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Today we bring you a special treat, premiering not one, but two tracks from Kepi Ghoulie  and the Accelerators, “Carly Simon” and “Fun in the Dark.” Both tracks will appear on the upcoming album Fun in the Dark, to be released on March 24th through Eccentric Pop Records. Check out the two songs below.

Fun in the Dark is a re-imagining of the classic 1999 Groovie Ghoulies album of the same name. While Kepi Ghoulie remains on the vocals, he is backed-up musically by Holland’s Accelerators (as well as back-up vocals provided by Sacramento’s Dog Party). This is the first in a series of re-recorded Groovie Ghoulies albums to come, the next one featuring The Copyrights providing the music for Re-Animation Festival (we’ll keep you updated on that).

“Once again, we have created a recording of a group of friends who appreciate and respect what each other does, joining forces to make a document of that relationship and the music/fun/energy it has brought forth! “

The original Groovie Ghoulies album will also be re-issued sometime in the future through Green Door. You can pre-order this new version of Fun in the Dark here or here, along with Groovie Ghoulies’ Appetite for Adrenochrome on LP and CD.

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Last Tuesday, The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco played host to three amazing bands – Authority Zero, Reel Big Fish, and Less Than Jake. The fans turned out in droves, and the energy exuded was something you would typically see at a weekend show, not on a Tuesday night. All three bands were meant to perform together – they share a similar style of music, and there was a definite progression from band to band. Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake have split headlining duties this tour, and during their SF stop, LTJ was tasked with rounding the evening out. Brilliant!

Authority Zero plays a unique blend of ska, punk, funk, and reggae, and is one of my favorite bands to see open a night. Half-full venue? No problem. No one dancing? Not yet. Authority Zero changes all that and before they’ve wrapped up their set, the crowd has filled in, legs are loose, and everyone is warmed up. I love the band’s intros and bridges and so do fans – with jumps, kicks, skanks, fists, and woah’s abound. I would love to see some new material from these guys.

It has been a couple of years since I last saw Reel Big Fish and I gotta say it was much better than I remembered. I’ve been a fan of RBF since my wee teen years, and have watched the band progress and really solidify their presence in the ska/punk world. It’s like a trip down memory land every time the guys come into town. The band played a lot of material off “Turn The Radio Off” and “Everything Sucks”, and during “She’s Got a Girlfriend Now”, saxophonist Matt Appleton filled in on female vocals. Amazing! He sounded like a young Gwen Stefani! The band seemed to really be enjoying themselves, and it shone through in the music. There was only one thing that could make this night better – Less Than Jake.

I was as happy as a little girl as the Gainesville natives prepared to take the stage. The band was fundamental in my musical upbringing, and really holds a special place in my heart. It had been several years since I last saw LTJ, and I admit I was a bit anxious to see what their set list would offer – but I was extremely pleased with the amount of ‘old stuff’ that they played. I always prefer that bands I like perform my favorite songs later in the event, so I can get my shots out of the way. Of course, I have no say in the matter, so it’s always a balance when I’m still in the photo pit and a song like “Nervous In The Alley” comes on. Do I dance or do I shoot? Why not a little of both? Alas, three songs are up and I’m out of the photo pit, time to secure gear and head to the dance pit, where I stayed the rest of the night. To my delight, the band played a substantial amount of songs from “Losing Streak”, “Pezcore”, and “Hello Rockview”, probably some of my favorite albums of all time. The climax of the night came with the performance of “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”. There’s nothing as saddening as seeing LTJ and them not performing “Johnny Quest”, and there’s nothing more gratifying than when they do. It was epic and that memory will remain with me forever.

Did you know there is a PacMan cereal? And did you know that Less Than Jake created its theme song? It’s called “Do The Pacman” and it is full of childhood fun. The band announced the news and proceeded to play the song no less than three times during the rest of their set, complete with choreographed dance. I love bands that don’t get caught up on all this punk politics, and just like to have fun. You can view the song, along with dance, here.

Have a look at all the shots all three bands below.

***Big thanks to Vinnie from LTJ, Vanessa from Fat, and Snodgrass for helping me with entry for this event. Much appreciated!!***

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Darwin And The Dinosaur will be releasing a new full-length album titled “A Thousand Ships” on March 9th via No Panic! Records and today we’re stoked to bring you a premiere of the first track “Theories”.  The group of 4, hailing from Norwich, UK, play a spectacular brand of post punk, with hardcore influences. Think, Thrice, Reuben, Glassjaw and you’re close.

Check out the video for “Theories” below!

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I roll out of bed last Friday still feeling crusty from the Leftover Crack show the night before. No time to rest, as tonight is to be a party of local street punk. Custom Fit, Suede Razors, and The Workin’ Stiffs were to share the stage at the sweaty ol’ Parkside. La Plebe was originally scheduled to headline the event, however due to some personal issues, they cancelled their performance a week or so before the event. While that may have dissuaded the Plebeians, there were still three amazing bands playing, so I was sure to be there.

I have seen all three bands several times, and it’s always a reunion of sorts with familiar faces and of course many Pirates cameos. Santa Cruz, CA’s Custom Fit was first to the stage and lead singer Sabi never disappoints. Her voice is amazing! Such a refreshing sound to the scene, and holds true to that traditional street punk attitude. The stand-out moment during their set was when they played “Combat” off their 2013 untitled 12″. I was in the bathroom when the song started and I had to bolt out to catch the first kick. You can listen to “Combat” here.

Following Custom Fit was East Bay band Suede Razors. Comprised of members from bands such as Harrington Saints, Sydney Ducks, The Bootboys, and Hounds & Harlots, these guys are no strangers to the scene. Their sound is a mix of classic streetpunk/Oi! mixed with a little pub rock/hooliganism and ’60′s-’70′s guitar riffs. Another one of those ill timed moments was at the bar ordering a drink when the band began to play their new song “Passion on the Pitch”, which is coming out on 7″ next month. I had to get on the floor and throw some fists and claps! You can check out a preview of the upcoming track here.

Rounding out the night was San Francisco’s own The Workin’ Stiffs. Like a siren call, guitarist Novak started the set off quite properly, wasting no time getting the crowd moving from literally the first chord. Close your eyes and you’re transported to this era of ’80′s angst. Sharp-ass guitar riffs, driving beats, and gritty, emotionally charged vocals are what has given this band it’s staying power. The only down time you have to catch your breath is when the band stalls because they, “only have so many songs and we have to fill time!” Truth be told, the guys have been around since the mid ’90′s, and despite several hiatuses over the years, has released a plethora of music, and throughout the night sampled from a large portion of their catalog, primarily ‘the old stuff’.

You can have a look at all of the shots from the night’s sets below.

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If the theme of the first week of February’s concerts was ska, then the name of game last week was punk – of the crust and street variety.

First band to the stage to start off the week was Juicy Karkass. The ‘punk/hip hop’ group played an interesting blend of rap, country, southern rock, and ‘punk’. The crowd was still wetting their whistle, but the band managed to garner quite the crowd.

Union 13 is one of those band’s that never gets old, and they seem to never tire on stage. This was my first time seeing the punk quartet, and they were everything I had dreamed of all these years. Energetic, hard riffs, and fast lyrics are what have made this band a benchmark in the LA punk scene.

Blackbird Raum is part of this new-ish wave of anarchist/folk/punk bands kind of spearheaded in their hometown of Santa Cruz, CA. The band has a relatively tumultuous past, and is still having some lineup issues, but you would never know. I love this type of music and so did Thee Parkside, barely allowing the band to hold the stage as fists and boots were flying.

The climax of the night’s performances centered around the NYC crust-punk band Leftover Crack, who was smack dab in the middle of their West Coast tour stint. It’s such a treat to see that, despite a few more gray hairs, the guys are just as raucous and rambunctious as ever. Many of the tracks performed have since formed into a blur, but “Gang Control” is always one of my favorites.

You can check out all of the photos from the night’s debauchery below.

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I started the month of February off on a beautiful ska note. Local Dan P & The Bricks (of Mu330 fame), ska veterans The Toasters, and the legendary Mustard Plug were set to play a rocking show at Slim’s in Sam Francisco.

Due to public transit delays and issues at the door, I missed the Potthast. I fret not, because the Missouri transplant is set to play an amazing show with Japanese ska band Kemuri in April, who is playing in the US for the first time in 17 years. Dan P. released a solo album last year “My Living Room” that will be released on vinyl next month through Asian Man.

Next to the stage was The Toasters. What is to say about the Two-Tone Army that hasn’t already been said. They rock and get that dance floor bouncing. The band has been touring around the US, so don’t be stupid and go see them! The Toasters last released a seven-inch “House of Soul” through Megalith last year.

This was my very first Mustard Plug show, despite being a fan for well over a decade. I was pumped, and the guys delivered. I love ska shows and this one took the cake. Smiles, skanking, and ripping brass are the stuff I dream about. The band’s last album, “Can’t Contain It”, was released last January through No Idea.

Check out shots from the night’s festivities below.

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DS Exclusive Stream: Resistors – “Wasting Away”

Posted by Shawn-Ray Dalinsky on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 3:00 PM (PST)

Today we bring you an exclusive stream of a kick-ass new song from Brooklyn melodic punk act Resistors. The song, “Wasting Away,” is from the band’s upcoming album Drag, set to be released on March 3rd through Aces & Eights Records. Be one of the firsts to hear the song below.

Pre-order Drag here. The band previously released Breaking Tradition in 2013.

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A couple weeks ago I spent a Saturday with the boys of Bum City Saints. The band is getting ready to release their newest album in the coming months and invited me to their practice space to check out the development. As the sun set, we cleaned up in preparation for the night’s performances. It was to be a night of local Bay Area street punk at the ol SUB Mission in San Francisco, with Bum City Saints as the headliner.

First to the stage was The Rinds. The Oakland -based trio is currently recording their third album, and plays a classic sound of the streets, with a tinge of surf and sun. Despite the crowd’s lack of energy, the band really rocked it and has great stage presence and crisp, quality lines. I had never seen the band before, but they surely made a fan out of me right away. You can listen to their latest album, “Kick It In” below, and fall in love for yourself.

Next up to wow the crowd was The Lonely Revolts from Monterey. The guys just released their second full-length album, “Broken Bones Burning Hearts”, and they hit the stage with explosive energy ready to unleash their sound to the masses. With jumps, kicks, bridges, and ripping gang vocals, The Lonely Revolts was really a pleasure to see.

With the theme of street punk firmly cemented in the air, Concord, CA’s United Defiance took to the stage and tore it up. Gritty, edgy, and fast is balanced with melodic whoah’s and thrashable riffs. Talk about a photographer’s dream, guitarist Rich Brown’s jumps are impeccable and add such a delight to live music. By this time the crowd was finally warming up, with a little movement on the dance floor eventually gaining some momentum for the final act.

I have never been to a bad Bum City Saints show, and this time was no exception. From the first chord to the last cymbal crash, the band kicks ass. There are no slow songs, no down time or moment to catch your breath – you know the moment they come on stage that you better hold on tight for the ride. The band will be releasing their newest album in the next few months so stay tuned for more updates as they become available.

Have a look at all of the night’s photos below.

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The lads in UK punk act Wonk Unit recorded a music video for their kick ass song “Kings Road Sports Heroes” and asked us if we would be interested in premiering it on our punk music news website. We said “hell yes!”, and now you can check it out below.

The track appears on the band’s latest album “Nervous Racehorse”, which was released in early 2014. You can purchase said album with money here.

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Today we’re stoked to bring you a music video premiere for New York punk act Gutterlife.  It’s for their new song “Complacent” which will appear on their upcoming EP “Don’t Sleep” and you can rock out to it below.

“Don’t Sleep” will be released February 17th via We Are Triumphant Records and serves as a follow-up to their “Violent Dischord” EP released last March.

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Japan is widely known for being one of the world’s centers for music, however this site does not focus too much on their bands. Though not as popular in the United States, bands from Japan have some of the most devoted fans you may ever see. One of Japan’s most influential bands happens to be a ska band by the name of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. This 9-piece band has been around over 25 years and are gearing up to release their 19th studio album, Ska Me Forever, on February 10th through Nacional Records.

TSPO are known for their energetic and exciting live performances and continue to bring their shows to the whole world. With the release of Ska Me Forever, the band proves that they are nothing to be messed with and will not stop for a long time. The album blends a large variety of genres, including punk, rock, classical, and jazz, and mix it all up into their signature ska sound, proving why they are one of the leading international ska bands around today. With a whopping 18 tracks, this album is filled with guest appearances from some of Japan’s leading punk bands such as Asian Kung-Fu Generation and 10-FEET, as well as including covers of well known pieces such as Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9″ and the classic Mexican folk song “Cielito Lindo.”

You can preorder Ska Me Forever on vinyl here, or digitally here.

Dying Scene was lucky to have baritone saxophone player (and original member) Atsushi Yanaka answer a few questions regarding their upcoming release, touring, and more. Check out the full exclusive interview below.

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Last Friday I was able to see three amazing bands perform at one of my favorite venues, Slim’s in San Francisco. Nathen Maxwell & The Original Bunny Gang, The Aggrolites, and Mad Caddies were to share the stage, and the air was ripe for a funky, bass-driven, night of ska and reggae.

Many may be familiar with Nathen Maxwell as bassist for Flogging Molly, but over the past several years, he has established himself as a really talented musician and front man. With his Original Bunny Gang, Maxwell & co are preparing to release their third studio album, “Thrive”, this fall through Hardline Entertainment. Nathen’s stage presence and energy were really a great way to kick off the night, with Aggrolites next to the stage.

It was almost as if there was a progression of noise, speed, and rambunctiousness as the night went on, as it should – and Aggrolites were front and center getting fans going. While it’s worth mentioning that San Francisco Bay Area fans in attendance could most definitely benefit from watching and learning how the old ska/reggae legends used to dance, and at least maybe take note. That being said, despite the clusterfuck of a ska ‘pit’, The Aggrolites played an amazing show. It’s always incredible watching organ players like Roger Rivas chopping up the ivory. It sounds so great and looks so cool! I don’t know how they do it.

The air was thick and warm, the scent of beer and smoke filled the heavy dance floor as ska/punk veterans Mad Caddies took the stage. Despite their longevity, I had managed to never before seen the group, so I was super stoked. After knocking out my photos I secured my gear and headed for the pit. This is the kind of music I grew up on, and the type I love most to dance to. Kinda crazy, kinda funky, jazzy, punky…it’s a great blend that the Caddies have been perfecting for over two decades. Although no ‘Road Rash’ or ‘The Gentleman’ were played, I left very satisfied, and very sweaty.

Have a look at all the photos from the night’s performances below.

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DS Exclusive: Concrete release music video for “Born Lost”

Posted by Bizarro Dustin on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 10:21 AM (PST)

Today we’re excited to bring you the premiere of New York hardcore act Concrete‘s music video for “Born Lost”! The track comes off of the band’s recently released split EP with Orange County hardcore outfit Hammerfist. You can check out the video below!

The Concrete / Hammerfist split was released on November 18 through Irish Voodoo Records.

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There’s an inscription on a plaque inside the base of the Statue of Liberty that bares on it a sonnet called “The New Colossus.” Written by noted American poet Emma Lazarus, the inscription is probably best known for its containing the phrase “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Perhaps, then, it’s no coincidence that Lady Liberty’s trademark spiked crown has been adopted in headdress form by a great many in the punk rock community. This scene has a long, well-worn history of serving as a last bastion of acceptance for people that have been marginalized by the mainstream, viewed as “weird” or “different” or “strange” or, of course, “crazy.”

Enter Craig Lewis. The Boston-area based writer and zine publisher and punker and mental health professional, who’s been profiled on these pages before, has compiled a book called “You’re Crazy – First-Hand Accounts of Mental Illness, Addiction and Trauma from the Punk Rock Scene.” Published by his own Better Days Recovery Press, the book clocks in just shy of 150-pages; by all means a more-than manageable one day read. But instead of Lewis trying to tell his subjects’ stories, the two-dozen-plus stories come straight from the horse’s mouths.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the compilation is that twenty-five authors carry with them twenty-five different stories and twenty-five different styles of conveying their messages. Some come across as nervous; rightfully so, as this may the first time that many tell their stories outside a therapist’s office – or at all. Some authors seem obviously well-versed at sharing, and are able to apply a modicum of humor to what can obviously be dark subject matter. If you’ve ever been in the halls of an AA or NA meeting, some of the stories may sound familiar in a “names are changed but the stories are real” way, with authors presenting the mental health version of a textbook drunkalogue. It would be unfair, or perhaps unnecessary, to give reviews of each individual story, as the goal of many such stories is progress, not perfection. Still, there are some noteworthy highlights.

“Disease,” written by Jessica Rosengrant, serves as my favorite read, both contextually and stylistically. Though this may serve as a spoiler, Rosengrant’s story plays as an allegory, with her struggles with addiction serving as her best friend, and ultimately her worst enemy. Matt Hollender’s “Me Or The World” is more of an essay or a think-piece which serves as general good advice for well-living. “Pat’s Story,” by Pat Thielges, starts with a bang, almost literally, as it begins with an honest description of the author’s unsuccessful suicide attempt. The story that follows, “More Than Just A Tag” by an author known only as Q, is arguably the most compelling read. The author tells a tale of being, by many accounts, a “normal kid,” who somehow ended up in the care of the state mental health system, only to eventually “become sick.” Particularly humbling is the story’s post-script, which reveals that sometimes we’re at our most vulnerable when we feel like we’re at our most stable point.

The common thread weaving all of these stories together is punk rock. The husband and wife duo Eric Blitz and Jenny “DevilDoll” Gonzalez-Blitz tell very different tales (stylistically and materially) and yet wound up together, firmly entrenched in the local community. While the acceptance and judgement-free zones provided by the world of punk rock in many, if not most, cases are seen a a guiding light, it’s important to note, there’s also an overarching need for the scene to continue to take care of its own and and to not stab the backs of the most vulnerable (the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free) and indeed the most passionate amongst us. It’s a necessary looking-glass into our world and the characters in it, and can be an inspirational piece that may hopefully serve to shed a light on one of the proverbial elephants in the room; we may or may not be crazy, but we have each other!

You can get your own copy of “You’re Crazy” here, or go directly to Punks In Recovery to submit a story for the next volume of “You’re Crazy”!

Upstate, NY’s Artisan play melodic hardcore with drive and heart. “Living in a consistent state of pessimism will create a harsh dynamic between yourself and the rest of the world, hindering your friendships, relationships and…well…your life in general really,” opines vocalist Jackson Corbo.

I was looking forward to seeing the band share the stage with Hundreth and Meridian at a recent Poughkeepsie, NY show but the gig was snowed out. I hit up the band and made sure we still connected anyway, because they are doing things right in many ways.

Read the interview and stream their debut EP “Prelude” below.

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