Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Summer 2016 Ska Calendar #32

The Rudie Crew All-stars at Radicsfest!
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Toasters

Revolution Bar and Music Hall
140 Merrick Road
Amityville, NY

+ + + +

Friday, July 1, 2016 @ 10:00 pm

Rude Boy George

Arlene's Grocery
95 Stanton Street
New York, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Saturday, July 2, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Bushwick Live Reggae w/The Far East, Rocky and the Pressers, Boomshot Riddim Collective

Gold Sounds
44 Wilson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

+ + + +

Saturday, July 2, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Rude Boy George, Akari, Circadian Clock, Amistad, My Demons Galore

Steeplechase Beer Garden
1904 Surf Ave
Brooklyn, NY

+ + + +

Sunday, July 3, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

Beat Brigade

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
16702 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Queens, New York

+ + + +

Saturday, July 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Scofflaws, Lowhency Pierre, Atlantic Avenue, Thin Lear

Pianos NYC
158 Ludlow Street
New York, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Saturday, July 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Sweet Lucy, The Ladrones, The Vansaders, The Condors

Black Bear Bar
70 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Sunday, July 10, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
NYC Ska Orchestra, The Full Watts Band

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10

+ + + +

Friday, July 22, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

Chilled Monkey Brains, Bears! Bears! Bears!, PrinceLionSound, Monkeybite, plus DJ Gorilla

Don Pedro
90 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Friday, August 19, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Rude Boy George

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC)
4 Boland Dr
West Orange, NJ

+ + + +

Friday, August 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm (boat departs at 8:00 pm)

Rocks Off Booze Cruise with The Slackers

The Liberty Belle departs from Pier 36
299 South Street
Manhattan, NY
21+
$30 in advance/$35 day of show

+ + + +

Friday, September 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Specials, The Far East

Terminal 5
610 West 56th Street
Manhattan, NY
$45.00 (plus service fees)

+ + + +

Plus, there will be Duff Guide to Ska sponsored shows at Otto's Shrunken Head in the fall!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Radicsfest Coverage From Whatz Up NY!

I've had a few very busy days since Radicsfest, so I haven't had the chance to post videos and pictures that I shot (when I wasn't stage managing the show), as well as some choice videos captured by Radicsfest fans.

Having said that, Shaun Walsh of Whatz Up NY has posted his interviews and footage from the festival, which I'm happy to share below (and features interviews with me, Jah Point, CheckerPhil, Coolie Ranx and footage of the Shunklings, Reggay Lords, and Pilfers in action).

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Radicsfest--An All-Day, Outdoor Ska Festival in Celebration of Roy Radics' Life and Music--Is One Week Away!

If you don't know already, Radicsfest is an outdoor, all-day ska festival/benefit in Bushwick to celebrate the life and music of Roy Radics of The Rudie Crew who passed away earlier this year! 

This is an outdoor event, there will be food trucks, and The Well has 60 drafts on tap and 100 bottled beers! If you buy your tickets in advance it's $10 or $15 day of the show (we're raising funds for Radics' family). 

All bands, selectors, and emcees are donating their time and talents in honor/memory of Radics. This is a true labor of love and we hope you'll join us for an amazing day of music!







Friday, June 10, 2016

Rude Boy George Releases New Video for "Dance Hall Days"

Rude Boy George has just released the third song and video from their forthcoming album, Love and Dancing (the previous cuts released were sweet ska covers of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and The Cure's "Close To Me"). Now comes their brilliant version of Wang Chung's 1984 smash hit "Dance Hall Days." 

The track was produced by Wayne "Wayylo" Lothian (ex-English Beat, Special Beat, General Public, Sunday Best) and the really fun video--short during their recent tour of Michigan in support of Mustard Plug--was directed by RBG's keyboardist Pamela Buckley and her husband John.




In Memory of Dan Klein of The Frightnrs

We're very saddened to note that the wonderfully talented singer Dan "Brukky" Klein of The Frightnrs passed away yesterday after being diagnosed with ALS less than a year ago. He was very much loved and respected in the NYC ska scene and will be sorely missed.

Our deepest condolences go out to Dan's family, his bandmates in The Frightnrs, and his many friends and fans.

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Below, please find a video from one of The Frightnrs' terrific live performances from a few years ago...




Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Spring/Summer 2016 Ska Calendar #31

The Bodysnatchers back in the day!
Friday, June 10, 2016 @ 9:00 pm

Raskahuele, The Ladrones, Escasos Recursos, plus DJ Gorilla

Big Bang Nightclub
65-12 Roosevelt Avenue
Queens, NY
$20/18+

+ + + +

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

Ernest Ranglin (84th Birthday Celebration), Mihali and Yotam Silberstein

The Hall at MP
470 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$35 (includes Ranglin's new CD Bless Up)
All ages

+ + + +

Thursday, June 16, 2016 @ 8:30 pm

The Duff Guide to Ska presents: The Rudie Crew All-Stars, Skarroñeros, and 1592 (from Detroit!) w/DJ Ryan Midnight

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street (between Avenues A and B)
Alphabet City
New York
No cover/21+

(Bring some extra cash for when we pass the hat for each band!)

+ + + +

Saturday, June 18, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

Rockers Underground with Top Shotta Band, The Far East, 1592, Radio Daze, plus selections by Crazy Baldhead

The People's Garden
Greene Avenue and Broadway
Brooklyn, NY
$10

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Sunday, June 19, 2016--from Noon to 10:00 pm

*****The Duff Guide to Ska and Skamela present An All-Star NYC Ska Benefit for Roy Radics' Family*****

Pilfers, The Rudie Crew All-Stars, King Django Sextet, Reggay Lords, The Ladrones, Skadrophenia (members of The Pietasters and Beat Brigade), The Pandemics, Shunklings, Brendog/Jerica/Mikal, The Applecores, and more!

Plus selectors Agent Jay, Grace of Spades, John Glenn Sound,--and Bucket and Checkerboard Phil as emcees.

Outdoor/All-day festival (food trucks, plus The Well has 60 beers on tap and 100 types bottled!)

The Well
272 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $10 in advance/$15 day of show
18+

Set times for Radicsfest!

Doors: 12:00 noon

Bucket is emcee from 1:00-4:00 pm/Checkerboard Phil from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Selector: Agent Jay (30 min)

Skadrophenia (members of The Pietasters and Beat Brigade): 12:30 pm (45 min)

Selector: Grace of Spades (15 min)

Shunklings: 1:30 pm (30 min)

Selector: Agent Jay (15 min)

Reggay Lords: 2:15 pm (30 min)

Selector: Grace of Spades (15 min)

Pilfers: 3:00 pm (45 min)

Selector: Agent Jay (15 min)

Brendog, Jerica, Mikal: 4:00 pm (30 min)

Selector: Grace of Spades (15 min)

The Pandemics: 4:45 pm (30 min)

Selector: Agent Jay (15 min)

The Ladrones: 5:30 pm (30 min)

Selector: Grace of Spades (15 min)

The Applecores: 6:15 pm (30 min)

Selector: Grace of Spades (15 min)

King Django: 7:00 pm (45 min)

Selector: John Glenn Sound (15 min)

Rudie Crew All-Stars: 8:00-9:30 pm

Selector: John Glenn Sound (30 min)

+ + + +

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

The Far East, Shellshag, DAAP Girls

Union Hall
702 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY
$6.00/21+

+ + + +

Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

Masters of Ska w/Beat Brigade, Hub City Stompers, Domino Propio, plus DJ Gorilla

Don Pedro
90 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

Brown Rice Family Band

Joe's Pub
425 Lafayette Street
New York, NY
$12/$15

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Sunday, June 26, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

Toots and the Maytals, Beres Hammond, Brian McKnight, Peabo Bryson, Tessanne Chin, Duane Stephenson

Groovin' in the Park
Roy Wilkins Park
Jamaica, Queens
Tickets: $59.99

+ + + +

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Toasters

Revolution Bar and Music Hall
140 Merrick Road
Amityville, NY

+ + + +

Friday, July 1, 2016 @ 10:00 pm

Rude Boy George

Arlene's Grocery
95 Stanton Street
New York, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Saturday, July 2, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Bushwick Live Reggae w/The Far East, Rocky and the Pressers, Boomshot Riddim Collective

Gold Sounds
44 Wilson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

+ + + +

Saturday, July 2, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Rude Boy George, Akari, Circadian Clock, Amistad, My Demons Galore

Steeplechase Beer Garden
1904 Surf Ave
Brooklyn, NY

+ + + +

Saturday, July 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Scofflaws, Lowhency Pierre, Atlantic Avenue, Thin Lear

Pianos NYC
158 Ludlow Street
New York, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Saturday, July 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Sweet Lucy, The Ladrones, The Vansaders, The Condors

Black Bear Bar
70 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Friday, August 19, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Rude Boy George

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC)
4 Boland Dr
West Orange, NJ

+ + + +

Friday, August 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm (boat departs at 8:00 pm)

Rocks Off Booze Cruise with The Slackers

The Liberty Belle departs from Pier 36
299 South Street
Manhattan, NY
21+
$30 in advance/$35 day of show

+ + + +

Friday, September 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Specials, The Far East

Terminal 5
610 West 56th Street
Manhattan, NY
$45.00 (plus service fees)

+ + + +

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Duff Review: "Outside The Lines: Lost Photographs of Punk and New Wave's Most Iconic Albums"

Matteo Torcinovich with Sebastiano Girardi
Octopus Books
2016

(Review by Steve Shafer)

The subtitle of this beautiful collection of photographs is a bit of a misnomer, as the previously unpublished shots presented here are from the same photo sessions that produced many of the iconic punk and new wave album covers that we've come to know and love and were mostly just long forgotten in the photographers' archives. Rather, these are the contenders that, for whatever editorial and aesthetic choices were made at the time, didn't make the cut (maybe it would have been more punk rock to call these series of pictures the "rejected photos..."). Either way, it's a fascinating, "backstage" look at what might have been, had any of these alternative shots been used on these classic punk and new wave LPs.

A few years ago, Italian graphic designer and punk/new wave afficionado Matteo Torcinovich was looking at the LP cover for the Damned's debut album and wondered if there were other, associated shots from that session. So, he contacted the photographer Peter Gravelle and, to Torcinovich's surprise, they began a long correspondence, which resulted in Torcinovich getting his hands on the unused Damned album cover pictures, which fueled his desire to track down many more of these discarded cover shots. After combing through his own record collection, selecting 150 of his favorite punk and new wave records from 1976 to 1982, Torcinovich reached out to all of the photographers involved and the results (if the photographers were alive, cooperative, and hadn't lost the negatives to time) from 46 cover photo sessions (for bands like the Ramones, Ian Dury, Ultravox, Blondie, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Lene Lovich, The B-52's, The Cure, PiL, John Foxx, Echo and The Bunnymen, Suicide, Bauhaus, and more) are presented in "Outside the Lines."

Ska fans and long-time readers of this blog, in particular, will want to take a look at Chalkie Davies' alternate shots for The Specials' debut record, one of which (the blue tinted shot) is pretty fantastic.

There are several essays that provide pop-cultural context for this musical era (the best is probably the one by Glenn O'Brien, known for his columns in "Interview," "Art Forum," "Spin"--and in one of Torcinovich's two essays, the biggest revelation is that he discovered who took the cover shot of Iggy Pop's The Idiot--it was always assumed to be Andy Kent, who took the Lust for Life photo--but was, in fact, a one-off, black and white Polaroid taken by Iggy's friend and collaborator David Bowie!), as well as short introductions to each series of photos related to these album covers. Some of the intros contain fascinating and insightful quotes from the photographers about their work (such as Martyn Goddard's recollections about shooting The Jam's In the City cover and Jim Rakete's on the Nina Hagen Band cover), but all too often you're left craving more details and factoids. Having said that, the images and contact sheets presented here are generally nothing less than stunning and will be eagerly sought out by new wave and post-punk fans (if you have "This Ain't No Disco: New Wave Album Covers" on your shelf, this book is for you!).

+ + + +

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Duff Review: J. Navarro and The Traitors "Criminals and Lions"

Asbestos Records
2016
CD/digital download

(Review by Steve Shafer)

Detroiters Jay Navarro (of The Suicide Machines) and Eric Abbey (of 1592) are the masterminds behind J. Navarro and the Traitors, which has just unleashed a collection of powerful, pissed-off protest songs--delivered in a sharp modern ska/punky reggae style--on their fiercely excellent debut album, Criminals and Lions (mixed by Agent Jay of The Slackers/Crazy Baldhead). Things have been rough going in middle America since the Wall Street/housing meltdown/debacle of 2007, but the rot has been setting in ever since the supply-side/voodoo economics of the Reagan era. Detroit, AKA "Motor City,"--once America's fourth largest metropolis with the highest per-capita income in the US, when it was the auto manufacturing capital of the world and the unions were strong enough to ensure that the workers earned middle-class wages--has been hit particularly hard. In the first decade of this new millennium, Detroit's population decreased by 250,000 people (leaving great swaths of it abandoned); the city went bankrupt in 2013; and the 2014 census revealed that almost 40% of its residents live below the poverty line (making it the poorest big city in the USA). Living in the American-dream-gone-bust, post-apocalyptic shell of a city like Detroit has to significantly color your world view--so, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that J. Navarro and the Traitors' response to all the suffering and devastation around them is to make rebel music. And, boy, do they do it well.

"Deeper" is a great, hard-driving ska track (that sounds like it could be from King Apparatus' debut album) encouraging the listener to find empathy for others and the capacity to see beyond the ridiculously superficial differences (read: skin color) that we use to divide/fear/hate ourselves:

"So, follow your heart and no one else
In this life, think for yourself
I have no time for your hate
what you give, not what you take
Man kills man most every day
Makes no sense, no sense to me
We're not black, we're not white
We're just human beings"

The furious ska/hardcore track "New America" offers a bitingly sarcastic critique (in the fine tradition of the Dead Kennedys or Fear) of what life in our country has devolved into (instead of what it could be):

"I hope the bank gives me a predatory loan
Along with school debt and they foreclose on my home
Give me war, give me family dysfunction
Give me freedom with rules and restriction
Capitalism, corporatocracy
All the grease the wheels of the war machine"

In a similar vein, "Right Apart" is a reggae lament about how we have the ability to address so many of our fellow human beings' problems, but greed and selfishness prevent the powers that be from actually doing something to resolve it all: "I see suffering everywhere/I see starvation/Looking for a better day/Hope a better day will come...The rich have it all/they don't want to share." (There's also a nice dubbed-out version of this track at the end of the album.)

"Water" refers to Detroit's 2014 water crisis (not the lead poisoning of Flint, MI's residents via their water system), which emerged after the city entered bankruptcy and was placed under the control of an emergency manager (appointed by Michigan's governor). In his search to find revenue for the city's coffers, the manager decided to go after Detroit's poorest black residents--again, about 40% of this city's population lives in poverty--who were behind on their water bills and turned off their water if they couldn't pay. This prompted the United Nations to issue this unusual rebuke: "Disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights." What was particularly galling was the it appeared that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department wasn't pursing significant, overdue commercial and municipal water bills with as much zeal (and wasn't shutting off their water when payment wasn't forthcoming). After echoing the UN's declaration, "water is a human right--please don't stop the water," J. Navarro and the Traitors' terrifically upbeat track (very appropriately) segues into a spirited ska cover of Toots and Maytals' "Pressure Drop" that simultaneously recognizes and sympathizes with the plight of Detroit's residents, while calling out the powers that be for their inhumane actions:

"I say a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah, pressure drop a drop on you
I say a pressure drop, oh pressure
Oh yeah, pressure drop a drop on you

I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it
Know that you were doing wrong!
I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it
Know that you were doing wrong!"

The fantastic, buoyant ska cut "Oppressor"--it might be my favorite songs on the album--uses a quote by the (now retired) Anglican South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (a celebrated anti-apartheid, peace and social justice activist) as something of a mantra to encourage people to take action if they see injustice around them, since doing nothing is itself a form of complicity:

"If you are neutral
In the situation
of injustice
You have chosen
The side of
the oppressor"

If you see something wrong, do something right.

"Youth Not Wasted" and the incredibly catchy "Rude" are songs of inspiration for the young (we only go around once, so learn from others' life experience while you can!). The former essentially advises kids to not be in an anxious rush to become adults, but to fully enjoy where they're at ("Not knowing shit or where to go/The best times in life are often now/So, sing along and join the crowd/The only way to ever be free/Is to dance along and sing with me"), while the latter posits that the best way to live your life is to be "rude"--to stubbornly be yourself and not be knocked off/lured away from your own path.

The track that perhaps best sums up J. Navarro and The Traitors' reason for being (and serves as their mission statement) is "Write for You":

"Listen up
The hardest thing in this world
is to find yourself and just be you
The lion never fears the jackal
in Babylon, yeah I'm true
I'll never stop bringing all the noise
of a protest song
It's a revolution of the mind
20 year's lion strong
Because these words and these songs
are all I've ever had
Revolution songs, these songs of freedom
These songs of defiance
Criminals and Lions"

I hope J. Navarro and The Traitors' fantastic songs of truth and righteousness find their way to many receptive ears and heads (the messages are delivered inside some terrific tunes!). These days--and I suspect even more so in the future--we need an army of lions to set things right.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Duff Interview: Barney Boom of Sonic Boom Six!

Barney Boom, bassist, vocalist, and lyricist for the Sonic Boom Six was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our questions below about the band's extraordinary new album, "The F-Bomb" (Phoenix City Records/Cherry Red). We think it's probably the best ska release of the year (read The Duff Guide to Ska review of "The F-Bomb" here to see how we back up our bold claim)!  

The Duff Guide to Ska: What range of reactions has "The F-Bomb's" cover photograph elicited so far (and are they what you expected)?

Barney Boom: I think at the moment it's largely been only in and around our own fan base, so people have generally got it and loved it. With the video for 'From The Fire To The Frying Pan', I think we've given people another lens to look at the cover through, to flesh out the point we are trying to make. Observing the reaction when the cover has been posted on sites like Rock Sound and seeing the comments, it's obvious that the world at large will react differently to it than our fans, but that's the point. Like our videos and our music it's meant to provoke discussion, it's meant to prod a finger on convention and the status quo and say, 'is this OK?' The only reaction that surprised me was a few that thought that the 'Bomb' in 'F-Bomb' was purely a Muslim fundamentalist/terrorist pun and it was a shock jock thing to provoke, with no actual substance beyond that. I think that without the 'F', on a purely visual level, I can get that, but when you throw in the 'F' there and consider that these ideas and associations are overlapping with another concept, the whole thing is a lot more interesting than us going 'this album will go with a BOOM!' or anything like that.

DGTS: In my review, I've guessed at what the F in "F-Bomb" signifies, but what does it mean to you?

BB: It's only when we finished the album that we noticed the streak that ran through it that prompted that title. I think Dan Weller actually came up with it. The whole thing happened this way because I'd made a conscious decision to write songs from Laila's perspective, and that entailed a female perspective. So, a lot of the social issues we'd been exploring from a third person point of view on previous records, we were now drilling down on a bit more personally. Something like 'All The Same To Me' might have previously been a song like 'F.U.C.K' off our first album; a sideswipe at the sickly, aspirational side of social media and TV. Whereas on this record it's a girl watching it and feeling the pressure it puts out there for her. So, I think that's where it came from. Certainly, to me, the 'F' in the 'F-Bomb' stands for female. There was something in the air last year and feminism was a hugely hot topic. It just permeated the whole record without us being aware of it when writing the lyrics.

DGTS: I recently about one of the 2 Tone-era musicians, how they were approached years later by fans who told them that their music and message made them think about and then alter their racist behavior--the music kept them from becoming life-long racists! Do you feel that the Sonic Boom Six's politically progressive songs are having this kind of impact? Are you reaching the people who might change their attitudes and behavior for the better?

BB: Yeah, I've had anecdotal evidence of exactly the same thing. We've had kids come up and tell them we've been a conduit to change their attitude to racism. We've had kids come up and tell them we've been a conduit to change their attitude towards rap and grime music, or dance music, and that could well be the first step to opening their minds up to everything else. I mean, changing attitudes 'for the better' is subjective. Certainly, if you read YouTube comments on our videos, a lot of people think we're changing attitudes for the worst! But our form of activism has always been velvet glove. Our gigs are a party and there is stuff in the lyrics we're happy for people to take or leave or disagree with. That being said, unlike some bands in the 2 Tone era--who were probably too young to understand the implications of what they were saying--we don't leave politics at the door. Racism or sexism or anything that flies in the face of what we're about is not welcome at our shows. We'd definitely take a stand for that.
Barney Boom in action!

DGTS: Several of the songs on "The F-Bomb" seem like they're based on real people/experiences. For instance, is there an actual Joanna?

BB: 'Joanna' is about Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! I consider myself a progressive person, but apart from a transsexual woman at work years ago, I hadn't had any direct experience with transsexual people. One of the women at work didn't want her using the same toilets and I didn't have much of an opinion on it. After Laura Jane Grace, I would have a strong opinion on it. Her publicly transitioning in the way she did put that whole issue in front of me and lit the way for both Laila and I to consider the implications of that, so it's life-changing and we wanted to capture that. But elsewhere on the album there are certainly a lot of parts that relate real experiences. 'From The Fire To The Frying Pan' is about a fan of ours that went from innocent kid to mouth-foaming immigrant-hater in the space of months on social media; 'Worship Yourself' is about a friend of ours who was in an emotionally abusive relationship for years on end; 'Do What You Wanna Do' is about moving to London from Manchester and the negativity that caused among certain friends and family... It's all mired in real life.

DGTS: The harrowing, but inspiring "Echoes in the Dark" appears to be about a woman who had been sexually assaulted as a teen finally finding the strength to reclaim her life. What compelled you to write this song?

BB: I think at the point that I'd written a few songs on the album, a theme was emerging, so I wanted to explore it in a way that was consistent with the idea of 'The F-Bomb', but ended the album on a note of hope. Obviously, this is a hugely sensitive subject but the title came to me and the music sounded so dark and open that it lead me to explore these issues. No matter what shit people go through, human beings have an incredible ability to move past trauma. 'Sexually assaulted' might be a bit strong, but it's up to the listener to decide that. Certainly I was thinking about an older lad using and preying upon a girl that's under 16, so legally I guess that's accurate, but in my head the girl was in love with him and he had his way with her in a way she only just understood, then he rejected her, and it's years later she's considering the hugely problematic implications of it, and how much it affected her, and how she's ultimately moved past it. I grew up with girls that when we were 14 running round in parks were sleeping with men, and for some that's fine, but for others it has lasting negative effects. I've known Laila since we were kids and certainly this song is -- if not about a specific person -- a definite exploration of what could have happened. I think 'Echoes In The Dark' is ending the album on a note that says that no matter what is going on in the world, especially as it pertains to females and the pressure that society puts on them, that we're headed in the right direction as human beings and we're going to get through it.

DGTS: The Specials and Dexys Midnight Runners clearly influenced the sound and message of this album. What else were you listening to/reading/watching that helped shape the writing and recording of these tracks?

Sonic Boom Six
BB: Oh wow, I mean, bands like The Specials and Dexys and The Clash were always there, but this album we were really thinking of ways of how we could do the ska thing without sounding like a 'ska band' per se with bass, drums and choppy guitars. So, definitely dance and pop and reggae productions we enjoyed had a huge influence. We had a Spotify Playlist when we recorded the album that we referenced for mixes and tone and vibes, which included stuff like Dub Pistols, modern-era No Doubt, Skool Of Thought, The B-52s, Lily Allen, Santigold, Major Lazer, Rodney P, Mungo's Hifi, Hollie Cook, Kelis, Bruno Mars, Jamie T... those acts are a good indicator of the mix of sounds we were really referencing.

In terms of watching and reading, unlike previous albums, where I'm quoting swathes of books and putting literary puns in there, there wasn't a huge amount of influence from fiction and films this time. Really it was our real life observations and experiences that were driving what we were talking about. 'L.O.V.E' was about what we were seeing on the news on planet earth rather than what we were watching on Game Of Thrones to be honest. It's a very grounded album in that sense.

DGTS: Are there any plans to tour parts of the US for "The F-Bomb"?

BB: We'd love to, and we're going to release the album on vinyl over there at least, so that would be great. Maybe a festival or two--the difficult thing is getting booked, to be honest. Keep spreading the word and keep on to promoters to book us and perhaps we'll get a chance to come back. We'd absolutely love to but it's really just a financial thing; if we can make it without losing dollar, we'll be over!

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Sonic Boom Six's summer 2016 UK dates in support of The F-Bomb can be found here.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Spring/Summer 2016 Ska Calendar #30

Friday, May 27, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

Oi/Punk/Ska Party w/45 Adapters, Changala, Eleventh Hour, The Wurst, plus DJ Gorilla

Don Pedro
90 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

+ + + +

Saturday, June 4, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Rude Boy George

West Orange Street Fair
Edison National Historic Site
211 Main Street
West Orange, NJ
Free

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Friday, June 10, 2016 @ 9:00 pm

Raskahuele, The Ladrones, Escasos Recursos, plus DJ Gorilla

Big Bang Nightclub
65-12 Roosevelt Avenue
Queens, NY
$20/18+

+ + + +

Thursday, June 16, 2016 @ 8:30 pm

The Duff Guide to Ska presents: The Rudie Crew All-Stars, Skarroñeros, and 1592 (from Detroit!) w/DJ Ryan Midnight

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street (between Avenues A and B)
Alphabet City
New York
No cover/21+

(Bring some extra cash for when we pass the hat for each band!)

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Saturday, June 18, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

Rockers Underground with Top Shotta Band, The Far East, 1592, Radio Daze, plus selections by Crazy Baldhead

The People's Garden
Greene Avenue and Broadway
Brooklyn, NY
$10

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Sunday, June 19, 2016--from Noon to 10:00 pm

*****The Duff Guide to Ska and Skamela present An All-Star NYC Ska Benefit for Roy Radics' Family*****

Pilfers, The Rudie Crew All-Stars, King Django Sextet, Reggay Lords, The Ladrones, Skadrophenia (members of The Pietasters and Beat Brigade), The Pandemics, Shunklings, Brendog/Jerica/Mikal, The Applecores, and more!

Plus selectors Agent Jay, Grace of Spades, John Glenn Sound, and Frankie Too Far--and Bucket and Checkerboard Phil as emcees.

Outdoor/All-day festival!

The Well
272 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $10 in advance/$15 day of show
18+

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
The Far East, Shellshag, DAAP Girls

Union Hall
702 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY
$6.00/21+

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Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

Masters of Ska w/Beat Brigade, Hub City Stompers, Domino Propio, plus DJ Gorilla

Don Pedro
90 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

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Sunday, June 26, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

Toots and the Maytals, Beres Hammond, Brian McKnight, Peabo Bryson, Tessanne Chin, Duane Stephenson

Groovin' in the Park
Roy Wilkins Park
Jamaica, Queens
Tickets: $59.99

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Toasters

Revolution Bar and Music Hall
140 Merrick Road
Amityville, NY

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Saturday, July 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Scofflaws, Lowhency Pierre, Atlantic Avenue, Thin Lear

Pianos NYC
158 Ludlow Street
New York, NY
$10/21+

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Friday, August 19, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Rude Boy George

Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC)
4 Boland Dr
West Orange, NJ

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Friday, August 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm (boat departs at 8:00 pm)

Rocks Off Booze Cruise with The Slackers

The Liberty Belle departs from Pier 36
299 South Street
Manhattan, NY
21+
$30 in advance/$35 day of show

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Friday, September 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

The Specials, The Far East

Terminal 5
610 West 56th Street
Manhattan, NY
$45.00 (plus service fees)

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