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GUIGNOL Preview Continues With 2 FREE Chapters This Week!

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From the shadows, always lurking, never far … Guignol follows you …

Last Sunday, we debuted the first chapter of my upcoming illustrated horror novel, GUIGNOL – A TALE OF ESCALATING HORROR – the story of an ordinary children’s Halloween play gone horribly wrong.

This week, we’re springing two brand new chapters. As the theater students of Sainte Jeanne d’Arc prepare for the big audition, Lilly has a secret that she’s ready to share with her new friends. The startling all-new tale of terror continues right here…

Click Here to Start Reading
GUIGNOL – A TALE OF ESCALATING HORROR
Chapter 2 – “A Strange Delirium”  + Chapter 3 – “The Stall”

And in case you’re catching up, you can start reading from Chapter 1 here or take a look behind the scenes at the making of Guignol right here.

Guignol Cover
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Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a look inside the creation of GUIGNOL Chapters 2 + 3.

GUIGNOL – A TALE OF ESCALATING HORROR will return on Monday, April 6 with the debut of Chapter 4.
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Guignol Chapter 2 Preview
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Like GUIGNOL on Facebook – or – Follow GUIGNOL on Twitter

GUIGNOL – Chapter 4
FREE PREVIEW BEGINS APRIL 6th.

PRE-ORDER BEGINS APRIL 21

- Brett.

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Written by Guignol

March 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

BEHIND THE STORY: GUIGNOL – Chapter 1

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We’re going wall to wall Guignol!

Every Wednesday for the next five weeks, I’ll be taking a look behind the scenes at the creation of Guignol –  A Tale of Escalating Horror, my upcoming illustrated horror novel. We’ll be pulling back the curtain as the theater students of the art academy of Sainte Jeanne d’Arc prepare for the premiere of Guignol, plus a look at the making Keith Hogan’s amazing original artwork.

Behind the Story
GUIGNOL – A TALE OF ESCALATING HORROR
Chapter 1 – “The Little Ones”

Or start reading Chapter 1 right here

Like GUIGNOL on Facebook – or – Follow GUIGNOL on Twitter

GUIGNOL – Chapters 2 + 3
FREE PREVIEW BEGINS MARCH 29

PRE-ORDER BEGINS APRIL 21

Guignol Lilly

Written by Guignol

March 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm

GUIGNOL FREE PREVIEW BEGINS TODAY!

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After many, many, many months in the making, I am pleased to announce that the first chapter of my debut illustrated horror novel is now available to read online absolutely FREE.

Guignol Cover

Guignol Back Cover

 

In French theater, a guignol is a play about Death in which the cast members meet their final fates one by one in increasingly dramatic, blood-curdling, terrifying ways.

Guignol features 45 full color illustrations by New Orleans punk rock legend Keith Hogan. The story follows the 5th grade theater students of the art academy of Sainte Jeanne d’Arc as they prepare for the premiere performance of Guignol.
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Click Here to Start Reading
GUIGNOL – A TALE OF ESCALATING HORROR
Chapter 1 – “The Little Ones”

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We’re going to be serializing the first six chapters online for free through April. The first edition paperback will be available for pre-order beginning April 21st.
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Guignol Lilly

Like GUIGNOL on Facebook – or – Follow GUIGNOL on Twitter

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Be sure to check back on Wednesday for a look behind the scenes into the creation of Guignol – Chapter 1.

The free preview for Chapters 2 + 3 begins next Sunday, March 29th.

- Brett.

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Written by Guignol

March 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

From My Youth I Have Suffered and Been Close to Death…

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Promo Teaser 2

 

Oh, look!

I wonder what this could be?

We’ve been hard at work putting together an all-new illustrated tale of terror for quite awhile now. Although the title hasn’t officially been announced, the cat is starting to slip out of the bag, and that info is floating around out there in the depths of cyberspace if you’re keen to search it out. But so far, officially, we’ve just had a couple of teasers, like the one above and this one from February.

Here’s what I can say about it so far …

It’s a Halloween story about a group of children, but it is most certainly not meant for children (as you might have guessed, based on Keith Hogan‘s blood-spattered artwork).

I started writing in June of last year, finished the first draft in September, and completed the second draft on Halloween morning, quite unintentionally. Definitely not planned that way, but sometimes things have a weird way of working out.

It’s an illustrated novel – maybe not quite what you might consider a straight-up graphic novel, but the artwork plays a crucial part in enhancing the narrative.

It’s a tale of escalating horror told in 20 chapters.

We’re going to kick things off by offering the first of six chapters online for FREE beginning Sunday, March 22nd, so be sure to check back soon for more.

In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the raw artwork by illustrator Keith Hogan, along with the original concept sketch.

 

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More to come…

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Brett.

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Written by Guignol

March 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

RAZORCAKE SEEKS FRESH BLOOD

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RAZORCAKE

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I know, I know! I keep promising new horror. This isn’t that horror. But we’re getting there, I promise.

Razorcake, perhaps the foremost print ‘zine currently going with regards to DIY and punk culture (although maybe a bit more pop punk orientated than, say, Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll) is currently seeking to expand their staff of comic creators. If you’ve got something that you think might fit in alongside the talents of, say, Mitch Clem, Ben Snakepit, or Liz Prince, then it might be a good time to contact Razorcake‘s editorial staff. Email them with your best Kid Dynamite-inspired puns. They’ll be tickled forever.

And hey, if you’ve never checked out an issue of Razorcake, it’s never too late to surrender your soul to the diabolical influences of punk rock. Every issue is jam-packed with the best stuff related to underground music, humor, comics, and DIY ethos, all in glorious black and white. Razorcake has been in print bimonthly for over a decade, basically picking up in the tradition of Punk Planet and running with it.

And yes, I am ancient enough to have read Punk Planet when it was new. Stare into the brittle degradation of my face and see the horrifying ravages of time! Soon you too shall be reduced to nothing but dust and bones!
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Brett.

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Next time on Screen Door Revolution: Monday morning. More on that new horror that we keep promising…

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Written by Guignol

February 26, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Notes from New Orleans and Beyond – February 2015.

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This is not the horror you were promised last time. This is Screen Door Revolution for the 23rd of February, 2015…
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pearstour

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NEWS FROM ABROAD!

We begin today not on the fair shores of the Crescent City, where the water is reliably brown year-round, but in the far reaches of Europe, in the shadow of the Grand Budapest Hotel, in the land of Narnia, where bejeweled goblets overflow with figgy pudding and strudel… this is the Never-Ending Story of PEARS, the hardest-touring punk rock band in the history of New Orleans, who recently joined up with Red City Radio for their Ramble On 2015 Tour.  The tour finds PEARS and Red City Radio all over Germany through the end of February and into early March, before heading over to the UK, Amsterdam, and France. Select dates also feature Bear Trade (full tour dates listed in the graphic above).

Red City Radio closes out the tour sans PEARS in Russia later in March, as PEARS members Zach Quinn and Brian Pretus are due to serve hard time in a Siberian gulag for their crimes against art, the church, and Vladimir Putin.

Follow PEARS on Facebook right here.

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Meanwhile, in New Orleans…

Parisite Skate Park

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Parisite Skate Park
, which is located in my pre-Katrina ‘hood on the corner of Paris Avenue and Pleasure in Gentilly underneath the Interstate 610 overpass, will be launching a Kickstarter campaign this week to secure funding for their latest DIY installation. Antigravity Magazine‘s Dan Fox and Robert Landry highlight the Park’s long road to legitimacy in AG’s February issue, accompanied by photos from Adrienne Battistella, Ben Moore, and Sean Ambrose (featured above).

Read the full Antigravity feature right here.

Follow Parisite Skate Park at their website or via Facebook.

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AND FINALLY…

gregmanson


Greg Manson Has Never Been More Desperate for Scene Points…

I’m Fine‘s Greg Manson (pictured above in an undated file photo, communing with nature) and New Orleans-area author Mike Bowser are preparing for the release of the first issue of Eclectic Scope, a DIY ‘zine focusing on creative writing and visual arts eclecticism. Manson and Bowser are currently holding an open call for submissions for the premiere issue.

Eclectic Scope is currently accepting literature (including tour journals, reviews, editorials, poetry, prose, and fiction), as well as illustrations, photography, and paintings (black & white only at this time). Anyone interested should email Eclectic Scope at submissions@eclecticscope.com . Deadline for submissions is April 20th, 2015. Look for the first issue of Eclectic Scope in mid-May.

I’m Fine are currently recording their next release with legendary NOLA-area engineer and founding Ghostwood member James Whitten. Dig the classics or resign from punk rock forever. Look for more from I’m Fine later this year.

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Brett.
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Next time on Screen Door Revolution: The horror you were promised. For real this time. We promise.

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PORTLANDIA + MATT GROENING Perfectly Troll All SKA Fans Ever.

ska

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Above: Simpsons (+ Life in Hell, Futurama, and Bapper) creator Matt Groening (appearing in an on-camera role for the first time since the 1980s) confronts Fred Armisen‘s character over a SKA-centric piece of Simpsons bootleg merchandise. From last week’s episode of Portlandia, which airs on IFC in the U.S.
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Here’s a clip…

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YOU DON’T KNOW SKA? Welcome to America, friend. Learn music.

In my decade +plus of music journalism, I have noticed an undeniable, recurring quirk on the topic of ska music. Like the Judge in the Portlandia clip featured above, I would estimate that most people are unaware that “ska” is even a thing.

Sure, those of us who survived the culture wars of the 1990s remember (although perhaps not always fondly) the heyday of third wave American ska, a genre loosely regarded as “punk with horns” that exploded for few years before burning out like all pop culture trends. But (just based on my own experiences dealing with the general public, not necessarily hardcore music geeks, punks, or hipsters, specifically), most folks are like the Judge in Portlandia – perplexed by the existence of a surprisingly obscure and marginalized musical genre. If you’re too young to remember (or too old and grizzled by life, for that matter), perhaps a brief history lesson is in order? This is a highly distilled (abbreviated) version, so don’t yell at me if I happen to overlook some of the nuances.
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A Message to You, Rudy
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American third wave SKA is an offshoot of punk rock whose peak came during the 1990s, but ska itself is rooted in Jamaican culture and goes back much further. The term “third wave” refers to what was roughly the third generation of ska-influenced artists, following the Jamaican originals and the British 2 Tone movement of the 1970s. Amongst traditional ska artists, Desmond Dekker is regarded as the foremost grand-daddy of the genre, though certainly not the first.

EDIT (3/29/15): Some folks also suggest New Orleans’ own Fats Domino as the father of ska, as evidenced in his 1959 classic “Be My Guest.” Note the horns and emphasis on the right side of the piano.


 

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Following immigration reforms in the 1970s, ska made its way from the Caribbean to the shores of the U.K., where it effectively collided with the burgeoning punk rock movement. Ska found a legendary disciple in The Clash’s Joe Strummer, who incorporated the style into numerous Clash songs, notably “Rudie Can’t Fail” and “Wrong ‘Em Boyo,” amongst others. The 2 Tone movement persisted into the 1980s, when it was (along with many of the early punk bands of the era) more or less assimilated under the umbrella of New Wave pop, and then seemingly declined as New Wave fell out of fashion.
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SKA SUCKS! The Bands Are Only In It For The Bucks
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Flash forward a decade or so to the decline of the American grunge rock movement, which found pop music tastes diverging from the grim self-seriousness of the Seattle sound that dominated American airwaves in the early 1990s. Ska’s sound is typically a bit more light-hearted, leaning more towards party music, which is what America seemed to be in the mood for circa-1995. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones‘ “The Impression That I Get” is possibly the most memorable hit ska single of its era, but numerous bands (including Sublime, NOFX, No Doubt, and Rancid) released pop singles that bolstered the narrow perception of ska as “punk with horns.”

Creatively and commercially, third wave ska was a brief, passing cultural phenomenon. Bands who had just a few years earlier focused their limited imaginations emulating Eddie Vedder suddenly found themselves adding horn sections and learning how to skank, but that golden moment in time just wasn’t meant to last. The third wave was scuttled by the end of 1997, giving way to the unbelievable horror of nu metal, then mainstream emo, and ultimately the death of mainstream rock whose wake persists to this day. Those same bands who rushed to add horns sections were tripping over themselves to add turntables and imitate Fred Durst. 1998 saw the release of what I would consider to be the final gems of the third wave (likely Less Than Jake‘s Hello Rockview in October of that year, if you want to talk chronologically), followed by just a handful of leftover sporadic notable releases into the early 2000s and then… nothing…
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A Record Scratching For Over A Decade
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In my 11+ years as a music journalist, I have covered exactly ZERO significant new ska releases by major bands. Oh sure, ska is still out there. If you live anywhere near a major college, there are probably ska shows that happen in your town, but there hasn’t been a major, critically-successful new ska band to break big or win widespread critical acclaim in many years (and yes, I am aware of The Aggrolites, but I largely regard them as a less-interesting version of The Slackers).

Ska’s lack of innovative recorded output directly reflects the live nature of the beast. Ska shows are fun, generally high-energy affairs. Ska bands often exceed seven or eight members or more when you take into account a full horn section. There’s a lot going on at a live ska performance. People go to ska shows to dance and have a sweaty good time. But, as far as I can gather, ska is a live phenomenon that, much like the beloved live local DJs in your town, is best experienced on the dance floor rather than via the recording studio. Lots of people can dig a live ska show, but how much of that can you seriously digest in your day-to-day life without the constant influx of viable new material?
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I Still Don’t Get the Joke!
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So, back to that Portlandia sketch and, more specifically, Bart SKA-mpson. One of the recurring themes of the ska genre is that ska bands often times (with startling regularity) incorporate the word SKA into some aspect of their act, whether it be their band name, album titles, or song titles, often in an attempt to create a pun. Notable examples of this in real life include SKAvoovie & The Epitones, SKA King Crab, MephiSKApheles (more on them in a sec), Ska Trek, Skarmy of Darkness… you get the idea. It’s a painful pun, owned with dignity probably only by The Skatalites and no one else, which makes Portlandia‘s skewering so perfectly on-the-nose. I guarantee that right now, in your town, at this very moment, some guy is listening to Sublime and wondering if anyone has already laid claim to “SKAlabama,” or if The Gaslight Anthem ever recorded a ska album, would they change their name to “The Gaslight SKAnthem”? Damn, that’s deep.

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Leave Ska Alone! Stop Making Fun!

The third wave wasn’t all bad. Granted, a lot of it was exceptionally bad, awful, and has gotten worse with age. I can’t recall the last time that I was able to force myself to listen to an entire Reel Big Fish or Aquabats album, but there are still a few gems from the third wave that hold-up well to this day. We’re going to take a quick scan through my iPod and have a look at what’s still active on our playlist, despite the lack of notable major American ska releases in recent years.

For the purposes of this retrospective, I’m only going to address third wave ska bands… American ska bands whose careers spanned primarily the 1990s. I don’t feel like rehashing The Clash, The Toasters, or The Specials‘ entire discographies, otherwise we might be here for awhile. Similarly, I’m excluding Operation Ivy. While certainly a forerunner amongst American punk-ska bands, bringing Op Ivy into the mix opens up a loooong discussion on Rancid’s discography that I’m not interested in writing a dissertation on this weekend. Also: no Suicide Machines. While often lumped in with third wave ska, the Suicide Machines had surprisingly few songs that incorporated horns. From a musical perspective, I would qualify them as more of a straight-up pop punk band that sometimes featured ska elements (like Rancid or NOFX). I’m also omitting The Slackers, who still occasionally surface in my rotation at home,  but have generally disappeared from my iPod for being too mellow to digest on the go. Still a good band, for sure.

I’m referencing what’s still active on my playlist as of today, in the year 2015. I have a 16MB iPod and it’s been full for awhile, necessitating constant subtractions to make room for new additions, so my playlist is fairly vetted at this point. We’re taking a look at the classics and essentials of the third wave era that still seem vital today… -

Keasbey Nights

Catch 22 – Keasbey Nights (1998)
+ Streetlight Manifesto – Everything Goes Numb (2003)

Catch 22 carried on until 2012, but without the key creative component of Tomas Kalnoky, who left the band following 1998’s Keasbey Nights and resurfaced a few years later with Streetlight Manifesto’s Everything Goes Numb. Both albums are powerful and well-written, so much so that both records dwarf everything else in both bands’ catalogs. Streetlight Manifesto re-recorded Keasbey Nights in 2006, but the original Catch 22 version remains the standard. I would classify Everything Goes Numb as the final significant release of the American third wave era, arriving several years after the party was mostly over. Considering that, it wasn’t so much a landmark release as it was a delayed continuation. Listen to Everything Goes Numb right here.

dhc-
Dance Hall Crashers – Honey, I’m Homely! (1997) + The Live Record (2000)

Everyone who fell in love with No Doubt circa 1995 would have been better off turning their attention to the Dance Hall Crashers. DHC’s discography is fairly deep – deeper than No Doubt’s, and remarkably solid from start to finish, but 1997’s Honey, I’m Homely! most commonly shows up on my playlist. 2000’s The Live Record is low on ska appeal, but qualifies as a remarkable piece of live punk rock recording. Listen to Honey, I’m Homely! right here.

EdnasGoldfish -
Edna’s Goldfish – Before You Knew Better (1998)

Out of print for years and one of the more obscure entries on this list, but in no way lacking in punch or significance. From the opening chords of “I’m Your Density,” it’s abundantly evident that you’re in for something awesome. Listen to Before You Knew Better right here.
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lessthanjake

Less Than Jake
Pezcore (1995) + Losing Streak (1996) + Hello Rockview! (1998)

I will admit to seeing Less Than Jake perform live roughly 15 times between 1999 and 2007, culminating with their surprise performance of Losing Streak in its entirety at Fest 6 in Gainesville. They’re still going strong today, but I would argue that the trinity of Pezcore, Losing Streak, and Hello Rockview! represents their best output. The 2002 remaster of Pezcore gets my vote over the original issue. Listen to Losing Streak right here.

- mephiskapheles

MephiSKApheles – God Bless Satan (1994)

Satanic ska? Yes, please! Nothing else in Mephiskapheles’ discography comes close to matching the manic glee of songs like “Saba” and “The Bumblebee Tuna Song.” Interestingly, the nu metal band Mudvayne famously ripped off Mephiskapheles’ logo, passing it off as their own. Just another reason that nu metal is shameful. Listen to God Bless Satan right here.
- bosstones

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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

- Devil’s Night Out (1989) + Don’t Know How to Party (1993)
+ Let’s Face It (1997)

Another essential band with a fairly deep discography, few ska bands have ever come close to matching the intensity of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Devil’s Night Out reaches back a bit into the late 80s, but is indispensable in terms of raw grit. The main problem with the Bosstones is that they peaked creatively by the time they hit it big with 1997’s Let Face It, never quite returning to form following their mainstream break. Listen to Don’t Know How to Party right here.
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mu330

MU330 – Ultra Panic (2002)

Perhaps an example of saving the best for last, MU330 has a decent enough discography, but their final release remains the most heavily-repeated on my playlist. Ultra Panic was supposed to be followed by a Halloween album (yes, a ska Halloween album), but MU330 went on hiatus in 2008 and the brilliance of SKAlloween remains unrealized to date. We can still dream, can’t we? Listen to Ultra Panic right here.
- slapstick

Slapstick – Self-Titled (1997)

This album contains most (but not all) of Slapstick’s output, encompassing the best punk sensibilities of American third wave ska. Members of Slapstick famously went on to form Alkaline Trio and The Lawrence Arms (and about a dozen other notable bands), but this is where it all started. Brilliant stuff from start to finish. If you stranded me on a desert island and gave me the option of bringing along one ska album, it would probably be this one. Listen to the whole thing right here.

- Rambarded

The Supaflies – Rambarded (1997)

Originally released on Fueled by Ramen in 1997 before being unceremoniously deleted, The Supaflies’ Rambarded stood as an elusive underground classic for more than a decade. Standout tracks include “Milk,” “Breakfast Of Champions,” “Children of the Night,” and the rowdy “Shit is Going to the Dogs,” which at one point served as the unofficial anthem of the New Orleans ska scene. Finally reissued years later by our heroes at Community Records, Rambarded hasn’t lost a lick with the passage of time and still stands as the greatest ska release in New Orleans history.  Listen to selections from Rambarded right here.

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Brett.

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Be sure to check out my upcoming debut illustrated novel
GUIGNOL – A TALE OF ESCALATING HORROR
FREE PREVIEW BEGINS MARCH 2015

Guignol Lilly
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