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2 Tone Records

2 Tone Records was an English independent record label that mostly released ska and reggae-influenced music with a punk rock and pop music overtone. It was founded by Jerry Dammers of the Specials and backed by Chrysalis Records.

Catbite

CATBITE IS A NEO-TWO TONE SKA BAND FROM PHILADELPHIA FORMED IN MAY OF 2018. INFLUENCED BY THE JOLTING ENERGY OF THE SPECIALS, THE SELECTOR’S EDGED LYRICS, AND ELVIS COSTELLO‘S LOVE OF MELODY, THE GROUP CRANKS OUT SHORT, CATCHY TUNES THAT USUALLY HAVE A DEEPER MEANING… AND SOMETIMES DON’T. THE BAND’S DEBUT SELF-TITLED LP WAS RELEASED IN 2019 ON BAD TIME RECORDS AND HAS SOLD OUT OF THE FIRST 2 PRESSINGS WITH THE 3RD PRESSING AVAILABLE NOW. THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SOPHOMORE ALBUM, “NICE ONE” , ALSO RELEASED ON BAD TIME RECORDS, WAS RELEASED ON AUGUST 6, 2022 AND WAS ACCOMPANIED WITH A SOLD OUT HOMETOWN SHOW, AND FOLLOWED BY EXTENSIVE TOURING. NICE ONE INCLUDES HITS LIKE “CALL YOUR BLUFF”, “EXCUSE ME MISS”, AND THE SOULFUL ROCKSTEADY TUNE, “BAD INFLUENCE”.

DS Show Review & Gallery: The Slackers, The Crombies, & The Operator in Chicago (11/11/2022)

The Slackers returned to Reggie’s to headline a bill which included their local friends in The Crombies, plus The Operator, and Highball Holiday. The Slackers, Chicago favorites from New York City, once again treated their fans to a rousing performance. Vic Ruggiero, Glen Pine, Jay Nugent, Dave Hillyard, Ara Babajian, and Marcus Geard tore through […]

The Slackers returned to Reggie’s to headline a bill which included their local friends in The Crombies, plus The Operator, and Highball Holiday.


The Slackers, Chicago favorites from New York City, once again treated their fans to a rousing performance. Vic Ruggiero, Glen Pine, Jay Nugent, Dave Hillyard, Ara Babajian, and Marcus Geard tore through a setlist including “Fried Chicken/Mary, Mary,” “And I Wonder,” “Don’t Let The Sunlight Fool Ya,” “I Still Love You,” and “Wasted Days.” Per usual, The Slackers brought to the Windy City a lively and fun experience.


When The Slackers hit Chicago, many fans may guess correctly that The Crombies will be on the same bill. The two groups have a tight bond in more than one way. Three members of The Crombies (Mike Park, Dave Simon, and Karl Gustafson) are also past or present members of Deal’s Gone Bad. Some of their DGB bandmates and some of The Slackers members have formed Deal’s Gone Slack. It’s an indirect secondary connection but still should not be dismissed outright.

As for the Chicago’s very popular rocksteady outfit, the above mentioned members, along with bandmates Karl Gustafson, Matt Meuzelaar, and Kevin Lustrup blasted through their set which included “Hooligans,” “Staring At Rude Boys,” “Plastic Gangsters,” and “Levi Stubbs’ Tears.” The Crombies also performed its great cover of a song from my favorite band, The Clash: “English Civil War.” Each member has a very distinct onstage presence but it all adds to a cohesive unit. When you go to a show with The Crombies on the bill you are pretty much guaranteed a good time.


The Operators, a ska unit out Indianapolis, Indiana, came big, loud and rowdy. I loved it and so did the crowd. The group kicked the crowd into bouts of frenzied skanking. The Operators members – Brandon Sanders, Gregg Manfredi, Drew Darby, Heath Schlatter, Brittany Brummfield, Cristian Requilme, Sarah Harwood, Dave Grove, jammed through “Better Off Alone,” “Convicted Man,” “Catfished,” “Ease Your Mind,” and “Cards On The Table.” The latter two are Mr. Kingpin songs.

They were also joined on stage by Jon E. Bravo aka Mr. Kingpin, for “Lightening In A Bottle.” The Operators hit the bullseye with this set.


Highball Holiday switched on the show with a boisterous set. Shahanna McKinney Baldon led the bad through a solid set including “Siblings,” “Speedway,” “Why?,” “Skinhead Girls,” and “Welfare.”

Highball Holiday ended the set with a booming rendition of “Ignorance,” The band showed why they’re Milwaukee ska legends. It is wonderful to see a band enjoying themselves onstage as appeared to be the case here.


See below for more photos. Thanks!

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DS Show Review and Gallery: Punk Rock Tacos’ 1st Anniversary with Boss’ Daughter, Grey Trash Aliens, The Turdles, Torch The Hive, and more; Villa Park, IL (10/21/2022)

Earlier this year, Dying Scene introduced our readers to Noah Corona, the founder of Punk Rock Tacos. Corona put on a party for PRT’s 1st Anniversary on October 21, 2022. Held at PRT’s home venue, Cemitas Poblanas in Villa Park, IL, it doubled as a Halloween costume party and featured bands from in and outside […]

Earlier this year, Dying Scene introduced our readers to Noah Corona, the founder of Punk Rock Tacos. Corona put on a party for PRT’s 1st Anniversary on October 21, 2022. Held at PRT’s home venue, Cemitas Poblanas in Villa Park, IL, it doubled as a Halloween costume party and featured bands from in and outside of Illinois, including headliners Boss’ Daughter.


Boss’ Daughter, out of Reno, Nevada, actually took to the stage just after midnight on the 22nd. The trio, composed of singer/guitar player Chris Fox, Jamie Locks on drums, and Danny Paul on bass, ran through a generous set, including “Stupid Chords, Stupid Words, Stupid Song,” “Help To Forget,” “Religious Convenience,” “Embrace Impermanence, and “Photography.” That last tune is a lovely song, which naturally I liked, not just for the title, but rather for the sentiment expressed within. It describes a query, likely most of us photographers will ask ourselves every once in a while.

We will see our last moonrise

I will wish I had those pictures

Though mostly lost that snap of beauty remembers

Somebody wrote the song for how I’m feeling

So I’ll just sit and listen.”

Simply put it, was a very affecting set.


SUMPP is normally composed of Neil P. and Weftin, but on this night drummer, Phil Warren, was added to the mix. The group’s set was highly animated. I use the word animated because the band members, with limbs flailing and growling facial expressions, brought to mind Taz, The Tasmanian Devil from the classic Loony Tunes cartoons. SUMPP drove through “Consume!,” “Laid off,” “The Best, The Worst, and the Most Likely” (written by Weftin, unlike all the other songs which were written by Neil P.) “Pillz,” “Terminator 2 was Right” “Talkin’ Spit,” and “Cranks.” It was an absolutely frenzied performance, one which left many uninitiated to SUMPP, slightly stunned. But the gaped look on many of the attendees soon turned to smiles and laughs. It was a reaction I am betting Neil P and Weftin were pleased to see.


The Turdles – yes that band name is spelled correctly and a play on we all know what, from Elgin IL – played a lively set with “Courtyard,” Dick Pic,” “Why You Gotta Call The Cops,” and “Empty Hallways” included in the set list. As evidenced by their name, this is a band that uses humor to engage the audience. Lead singer Josh Holbrook, Dave Cherek on bass, Dan Cuchiara on guitar, and drummer Charlie Stanley hit their marks this night, and have been doing so for more than a decade and a half. If you have a chance, go catch one of the band’s shows.


Grey Trash Aliens has a unique name and as this event was a costume party as well as a first-anniversary show, band members appeared looking pretty unique as well. Bass player and vocalist Patrick Mineau appeared with a large fake blood stain on his t-shirt to resemble a stab wound to his right side. Said shirt emblazoned with the words, “I’m Fine.” On his cap, a pair of scissors appears to be lodged into his skull. Adam Spizziri, Lead guitar wore a cap and bug-eye sunglasses. He matched in this themes, guitar player Mike Milman who wore a full-on alien bug-looking costume, including full mask. The set, which included among others “Unsocial Media,” “Basement,” “Believe It,” and “Addiction,” was as quirky as the name of the band. It zoomed through the set serving up a blast-off of a good time.


Chicago hardcore trio Anger is composed of half of the Chicago two-tone band The Crombies. Each member has their own distinct performance style. Dave Simon, its lead singer, is also the guitar player for the very popular rocksteady group, Deal’s Gone Bad. Simon is a prominent and colorful figure in the Chicago punk scene. His usual performance incorporates spins, climbs on front stage amps, and being carried through the crowd, on the shoulders of friends, but when in the role of lead singer/guitar player he is more closely tied to the microphone. But he is no less compelling, and every vocal break sets him free to engage the crowd. Matt Meuzelaar is a power drummer. Stoically pounding away, he perfectly balances out the rowdiness of Simon. In the middle, Kevin Lustrup, is light on his feet as he bounces, usually in place. Lustrup and Meuzelaar drive the backbeat’s engine. Altogether, this adds up to forceful performances on the regular. On this night they jammed through another solid set including, “Hard Livin’,” “Earth,” “Lost Last Night,” “Blood,” and “Fucked Up.” Anger also played “Listen Up” written by Simon way back in 1986. The crowd seemed pretty happy to have Anger at this party and Anger seemed pretty happy to have the crowd.


Torch The Hive, from Chicago, kickstarted the party with a fiery performance. The band is made up of Mike Fruel on guitar and vocals, Tyler Sanders on bass, and drummer Sergio Apanco. The set included “Copaganda,” “F.E.A.,” “Molotov Trail,” and “Evil Men,” along with other tunes. The band did not torch any hives at this event, but it did torch the stage. It was a blazing performance, and the crowd obviously dug it. I did too.


Punk Rock Tacos has had a terrific first year full of shows featuring great bands, but the atmosphere is an equal draw. Events take place inside the venue as well as outside. The latter sometimes requires making stages out of trucks and other objects. It is a good time, where old friends hang out and new friends are made. I, for one, hope Corona along with Matt Durica, his partner in this venture, keep it up for years to come.

See below for more images from this event below.


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Green Room Rockers

Lafayette, IN:

“Soulful Reggae from the Midwest…Welcome, friends :)”

Hepcat

Hepcat is a ska/reggae/rocksteady band from southern California.

Highball Holiday

Milwaukee, WI

“20th and 21st century ska and punk rock steady from Wisconsin USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.”

The Slackers

The Slackers are a third wave ska band, formed in Manhattan, New York in 1991. The band’s sound is a mix of ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, soul, garage rock, and jazz.