Ok, so yesterday was showcasing an event from 2000, so let’s wiggle ourselves up just a year for the 2001 Vans Warped Tour. Featured (in Milwaukee) at this event were The Ataris, Pinhead, Guttermouth, The Vandals, The Misfits, Kool Keith (yes, THAT Kool Keith), Hank Williams III, Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, AFI, 311, and of course, no early 2000’s riot event is complete without Less Than Jake. It was a-hell-of-a-lot-of-fun, as you can imagine, and I’m happy to have held on to this little piece of personal, entertainment history.
Back in 1997, alligator-fighting, pop-punk Floridians Less Than Jake released their third studio album titled, Hello Rockview. 1998, in all its majestic glory, saw a reissue of Rockview in a 7x 7″ box set, featured here. It shames me, but I haven’t heard this album (series of 7″ records) in nearly 20 years, having purchased it from a forgotten record shop in Milwaukee, roughly around that time. I’ve sold many records, for many reasons, throughout the years, but I’ve kept this box set. Something (something?) tells me, it was for good reason.
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.
This Telegraph, Skolars split is something of legend in my personal circle (of two). Ever since seeing Telegraph opened for Less Than Jake at my buddy’s 18th birthday (way back in 1997), I’ve been a (wherewithal) loyal Telegraph fan. I saw The Skolars here, and then their reincarnation at said 18th bday, LTJ show. I’m ecstatic to own Quit Your Band (97 Demo) and Open 24 Hours on vinyl. It’s a good day when these tracks get spun, and I encourage all quasi-ska-punk lovers to consider both The Skolars and Telegraph to justify your next swing-filled fix.
I feel as though I need to explain myself a bit. When coming up with topics here at The Prudent Groove, I need a touch of inspiration. Since I have over 2600 albums to choose from, the number of options gets to be daunting and ultimately discouraging. In other words, I need to be moved in order to write about something. So last night I’m at the grocery store, right? I see a sale on individually wrapped cheese sticks, 3 for $0.99. Decent price, ok, cool. Instantly, the hamster inside my head begins to churn, “Well, each stick is roughly $0.33 1/3 cents… Cheese… 33 1/3 RPMs… I SHOULD WRITE ABOUT LESS THAN JAKE’S CHEESE RECORD!” And with that thought, this post was born.
Leave it to Florida natives, Less Than Jake to dairy-ify an 80’s classic like Twisted Sister’s, We’re Not Gonna Take It. Limited to 1000 copies, this glorified 2 track 7” is aged to perfection and is now a ripe 15 years old (having been released in 1998). I purchased this copy at one of the many Less Than Jake performances I attended in Milwaukee. I think Kemuri was the opening band, but I don’t’ remember. What I DO remember is catching hell from my buddy, Neal for not picking up a LTJ Cheese record for him… I still feel bad about that to this day. (Religious guilt.)
The music is straightforward Ska-Punk-Pop that LTJ is known for. Rage, then break for horns… Rage, then break for horns… End. It sounded better when I was 19.
Side A: Cheese
Side B: We’re Not Gonna Take It
It’s interesting how certain bands spawn specific memories, be it however mundane or insignificant. For me, Twisted Sister has always been linked to the Hollywood Video in Milwaukee where I used to work. On one of my shifts, Mark Metcalf (The Maestro on Seinfeld) came in to rent a video and even though I had to look up his name, I distinctly recognized him as the pissed off, music hating father from the We’re Not Gonna Take It video. I think that song, this record, and video renting in general will always be intertwined within the vast, vacant openness that is my brain. What does that have to do with Less Than Jake? Absolutely nothing, and I’m fine with that.
“We’re not gonna take it!” You’re not gonna’ take it?! Really? You’re not gonna’ take cheese?!!! Who wouldn’t take cheese? Are you lactose? This breaks a Wisconsin boy’s heart!
Notice the two types on the insert.