Why this weekend will be great reason #4: Stuck Lucky, Fatter Than Albert, HKPOE, Royal City Riot, Community Records @ The Temple

So you might be asking yourself, as I am, why attend two ska fests in one month?

INFORMANT (listen)
STUCK LUCKY (listen)
HKPOE (listen)

@ The Temple
275 Huntington Road | Stratford, CT
2PM | $8

Discuss the show here. RSVP to the event here.

(Stuck Lucky)

This might just be one of those times where you don't need any justification to go beyond the incentive of securely posi vibes (how can good vibes not exist near horn sections?), outdoor grilling and parking lot loitering. If you're into this kind of thing, the fact that this is an unofficial day two of Disasterfest , a similar lineup annually held in Wakefield, MA might grab you. This is also the second time this year the folks from Community Records arrive in their caravan of N'awlins skaputhrashardcore. 

Boy, do I like Community Records. They just held another Download Day, where they put a bunch of their self-released music including Stuck Lucky, Caddywhompus, A Billion Ernies and the Flaming Tsunamis up for free download.

Here's a super old interview from LAST YEAAR with co-labelee Greg Rodrigue on their 2009 Download Day, for nostalgia and archival purposes. See you later!:


     COMMUNITY RECORDS is a grassroots record label created to cater to the “little pocket of bands” Greg Rodrigue and his mates were in at the time. They had designs on doing a compilation with some staples like Public Access, The Flaming Tsunamis and The Fad. As ideas have the tendency to do, it grew into something much larger.
      Today, Community Records is a label that offers all sorts of media from their friends and labelmates: CD-Rs and vinyl, zines and compilations.
       “No label was going to come out of nowhere and sign ourselves,” said Rodrigue. “It just came down to [the realization] we have to do this ourselves. No predominant label was doing this special niche genre, where they would want to sign all our little ska bands.”
Making their music even more accessible, Community Records is holding their third DOWNLOAD DAY on JULY 30TH. Heaps of free downloads will be available, including The Flaming Tsunamis’ entire discography.
     The process is as web-Neanderthal friendly as any other site, newsletter, or spam you’ve intentionally or accidentally signed up for in your life. After entering some basic information like your name, e-mail, and location, you’re also asked for some thoughts or comments on Community Records. When that’s all filled out, an e-mail is sent to your inbox- now, whether it goes to spam or not depends on how picky your server is, but I just kept an eye out for it and moved it from spam. Once you access the free downloads page, you have a selection between ‘active’ and ‘in-active’ bands. A new page opens up with a column of record thumbnails, which if you click on will begin downloading in a .zip file. Some, like Stuck Lucky’s Possum Soul, even come with attached lyric book and cover art files. There’s also album descriptions available.
           Now, onto some elaboration via Greg.

Tell me about Download Day.

This is the third one we’re doing. Community Records has a lot of mp3s for free download, and instead of putting albums up randomly or trying to promote each album at one time, we just put six or eight or nine albums up at one time from different bands. That way there can be a lot of promotion, we can get people to check out a lot of different music for free at the same time.

How long are the downloads available for?

They stay up on the website until we stop being a website.

How have The Flaming Tsunamis impacted you?
They’ve been highly influential.  For years they’ve worked really hard and created music that’s really weird but likeable. I’m pretty sad that they’re deciding to call it quits, but I understand. I’m happy they’re trying to put together one last record. I’m excited about that, excited that community records can be a part of that.

When’s the release going to be? What are Community’s other plans for the record?

Tentatively October. That’s the goal. We’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to do the mp3s with vinyl, since they probably aren’t going to be touring a whole lot… the advantage of giving away mp3s is reduced. For sure, there’s going to be a really cool vinyl with some sort of weird colors and patterns and packaging. The vinyl might come with the CD instead of trying to sell them separately. We haven’t figured out yet how digital distribution is going to go.

Who else besides The Flaming Tsunamis are going to have material up for free download?

A Billion Ernies, Informant from Texas, which has members who used to be from Detonate. It’s their brand new album, they kind of sound like RX Bandits-like ska but a little bit more punk. We’re also putting up albums from Arm the Poor and Infamous Jake.

Explain a little bit of the process behind Download Day.

We get the word out through messageboards and our newsletter.  Every time someone new comes- we ask people to submit as much info as they want, but we ask for their name, city, thoughts/comments on the label and e-mail address.

The only thing you really need to fill out is your e-mail to get an automatic response in your inbox that has a link to all the mp3s. We look at the e-mails and look at what people are saying for one, but we also put them on a newsletter to let them know about future stuff in case of another Download Day or a record coming out or a tour or whatever.

I know people can very easily crack the code of getting into the website, because we don’t have any firewalls or anything like that. Some people are weird about giving out their e-mail or getting on a newsletter. It’s not that we’re trying to hold it back from anybody, we’re just trying to get the music out to the people who want it. 

What are your thoughts on the downloading wave versus physical formats like vinyl and CD-Rs?

I think that there’s obviously room for both to exist. Downloading won’t eradicate the idea of having physical albums. As far as music ‘sales’ go, there needs to be less emphasis on selling albums, because it’s pretty obvious that music arrives for free in front of people.

In terms of underground music, mp3s should be either really cheap or free for the most part. There’s just way more added benefit of having someone hear your band and potentially liking it than having to sell them something and getting a small amount of money from it. I think that there are other ways to make a living off of music than having to put a stranglehold on physical albums.

If you’re trying to make a living off of it, it’s one thing. But as far as free mp3s go, I feel like it really-- in the end-- helps live shows where people can much more easily have a connection with your band. They don’t have to pay anything to be introduced to what you’re trying to do as a musician. The barriers of entry to figure out what the band is all about are diminished or nonexistent.

Donations have been a really small part of the label’s income, but we have it available. I feel that it’s better to put out physical albums and t-shirts or whatever else so when they give money to the label, they get something tangible in return.

Any last words?
If there’s anyone who’s reading this who’s familiar with us in the past, thanks for paying attention  and caring and giving us your support. We started this a little over a year ago and it’s more successful than we’d ever hoped for and it’s all because people care.

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