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REVIEW: The Perceptionists Perform Intimate Set with Members of Dub Apocalypse at Lizard Lounge

There was too much talent on the tiny stage at Lizard Lounge last night. I’m sure this is often the case given the size of the venue and the sheer volume of talent in the Boston area. Nonetheless last night was something special.
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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…)

Crazy Things Happen in Boston Music

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…)

That Time I Got To Interview Spring Heeled Jack USA

shj interview youtube screenshot

It pretty hard to completely turn off “fanboy” when I interviewed two members of seminal Connecticut ska/rock band Spring Heeled Jack USA. You should know before the interview started, I had them sign my copy of Songs from Suburbia and gave them a copy of the article I’d written about them in 2006. We continued talking long after the interview. I asked them directly for songwriting and performance advice and they were real sports about the whole thing. (more…)

Spending a Few Marley Mondays with The Duppy Conquerors at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville

A version of this first appeared on Boston Ska (dot) net

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.

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.

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Introducing The New Limits, Boston’s Newest Ska Band

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…)