Tag Archives: pub league

From the Vaults: Knit that Shit

It was brought to my attention that this performance was posted on Youtube. It was a hit at the time, I credit Malcolm for making it funny. We wrote it collectively. Its a good example of the stuff that comes out of PUB League

Thanks to Caleb for posting, Ephy for playing cello, and Eric for providing the bells and beats on his Alesis Synth.

Wow, it goes too long.

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Indie Rock Cliche Bingo, Stumblebum Brass Band

Here is a little comic I made. The bands illustrated here are the Sahara Hotnights, Marnie Stern, and members of Netherfriends and the Raveonettes. You will have to click on them to enlarge enough to read.

I debuted new songs “Haute Couture” “An ode to Star Trek Villians,” and did encore performances of earlier pieces at Rosemary’s house CLOUDBERRY CASTLE last weekend. I played alongside Avery Wolves, 58 Roadsigns, Eating for two, Feeding Frenzy and Space Boots.

Caleb Kuntz added video of me performing “Knit that Shit” with Band of Zorses from the february 5th pub league.


New Teen Paranormal Romance will play a show this Friday (march 11) at the marlin. its 5 dollars and profits go towards CLUCKING BLOSSOM. We are performing with the Good Daze, Jesse Hobbes, and my good friend Greg who calls himself “Black Flowers Black Sun.” Highly Recommended.

We also made a Facebook Page.


Please add us as fans, there are things we can’t do until we have over 35 fans. Also, it helps when we are trying to book shows if the booker knows we have some fans out there. 🙂

My friends in the Stumblebum Brass Band are coming back to Alaska for a tour.

They will play in Fairbanks June 4 at the Marlin, I will be their opener. They also have dates all over the state in May and June, including: Talkeetna, Anchorage, Homer, Denali and Trapper Creek. Their live show is amazing. They have gotten arrested for playing outside on Christmas without a permit. Punk rock.

Check out their tour dates at

Frantic New Orleans style street jazz meets Punk rock frenzy

Stumble Bum Brass Band
Fuck You Lady Gaga. (no label)
New York, New York
Recorded at Bisi Studios by Martin Bisi
Mastered by Dr. Kevorkian
Key tracks Sweet Spot, 2nd Avenue, Girls, Anarchy, I Killed a Man.

The Stumblebums borrow from New Orleans street jazz for the bones of their skeleton, then punk rock for the teeth. . Those snare hits slam and that tuba is huge in the mix. The tuba is so expressive, and its pilot is adept at giving each blast character and verve, even when the tempos are enough to exhaust to anyone sane.The trumpet soars and the vocals, sometimes shouted through a bullhorn, sometimes crooned with the whisky soaked gravel, provide many “did he really just say that?” moments. Most of these songs are fast, offensive, wild and fun.
Many songs come in around 2 minutes, and would be fantastic on your mix tapes or inserted into radio playlists for a satisfying wtf moment.
Many of these songs are reproductions of sketches from their first album- redressed and touched up. Shortened and tightened perhaps from two years of intense live shows. On the first version they sounded a little flat, soggy and honestly, like they were just playing into a mic in a dead room. They sound fantastic now, Smidge’s voice and lyrics channeling vice from the great frontmen he follows, Janis Joplin, Iggy Pop, Louis Prima, Tom Waits, a touch of Hank Williams, and of course a nod to all the hip-hop frontmen who revel in being as ‘nasty’ as they can.
On “Try” they actually slow it down and let things swing. “My body’s had enough, lord I tried,” it’s a refreshing reintroduction to the blues; guitarless, undeniable, and immediate.
Jonny Balls comes out from behind the drumset to sing some lyrics on “GIrls.”  His spastic and perky drumming is hard hitting and perpetually consistent. They let him cut a brief solo on “I Wanna.” Johnny wheres the cowbell? Subtle rhythm changes in “Dirty” prove that the drum set can be a melodic element in punk rock, and help establish that the Jazz influence make sense.
Martin Bisi’s production is in your face and always faithful to the live show- the only place where there are obvious effects and overdubbing is in “Blue Eyed Blues.” Otherwise the disc just seems to be mixed and mastered very conservatively and expertly.
“Pink Cadillac,” is a nod to those 50s “oldies but goody” songs, but of course the tempo picks up and Smidge delivers a rapid fire rap. As he sings “Cuz I ain’t so bad,” he must be winking and acknowledging the nod to Louis Prima. “Hey Jonny” quotes hey Ronnie” and has a spoken intro that reminds me of the Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack.” It’s a celebration of cheesy pop culture, with a post-modern revisionism, or its just hilarious dirty fun. Try to keep a straight face while hear the lyrics, “Hey Jonny he’s so fine, he’s so fine I wanna fuck him from behind.”
I listened to ska punk from california back in the 90s, some of these catchy zippy trumpet lines remind me of the thrill i felt when I first heard that sound: the rich white kid angst version of authentic jamaican music.  The closest this gets to it is “Sweet Spot,” with a very busy bass line from Disco Ronnie and some “ooh ah’s” delivered like emo “ois.” This would be a great choice for a single, as its free of curses, full of catchy hooks, and the tempo changes make it consistently energizing. Here the Stumblebums enthusiastically turn up the joy and invite their listeners to dance. This track is an inspiring demonstration as to why people play music- because its the second most fun thing you can do with your fingers, I mean lips!

For fans of: Cherry Poppin Daddies, Reel Big Fish, Galactic, but that marginalizes them too much, anyone who loves passion, and doesn’t mind foul language will love this disc!

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Pub League

Pub League, Fairbanks, AK.
by Isaac Paris

What is Pub League? 20 musicians are put into five groups of four,  and expected to come up with a 20 minute set of material in a single afternoon at our local establishment Ivory Jacks. The goal is to forge new relationships and expand musical talents through exposure to new styles. Creativity, co-operation, leadership skills and time management are of course put to the limit. It’s just like being in a real band on fast forward; as there’s no time to practice but there’s a decent draw with 20 musicians and their friends packing the place. There is a competition, with awards going to best band, best vocalist and best instrumentalist, but tongues are firmly in cheeks and fun is more important than winning.
Pub League encourages you to dig long abandoned styles and influences out of the closet and enjoy a fresh perspective with new faces,” Craig Brookes of Paper Scissors.
I myself am a veteran of Pub League, with three previous adventures under my belt, this time I found myself paired with three people I had never played with before, and we got a late start. The fast paced nature and a desire to please an audience with something familiar leads to playing covers. A previous  winner played an epic mashup of Van Halen’s  “Jump” and Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight.” I may have forgot to mention this was sung as a duet into a vocoder. This was Manboylovecrush69athotmaildotcom featuring Caleb Kuntz of Work, Ephy Wheeler of Feeding Frenzy,  Ben Adamson of The Brine, Casey Smith of Thought Trade, Andrew Paris of Night of the Iguana and Chris Meurlott of The Scurvies.
With that success in mind I suggested to our band that we play some old songs, I imagined a mash up of “Them There Eyes” performed by Billie Holliday and Louis Prima, among many others, and “Digital Love” by Daft Punk. What we ended up doing was playing the old song as an electro jam- and the 90’s hit as an “old timey number” with ukulele and an affected “Loius Armstrong” intonation, of course, both “covers” were radical departures from the original’s melody and timing.
A comment about not being able to find a song on the internet due to a confusion on whether it was Lil Wayne featuring someone or someone featuring Lil Wayne gave us out band name: Lil Wayne (feat. Lil Wayne) which tickled us pink.
At a previous pub league my band Cock Sauce had success with a hip hop song via a writing exercise where 4 or more lyricists write whatever they feel like on a piece of paper and pass it around in a circle. This results in a disjointed “exquisite corpse” style rap, which can be awkward or hilarious, but is perfect for the fast pace and low expectations of Pub League.  So, within an hour we had some ridiculous raps about Buddhists, janitors, contortionists, sexual innuendo and plenty of in-jokes about our friends in other bands.
Hannah Corral of the Ba’cuntry Bruthers encountered a slight disaster at her band’s rehearsal: there was no microphone, no drum set and only a single guitar among four members and so they agreed to be a 8th grade lunch room cover band, Brutal Hate covering hits that were popular when they were 11 and emphasizing their characters in an improvised skit to hide their lack of rehearsal on their instruments.
“I had a blast, its always fun meeting new people and combining different tastes in music, that is what helps you grow as an artist,”  said Dan Vogel of the “real band” Paragraphs. Pub League really wouldn’t exist without the efforts of Connor Rainy, who organizes and makes the phone calls. Are there other pub leagues out there in other towns under a different names? Write me and tell me about them at strangecharm99@gmail.com

And here are links to the band’s webpages that I mentioned:
Look up Work at myspace.com/thesedoors
I play as Isaac and the Awkward Situations, At myspace.com/strangecharm.
To see local mash-up band Turducken play a Modest Mouse song, head to fbxshows.com, and click on videos.

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