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Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006 02:54 am

Hate will keep us together

The Ihateyourband Fest takes place on Saturday at the Black Sheep Café

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My dictionary says that “hate” means “loathe, despise or have a strong dislike for something.” So when a Web site called Ihateyourband.com comes along, you might figure that it would be a place where you could say all kinds of nasty things about the musical groups you aren’t too fond of. Not so, according to site originator John Plunkett. “I feel not liking a band’s music isn’t a barrier to not liking the band personally,” Plunkett says. “You shouldn’t judge people by what kind of music they play. That was the purpose of the site.” Plunkett, a Beardstown native and a musician himself, launched the Web site to counter what he felt was unfair treatment of area groups on Bandemonium, a WQLZ (92.7 FM) program designed to support local bands. He also thought that the music scene needed a forum where the strengths and weaknesses of bands could be discussed honestly without repercussions or for-profit motives. “Why not have an area on the Internet where people could voice their opinions?” he says. “Get it out and let everyone know how you feel, then get over it.” After attending a music show at the Black Sheep Café, Springfield’s latest attempt at a full-time all-ages venue, Plunkett’s “altruistic dream” of everyone getting along in the local music scene led him down another path. “I was surprised that there was still a youth scene in Springfield after Club 10 closed up,” he says. “It made me feel what I wanted to do would work.” That’s when he started the Ihateyourband Fest, his first venture into concert promotion. The festival, featuring five bands from in and out of state, became a benefit for the fledgling faith-based venue after Plunkett pledged all proceeds after paying bands to the Black Sheep Café. “It’s quite an endeavor financially,” says Plunkett of running an all-ages club, “but a community needs a place like this.” Even though as a band member and local promoter Plunkett is doing all he can to push the local scene, there are limits to his reach. “I will support the venue but not run it,” he says, “and, if I take a dive on this one, I’m not going to do another. Ultimately, though I want to see people happy.”
The Ihateyourband Fest begins at 5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Black Sheep Café. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. The lineup features the Its, Sparland, Daphne, I Shot Lincoln, and Cranksanatra.

Sources at Illinois Timesheadquarters (thanks, Marissa) have informed us that Shipwreck, Saturday night’s offering at Mojo’s (225 E. Monroe St., 217-544-3400), is an awesome band. The psychedelic alt-country indie-rock band is based in Champaign and boasts two, count ’em, two, Springfield natives. Also on the bill: A Light Sleeper (Chicago) and Ghost in the Light (St. Louis). The show runs 10 p.m.-2 a.m. and costs $3. Sable, the Sunday-afternoon house band at Alton’s legendary Fast Eddie’s Bon-Air, makes its way up U.S. 67 on Friday, Jan. 26, to perform at City’s Sports Pub (219 S. Main St., 217-243-1212) in downtown Jacksonville, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. There won’t be any 99-cent hamburgers or any other of Fast Eddie’s specials, but the music is good and City’s is a cool place. In case you hadn’t noticed, 11 West, Springfield’s first official martini bar, is no more. New owners have moved in, redecorated, and christened the space Fusion (11 W. Old State Capitol Plaza). They’ve also retained the services of DJ Matt Greer for late-night jams and expanded the dance floor area. The layout of the venue is not what one would consider conducive to nightlife movement, but the packed house nearly every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday speaks otherwise. The Sangamon Valley Roots Revival is at it again, bringing semifamous alt-something artist Richard Buckner to the Underground City Tavern (700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530) on Feb. 9. A few years ago the ever-changing singer/songwriter released an album of songs called The Hill, using the Spoon River Anthology poems of Edgar Lee Masters as lyrics. The record-company description of his latest CD, Dents and Shells(Merge Records), is as vague and dense as the musician’s songwriting. On this tour Buckner is joined by Doug Gillard of Guided by Voices on guitar. Tickets are on sale at Recycled Records (625 E. Adams St., 217-522-5122) and will be available at the door for $10.
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