Letters to a young Boston band: GTFO


Last night at Redstar in Kendall Square, I presented a few live performances from some of the bands nominated for this year’s Boston Music Awards. Along with Jed Gottlieb of the Boston Herald and Vanyaland’s Michael Marotta, we each said a few words before the bands, with one particular highlight being Michael drawing the ire of a certain popular ska-punk band in the audience. For my own bit, introducing the New Highway Hymnal — whose set was marred by unfortunate technical difficulties, then salvaged by a pretty amazing equipment-destroying finale — I explained what I look for in a Boston Music Award-nominated band, which might be either the best or worst advice for other bands who weren’t there to hear it last night.

Here it is again:

“As you may or may not have heard, there was a little bit of controversy around the nominations for the BMAs this year. Shocking, right? People in Boston bitching about something. Not from any of you guys, of course, since you were all nominated for something. Sell outs.


There’s only one thing I personally look for in a BMA nomination, which is, paradoxically, I guess, a band that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a Boston band forever. You remember that part of Good Will Hunting — of course you do, you’re from Boston, you probably have it memorized.

The scene where Ben Affleck tells Matt Damon’s character about his hopes for him? To paraphrase, every couple of weeks I go to see one of your shows, have a few drinks, a few laughs, and it’s great.

But you know what the best part of it is?


When I think maybe one day, I’ll go to check out your band’s website, and you’ll be gone. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don’t know much, but I know that.

I think The New Highway Hymnal could be one of those bands. They’ve got a distinct sound, actual tunes, and more importantly, they’re young and good-looking. The fuckers. I hope they do get out.

Same for Case & Point, the Field Effect, You Won’t, and on the other side of the state, Potty Mouth and Speedy Ortiz.

I hope you all get out.


Mostly so I can start talking shit about you the instant you leave.

So to all of the bands nominated this year, I leave you with another bit of sage advice from a classic piece of cinema history: Get out of here.