Alex Chiasson contributed to this article.
We’re now ankle-deep into a Trump presidency and the shit has not stopped raining down. I don’t know what you’re holding on to, but I’ve taken solace in the number of people showing up to rallies as well as the increase in giving to organizations and agencies working to fight on behalf of our friends, family, and neighbors. One such organization leading the charge has been the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU has raised an unprecedented amount of money according to the Washington Post. Last weekend, they “received more than $24 million in online donations from 356,306 people.”
Why the ACLU? Because the ACLU has fearlessly decided to take Trump and his administration to task for their unconstitutional actions. Most recently, they went to court against the super fucked-up travel ban.
We immediately got a hearing and argued our case. At around 9 p.m., Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly issued a stay, blocking President Trump’s discriminatory policy from taking effect and preventing refugees and immigrants from being deported. She did not rule on the constitutionality of the order, but for now, the men and women who would have been deported are safe.
I’ll take it! Showing up for rallies matters. Writing letters and calling your representatives matters. Making sure the ACLU has the financial support they need to show up in court? It matters!
One of our favorite online music retailers has made it even easier to give to the ACLU. On Friday, February 3, Bandcamp will donate 100% of their share of the income to the ACLU.
This is not who we are, and it is not what we believe in. We at Bandcamp oppose the ban wholeheartedly, and extend our support to those whose lives have been upended.
And so all day this Friday, February 3rd (starting at 12:01am Pacific Time), for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions.
NOW is the time to purchase all the albums and songs you’ve been saving to your wishlist! Are you new to bandcamp? Maybe you’re not sure what next to buy. Here is a hastily thrown together list of music that’s available via bandcamp for ska fans and Boston music fans alike.
Threat Level Burgundy – The Longest Day
Released a few weeks into January, The Longest Day sees Billerica’s Threat Level Burgundy deliver another solid set of ska-punk tracks about “video games, star wars, movies, life and relationships”. The album is the fruit of labor that resulted from last year’s successful Kickstarter made to fund it’s recording and production. Though this is only the band’s second album, TLB have been at this for a while now, and this album’s heavier sound presents a nice change of shift.
The Macrotones – Unknown Outpost
As Boston’s afrofunk ambassadors, any given album from The Macrotones will feature a collection of dense, horn-heavy grooves that just don’t quit. Unknown Outpost, the band’s fifth release and the first since 2012, sees the band incorporating vocals into many of the tracks to create a nice distinction from the catchy horn leads on other tracks from this and past releases. Spearheaded by John and Marc Beaudette (of Destroy Babylon and The Flying Vipers), the ensemble also includes past and present members of some of our favorite locals like The Pomps and Big D.
Stuck Lucky – S/T
Nashville’s Stuck Lucky have been doing their harder/faster blend of punk and ska for quite some time now, and have had a hot streak over their past few albums. Released on the always great Community Records last November, the band’s latest self-titled record continues that streak of quality with twelve tracks of hard hitting ska-core that doesn’t let up. The tracks go by quick, but have enough hooks to stay memorable hours after hearing them. The lyrics on this thing manage to sway hopeful while maintaining anarchist messages, something the band has been excelling at on most of their latest records. LIYL: Anything else from Community (The Flaming Tsunamis, Murphy’s Kids, Fatter Than Albert), Choking Victim/Leftover Crack.
We’ve mentioned this before, but Bandcamp is the best service for releasing compilation albums around. Like to compilations in support of Bernie Sanders in the lead-up to the Democratic National Convention, swaths of compilations have been posted to Bandcamp in opposition to President Trump and his cabinet’s actions. The kicker with most of these comps is that all proceeds go to charities, which means that adding Bandcamp’s contributions makes 100% of what you pay go directly to one of the many foundations fighting against the new administration.
We Are Not Trump (W.A.N.T.) Volume One
Released earlier this month, We Are Not Trump: Volume One collects just under 45 tracks from New England-area bands (and beyond!) across a wide range of genres. I can’t say that I’ve heard of any of the bands on the comp before (unless it’s that Wolf Blitzer), which probably means that the city has a bigger music scene than we realize, but that we’re all in this together. Put together by Somerville musician Christopher G. Brown, the comp is available as a pay-what-you-want download, with all proceeds going to the ACLU. What’s more, an open invitation to contribute to the second W.A.N.T. volume can be answered by joining the comp’s privately screened Facebook group.
What Do You Know About Ska Punk Volume One
If a tracklist in the double-digits just isn’t enough for you, the one hundred-plus tracks on last month’s What Do You Know About Ska Punk Volume One should be enough to keep your sense of discovery active for quite some time. Readers of this site will recognize more than a handful of the bands on this comp, whether it’s more established acts like MC Lars (Lars coming through with the tracklist’s best song title) or J. Navarro and the Traitors, or up-and-coming Northeast bands like The Screw-Ups or Crash the Owl Party. Even Stuck Lucky and Threat Level Burgundy make appearances, who both have recent full albums available above. Per their popular Facebook page, WDYKASP plans on curating future releases from associated ska punk artists as well as more compilation volumes.
Don’t Stop Now: A Collection of Covers
Another large compilation with 100% of proceeds going exclusively to the ACLU, Don’t Stop Now is a collection of mostly prominent bands covering songs exclusively for the compilation. Released on Inauguration Day, the compilation features notable members of the Philadelphia punk scene and bands from across the country. Ya boiii Jeff Rosenstock covering Bikini Kill, Laura Stevenson covering Townes Van Zandt, Chris Farren covering Against Me!, The Menzingers covering Jason Isbell, and contributions from several member of the excellent Cayetana are just the tip of the iceberg. The organizers added a mission statement that included:
This compilation is an expression of love, anger, hope and protest on inauguration day. Let it serve as a reminder that the fight for justice is not over, that the celebration of diversity is essential to progress, that we must work together for what is fair and good. Can’t stop. Won’t Stop. Don’t stop now.
The list keeps going…
Bandcamp is a treasure trove of great music. We couldn’t possibly cover everything but here are more great records for you to dig into.
Quite a few labels now offer their entire discography on Bandcamp…
- Dischord Records (Minor Threat, Fugazi)
- Daptone Records (The Frightnrs, Sharon Jones)
- Fat Wreck (Less Than Jake, Mad Caddies, Dance Hall Crashers)