777” Vol.009

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A record label that considers black vinyl rare in their catalog speaks volumes. Few labels represent the scene as well as No Idea Records. Started in the late 80s, No Idea has grown to uber-label proportions, and, strangely enough, kept its' dignity throughout. In other words, quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive for this Gainesville label. A quick look at No Idea's roster is awe-inspiring to say the least; in addition to wisely distributing its' own records (and doing countless other smaller labels a favor by distributing theirs as well), the label has had the foresight of recognizing greatness for the masses. Less Than Jake, Hot Water Music, Off With Their Heads, and Against Me! have all been under No Idea's umbrella at one point or another and, in fact, the label was the first home of many of those aforementioned acts. So, in true punk rock tradition, let's honor the little label that could, and did.
The Ergs!/The Measure
(No Idea Records, 2009)

01. The Ergs! – “Dullards and Dreadful Prose”
02. The Ergs! – “Encyclopedia Self-destructica”
03. The Measure – “Workage”
04. The Measure – “Get it Together”


I think The Ergs! are one of those bands that just refuses to die. Last year they broke up, played farewell shows and released their last batch of songs on the That's It Goodbye 12", but have since collected their B-sides and are still putting out songs. The Measure, a lo-fi Lemuria-esque band, keep things varied, while the Ergs! give us what they are known for: straight-up, heartbroken nerd-core; one fast-paced, the other somber and slow. Though these aren't the best Ergs! songs out there by far, you can't deny that the band is sticking to their guns: all the songs are about girls, thoroughly melodic, and contain un-punk-worthy bass playing. Pick this up, but remember, its evil doppelganger twin lurks in the shadows.
Against Me!
Sink. Florida. Sink.

(No Idea Records, 2005)

01. “Sink. Florida. Sink.”
02. “Unsubstantiated Rumors”


Mired in controversy, the Sink Florida Sink 7" holds the dubious distinction of being the most delayed Against Me! record in the band's catalogue, second only to the Lucero split the band promised in 2005. Regardless, what we have here are the missing pieces of the Eternal Cowboy electric sessions, and they also happen to be the most remarkable of those sessions as well. Really, this is just a shameful excuse for me to include another Against Me! record on this column. Eternal Cowboy listeners will know that the album's run-time is broken up by slower (arguably inferior) acoustic numbers, and something this 7" does is tease listeners by implying what the album could have been; had the electric version of “Unsubstantiated Rumors” been included on the final cut, Against Me! would have made an already-great album even better; it simply blows the acoustic version out of the water so it brings a smile to my face that these songs are out there, in an amazing package (No Idea outdoes themselves on this one), and up for grabs for completists or casual listeners alike.
Less Than Jake/Kemuri

(No Idea/Fueled By Ramen, 1996)
01. Less Than Jake – “Robo”

02. Kemuri – “On The Strees”
03. Kemuri – “Working Dayz”
04. Less Than Jake – “Shotgun”

Availability: Out of Print

Have you ever tried to find out of print No idea Records? No? Is it because it's nearly impossible? Most probably. Deep in my archives, and dusted off for your enjoyment, is the Less Than Jake/Kemuri 7-inch. If you're a LTJ record collector, you know just how awe-inspiring record collecting can be; they're are lots and not all of them are easy to find. Although this split is not the flashiest thing in the band's catalog (after all, it's no Pizza Box), it's noteworthy for its' rarity. Filled to the brim (fitting almost seven minutes of music on each side), this record has an interesting mix of ska. The LTJ tracks are punkier live cuts from their Pezcore album, while the Kemuri side has very Specials-esque ska which, if you didn't know, is absolutely the best kind. The best kind of ska, on the best kind of vinyl; out of print.

Ollie Mikse is a student. The bad kind of student. The graduate student. He lobbies against this career decision. In between dreaming of free sundaes, he neglects his duties as a bandmember and journalist, because, well, they are not his official duties. The elders have told him so. You can find him in Hershey, Pennsylvania under the lamp posts shaped like kisses wondering how they got them so shiny, or adorably out of place on the treadmill at the local gym reading The Progressive.

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