New York City ska punks Uncle Djuzeppe & The Mob have released a video for their song “Drama Queen.” The song has some strong gypsy punk vibes and came out in January.
Ska enthusiasts everywhere, rejoice! The time for 4th wave ska is neigh. Seriously, I really do think that 4th wave ska is going to make an appearance in 2019. Particularly if bands like Legal Disaster are going to be leading the charge. This ska-core band hits you in the face with all the classic sounds you’ve grown accustomed to in ska waves 1 through 3. Legal Disaster is a healthy mix of cynicism and joyful apathy. There are a couple of bangers on their latest EP Drugged on War that really grabbed my attention right away. I truly think that their song “We Are the USA” perfectly encapsulates the exact “WTF” feeling I’ve felt since I first realized jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. Honorable mention to “Cigarettes”, it’s got everything; a voice over, anecdotal life advice, and a blatant disregard for said common sense. Check them out below.
The World/Inferno Friendship Society have really only been playing New York three or four times a year as of late, which makes every one of their hometown performances a must see. Their music is complex and beautiful, their sound is raw and powerful, and they bring a level of showmanship and theatricality to the stage that no other punk band on the planet does.
For their last hometown performance before their annual Hallowmas, Mr. Terricloth and his cohort invited Philly ska/punks Teenage Halloween up to the Big Apple to open the evening in Brooklyn Bazaar’s ballroom. They played well and announced that they would be dropping a new record soon on Philadelphia-based Fistolo Records.
Next on the bill was Slackers frontman Vic Ruggiero, who may just be the single most New York human being on the planet (under the age of 60 at least). Vic’s solo sets are like watching New York blues history unfold right before your eyes, and it’s really a thing of beauty. He’s an engaging storyteller, a tremendous guitarist, and a genuine guy.
It’s hard to fill up a stage like Brooklyn Bazaar’s as a solo act, but Vic actually made the room feel full with his electric guitar, a kick drum, a tambourine, and his chest-mounted harmonica. He played his solo stuff, took requests, and even workshopped a new song entitled “Garlic is the Sun” for his hometown crowd. Not all the requests were honored, however, as Vic pointed out to one fan that “if you wanna hear dat one, you’ll need to come to a Slackers show” in his droll New York accent.
As great as Vic was, the crowd was there for one reason and one reason only: to fuck shit up with World/Inferno. The room went bonkers with the first notes of “Tattoos Fade,” and Mr. Terricloth raised a full bottle of Coppola wine to toast the WIFS faithful. The crowd roared along to every lyric of World/Inferno’s opening score, and the ever friendly World/Inferno moshpit sprang into existence. There are punks to help you up in every pit, but something about the WIFS pit is just far more inviting than any other band’s.
In a pre-show interview, Mr. Terricloth had said that Saturday night’s show would be “off the hook,” and he delivered on his word with a big-time performance. The group, which sometimes swells to more than thirteen members, was a lean eight-piece in Greenpoint, but they still packed a mighty punch when performing hits off of Red Eyed Soul like “The Velocity of Love,” “Your Younger Man,” and “Let’s Steal Everything,” among a slew of others.
They went through damn near half their catalogue in a performance that ran nearly two hours, and they did it all with panache. When they left the stage for their admittedly planned encore, the giant who was standing next to me in a denim vest (complete with Choking Victim patch on the back left and Grateful Dead patch on the front right pocket) lept onto the stage and led the crowd in a rousing chant of “tonight we’re gonna fuck shit up” until the band came back.
The encore opened with “Politics of Passing Out,” which required Mr. Terricloth to play a little acoustic guitar — in this case, one that he acquired from his old friend Sly Stone back when he was Sly’s driver — and closed with a tune I just don’t know the name of that was selected by WIFS bass player Ms. Malak.
I remember buying Big D & The Kids Table’s “Good Luck” from a local record store at age 15 and finding inside the ten year anniversary Asian Man Records mail order catalog. In this catalog there was a letter from label founder Mike Park explaining that they were not a big label. He said he ran it out of his parents’ garage, had one phone line with no call waiting, one computer, and two employees (his mom being one of them). This blew my mind and was my simple little introduction to DIY ethics. So when I got the chance to interview the man behind the label himself, it was no small deal to me.
I got to sit on a couch and drink a beer while Mr. Park walked his dog around his neighborhood on a very windy day in San Jose, California. While there were several moments in our interview that I could barely hear him due to the weather, this was still the best interview I’ve ever done and a dream come true for me. Read it below.
They sorta remind me of a more skate-punkish Alkaline Trio with small doses of ska thrown in.
SKiTTiSH iTZ released their last album “Had A Food Baby” in February of 2013.
On March 19th, at the Upstate Concert Hall (outside of Albany, NY), I had a chance to hang backstage with Reel Big Fish and do a lil’ Q & A. I specifically talked with Aaron Barrett (Vocals/Guitar) and Johnny Christmas (Trumpet/Backing Vox). These guys as you know are always a barrel of fun to be around.
We discussed touring, the recent retirement of long-time trombone player Dan Regan and his successor Billy Kottage. We also got some great footage and the interview is very entertaining as you would expect. Check it out below, as we discuss professionalism vs. well the opposite of being professional and how that keeps Reel Big Fish going. Don’t Stop Skankin!