Beantown Jewish Gardens: You Spoke, We Listened

I have had the pleasure of being involved with Beantown Jewish Gardens since moving to Boston in 2012. I wrote the following letter on behalf of the Board of Directors of this nonprofit following the initiation of a strategic planning process. The original version was posted here.

One year ago, Ganei Beantown convened the first meeting of a new board of directors. The creation of this board was necessary to ensure the long term viability of Ganei Beantown. This new board is a group of individuals focused on supporting and sustaining the work of this grassroots organization. (more…)

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REVIEW: The English Beat and Pressure Cooker at Brighton Music Hall

This post originally appeared at Boston Ska (dot) net.

No one was more surprised than me to walk up to the doors of Brighton Music Hall and see that The English Beat show was sold out. Really? The English Beat? In 2017? I was floored. Local support from Pressure Cooker and DJ Panda was added pretty late and the $35 was unlikely to draw in newer fans making a sold out house all the more impressive. (more…)

Fishbone Performs “Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge” Album in Cambridge

This post original appeared on Boston Ska (dot) net.

This Wednesday, ska/punk pioneers Fishbone will perform their 1996 album “Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge” in full at The Sinclair in Cambridge.

Admittedly, this album is one I know least well of all their releases and I had to give it a thorough listen in advance of their show Wednesday. The album was panned by fans and critics but make no mistake, it’s a strong Fishbone album. It just lacked the strong ska singles I’m sure many audiences wanted in 1996. The Busta Rhymes guest appearance alone is worth the journey. (more…)

The Ska Scene Has An Obligation to Fight Racism

Our legacy and professed values demand action.

This post originally appeared at Boston Ska (dot) net.

Following the election, I was among the many who found themselves paralyzed. I was fluctuating through my own journey of anger, fear, and sadness, but also reevaluating the role of this blog. It seemed tone-deaf to simply post a record review or a YouTube clip as I might on any other day of the week. I began where I always do when I’ve got a free moment to write. What are bands doing? What are they up to? What do they have to say on the matter? (more…)

The Best Bass Line: A Tribute to Bernie Worrell

Photo By Manfred Werner / Tsui (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I played air bass in high school. Not in the air guitar championship sense (yes, that’s a thing), but when all of my friends were playing air guitar or air drums, I was playing air bass. I don’t remember when exactly I started, but it would have been somewhere between 6th and 9th grade. I couldn’t tell you why I chose bass. Something about bass lines in songs immediately grabbed me and it was what I wanted to imitate in the safety of my bedroom walls.

Parliament Funk EssentialsThere were three songs in particular that I used to loop ad nauseam and never quite lose interest in “playing.” One of these songs was the classic funk song “Flash Light” by Parliament. I don’t remember exactly when I first heard it, but I know that I was first introduced to Parliament, and P-Funk in general, at summer camp between 9th and 10th grade (Thanks, Matt!). I returned home and started collecting. My first CD was a greatest hits collection with “Flash Light” opening the album. I was hooked. Somehow the 5-minute jam (or the 10-minute mix from another compilation) wasn’t enough. Parliament had become one of my favorite bands with an unquestionable favorite tune. (more…)