Smile Politely

Tonight at Error Records: A potential milestone

Tonight, Error Records will get very loud and very angry, as they play host to some very pissed-sounding young men, otherwise known as members of the bands Laughboy, Hoax, Soap Scum, and Need. In advance of the show, I spoke briefly with Laughboy’s frontman, Greg Clow, who until recently was one of the prime movers and shakers in the local DIY scene, as chronicled by our interview with Clow entitled “DIY is my religion.” He recently decamped to Chicago for work reasons as well as continuing work with another punk outfit, Bailout, who just released an excellent tape. While no longer a resident, Clow is still an active member of Laughboy, who remain based here in our own Champaign-Urbana. Asked via email about the why of Laughboy, Clow had this to say: “The idea behind Laughboy was mostly to just get stoned, play punk, and have an excuse to hang out with our friends in other towns.”

Laughboy, who currently have a tape out on Spotted Race/Lumpy Records in St. Louis and another to be released by Eat The Life Records in Chicago by the end of summer, are a busy act, despite their geographical challenges, and have a devoted local following. However, one of the biggest draws to this show, outside of the reliably great local talent on the bill, is Hoax, a punk/hardcore act from Western Massachusetts. A venue as new as Error Records pulling in this act is no small feat and a true testament to the vibrancy of the C-U punk scene.

Nathan Landolt, the owner and operator of Error, who has been previously profiled by this publication, sees this show as a potential milestone: 

This show is a big deal for Error Records because Hoax is an awesome underground punk/hardcore. Bands like Hoax typically play St. Louis and Chicago, never really Champaign. They’re not playing Chicago, which means anyone from up north will have to come down here to see them perform. It’s a step I’ve been working very hard on making for C-U, to get the word out that there’s a huge scene here and bands should be stopping through here every tour. Not just once in a blue moon.

At a show topped by local psych-weirdness act Woodie this past Tuesday, the excitement for Hoax’s appearance was already palpable. Members of the touring acts, from as far afield as Oklahoma, were repeatedly heard saying something along the lines of, “Oh, shit, we’re missing Hoax?” and the locals were no less enthusiastic, promising each other that they would be back in the store come Friday.

Hoax has a devoted following and a reputation for mayhem. A cursory search on YouTube reveals a multitude of fan-recorded shows, all of which are sweaty and chaotic affairs. One even features the band performing in a recycling plant, as the audience throws soon-to-be reused plastics in the air and at each other. This Friday at Error Records promises to be an evening of pumped fists, shredded esophagi, and indomitable community spirit, as well as a chance for this part of the C-U scene to show what it’s really all about.


You can see Hoax, Laughboy, Need and Soap Scum tonight at Error Records. Doors open at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. $6 at the door.

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