This is a joint project between Connecticut based Asbestos Records & Chicago based Underground Communiqué Records. We both love ska, we both love vinyl and here's our little plan to combine those two loves for an unprecedented 2nd time!
Growing up in the 90's we fell in love with the burgeoning ska movement that was developing within the underground punk scene. So many amazing bands packed small clubs, and halls all across America, especially in the Northeast, and Midwest where the two of us grew up. The Majors took notice, and seemingly overnight the whole thing blew up as “the next big thing” got gobbled up, co-opted and like every other musical trend quickly died off and became a 4 letter word.…well, except to those diehards who really loved the music and were too stubborn (no pun intended Django...) to let it die.
A few years ago it dawned on us that there was a ton of great records we loved as teenagers, that were long out of print on CD, never made it to iTunes, and were never available on vinyl. We slowly started contacting our old friends in these bands, asking for their blessing to reissue them, knowing full well that releasing a dead genre on a dead format was a horrible business model, but these albums are just too good, and too important to their fans to be left to obscurity. We started our little project separately, before joining forces to bring these records back from the brink of obscurity and began reissuing classic 90's & 00's albums from the likes of bands such as The Slackers, Mustard Plug, The Suicide Machines, The Rudiments, Spring Heeled Jack, Arrogant Sons of Bitches as well as newer bands like Bomb the Music Industry!, The Flaming Tsunamis, and Sonic Boom Six. Not to mention the highly successful Ska is Dead 7” series we curated with Dave Kirchgessner from Mustard Plug, which will be an ongoing series promoting today’s still active headliners paired with up-and-coming ska bands. Last year we kicked off the first kickstarter reissue project featuring albums from Pilfers, The Pietasters, Suburban Legends and Edna's Goldfish and a 7" from the Slackers. The project went off amazingly well, a handful of new labels started up to join us on the project, and we launched the inaugural Skalapalooza Tour this fall featuring reunions of the some of the bands involved.
Now we've secured another batch of amazing records to reissue, and we're once again reaching out to the Vinyl loving members of the Ska Community once more to step up and help us to continue to preserve and reissue these classics of the genre we so love.
The next batch of releases will be as follows:
The Slackers - International War Criminal (+ unreleased bonus tracks)
So we're totally stoked at doing another Slackers record. The band celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, and has yet to release anything that could be considered less than amazing. This now out of print EP was issued by Thought Squad back in 2004, and is pretty much considered the band's turn to more "political" songs. Containing fan favorite/live show mainstay tracks such as "Propaganda" and the title track "International War Criminal", this record remains a somewhat obscure release in an otherwise widely known catalog. While the tracks were eventually re-recorded for their album Peculiar (except for "Rider"), This ep contains all the original versions of the songs. The vinyl reissue will also contain additional bonus tracks!
The Toasters - Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down 2xlp (Deluxe + unreleased bonus tracks)At the height of the third wave's popularity, the Toasters released this album, who's title track would see huge mainstream success, including a good deal of MTV airplay, as well as being used as the bumper music constantly for MTV programming. This landmark record would also be the bands last release on Moon Ska before its demise, and it would be almost 5 years until the band would drop another album, this time on Megalith. We couldn't be happier than to be a part of the reissue of this record, complete with a ton of unreleased bonus material from the same era!
Stubborn All-Stars - Back With A New Batch
Undeniably, This band is/was the ultimate example of what a super-group should be: a bunch of friends that also happen to be the best of the best of players of a specific genre sharing the spotlight for their respective and well-earned egos to shine, collaborate - all simultaneously elevating the game of everyone else involved. Lucky for us, this collaboration lasted 3 albums. This is their second album and from start to finish is perfect...and I defy you to find a real argument otherwise. Perfectly executed trad. ska, reggae and rocksteady melded with Django's signature soulful, commanding voice. The one time I saw the Stubborn All-Stars was while they were touring for this album and I was mesmerized (didn't hurt that the Slackers and Skinnerbox were also part of that bill). I picked up this CD that night and have been in love ever since.
Bruce Lee Band - self titled
Mike Park's first post-Skankin' Pickle album was an amazing discovery for me and my circle of friends back in the day. When we heard there was a whole album that was Mike with Less Than Jake as the backing band - It seemed too good to be true! I eventually found the CD and it quickly became a group favorite, constantly on repeat to and from shows. fun and fast ska mixed with the occasional punk tune, and even a few tunes had the LTJ dudes singing lead. Mike's ever-humble, funny and self-deprecating descriptions in lieu of lyrics only made us all like the guy even more. The lo-fi production suits the records positive energy overcoming anything resembling "technical flaws"; we just loved the songs, period. This album is so much fun it makes me want to jump up and down and dance like an idiotic teenager (again).
Here is your incentive to help push and promote this project!
(this worked last time, so we're gonna try it again)
We will have additional bonus items sent out to everyone for hitting certain plateaus over our intended goal... if we acheive any of these levels, we’ll provide whatever the highest level bonus package we hit to everyone who donates $20 or more:
$1000 over our $15,000 goal – everyone gets a free 7” pressed for this project!
$2500 over our $15,000 goal – instead of a 7”, everyone gets a free LP” pressed for this project!!
$3000 - aww heck you guys are great… we’ll do both, a 7” and a 12”… pressed for this project!!!
- (38 days)