What was initially slated to be a set of 45s has been expanded into a full-fledged album release for the Aggrolites. Two of the 45s have already been released, but the run was cut short. Instead the Rugged Road album is slated to be released on February 22, 2011 in LP and digital download formats. A CD version will drop the following month on March 22 with some additional tracks.
In the meantime, you can grab the singles now from Young Cub Records. Additionally, you can watch their latest music video:
Last night the legendary 2 Tone act The Specials performed for the first time in the US in roughly 30 years. They were the musical guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, who seems to be fan. All but one of the original members have reunited. They played some UK reunion shows already and are now playing a few North American dates.
The Specials perform A Message To You Rudy on Late Night (April 13, 2010):
The Specials perform Little Bitch on Late Night (web exclusive) (April 13, 2010):
After playing a series of reunion gigs in the UK in 2009, the (nearly) reunited Specials are gearing up to hit the United States and Canada for a few dates. First, the band will be performing on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on April 13th. This will be followed by 2 California dates, 1 date in Toronto, and finally a show at Terminal 5 in NYC on April 21st.
The Specials spearheaded the 2 Tone label and movement. They have remained a huge influence to the ska genre as well as music in general. Surely there are many fans dying to see them live. Rumor has it they they are in the process of planning a full-fledged US tour for later in the year. Hopefully this is true and comes to fruition!
UPDATE 2/12/2010: Due to their April 21st NYC show selling out, a second NYC date at Terminal 5 has been added on April 20th.
One of our past locals rises from the grave this June 5th, 2010. Long Shot Hero will reuniting at the Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown, PA. They will be supported by the Spacepimps.
For those curious, this lineup consists of Chris Irons, Eric Jaber,Doug Life, Kaity Jaber, Joel Frederick, Matt Diamond, Anthony Hurrell, and Bob Gordon.
The band has graciously made their entire catalog available for free at PureVolume.com.
Coming up on Sunday, January 31st, is a benefit at the Sellersville Theatre to raise money to support relief efforts in Haiti. Bigger Thomas is headlining the affair. Their vocalist, Roger Apollon, will serve as the host. Since both of his parents are Haitian immigrants this is certainly close to home for him.
100% of the ticket price will be donated directly to the International Red Cross. For more information, see the Shows page.
In celebration of the new year, Megalith Records - presently America's most active ska label - is offering a big sale. All of the CDs in its catalog have been discounted to only $6 each!
You are strongly encouraged to take this wonderful opportunity to both stock up on a ton of great music for cheap, but also to show your support for this great source of new ska. Grab some new releases such as Royal City Riot, Freddy Loco & The Gordo's Ska Band, or Blaster Master. Catch up on some older releases that you may have missed too. Some of my top picks include: Channel One, The Bluebeats, any New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, Deal's Gone Bad, Mr. T-Bone, The Pepper Pots,Eastern Standard Time, and Babylove & The Van Dangos.
Get on this! You have until the end of January to take advantage of the savings.
Axe Records is a small label catering to the skinhead reggae vibes and is best known for serving as the source of the Aggrolites' premiere album and single (this single is very hard to come by). Its releases are few and far between, but never disappoint.
The Impalers are the only other band to have released an album on Axe. Unlike their earlier instrumental single, their album is in more of a soul-reggae style and features a strong leading woman on vocals. It's a great listen and is now followed up by a new single in the same style. Mojo Hannah is a catchy tune that draws on the flavor of New Orleans. Its B-side, Return of Jackson gets back to the band's roots with a (mostly) instrumental tune. Both can be sampled on the Axe Records site. If you dig them, then you can buy yourself a copy of the 7-inch for a mere $5.
The long-standing ska label Jump Up Records out of Chicago continues to deliver a ton of great reggae and ska. It offers its own releases along with distributing ska from all over the world to American buyers. Its latest sampler, Let's Have A Caribbean Party has been made available for download for free. Give it a listen to hear tracks from the label's recent and future releases. There's a ton of great stuff to please any traditional ska fan.
Of particular note, you will find a track from the unreleased Wareika Hill album. It sounds great, but that should come as no surprise. Beyond that, just about every track is a winner. This should help you find some new picks for your wish list.
According to Punknews.org, Westbound Train will be going on an indefinite hiatus after their December 4th show in Boston. There was supposed to be a show in NYC on the 5th as well, but that has been canceled. No official announcement could be found on any of their official sites (unless it was missed), so it's tough to get any kind of idea as to how long this may be.
It's not unusual for bands to take a break in order to pursue other personal and professional endeavors. Life happens and everyone has to make a living. They will be missed in the meantime and will no doubt stay on heavy rotation in plenty of people's playlists. We look forward to your return.
We are very sorry to have to announce that our own Last Martyrs of a Lost Cause has decided break up. Their last show will be Ska Is Dead on November 13th.
LMLC impressed us from the very beginning with their catchy tunes and killer performances. They are a band that we have always been more than happy to host and to support and every time it has been a pleasure. We are extremely lucky to have had them on our scene and there will surely be tons of fans heartbroken by this news.
Below is their official release:
It's not without a bit of sadness that we're announcing the end of LMLC.
Three years, guys. It's been awesome. We can't thank you enough for the great crowd reaction we’ve received from the bigger shows we’ve played (the Aquabats, the Pilfers, Big D and the Kids Table, Streetlight Manifesto, the Slackers, Ska Weekend), and for the way you all have stuck in there through the lesser gigs. Some of you went beyond the call of duty and really helped us by booking shows, flyering, buying tickets off of us, dragging your friends to shows, working our merch table, singing along, and doing anything you could do to help. Again, you guys rule. It's been a great ride, and we couldn't have asked for better help every step of the way.
Unfortunately, as all good things must come to an end, so shall LMLC. Irons got in touch with us the other day after a few weeks of contemplation to let us know that he'll be focusing on his schoolwork and career from here on out, and we're left with few other choices than to go our separate ways. That being said, we’ve had to cancel our appearance opening for The Pietasters at The Note, and we apologize to anyone that’s purchased tickets with the intent of seeing us play (some of us even had family flying in from out of town for that show, and we’re especially saddened to have to cancel it). However, we’ve talked with our friends at Phillyska, and our official last show will be November 13th, 2009, opening for the Philly stop of the Ska is Dead IV tour. Irons is not, and will not be a part of this – Matt will be singing, and friends of ours will be standing in to sing certain songs for us, if just so that the five of us that truly worked hard at this for over three years can play one last show before closing the door on this chapter of careers as musicians.
If you ever shared a stage with us, booked a show for us, hit the road with us, played our music for your friends, dragged your friends to our shows, carried our gear, ran our merch table, sang-a-long with us, anything — THANK YOU for your support over the past three years. Come out and sing, dance, scream, and throw down one more time on the 13th. If you still want a CD or a T-shirt, we'll be selling them off for a buck apiece. Let's give this one last go and make this a night to remember. Thanks again for everything.
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Joe Wicklund, Cary Hyatt, Tony DeGregorio, Matt Skversky, Chris Pires
Last Martyrs of a Lost Cause
June 2006 - November 2009