They bill themselves these days as “The Longest Running U.S. Ska Band,” but I always think of them as “The Hardest Working Band in Ska.” The Toasters have been doing what they’ve been doing for 33 year years, touring nationally and internationally, and few others in this world can say that.
This Friday, they play at TT The Bear’s in Cambridge. I was able to have a few words with Rob “Bucket” Hingley, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the band, and founder of Moon Ska Records (1983-200) and Megalith Records (est. 2002).
It seems excessively late for a December 2012 recap from where we currently stand, forward facing the bitter cold of January’s last frame. In my defense, I went a bit overboard late last year, insisting on drinking and smoking through a cold that became a full-fledged plague by the last night of the Hometown Throw down. With a weekend of fun ska/punk shows coming up, it’s a good time to recap the madness.
Home For The Skalidays at The Audio Jungle
It started innocently enough in the middle of the month. A Guy Named Guy was headlining the Audio Jungle with a toys for tots benefit. I took a long lunch that day and secured my tot toy at Newberry comics. Come 6 ‘o clock, toy and camera gear in hand, I was headed to Allston. This was a fantastic show. Mr. Furious started the night off, and impressed the hell out of me. I finally got to see Short Handed Goal, a ska punk band based out of RI. Nice guys and a solid set. Fort! The band was up next and always destroys a basement with their ever-evolving gypsy ska-punk-slouch madness. I can’t get enough of Fort!, it’s never the same show twice, and the energy they bring to the table as a collective is impressive. Connecticut’s Llama Tsunami continue to be my nutmeg state ska crush, powering through a strong set of original material sprinkled with energetic covers. I took a setlist, from a basement show, that’s how much I respect this band. A Guy Named Guy, fresh off the release of their Terminals split with Puerto Rico’s D-Cent Jerks, brought the night to a close. If you only know this band from the incredibly popular, and polished, youtube video for “Ska’s Not Dead,” a song they quite possibly retired that night, you have no idea how hard these guys will thrash through a set.
And like that, January is halfway over and I’ve been slacking! I’ve got a stack of stuff I’ve been meaning to blog about. Here’s the lite version:
Brunt of It plays at the Middle East Upstairs on February 22 with The Blue Bloods, Dead Friends, A Common Goal, and Penalty Kill. Tickets are 18 and the show is 18+. Brunt of It most recently released All Aboard the Cannabus this past December, available on Bandcamp. See more shows at the calendar.
Maybe it’s the seasonal good cheer or maybe it’s all the college students home on winter break, but there are more ska shows this December than there have been since I move to Boston in July.
New to the list:
12/14/12 – Home for the Skalidays: Allston – A Guy Named Guy, Short Handed Goal, Llama Tsunami, FORT! The Band, Mr. Furious – The Audio Jungle – All Ages, $5 or a Toy Donation – Facebook Event
Am I too old for this one? I have no idea [yet] what the house show scene is like. For all I know I might get shit for publicizing this show. Either way it doesn’t matter because I don’t have a clue where the Audio Jungle is. Give me a few weeks and I’ll figure it out. What you don’t know you don’t know. This is night one of a two night thing and part two is in Providence the next night. Love to Llama Tsunami from CT who are a total party.
12/21/12 – A Guy Named Guy, Poor Jeremy, The Mahlors – All Asia – 18+, 6pm
12/29/12 – Patent Pending, Survay Says, The Motions, Yellow Team – Middle East Upstairs – All Ages, $10 adv, $12 doors – Tickets – Facebook Event
Okay so really Survay Says is the only ska band on this bill but I adore those guys. My NYC ska/punk band played with them once or twice. Also, in the mid-2000s, Patent Pending used to play great CT Ska shows and I’m a sucker for good pop/punk. I’m a big fan of their most recent record, Second Family (the video for Douchebag is hilarious). I’m going to try to go even though I have to be at the House of Blues an hour later to see Bosstones.
Here’s the video for “Gas Money Millionaires” by Survay Says:
This is actually what I would classify as “too many ska shows.” I’ve seen this before. People are only gonna go to so many shows and then promoters complain ska shows don’t draw. Here’s to hoping this won’t be the case…
Everyone’s favorite punk/ska/folk/etc collective/band/guy/party play at the Middle East Downstairs on Thursday, December 20th. Last time I saw them was almost a year ago at Irving Plaza in New York City with The Slackers and The Pietasters. Between their commitment to playing affordable all-ages shows and general party atmosphere (Bring Your Own Band tour anyone?), I’m a fan. Oh and every song is a sing-a-long. Oh and their fans know every word. Every. Word. I’m always impressed by the dedication of their fans.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Bomb the Music Industry! (special guests tba)
All Ages, $10, 7 PM Doors Tickets – Facebook Event
UPDATE 12/3/12 8:00 PM: Math the Band added to this bill! Hooray!
Welcome to first post on Boston Ska (dot) net. Let’s call this a soft launch. I’d been blogging at jacobwakeup.com and decided to start this sucker.
I missed the first couple weeks of November but there’s still a decent amount going on. I wasn’t able to make it to The Toasters on November 3rd at Johnny D’s. Did anyone catch any video from the show? I wasn’t able to find any on YouTube. It’s okay, The Toasters will be at TT’s in March.
So I sort of blinked and noticed there’s a handful of great ska shows in Boston this month. And then I noticed they weren’t all listed anywhere. In the event that Bostonska.com doesn’t get around to posting them, I wanted to pull them all together. So, risking being the new guy who rolls into town and pretends he knows what’s up, I’ve got a very incomplete arbitrarily compiled list! Feel free to add more in the comments that I might have missed.