it pays to be niiice.

So, I guess emo is back? Bears to reason, between the general cyclical nature of things and the ever-present angst and urgency of youth. If self-described ‘queer punk/emo’ band niiice. is any indication of the resurgent genre’s quality control, however, I’m cool with traveling back to my tragic youth. While niiice. (yup, three i’s, one…

INTO THE VOID

Voiddweller - Illegal Content (self-released) A likely commentary on the legalities surrounding sampling, each of the 40 copies of the aptly named Illegal Content comes packaged with one of the source CDs containing samples used on the album. My copy arrived bundled with Nirvana’s Bleach, which took me down its own interesting rabbit hole, recal…

Coordinated Chaos – Pisswater Preachers Unholy the Holy Water

Pisswater Preachers - Homebaked Methblack Magick (Octomatic Metamorph Recordings/Crass Lips Records) I don’t know what’s going on here, and I couldn’t be happier. With a lineup that includes Steve Kemple on “silence, laughter" and features Jonathan Hancock’s frenetic horn blasts (I met Hancock when playing the now-sadly defunct Rake…

Get the f**k out of here! (aka the Fuck Lungs album review)

Fuck Lungs - Honeysuckle (Already Dead Tapes & Records) Fuck Lungs' first tape came out in 2016, but both its members have kept quite busy before and since. Drummer Joe Hess continues to play in Complainer - who released one of my favorite tapes last year - as well as in numerous improvised ensembles, and Curt Oren has toured relentlessly and …

I HEARD YOU MISSED US, WE’RE BACK!

  Ruix comes and goes, but here we are, so let’s go. We’ll be posting a mix of new and archival content in the coming weeks. I know it’s March, and most of us are doing our best to distance ourselves from 2017, but I’m going to revisit some of the albums that offered comfort over a tempestuous year. Having checked out a lot of ye…

Mentoring Youth: Live Performance and Songwriting

In late 2015, members of the Dubuque Area Arts Collective developed a new program building on the organization’s mission statement to mentor and empower young artists. Project 1 was devised to encourage young musicians to work together toward learning the fundamentals of live performance and songwriting. This goal was to be achieved with assistan…