Date: May 31st 2014
Bands: Murphy’s Kids, The Huxtables, The Fad, Johnny Too Bad and The Strikeouts, I Voted for Kodos, Sammy Kay and the Fast Four, Dan P and The Bricks
Day 2 of the Asbestos Records NYC Ska Festival, a.k.a Cake Stomp, a.k.a Apple Womp, a.k.a Not Apple Stomp was held at The Cake Shop again, which is located on Ludlow Street in the hippest part of Manhattan these days. No secret bands tonight but an overall awesome show!
As I was walking to the Cake Shop from the subway, I ran into Dan P and we chatted a few as we dodged through the yuppie twerps clogging the streets to get into the trendy clubs and bars. Like the other nights, the schedule was a little off and things started a little bit later. There was some comedy thing beforehand, so it was holding up the doors. As everybody was leaving wearing ugly salmon shorts and boat shoes, everybody entered the club. It slowly filled in but by the end of the night, it was another sold out show at the Cake Shop.
The first band up was Murphy’s Kids from Richmond, VA and they were another band I never saw before but heard of their name. I really liked these guys and the singer was a riot to watch perform. He reminded me of comedian Jim Breuer. Their music was poppy ska punk I suppose and got the crowd dancing immediately. The guitarist in the band was so tall I thought he was going to break his neck if he decided to jump at all. Thankfully there were no casualties.
The Huxtables features members of Slow Gherkin/Dan P and the Bricks but they were the non-ska group for the evening. They play a mixture that kind of sounds like Weezer and Smoking Popes. They released an album on Asian Man Records back in 2011 called “We Have Heads.” While I appreciated the music and liked the majority of the songs, I was kind of in the mood for ska that night. I think if they played another show that wasn’t just ska, I would have enjoyed the set more.
I just saw The Fad 2 weeks ago or so with Mustard Plug and they put on another crazy/awesome set. Everybody always goes nuts for them when it comes to sing alongs. I could hear their set better this time or maybe it just wasn’t as loud at Knitting Factory. This time I recognized that they played “Rat Race” by The Specials. Funny moment throughout the set was when the drummer was getting caught up with the party streamers in the backdrop. He pretty much dismantled the entire backdrop and was playing with them tangled up in his drum sticks. Everybody was cracking up. Later on, I told someone to put the streamers on Jimmy’s head and he started to headbang with them.
Johnny Too Bad and the Strikeouts have returned after not playing for 17 years. They played the night before in CT and then played the Cake Shop, and that’s it for now I guess. I believe I might have only seen them once at The Tune Inn in New Haven, but I might have seen them play elsewhere like at the Wetlands or something. The band played songs from their Patchwork Girl album like “Wait Til Later” and “Sad Taco” but they also played older tunes like “220” and “Eugene.”
For not playing in 17 years, they played a great set and hope this means they will play more often. Though that might be difficult when some of the members are spread out in the country. That’s why these reunions are so special for ska fans because you get to see original lineups that rarely play together.
Another reunion took place after Johnny Too Bad and the Strikeouts and that was I Voted For Kodos from Wisconsin. The band was joined by Chris Malone from the Pandemics/Bigger Thomas and other ska bands. IV4K is another band that I never really listened to or saw before. Everybody loved their set and went crazy for, just like High School Football Heroes who played the night before. For the most part they played their ska material but they did play a non-ska song or two as well. I’ll have to check out their music because I liked what I heard.
And now for something completely different…Sammy Kay and The Fast Four were up next and in my opinion, were one of the better bands from the 3 days of ska I saw. Sammy was joined by Vic of The Slackers on keys and later on in the set Matt Mason of The Pietasters and Billy Kottage of Reel Big Fish/Pilfers joined in as well. The rocksteady dance party was in full effect and I couldn’t help but sing and dance along. Sammy played songs like “Highs and Lows,” “I Can Change” and “Sweet Misery.” I asked Sammy to play “She’s My Baby” but he just sang me a verse so I guess that will do haha. I need to see Sammy Kay and the Fast Four more often.
Dan P and the Bricks finally went on around 12:30am or so and I wish they went on earlier. It’s always the headliners that go on the latest but I always have to leave early for them. I saw about half of Dan P and the Bricks set and they were a blast to watch! For those that don’t know, the band is pretty much Dan Potthast of Mu330 and Slow Gherkin.
They started off with “Footdown,” followed by “Mess It Up.” Dan is always the funny showman and this set was no different. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a comedian fronting a ska band. Other highlights from what I saw included “Heartbeat Survival” and “Watch Where You Walk.” Overall, I enjoyed this show more than the first night but can’t really compare the shows. But if I had to, I liked this one more.
Here are some photos from the show. All will be posted at SkaPunkPhotos.com over the next week or so.
Matt Flood working hard