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Long after I stopped bleaching my hair and quit pretending to care about skateboarding, I always held a special place in my heart of hearts for the (secular...sort of. They were one of the signature bands for Tooth & Nail for a while) skate punk of Bremerton, WA's MxPx. Over the years, my allegiance was reaffirmed when at a particularly shitty Warped Tour stop in Sacramento in 2005, I was about to leave prematurely when I heard the familiar tones of "Chick Magnet," raced back through the turnstile and swayed and nodded like I was 15 again. They saved the whole goddamn day, and for some people could save the early part of this year with the announcement of their release date (March 10, 2009) and artwork for their new album.
Titled On the Cover II, the artwork (pictured above) is not artwork at all, but a sort of time-elapsed update of the original On the Cover album from 1995. And while I don't know the tracks yet, I would hope that one of them could sound even remotely similar to this acoustic version of Secret Weapon's "You're On Fire," which the group filmed at my apartment in Chico, CA earlier this year, although perhaps much more plugged-in. Side Note: MxPx was by far the most entertaining act we had in this little series of intimate acoustic performances in my humble abode (aside from possibly Portugal. The Man). Dud performers included such soulless drivel as The Color Fred, Armor For Sleep and Protest the Hero (even though the guy was effing hilarious).

I think you can see my cat in the video as well (you can definitely see all the furniture I sold in order to move to Portland, and the haphazardly strewn beer bottles that gave me the courage to do so). Regardless, it's tough to last as long as MxPx has in such an iffy genre, and they've definitely taken it in the ass recently, having to open for flavor-of-the-month bands on packaged mega tours. But their integrity remains enough to keep them going. Am I utterly alone here?