“Punk Rocksteady” is a neato concept cd. From what I gather, the Mad Caddies and Fat Mike came up with the idea of doing some Rocksteady, Reggae, Ska, etc. covers of classic Punk songs. And, if you come at this cd from the angle of enjoying it for what it is, you’ll love it. Weeks ago, I was on social media and I read that the Mad Caddies did a Reggae cover of Green Day’s She. I listened to it and thought: “Nope. Nice try, but will everyone quit stroking Green Day’s ego? They’re claiming that they are God’s favorite band.” Tho, to listen to the entire “Punk Rocksteady” album, it makes sense..all the songs do. Individually, they are open to criticism…but as a collective they are poignant.
The cover of Bad Religion’s Sorrow is moving, to say the least. The lyrics really work well in the genre setting. A couple years ago I lived in Florida for a winter. I worked at a pizza restaurant with a bunch of Haitian refugees…who listened to Reggae all day long. It was like a Music History/Appreciation class. Sorrow really gives me the same vibe as real Reggae. Seriously, if you kinda don’t give a crap about this sort of thing but wanna be Punk-woke, at least listen to Sorrow from “Punk Rocksteady”.
The second song’s bass is just phenomenal. We all know that the whole Rocksteady/Ska/Reggae realm of music is good for bassists and bass lovers. But Sleep Long is splendiferous. I sat in my car in a parking lot just enveloped in that bass tone. Sure, the rest of the tunes have stellar bass recordings, but Sleep Long just sticks out like a fat female vocalist in a Pop Country video.
The funnest tune is Sink, Florida, Sink. If that doesn’t make you wanna dance, then you probably don’t like dancing.
I dunno…initially, I listened to this cd 3 or 4 times in a row. Not just cuz I have to for this gig…nope. I just really took to it. I was in a mood where I just wanted something uplifting. It was a nice day. Bright enough for sunglasses but not hot enough to sweat while standing around…so I took a drive. Ended up in a parking lot eating chips listening to “Punk Rocksteady”. It seemed to make me agree with the world. I had that “F-it, it’s almost summer…I don’t see any civil unrest..people are just coexisting in harmony from what I can tell…I’ll just listen to this here cd and not worry about what opinions journalists are editorializing about” mentality. It was a fine time. I even had to pick up a family member…who leans Right, so to speak. The album seemed to make him mad. Like it wasn’t American enough to be worthy of listening to. So that made me chuckle to myself. Not that I’m some whiny Leftist that wants to make it to where we can’t laugh at Daniel Tosh’s humor, no. I’m just saying that Punk Rocksteady has the potential to frustrate fools. So yeah. #PunkRock
I then spent a few days not listening to but thinking about the cd. I thought about how I’ve never been a Mad Caddies fan. I always respected them as a band. You know how it goes…some bands are around and you’ve heard a few songs and were like: “Okay. Not bad. Maybe one day I’ll wind up a super-fan.” but that day never comes. Lots of the 3rd Wave Ska was…well…it seemed to linger. Even upon first coming out, bands like the Mad Caddies just seem to linger. They didn’t seem to punctuate anything…just exist knowingly.(Think of how Jughead’s Revenge was to Punk.) I honestly wish I liked them more…along with a lot of the 3rd Wave stuff but it’s just so meh.
After days of not listening to “Punk Rocksteady”, I couldn’t will myself to listen to it. I lost myself to the idea that Punk is basically a traveling carnival. You pay your way to get in to the show, for a few hours you get to act like it’s actually part of reality, and then you leave, go home, and the world isn’t a carnival. I don’t know about you, but I never see punkers. We’re so rare that when I see one of us in public I think: “Why are you out and about? You should be inside. Don’t you know that society hates us?” Sure, we can start Punk bands but what is that other than living in poverty and trying to impress those above glass ceilings? Any unsigned Punk and/or Ska bands that don’t want to burn Fat Wreck and Hellcat to the ground at least a little bit aren’t anti-establishment at all.
Ever since ol’ what’s-his-face became president, I consider poverty differently. I look at most products and think: “Is this more important than feeding the starving?” As neato as “Punk Rocksteady” is, I think the money that went into making it would have been better spent feeding the starving. But, the cd exists. If you go to the Fat Wreck store on their website, you can download the album for $10…or you can buy the cd w/ digital download for $10.
I’ll let you think about that for a moment.
Understand that I have a bit of the Asperger’s Syndrome…so sometimes what makes sense to most people is just lost to me. When I was a younger human being, a cd cost about $12. I got into my own band when I was older than the previous younger. We recorded a cd. I realized that cds cost around $12 cuz you had to pay for recording, legal fees, packaging/distribution, and a few other things. When the MP3 craze took over Pop and helped MTV convince the masses that music isn’t worthy of attention, it seemed like the cost of a digital copy of an album would be much less. Even if the labels/bands were still trying to recoup costs (don’t think about paying $1 for a download of something off Blink 182’s Enema of the State these days…seriously, don’t)….even if recouping is still a concern, wouldn’t the price of packaging/distributing be taken out of the price of digital downloads?
I’m sure you’re like: “Well, logically yes. But people can charge whatever they want for the products they create. That’s capitalism.” Yes, and capitalism is ruining America faster than bipartisanship. I, personally, have contacted pros about this mathematical disaster and they act like I’m crapping on Punk. I’m all like: “Look it: You’re the ones that are supposed to be creating an image of self-sufficiency in the industry. Don’t come at me with terrible math acumen and complain about how song sales aren’t as high as you’d like. Sell your product for a reasonable price and people won’t feel ripped off and complacent, you knuckleheads.” But I sperg. I go nowhere.
So yeah, you can spend a ten dollar bill on digital or click the other button and get an actual physical copy of the cd also…and don’t you dare believe the hype shoved down our throats by the tech companies. People still have cd players. There are people that still have their record players from the 1970s…you gonna tell me that absolutely everyone that ever owned a cd player just up and threw them out because our phones are supercomputers? C’mon.
I woke up this morning and had to run a quick errand. I turned on the local Alternative Rock station in the car and instead of some histrionic, loudmouth morning dj, they were playing Rancid’s Ruby Soho. I guess it set the tone for my day. A blast from the past. Here’s to never having a blast of the present.
The Mad Caddies’ “Punk Rocksteady” is a decent buy…but I’d say it’s only worth $3 digitally…and it’s an album that deserves to be bought on sale. So like $2.25. That’s not me devaluing the songs, no. I think that’s more of a rational valuation of digital music. Charging as much for digital as you would a cd is highway robbery and we punkers have been getting screwed over so much by the pros over the years that we just plain enjoy being ripped off.
“Punk Rocksteady” seems like a cd that could be important to music.
Here’s to overwhelming amounts of importance.