Sunday Bloody Sunday (@ Coonskin Park)

Here at WVRockscene, we appreciate the simple things, like the outdoors on a Sunday afternoon, with some rockin' local bands, some beer, and a skatepark thrown in for good measure.

Such was the scenario as we embarked to the Coonskin Amphitheater for the latest installment of The Empty Glass concert series they're hosting. Quite the lineup, headlined by a Noizbox reunion, featuring a rare local show for The Heptanes, with Orlando (via Charleston) ska band 69 Fingers. Oh yeah, local horror core punk band The Big Bad, and our punk rock friends in The Concept were also on tap.

All these cool bands weren't the only thing on tap; the Glass set up a concession stand with food, grilling, and oh yeah, the most American of choices: Bud or Bud Light.

Sensing that there may be extra time, I took my recently acquired Steve Caballero skateboard (bought @ Pawnshop) to see if I could skate the park down the road from the stage.

So I get dropped off at right after 4 p.m., the original start time, show my board to impressed Glass door guy (and longtime friend) Jon Moss, and get my 21-and-over tape bracelet to let people know it's okay that I drink. Good deal.

Once inside, I instantly run into the THC dudes. I don't know Mike, Ross and Dave (and now, recently added guitarist Bryan Flowers, whom I'd never met) that well, but those guys are killer, specially Dave; we talked about the Columbus trip, and I let Ross get on the Stevie Cab board with his huge feet. We ALL know what they say about dudes with big feet; they wear big Nikes.

Well, I got a beer, and was instantly confronted with a tough choice: should I really start drinking and then go try to skate the park? My answer, after a minute, was in the affirmative. 69 Fingers, I was told, had to pull out at the last minute due to an unforeseen residential change down in Florida, so there would be time to kill.

So I skate down the low grade hill from the amphitheater, pass RFC Rudy and wave, and was now en route to the skate park and a bunch of nice, polite children there with their parents. Now, I'm no professional, but I skated the ramps and didn't wreck once. That should've proved ominous at the time, but it did not, as I was unsure whether it was the alcohol or my lack of recent skate park experience that made it so interesting.

A little background: I skated (not only with Jon Moss) growing up. More recently, when I played bass (as I do about as well as I skate) in a nascent four-piece punk band with Mark & Matt Totten and Luke Young, Matt worked at Outdoor Extremes in Kanawha City and we practiced there after hours. Sometimes we drank. Most of the time I skated in the downstairs area. Sometimes, the two were combined with moderate results. So I was not unfamiliar with mixing drinking and skating, long story short.

So I return to the rock show and purchase "several" more beers. I did indeed get to catch The Heptanes open with their rocking version of psychobilly. It's a shame that they don't get to do more local shows. And it's a shame their bassist didn't get his cookie at Subway, which he talked about a lot.

The Heptanes rock though.

After talking with Mike, Dave, and RFC Rudy for a while, and buying several more beers just to support local music and the Glass, I was "ready" to catch The Concept.

The Concept: "Ye to the 10th Degree"

The Concept with the fireplug of a guitarist in Flowers were impressive. They had ample room to run around the stage and play songs off their recent CD "The Empire Penguin Strikes Back" and some of my favorite covers, including "Linoleum" by NOFX. Mike had told me they were trying to play "The Decline" and if they ever do, I just may have to go ahead and get that THC tattoo.

"Last of the Emohicans/That’s the One"

By the time The Concept finished it was around 8 p.m., and I was "ready" to leave by this point, hoping to avoid another case of CRAFT Syndrome. It's a shame I didn't get to catch The Big Bad; I did indeed buy their bassist a beer (that makes two) and he got me a sticker to make friends. Very cool dude, and I look forward to seeing those guys out again.

But no, the whole point about me talking about me skating is that, after all the libations, as I attempted to skate down that same low grade hill to the waiting car, the board shot out from under me, I scraped flesh to concrete, and was bleeding more than I'd care to admit here.

Maybe you shouldn't drink and skate. Or maybe you should, I won't judge you.


New WBG LP soon...

Morgantown's WestbyGod has uploaded "Dust to Dust" off their soon to be released LP "For Glory or for Flames" and, you can download the song on the band's MySpace profile.


New songs (and a contest) from THRED

Our good friends in Morgantown funk act Thred have just recorded five new tunes, and have presented their fans with a bit of a contest. You can pick between any of five options as to how the band gets their tunes to yer ears. We came across this fun sounding MySpace bulletin from the band and thought we'd repost to raise awareness.

"So, we're finished recording five new songs. Our big question to everyone is, what's the best way to get them to you? Here's some options we're considering.

1. $5 five song EP.
2. Digital Downloads (.99 a piece)
C. Sit on 'em until a full album can be completed.
4. Only sell them at shows, still put a couple on a full-length.
5. Burn them, if I can't have them, NO ONE CAN!

In our personal opinion, this stuff is the best stuff we've done, and we want to get it out to you guys ASAP, so let us know what you think would work best."
Holler at the band and check out some tunes on their site. If you want, comment here about how you yourself might be more likely to get tunes these days. Whatever. Thred rocks from what we've heard.


WVRockscene goes for the gold @ the Parrot

They say be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.

It's this statement that best describes my trip to the Parrot Friday night, with much anticipation of catching the new Dig-Its lineup. I'd been bemoaning the fact that, when I go to catch a band I like and get footage and/or pics, I usually just sit there by myself with a camera held up for the duration.

But as usual, it's early; there's hardly anyone there whenst I arrived at around 10:30. After ordering a pitcher (an ominous sign) and settling in at the bar, I fixed my eyes on the big screen TV, which featured Michael Phelps just beating that guy by like one-one hundredth of a second or something.


Well, a minute later none other than Mr. Ledbetter strolled in with his Black Knots shirt on. It's a shirt I've been wanting for a while now, with their white logo on black. We talked about his new job, the benefits of being in a union, The Concept, and what is up with a new project he's involved with; he said it sounded something like Portishead, with his girlfriend singing and his friend from Rose City Mick on drums. Sounded promising.

About this time Meuwl and B-Rude starting doing their thing onstage. I'm pretty sure that they talked about smoking and some such stuff. I was, to put it mildly, tying one on at this point, getting Josh a Jagerbomb and myself going for the gold -- Cuervo Gold.

Well duh duh dah daah! Now I'm professor rockscene. I'm able to approach people like The Big Bad's bassist (nice guy), pour him a beer out of my pitcher of PBR, and do the same upon meeting Dig-Its drummer Bob Caution. We've talked a lot online and over the phone, and I've caught The Dig-Its a few times previously at the Parrot, but never had been introduced proper.

We talked for a few minutes about the band and his cat, and he introduced me to his mom as something like "the only guy who ever gives us any media coverage," or something like that. As Sarasota went through their rockin set, I began to lose it; I bought Dig-Its and Sarasota shirts and returned to my base at the bar -- The Dig-Its were getting ready to play.

They opened up with "Better Days" off their latest CD "Know It All" and by this point I think people are starting to stare. I got footage of the band, but by now I was fast approaching blackoutville. I had acquired what Christopher Hitchens recently (in his approaching old age) described as CRAFT Syndrome (Can't Remember a Fucking Thing).

So to sum up, I "forgot" the shirts and a memory card (w/Sarasota footage) from the camera at the bar, and ended up making an ass of myself in public and then in private. But, I did have a great time talking and having a few drinks with some cool people. Almost like I'm in a video for Dig-Its tunes "Another Shot" or "Mama Tried" -- well, at least that's how I imagined it.

The Dig-Its: “Better Days”


The Concept & The Dig-Its make changes

Two of our favorite area punk bands recently made some lineup changes. Most recently, our friends in The Concept welcomed guitarist Bryan Flowers into the fold. The former Drop Ded Phred member has one full practice with the band under his belt as of this writing and has been working daily with singer-guitarist Mike Withrow on getting things down in time for this Friday's show at The Empty Glass.

"He's caught on so fast it's insane," Withrow said when reached for comment. Withrow, who's known Flowers since 9th grade, described him as an "awesome musician" and described the band's internal decision making process as it relates to adding a fourth member.

"We've talked about it for a while in different conversations," Withrow said. "Here lately we've just been thinking that we were missing a key element. We all talked and Bryan was the only one we talked about, he's a great musician and a hell of a guy, it wasn't a hard choice at all."

Bassist Dave Cantrell was quoted (by us) on the new addition to the band from a recent MySpace bulletin. "...he will bring a new element to our musical direction and a new sense of excitement." That's right; we cited a MySpace bulletin!

You can catch the new lineup this Friday at the Glass with B Rude, Meuwl, and Brain Trauma.

The Dig-Its, who play The Blue Parrot Friday night, have changed singers in recent months, adding Rikki Neon to the band as singer. Drummer Bob Caution said that, with a few shows under their belt and new tunes on tap, the band is still rockin.

"We've been writing some badass stuff, and working on a few new covers for your listening enjoyment. I won't go too far into details, but sufficed to say, things are going quite smoothly."

Caution summed up the band's status thusly: "Lots of creative juices flowin" and did indeed confirm the recording of a new "greatest hits" type CD from the band. "Some old, some new, some borrowed, all rock," is how Caution described the project.

And Caution was quite honest about the appeal of the Parrot to the band.

"We fucking love it. Much love to Tom [Crouse] and the folks that make it out there to all of our shows. Looking forward to playing it on the 15th!"


WVRoundup: OHH, ATU, & The Scrap Iron Pickers

New stuff from Charleston, Huntington, & Morgantown...

First, Morgantown's One Hundred Hurricanes is set to release a new CD soon. They've been working on it here in Charleston and from all accounts it should be done in a few weeks. We've managed to miss them when they've came to the Parrot recently, but we'd look forward to catching these guys out, or hearing their CD. You can find out more on the band at their ReverbNation site.

Appalachian Terror Unit, a hardcore crust punk band from Huntington that does a ton of shows all over the country, is set to release ther debut LP "Greenwashing" soon. They're going on a non-stop Midwest tour this month, and they say the CD should be ready for the tour. They've also got quite the political bent; they'll donate a % of tour sales to people arrested protesting the RNC/DNC.

You can download the title track on their MySpace profile. If yer into this kind of hardcore stuff, check 'em out. And check out "Endless Bloodshed" on ATU's profile to rock with us for a sec.

And a cool new band from here in town; The Scrap Iron Pickers. Roadblock teams up with Byzantine drummer Matt Wolfe and John Sizemore on guitar for something that, judging by their song "Hard Drive" is anything but bluegrass. Hey, we dig some bluegrass. Their first show is 9/12 at The Empty Glass; sounds like a promising lineup.


Radio, Radio, Radio & ShrewsburyFEST '08 band lineup

We support people's endeavors to cover local music on the radio. A few items have caught our eye recently as far as broadcasting, and why not comment on them?

First, we've recently got tuned into this new local music show out of Beckley called Neighborhood Watch on 103 CIR. We thought Beckley sucked way harder until we noticed some of the bands they've recently played, including Beckley's own Shawn Benfield and Shepherdstown's resident rockers in The Demon Beat. The show is on Thursday nights if yer down that way.

Up in the Parkersburg area, our friend Todd Burge is doing big things with his songwriter night podcast and radio show on Z106. The shows air Sunday nights from what we've pieced together, and we recently noticed a cool survey-type thing Burge sent to area musicians, with insightful questions on being creative and playing out and stuff. We've got Burge's "Hip About Time" CD and dig what he does; check the links out.

And to much fanfare X106.3's X-Fest 2008 lineup was recently announced. Underwhelmed would best describe our response whenst reading their Loud & Local (Budweiser i.e. import beer) second stage lineup. They've rightfully picked Bud Carroll & the Southern Souls, who we did get to catch at The Empty Glass, and made a stab at reviewing their EP here at the blog.

But we just can't get into the type of bands they book, it seems, for each stage, apart from Carroll. Granted, we guess X106.3 plays these kinds of bands on air, but I know they also play Jeff Ellis and other types of bands. X106.3's Loud & Local program we'd say is the premier local music outlet for WV, and we think there are cooler local bands than what fills out their lineup. They do have a kind of representative lineup from WV, OH, and KY -- their listener base, but whatever.

And let us take the opportunity here to say that Brandon Woolum is one of the coolest nicest guys we've came across in our local music endeavors. He's took the time to help us with pointless shit like -- back when we were starting up on MySpace, he and Paul (Oz) Oslund took the time to tell us how to set up links and codes on the MySpace version of WVRockscene. And he took the time to do a special Q&A with us last year at thegazz.com on the bands that were booked for the L&L stage.

So the question immediately becomes: Ok, WVRockscene, you think you can do a better job picking a Loud & Local second stage? Have at it! We here try, with our favorite Huntington acts...

1. Jeff Ellis -- We know Woolum loves Ellis like we do.

2. The Red Velvet -- One of the most radio ready bands at the moment.

3. Black Knots -- They've already played X-Fest but who cares?

4. Threefold Theory -- If they haven't played X-Fest yet it's a crime.

5. The Dig-Its -- They have a new singer and they are one of our favorites.

6 (alt.) The Redbloods -- A nice "indie" type garage band from H-town.

Again, nobody cares what we think, we know that. To close this rambling post we'd also like to ask why there's no Charleston radio station putting on something like X-Fest? Rock 105, ZRock, and 102.7 -- do they even have local music programs like Loud & Local? We don't think so. We think this Noizbox reunion show lineup at Coonskin Amphitheater 8.24 is cooler than this year's X-Fest, and it's not $50. But that's just our taste in music, we guess.

So, by extension, Charleston's local music scene sucks compared to Beckley's. Nice. Oh and by the way we never listen to the radio.


New music from J Marinelli

Even though J Marinelli has moved to Kentucky, that's alright, because of the ol' internet we can keep tabs on him. He's uploaded a few tunes off the upcoming "Stone Age Kicks (Vol. II)" and "Pre-Emptive Skankery" releases. He's just uploaded his cover of the Guided By Voices song "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" on his MySpace page and we think it's one of the coolest songs we've heard him do.

And we've heard a lot of his tunes, having rocked "Pity The Party," "Keep It Fake" and the cover tape download "Stone Age Kicks" -- "Fake" is probably our favorite CD, period.

Take the opportunity to check out Marinelli and this previously unposted video of him at the Glass back in January. It rocks we promise.

So, our loss is those bootleggin' moonshinin' bluegrass lovin' (like us) Kentucky residents' gain. Who knows, maybe we'll see Marinelli again.