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More Than a Mouthful - Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad : Make it Better

I feel like I hit the auditory lottery this last year in a lot of ways. Opening my mind to another side of music has been a delicious adventure that I really didn't anticipate shaping and changing me the way it did. I started this blog/podcast focused on local artists which became almost exclusively a ska/reggae/rocksteady undertaking. It's music that lights me up and a scene that welcomed and encouraged what I was trying to do with this whole project. I wanted to share what I was finding in the scene. I wanted to promote and push bands, albums, and shows that were regional into an international audience. This has always and will always be my mission, but I have had to admit that my blinders were on.

Enter my husband.

Jam guy meets Ska girl. They bond over punk rock and get married.

We found out the two scenes we come from were so incredibly similar in so many ways. The vibe, the crowds, the social ideas were very much the same but still there was some strange imaginary line …
Recent posts

Straight Groove Rocking with Aqueous - Artifact

Can I admit something to you all?
It's totally not a complete secret, but I am willing to let it all out anyway.
They say the road to recovery starts with admitting you have a problem, and I have a problem.

I didn't want to like jam bands.

*sigh*

But I do. I really, really DO.
Not all of them. I mean, the potential is there but I like to say I am only just dipping my toes in the waters of this scene. (despite more than a few fully naked cannonballs) I am continuously surprised by just how much music is here. I am continuously impressed with how many bands are out there doing their own corner of the scene their own way and I am constantly evolving my own audible portfolio of what I love.

My husband and I follow Twiddle quite a bit and last month found us in Stroudsburg, PA where, coincidentally, this whole A Perfect Mess concept started in a little Internet broadcasting company called PIBCO. I used to drive the hour from my home in New Jersey once a week to spend two hours bla…

Tossing Out My Preconceived Notions with Big Something - Tumbleweed

I used to think I understood what this whole jam scene thing was, and I was so sure it was not my thing. In my younger days, I refused to listen to bands like Phish and moe. because I was so very sure the music was something I wouldn't relate to. I had all these preconceived notions of what the crowds were like at festivals, what the bands were like when you met them, and what the scene was as a whole. I was so wrong, it's kind of painful.

I mention a lot that my husband is a big reason for my open mind in music. I have always had a very eclectic taste. I love everything from classical to hip hop. I found myself as a teen in punk and industrial. I found my home in ska/reggae. I have always carried a love for folk. Never did I realize that all these sounds can be found in the least likely scene, at least in my mind at that time. Over the last five years, my husband (a nasty jam bassist in his own right) has been slyly pulling me into the scene one band at a time. Never has my …

Smooth Reggae Feels with The Elovaters: The Cornerstone

If anyone has been following along for the last 7 years, I started this journey doing an Internet radio show out of Stroudsburg, PA. I was blogging mostly local NJ artists slowly, and my format was "alternative" which gave me the freedom to take it wherever it went...and went, it did. One Sunday I decided to go full ska and had two of my dearest friends in the studio with me. My FM DJ girlfriend Lindsay and my friend in music and giant cans of pudding, Rob. I would be doing on-air interviews with Steve Jackson from the Pietasters and Travis from Hub City Stompers. There was beer. There was laughing. More than anything, there was a realization that this has always been the music that got deepest into my soul and why in the hell was this not my focus?

After a roof collapse and two station location shifts, our home base disbanded and a few of us, like myself, decided to hop into podcasting and continue with blogging reviews. I somehow garnered myself a lot of support in the sk…

Radical Chemicals Vol 1: InCircles/ThePandemics

I am a ska kid. Now and forever. It doesn't matter how broadened my music mind gets or how much love I have for any other scene or genre. I am a ska kid. Branded in the 90's, and still dancing in front of the stage until I damn near pass out every opportunity I get.

Mind you, I'm 38 years old, married with two kids and working a full time job in suburban New Jersey so that isn't as often as I would like anymore...but in my heart, it's all a ska show all day, every day. I have met some of my nearest and dearest friends through this scene. When I was starting out doing internet radio, Podcasting, and blogging six years ago, this scene opened itself to me and gave me a huge push. It's a longtime friend. It's a cozy home. One of those friends in the scene that I met alone the way is Chris Malone, founder of Lonely Atom Records and trombone/vocalist for The Pandemics.

Let me say first that the Pandemics hit me like a ton of bricks. They have one of the boldest …

Octave Cat - Synth Heavy Instrument Funk

I was born in 1978 which aside from making me old means I was raised considerably on the synth sounds that made the 1980's great. My first crush was the singer of A-Ha and I was positively obsessed with keyboards. To this day it's something I have a tendency to focus on when hearing new music. It's one of those things I always wanted to learn and never did so it's a bit of a fascination with what can be conveyed with the instrument. It pushed into a deep appreciation for New Wave and that fine line between punk and electronica that it walked. Ok, maybe that line wasn't so fine in reality but it was in my head. Come the 1990's, I had blossomed into a dark industrial fan... and then I found punk and ska and my world changed forever. That love of electronic sounds never really left though. I just kind of forgot about it.

I love to dance, despite being terrible at it, but I really can't stand modern radio dance music. I touched on this a bit in my last review …

Teddy Midnight - Tripping into something funky and different with Velvet Blue

Woah.
What in the world did I just put on? This is not me. This is not what I am used to. I like it.

I think my jam head husband likes that I have been exploring his scene a bit more. I think he delights in the fact that once in a while, I tell him he is right about something. We met over music. We bonded over music and it's something that we continue to bond over every day since. We get our beer on and sit in the basement talking about songs that moved us at some point in our life and then we bring it up on our phones and talk about it. I will bring up some random Sting song and go, "YO! THIS! LISTEN TO WHAT HE DOES HERE!" and then make some stupid, half in the bag gesture and he will do the same. Lately, he has been passing me some pretty interesting stuff.

I have never been a huge fan of electronic music. I like to dance, though I am immensely bad at it, but the music I dance to has to make me feel something in my guts or it just seems empty. Any beat can make you mo…