I’m not sure where I got my first copy of it- and I certainly didn’t know much about it once I had it. What I did know was that this was digital ska gold. This album I’m speaking of, this ska masterpiece that’s never been released in physical form, and hidden away from the world is Tooth- and for years, it’s been my secret weapon.
I’ve dropped Running For The F-Train and Intello Punk on countless mix tapes, and Out Of The Fryin’ Pan and Banker have blown minds when played on Ska’s The Limit. The response is always along the lines of, “Where’d you get this?,” “Who was that band?,” “Where can I get it?“ Until yesterday, I’d normally just smile and shake my head, “Oh that’s Da Whole Thing. What you don’t have that?”
Da Whole Thing was a short-lived NY super-group and they were like the Sex Mob of Ska. The group was the brain child of Patrick Carayannis and executed by some of the top names in US Ska, Victor Rice, Vic Ruggiero, Chris Murray and Agent Jay, so you don’t need to take my word for it. Those of you that have been coming to Ska Blah Blah from the beginning might remember Da Whole Thing being a point of topic in the first series of podcasts.
Da Whole Thing’s first record, @Version City has been available online for several years, but Tooth has always been my preference- for it’s chaotic brilliance, it’s creepy humor and it’s sheer rarity. Scratch that last one off the list, it’s time that Tooth was available to the masses, and time you got your hot little hands the mp3′s that have been my secret weapon for too long.
Whatevski Records, the online record shop that’s been dishing up Slackers bootlegs for almost a year now, is branching out. Along with Tooth, Whatevski’s also hosting digi-downloads of The Great Rocksteady Swindle, and Mr. T-Bone’s Heroes- both available with drool-worthy bonus features.
Is it a video podcast? An online TV show? A collection of Reggae and Ska interviews? I don’t know exactly, but it’s something like that. In addition to interviews with such Reggae headliners, Owen Grey, Ras Michael and Steel Pulse- ReggaeTV also has a share of Ska coverage.
Two videos should be of particular interest to Ska Blah Blah readers, Vic Ruggiero and Chris Murray:
I love Vic’s explanation of what he sees in Ska. Plus, he makes a few comments about his father that add an interesting follow-up to the 2001 video I posted last week.
This video has been up since April, but it’s news to me- so now it’s news for you. This short interview based documentary was directed by Marie Le Claire, whose name I recognized instantly. I remember a few years ago, The Slackers announced a concert documentary and even released this trailer. I contacted Le Claire and she says that the project was never finished, and it sounds like we’ll have to settle for the short we have.
It really is a great video, too. Here’s Vic in the studio talking mostly about his dad, and weighing the pros and cons of working as a musician. There’s some great concert and rehearsal footage between the interview segments, and some faces from Slackers past. I love getting a glimpse of their cramped rehearsal space- oh and Vic does a Mick Jagger impression.
I plan on sharing a few of my Ruggiero Bootlegs with the site’s webmaster, Spaz. But I encourage anyone out there to share their hissy tapes with the rest of us via the bootleg section. Nothing to share? No worries two sets are already available for download.
As for the Discography section- I was surprised to find two Slackers songs that I had never heard before- not new mind you, this discography goes waaay back.
So who’s going to step up and make a similar page for Slackers live sets? Hmmm… that is a good idea…
Oh! and it’s got videos. Here’s my favorite song by Ruggiero:
These vids were recorded a little over a year ago, at The Elbow Room, but they are new to me. Maybe they’re new to you too. This set is automatically better than your average Ruggiero live video set, in that you can actually hear the music and see the artist. This is Vic in full One-Man-Band mode, playing mostly stuff from his solo songbook, and a little bit from The Slackers’ cannon. Please enjoy: Link to The Entire Set
Here’s a sample from the set in question, California:
Bonus! Not from the Elbow Room set- but what a great performance: