Tag Archives: 7" on the 7th

the MIBs – the MIBs

The MIBs (short for Men in Black) were a mid 90s ska band from Peoria IL that I grew up seeing every chance I got. This is their first recording, and I must admit, they got much better, and were awesome live. They were a very traditional ska band, and when I was younger it wasn’t really the kind of ska stuff I gravitated to, but they always brought the goods live so I was happy to toss down my $2 – $5 to see them play. My brother and I would even dress up in our plaid suits to go and see them play anywhere and well as with plenty of other regional ska bands like Roscoe P. Soultrane and the Parka Kings. Members of the MIBs went on to form the (short lived) Ruschies, who in turn eventually became Corey Dixon & the Zvooks. When they were known as Corey Dixon & the Zvooks is about the time I went from fan to friend with some of the members. Corey, J.T. and Anthony were some of the nicest guys hang out with. Enter a late night diner all alone and if you saw them they’d always invite you to sit with them to while away the time. Corey Dixon & the Zvooks played several shows along (my band) 1209towanda, were always super supportive of us and Corey once even served up some inspiration for our Christmas show. Like I said, wonderful group of guys. After several tours of Europe they shortened their name to the Zvooks and eventually broke up. Members of that band went on to form the Drastics. And thus concludes your Midwest ska history lesson! The songs here today are from their long out of print 7″. Two of the songs “Commitment” and “Ant Dance” also made it onto to the even more obscure “Perverts, Freaks & Weirdos” compilation CD.

Side A
MIB
Commitment

Side B
Just for Kicks
Ant Dance

Artwork
Front, Back & the Record

Combustibe Edison – Blue Light

Combustible Edison was a lounge revival band from Rhode Island back in the 90s. Mostly known for doing the soundtrack to 95’s cult film Four Rooms. Besides “the Misbehavers” segment it was probably the best part about the film. I always dug Combustible Edison, they were exactly what I was looking for in a lounge band and hell, they even created their own cocktail!

The Combustible Edison Cocktail
2oz Brandy
1oz Campari
1oz Fresh lemon juice
In a shaker full of cracked ice, combine Campari and lemon juice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in a chafing dish. When warm, ignite the brandy and pour flaming stream into the cocktail glass. If the brandy is chilled and shaken rather than ignited, the drinks is known as “The Edisonian.”

While I never owned a chafing dish I did manage to heat and ignite some brandy. The first time I didn’t quite get the flaming brandy into the glass before fumbling and spilling flaming booze all over my counter. Close call! Being super careful I got the brandy in the next try and let me tell you it was tasty! Try the drink, get these 2 songs from early in their career and enjoy your evening.

Side A
Blue Light

Side B
Summer Samba

Artwork
Front, Back, & the Record

the Smooths – Kiss the Carnage

The Smooths were a Baltimore, MD ska band that put out 2 CDs on the SideOneDummy label. They were pretty damn good too. I got to see them at the ’98 Vans Tour and again in ’99 playing with Ham, Mad Caddies and the Toasters on the Peoria River Front Stage. You know, the one Summer where they actually let normal shows happen there that weren’t part of the Peoria Area Civic Events festivities so that it didn’t sit there unused 48 weeks out of the year? Anyway, they put on a hell of a performance both times, pretty hard to top! After they broke up I know that the lead singer went on to a hardcore band that has also since broke up. I never knew too terribly much about them, heck, I didn’t even know this 7″ existed up until I found it in an Iowa City record shop when I was killing time before seeing an Edna’s Goldfish and Step Lively show at Gabe’s Oasis. I could hardly believe my eyes. I had seriously heard nothing about this, ever. I know that the internet was still not the number one depository for every bit of information back then, but I don’t think you can find any online information on this release even now! (OK I just checked, you can find 2, fine internet, you win, but just barely.) Thankfully some bands use logos and motifs so it was easy for me to know this was the same “the Smooths” that I knew and enjoyed. When you’re into smaller bands sometimes a lot of them can end up having the same name and it’s a race to the major label or major prominence to see who gets to keep it. Back in the day I knew 2 different Fall Out Boys, neither one of them the household name band we know today. But yeah, that font, those spades, I knew I’d hit the mark. What’s more curious is that “Kiss the Carnage” is such a good song it is hard to tell why it wasn’t on either of their albums. Apart from the band, this release in and of it self has things I like to see going on. A nice big “45” hole in the middle, and even more than that, side A is at 45 rpm while side B is at 33 1/3 rpm, that’s just neat, well to me at least!

Side A
Kiss the Carnage

Side B
Fish in My Bed
Kiss the Carnage (Scientist Remix)

Artwork
Front, Back & the Record

Winterbrief – Unwrapped

Winterbrief was a duo from Philadelphia PA that specialized in thier very own brand of synth heavy dance pop. Winterbrief was first introduced to me by my friend Chris Bradley who had just saw them the weekend before. If I remembered right he said that “it seemed not many people liked them except for me and Tyson (Markley) and we both agreed that you’d love them.” I thought that was sad for the band, but awesome for me. Later, at practice for the short lived live version of Lost Letter Society, Chris lent me their debut CD which I officially kept once Chris went solo with the act again. This CD was later stolen by the 3rd member of the group, Tlas, so I had to go and purchase it myself. That CD was the soundtrack one night for me and Wolfie aimlessly driving about town, nursing the wounds from and then confronting his ex-fiancee. Note: he wasn’t 21 yet so no booze for us. That CD made me fall for the band, and at the time I was sure the sound they were doing (similar to my favorites bis) was going to be the future of music. I was wrong in the end, but that didn’t matter, just because the masses never caught on only means they missed out on some good music. Not me though, it lead me to find and collect everything they put out! In the end they put out 3 CDs, a 12″ record and 3 7″ records, some of which seem to be sadly going completely out of print. The A side is completely exclusive to this release, while track 1 of the B side found its way onto a Captain Beefheart tribute and the second onto their previously mentioned 12″.

Side A
Unwrapped
Superman on Tin Foil

Side B
the Past Sure is Tense
Amusing Ourselves

Artwork
Front, Back & the Record

Dr. Manette – Dew Unto Others…

Dr. Manette was a ska-punk band from Champagne-Urbana IL who later changed their name doctormanette and put out a record on Chicago’s JUMP UP! label. The first time I saw them is when this 7″ came out. It was at an all day ska show in the Summer of 1996 at a skate park in Rockford IL. It started at noon and went until 10pm. About half way through the show I started to get sleepy and almost took a nap on a skate ramp, but then these guys came on a blew me away! It turns out my friend Mike had had a few classes with one of them, before he went to talk to him after the set he asked me “Hey, you liked them right?” I responded that I did and 15min later Mike turned back up and handed me this record. I asked him how much and he said it was a gift, then later told me that they’d just gave him one because he knew them and that he didn’t have a record player. The 3rd song was on Moon Records’ “Skarmageddon 3: A New Beginning” so it may be familiar.

Side A
Weekend at Bill and Hillarys
Saturday

Side B
Orange Juice
Nothing at All

Artwork
Front Cover, Back Cover, Insert & the Record