Note: This is one of the best things we have posted on this blog ever.
Earlier this summer I wrote an article for Billboard on the "50 Best Indie Labels in America," and naturally included Jersey punk label Don Giovanni, who I first learned about in 2008, when I wrote about Screaming Females for Rolling Stone. I will never forget the moment in that interview when the drummer, Jared, told me that Joe, from Don Giovanni, once threatened to kill himself if he could not release the band's records. That sort of enthusiasm is always intriguing. Don Giovanni has since become one of my favorite indie labels operating anywhere in America, due in no small part to their releases for bands like the Females and Shellshag, whose energy is I think unparalleled by any other pocket of contemporary DIY music. Here's what I wrote about them for Billboard:
Don Giovanni isn’t a household name, but when founders Joe Steinhardt and Zach Gajewski launched the label as students at Boston University in 2004, that was hardly their intention—they set out to document the New Brunswick basement punk scene, and have become recognized throughout the underground DIY punk community for indie rock and punk releases from the likes of Shellshag, The Ergs!, and the critically-acclaimed Screaming Females.
We have probably spent more time talking about DG on this blog than any other label or band, and this guest mix by Joe is the first in a series of mixes that we will be posting as we "relaunch" our blog this fall. Many of these tracks have never existed before in MP3 format. Check out what Joe had to say about the mix, as well as the tracklisting, below. Screaming Females and Shellshag play Bowery Ballroom with Hilly Eye, tonight.
When the Pelly twins asked me to put a mix together for their site I was stoked, especially when they said they wanted me to do all current bands not on the label. I've heard over and over again that there aren't as many good bands around as there used to be, or that all the great bands broke up, etc. This mix represents just a small part of a class of bands that are not just the best around right now, but who are sure to be considered classic in the future. With I think just two exceptions of bands that recently broke up, all of these bands are active:
01 Tacocat - Party Trap
02 Masshysteri - Dom kan inte hora musiken
03 Tropical Punk - To Hearts
04 The Men - Think
05 House Boat - Real Life As a Metaphor for Real Life
06 Blasting Concept - Age of the Rat
07 Avon Ladies - Power Failure
08 The Two Funerals - Boy's Club
09 Tenement - Stupid World
10 Lemuria - Wise People
11 The Gift - Corpse Reviver
12 Emily's Army - Strictly For The Birds
13 Lecherous Gaze - Phaze
14 P.S. Eliot - Sadie
15 Omegas - Peasant Dance
16 Grabass Charlestons - Dale
17 Dead Mechanical - Sidewalks
18 Vacation - Cop Knock
19 Night Birds - Paranoid Times
-- Q&A with Don Giovanni Records
-- Premiere: Modern Hut's debut single, "Wrong"
-- mp3: Big Eyes - "Why Can't I"
-- Shellshag Played the New Afternoon Show
-- Big in 2k10: Byrds of Paradise