Tag Archives: Hot Water Music

From the bottom of my heart, thank you…

OuthouseFlier

I went to my first punk show at 14, back in 1992 and was hooked for life. I was amazed that people didn’t know about these bands and wanted to share. I booked shows, made a couple of zines and did whatever I could locally. I went off to college for recording with the full intent of making this my career.

Real life happened and I found myself a decade later, a father of three with a desk job. My very good friend Shannon Koffman and I had been kicking around plans for a few years and decided it was now or never. In 2005, we bought three HD cameras, built a live recording rig and started recording shows. National Underground was born.

I enlisted the help of some friends and we started recording shows around Orlando. We answered the call to help No Idea Records record The FEST 4 in Gainesville. By the end of that weekend, we were three months out and had recorded Against Me! and The Bouncing Souls as well as another two dozen bands.

We were trying to turn these into CD/DVD releases, but by the time we got everything lined up with mixes, artwork and contracts, the recording industry was taking a major hit. We didn’t want to compete with the very bands and labels we were trying to help promote. No matter how low our prices were or how short our runs would have been, it made no sense. Plus, who really likes or ever buys live records?

We decided to just start putting it out online for free…and people really got into it. From 2007-2010, National Underground was this living, breathing thing. We had tons of traffic, volunteers who wanted to mix, edit, do pr, interviews and write content for the site, developers of other content wanting to team up and labels contacting us. We have so much to show for it. It was the best.

Shannon and I were still shelling out money for tapes, hard drives, hotel rooms, pizza, beer and such. We sold a couple dozen supporter packs, did fund raisers for expenses here and there and I still have a check from Fat Records I can’t bring myself to cash. Other than that and a quick tour with Less Than Jake, National Underground didn’t make any money or pay any of our crew. Every single person who worked for National Underground volunteered. I’m simultaneously humbled by and overwhelmed with gratitude for that.

Some made National Underground a stepping stone into the industry. I’m really proud of the part it played in their careers. I even got offers to do all sorts of things from shooting at SXSW and CMJ to music videos and tour managing but alas, I couldn’t risk it with so many mouths to feed.

So, here we are, years later. We recorded straight through until The FEST 10, both HOH Fests, picked up shows like Paint It Black in a parking lot, HWM’s reunion, Dead To Me’s new lineup house show and countless warehouse shows. Truth be told, I don’t know how much we’ve recorded. I think somewhere around 600 shows and we have video for about 450 of them. Many of them are repeats, but why wouldn’t you record Dillinger Four for the fifth time?

I’ve been fighting this battle with the post production the entire time. I’ve had people give me a hard time about our turn around time since the beginning. I may have laughed, but I was super hard on myself about it. It’s not easy to mix, edit, output and post any of what we record. That’s not even getting into approvals by management, labels and such. It’s a process. Then you take into account that everybody has an HD camera in their pocket. iPhone footage is up on YouTube before we’ve can even strike our equipment. Nobody cares that our audio is mixed or we have multiple camera angles that are lit correctly. There’s no value in what we do anymore.

National Underground has been a long, expensive, trying, yet amazingly rewarding chapter in my life that I feel I need to put to bed. I have that same job and I’m up to four kids to focus on. I just can’t give National Underground the attention I think it deserves.

We’ve given the recordings to HOH, The FEST and No Idea Records. Hopefully this way more of it will get to see the light of day. I can only be sure that it has no chance if I sit on it and do nothing.

We’re going to keep the site up and might post stuff we feel like sharing. We shall see.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to every single person, visitor to our site, crew member, band, manager, venue, label, support staff, security guard and yes, even cop who helped in any and every way, even by just giving us any attention at all. It’s been beyond rad.


Review: Luther – Let’s Get You Somewhere Else

Luther, hailing from Philadelphia, has already made quite a name for themselves in their brief existence. The band has played with everyone from The Menzingers and Dave Hause to The Bouncing Souls and Hot Water Music. With a 7-song EP and a 4-way split under their belt, Luther’s first full-length effort, Let’s Get You Somewhere Else, was released on October 9th through Chunksaah Records.

The album kicks off with “The Concrete Sound,” which immediately brings to mind Apathy and Exhaustion-era Lawrence Arms. Continue reading


Bands You Need To Know: Leagues Apart

Leagues Apart

If you were fortunate enough to see Leagues Apart at Fest last year, you are probably already a fan. The Manchester, UK based band has been making friends around the world with their frenetic and fun live shows for years now. If you are in the crowd for their show at what is sure to be a packed Loosey’s at FEST 11, expect jokes, human pyramids, and plenty of beer. But, most importantly, expect to see one of the best bands England has to offer.

Leagues Apart proudly wears their influences on their sleeve – early Menzingers or Hot Water Music are a good reference point – but the band’s clever lyrics and amazing shared vocals add something uniquely English to the mix, making a sound that is all their own. With their most recent EP, Buffalo Club, the band does something very few manage; they capture all the passion, energy, and urgency you find at their shows and, in the process, make an EP that is virtually impossible to listen to without hitting the play button the second it ends.

Make sure you catch them at FEST 11 on Sunday October, 28 at Loosey’s at 5:10pm.


Chuck Ragan: “Get What You Give”

credit-scott-toepferIn preparation for the release of his new album Covering GroundChuck Ragan has teamed up with Rolling Stone to offer afree download/stream of the track “Get What You Give.” Ragan commented on the theme of the song saying:

“There is always a struggle finding balance doing what we love. Above all, holding true to that original passion rather than sinking into a self-absorbed world which is addicted to self-gratification, attention and spotlight. In the end, it comes down to a single choice of how we decide to treat people and ourselves. What goes around comes around; and sooner or later whether we like it or not, we will get what we give.”

Covering Ground will hit stores on September 13th.


Hot Water Music Posts Stream Of “The Fire, The Steel, The Tread”

In anticipation of the August release of The Fire, The Steel, The Tread EPHot Water Music has posted a stream of the title track of the two song EP. The EP will be released on Rise Records, and marks the band’s first new material from the band in over seven years. The Gainesville based band is set to release their Rise debut and follow up to 2004’s The New What Next in the spring of 2012.


Wayfarer/The Decay – Decayfarer

The southern Ontario punk rock scene has been building and swelling for quite some time now, and is about to hit it’s spilling point. While neither are relics in age, stature, or output, Wayfarer and The Decay have both contributed significantly to the face of independent music and the persistence of a scene in the area. On the surface, theDecayfarer split seems obvious; why didn’t this happen years ago? The record’s sound is anything but simple to figure out; both sides of the LP feature the respective bands at their most developed. While neither band has left their roots behind, The Decay have expanded on their street punk beginnings and Wayfarer their fairly linear pop-punk origin. Decayfarer utilizes the best in writing ability from both these young and upcoming bands.

Continue reading


Chuck Ragan Announces “Covering Ground”

credit-scott-toepferChuck Ragan (Hot Water Music) has announced that he will release his third solo album entitledCovering Ground on September 13th on SideOneDummy Records. Covering Ground was recorded by Ragan and his band, Jon Gaunt (fiddle) and Joe Ginsberg (upright bass), between three different tours at Fireside Sound Studios in Silverlake, CA with Blind Melon’s Christopher Thorn in the Spring. The album is being described as “a blue collar, Americana record filled with honest road songs” and will feature numerous guest appearances such as Frank Turner andGaslight Anthem‘s Brian Fallon. Ragan has plans to tour the world continuously this year in support of the album, and will unveil tour dates shortly.

For the album’s artwork and track listing…

Continue reading


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