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Win $500 + other prizes for designing the next Sublime logo

Creativeallies.com is looking for artistic Sublime fans to create a 25th Anniversary logo for the band, in order to commemorate their formation in 1988. It will be nearly impossible for any creation to live up to the band’s iconic sun logo, but the contest will still be a fun project nonetheless. The judges will be looking for creative art pieces that are inspired from the band’s lyrics or past artwork. The winner of the contest will be awarded $500, along with a Sublime prize pack including  “3-Ring Circus: Live at The Palace” “Everything Under the Sun” , and “Robbin the Hood” LP. The deadline for the contest is September 17, 2013 11:59 P.M. PDT.

Click here to check out/enter the contest.

Sublime released “3-Ring Circus: Live at The Palace”  this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band’s formation. The CD/DVD consists of a 27 song set that was recorded in 1995 at the Palace in Hollywood, California.



Album Review: Sublime – “3 Ring Circus – Live at the Palace, Hollywood, CA”

There’s no shortage of live Sublime material out there. Most of the box set “Everything Under The Sun” is live in some form or other, a deluxe reissue of Sublime’s breakthrough 1996 record contains a bonus disc, again mostly made up of live cuts. Finally “Stand By Your Van” is the 1998 live album released two years after Bradley Nowell’s untimely death.

Although Sublime’s popularity was on a steady rise pretty much right out of the gate, the great tragedy of the band, other than his death itself, has always been that Sublime’s globe spanning fame came just a few short months after Bradley accidentally overdosed on heroin in his hotel room during a ’96 tour the band were on.

Given that, at this point, the band have been so popular for so long, their songs etched into the pop cultural landscape so resolutely, it’s hard to imagine that the creative force behind the band didn’t even get to partake in any of it. But it’s all part of the legend now. A sad, ironic story to be passed down from one generation of music lovers to the next.

Undoubtedly, a big reason for this timelessness is how fresh the band’s material sounds even now. Pluck ‘What I Got’ or ‘Santeria’ or ‘Wrong Way’ or anything really, from their early to mid-90’s inception and slide them into today’s radio rotation and there isn’t a damn soul who would question its placement. To say these songs have aged well is an understatement. They haven’t aged at all. The only thing that makes them feel old in any way is the fact that you’ve been listening to them since before your balls dropped (sorry, I don’t know the female equivalent for balls dropping, but the sentiment goes for girls too). But even then, that’s more about you feeling old than the music.

Now we’ve got a reincarnation of the band with a different singer. This is never a good idea, folks. When the main creative force in a band dies, the band is dead. That’s all there is to it. Nirvana understood this, so did Joy Division. It looked for a number of years like Sublime did as well. Nowell had such a unique voice. Such a gift for songwriting and performing every one of them like it was the last song any of us would ever hear. Some people are born to do certain things. He was born for this.

Capturing lightening in a bottle can be tricky. Sitting at home watching magic happen isn’t the same as watching it happen before your eyes, in the midst of heaving, weaving waves of a sweaty ocean. So watching Sublime’s “3 Ring Circus” on DVD, or listening to it in your car or on the bus or whatever, you know you’re getting a watered down version of the event in question.

As such, “3 Ring Circus” doesn’t sound all that great. It’s a recording of a club show in Hollywood in ’95 and whether it’s the recording that stinks or the show that sounded that way at the time, I don’t know. Truth be told, “Stand By Your Van” is a better sounding recording than this. Don’t let that deter you though, “3 Ring Circus” isn’t unlistenable and in level of quality exists somewhere around the good bootleg area.

It also contains one hell of a setlist that covers a hefty swath of material from “Robbin’ The Hood” and “40 Oz. To Freedom” and while it was a little early for them to be performing some of the songs that would eventually become hits after Brad’s death, they do play a couple tracks that would pop up on that posthumous ’96 self titled release. They also find time in their 80 minute setlist to throw in some b-sides and covers of songs by Bad Brains, Descendents, Greatful Dead, Bob Marley, Toots & The Maytals and Bad Religion.

All in all it’s a pretty comprehensive batch of songs.

Bradley performs the songs with a great deal of passion and has the uncanny ability to make them all sound spontaneous and on the spot, even though none of them are. All the while Bud and Eric keep the groove going behind him, two very talented performers in their own right.

This review is more specific to the audio release, but you also have the option to buy “3 Ring Circus” in a couple of DVD formats.

I also watched the video of the show and unless you’re a completist in regards to Sublime’s catalogue, I would advise against it.

Like an Oliver Stone movie, but without a shred of skill, the video for the show was shot on a variety of cameras and in a variety of film formats. As such, you’ll get colour for a couple songs, then grainy black and white for a couple, then something else, then something else.

The whole thing looks like a bad imitation of an 80’s MTV music video. Lingering too long on the crowd, spinning shakily around Brad while he’s playing, spending an awkward amount of time on a gay couple dancing and kissing and hugging on the side of the stage. It’s just all really juvenile and annoyingly distracting from the actual performance. Which, again, is great. Eric smoking a big fat stogie (blunt?) through most of the show, Bradley’s beloved Dalmatian Lou dog wandering around on the stage, and his aforementioned impassioned performance, if only they’d just sit still with one damn camera and leave it be.

You won’t ever hear me complain about there being too much Sublime music out there, but the shameless barrage of repackaged and re-repackaged Greatest Hits compilations that flit out into the world every couple years do nothing but dilute the name of the band and its legacy. As such, whenever I hear of a new Sublime release, I’m powerless to hold my right eyebrow in place and prevent it arching its back towards the heavens.

“3 Ring Circus” is worth listening to for the setlist, the performances and just because it’s Sublime. You really don’t need any more reason than that. The sound quality is a little rouge around the edges but certainly listenable.
But if it’s a show you want to see, rather than hear, I’d recommend tracking down the documentary/live compilation DVD “Stories, Tales, Lies & Exaggerations.”

4.5/5  (less for the DVD)

 



10 things you probably didn’t know about Bradley Nowell (Sublime)

Everybody in the punk scene knows who Bradley Nowell was. Whether you’ve been a huge fan of Sublime, or the ska punk scene, you probably know a bit about this deceased singer and guitarist. To test the extent of your knowledge, we thought it would be fun to put together a list of 10 things most people probably don’t know about the dude who brought us “Santeria”, “What I Got”, and “Date Rape” (the song! Yeesh).

Test your knowledge here.



Sublime’s Bud Gaugh comments on the possibility of more archive recordings being released

In a recent interviewSublime drummer Bud Gaugh said that the ska icons who released the live album 3 Ring Circus: Live at the Palace last Tuesday may release more archived recordings containing live material. He states:

“There’s definitely a lot more video footage that we came across. We’re going through it a little bit at a time and sorting out. We had good shows, bad shows, good shows with bad recordings, bad shows with good recordings. We were big fans of ‘press record now, no matter what,’ so there’s a lot of work in there.” 

Sublime broke up right after the death of their frontman Bradley Nowell on May 25, 1996. They last released their multi-platinum self-titled record in July of that year. The band is now known as Sublime With Rome, featuring Rome Ramirez as the new singer and guitarist.



Video Archive: Sublime live at the House of Blues in L.A., 1996

Today is the 17th anniversary of the death of Sublime singer and guitarist Bradley Nowell. To commemorate this anniversary, you can watch a video of the band’s performance at the House of Blues in L.A., which took place a month before his death, in its entirety here.

Sublime broke up right after Brad’s death on May 25, 1996. They last released their multi-platinum self-titled record in July of that year. The band is now known as Sublime With Rome, featuring Rome Ramirez as the new singer and guitarist.



Sublime to release live album and DVD next month

Ska rock icons Sublime will release a new live album and DVD called 3 Ring Circus: Live at the Palace, which was recorded live at the Palace in Hollywood, California on October 21, 1995, just seven months before their singer and guitarist Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose. It is due for release on June 18th, and is available for pre-order at Sublime’s official website and Amazon.com.

3 Ring Circus: Live at the Palace, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Sublime, will be available in three package configurations. The DVD package will contain the concert video, which is newly edited using Hi-8 video and recently discovered 16mm and Super 8 film footage; a CD version will contain the live concert audio; and a 2DVD+CD Deluxe package will feature the audio and video, the original Hi-8 Palace concert video (unedited), an exclusive poster and laminated backstage pass housed in an eco-friendly 8-panel softpak, as well as an additional bonus concert video of their performance at Las Palmas Theater on February 17, 1995. The track listing to both the CD and DVD can be found here as well as the trailer.

Sublime broke up right after Brad’s death on May 25, 1996. They last released their multi-platinum self-titled record in July of that year. The band is now known as Sublime With Rome, featuring Rome Ramirez as the new singer and guitarist.



Celebrate Bradley Nowell’s 45th birthday with Sublime covers

Today is February 22nd, which means it’s Bradley Nowell from Sublime‘s birthday. If he was still living, the guy who sang “What I Got” and “Santeria” would have turned 45 today.

In celebration, I’ve compiled videos from some of our editors/readers’ favorite bands like Pennywise, Fishbone, No Use for a Name and Guttermouth covering songs originally performed by the dude from Long Beach himself. Some of the songs are taken from the Sublime tribute albums Look at All the Love We Found and Forever Free, released in 2005 and 2006 respectively. No Doubt‘s cover version of “DJ’s” is taken from their 1997 live DVD Live From the Tragic Kingdom, while Reel Big Fish‘s cover version of “Boss DJ” is taken from their 2002 album Cheer Up.

Click here to check ’em out and enjoy! Happy birthday, Brad! We miss you, but your legacy will continue to live on.



Random Cover Song: Sublime – “Steppin’ Razor” (Joe Higgs)

Cover songs are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. We here at Dying Scene love hearing punk bands do their own take on other band’s songs. Sometimes they pull off amazing interpretations of old classics, sometimes they’re not much more than humble tributes to a fellow artist, and other times they’re just downright laughable renditions of otherwise great songs. Good or bad. Intriguing or mundane. We’ll let you be the judge.

To celebrate the birthday of the late Sublime frontman/vocalist Bradley Nowell, who would have turned 44 today, one of the awesomest song covers we have for you is the multi-platinum ska rockers covering the reggae classic “Steppin’ Razor”. You can check out the cover and compare it to the original here. “Steppin’ Razor” is an original composition by Joe Higgs, who is also deceased, while Sublime’s cover version appears on their 1994 second album Robbin’ the Hood.



Random Cover Song: Sublime – “Scarlet Begonias” (The Grateful Dead)

Cover songs are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. We here at Dying Scene love hearing punk bands do their own take on other band’s songs. Sometimes they pull off amazing interpretations of old classics, sometimes they’re not much more than humble tributes to a fellow artist, and other times they’re just downright laughable renditions of otherwise great songs. Good or bad. Intriguing or mundane. We’ll let you be the judge.

The random song cover we have for you today is Sublime covering the Grateful Dead classic “Scarlet Begonias”. The original song appears on the Grateful Dead’s 1974 album From the Mars Hotel, while Sublime’s version appears on their 1992 iconic debut album 40oz. to Freedom. Listen to both the original and the cover here.



Random Cover Song Thursday: Sublime covers Bad Religion’s “We’re Only Gonna Die”

Cover songs are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.  We here at Dying Scene love hearing punk bands do their own take on other band’s songs.  Sometimes they pull off amazing interpretations of old classics, sometimes they’re not much more than humble tributes to a fellow artist, and other times they’re just downright laughable renditions of otherwise great songs.  Good or bad.  Intriguing or mundane.  We’ll let you be the judge.

Since MySpace and Spin have been kicking out Bad Religion cover songs by different bands every day for the last week we thought we’d throw our own BR cover into the mix.  This week’s random cover is the original Sublime doing Bad Religion’s “We’re Only Gonna Die” off their 1982 album “How Could Hell Be Any Worse?”. I think it’s pretty awesome.  Check out Sublime’s version and compare it to the original right here.



Sublime With Rome announce first-leg dates for summer tour

SMOKEOUT25Mpma.jpgSublime with Rome are going to be logging a lot of miles this summer. The band just announced the first leg of their summer 2010 tour and the dates feature the band performing all over the place.

Joining the band will be Hasidic rapper Matisyahu and Dirty Heads. Click here for the rest of the tour dates.

You can read an interview with Rome on what it was like joining Sublime here.



Rome Ramirez talks about joining Sublime

In an interview conducted on NERDSociety.com Sublime With Rome guitarist/vocalist Rome Ramirez talks about joining the long-defunct ska punk band and how it all came to be:

“I met Eric [Wilson, bassist] through a mutual friend and he asked me if I wanted to jam and I said sure, we even did a video on RAWsession together. Next we jammed with Bud for a while and naturally we would play a couple of Sublime songs. After a while the guys were like, do you wanna do this for real and go on tour, I was like, woah.”

For the whole interview head here.



Sublime adds new singer and invents creative new band name

sublime-with-romeSo this is sorta old news now but I’m only just getting around to posting it, and it might actually be new news to some of you.  As you may have heard, Sublime‘s lead singer Bradley Nowell died of a heroine overdose in 1996.  Yes, its true.  But that’s not the new news I’m talking about.  After Nowell’s death, the remaining members disbanded until about a year ago when they added a new singer (Rome Ramirez) to fill the rather large shoes of Nowell.  With Ramirez on the mic, the band began playing again under their former name Sublime until the Nowell family sued them for use of the moniker and a judge officially banned them from using it.  Doh.  Still with me?  Good, because now it’s time for the “new” news and the point of this post.

The artists formerly known as Sublime, after finding their new lead singer Rome Ramirez, have officially chosen their new band name.  And without further ado I’d like to present it to you.  It is….  wait for it… here it comes…  “Sublime With Rome”!  Incredibly creative, guys.  Good work.

You can check out Rome’s singing ability on a new Sublime (With Rome) song right here.



New song from the artists formely known as Sublime

sublimeHey boys and girls, remember Sublime?  Of course you do.  You probably also remember that their lead singer, Bradley Nowell, died while over indulging in some scary substances – don’t do drugs, kids.  Well, after that serious bummer, the band disbanded but only to reunite again last year with a new singer/guitar player, Rome Ramirez, at the helm.  But wait, there’s more.  Just as things were starting to pick up again for the group a judge banned them from using the name Sublime and now I don’t know what the hell they’re calling themselves.

All this brings me to the real point of this post: the band formerly knows as Sublime played a brand new song at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Xmas in December and somebody, believe it or not, actually caught it on video tape.  The song is called Panic (or Sublime Panic, depending on how you want to read it from the youtube player) and you can check it out right here.

PS. That new singer isn’t half bad actually…