South Africa – Half Price Band, A Really Good Deal

 

Half Price

Half Price

I’ve heard a lot of punk bands in my life… from all over the world. From Asia to Latin America to Russia, Europe and the U.S. and I’ve heard some really good (and yes, some not so good) punk, ska, reggae, rockabilly & psychobilly music.

But on my very first trip to the continent of Africa I may have stumbled one of the best and mostly unheralded punk bands I’ve ever heard, a band based in Cape Town, South Africa called ” Half Price”.

South Africa is known for good music, period. As I write this, Mos Def is in the middle of a legal proceeding there for overstaying his visa. He wishes to continue to live there full time.

For good reason. The musical influences there are amazing and we heard great music pretty much the entire trip (including a hell of a Rastafarian, reggae sound from a legendary band in Johannesburg called “Tidal Waves”.. but more on them later).

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Interviewing Half Price in Cape Town

The punk scene in South Africa is apparently larger than you might think, but in a way this makes sense. There is a backdrop of Apartheid, Segregation, HIV infections, corruption, immigration, extreme poverty, environmental catastrophes and other social justice issues are not quiet 100% in the rear view mirror (unlike Americans, to me South Africans openly discuss these matters largely without walking on egg shells or the threat of violence or resorting to political shouting matches).

Of course I was only in South Africa for around 10 days, so any impressions I have on the country must be countered against that information. But I didn’t need much time to know that Half Price IS the real deal when it comes to Punk Music.

They are buttoned up by musician standards.. showing up on time (well, ok, just to prove this was a punk band still, the lead singer sauntered in over an hour late but he had a good excuse, he recently had a daughter and had fatherly duties), a cracker jack manager who was 100% organized. While being on time and having a manager who actually does stuff may not be a big deal in places like Western or Northern Europe, this is Africa, where even though we had arranged days in advance, we had to wait for over an hour for a ride from the airport to our hotel after a 19 hour, little sleep hell flight from the U.S..

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But we don’t often judge bands by their punctuality or management capabilities, we judge them by their music and that’s where “Half Price” really shines. Once I could tear my ears away from the highly addictive single “Break Out” and give the rest of their catalog a good listen, I realized just how good (and in your face funny) these guys are. They are like NOFX combined with Rancid with their alternating hilarious, tongue in cheek songs sitting side by side with very serious issues (the aforementioned subjects of segregation and HIV). Ska & Reggae plays a heavy influence on many of their tunes and I dig it, but I REALLY dig even more the straight ahead punk sound of “Break Out” and “We’re Still Playing Punk”.

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I’m including below a video of their “Break Out” tune rehearsed in studio with us and recorded on my iphone (hear the studio recorded version on their FB Page) and “Half Price” playing live at the Jolly Roger in Cape Town with “We’re Still Playing Punk”

Do yourself a favor and head over to their facebook page and give these guys a listen. Their sound cleans up nice in the studio and in the very off chance you happen to not like what you hear, just remember, it’s only “Half Price” so it’s always a good deal.

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See our interview with Half Price on U.S. television in Late April or Early May on Raw Travel TV. Visit our Facebook Page or www.RawTravel.tv for updates.

New Music Video from Tarakany!

Our Russian pals Tarakany! have been busy with a new video for their song titled “What Can I Change?” Enjoy!

“This is a song about those who, in our opinion, make profit on all wars in the world. It’s about those who, for the sake of their dirty, cruel intentions, are ready to bang peoples’ and nations’ heads and who never stops on this terrible way “, – says Dmitry Spirin, the frontman of Tarakany!  “We do not live in a vacuum, so it often happens the topics for our songs come from the environment. “What can I change?” is not an exception. This is our response and our position to the war in Ukraine (in particular) and any other wars on the planet Earth.”

CD ARTWORK OFFICIAL

This song isn’t on there but be sure to check out Tarakanys English language debut “Russian Democrazy” on Punk Outlaw Records. It’s a good one.

New Mexico Rockabilly on Raw Travel

 

Felipe Ossa, founder and lead singer of Dorados Rockabilly Trio will be featured in this weekend’s episode of Raw Travel – Artistic Santa Fe & Taos. Why is a Colombian rockabilly artist featured in a show about New Mexico you ask? Great question!

The fact is that for Felipe, New Mexico is a 2nd home and where he’s likely to be playing with his pals from the local rockabilly band “Cowboys & Indian”  (yes, two cowboys and just one Indian). These guys are a hoot and Felipe’s new solo project, Phil Rocker, is taking off.

It’s all coming up this weekend (10/31 & 11/1/15) on Raw Travel. Click HERE for a list of 142 cities in the U.S. where you can catch the show.

In the meantime, below is a sneak peek of the episode as well as a link to the Dorado’s breakout video “Bettie Page Donde Estas?” (Bettie Page – Where Are You? ).

Enjoy!

“RAW TRAVEL” SEASON THREE DEBUTS IN 91% OF U.S. THIS WEEK

WARNING – good punk, rockabilly and even metal music coming up this season! 

Goldenboy in Norway

Goldenboy in Norway

 

 “RAW TRAVEL” SEASON THREE DEBUTS IN 91% OF U.S. THIS WEEK

-  Nation’s #1 Most-Watched Authentic Adventure Travel Series Continues Big Growth Spurt - 

NEW YORK, NY:  September 30th, 2015 – AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV) announced today that the syndicated television series Raw Travel® will debut its 3rd season this weekend in over 140 cities representing 91% of the U.S. and over 103 million homes. Season 3 indicates another big growth spurt for the series with almost twice the distribution from its premiere two years ago.

The show now firmly ranks as the #1 most watched authentic travel series in the United States, beating all comers on cable, broadcast and digital, ranking in the top 10 compared to cable nets on weekends for key demographics. Season 3 will see the addition of over 25 new cities, including all top 50 markets and 95 of the largest 100 cities in the U.S. almost guaranteeing continued audience growth.

Raw Travel’s momentum was demonstrated this past August, typically a low point for television viewing, when the show saw its highest audience to date. On back-to-back weeks viewers tuned in to more than double the previous year’s audience levels.

International viewers are also getting a taste of Raw Travel with outlets in Europe, Asia, Africa as well as other key territories which are licensing the series and sharing the Raw Travel movement with viewers.

Raw Travel’s upcoming episodes showcase authentic and alternative sides of popular destinations such as Southeast Asia, kicking off with Foodtastic Philippines and then a road trip to the Great North American Western Frontier with stops in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota, and later showcasing the natural beauty of Norway.

One of the highlights of Season 3 is an emotional journey to the Oglala Lakota Sioux Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The Pine Ridge Reservation is the 2nd poorest county in the United States and an area plagued by the lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere, rampant teen suicide and substance abuse. The Producers visited Pine Ridge during the 4th of July U.S. Independence Day weekend and discovered reasons for optimism and hope among the heartbreak. Raw Travel Pine Ridge – Tribal Tourism will premiere in late November.

“This ride has been wildly more successful than even I could have imagined or hoped. I’m often humbled to the point of tears by the generosity of spirit I’m encountering in my travels. I’m grateful every day for the opportunity to share this journey with the world and hopefully be able to offer inspiration for others to embark on life changing adventures of their own,” states Robert G. Rose, Executive Producer and Host.

Raw Travel is an adventure travel and lifestyle series showcasing the rapidly growing wave of socially and environmentally aware, independent travel. The series weaves together themes of ecotourism, voluntourism (giving back) with underground music and authentic culture in a way unique to U.S. television. More information can be found at www.RawTravel.tv and viewers can visit www.RawTravel.tv/wheretowatch for a complete listing of cities, affiliates and time slots in the U.S.

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ABOUT AIM TELL-A-VISION GROUP

AIM TV is an independent content, production and distribution company founded by media executive and entrepreneur Robert G. Rose. AIM TV aspires to produce and distribute positive, compelling content that reflects its mission of presenting Media That Matters. Visit www.AIMTVGroup.com and www.RawTravel.tv for more information.

Some Punk Music From Thailand

 

We traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand earlier in the year where we were treated to a punk show put on just for the the crew at Raw Travel at the venue 7 pounds, so I wanted to share the video, just for you. It features our pals, the Canadian ex-pat duo of Bobkat, local Thai musicians Ugly Mountain and the local punk rock band Stomper 191.

Enjoy!

Los Suziox in Quito, Ecuador – Potent Punk

Los Suziox in Quito

 

A birds-eye view of the potent punk scene in Quito, Ecuador with our buddies Los Suziox playing one of their songs off their EL FIN JUSTIFICA LOS MEDIOS (The End Justifies the Means) out now on Punk Outlaw Records.