“[…] when you create alone there is a kind of purity and truth to it, something decidedly fleeting in our bands.”
- Joey Cape
San Francisco punk label Fat Wreck Chords has recently tackled the considerable undertaking of re-releasing the acoustic solo material and more recent side projects of singer/songwriter Joey Cape. Well known as the longtime front man in the California punk band Lagwagon, Joey Cape has directed much of his artistic energy since Lagwagon’s Resolve to his solo endeavors. More often than not, Joey Cape writes, records and performs under his own name, yet there are other projects (other than what he did in Bad Astronaut, of course), like Scorpios and Bad Loud.
Scorpios, which Cape fondly considers one of his most rewarding projects to date, was a collaborative effort between touring partners Joey Cape, Tony Sly (No Use For A Name), Jon Snodgrass (Armchair Martian, Drag the River), and Brian Wahlstrom in 2011, for which they worked together on versions of each other’s songs. This resulted in a ten-song album with Joey’s “Lifer,” “Lonely Parade” and “Oise”; Tony’s “Happy Anniversary” and “Daisy Train”; and Jon’s “Scorpios,” “We Won’t Speak of This Again” and “Weighing In.”
Bad Loud’s simply titled Volume One, also a 2011 album, is Joey with a full band doing electric versions of his acoustic solo material. Featuring Asher Simon on drums, Carl Reather on bass, Brian Wahlstrom on keys, Chad Price and Jon Snodgrass on additional vocals, Angus Cooke on Cello, and of course Joey Cape on guitar and lead vocals, the group did rockin’ versions of such standout Cape songs as “Canoe,” “Going for the Bronze,” “Okay,” “Montreal,” “It’s Always Sunny” and “The Fish Rots from the Head - Case Down.”
Other than his two full-length solo acoustic albums, Bridge and Doesn’t Play Well with Others (both of which were also re-released along with the other albums mentioned here), Cape has recorded a few splits that are certainly worth mentioning. The first two splits are between Joey and the late No Use For A Name front man and acoustic singer/songwriter Tony Sly, Volumes 1 and 2 (Not re-released with the other titles, yet still available). The other, titled Liverbirds, was less of a split than a collaborative effort between Cape and Jon Snodgrass—a project for which they did versions of songs from each other’s bands, Lagwagon and Bad Astronaut, and Armchair Martian and Drag the River, respectively.
And, if like me, you have been a big Lagwagon fan throughout the years, you will find acoustic versions of Lagwagon songs like “Making Friends,” “Angry Days,” “Alien 8,” “Know It All” and more scattered throughout some of these releases.
These releases can be purchased as a single boxset (vinyl, CD, or digital download) or individually.