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DS Show Review & Gallery: Me First & The Gimme Gimmes/The Black Tones/Son Rompe Pera (House of Blues – Chicago, IL – 10/1/22)

The foremost punk rock supergroup cover band hit the House of Blues in Chicago, IL on the first day of October 2022. The band brought the humor and fun, performing others’ classics but at break-neck speed. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes has a rotating cast of characters. At this House of Blues Chicago, only […]

The foremost punk rock supergroup cover band hit the House of Blues in Chicago, IL on the first day of October 2022. The band brought the humor and fun, performing others’ classics but at break-neck speed.


Me First and the Gimme Gimmes has a rotating cast of characters. At this House of Blues Chicago, only one of the original members, Spike Slawson, was on stage. Joey Cape of Lagwagon and Fat Mike of NOFX were unable to join Slawson due to both bands being on tour. However, Slawson did have a pretty solid set of bandmates: CJ Ramone on bass, Speedo aka John “The Swami” Reis of Rocket From the Crypt on guitar, Jake Kiley from Strung Out, and Andrew “Pinch” Pinching formerly of The Damned, on drums. The entire band was decked out in white denim and glittery pink shirts, accented by white ties Slawson added a white sports jacket and Elton John style specs, as well his Lounge Lizard persona.


The band zoomed through a pair of John Denver tunes, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “Take Me Home Country Roads,” as well as Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up,” “ScienceFiction/Double Feature” by Richard O’Brien


The set also featured Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)” by Elton John, “Mandy,” by Barry Manilow and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”


Me First and the Gimme Gimmes serves up a reliably good time, no matter what the lineup at any given time. It’s all in good fun, though there was an early oof moment when Slawson joked about John Denver’s skills as a helicopter pilot (Denver died when the home-made aircraft he was flying crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the crash to pilot errors). Aside from that, the band members play with an earnestness rather than a mocking spirit underneath the levity. They seem to be enjoying this insouciant break from their “day jobs.” The crowd was all for it and left asking for more.


The Black Tones, on its first national tour, got the show started in a big way. The duo, comprised of Eva Walker on vocals and guitar, and her twin brother Cedric Walker on drums and vocals, have built a devoted fan base in the state of Washington. The Seattle duo’s hit song, “The Key Of Black (They Want Us Dead)” speaks to police brutality fueled by racism.The name of the Walkers’ first album, Cobain & Cornbread, is a nod to both their hometown of the Emerald City, and their family’s southern roots in Louisiana.

On stage, joined by family as back-up musicians and singers they soared. Eva Walker is both an indefatigable shredder and a dynamic vocalist. Cedric Walker is a thunderous drummer, every bash complementing his sister’s swaggering stage presence. With songs like “Mr. Pink,” “Ghetto Spaceship,” and “Mama, There’s A Spider In My Room,” this band will continue to knock the socks off of those lucky enough to see them in the future.


In the middle slot of the evening were the rising stars in Son Rompe Pera. The band, like The Black Tones, is led by siblings. The three brothers Gama: The two Marimberos/Vocalists, Mongo and Kacho, and percussionist/vocalist Kilos. The family is from Naucalpan de Juárezon the outskirts of Mexico City. They are joined in Son Rompe Pera by Raul Albarrán on bass and Albarrán’s cousin, Richi López on drums. The band has played nearly every size of music venue, and was interviewed by National Public Radio. They were also featured in a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk Sessions, On this Windy City Saturday night, Son Rompe Pera buoyantly showcased its sound which is traditional marimba music and cumbia fused with garage punk and psychobilly. Marimberos Kacho’s and Mongo’s synchronized rapid fire banging of their mallets across their marimbas, whilst furiously dancing, building momentum, caused them to appear breathless as they hit the crescendos. Those moments elicited gasps from the crowd followed by roaring cheers. Son Rompe Pera did not just warm up the crowd for the headliners, Instead, it was introducing to many of the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes fans a piece of the members’ heritages and family traditions. In the process, they were also garnering new fans of their music and of the marimba and cumbia.


See below for more photos from the show!

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Dying Scene Record Radar: New punk vinyl releases & reissues (Less Than Jake, The Manges, No Fun At All & more)

Hello friends, and welcome back to the Dying Scene Record Radar! If you missed me, sorry – things have been a bit crazy lately, between Dying Scene undergoing continued renovations, and my miserable job pulling me away from my extracurricular efforts. But I’m back again, with a bunch of new colorful plastic discs you may […]

Hello friends, and welcome back to the Dying Scene Record Radar! If you missed me, sorry – things have been a bit crazy lately, between Dying Scene undergoing continued renovations, and my miserable job pulling me away from my extracurricular efforts. But I’m back again, with a bunch of new colorful plastic discs you may be interested in purchasing with the money your miserable job has deposited into your bank account! Let’s get into it.

First up is something I’m very excited for: Less Than Jake‘s In With The Out Crowd is finally getting reissued! This has been out of print since 2006, and prior to this there were only 1,000 copies in existence. It’s available on purple vinyl here, and I’m certain other variants will be popping up elsewhere very soon. Is this my favorite LTJ record? No. Is it the flaming pile of dogshit people make it out to be? Absolutely not! This is a solid album with some of the band’s more introspective lyricism.

Also from Less Than Jake: a new Deluxe Edition of their latest album Silver Linings. This reissue features two brand new tracks, and four acoustic versions of existing songs. It’s a 2xLP on beautiful colored vinyl, with a screen print of the cover art on Side D. Pre-order yours here.

Italian pop-punk veterans The Manges have a new record coming soon. It’s called Book of Hate for Good People, and you can listen to a few of the singles below. The record is available on blue vinyl here, and yellow vinyl here.

Skate punk fans, listen up! No Fun At All‘s new album Seventh Wave will be available to pre-order Friday, September 17th from SBÄM and DustyWax Records. There are a ton of variants – the white with black splatter will be exclusive to DustyWax, and limited to 200 copies.

Mustard Plug’s iconic 1997 album Evildoers Beware is getting the 25th Anniversary treatment. Hopeless Records has the yellow w/ red splatter LP pictured to the left (or above if you’re on mobile) on their webstore. The band has a silver variant on their own store. Grab an essential piece of third wave ska!

Speaking of third wave ska… Asian Man Records is repressing a bunch of MU330 records! This is the first time these have been in print for a while. Head over to their webstore to get your hands on these.

As always, our Canadian friends at Thousand Islands Records have some awesome stuff on the way! First up, they will be releasing California melodic punk band Sic Waiting‘s comeback album A Good Hill To Die On this fall. Check out the first single “Uncommon Veins” below, and pre-order the record here.

Also from Thousand Islands, a brand new record from German skate punks Straightline. The whole album is available to stream right now (check it out below, it’s fucking killer), and the LPs should start shipping this winter. Head over to their store to get your pre-orders in.

SideOneDummy is reissuing the Swingin’ Utters compilation album More Scared: The House of Faith Years in honor of its 25th Anniversary. Pre-order yours here.

Fat Wreck‘s 25th Anniversary reissue train rolls on, with the latest installment being Me First and the Gimme GimmesHave a Ball. One of the finest punk cover albums of all time, if I do say so myself. You can get it here (US), here (EU), and here (AUS). Yeah!

I am a steadfast supporter of underrated 90’s pop-punk bands, and Cletus is one of those bands. Hey Pizza! Records is releasing their 1999 album Horseplay Leads to Tragedy on vinyl for the first time. The record has been remastered by Mass Giorgini, and it’s available on three color variants. Grab it here.

And last but certainly not least, we have Dan Vapid and the Cheats announcing their fifth studio album Welcome to Dystopia. The official release is months away, but Eccentric Pop Records has announced a special “test pressing edition”, limited to 100 hand numbered copies on black wax. This will be available on their webstore Friday, September 16th at Noon Eastern.

And that’s all, folks! Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs. See ya next week!

*Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Type “Record Radar” in the search bar at the top of the page!

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Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are a punk supergroup cover band, formed in San Francisco in 1995. The band’s rotating lineup has featured members of NOFX, Lagwagon, No Use for a Name, and the Ramones, among others.

Tours: Me First and The Gimme Gimmes announce Australia and New Zealand tour

Me First and The Gimme Gimmes have announced tour dates for Australia and New Zealand. The shows will take place in February 2023 and tickets go on sale Tuesday August 9. CJ Ramone, Spike Slawson, Joey Cape, Pinch, and "Swami" John Reis make up the band on this tour. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes will be touring North America in the fall with Surfbort and The Black Tones. Check out the dates below.