Saturday, January 20, 2018

FESTER RAGE VIDEOS: A Testament of Youth (ATOY) in Des Moines at The House of Bricks on July 20, 2007 and at The Vaudeville Mews on Sep 23, 2007

"Formed in 1981 by Factory Records aficionados Paul Standard and Dave Edwards, A Testament of Youth or ATOY (pronounced AE-TOI) were Iowa's first Post-Punk band. ATOY were Paul and Dave's response to the bland Styx and Journey-inspired rock that was prevalent throughout the midwest during the late 70s and early 80s. Looking to do something darker and more arty, guitarist Paul and producer Dave set out to forge a new midwest sound. Brad Roth, who was then singing in and playing bass for the power-pop trio The Blue Cruisers was recruited as a front man. With the addition of newcomers Mark Penner on bass and Lonnie Urich on drums, ATOY was set to play the now legendary 1981 2 day Iowa punk/new wave festival, Music For No-Man's Land. A surprise hit at the festival, ATOY contributed two songs to the 'Music For No-Man's Land' release, Roth's Television-inspired "Chemical Boys" and Standard's epic dirge "Requiem for a Priest". ATOY were soon playing gigs throughout Iowa. Due to differences in vision, Dave Edwards soon left the group. ATOY's music at the time was thin, brittle and experimental using rhythm machines, tape loops and incorporating short-wave radio broadcasts into their live shows. Brad's onstage antics were legendary, often getting the group banned from some of the more mainstream rock clubs. Paul decided to return to college late in 1981, leaving the band looking for a new guitarist. Greg Owen, who had played with Brad Roth previously in the Blue Cruisers joined in early 1982. Owen brought a tough, shredding guitar style to ATOY which propelled their sound into a more aggressive stance. Penner and Urich similarly toughened up their sound and Roth's wild stage persona evolved into a dadaist Iggy Pop. Brad's lyrics began to take a darkly poetic turn and led to him being called 'the Baudelaire of the heartland'. Over the next year and a half, the band began touring around the midwest to ever increasing crowds. During that period, many of ATOY's most popular songs, such as 'Stickmen', 'Creeps with Forks' and 'Cut and Restored' were written. The group gained in popularity and the now defuct nightclub So's Your Mothers, opened another venue, Mother's Underground, to regularly showcase ATOY and other Iowa underground bands. The volatile mix of personalities in the band began to take it's toll and in the Spring of 1983 ATOY decided to call it quits. Their final show was recorded and release on CD many years later. A videotape of that last show called "The Final Plunge" was aired on Des Moines TV... In 2005 ATOY were asked to do a reunion show. The success of that show surprised them as much as their fans. This led to the band resuming playing again. The volatile mix of personalities did lead to a couple of false starts, but ATOY is officially back together, writing new material and playing to new fans as well as old. Since ATOY never really sounded like anyone else, the band's music doesn't sound dated to new fans. New material has been written as well as a number of Buick McSnake songs being reworked into ATOY's sound...and then after a dozen or so gigs it all came crashing down. The volatile chemistry of the band once again blew up. As a longtime fan of the band remarked 'If everyone were mature and responsible, it wouldn't be ATOY. You guys have broken up for good before. Hopefully you'll do it again.' Here's to hoping that it'll happen again."
- from their Underground Archives entry

Friday, January 19, 2018

JAZZMAN JOE VIDEOS: Drumline at Ankeny High School on October 23, 2012

"We are the Iowa State University Drumline. We are comprised of 36 members who enjoy supporting and representing the university as well as playing some drums!"
- from Iowa State University Drumline's Facebook page


Monday, January 15, 2018

PLAYLIST: Net Neutrality (and Information on How to Continue the Fight)

Hello all! Some of you may think the issue of Net Neutrality ended when The FCC voted to repeal it.

But you are mistaken. That was just a recent battle in a long war that we have been fighting for a couple of years now!

The lastest battle involves what is called a Congressional Review Act or CRA. This is a law that "empowers Congress to review, by means of an expedited legislative process, new federal regulations issued by government agencies and, by passage of a joint resolution, to overrule a regulation." (Wikipedia - What this bascially means is The Congress can overturn The FCC's ruling on repealing Net Neutrality.

Why should you try to save net neutrality, you may ask. Net Neutrality is the rule that allows all websites the same chance of being found and to go at the same speed as any other website. Without Net Neutrality, sites that can't afford to pay extra - like your favorite local band's website, maybe Bandcamp, maybe SoundCloud - will load up more slowly than other websites.

Also, without Net Neutrality, your Internet Service Provider can send you to websites they want you to go to, like sending you to Apple instead of Bandcamp.  They can also block any website that they feel is inappropriate.

You can prevent this from happening, as well as help independent musicians, artists, craft makers, plus small businesses and new startups, schools and education, health websites, activists, and others who would be hurt.

For a Congressional Review Act to be voted on without going through a committee, 30 senators must sponsor it. Thanks to people calling in and demanding it, it has FORTY sponsors.

Now we need 51 senators to vote to stop The FCC from repealing Net Neutrality.

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