“’Pick It Up! Ska In The 90’s'(CPRA Movie Reaction)& Ska Parade 30th Anniversary Show

Release Date: 5/1/2019                                                      

Format: Digital and Physical

Purchase Here: https://www.skamovie.com/shop-1

Production: PopMotion Pictures

Director/Writer/Stars (Per IMBD)

  • Director: Taylor Morden
  • Writer: Heather Augustyn
  • Stars: Tim Armstrong, Aaron Barrett, Christian Jacobs

Appearances by: (Per website)

The film features exclusive interviews with members of: 

The Aquabats • Big D and the Kids Table • Bim Skala Bim • Blink-182 • Bomb the Music Industry! • Buck-O-Nine • Catch 22 • Cherry Poppin’ Daddies • Dance Hall Crashers • Desorden Publico • Fishbone • Five Iron Frenzy • Goldfinger • The Goodwin Club • Hepcat • The Hippos • The Impossibles • Inspector • The Interrupters • Jump With Joey • Kemuri • King Apparatus • La Resistencia • Less Than Jake • Let’s Go Bowling • The Mad Caddies • Maldita Vecindad • Mephiskapheles • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones • MU330 • Mustard Plug • My Superhero • New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble • No Doubt • The Nuckle Brothers • the O.C. Supertones • Oingo Boingo • The Pietasters • Pilfers • The Porkers • Reel Big Fish • Rx Bandits • Save Ferris • The Selecter • Skankin’ Pickle • The Skatalites • The Slackers • Smashmouth • The Specials • Spring Heeled Jack • Starpool • Streetlight Manifesto • Sublime • Suburban Legends • The Suicide Machines • The Toasters • Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra • Voodoo Glow Skulls • and a bunch of other super rad ska related people!


Hey guys Skabones with CPRA here. Happy Holidays to everyone out there. Recently we received an advanced copy of Pick It Up Ska In the 90’s. Personally, I couldn’t help myself and dove in immediately. This film was directed by Tayloy Morden. Be sure to check out some of Taylor’s other movies such as, The Pick Up , The Last Blockbuster, Here’s to Life: The Story of The Refreshments, Gotcha. We reached out to Taylor, so be sure to read his thoughts on the film below. 

So before I go into more of the movie, Let’s talk more about your mom, I mean me Skabones. I grew up when Reagan was dropping bombs and Thatcher was invading the Falklands. Ska bands like English Beat, Madness, and The Specials were wrecking the UK charts. Given I’m only 42 now I was only about 5 or 6 years old then. So let’s jump back to the 90’s. I was an angry kid, hated my dad, we all hated our parents back then. As you can tell from my senior photo I was a real, “rebel”.

My friends and I were constantly going to shows around Denver. We even got tear gassed at the Propagandhi riot. For me personally I felt I belonged, but also that I didn’t belong. That something was missing for me. I was that square peg that never fits into the circle. I was a “Weird Kid”. So when a friend handed me a copy of “The Pietasters” by The Pietasters around 1994. Something in me finally clicked. I restarted my love for ska! As time progressed, my friends and I started going to more Ska shows like, Denver’s Five Iron Frenzy, Fishbone, Save Ferris, and many more. 

So let’s actually get into the movie. When the film opens I felt this immediate ocean of nostalgia come over me. As Tim Armstrong began his narration of the film I felt thrusted back into the 90’s. Someone hit me with a Slap bracelet! The list of media and bands in this film is insane. From legendary DJ’s such as Tazy Phillips to bands you might have thought disappeared. They are some great concepts and schools of thought discussed in the film such as How do you define ska? Have you ever tried to explain ska to someone? Did you know the classic black and white checkered style was not about racial unity? Out of nowhere the weird kids had a place to go and best of all it wasn’t a fashion parade. And suddenly there were trumpets in punk rock.

One of my favorite discussions is Did Kurt Cobain’s death kick off the 3rd Wave of Ska? If you think about it Cobain’s death marked the end of grunge and the start of something new. I’d really love to sit down some time with legendary KROQ DJ Tazy Phillips and asks just why was Sublime so hard to work worth? I can only guess it was Bradley’s addiction or other issues? I’ve watched this movie 3 times now and still find things I missed the first time around. Such as did you know skapunk embraced punk’s DIY boots on the ground self promotion? There was a war between the West coast Vs East Coast ska? Wait wut? As the 3rd wave rose in popularity bands started having more control over their shows such as Skank N Pickle refusing to play non all ages shows

Skabones is that you?

Another concept discussed, How does a ska band survive on the road? You have 5-10 members who have to sit practically on top of each other in the van. I found this part of the movie hilarious! Another personal favorite part of the movie is when gender was discussed and how female members were treated differently from their male counterparts. With venues sometimes thinking they were girlfriends, groupies, or wives of band members. Five Iron Frenzy’s -Leanor Inez Ortega Till discusses this issue in detail. Her section in the movie is a personal favorite. I scored an awesome interview with Leanor which you can read below. Guys I’m talking to you! It may be almost 2020 we may be getting better about inclusion, but newsflash, we are not there yet! 

As I said before the lists of bands and media personalities in this movie is incredible. Some of my favorite moments are with Angelo Moore, Ben Carr, Coolie from Pilfers, Moniqe Powell and Mike Park. Oh and Aaron Barret from Reel Big Fish, stays true to his name as over confident sell out. I guess hes’s the Aaron we all know. Haha! As the movie nears the end, the downfall and over market saturation of the 3rd wave are mentioned. Soon Emo and EDM began to take it’s place. The popularity here in the states may have fallen, but 3rd Wave continues to thrive in other countries.  

Overall I give Pick It Up – Ska In the 90’s a 9.5 out of 10. This movie is a perfected tribute to ska and in particular to the third wave. The little things you didn’t know, made a huge impact, not only in the ska scene, but the music industry in general. The only downside to the movie is no Op Ivy interview, but it’s really the least of my concerns.

Ska will never die, it will continue to evolve from it’s early Jamaican roots. So pick it up now at www.skamovie.com, via download, and now on DVD and Blu-ray! So let us know down in the comments below your best memory from the 3rd Wave! If you think Ska is dead, read more here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/category/ska/


I reached out to the Director of Pick It up,  Taylor Morden for for some thoughts on the making of the film. 

Pic courtesy of IMBD

CPRA: First of congratulations on a fantastic movie!

Morden: Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it!

CPRA: What was different for you in directing Pick It Up – Ska In The 90s vs the other movies you have directed like The Last BlockbusterHere’s to Life: The Story of The Refreshments, Gotcha, Sticker Shock, and The Pick Up

Morden: Pick It Up! was the biggest project for me in terms of scope, there are over 80 bands featured in the movie, and we filmed in 4 countries over the course of a year and a half. It was also a very personal project for me.  I’ve played trumpet in ska bands for over 20 years now and this music has been a huge part of my life. Getting to talk with all the bands I’ve been a fan of for most of my life about the music that means so much to all of us has been an amazing experience.  In a way I got to tell a part of my own life story with the help of some of my all time favorite bands.

CPRA: What was the most difficult part in directing this movie? 

Morden: There were a lot of challenges along the way, but one of the hardest parts was trying to clear so many songs for the soundtrack, there’s a ton of music in the movie and for every song you hear there are a lot of hoops to jump through.  The other difficulties were things like scheduling the interviews around the availability of touring bands and digitizing huge piles of VHS tapes and scanning hundreds of photos, then trying to keep track of all the footage and archival materials and put together a story out of all of it.

CPRA: Was there at any moment you felt it was just too hard to make the movie and what pushed you to overcome if so? 

Morden: Somewhere, about half way through editing, we had a 5 and a half hour long rough cut of the movie… I wasn’t really sure how to get past that stage and down to something that people could actually watch. The main thing that kept us going on this project and helped us overcome obstacles like that was the support of the ska community!  The bands and the fans have been a huge help in motivating us to to try and make the movie as comprehensive, fun, and informative as we could. 

CPRA: We know you can’t really play favorites with any scenes. However; what is one scene that really makes you nostalgic for making the film? 

Credit Pic located here

Morden: Not sure if you’re referring to scenes in the movie, or local music scenes… in the movie, there’s a part titled: the horn section that means a lot to me, as a horn player, that part is really autobiographical and I feel like that’s the kind of thing that maybe another film maker would not have included. If you mean music scenes, that’s a tough one, since we learned so much about so many ska scenes making the movie, and our local scene in Eugene Oregon doesn’t really feature in the film, I’d have to say that the stuff about the Japanese ska scene is my favorite. 

CPRA: What advice do you have for independent filmmakers trying to get their names out there?

Morden: I’m not sure I’m in any position to give advice, but as an independent filmmaker, I really believe in the DIY work ethic that it often takes to get anything done.  That often means long hours and difficult obstacles to overcome. So the advice I would have is: choose topics that you really care about. You’re going to be stuck working on a movie, especially a documentary, for years.  So if you aren’t really invested in the subject matter that can get tedious. But as the cat hanging from the tree says ‘hang in there’. 

CPRA: Thanks Taylor that’s some great information!

Continue reading ““’Pick It Up! Ska In The 90’s'(CPRA Movie Reaction)& Ska Parade 30th Anniversary Show”

Ska-Goth? Skath? What is this? GRAVE DANGER Return with New EP ‘Tomb It May Concern’ featuring Cover of “Halloween” by the Misfits

Release Date: October 31, 2019                                            

Format: Digital 

Location: Berkley, CA

Current Lineup: (Per Bandcamp)

  • Dave Schwantes – guitars, bass, keyboards, tenor sax, bari sax, backing vocals
  • Dane Erbach – drums
  • Chris Marcanti – vocals
  • Margaret Miller – trombone
  • Andy Miller – trumpet
  • Emily Erbach – synth

Favorite Tracks: Give Up The Ghost, Bigfoot Beach, and Halloween

Sounds Like: People Corrupting People, Less Than Jake, Five Iron Frenzy, Madaline, Pietasters, and Reel Big Fish


There are 2 things in this world that mean everything to me. One of them is ska! My uncle introduced me to Madness at a young age. I’ve been hooked since. The other thing being Halloween. So what happens when ska and goth combine forces? Skath! Truth be told there’s not really many ska bands out there who can get dark, I mean gothic dark. So allow me to introduce Berkley, CA’s, Grave Danger! The 2nd EP release, ‘Tomb It May Concern’ dropped early this morning!

The EP kicks off with “Give Up The Ghost”. This track is dark with the creepy, “Munster’s” like organ, but so lovable. The horns and anthem like chorus are perfectly timed! Erbach is simply killing it on drums. It’s a love song. 

“Well I know I can make you see

How much happier you could be

We could chat with out necromancy

You gotta give up the ghost and get with me!”

The next track is “Bigfoot Beach”. Ok so what if all of our favorite monsters had a kick ass beach party? This ska/surf tune is nothing, but 100% fun! Dave’s work on guitar is admirable. Ok goth’s let’s get dancing under the moonlight and go to sasquatch’s BBQ! “Cemeterrarium” here’s another kick ass song to dance to! I can totally see the Peanuts gang dancing to this, haha! Chris’s vocals are amazing as this song is more on the ska punk side. 

“Halloween”, a Misfits cover is the next track. Although the Misfits version is classic. One issue I’ve always held with their version is Danzig’s annunciation. I thought it was “Dead Vets hanging from poles”, until the Misfits released the 1995 Collection with lyrics. The cover is happy, filled with energy, and you can clearly understand the lyrics! Plus the horns add a little extra evil! 

The final track is “Undead End Job”. Erbach kills it on yes the Theremin! Now there are not many bands that use a Theremin, of course Denver’s People Corrupting People do. We are sitting in our office chairs as the undead, waiting till the buzzer lets us rejoin the living. The guitar riffs are nuts. The pit may be a little nasty on this track. 

Let’s wrap this review up. Occasionally an album sneaks in and we HAVE to review it. Obviously since we are not paid, it’s purely a voluntary choice, speaking of that please consider a donation or a merch purchase! Grave Danger’s, ‘Tomb It May Concern’ is not only a great fit for Halloween, but an EP you should be listening to year round. The horns, pick it up riffs, incredible drums will make you buy all of their tracks! Pick it up NOW, https://gravedangerskath.bandcamp.com/

Help CPRA stay up and running! Hit that donate button below!

Track List (Per Bandcamp)

  1. Give Up the Ghost
  2. Bigfoot Beach 
  3. Cemeterrarium 
  4. Halloween
  5. Undead End Job

Links:

Thurs. Oct.24th At Goosetown Tavern! The Blue Kings (SKA/Rocksteady)With The Pollution (Punk), and AkA Miggy

Thursday Oct.24th
9pm/ 21+/$5
Join us for a great night of music with
The Blue Kings
(unique blend of Soulful Psych Rocksteady and Ska)
The Pollution
Post Hardcore “punk” “rock”,
and Music support your host and selector AkA Miggy

Event Link And Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/456523201877226/

CPRA Music News: Neville & Sugary Staple release new video for ‘Way of Life’

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Release date: Available Now on all major music providers

Format : Digital and physical

Label: Cleopatra Records

Location: Coventry, U.K.

Current Lineup:

  • Neville Staple
  • Christine Sugary Staple
  • Featuring Roddy Radiation

Favorite Tracks: Rebel Down, Original Rudegirl Sound, Way of Life, Tattoo King, Be As One, Why Oh Why

Sounds Like: The Specials, The Beat, Bad Manners, and Last Reel Hero


If you haven’t listened to, “Rude Rebels”, you’re missing out on some great new 2 Tone ska! Ska Legend Neville Staple has returned! Check out the new video for ‘Way of Life’ below! This record has been running non stop on my Spotify. Pick this one on vinyl for the best listening experience! I’ve included more videos just to give a taste of how amazing this album is!

Way Of Life

Rebel Down (Featuring Roddy Radiation)

Original Rudegirl Sound

Tracks on full album release:

  1. Rebel Down
  2. Tattoo King
  3. When I Call Your Name
  4. Boy (Dub Out)
  5. Be As One
  6. Wrong Shoes
  7. Original Rudegirl Sound
  8. Why Oh Why
  9. Ska To The Beat
  10. Dirty Little Liar
  11. The Border
  12. Way Of Life
  13. Way I Love You
  14. Woulda Coulda Shoulda

Links:

The Last Reel Hero releases new music video for “Hero Can’t Dead”.

Here at CPRA we are huge fans of Pueblo, Colorado’s Last Reel Hero. We reviewed their last album release and you can check it out here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/12/last-reel-hero-s-t/.

You can see their first Denver show at CPRA’S Happy Skanksgiving show, https://www.facebook.com/events/310508869736134/?ti=as.

Millie Manders & The Shutup – “Shutup” (EP)

Release Date: 9/21/2018

Format: Digital

Label: Bad Granola and Bredda Records

Location: Norwich/London

Current Lineup:

  • Millie Manders – Vocals,
  • Ukulele & Alto Saxophone
  • Lewis Slater – Guitar
  • Matt Munford – Bass
  • Alessandro Vitiello (Ale) –
  • Drums
  • George Alan – Trumpet
  • Dom Walker – Tenor
  • Saxophone

Favorite Tracks: Right To Life, Brave, Lollipops, and One That Got Away

Sounds Like:  Save Ferris, Last Reel Hero, No Doubt, Dance hall Crashers, People Corrupting People, Band Manners, Sorry Sweetheart, The Interrupters, and The Transplants.


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The beginning of the 3rd Wave of ska was flat out amazing! Here in the states we started with bands like, Fishbone, OP Ivy, Sublime, Bosstones, Let’s Go Bowling, The Aquabats, and the list goes on and on. But somewhere along the way. The big shots in the music industry discovered they could make a ton of money from it.

Somewhere along the line originality died. Many bands began to  follow the standard, “Reel Big Fish” formula. It was a race to see who could make more money, and not so much about making good music. This is not a knock on Reel Big Fish. Afterall we “Sold Out” with them. I do love many of their songs, yet they like Goldfinger went generic. They released full albums of nothing, but cover albums. Don’t get me wrong I love many of them, but for me, skapunk became generic.

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I started going more down the underground tunnel. I started looking for bands you wouldn’t find on the FM dial. I wanted that gritty street punk sound with massive heart. When we started CPRA back in 2016 I was happy to see that skapunk was thriving here in Colorado and across the world in small underground factions. The 3rd Wave never died, it evolved.

This leads me into introducing, Millie Manders & The Shutup, launching their new EP, “Shut Up” on Bad Granola and Bredda Records on 9/21/2018. I found this band through one my favorite skapunk bands, Bitter Grounds. I watched about 15 seconds of their new video for, “The One That Got Away” and knew right away I needed to review this record!

 

So let’s check out the new “Shut Up” Ep. The record kicks off with the “Right To Life”. This one is pure dirty and gritty ska punk. Mander’s vocals at the intro and throughout the track are extremely impressive. She sounds a bit like Imelda May, but retains the street punk sound of Monique Powell or Kim Deal. The pit will get nasty on this one. The heavy almost metal like bass line has this one stuck on repeat.

Have you ever been caught air drumming at work? Well I just did. Haha. That’s what the next track, “Brave” made me do. The guitar riff behind the drums is amazing in the intro before coming to full pressure to join the horns. The main theme of the song is stop being a slave to the system. I love this song!

“Lollipops”, is up next on the record. Mander’s vocals again shine on this track. You can feel her anger and animosity brewing. The horns and drums are the keys one this one. The political message in this song is strong. In fact Mr Trump this one goes out to you! The power hungry money money/war mongers are getting richer by the day while the poor get poorer.

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“The One That Got Away”, is up next. Everything seems to come together to blend into the perfect anti love song. This one will likely hit the major airwaves. Yep Dying Scene and Punk Tacos! This song is about taking the power back and walking away from a bad relationship. This song will quickly become an anthem for those trying to get away.

Overall this ep is phenomenal. Millie Manders & The Shut Up have broken the generic skapunk formula, and replaced it with everything we love. This record is filled with generes too many to count and the sheer happiness received when listening is priceless. Be sure to check the ep out!

Tracks:

1) Right To Life

2) Brave

3) Lollipops

4) One That Got Away

Links:

Last Reel Hero – (S/T)

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Release Date: 8/30/2018

Format: Digital, physical copies released 9/14/2018

Label: DIY

Location: Pueblo, CO

Current Lineup: Per Facebook

  • Andy Jackson – vocals
  • Carlos Gomez – guitar
  • Shanon Sinclair – guitar
  • Geoff Andersen – bass
  • Shaun Herrera – drums
  • Dan Wiley – keys/trombone

Favorite Tracks: All I Want, Bitter Ending, Hero Can’t Dead, Guns Fever, All I Want, My Survival, and Cool Down.

Sounds Like: Bad Brains, Dendrites, Pietasters, Bad Manners, English Beat, Fishbone, NOISE, Street Dogs, Dark Buster, Jackie Mendez, Mad Caddies, Streetlight Manifesto, People Corrupting People, The Specials, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Steel Pulse and Judge Dread.


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I was lucky to grow up during the golden age of MTV. Back when new videos came out every other week and British bands ruled the airwaves. Now sadly it’s a pile of rubbish. “I want my MTV”! As a child I fell in love with bands like Bad Manners, English Beat, Madness, and Steel Pulse. My love affair continues on to this day.

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This was mainly influenced from a British sitcom called, “The Young Ones”. The show was hilarious and featured various bands within each episode. The show helped many UK based bands gain international attention like, The Damned, Motorhead, and Madness.

 

You didn’t come here to read my life story you came to check out the Last Reel Hero! Let’s do this. The band formed in 2017. I reached out to the band, because well this album is pretty badass. Per bassist, Geoff Anderson, “We’ve been together for a little over a year, but have all been involved in punk/oi/reggae/ska/skinhead/rudeboy music/culture for years on end.

 

The name Last Reel Hero is taken from a line in the movie “The Harder They Come” and refers to the hero of a spaghetti western (Django, in this case) not dying until the last reel of the film. Why we have a slight spaghetti western theme”. The band details their spaghetti western theme through their various show flyers and album art. Check some of them out below! I personally cannot wait to get my hands on some merch!

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So let’s check out the album in pure CPRA fashion track by track style. The album kicks off with “The Show”. This one has a late mod sound to it with a bit of ska and punk. The bass and keyboard shine on this track. The vocals remind me of Prince Buster and even a little Jackie Wilson. This song calls all the rudies, punks and skins to drop their weapons and get to the party.

Next up is a Valentines cover “Guns Fever”. This is probably my favorite track on the record. It’s catchy and sure to be a favorite among the rudies and skins. It has a very traditional ska sound mixed Northern soul. Get your dancing shoes on! This one changes things up a bit to pay homage to their Pueblo roots.

“No Fool For You” follows with a classic ska riff in my favorite anti love song format. You can definitely hear guitarist Carlos Gomez (The Dead End) and Shannon Sinclair (Might Of Henry).  “Bitter Ending”, is up next. This one is pure OI in your face. It sounds a bit like Bad Manners meets Cock Sparrer. It’s the perfect blue collar song for anyone who busts their ass for pennies everyday.

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So far I’d say the Last Reel Hero is winning this gunfight with the author! Haha. ‘All I Want”, continues the OI. The kids will be running for the pit on this track. This one is my second favorite track on the album. It’s almost anthem like. So far Django (Last Reel Hero) has been up against the wall. He’s been faced with enemies, and lost love. How will this end for him?

“Cool Down” is up next on the track list. This one slows the record down in with beautiful reggae beats. Not many of us were there in England during the 1980’s skin riots. This song encapsulates that time period in my head. So if if any Nazi skins are reading this, you need to “Cool Down” ya and stop being a blockhead.

 

“Hero Can’t Dead”, ok so I lied this is my favorite on the album. This one will have the listener skanking at their desks, in schools, in pubs and at home. I love the lyrics! The vocals again come with a great Northern Soul mixed with reggae sound.

“Hero can’t dead,

Hear what I said,

They come at him in red,

But he riddle them with lead,

The bad men fled,

When he opened up his coffin bed”.

‘My Survival”, this one to me sounds like Fishbone. Even the vocals sound a bit like Angelo Moore. That makes this a great song. I fact I kinda want to light a joint right now. Ok I better not as my office tends to frown on mj use. Haha! I love the lyrics and everything about this song.  This one is about helping society find a better resolution to help those suffering.

“High Noon”, speeds the record back up and injects that OI. The progressions on this one are fantastic. I can see this song ending up as a football anthem. Hello football fans? Not US football obviously. This one is very Cock Sparrer/The Business like.

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“We’re Coming Back”, is a kick ass cover of the classic Cock Sparrer sound. This one closes out the record. It infuses some Bad Manners backbeats while the band throws in their style. So there you have it. Let’s break down the battle between the reviewer and Last Reel Hero.

Ska Bones – is awesome, yet super nerdy, 0 points awarded.

Last Reel Hero – Coolest band theme ever, makes great tunes, 10 points awarded.

There you have it folks. The Last Reel Hero wins this bout. In conclusion the album far exceeded any expectations I had. In the last 24 hours I’ve listened to this record 100 times or more.

Their hooks are catchy, deep and funky bass lines, Northern soul edge, and OI driven punk make this one album I will never forget.

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Tracks:

  1. The Show
  2. Guns Fever
  3. No Fool For You
  4. Bitter Ending
  5. All I Want
  6. Cool Down
  7. Hero Can’t Dead
  8. My Survival
  9. High Noon
  10. We’re Coming Back

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lastreelhero/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lastreelhero/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6hIdy2wyzZAP472d7nT9aX

CPRA Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/coloradocelticpunkrockarmy/playlist/73BUOtISN9ulLZriyRYD5K