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Behind The Album: “The Gipsy Hill” ep & “Look What You’ve Done…” (2002)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

Good Luck had been officially released through Asianman records by Mike Park. Mike offered us the first and only generous act for Big D. He fronted us plane tickets to go on our first U.K./Europe Tour, booked by Ian at Hidden Talent Booking. Big D started writing music on tour and you can hear raw recordings of us doing just that on the Gipsy Hill EP. Gipsy Hill is in South London and it is where we stayed on the floor with our TM / Driver / Life Teacher Ben Corrigan. On these tours we made friends with people who we are still friends with today: Lightyear, P.O. Box, Sonic Boom Six, The Foamers, Mad Skat, 5 Knuckle, Random Hand (Marcia from The Skints), Hard Skin and more. We toured hard during these days – about 250 shows a year.

When we returned to the States we decided to record somewhere new, so we saved up all our touring profits (which wasn’t very much) and headed to The Outpost with Jim Siegel. Jim had recorded most of all the classic Boston hardcore bands and The Dropkick Murphy’s. This was the big time for Big D. We had written way too many new songs after Good Luck, so we decided to record an EP in order to free up ideas as well as capture sonically the special time in our lives in the U.K./Europe. STOMP records in Canada agreed to put out the Gipsy Hill EP and even helped us film with Rej our first music video for The Difference. We had a blast with Matt, Mike and all of the STOMP records family and of course with Rej from 123-Punk. These shows in Canada were explosive. We were at our wildest.

Along with the Gipsy Hill EP we recorded three different tracks for a split release with the U.K. band 5 Knuckle called Look What You’ve Done.… This split has the original recording of L.A.X, which wasn’t physically available to the States until our next full length release.

When I think about these times I feel that Good Luck represented touring the United States and the farmlets across it, while the Gipsy Hill EP / Look What You’ve Done represent, Canada, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy and more. It represents cold squats, cigarette butt floors for sleeping, new friends, tasty big beers, yummy food, heartbreakingly beautiful hospitality, fist fights for being an American, a sprinter for a home, the birth of poetry for me and beautiful friendship.

The question I was often asked on these excursions of self discovery was – ‘American’s need more culture, why don’t more Americans come here?’ My answer then is what I still say today – ‘American’s can’t afford it, they’d loose their jobs and health care; Only fortunate Americans can afford culture’.

So I will leave you with this…

…if you are young or if you are old, own very little and go see Your World.

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Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



The TiPS announce new EP “Come Closer”

German reggae/punk trio THE TiPS have announced that they are to release a new EP, on Long Beach Records. “Come Closer” will be released February 2nd next year, on CD and digitally. 

You can watch the EP teaser below – and check out upcoming dates.



Jaya The Cat release new album “A Good Day For The Damned”

Amsterdam, NL (via Boston)’s ska/reggae exports Jaya The Cat released their new album “A Good Day For The Damned” last Friday (November 17th), through Bomber Music, The release is back by extensive touring throughout Europe and the UK over the coming months. Full details are up now.

You can have a listen to the album below. Various vinyl pressings are up for order now from the band’s Bandcamp.



Jaya The Cat Stream Music Video For “Amsterdam”

Holland-based dub-drunk punks Jaya The Cat are allowing fans to stream their latest music video for their tune “Amsterdam”. The track is taken from the band’s forthcoming record A Good Day For The Damned which is due for release on November 17 through Bomber Music.

Speaking about the song chosen, vocalist Geoff Lagadec had the following to say:

“It’s always amused me how Amsterdam has the reputation as the epicentre of hedonism in Europe and how it stacks up against reality. People come here with the expectation of it being totally mad, but most bars close at one on the weekdays. I was walking home drunk one night thinking about this. I stopped on the bridge over the canal in front of my house and thought, ‘you know what? This city is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and I love it.'”

In addition to the video and album, Jaya The Cat have a short stint of tour dates planned for the UK this December. You can check out the dates, along with “Amsterdam” below.



Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – “Good Luck” (1999)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

After the release of Shot By Lammi in 1996, Big D toured the States non-stop. Videotape footage of the band on these early tours was captured and can be found on Big D’s Dvd ‘Built Up From Nothing’. We look like puppies. To this day I don’t know how a bunch of 18 & 19 year olds saved up for a van and drove around the U.S. playing music, meeting new friends and laughing endlessly. It was an 8 passenger van and we had 10 musicians. I sat on the back wheel hub and we took turns sitting on a cushion in between the driver seat and shotgun.

We had always been close, but now we were officially brothers and you could hear that in the new songs we were writing for our second full length ‘Good Luck’. The official Big D writing process had solidified itself with the writing of Good Luck. Every idea was positively excepted and worked on. Every musician was encouraged to write a song. We wrote for ourselves and not for the public and still do to this day. Listeners had learned the lyrics to Shot By Lammi and sung them at shows. This made me want to really give them something useful for Good Luck. The process of writing the lyrics began one afternoon when I was walking down a snow covered street in Boston. A homeless man with vitiligo crashed into me grabbing my jacket to stop him from falling to the ice. He looked at me with his green eyes and said, “The only thing I miss is myself”. I wrote most of those lyrics walking down the streets of Boston, occasionally huddling in doorways to write a line here and there. The band was now becoming important to me.

When the songs were finished we did the same process – we went to Big Sound recording in Maine when it was closed and recorded for 24 hours for three days. Again, I believe we only gave Lammi another 300-bucks and some beer. The recording process was simply laughter and music. Afterward I got together with Gary Hedrick (singer of Kicked In The Head) and we put together the artwork. All of the 1950’s clip art was from my families encyclopedia that I used through out my earlier school days and still have today. I may use it again for Big D’s next album. Gary worked on Photoshop 1 on a Mac Performa; It took one full day to render. We had a blast together; Possibly our best time together.

Big D has never been a fortunate band when it comes to connections and opportunity. We have seldom been excepted by them ‘cool bands’. I have always described us as the orphans of the scene. However, persistence is a gift. There have been three kind people in Big D’s 21 years thus far, and the first one to make his introduction is – Mike Parkof Asianman records.

Through this somewhat new thing called email, Mike said he would put Good Luck out on his label. Most of Big D live together at the time and non of us had cellphones yet, so I put a note on Sean P. Rogan’s bed that said – ‘We got signed to Asianman – Meet us at the bar’. And he did.

This band that had been created simply so that 10 freaks could have a fun Friday night was now about to bring the ruckus.

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Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – Live EP & Lounge Split

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

1998, a year after the release of Shot By Lammi, Big D and the Kids Table started playing shows all around the east-coast. We never paid ourselves and we wouldn’t for many years to come. We wouldn’t even use the money to buy ourselves food, we just put the money back into the band – gas, merch and saving up for our first van. One Boston night, a fan showed up to a show named Shawn Flores, he came with gifts – printed Big D t-shirt and Big D patches. He told us that the ones we printed were crappy and that the ink ran off in the rain. We have been printing our merch with Shawn ever since. Steve Foote and myself decided to start building on the idea of Fork In Hand records. We started finding bands like ourselves that could appreciate a little help. Steve and myself knew how these bands could get their music recorded, print a CD, print some merch and book some shows. The first three bands we decided to help were Kicked In The Head, The Sellouts & The Mission 120. We started booking this line up in every VFW, church or basement. Fork In Hand records was now a well known underground Boston label. Steve and I never took a penny, we just put all profits into F.I.H. band’s music.

People kept talking about our “explosive” live show, so we decided to capture that energy in a Live EP. You can hear Kicked In The Head’s Matt & Gary announce us at the start. Big D couldn’t believe that we now could actually record live club recordings and print them on compact disc. The next year the label Montalban Hotel offered to print a 7” vinyl release with the band Lounge. Again we were dumbfounded, ‘someone wants to print us vinyl and we don’t have to pay for it or do any of the efforts to make it happen. And it’s green!?!?’.

All this time we were writing our next full length album that would be released the following year.

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Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



Buck-O-Nine release new music video for “Don’t Be Afraid”

San Diego ska veterans Buck-O-Nine have released a new video for their song “Don’t Be Afraid”. The video features a lot of skulls and bones, and it comes off the Cleopatra Records Halloween Compilation.

You can check out the rad new video below.

The new song is the first new music from Buck-O-Nine since 2007’s Sustain. 



Joe Tilston (Random Hand) started “Idle Natter” podcast

Joe Tilston, bassist of UK ska punks Random Hand, has begun a podcast, interviewing friends and touring musicians. Episode two of “Idle Natter” is up now on all the usual podcast platforms, with Tilston interviewing Dan Allen of Ducking Punches.

You can listen to the pod on Soundcloud below.



Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – “Crack / Shot By Lammi” (1996 / 1997)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

The first Big D and The Kids Table release was a cassette titled Crack. I can’t find an image of it. And Giving It Up was the first song we ever wrote. We went to a recording studio hidden in a Boston alley called Toxic Audio. Big D was simply a bunch of friends that wanted to play music together for fun and had no desires to be a real band or try and ‘make it’. We recorded our four songs and really enjoyed hearing our tunes played back. Jon Lammi, who played sax sometimes, guitar other times, said he could record us a full album at Big Sound in Maine when it was closed. It was then that we decided to write Shot By Lammi. We drove up to Maine and recorded the album in a weekend. I remember recording my vocals from about 4AM to sometime. We paid Lammi $300 and some beer.

After Shot By Lammi was recorded we had plans to manufacture cassettes, which was the standard medium. However, one day as I was walking down the streets of Boston I bumped into my friend Tom Appleman. He showed me that his band Epileptic Disco had just printed a Compact Disc aka CD. I couldn’t believe that people like us could have the ability to print this new fancy medium. We did a little research and this began the DIY ethic that Big D would later be known for. The band left Sean P. Rogan and myself to do the artwork. I had no idea what to do, so I put an old family photo on the cover and scratched up the lyrics and liner notes. The layout was done physically – no computers or photoshop.

We decided to start a record label called Fork In Hand records, inspired by Asianman Records. We did this because our friends who were in another band called DREXEL couldn’t afford to print their newly recorded album, so we decided to put their music on our CD as well, because compact discs held so much information that purchasers of the album could get two albums for one.

We pretty much were done with our goals as a band until Epileptic Disc asked us to play a show at The Middle East with Broke & Big Lick. We couldn’t believe we were asked to play a real show and we couldn’t believe we were going to play in a proper club.

We sold Shot By Lammi by meeting up with people on the street that had found a way to contact us. We really enjoyed the record, because we liked hearing what our friendship sounded like.

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Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!



Cleopatra Records releases Halloween comp (new songs by Buck-O-Nine, Implants & more)

Cleopatra Records just released a new compilation titled Punk Rock Halloween – Loud, Fast & Scary. It features 27 Halloween-themed songs from the likes of Buck-O-Nine, Implants, Guttermouth, Reel Big Fish, and many others.

You can give the comp a listen below, and buy it on bandcamp.



The Brass Action release music video for new song “Wreckless”

Vancouver ska-punks The Brass Action have released a music video for their new song “Wreckless”, watch it below. The single is the first song from an album they are currently working on, so keep an eye out for more information in the near future!



Hub City Stompers sign to Altercation Records, announce full length album ‘Haters Dozen’

New Jersey ska punks Hub City Ctompers have just signed to Altercation Records and are planning for a full length album release in the spring of 2018 titled “Haters Dozen.”

According to front man Revered T. Sinister, “Hub City Stompers is truly amped to be joining the Altercation family…HCS has it’s ear to the streets and is ready to kick ass, and we’re glad to join a label with the same motives in mind.”

In addition, co owner of Altercation Travis Myers said, “The good Reverend Sinister and I go back a number of years now, I have personally always been a big Hub City Stompers fan, and I’m proud to say that all of us at Altercation are honored to be collaborating with them on this release…So get ready world for Hub City Stompers, Haters Dozen, hitting the streets with a vengeance in the spring of 18, its sure to be another killer ska classic for people who hate ska!”  
The full length will be the outfits sixth full length release, and seventh release overall.


Mephiskapheles, Hub City Stompers and 45 Adapters announce shows

Ska heavyweights Mephiskapheles and the Hub City Stompers have joined forces to give us a weekend of ska bliss. October 27th and 28th will represent the 6th annual Devils Night Danse. This years event will mark the 20th anniversary of the Mephiskapheles release “Maximum Perversion” which they will play in full.  Joining the two heavyweights for the weekend will be the 45 Adapters.

In case you forgot how awesome “Maximum Perversion” is you can check out a beauty video of them performing “Break Your Ankle Punk” here



Autonomads release video for new song “All Roads Lead To Hulme”

“Stuff your yuppy flats, we’re happy with the rats” is the battle cry against gentrification from Manchester anarcho/ska act Autonomads. The band have released a video for their new song “All Roads Lead To Hulme” which is about an area in Manchester many of the band members have lived. Listen to it below.

The band gave some more information on the song:

“Hulme is a district of Manchester that lies just south of the city centre and has a long history. A history of deprivation, demolition, re-development and then deprivation, demolition and re-development and over and over and over. However the most important and relevant part of this districts history is its community (especially today when the government forces are doing all they can to destroy inner city communities).

These communities started in the ‘slum’ terrace housing that lived and died before our time and then extended to the squatters and travellers (also before our time and is also now of our time) and now teeters on the edge of total envelopment by developers and yuppy flats that look more like tupperware boxes than homes. Over the years a number of us have lived in Hulme and too many of our friends to count have also. This song is our show of love and solidarity with a part of the city that has shaped us and a scream of rage against the gentrifiers.”

The track is taken from their upcoming 7″ titled “All Quiet On The Western Front” which is due out this December.



Demon Waffle (ska, TN) stream full-length “Drink Your Dinner”

Tennessee based ska unit Demon Waffle are allowing fans to stream their entire latest release. Entitled Drink Your Dinner, the record features ten tracks of innovative ska sounds, drawing influence from a range of sources including reggae, soul, and funk.

If you like your ska-punk with a strong sense of originality, you can do much worse than checking out Drink Your Dinner below.