punk

War on Women - Glass City - Youtube Screenshot

Glass Ceiling? Try Glass City

The term “Glass Ceiling” is too limiting. The idea that women can’t get promoted past particular positions or roles in the workforce makes the issue sound confined. You might say “at least there’s only problems in the work place” or “at least that’s the only problem in the work place.” You’d be wrong to say that. That’s not how systemic sexism works. Everything is connected. The work force is connected to an unfair ecosystem and a system that’s stacked up against women.

As we steadily fight against that system, it’s important to get angry. Women have a right to be pissed off and a right to rage. Kathleen Hanna and Bikini Kill called for “girls to the front” at punk shows. So how about “Girls to the top” in the workforce? (more…)

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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┬álast 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…)

That Time I Interviewed Big D and the Kids Table

Jacob Wake Up! And Big D and the Kids Table

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…)

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…)

Pre-Thanksgiving Jitters [Links and Things I Say You Should See]

This could potentially be the first (but will likely be the last) of a weekly/monthly/annual/once-ly link round up! I felt like there was a handful of cool things going on in the past week and sharing them all on twitter just wasn’t cutting it. (more…)

Hey Stranger’s “Waited Out The Day”- 18 Months in the Making

Hey Stranger began recording a full length record in March 2010. It was finally available online in August 2011 and physically a few weeks after that. What took so long? I recorded 3 songs with The Hard Times in 8 hours of a Sunday afternoon. Why was this so different?

We did it the new old-fashioned way. That is, we spent time in advance of recording figuring out the best tempos for the tunes, and then recording vocal and guitar scratch tracks. In the 3 or 4 practices leading up to recording, we would take a few minutes out of an already busy practice to find the right tempo. Tony, our lead singer, then used those tempos to create the scratch tracks. We’d then go to multi-tracking where we recorded each instrument, one at a time, to those scratch tracks. This is where the bulk of the time went. (The last update I gave on recording was in September of 2011!) (more…)