TWO New SKiN GRAFT T-Shirts Up For Pre-Orders "OOPS iNDOORS '96" and "Over Mid-America"
Double-Sided Shirts w/ SKiN GRAFT Records Logo
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SKiN GRAFT Records Launches "UNFIT Apparel" -
a New Clothing Line in Partnership with FGC Creative & The DARK SLIDE Skate Shop
SKiN GRAFT Records
"OOPS ( ! ) iNDOORS '96"
T-SHIRT (click pics to embiggen)
My parents didn't listen to much music while I was growing up. The TV was perched firmly atop the family’s entertainment center and the turntable only got a song in edgewise on Sundays while mom prepared dinner and dad and I loafed around the house. My mother was a member of the Columbia House Record Club for a while, but the subscription lapsed after the eight mandatory records were purchased. Some of our favorites included the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Stevie Wonder “Songs in the Key of Life” and Billy Joel “The Stranger”.
It was at my friend Pat Dignam’s house that I was introduced to the hard stuff.
Pat’s older brother had the quintessential late 70’s record collection - his tastes shaped by a steady diet of K-SHE 95 and Mid-American fuck all. After spinning a good four or five Peaches crates of LPs, Pat and I spent a momentous afternoon assembling my very first mix tape, culled from the cream of the Dignam crop. Being a comic book kid, loyalty to Stan and Jack decreed that the TDK D-C90 kick off with Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”, from there we went straight into Rush’s “Working Man” and on into the forbidden fruit offered by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Molly Hatchet and Ted Nugent.
Mom didn't much care for my new mix tape, but she tolerated it. The real concern would come a few years later once Black Flag, D.R.I., Public Enemy and Slayer came blaring out of my bedroom. But as the 80’s got underway, we did find some common ground - Billy Squier, a couple of Sabbath songs (with Ronnie James Dio singing), and Foreigner. Dad just shook his head..
On November 27th, 1981 Mom and I went to our first rock concert - Foreigner live on stage under St. Louis’ now legendary Checkerdome. I was just 12 years old when Mick Jones and Lou Gramm hit pay dirt. Their album “4” was a worldwide smash, holding the #1 position on the Billboard album chart for a total of 10 weeks. I was drawn to the hard-rockin’, anthemic “Juke Box Hero” while mom preferred the more adult contemporary sounds of “Waiting for a Girl Like You”.
SKiN GRAFT Records
(click pics to embiggen)
We parked some distance away from the Checkerdome and as we covered the blocks to the venue, I resumed building my case on the importance of purchasing a shirt to mark the occasion. I’d started in on her months earlier, right after the tickets were purchased. It was a practice I’d honed to a fine art over the years, like a pint-sized Perry Mason. At the age of six, when other kids were wearing elastic-banded, vacuformed plastic masks for Halloween, I took every opportunity to remind my mother of how much “cooler” the rubber Frankenstein mask on the endcap over at K-Mart was. No matter that the mask was intended for kids at least 6 years older than me - when I was awarded the mask for my persistence, Frankenstein’s chin dangled a good three inches below my own, but in my little abnormal monster brain, I was the scariest thing on two legs.
Rock band shirts were a sight pretty much unseen at Immanuel Lutheran School. Located in historic St Charles, Missouri, it was (and remains) a Christian parochial school, providing a religious and secular Elementary and Middle School education to kids in grades K through 8. Aside from an older brother’s Rush “Fly By Night” shirt once worn by Brett Dashner, no one had ever worn a concert shirt to class. For the bigger kids over at St. Charles West High School, the concert Tee was a badge of honor - especially a “morning after” shirt - an hours old, cigarette smoke-soaked trophy worn the day following the concert. I was aiming to bring the prestige down a few grades and make middle-school history.
Before we closed in on the entrance, we were approached by what I now realize was a black market vendor dealing bootleg merchandise. If not for the “Shirts $10” sign pinned to his overcoat, we would have mistaken him for one St. Louis’ homeless. The overstuffed Hefty Bag over his shoulder revealed a cornucopia of crudely printed Foreigner styles - all from the previous tour. I immediately gravitated toward the black “Head Games” shirt with the white three-quarter-length jersey sleeves. “Head Games” was Foreigner’s 1979 album, a bit more rockin’ than “4” and it sported a fairly controversial cover – which was splotchily reproduced on the threadbare, paper-thin jersey.
Of the cover art, author Mike McPadden had this to say: “The cover boasted one of the most instantly scandalous and unforgettable images in the history of rock LPs. It depicts a panicked, sexily attired young girl getting caught in a men’s room, squatting on a urinal as she frantically attempts to scrub her graffiti-scrawled name off a stall wall with toilet paper.”
Now any inappropriate implication went way over my 12-year old head. It was simply the “coolest” looking shirt. Eager to get away from our dodgy-looking dealer - and without giving the shirt a second look, Mom swiftly parted with her $10 dollars and we were off to the show. Memory fails me, but the Internet says that November 27th, 1981 was a Friday, so that means the following Monday was the big day. I wore my shirt to school and regaled my friends with breathless, six-string tales of between-song banter, permed shoulder-length hair and the massive inflatable juke box that rose from center stage during the performance of “Juke Box Hero”. I remember my old sixth grade teacher Mr. Degitz making a comment on the shirt in the hallway, but I didn't pay much attention. Even the kids that were in his class didn't listen to a word he said. I carpooled home just in time to catch “The Munsters” on channel 11 and play some Atari.
Immediately after school and unbeknownst to me, an emergency faculty meeting was held with high ranking members members of the church to discuss the “Head Games” jersey that had infiltrated school that day. The following morning, the announcement came down from on high - an 11th commandment, swiftly amending Moses’ twin tablets of stone ---- rock and roll shirts were henceforth banned from Immanuel Lutheran School.
Each student was given a sealed envelope to be hand delivered to his or her parents. It read in part: “It is our belief that appropriate dress is a necessary component in the development of dignity and self-discipline. Therefore, parents and students are urged to observe a modest manner in order to foster a climate in which students can achieve their highest levels of academic performance while developing the social and interpersonal skills needed to become responsible Christian members of society. Rock band shirts or any garment with offensive logos or writing are unfit for a serious learning environment.”
The rule stands to this day.
And so it is with great pleasure that I get to announce “UNFIT Apparel” - a new line of high-quality T-Shirts that SKiN GRAFT Records is developing with FGC Creative andThe Dark Slide Skate Shop. For the label’s 25th Anniversary, we have entered into a licensing agreement to make available a series of eyebrow-arching attire using both classic and new designs from SKiN GRAFT bands past and present. Unlike that chintzy Foreigner jersey, each shirt in the UNFIT Apparel line is made to last - utilizing top of the line 100% combed and ring spun cotton shirts - and professionally screen-printed with long lasting inks to endure the heartiest of lifestyles.
It is our sincere hope that in the years to come the shirts of the “UNFIT Apparel” line will bring as much joy and suffering to those in your social circle as that threadbare, three-quarter-length jersey sleeved “Head Games” shirt did mine.
Mark Fischer, SKiN GRAFT Records
The first two shirts are now available for pre-order at the SKiN GRAFT Shop. But please note - UNFIT Apparel T-Shirt orders will be fulfilled by The DARK SLIDE Skate Shop, not SKiN GRAFT. T-Shirt orders will be re-directed to their storefront. Vinyl, CDs and other items from the SKiN GRAFT Shop may NOT be combined with UNFIT Apparel T-Shirts and separate shipping charges apply.
TO ORDER, VISIT THE
In keeping with SKiN GRAFT's india ink and xerox comic -zine roots, our initial offerings are rendered in stark black and white, just like zebras and 1932's "Grand Hotel", starring John Barrymore, Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford:
UNFIT #01: SKiN GRAFT Records T-SHIRT Logo (front) / OOPS (!) iNDOORS ‘96 (back)
Designed by Mark Fischer
Features a pocket-sized SKiN GRAFT “hands down” Logo on the front - and on the back, poster art for the 1996 OOPS (!) iNDOORS Festival held at Chicago’s legendary Lounge Ax. Bands featured include U.S. Maple, Brise-Glace, The Flying Luttenbachers, Colossamite, Melt-Banana, Mount Shasta, You Fantastic! and Lake Of Dracula, as well as Bobby Conn, Azita of the Scissor Girls and Cheer-Accident’s Thymme Jones.
UNFIT #02: SKiN GRAFT Records T-SHIRT
Over Mid-America (front) / Logo (back)
Designed by Mark Fischer
The iconic “Skeleton in the Bathroom” image as originally appeared on the SKiN GRAFT “Up Your Ass and Into Your Heart” poster from 1993 takes the front of this shirt. The back features the classic SKiN GRAFT Logo between the shoulder blades.
Shirts will begin shipping on September 15th, so I'd encourage getting an order in early to guarantee the size you want!
LATE BREAKING ADDENDUM
Department ( ! ) :
Just hours before this News Desk update was about to go live, cartoonist Adam Rust of Chicago emailed over the photo on the right with the following message:
Hi There - I found this old sign at a flea market last weekend. I'm curious if you happen to know its provenance?
This is a really neat find! It is a riff on the height requirement signs commonly found at amusement parks like Six Flags to get on a rollercoaster. The character is lil’ Hot Satan (the devil on the SKiN GRAFT Records logo) as painted by Rob Syers from Mark Fischer's layout. It stood outside of Lounge Ax as tickets were taken for the two days of the OOPS (!) iNDOORS 1995 Festival. You can click on the photo for a better look and go HERE to read more about the OOPS ( ! ) iNDOORS shows.
DOOMSDAY STUDENT "Angry Christmas"
Directed and animated by Luke Boggia
from the forthcoming album "A Self-Help Tragedy" coming from
Three One G and SKiN GRAFT Records in 2017
ITEM! If you've been following us on Facebook, you may have seen that CHILD ABUSE is prepping for a South American tour in November, XADDAX is writing a bunch of new material and YOWIE has been hard at work recording their long-awaited third album for a 2017 street date. I for one, and you for two, can not wait!
Speaking of third albums, you might have also seen that DOOMSDAY STUDENT's next one - "A Self Help Tragedy" will be released through the cooperative efforts of Three One G and SKiN GRAFT Records. We'll have more details on that in the months to come. For now, up top is a taste (or maybe a big gulp) of what's to come - a brand new DOOMSDAY STUDENT video directed by the incredible Luke Boggia! You can read the full write up from Doug Moore over at STEREOGUM right HERE.
DOOMSDAY STUDENT's previous two albums are available on the enduring CD format over at the SKiN GRAFT Shop, so go ahead and treat yourself.
Okay - It's almost time to reveal our big 25th Anniversary release. Next time, lets talk DAZZLING KILLMEN "Face Of Collapse"!
MORE NEW NEWS:
updated: August 22nd, 2016
ARAB ON RADAR "The Yahweh or the Highway Sessions"
screen-printed aluminum sleeved 7"/ CD / Ultimate Edition
Want to order some music? Visit the
ARAB ON RADAR "The Yahweh or the Highway Sessions"
aluminum cover 7" single
ARAB ON RADAR "The Yahweh of the Highways Sessions" 7" single / CD / Ultimate Edition is shipping now!
“Arab on Radar's first show was in the cafeteria on the Rhode Island College campus. Not long after, when the band was opening for Marilyn Manson at a Providence club called Babyhead, they were chased out of the club by angry audience members.” - Wikipedia
“Arab On Radar were torchbearers of a new breed of deconstructionists, mixing mind-melting abrasiveness with punk’s calculated aggression: avant-rock made by cerebral high-art-cumpunk- lovin’ dudes who probably kept their Black Flag records stashed near their Stockhausen. Somewhere along the way, people got amazed and confused.” - CMJ
During the sessions that would become their final album “Yahweh or the Highway”, Arab On Radar recorded updated versions of two tracks that had originally appeared on a split 7” EP with The Locust a year earlier. Locked away on a roll of analog tape since 2001, the band and SKiN GRAFT Records are making these unheard recordings available in an edition of 550 7” vinyl singles. Produced by Weasel Walter in 2001 at Sound Station Seven, each single comes with a hand fabricated aluminum jacket, custom polished and treated by the band’s own Mr. Clinical Depression and then screen-printed with new artwork by Mat Brinkman and Neil Burke. No two sleeves will be alike. The single comes complete with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity and a heavy, double-sided tri-fold sleeve featuring band photos and lyrics.
ARAB ON RADAR
"The Yahweh or the Highway Sessions"
“Like U.S. Maple's runty little cousin, Arab On Radar's avant-gargling wasn't some dry exercise in "playing the spaces between notes." They clogged those spaces, distended them, poked them inside out. I've seen plenty of discordant bands and enjoyed lots of annoying records over the years - but there will always be a special place in my heart (and a soft spot in my brain) reserved for this one-two cockpunch of transcendental retardation.” - A.V. Club
The ARAB ON RADAR "The Yahweh of the Highways Sessions"7“ tracks are also being released on CD in two editions, each with unique cover art. Available exclusively through the SKiN GRAFT Shop is a specially priced Ultimate Edition bundle, which brings together the aluminum sleeved 7" single with your choice of CD packaging.
TRACK LISTING 7" SINGLE: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Three Meals Away From A Crack Whore
2. Piggin’ In The Pumpkin Patch
TRACK LISTING - BOTH CD EDITIONS: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. My Mind Is A Muffler
2. Cocaine Mummy
3. God Is Dad
4. Semen On The Mount
5. Vatican Is Up To Bat Again
6. Di To Solve Pi
7. Father, Son, And The Goalie Post
8. Birth Control Blues
9. Three Meals Away From A Crack Whore
10. Piggin’ In The Pumpkin Patch
Mail Orders: SKiN GRAFT Records PAYPAL SHOP ARAB ON RADAR Band Page: Hi-Res Photos, Cover Art, Bio, etc
Stereogum: B-Side Premiere Rock music’s wildest mutants traditionally have short lifespans, so it’s a minor miracle that Providence, RI’s Arab On Radar survived for eight years. Though the band got going in 1994, their influences mostly date to the ill-defined but influential no-wave scene of late-’70s New York: the likes of the Contortions, DNA, and the early Lydia Lunch outfit Teenage Jesus & The Jerks.
Alongside a small handful of peers like the Flying Luttenbachers and U.S. Maple, Arab On Radar dragged no-wave’s guitar-choking skronk and brainy nihilism into the post-Soviet era, while retaining its penchant for absurdist provocation. (Read AOR frontman Eric Paul’s hilarious account of the band’s unlikely opening slot at a Marilyn Manson gig in 1995 to get a sense of their penchant for causing trouble.) After generating a surprisingly extensive discography, including the classic 2001 LP Yahweh Or The Highway, Arab On Radar called it quits in 2002; an aborted 2010 reunion aside, the group has kept quiet ever since, though three members of the band still work together in fine form as Doomsday Student.
Surprisingly, the corpse of Arab On Radar still has one last fetid belch left in it, in the form of a pair of B-sides from the Yahweh Or The Highway sessions. Skin Graft Records, the Chicago noise rock bellwether that issued Yahweh, is releasing these two tunes as a single. We’re premiering one of those two tracks, “Piggin’ In The Pumpkin Patch,” here today. Driven by a nervous 7-beat drum ostinato and chickenscratch guitars that don’t even pretend like they’re trying to carry a melody, it’s a brief trainwreck of a tune that captures much of Arab On Radar’s paradoxical appeal. It’ll probably sound like a malfunctioning appliance to most, but lucky ears will detect the sardonic but unmistakeable musicality that lies beneath the scabby surface. Listen.
- DOUG MOORE | August 4th, 2016
Consequence of Sound
Top 10 Songs of the Week It’s a real pleasure to be able to write Arab on Radar’s name into a Top Songs of the Week post, especially considering its not 1999. The Providence no wave outfit produced noise so trainwreck-compelling that they became a touchstone for fellow weirdos around the world, getting big enough that they could even open for Marilyn Manson. (The late ’90s were a strange time, man.) But they were done by 2002, so there’s no way I’d get to write about them here - but think again!
Chicago’s Skin Graft Records unearthed a pair of unreleased Arab on Radar B-sides, including the scraggly “Piggin’ In the Pumpkin Patch”, driven by Craig Kureck’s “nailgun through aluminum siding” snare drum and Eric Paul’s shrieking. The track and its compatriot will be available August 19th via Skin Graft.
- ADAM KIVEL | August 5th, 2016
CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
Thats it for this time. Theres plenty more to read (and see) on the ARAB ON RADAR "The Yahweh or the Highway Sessions" (as well as the new albums from CELLULAR CHAOS and LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS) in the previous updates (link below)!
LOVELY LITTLE GIRLS "Glistening Vivid Splash"
LP / CD / ULTIMATE EDITION