Portlandia might try and stab in the dark at getting you reminiscing about the '90s (1890s and 1990s), but nothing gets you hopping into the old time machine like a good old fashioned set of delicious and pleasurably guilty whatever wave of ska. Well, not so much whatever wave. In those idyllic early years of the 1990s, ska was king and plaid clothes the norm.
Punks would put their hawks down and go out dancing, skins would press their Fred Perry polos and swing out with their Chelsea-cut girls and rastas would speed up their bobs. Ah, yes, the early '90s ska scene was a somewhat harmonious one, wasn't it? And while Florida had its fair share of bands like The Jive Step Bunch, Baccone Dolce, Magadog, and Miami darlings Against All Authority, one of the few bands on the national scale who was making waves was the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
And here, 29 years after forming, the plaid-clad freaks from New England are still at it with more gusto than ever!
Formed in Boston in 1983 by the decidedly not-velvety voiced Dicky Barrett, Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton, Ben Carr, and Joe Gittleman (the only constant members since foundation), the Bosstones have seen their fair share of ups and downs in a three-decade career spent mostly on the road, nine albums, and a handful of EPs.
Debuting on Taang! Records with 1989's Devil's Night Out and finding commercial and critical success with 1994's Question the Answers on Mercury Records, their path would continue upwards with 1997's track "The Impression that I Get" off the Let's Face It album -- hitting the apex of their career.
From 2003 through 2007 a hiatus for the band offered Barrett the time to become the announcer on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He continues to share his creamy, chantilly-laced voice with America via that vehicle. Back since '07, on indie labels, and with 2011's The Magic of Youth still somewhat in tow, the Bosstones maintain a healthy touring schedule and always offer a diverse and fun set.
Most importantly, they are continuously looking for ways to repackage "Drunks and Children" and for keeping Carr "The Bosstone" employed as a bizarre, silent and dancing version of Flavor Flav. Ah, let's keep dreaming of the '90s.
Here are a few of our favorite Bosstones' tunes.
"Drunks and Children"
"Someday I Suppose"
"The Impression that I Get"
The Horseshoe and the Rabbit's Foot"
"Pictures to Prove It"
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