Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trojan Ska Box Sets You Need To Listen To

Trojan Ska Box Set List
The Trojan Ska Box sets that I started collecting in 2007 started with an accidental trip to Easy Street Records in Seattle. I was living in Queen Anne at the time and wanted to check out the records and discovered these incredible box sets at a low price. I proceeded to waste a lot of money on ska music and to this day love the genre.

For those unfamiliar with the sets, it's important to understand a few things. The Trojan ska brand started putting out these sets in 1998 with 50 tracks on upwards of 3 cd's and in some cases double or even triple vinyl record sets. The box are easy to distinguish as they have the Trojan records logo and are simplistic in style, located usually in the reggae section of the record stores that are still open. They are relatively rare so you might end up paying quite a lot of money for some of the out of print options.

Who is Trojan?

For those unfamiliar with the history of ska, consider this a brief reintroduction of the Trojan brand. Trojan records is based in the United Kingdom and started in the late 1960's. The label wanted to release music from Jamaica and wanted to push the genre to a much larger fan base of potential listeners. Since music was starting to take off in alternative scenes, the group decide to move units through Sanctuary Records Group. Ska went from the dance halls of Jamaica to the mainstream when pop hits started to spring up through radio and promotional scenes all over the country. The reason for the success was due in large part to the growing number of "punks" coming through the UK and enjoying the sounds of reggae fused with punk ethos that was not traditional at all during the time. Despite the financial problems that they had in the 1970's, they would continue to release a great deal of ska records and even managed to ride the storm into the 1980's when two tone started to take shape.

Sanctuary Records Buy Out

Sanctuary Records started to take off as a result of the hits of the 1980's where anyone releasing reggae and two tone started to see major money. Due in large part to the successful purchase of obscure recordings, and vintage releases, the library that the brand had as immense and would parlay that into a 2007 buy out from Universal Music. With such a big name backing their distribution, millions of people can now buy and enjoy the mighty ska sound.

Trojan Ska Box Set Releases You Need To Listen To Today!

If you want to purchase some of these records, use the links below:

Trojan Ska Box Set

Trojan Dub Box Set

Trojan Rocksteady Box Set

Trojan D.J. Box Set

Trojan Lovers Box Set

Trojan Tribute To Bob Marley Box Set

Trojan Instrumentals Box Set

Trojan Roots Box Set

Trojan Jamaican Superstars Box Set

Trojan Producer Series Box Set

Trojan Rare Groove Box Set

Trojan Singles Box Set

Trojan Ska Volume 2 Box Set

Trojan Dub Volume 2 Box Set

Trojan Jamaican Hits Box Set

Trojan 'Tighten Up' Box Set

Trojan Club Reggae Box Set

Trojan Soulful Reggae Box Set

Trojan Rastafari Box Set

Trojan Dancehall Box Set

Trojan Skinhead Reggae Box Set

Trojan UK Hits Box Set

Trojan Mod Reggae Box Set

Trojan Upsetter Box Set

Trojan Bob Marley & Friends Box Set

Trojan Revive Box Set

Trojan Calypso Box Set

Trojan Jamaican R&B Box Set

Trojan X-Rated Box Set

Trojan Rude Boy Box Set

Trojan British Reggae Box Set

Trojan Reggae Brothers Box Set

Trojan Reggae Sisters Box Set

Trojan 12" Box Set

Trojan Reggae Duets Box Set

Trojan Nyahbinghi Box Set

Trojan Originals Box Set

Trojan Ganja Reggae Box Set

Trojan Reggae Chill-out Box Set

Trojan 35th Anniversary Box Set

Trojan Carnival Box Set

Trojan Christmas Box Set

Trojan Ska Revival Box Set

RAS Reggae Box Set

The Creole Reggae Box Set

Trojan Suedehead Box Set

Trojan Sixties Box Set

Trojan Sunshine Reggae Box Set

Trojan Seventies Box Set

Trojan Jamaica Box Set

Trojan Ragga Box Set

Trojan Reggae Rarities Box Set

Trojan Roots & Culture Box Set

Trojan Ska Rarities Box Set

Trojan Dancehall Roots Box Set

Trojan Eighties Box Set

Trojan Reggae For Kids Box Set

Trojan Legends Box Set

Trojan Dub Rarities Box Set

Trojan Mod Reggae Vol.2 Box Set

Trojan Lovers Rock Box Set

Trojan Roots Reggae Box Set

Trojan Rocksteady Rarities Box Set

Trojan Beatles Tribute Box Set

Trojan Motor City Reggae Box Set

Trojan Bob Marley Covers Box Set

Trojan Rockers Box Set

Trojan Slack Reggae Box Set

Trojan Country Reggae Box Set

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Millencolin Pennybridge Pioneers

Millencolin is one of those bands that a lot of people kind of remember and most don’t even remember at all. If you were around during the punk tv era of “Punkorama TV” on late night in Los Angeles’s only public access channel than you may remember this record come out. They did a video for “Penguins and Polarbears” that was kind of weird. It was about the elements and had a sort of “Captain Planet” sort of thing to it all. Anyways, the album is awesome, moving through angst ridden middle 20s and talking about things that I still find myself dealing with. From “No Cigar” and bullying to “Highway Donkey”, there are points on this record that talks about the world as an abstract condition that you can easily relate to.

This is not your average pop punk record, and it is obvious when you listen to the lyrics that come through on the record. Even when they are trying to be funny Millencolin strikes a nerve. Especially with me on “Material Boy” and of course “Penguins and Polarbears”. It’s satire, it’s comedy, it’s one of the best punk records that many people just completely don’t listen to. The 14 tracks that make this one shine is definitely going to change your perception of pop punk.

Brett Gurewitz produced this one and it really is a prime example of how ska-punkers can shift gears and make melodic music with the best of them. I for one can appreciate the work on this one, even though Millencolin would go on to put out some duds later on. It’s hard to compare the vocals on this one to a lot of other records because it’s really quite interesting, clear, and not overdone or overshadowed by the music. If you haven’t listened to “Pennybridge Pioneers” in a while, it’s time to pick it up again for the first time. Buy it here, stream it somewhere, enjoy.

The Grouch and Eligh Run Official Music Video

I remember meeting The Grouch and Eligh in West Seattle, and they were amazing. They performed some of the songs off of "Say G&E" and were signing autographs, meeting fans and just being friendly. Today they released their latest music video and it features Pigeon John, and wow, another quality record is going to be ensuing from these brilliant mc's. You owe it to yourself to take 4 minutes out of your day to check this one out.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Denison Marrs World Renown For Romance

World Renown For RomanceOne of the bands that I never thought I would discover was Dension Marrs. I was first in line at a Stavesacre merchandise table and was first to purchase their split ep with this band. I was completely entranced with their sound. I don’t recall the tracks that were on it, but when they released a full length album, I made sure to buy it. What came out from this band was the melting of several different styles including shoe gaze, indie, rock, and a bit of progressive rock. It’s not a record that many people remember, especially today, and it’s something that I wanted to talk about and give cred to.

They released some other records, but this one, “World Renown For Romance” is still one of the best independent records that you should listen to today. The band layered together several guitar rhythms and heavy sounding bass amidst emo-esque lyricism of pain, heart break, and love all rolled into one solid record. It is a bit droning at times, but wasn’t “The Juliana Theory” doing the same thing? It’s much calmer than a lot of the records that I love, and perhaps that is the reason why I still listen to it today.

Denison Marrs perhaps invokes a lot of other bands for me, some of which I can’t remember. I definitely hear shades of “American Football”, “The Promise Ring”, and of course “The Juliana Theory”. It’s not quite emo, it’s not quit straight rock, it’s all just good. I don’t like to listen to this record without the whole thing getting played. They have a few good songs on this one including, “The New Droan (Light Years Away”, “A Consequence Plan”, “People Mover (PT2)”, and others. If you like the styling’s of Starflyer 59, claim to like shoe gaze, and want something that will easily fit in next to The Smiths, The Cure, and even a little Matt Skiba and the Sekrets, you’ll want to definitely listen to Denison Marrs sophomore release “World Renown For Romance”.

Even today, I like their side of the split ep with Stavesacre more than the songs that Stavesacre put out. Even though I’m a fan of the latter, this band just made that release worth buying for $5 at the time. If you haven’t heard this band or haven’t really paid attention to a lot of underground releases, give this a chance, by clicking here. It’s one of the better things you’re going to hear today or tomorrow.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York Review

One of the most compelling things about MTV from the 90s, before it switched to whatever nonsense you know it as today, was that they appreciated music and quality musicians. As such, they would have their famed showcase of unplugged music. One of the best releases to ever come out of that era came out in 1994, and it was none other than Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York. The recording recently go the dvd and vinyl treatment and it still holds up as one of their finest hours. Even though it would be one of the last performances before Kurt died, the music that was played that night still holds up in a way that few live records hold up today.

Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York has 14 tracks of songs that you most likely haven’t heard in while. They don’t get played on the radio much, but if I were a radio dj, I would definitely make sure that “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” would get regular airplay. Even though people don’t equate this release with the greatest from the band, I think it’s one of the lasting testaments of Nirvana’s appeal as musicians, rock icons, and alternative pioneers.

You can pick up Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York on every format by clicking here, or find the download somewhere. If you’re going to download music, at least consider purchasing the real deal from a quality merchant, I know, it’s asking a lot. The album is still one of my favorites, and it will most likely be one of yours too, as Kurt’s voice is so haunting at some points. The only good thing MTV has done is probably release and re-release this record.

Neil Young My My Hey Hey Live HD Video

Neil Young and Crazy Horse by far outranks most other classic rock bands ever. I hate the term sometimes because rock is so much more than just a simple phrase or genre. Neil Young as a song writer has impressed me so many times, and if you aren’t a fan, you just might be after you hear this song. I admit, I didn’t hear this song until I was watching “Sons of Anarchy”. The show was having one of their amazing sequences where the main characters were reflecting on what was going on with emotions running high. The drama really goes into a tailspin at times with musical narratives and montages paving the way to tear jerking scenes, and well, “My My, Hey Hey” was one of the most compelling pieces I recall from the show, even if it was a cover.

For those that haven’t heard the song, Neil Young and Crazy Horse released it on their record “Rust Never Sleeps” album. The 9 songs on this record come from 1979 and was originally released on Reprise Records. It’s a nice collection of rock music from a time you may not remember all that well. You can download Neil Young’s track by clicking here.

Lorde Royals Official Music Video

Lorde "Royals" official music video has come out and while it provides a great little visual presentation to the already hit song, I had to post it here. I hate when rock radio plays soft music, disco, and rap, but this hit me differently.

The first few seconds made me mad, then comes in the chorus and I'm hooked. "We don't care, we driving Cadillacs in our dreams..." and it's on repeat. I haven't heard a song with such a good hook in a long time, so you owe it to yourself to pick this one up while it's available. Click here to download "Royals" in mp3 format. Lorde is doing something good.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Low End Theory Listening

the low end theory tribe called quest
If you are a hip hop music fan and you don’t have A Tribe Called Quest’s sophomore release, “The Low End Theory”, than you’re not a hip hop fan at all. I don’t meant to come across as an elitist, but seriously? Why don’t have this album? It’s one of the most compelling resources of jazz beats with layered vocals that are not only poignant today, but are also proven to stand the test of time.

The delicate balance of words, drums, bass, and soundscapes that you are not going to be getting from many records today, is one of the most impressive arrays of musical power found today. Whether you’re a fan of the abstract, the kinetic energy, sampling, or any rapper in history, you’ll appreciate the levity that is brought through the crew on this record. From the first bass lines of the opening track “Excursions” through the verses that come through “Verses From the Abstract”, and beyond, you will find that the “knowledge that is dropped over beats…” will get you hooked.

When you make through a variety of different tracks, you will definitely find that the rhymes keep moving your record needle through a variety of different tracks, but most importantly, you will have a balancing act between the guys in Tribe that work together to create a lavish array of smooth, easy listening. The lyricism found here is not just a matter of rhyming suffixes, it’s a mix of old school and new school textbook ideologies.

Shout Out From Pomona

I moved to Pomona, and I’m trying to do some work on today, Columbus day, and the internet signal has dropped out in the room that I have to work in. It’s part of the amenities of my apartment complex, a work station of sorts, but the internet is out, so I’m listening to this record and am jazzed (no pun intended) about having a few minutes to think about life, and listen to a little hip hop.

For those that don’t have this record, what are you waiting for? Listening to this again will bring back memories, and if you’re young, than go back to listen to this classic as it is an impressive example of talent.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Murs and Fashawn The Underrated Duo

this generation murs and fashawn
When mid-city legend Murs teamed up with Fashawn, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the duo. I already invested in Felt, and didn’t like their third release. Murs also put out some tracks that I wasn’t too keen on, and the prolific rapper introduced me to a lot of different beats, flows and interesting lyricism for a few years now, and he was going to show me another rapper to the mix? Fashawn was completely new to me before I picked up this record, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like his style or flow. Then “This Generation” came out and the videos started to roll out, and wow, I was impressed.

“Betty Crocker on the block, boy it’s butter…” from Fashawn’s first major introduction with Murs, I absolutely was sold on this album as more than just another hip hop record, and for that reason I couldn’t stop listening to it while I was writing my blogs. I know that most people won’t like this because it’s not on the radio and it’s not getting the media attention that “mainstream” rappers get, but wow, the beats are solid, the pairings of the deeper vocals with higher pitch, and steady flow cannons are simply amazing here.

What’s “This Generation” about? Well, to be fair the topics go from all over the place, and don’t just settle on one thing. I found that there is a clear distinction between the same old topics and something new. The duo tells stories that range from regular life to girls, the rap game, and so much more. It’s not necessarily “conscious” hip hop, but it is in a way. You’ll have to listen because there are a lot of quick references, and hits that you may not pick up on your first listen. Not only that, the beats, the beats are just impressive to me, and maybe it’s because I’m a big Murs fan, and his production groupings are usually hot.

I don’t hear a lot of people talking about this record, so I wanted to recommend it to anyone that likes hip hop on any level. I tried recommending it to my sister, and she wasn’t too thrilled on it. I think it’s a classic example of how the underground music scene is so much better than the mainstream. If you haven’t done so already, get Murs and Fashawn’s “This Generation” by clicking here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

And Out Come The Wolves Still Proves Punk’s Not Dead

rancid vinyl recordWhen Rancid released their record “And Out Come The Wolves” I was an immediate fan. I had loved punk rock for a good four or five years, but their release of melodic punk was one that I could not live without. I had the cassette tape first, and my Walkman played it until it completely collapsed and the tape was worn out. I loved the record as a teenager, and still love it right now. Over the years the lyrics have become a bit more interesting, and the themes that they talk about throughout the songs, really resonate with me. There are few songs that speak out amongst the lineup of hit singles and more.

The opening line of “Daly City Train” is a song that makes me think about my classmate that committed suicide. I heard from a friend online that it had happened, and it made me sad. Every time I hear the song, I think of him, and how much time I didn’t spend and things I forgot to say and investigate. It’s sad when someone battles so long and gives up. The song pays tribute to friends, and the narrative is good, with a good overall ska themed punk rock patronage that is sewn through the 3 minute song.

Perhaps it’s “The Wars End” that really spoke to me the most from the record. The story of little Sammy, and how his father would never understand him. Man, how much is that the story of our youths? I know, waxing poetic about all these things may be a bit much for the common person, which is why I am not going to launch a long post about the record, but at least speak to the reasons why this album is well worth another listen, if you haven’t in a while.

The singles that came out of this record helped Rancid become a household name on rock radio, even though KROQ doesn’t play a lot of punk any longer. Some of the singles that make this record unique include “Ruby Soho”, and “Time Bomb” which were both heavily played on certain rock radio stations. Rancid’s “And Out Come The Wolves” is a stellar example of punk rock ethos, polished soundscapes, and amazing bass lines. Go back and pay attention to the little things found on the record and you too will agree that this one is well worth getting again. Buy it here, and enjoy it again with a solid IPA.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ska Music Your Mom Will Like

My mom hated my music, and your mom most likely hated your music too. However, there are some albums that every mom can appreciate, as they may not be offended by certain rhyme schemes, vocals and more. I know for a fact that my mother doesn’t mind certain records, especially ones that are underground, and alternative in nature. No, she’s not a fan of Pantera, Hatebreed, or even Madball. She’s not into a lot of stuff that’s played on KROQ here in Los Angeles, but there are some things that she actually enjoys, not found on rock radio. Here is one example from a great band, that is mother approved and kid tested, although I’m a grown man.

Hepcat “Right on Time” (1998) Epitaph Records

Right on Time
Ska music is hit or miss for a lot of people, and in 1998, there was a new wave of bands making it on the radio. However, traditional sounds were not heard on a lot of rock radio because it wasn’t full of distortion, speed, or loud screams. That’s the detractor here, as Hepcat’s best work here on Epitaph records, released in 1998 did not receive airplay. So what? The tunes are far more eclectic and filled with bass lines, trumpet lines, and melody than anything else that was released on the punk rock record label in the 90s. You’ll find that the smooth vocals of Greg Lee and Alex Desert prove to be amazing here, as they are soulful without relying on parlor tricks at all. They do move into reggae a little bit, but not enough to confound particular tastes.

Listen for the improvisational moments, and pay attention to how the lyricism is not too offensive. No major cuss words, or anything that is going to make your mom or even dad hate this. I will admit, if they are more into classic rock and have no love for jazz, they won’t like it. However, if they are a fan of any jazz music, this is going to be one of the best things for them to hear at your house or in the car. Play Hepcat “Right on Time” and introduce them to a new band they may enjoy listening to, or at least not hate as much as your favorite Metallica record. (Ride the Lightning) You can buy it on amazon here.

Check out their single "Can't Wait" live on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

The Beginning of Sell Out Records

Ever since I first got into the punk rock scene as a teenager, I've been concerned with selling out. It's a stupid, childish thing to others, but to me it's something that has carried over into my adult years. I personally do not want to be one of those people that doesn't listen to music any longer, or doesn't experience the things that made them special.

This childish blog is about music. It's about the songs, albums, and so much more that I would never trade for the world. These have made me laugh, cry, and rethink about life in general. Whether you're reading this on your phone or through the powers of the internet, make sure that you check out the songs, and more that I list. I will be posting reviews, recommendations, and so much more.

This is a labor of love, however, I do use advertising, which makes me about a nickel. It's not a living, but one can dream. If you're going to "buy" music, do so through the appropriate links, please.

Thank you.

- Management
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