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Happy New Year!

By dave

The Slackers would live to wish all of our friends, families, and fans a happy new year! 2010 was a busy year for us with over 120 gigs in 19 different countries and 20 different states in the US. We put out an album, the Great Rocksteady Swindle in april and really appreciate the nice response you guys have given to us.

With the coming of 2011, the band has now been around for over 20 YEARS! We are going to be having some special releases to commemorate this including a greatest hits cd, some rarities and outakes, and reissues of older material. We should be making some new special mp3 downloads for Whatevski.org We are also going to have some 20th ANNIVERSARY special shows. So please keep your eyes out for updates on this.

Our latest release is the NEW YEARS DAY 45 vinyl. You can get it at www..interpunk.com

As the new year's finds us we are playing out on the west coast. California and our first colorado and nevada dates in several years. I hope to see you some of you out there for this! Thanks for all the support and we love you all.

Dave

what i know about glen adams... part 1

By vic

from what he told me, he and the upsetters were trying to bring some of the excitement that SKA had, into the ROCKSTEADY, and that's where his crazy REGGAE organ shuffle comes from. (the reason for the parts being almost manic and jumpy and even the wild loud drum fills...)
"you can hear the ska in the reggae" he told me... a lot of people will tell u that, but he was the guy who made me understand it... as a practical thing and not simply some sort of idea of genetic musical lineage.
one day we were playing and he sang a wailers tune to me, i think it was 'burnin and lootin',
"this morning i woke up inna curfew, oh lord i was a prisoner too..."
he went thru a bunch of the lines and he said, "see that's reggae man, nothin sound like that before... those words... that set the wailers apart, words that couldn't be anything else... and you hear the melody? it was a new sound... its own sound and lyrics talkin about OUR lives, in jamaica... before that it was just r&b and boogie woogie words "i love you baby" stuff and romantic things like that...
and then a melody like: sun is shining, weather is sweet, make you wanna move yer dancing feet...to the rescue... here i am... want u to know lord, can ya, can ya understand?..", he was shakin his head singin with his eyes closed, "nothing ever sounded like THAT before, it was OUR sound!!! "
"and then a few years later we hear MASTERBLASTER by stevie wonder and we know we had arrived!! man it was like he was playin OUR BEAT! after all those years of us wanting to be like stevie wonder, now HE wanted to sound like US !! "
Glen Adams helped THE SLACKERS mix our records from about 1997 onward. one time early on i asked him to play on a tune. it was a kinda mento-ish thing that our trombone man (glen pine) wrote... i didn't mention that about the tune for fear of embarrassing myself in front of him. But right away he says "oh yeah, it's a kind of mento style"... and that was cool cuz it meant we were on the right track. i think that's the thing that convinced him to play on it, because he was almost sheepishly trying to avoid playing and just show me how to do it, like proper producer style, (but then he even said somethin like his family came from a particular neighborhood or another island that has to do with mento's origins and so made it more appropriate for him to play on this track... haha!)
so i said somethin like, "...yeah, its in b-flat and goes here...blah blah..." and he looks at the keys and kinda pokes there and there with his fingers in a loose triad shape... and i realize that he kinda knows where b-flat is at but it's not making total sense to him and he's just doing it by ear anyway... after a few bars of utter chaos he picks it up real quick and then he's suddenly playing this minimalistic part that's all pokey and stickin in weird places in the groove u wouldn't ever think of. (i still could never duplicate the part) "what is that?" i ask him... and he just says "you know man... it mek it move" but he drags out "moooove" real long and his tone is kinda impatient and kinda high and laughin at me...but he's all beat and cool about it and encouraging me like "you know man... you know this..."
...and i ask him as i'm watching his fingers poke at the keys all crazy, i say real student like "so what patterns do you use ?" and looks over his shoulder all squinty eyed and he says " there's no pattern man, you just feel it out and fit it in and play what work "
that day i learned. i watched his posture and the way his hands and fingers and arms all expressed the reggae beat, hurkey jerky and smooth and a feeling and not a formula. its all bein inside the thing that makes it reggae and not playin some part u think yer supposed to.
i was askin him to play on another tune, ("red light") and he made me play it, so i did it all kinda sheepish in front of him and and i look over like "am i doin it right?" and he says "YEAH man!!! u got it... but u just playin TOO much! hahaha... pick yer hands up like this..." and he showed me and when he picked his hands up he lurched his whole body back like Frankenstein... like he got an electric shock...like as if he didn't do that there'd be no way to stop his hands from playing still...
"you hear that organ you play sounds nice, but you need good electric to make it be in tune. in Jamaica there's not good electric, so when the horns call for b-flat and the organ man goes for b-flat it maybe doesn't sound right... maybe its a note up or down. And that's where i had it better cuz i dont necessarily know what the notes are anyway and they call a key and i just pick it out by ear, and see it's not perfectly in tune, you can hear it on the records, but i get the closest... so the better organ players maybe they got asked off the organ cuz they're arguin that they're in the proper key... but me they asked to come back again and play cuz when i play it sounds right..." it wasn't pompous or self righteuos at all the way he said it... it was almost surprised, and so was his expression listening back to the part he played, as if he was surprised it was good... "yeah man... it sound goood... hahaha!"

vic ruggiero solo in california... BERKELY and SF GIGS dec 29 & 30

By vic

BERKELY and SF solo GIGS dec 29 & 30
-vic ruggiero and jimmy boom (PHENOMENAUTS)
-arthur leon adams III (PHENOMENAUTS/BLAMMOS)
-----wed dec 29th ... 9pm start... ALL AGES
FREE or $3 donation
at LOONEY'S SMOKEHOUSE
2190 bancroft
berkely CA 94704
(510) 649 0628
2 dollar pints dollar fish tacos
-------thur dec 30th 9PM FREE but 21+
at AMANTES
570 GREEN ST
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 362 4400

NEW YEARS' DAY, HOLIDAY SHOW, AND MORE!

By dave

The Slackers are happy to announce that we have a new limited edition 45 coming out on Urban Pirate records. "New Years' Day"
Its now available for preorder on www.interpunk.com

Plus we got a hell of a holiday show coming up!
Dec 18 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl!
with the Frighteners, the Forthrights, and DJ 100DBS.
Plus special guest cameos by GREG LEE of HEPCAT (Yes, that GREG LEE) and JESSE WAGNER of the AGGROLITES. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS SHOW!

.....and speaking of New Year's Day (and eve), we have a tour coming up of California at New Years Time! Starting in San Francisco we work our way through Norcal, Colorado, Nevada, and SoCal. Please come by and say hello and enjoy the New Years with us!

take care, Dave

Fall and Winter Shows

By dave

Hi everyone,

after enjoying a brief respite for Halloween we are going to be finishing out the year with tours of Brazil, Argentina, our annual holiday show in Brooklyn, and a New Years tour of California, Colorado, and Nevada.

First up, Brazil and Argentina. We are embarking on easily our longest Latin American tour, covering a lot of cities and places we have never been as well as a return to Rio and Sao Paolo after a couple year abscence. Looking forward to checking in with old friends and making some new ones.

Then, we have our annual holiday show in brooklyn. This is gonna be an extravaganza. We are playing 2 sets of music, the forthrights, the frighteners and dj 100dbs are opening. Plus we have special guest, Greg Lee, of Hepcat fame, performing with the Slackers! This is gonna be rare and unique! Dont miss it.

Finally,we are finishing out the year in San Francisco. This time we are Great American Music Hall and its gonna be a party. Www.gamh.com We are using this as a kick off for a 9 date west coast tour of California and our first Colorado and Las Vegas shows in several years.

Thanks to everyone for all the support they have shown us this year as we tour for the great rocksteady swindle. We are gonna be getting some new material together as the year ends. A covers project for whatevski is in the works.

And speaking of tunes, as our 20th anniversary is coming up, we are going to be releasing a slackers 'greatest hits' retrospective album!

thanks again. See you out there!

Dave

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