Bomb the Music Industry!

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Bomb the Music Industry!
Bomb the Music Industry.png
Bomb the Music Industry performs in Tampa, Florida on March 26, 2012.
Background information
Origin Baldwin, New York, USA
Genres Punk rock, ska punk, folk punk, indie rock
Years active 2004–2014
Labels Quote Unquote, Asian Man Ernest Jenning Record Co. Really
Associated acts The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, Rick Johnson Rock and Roll Machine, The Matt Kurz One, Pegasuses-XL, Shinobu, Kudrow, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Mustard Plug, Laura Stevenson and the Cans, Every Time I Die, Big D and the Kids Table
Website www.bombthemusicindustry.com
Members Jeff Rosenstock (guitar, vocals)
John DeDomenici (bass, vocals)
Mike Costa (drums)
Tom Malinowska (guitar)
Laura Stevenson (keyboards)
Matt Keegan (trombone, keys)
Sean McCabe (trombone, mandolin)
James Lynch
Dave Solomon
Jason Rutcofsky
Jenna Beatty
Steve Foote
Sean Qualls
Christine Mackie
Nik Cousins
Craig Howe
Rick Johnson
Matt Kurz
Jimmy Doyle
Jeff Tobias
Erica Harper
Danny DeFalco

Bomb the Music Industry! (commonly abbreviated as BtMI!) was a band from Baldwin, Nassau County, New York.[1] They wrote, produced, recorded, and distributed all of their music under the leadership of songwriter and producer Jeff Rosenstock.

Rosenstock and several other contributors were previously members of The Arrogant Sons of Bitches. As that band was breaking up, Rosenstock recorded the first BtMI! song, "Sweet Home Cananada," using his PowerBook's built-in microphone. "I wrote that song and put it out to see if anybody wanted it. That was how it started, people showed interest and I like recording stuff."[2]

The band was known for their DIY punk ethic, embodied in actions such as distributing six albums worth of their own material for free on their website, and offering free stencils and paint for fans to create their own T-shirts.[3][4] They also made it a point to play all-ages shows with ticket prices of $10 or less, and offered fans a chance to perform on stage if they learned a song and brought an instrument to the show. This sparked comparisons such as "the Fugazi for the internet age of punk."[5] Over time, the band's lineup shifted from "pretty much a free-for-all" to a fairly steady five-member lineup.[6]

In 2012, the band announced an indefinite hiatus, stating that their summer US tour would likely be their last because "the 9 - 10 months of our lives when we are not playing music are not fantastic." They added, "We are beautiful complicated fucking snowflakes that blow wherever the wind takes us and you better fucking respect that shit, maaaan."[7] Following an international farewell tour in 2013, the band played their final show in Brooklyn on January 19th, 2014.[8]

BTMI recordings have been featured on television shows such as Weeds and The Office.[9][10]

Style[edit]

Bomb the Music Industry! played a blend of several musical styles anchored in ska and hardcore punk. The influences go deeper than ska and punk, however, as studio experimentation, synth-pop, and DC hardcore can influence the music. Rosenstock says bands such as Harvey Danger and Neutral Milk Hotel are as much an influence as evidenced by tracks such as "This Graceless Planet" (an adaptation of a song by We Versus The Shark into the musical aesthetic of Bomb the Music Industry!), "Stand There Until You're Sober", and many other songs' meter experiments (which feature, respectively, prominent synthesizer playing, backwards looping, and time signatures such as 23/4). In live performances the band has begun using digital technology to create breakdowns that are meant to sound similar to chiptunes. Tracks such as "Sweet Home Cananada" and "Future 86" strip down the arrangements to loops and guitar, with the latter (a previously unreleased Arrogant Sons of Bitches demo) featuring a full brass section but lacking the upstroke rhythms on the guitar, a key element of third-wave ska.[11][12][13]

Lyrically, BTMI! songs vary widely from rants about corporate rock to ordinary stories about finding a job. They also use humor, as in "Can I Pay My Rent In Fun?" and "Sorry, Brooklyn. Dancing Won't Solve Anything." One interviewer described the band as "ska for smart people." Jeff Rosenstock responded, "...you could call us ska music for smart people or indie rock for dumbasses at the same time. That's nice that somebody thinks we're smart."[2]

Touring[edit]

Bomb the Music Industry! has toured as a duo consisting of Rosenstock and Rick Johnson of Mustard Plug. Both carry vocal responsibilities while Rosenstock plays guitar and Johnson plays bass. Both play a variety of instruments as well, such as theremin, tub drum, and saxophone. Additionally, Rosenstock has been known to play keyboard with his feet. Often, this incarnation of the duo performs accompanied by an iPod wired into the venue's PA system that supplies all of the instruments that the duo themselves cannot perform live.

Bomb the Music Industry! has also toured as a duo consisting of Rosenstock and multi-instrumentalist Matt Kurz. During this tour, Rosenstock fronted the band, playing guitar and saxophone. Kurz sang backup and played bass. As with the Rosenstock/Johnson combo, the rest of the instruments were played through an iPod. Fans were encouraged to join them onstage and play instruments.

In December, 2006, Bomb the Music Industry!, this time as just Rosenstock and Johnson, toured the United Kingdom as part of the Ska Is Dead tour with Mustard Plug and The Planet Smashers.

On May 19, 2007, Bomb the Music Industry! headlined Skappleton 2007, a ska festival in Wisconsin.

Throughout June 2007, Bomb the Music Industry! embarked on what its website describes as the "Real Bands Tour?". On this tour, the band sidestepped their regular, thrown-together arrangements and opted to perform with a full rock ensemble, consisting not only of Rosenstock as frontman but also of two keyboard players, a bass player, an additional guitarist, and a drummer. The decision to play with this ensemble reflects upon the style of their 2007 album, Get Warmer, which was recorded with a similar ensemble of live players as opposed to by mainly Rosenstock. On October 4, 2008 the band entered the studio to record their next album titled Scrambles, which was released February 15, 2009. The album Others! Others! Volume 1 was released on May 7, 2009, an album of demos, unreleased songs, and bonus tracks.

In 2008 the band played "A Song Dedicated to the Memory of Stormy the Rabbit" with Andrew Jackson Jihad during their performance at the Soapbox Laundrolounge in Wilmington, N.C. Members played a saxophone, keyboard and percussion instruments.

In an August 8, 2009 blog post on their MySpace, Bomb the Music Industry! announced the creation of their first music video for the song Wednesday Night Drinkball.[14] Directed by Bryan Schlam, the video depicts Rosenstock and fellow band members singing to the song and handing him instruments to play as they drive through a city at night.

It was announced in July 2010 that filmmaker Sara Crow would be making a documentary about the band and other bands on Quote Unquote. On Kickstarter she successfully asked for donations to fund the film, which would record their upcoming summer tour and focus on their D.I.Y. philosophies.[15]

For their 2010 summer tour, the band made printed t-shirts to sell for the first time.

In September 2010, they released a video for their song "Everybody That You Love", using footage from live shows and their summer tour.[16]

In November 2013, they announced their final show was going to be in New York with Andrew Jackson Jihad and Cheap Girls.

Major tours[edit]

  • Skank & Destroy Tour 2006 (w/ Mustard Plug, Against All Authority, Westbound Train)
  • Ska is Dead UK Tour 2006 (w/ Mustard Plug, Planet Smashers)
  • Catch 22 Xmas Tour 2006 (w/ Catch 22, Patent Pending, Whole Wheat Bread)
  • Anti-Flag Winter Tour 2007 (w/ Anti-Flag, The Break)
  • Asian Man Records Making Punk Fun Again Tour 2008 (w/ the Queers, Lemuria, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Kepi Ghoulie)
  • Summer Tour 2010, both US and Western Europe
  • Young Drunks Tour 2013, Australia (w/ The Smith Street Band, The Bennies)

Discography[edit]

Date of US release Title Label
2005 Album Minus Band Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Asbestos Records (Vinyl) / Asian Man Records (Vinyl)
2005 To Leave or Die in Long Island Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Asbestos Records (Vinyl)/ Asian Man Records (Vinyl)
2006 Presidents Day Split 7″ Asbestos Records (Vinyl Only)
2006 Goodbye Cool World! Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Asbestos Records (Vinyl) / Asian Man Records (Vinyl)
2007 Get Warmer Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Asian Man Records (CD/Vinyl)
2007 O Pioneers!!! Split 10″ Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Team Science (CD) / Asbestos Records (Vinyl)
2008 Mustard Plug Split 7″ Suburban Home Records (Vinyl Only)
2009 Scrambles Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Asian Man Records (CD/Vinyl)
2009 Others! Others! Volume 1 Quote Unquote Records (Digital)
2009 Laura Stevenson and the Cans Split 7" Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Kiss of Death Records (Vinyl)
2010 Adults!!!: Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited by Nothing!!!!!!! Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Really Records (Vinyl)
2010 Everybody That You Love (7") Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Paper + Plastick (Vinyl)
2011 Vacation Quote Unquote Records (Digital) / Ernest Jenning Record Co. / Really Records (CD/Vinyl)
2011 Ska is Dead Vol. 6 (7") Asbestos Records (Vinyl Only)

Compilation appearances

Music videos

References[edit]

External links[edit]