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October 2, 2007

5 years of Lip, Jeff’s journey, on the Edge, Perpetual green

Saturday, Oct. 6Louisville Lip Records’ best asset, says founder Shawn Severs, might be how little the label’s philosophy has changed since he started it five years ago.Operating in the tradition of punk’s earliest labels like Dischord, Touch & Go and SST, Severs only releases records that he likes. The bands must be homegrown, and each act must bring a different style or ethic to the table.“I don’t like bands that sound like every other band,” he says. “There are times when I am approached by bands, and it may be my friends, but if I’m not into it, then I have no interest in expending the energy. If I don’t believe in it myself, then I can’t push the record.”The Lip has released punk, country and bluegrass bands from such varied acts as Sean Garrison, Gaj Mustafa Cell and Boxmaker’s new record, Nano Degrando. Severs has called upon acts to fulfill a philanthropic duty when he put out Sailin’ On. Sales from that compilation went to benefit Wellspring, a mental health facility that needed funding to buy supplies for its art therapy program.The project reflected a sense of community. “With Louisville, we have a more tight-knit community,” he says. “Even though we don’t necessarily get along, we still know each other and support each other.”Severs took a while to embrace the Internet, but it has added a certain dimension to his labor of love that wasn’t there previously. “You’ve reached people that you wouldn’t normally. You can communicate at 3 in the morning if you wish.”He has more releases planned for the coming months, including a back catalog of artists whose recordings he’d like to bring to the public, despite the cost of running a label on his own. “It’s so hard to sell records now, it’s pushing us all to be more creative in what we do.”The celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday with Boxmaker’s free in-store performance at ear X-tacy (1534 Bardstown Road, 452-1799), and then later at 10 p.m. at Lisa’s Oak St. Lounge (1004 E. Oak St., 637-9315). Gaj Mustafa Cell and Rude Weirdo join the bill.Thursday Oct. 4Jeff TuohyJeff Tuohy is nothing if not patient. Songs for his long player Breaking Down the Silence, which hit stores last year, took a handful of years to complete, some even date back to his days in high school and college. You won’t find him complaining. “The advantage of that, in some ways, is that the songs have time to mature,” he says.Tuohy, who spent time in the group 28 and Waiting before striking out on his own, falls neatly into the singer-songwriter camp, but he’ll bring a band with him when he plays Phoenix Hill Tavern (644 Baxter Ave., 589-4957) Thursday as part of its second national tour.“We pretty much enjoy every city because every city has its own vibe,” says Tuohy, who splits time as a stage actor. He’s played multiple characters in “The Buddy Holly Story” and a musical “The Last Five Years.”Both art forms satisfy Tuohy’s need for honest self-expression. “Performing is the thing that kind of connects the two. When you play live, it’s important to reach and perform to the crowd with simple things like maintaining eye contact and delivering an emotion.”Tuohy’s begun pre-production on the follow-up to Breaking, a manifesto that is all about exceeding expectations. “There’s this topic that continues throughout the album: taking a chance, going out there and breaking down any inhibitions that you might have, or what you’ve been told how the real world works and breaking through everything that you’re keeping inside.”Showtime is 9 p.m.Friday, Oct. 5Edgehill Ave. has gigged consistently for several months, with appearances at Rock the Water Tower and WFPK’s Live Lunch radio show. Now, they’re setting up camp at Zena’s (122 W. Main St., 584-3074), for what leader Drew Perkins says will feature a slew of acts opening for Edgehill over the course of the next few months.“One of the things we were trying to do is just to release our music, get better gigs, more attention. We’re pretty early in our development,” says Perkins, who relocated from Texas, where he first picked up the guitar right after Stevie Ray Vaughan died. “I had never been turned on by Stevie Ray Vaughan. My brother had some CDs and he was a music freak, kind of like I am. I heard Stevie and thought, ‘Holy shit!’ That proverbial light goes on.”Perkins moved back to Kentucky and landed a job, substitute teaching; but his ambitions of playing music professionally are front and center. Wednesday, Oct. 3Perpetual GroovePerpetual Groove takes its effect on the environment as seriously as it takes its music.For the recording of Livelovedie, the group partnered with a corporation called Green Mountain Energy to make its album using renewable resources, from laying tracks to packaging its disc using soy ink, post-consumer waste and post-industrial waste.“From top to bottom, we tried to offset it as much as we could,” says keyboardist Matt McDonald. “It’s definitely worth the cost.”For each ticket bought online at the band’s Web site (www.pgroove.com), consumers receive a renewable energy credit that can go toward initiatives such as reforestation.Livelovedie was recorded at Treesound Studios in Atlanta with Robert Hannon, whose handiwork can be found on Outkast’s funky, interstellar breakout double album, Speakerboxx/The Love Below. “The content has gotten a little grittier, a little heavier and a little darker than it was a few years ago,” says McDonald. “That speaks to the times that we’re living in. I don’t know that it was a conscious decision, as much as it was a natural progression for the band.”Perpetual Groove plays tonight at Headliners Music Hall (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088). Showtime is 9 p.m. and tickets are $15.Saturday Oct. 6Former Villebillies tourmates Rehab play tonight at Phoenix Hill Tavern as well. Crazy Anglos and Inflowential open the show. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Showtime is 8 p.m. Contact the writer at mherron@leoweekly.com