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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
On the evening of August 14th, I was playing a gig at The Middle East Downstairs club in Cambridge, MA. As per usual, I was in a pretty selfish mode. I was rushing from work, to home, to the gig, where I was going to perform for friends and concert-goers. At some point that afternoon, my partner texted me to ask if during our set I could acknowledge the gathering happening that same evening on the Boston Common. Hundreds of people assembled to honor a national moment of silence, recognizing the murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, MO. I had heard rumblings that something would be happening, but I wasn’t quite sure what or where. It was easy enough to quickly check my facts before I made remarks on stage that night during our set. Mostly, I just felt embarrassed. I was embarrassed because I was unaware of actions happening in my own community, and I was embarrassed that in light of these tragic events–and a situation that has only gotten worse–I was hanging out at a music venue. (more…)
New York was pretty good to me. I played some really great shows with some really great bands to include some of my heroes and influences. But, Boston is giving NYC a run for its money. This past weekend I got to interview Boston ska/punk legends Big D and the Kids Table. This was a band I used to open for on a fairly regular basis between ’03 and ’06 while playing in my CT-based ska/punk band Tap Out.
This past Saturday was a reunion of sorts. They played their 1999 record “Good Luck” start to finish and welcomed back to the stage quite a few past members. I ran into new and old friends which just added to the reunion vibe. I had the good luck (pun way intended) of talking to them before their set. They were just the nicest guys and we had a really great chat about the band, their history, the story behind the reunion, and what was next for the band. (more…)
One of the many reasons I continue to see live music as often as I can is the possibility that something out of the ordinary will happen at the particular show I attend. While there will always be the bands that perform a song exactly as it was recorded, I love seeing how bands put new spins on their music live, how new musicians in bands perform, or how a particular audience will react on a particular night. (more…)