Can we all agree Mondays are the roughest day of the week? Can we all agree that nothing chills you out quite like Bob Marley Jams? So we can all agree that we should spend Monday nights at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville, where every Monday is a “Marley Monday.” And the band on stage is Duppy Conquerors.
Recently, their guitarist John DeCarlo (of Westbound Train fame), asked me to cover for him on rhythm guitar while he set out on tour with the Version City Tour. I was both flattered and happy to oblige. I’ll be sitting in with Duppy Conquerors on Mondays May 27, June 3, and June 10.
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 reggaeskinhead 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…)
New York-based cabaret-punk act Hannah vs The Many is traveling to Boston this weekend and I have the privilege of joining them on bass for two dates! Earlier this year, HVTM released All Our Heroes Drank Here, which I also played bass on. I was bummed I couldn’t make it to NYC this weekend to catch them at CMJ. Joining them/us this weekend on the Born to Drink Tour will be glammy power-punk act Haley Bowery & The Manimals. I caught them at one of the last New York gigs I played with Hannah and they’re a helluva show. They’re also promoting the release of a split 7″ put out by Drink More Records (only 100 made!). (more…)
Last night I played bass for Hannah Vs The Many at Cake Shop for the CD release party for “All Our Heroes Drank Here.” This is the second release by Hannah Fairchild, but the first under the name “Hannah Vs. The Many.” I was privileged with playing the CD release shows for both albums. This was even more special because I actually played the record. The first album, “Paper Kingdom,” is very much an acoustic affair. “All Our Heroes Drank Here” really presents Hannah’s material the way it was meant to be heard. (more…)
Sort of. I overuse the metaphor of ripping off a band aid anytime I have to do anything remotely painful, difficult, or just plain annoying. It usually results in me going into something somewhat unprepared, as gung ho as possible, while somewhat bracing myself.
Tonight I attended what will likely be the first of a monthly salon hosted by Matt Healy and Cozy Josie, the folks also behind The Spoon and Trowel. The food is always out of control good at their functions so I never pass up an invite. Here was their email pitch:
We want to take our creative pursuits seriously, and having an audience helps to do that. Nothing adds fuel to the creative fire like having to show what you’re doing to other people and hearing what they have to say about it. Put more simply: having a thing to make something for is easier than making it for no reason. This is a thing your thing can be for.