Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I recently interviewed Chad and Ruthie, the good folks behind the upcoming Dixie Danger Fest in Huntsville, Alabama. This looks to be a terrific event with some of this publication's absolute favorite bands performing. Add a pin-up contest and a raffle (proceeds going to the zine!) and how can you not wanna go? This interview also appears in issue 11 of the GAD! zine. -Adam Harmless

GAD! - Who are ya?
Chad - Name is Chad Zolynsky, vocalist/bassist for the Huntsville-based Punk Rock act Jonny & the Black Frames. When I'm not doing the standard band activities of staying up late and rocking the masses, I handle planning for the annual Dixie Danger Fest event and running my own DJ business ZMC Event Productions. I'm proud to be part of a thriving Huntsville music scene and strive to grow our community through avenues just like GAD!punk.

Ruthie - My name is Ruthie Lay, aka Miss Ivana Cupcake. I have won multiple area tattoo/pinup beauty pageants, and have had my photos published in print and online. I am a hairdresser at one of Huntsville's oldest beauty shops (5pts. Beauty Salon), mother to an amazing little boy and a big fan of pop culture and kitsch. If I had to describe my personal style I would say I'm a riot grrl version of Miss Yvonne from Pee-wee's Playhouse. In my spare time I like to visit thrift stores, binge eat junk food, and daydream about Captain America.
GAD! - What is Dixie Danger?
Chad - Dixie Danger Fest is really two events in one, with the first being a Regional Music Showcase of local underground musical acts and the second being a Retro-Styled Pinup Girl Pageant with cash prizes and boutique gifts for the winners. At each festival, we have 5-7 bands play and between each band set, we host a pageant with bios, questions, and catwalks. This is the second Dixie Danger Fest and this year we are hosting our event at the Straight to Ale Brewery in South Huntsville. Our goal is to put on this fest annually so that we can show off the musical and pageant talent this great city has to offer.
Ruthie - The Miss Dixie Danger pageant is not your typical Southern beauty pageant. We are looking at the entire package and have designed our pageant accordingly. Pinup subculture is incredibly welcoming to all women regardless of size, shape, race, age, tattooed or not, all styles and types of pinups are welcome. Our diversity is one of the things that set us apart. This is a pageant run by women designed to empower women with a sense of community and confidence. I enjoyed competing in pinup pageants so much regardless of whether I won or not because the experience itself was a win. Everyone deserves to have a reason to get all dolled up and be celebrated.
GAD! - When did it start?
Chad - The idea for Dixie Danger Fest came from various members of Jonny & the Black Frames, including me, that wanted to host an annual music festival in Huntsville. Our first Dixie Danger Fest was in June 2015 and was scheduled to only be a musical event up until a month or two prior to the show date. That was until I shared a handbill flyer with my hairdresser/amateur psychologist Ruthie Lay and she immediately thought we should add a pageant based upon the cowgirl in the flyer graphics. It took us only a few months to add this feature to the event, but it went off without a hitch at Lowe Mill. The event has now become a staple of the Huntsville music scene and something we look forward to every summer. We are the only Musical Fest and Pinup Pageant in the greater Huntsville-Madison-Decatur area and hope to continue our little event for years to come.
Come out and see the best talent the land of Dixie and neighboring states can offer on June 4th! 

The Go-Go Killers (Huntsville)
V8 Death Car (Montgomery)
Jonny & The Black Frames (Huntsville)
Skeptic? (Birmingham)
Cadillac Junkies (Atlanta)

6-11:30PM, Saturday, June 4th at Straight to Ale Brewery Huntsville, AL
All Ages welcome. 12 and Under Free, 13 and Older $10
DIXIE DANGER FEST 2016 partners in crime: Straight to Ale, Depth Charge Sound Studio, The Invisible City, ZMC Event Productions, & Know Huntsville

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This Is Not Just About Stuff Flea Or Iggy Said: Rambling In Defense Of Progress...And Youth...Or Something To That Effect

    Every few months, there’s another article containing a music veteran stating that “rock ‘n’ roll” (whatever that is) is in some sort of dire circumstance because “the kids” today care more about image or money or fame or who-knows-what than the previous generations and that there is little innovation or even passion. Well, I hate to report to our heroes that they’re wisdom is flawed. 
    First off, very few of these rock stars have much to do with “the kids”. Even the so-called down-to-earth guys rarely have access to the real next wave of innovators. Why? Because those innovators are underground. Remember that word? It’s what many of you folks used to be before ya “made it”. I’m not trying to say that you’re out of it because you sold out or something. What I’m saying is that after one reaches a certain level of popularity (with or without actual money to show for it), access to a certain subterranean level is more restricted. Your view is also likely to be obscured by the all-image/no-substance bands and performers standing in the front hollering for your (and everyone’s) attention. Those idiots have always existed, it's just that now they're blocking the view. Or drowning the sound. If your band has ever mimed at the Super Bowl, you probably don't have garage-paled noisy nobodies opening for ya at festivals. You get pop or a "pop" version of something. 
     Music is easier to create, record, and distribute than ever before. There’s a lot more of “the good stuff” than ever before. It’s just that you have to sort through even more crap. But it’s worth it. I'm not gonna pull some bullshit like trying to imply that these folks are too old to "get it". I can't. Where the Hell does that put me? Where does that put any of us? The idea of musical revolution being a youth-oriented phenomenon does have some truth to it. Young adults are often trying to find their way through art that deviates from that of their parents' generation. Popular music being directed/crafted toward a teenage demographic, however, was instigated by Major Record Labels. But the way many fans get their music today is just different from before. We're talkin' digital downloads. Teenagers, who typically have less income, are going to get their music by the cheapest, easiest means. Digital is the route many will take. Especially now that smartphones are often their main music playing devices. If you're in your 50's and you don't see kids buying CDs, that doesn't mean that music is stagnant. Record Stores are dying. I hate that. That doesn't mean the music itself is in danger. The Record Industry is dying? They just committed slow suicide. Unfortunately, they're inconsiderately trying to take the Stores with them. Keep going to the stores and encourage (pressure mercilessly) your friends to do the same. Artists want to be heard. They will go where fans are listening. 
    The "Music Industry" is in a transitional period. It's scary. That's good. CHANGE IS SCARY. There are kids (of all ages) everywhere making a racket. Some of that racket will change music forever. -Adam Harmless