One could easily be forgive for forgetting about a record label that has been releasing classic albums for nearly 40 years. it’s a sign of todays mobile world. We no longer need to rely on a labels good name for records to listen to. Alternative Tentacles started in 1979 and since then it’s roster has included (wait for it), Alice Donut, Citizen Fish, Leftover Crack, Noam Chomsky, Pansy Division, Unsane, Butthole Surfers, DOA, Nomenasno, Neurosis, Victims Family and of course Jello Biafra and his various music associates including the Dead kennedys.
They have been releasing records since California Uber Alles was unleashed amongst a legion of punks. It is almost impossible to get a list of releases as there has been cd’s, 7″‘s, digital releases and t-shirts all seem to have catalogue numbers. I can safely guess at around 400 releases. 400 picks of rockin’ hardcore and off kilter country tunes designed to educate a nation and overthrow the machinations.
When Crucifucks were singing about Wisconsin or the Beatnigs telling us that Television was the Drug of the Nation alternative tentacles were shouting from the rooftops.
After the Dead Kennedys gave us Frankenchrist the label started to run into trouble due to the amount of attention PMRC were putting. I contacted the label in the UK to see if Irish Punks could help out with No More Censorhip Defense Fund. We put a gig on, showed solidarity in the way the label have been showing since.
It isn’t just a label for punk rock and up front hardcore there is alternative twang of Evan Johns and Eugene Chadbourne or the rockabilly blues style of more recent visitors to Ireland, the Legendary Shack Shakers
It is still releasing records, bringing out podcasts and finding new ways to encourage subversion. Jello is still playing music and releasing records, Winston Smith is still producing art and the label still flourishes