In less than two weeks, ska bands and fans will gather in New York City for the second annual Apple Stomp, a two-day festival, May 31st to June 1st at Irving Plaza in Manhattan. Similar to last year’s inaugural event, this year’s edition boasts a great line up complete with special line-ups and reunions.
I was fortunate enough to make it to NYC to attend last year’s and it was worth it. Don’t get me wrong, two days of dancing left me completely exhausted (the humidity and heat this time of year last year didn’t help), but I was glad I made the trek. I had never seen Mu330, The Suicide Machines, Mephiskapheles, or Metro Styley and was happy to check them off my list. This year’s reunions include Stubborn All-Stars, a band that gave rise to bands like The Slackers, and Johnny Too Bad and the Strikeouts, an influential 90s Connecticut ska band that moved to Boston to make it big. With regards to bands pulling together vintage (is that even the right word?) line-ups, we’ve been promised Big D and the Kids Table, featuring Marc Flynn focusing on “Good Luck” and Shot by Lammi”-era songs, and The Toasters, featuring former members Coolie Ranx, Sledge, Dave Barry, and Tim Karns.
UPDATE 5/24/14 1:00 PM: Apple Stomp has been postponed. Real bummer. Sounds like the pre-parties and post-parties that were planned are still happening.
Saturday, May 31
- Stubborn All-Stars
- Five Iron Frenzy
- Dan P and The Bricks
- The Allstonians
- Johnny Too Bad and the Strikeouts
- I Voted for Kodos
- Sammy Kay and The Fast Four
- Vic Ruggiero
Sunday, June 1
- Big D and the Kids Table
- The Toasters
- Slow Gherkin
- King Django
- High School Football Heroes
- Hub City Stompers
- Dan Potthast
Two-day tickets will run you $70 and are still available. One-day passes will cost you $41 (Saturday Tickets, Sunday Tickets), which is pretty reasonable for the number of bands you get. Both days are all ages.
Official and unofficial pre-parties and after-parties have started being announced as well. Richmond, VA prog-ska band Murphy’s Kids and The Huxtables play at Cake Shop Saturday night with a special headliner. There’s also a pre-party with secret acts on May 30. Your best bet is to follow Apple Stomp on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date with all the happenings. Join the official Facebook event, too.
If you can’t make it at all, your next best bet is Big D’s “Good Luck” show on May 31st at Paradise Rock Club with special guests The Toasters, Stray Bullets, and Salita. This one also promises to be a special event.
To get you in the mood and introduce you to the bands playing, Asbestos Records and the other folks behind the event have put together a great playlist on Spotify.