. —Peter Berkowitz


Furlong & Sick City Four Split 7 Inch Review From 7 Inches Blog

7 Inches

Got another mystery single in from Gubbey Records out of Louisville, KY who went all out on this vinyl. I think the last time I saw splatter color 7" was on a Comets on Fire/Crystal Stilts split from Slumberland? That's not cheap my friends...neither is the full color postcard/download code insert. Someone at Gubbey Records really pulled out all the stops on this one and this can't help but stand out just sitting on the shelf. Dropped right into Vol. 2 of this series this one is a split between two Louisville, KY weirdos, Furlong with their psych-o-sludge and Sick City Four's free jazz noise equations.

Furlong on the A-Side comes off with this track "Sex Bunker" apparently inspired by an msnbc documentary?... Well now I have to look up what that could possibly refer to (bad idea), to their credit, this sounds like a sex bunker, it's a beefy thick smelling sound with screamy vocals, all hoarse and of course the chorus: "Sex Bunker!" Like a spinal tap metal homage, the heavy power chords ringing out over this rock steady beat while the melody starts to veer off into high harmonized notes and Judas Priest cover bands, only to slow down again in some kind of fret olympics, going for the weirdest changes. Huge synth tones breaks in... a hyper bassline is flying under the heavy moog souds sine waves piercing the upper register of dog hearing, while the all thumbs bass gets to the solo. Where are those real bass gladiators? That seems to have gone way out of fashion...Primus was the peak of bass guitar. Towards the end it's like the sex dungeon or whatever took off and started flying through the atmosphere. Man Crazy ride this one, obviously.
The B-Side finds Sick City Four doing "Barundi Punchclock" that begins with some kind of crazy effected brass sound right before the free jazz avalanche starts. Bleating noises running through pedals maybe, stuttered possibly sampled percussion shards flying...but this was all live I bet...it just takes some real crazy or sick (take your pick) bastard to be able to torture/coax instruments like this.
The percussion is mental, high hat noodlings and snare bouncing, gnarly guitar work, seemingly out of tune in that deliberately obtuse, always hyper. The soundtrack for a time lapse shot zooming down the streets of manhattan at night. A sax sound steps back up, throbbing, low, a baritone sax? It's got that almot synth sound at times, truly leaping way underground. Drums are beaten again, taken through the paces of dymanics, then it all stops for bleats and a clambering woodblock. The whole composition is scracthing around, like that annoying mouse or herd of them in the country. Mouse city as they say, running across the sheetrock at night...only there happens to be something huge behind there also. Something you definitely don't want to deal with.
This woud play along with Z's or Jason Ajeman...or aA or An Albatross (wait are those the same bands?).

Get this from Gubbey Records.

Furlong & Sick City Four Split 7 Inch Review From Rocktober Magazine


In this battle of the Kentucky Fried Bands bands Furlong comes out swinging hard, with a phaseshifting, porno bass, hi-tempo groovester about a sex bunker. A sex bunker! But Sick City Four respond with skronk spasms, and there is no counter punch for that bizarre, scramble-drumming, time signature defying, brain-squeezing move. But at the end of the day, sex beats skronk, even sexy skronk, so Furlong wins...bur fur how long? Can't wait til round 2!


Furlong & Sick City Four Split 7 Inch Review From The Death Of Everything Blog

The Death Of Everything


So, I'm old enough that 7"s were the way you bought your music, or at least if you were an AM radio kid that's how you did it. Now, of course, 7"s are a little more esoteric. This little nugget is the second edition of Gubbey Records' split series: the series places Gubbey chief Dave Rucinski's Furlong on Side A, with a special guest on Side B. The first edition featured dark troubadour Anderson on Side B (with a solo version of Sean Garrison's "White Flag") along with Furlong's "Egg McMan" on Side A (also including a very nice cover of Leadbelly's "They Hung Him on the Cross" as a special bonus). The latest edition takes an altogether different tack, pairing Furlong with Louisville improv/NRG jazz monsters Sick City Four.

Furlong rips into the proceedings with "Sex Bunker", a stoner metal sprint that plays a bit like a Saint Vitus LP on 45 rpm. There's only one thing to ask from this, really . . . ROCK! . . . and, rock it does. But that's not all . . . the more you listen to Furlong in general, the more you notice the little things, and not just the little production-type details that make a "professional" sounding record: sure, Furlong stacks up the guitar tracks, but they stack up the ideas, too. So, you get the stoner metal lunge at the core of "Sex Bunker", but you also get the punk velocity, nods to shit as diverse as Edgar Winter, Spinal Tap, Seattle sludge, the Stooges, and a whole bunch more sunk so deep into ideological mix as to be mere texture. Perusal of the bonus track on the digital download, "Hoarder Fire", leads you down the same road by a different path: Zeppelin by way of Stone Temple Pilots, with the nervy guitar(s) tweaked into a psychotic benzedrine edge instead of STP's insipid junkie redolence. Taking Zeppelin bombast and translating it into punk rock is no simple task, and Furlong nails it here.

This is, no question, a tricky path to walk down. The only thing worse than pastiche is rock pastiche. But Furlong never falls into that hole: everything here serves the purpose, and that purpose is . . . ROCK. Having said that, Rucinski does manage a lot of mileage out of a deceptively simple surface. Three songs is an extremely limited sample size; but is he (as Dan Willems has implied) transforming into a punk rock Brian Wilson?

Side B roars to life with the bellowing growl of Dan Willems's baritone sax (and that's a low B-flat baritone to you, bitches!), with the horns and guitar falling behind into a menacing cord, and Bart going apeshit on drums underneath. Starting out very much like early 90's Ken Vandermark-era Flying Luttenbachers NRG jazz, "Burundi Punch Clock" establishes its head and quickly falls off the table as horns, drums and guitar slide all over each other briefly, only to tumble even further into a brilliantly abstract Chris Willems guitar break. While the "solos" stack up in a way that roughly approximates jazz, this is less about musicians taking their turn, and more about each adding another piece to the jigsaw puzzle, for each part is inextricably linked . . . and, in spite of the amazing playing throughout, "Burundi Punch Clock" is about the links.

Essentially, the band forms four poles, and "Burundi Punch Clock" writhes in between. Bart Galloway (drums) and Chris Willems (guitar) are the staccato jab, throwing accents and pulses all over the place (somewhat ironic, considering the traditional rhythmic role of both instruments in jazz). While not specifically melodic (though very close), Bart's percussion lines alternate between small masterpieces of phrasing and spiky contrapuntal texture. Falling into a dialogue with Bart's drums, Chris ups the ante by continually frustrating any expectations of melody and rhythm: you will always find Chris's guitar where you don't expect it, and when you're there with him, he hits you jaw dropping fragment and is gone again.

That leaves Dan Willems and Heather Floyd to define the other two poles. Dan's baritone supplies the main riff of the head, as well as a lot of texture (not to mention a lot of the character of the song, given the singular sound of the baritone). Dan's parts on this cut have a familiar "out" jazz sound to them (and he's as good on his horn as just about anybody you care to name), but his lines are pulled apart by the other polarities in play, making them more abstract and richer for their incompleteness/abstraction. Heather, on the other hand, cuts across and through everything with her trumpet like a dry laser: the economy of her line organizes the chaos around her like metal shavings around a magnet. Quite often, through the force of her playing, it is Heather who organizes/defines the Sick City Four. Except, of course, when she chooses not to.

Antithetical to the ordered unfolding of jazz improv as well as to the fire-and-reload nature of most other free improv, "Burundi Punch Clock" is a small masterpiece of interlocked improvised parts that form a dramatic whole. And the Sick City Four managed to squeeze all that onto a 7" record (!); usually their pieces are dramatically longer. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: buy this Furlong/Sick City Four single, and you get not only a slice of Furlong stoner punk heaven, not only a roiling Sick City Four miniature demon, not only a free download for a head-pounding Furlong bonus track, BUT ALSO SICK CITY FOUR'S "THE ANACREONTIC SONG" - AN INTERPRETATION OF THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER! I'll leave that one to your imagination, at least until you buy the single.


Furlong and the Sick City Four are joining Humongous for a double record release party at Astro Black/Quills Coffeehouse on Saturday, October 13th. $3 gets you admission PLUS a free copy of the Furlong/Sick City Four 7"!


Furlong & Sick City Four Split 7 Inch Review From KFJC 89.7


Two oblong bands on Gubbey Records, a label out of Louisville KY. Dirty, sweaty energy on a little 7” piece of vinyl. Furlong is kinda catchy, tweeked out headbanger riffage. Crunchy, gritty, motorcycle hard rock bananas. Sick City Four (this side wins) noodles and doodles for a couple minutes on an instrumental, improvised, skronk jam. Free and naked! Barry sax trades off with trumpet while the drummer rips and the guitarist stays far from rhythm. Formless, conversational…jazzyspazzy. Chunky..not smooth! This shreds. -Surfer Rosa


Furlong & Sick City Four Split 7 Inch Review From American Gloam Blog

American Gloam

Chapter Forty Four: "Sick City Four/Furlong."

It's a small orange platter dotted with green smudges. Ever since I got it I keep putting it on at various hours of the day or night. I tried it at 6pm once. Tried it at 3am and my upstairs neighbors feet pounded down on my head.

This is the split seven-inch that preserves the sounds of two longtime Louisville groups Sick City Four and Furlong. It has been released by locals Gubbey Records, a label that has been around since 1994 and has released material by The Shit House Poets, The Touched and Rare Treats, as well as several other River City-based bands.

Furlong has been around since at least 2004 and comes from that heartfelt fucked-up lo-fi garage terrorism present in such earlier Louisville punk bands as Shit House Poets and The Touched, which was some of the first live Louisville music I found myself asway in a few years back. The song "Sex Bunker" drives, with the merciless guitar of Dave Rucinski gripping the neck and plunging fast into it along with the buzz of Jim Hall's bass. The vocals are raw and despite being basement rock, the collective plays the tune tightly. This isn't farmed from wads of Nuggets impersonations, but instead preoccupies your next door neighbor's secret cool party; it's fast rock n roll from under the floorboards.

And then there is the Black Sabbath section. I don't mean a dark, slow, mean Iommi riff. I mean that when the band suddenly breaks it down and goes into whittled insanity-land. As the song crescends, the synths hit and smelt you with a bizarre secret lead out that pitches the rest of this description void. And I always love to hear drummer Andy Matter play full-out.

Sick City Four are a hard classification. The band itself features Dan Willems on baritone saxophone, Heather Floyd on trumpet and flugelhorn, Bart Galloway on drums and Chris Willems on guitar. They hail from Bloomington, began circa 1987, and have been relocated in Louisville since 1995. Sick City Four's members have been associated with some of the most creative and influential bands between Bloomington and Louisville, including a couple favorites of mine, The Belgian Waffles and Black Kaspar.

Their contribution is a tune called "Burundi Punchclock." The title makes me think of clocking in at work in one of the world's poorest, most violent countries. I have no degree of knowledge what that would be like, but listening to this record at 3am makes me imagine and wonder. It starts with a muscular rumble of Dan Willems' saxophone. I mean a real rumble that is matted in the guts. From there it erupts into a conflict, trumpet and drums wrangling and squaring-off in tense growlings and brawls. Galloway's drums are an attack; he just becomes a pounding weapon on the percussion, bending time, crushing the snare, doing I don't know what-all at a hyper pace. Heather weaves in and out of the jungle, flailing on the trumpet and flugelhorn, followed by Chris' big guitar, which at first sounds percussive and disconcerting, then rupturing into runs that boggle me.

I'm a new fan to this quartet since seeing them fight and defeat a roomful of mentally-challenged basketball fans (are there any other kind?) following a game downtown last year at Harley's. Even though their set was eventually cut short, I feel like they won. They definitely won my attention as one of the more interesting bands in town that breathe no sighs of conformity. It's an aggressive rake of jazz. This record is barbwired sax, drums, trumpet and guitar that doesn't lounge in expected free jazz configurations. It grabs your midcage and rips it up like a root vegetable.

With nicely bizarre artwork by Galloway and a full-color layout by Heather, this is a 45 that needs to be on your record player. Highly recommended.

Both bands will be playing a record release show along with Humongous (also releasing their record, reviewed here) at Quill's on Saturday, Oct 13.


Rare Treats CD Review From Louisville Music News

Louisville Music News

Louisville Alt-Noise
Wolf in People’s Clothing
Rare Treats
Gubbey Records

By: Kevin Gibson

Patrick Thompson is the man behind Rare Treats, and it sounds from the first distorted chords that he’s trying to throw us a curveball. Wolf in People’s Clothing is a collection of nine songs that is meant to force the listener to step back and rethink everything they thought they knew about rock.

“Go On, Tell Me” is a great example of this - the whispered lead vocal over the relentless guitar melody and unwavering drumbeat is the stuff of nightmares. “Go on, tell me/what you want to do to me” is repeatedly forced into the listener’s ear, along with some breathless panting, all while the music slowly and faintly builds.

The thing is, its intriguing enough to be worthy of multiple listens. “Walking” is another example of this – while it may be the most melodic of the songs here, it also carries a definite weight. And when Thompson begins to warble the lead vocal, it almost startles the senses. The lyric is a bit unnerving as well: “Walking through with lives long past/ headstones, monuments and things that will last/ I don’t care cemetery funeral life’s memorials/ neatly packaged unforgotten burials/ I don’t care, you won’t find me here/ there’s nowhere near/ can you send me to the heart of the sun?”

In a way, this album could be considered a lo-fi form of performance art, because it eschews modern formats and expectations. There’s not a thing wrong with that. To that end, Thompson has surely achieved his mission.

Get more at www.gubbeyrecords.net

Rare Treats CD Review From American Gloam

American Gloam

Rare Treats - "Wolf in People's Clothing" (Gubbey Records 2011).

Louisville visual/musical artist Patrick Thompson released this in late '11. I ran into Thompson one night at the Zbar and over a few beers we realized that we had met before back when he fronted the noise-punk band Gaj Mustafa Cell under the name Mick Donalds and I was the dude standing in the crowd yelling "awesome."

"Wolf in People's Clothing" is a quick listen that has a stripped down take on some experimental, lo-fi and punk ideas. I feel like Thompson approached this with an artist mentality, ignoring what songs are "supposed to do" and just going with whatever direction he felt like. Each song it its own creation, and none subscribe to any stereotyped map. The guitars have a tight sound, and the layers of instrumentation make for a style I haven't really heard from other bands around town. Thompson has definitely planted fruit in several directions here, taking creative ideas and inserting them into unpredictable and interesting spaces. The closest reference points that pop into my head when I hear this CD are maybe the spirted rock experiments of Lexington's Rabby Feeber or even the surrealness of psych-rock band Bongwater, especially on the song "That Motherfucker." These references aren't necessary; just the street corners that this recording seems to walk to in my head.

Sure, you can say it's rock-based, but the various levels of vocals on top of each other, the plodding beats and riffs on songs like "Walking" and "Vacuum of the Worst," make for an good, strange, intense listen. The closest to straight punk on here might be "My Face Is Clean," an infected mid-tempo piece. "Where the Hell Have You Been?" just keeps swelling up into batch of obsession. My favorite track is "In My Eyeballs," a short noisy song that just sort of repeatedly hits you in the skull.

The CD can be purchased at Underground Sounds, Better Days, and the Gubbey Records website.


Rare Treats CD Review From Never Nervous Blog

Never Nervous Blog
Rare Treats

Wolf In People's Clothing
Gubbey Records
By: Phillip Olympia

Modern day lo-fi recordings can be hit or miss, especially when depending on simple drum machine loops and thin fuzzy guitar sounds to carry every song. When given that basic inscription, we often are presented with a stale offering of rough, unfinished sounding tunes ad nauseum. This surprising collection of music from Rare Treats certainly detours this apparent trend as every song stands out on its own while the overall sound of the album is incredibly raw, inventive, and pretty fucking cool.

While listening to Wolf, it is impossible to nail it down to a particular brand or point out exact inspirations. Patrick Thompson, the mastermind behind this operation effectively picked apart different genres and succeeds in doing so. On "Vacuum of the Worst", there are obvious hints from the early 90's grunge sound that work favorably with Thompson's breakable distorted vocals and chugging guitar riffage. The title track features a Misfits-like guitar and drum combo that work well with some seriously mischievous melodies. My personal favorite is "Walking", which sounds like it could've been inspired by a Devo composition from the New Traditionalists record.

While Wolf is excellent, it seems that Thompson's Rare Treats is just getting started. It seems he's barely scratched the surface on what could potentially follow this release. However, it is exhilarating to have an unexpected record like this fall into your lap. Certainly recommended.

Rare Treats CD Review From Leo Weekly

LEO Weekly

Wolf in People’s Clothing
Rare Treats
GUBBEY                                                                                                                                                                                    By Peter Berkowitz

As far as Christmas presents go, receiving Louisville folk artist Patrick Thompson’s lo-fi recordings as Rare Treats was a nice surprise under the ol’ LEO tree. His bio states that Thompson “wanted to make a record that didn’t sound entirely like it came from Louisville, Kentucky,” and by that standard, it mostly succeeds. Though traces of ’90s forerunners can be detected, the Rare Treats blend of DIY punk, metal, art and underground riffage reduced to the most basic elements is more reminiscent of the underappreciated Wipers or very early Sebadoh than Slint or Rodan. Though distortion is employed, melodies remain clear and purposeful, and Thompson’s relaxed approach is a welcome change of pace from the many careerist bands who put too much effort into sounds unworthy of big, expensive productions. This Wolf manages to simultaneously sound as fresh as tomorrow and as authentic as a lost 1991 recording, demonstrating that whatever you think the Louisville sound is, those sounds can always surprise you.

Story on Furlong from Louisville Music Blog

Louisville Music Blog

Furlong “A Nasty Beautiful Bloody Train Wreck”
Posted in Rock Music with tags Furlong The band, Louisville indie rock, Louisville is for Lovers, Louisville Music on February 14, 2010 by martinicdm

“You can’t put us in a box, we would suffocate” said Furlong guitarist Dave Rucinski when asked to define the band’s style. This shines through in the band’s music with a mix of a fast paced punk and psychedelic styles and at times intricate guitar riffs, which is a complement to the bands various influences and style.
The band began in 2003 as a four piece, but after several lineup changes the three-piece that’s seen around Louisville today began in 2007. This line up includes Dave Rucinski guitar and vocals, Jim Hall bass and Andy Matter drums.

Because of the bands unique style Rucinski said, “We are not trying to be the ‘get noticed’ kind of band. We believe your music should speak for itself …and people will be attracted to in naturally.” As for Furlongs plans and goal they don’t really have one they just want to play and record, “honest music.” A few current projects for the band include a seven-inch vinyl that will have a limited number of copies coming out in May as part of a series of EP’s. Also they have recently recorded tracks to “Louisville is for Lovers Vol. X”, and the compilation project “Louisville Does Louisville.”

For more information on Furlong or to listen to their music visit www.furlongrocks.com

Review Of Unreleased Furlong Record Pony Up! From Leo Weekly

Leo Weekly

By: Stephen George

Furlong takes the lead Louisville’s anti-punk punk rock scene

The gentlemen behind Gubbey Records are something of a maniacal lot, that rare breed between ultra-creative geniuses and musical miscreants dead set on destroying that which surrounds them with weird, altruistic noise-pop. The guys who started a label to kickstart their own self-recorded musical projects offer Furlong: an excellent band, their band, a strange and new band that will destroy Louisville in the best way, by exploding onto the scene in a raging fireball of anti-punk punk rock and changing people’s perspectives on distorted guitars and the general lewdness of loudness. Seem like a fair amount of contradictions? These guys make your head spin like that.

The Gubbey men have arranged an eclectic, enticing four-act showcase at The Rudyard Kipling for this Saturday. The Audrey Ryan Band, a sort of alt-jazz-folk-rock group on tour from Cambridge, Mass., will open the festivities. Local beatnik refugee Ron Whitehead and his highly-talented wife, Sarah Elizabeth, will perform spoken word poetry and acoustic guitar tunes. The pair have dedicated the set to Whitehead’s old stomping pal, the great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, who put a bullet through his brain last Sunday (see more on HST on page 14). Local bluegrassers Troublesome Creek follow.

Then comes Furlong, Louisville’s punk rock answer to Captain Beefheart, a loud and beautiful mess of experimental sound garbed in the same pop sensibilities that made grunge so user-friendly. The band has recently upgraded to version 2.0, bringing along bassist Chris Hoerter. There’s a new EP in the works, Pony Up, a continuation of that which began on last year’s magnificent sampler, The Indestructible Gubbey Records Sampler CD Vol. II. Furlong’s “Ride My Train of Un-Agape Love” stole that show, even from its alter-ego Funkus, whose “Sexual Investigators” was a train wreck of Bootsy Collins-esque pure funk from the ’70s that’s as hysterically funny as it is funkaliciously adept.

Take from the new EP Truck Stop Whore, a bright and melodic Velvet Underground-style dirge of pretty chords underneath a story about a truck driver who “can’t wait to fuck my truck stop whore.” The complementery high-pitched “oohs” and “ahhs” reminiscent of early R&B perfect the tune’s mindbending contradiction in terms. The lyrics are clever and pertinent, despite the comical vulgarity.

“Blood Red Panties” is considerably heavier, opening with an ominous bass line that explodes into a full band (piano included) headbobbing jump. The opening line sets the tone: “blood panties on the bedroom floor/don’t you know you should lock the door/outside I wait all day for you.” After a pair of verse-chorus-verse runs through, the song evolves on a piano riff into a speedy psychotica of sound, then quickly fades to silence.

Much like their equine-influenced name, Furlong’s music takes the thoroughbred approach, spending most of the time in rigorous and fruitful training, preparing for the fleeting bursts of hysterical speed and power that only make sense on this band’s record, in that kind of deep, pure context. Using that ambience as an indicator, it’s hard to imagine this show as anything less than a carnival, or at the very least, a horse race.


Saturday, Feb. 26
Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St.
$5; 10 p.m.



Show Preview From The Courier Journal

The Courier Journal

BY: Jeffrey Lee Puckett

Gubbey Records presents …
Dave Rucinski, one of the honchos at Louisville's Gubbey Records, has pulled together an entertaining show tomorrow night at The Rudyard Kipling, 422 W. Oak St. (10 p.m., $5). There will be a sad note, as Ron Whitehead will spend part of the evening commemorating the late Hunter S. Thompson. Otherwise, he and Sarah Elizabeth will combine post election poems with interludes of mountain music. The rest of the lineup features the Audrey Ryan Band, an alternative jazz band from Cambridge, Mass., that incorporates elements of rock, folk and Latin music. Louisville's Troublesome Creek will handle the bluegrass, and Rucinski's band, Furlong, will wrap it up.


Review of The Indestructible Gubbey Records Sampler CD Vol.2 From Louisville Music News

Louisville Music News

Making it Matter

The Indestructible Gubbey Records Sampler CD Vol. II (Gubbey Records)
Various Artists
By Kory Wilcoxson

Gubbey Records is determined to make Louisville music matter again. Founded in 1993 by Dave Rucinski, the label has witnessed the local music scene's wax and wane over the past decade. With this second sampler, Rucinski is doing his part to showcase the diversity of local offerings.  The sampler is noteworthy for the range of styles represented. Listeners are treated to everything from the "locomotive sex rock" of Furlong (the website's description is better than anything I could come up with) to the P-funk vibe of Funkus' "Sexual Investigators" to The Chocobots' "Days Like This," which calls to mind early Elvis Costello. Another standout on the disc include the almost indescribable "I'm Gonna Grout Your Bifka," a collection of obscure and witty TV samples played out over what sounds like a perverted version of Disneyworld's "Electric Light Parade" theme. The song is credited to Mr. Samples, who is actually label founder Rucinski. The sampler is worth picking up at a local store to hear proof of a pulse in the local music scene. For more information, visit the label's website at www.gubbeyrecords.net  

Review of The Indestructible Gubbey Records Sampler CD Vol.2 From Velocity Weekly

Velocity Weekly

By: Josh Hammond

Great Gubbey!
As mysterious and hotly debated as the whereabouts of "Leonard: Parts 1 through 5," so is the question of the final resting place of "The Indestructible Gubbey Records Sampler CD, Volume I."  That question, however, has been rendered moot with the glorious release of "The Indestructible Gubbey Records Sampler CD Vol. II: When Gubbey Attacks." The Louisville label, home to such subtle gems as Funkus and the S---house Poets, has released another sonic buffet of its bands. In addition to the above, bands like Furlong, the Touched, Mr. Samples and the Chocobots pop up on "When Gubbey Attacks!" a loud and quirky odyssey of Louisville music. Even Gubbey's founder, Dave Rucinski, shows up, doing a cameo under the moniker Mr. Razzledazzle on the Funkus tune "Sexual Investigator." He also takes a turn with Mr. Samples "I'm Gonna Grout Your Bifka," a random electronic indulgence.  It's not clear whether Rucinski is running a label or just giving his friends an outlet for their musical fancies. We're not sure it matters either.