Friday, December 27, 2013

Who Thwarted?

We were sitting on a church pew watching what would end up being not only an 80's cover band load-in but one that would admittingly be declared the 'real heroes' of the night. 'We' meaning myself and 3/4 of The Buffalo Killers (TBK's).... Yeah, the are a three piece now. The new guy, Sven (or is it 'Spin'?--I used both and he answered, but I sorta settled on Sven) is, as Zach would promise, cool. Joseph and Andy rounded out the 'we' sitting watching that band that would play all night long, load-in.

We were approached by a tall slender lady fashionally dressed that was already tall before she put on the high heels. Damn near towering. 

"Are you all in the band Buffalo Killers?"

"Yeah. I play guitar" said Andy passing to Sven.

Her name was Kathy. Sven said his position in TBK and passes to Joey. Joey exchanged formalities and passed to me. 

"I'm... not in the band... I 'play' the blog. I'm an embedded journalist with the band. My name is Shawn"

I then shook her hand while TBK laughed.

"Oh! I do a blog too!" Said Kathy. "What's your blog called?"

"Thwart" I said.

"Can you repeat that?"


She turned her head and asked me again to repeat myself. I knew why. It's the same reason I ultimately chose Thwart as a blog name. I raised my voice and emphasized the name so she could fully understand me


"Oh, Thwart!" She laughed along with Andy, Joey and Sven. "I thought you said... Something else"

"I know... you thought I said my blog was called 'Fart' and that's one of the main reasons I chose Thwart as a blog name. Immediate double-take cause everyone thinks you said fart. What's your blog called?" I asked back. Amazingly enough, I never run into 'bloggers' so this was a first for me.

"My blogs called KATHY'S BLOG" she said. I asked her to repeat herself. Yep, Kathy's Blog. I didn't get it wrong or anything.

There was a lull for a moment. Silence. The only sound being the sound of the band loading in.

"That names cool too..." I said

Watch for more THWART coverage of The Buffalo Killers in the next few days about one of their Southgate a House a Revival shows. This is but a prelude of that night.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Art of Mike Altman at Habanero Restaurant in December

This month you can catch Artist Mike Altman's work 
at Cincinnati Restaurant Habanero Latin Flare 
in Clifton (Gas Light District)

Questions by Thwart
Answers by Mike Altman

What initially inspired you to pursue making art? 
I have always known that I wanted to be an artist...

I never said policeman or fireman, or male nurse 
when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up
...still working on that growing up thing.

Can you further explain the decision 
you make using recycled materials?

The cardboard is a two-prong initiative. 1- the green factor, 
the cardboard would eventually cost us as a people
 who live on this planet, either by ending up in a dump 
or even if recycled, using 
energy to do so.

How did you attain the cardboard for your works 
at Habanero or in general? Those are some 
big pieces of cardboard.

Dumpsters, trash after someone
 buys a flat screen, new fridge or sofa.

The pieces you are showing at your
 recent Habanero exhibit seem playful 
and project a certain level of innocence. 
What feelings do you wish your 
art to convey? Do you have a ‘theme’?

I like to make people smile. 
Fun colorful work seems to accomplish that.

Where else have you displayed your art?

Indiana, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
 Tennessee, New York, and my mom's fridge door

Any future showings lined up?

A show in Indianapolis on Jan 3 at the 
Murphy Art Center in the upland brewery 
gallery space (one night only)

How do you measure success?

Integrity, consistency of faith 
and a happy wife and kids

Any last words you want everyone
 to know about you and/or your work? 
Last statements?

Check out my website for some more pics and 
contact info, and I also have a facebook 
page that you can post work to 
after you have purchased from me.

I would like to, in the name of Habanero,
 ask what your favorite menu item is 
and what you like about Habanero...

2 Dollar Taco Tuesday keeps me coming back… 
The people of Habaneros are great. 
The relationship with art and artists 
is uncommon for a food joint...



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Interview with Billy Alletzhauser about Zines

This is a zine.

Questions in bold.
 Answers by Billy Alletzhauser

Billy, I got some questions for you for THWART concerning you and zines... HIDEOUS HORROR #1 from 1985-- almost 30 years ago! That makes you one of the oldest zinesters still publishing... What got you started making zines?

Some of the members of Sluggo went to my school, Julian Bevan had one called Poison Briggs and that's probably what inspired me

Older Pic of Billy with Hiders:The Band
What was the zine scene like in the 80's? That was before my time.

Dude, everybody had zines back then. Mostly music and skating zines. It was just something to do, I'm not even sure why we did them... Just copying someone else I guess

Was it a 'golden age' for zines maybe?

Probably, I never really researched ' the history of fanzines ' or anything but they were certainly popular in the mid-eighties. You wouldn't be grabbing Rolling Stone to find out about the new Agnostic Front album or where a newly discovered skate spot was.

Sounds like it was in the 90's during my stint with Neus Subjex... Are you going thru a resurgence or reassertion now, or have you done irregular stuff continuously since 85?

Call it resurgence. Once I remembered how fun and easy it was I dived back in. Been digging through the archives, I'll have to show you some favorites!

What’s the difference between then and now doing zines?

Well, for me it was more innocent then but what started the new ones was using it as a self-promo thing for the band but that innocence and desire to reach out, connect, promote your friends was buried just below the surface and came welling back up. There's also the technical difference, no need for scotch tape and glue unless you're going full retro! Much easier now.

You are referencing HIDERS: THE ZINE... of which let me know that you knew... That really impressed the shit out of me. Are you planning more with that? What’s your future plans for zines? More Hiders?

I don't want to wear out the idea but I do want to use some kind of zine idea in place of / along with the usual poster. I like a bit of utilitarianism in there, there’s just so much useless crap in the world I want to stay committed to the notion that a promo item can serve a multi - purpose. I'm not sure; the next one may double as a calendar, a bookmark, a UFO manual? Since I've done two in two different styles I'm thinking that always changing could be the constant.

Something I continually ask myself, but have yet to answer comfortably, is why zines? As easy as it is and/or be ones, what's the use? What's the allure? Is it an expressive 'fuck yeah' celebrating Inconvenience?
I really need to do another photo shoot of Hiders. Update these old pics.

I think anything printed for the sheer sake of printing/making it is cool. (like our convo about blogs v zines) I think the limitations are what make it cool. As much as the internet and blogs democratize they also de-value just by the intangibility and ease of its essence. Who is going to collect a limited edition mp3 download single? No one, because it doesn't exist. Its copy is exactly the same as the original. If you took five minutes to write about some band in a blog, who cares... but if you took all weekend to write about a band, design it, print it, staple it, carry it around, mail it, give it away from your hand to someone else’s.... I guess if there's magic, that's where it happens.

Doing a blog makes me feel guilty and You have lots of validity behind your statements. What's your future plans for zines?

I'm tossing around ideas but haven't settled on one yet; it may be next year as the hiders book more shows. One idea is to do something hi-res kind of modeled after OMNI or maybe a reboot of Hideous Horror or some type of comic. I also like what they used to do in Punk Magazine and old creams where they would do a narrative comic book style but take real pictures, usually something ridiculous with band members acting out the narrative. As I type that idea I'm getting more into it!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

17th Annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEA) Endorsements

Today, December 12th, City Beat Magazine posted the Nominations for the 17th Annual CEA Awards.

The official Thwart/Shawn Abnoxious picks for those who act like they don't care but care a little except when their friends act like they care and then find out that they do care but then are slightly acting like they don't care besides the fact that they secretly cared enough to write a thank you list in their skinny jeans pockets if they are indeed picked to win... Or something

Here are MY choices for categories I care about-- but don't act like I care or anything,,,

Folk/Americanna   HIDERS


Punk/Pop Punk   SUBSETS

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Sweep and The Halvsies @ The Comet by Nicolas Perkins

1 of 5 Guest Blogs By: Nicolas Perkins

The Halvsies (source: fb)
Nic Powers fronts a stellar lineup for The Sweep's Comet residency in November.  The Comet does residencies for bands on Tuesdays with a new band every month.  It's a great concept because the resident band gets to pick their openers, which is great for good chemistry at the shows. Halvsies opened the night and brought some strong energy, with Joe Suer doing his usual heavy drumming.  Honestly when I first saw them I didn't think their, singer, Maria Seda-Reeder, had quite found her voice yet, but what a difference a few months makes man cause she was on it at this show.  Their dual vocal songs with Yusef Quotah doing the back vocals are my favorites.  They harmonize just like they should and then that bass kicks in from Stephen Streit, who is the rock solid foundation to the melodies with Suer.  They are a great rhythm section foundation for the melodic harmonies that Seda-Reeder and Quotah stack on top.

Between sets, I filled my maggot brain with Burger beers and whisky.  Toss back a whisky, chase with Burger, toss back a whisky, chase with Burger.  Smoke cigs outside with Nic Pow(ers).  Fill the maggot brain full getting ready for The Sweep's set.

The Sweep (source: fb)
The Sweep owned the audience's attention with their set, which is rare these days. Christmas came in November this year as Brendan Bogosian lays down some seriously good guitar tone, rockin' that Stratocaster to the bank like a boss.  And yes, in the interests of full disclosure, I am a gearhead and a Powers fan, love his other project, New Strange, too.  The Sweep's set blew me away.  Joe Klug, of Wussy fame, slayed the drum kit with some backing vocals as well and Glen May filled in the rhythm well on bass poking that Rickenbacker bass.  Powers finished the set with a stirring encore. I could have watched them play a second encore and you know Powers has the songs, he writes new hooks constantly.  This is an entirely new lineup/set for The Sweep but you wouldn't know it cause they looked veterans.  And they are veterans of the Cincinnati music scene.  Bogosian has played with the Tigerlillies for years and May picks that Richenbacker with The Hiders, a Neil Young-ish sounding group.

Powers has a new record coming out featuring the old version of The Sweep, which, oddly enough, included Halvsies drummer Joe Suer.  Powers told me the record will be coming out for a subscription based service, called _____, that puts out independent bands records.  Unlike most labels, the bands get to retain the rights to their music, which is a godsend for independent bands.  

You can check out some work from The Sweep here: 

and The Halvsies here:

The Comet (source: fb)


V/A Phratry Records 2X7” EP/DL

No matter how much you write about a preferred label, as I must reiterate the strong alliance that Phratry and I (Thwart Blog) have, there’s always someone out there that hasn’t heard about how fucking cool Phratry Records are… So there you go: Phratry Records are amazing and deserve not only the respect of a WWIII veteran riding around a buggy cart for maximum mobility at your neighborhood Krogers store. You gotta give props yo… Despite many of my personal freelance writing deals for such prestigious publications as City Beat Magazine and High Times Magazine Jerry Dirr (Phratry Records Homeboy) send materials to review specifically stating that he wants a Thwart review! This double 7” record features one track each from Joe 4, Aperiodic (please insert the 'fuck-yeah thumb here!), Knife The Symphony and Mala In Se spreading the Phratry sound of rage infused double Dischord Records hardcore bringing a bit more raw experimental sonic-art amp feedback fury into the fray. The songs are loud, fast and intense. Great at a loud volume and sure to heat up your 45-degree writing room. Well, that’s what it did for me. But wait, there’s more! Did you know that the whole 180 gram record resurgence that has always been such a shocker to all the squares out there YEAH YEAH YEAH THEY SILL MAKE RECORDS are into including mp3 download codes of the release is really a ploy to charge more for a record? The return of people who actually redeem these download codes are small under 5% usually. Why is that? (If you know, let me know) well, I suggest its because most download offer nothing new. Nothing as a bonus… Well, when you buy this record the download version includes eight songs total! Two from each band! Double more! Now that’s a reason to go thru the motions and get jamming on the Internet! So what are you waiting for? Get to typing


Phratry Records


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dinosaurs and Thunder "The Stuff Between The Stars" CD-R

Here is the third and final CD offering from Lo Fi City from the Northside Record Fair releases. The Stuff Between The Stars is a posthumous collection of jams... Jams Volume One... Which would imply that more are in the works. Stars features 7 songs or 'jams' (which are songs according to John Brannon of Easy Action) sounding like they were in their infancy of becoming 'real' songs. I think  I almost heard some background screams on one track but for the most part the use of 'Jams' means instrumentals. Actually, if there were more rim-shots from the tuffist (no, not a spelling error) 'Dro Corona and more use of delay pedals, Joshua Bradbury propels these tracks with baselines that could almost make this release a reggae/dub concept album. Over all Stars comes across like Fugazis Instrument CD soundtrack of the DVD. If you are, or were a fan of this band or are into local instrumental bands like Ampline and Mr. Pilgrim then please take note. If you got into Hoped Destinations (great album) take note too. A quick search will reveal bunches of free DL's of their material including this CD-R from the bandcamp page.


Learn more about the REAL  stuff between the stars:

Monday, December 2, 2013


I discovered the category of Belles-Lettres writings during self-studies of Situationism, I felt like I had found the 'thing' that basically affirms and validates anything I write.
"Hey, everything's wrong with your writing style... blah blah blah..."
"It's Belles-Lettres... you should celebrate its aesthetic qualities!"

BAM! I win! There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance... If you don't get it then get out.

What is Belles-Lettres writing?
From Wikipedia:
"Belles-lettres or belles lettres is a term that is used to describe a category of writing. A writer of belles-lettres is a belletrist. However, the boundaries of that category vary in different usages. Literally, belles-lettres is a French phrase meaning "beautiful" or "fine" writing. In this sense, therefore, it includes all literary works — especially fictionpoetrydrama, or essays — valued for their aesthetic qualities and originality of style and tone. The term thus can be used to refer to literature generally. The Nuttall Encyclopedia, for example, described belles-lettres as the "department of literature which implies literary culture and belongs to the domain of art, whatever the subject may be or the special form; it includes poetry, the drama, fiction, and criticism," while the Encyclop√¶dia Britannica Eleventh Edition describes it as "the more artistic and imaginative forms of literature, as poetry or romance, as opposed to more pedestrian and exact studies."
Read a bit more form Wikipedia:

I said anything.