I saw and heard so much good new music in 2017, I didn’t think I’d be telling you a band that was formed in 1981 could rock my world, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. The Uptones @ Ashkenaz in Berkeley, CA. put on the best show I saw this year. I loved the collective effort of the musicians. I also love great sonics, and every member of the band had a great sound! The blend and natural chemistry between the players made the overall sound larger than life.
The songs were unique. They ranged from the political (some of the songs written in the 1980s seem even more relevant today) to a wonderful song linking pelicans and mankind’s evolution, and also some ska classics. The political songs that stood out for me were “Radiation Boy,” a comic-book tale of nuclear disaster, and “Burning Sky,” a social comment about the horrors of bullying the world.
There are three very different vocalists in the band – Eric Din, Moose Lethridge and The Rev. Paul Jackson, all of whom composed most of the group’s originals. Horn players Jeanne Geiger, Adam Beach and Jay Sanders each played scorching solos, and their section work was beyond tight. The ska classics “Skanking Fool” and “Too Much Pressure” fully delivered the Two-Tone feel which The Uptones originally embraced as high schoolers, with the bass and drum powerhouse of Bennie Wood and Mikey Stevens basically making it impossible not to dance.
This show fulfilled my Five Questions of Rock!
Can the band play their instruments?
Can the singers sing?
Are the songs good?
Am I having fun?
Is the band having fun?
I was so disappointed when the set was over, encore and all. But I had Fun Fun Fun!
Breezy and deep, this book has all the elements of a satisfying read. I vividly remember the era, and have met many of the characters the author describes. Just like the first time I saw This Is Spinal Tap and I cringed instead of laughing at myself, Howard’s characters are that real and I can truly identify with the his depiction of the period. I highly recommend to any music fan.
As someone who remembers this era, the songs in the movie were the soundtrack of our lives. For one man to make such a large contribution to my soul in such a short time is truly remarkable. The movie made me realize how radio and jukeboxes (the new technology) were responsible for my early music upbringing. Plus I thought of how much money I spent on jukeboxes that never made its way to Bert. There is much to enjoy and think about in this film.
Please help me repay my cultural debt to a great record man and extraordinary songwriter. GO TO SEE THIS FILM.
This 46 year old song may finally find its moment in the sun. Originally recorded and written by the Count Five, “Psychotic Reaction” is considered by many to be the ultimate Garage Rock song.
The song started as an instrumental, and after many performances, the song got lyrics before it was recorded. “Psychotic Reaction” has already been recorded by Television, The Vibrators, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Cramps and The Residents, to name a few. I think this version by The Fashion Slaves is the best version yet. I think The Fashion Slaves vocalist, Emily Jayne really nailed it, and the guitar playing is stellar. I don’t miss the harmonica, which was a key ingredient in the original version.
Dieser 46 Jahre alte Song wird vielleicht endlich seinen Platz in der Sonne finden. Ursprünglich von Count Five komponiert und aufgenommen, wird “Psychotic Reaction” von Vielen als der ultimative Garage Rock Song betrachtet.
Der Song began als Instrumentalmusik, und nach vielen Aufführungen kam Text dazu, bevor er als Schallplatte herauskam. “Psychotic Reaction” ist schon vom Fernsehen, von den Vibrators, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, den Cramps und den Residents aufgenommen worden, um nur einige zu nennen. Ich finde, diese Version von den Fashion Slaves ist die bisher allerbeste. Ich muss sagen, die Fashion Slaves Vocalistin, Emily Jayne, trifft genau den richtigen Ton; und das Gitarrenspiel ist brilliant. Die Harmonika, die ein Hauptteil in der ursprünglichen Version war, vermisse ich nicht.
“Not From Here” is a classic song about the feeling being of alienated in familiar surroundings. The Berkeley, California Ska band, The Uptones, have recorded a song that discusses just this. Their song “Not From Here” is perfect example of a thinking person’s song that really rocks.
I especially like the Trumpet solo. This is truly music with a future.
A most unusual song topic, the pelican, makes this song truly unique. Songwriter, vocalist, and videographer, Paul Jackson, has produced a thought provoking song and video about his observations of pelicans.
The drawings are done by Shannon Wheeler. He got the song’s message and drew the stills for Paul. The conclusion is how much better these birds are designed for the human condition known as “Chilling.” This song is performed by Paul’s band, The Uptones. a Berkeley, California based Ska band. The song always gets a rousing response. This is totally “Music With A Future,” and I recommend you check it out.
This Saturday I went to The Uptown Nightclub in Oakland California to see The Muffs. I was lucky, and I got there early enough to see The Fashion Slaves, who were also on the show. I had to pinch myself. Could this brand new band be as good as I thought they were. They were! The crowd was rocking from the first song “Psychotic Reaction” to the last song “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”
The four piece band features Lead singer and guitarist Emily Jayne and guitar all-star Eric Din who are also in the Ska band, The Uptones. Eric Knight the bassist was in Engine 88, and Pete D’Amato also drums in The Agent Deadlies. These musicians can truly play. They seemed to be having a gr8 time playing the high energy music that had everyone dancing.
It was the songs that made me truly love this band. Emily took off her dress before performing “Suffer For Fashion,” a special song about how we all suffer to be beautiful. “Loud Mouth Girl” another original song was about not taking any B.S. That song got to me and drove the audience wild.
There was a touching moment when Emily sang “Heaven Don’t Know” about a lost love. I declare, The Fashion Slaves were the best show I’ve seen this year and maybe last year too.