Photo Courtsey of Creux Lies

Sacramento’s Post-Punk Scene On the Rise

Interview with Dave Cantrell, host of Songs from Under the Floorboard and coordinator of Out From the Shadows Festival, and Ean Clevenger, lead singer of Creux Lies

At the age of 23, Dave Cantrell went to London in 1979 just for the music, a testament to how genuinely enraptured he was by the post-punk movement. For those of you who know anything about punk music, you’ll understand how deeply important London is to the rise of post-punk in the late 70s and early 80s.  Music is, as he says, “deeply instilled in me, and I suppose is the impetus behind it all.” Dave has always been obsessed with music, and his obsession doesn’t end with punk. Over the phone, he lamented that he’d yet to listen to St. Vincent’s new album in the wake of planning for his upcoming festival, Out From the Shadows, now in its fourth year.

Punk music has shaped Dave’s life in a variety of ways, and continues to do so. In 2012, he pitched his idea for a post-punk radio show to a music director, and Songs from Under the Floorboard was born. Its tagline, “Music where you live” represents the strong presence of post-punk/darkwave in’s base: Portland, Oregon. Many of the bands Dave first started showcasing were based in Portland, but the show has expanded to feature local, national, and international music.

His latest project, Songs from Under the Floorboard, Vol. I, is a compilation album coming out with Accident Prone Records. He and Gary Bahen, Accident Prone’s owner, collaborated on selecting the artists featured, and brainstormed what to do with online sales. They decided that 100% of the online sales should go to Planned Parenthood. Out From the Shadows Festival will also benefit a local (Portland) LGTBQ organization. Dave stated that today’s political climate made the decision an easy one.

Out From the Shadows Festival is a 3-night post-punk/darkwave festival held in Portland, Oregon. Darkwave as a genre is difficult to pinpoint, Dave explains, given how often genre designations are fluid. “It’s bass driven, less synthesizer driven. It’s a Joy Division template, with a darker tone.” He pauses, and then laughs. “It’s post-punk and gothic and coldwave if you managed to put them all in a blender.”

The festival opens April 5th and ends April 7th. It’s the largest post-punk/darkwave fest on the West Coast: 24 bands will be featured, most of whom are from North America, excluding one guy traveling all the way from Paris. Seven local bands will be playing, but Dave wanted to open up the opportunity for a national post-punk presence. Hence the inclusion of Sacramento’s own Creux Lies, a post-punk band self-described as “New Romantic infused with darkwave.”

Comprised of singer Ean Clevenger, guitarist Barry Crider, synth/electronics David Wright, drummer Topher Snyder, and bassist Kyle Vorsthas, Creux Lies has recently played at venues like LowBrau and are set to play at Blue Lamp, April 11th at 8pm. Their latest single “Zone” earned them “Band of the Day” over at and their success shows no signs of stopping. Their first full-length album, The Hearth, is set to drop sometime this summer.

After they floated out demo versions of several singles, Dave caught onto the excitement surrounding Creux Lies. “There was buzz throughout South America and Europe after we put out some singles,” Ean discloses. Dave featured their single, “Silhouette,” on his radio show and then asked them to play at Out From the Shadows, an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

Ean shares his excitement about the upcoming show, and is hopeful that Sacramento’s own punk scene will continue to grow.

“Sacramento needs representation,”

Ean explains. “There’s a strong post-punk presence in Oakland, LA, San Francisco, and Portland. Here in Sac, it’s slowly growing. I’ve been in the music world for 20 years and Sacramento has always been a little behind the times.” Lull Presents, a local production company, has been responsible for many of the band’s underground shows. Ean tells me that the underground scene in Sac is a rotating clock of about 400 people. With Creux Lies’ recent successes, it seems likely those numbers will swell.

Cruex Lies is set to play April 7th, the last night of the festival. If you’re able to make a weekend trip to Portland, these guys are worth the travel time. Not only does Out From the Shadows Festival benefit a worthy cause, the passion and commitment behind the music is worth experiencing for yourself. As Dave shared with me, “The extent to which this post-punk revival is happening is worldwide. There’s a real energy behind it.”