This week marks the 20th anniversary of a minor but nevertheless significant event in the history of Central Arkansas music: the (relatively small-scale) release of a compilation called "The Dogtown Chronicles,"
by Food Chain Records. The tape, available via the Bandcamp page for Harlan Records
(a now-defunct label started in 1994 by Soophie Nun Squad member Nate Powell) is a time capsule of a punk scene that turns out to have been much weirder and more diverse than we've sometimes come to believe. Songs like Sacred Cod's "Hawaiian Apocalypse" or Hug's "Dead Roach, Motherfucker" or Pete's "In The End" don't have much in common with each other, except for a certain haunting tape-hiss quality (that makes it all sound a little like the strangest Guided By Voices concert ever) and the fact that they were all made by kids.
Powell describes the tape as "a massive collaborative effort ... made from dubbing and splicing back and forth on two jamboxes. Highlighting the multitude of one-off bands, and fall-between-the-cracks bands coming out of the North Little Rock sub-scene." Powell, of course, is now an award-winning graphic novelist
and Sacred Cod's dummer, Mark Lierly, now plays in a band called Pallbearer
, and so on, etc. History!