Posts Tagged ‘Chris Farren’

After releasing the first volume in the Asian Man Music For Asian Man People series in 2013, Asian Man Records released volume 2 in late 2016. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, its Asian Man artists covering other Asian Man artists. They don’t necessarily have to be current Asian Man artists either. Take Antarctigo Vespucci, the reason I bought this comp, they only released a lone 7″ on Asian Man but were asked to take part in this comp.

Unlike Volume 1, Volume 2 was not exclusive to the Asian Man Records subscription. But it was a part of the subscription with an exclusive color. However, several other variants could be bought as a standalone release and was distributed to various online distros and indie record stores.

Like I mentioned above I bought this comp for the Antarctigo Vespucci song, where they cover “Stormy Weather” originally by Kepi Ghoulie. The comp also features Kevin Seconds, Modern Baseball and Jeff Rosenstock with covers of Alkaline Trio, Smoking Popes, Andrew Jackson Jihad and MU330. A download code is provided with all copies. All copies come in a standard single pocket jacket and no insert is included.

There are five variants for this; burgundy/purple limited to 150 copies, blue/purple limited to 150 copies (subscription exclusive), gemstone/purple limited to 100 copies, celestial blue/violet limited to 100 copies and dark blue/light blue limited to 100 copies. Asian Man’ web store sold all the variants with the exception of the subscription exclusive. And I’m assuming if you ordered a copy from anywhere other than Asian Man you received the burgundy/purple variant because the least rare. I say that because other than the dark blue/light blue, most of the variants are very difficult to tell apart. I have no idea was color “gemstone” nor what “celestial blue” looks like. And on top of that, Asian Man decided to make it even tougher by going for various shades of the same two colors.

So unless you got a subscription copy or went of the dark blue/light blue, good luck trying to figure out what variant you have. Even if you ordered a specific color there may be no way to definitively tell if you received what you ordered. Now I’m not saying the fine folks at Asian Man sent out the wrong variants. I’m sure they have them all sorted out by color and are kept separately. All I’m getting at is when you see a picture of most of these variants, it’s tough to tell which one is the gemstone/purple and which one is the blue/purple and which one is the burgundy/purple. I’m including photos (which were posted by Asian Man in their web store) of all the variants (except I’m assuming the subscription exclusive because Asian Man only posted 4 pictures and excluding the subscription exclusive is an obvious choice because it was never available for purchase) to illustrate this point. Can you tell which is which? I’m assuming the copy I have (picture with the record next to the jacket) is the burgundy/purple variant because the least rare because I ordered it from No Idea Records’ distro.


Chris Farren’s debut solo album, Can’t Die, was released in September 2016 on Side One Dummy Records. I say debut because I don’t count a Christmas album (even if it has some original songs) as a debut. This album is the fifth (not counting the ton of one off covers he’s released over the years plus all comps he’s appeared on) solo release from Chris, and it appears as if Fake Problems may be over, which is sad. But at least it spawned a new career with new music in the same vein as Fake Problems.

Can’t Die is in line with Chris’ other solo stuff, and Fake Problems stuff too, but not to a tee. From first glance the album may have a dark side, but that can’t be further from the vibe of the album. The album is fun, and it’s definitely a grower. The more I listen to it the more I enjoy it.

From the obvious title contradicting with cover art, the funeral/death theme continues with the insert included with this release, which is a funeral program. When you open the insert up the lyrics are spread across the two inner pages. A download card is included with the record, which lands you high quality 320 kbps MP3s. Retail price on this single LP is $18.

The record apparently sold very well, as a second pressing is already out. The first pressing did sell out online via Side One Dummy’s web store, but copies of the first pressing can still be found at indie record stores and some online distros. But be aware that if you buy a copy of this record anywhere at this point you may get a copy from the second pressing; a first pressing is not guaranteed at this point.

It’s great for Chris that this album sold so well, and I’m happy for him and Side One, but to be honest it surprised me that the first pressing sold out so quickly. I knew it would eventually sell out, I just thought it would a lot take longer than a little over a month after release date. Granted it was up for pre-order since July 2016. And there was the pre-order incentive of an autographed head shot of Chris, on which he wrote goofy notes.

Here is the pressing info for the first pressing: pink and blue color in color limited to 200 copies, baby blue limited to 400 copies and baby pink limited to 400 copies. Pressing info for the second pressing: “ectoplasm” (color in color – doublemint inside milky clear) limited to 500 copies.

Fake Problems self released a 7″ in 2015, their first new material in three years. The band has been somewhat on the back burner for a while. They haven’t released a full length album in almost six years. They’ve released a handful of songs during that span though; one split 7″ with You Blew It! and now this Strange Emotions 7″. Despite those long breaks between releases they continue to churn out top quality tunes.

Two songs appear on this 7″, and none of them are called Strange Emotions. The a-side has “Can You Live With That?” and the b-side has “Holy Attitude.” There were 523 copies pressed on black vinyl, which is the only variant. The record comes in a half fold sleeve with nothing printed on the inside. A download code is not included with the physical release, but you will get one emailed to you if you buy it from the band’s web store or direct download through their Bandcamp page. The 7″ costs $5 plus $3 shipping no matter where you buy it from.

Fake Problems - Strange Emotions - Copy

Antarctigo Vespucci is yet another musical endeavor by Chris Farren, which also features Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb The Music Industry!) I focus on Chris because I collect his stuff but that takes nothing away from Jeff, he’s talented in his own right, most of his associated works are just not my cup of tea. Antarctigo Vespucci is an obviously play on the real life explorer Amerigo Vespucci, and the side project started out as just a one off song by Chris and Jeff which slowly evolved into a full blown band. Their sound is similar to almost everything Chris and Jeff has put out in their respective projects over the years, with maybe a slight tilt towards Chris and Fake Problems.

The I’m So Tethered 7″ is their first release, and it was put out by Asian Man Records in 2015. It was pressed on two different colors both limited to 500 copies a piece; fluorescent orange and opaque blue. The fluorescent orange is transparent and appears more pink than orange when held up to the light while retaining more orange hues when laid flat against a hard surface. I opted for the orange because I felt it matches the artwork more closely and it’s also a color I don’t have a lot of in my collection.

The 7″ comes in a half fold paper sleeve and does not include a download card/code. But don’t fear, it’s available for free download via Quote Unquote Records:

Antarctigo Vespucci - I'm So Tehtered - Copy

A-F Records released a protest compilation in 2014 called This Concerns Everyone, with 1/3 of the proceeds being donated to the Right To Heal Campaign, which is a joint effort between the Iraq Veterans Against The War, Organization of Women’s Freedom In Iraq and the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions In Iraq.

The comp mainly features individual members from various well established bands performing cover songs solo. Chris Conley (Saves The Day), Chris Farren (Fake Problems), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Chris Wollard (Hot Water Music), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) and Justin Sane (Anti-Flag) just to name a few.

The comp was pressed on four different variants; ultra clear limited to 200 copies, silver limited to 300 copies, white limited to 500 copies and red limited to 1,000 copies. Ultra Clear was a “20 Years Of Hell subscribers early exclusive,” white is a A-F Records exclusive, silver is an Interpunk exclusive and red is available from everywhere else (distros & record stores, but can also be bought from A-F Records’ webstore). As of writing this the only variant sold out is the ultra clear, and that is likely due to it being part of a subscription.

The record comes in a regular jacket and there is no insert included. A download card does come with the record, and it gets you four exclusive download card bonus tracks.

Retail prices on this comp range greatly, with Interpunk charging the most at $19 before shipping., while A-F Records is charging $14 before shipping. Some disros are charging around $18 though, but others seem to be putting this on clearance, and if you shop smartly you can find this for $10 shipped, which is what I did. But I actually had quite the ordeal buying this comp. The distro I initially ordered it from sent me the wrong record, and I had to fight them tooth and nail to get a refund after returning it, they wouldn’t do an exchange for whatever reason. Took over 30 days to get the refund. But it all worked out in the end and I had the last laugh, as I was able to buy the comp elsewhere for cheaper.

Here is the track listing (original artist in parentheses):

  1. Chris Farren (Fake Problems – Establishment Blues (Rodriguez)
  2. Erica Freas (RVIVR) – Tiny Murders
  3. Chris Conley (Saves The Day) – A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
  4. Chris#2 (Anti-Flag) – What Did You Learn In School Today (Pete Seeger)
  5. PJ Bond – Dirty Hands
  6. Anika Pyle (Chumped) – Ugly
  7. Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman) – House Gone Up In Flames
  8. The Homeless Gospel Choir – Some People
  9. Chris Stowe – Other People’s Guns
  10. Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves – Selected Scenes
  11. Roger Harvey – What Are You Fighting For (Phil Ochs)
  12. Shawna Potter and Brooks Harlan (War On Women) – Servilia
  13. Tim McIlrath (Rise Against) – Civil War (Guns N Roses)
  14. Justin Sane (Anti-Flag) – I Ain’t Got No Home (Woody Guthrie)
  15. Thomas From The Burning Land (Strike Anywhere) – The Deep State (Field Recording)
  16. Ryan Harvey – Hope Dies Last

Bonus tracks via download card:

  1. Prophet Motive – Hallowawa
  2. Josh Massie – Life During Wartime (Pinhead Gunpowder)
  3. Spoonboy – Last Of The Asshole (The Max Levine Ensemble)
  4. Pat Thetic – Owe Us A Living (CRASS)

VA - This Concerns Everyone comp - Copy

Chris Farren released his Christmas album, Like A Gift From God Or Whatever, last year (2014) but it saw its first physical release a year later (2015) as Soft Speak Records had it pressed on vinyl on three different variants. Two of the variants are based on color, with the third having an alternate cover. This alternate cover was a Fest 14 exclusive only available at Farren’s solo show at The Fest in 2015. There were 30 copies of the Fest Exclusive pressed, and I’m assuming they come on red vinyl based on the pressing info. There were 100 copies pressed on gold and an odd 270 copies on red, so you see why I made an educated case with the Fest exclusive coming with a copy of the LP on red vinyl.

*** After Chris Farren got in touch with me I can make a correction that the Fest Press is on black vinyl. They’re test presses. So strike the “they’re likely on red vinyl” I mentioned above.***

The fest exclusive comes in card stock cover, which has a die-cut snowman in the center. There is either a red & white polka dot insert behind the snowman, which shows through the die-cut portion, or it’s affixed to the cardstock cover. I’ve never seen a copy of the fest exclusive and have seen only one picture to go on. There is a red ribbon tied around all four sides of the cover to complete the Christmas present theme behind the packaging. All fest exclusives are also hand-numbered /30 in silver felt pen.

To make the first physical release of the album a little bit more special, a new, previously unreleased song was added as a bonus track. The song, entitled “Cold Front” features Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. fame. In fact the entire album features a ton of guest vocalists and performers as every song has Chris Farren joined by someone. Another aspect of the physical release (and all digital albums too, at least for the month of December) is that proceeds from sales are going to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Like A Gift From God Or Whatever comes in a single pocket jacket, which is quite thin, and also includes an insert. A download card is not included but you are emailed a download link after purchase. The artwork and packaging was designed by Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb The Music Industry!), and is done in a retro style. The center labels are also done in the Christmas spirit, with Side A being red and Side B being green.

Chris Farren (Fake Problems) released his second solo effort in the form of a 7″. This marks his first solo vinyl release, and it features three songs. The Where U Are 7″ was pressed on black vinyl limited to 500 copies. The Where U Are 7″ follows hot on the heels of his two split releases; a cassette with Grey Gordon and 7″ with Tim Kasher.

The a-side has the title track, with the b-side having two songs crammed in; “Evaporate” and “Permanent Me.”

Chris Farren - Where U Are - Copy