52 IN 52

The 52 Albums that define my love for music

Week 40/Album 40

Who: Less Than Jake: "Pezcore"

When: early 1996

Why: The first touring band I ever opened for. In 1996, my band Martha Dumptruck was winding down and one of our last shows was with an up-and-coming  ska-punk band from Florida called Less Than Jake at the old Grog Shop. It was our first and only show with a touring band.  The show went on, we played that night and then watched as Less Than Jake put on one of the most fun shows we had ever seen.  That banter alone was worth the price of admission. After the show they even invited us to go and hang out with them at another venue, which we did.  It was the first time that I had gotten to hang out with a touring band and had one of the best times.

Where: I've seen LTJ more than any other band in my life.


Put that performance on the old Grog stage, and that was it.

The tour they were on was right before the release of Losing Streak.  Pezcore was the only CD they had with them at the time, so that is the one I bought, and that's why it is on this list. I was an instant fan though. They made fun music, and had fun doing it.  Over the years I have seen Less Than Jake in every possible way.  In different cities and states, on stage and in the crowd.  They really haven't changed that much since the day I first saw them, and I think that's what I like the most about them.  You really can't dislike Less Than Jake.  Not to mention that they're some of the nicest guys in punk rock.

LTJ is one of those bands that can instantly change your mood.  Having a bad day? Throw on "Losing Streak". Having a great day? Throw on "Hello Rockview".  On a long road trip? Throw on "Boarders and Boundaries". You really cant go wrong.  Over the past almost 20 years, I have had the pleasure of hanging out with them on multiple occasions (I still cant stand the smell of Cotton Candy Vodka), and the funniest part is that I just have to mention my band, Martha Dumptruck, from that first time we played together and they remember us, well at least Buddy does. The others pretend they do, but probably they don't. They have probably played with thousands of bands by now.

Less Than Jake have enjoyed the success that most bands can only dream of; Longevity. They're one of the only bands still together and still consistently touring over the past 20 years. Not many bands can say that, and they still have fun doing it. No to mention that their music has stood the test of time the past 20+ years (ok, I mentioned it).  I saw Less Than Jake a couple months ago and they were just as fun as they were the first time I saw them... I hope that never changes, or at least until Roger cuts his remaining dreads off.

Since picking a favorite LTJ song is impossible, here is a full show!