CincyPunk Fest organizer Adam Rosing has a number of reasons for booking what has become one of the area’s most anticipated Punk-and-whatever events.
“I do it every year because it’s a great time and it’s a chance to get everyone together,” Rosing says. “I try to go to shows, but sometimes you get stuck in a rut dealing with family and work and you’re not able to see friends. This is the one time of year where you see people you haven’t seen in months. Plus it’s been so successful.”
For CincyPunk Fest VIII, the audience will also have the opportunity to catch up with bands they haven’t seen in years: Spodie, Pincushion and Saturday Supercade, which are all reuniting for their first shows in 10, six and seven years, respectively. [That's Supercade in the vintage black-and-white photo.]
Former Void booker and longtime CincyPunk volunteer Ryan Thomas had actually tried to reassemble the ’Cade for last year’s Fest but ran into logistical problems.
“Chip, their guitarist and vocalist, lives in New York now and he couldn’t fit it around his work schedule,” Thomas says. “We started a little earlier this year.”
With more time for actual planning, the Saturday Supercade reunion looked like it was shimmering into reality, which led Thomas to consider trying to reanimate Spodie and Pincushion as well. By sheer coincidence, Pincushion had just gotten back together on a whim to do a little basement jamming, and Spodie had decided to reunite for another Punk fest, so they both agreed to ramp up for this year’s CincyPunk show.
“Pincushion never had a big going-away party; for whatever reason, they just quit,” Thomas says. “So this is a break-up/reunion show all in one. And I can’t remember if Spodie ever had a last-show kind of show. It’s nice that the three bands I wanted to book could all do it.”
Spodie clearly had the longest playing gap, but their first “rehearsal” went well even after their long hiatus. Having already decided to return for Baltimore’s Insubordination Fest this summer, it was just a matter of tightening the timeline to be ready for CincyPunk.
“We’d always wanted to do it anyway,” says guitarist/vocalist Jason Knarr, “and suddenly there was an actual goal and we could actually set a practice date rather than saying, ‘We should get together and play sometime.’ And it’s been a blast.”
Although Spodie (Knarr, vocalist/guitarist Dave Berger, bassist Jon Ring, drummer Bill Ring) isn’t thinking of this reunion as permanent, they are considering subsequent shows.
“It’s not like an official pressing; he can put stuff together in his basement,” Knarr says. “So we may do a few more shows in Cincinnati to support that. If we do it, it’s because we keep practicing, and we only keep practicing because it’s fun to play. That’s the only reason to ever do it. It’s not like we get rich doing this shit.”
Pincushion’s reunion story is similar. After a six-year break, the band decided to start conducting regular Saturday practices and within a few weeks received an e-mail from Thomas asking if they’d be interested in performing at this year’s CincyPunk Fest.
“We weren’t quite sure if we were going to do the show unless Spodie did it,” says Pincushion drummer Tim Anneken. “We always talked about doing the show with Spodie because we did tons of shows together. They said yes, so we said, ‘Hell yeah, let’s do it.’ ”
Unlike Spodie, the Pincushion reunion could actually take hold as a full-fledged comeback. The band (Anneken, bassist Brian Heyob, guitarist/vocalist Chuck) hasn’t really done anything musically since dissolving in 2003, but they’re making plans to continue practicing consistently for the express purpose of doing shows.
“We’ll continue getting together every week, and I’m sure we’re going to book some shows or play shows where people ask us,” Anneken says. “We were never proactive about booking our own shows except for our CD release shows, as bad as that sounds. But I’m sure we’ll play a few shows this summer.”
Outside of the much-anticipated reunions, CincyPunk Fest VIII is shaping up to be another stellar 48 hours of Punk Rock goodness. In addition to the 36 bands over two nights at the Southgate House (Punk as well as Indie Rock, Hip Hop, out-of-towners We Are Hex from Indianapolis and former Cincinnati musician/comedian Matt Stanton), Rosing is most excited about this year’s silent auction, featuring gift certificates and other items donated by Shake It, Everybody’s, Cincinnati Ballet and Jeff Ruby’s restaurants. Separate auctions will take place both nights. And proceeds will be donated to the Animal Adoption Foundation in Harrison, continuing the charity tradition started with CincyPunk Fest III.
“We figured that money has to go somewhere,” Rosing says. “Rather than splitting it with 15 bands, what better way than to give it all to one organization that will help people in need? We’ve never gone the animal route, and I think it’s something most people can get behind.”
Yet another new wrinkle for CincyPunk Fest is a documentary that’s being produced by Northern Kentucky University’s newly established NorseMedia, a collaborative comprised of NKU faculty, staff and students. Portions of the doc will appear on the group’s web site (www.norsemedia.nku.edu) and will ultimately air on Insight Cable‘s Channel 18. Fest volunteers are also filming for a planned CincyPunk DVD, which will be combined with the NorseMedia footage to achieve the greatest possible coverage of the event.
Still in all, it’s the Spodie/Pincushion/Saturday Supercade reunions that seem to be generating the buzz around this year’s Fest. Rosing understands the excitement.
“I think the crowd will be pretty energized to see bands you can’t see every Friday night,” Rosing says.
CINCYPUNK FEST VIII takes place Friday and Saturday at the Southgate House. For more details and the full schedule, go to myspace.com/cincypunkfest.