Playing music is about moments. A collection of great moments defines an amazing record. An avalanche of powerful moments tumbles into an engaging live show. The moment when band and fan become one and the same, the moment of interaction, is the type of moment that lasts
forever.

Twenty years into its pioneering journey, Gainesville, Fla., natives Less Than Jake – comprised of lyricist/drummer Vinnie Fiorello, vocalist/guitarist Chris DeMakes, vocalist/bassist Roger Manganelli, saxophonist Peter "JR" Wasilewski, and trombonist Buddy Schaub – have had their fair share of moments. For a band obsessed with interacting with its fans,
both online and after shows; for a band that is so concerned with making sure the fan gets the perfect experience, with well-known hijinks in every live performance; for a band with seemingly unlimited creativity in the
form of physical products, from custom-made cereal boxes to unique
vinyl packaging; and for a band that is so passionate when writing new
music, 20 years begins to seem like an even longer amount of time. A lot
of moments add up over two decades – teenagers grow into men over
two decades – dare we say, things change?

Ever-adapting to the constant change in an unsure music industry, Less
Than Jake is still making cannonball-sized splashes in the deep end while
many of its peers timidly eye shallow waters. With the release of Season's
Greetings From Less Than Jake this sentiment is as true as ever. A fivetrack release recorded at The Moathouse in Gainesville and produced by
Less Than Jake's own Roger Lima, Season's Greetings is a wintertime
accompaniment to last summer's Greetings From Less Than Jake EP.
Don't let the title of the EP fool you, though. The five tracks on Season's
Greetings are barn-burners, more intended to get long-time fans and
first-time listeners warmed up and moshing in their living rooms than
meant to listen to while cuddling up to a warm fireplace. Keeping its
signature mix of punk roots and horn-driven melodies, songs like "A
Return To Headphones" and "Finer Points of Forgiveness" take the best of
old-school Less Than Jake and put on a fresh coat of point for an ampedup listening experience.

"I think in today's music industry, people can digest smaller amounts of
music more so than large amounts," Fiorello says of writing two EPs
instead of a full-length. "On our end, creatively it's less of a daunting
task to try to put together five songs instead of 12 songs or so. We can
cut the fat, make sure each song is powerful and has its own feel, and still retain a Less Than Jake sound to the whole release. At the same time
people can get into each song more."

The two EPs follow up 2010's TV/EP and the band's last full-length,
2008's GNV FLA. As the past few releases have been, Season's Greetings
is being released by the band-owned and operated Sleep It Of Records,
as Less Than Jake has spent the past few years completely independent
from the major-label ties it used to incur. With a year of worldwide
touring ahead, the group is still following through on its mission to
please the fan, wherever the fan may be. More so than many bands that
have been doing this for so long, Less Than Jake continues to provide
output that loyal fans love. From a 16-minute EP of TV theme show cover
songs to re-releases of their classic back catalog to live shows of genre
staples "Losing Streak" or "Hello Rockview" in their entirety, Less Than
Jake has done it all. Less Than Jake will continue to do it all.

"We're constantly pushing ourselves to come up with new ways to present
the band," says Schaub, "whether it be within the writing of our songs,
ideas for keeping our live shows fresh, coming up with crazy new merch
ideas, or just coming up with the best joke in the van. Keeping your band
new and innovative is the key to lasting around for more than a minute in
the minds of fans."

As the release of Season's Greetings proves, this isn't a band content to
rest on the laurels of past success. In fact, 2012 is more about pushing
forward and breaking new ground, rather than contemplatively reflecting
on the success of yesteryear. A constantly innovative force in the
industry, DeMakes says the band has managed to stay around so long by
staying true to themselves. "Twenty years of blood, sweat and beers,"
DeMakes says. "It's been a privilege and a pleasure. We have survived
more trends than we can count and have managed, so far, to leave a
legacy of music two decades long.

"If this counts as a job, sign me up for another 20 years!"

Anti-Flag have been spreading their political punk message to the masses for two decades. Through the years, they’ve gone from non-stop tours criss-crossing North America in a dilapidated van to world tours traveling as far as Australia and Russia. Born out of Pittsburgh basements, their goal was to become a voice for change within the punk community.

From humble beginnings in the Steel Town, Anti-Flag has worked hard to use music as a force for positive change. They are strong advocates for worker and human rights, environmentalism, animal rights, healthcare, conscientious objectors, prison reform and freedom for political prisoners, equality and peace. They have stood alongside, Michael Moore, Gloria Steinem, MP George Galloway, Billy Bragg, and Congressman Jim McDermott. Anti-Flag has worked with countless organizations. Groups as diverse as PETA, the African Well Fund, Amnesty International, Rainforest Action Network, ACLU, Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, Unionrocks, and the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime (among many others) have always been welcome to make their voices heard through the power of Anti-Flag’s live shows.

Masked Intruder

Up until now, the only thing these four crooks were good at making was toilet wine in the joint, but we sent them into Atlas Studios to record with Matt Allison (Alkaline Trio, Less Than Jake, Smoking Popes, etc.) and out came a pop-punk/power-pop masterpiece. They looted a vault of hooks, melodies, and many-layered harmonies for this debut full-length. Think Descendents meets Weezer in a dark alley! There's already plenty of squealers and snitches talking about MASKED INTRUDER, and these thugs have been invited to play all the cool festivals and toured with Teenage Bottlerocket in support of this release. It's fun stuff and you're gonna like it...or else.

There aren't a lot of bands like Get Dead around these days. Instead of worrying about gimmicks and trends, this fivesome from San Francisco, California have always focused on the music and that's evident with every passion-filled note they play. Get Dead started out performing together in 2007 after their respective bands called it quits and eventually attracted the attention of NOFX frontman Fat Mike who produced the band's new full-length, Bad News and released it on his label Fat Wreck Chords.
"We were supposed to have band practice but instead we hollowed out a bunch of pineapples and put gin inside of them; it got sticky and since then we've just been Get Dead," vocalist Sam King says of the group's formation. Admittedly it's been a long journey for the act from their humble (and messy) beginning to signing with Fat Wreck Chords, but the group—which also includes guitarists Mike McGuire and Moki Noodlez, bassist Tim Mehew and drummer Scott Powell—have never lost sight of the organic nature of their formation and are excited to share their newest collection of songs with music fans all over the world.
Merging elements of punk rock with traditional acoustic instrumentation, Bad News shows that Get Dead have stepped things up when it comes to both songwriting and arrangements. "Most of us are of Irish descent so I think that our style of punk rock comes from that upbringing," King says about the band's unique sound. While their past releases have focused on either acoustic or electric instruments, Bad News sees the band expanding their sound to include both of these elements for an album that perfectly encapsulates the group's sound.
Fat Mike was introduced to Get Dead through a mutual friend and as soon as he saw the band he signed them to his label and offered to produce Bad News at his own Motor Studios, bringing a new voice into this tight-knit unit for the first time. "We were initially kind of scared to bring someone else into our writing process but Mike has such great ears and had really good input when it came to trying to add a chord or tweak a progression," King explains. "It was actually nice to have an outside perspective from someone that we really respect and I think it helped make this album sound varied and vivid."
From stripped-down acoustic numbers like "This One's For Johnny" to rollicking rockers such as "Riverbank," Bad News showcases how truly versatile the band are and it also serves as an accurate document of how spontaneous the band's live shows can be. "For this record we just called up our buddies and had them come by to play horns, upright bass or whatever else we needed," King explains. Ultimately members of Mariachi El Bronx, Lagwagon, Angry Amputees and more all pitched in to help the album retain the raucous feel of the band's powerful live shows, which are more of a barroom sing-along than a traditional concert.
Lyrically Get Dead eschew fiction to focus on the subjects that they know like the back of their hands: heartbreak, traveling and, yes, drinking. (The band's latest 7-inch wasn't called Tall Cans & Loose Ends for nothing.) "Everything we write about is based on our own personal experiences and these songs are all about real-life events that actually happened to us," King explains, referencing brutally honest tracks like "Welcome To Hell." "I think when you're singing about something that's really close to you the crowd can feel that connection and feed off that energy, so that's what we've always done."
Despite the fact that Get Dead are on Fat Wreck Chords, they plan on continuing to stay self-sufficient when it comes to booking their own shows, printing their own shirts and keeping the original spirt of the band alive. "The last time I checked punk was supposed to be D.I.Y. and Fat gets that which is what makes them such a good match for us," King summarizes. "We just can't wait to get back out on the road and start playing these songs live for new audiences so we can represent our hometown and do right by the Bay Area."

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Fat Tour 2013 with Less Than Jake with Anti-Flag, Masked Intruder, Get Dead

Thursday, November 7 · Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM at Rams Head Live