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)

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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Punk/Hardcore On Wax: Under Attack Unleash Frantic Debut 7-inch & Digital EP Through The Blade (IRON LUNG Records)

Honestly, while often used, the notion of a "super-group" is basically, a moot point in the world of Punk/Hardcore. According to LEXICO Powered by OXFORD, a "supergoup" is defined as "An exceptionally successful Rock group or one formed by musicians already famous from playing in other groups." But, again, this oft-used notion doesn't really exist in the worlds of Punk, Hardcore, and their related sub-genres; I say this because, nearly every Punk/Hardcore band goes through a rotating cast of musicians, who have, more times than not, previously played in other mildly successful/revered groups. For example, Glenn Danzig's post-Misfits/pre-Danzig Horror Punk band, Samhain, famously included, at one point or another, members of The Misfits, Agnostic Front, Warzone, Murphy's Law, Ministry, Reagan Youth, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Run-D.M.C. Although, regardless, it's always fun to do a little digital sleuthing and dig into the "Past members" section for your favorite Punk/Hardcore band!

Under Attack is a Richmond, Virginia-based Hardcore/Crust Punk consisting of frontman Alex Copeland, guitarist Mark Telfian, bassist Jason Hodges, and drummer Dave Witte. Together, Under Attack's members either are actively or were once in Neheman, Locus Factor, New Millennium's End, Suppression, Human Remains, Discordance Axis, Municipal Waste, Eucharist, Devoid of Faith, Limp Wrist, By The Throat, Bermuda Triangles, Kojak, Rectal Pus, and many, many more. "Under Attack was formed out of four old Richmond, Virginia friends, who found the need to play punishingly brutal Hardcore Punk and get back to the D.I.Y. roots from which they all came," reads their press kit. Legend has it, drummer Dave Witte initially bumped into soon-to-be bassist Mark Telfian one fateful day, while Mark was eating at Dave's food truck, Go Go Vegan Go. "[They] both talked about a mutual desire to play music as aggressive as Negative Approach with some faster elements, like Capitalist Casualties." Under Attack's final line-up was later secured in early 2019 with the addition of guitarist Mark Telfian and bassist Jason Hodges.

Before long, Under Attack self-released their own self-titled 5-song demo, which has already been re-pressed and re-released on cassette a whopping four times on the Vinyl Conflict Label in the US and Autoreverse Tapes & Records in Holland. Now, Under Attack have returned with their first proper release, a 7-inch/digital EP entitled Through The Blade, which was issued on IRON LUNG Records just this past August. Through The Blade is a quick, 6-song burst of an EP, which is over and done in a matter of 8 frantic minutes and 9 seconds. However, it's a great display of what these four "aging" Punks can still do and it sounds like this is only the beginning; Under Attack, also, have a split 7-inch planned to drop before year's end with legendary Dutch Hardcore band, Seein' Red. Amazingly, it sounds like Alex, Mark, Jason & Dave, somehow, have even more pre-recorded material stockpiled for a proper 12-inch full-length, although, aren't in any hurry to rush release it. "It'll come out when we've figured out label stuff and when we all feel the time is right..." Mark Telfian explains. Under Attack's Through The Blade EP is currently available digitally, as well as 7-inch vinyl on Seattle-based IRON LUNG Records.

Friday, October 11, 2019

hectic zeniths Unchains A Soundtrack for Real Justice: A Fundraiser for The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund (Benefit Comp.)

hectic zeniths is the "mixed media collage time travel film score justice reform trip-hop music video comix shoegaze lo-fi art horror solo piano loop pedal synth pop hip-hop project" of Philly-based producer and multi-instrumentalist, Adam Prince. It appears as though hectic zeniths has been active since about 2011 and Prince often records and releases music as amplifya, as well. hectic zeniths produced two tracks included on Darko The Super's 2018 album, Bogus Poetry In The Dizzy Age and has also, recorded with Seattle-based emcee sketch lightly as said the starling. Now, hectic zeniths has returned with his first proper release since 2017's layercakes remastered, A Soundtrack for Real Justice: A Fundraiser for The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund. A Soundtrack for Real Justice... is a fundraiser/benefit comp. with 100% of proceeds raised being donated to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund.

hectic zeniths himself has made a donation upfront to the Bail Fund with the release of this project and hopes that if nothing else, A Soundtrack for Real Justice... will help "raise awareness, so that people will donate directly" on their own accord. For A Soundtrack for Real Justice..., hectic zeniths sourced samples from a slew of albums recorded "Live from ... Prison" à la Johnny Cash's 1968 masterpiece, At Folsom Prison, as well as a gaggle of topical sound-bites pertaining to the cause at hand. A Soundtrack for Real Justice... features a lone guest appearance from Darko The Super & ialive (together, as The Hell Hole Store,) as well as remixes from AJ RICE & LONECREW. This upcoming Monday, October 14, 2019, Columbus Day, hectic zeniths will be doing an hour-long instrumental Hip-Hop/Electronic mix as part of 91.7FM WKDU's annual Electronic Music Marathon 2019. A Soundtrack for Real Justice: A Fundraiser for The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund is now available to purchase directly from hectic zeniths on Bandcamp.

"In the past few years, I've been inspired each time I see a new fundraiser project on Bandcamp–I've seen albums of various genres used to generate donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Yellowhammer Fund, Bethesda Project, and many more. As I find myself moving towards writing music without samples, I wanted to do one last sample-heavy Hip-Hop "beat tape," where the sample sources used on each track directly related to a cause the project would fundraise for. I landed on doing [a] project where each track samples from albums recorded "Live In Prison;" Johnny Cash famously recorded At Folsom Prison in 1968, but dozens of artists recorded live albums this way in the 1960-80's.

Criminal justice reforms in this country are something I feel strongly about–and among other things, I believe that no one should stay locked up, simply because they can't afford bail money. This is why I've chosen to make a donation upfront with the release of this project to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund and hope to use the project to raise more money to donate (100% will go to the Bail Fund) or raise awareness, so that people will donate directly. The project features remixes from producers AJ RICE & LONECREW with guest vocals from The Hell Hole Store. I'll be playing a few tracks from it as part of an hour-long instrumental Hip-Hop/Electronic mix I'm putting together as a part of WKDU's annual Electronic Music Marathon 2019 on October 14th at 9:00am. End Cash Bail & End Mass Incarceration!"

- Adam/Hectic Zeniths (@hecticzeniths)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Secret Sidewalk Unveil "HARP" & "D E S C R A M B L E R" Music Videos Ahead of Debut Album Primal Dap (Primal Dap Sound)

Secret Sidewalk is an Oakland/San Francisco, California-based "Organic Electronic" quartet consisting of Alex "Pu22l3" Abalos, Mike Boo, Michael Reed & Marcus Stephens. While they've been a band since about 2010-11, Secret Sidewalk are just now releasing their debut full-length, Primal Dap, on their own imprint, Primal Dap Sound. Their aforementioned album, Primal Dap, will, actually, be released tomorrow, Friday, October 11, 2019. We've already posted about Secret Sidewalk's first album single, "Common Core" and now, the Electro-Acoustic quartet have returned with their next string of pre-album singles: "HARP" and "D E S C R A M B L E R." Secret Sidewalk's "HARP" music video was uploaded a matter of weeks after the "Common Core" preview clips. It appears as though "HARP" was filmed at a Secret Sidewalk gig with videography by Daniel Miramontes &, live projections by flatspot_., and editing by Alex Abalos, Michael Reed & Fourteen Threes. Secret Sidewalk's subdued harp-accented sounds are put on full display for "HARP" backed by an array of psychedelic imagery and trippy color projections.

Secret Sidewalk's "D E S C R A M B L E R" (or simply, "DESCRAMBLER") music video, on the other hand, was directed/animated by Justin Smith AKA Lil' Zen Ten AKA @thecitizenten, who has been a long-time friend and supporter of the band. "I can safely add that we've all known each other [for] anywhere from 10-15 years, so it was a no-brainer to say "yes," when the band asked me to animate this video," Smith told The Witzard, via email. Lil' Zen Ten says his animations for "DESCRAMBLER" were all meticulously hand-drawn directly onto his iPad Pro using only an Apple Pencil 2, he amassed roughly 2,000 frames and over 500 original drawings, which took about 100 hours to create, to help animate the less than 3-minute video. Michael Reed—who contributes drums/effects to Secret Sidewalk—states that "Primal Dap is the band's official handshake/greeting, which is derived from Planet of The Apes. It seemed only appropriate that we pay tribute to that connection in this video, as well as the evolution of our sound." Primal Dap is, not only, the name of Secret Sidewalk's debut album, but, also, the name of their newly-minted imprint, Primal Dap Sound, on which they'll be self-releasing said album.

"The band wouldn't exist, if it weren't for Justin [Smith]—he helped throw an event in San Francisco in the early 2000's where a bunch of us met. We're really excited about this video, since he's been there for the entire evolution of the band," Reed continued. "DESCRAMBLER," like most of the tracks on Primal Dap, was recorded completely on-the-spot as an improvisation; for example, Michael Reed says saxophone/effects specialist Marcus Stephens "overdubbed [the] flute in one take and that was that!" Lil' Zen Ten's "D E S C R A M B L E R" music video features animated primate versions of Mike Boo, Alex "Pu22l3" Abalos, Michael Reed & Marcus Stephens each behind their accurately-depicted instruments, set-ups, and rigs. Throughout the course of evolution/devolution, we see each member morph back-and-forth between their primate, extraterrestrial, and human(oid) forms. Secret Sidewalk's Primal Dap drops tomorrow, Friday, October 11, 2019 on Primal Dap Sound. Secret Sidewalk will be playing a Primal Dap Album Release Party at Pro Arts Gallery & COMMONS in Oakland, California on Friday, October 18, 2019 with openers Mani Draper, sndtrak, Z E N A N, and Senega B.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Jason Griff & Scorcese Lorde Jones Team Up for Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint (Griff/Scorcese Recording Conglomerate, Inc.)

Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint is a project that's long been in-the-works from Chicago-based producer Jason Griff and Philly emcee Scorcese Lorde Jones, here, known together as Griff/Scorcese. Dream Team... was originally pitched as a mixtape in celebration of the independent wrestling circuit, as well as Hathaway's unique, Hip-Hop indebted approach to the artform. However, it eventually evolved into a full-fledged album based around the ideals and inspiration of the esteemed 1996 Source Award Winner, publicist, and manager, Stokely Hathaway—now signed to WWE/NXT as Malcolm Bivens. Dream Team... is entirely produced by Jason Griff (Alex Ludovico, Zilla Rocca) and primarily performed by Scorcese Lorde Jones AKA Scorcese FKA Scorcese Shells (2-Man Power Trip... Gods Know) with cinematic interludes and embellishments from Stokely Hathaway AKA Malcolm Bivens himself. Dream Team... is, indeed, Wrestle/Wrassle Rap at its finest with slickly inter-woven lyrical allusions to Flex Kavana AKA Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Paul Heyman, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Austin Theory, "Classy" Freddie Blassie, Ric Flair, and plenty more. Also, here for tag team-like assists are Sauce Hei$t, Jamal Gasol, Mr. Lif, Vic Spencer, Curly Castro & Zilla Rocca (GRIFT COMPANY/Wrecking Crew,) and M.Waisome for a special album-closing remix. It should, also, be of particular note that both Memetic Supply Co. & @p.i.c._ether submitted artwork from Dream Team... and it's mass media build-up/roll-out.

Earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to conduct and publish an all-inclusive interview with Griff/Scorcese, along with a special double-premiere of "Flex Kavana" Feat. Vic Spencer AND Dream Team... opener "Pink Flamingo Weather." "So, Stokely gave me two directives: he wanted a "Rick Ross-style" album and he wanted it to "sound like New York." He approved all the records and made sure to direct me to his best samples," Scorcese exclusively told The Witzard within said interview. Scorcese Lorde Jones has been adding to an ongoing #BREAKDOWN [THREAD] on his Twitter page, @JihaDScorcese, in which he'll be meticulously breaking down each track from Dream Team... over the course of next month or so. Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint is currently available on your digital streaming platform of choice and is, also, directly available from Griff/Scorcese on Bandcamp in a number of exclusive packages and formats: the #1 Contenders Bundle, Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint (Limited Edition CD,) Legends Only T-Shirt, CHAMPIONS Shirt (Size Medium ONLY,) and Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint (Limited Edition Cassette.) Griff/Scorcese have very recently made THE SIGNING BONUS CD from the #1 Contenders Bundle available on it's own, as well, which includes FOUR new B-Sides, TWO M.Waisome remixes, and TWELVE super-exclusive instrumentals from Dream Team...

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

"Aging Punks" Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) & Dad Brains Release Age-appropriate Musings On Punk/Hardcore Scenes [Digital Singles]

I guess, at this point in my life, on the verge of 32, I would deem myself an "aging Punk" (I know, it's an extremely un-Punk thing to do!) but I feel, as though, before labeling someone else an "aging Punk," I should, at least, own up to my own dwindling status in the community/sub-culture. I've been listening to Punk/Hardcore music for about 17 years now; so, that would mean I first discovered the genres around 15-16, which sounds about right. I guess, if my memory serves me correctly, I discovered a bunch of formative 80's punk bands like Black Flag, Fugazi, Minor Threat, The Misfits, Samhain, Bad Religion, etc. through listening to Pop Punk bands, such as blink-182, Sum 41, and Green Day, during the early 2000's. I've always felt a special attachment to the worlds of Punk/Hardcore—attending amany sweaty shows dimly-lit shows long before I was even old enough to drink!—and oddly enough, the older I get, the more of an attachment I feel towards the overall ethos and impassioned angst. But enough about myself, let's move onto the main attraction here...

Craig Finn is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and long-time frontman of beloved Indie Rock act, The Hold Steady. It appears as though Finn was once an angsty Punk himself and in adulthood, through his professional career, has often shown allegiance to Punk/Hardcore-adjacent artists including: Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem,) Patrick Stickles & Titus Andronicus, Culture Abuse, The Men, Dillinger Four, Reigning Sound, Jawbreaker, Sleaford Mods, The Fall, Hot Snakes, and his own pre-Hold Steady Post-punk group, Lifter Puller. Craig Finn once cited Blake Schwarzenbach from Jawbreaker & Jets to Brazil, as well as Bruce Springsteen, amongst his greatest lyrical influences and has described The Replacements' LET IT BE (1984) as his "favorite ever record." Finn very recently released his latest album, I Need A New War, the third part in a trilogy, which started with 2015's Faith In The Future. Ahead of an upcoming October/November jaunt across The UK & Europe with his band, The Uptown Controllers, Laura Stevenson & Cassandra Jenkins, Craig Finn released a new non-album digital single, "It's Never Been A Fair Fight."

Craig Finn has arranged the song in such a way wherein the aforementioned "It" is, actually, Punk/Hardcore with lyrics including lines such as: "I said Hardcore's in the eye of the beholder / I've got a broken heart from 1989 / I was holding my head in my hands from the heat / And there were elbows in my eyes..." "'It's Never Been A Fair Fight" is about the extreme difficulty of staying true to the rigid rules of a sub-culture as you get older," says Finn. "The character in the song re-visits an old peer and finds struggle and disappointment in the place he left behind. I've always really loved this song and people seemed to connect with it on my acoustic tour with Brian Fallon. Excited to be sharing the full band version with the world." Craig Finn has simultaneously released three separate versions of "It's Never Been A Fair Fight:" 1.) an Acoustic Version, 2.) a Studio/B-side Version, and 3.) a Live Version with The We All Want The Same Things Band. "It's Never Been A Fair Fight" was previously released as part of Finn's PLATTSBURG EP, initially, available as a digital download for anyone who pre-ordered I Need A New War directly from Partisan Records. It's now become widely available on your digital streaming platform of chOi!-ce.

Dad Brains are a bit of a tongue-in-cheek crew signed to Pirates Press Records, but rest assured, their Punk/Hardcore credentials are, indeed, "too legit to quit!" Part-time members/dads Patrick "Pat" Pedraza, Matt Kash, John Crerar & Craig Kasamis have collectively spent time playing with Creep Division, D*ck Circus, From Satellite, The F*cking Wrath, The Missing 23rd, Night Demon, No Motiv, Peter Pan's Army, The Pullmen, and Stop Breathing. Since initially forming around 2018, Dad Brains have released two EP's, Dad Brains & dadditude, on Pirates Press, as well as numerous flexi-disc singles and an X-mas split EP with Ramoms. Now, following the widespread success of their previous releases boasting their unique "Punk Rock Dads" formula, Dad Brains have returned with a new stand-alone/non-album single just months after dadditude's Father's Day release. "Punk Rock & Hardcore!" is a bit more Rap-Rock/Hip-Hop indebted than Dad Brains' typical fair, but, it seems as though, it's all for good reason. "I'm a big fan of the [Beastie Boys'] Licensed to Ill album. I wanted the beginning to sound like "Paul Revere" haha," frontman Pat Pedraza explained to The Witzard, via email.

"I was a fan of 80's Rap & Punk, so I wanted to do something funny with a head-bobbing beat. Those are real drums and guitar on the track! People might not get it, but it was fun to record the guys rapping haha," Pedraza continued. "Punk Rock & Hardcore!" also, manages to shout-out a number of bands, both lyrically and visually, within its companion music video: Nardcore, Suicidal Tendencies, Beastie Boys, Minor Threat, Ill Repute, "DK" AKA Dead Kennedys, SSD, Youth of Today, P.M.A. and, of course, Bad Brains. Dad Brains cleverly incorporated a couple uniqye samples into "Punk Rock & Hardcore!" including the title refrain from Minor Threat's "I Don't Wanna Hear It," as well as back-up vocals in the beginning provided by Chuck Platt from Good Riddance wailing "yuuup!" In addition to the aforementioned Ian MacKaye-cleared sample, Dad Brains, also, payed homage to the style of a number of early Minor Threat releases, most notably, Minor Threat/First Two Seven Inches and Complete Discography, on the single's black-and-pink cover. "Punk Rock & Hardcore!" single is now available to stream, purchase, or download on your digital streaming platform of chOi!-ce.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Bayside Unleash Riff-heavy Eighth Studio Album Interrobang & Announce The Interrobang‽ Club Tour 2019 (Hopeless Records)

Bayside are a Punk/Hardcore-adjacent Pop Punk/Emo band initially formed in Bayside, Queens, New York-based in 2000. Steadily approaching their 20th year playing together, Bayside's current line-up consists of Anthony Raneri, Jack O'Shea, Nick Ghanbarian & Chris Guglielmo. Now, I in no way intend to unintentionally age myself here... but, "back in the day" (the early 2000's,) I was fortunate enough to catch Bayside live in support of, I believe, in support of both Senses Fail & Taking Back Sunday; somewhere, I still have a black-and-yellow "IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN BAYSIDE" concert T-shirt from one of said gigs. Just about two weeks ago, Bayside announced the sheer existence of their eighth studio album, Interrobang, which was released this past Friday, October 4, 2019. Interrobang is quite easily Bayside's loudest, most riff-heavy album to date juxtaposed against extremely catchy, melodic hooks on nearly every single track. As crazy as it sounds, Bayside's Interrobang falls somewhere in-between Maladriot-era Weezer and peak 1980's Anthrax. FUN FACT: By definition, an interrobang is "a punctuation mark that combines an exclamation and a question mark (‽)."

"We wanted the record to feel exciting and new, but, also, sound like a natural progression for the band," Anthony Raneri explains. "We just wanted to keep the listener on their toes—there is a ton of information being thrown out—and if you want to take it all in—you can't stop paying attention for a second." As of August 29, 2019, Interrobang's lead-off single, "Prayers" had broken 100,000 streams in its first week; plus, "Devotion & Desire" from Bayside's 2005 self-titled album, also, became the band's first single song to reach 10 million streams. For Interrobang, Bayside recruited critically-acclaimed producer Cameron Webb (Alkaline Trio, Kelly Clarkson, Motörhead, NOFX,) the band embraced his eclectic résumé and pushed the boundaries of what a Bayside song could sound like. "We thought it would be perfect to work with [him] because we see ourselves as sitting somewhere in between all of those artists," Raneri continued. Bayside's Interrobang is now available to purchase in multiple formats, via Hopeless Records. The Interrobang‽ Club Tour kicks off on 11/6/19 with Bayside's special guests Sincere Engineer & Capstan, as well as an array of unsigned, non-touring bands.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Philly Producer Rolled Gold Meticulously Breaks Down A Different Cloth, Vol. 3 Beat/Remix-tape (All-around Breakdown)

Beat-twisting Philly producer and multi-instrumentalist Harry Metz AKA Rolled Gold is one of our personal favorite Hip-Hop/Hip-Hop-adjacent artists and has been for the past few years. I believe, we've covered nearly everything he's released since 2016's Rolled Gold & Uncle Crimson: The Great Fallback EP. Metz's beats and Jazz/Soul-indebted compositions are often comparable to the works of Madlib, J Dilla & DOOM, as well as Motown, Stax & Philly Internation Records' gold-dipped back catalogs. Rolled Gold's recent body of work, maybe, within the past year or two, is even vastly different than his earlier works; he's recruited a talented cast of characters (including himself) to record a nearly endless vault of original material, which he's then, able to freely go back and meticulously chop, sample, edit, incorporate, etc. to even newer and more original compositions! A Different Cloth, Vol. 3 is the third and final installment in a beat/remix-tape series Rolled Gold launched earlier this year.

It's "equally as groovy, cinematic, and versatile" as the previous two A Different Cloth installments, attests a recent press release. Vol. 3 features vocal appearances throughout from frequent Rolled Gold collaborators Rapper OHM, Uncle Crimson, Visto, Uncle Crimson, Visto, Tylar Montgomery, and Boogieman Dela. It, also, features sampled "appearances" from Dante AKA Uncle Crimson, Margel The Sophant, and Samuel Metz, amongst others. Rolled Gold himself was kind enough to gift us with a comprehensive track-by-track breakdown on the creation/making-of A Different Cloth, Vol. 3, which you can find below the break, along with each track from the EP. Rolled Gold's A Different Cloth, Vol. 1-3 are now available to stream, download, or purchase from your digital streaming platform of choice. I would strongly recommend these releases for fans of Dilla, DOOM & Madlib, as well as "live" Hip-Hop artists, such as The Roots, Jurassic 5 & Brownout.


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Beats & Pretzel Enthusiast

No.1: "This was the first beat I made in May, after I hadn't made any music for months (before I dropped [A Different Cloth] Vol. 2) Also, the first night I drank alcohol or smoked weed after a month of sobriety, so it def has a groovy/Funky vibe. I played all the instruments while Dante (Uncle Crimson) was sitting there drawing 'n' sh*t. Also, it fit well as the intro because it sounds good fading in after the last song of Vol. 2 fades out."

No.2: "This is the third flip of a sample I made last year, (the second flip is "Incredible Bul" from [A Different Cloth] Vol. 1) and the first flip isn't released yet. Margel The Sophant played some keys on the sample, but I didn't credit these versions 'cuz it's barely detectable and I played more keys over it. OHM's raps are from his song "Step By Step" off a project I engineered and mixed for him called N-Luv Whiff An Air Sign."

No.3: "Fall Back Comfortably" is, also, a second flip of a sample I made the previous year that my brother [Samuel Metz] played piano on (also, didn't credit it because it's reversed and undetectable.) Uncle Crimson's verse should be released soon on his Chizi Tape that is long overdue, some of the songs were written damn near 10 years ago."

No.4: "Floatin'" is a sample I made entirely myself and I was, obviously, going for a Middle Eastern/Jewish vibe lol. Visto's acapella is from "Wrong Floor," same track I remixed on "Bird Doctor" off my ADC1."

No.5: "S.R.S. Manzenem" is a shout-out to Serious Rap Sh*t Podcast and the actual shout-out is Uncle Crimson, also, off the Chizi Tape. Also, a second flip of a sample I created last year with a little vocal chop from Tylar Montgomery (featured on "Hues of The Evening" off ADC2.)"

No.6: "Clarity," another second flip of a sample I made this year, features Tylar's vocals from her upcoming release that I'm producing, engineering, and mixing myself. Visto's acapella is from a recording we did a few years ago for his song I produced called "Just Because." I just dug [through] the acapella recording and used parts he didn't use on that song; plus, they felt really inspirational to me as I was finishing up this project and they fit well with Tylar's lyrics."

No.7: "What I Can't Do" is a remix of Boogieman Dela's "Bring Me Down," which I consider the best song I've produced to date. It concludes the the series well on a sentimental, yet motivational, note and ends with the same birds chirping as the first song of the series, "Sidewalk Crax." Also, I cut the remix short, hopefully, leaving the listening hanging enough to stay tuned for whatever's next. Also, I'm considering getting vinyl pressed for the series, in which case, I'd cut the second volume in half, so the first 11 tracks are on Side A and the second 10 are on Side B... but we'll see how that goes, maybe, early next year."