Today marks day one of the Dummy Days Of December. From now until we close shop on the 18th, we’ll be highlighting a different 2015 release each day. We’ve got exclusive contests, sales, stories, photos and more lined up for the next two weeks, and we’re kicking it all off today with the first full-length we released this year– Jeff Rosenstock’s We Cool?.
A lot of people were surprised/impressed when we announced we’d be releasing Jeff’s first solo record since the demise of BTMI. Here’s Jeff Rosenstock – an icon in modern punk culture, the guy who gave his records away for free – signing with a relatively large record label. Bet he’ll be all over that Google dot com now!, countless DIY enthusiasts probably thought.
What most of you don’t know is that we’ve actually known Jeff Rosenstock for quite a while. Christina, our head of production, had been dealing with him for what probably felt like years. He actually did the layout for Andrew Jackson Jihad’s S1D debut, Christmas Island! The two got along swimmingly throughout that process so when the time came for Jeff to release We Cool?, it was their already established working relationship and eventual friendship that sealed the deal. So you all have Christina’s overall pleasantry and down-to-earth personality to thank for the gift that is We Cool?… sorta.
Working with Jeff Rosenstock is wild. He’s just bursting with creativity, so much that it can often be hard to keep up but we’ll be damned if it’s anything but inspiring. Honestly, it feels like working with a modern day Ian Mackaye. A true leader in our community, Jeff stands up for what he believes in but does so in a way that is welcoming and doesn’t seem aggressive or pompous. We could all learn a thing or two from Jeff and his wacky-but-totally-inspiring bandmates John, Kevin, Mike, and whoever else joins them every night.
Up until recently, Jeff and the band were always everyone’s best kept secret. Being into BTMI was like this massive secret club. It wasn’t until the release of We Cool? that we finally got to see the effects of Jeff’s ethos and music on a more widespread level. In typical Rosenstock fashion, we allowed Jeff to release We Cool? for donation through his donation-based record label Quote Unquote Records about ten days prior to its street date. A lot of industry peers turned their noses up at us, and questioned this decision. Providing music and art for free/donation has always been a part of Jeff’s musical career, and we weren’t about to be the big record label machine that stopped that. We wholeheartedly believe that music should be free or easily accessible to all who want to hear it. We didn’t expect much to happen after letting him put the album up early, so imagine our collective surprise when we got our Soundscan report (the thing that tells you how many records were sold every week) the week following We Cool?’s proper release. Even though hundreds had downloaded the album for free nearly two weeks prior, We Cool? still managed to hit #7 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart, #43 on the Rock chart and #157 on the Top 200. Pretty cool.
To celebrate the release of We Cool?, we put together the All City! All Ages! release show extravaganza. On Sunday March 8, Jeff Rosenstock played five free shows – one in each borough of New York City. We sent Christina out to tag along and help with anything Jeff needed, and together, along with John on bass and Tim on drums, they carpe’d the freakin’ diem. They used public transportation the entire day to ensure that fans could make it to each show on time. They played in record stores, DIY venues, college coffee shops, and more. The entire day was filmed and documented by Sara Crow and the same team that made Never Get Tired: The Bomb The Music Industry! Story. The end result is this fantastic video for one of We Cool?’’s standout moments, “You, In Weird Cities.” Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbD_KegM_mQ
Since the release, Jeff has done some serious touring, first with Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Smith Street Band and Chumped, then a summer co-headliner with Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room, Pet Symmetry, Spraynard and High Dive, and right freakin’ now with Modern Baseball, PUP, and Tiny Moving Parts. Keep up to date with his current tour dates on his personal music website: http://greatmovieideas.tumblr.com/
Crazy to think that all of this has happened in less than a year. 2016 holds even more for Jeff, John, Kevin and Mike, and we can’t wait to tell ya all about it.
Today only, pick up a digital download of We Cool? on our Bandcamp for only $5: https://jeffrosenstock.bandcamp.com
Oh, and one more thing. We’re giving away every record we released this year… FOR FREE. Hit the Facebook for more info: http://goo.gl/J5os5g