Bay area ska-punksters Link 80 were huge among my inner circle back in the late 90s thanks, in large part, to their inclusion on Asian Man Records’ 1998 compilation, Mailorder is Fun!. If you’re in the mood for upbeat skacore with a punk attitude, look no further than Link 80, and for the love of everything holy, get your hands on Mailorder is Fun!. 29 tracks of pure, late 90s ska-punk bliss!
Or, something of the sort. Limited to only 100 pressings, the early 2016 copy of this magnificent 1997 album, is without question, on of the hidden gems of my humble collection. Featuring Dan Adriano, of Alkaline Trio fame, Tuesday’s only studio album is early, HONEST emo, in the best sense of the term. So, let’s be honest, here. Tuesdays come, as they do, and we can all get through them, with help from this album.
I vaguely remember ordering this… let alone two copies, but I’m a bit intrigued to spin this Kitty Kat Fan Club 7″. Pressed 300 times on purple, and 200 times on red, this Asian Man records release (AM311) arrived in our mailbox last evening, or at least, that’s when I retrieved it. Regardless, I’ll leave you to your evening, or very early morning, and spin these playful ditties and enjoy some (several) glasses of whiskey. 4.5 stars out of 5.
This 1997 reissue of The Bruce Lee Band’s debut album was the fourth release from Asian Man records, and features legendary label owner Mike Park (previously of Skankin’ Pickle) on sax and vocals. What’s more, the album’s backing band consists of the roaring Floridians, Less Than Jake (yes, that Less Than Jake). If you’ve not heard this tireless album, it’s actually much better than you’d ever imagine, and comes highly recommended. It’s taken me 19 years to find a vinyl version of this flawless album. Don’t let nearly two decades go by before you find yours.
Re-ups are great! Especially when they’re in the form of pickle green, transparent vinyl like this 2015 reissue of Skankin’ Pickle’s 1994 masterpiece, Sing Along With Skankin’ Pickle. I missed these guys by about 15 minutes back in the day, but she still holds up some 22 years later, that’s for damn sure!
Back in 2008, Asian Man Records released their 2nd pressing of Alkaline Trio’s 2nd (and last great) album, 1999’s Maybe I’ll Catch Fire. Released on clear red / black swirl, orange / black swirl, 180 gram black and this, white / red swirl, the 2nd pressing contained 3000 records in total and I, of course, felt the need to purchase every variant. Add an original orange vinyl from the first pressing, and I think my Maybe I’ll Catch Fire collection is damn near maxed out.
It’s not fun being sick, but wanna’ know what IS fun? Andrew Jackson Jihad’s debut LP, People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World. This, seemingly purple LP, is “actually” brown wax, limited to 400 copies. Brother to its scarcer sister, the 100 copy black version, these siblings make up the 500 copies in the first (of 10, thus far) pressings. That is all, and have a good evening.
Hyper-frenzied J-ska’ers, Pot Shot released their first LP by ways of Asian Man Records wayyyyyy back in 1997. Titled Pots and Shots (clever enough), she was released once on vinyl, limited to 2000 copies worldwide, and has yet to be reissued. I had to order this puppy from Japan as domestic sales were either nonexistent or hugely overpriced. Their hit, Radio was featured on the 1998 comp, Mailorder is Fun! and as it turns out, was my first introduction to this exciting band. They’re aggressively upbeat, ferociously frenetic, and unmistakably catchy. Shove them in your ear this holiday season.
When Alkaline Trio’s self-titled EP comp received its first vinyl release in 2008, it was given the rainbow treatment. Have a seat, because this is a hefty list. Orange marbled, gray marbled, clear with black smoke, brown marbled, and this blue marbled vinyl version. On constant rotation back in the early 2000s when it was first released digitally, Alkaline Trio is a great introduction to a pop-punk band whose glory days are far behind them, and deserves a proper listen, or at the very least, warrants owning five versions of the same album. Listen with pride, kids.
What is it about hand-numbered releases that draws so much mild elation from the collector? Is it the rarity? The often, almost illegible scribble isn’t much of a draw. Perhaps it’s hoping to score as low a number as possible? Or maybe, in the case of this 2008 vinyl release of Lawrence Arms’ 1999 debut album, A Guided Tour of Chicago, the hand-written, numbered feature is just a bonus that accompanies this album’s debut pressing. Whichever the reasoning behind its appeal, hand-numbered releases certainly aren’t going anywhere, and to that simple fact, I’m remain indifferent.
Thanks to the general item description from Discogs.com (cited), below is the slew of variants attributed to the magnificent, folk-punk debut full-length from Phoenix’s best, Andrew Jackson Jihad. People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World is nothing short of unrelenting genius, and is as crass as all good art should be. Featured here is the dark blue / black swirl 2nd pressing. Enjoy!
1st press (brown jackets): 400 brown; 100 black
2nd press (blue jackets): 500 dark blue/black swirl; 500 maroon
3rd press: 300 clear blue
4th press: 300 opaque white
5th press: 500 random colored
6th press: 500 clear red
7th press: 500 black vinyl
8th press: 600 random colored
9th press: 700 clear green/black swirl
I was collecting any and everything Andrew Jackson Jihad for a hot minute a few years ago. Snatched among my bounty was this 2009 split with Cobra Skulls on Suburban Home Records titled, Under the Influence, Vol. 6. This half and half version is the least rare of the three versions with 1000 pressings (I must have hesitated for some stupid reason when purchasing). There is a swamp water green version (700 pressings), and the rarest, a maroon version pressed into only 300 records.
A quick and unjustifiably easy way to describe the great AJJ would be to call them folk-punk. Their raw emotion lingers, and welcomes continued listens. Check out their first full length, People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World released on Asian Man Records back in ’07 if you haven’t already. That one comes highly recommended, if you’re into highly recommended records.
Every once in a while on a gloomy Tuesday in Southern California, the mood for pop punk/emo strikes. It’s not often, but when those emotionally overcast skies offer no inspiration, it’s nice to know Tuesday is there to offer their slow-rolling brand of catchy, youthful memory inspiring groove music.
Perhaps known best for being the band Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio played in before joining Alkaline Trio, Tuesday existed for little over a year and produced only one EP, Early Summer and one full length, Freewheelin’.
Releasing their entire catalog in 1997, Tuesday showcases the upbeat and darker side of Midwestern life, and shouldn’t be incorrectly lumped in with 2000-era, “cutting yourself for attention” Emo. Emo in the mid/late 90s held a completely different connotation than it does today. We called Fugazi Emo, if that gives you any idea of how deformed and self-righteous the term has become.
Tuesday is here but one day a week. Embrace the negatives of this world once in a while. You’ll gain a much more clear perspective on how great your life really is… that, or you’ll jumpstart that downward spiral you’ve been trying to avoid for nearly 15 years. Either way, Tuesday is there when you need them.