You know what is really annoying about having an opinion about America? The rebuttal of “If you don’t like it then you can leave”. Do I hate America? No, not at all, I just feel I’m allowed to have an opinion about the place I live. Do I hate the Boston Music Awards. No I don’t. Do I feel that the nominations are kinda bogus? Yea I do.
Should I care? Probably not but it’s called the Boston Music Awards and I have been a Boston musician for about 10 years so I can’t help but notice who they nominate. It’s not like I started a band with the intent to win an award or to become rich. The fact is people DO win awards and DO become rich off of making music and you can’t help but think if that might one day be an option. I can only really talk about the “punk” section of the bill because that’s the world I know.
If I went to LA and asked a random person who the top punk bands in Boston are, the Boston Music Award nominee list is what I would expect to get with the exception of Young Adults. Do I think that the bands on this list are undeserving? Not at all, but it does seem like an easy way out instead of looking into the vast punk scene we have. The nominate of Young Adults feels like a way of giving a small nod to the local scene with a name we have already seen. Street Dogs were not very active this year at all. They are a great band that people love but so isn’t Boston and they released a new record this year along with touring.
Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Big D and the Kids Tables are all active bands that Boston IS proud to have. We celebrate these bands often. All of these bands are current or former employers of mine and close friends. I will always be happy to see them get recognition, but how do we make room for the next generation of these bands? Seeing the same national bands nominated every year is another year that we don’t embrace some of the amazing bands we have locally or semi-national level.
I recently toured with my band Rebuilder to Fest in FL. Fest is arguably the biggest punk festival in the US that takes place in Gainesville, FL. One thing that is strong and prominent is the abundance of Boston bands that are present and celebrated. These are some of them without mentioning the other great bands in Boston that didn’t go to Fest.
A Wilhelm Scream– One of the biggest bands at Fest. People are waiting in line to see this band. Their new record on No Idea is one of the most anticipate punk records this year.
No Trigger– Another band loved by Festers. Their new record is amazing. Drummer Mike Ciprari runs SJC Drum Company who has taken off to be a high desired drum company.
The Stereo State– They played their last show at Fest and did their last Boston show right before leaving at O’Briens.
Great Lakes USA– A band that came out with guns blazing and a constant favorite at O’Briens. Their is a reason why this band is chosen to open when national punk shows come to town.
Save Ends– New record out on Tiny Engines. Just like Great Lakes, they are a band people love to go see. Everyone in this band has been playing in other bands just like I for years and years.
Shambles– A band that played before my band at Fest. Great catchy band that drew a large crowd during their set.
Pile– Don’t know much about them but they did go all the way to Fest to play. They had a large crowd as well.
Choke Up– Another punk band that the underground scene loves to go see. They recently opened for Good Riddance and Flatliners at Sinclair.
My band Rebuilder also made the trip to Fest. In fact this has been the best year in my musical career. We started opening for Dropkick Murphys on Saint Patrick’s Day, opening for The Dead Milkmen at Sinclair, toured to Pouzza Fest in Montreal, played with Down by Law at Middle East, played the Warped Tour local stage, weekends up and down New England, had a successful CD release at Middle East up, played Fest, and finishing up the year by opening for Mighty Mighty Bosstones at House of Blues. We did all this by working hard, pooling our money to tour, and making sacrifices to make it happen. We aren’t the only ones who do this and something the is suppose to represent Boston music should recognize this. It doesn’t take much to find. I remember when the nominations included Lost City Angels and Kicked In The Head. Kicked In The Head won that year and we (I did merch for them) left the after party to play a show in Beverly. I don’t think I am qualified to make a list of the best punk bands in Boston but someone like Ryan Agate is, or just go to his shows at O’Briens and upstairs Middle East.
Again I don’t think the BMA are an evil corporation. Everyone is bringing up the charities. I think it is great that the BMA’s give to charities to support music education in schools. My band and I started a record label called Refuse Rethink Rebuild Records that lets people download our record and other Boston bands records as a “name your price”. We hope that it will grow to where we can donate a percentage to help music education in schools as well. I would like to see the money help a kid learn an instrument, make an band, and win a Boston music award.