Latest Hits (Featured Post)

The Witzard Presents: Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique 30th Anniversary All-around Breakdown, Part I (PB30 "Side A") https://thewitzard.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-witzard-presents-beastie-boys-pauls_3.html

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Glass Animals Recruit Denzel Curry for "Tokyo Drifting" Latest Installment of Fresh Fruit Series (Republic Records/Wolf Tone Ltd.)


British Psychedelic/Art Pop four-piece Glass Animals have returned with their first entirely new taste of music since 2016's How to Be A Human Being. "Tokyo Drifting" is the latest addition to Glass Animals' ongoing Fresh Fruit series; previous installments have included "Gold Lime," a Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Erykah Badu mash-up and "Lose Control" featuring Joey Bada$$. For "Tokyo Drifting," Glass Animals frontman Dave "Wavey Davey" Bayley recruited Florida-based emcee, singer, and song-writer Denzel Curry. Glass Animals have previously worked with Joey Bada$$, Rome Fortune, Chester Watson, and Stones Throw signee Gabriel Garzón-Montano. Wavey Davey, on the other hand, has previously worked with a slew of Hip-Hop-adjacent artists on his own, as well, including 6lack, Khalid, DJ Dahi, MorMor, Safe, Mustafa The Poet, Suzi Wu, and Flume. Here's hoping this is just the first in a string of upcoming releases from Dave Bayley, Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer & Drew Macfarlane. Glass Animals' "Tokyo Drifting" Feat. Denzel Curry is currently available on digital steaming platforms through Republic Records/Wolf Tone Ltd.


"The first thing Denzel said to me about the track was "this is fire." Then, he said, "is this you flexin'?" and I said, "yeh... it is... sort of. It's an ironic internal flex—me as a narrator describing/[talking] the p*ss out of an extreme alter-ego version of myself; a version of me that can do things that I'm uncomfortable doing. Wavey Davey is my f**ked up Sasha Fierce [Beyoncé]. He's a geezer, a street fighter, he can dance, he parties hard, he's spontaneous. He can take hits and be told he is sh*t and not care because he's confident. He can fight everything the world throws at him. I think, this kind of character is someone we all create for ourselves now, to some extent. We have these curated versions of ourselves on The Internet—beautiful, edited, cool, distilled versions of us, all slightly super-human. You can push and push and push yourself to hide and ignore your vulnerabilities like that... but it comes at a cost. It's not real and it isn't sustainable."

- Dave Bayley (@GlassAnimals)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

"(All I Want for Christmas Is to) Rage with My Friends" from PIEBALD Presents to You, A Musical Christmas Adventure EP [Photo Finish Records]


PIEBALD are a crew of Indie Rock/Emo bridge-builders hailing from Andover, Massachusetts, who initially "cut their teeth" within the same Hardcore Punk scene as both Converge & CAVE IN. PIEBALD were originally active from about 1994-2008 and started out as a Hardcore band, who always teetered the line between Post-hardcore, Emo, Emocore, and Alternative Rock, eventually, becoming a mainstay in the Greater Boston area Indie Rock scene. PIEBALD's last album's-worth of original music, Accidental Gentlemen, was released on SideOneDummy Records upon the band's dissolution in 2008; a live DVD/documentary set entitled NoBodY's RoBoTS: A Farewell to PIEBALD was issued in 2010 and chronicled the band's final two shows at The Bowery Ballroom & The Middle East. Since their 2008 disbandment, Andrew "Andy" Bonner, Lucian "Luke" Garro, Travis Shettel & Aaron Stuart have reunited as PIEBALD on multiple occasions between 2010-19.

Now, PIEBALD have returned with their first proper release in 12 years, "(All I Want for Christmas Is to) Rage with My Friends" from an upcoming holiday-themed release. PIEBALD Presents to You, A Musical Christmas Adventure EP is their first proper studio release since 2007's Accidental Gentlemen and will be released this upcoming Friday. It will contain three original PIEBALD-penned Christmas songs that were recorded over a long weekend just this past September with Accidental Gentlemen producer Doug Batchelder in North Reading, Massachusetts. PIEBALD will be embarking on a string of tour dates between 12/18-21 and will be going on the road with Dashboard Confessional next February as part of their 20th Anniversary Tour. PIEBALD Presents to You, A Musical Christmas Adventure EP will see a wide release this upcoming Friday, November 15, 2019 through Photo Finish Records.


"This whole sonic and photographic project escalated quickly, but it started from knowing that Christmas shows are happening again this coming Winter season. We are hoping to make the most of those few shows and we thought making or covering a Christmas song or two would be a fun idea. As it turns out, we're much more about making than we are about covering. Maybe, you're thinking, "this is weird of PIEBALD—who haven't made new music since 2007—to musically re-birth themselves with a 3-song holiday release." Well, our response to you is this, "you're not wrong..." However, we have never really done anything the right or proper way. Weirdly, it's just how we do things at Camp PIEBALD."

- PIEBALD (@piebaldmusic)


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

J57 Unveils Widely/Re-released Version of Sophomore Album We Can Be Kings. FKA "LP2" (FiveSe7en Collective/Soulspazm)



James "J57" Heintz is a Brooklyn-based rapper, song-writer, producer, and record label owner. J57 is an active member of both Brown Bag Allstars & Jamo Gang with Ras Kass & El Gant and runs his own imprint, FiveSe7en Collective. Jay has previously worked with the likes of Method Man, Homeboy Sandman, Joey Bada$$, and La Coka Nostra featuring members of House of Pain & Limp Bizkit with ILL BILL & Slaine. J57 has now returned with the long-awaited follow-up to his 2016 solo debut, I'm The J57, entitled We Can Be Kings. Many of you may remember, We Can be Kings. was previously release last year (as LP2) for a brief one-week stint between December 8-15, 2018. We previously reviewed LP2: WE CAN BE KINGS. upon its initial 2018 release, which can still be read or perused here. We Can Be Kings. is an "eclectic offering" that features appearances from a wide of array of musicians—both Hip-Hop and non-Hip-Hop—including Katiah One, The Audible Doctor, Jamo Gang, Devin Malek, DeeJay Element, Tenacity, Ports, Akie Bermiss, Choosey, YAYennings, SID Wilson, Aerika Monique, Tiffany Topol, Matt Stamm of MAK3RS, and Eliot Glazer of Broad City & New Girl fame.


We Can Be Kings. is a phenomenal, genre-eschewing album and a genuinely fun listen that really shows J57's progression as an artist since I'm The J57. Two tracks of particular note are the title track, "We Can Be Kings." Feat. Akie Bermiss of Lake Street Drive & Choosey and "The Loner" Feat. YAYennings & SID, otherwise known as Jay Jennings of Snarky Puppy & Sid Wilson AKA DJ Starscream of Slipknot. Honestly, even today, in this digital age, it's pretty impressive to think J57's had enough determination and hutzpah to put together a collection of songs with collaborators from so far outside of/parallel to his own genre. J57's We Can Be Kings. is now widely available to stream, download, or purchase on digital platforms through FiveSe7en Collective/Soulspazm. F7C has also, made We Can Be Kings. (Commentary Version) available, as well, which features J57 himself meticulously breaking down the creation, features, making-of, etc. for each track included within We Can Be Kings. We're still not entirely sure if well be putting together a year-end/Best of 2019 list this year, but J57's We Can Be Kings. would definitely rank high, if so!

Monday, November 11, 2019

FRND CRCL Return with "Famous" Music Video & Digital Single from Upcoming 2020 Full-length (Ghost Killer Entertainment)


New Jersey-based Pop-Punk/Alternative band FRND CRCL have returned with their first single of 2019. "Famous" follows FRND CRCL's self-released 2018 EP, Promstarr. FRND CRCL's current line-up consists of Zac Johnson, Adam Skirvin, Dom Giacalone & Aaron Smith; oddly enough, I actually, used to work with Aaron at Shop Rite and went all through high school with Zac's older brother, Nick. FRND CRCL readily list blink-182, Green Day, Sum 41, Weezer, Good Charlotte, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, Pinegrove, Moose Blood, You Me at Six, and My Chemical Romance amongst their "Artists We Also Like" on Facebook. FRND CRCL's "Famous" music video was premiered late last week at Minnesota-based Ghost Killer Entertainment. "Famous" features Adam Skirvin & Zac Johnson sharing vocal duties à la blink-182's Mark Hoppus & Tom DeLonge juxtaposed against a stark peach-colored background. FRND CRCL's Aaron Smith & Dom Giacalone appear throughout, as well, as the backgrounds gradually progress, mutate, and change. "Famous" was recorded at Bridgeton, New Jersey's own Monoplane Recording Studio with Tyler Skye, where FRND CRCL have been working on a new album to be released in early 2020. FRND CRCL's "Famous" is now available to purchase, download, or stream on your digital streaming platform of choice.



"A little background information on the song... It is mainly about how people, young and old, try to fit the mold of today's "trendy" society and almost lose sight of who they, actually, are as a person. As a band, we have been recording this song (and many other songs) for the past 13-14 months in a studio called Monoplane Recording Studio" [run] by our good friend, Tyler Skye. He is based right out of Bridgeton [New Jersey] and has been able to bring out the best of us by catering to what we wanted with this single and knowing our history as a band. We've been working relentlessly as a full 4-piece band for a while now and only want to push even farther and see how far we can go. We have big plans for 2020, which includes weekend tours around the Tri-State Area and, of course, an album. This single is just a glimpse of what we will offer early next year."

- Aaron Smith & Zac Johnson (@FRNDCRCL)


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Written Words: A Conversation with HAMMERED HULLS' Frontman Alec MacKaye & Guitarist Mark Cisneros (The Witzard Interview)

CREDIT: Claire Packer

Not only will Alec MacKaye forever be immortalized as the iconic "cover model" for multiple 7+12-inch releases for his older brother, Ian's bands, Minor Threat & The Teen Idles, he has, also, been in countless Punk/HarDCore bands of his own: Untouchables, (The) Faith, Ignition, The Warmers, and Bells Of.. MacKaye has not been part of a band, let alone any musical project, for 20+ years, following the demise of The Warmers with Amy Farina & Juan Carrera in 1997. After an extended self-imposed musical sabbatical, Alec MacKaye has finally returned with a new band. HAMMERED HULLS, featuring an array of Punk/HarDCore mainstays: Mark Cisneros, Mary Timony & Chris Wilson. Together, Cisneros, Timony & Wilson have played with Acquaintances, American Hearts, Autoclave, Chain & The Gang, Deathfix, Des Demonas, EX HEX, The Firebird Suite, Green 4, Helium, Hound, KID CONGO & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS, Led Byrd, THE MAKE-UP, The Mary Timony Band, Medications, Mind Science of The Mind, Open City, Shake Ray, The Spells, Ted Leo / The Pharmacists, Titus Andronicus, Turbine, and Wild Flag.

"Every person in this band is a fan of every other person in this band. Mutual respect drives this train. To say they are an odd collection of influences is to understate the point. If you tried you couldn’t imagine what this band might sound like..." reads part of a HAMMERED HULLS band bio penned by Brendan Canty of Fugazi, Rites of Spring, and The Messthetics. Just this past summer, HAMMERED HULLS unleashed their debut 3-song self-titled (S/T) EP on Dischord Records in both digital and 7-inch formats, as recorded/produced by Don Zientara & Ian MacKaye at Inner Ear Studios. A few months ago, we were fortunate enough to send some HAMMERED HULLS-centric interview questions over to guitarist Mark Cisneros, who, in turn, sent them over to frontman Alec MacKaye, as well. So, now, we, here at The Witzard, are proud to present our comprehensive interview with 1/2 of HAMMERED HULLS!


Sincerely,

Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Punk/HarDCore Diehard



I. Prior to forming HAMMERED HULLS, had any of you previously played together in any capacity?

Mark Cisneros: I think, only Mary [Timony] & I had played together before? I played bass for a couple shows in The Mary Timony Band with Faraquet/Medication's Chad Molter on drums. We were doing that brilliant solo stuff of hers, along with some Helium tunes. That was really great. I also, played some bass on an early EX HEX single. Mary's an absolute genius and one of my favorite guitarists and people of all time. Oh, come to think of it, I think, maybe, Alec once got up and did a Faith song with Ted Leo + The Pharmacists a little while back?

Alec MacKaye: Mark is correct—aside from a couple of spur-of-the-moment cover songs with The Pharmacists, I hadn't played with any of these folks (or anybody, at all, for the past 20 years) before.

II. What's HAMMERED HULLS' "origin story" like... I mean, how did the band initially form?

Mark Cisneros: Well, Chris [Wilson] & I had been talking about playing together for years. He's one of my favorite drummers and favorite people. Alec is, of course, a legend and one of our favorite singers and people, as well. Over the years, we had both asked Alec when he was going to start another band; so, Chris got the idea of the two of us starting a band and seeing if we could pull Alec out of "retirement." At the time, Mary & I had been starting to work on a new project, but once we told her about our plan, she was all for it. So, we asked Alec if he wanted to start a band with us, I did some rough demos of song ideas I'd been sitting on, he was into it, and, then, we got to work.

Alec MacKaye: That about tells it.

CREDIT: Claire Packer

III. How did you decide to partner with infamous D.C.-based imprint, Dischord Records to properly release HAMMERED HULLS' debut self-titled (S/T) EP?

Mark Cisneros: Dischord was our first choice. In our minds, it really had to be on Dischord. If they'd take us, of course. We recorded a 10-song demo for Ian [MacKaye] and he gave us the green light. It was his suggestion that we do a 7-inch first before the LP. Given our hectic individual schedules this year, the single serves as a placeholder, of sorts.

IV. What was it like working with Alec's brother, Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat) & Don Zientara again to record/produce your S/T EP?

Mark Cisneros: Classic Dischord recording team. We definitely wanted this release to be with Ian & Don at the helm over at Inner Ear [Studios]. Don is a legend and Ian always has great ideas. Ian is a real student of song craft. His musical tastes are incredibly varied.

Alec MacKaye: Most of the records I have worked on have happened in that studio, with those two people, starting in 1981 in the furnace room of Don's basement. So, for me, it felt like home and family, because it is.


V. Is it true the entirety of this 3-song EP was recorded in a single-day session at Don Zientara's own Inner Ear Studios!!?

Mark Cisneros: Yes, recorded and mixed in a day there at Inner Ear. Ian & Don work fast.

Alec MacKaye: ...and the players are some solid senders!

VI. What kind of traits would you say with of you bring to HAMMERED HULLS from your experience with your past bands, projects, recording entities, etc?

Alec MacKaye: I can only do it the way I always have: work and think and explore and drill deeper into the places where we are, rather than worry about what we "should" be doing. I don't know what that might produce, but I do know whatever it is, it will be ours and that makes it good.

CREDIT: Christopher Grady

VII. What type of meaning or connotation is the phrase "Hammered Hulls" intended to mean or possess as a band name?

Alec MacKaye: [It] comes from old advice on acquiring a wooden boat. You should stab it with a knife and hammer the hull. The knife will detect soft wood between the partner and the step: rot that may have set in near the mast. One should, also, "hammer the hull" and listen for the "thock" drumbeat sound of solid wood or the dull, deadblow tone of a rotten strake. A sound craft makes for a good journey.

VIII. Following the release of your S/T debut EP, what's next for HAMMERED HULLS (ie: more shows, music videos, singles, new material, etc.)?

Alec MacKaye: We have enough material for a long-player and are working on new [material]. We are game to play more shows, tour, as time permits, and if someone wants to pay for it, I can imagine doing video work. There is a lot being discussed and folks wanting to set up shows all over, but we don't have any concrete plans, aside from a show in D.C. in January [2020].


IX. Assuming you're all mutual fans and admirers of each other's pre-HAMMERED HULLS output, do you have any particular recommendations for new fans to the genre/band(s)?

Alec MacKaye: I don't really understand the question... so, I'll just recommend that HAMMERED HULLS fans spend a few hours chasing down all the varied and amazing bands and projects we have been a part of and enjoy the journey.

X. In addition to HAMMERED HULLS and your own active projects, what other D.C.-area artists/bands might you recommend fans of Dischord Records & HarDCore check out?

Mark Cisneros: There's a lot going on in D.C. right now: Amy Farina, Ian MacKaye & Joe Lally's new group, CORIKY, has just started playing shows and have an LP ready to go. Very cool stuff. Of course, there's The Messthetics with Brendan Canty, Joe Lally & Anthony Pirog. They're blowing the doors off of places! There's, also, The Effects, also, on Dischord, and T.K. Echo. And a lot of young bands really mixing it up, like Sneaks, Clear Channel, Priests, Mock Identity, Foul Swoops, Blacks' Myths, Janel Leppin [Priests,] Knife Wife, Time Is Fire, and more.

Alec MacKaye: Lightbeams, Puff Pieces, Gauche, Quattracenta... too many to list... D.C. keeps cranking! All the time and for all time...

(CR)EDIT: Matt Horowitz/Dischord Records

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Grave Danger Re-emerge with TOMB IT MAY CONCERN EP Featuring A "Skath" Cover of The Misfits' "Halloween" (Spooky Action Records)


"The world needs more Ska songs about skeletons and ghosts and stuff. 666th Wave Ska," reads the Bandcamp Bio of Berkeley, California-based Ska band, Grave Danger. Technically, Grave Danger have forged an entirely new genre for their releases: "Skath," which combines elements of both Ska & Goth, as well as Punk, Hardcore, and Rock. "The idea of a "Skath" band stems from a strange place: what would a Goth/Ska band sound like, one [that] combined The Misfits' aesthetic with Reel Big Fish's goofball schtick?" explains a Grave Danger press kit. Grave Danger is the brainchild of high school buds, David "Dave" Schwantes & Dane Erbach, who "spent the bulk of their gym class brainstorming fake bands with their friends, in an attempt to avoid whatever physical despair their P.E. teachers had in store for them that day." A selection of these faux groups included a "Death Metal" band called Throbbing Reaper, 80's "Hair Metal" rockers, Live Wire, and, of course, Grave Danger.


Grave Danger's current line-up includes Dave Schwantes on guitars, bass, keyboards, tenor/baritone sax, and backing vocals, drummer Dane Erbach, lead vocalist Chris Marcanti, trombonist Margaret Miller, trumpet player Andy Miller, Emily Erbach on theremin, and Elliot Schwantes with Alan Erbach, Josh Marcanti & Eileen Hays-Schwantes appearing frequently as part-time members. Grave Danger re-emerged from their crypt this Halloween with the proper follow-up to their 2018 debut EP, "LET 'ER RIP!" TOMB IT MAY CONCERN consists of four fun-loving, tongue-in-cheek originals and one cover, an updated Skath cover of The Misfits' beloved 1981 Horror-Punk single, "Halloween." TOMB IT CONCERN opener "Give Up The Ghost," additionally, seems to be a thinly-veiled allusion to American Nightmare's short-lived/one-time nom de plume, Give Up The Ghost, as well.


Mere days before All Hallow's Eve, NEW NOISE ran an exclusive premiere of Grave Danger's lead-off TOMB IT MAY CONCERN EP single, "Undead End Job." Song-writer Dave Schwantes told NEW NOISE: "'Undead End Job" is Grave Danger doing what it does best. The song has bouncy horn parts, a driving groove, and the line "had half a doughnut, though, I'm hungry for blood.'" Making spook-tacular usage of Grave Danger's typical four-piece horn section, synths, organs, and harmonies galore throughout, Schwantes says, "we tried to focus on giving each song on this record exactly what it needed to create a big sound, without muddying things up and "Undead [End Job]" is a great example of that spooky mix coming together." Grave Danger's TOMB IT MAY CONCERN EP is now available on your preferred digital streaming platform of choice, via Spooky Action Records, ghouls and gals!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Amerigo Gazaway & Xiomara Unleash "THAT OLD ALARM" Music Video & Single from Joint Album 1990 (The Soul Mates Project/Records)


Amerigo Gazaway is a Berkely, California-based producer, emcee, multi-instrumentalist, and DJ, who is known for his remixes/mash-ups, original instrumentals, and digital sampling. Gazaway is the son of internationally-known Jazz trumpeter, Gary "El Buho" (The Owl) Gazaway from The Ozark Mountains and Brazilian vocalist, Tatiana Mindlin; with his brother, Rickey Mindlin, Amerigo Gazaway formed The Soul Mates Project/Records as a vehicle to present his lush, conceptual collaborative efforts. Soul Mates are best known for their documentary-style conceptual collaboration albums, which have famously incorporated the music of A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, Fela Kuti, De La Soul, Marvin Gaye, Yasiin Bey FKA Mos Def, James Brown, OutKast, and many, many more. Said critically-acclaimed remixes and mash-ups have garnered Amerigo Gazaway guest spots on releases from the likes of Aaron "Son Little" Livingston, Blu, and Oh No, as well as a gig re-orchestrating Miles Davis' infamous "lost" 1985 Rubberband sessions for a recent wide release.


For his latest release, Amerigo Gazaway recruited Bay Area songstress, producer, and player, Xiomara. "Leaning [heavily] on Xiomara's song-writing and arrangement chops, the newly-formed duo spent the last year crafting a collaboration as original as it is reminiscent," boasts a Bandcamp description. Earlier this morning, Amerigo Gazaway & Xiomara unleashed their first proper single together, "THAT OLD ALARM," unto the terribly unsuspecting masses; primarily, a Soul/Jazz/Blues hybrid with a dash of Hip-Hop, Soul Mates Records' "THAT OLD ALARM" digital single, also, features an Extended Mix with beloved Indie Hip-Hop emcee Blu, as well as an instrumental on "Side B." Amerigo & Xiomara, additionally, dropped a music video for "THAT OLD ALARM" directed by Ya'Shalan and filmed completely in black-and-white, bringing the whole old school feel full circle. Surprisingly, Amerigo Gazaway & Xiomara's full-length project, 1990, is scheduled to drop tomorrow, Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Friday, November 1, 2019

safari al Directs "North to South" Music Video from Hemlock Ernst & Kenny Segal's BACK AT THE HOUSE (ruby yacht/The Order Label)


By now, it's fairly widely known that Hemlock Ernst is the rapping alter-ego of Future Islands erratically-dancing frontman, Samuel "Sam" T. Herring. Herring is/was, also, a member of The Snails (as Sammy Snail,) Art Lord & The Self-Portraits, and Trouble Knows Me with Otis Jackson, Jr. AKA Madlib. Sam Herring has been an active member of Baltimore, Maryland-based Future Islands since 2006, but has, supposedly been emceeing for decades prior to joining the beloved Indie Rock/Synth-Pop quartet. Herring has been doing guest verses on other Hip-Hop/Rap artists and producers tracks as Hemlock Ernst for quite a few years now and has appeared alongside everyone from Height Keech to Busdriver. Ernst first came in contact with LA-based producer Kenny Segal while working on "Souvenir" from R.A.P. Ferreira FKA milo/scallops hotel's 2015 album, So The Flies Don't Come.


It appears as though Ernst & Segal have secretly been chipping away at completing a full-length album ever since, said album—now officially titled BACK AT THE HOUSE—has been properly released on Ferreira's label, ruby yacht in partnership with ALPHA PUP RECORDS' sister label, The Order Label. BACK AT THE HOUSE was preceded by Hemlock Ernst's first proper "solo" single, "Down," which, suffice to say, essentially, "broke" Rap Twitter upon its initial release, as well as a second single, "Addicted Youth." It's one Hell of an album and you can really tell Sam Herring/Hemlock Ernst is a long-time fan and supporter of Hip-Hop as a genre, as well as the the craft of being a wordsmith. Kenny Segal's beats throughout are beautifully smooth, airy and leave Ernst's rhymes enough room to breathe, while supplying an ample backdrop for Herring to finally display his skills as an emcee. Aside from Ernst & Segal, BACK AT THE HOUSE features little to no guest musicians and only sparse additional instrumentation provided by Mike Parvizi & Aaron Carmack of Segal's The Jefferson Park Boys, as well as Ryan "Private Ryan" Crosby.


Private Ryan/PRYVT RYN has previously appeared on a handful of Kenny Segal's projects, including Ken Can Cook, Happy Little Trees, The Kleenrz's self-titled 2012 debut, and billy woods' critically-acclaimed Hiding Places from earlier this year. Earlier today, BACK AT THE HOUSE received its first official music video treatment for album opener, "North to South." Hemlock Ernst slickly rhymes "have you ever been over to a friend's house to eat and the food was just no good..." paraphrasing The Sugarhill Gang's 1979 genre-shaping hit, "Rapper's Delight." "North to South"'s video boasts Direction & Concept By: Alexander Kollman AKA safari al, who has created a whole world of clay-mation/stop-motion goodness. Hemlock Ernst & Kenny Segal's BACK AT THE HOUSE is currently available digitally through ruby yacht/The Order Label. If we were going to assemble a 2019 year-end list (and we still may!) BACK AT THE HOUSE would definitely rank atop said hypothetical "list."

Thursday, October 31, 2019

All-around Breakdown: David "Big D" McWane Breaks Down Big D & The Kids Table's Strictly Covered (Punk/Ska Covers Comp.)


"Strictly Covered: Big D usually writes an EP in-between writing LP's, so that you can get the gears moving and begin your creative process. This time, however, we decided to do a covers record for fun. These are a collection of songs we have been inspired by though out the years."

- David "Big D" McWane (@david_mcwane1)


1. "Dr. D" (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)

"I believe, "Dr. D" is the best example of fast, fun, spastic Skacore. It's a blast! The Might Mighty Bosstones began to play a Swing-style [version] of this song live, so we added parts of that at the end of the original. The Doped Up Dollies joined us for the Swing bit. I love this tune and it was prefect for the first track, as it has all the elements, later, found through out the record."


2. "Yellin' In My Ear" (Operation Ivy)

"Operation Ivy would, probably, be the #1 influence of Big D. A few weeks back, we played this live in Chicago for fun with J [Jason Navarro] from The Suicide Machines and it sounded so good we added it to the record. J sounds so great and it's an honor to sing an Operation Ivy song with him."


3. "SKA Sucks" (Propagandhi)

"This was recorded for a Fat Wreck [Chords] compilation/documentary that I don't know if came out. We had a good time being cheeky in the last verse, as the song is cheeky itself. This was a very fun tune to sing on. We, also, enjoyed playing the middle part of The Specials' "Message to You, Rudy" more in their original style."


4. "Old Friend" (Rancid)

"This was recorded for a Rancid tribute record. The Doped Up Dollies joined us for the chorus and outro Dub part. They sound perfect on this track. I was pumped to finally put some samples I had had for many years on this one track and the Dub outro is a blast."


5. "Brand New" (Beastie Boys)

"Beastie Boys are, actually, my favorite Punk band, so we had to add a song from them. Their EP, Aglio e Olio, is just the best. This, like most of the tunes, was played live with live vocals and with no click track and that's [always] much more fun."


6. "Punk Rock Girl" (The Dead Milkmen)

"I always preferred this style of Punk, too; I call it "Snot-Punk." It's fun and dorky and perfect. This is one wonderfully-crafted songs."


7. "Freeze Up" (Operation Ivy)

"We had played all of Operation Ivy's Energy [live] in Canada at Amnesia Fest in 2015, so we added a bunch of Op Ivy tunes to the record, as we knew and loved playing the tunes. I believe, this is the fastest, most wordy songs from Jesse (Op Ivy singer,) so as a fan, I really wanted to learn it perfectly and execute it. It's like borrowing a super-power."


8. "Earthquake & Fire" (Hepcat)

"This was for a Hepcat comp. We figured everyone would probably [just] play their songs in the SKA style, so to changed it up and made it Thrash/Punk/Dub. I love the track. I got to play cowbell on it."


9. "Shoot The Moon" (Voodoo Glow Skulls)

"Voodoo Glow Skulls are not only the best, but the nicest guys. We HAD to play this gem. The lyrics are frightfully clairvoyant."


10. "Early to Bed" (Morphine)

"If you don't know who Morphine is, well, you just found your new favorite band. Listen to Like Swimming first. I have always liked bands that write songs that are the sounds of their soul. And Morphine songs are definitely the sound of singer/bass player, Mark Sandman's soul. You can really create outstanding music, once you stop trying to write songs for unneeded catchiness/write what you think the public wants to hear. The Doped Up Dollies did outstanding singing this."


11. "Infernal Machine" (Sam Black Church)

"Sam Black Church is the best Hardcore band in the world and "Infernal Machine" is the best Hardcore song ever. Vocally, this was a beast, but one should not expect anything less from Jet (singer.) The lyrics are outstanding. They are an extreme self-awareness plea to oneself."


12. "Healthy Body Sick Mind" (Operation Ivy)

"This is another fun Op Ivy tune. The lyrics are right up my alley and it's an [all-]around fun song."


13. "Thieves" (Ministry)

"F**kity-f**k, this song is intense! The lyrics are incredibly powerful. It, also, has the best, most bouncing, breakdown ever. This recording was, actually, from the split 7-inch we did with Japanese Noisecore band, Melt Banana. Yako, their singer, is my #1 hero. If you have never seen Melt Banana live, you must!"


Big D & The Kids Table is...

David McWane - Vocals, Samples, Percussion, Dubs
Alex Stern - Guitar, Vocals, Piano
Ben Basile - Bass Guitar, Upright Bass
Alex Brander - Drums
Ryan O’Connor - Saxophone, Vocals
Jon Degen - Saxophone
Logan La Barbera - Trombone, Vocals
Paul E. Cuttler - Trombone
Casey Gruttadauria - Keys


Featuring The Doped Up Dollies:

Sirae Richardson
Brie McWane
Erin MacKenize


Special Guests:

J Navarro - Vocals on "Yellin' In My Ear"
Todd Horvath - Vocals on "Dr. D"
Benny Grotto - Vocals on "Infernal Machine"


Recorded By: Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studio in Allston, MA
Mastered By: Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Manufactured By: Disc Makers
Graphic Design By: Yoyoyosef (@yo_yo_yosef)
Bathroom Tags, Stickers & Illustrations By... Artists Whom Have Visited The Bathroom at Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge, MA


* Recorded & Mixed By: Jon Graber, Drums By: Derek Davis
** Music [Recorded] By: Jon Graber, Vocals Recorded By: Benny Grotto, Mixed By: John Graber, Drums By: Derek Davis
*** Drums By: Derek Davis


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Punk/Hardcore On Wax: INTEGRITY & BLEACH EVERYTHING Join Forces for "SDK" x "RFTCC" Split 12-inch (Dark Operative/Relapse Records)


For the latest installment of The Witzard's Punk/Hardcore On Wax, we're covering an upcoming split album from Richmond, Virginia-based Hardcore/Punk band Bleach Everything and Belgium/US-based Metallic Hardcore Punk band Integrity. Said release is entitled SDK x RFTCC, which stands for Septic Death Karaoke x Rocket from The Crypt Covers with a side each from both Integrity & Bleach Everything. SDK x RFTCC is, actually, based around a 1992 Japan-only 2x7-inch split from Septic Death & Rocket from The Crypt fittingly titled Two Seven Halves, which was limited to somewhere between 85-100 Pushead Fan Club-only copies. Integrity have previously covered a number of Septic Death originals on a handful of 7-inches and CD's including Integrity, Change, Taste of Every Sin, and Walpurgisnacht.


"Dwid [Hellion] & I first got to know each other many moons ago over sharing stories about how Pushead was a huge early factor in getting exposed to Japanese Hardcore and early non-Japanese Hardcore bands inspired by that particular style," Bleach Everything frontman and Dark Operative founder Brent Eyestone recently explained to AltPress. "Pushead's band, Septic Death, is one that shaped both of us forever, and his old D.I.Y. record labels—Pusmort [and] Bacteria Sour—still provide sources of visual and aural inspiration to this day. Somehow, in conversation one day, Dwid & I came up with the idea of doing a split LP, where [Integrity] played the Septic Death "role" and Bleach Everything would play the RFTC "role," all under the mission of creating the most elaborate tribute to that [record] as possible," Eyestone continued. Each band will cover five songs from Septic Death & Rocket from The Crypt and, so far, two covers from each band's side have been released: Integrity's "Change" & "Thaw (Cold World)" and Bleach Everything's "On A Rope" and closer "I'm Not Invisible."


While Integrity had previously covered a number of Septic Death tracks on the aforementioned releases, Dwid Hellion & Domenic "Dom" Romeo made use of some original SD source material and layered their own vocal and guitar overdubs atop for five completely re-recorded and overhauled tracks for 2019. In addition to Dwid & Dom, SDK opener "Sweat of A Nightmare" features guest lead guitar riffs from Darkest Prince. Bleached Everything's side, RFTCC, on the other hand, features vocalist Brent Eyestone, guitarist Graham Scala, bassist Kelly Posadas, and drummer Ryan Parrish covering five of their personal favorite Rocket from The Crypt compositions. However, Bleached Everything pulled in a bit more "musical muscle," so to say, for their side, including guest vocalists Riley Gale of Power Trip & Mike Kennerty of The All-American Rejects on "On A Rope" and Christoper Royal King from This Will Destroy You on "I'm Not Invisible." INTEGRITY "SDK" x BLEACH EVERYTHING "RFTCC" will see a wide release tomorrow, Halloween, October 31, 2019 through Dark Operative/Relapse Records both digitally and on emerald green & clear-colored 12-inch vinyl.


"When The All-American Rejects were touring non-stop, our whole thing was for me to get to venues early, pick Mike up, go eat some Mexican food, and, then, go record shopping. So, when I was arranging vocals on "On A Rope," he instantly came to mind as the perfect guy to start the backing chorus with. I've always loved his singing voice and he truly understands the nerdiness behind the project... While putting down my main vocals for the song, I remembered Riley Gale & I having this awesome conversation a couple of years ago about how we, personally, used to listen to music before streaming was around and how we'd have specific songs on deck that would get the entire car-full of our friends to sing along. The top song we both cited was "On A Rope," since it's so catchy and has parts everyone can sink their teeth into. I'd never been in a band that had a guest do a verse and I'd never sung a duet prior, so this song felt like the perfect opportunity to change both of those things for good."

- Brent Eyestone (@bleacheverything)

G-Pek & Brycon Recruit Yelir, B.I. Lectric,The Architect & Baghead for Annual "There's No More Room In Hell 5" Halloween Mix (self-released)


G-Pek & Brycon have returned with the latest spook-tacular installment of their annual Halloween mix series, There's No More Room In Hell. This year, Brycon & G-Pek recruited producer buddies Yelir, B.I. Lectric, The Architect & Baghead to join in on the ghoulish festivities. G-Pek & Brycon Present: "There's No More Room In Hell" (1) was quietly released on October 30, 2015 and only featured the production talents of series founders G-Pek & Brycon. For 2016's "There's No More Room In Hell II," DJ Eons One AKA Dan Lactose from SPAZZ was brought into the fold; then, 2016's "There's No More Room In Hell Part 3" boasted contributions from G-Pek, Brycon & Eons, along with newly-added beatsmith Yelir. Last year's submission, "There's No More Room In Hell Part 4" featured G​-​Pek, Brycon, Eons One, Yelir, and new-comer, B​.​I. Lectric AKA Big Shawn from Bored Stiff. For There's No More Room In Hell 5, I'm told DJ Eons One "had to take the year off," but it features contributions from veteran producers G-Pek, Brycon, Yelir & B.I. Lectric, along with new-comers The Architect & Baghead.


The Architect has worked with everyone from Stones Throw Records founder Peanut Butter Wolf to Hieroglyphics & Souls of Mischief emcee Opio. Baghead, on the other hand, appears to be a mysterious California-based producer, who, by all accounts, seems to be a long-time member/affiliate of Old Soul Kollective, The Watershed, and production team (The) Foundation with Dirty Harry. Each of the six producers have created a 6+ minute cringe-worthy composition for There's No More Room In Hell 5 with appearances throughout from Henry Zebrowski of Last Podcast On The Left & [adult swim]'s Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell, as well as "The Dirty Dankslob" himself, Luke Sick. Henry Zebrowski & Luke Sick are featured on Yelir's "Hellir 3 (How to Kill A Demon & Smite Your Enemies)" and G​-​Pek's "Death Curse," respectively. Upon its completion, There's No More Room In Hell 5 was, then, mastered by Michael J. Collins AKA MJC/One Man Love Triangle for FilthyBroke Recordings. It's definitely a wild ride, which would be a perfect last-minute addition to your Halloween party playlist or other festive frolics. There's No More Room In Hell 5 is currently available to download, purchase, or stream directly from Brycon's Bandcamp page for $6.66 with Parts 1-4 still available, as well.


"Hey, Matt! Here's a fun tidbit: I acquired a vocal drop, via Instagram DM's, from Henry Zebrowski of Last Podcast On The Left (a very popular Comedy/True-Crime/Alien/Horror podcast) and [adult swim]'s Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell (an Office/Comedy-style show set in Hell, in which Henry is the main character, Gary The Demon.) A quick Google Search can give you more information on him and, probably, describe him better..."

- Yelir (@yelirCOF)

Monday, October 28, 2019

"Sadcore" Pioneers NO MOTIV Return with 20th Anniversary Re-mixed/mastered Edition of 1999's And The Sadness Prevails... (Vagrant Records)


NO MOTIV were an Oxnard, California-based Punk/Post-Hardcore band originally active from 1995-2014. NO MOTIV were early pioneers of the sub-genres of 9second generation) Nardcore, Sadcore, and Emocore with five full-length releases issued on Vagrant Records/The Edge Recordz between 1996-2004. The band's primary line-up included guitarist/lead vocalist Jeremy Palaszewski, guitarist/vocalist Max McDonald, bassist Roger Camero, and drummer Patrick "Pat" Pedraza. Camero shifted from bass to drums, when Pedraza parted ways with the band to form his own group, From Satellite, around 2004. Jeff Hershey joined as bassist/vocalist at the time of the Pedraza/Camero shift with Dave Brandon contributing bass duties at one point or another, as well. Since releasing their "last" proper release, a 2011 EP entitled, Winterlong, NO MOTIV's members have been largely inactive ans assumed to be on an indefinite hiatus; their solo/side-projects include Monster Hand, Sea Greens, Hershey, Jeff Hershey & The Heartbeats, Gentlemen, Peace'd Out, He Fails Me, Hybrid Moments, Death Country Blue, and Machines. Pat Pedraza has previously been featured across these pages of The Witzard as part of his "Dadcore" band, Dad Brains.


To commemorate the 20th anniversary of their 1999 Vagrant Records album, And The Sadness Prevails... NO MOTIV have officially reunited with their line-up from said era. NO MOTIV & Vagrant have joined forces to put together a newly re-mixed/mastered 2019/20th anniversary version of And The Sadness Prevails... It will, additionally, come packaged along with a Bonus 7-inch including new/acoustic/re-mastered versions of "Broken & Burned" and "Life Goes On," which originally appeared on NO MOTIV's Diagram for Healing and Daylight Breaking, respectively. NO MOTIV's "O.G. Sadness" line-up will be hosting two And The Sadness Prevails... 20th Anniversary Parties/shows to be held this Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, 2019. For the 11.1.2019 gig at Discovery Ventura, NO MOTIV will be joined by "special guests" Out of Trust, Slowtrip & Omega Point and Modern Color, Slowtrip & Omega Point at Chain Reaction on 11.2.2019. NO MOTIV's And The Sadness Prevails... 20th Anniversary Edition/2019 Re-master and "Broken & Burned" / "Life Goes On" double-single are both currently available digitally. Pre-orders for NO MOTIV's And The Sadness Prevails... Vinyl LP + Bonus Vinyl 7-inch are still currently available. Vagrant Records expects pre-orders to ship by or before Monday, November 25, 2019.


"This photo right here (ABOVE) is what we like to call "Rule of 5." It's a rarity, but, also, a wonderful thing when we get the five members of NO MOTIV from the 1998-2005 Vagrant [Records] era in the same room together. We would like to send out a special message regarding our bass player, Jeff Hershey. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of [And The Sadness Prevails...], we felt it was absolutely necessary to do this with Pat [Pedraza] back in the band. This is comes with the approval from Jeff, as he fully endorsed the idea of the O.G. Sadness line-up reuniting.

So, for those of you, who might be wondering what’s going on with Jeff, he's still very much a part of NO MOTIV. He hasn't left the band and we certainly haven’t kicked him out. This is a brotherhood and for those of you, who know us or follow us closely, you know that we haven't stopped making music together at any capacity. Unfortunately, Jeff won't be around for the reunion shows, as his band, Night Demon, is leaving for an extensive European tour tomorrow. We'll be missing him dearly, but it's absolutely awesome to know that they'll be crushing it every night. So, good luck and bon voyage to our brothers, Jeff, Armand & Dustin. May you bring the HEAVY METAL HEAT to the masses!!! We love you guys."

- NO MOTIV (@nomotivofficial)


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Bruce Lee Band Returns with 7-song RENTAL!! EVICTION!! & Chris Graue-directed "Tryin' & Stutterin'' Music Video (Asian Man Records)


The Bruce Lee Band, who have now, seemingly dropped the "The," are a long-standing San Jose, California-based Ska/Punk band. Its longest standing member is Asian Man Records founder and one-time Skankin' Pickle, Mike "Bruce Lee" Park and former members have spent their time playing with Less Than Jake, RX Bandits, Classics of Love, Kitty Kat Fan Club, and Rehasher. Bruce Lee Band's current iteration includes Mike Park, along with Jeff Rosenstock, Dan Potthast & Kevin "The Guch" Higuchi. Since 1990, they have collectively played within a multitude of Punk, Hardcore & Ska-adjacent bands including Skankin' Pickle, The Chinkees, Bomb The Music Industry!, The Arrogant Sons of B*tches, MU330, Sharkanoid, The Brownies, and Whiskey Avengers. Frequent Bruce Lee Band contributors, also, include trombonist Gerry Lundquist of MU330 & Skankin' Pickle fame and bassist John DeDomenici of Bomb The Music Industry!, who both often appear with the band, as part of their live line-up, as well.


What has now been dubbed the "Mike Park/Jeff Rosenstock" era of The Bruce Lee Band started with 2014's double-header of releases: COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUP EP and EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT, MY FRIEND LP and prior to the recent addition of Potthast, once included guitar/vocalist Mike Huguenor amongst its ranks. Earlier this year, Mike Park (@mikeparkmusic) mysteriously posted, "New @bruceleeband coming soon. Even made an [Instagram] page, which means this is serious stuff, so please Follow. This photo was taken about 20 [minutes] ago in San Jose in front of @districtrecording I ❤️ San Jose" with little to no explanation. It even prompted us to assemble a cumulative feature on Bruce Lee Band(s) I-IV and now, a mere 15 weeks later, it appears as though, it has all be made crystal clear... Late Monday night, @bruceleeband suddenly posted, "9:53 PM PST AND SURPRISE!!! RENTAL!! EVICTION!! The [fifth] release by the BRUCE LEE BAND is now officially out!! The vinyl takes forever to get done and we just wanted the songs out there, so here they are for you to enjoy."


Since RENTAL!! EVICTION!! only clocks in at 12 minutes and 16 seconds, Side B will consist of The Bruce Lee Band's long-out-of-print 2014 EP, COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUP. 800 copies of RENTAL!! EVICTION!! will be pressed up on randomly colored vinyl with the first 200 people to pre-order receiving RENTAL!! EVICTION!!/COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUP, a Bruce Lee Band T-shirt, and EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT, MY FRIEND on opaque white vinyl with all orders expected to ship by mid-December. According to Dan Potthast (@danpotthastmusic) RENTAL!! EVICTION!! additionally features Brian Lockrem on trumpet, Matt Porter on trombone, and Shannon Toombs providing background vocals. Below you will find an emailed statement from LA/Torrance, California-based director, musician, and film-maker Chris Graue—who's played with The Maxies, The 131ers, Suburban Legend, Pizza Wolf, Naronic Distress, and The Scene Report—whom Mike Park recruited to direct/edit/produce a phenomenal 56-second music video for "Tryin' & Stutterin'" from RENTAL!! EVICTION!! Bruce Lee Band's RENTAL!! EVICTION!! is now available on your preferred digital streaming service with vinyl pre-orders expected to ship from Asian Man Records by mid-December.


"I've met everyone briefly here and there because of just being around Ska for so long, but I really only know Mike [Park] well at all. A few years ago, I helped him get his YouTube better set up and taught him how to better manage it, so that's kind of when we became friends. I also, did a lyric video for Ogikubo Station some time ago...

Hmmm, well, [the music video] came up when I was in San Jose with The Bombpops & Masked Intruder a couple weeks ago. Mike came to the show and asked if I could come up and make a video. I'm LA-based, so it's not super-convenient, usually. It just so happened, another job was flying me to [San Francisco] the next week and putting me up in a hotel. So, Mike picked me up, took me to my hotel, and we shot it really quick. I think, I landed at 3:00pm and I had the final edit to him by about 10:00pm that night haha."

- Chris Graue (@chrisgraue)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash Unveil Long-vaulted "Wanted Man" from Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 (Columbia Records)


So, as a record collector myself, I can safely say, one of the most sought-after records for most record collectors to "dig" up would be a coveted Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash bootleg. Said fabled bootleg has been released under numerous titles over the years, including The Dylan Cash Session, The Nashville Tapes, Nashville 1969, and Partners on both unofficial LP's and CD's. A few years ago, I was, actually, lucky enough to unearth a copy of 2009's pseudo-yellowed The Nashville Tapes in a crate at a record/antique store up in Mullica Hill, NJ, I believe. Now, it appears as though those infamous 1969 Dylan/Cash sessions will finally be officially released in full on Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) - Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15. As seen within 2005 Joaquin Phoenix-starring biopic, Walk The Line, Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan were both, seemingly, long-time fans and mutual admirers of each other's work; then, suddenly, one fateful day in 1969, Dylan & Cash recorded what has now ended up being a disc and a half-worth of material together with Rockabilly pioneer, Carl Perkins and world-renown producer, Don "Bob" Johnston.


Upon his death in 2015, Bob Johnston had amassed production credits for iconic albums, such as Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde On Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, and Self Portrait, Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, The Holy Land, At San Quentin, Hello, I'm Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Show, I Walk The Line, Little Fauss, and Big Halsy, Simon & Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, and countless other beloved long-players. Although, strangely enough, up until now, the only recording to be widely released from Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash's fabled sessions was "Girl from The North Country" from Nashville Skyline (1969) as well as, eventually, both solo studio and live versions of "Wanted Man." Said Dylan/Cash composition was first released on 1969's JOHNNY CASH AT SAN QUENTIN, at this point, only having been written a week prior with Bob Dylan in Columbia Studio A.


The deluxe 3-disc/LP edition of Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 will feature the bulk of these Dylan, Cash, Perkins & Johnston sessions, as well as out-takes from Bob Dylan's albums, John Wesley Harding & Nashville Skyline, Dylan's collection of Cash covers recorded for Self Portrait, the full soundtrack of Bob's appearance on The Johnny Cash Show, and a few home recordings Dylan did in 1970 with Bluegrass legend, Earl Scruggs. Ahead of Travelin' Thru... Columbia Records has released an official music video for Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash's "Wanted Man" (Take 1) which, really, just sounds like two friends and long-time fans of each other's work having a damn good time together in-studio. Johnny's wife, June Carter Cash, can even be heard whispering, "Honey, I don't wanna interrupt your train-of-thought... but be sure that Bob puts the melody to that song, that "Wanted Man," down for you..." Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) - Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 will finally become widely available in a number of formats through Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings on Friday, November 1, 2019.


"In his liner notes for Travelin' Thru, Colin Escott writes, "Talking to journalist Matt Damsker about the sound of John Wesley Harding, Dylan said, "I didn't know how to record the way other people were recording, and I didn't want to... I just didn't think all that production was necessary." He, also, went for lyrical economy. "What I'm trying to do now is not use too many words," he said. "There's no line you can stick your finger through. There's no blank filler.'"

Dylan returned to Columbia Studio A in February 1969 to work on Nashville Skyline. "Bob asked me to be a guest on the album," Johnny Cash said later, "and I went to the studio and they just turned on the recorder for about two hours." Columbia Studio A hosted two Dylan-Cash sessions: February 17 & 18, 1969 with a band that included Rock "N" Roll pioneer Carl Perkins playing guitar on six tracks (including his own composition, "Matchbox.") One of the more intriguing sonic discoveries on Travelin' Thru is "Don't Think Twice, It’s Alright/Understand Your Man," as two singular singer-songwriters pay mutual compositional and vocal tribute to each other.

The full-day Dylan/Cash duet session included the first known version of "Wanted Man" and the only version of the song ever sung by Dylan. The following week, Cash made it the opening song at his San Quentin concert. The session provides insight into the shared sensibilities of Dylan & Cash through a variety of covers, including two Jimmie Rodgers medleys.

When The Johnny Cash Show was scheduled to debut in June 1969, the host offered Bob Dylan a guest slot on the first show. In the days before and after The Johnny Cash Show taping, Dylan was working on the album that emerged more than a year later as Self Portrait. For the May 3 Self Portrait session, guitarist Fred Carter was brought in to augment Dylan's usual Nashville band. The "Folsom Prison Blues" & "Ring of Fire" [covers] recorded that day are available for the first time on Travelin' Thru.

Although, only one duet with Johnny Cash ("Girl from The North Country") appears on Dylan's original Nashville Skyline album, Cash penned the album's GRAMMY Award-winning liner notes. A month after Nashville Skyline was released, Dylan made his first live TV appearance in five years on The Johnny Cash Show; that performance is, also, included here."

- BobDylan.com (@bobdylan)

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Grand Scheme Emerge from Behind-The-Scenes with Debut Single "Hold On to Your Bag" Featuring Aloe Blacc (Common Good Records)


The Grand Scheme are a Los Angeles-based "SOUL POWER" band, who, according to their Facebook About (Me) section, make "Soul for your mouth." Self-described "World Travelers & Explorers," The Grand Scheme have functioned as the backing band for American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and emcee Aloe Blacc FKA Nathan Yell. The Grand Scheme have been backing Blacc ever since his career-securing break-out with 2010 single, "I Need A Dollar," if not longer. The Grand Scheme's current line-up consists of drummer Te'Amir "Yohannes" Sweeney, bassist Joseph "Joe" Gonzales, trumpeter Chris Bautista, guitarist/producer/musical director Joel Van Dijk, saxophonist Randal "Randalio" Fisher, and keyboardists Peter Dyer & Farmer Greif. The Grand Scheme's players have collectively contributed to recordings for artists as varied as Blu & Exile, Breakestra, The Velvet Underground founder John Cale, EMANON, Empire of The Sun, Fashawn, fun. Charlotte Gainsbourg, J. Cole, and The Last Shadow Puppets, and Tenacious D on their own time. Aloe Blacc & The Grand Scheme have played numerous events and appearances together over the years, including, but not limited to, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Today Show's Summer Concert Series, NBC's Songland, and the Detroit Lions' 2019 Season Launch Week showcase.


Now, it appears as though, The Grand Scheme are stepping out on their own for the first time with their very own Funk-drenched single: "Hold On to Your Bag" B/W "The Scheme Theme" will be dropping on Friday, November 22, 2019. San Diego-based imprint Common Good Records will be handling both the digital and physical (7-inch) releases of said double-sided single. Actually, as of earlier today, Friday, October 18, 2019, there's already a super-limited edition Test Press 7-inch available directly from Common Good Records for the extremely reasonable price of just $12.99! The Grand Scheme's Aloe Blacc-featuring "Hold On to Your Bag" was released across digital platforms roughly a week ago and it has already amassed a staggering 60,000 streams world-wide. While the song itself is great and extremely catchy, one of my personal favorite moments occurs post-fade out at around 3:32-4:23, as someone explains the origins of the song's central hook/refrain, "HOLD ON TO YOUR BAG... DON'T LOSE IT!" Below, you'll find a stream of "The Scheme Theme" originally uploaded in 2014—then, known simply as "Scheme Theme"—as well as a recent video of Aloe Blacc & The Grand Scheme performing an impassioned version of "SOS" from Avicii's posthumous album, TIM on Jimmy Kimmel Live.


"Created in the wake of a massive European tour at Modern World Studios in The UK, "Hold On to Your Bag" is The Grand Scheme's [homage] to the "I Need A Dollar" Tour of 2010-2012 with Aloe Blacc. At the end of a full summer of festivals and tour dates in Europe, The Grand Scheme spent their last four days in The UK recording and writing as fast as they could. They were on fire after a summer with many highlights including Glastonbury, Jools Holland, and many other TV and festival performances. After playing so frequently together, they were tight as ever and eager to write some original music. "Hold On to Your Bag" was partially inspired by a dance break in the middle of their set in which they played the Soul Train theme and had the audience re-enact the show's famous "Soul Train line."

They started incorporating the chorus line into middle of the song, in reference to a funny experience saxophone player Randal Fisher had on the bus in Los Angeles. While in the studio, they flushed out this new track with Peter Dyer's Funky clavinet heading the charge. And then, the music sat in the vaults... until NOW! Too good to be relegated to obscurity, Aloe, The Melody Boys (Chris Bautista & Randal Fisher,) and Farmer Grief came in for the last touches at guitarist and producer Joel Van Dijk's home studio. Joseph Gonzales, Te'Amir Sweeney, and Peter [Dyer] had already recorded their Funky legacy. Common Good Records, then, stepped up to the plate to put this Funk on wax. The Grand Scheme has more releases and tunes coming, including a 7-inch vinyl with "Hold On to Your Bag" & "The Scheme Theme"—also, coming digitally next month. Stay tuned, and "Hold On to Your Bag... Don't Lose It!'"

- Common Good Records (@commongoodrecords)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

SoCal Punks Audio Karate Return with "Sin Cuchillo" Music Video & "Lost" 2007-08 Album MALO (Wiretap/A-F/SBÄM Records)


Audio Karate were a Southern California-based Latino Punk/Indie Rock band originally active from 1995 until about 2007-08. It's members included four Mexican-American musicians: Arturo "Art" Barrios (vocals/guitar,) Jason Camacho (guitar,) Justo Gonzalez (bass,) and Gabriel "Gabe" Camacho (drums.) They had affiliations with both Kung Fu & Bullion/Underground Liberation Force (ULF) Records and toured across the world with the likes of The Ataris, Pennywise, Social Distortion, Something Corporate, Thrice, and The Vandals. Audio Karate AKA "AK" recorded and released two full-length albums, 2002's Space Camp produced by Trever Keith of Face to Face and 2004's Lady Melody produced by Bill Stevenson of Descendents/ALL fame. Audio Karate played upwards of 250 shows between 2004-05 in support of Lady Melody and were, of course, a bit spent by year's end, but still owed Kung Fu Records one more album under the terms of their contract; Audio Karate soon built their own recording space fittingly called Lady Melody Studio wherein they collectively wrote and recorded 12 songs together between 2006-07.


Although, by 2008, the band had, essentially, run its course and three-fourths of AK eventually formed a new band called India School with new members Eric Wood and Mike Jimenez from Rufio. As fate would have it, guitarist Jason Camacho was asked to fill in for Justo Gonzalez for a few 2016 Indian School gigs, which, ultimately, didn't end up happen, but would have been the first time all four Audio Karate members played together in 8+ years. As Audio Karate themselves tell it: "In 2018, Rob [Castellon] from Wiretap approached Art about re-issuing Space Camp on vinyl. The band agreed and committed to doing a handful of shows to support the release. On a whim, Art reached out to Bill Stevenson and mentioned the re-forming of AK and offering support, if Descendents ever needed any. As luck would have it, Bill was in the process of booking Tourage 2018 and added AK to the West Coast leg." Later in 2018, a fully re-formed and re-invigorated Audio Karate released a 7-inch/digital EP on Wiretap Records featuring two "lost" songs from their from their aborted/largely forgotten Lady Melody follow-up.


Jason Camacho soon dug up his old MacBook, which contained files for 10 additional songs from the 2007-08 Lady Melody Studio sessions that were much closer to complete than previously realized. AK then, recruited Rufio/Indian School's Mike Jimenez to help re-mix said "lost" album, "taking special care to not re-record any parts and rely on the rawness and spontaneity of the original sessions." Now, we have the final, completed, re-mixed new/old Audio Karate album, MALO, which will be widely released tomorrow, Friday, October 18, 2019 on Wiretap/A-F/SBÄM Records. Audio Karate will perform as part of a sold out 25th anniversary show in honor of Fort Collins, Colorado's beloved recording studio, The Blasting Room. It takes place at Washington's FoCo on Saturday, November 23, where they'll perform alongside such acts as ALL, Rise Against, A Wilhelm Scream, Armchair Martian, Wire Faces, and more. Audio Karate's remaining 2019 tour dates are currently available to peruse on their Facebook Events page. Again, Audio Karate's "lost" album, MALO will become available tomorrow through Wiretap, A-F & SBÄM Records.



"In 2007, members of the band started focusing on job prospects outside music and Audio Karate ceased to exist. In 2018, [I] found the MacBook that had the files from Lady Melody Studio and thought there might be two or three songs on there for an EP or split. We were pretty shocked to find that we had recorded a total of 12 songs during the Lady Melody era, eight of which are on MALO. Having been drunk half the time, we, basically, forgot having written and recorded the bulk of the songs. We enlisted our old friend, Mike Jimenez, who played drums for Rufio and stands in as guitarist for Audio Karate side-project, Indian School, to mix the Lady Melody Studio sessions at his studio, Modern Fuzz [Recording Studios] in Pomona, California.

Jason & Mike took almost a year working on the recordings, trying not to add or remove anything and maintaining the rawness and freshness of the band being self-produced and experimenting throughout. MALO is a perfect capture of us at 24 & 25. An International toured band, confident in our abilities to bring our ideas out to recording, close as friends and clumsy at personal relationships. Basically, all of the recordings are first or second takes... we weren't playing the songs live at shows because we weren't playing shows. If it felt good, we recorded it. It was important to us not to change it. MALO is raw and we like that. It's far from perfect.

I'm not sure anyone wants to hear 37 & 38-year-old Audio Karate writing songs about mortgages, day care, and our current focuses... that'd be a sh*t record! We think the record sounds fresh; we didn't join the swoosh hair, lip ring, Mall Punk/Emo Warped Tour trend of 2006 and start screaming and doing stupid stuff. Had we done that, this record would be awful. MALO is a Soul album, we just happened to be suburban Punk guys that recorded did it. The [remaining] songs from that era, "Care Carelessly," "Black Covering," "Lovely Residence," and a currently untitled song, are done and [we're] waiting for the right project to release them. We want to release everything we ever did, so fans can see the progression from kinda sh*tty to not so bad. Then, we'll go away again."

- Jason Camacho (@audiokaratemusic)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Mike Park Unearths "Rejected" 15-year-old Music Video for "On That Stage" from For The Love of Music (Asian Man/Sub City Records)


Mike Park is a Korean-American Punk-adjacent musician and founder of Asian Man Records, Dill Records, and Fun Fun Records. Park either currently is or was, at one point, part of Psychiatric Disorder, Kitty Kat Fan Club, Maguma Taishi, Ogikubo Station, Shaken 69, Skankin' Pickle, The Bruce Lee/B. Lee Band, and The Chinkees. Mike Park has toured the world countless times since the 1980's, although, has recently been forced to scale back a bit due to Tinnitus and general hearing loss. In addition to a gaggle of releases with the aforementioned bands, Park has recorded and released three largely acoustic solo albums between 2003-11: For The Love of Music, North Hangook Falling, and a children's album called SMILE—plus, a self-titled CD-R exclusively "produced for (and sold on) Mike Park's UK tour in 2009 with Classics of Love." It appears as though Park has recently been going through the Asian Man "vaults" and has managed to re-discover some unpolished, unheard, and largely unreleased gems; during the Okinawan Love Songs EP sessions earlier this year, it looks like Ogikubo Station (Mike Park, Maura Weaver & Megan Schroer) recorded an array of covers just "for fun." Ogikubo Station's cover of The Beatles' "I've Just Seen A Face" remained Unlisted on asianmanrcords' YouTube channel, until it was re-discovered by Park and unleashed unto the masses on Oct. 8, 2019.


Now, it appears as though something very similar happened with the music video for Mike Park's "On That Stage" from 2004's For The Love of Music. "This video was directed Jon Yi back in 2004. At the time, I hated the video and didn't understand the goofiness. I refused to put it up on the [Asian Man Records] channel," Mike Park recently explained within said videos' YouTube Description. "But after revisiting this video, I've realized how mistaken I was. The video is genius. And I'm so happy to have it up for all to see this silliness," Park continued. Oddly enough, it appears as though For The Love of Music was released on Hopeless Records' sub-label, Sub City Records, in conjunction with Asian Man Records, of course. After laying dormant for nearly 15 years, the Jon Yi-directed music video for "On That Stage" has finally seen the light of day again. "This is just fun, but I was trying to be serious! What's wrong with me!" Mike Park quipped yesterday on the Asian Man Records (@asianmanrecords) Twitter page. He's right, Yi's "On That Stage" music video treatment really is a fun, light-hearted affair with Park comfortably seated playing his acoustic guitar in a stark white room, while all sorts of strange hi-jinx occur all around him. It's truly just something you have to witness for yourself... Mike Park's back catalog is currently available on your digital streaming platform of choice and it appears as though The Bruce Lee Band are currently plotting a return-to-form.