Thursday, October 15, 2009
I recently received the sad news that Chris Schultz had passed away. To say Chris was a controversial figure in the Springfield punk scene would be an understatement. In his young years he ran with the local Nazi skinhead crew. Later he dropped the racist ideology and became a somewhat active player in the punk music underground. His band, Violent Karma, was a magnet for drunken thugs and skins, and their shows often ended badly. But a lot of people didn’t know that Chris was actually an intelligent guy who could be a lot of fun to hang out with. I remember going over to Chris’s place back in the day and listening to Crass and Fear albums while we debated the virtues and faults of various bands. Chris always carried a lot of pain with him. His best friend Sludgy (the bass player in Violent Karma) passed away years ago, a blow from which he undoubtedly had difficulty recovering from. Chris was a complex man, and at one time I called him a friend. I’m sorry to hear he’s gone.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Released in 1997 by Wee Rock Records, this compilation featured 27 songs by 14 local acts. Musically, the tape goes from so-so alt-rock (such as Monumental Radio) to screeching hardcore punk (such as U$MC, with the tracks coming from an early demo tape with their original guitar player Brian). The compilation is also notable for having tracks from some fairly obscure Ozark bands like The Acronyms and Piezo Transducer (both side projects by the members of Fugue), as well as the obnoxiously cutesy Carbon Star (“The Wee-Wee Song” still makes me want to strangle someone) and Erector Set, a short-lived Springfield based punk three-piece. Finally, the tape has a couple of songs by Big Bad Chubba and The Rowskabouts, two worthy Joplin ska acts whose full-length demos I’m still trying to track down. There’s way too many track titles to list here-just download the thing and experience an interesting (if uneven) snapshot of the 90’s SW Missouri underground music scene.