Bowery Ballroom is the one that got away. Away from the 'improved' NYC downtown, the condo developers and the big box stores. It's only 12 years old, but it's got the feel of an old time place. And on a perfect early Fall night, The Slackers almost tore it down. They blew past curfew, through the hits and the rarities, and proved once again why Slackfest should never be missed. It's their big night at home, and now, it's yours too.
With help from local legend the NYC Taper and the Bowery Ballroom sound team, we made this one a 'matrix' - a wonderful mix of a high quality audience recording and the soundboard feed. We wanted to make sure the Slackers fans - the seventh member of the band - got their due this time around. Enjoy the show!
Recorded by the NYCTaper using two shotgun audience mics, and a two channel soundboard feed. Mixed by Whatevski in the style of Dan Healy.
Photo credits David Mingee and Alan "Bloodbath" Redpath
About The Slackers
"The Slackers are part of an imaginary universe. It wasn't their fault, well not completely. The caterpillar told them not to eat the mushroom on the right. But they did and for 15 yrs now they've had to play Imaginary-Jamaican-Rock-and-Roll, and try to explain that to everyone who passes. One asks,"Are you a reggae band?...where are your dreadlocks then?" Another says,"YOU DONT SOUND LIKE PUNK-ROCK WITH HORNS AT ALL!!" One elderly gent says,"Why it sounds like a lot of music I used to like, but I don't think any of you boys look addicted to HEROIN!" Doomed to try and explain themselves to a world full of hungry club-promoters, style-police, genre-slaves and the generally confused, they wrote bio upon bio, hoping to snag someone...ANYONE!...who might understand...here is attempt #6,364..."
- Vic Ruggiero, The Slackers
The Slackers sound is Jamaican rock n roll. While they have been influenced, and even personally taught by Jamaican ska/reggae originators, like the Skatalites and the Upsetters (Original backing band for the Wailers), the band sees its music through an American lens. This band is equally appreciative of old blues, 60s soul, rock, and Rnb as it is of reggae, rocksteady, dub, and Ska. It is as if the Rolling Stones or the Yardbirds had grown up on Bob Marley as well as Muddy Waters. From their 1996 release, Better Late Than Never through to 2008 with Self Medication, the NYC-based band, the Slackers have established themselves as America's premiere interpreters and innovators of Jamaican music and a pretty good rock band to boot.