Songs They Never Play On The Radio
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Shock Stars were a brief side project for Stubhy and had a different sound to LBC - with a more "dance" sound - i.e. a strong 4/4 beat and syhthesisers. Merging the 80's retro sounds with an alternative feel , overall reminiscent of bands like Franz Ferdinand. The first 7 track EP sounds like a demo really with a stripped down sound, drum machine and the guitars low in the mix. The dance beats make it far less loose than LBC.
By the 2nd EP they had beefed up their sound - turned up the guitars and made the beats more intense. This EP is recommended the most as the songs are also better.
Both EPs feature the song 'Biggest Mistake' that would later appear on LBC's Closing Arguments and both versions sound sort of like dance mixes of LBC.
An unreleased song 'End Of Chicago' is on their myspace page in the form of couple of remixes.
However, for me their best two songs were never released and came shortly before splitting up: 'Love/Hate (So Chicago)' and 'World Is On Fire'. But they were now moving closer to the LBC sound (especially on the latter) and perhaps this is why they split up? 'The World Is On Fire' is definately a lost Stubhy classic.
Lucky Boys Confusion
My absolute favourite Lucky Boys Confusion songs:
Breaking Rules (Throwing The Game)
"I drank enough to almost feel at home right here
But not enough to make me disappear.......
Repressing thoughts of suicide
A part of me three years I’ve had to hide"
40/80 (Throwing The Game)
Fred Astaire (Throwing The Game)
Bossman (Throwing The Game)
Do You Miss Me (Killians) (Throwing The Game)
Hey Driver (Commitment)
Mr Wilmington (Commitment)
Drugs (We're Alright) (Red Tapes Outtakes)
City To City (Red Tapes Outtakes)
The Struggle (Getting Out Alive) (How To Get Out ALive)
This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us (Closing Arguments)
Biggest Mistake (Closing Arguments)
The World Is On Fire (by Shock Stars not LBC - unreleased)
So what do they sound like? - they blend pop, punk, ska, reggae, hip hop and rock n' roll. Some of their songs are one of the above, some are all!
They can be throwaway, deep or very dark from one song to the next. Stubhy's lyrics are often personal and close to the bone. With alcohol, drugs, addiction and mental health problems common themes in his lyrics for each of his bands.
Think: the punk attitude, commercialism & experimentation of The Clash, the quality of tunes and modern sound of Jimmy Eat World, the fun loose feel of the Fun Lovin Criminals, and the "gang background vocal" beloved of so many American punk bands.
Lucky Boys Confusion Releases -
a brief guide:
The problem with Lucky Boys Confusion and the off shoot bands are that they never released many copies of their CDs - so they are hard (expensive) to find. Only their Elektra (Time Warner) major label releases are easy to find - and then only in the USA.
Also most are on obscure labels and so hard to track down. Let's hope they own the rights and set up some way of downloading them soon.
Lucky Boys Confusion - Growing Out Of It (1998) Townstyle - 18 track independent released deb
Lucky Boys Confusion - The Soapbox Spectacle (2000) Townstyle - 8 track mini album
Lucky Boys Confusion - Throwing The Game (2001) Elektra - 14 song major label debut featuring re-recordings of many songs from their earlier releases. And therefore a sort of "Best Of"
Lucky Boys Confusion - Commitment (2003) - Elektra - Probably rushed after the "success" of their major debut, this album is ok but lacks the quality songs of the previous album. Which is possibly why they were dropped. Plus there was less experimentation on this album than previous releases.
The Red Tape Outtakes (Demos and Heartbreaks) (2005) Townstyle -
A collection of tunes that for one reason or another didn't make it onto their two major label albums.
Surprisingly, the quality of material is very high and these songs could easily have landed on a major label release.
How To Get Out Alive (2006) Townstyle -
A Five track EP which is very much more punk based - and pissed off than previous releases.
Live And Acoustic (Recorded at the Beat Kitchen) Townstyle (2007)
An 11 track live "acoustic" album. Where acoustic means drums and some electric guitars! Includes "Selectively Anti-Social" which is a very early Stubhy song.
Closing Arguments (2009) Townstyle -
According to Wikipedia a collection of old & unreleased songs & 1 new one. But you'd never know - this is a cohesive album - and a great collection of songs.
Unfortunately, possibly the last LBC album ever. And one of the best, my favourite since Throwing The Game.
In 2002 There was the 'LBC Geeks' release. A Fan Club only EP on Townstyle Records with the following tracklisting. Unfortunately I don't have a copy so I can't comment, but most of the somgs are extremely rare or unique to this release. Anyone know where I can find a copy?!
1. Soldier Song
2. Power Of The Ganja (Live)
3. Back Then (Live)
4. Mr Wilmington (Acoustic)
5. The Little Mermaid Song (Live)
Stubhy guests on the Saurus and Bones album 'Mind Like Mine' on the song "What's It Gonna Take"
Lucky Boys Confusion may or may not still be going - it is hard to tell. I think they still play occasional local gigs (around Chicago). But I don't think they record together anymore. That's probably because their main songwriters and band members have new bands (formerly "side projects"). None have strayed far from the Lucky Boys Confusion sound - so if you like one......
Where are they now:
AM Taxi (formerly called American Taxi)
Words, Music, Singer & Guitarist : Adam Krier (LBC Guitarist & "2nd" Vocalist) and Jason Schultejann (Bass for LBC)
LBC singer Stubhy (Kaustubh Pandav) has also fronted:
The Super Happy Fun Club
The Insecurities were another Stubhy side project which followed Shock Stars and released EPs in 2008 and 2009. The sound is far looser than Shock Stars, poppier than Lucky Boys Confusion with piano coming high into the mix. The songs twist and turn like the best LBC songs, but they don't have that punk intensity. The style also flies all over the place: Beatles, jazz, power-pop etc..
Much to be recommended here. 'From One Alcoholic To Another' (2009) is like one of those rambling Springsteen or Steinman classics but with a big "pop" chorus.
Like his other bands, Stubhy's Insecurities lyrics are no easy ride, despite the "poppier" sound:
"I slit my wrists and children sang along" 'Circle Three Times' (2008)
Not to mention the dark material of 'Bite My Tongue' - "not every man's a car crash".
Both Insecurities EPs:
The Insecurities (2008) - 5 tracks and
Show Your Teeth (2009) - 7 tracks are recommended.
AM Taxi (formerly called American Taxi):
Words, Music, Singer & Guitarist : Adam Krier (Lucky Boys Confusion Guitarist & "2nd" Vocalist)
and Jason Schultejann (Bass for Lucky Boys Confusion)
When American Taxi started I bought their first two EPs because I loved Lucky Boys Confusion and there was the obvious connection. However, they are now my favourite LBC-related band. They are the PUNK side of Lucky Boys Confusion. A Very tight band, passionate vocals, great basslines - The Clash for a new generation? Well, no, no-one will ever be. But Realy Really Good! And an absolutely CLASSIC album. One of my favourites of 2010 - if not my favourite.
For their debut album they changed their name to AM Taxi so as not to get confused with another band. I suggested Taxi For America - but they obviously thought better of it!
AM Taxi made the clever decision not to discard the songs off their EPs and write new songs for their debut album (a mistake made by many bands). So most of the EP songs reappeared here - but re-recorded. At first I disliked the production, prefering the original more raw versions. But now, listening back to the original versions, I realise the album versions are better - harder, leaner, tighter and more powerful.
The Runaway Songs Ep of 2007 features the otherwise unreleased songs: 'Maps And Medicine' - a highly recommended song to track down! The Good, The Bad And The Fed Up EP features the unreleased songs: The Mistake (acoustic) - Briliant version, and Girl Song (Flea Circus) which is OK, plus of course they all have unreleased versions of the album tracks - so both EPs worth tracking down.
On their myspace site there is the unreleased Christmas song 'The Worst Noel' You might recognise the tune!
There are also free unreleased songs: covers of 'EMI', and 'Paint It Black', an acoustic version of 'Fed Up' and a brand new demo called 'New Solution'.
They have also recently added another new song "Out On The Fire Escape".
Stubhy's latest band are called
The Super Happy Fun Club
and having listened to their new album "Go Fun Yourself" (2011) it is far punkier than his other side projects. It is a natural progression from Shock Stars (rather than the more experimental Insecurities). Those last two unreleased Shock Stars songs are similar and it will please fans of Lucky Boys Confusion.
They have a new song available as a free download on their site called "Way Back (The Conflict)" and it is EXCELLENT.