REVIEW: The English Beat and Pressure Cooker at Brighton Music Hall

This post originally appeared at Boston Ska (dot) net.

No one was more surprised than me to walk up to the doors of Brighton Music Hall and see that The English Beat show was sold out. Really? The English Beat? In 2017? I was floored. Local support from Pressure Cooker and DJ Panda was added pretty late and the $35 was unlikely to draw in newer fans making a sold out house all the more impressive. (more…)


Flying Vipers Return with Analog Aspirations and Disco Dreams

This post originally appeared at Boston Ska (dot) net.

Flying Vipers are a work of science fiction. It would be easy to chalk up their penchant for low-tech recording and cassette tapes to nostalgia, but I think there’s something more diabolical going on here. (more…)

The Ska Scene Has An Obligation to Fight Racism

Our legacy and professed values demand action.

This post originally appeared at Boston Ska (dot) net.

Following the election, I was among the many who found themselves paralyzed. I was fluctuating through my own journey of anger, fear, and sadness, but also reevaluating the role of this blog. It seemed tone-deaf to simply post a record review or a YouTube clip as I might on any other day of the week. I began where I always do when I’ve got a free moment to write. What are bands doing? What are they up to? What do they have to say on the matter? (more…)

easy livin' riddim soundcloud cover header

Riddims To Go: Putting Old Demos To Good Use

I have a mountain of song demos on my computer. Actually, I take that back. I have a mountain of idea demos on my computer. Rarely do I actually finish a demo for a complete song. More often then not, I get an idea, and I record it using Garage Band just to get it out of my head. Just as my notebook (the paper kind) is filled with lyric ideas–some song’s complete, most are not–my recorded ideas are not complete. Some of them could stand alone, many of them really require having the rest of a song built around it. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. If I have an idea that fits whatever band I’m playing with, I might present it to the band and we might jam on it, and it could turn into a song.


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…)

Throwback Thursday: Performing Max Romeo’s “I Chase the Devil” with The Hard Times

As a social media manager and blogger, Thursdays are a gift. There’s a widely known theme and I have no problem playing into it. In managing my band’s Facebook page, I have to be a bit creative as the band is only a couple years old, so we don’t have a treasure trove of photos and video for “throwbacks.” I’ve taken to posting video and photos of the band members’ previous bands and gigs. This week I dug up a photo of my old band The Hard Times performing in Brooklyn. The nostalgia struck deep. I hadn’t thought about how cool these parties were and how great the audience was in quite a while. (more…)

I was never much of a Marley guy

I’m almost embarrassed that I didn’t really start listening to him until I was almost 30. I have to confess, I was never much of a Marley fan. I think at the times in my life that I was discovering my own taste in music, I had him too closely associated with pop music and those who listened to it. These were things I avoided at all costs in high school. As I started listening to punk and ska-punk, I wasn’t yet interested in anything “slow,” and I ignorantly dumped most of reggae and traditional ska into that bucket. As I branched out and gained a love for two-tone, traditional ska, early reggae, and rocksteady, it was only natural I be exposed to songs like “Simmer Down” and “Soul Shakedown Party.” I dug those tunes but never went any further, assuming they were the exceptions.

More on Bob Marley, my stubbornness, and where to celebrate his birthday in Boston at Boston Ska (dot) net.