Check Out The Fashion Slaves!

Check Out The Fashion SlavesFilling in for the Foo Fighters at the last minute, Berkeley band The Fashion Slaves performed live at Millard Fillmore Vocational School as part of their Leap Year Day assembly. Michael Rosen was there with his remote recording gear to capture it.

Excerpts from Millard Fillmore Gazette, March 3:

When Principal Rooney announced over the P.A. system that the Leap Year Day’s assembly was moved to the gymnasium, and we had to leave our cell phones in our homeroom, I was sure the “Foo Fighters” rumors were true. I was wrong. It was a rock concert, but no Foo Fighters. A band I’d never heard of was going to perform. The gym was packed. No one wanted to go back to class. So we all stayed for the show. The Fashion Slaves were the performers. Once the Slaves started playing, everyone forgot about The Foo Fighters.

I had never heard of the Fashion Slaves, but now I love them. Emily Jayne is the coolest singer I’ve ever seen, and she plays a mean guitar. The show started with some amazing guitar playing by Eric Din, who is also a member of the Uptones, my favorite Ska band. Emily Jayne and Eric Din are joined by Engine 88 bass player, Eric Knight, and drummer Pete D’Amato from The Agent Deadlies.

All their songs are great, I especially loved the song about Styrofoam. The show was over way too fast. When Emily Jayne closed the show with “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” no one wanted to leave. I can’t wait to see The Fashion Slaves again.

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Sex 4 Moderns

Fun Fun Fun Recordings is proud to announce the legendary Sex 4 Moderns CD is now available at iTunes.  Check out “I’m Frying”

Sex 4 ModernsSex 4 Moderns
“I’m Frying” (mp3)
from “Sex 4 Moderns”
(Fun Fun Fun Recordings)

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“This recording is one of my all time favorites” …Fake Robert Johnson

The Uptones – Live!! 924 Gilman – Reviewed for All Music Guide by Jo-Ann Greene

uptoneslivecrop108In California’s Bay Area, the Uptones were the leading light of the mid-’80s ska eruption. Formed while the members were still at high school, Continue reading “The Uptones – Live!! 924 Gilman – Reviewed for All Music Guide by Jo-Ann Greene”

Skankin’ Foolz Unite!

uptones-sfu108Fun Fun Fun Recordings has outdone themselves this time.

The label is proud to announce the release of  The Uptones 1st studio CD, “Skankin’ Foolz Unite!” The Uptones, “Best of the East Bay” Ska band, has been together for over twenty years. These Berkeley Ska pioneers have created a sensational CD of 15 great songs.

Read Rob O’Connor’s review for Yahoo Music:

Upbeat without forcing the party, Berkeley, California’s ska-veterans The Uptones return with their first studio album in decades, nailing down a bottom end that cements the groove with horns that reach for the stratosphere. The years have betrayed them none. Four original members augmented by an additional fantastic four, the eight-piece cruise with neither nostalgia nor a rusted gear. Initially, the studio might not seem the place to capture a definitive live act – their most noted release being the concert album The Uptones Live!! 924 Gilman – but one spin of “Ridiculous” and its spirited bleeps and yelps and it’s obvious this band will produce for a party of one if it must. (“Too Much Pressure” is credited as “Recorded Live at iMusicast” in 2005.) The added fidelity a genuine recording studio provides means bassist Bennie Wood and drummer Tim Carter aren’t left in the sonic dust. With three horn players – trombone, trumpet and tenor sax, for those at home keeping score – the blare is most obviously attention getting, but Eric Din’s vocals lead the troops with the same spirited play that made the Clash sound like revolutionaries.

Virtuostic without enslaving itself to technique and incorporating elements of punk, jazz, ska and reggae, it’s obvious how and why the Uptones became a major influence on the ‘90s ska-punk scene that followed them out of the Berkeley ghetto. But while Operation Ivy, Rancid, Sublime, Green Day and countless others sport the group’s influences and inspirations, nothing replicates The Uptones melodic heart. These aren’t just festive jams but terse, tough shards of song. Whether it’s the suspected tenderness of “Not From Here,” the charmed pop life of “I Don’t Know Emilie,” or the instrumentation breakdown of “Radiation Boy” where the band appear to be playing sideways, the Uptones now exist as seasoned pros who never lost their mojo in the grinding machinations of the music business. If anything, the years have made them stronger, more determined to wring life from every rhythm, to deny defeat at every chorus. Long may they skank.

The Uptones

Skankin’ Foolz Unite!

(Fun Fun Fun)

–Rob O’Connor

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