Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Toasters
Left Alone, Caffiends
1042 N. Mills Avenue
Orlando, FL, 32803
This event is 18 and over
Voodoo Glow Skulls
In their sixteen years of existence, the Voodoo Glow Skulls have an impressive list of achievements. Seven albums, one million records sold, appearances in exotic locations like Brazil and Japan as well as the creation of a record store, record label, recording studio and a music venue attests to the remarkable creativity and energy of the band. Formed in 1988, Voodoo Glow Skulls meshed hardcore punk, traditional ska, tough guitar riffs and the Mexican music of their roots to create the prototype for the West Coast ska-core sound, influencing a wide range of bands from Sublime to No Doubt. Unflinchingly honest, their songs often used humor to comment on harsh political realities – from racial inequity to unrest overseas. Singing in both Spanish and English, Voodoo Glow Skulls' bilingual musical tradition has been a hallmark of the band since they began.
Titled Adicción, Tradición, y Revolución, the new album is self produced and recorded (in their Dog Run Studios), and contains some of their most rocking, candid music ever. "Adicción refers to our feelings about music, we have hardcore fans who consider our music to be both unique and addicting," Frank explains. "Tradición signifies the fact that we've been together as a musical family for this long, and have not really changed. Also, we have always tried to include our Latin roots in our music, either by writing songs in Spanish or incorporating musical ideas that we grew up with. Latinos have a very strong sense of tradition, and we are very aware of it. Finally, Revolución because we have always tried to steer clear of trends – we are somewhat of a musical revolution in that our music is unique, even hard to copy."
The core of the band since the beginning has been the three Casillas brothers, Frank, Eddie and Jorge, joined by drummer Jerry O'Neill and Brodie Johnson on trombone. The current line-up boasts a three horn section for the first time in six years. The lyrics are a collaboration between, "Eddie, a notepad and a pen, and myself," Frank jokes, and they run the gamut, from the hilarious send up of Jerry's girlfriend on "Dee Dee Don't Like Ska" to the political commentary in "We Represent". "Touring in some of the out-of-the-way places we have been, in some cases we are the first Americans they have dealt with directly. The negative feedback on the U.S. government is pretty universal, and disturbing." said Frank. "Smile Now, Cry Later" is their take on a rock steady song, with a killer groove. "Ghetto Blaster" indicts the corporate music industry and the force feeding of the masses. Every Voodoo Glow Skulls album contains one cover – their latest is a traditional ska version of the Guns N' Roses classic "Used To Love Her"!
With a list of accomplishments that might make some bands ready to slow their pace, the band shows no signs of slowing down. A full West Coast tour will be followed by a trip to Brazil to headlining the Punk Rock Show festival on Halloween, and another U.S. tour immediately follows. Voodoo Glow Skulls legendary live shows are full of searing horns, grinding guitars and throaty growls – and no one plays super tight ska faster than these veterans. Adicción, Tradición, y Revolución rocks harder than ever – Voodoo Glow Skulls dubbed their sound "California street music" – a perfect description of their high octane mix of rock, punk, ska and hardcore.
The Toasters, are "Ska Pioneers" (Billboard magazine) and boldly go where no ska band has gone before. Having been compared to the Ramones, due to their longevity and adherence to core principles, the Toasters are held to be one of most influential ska bands out there. Their lean, mean ska machine has galvanized audiences and musicians alike with their embrace of the Jamaica-born pop music style that overwhelmed England in the 1960's, migrated to America in the early 1980s, and went global in the 1990s. The hallmark Toasters sound sits at the nexus of Reggae, Jazz, Punk and Soul and is the musical equivalent of a brass knuckle-duster.
Formed in New York City by British guitarist/frontman Rob "Bucket" Hingley in 1981, the Toasters exploded onto the Lower East Side scene. Cutting their teeth with a residency at legendary clubs like CBGB and Danceteria, the band has defied gravity and industry skeptics alike by staying true to their original 2-Tone ska roots, whilst logging over 4000 globe-trotting live appearances.
Longtime fans and critics agree, the current "International All-Stars" posse (featuring members of some of the world's greatest ska bands) is one of the most formidable in The Toasters' long and chequered history. Along with the irrepressible Bucket on lead vocals and guitar, The Beat's Andy Pearson is featured on bass. Expect to see Neil Johnson (Planet Smashers) and Tommy Quartulli on saxophone (The Allstonians), Greg Robinson (Mephiskapheles) on trombone and Jesse Hayes (Westbound Train) on drums. Special appearances by Arjen Bijleveld (Rotterdam Ska-Jazz Foundation) and Buford O'Sullivan (Easy Star All-Stars) are also to be expected in 2009. Legendary keyboardist Dave Barry rounds out the posse.
As the founder of Megalith Records (and former boss of the legendary Moon Ska Records, the most influential ska label of the 1990s) the Toasters' leader, Rob "Bucket" Hingley has a ska resume that trumps virtually anyone else in the business. With the aid and support of likeminded musicians such as producer Joe Jackson, who has worked with the band over the years, he has been able to compile a recorded legacy and a songwriting catalog. Among the many ska classics Hingley has penned: "Weekend In L.A.," "Matt Davis," "2-Tone Army," "Social Security," "Dub 56"—and the list goes on and on.
In the commercial realm, the Toasters have recorded jingles for AOL, Cisco Systems, Miller, Anheuser-Busch, and Coca-Cola, and have contributed to movie and television scores (Bleached, Bang!, MTV's Wildboyz, Mission Hill, Kablam!, Showtime's Brotherhood, etc.). Where Bucket and The Toasters truly excel, and live up to their reputation as one of the greatest bands of all time, however, is on the road. Averaging more than 200 performances a year, the band is well on its way to playing its 5,000th gig, a milestone they should achieve by the end of the decade.
Toasters fans from all over the world have known for a long time that their favourite ska band is the coolest group around, a true classic. Now, it's time for everyone else to catch up, and get hip to The Toasters!
The Toasters are currently sponsored by the following partners: Conn-Selmer wind instruments, Ludwig drums, Jagermeister, Ska Brewing, Pick World, Ernie Ball, Greasy Groove, Reverend Guitars and Instanbul Cymbals.
After being welcomed into the Hellcat family in 2005, the group released their debut full-length, the ska-punk classic "Lonely Starts and Broken Hearts", then followed it up with their diverse sophomore LP "Dead American Radio". Sights set on a more cohesive third album, the band began working on and practicing the first incarnations of what would become the self-titled effort, then time off from their touring and rehearsing schedule.
"The band had been touring constantly, but after our January tour we took a long break, which is something I've never gotten to do before," says front man and founder Elvis Cortez.
Cortez occupied his time off with a stint filling in on bass for several Unseen tours, after which he looked at the songs with fresh eyes, helping the direction of the album come together before ever entering the studio.
"I got to come home and start putting things together, and wrote all these songs specifically for this album. I didn't want to rehash old songs, or play songs we've been playing forever. I wanted music for the moment."
The time away worked towards the band's advantage and helped make the record the most cohesive group of songs to date. While Dead American Radio offered fans a large variety of styles to choose from, the latest effort has meshed into one polished and progressive sound, with personal lyrics and a commitment to give the fans something to salivate over, and silence the critics they care so little about.
The break from touring also gave Cortez time to finalize the new lineup, adding Kiel Gesicki on drums and Nick Danger on bass, tightening up the group's sound.
The first single off the record, "3 Bottles of Wine", represents the new dynamic of the group and the album, with an addictive sing along chorus, still in the tradition of the band's previous fan favorites but on a new, higher level.
Fans of Left Alone's distinct ska sound need not fear, the band hasn't forgotten their old signature and features it on the made-for-skanking romp "Sad Story", dealing with true life events living within the confines of gang-infested Wilmington.
Radically changing the personal tones of the album is the politically charged "Bombs Away", dealing with the rampant destabilization of Western civilization. The song is a stark departure for Cortez lyrically, and deals with subject matter usually non-existent for Left Alone.
"The album to me sounds like one full project, each song compliments the others," summarizes Cortez. "I feel like these are the best I've written and have the best production value, and a lot of that comes from going and living in the studio."
The group left Wilmington for almost a month to head to a studio in Fontana, a rural town in the Inland Empire, with limited distractions and a complete focus on recording the album with the same audio engineer who worked with the band on Dead American Radio.
With solid months of touring lined up, and their new album slated for a March release, the band shows no signs of slowing down or letting grass grow under their TUK-clad feet. Left Alone has always walked the road less traveled by, and without a doubt, it's a road with no end in sight.
Old School Pop Punk.
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