A Way Out – a Short story by: Kurt Reynolds

A Way Out

The mind is a strange land to traverse. Yet, it was becoming a more familiar place for Henry Wallace; more familiar than the physical realm, more commonly known as reality. Perhaps it was for this reason that Henry became more isolated. It was as if Henry’s mind became an island and reality turned into some treacherous and unfamiliar sea. And Henry Wallace became more frightened each day to venture out into those murky waters.
Years had passed, until this isolated land had become inhospitable. Henry couldn’t bear another second living alone on his mind’s isle. But, the journey into the sea seemed equally disturbing. So Henry needed an exit, he needed an escape. And by the end of the fall, he would have one.

Chapter 1

The alarm clock began to chime at its familiar preset time of seven o’clock in the morning. It was a sound that Henry had come to loath; a series of high pitched pings, which, resembled an alert heard in many movies when disaster was imminent. This almost being the case for Henry, since the sound indicated another day of work was upon him.
After pressing the snooze button a few times, he reluctantly climbed out of bed. Slowly making his way to the small bathroom of his apartment, he began his morning routine. Henry turned the shower on to let the water warm while he brushed his teeth. After a quick shower, Henry began his journey to work.
Upon arriving at Smith & Company, Henry was greeted with the familiar phony, cheerful greetings of his co-workers.
“Morning Henry”, said Paul Sanders.
“Hey Henry, how was the weekend?” non-interestedly asked by Tom Baker, with the practiced smile of a veteran salesman.
“Not bad”; Henry replied with an equally rehearsed answer, while making his way to his desk. Henry sometimes wondered if people would act as he suspected they would, if he ever deviated from the expected reply of such a question. He considered trying it sometime, but thought better of it and dismissed the idea.
Once settled at his desk, he started warily going over the day’s to do list. The life of a home insurance salesman was anything but exciting, at least Henry felt that way; time to make a few calls. He scrolled through the database on his aging Dell computer. Once he located the number of a Mrs. Allen, he punched in the number on his phone and listened to the three rings before the line picked up.
“Hello?” Henry replied, “Mrs. Allen, this is Henry Wallace from Smith & Company, how are you?” The conversation droned on with the business as usual pleasantries, finally ending with Henry renewing Mrs. Allen’s insurance policy.
The day kept this familiar pace up to lunch, with Henry making and answering a few phone calls, sending emails and doing paperwork, lots of paperwork. Henry took his lunch break at one fifteen in the break room, staring at the digital readout of the microwave heating up the leftover lasagna from the night before.
Henry ended his break five minutes early and returned to his desk. Another hour passed by, when a tall scraggly looking man entered the office. Henry happened to look up as the receptionist pointed the man in Henry’s direction. The man quickly made his way toward Henry. Taking in the scene before him, Henry noticed the worn jeans, work boots, old and ragged from constant wear. The suede jacket did little to soften the scowl on the man’s face. Henry had a feeling in the back of his mind that the man meant to bring him harm, a moment later that feeling would be confirmed.
“Henry Wallace?” the man asked in a gruff tone laced with anger and hatred.
“Yes.” Henry replied with a confused look on his face. “What can I do for you?”
The man put both hands on Henry’s desk and leaned over it, becoming uncomfortably close to Henry.
“Do?” “Mr. Wallace, I believe you have done enough for me.”
“I don’t understand,” Henry replied.
“Everything I had was taken from me,” the man said angrily. Henry stared blankly at the man, trying to connect the dots, but nothing was coming together.
“Think hard,” said the man, slowly standing up straight again. Henry paused a moment trying desperately to think of what this man was referring to, but still nothing.
“What is your name?” Henry slowly asked, glancing up at the man.
“Thomas” the man replied, “Thomas Young.”
Henry set back in his seat repeating the name in his head a few times. It sounded so familiar, but Henry was still drawing a blank.
“Listen Wallace,” the man said sharply, “You took everything from me.” “And I intend on making sure you know that feeling of loss. The police can’t prove you of your guilt, but I know. I know everything you did that night, the fire and you standing there just watching. You will pay Henry.”
The man turned and started walking away from Henry’s desk and out of the building. Henry still could not recall what the man was talking about, but something sounded familiar in the last words the man spoke to him. “You will pay.” It almost seemed like something he had dreamt about. But Henry knew he was not a criminal, and starting fires was not something Henry did for spite or pleasure. Hell, he barely used his oven, preferring to warm up his premade dinners in the evening.
Henry removed himself from his desk, while everyone in the office stared in disbelief at the events that just took place. He could hear the whispering of his coworkers questioning and remarking on what transpired in this normally mundane office. He went to his boss, Sheila Porter, and said he needed to take the rest of the day off. She said of course, noticing how pale and nervous Henry looked. “Go home Henry and get some rest. If you need the rest of the week off, I will understand. Just keep me posted on what’s going on.” “I will,” he said.

Chapter 2

The hours slowly ticked by as Henry sat on the couch with the television on, half looking at it and half looking at the clock. Both were merely something to keep his occupied while he mulled over the days happenings in his head. The same questions and thoughts kept going by so often that Henry almost felt like they were forming grooves on his brain. Despite his efforts he couldn’t stop thinking though. This is how his mind worked. It never really stopped. Ever since he could remember, Henry’s mind would go through every possible scenario of a problem or an occurrence. Conversations would take place in his mind that would never occur in real life. He sometimes felt like he was going insane, but thought that insane people would not be able to properly function in society and hold a job and make a life for themselves. However, this constantly racing mind was becoming a bigger problem than Henry cared to admit. It was causing him to have a very difficult time falling asleep. Often he would just lie in bed for hours on end just hoping to get to sleep, but sleep never seemed to come. He would eventually get some rest, but not enough to feel the full meaning of the word, rested. And on the nights he did fall asleep quickly; his dreams were so vivid and lifelike, that Henry felt just as physically drained as if he never fell asleep at all. But such was the life he had come to deal with. And now on top of all the other things to worry him, this took precedence over all of it. What was he going to do?
The alarm went off the following morning as it normally did; however, Henry was already awake, anticipating its rude noise. He quickly shut it off and called his office.
“Hello, Sheila?” “Yes,” she replied.
“This is Henry; I think I’m going to take the rest of the week off if it is still alright with you?”
“Of course Henry, I completely understand. Use the time to calm yourself down, perhaps notify the police of the encounter.”
“Ok, thank you Sheila. I will keep you updated.” Henry didn’t really want to go to the police. If the man knew where he worked, he must know how to find where he lived. Maybe the man was keeping a watch on him. The paranoia Henry felt began to intensify. Suddenly his apartment looked less like his home and more like a prison. Were there cameras in his apartment? Listening devices? What did this man know about him? And what fire is this man referring to? He needed answers.
Henry turned on his laptop and opened the browser to search for fires in his city within the past month. The search returned several stories of fires ranging from buildings, cars, homes and the like. Some weather related from storms that have passed through, others from faulty electric wiring and others under investigation for suspected arson. Henry narrowed his search to those suspected of arson and watched as the results got smaller. He clicked a link that took him to a news article on a police investigation of a house fire occurring three weeks ago in a residential neighborhood a few minutes outside the city. Henry read the article in disbelief as it stated that police were still looking for possible suspects who may have set fire to the home of one Thomas Young. The article continued with a quote from Young stating that he awoke at four a.m. to smoke in his bedroom. He made his escape outside through the backdoor in the kitchen. There he saw a man dressed in black standing for a brief moment on the sidewalk watching the flames envelop his home. As Young heard the sirens approach, he moved to the side of the home to get a view of the street, when he turned around the man in black was gone. Henry went pale. That couldn’t have been him. That fire occurred on a Wednesday night. He was at his apartment in bed at that time. Why would Young think he was responsible for the crime? He had never met the man prior to him coming into the office the previous day. Aside from that he had never committed a crime in his life. Not even a parking violation or speeding ticket. Henry was far too cautious in his life to be accused of something of this nature. Henry began to sweat nervously.

Chapter 3

Henry was pacing around his apartment, thinking, weighing his options of what to do. Should I go to the police, he thought. Should I try and contact Young? He hated the idea of both, but doing nothing was equally troubling. He continued to labor over the thoughts, wandering around his small apartment, occasionally taking a drink of water to try and calm him down. It did little to help. Finally, Henry decided he should go to the police, but it would have to wait until tomorrow, for right now it was almost one o’clock in the morning. He had lost track of time. He decided to try and sleep, taking a few over the counter sleeping pills to help his cause. Henry knew the pills would do little, but at least it may provide a small amount of help to get some rest. Two hours went by with Henry tossing around in his bed, the thoughts continuing to go through his head like a movie on and endless repeat. Finally he fell asleep.
Henry woke up blurry eyed and still feeling exhausted. He looked at the clock and noticed it was twelve o’clock in the afternoon; must have forgotten to turn the alarm on, he thought. He rose out of bed and made his way to the bathroom; he looked in the mirror and noticed how rough his face looked. He hadn’t shaved in a few days and it looked like he had aged three years in one night. As he reached to lift the lid on the toilet, he realized he was still wearing the same pants from the day before. Odd, he thought. He could have sworn he took them off before bed. On a closer look he noticed a black chalky looking stain near the knee. How did that get there he wondered. He walked back into the bedroom and noticed his shirt thrown across the chair next to his bed. He noticed as he picked it up there was a tear in one of the sleeves and the shirt smelled of sweat and ashes. Henry went white with panic. He quickly sat down on the edge of his bed, hunched over and began to think.
This isn’t right, he thought. I was asleep in my bed all night. Someone is trying to set me up. Young, he thought. He must have broken in my apartment and mangled my clothes. Henry stood up and walked toward the door of his apartment. He noticed a smudged footprint on the carpet, black with ash. This footprint came from a pair of work boots. I don’t own any boots Henry thought, but he did remember seeing Young wearing work boots when he entered the office a few days ago. It must have been Young, Henry half way said out loud. Why was he doing this? What did I do to him? Henry’s curiosity quickly faded, fear taking over. Henry sat on the edge of his bed, hunched over and looming on the evidence before him. I need a shower, he thought. Henry sat up and walked into the bathroom to start the shower. As he turned the faded chrome knob, he heard his cell phone beep in the bedroom, notifying him a text message had been received. He quickly made his way back to the bedroom, picked up the phone from the night stand and opened the text. It read, “I wasn’t expecting company last night. Especially to a home that was burnt to the ground. Watch yourself Wallace.” The message was sent from a blocked number. Henry felt his stomach turn.
He returned to the bathroom and stepped into the shower. He stood under the dropping water for a long while, stuck in his mind, thinking, wondering what he should do. He stood there like the drops of water contained the answers he needed and he was just waiting for them to soak in. At that moment he felt like he had one, at least a place to start. He stopped the running water, dried himself off and got dressed. He then went back to the bedroom and picked up his phone to call the office. The phone rang four times before being picked up, “Smith & Company” a friendly voice announced.
“Jan, this is Henry Wallace, could you connect me to Paul Sanders?”
“Sure” she said. “How are you doing Henry?”
“I’m not sure” he replied.
“Ok, just a moment, I’ll let Paul know you are calling.”
“Thank you” he replied.
Soft music filled the earpiece on Henry’s phone, when just as quickly as the music started it was cut off and replaced by the voice of Paul Sanders.
“Hi, Henry, how are you holding up?”
“I’m not sure Paul, but I was wondering if you might be able to do me a favor?”
“Uh, sure Henry, what can I do?”
“Could you look up some information on that guy that came into the office a few days ago?”
“Yeah, what was his name again?”
“Thomas Young,” Henry replied. “Let me know whatever you can find on him ok?”
“Alright Henry, give me a while and I’ll call you back.”
“Ok, thanks Paul.”
The hours slowly ticked by as Henry waited for the phone to ring. He sat on the couch, trying to piece together why Young thought he had something to do with the fire. Then there was the appearance in his apartment of a pair of work boots, which he didn’t own; plus soot on his pants and carpet. Just then the phone rang. Henry looked at the caller ID and answered.
“Henry, it’s Paul; I found some interesting pieces of information on your guy.”
“Like what?” Henry asked.
“Well, he was one of our customers. But, he was two months late on his payment so his coverage lapsed. The day after the fire occurred he called and spoke to one of the employees here, explaining the situation and wanting us to cover the damages.”
“Who did he speak to?” Henry asked.
“It doesn’t say on the report, possibly a temp that has sense left the company. The report goes on to say that our guy said he would look into what we could do for Mr. Young and get back with him.”
“Ok” said Henry.
“Here’s the kicker” Paul stated. “When the temp called Young back, he informed him that he submitted the claim for review to one of our senior staff members and since the coverage had lapsed for two months, there was nothing we could do to help him. Mr. Young asked the temp who made that call and the temp gave him your name.”
Henry went pale. He suddenly remembered making that decision, just more paperwork. The kind of thing that a person doesn’t really think about after it’s finished.
“Are you there Henry?”
“Yeah, I’m here.” Henry barely got the words out.
“Alright, well I hope that helps. Is there anything else I can do for you Henry?”
“No, thank you Paul; that‘s enough.”
“Ok, well take care of yourself pal.”
Henry just pressed the end button on his cell. I was just doing my job he thought. How can I be blamed for that? I didn’t set the fire. Henry felt a mixture of anger and confusion. Maybe I should go to the police he thought. Tell them my side of the story and let them know that Mr. Young might be looking to take matters into his own hands. Maybe they could help keep a watch on my place. He didn’t know if he was making sense or not, but he was satisfied enough with his decision to go to the police.

Chapter 4

Henry walked up to the steps of the police station and opened the heavy metal framed door with a large panel of glass in the center. He approached the front desk and spoke to the man sitting there.
“Hi, my name is Henry Wallace. I would like to report…well, I’m not sure exactly what you would call it, suspicious activity, perhaps.”
The man looked up from the flat panel monitor of his computer and stared at Henry for a moment before replying. “Alright, Wallace you say your name is?”
“Yes.” Henry replied. “I think someone might be trying to frame me for arson.”
“That’s a strange thing to be framed for Mr. Wallace.”
Henry only nodded and looked down. He started to feel foolish for even coming to the station. He noticed the officer behind the desk never took his eyes off of him. It was like the officer was waiting for some sort of confession right there on the spot. Henry had seen that kind of look before too, it was the kind of stare that asked a hundred questions and made just as many accusations at the same time. But, he felt it was too late to turn back now.
“I know you may find this strange officer, but if I could only fill out a report or talk to someone about what’s going on I…I would appreciate it.”
“Ok. Well Mr. Wallace, I’ll get one of our officers to come out here and talk with you and he can take the report.”
“Thank you.” Henry said.
As Henry told the officer about the events that had taken place he could tell the young police man was only half listening, every now and then writing down a word or two to put on a more believable show. It was something Henry did himself when clients would tell him about some property damage that his company should cover. And just as Henry did when his client finished a story, the officer gave a blank stare at Henry.
“Well, Mr. Wallace, thank you for coming in. We will do everything in our power to assure you are safe during this time. If this…Mr. Young tries anything we’ll get him.”
Henry was reading the man’s face rather than listening to the words he was speaking. He could tell the officer wasn’t being fully sincere about helping him out.
“Ok, thank you officer. I will also keep you informed if I receive any word from Young.”
Henry stood up from the uncomfortable wooden chair and made his way to the exit of the police station. It was almost dark outside and as he opened the door he could feel the cold autumn air strike him in the face as he stepped outside. He stood on the sidewalk considering if he should walk home or take a taxi. He decided to walk, since the distance wasn’t too far. As he made his way back his mind did not feel at ease like he had hoped after telling the authorities. Rather, he felt more isolated and alone in this situation now than he had previously.
He reached the entrance to his apartment building and looked up at the fourth floor window of his apartment. For a brief moment he thought he saw some shadowy figure moving across the curtains. He took a second glance and did not see anything. My mind is playing tricks on me, he thought. He entered the building, stepped into the elevator door which was already open and pressed the button to select the fourth floor.
The elevator slowly ascended the forty feet and finally stopped. The door hesitated a moment and eventually opened with the door splitting into and disappearing into the sides of the elevator. Henry sighed; he was feeling fatigued now and hungry. As he walked down the hallway toward his door a sudden feeling of fear crept over him. The image of the shadowy figure made its way to the front of Henry’s mind. Could Young be in my apartment building he thought? He forced himself to dismiss the idea and reached for the key in his coat pocket. He unlocked the door and stepped inside.
Henry shut the door behind him and relocked it. He turned on a small lamp located on a stand near the entrance and hung his coat on the rack beside the stand. When he turned to face the living room, the feeling of fear came back to him. Henry’s eyes went wide. He noticed his belongings thrown around the room. He cautiously made his further into the apartment to get a better look at the damage.
Papers and folders were thrown across the couch. His computer was turned on with his personal files displayed on the screen. His collection of DVD’s and books were scattered across the floor. What was going on he thought? Who did this? A moment later a voice whispered from the bedroom.
“Hello Henry. I’ve been waiting for you.”
Chapter 5
Henry turned quickly towards the bedroom. Quickly the person behind the voice lunged out of the bedroom at Henry, punching him in the face. Henry took a few wobbly steps backward, arms flailing and then fell to the ground. He groaned as the man once again approached him and kicked him in the ribs. Henry curled up, wincing in pain. Finally the man stepped back and began to speak.
“You are one piece of work Wallace.”
Henry groaned and looked up at the man before him. “Who…are you?”
“I didn’t think you would remember me. You don’t pay much attention to people do you?”
“We use to work together, Henry. My name is Adam. But you probably only recall me as a temp at your company. I’m the one who handled Young’s claim.”
A look of terror was drawn on Henry’s face. “Why are you doing this? What did I do to you?”
“Well Mr. Wallace, I’m glad you asked. After I did my part on Young’s claim, I gave the paperwork to you to sign off on. Of course you did, never reading the summaries on the claim. But, if you would have taken the few minutes to look it over, you would have noticed that Young had actually sent in a payment to reactivate his account. However; that payment was lost, until it was too late and the damage had been done. I believe the message left on your answering machine while you were gone will confirm my story.”
Adam pressed the play button on the answering machine, Henry remained on the floor.
“Henry, its Paul. Listen we did a little more research on Young and turns out he actually submitted a payment to reinstate his policy. We found an incident report from accounting and it looks like that temp I told you about neglected to inform Young. He just told Young that you had signed off on his policy being canceled. It wasn’t too long after, that we fired the temp…”
Henry listened to the message in disbelief. “I didn’t fire you!” he shouted at Adam.
“No you didn’t. But, you could have prevented this whole thing by paying attention. Instead you let me take the fall. I’m sure Young has been informed of the good news by now. For me…for me there is no good news. I have nothing now! I have nothing and everyone else gets to go about their life. Hell, I’ll bet even the arsonist that Young saw that night will get away and go on with his life.”
“So now Henry, I’m going to get my little piece of satisfaction.”
Henry felt cornered suddenly. Like an animal in a fight or flight situation. Instinct kicked in and for the first time in a long time, Henry’s mind went blank. He bolted up from the floor and sprang for the hallway towards the door. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain on the back of his head. The world faded into darkness. As he drifted out, he thought he saw a light coming from an open door. But, nothing seemed real now. No voices, no sounds, no reality.
Chapter 6
The paramedics and police arrived about twenty minutes later after a neighbor phoned in a disturbance. Henry was placed on a stretcher and wheeled into the hallway. One of the officers asked the paramedic about Henry’s condition.
“Looks like he’s in a coma.”
“Think he’ll recover?” the officer asked.
“Hard to tell,” the paramedic replied. “We’ll take him to the hospital to monitor him. With any luck he’ll snap out of it soon.”
“Alright, well keep us informed. We’ll wrap things up here and start a look out for the suspect.”
During all of this commotion Henry laid on the stretcher in silence. He was no longer subject to the daily struggles and discomfort of reality. He was fully on the tiny island of his mind for better or worse. At least he knew how to deal with being there.


Creating a Scene: A Brief Look at Louisville’s Original Music Scene


Creating a Scene

A Brief Look at Louisville’s Original Music Scene

Kurt Reynolds





“It doesn’t matter how big the splash was. It just depended on how you felt during it.”

-Andy Paul (intheclear)

Somewhere between the ambient sounds of the city, behind the doors of venues large and small, a new unheard song is being performed. The band may be playing their first show or hundredth. They may be just building a fan base or the venue may be packed. If one were to cross the threshold of that door to hear this band; they may be looking at a group that, in a few years, is on the cover of The Rolling Stone, or performing on a national late night show. The odds are great, the hurdles are tremendous; but, Louisville has been the home to a number of such acts. Take for example: My Morning Jacket, Flaw, Days of the New, Tantric, Ugly and several others. Not all of these groups are still together; however, their art has influenced the music scene in the River City, but across the world.

For the people creating new music and performing it live, it becomes addictive; music becomes a drug, a release, therapy, harmony…life. For them, the stage is a haven. The stage feels like home. And for forty five minutes, the people on it can let go and be somewhere else; another realm, where nothing else matters. It is almost difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced it. After writing enough material to cover the time, rehearsing and perfecting; the group brings all that to a new audience.

Five minutes to performance time. The band takes the stage; the lights go dim and an electric hum and fill a silencing room. Three clicks may be heard, then myriad of notes and beats vibrate into the eardrums of the audience. Vocals melodically spill out lyrics that tell a story that may touch the very heart of someone listening. Magic happens. Created by a range of people that varies as much as the types of sound out there. Students, the nine to fivers, factory workers, engineers, doctors, kids just wanting to be heard.

In the late 90’s the dominant genre of music in Louisville seemed to be punk, which gave way to a primarily metal scene, with several other genre’s still being played. According to an interview with Dave on the 502 Message Board, a lot of those “other” genre’ were making a fairly large splash in the scene; especially when it came to breaking into the national spotlight. Bands like, Days of the New, Flaw, Outspoken, Nicole Scherzinger, Ugly and My Morning Jacket ended up on major labels. Teague Ridge from the former band Breckinridge stated that it was around this time that venues such as Pandemonium, Tek World, Phoenix Hill and The Crunch Zone (now called Uncle Pleasants) were the primary hot spots for local bands; with Tex World being the in the center of the scene.

As far as venues go, Tek World didn’t boast a large stage or for that matter really seem like it would be a place that would have such an impact on the local music scene. It was a relatively small establishment that featured a section filled with CD’s in the front, a concession stand, a room filled with computers networked together for gaming, a smoking area and in the center, a stage just large enough for a five piece band to perform.  According to Nick Sexton, from the former band Hallowtide;, when such bands as Factor 9, Blyss, and Execrate walked into the building, they were treated like celebrities. During the interview, Sexton recalled that when Jon Mattingly, from Execrate came into the building, signed ten autographs from the time he walked from the front door to the back of the building.

Depending on who is asked, this time period may be the beginning or at least the middle of the “golden era” or Louisville’s original music scene. Although there may be some exceptions, for the most part, bands were looking out for each other and big on promoting future shows; even if the show had nothing to do with them or the venue the band was performing at. Sexton stated that several fans would come to shows for the sole purpose of handing out flyers; as well one could hand the singer of a band in the middle of a set a flyer and he or she would announce the bands and location of future shows.

Aside from the stage, other establishments and mediums were providing a place for bands to get their music heard. One such place, a record store started in 1985 by John Timmons, Ear X-Tacy, has been a leader in the area of selling and promoting local music. The establishment has changed locations throughout the years; however, it still remains a staple in the local community. The largest and perhaps most iconic building, located at the corner of Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway boasted ten thousand square ft. of space between it’s two floors. The store has a section totally dedicated to albums of local unsigned bands; as well as flyers, merchandise and selling tickets to local shows. Ear X-Tacy itself also provided a place for bands to perform for a CD release party and also featured performances by such national bands as the Foo Fighters, Cage the Elephant, Tenacious D and My Morning Jacket among others.

The radio station 93.1 the Fox, formerly 100.5, has given local unsigned bands a place to get their songs heard every Sunday night for over eleven years. Teague Ridge recalled that in the early 2000’s, when Louisville Rocks; hosted then by Scott Clark, had a large listener base. Ridge also stated that it was through this show that Breckinridge got a huge leg up in not only the local scene, but also national airplay. The promotional director liked their song “Honesty” so much that it was put on regular rotation on the station. From there it was picked up by other stations across the country and Breckinridge became the first unsigned band to hit the Billboard Heatseeker charts and became the first unsigned band to be featured on iTunes.  Other mediums have been a great source for people to learn about local bands; mediums such as Louisville Music News, LEO, Velocity, Fender’s online broadcast “Fender’s Den of Sin” and another online broadcast, “Underground Lou,” ran by Jake Wheat. Several other places have become vital to the local music scene as well. Take for example the Doo Wop Shop, a place where people can rent or purchase music equipment and its stickers have landed on thousands of vehicles and instrument cases across the region. Then there is the 502 Message Board. Better known by musicians and bands than the general public, the 502 board has become one of the biggest hot spots for local bands to advertise for upcoming shows, search for new band members, sell music equipment, and just discuss music related topics in general. The board initially started as part of the band Factor 9’s web site. After the band broke up, the board continued to be used by bands and music lovers. Andy Paul, who was the lead singer of the former band, as well as the former band (intheclear), stated that the site is maintained by another former Factor 9 member, Scott Cox.

Over the years there have been hundreds of original bands performing in the region, so many in fact that to list them all could take up several pages. It would be amazing to mention all of these groups and give some information on what they did and tell a bit about their story. It has been a goal to mention as many as possible; but, for those groups that didn’t get mentioned in the article a list of bands is provided on a website, which will be given at the end of this article.

The past eleven years have seen many local bands shine. Just a small example of such groups include: Breckinridge, Factor 9, Anvil Grey, Flatline, 9 Volt Revolt, Incursion 502, Never the Man, (intheclear), SubRosa, Kinsey, Nova Red, Momma Thai, Artifex Pereo, Prey for Maria, Echo’s Aim, Siren Falls, Anton Mink, Hazy Jane, The Hemmingways, MSD, Evil Engine #9, Heaven Hill, Seven Day Sun, Thomas Medicine, VHS or Beta, My Own Victim, Eclectic and the list goes on to many more great bands. Many of these bands formed from form previous groups. Take for example, Breckinridge started as Element H in 2000 and Andy Paul, the singer of Factor 9 left the group, went on to Static Divide, which became (intheclear).

As a veteran of fifteen years in the local scene, Andy Paul, during an interview shared a great deal of information on what it took to become one of the biggest bands in Louisville. Around 2006 and the years preceding and following, (intheclear) was a major contender in the scene. The band sold thousands of albums, toured through many states, played sold out shows and shared the stage with such national acts as Stained. Andy got his start jamming with a band called Suddle, then moved on to Infrenge. Prior to joining Factor 9, Paul was jamming with some people who told him to quit singing. They stated that he had no heart or soul, and basically wasn’t good at it. Shortly after that, Andy enrolled in the University of Louisville’s School of Music and learned to be a better singer. He said he knew he could do it and wanted to prove those people wrong. He was successful, as Factor 9 became huge in the area and after that (intheclear) became an even bigger success. As to how (intheclear) became such a big success, Andy credited hard work and a passion for music, stating that “passion is infectious.” The band networked with other like minded groups and was eager to tell people about their band. Fans of the band became friends and helped spread the word, which Paul gave much credit to their success.

Aside from bands and venues another important aspect of the music scene are the promoters. Perhaps one of the most prominent and successful promoters in the area is Terry Harper. Harper is also a musician, drummer, who has performed with such bands as Flaw and Five Bolt Main, just to name a couple. He has also brought such national acts as: Kittie, Opeth, Motograter and Unwritten Law to Louisville venues. Terry commented during an interview that he got his start at age fifteen, by consistently booking his bands. Eventually, bands learned of his abilities and wanted to work with him in booking shows. He learned the business side of the promoting from friends at Spotlight Productions; which after closing, he had built up enough clientele to set out on his own. When asked what it is about the music that keeps him doing what he does, he stated that he loves to develop new bands and watch them grow. He also commented that when it comes to booking shows: “In the end, if everyone had a good time at the show, then my job is complete.” Harper also stated that there is a big difference between being a promoter and being a musician. He stated that most of the musicians don’t have to see the drama and politics that go along with trying to bring a national act to a local venue. And that decisions that one might thing would be made by a promoter could not happen due to contractual obligations of national artist.

The local music scene has been through a lot of changes, such as style, venues, attitudes, groups and fans. Some parts have died off other parts are growing. Take for example LRS Fest. This former annual music event which was put on by the radio station WLRS, use to bring several national acts as well as provide a chance for local bands to share the stage with these groups. However, when the station changed its genre of music the festival disappeared. Other festivals have come to take its place thought, such as Forecastle.

So, where is the scene now and where is is it going? Opinions on this question varied as much as the genre’s of music in the city. Some feel that the amount of talented bands has increased in the past several years, especially when it comes to good singers. During this time however, the Louisville music scene seems to be up for grabs as far as genres and bands go. Over the years there have been a lot of changes in the style of music that has been dominant; and that seems to follow what is going on in the national scene. Also, based on the interviews, booking a show is harder than it use to be ten years ago. There is also a smaller selection of venues available for bands to perform.  As Terry Harper mentioned, the economy has made it more difficult putting on a good local show. Venues are raising their rates or are no longer open. As well, the internet has become somewhat of a crutch for groups to promote shows. Harper stated jokingly that “eventually going to a local show will be just viewing it on the computer.”

Despite the obstacles, local bands will continue to keep this town’s ears happy and provide something new and amazing to listen to. After all, most people don’t start playing original music with the sole intention of making a lot of money. In fact, there are most likely a number of groups that are just breaking even doing something they love. But, that is what keeps the music alive; people doing something because they have a passion for it. So, go out and support local music and be a part of this great scene.

Note: This article would not have been possible without the help of those who have been and are still a part of Louisville’s original music scene. Thank you to: Andy Paul, Teague Ridge, Terry Harper, Nick Sexton, Matt Menefee, Dave from the 502 Message Board and everyone on the 502 Message board that read, commented and provided information for this piece. Also, please visit https://undertheredskystories.wordpress.com for a list of a number of great bands that have made this scene great.

Categories: Uncategorized

Band List (pt1) Check them out Louisville

June 28, 2011 2 comments


8 Foot Bunch
13th Level
16 Bones
99 MPH
Absence of Faith
Adrenal Intake
After the Fall
Artifex Pereo
Assisting Sorrow
A Suburban Blood Drive

Anvil Grey

Anton Mink

Aqua Jones
Black Stone Cherry
Blade Of The Ripper
Blue Heaven
Breather Resist
Broken Spurs
Brothers Of Conquest
Bryan Fox
Butch Rice
Buffalo Bill
Bush League
Buster Brown
Checkerboard Floor
Church Bomb
Cherub Scourge
Consume Consumer
Crack House Music


David LaDuke
Days of the New
Dead City Rejects
Delta Nine Theory
Dirty Bird
Dodge City
Dr. Smith
Drunk Monkey
Dump Gang

Echo’s Aim
Eden Street
Element H
Emperyan Asunder

End of Me
Evil Engine 9
Factor 9
Fall For Nothing
Fill Dirt
Filth Porn
Fire Dept
From Within
Goodnight Maxine
Gordon’s Iguana
Grave Flower

Hazy Jane

Heaven Hill
Holy Terror
Hopscotch Army
Hot Action Cop
Horseshoes and Handgrenades
Hula Hoop
Human Remains
Incursion 502
Joe’s Report
Joshua’s Window
Kave Hill
Kentucky Death Wish
Kill Cycle
King Kong
King’s Ransom

Les Debutantes
Look What I Did
Low-fi Devastator
Magnetic Flux
Miss Joshua

Momma Thai

My Morning Jacket
My Own Victim
Never the Man
Nova Red
Old Viking
Point of Anger
Poke A Dott

Prey for Maria
Primer 55
Psycho Soul
Rabbit Manor
Roman Half Death
Rude Awakening
Scotty Lust and the Two Timers
Screaming Through December
Scream Machine
Sean Garrison and the Five Finger Discount
Seven Day Sun
Shapeless Matrix
Shattered Reality
Shaun Tique
Shotgun Enima
Sioux Savage

Siren Falls

Situation Grey
Slow Suicide
Snake Eyed Savior
Son Of Dog
Son of Slam
Spanky Lee
Speaking in Tongues
Squirrel Bait
Stagecoach Inferno
Straight A’s
Stranger Than Fiction
Stick People
Still Rain
String Relief
Supersonic Butterfly

Surviving Thalia
Suspended Animation
Ted Striker
Ten Ton Hypemachine

The Hemmingways

The Jones
The Lost
The Names Stroker
The Nubiles
The Peace Frogs
The Rain Chorus
The Revenants
The Velcro Pygmies
The Villebillies
Thomas Medicine
Trophy Wives
Tragic Refuge
Trap Them
Ultra Pulverize
Valley of Bones
VHS or Beta
Voices of Aggression (VOA)
Voodoo Love Taxi
Wasted Dayz
Year of the Gun
Young Widows

Categories: Uncategorized