When the Blue Meanies are headlining over Alkaline Trio, you know you’re in the early 2000’s. Thanks to Mike Park (owner and creator of Asian Man records, and saxophone player for Skankin’ Pickle) for organizing this awareness show “promoting positive youth development through engagement in the arts and social change.” The foundation appears to be still going strong, and you can check out more about them here.
The Blue Meanies headlined a show in Madison, Wisconsin back in 1996-97. The New Loft maybe? The Something Union? The venue escapes me, but the experience never would.
Telegraph was the opening act… a few bright-eyed months after they’d manifested themselves from their previous moniker, The Skolars. Same band, new name. I’m going to say it was a Friday night. Cold. Wisconsin winter cold. There was a line. And a $5 cover.
It may have been the bullhorn glued between the microphone and lead singer Billy Spunke’s face, but the invitation from a now deceased friend to attend this particular show seems to strike a chord much louder now, than it did then… and at the time, I could hardly hear myself breathe.
The Blue Meanies, the ska-revivalist-post-hardcore bastions of late nineties yesteryear are no more, but the flame that fuels their legend will forever shine, if only within the pages of nostalgia. I miss my friend, and if he were here today, I’d thank him for introducing me to this astonishing band.
Trail of Dead (aka …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) scored an instant classic with their first full-length for Interscope Records (and third overall), 2002’s Source Tags & Codes. Their first of three for the label, Source Tags & Codes is widely considered the band’s most accomplished, and critically honored effort, and is number 1 in my “next to spin” pile (followed by The Million Dollar Quartet and Kiss Your Ass Goodbye! by Blue Meanies). Although I’m partial to So Divided, the band’s fifth album, Source Tags shows what an already talented band can do, given respect, and major label luxuries. Give it whirl.
Lately, I’ve been starting to acquire “youthful albums” I’d previously owned on compact disc. The Offspring’s Smash, Blue Meanies’ Kiss Your Ass Goodbye!, and now, Green Day’s Dookie. Limited to 1000 on transparent green vinyl, and offered as a Hot Topic exclusive, I’d been hunting down this green vinyl copy for more than a few years. I haven’t given it a proper spin, yet, having just received it in the mail today, but I’m happy to welcome the ol’ guy into the “wall of fame.” One by one, I’ll eventually own my original CD collection on vinyl. Next up, I’m thinking, may be Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday.