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Baste Records, Skistimas Bring Freedom Back to Rock

New label offers renegade singers chance to make music on their terms

Brad Skistimas, AKA Five Times August, is a musician growing a niche fan base with songs including “God Help Us All,” “I Will Not Be Leaving Quietly,” and “Silent War.”

His latest release is “Ain’t No Rock ‘n Roll” with Baste Records, a label celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.

Five Times August - Ain't No Rock and Roll (Lyric Video)

Conservative musicians often find it hard to snag record deals while watching leftist singers catapulted by stardom-creating labels. This obstacle is surmountable, however, not through curated popularity but on sheer conviction shared between audience and musician.

Five Times August nails what free people expect – and what painfully disappoints them – from anyone deemed to be a music “icon” in “Ain’t No Rock ‘n Roll”:

All the words that were sung in the past
Will never feel the same when we’re looking back
All the old men sitting in their make-up chair
With their gold record walls really couldn’t care
All the fame feels the same when you’ve had enough
So they don’t bother standing up

All those “bad boy” rebels and the attitude
We didn’t know that none of it was true
Only self-serving anti-establishment
We were all so innocent.

Because there ain’t no rock ‘n roll
And the blues has lost its soul
Cause all the punks gave the man control
And every pop star’s bought and sold
No there ain’t no, ain’t no rock ‘n roll.

The song expresses the incongruency of “bad boy” rockers “not showing up” with backbone against severe early 2020’s overreach. Emphasizing how personal the inauthenticity and manipulation as a fan has felt to Skistimas, “Ain’t No Rock ‘n Roll” lays into fake showmen:

All the actors say what they’re paid to say
While the fans take the blame.
All the once cool fools that were me and you
Well they pushed us all away.

“Pushed around and pushed away” is exactly what medical dictatorship felt like, not only to Skistimas, he said, but to like-minded musicians at Baste and to millions who mobilized against the CDC’s extreme policy influence.

No, crafted images do not equate to truth about the rock music era, as recognized even by academic researchers. With few exceptions (Skistimas names Eric Clapton and Van Morrison as at least in tune with their own drummer), most entertainers stood by Dr. Anthony Fauci (“Sad Little Man” in a Skistimas’ song).

"Sad Little Man" by Five Times August (Official Music Video)

In fear and maleducation, they barred their fans from performance halls who had no card showing obedient injection with mRNA.

Skistimas noted a punk band once wrote, “We’ll fight the powers that be–this is our destiny… We’re not gonna take it.”

“Well, what are these ‘powers’ to them? The local stores? Powerlifting gyms? Little leagues and playgrounds? Behold your ‘powers that be’ to these old acts. Everyone knows it’s time for something new,” the singer said.

The song sounds, ironically, very rock with its wailing slide guitars. It’s as if to send notice that while stars who trampled on people’s rights can’t count on fans in return anymore, music that rocks will always speak to the heart.

The music video for “Ain’t No Rock ‘n Roll” pulls news clips and quotes from the so-called rebels lining up in lockstep with pandemic overreach, one “free-minded star” after another donning the mask.

Unlike the open model of the Internet age, a fan in the ’60s and ’70s was limited to the sandbox of mere hundreds of artists signed in those years by Columbia, EMI-Capitol, RCA, and Apple Records, for the most part.

By dominating the options for consumer home media, the record industry held a power of culture similar to the combined impact of the varied home entertainment commodities today.

Exposing their ears in youth to LP “stars” and a little more might help explain generations’ attachment to following what those celebrities do. It has taken decades to reckon with just how cornered the music market, and thus how capable record labels have been at unfortunate manipulations of opinions.

For when “the man” indeed clamped down with draconian policies, there never was a “Rage” against the machine; there was instead a hypocritical “Boss” and an Antoinetteian “Queen.”

Baste Records, having signed Five Times August as well as Chad Prather, Afroman, Hi-Rez and Rachel Holt, has set itself up to bond audiences and musicians on no smoke and mirror, but down-to-earth shared values. Head of Acquisitions, Chris Wallin, declares Baste Records an “anti-label” that will “build an infrastructure of freedom-minded companies and individuals.”

Pop’s old guard will never hand-select music for traditional values and freedom. An answer to faux showmen could sound like the independent artists at Baste Records.

More can be learned about Baste Records and its new talent acquisitions on its website Skistimas’ music site is

Michael Bedar’s articles appear in Free the People, The Federalist, American Spectator, and American Thinker. He’s written a novel and produced documentaries about freedom, nature and well being. He is the designer of the online course, Free Creation, for documentarians and digital course makers to learn how to maximize their reach and impact through distribution.

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