Boston Ska

My First Live Record: The New Limits Live at WEMF

My Band The New Limits just released an album of songs recorded live on the air at WEMF Cambridge earlier this year. The record features 3 new songs and 2 tracks from our January 2015 EP “Pressure Up.” I’m really proud of it.  (more…)

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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…)

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…)

Talking Music Marketing and Promotion with D.I.WHY Radio

This past Sunday I was invited into the WEMF’s D.I.WHY radio show. Hosted by Andrew “F-Word” Lowery of SHOP Productions, Meracula, and FORT! The Band, the show seeks to explore DIY methods, processes, and ethics as it pertains to the music business. The topic for this week’s show was “Promotion and How to be a Viral Internet Sensation.” Other guests included the folks behind the Boston Compass/Boston Hassle and the band Sexy Coyote. We discussed methods of promoting one’s band, being a part of a community, and making your music accessible. It was a really great conversation and I enjoyed learning from the other folks on the panel. We also enjoyed a live performance from Sexy Coyote. Listen below. (more…)

New Release: The New Limits’ “Pressure Up”

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…)

do the pacman with less than jake

Get Out of My Head: #DoThePacMan

Every now and again a song gets so stuck in your head you have no choice but to exorcise it. Also, misery loves company, so now it’s stuck in your head, too. Sorry not sorry.

Thursday night I saw Less Than Jake at the House of Blues in Boston. Halfway into their set, they played a string of songs all sorter than a minute. One of them was their cover of a 1980s commercial for Pac Man cereal. This song appeared on their 2010 “TV/EP” release, composed entirely of covers of commercials and TV theme songs. It’s great. I really never gave it a listen and forgot what was on it. I mistakenly thought the Pac Man cereal ad was a new cover, as they announced it was going to be used as part of a new advertising campaign. As it was so short, they played it twice in a row. That was enough to get it thoroughly lodged in my head, occupying every inch of brain space in my skull. To further cement it’s location, they teased it during their last song of their set. (more…)

Discussing Music and Social Movements with Pilfers Vocalist Coolie Ranx

The song “Next Generation” first appeared on the 1998 self-titled self-released Pilfers album, listed simply as “Generation.” The chorus is a call to action: “Time to awake, get up and fight, fight for mankind, life for the cause.” The first verse recounts humanity’s attacks on itself. Verse two reminds us of our rights and responsibilities while holding us accountable for that which happens around us:

But if you turn a blind eye, You’re just as guilty as the culprits.
The innocent are sure to die, so rise up against injustice.

17 years later, the band produces a music video for the song. The video juxtaposes footage of America during segregation with footage from recent Black Lives Matter protests; it contains footage of the 1991 beating of Rodney King as well as the 2014 murder of Eric Garner. It’s both powerful and heartbreaking. This was the first time I’d really paid attention to the lyrics of the song, guilty as usual of blindly singing along with the chorus until now. (more…)