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…)
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…)
The title “Love Letters” conjures up images and ideas of a romantic time and space. When was the last time you put pen to paper to express your love, going through through six drafts before you got the words just right? Sure those moments being lovestruck were exhausting in their own right, but they were inherently fun. There’s a special kind of perseverant energy that goes into that kind of love. The kind we need because we’re all so jaded. That’s the aesthetic of this record, the first full length from solo artist Sammy Kay released October 29, 2013.
It’s been quite a while since I had so many gigs lined up at once! But, it’s been fortuitous that my band The New Limits has made a lot of friends very quickly and we’ve set up a few gigs throughout New England in the next few months. While it may not seem like a lot (most touring bands would do this in a week) but these days it’s what I’ve got time for: one rehearsal per week and a gig or two per month. This is perfect.
4 out of 5 of the upcoming dates are also at venues where I’ve never played. I’ve only ever been to Anna Liffey’s in New Haven, but never as a performer, just as a customer. It’s always a treat to play in New Haven. I grew up one town over in Hamden which means seeing old friends, family, and grabbing pizza.
The gigs will also be fun because we’re playing with some great bands. Coincidentally, The Screw-Ups from Newtown, CT (and now half in Boston) are on 3 of the gigs. We played with them in November and besides being nice guys, they play a real nice blend of laid back ska and reggae.
I moved to New York City in 2008. By early 2009, I had found my way into a few bands. One of those bands was the instrumental reggae band The Hard Times. By 2010, we were a part of a really great scene. How did that happen? (more…)
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…)
Releases? Release? “The Hard Times” is a single unit, but it’s more than one person, but… whatever.
With not a lot of fanfare, my reggae project The Hard Times released our first 3 song EP “Two Bucks For Bob” on Whatevski, a boutique online store that specializes in b-sides, live songs, rarities, and side projects from the world of NYC ska/reggae band The Slackers. So how did we get in? I’ll start at the beginning but I’ll jump around. (more…)