Picking up where the first video from their new album left off, this one finds Mister Pug arriving at the venue to play a show for one bemused janitor. I’ll admit I was expecting the place to fill up with headbangers and cheerleading anarchists by the end of the song, but spoiler alert: nope.
Where’s all my jilted girlfriends?
Where’s all my broken heroes?
Why does it seem like no one’s left?
Where did all your friends go? We all went to bed, Dave. That’s where! Because we’re old, and we get tired really early. We try to fight it the best we can but it takes a concerted effort to even leave the house anymore. It’s hard.
But you’re right, of course. It’s always fun to hang out with friends and you never really regret it. I need to remind myself it’s worth it to go out and be social.
The band will be playing some west coast dates in October. If you get the opportunity to see them, you really should. Even if you feel old and cranky. Mustard Plug will make you feel better.
Disclosure: I’ve been friends with these guys for almost 30 years.
I wasn’t aware of the reference so I had to google it, but it turns out my homeboys in Mustard Plug were namechecked in the Renfield movie that came out earlier this year. There’s a group therapy scene in which Caitlyn, played by Bess Rous, is complaining about her boyfriend who’s “really into ska: Fishbone, Mustard Plug, Voodoo Glow Skulls.” It’s pretty funny.
I don’t know what ends up happening to Caitlyn in the movie (no spoilers please!) but now she has her own spin-off wherein her boyfriend’s ska record gets mailed to her place and she decides to queue it up. She ends up liking it of course and dancing around the room like the Mustard Man himself. And how could she not love it? “Vampire” finds Mustard Plug reaching back to second-wave ska for inspiration, leaving their more third-wave/punk tendencies checked for the moment. It’s a vibe. You might even say that “Vampire” is “99% horns” although that’s a huge oversimplification.
Weirdly, Bess Rous does not appear to understand how to hold a ukulele. Or maybe that says something about Caitlyn’s character. Either way, it’s a fun video and big ups to their new label for seizing the moment and making it happen. Hopefully they got a good deal on it so the band can eventually recoup!
Disclosure: I’ve been friends with the guys in Mustard Plug for almost 30 years.
Geoff Hudson and Mustard Plug are both Grand Rapids legends. Hudson got his start at local public access television channel GRTV, producing the beloved “Great Daryl Nathan Entertainment Show” in the mid-90s. For the past couple of years, he’s been making “Pinto Karaoke” episodes where he drives local randoms around town while they sing along to whatever song they’ve chosen. This sounds stupid but it’s not. Don’t get me wrong: it’s definitely silly, but it’s not stupid. In less inspired hands it would be a badly produced knockoff of James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” but Hudson elevates it by being a sincere host and highlighting West Michigan locations and landmarks. It’s a snapshot of a time and place and it’s great.
Mustard Plug also made their name in the 90s but they’ve broken out way beyond town and have been touring the world pretty much nonstop since 1991. According to their show archive they’ve played 1,954 shows in 19 countries. But it’s been a while since they’ve released a new album: 2014’s Can’t Contain It. That’s about to change with Where Did All My Friends Go? due September 8 on Bad Time Records.
And now there’s a video, produced by Geoff Hudson, for their new single and it’s as fun and silly as you could hope for. If you’re from G-Rap you’re familiar with all the locations. And if you’re not, they still look cool. The song is great too. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album!
2023 Album Release Shows
September 7: Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
September 8: Magic Bag – Detroit, MI
September 9: Pyramid Scheme – Grand Rapids, MI
September 10: Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
Disclosure: I’ve been friends with the guys in Mustard Plug for almost 30 years. They’re great guys and one of the most fun bands I’ve ever seen live.
This is the first new Mustard Plug since 2007’s In Black and White (review). The band recorded it themselves and had it mixed at Bill Stevenson’s Blasting Room Studio (ALL, Descendents, Black Flag), where they’ve recorded most of their recent stuff.
Get it now. The song is being made available for free to coincide with their April UK/Europe tour and Groezrock music festival and will be taken down at the end of the tour. Dates below…
Never Get Out Of The Van: The Story of Mustard Plug is an 84-minute documentary that traces the ska-punk pioneers “from their humble roots in the basements, bars and punk clubs of Grand Rapids, Michigan and follows them on a 17 year journey across the world.” Over two hours of bonus material includes audio commentary, deleted scenes, interview outtakes, six music videos, and live footage of nine songs.
The band claims that the DVD chronicles their “meteoric rise to traveling in a van and their subsequent continuation of traveling in said van.”
Suburban Home/Vinyl Collective has announced its new Under The Influence Series where they’ve asked several bands to record cover songs that have influenced their songwriting. They’re being released as split 7″ singles that will include coupons to download mp3s. Cool idea.
I love these guys, and it would probably be wrong not to disclose that I’ve been friends with them for years, attending weddings, sharing rounds of Old Style longnecks at Mulligan’s, etc. I’ve already said everything I need to say about this band and the anti-ska snobs who hate everything, but the new album, In Black and White, is the best thing they’ve done since 1997’s Evildoers Beware!
You’re always afraid after a band releases a greatest hits compilation that it’s all downhill from there. Thankfully, that’s not the case this time. They sound re-energized. Colin Clive’s guitars are bigger and badder than ever. Dave Kirchgessner’s vocals and lyrics have a new sense of anger. They’ve got a new drummer (again — what is this, Spinal Tap?) And the horns are actually in tune most of the time! Just kidding, but I know they can take it.
Is it the matching outfits? Can’t be. The Hives wear matching outfits and everybody loves them. So I don’t know.
But I do know that on a Saturday night at the Metro in Chicago, about 1,200 kids were totally getting off on the music of the Planet Smashers and Mustard Plug. These kids were going nuts. It was exhilarating to watch from the relative safety and calm of the balcony with the rest of the people too old or just too exhausted to be involved in the mosh pit that consumed the entire floor.