In a blow to those of us who like to party in basements with their friends, the Allston based FORT! The Band announced their last show via their Facebook Page on Sunday:
It was 6 years ago when a few art students and childhood friends found themselves in a basement on Mansfield Street, in Allston, Massachusetts. Through mutual appreciations for certain forms of art and entertainment they recognized a mutual interest in starting a band. They named themselves after a joke. With a bit of practice and thought, they soon enough were debuting their efforts in that very basement. Two other bands, Detonate, from Texas, and Marx Revolution, also played this show. If their self written biography is to be trusted, over the six following years, and through various incarnations, FORT! the Band brought their “rash, eclectic electricity to stages across the northeastern United States.” They made ten albums and went on three or four real rock and roll tours.
It wasn’t too long ago that Poor Jeremy seemed like the newest ska-punk band in town. Forming in the early part of 2012, they started playing gigs at the end of last year. In the six or so months since, they’ve really hit the stage hard. Watching their stage presence evolve over that time, I am more than excited for the debut EP, being released at the Midway Café on July 14th. Joining Poor Jeremy on stage is Maine’s favorite band that Just Won’t F%$#ing Die, Sonic Libido. Watertown’s youthful punk-ska powerhouse, The Rolling Coasters will be putting their energy on display. Rounding out the bill, Boston’s The New Limits will be setting the mood with their sweet brand of ska, rocksteady, and soul.
Earlier this month, Boston’s own A Guy Named Guy set out on a three-week tour across the Northeast and Midwest USA. I can’t think of any other Boston ska bands that have done any serious touring recently (save for Big D heading out on Warped Tour this summer), so let’s give these guys some respect; touring isn’t easy in the slighted, especially for 7 or 8-piece ska/punk bands. Their first show kicked off in Allston so it’s only suitable that they circle back and close out the tour in Cambridge. Touring can be strenuous, so it’s nice to start and end with fans and friends.
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.
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…
Having only been in Boston for a few months now, I’m not exactly an authority on the scene (yet). It’s not necessarily my place to decide who’s new and old, but the following three bands all introduced themselves as new in the Boston Ska Facebook Group.
This may say more about my own interests or how plugged-in I am (read: my age), but I find it interesting how much ska/punk seems to be coming out of Boston right now. It seems like the other scenes seem to still be generating more traditional ska or reggae revival acts. I think I’m partial to the later, but I’m also stoked to see new faces interested in ska of any sort.