As a social media manager and blogger, Thursdays are a gift. There’s a widely known theme and I have no problem playing into it. In managing my band’s Facebook page, I have to be a bit creative as the band is only a couple years old, so we don’t have a treasure trove of photos and video for “throwbacks.” I’ve taken to posting video and photos of the band members’ previous bands and gigs. This week I dug up a photo of my old band The Hard Times performing in Brooklyn. The nostalgia struck deep. I hadn’t thought about how cool these parties were and how great the audience was in quite a while. (more…)
I am excited to announce that after almost a year of hard work, my band Boston ska band The New Limits has released our debut four-song EP entitled “Pressure Up.” The bulk of the credit goes to our keyboard player and engineer Matt MacLeod. He handled this recording from start to finish, from painstakingly positioning microphones to mixing. That is to say, he’s the guy who had to listen to these tracks over and over again. Mastering detail was handled by the skilled and talented King Django. Given how busy we all are with jobs, I am particularly proud of how great this EP came out. The horns shine, the rhythm makes me want to move, and I can’t ask for too much more. (more…)
It’s been quite a while since I had so many gigs lined up at once! But, it’s been fortuitous that my band The New Limits has made a lot of friends very quickly and we’ve set up a few gigs throughout New England in the next few months. While it may not seem like a lot (most touring bands would do this in a week) but these days it’s what I’ve got time for: one rehearsal per week and a gig or two per month. This is perfect.
4 out of 5 of the upcoming dates are also at venues where I’ve never played. I’ve only ever been to Anna Liffey’s in New Haven, but never as a performer, just as a customer. It’s always a treat to play in New Haven. I grew up one town over in Hamden which means seeing old friends, family, and grabbing pizza.
The gigs will also be fun because we’re playing with some great bands. Coincidentally, The Screw-Ups from Newtown, CT (and now half in Boston) are on 3 of the gigs. We played with them in November and besides being nice guys, they play a real nice blend of laid back ska and reggae.
You’d think in the 13 (or 14?) years I’ve been playing music, I’d have written an entire song by myself. The fact is I hadn’t. I’ve written lyrics here, put together a chord progression there, maybe even came up with a hook. In most cases, I’d come up a chorus vocal line and some chords or a bass & guitar
rhythm riddim and then worked with a bandmate to build it out into an entire song. This wasn’t a problem I liked it that way. In fact, I really enjoyed writing music with other people. I was always happiest with the material that was the result of the most collaboration. (more…)
A handful of interesting things happened in the summer of 2012. Hey Stranger, the pop-punk/ska band I was playing in called it quits. I left The Hard Times, the early reggae band I was playing in. My girlfriend and I were talking about moving in together and she was looking to move to Boston for work. I had resolved that my next band was going to be a ska band. This is nothing new, except, it was entirely new. I had been playing reggae, but not ska, and since high school, I’d been playing ska-punk and pop-punk, but not ska. I really wanted to play some traditional ska, dammit! But, I also didn’t want to be limited to that. I really admired bands like Mad Caddies that played ska, punk, reggae, rock, and their own brand of dixieland inspired ska/punk. They were a single band playing a variety of sounds under the same musical umbrella. I wanted to do the same. I wanted to play many things under the ska umbrella: traditional ska, two-tone/second-wave, rocksteady, early reggae,
dirty reggae skinhead reggae, and more. The only thing I didn’t want to do was ska-punk, and not because I don’t like ska-punk, but because it’s all I’ve ever done and I needed a break. (more…)
Like most Boston residents, I’m still wrapping my head around the attacks on the Boston Marathon this past Monday. At this moment, I’m home from work because the city has been shut down while the authorities hunt down one of the suspects.
Tuesday, the day after the attacks, I went to work, and afterwards had practice with the new band I’m playing with. We spoke before hand and agreed that having practice was the right thing to do. Feeling normal is important. All cliches aside, music also heals. Sure enough, practice felt good. We even took a few moments to debrief the events of the previous day. It made sense. Coincidentally, it was a great practice and we finally felt like we were at a point where we could perform a few of the songs out. We’re close to having a full set and a name (no, we don’t yet have a name). (more…)