Favorite Tracks: Be OK, Far From Loving, Do It Right, Alone, For A Day, That Style
Sounds Like: Five Iron Frenzy, Madaline, Holophonics, Mad Caddies, Bad Brains, Transplants, Rancid, Last Reel Hero and MU330
What do you do when you find a band and absolutely love them? You share them everywhere you can! So back in October 2019 the cool dudes in No Authority sent me their new EP, “This Is Your Time”. They mentioned they would be dropping 2019, but not until their EP release party in November. So for the last 2 months I’ve scoured the internet hoping to see the EP had been dropped to the major music streamers.
I have to admit not being able to share kick ass music with the rest of the world was super hard. Today I get to introduce, or shall I say reintroduce German Ska punks, No Authority! The band has been doing the dog since the 1990’s. How did I not know this band already? Be sure to read my article, “Pick It Up Ska In The 90s” for more historical information on ska punk. Don’t forget to hit the Ska Parade 30th Anniversary Show as well!
From the first day I received the CD from No Authority. “This Is Your Time” has been stuck on repeat. As you can see the EP even landed on CPRA Presents: the Youtube Channel! I approached this EP just like everyone other piece of music we listen to. I admit I tend to be a pessimist when it comes to new music. It’s not that I don’t want to listen, more like I don’t want to hate it. That’s probably the Dad Punk in me coming out.
So imagine me repeating the same tracks over and over again. BTW I think my wife is gonna toss my radio out the window! Haha! Anyhow let’s check out this EP. I have one question for you. How Do You Get To Be Ok? Ya know when life just sucks? When everything around you blows? You put on “Be OK” by No Authority.
The track is upbeat with power horns placed perfectly and well timed. The lyrics will be stuck in your head for days. You will also have something to lift up your spirits. The pick it up is strong with this track. Personally I think this track has huge potential with transatlantic airplay.
The next track “Far From Loving” comes in strong with guitar and horns. The drums are impressive. “You know this is a bad time to fall in love, You know this is RAD, Why don’t you fall in love again”. I’m skanking at my desk just listening to this track. So what have you got to lose by falling in love again? We all have been there at some point, afraid to lose and even more afraid to win.
The next track “Do It Right” reminds me of early Mad Caddies. It’s more on the slower side. The story is gold. Another track I absolutely adore. This is definitely a skanking song! “Alone” is the next song and more on the Northern Soul side. The track is heavier than the others and more on a serious note.
“This is why you feel so alone, This how you want to be, Pretty sad you know, You’re failing life and you give it away.”
“For A Day” follows again with some epic lyrics, fantastic pick it up sound and amazing vocals. I love the repeat of “This Is Your Life”. It’s not your boss, your spouse, or even your kids. It’s YOUR life! Last and certainly not least, “That Style” is next. Something about this song just makes me smile. Maybe it’s the gentle horns, upbeat tempo, or a nerd trying to get some loving like me. This track will make you dance!
In reflection, “This Is Your Life” by No Authority is every ska punk fans dream. This EP is 6 tracks of pure old. In comparison to some of their older albums. This record absolutely kills it! This little record will become one of your favorites in no time. Also they come in a super rad color on vinyl. So pick it up, right now, here, now, http://www.noauthority.de/
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
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/
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?
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!
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/.
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Sounds Like: Madaline, Buck-O-Nine, RBF, Goldfinger, MMB, Younger Than Neil, The Holophonics, and Deals Gone Bad
Why does time move so slow when you’re excited for something? So I am sitting here counting down the hours to tonight’s Buck-O-Nine show at the Bluebird. I’m straight bored off my ass. All Waffle Trick and Younger Than Neilare opening!
When what do my little eyes see? All Waffle Trick drops a brand new happiness doozer right on bandcamp with “Wasted Summer (Endless Bummer)” ! Not only do I have a new track from one of my favorite local skapunk bands, but now I can use my time wisely! If this track is any indication of something new in the works. I cannot wait! Check it out below!
Favorite Tracks: Revolution Part II, Survive, Suicide Mission, Fuck God and Fuck Reality, Fuck No, Manhole To Hell, Drink And Stink, Jake,
Sounds Like: Black Flag, Skudfux, Op Ivy, and Abolitionist
Why start this article off with a clip of High Fidelity? How is Jerkswitch’s “BUFO” even related to “High Fidelity? Let me tell you why. This 16 track debut album is FULL of non-stop fantasic fucking music. Personally when I heard the Skudfux was no more. I was a bit sad as I love them. Sometimes when something ends, it’s because something bigger and better is coming. Skudfux is now Jerkswitch!
This compilation album of old and new songs is a whopper at 16 awesome tracks. Let’s dig in further. “Revolution Part II” kicks off the record. You can listen to part one here. From the start you can feel a more polished sound. This is probably one of my top 5 intros of all time. The hunger, the passion, this is the ultimate set up.
Now my second favorite is actually the second track, “Survive” from the “FERN” EP. This is some hardcore ska punk. The lead singer has an almost Jello like tone. It’s just shy of being a little to metal, as the ska punk element is beautifully retained. The pit will be dangerous on this track. “Suicide Mission” is up next. It starts out with a heavy bass line before exploding into nonstop pogo madness.
“Fuck God And Fuck Reality” is up next. I absolutely love this track. From the opening guitar strum and drums straight into the heart pumping power chords. How long we will sit by and allow the church and/or Republican Party to dictate moral policy to us? The Catholic Church has died in popularity here in the states. A new and evil Republican church took over. Check out the lyrics below!
“I never was one to believe,
What I could not see,
All them catholic fairytales,
Keep em away from me,
And I don’t like what I see,
They don’t like what I am,
I’ll stand proud and say,
Fuck God and fuck reality”
These lyrics are so simple, yet so spot on to this writer. The swath of southern states passing women’s reproductive rights restrictions proves to us that the church is more concerned about social control and less about society as a whole. Let’s move onto the next song, “Better Days”. This song is providing hope for the hopeless with awesome lyrics and sweet guitar riffs. “AlertA” is next with an instrumental tune.
“Fuck No” is another song from the FERN Ep. This track cracks me up every time I listen. How many times a day do you say Fuck No? This is yet another great song. The anthems and whoas are perfectly timed. It is very catchy. “O Negative” comes up next with more of ska kickass Squirrel Nut Zippers sound, yet gets harder with the progression. This band is insanely talented.
Drown” starts out slow and serious note. I hear maybe some grunge influences, maybe even a bit of some surf punk. “Drink And Stink” comes roaring in with a fast skate punk sound. Advance warning before joining the pit on this track, it’s gonna be rough. I love this song! “Jake” another track from FERN is next up. Jerkswitch goes back to its roots with a great skapunk sound.
“Manhole To Hell”, is another energetic song along the lines of skatepunk. This is for anybody who has ever been oppressed by another. This song is full of anger, passion, and some amazing drum work. This song has to kill the lead singer’s voice. “All By Myself” slows down upon intro and build into circle pit loving madness. With the steely sound, guitar solos, this reminds me a lot of Faith No More.
Jerkswitch goes acoustic next with, “I’m So Sorry”. The composition of this track is beautiful. I think that’s a cello in the background. Wait this is punk. There are no cellos in punk. I kid of course. Again full blown talent and rightly displayed on this track. “About A Punk” speeds the pace back up with some skapunk. I adore this track. Not only is it skankable, the lyrical content is fucking amazing.
Anyone who has ever been in local band, worked with locals, can relate to this track. We all ask or friends and coworkers to come to our shows and they don’t. We ask them to share our albums, facebook posts and they don’t. It’s up to us as bands, promoters, and fans to help support the punk scene in any way we can. This track has serious potential for doing very well.
Here we are at the last track, “Richmond Hill” this is beautiful outro instrumental track. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of anything instrumental. In this particular album though the instrumentals blend like threads of a book binding. So there we have it. Jerkswitch’s debut album, “BUFO” is the definition of a perfect album. This record will appeal to not only fans of punk, but other genres as well. I personally cannot wait for more music from Jerkswitch!
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Erik “Spaghetti Man” Livesay – Face-Melting Guitar |
Russell “Greenman” Lopez – Bass/Shenanigans
Doug “Dougie Damage” Nicholas – Bass/Damage |
Austin Tinsley – Bass/Artwork |
Mike Barnes – Drums |
Matt “Cap’n Kirk Cruz” Capanna – Drums |
Jim Dempsey – Guitar/Trumpet |
Kyle Nash – Drums |
Favorite Tracks: Building 7, Bacteri-Yum, Ex Man, Call Me Al, Washington, and Cum All Ye Faithful
Sounds Like: Mustard Plug, Let’s go bowling, Reel Big Fish, and Streetlight Manifesto, all on drugs still.
Denver’s PCP has been some Busy Beaver so far in 2019. They released their infamous Christmas album, “White Elephant” back in January. You can read that review and other Animal Farm Chronicles here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/tag/people-corrupting-people/. The Orwellian based band continues to bring truth and justice to the masses. Kids pop in some PCP Tarts. It’s time to dig into, “Busy Beaver”.
So before I go all long and drawn out. Let me point out that, “Busy Beaver” is FREE. I know you were ready to fork out thousands of dollars for some quality ska punk. So save those dollars for the bar or best of all PCP merch. The EP kicks off with “Two Minutes Hate”. In a way I feel like every person can relate to this. You pick up your phone to check out Facebook and can quickly get your “Two Minutes Hate”. It may be some religious zealot friend, some orange haired ogre president, or even a relative. You don’t need that negativity in your life.
“Building 7” is the next track up. This song reminded me of a documentary I watched recently regarding the Emperor Constantine. The documentary offered proof that Constantine was never a Christian, and that he stayed true to his pagan roots. He even built monuments to display his pagan beliefs. One was a statute of the Roman Sun God, Apollo. Constantine was said to have hid bits of the True Cross inside this statue. He merely adopted Christianity to preserve the Roman Empire.
So in part, Constantine played a massive prank on all believers of Christianity. This is what the United States has done to all Americans since 9/11. While claiming our “Freedom” is being protected, it’s actually being whittled away. Our Dear Leader spouts non-stop hateful rhetoric, while we stand by and listen. What is the wizard doing behind the curtain?
OK sorry for my rant, but I guess I needed to get that out. Let’s move on to the next song. “Bacteri-Yum”. This track is so damn catchy. I constantly find myself humming along. For fans of ska core this is your song. This track has some amazing bass and guitar, including the lovely Jen on violin. Personally they really should consider getting this song accompanied by a full orchestra.
A love song featuring the X Men? “Ex Man” is just that. Not only is this song hilarious, it kicks serious ass! Will the X-Men, help out our Ex Man? “Brad Mosh Pitt” is the next track. You will be running for the pit as you slam each other as PCP lists of movies by Brad Pitt. Wait what? I really dig this tune.
So back in the 80s there were 2 superstars Chevy Chase and Paul Simon. Paul Simon wrote and recorded, “You Can Call Me Al”. This mega popular song ended up on his Graceland album. I am no means a Paul Simon fan, but I love “You Can Call Me Al”. I think my love for the song mainly comes from the video. Chevy and Paul go rounds in the hilarious video. PCP needs to remake this video now!
PCP’s cover is excellent. Everything is harder, heavier even the trombone. The drums really stuck out as well. Due to some local controversy I am skipping the next song. CPRA believes in the Denver Scene, and we will stay that way. On, “Washington”, the ska core comes back with furious animosity. Nate’s rap is pretty bad ass, while a slow island like jam plays along.
“Cum All Ye Faithful”, follows with a raunchy blast towards religion. As, Nick Cormier sings you can feel him preaching to the choir. This is by far my absolute favorite track on the album. A big shout out to Mike Lebofsky as his theremin skills add a super creepy edge. The last and nerdiest track is up next with Goku Vs. Superman. Dyl’s drumming and Nate’s shredding give this song the perfect combination.
It’s time to call this one a wrap. People Corrupting People’s, “Busy Beaver” is another excellent addition to the Animal Farm Chronicles. PCP may not be concerned about getting rich in the music industry. They do pour their heart and souls into making some damn good music.
The brand new video from the band premiered over at The Digital Fix earlier this week. Their new EP, “SHUTUP” has yet to stop constantly playing over here at CPRA. In case you didn’t read out review on it click here. The raw almost guttural, yet style of the band, has me wanting more and soon!
This EP is one the best skapunk record in years. Per the band, “Lollipops’ was written as the bombs started to rain down on Syria and children’s bodies started washing up on our shores. The song is a reflection of the band’s anger towards those who are bombing innocents daily.” states vocalist Millie Manders.
If you’re on the UK, be sure to catch a show!
The 1865, Southampton w/ Dub Pistols
1st – Fighting Cocks, Kingston
7th – The Harp Restrung, Folkestone
8th – Blueberry, Norwich
13th – Portland Arms, Cambridge
14th – Smokehouse, Ipswich
15th – Voodoo Lounge, Stamford
21st – Alma Inn, Bolton
22nd – The Bobbin, Lancaster
23rd – The Fulford Arms, York