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B A L L P E E N ( ! ) B U L L E T I N S


updated: June 18th, 2021

- Shirts from KOENJIHYAKKEI and TERMS -
New From UNFiT Apparel at The Dark Slide
- Juneteenth Fundraiser & Sale at Bandcamp -
Plus a cornucopia of art from SGRAFT's finest
- Tijuana Hercules "Mudslod" Posters -
Now appearing at select record shops


news


- - - PLEASE NOTE - - -
UNFIT Apparel T-Shirt orders are fulfilled
by the DARK SLIDE Skate Shop.
T-Shirt orders will be re-directed to their storefront.
Vinyl & CDs may NOT be combined with UNFIT Apparel T-Shirts
and separate shipping charges apply.
VISIT The DARK SLIDE SKATE SHOP HERE.


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CLICK HERE TO READ THE UNFIT APPAREL PRESS RELEASE!


Hi Everyone,
Our 20% off sale has been extended to coincide with Bandcamp's Juneteenth fundraiser! There are just a few days left! And and our UNFIT Apparel Line has added two new designs to keep your sleeves short all summer long. Here's the story...

KOENJIHYAKKEI "Six Expressions" 
Design by Yoshida Tatsuya
UNFIT #13 / Double-Sided T-Shirt


Some bands you just have to hear. Japan's KOENJIHYAKKEI (aka Koenji Hyakkei) are just such a band. Tatsuya Yoshida’s (of the renowned bass and drum duo RUINS), progressive rock powerhouse explodes with glittery keyboard lines, speedy bass/drum workouts, emotive reed respites, and operatic female vocals that take the listener from sheer exuberance to absolute apocalypse… all performed with superhuman technique in confoundingly catchy, complex arrangements. Please note: This T-shirt is not available for export to Japan.
Hear KOENJIHYAKKEI HERE.


TERMS "Suspended Across Chasms"
Design by Michael Trull
UNFIT #14 / Double-Sided T-Shirt

Available in your choice of Silver or White ink for a limited time. TERMS give equal weight to tightly composed precision and spontaneous discovery, weaving together bold new worlds where crunchy dissonant riffs and pulverant, skewed melodies collide and consort with syncopated thunderstorms of percussion.Having served in acts such as Grand Ulena, Jitters and Yowie, TERMS is much more than just the sum of its parts... It is an ever-evolving an aggregate of incalculable expression.
Hear TERMS HERE.

Please visit The Dark Slide to see the entire UNFIT Apparel collection including the recently released SKiN GRAFT Trucker Hat, the U.S. MAPLE and SHORTY Tees and our fascist bashing Black Lives Matter benefit shirt.


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- ( Click to Embiggen ) -
GO to the SALE at BANDCAMP

We're in the final days of a 20% off spring sale at our Bandcamp store and to celebrate, many of the label's heavy hitters have lent a hand by contributing artwork for use on the sale's social media banner ads.

- Daily banners courtesy of… (click artist's name to embiggen)
Mark Fischer (editor-in-chief at SKiN GRAFT Records)
Todd Fischer (co-artist on SIDES 7-10 comic book)
John Forbes (guitarist / singer of Tijuana Hercules, Mount Shasta)
Nobta Koike (aka Kame Bazooka of Space Streakings)
Michael Trull (artist on Terms "Asbestos Mouth")
Rob Syers (art for Mount Shasta, Cheer-Accident & many others)
Gregory Jacobsen (vocalist of Lovely Little Girls)
Akiko Matsuura (aka KEEX - vocalist of Pre)
Paul Nitsche (art on Dazzling Killmen "Face of Collapse")
Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers, Lake Of Dracula, etc)
Chrissy Rossettie Sakes (percussion & noise in Xaddax)
Daniel Luedtke (vocals and keyboards in Gay Beast)
Admiral Grey (vocalist of Cellular Chaos)
Kairai Bunch (Captain Insect of Space Streakings)
Arnulf Roedler (artist on Yowie "Synchromysticism")

On Friday, June 18th, from midnight to midnight Pacific Time, Bandcamp is holding their second annual Juneteenth fundraiser, and will donate 100% of their share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to support their ongoing efforts to promote racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education.

To take part in the sale visit our BANDCAMP page HERE.
To see the previously posted & forthcoming banners, follow us on:
Facebook and Twitter and Instagram - and while you are at it, how about subscribing to our You Tube channel too?

Remember what SG's resident cheeseball "Jazzy" Joe Romita always says... "There's no time like the present to score yourself a present!

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SKiN GRAFT RECORDS SALE
20% off physical and digital in our Bandcamp Shop
use code: LETITDOWN
EXPIRES: June 21st, 2021 at 11:59 UTC
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- ( Go to the BANDCAMP Page ) -

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ITEM (!): Meanwhile - online ordering is nice and all - but nothing beats the post-pandemic pleasure of setting foot in a real live record store and scoring some instant gratification! These esteemed establishments below have all gone above and beyond by pledging their support to TIJUANA HERCULES' new album "Mudslod and the Singles" - - - and each will have a limited quantity of posters (hand silkscreened by the band's very own John Vernon Forbes) to do with what they will!

Visit these shops - Post Haste!
Siren Records in McHenry, IL
Zia Records in Phoenix, AZ
Used Kids in Columbus, OH
Guestroom in Norman, OK
Port of Sound in Costa Mesa, CA
Seasick Records in Birmingham, AL
Rough Trade in New York, NY
Waterloo Records & Video in Austin, TX

Thanks Everyone!

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NOTE: We are now resuming shipments to addresses outside of the USA, but due to COVID-19, please be aware that orders are generally taking MUCH longer to arrive. For LPs/CDs shipped throughout Europe at a great price, give Mandai Distribution a look. Thanks Everyone!


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PREVIOUS UPDATE:


updated: May 7th 2021

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----------------------------------------------------------------------
CHEER-ACCIDENT
"Fringements One" CD / Digital

Digital album unlocked May 21st, 2021
---------------------------------------------------------------------- sides 7-10
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TIJUANA HERCULES
"Mudslod and the Singles" LP / CD / Ult-Ed / Digital

+ a limited Qty of One-of-a-Kind Orignal Art Bundles remain!
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SIDES 7-10
MOUNT SHASTA / DENISON KIMBALL TRIO
TAR / KILLDOZER

( - AC/DC Tribute - )
Digital Double Single & Comic Book Set
----------------------------------------------------------------------
- ( Click to Embiggen ) -
- ( Go to the BANDCAMP Page ) -

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GR138
TIJUANA HERCULES
PDF One-Sheet
cat #: GR138LP/CD

(click to view)

The new Tijuana Hercules album is out and a few "pre-release" write ups have already gone up!  Here are some links:

"Tijuana Herculesdrop the trash-blues masterpiece they delayed for COVID " - The Chicago Reader

“a glorious hike through the humid landscape of America’s southern regions… like blues versions of the ragas that Hindu musicians use as a springboard for improvisation.” - Joyzine Review and Interview

"With Tijuana Hercules, John Vernon Forbes could be on the cusp of giving us the next Cramps.- TBone's Listen Up

"This bit sounds something like Nik Turner at Stonehenge jamming with the Captain – Beefheart not Sensible, Stonehenge or wherever the festival had been chased off to by the forces with no numbers on their police uniforms that time, where was it?  Nik Turner does come to mind at times, it sounds like outdoor music or sitting on the porch music, it sounds like communal music, music that needs to be shared, music made by people who are enjoying each other’s playing, music that rolls along, rolls along in a sometimes  elegant way…. and it almost beyond lazy to even bring up ZZ Top or the Captain or Mr Turner – that’s the kind of lazy music journalism that would get me a job at the NME or one of those glossy prog rock magazines that like everything shipshape and pigeonhole fashion and this is nothing like ZZ Top or the mighty Miraculous Mile, well maybe La Grange but keep that to yourself".  - The Organ

"I sent the track to a rhythm section I know in Marquette, Michigan, because there's a 5/4-vibe there that's all its own. (I suspect the isolation and natural brutality that is the root of the unique human nature there.) Despite being cut off from civilization at large by sheer geography, Marquette maintains more top-notch drummers and astute musicologists than anywhere I know. A true yaba yum". - John Vernon Forbes discusses recording "The Way It Is". - Expose

“pulses with a hypnotic backbeat and crackles with guitar crunch and harmonica beamed in from the Twilight Zone” - Video Premiere and Interview at Joyzine 

"Mudslod" is available digitally, as a vinyl LP and as a Glass-Mastered Compact Disc. The SKiN GRAFT shop exclusive Ultimate Edition includes a Chalk WHITE Vinyl LP, a Foot-Long Full-Color OBI, the Glass-Mastered CD in six-panel Gatefold Jacket plus an extended version of "Delta Alien" and a Digital Download. All formats include “Map of The Stars” cartoons dutifully delineated in duotone by the band’s John Forbes & laid out by Touch and Go Records’ design department alumnus David Babbitt.

We are also offering a number of one-of-a-kind Ultimate Edition bundles that come complete with your choice of original art as found on the "Mudslod and the Singles" album cover! The artwork measures 9" x 12" and was illustrated & signed by John Vernon Forbes. They make for a "be-all, end-all" LP insert and are certainly suitable for hanging in your sorority house, fire department sleeping quarters or dungeon.

To place an order - visit our Bandcamp page.

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Tijuana Hercules' frontman John Vernon Forbes is making a second appearance today. Also now available at ourBandcamp page is the long unavailable double single and comic set - SIDES 7-10 - an AC/DC tribute featuring John's previous band Mount Shasta - plus Killdozer, Tar and The Denison Kimball Trio (that is Duane of The Jesus Lizard & Tomahawk and Jim of Laughing Hyenas & Mule). You can order it HERE and read all about it below.

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SIDES 7-10 - CATALOG LISTING:
Co-release with Gasoline Boost. This deluxe 2021 digital edition of SIDES 7-10 has been tinkered with since it's physical release in 1998. All songs have been remastered by Todd Rittmann, the PDF comic book sleeve has been reworked & expanded, and Chicago's Tar now sits high atop Side Nine with their rendition of "Hells Bells". Please note, that you must download the files to receive the PDF comic book.

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DESCRIPTION:
SIDES 7-10 is four sides of Aussie-inspired rock straight off the bar-bie! Chicago's (pre-Tijuana Hercules) noise-rockin' nogoodniks MOUNT SHASTA kick off with "Whole Lotta Rosie", a balls out feast for the ears that will have you jumping around the house and digging out that long closeted, cigarette-stained jean jacket!

In stark contrast, The Denison Kimball Trio exercise more restraint than anyone would expect from the axeman of The Jesus Lizard and battering ram of The Laughing Hyenas. Duane and Jim deliver "Back In Blanc" (note: that's not a typo), an atmospheric salute that glides off the turntable, into the ether and plants itself deep in your right hemisphere.

The second platter picks up with the first new addition to the SIDES series in good long while. Chicago's TAR bring the thunder with their walloping take on Hells Bells. And the late great KILLDOZER brings it all down with "Let Me Put My Love Into You", a slow, touching dirge of unearthly heaviness. A fitting tribute from a band renowned for their tributes.

In the comic book, Todd Fischer (NOOD HAM) joins his brother Mark to help illustrate "North Pole Vaulting", as they continue to dismantle and pick apart the story introduced in SIDES 1-4. It stars the label's world famous mascot Hot Satan - plus Serious Brown, Chiller Whale, the Karate Chimp, The Incredible Not-Hulk and SKiN GRAFT Records CEO Art Ceaser (sic)!!!

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FUN FACT(S):
This comic is chock full of subliminal messages. SKiN GRAFT bears no responsibility for anything, anywhere, anyhow. See the back cover for details.

SONGS:
Mount Shasta - Whole Lotta Rosie
Denison Kimball Trio - Back In Blanc
Tar - Hells Bells
Killdozer - Let Me Put My Love Into You

All tracks (except 8) engineered by Steve Albini
Mastered in 2021 by Todd Rittmann.

Gasoline Boost: Rene Herbst
Comic book "North Pole Vaultin'" by Mark and Todd Fischer
Cover Art by Mark Fischer
Thanks to Leech Soup for the color separations assist.

TIJUANA HERCULES "Mudslod and the Singles"
and SIDES 7-10 are now available at Bandcamp.


PREVIOUS UPDATE:


updated: April 9th, 2021

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Hey Good Buddies - Anybody got their ears on?
Announcing...
SKiN GRAFT TRUCKER HATS from UNFIT APPAREL

Order 'em over at The DARK SLIDE HERE.
- and check out our line of shirts HERE from the likes of : U.S. MAPLE, DAZZLING KILLMEN, SPACE STREAKINGS, DOOMSDAY STUDENT, MOUNT SHASTA and plenty MORE!
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ITEM! - "ShaTooBog" from Tijuana Hercules' upcoming album "Mudslod and the Singles" has landed on all streaming and digital platforms! Here it is over on You Tube.



shatoobog


PREVIOUS UPDATE:


updated: April 2nd, 2021
news
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MELT-BANANA "It's In The Pillcase"
Digital Single & Comic Set now available
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SPACE STREAKINGS "Taco Beya"
Digital Single & Comic Set now available
(Limited quantity of physical copies in-stock)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TIJUANA HERCULES "Mudslod and the Singles" LP/CD/Ult-Ed
Pre-Orders and One-of-a-Kind Orignal Art Bundles up now
----------------------------------------------------------------------
- ( Click to Embiggen ) -
- ( Go to the BANDCAMP Page ) -


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MELT-BANANA "It's In The Pillcase"

Digital Single and Comic

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SPACE STREAKINGS "Taco Beya"

Digital Single and Comic
limited qty of physical copies in-stock
------------------------
The MELT-BANANA and SPACE STREAKINGS
releases can be purchased over at
Bandcamp,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tokyo’s Genre-Defying MELT-BANANA and SPACE STREAKINGS Unearth Rare Single and Comic Sets

From genre-defying to genre-defining, over the last 30 years SKiN GRAFT Records has curated a collection of music that would seem at home nowhere else. SKiN GRAFT initially sprang to life in 1986 as a punk-infused comix zine, but with a move to Chicago in 1991, it reinvented itself as a quirky, aesthetically driven record label specializing in noisy, no wave music. SKiN GRAFT Records first made its mark with a collection of seven-inch singles packed inside comic book sleeves that defined its irreverent, multi-disciplinary approach. Last year the label began reissuing these formerly “analog only”, out-of-print singles and comics in revamped digital editions over at Bandcamp.

Recent months have seen a steady stream archival releases from uncategorizable acts ranging from the “Jim O’Rourke / Cheer-Accident mash-up” Brise-Glace, to Boredoms spin-off UFO or Die, to Chicago’s “rock re-defining” U.S. Maple. Other reissues include a series of remastered tributes to AC/DC from the likes of Shellac, Yowie, Will Oldham (as Palace Contribution) and Zeni Geva

SKiN GRAFT built a reputation for it’s work with Japanese underground acts such as Koenjihyakkei and Ruins, but in it’s early days the label made waves with a pair of bands from Tokyo that sweat out wholly individual, super-adrenalized collisions of noise, pop and rock.  It’s testament to their pioneering spirit that with a quarter century laid down behind them, Japan’s Melt-Banana and Space Streakings still don’t sound like much of anything else.

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In 1991, Yasuko Onuki (aka Yako) started the band Mizu and enlisted guitarist Ichiro Agata to join the band. By November of 1992, Bassist Rika Mm’, and drummer Sudoh Toshiaki had joined and the newly energized, Mizu changed their name to Melt-Banana. Zeni Geva’s K.K. Null sent SKiN GRAFT Records a copy of Mizu’s demo tape and the band recorded today’s single shortly after laying down their debut album. On “It’s In The Pillcase”, frontwoman Yasuko O.’s aggravated pep squad proclamations and Agata’s cerebral gnashing slide guitar vie for supremacy across a neck-snapping rhythmic frenzy that is so brief, ridiculous, and precise, that cracking a smile is pretty much irresistible.

comicThe three-song single was engineered by Null who also provided inspiration for one of the comics inside… SKiN GRAFT’s Mark Fischer says “Though we had corresponded via fax for quite some time, I met Melt-Banana in person when they came to Chicago to record their first album over at Steve Albini’s house. This was for Null’s Nux Organization label. The band stayed at my place and to give you an idea of how long ago this was, we all watched the O.J. Simpson bronco chase live on TV between mixing sessions. Null was also recording an LP for his other band Yona-Kit at Steve’s - and Yako jumped in to provide additional vocals on the opening track “Franken-bitch”. Null’s lyrics were very funny and over-the top but when Jim O’Rourke added his guitar parts to the song, it suddenly took on an entirely different tone, and became more plaintive and reflexive.  When it came time to draw something up for the Melt-Banana comic, that song was one of the inspirations.”

Yako hand wrote the three songs’ lyrics across two of the comic book pages.  “All of the lyrics are in English. When I started the band, I was singing in Japanese, but I thought English would fit my vocal style more according to pronunciation or sounds, so I started singing in English.  I usually don’t decide on a certain theme when I write lyrics... I just write what I feel and think and see around me.” Yako added.

Melt-Banana followed up their single with the album “Scratch or Stitch” which brought the band wider recognition. Melt-Banana later formed their own record label, A-Zap, and after well over a thousand shows as a four piece, they considered breaking up in 2012. But it was an invitation to perform at the ATP festival in the UK from their old recording engineer Steve Albini’s band Shellac that encouraged Yako and Agata to carry on as a two-piece. Melt-Banana are still blowing minds to this day.

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An entirely different, though no less confounding kind of racket was made by fellow statesmen Space Streakings, who melded grindcore, jazz-funk-turntablist industrial music and japanoise glitch-hop into something no one had-ever heard before.

On Space Streakings’ origins, Ikuo Shimizu (aka Captain Insect) says “The band was formed in January of 1990. At that time, it was a trio of me, Stomach, and another guitarist who went by the name of Kashikari Rental Rocket. He can be heard on our early demos, before we recorded an album.” These demos were recently included as bonus tracks on the band’s debut album ”First Love”. “Condor and Bazooka joined the following year and there was a time when we were actually a five-member group, but Rental Rocket left soon after.” The core line up of Captain Insect (bass, programming), Kame Bazooka (vocals, alto saxophone), Karate Condor (turntables) and Screaming Stomach (guitar, trumpet) was in place by the end of 1991.

spaceLong rumored to be a quartet of moonlighting Nintendo programmers, Space Streakings actually took a decidedly analog approach to the their music - often building their own instruments - including the gasoline powered “Engine Guitar” which came complete with a chainsaw style pull cord; and the “Bazooka-Horn” which saw an 18-wheeler semi truck horn attached to an air compressor. Although Screaming Stomach still came in to provide backing vocals, by the time of 1995’s “Taco Beya” single, he had left and Space Streakings began experimenting with new techniques as a three piece. Artwork came under the purview of the band’s Nobtack Koike (aka Kame Bazooka) who’s surreal, sci-fi infused aesthetic perfectly complimented the band’s otherworldly, cacophonous sound. Space Streakings toured the USA with Chicago label mates Mount Shasta and even recorded a “super group” LP under the name Shakuhachi Surprise - which was comprised of the complete line-ups Mount Shasta and Space Streakings, again with Steve Albini behind the control deck. When reminiscing about those days, Mount Shasta’s John Forbes volunteered “Space Streakings were gigantic when it came to innovation. They were dystopian house music straight from the Asian Pacific Rim via Area 51.”

Shakuhachi Surprise performed live just once as the surprise show closer at Chicago’s 1995 Oops indoors Festival. As for Space Streakings themselves, the band ultimately wound down and stopped performing by 1998.

SKiN GRAFT’s Mark Fischer opined, “Introducing Space Streakings and Melt-Banana to new audiences has been one of the great pleasures of managing this label. They made a deep, deep impression on everyone who came into contact with them… and I’m excited for these early works to reach new sets of eyes and ears.

- Article reproduced from The BIG TAKEOVER

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SPACE STREAKINGS "Taco Beya" 7” Vinyl Single and Comic Set is now available physically and digitally at Bandcamp and the audio is now available on all digital platforms. MELT-BANANA "It's In The Pillcase" Digital Single & Comic Set now available at Bandcamp. The digital versions of both comic books have been expanded for their digital premiere. "Mudslod and the Singles", the new album from John Forbes' post-Mount Shasta band TIJUANA HERCULES will be released May 7th and can be pre-ordered at (you guessed it) Bandcamp.








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