Thu Dec 28 2023
7:00 PM Doors
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Kickstand Productions Presents
Mustard Plug's 21st Annual Holiday Spectacular
Mustard Plug started out in 1991 in the punk clubs, basements, and dive bars of the Midwest, playing punk-influenced ska music before most people in the U.S. had ever heard of ska. They embraced a DIY work ethic that had been ingrained in them growing up in the 1980s hardcore punk scene, and applied it to everything they would ever do together as a band. Mustard Plug self-released their first cassette tape, 1992’s Skapocalypse Now!, and played constantly to earn enough money to record their first album, 1994’s Big Daddy Multitude, which was released on legendary NYC label Moon Records. With their newfound national distribution and exposure, the band climbed into their van and performed their music for new fans across North America.
For their next album they enlisted their heroes, the Descendents' Bill Stevenson and Stephan Egerton, to record their breakthrough ska-punk classic Evildoers Beware at The Blasting Room. After meeting the crew from Hopeless Records in the beer line at a Descendents show at the Whisky-A-Go-Go, the band teamed up with the then-fledgling LA punk label to release the album to an eager and rapidly expanding fanbase. Released in 1997, Evildoers Beware solidified the band's own take on the genre, combining the edginess of punk and the danceability of ska with sure fire melodic pop hooks. Through relentless touring and word of mouth, Evildoers Beware sold over 150,000 copies and solidified the band’s position within the burgeoning third wave ska scene. The band even flirted with commercial radio play with their cover of The Verve Pipe's "The Freshman," but decided mainstream pop fame was not for them. They never shot a video or commercially released the song despite the radio buzz.
During the first decade of the new millennium, as the media's focus on ska waned, the band returned to the ska underground, touring constantly and taking their explosive live show further afield to Europe, Brazil, and Japan. While many of their 90's ska peers went on hiatus or moved from the genre, Mustard Plug doubled down, organizing the hugely successful Ska Is Dead tours from 2004-2009. In 2007 the band returned to The Blasting Room and released their darkest and most critically acclaimed record, In Black and White. The 2010s brought more touring and playing higher profile festivals including Riotfest, Back to the Beach, Amnesia Rockfest, The FEST, Pouzza, Groezrock, and more.
In March 2020, while touring Australia, Mustard Plug watched as the live music industry began to collapse in front of their eyes. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, the band was forced to take a 16-month hiatus. Stuck at home, they workshopped songs for a new album.
The band returned to The Blasting Room recording studio in January 2023 with their longtime producer, Bill Stevenson. Teaming up with ska label Bad Time Records, they released the new album on September 8, 2023. Where Did All My Friends Go is a return to form for Mustard Plug, with melodic dance floor bangers and darker lyrical themes inspired by the pandemic and the unraveling of modern society. The album is sure to please both older fans from the 90s and the new generation of ska fans who have been building the genre’s momentum in recent years.
The band is currently doing what they do best: touring in support of the new album. They will be playing around the U.S. throughout the next year, continuing their 32-year run and adding to their career tally of over 1,900 shows.
Playing a positive-natured brand of hardcore-tinged Celtic punk, Flatfoot 56 has been unleashing itself upon America and the rest of the world for over 20 years now. Forming in 2000, the Chicago natives achieved nationwide attention with their first two label-backed records, 2006’s Knuckles Up and 2007’s Jungle of the Midwest Sea. These releases built on a heavy dose of previously established regional notoriety, helping the band gain steam early on.
While each record received its fair share of acclaim, the quintet exploded onto a new level with 2010’s Black Thorn. Landing the band on a total of 9 Billboard Charts, Flatfoot 56 proved it could consistently reach an expanding audience while treading in a genre not often associated with widespread success. This success was advanced even further with song placements in the hit TV series
"Sons of Anarchy" and the video game "Watchdogs".
After the success of "Blackthorn" Flatfoot hit the studio yet again in 2012 to record their Paper and plastic records backed "Toil" album. This album would further solidify the band as a consistent force to be reckoned with.
Flatfoot 56’s latest full-length album, entitled "Odd Boat", was produced by Matt Allison at Atlas studios in Chicago. “We decided that since the last experience at Atlas Studios was so beneficial, we wanted to repeat it,” Bawinkel said. “We have been friends with Matt for a few years now and we love the work that he and his studio engineers do.”
"Odd Boat" was a self-released album. “We have been working with labels so long that we decided that we wanted to have more of a say in how our music gets distributed and promoted. We are excited about this next season,” Bawinkel said. “As a band we have all grown a lot over the years and we wanted to stretch ourselves even further. Self release is a good way to do this."
In 2018, Flatfoot 56 released the E.P. "The Vancouver Sessions". In this E.P., they restyled and recorded original songs from multiple albums acoustically. Some fans prefer these acoustic versions over their original versions as they highlight and emphasize the great storytelling element of these ballads.
In 2022, Flatfoot 56 released their first Split E.P. They joined forces with the amazing band,
The Rumjacks, and each released three new and original songs. They are available on vinyl,
for digital download, and playing on Spotify and other streaming services.
Frontman Tobin Bawinkel (vocals/guitar) is now set to lead Flatfoot 56 back into the studio. Armed with his brother Kyle (bass), along with their original piper Josh (bagpipes/mandolin), and Dan Alfonsi (Drums), Flatfoot 56 is in the process of writing their 8th full-length studio album.
Mustard Plug's 21st Annual Holiday Spectacular
Thu Dec 28 2023 7:00 PM Doors