Last year, Dischord Records announced the box set First Six Dischord Records featuring reissues of the label’s first six 7″ singles by Minor Threat, Government Issue, the Teen Idles, SOA, and Youth Brigade. Unbeknownst to those who pre-ordered a copy, the box set includes a surprise 7″ of five songs by the Slinkees, Ian MacKaye’s first band, Pitchfork can confirm.
“While most of the songs in this box set have been available in various formats since they were originally released, they have not been sold in their original 7″ vinyl form since 1984,” reads a booklet in the box set. “As we said when reissuing some of this same music on LP that year, ‘…So few people got hold of the original records and so many more badgered us about them that we had to do something…’ It may have taken us another 36 years, but we are pleased to once again offer these early records in their original 7″ EP format. As a bonus, we decided to include some unreleased music from our first band The Slinkees, predecessors to The Teen Idles who created Dischord to put out our posthumous 7″ record.”
The Slinkees consisted of Mark Sullivan on vocals, Geordie Grindle on guitar, Ian MacKaye on bass, and Jeff Nelson on drums. The 7″ features the songs “Go to Alaska,” “I Drink Milk,” “Conservative Rock,” “Who Cares?” and “Trans Am,” all of which were recorded on cassette tape by Andy Nelson “in Jeff’s parents’ basement in Washington, D.C.” on August 21, 1979. It comes in a collage-style sleeve featuring the cereal mascot Cap’n Crunch and includes an insert adorned with photos of the Slinkees and a lengthy written history of the band.
According to the 7″ insert, the lyrics to “Go to Alaska” were written by Henry Garfield, later known by his stage name Henry Rollins. The songs were recorded three days before the Slinkees’ first and only show, a small gig at a friend’s parents’ garage that was almost called off by his mother. “Ian penned a letter to [the friend] Brian’s mother, pleading for her to reconsider,” reads the insert. “He expressed his concern that in her attempt to punish Brian, she was actually hurting a bunch of kids who had been rehearsing for months. She responded that as a psychologist, she wasn’t going to fall for such an obvious attempt at emotional manipulation, but she eventually relented and let the show go on.”
First Six Dischord Records is no longer available to purchase, as the amount of copies pressed was based on the number of pre-orders made.