When people think of Boston music, it’s usually the J. Geils Band, The Cars, or Aerosmith that spring to mind. What many people aren’t aware of is that Boston is home to the most prolific ska scene in the nation today. Sure, California has a great scene, but the state is huge! New York City has a big scene, but Boston still has a much higher ska-per-capita ratio. We can boast several nationally known ska bands that have helped put Boston Ska on the map. Our biggest ska export: the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who just released their sixth full-length CD, Let’s Face It. People who don’t know what ska is (see sidebar), or for that matter, don’t consider the Bosstones ska, now hear the word ska thrown around thanks to their hit song “The Impressions That I Get” getting splashed all over radio and MTV. For those with an interest in or some knowledge of ska, you know that Boston is home to Bim Skala Bim, The Allstonians, Skavoovie & The Epitones and Thumper. These bands have had an enormous impact in the ska community that reaches far beyond route 128. Each band sports at least one full-length CD (Bim has seven) and has scored no fewer than eight appearances on national ska compilations.
For best results, experience ska live! The most challenging part of recording ska is capturing the energy, excitement, fun, and karma that can only be experienced at a live show. Luckily for all the fans, Skavoovie spent four months last year on the road and this year they expect to spend six months touring the States. Bim has been to Europe three times, and Thumper just recently returned from a three-week tour of the Eastern US with another planned for June. As many will tell you, the live show is what makes a good ska band great. So let’s take a look at several Boston bands, their backgrounds and immediate future in Boston Ska.
Self-described as “a funked up, ska-core, with a twist of Jazz band,” Big Lick has been playing all around Boston for the past three years. They currently have a great self-titled seven-song CD EP out. Definitely not old skool, but gets you rocking in the house! Following a June tour to Florida, they will go into the studio to record a full-length album. Big Lick have been building a big following and deserve an even bigger one.
Want to learn more about Boston ska? Visit www.bostonska.com and sign up for the Boston Ska Emailing list (or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org). The emailing list is sent out weekly with the latest information about what Boston’s ska bands are doing, as well as what shows will be heading toward Boston.