Birmingham’s Eerie, Indiana keeps house show hope alive

eerie3This past Saturday night I attended my first show at the house venue Eerie, Indiana, which was formerly known as Helm’s Deep under different home owners. Helm’s Deep had its final show in November 2013, after hosting punk and metal shows in its basement since Summer 2011. After Jamie Sellers and Manda worked so hard to make that basement show-ready when they first moved in, it is reassuring to know that the shows there did not end when their lease did.

Saturday night’s show was themed “The Mighty Mobile Invasion Show,” with the lineup of The Jack Blind Band, Baron KrelveCarnival Bill Carney, and Tony Tornado. The bill was very eclectic compared to when it was Helm’s Deep. Home owner Cortney Noelle commented, “We like to pride ourselves on being an environment where all kinds of bands feel welcome. I know previously it was an exclusively punk/metal DIY venue, but we’ve had a lot of fun bringing all kinds of musicians into the picture– it’s about giving people a place to feel comfortable regardless of what kind of your music you’re into.” Building upon this ideal, home owner Amber Slanders stated that “I spent the better part of the last 12 years roaming this country, looking for lawd-knows-wut.

Despite every place being radically different, each with it’s own set of pros and cons, there was a common denominator. Every city, be it rural or metropolitan had this underground network of lovable weirdos who were fighting to keep a sense of community alive and the glue that was holding it all together was the music. And oh, the music… I had never seen anyone play with such fierceness, such heart than I did in basements and backyards, living rooms and laundry rooms. Sometimes there were 5 people in attendance, sometimes there were a hundred, but my heart would always swell as the first notes drifted out over us and it felt like coming home. Like waking up. I’ve always known that this was something I wanted to bring to people. I’ve always wanted to make people feel the way that I felt in those places I shouldn’t have belonged, where I was always welcomed with open arms and a beer.”

Though Cortney also said that she was drawn to diy shows when she went to her first show at Cave 9 nearly 10 years ago, their housemate Carmen Wilde admitted to never really giving much thought to hosting house shows until Eerie, Indiana started coming together. Carmen referenced being really inspired by Transylvania, another DIY house in Southside, (https://www.facebook.com/transylvaniabirmingham), and Tuscaloosa’s former DIY house, Baby Haus.

As for where the house got its name, Amber revealed that Eerie, Indiana is “a show I grew up totally enamored with. It was like a 90’s preteen X-Files or Twilight Zone. Definitely a place I wanted to live as a kid, and hey, I guess I got my wish.”

I’m really glad that house shows are still thriving in Birmingham. I had a great time Saturday night. It drew out a different crowd than I’m used to seeing at shows, the majority which I didn’t know, and that was refreshing. I even had several friends who don’t usually go to many shows come out, so that was exciting too. I think my favorite part of the night was seeing a man there who looked like he was at least 65, and he was getting into it. I talked to him a little after the show and he told me that we are very lucky to have houses like that to host good bands like those, and that was pretty inspiring to me. When I pointed out the older guy dancing to my friend Sam Sanders, he declared that was going to be him one day. I sure hope so.
In closing, Amber added that “The shows have been incredible thus far. Absolutely incredible. Everyone has had a blast, bands and visitors alike. And as I stand in our basement, beer in hand, I feel those notes wash over me again and I know that I am home.”
Eerie, Indiana (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eerie-Indiana/571664719591026)  is located at 1631 11th Place South. Their next show isThursday, April 3rd with August Spies (http://augustspies.bandcamp.com/), Rumble Pack (https://www.facebook.com/aethersatellite), Burns Like Fire (https://www.facebook.com/burnslikefiremusic), and Handsome Scoundrels (https://www.facebook.com/TheHandsomeScoundrels).
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3 thoughts on “Birmingham’s Eerie, Indiana keeps house show hope alive

  1. Cortney is really into providing a place that people can feel comfortable and relax in unless it’s 3:30 in the morning and she decides to kick out 10+ people and send them driving four hours home after they were promised a place to stay. Get fucked, you stank faced bitch.

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  2. Reading that statement is just about as unfortunate as reading this article. Thus far I’ve been very supportive of the transition of Helm’s Deep to Eerie, Indiana but I’ll admit that I’m in disbelief after reading this.

    While Helm’s Deep catered more so to the harsher sides of punk and metal we never set out to exclusively book these bands; and we didn’t. Ramshackle Glory played our space with Enoslux, Sandi Sidwell, and Steel City Jug Slammers. When we booked No Tomorrow we included The Hundred Years Whore who had to cancel. Red Light District Attorney opened up a gig with Wartorn, Krang, and Deism who are all stylistically different. A show at the Firehouse included NO! from Montgomery. Logistics aside we did make efforts to include bands outside the realms of touring bands we booked. One could argue that any bands we booked were different stylistically but fell under the DIY banner just as those who played Eerie, Indiana for this show.

    I don’t think it really matters what we booked, but nothing was more important to us than bringing kids together. Helm’s Deep came out of a need for a space unlike others where folks are either too self-important or awkward to introduce themselves to a newcomer. Along with that mentality our attendance at shows proved time and time again the need for a space that focused more towards the darker spectrums of punk and metal. Maybe it was booking Yautja with Parasytic or watching Legion with High Priest, Grave Ritual, and Ectovoid in which the attendance would drop by more than half after a particular band finished their set. Nothing disgusted us more than someone who dropped by just to see ‘their friend’s band’ and leave, or a band leaving once their set was done. The divisions and hostility within Birmingham’s DIY community is thicker than the area’s humidity, and we quickly noticed that our attempts to bridge these gaps were futile. We were more apt to work locally with bands that came to our shows instead of booking bands that cared nothing for what we’re about. In our mind there were already plenty of spaces for those other bands to play.

    I’m not saying any of this to draw lines or distinctions within any scene but the notion we catered exclusively to punk and metal is bullshit. To think otherwise only proves how clueless one really is toward the DIY community, such as kicking bands out of your house after they played it. I’m glad to see the basement we worked tirelessly on can now host a new generation of shows and kids. I just hope those that play in that dusty basement will be given the respect and care we did for those that play it.

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