The Pietasters

The seed was planted in 1990.  A bunch of friends started a band with no pretensions: the idea was to make music for house parties, not to make a career out of music. These guys and a girl grew up in and around Washington, D.C.  The scene was small and all the Punks, Skins, and Mods intermixed in those days.  You were as likely to see a Mod at a Scream show as you were to see a Punk at a Toasters show.  This varied influence is what informed the covers that the Pietasters played and the originals they wrote trying to emulate their favorite bands.  From Two-Tone Ska, to Jamaican crooners like Alton Ellis, to Stax, Motown, harDCore, and British Punk, the Pietasters played what they liked to play and the house partiers appreciated the mix and crammed into basements and living rooms for sweaty all night keg drinking and dancing.

Playing on weekends and during the summer they slowly expanded their touring area, made new friends, and gained the notice of music fans up and down the east coast. The influence of D.C.’s DIY punk scene informed the band of how you should tour, on your own terms.  After releasing a self-titled album in 1993 they hit the road in an old school bus and headed west.  Relentless touring through the early 90s got them friends all over the U.S.A.  MOON Records took notice and the band released two albums, Oolooloo, and Strapped LIVE, on that storied label during the magic days of third wave ska alongside bands like Hepcat, The Slackers, Toasters, etc.

In 1997 Hellcat/Epitaph signed the band to a two album deal.  Willis, and Awesome Mix Tape #6 followed.  Both albums benefited from the direction of legendary producer Brett Gurewitz.  At the same time ska blew up.  The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt, and Sublime ruled the airwaves.  The Pietasters were lucky enough to tour extensively with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  The Plaid Boys from Boston introduced the Pietasters to Europe and beyond as well as taking them on tours of the US and Canada.  From this point on, the Pietasters were established as one of the best live shows money can buy.  From the circus that is the Warped tour (US/Canada/Europe) to a once in a lifetime support slot with Joe Strummer, the Pietasters crisscrossed the world, leaving the dance floor covered in blood, sweat and beer.

After the 2002 release of Turbo on Fueled by Raman the Pietasters' hard work was rewarded with more good luck.  In 2003 the Pietasters were chosen to back James Brown at the WHFS Holiday Nutcracker Ball at Washington, D.C.’s MCI Center (now Verizon Center).  This was no support slot: this was the Pietasters playing as Mr. Brown’s band for the night.  This was the start of a friendship with the Godfather of Soul that lasted until his passing.

All of these influences, events, and memories were distilled in the band’s 2007 release All Day.  The album showcases how the band grew from playing sweaty house parties to sweaty nightclubs to sharing the stage with some of the world’s best musical talents.  While playing live they can’t get away with not including most of Oolooloo in the set, but they try to slip in as many cuts from All Day as they can.  The Pietasters continue to deliver a world-class performance of their style of Ska, Rock and Soul - sing along songs and dance-through-your-socks rhythms played by friends who remain true to their roots.  A new album is in the works and they can’t wait to get back to a club near you.

Big D and the Kids Table

Big D and the Kids Table frontman David McWane has said, "There are people who want to be in a band and then there are musicians." However once in while a group come along who decide to make music simply because they have no other choice--and those are the acts who tend to stick around. For the past fourteen years Big D And The Kids Table have proven that regardless of fame or poverty they will fo...rever be addicted musicians--and their latest full-length Fluent In Stroll is the apex of their decade-and-a-half long career.

The best person who ever put it was [Warped Tour founder] Kevin Lyman, McWane explains. "My girlfriend once asked him if we were a big band and he replied, 'I'll tell you like this, they've been around for 14 years and each year they're relevant.' I think that's a great description of what this band is all about."

"I personally like shows where you have to prove yourself," McWane responds when asked which of the band's thousands of live performances stick out in his head. "The Warped Tours and the Dropkick Murphys tours that we did were cool because when you've been in a band for as long as we have and you get to play shows where you have to prove yourselves you have that same first-show anxiety," he continues. "When you play the shows where everyone in the place loves you, then it turns more into entertaining--and that's cool, but that's not where I personally come from," he elaborates. "That might sound kind of weird, but I like the underdog shows more because it adds a little bit of spice and kick to it." The good news is that armed with a record as ambitious as For the Damned, the Dumb, and the Delirious, the band will undoubtedly have to prove themselves all over again in sweaty clubs all over the world.

"I think we have the same aspirations with this disc that we do with every record and that involves our little pow wow of saying, 'Don't you think music is shit?'" McWane--who is also an accomplished author currently working on a second book of poetry, a collection of Big D lyrics, two short films and a retrospective DVD about the band called Built Up From Nothing--explains when asked about his personal expectations for For the Damned, the Dumb, and the Delirious. "Music groups have always recognized and applauded for creating something new and different for listeners, yet today it seems that artists are recognized for making what's already been or what's most the same," he elaborates. "We really tried to push the envelope the way artists used to do and all we've ever wanted was to be able to play music in front of a lot of people that love our songs," he summarizes. "If we could play on one stage in front of the world, we would do it."

Kill Lincoln

Following in the footsteps of bands like Less Than Jake, The Suicide Machines, and We Are The Union, Washington DC's Kill Lincoln blends no-bullshit ska-punk with addictive rock anthems, throwing in the energy of a basement hardcore show for good measure. Their recklessly fun punk ethics collide with quality musicianship, sounding like the bastard son of Kid Dynamite and Streetlight Manifesto. If you're not circle-pitting then you're probably screaming along, and humming the horn lines while you're nursing your hangover the next day. Mixing in elements of hardcore, skate punk, and pop punk, there's something for everyone…as long as everyone likes it fast and fun.

In the past year they've shared the stage with Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Fishbone, The Flatliners, The Queers, and The Pietasters to name a few, and have consistently pummeled the dedicated DC/MD/VA scenes in addition to the many miles they've added under the tires. On June 4th Kill Lincoln released their second album, "That's a totally negative and destructive way" on Jump Start Records, which features 10 tracks of the band's best work - raw, unavoidably catchy, and impossible to ignore.



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