Origin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Genre: Punk rock, Surf rock, Garage rock
Years active: 2000–2008
Go For Broke (2003, CD/LP – Schuylkill Records/Akhenation Music)
Aim Low, Get High (2005, CD/LP – Schuylkill Records)
Leave Us a Loan (2007, CD – Chunksaah Records, LP – Schuylkill Records)
Go Bargain Hunting With the Low Budgets (2001, 7″ – Nancy Boy Records)
Buy One Song, Get One Free (2002, 7″ – Schuylkill Records)
The Low Budgets was an American punk/garage rock band based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They were a project of Dead Milkmen guitarist and songwriter Joe Genaro (known as Joe Jack Talcum), and current bassist Dan Stevens.
The band released three full-length records and embarked on several large tours throughout North America and Europe. At least one music video and a short film entitled “The Cursed Organ” were also made. They engaged themes revolving around poverty and down-on-one’s-luck humor in their lyrics, album art and image.
The Low Budgets formed in 2000 around Genaro and singer, guitarist and songwriter Chris Seegel after the demise of their former group, the Town Managers. With Genaro moving from guitar to electric organ, he and Seegel were joined by Stevens (formerly of Farquar Muckenfuss) and drummer Steve Levandoski. Utilizing the vintage organ, the group sought to integrate their garage rock influences into the punk rock sound associated with their previous bands.
The band released its debut 7″ vinyl EP in 2001 on Nancy Boy Records. A second 7″ EP and two full-length albums followed on the Philadelphia-based Schuylkill Records label. They toured extensively during this time, with Stevens occasionally being replaced by touring bassists while occupied with familial obligations.
In 2007, the group released their third full-length album, Leave Us a Loan, on Chunksaah Records, a record label run by members of the punk rock band The Bouncing Souls. This album was produced by former Town Managers member and frequent collaborater Brian Michael. Schuylkill Records also released a picture disc vinyl version of the record.
The Low Budgets went on hiatus the next year while Seegel lived and worked in Berlin, but the group disbanded when Genaro and Stevens became occupied with activity surrounding the Dead Milkmen reunion. Seegel formed the new group Gone Wrong, while Genaro also continued his solo career. Levandoski remained active in other Philadelphia-based groups, including Beast Infection. Outside of music, Seegel continued work in film and video, and Levandoski in journalism.