John Oliver Food Waste YouTube Screenshot

This Week in John Oliver: We All Waste a Ton of Food

I’ve been thinking about food since high school. Not in the “I’m hungry, what should I have to eat” sense, but in the “Where does it come from? How did my food get to me? Who is involved in the production of my food?” sense. I was probably not much fun at the cafeteria table. I don’t remember exactly when, but I learned some time ago that America’s hunger problem is an issue of distribution, not of supply. We’ve got enough food to feed everyone, but the food is not getting to people.

In this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver zeroes in where all that leftover food might be going. The totally heartbreaking answer is that it’s going straight to the dump. Food gets thrown out and it gets thrown out for stupid reasons. Some of it is due to culture: we have bizarre shopping habits and misconceptions about food on the shelves. Some of it is due to law and tax codes: for-profit entities have no incentive to give away what they don’t/can’t/won’t sell. (more…)

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Riddims To Go: Putting Old Demos To Good Use

I have a mountain of song demos on my computer. Actually, I take that back. I have a mountain of idea demos on my computer. Rarely do I actually finish a demo for a complete song. More often then not, I get an idea, and I record it using Garage Band just to get it out of my head. Just as my notebook (the paper kind) is filled with lyric ideas–some song’s complete, most are not–my recorded ideas are not complete. Some of them could stand alone, many of them really require having the rest of a song built around it. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. If I have an idea that fits whatever band I’m playing with, I might present it to the band and we might jam on it, and it could turn into a song.

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The New Limits In-store acoustic

Reinventing the In-store Appearance

Once upon a time, it was fairly standard for a band to appear at a record store while on tour. They might perform in some capacity, they might just sign records. They were typically seen as great opportunities to connect with local fans and obviosuly boost sales for both the artist and the record store. As physical music sales took a dive, so did the frequency of these once common in-store appearances*.

This past April, my band The New Limits was involved in a promotion between Boston Scene Party, a collective of music web sites, and Sound Lion, a high-end audio store in Harvard Square. (more…)

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Celebrating 20 Years of They Might Be Giants Fandom

I can’t tell you the exact moment I became a fan of They Might Be Giants. It would have been 5th or 6th grade. One of my friends at the time had an album or two and I inevitably saw their appearance on Tiny Toons. I do remember that it was in 6th grade, the 1994-1995 school year, that I became obsessed with my cassette of “Flood.” That year, my dad took me to see them perform at the Palace Theatre in New Haven. It was part of their tour in support of the “John Henry” album. I had been to see live music before–my parents made sure of that–but this was my first “rock concert.” (more…)

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My Guest Appearance on Mutiny on the Microphone Podcast

Mutiny on the Microphone is a podcast that features music from the New England area. I listen regularly and I always walk away learning about a new band or two that I want to check out. Host Adam Blye adds his commentary and helps fans stay connected to the bands. He often has guests on his show to include band members, other area bloggers, and folks involved with the local music scene. I was his most recent guest as part of the partnership between Boston Ska (dot) net and Boston Scene Party. (more…)

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Commence “I’m on a Boat” Jokes

Every summer, New York City ska band The Slackers plays on a boat cruise around the Boston Harbor. I’ve been to two of these since I moved to Boston. I went to 2 or 3 of them when I lived in NYC. They’re a ton of fun. This summer, I have the honor of opening the show with my band The New Limits. We made this short video to make the announcement: (more…)

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Victoria Hanna’s Mystical Take on the Hebrew Alphabet

Israeli vocalist Victoria Hanna has been singing since at least 2003, but there’s so little of her recorded beyond a few guest tracks and YouTube clips. We do know that she has more than a fleeting interest in the Hebrew language and its characters. She’s originally from Jerusalem but I get the sense she’s spent one too many nights in Tzfat breathing in that “mystical” air. (more…)