We do our best to highlight events as they happen, but it’s important we also give a little love to the events happening on a regular basis: the DJ nights, the residencies, the weeklies, and the monthlies. When you think about events where “everyone knows your name,” these are great places to start. Most of them are free, or just a couple bucks cover, and are reliable places to go when you need a ska fix. You never know when a month might go by without a single touring act or local band showcasing.
Marley Mondays with Duppy Conquerors at Sally O’Brien’s
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. “Bob Marley tribute band the Duppy Conquerors consists of some of Boston’s best Reggae musicians and were recently nominated for a Boston Music Award…With nearly 3/4 of his repertoire under their belts they are the quintessential Bob Marley tribute.”
Sally O’Brien’s, if you’ve never been, is at 335 Somerville Ave, in Union Square in Somerville. While not the easiest place to get to by public transportation, it’s a really chill spot (I usually bike there, myself). No Cover, 21+.
Duppy Conquerors – Easy Skankin’ – Sally O’Brien’s – 3/7/11
The Dub Down, Thursdays at Bull McCabe’s Featuring The Scotch Bonnet Band
The weekend starts on Thursday, end of story. But, you want to ease into it, because you’ve still got Friday to power through and you don’t want to be too tired to go out Friday. Bull McCabe’s, also in Union Square at 366A Somerville Ave, is an Irish pub with outdoor seating. Every Thursday they host The Dub Down featuring the Scotch Bonnet band. “The Scotch Bonnet band is comprised of Boston’s most renowned musicians. Led by bassist Geoff Scott (Public House, Miracle Orchestra) and drummer Nathan Sabanayagam (Naya Records) the group is rounded out by guitarist Van Gordon Martin (Spritual Rez) and keyboardist Zack Brines (Pressure Cooker, Kings of Nuthin’).” No Cover, 21+.
Styleboston’s “Scene Spotter” visits Bull McCabe’s
Dub Apocalypse, Sundays at Bull McCabe’s
Seriously, when did Union Square become the dub hub (I’m not at all sorry for thyme for that rhyme)? Every Sunday, Somerville pub Bull McCabe’s hosts Dub Apocalypse. “Led by drummer Tommy Benedetti (John Browns Body) and Johnny Trama (Ghosts of Jupiter) on guitar, Dub Apocalypse is an all-star combination of Boston’s best musicians.”
Punx and Parkas, 2nd Wednesday of the Month at The Model Café
The Model at 7 N Beacon St in Allston hosts what claims to be “Allston’s only strictly vinyl punk DJ night” on the second Wednesday every night, also spinning “hardcore, oi!, ska, soul, garage, R&B, and mod revival.”
The Scotch Bonnet Band, Mondays at The Beehive
If you can’t make it out to Somerville for Scotch Bonnet, they play at The Beehive in the South End every Monday from 8pm to midnight. Given the Beehive is a jazz spot, I’d expect a more jazz-inflected Scotch Bonnet set.
Reggae Night with Sister Kate, Sundays at River Gods
I’ve actually only been to River Gods on a Sunday when the Rude Sounds guys have been spinning, calling the night “Togetherness.” But, while working on this list, I see that they’ve got reggae spinning every Sunday at 8pm! The food and drink at this place is excellent. Tucked away a few blocks from Central Square, this place is tight but worth the wait for a seat. Probably no cover.
Soulelujah, Saturday Nights at Zuzu
While not directly ska related, we know you cultured types would appreciate Soulelujah, a soul, R&B, and funk vinyl night that’s been running steadily since 2003, featuring DJ’s Claude Money, PJ Gray, Ty Jesso, John Funke and The Brobots. There’s always a line, but it’s always worth it. (Also, there’s a joke in there somewhere about me having to list an event with “Jah” in the title.) 21+, $7, 11pm-2am
Honorable Mention: Rude Sounds (RIP)
At least since I’ve moved to Boston, the Rude Sounds DJ crew has been steadily spinning ska, early reggae, and two tone at Zuzu on the third Thursdays of every month. Sadly, this even called it quits a few months back. You can see catch DJs Nate EaseUp and Dandy Dan spinning around Boston, so rest assured those 45s won’t goto waste.
These events will come and go so we’ll do our best to keep the list up to date. We’ve added a new section on the calendar for the regulars. Was there anything we left off this list? Leave a note in the comments or email tips (at) bostonska (dot) net.