BUT IS IT LIT? // Seems Like There’s A Show Every Night Album Booklet
This article marks the first in a new series here at The Triangle. We’ll be collecting local ephemera, writing a brief list of our thoughts, and putting forth the age-old question: “BUT IS IT LIT?” Parameters for what we review are any of the following (if something meets all three points, ding ding ding you win): 1) we love it because it’s funny, weird, and awesome; 2) it’s a local thing; and/or 3) it’s something we want to promote and support but it’s not traditional literature (or is it?).
First up: The record insert/zine/booklet that comes with each copy of the new local compilation album, Seems Like There’s A Show Every Night, released by Greg Knowles and Chumpire records. Many of the bands featured on the album are associated with DIT Lancaster (DIT stands for do-it-together), a collective which aims to tighten the local independent music community. This record is a sampling of Lancaster area punk music. There’s everything from crooning emo revival, to chaotic metal, to simple low-fi ukulele.
Seems Like There’s A Show Every Night
Chumpire Records, 2014
16 pages, saddle-stitch staple-bound, softcover, full-color
$10.99 at Mr. Suit Records
- Inside the front cover is a heartfelt note from Mike (Mr. Suit himself) that’ll make any local (associated with the DIY/Do-It-Yourself music culture or not) proud to call him or herself a Lancastrian. It’s a concise chronicle of his moving to Lancaster, discovering the music scene, and watching it grow. He writes, “Best of all, this isn’t entirely the work of a single mover-and-shaker, but of an entire community…” I feel the echoes of that sentiment here in the literary community as well. This opening is a perfect primer for the album to come, honest enough to feel real, and not so sentimental that you feel like puking.
- The booklet is filled with pages of lyrics. Each band designed their own page and sent it to local graphic designer and DIY-affiliate, Shannon Yordy. The result is an interesting chapbook of sorts, with lyrics, drawings, and designs unique to each band’s disposition and genre. Notables are:
- the repetition in the lyrics to “Boxing with a Ghost” by Chalmers: “Nothing solid/nothing landed….Something solid/something landed.” The use of “landed” as an ambiguous part of speech is really cool, leaving it up to the listener to take it as a past-tense verb or an adjective.
- the Internet Poetry inspired (or so it seems) image macro used for A Band Named Craig‘s page. Their post-ironic, absurdist approach to the lyrics page comes across as humorous, self-aware, and contemporary.
- the simple emo-confessionalism lyricality of Placeholder‘s “I Feel”. Vocalist Brandon Gepfer writes, “Walked out my bedroom/there’s no one home/Walked down to the liquor store/found my friends.” This is pop-punk all grown up: still relate-able, but a little less than positive (one might argue, much more real.)
- first the title (“I am the meteor that killed the venusaurs”), and then the alliterative, other-worldly word salad scrawled on Row‘s lyrics page. Here’s an excerpt: “It’s all bloodied/the ketamine/it aint pretty/how’d I seem at 1:30/a liquored corpse kissing kerosene”
- I also dug the closing afterword by Greg Knowles, the man behind the local fanzine, Chumpire. Knowles also recorded many of the tracks on this album. He’s tirelessly and selflessly worked to record local bands forever, for free, for really nothing but some gas money. Greg’s summation on the last page of the booklet is again a genuine tale of his experience with DIT Lancaster and the underground music scene in our community.
- Overall, the booklet takes about 10 minutes to read. It’s beautiful and well thought-out. It’s a surprisingly treasure-filled addition to the fine compilation record it comes with. Kudus to all who were involved in it’s inception and execution.
Pick up a copy and tell us what you think in the comments: IS IT LIT??