This is going to be the record I post that stands out the most, if only for the musical content on it. Its not ska, its not punk, its not some precious little indie band, it is the Harwood Brothers, a rock outfit from the Peoria IL area. I really should know a lot more about this band than I do, in fact, I’ve been told I knew a lot more about them back in the day. One of the members of the Harwood Brothers is my godfather and uncle, Uncle Jim. My mom used to take me to see them when I was a mere tot and I used to dance around all the time, in fact I used to cue up this very 7″ record (more often to the b-side so I vaguely remember being told once) and dance around the living room. I have no memory of any of this. That’s all I even have to go on to try and date this record as coming out in the late 70s/early 80s. I remember when I was a little bit older seeing a band my Uncle Jim was in play at the Woodcutter and in Dunlap and Princeville at the carnival/fairs that would be put on over the Summer, but I’m pretty sure that was a different band. These two songs are more of a southern rock flavor, and I think I’m using the term right, I could be off, this is a little out of my musical knowledge zone. Enjoy them, I sure did, also thank my mother, as I stole this record from her. Oh, and I apologize for the skip near the beginning of “Hometown Girls”, try as I might I couldn’t get a clean record of it.
The MIBs (short for Men in Black) were a mid 90s ska band from Peoria IL that I grew up seeing every chance I got. This is their first recording, and I must admit, they got much better, and were awesome live. They were a very traditional ska band, and when I was younger it wasn’t really the kind of ska stuff I gravitated to, but they always brought the goods live so I was happy to toss down my $2 – $5 to see them play. My brother and I would even dress up in our plaid suits to go and see them play anywhere and well as with plenty of other regional ska bands like Roscoe P. Soultrane and the Parka Kings. Members of the MIBs went on to form the (short lived) Ruschies, who in turn eventually became Corey Dixon & the Zvooks. When they were known as Corey Dixon & the Zvooks is about the time I went from fan to friend with some of the members. Corey, J.T. and Anthony were some of the nicest guys hang out with. Enter a late night diner all alone and if you saw them they’d always invite you to sit with them to while away the time. Corey Dixon & the Zvooks played several shows along (my band) 1209towanda, were always super supportive of us and Corey once even served up some inspiration for our Christmas show. Like I said, wonderful group of guys. After several tours of Europe they shortened their name to the Zvooks and eventually broke up. Members of that band went on to form the Drastics. And thus concludes your Midwest ska history lesson! The songs here today are from their long out of print 7″. Two of the songs “Commitment” and “Ant Dance” also made it onto to the even more obscure “Perverts, Freaks & Weirdos” compilation CD.
Just for Kicks
Front, Back & the Record
The food is your standard drive in fare. Good tenderloins, good fries, nothing to write about, but then comes the root beer. They make their own astounding, awesome, delicious brew with a recipe stolen by some soda Prometheus from the root beer gods themselves. They only open in the the summer so it’s a long wait each year. The best part is that at the end of the season they start selling it by the half gallon so that you can stock up so it won’t be so long of a wait.
The Burger Barge
It is such a goofy place, what with their constant Jimmy Buffett music.The burgers don’t suck, there are plenty of places to get a burger like that in the area, but you’re going for the ambiance and for the chips. Oh yes, those chips are fantastic!
One World Coffee & Cargo
It’s not the food I miss here, but much like the Burger Barge it’s the decor. I saw it change a lot over the years that I lived there and always dug it. It also was a place where one could go to and run into a lot of rad people and make friends. At least that’s how it always was for me. Lots of fond memories.
Richard’s On Main
Ok, it has the same run into rad people as One World, but it has the added bonus of having the best burgers in Peoria (at least the last time I checked). Also they’ll serve you a drink that’s half Guinness Draught and half Framboise Lambic. That my friends is heaven in a glass.
The Peoria Pizza Works
Food, great, I’ve never had a bad meal there. The bar, well stocked and cheap, I’ve gotten good and wasted there when I was basically broke more than a few times. Why did I spend so much time there? Someone convinced the owner to let local bands play there, and that lead to many a good time in the back rooms of this place. Last time I was in Peoria I ended up spending a good chunk of my time there. It’s just awesome!