Friday, May 16, 2014

ACME Band Supply Supplies It All!

Back at it again!  This article features something different as it is not necessary a musician but a group of people who support musicians.  Some of you have heard of ACME Band Supply who are a merchandising company out of the South Shore who at one point, took it upon themselves to open a merchandise line for local bands.  They create T-Shirts, Drink Koozies and much more!  They have worked with bands such as Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Big D & The Kids Table.  Keep on reading to see what Shawn Flores and Chris Hue have done to support the local scene and see what they may offer to your band, organization, or more!  

"Bands needed a quality, local, knowledgeable, no bullshit, and inexpensive place to source their merch needs. ACME was started out of necessity; both personal and for the scene."

With a combined 30 years of experience, veteran screen printers and co-owners of ACME Band Supply, Shawn Flores and Chris Huer, have been outfitting local and national bands with custom products since the late 90's, specializing in stock specifically designed for the music industry.

To get a sense of the deep rooted capacity of the headlining establishment that is ACME, you need to understand its bedrock, which includes Shawn Flores one upping a band with its own merchandise.

“While in high school one of my classes was Graphic Design and Print Production. The school copy center. Everyone who ever took that class literally used it to bootleg band shirts. I heard a year or two ago that my screens were still intact and kids were using them. Anyways, Big D had horrible merch.”

As a DIY printer, Flores had a scrutinizing eye. “Their CD’s were packed in their own scratched, recycled jewel cases which didn’t look so appealing next to their one shirt; a white T with black Helvetica type letters on the front and “1982” on the back. I wanted a hoodie, so like the Shootyz Groove, Amazing Royal Crowns and Bosstones shirts that I was already bootlegging, I made my own Big D and the Kids Table merch; a black, pullover hoodie with a front and back white logo taken from the CD. During The Hometown Throwdown IV, the Big D trombonist [at the time], Marc Flynn, saw me wearing the hoodie and politely demanded I make him one. I did.”

After a few months, Flores started making and selling the band’s merch. The copy center was upgraded to a mom and pop shop with unofficial after hours set aside for the scene. And ska was traded for punk with a job as the Dropkick Murphys' Merchandise Manager, complete with eight years of touring, while Huer manned the home base presses to satisfied the demand for local, quality screen printing. Eventually, the two combined efforts and established their own business; I’m With The Band Passes which was later rechristened ACME Band Supply.

“If you’re going to make us name drop,” (which we did) ACME is responsible for The Dropkick Murphys’ backdrops, amp covers, drum heads and laminates, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones shirts, buttons and passes, swag for Big D and the Kids Table and Larry And His Flask and merchandising goods for the smaller local bands like Rebuilder, Power of Love and Barroom Heroes, and local music blogs. The guys also take on subcontracting work fulfilling overflow orders from bigger companies.

“You can get merch printed anywhere, we know that. ‘insert name here screen printing’ can most likely take care of you. What they might not understand is that band merch is fashion and branding. It’s not slapping some ink on a shirt.”

ACME Band Supply uses ink softeners, high mesh screens and non-glossy ink to achieve the ideal style. Along with wearables, the shop also produces banners, posters, passes and holographic laminates, offering reasonable quantities for the smaller bands. “Give us your budget and we’ll help you get a full spread of product out if it,” Flores expresses.

In additional to the above mentioned, a soon-to-be-launched subsidiary of ACME will be, the only place on the internet where the crusty kids (not limited to) can order cloth patches, back.


Sold on their credentials, enthusiasm and local scene roots? ACME Band Supply will outfit your band, organization or company with quality screen printing and merchandise support.

And for a limited time, you can take advantage of "
The 50 Deal” ideal starter pack - 50 shirts singled sided/single color ink, 50 drink koozies, and 50 buttons for $350.

Contact Shawn and Chris at with orders, inquiries and requests for additional information. For a complete list of services, visit, and follow ACME on Instagram for product shots and Facebook for upcoming events and special offers.

ACME Band Supply Info:

ACME Band Supply Facebook
ACME Band Supply Website

Interview with Mark Doherty and Anthony Snowdale of Dot Rats

Both Mark Doherty and Anthony Snowdale have been participating in the Boston punk and hardcore scene for a long time now.  From their project, Nowhere USA and more recently, Dot Rats, both Mark and Anthony have been writing and playing music in full force.  I recently had the opportunity to interview both them and focus on what they are doing in the present with their current project, Dot Rats and some of the themes in their music.  We all talk about their history in Boston, the music scene and much more.

Run Don’t Walk: Well, you guys have been playing in the punk and hardcore scene for a while now, between Nowhere USA and your newest project, Dot Rats. Going back to the beginning, how did you guys start playing music? How did you guys meet in the first place? Both of you together are certainly a package deal in the eyes of many and who follow your music!

Anthony Snowdale: Well back in the day I saw Mark doing Hell to Pay with the Pug Uglies. I also saw him stage bomb every other band in the Boston scene at the time and thought this dude needs his own band. So..... Nowhere was started.

RDW: Musically, and lyrically, what do you think the biggest difference between Nowhere USA and Dot Rats are? Anthony, I believe you once mentioned “Nowhere USA is the angel on my shoulder while Dot Rats is the devil on my shoulder…” could you elaborate on that?
Anthony: to be clear Nowhere is no angel per say. However we do have ONE positive song, "Today". So uplifting songs total: Nowhere 1 DOT RATS 0. I guess that could be it. Plus over all sound too. DOT RATS are way meaner sounding where Nowhere has a few major key songs.
RDW: How does the neighborhood you guys grew up in and came from play a part in the writing process? Dot Rats is the obvious one but what influenced you guys to start up a second band that was pertaining to your roots?
Mark Doherty: i've been through a lot of shit in this town, the whole band has. There's many tales to tell from this town and we are gonna tell 'em.
Taken by Laura Reardon

RDW: What are some bands that are coming out today that you like? Who would you like to play with that you haven’t? Who have you played with throughout your career that you enjoyed?
Mark Doherty: obviously penalty kill, held hostage, neighborhood shit, Hardtime, words of truth, honest John, taxidriver, barroom hero's....
Anthony Snowdale: yeah those are our favorite up and comers right now. Everyone on that list dose a shit ton for the local scene too that we have here in New England.
RDW: Who/what introduced you guys to punk rock and hardcore? What were some of those first bands? Was it a child hood interest or something that happened later on?
Mark: my friend Andrea Folan got me into it when I was 14. misfits, clash, sex pistols
Anthony: My ( WAY ) older brother have me a dead milkmen tape when I was like 8 years old and I made the tape rock till the tape popped. I STILL love big lizard in my backyard. Fact.

Band Info:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Night #1 - A Benefit for Firefighter Mike Kennedy and LT. Ed Walsh at Great Scott!

When tragedy strikes our city (or any city for that matter!), several ideas and events come together to help those in need.  In a moment's notice, Mark Lind (Ducky Boys) and Josh Smith (Bowery Boston) set up two benefit shows that sold out quickly to support the official Mike Kennedy and Lt. Ed Walsh Fund.  They were two Boston Firefighters from Engine 33 and Ladder 15 on Boylston Street who passed away at a 9 alarm blaze in late March.  Night # 1 at Great Scott sold out within a few hours which was unexpected by some.  The show featured Duck and Cover, Burning Streets, Welch Boys, Lenny Lashley & the Gang of One, the Ducky Boys, Avoid One Thing (First show in 10 years), and the Street Dogs!  It was simply one of the best punk rock shows to come in years and it was all for a fantastic cause.  Roughly 250 people packed into a small, humid, and intimate club in Allston for an unforgettable night.

Duck and Cover were up first, it was my first time seeing them play and they had a garage punk meets 77 style kind of feel to their sound.  They played roughly a quick twenty minute set and their sound consisted of a garage punk feel along side influences of the Ramones and other 70's era punk rock bands.  They are a band I look forward to hearing more from in the future and I hope they play out more often. They're a band to keep an eye out for in the coming future as they possess a lot of energy and aggression in their music. Next up was Boston punk veterans, Burning Streets who have been in the game for quite sometime now.  In the last few years, the band has had the opportunity to hop on to some high profile shows and they rightly deserve so.  Their setlist this night was a mixture of old and new including songs ranging from their debut, Is It and Black and White? and their sophomore release, Sit Still.  Fan favorites such as Disappointed, Kiss The World Goodbye,  as well as Tea Party were in the cards that night.  I feel that every time these guys have the opportunity to play a show, they give 110% every show.  The quick twenty minute set included some newer material they have been releasing online such as Quiet House and Testament. Keep your eyes open for a brand new album coming out soon by them.

Next up, one of Boston's finest, the Welch Boys.  These guys are always a blast to see perform live and have caught the eyes and ears of many since their latest release which came out last summer.  The band opened up with the title track of that album, Bring Back The Fight and stormed through the first few songs off that record.  The set included Flesh Eater, a cover of A.C.A.B.'s, Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone? and Hand Grenade.  It was fantastic to hear older songs by them, as well.  Songs coming from their first self titled full length such as, 617, Friend or Foe, and Sink or Swim, as well.  Overall, the Welch Boys are always a great time.  They are perfect example of a band who always strive for improvement in what they do.  Lenny Lashley & the Gang of One were next.  It was a great time to see them plugged in, as well and play a ton of new songs from their release, Illuminator.  The boys opened up with Kingston and played right through the first three tracks or so which included Hooligans as well as White Man and Gates.  One of my personal favorite tracks that was played was U.S. Mail which Lenny has done a video for which can be viewed here.   That night, they were full of energy and put on a great show.

One of Boston's longest standing punk rock bands, the Ducky Boys were to hit the stage.  It had been awhile for me personally since the last time I saw them play so I knew we were in for a treat.  They kicked right into Boston U.S.A. which was pretty fitting for the event, and then right into Pass You By, and Alone Tonight which is the first three tracks from Three Chords and the Truth.  Ducky Boys played a very fast but enjoyable set that got the crowd pumped for things to come later in the evening.  Songs that you don't hear too often such as Surrogates was an excellent addition in the set and a newer song from Dead End Streets called Disappear was performed.  Both of these are sang by Doug Sullivan.  They also performed Looking Back and ended with I'll Rise Up which had crowd dancing across the floor.  It's always a great time to see the Ducky Boys play and I look forward to the next occasion.

Avoid One Thing was to follow the Ducky Boys and it was their first show back in a decade.  When word spread that they were coming around, it added to much of the excitement with the already stacked line up.  This is a band I have only been listening to the last couple of years because I was never all that familiar with them.  Anyhow, I was impressed though with their live set, especially with Joe from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Amy formally of Darkbuster and Paul Delano from Mung.  It was a solid line up of musicians.  They opened up with Bomb Building Songs and right into Yakisoba.  They played songs from both of their Self Titled album and Chopstick Bridge.  It was good to hear more familiar songs such as About You, Chopstick Bridge, and All That You Heard.  Since they were co-headlining, they played a full set to a relatively packed room by that time. It was a great set overall and it was a great thing to experience since we probably won't see them play anytime soon!

Last but not least, the Street Dogs were next and they were the final and headlining act for the night.  This was easily one of the best sets I have seen them play.  The Street Dogs are one of those bands that no matter where you see them perform, they deliver each and every time.  They entered the stage to a full house and exploded right into Jakes which was certainly fitting for the event.  That is one song I was happy to hear and I haven't heard them play in a couple of years.  Their set ranged from old and new.  They tore straight into Savin Hill, Punk Rock & Roll, and Crooked, Drunken, Sons which is a newer song from a 7 inch released on Pirates Press Records.  Many anthems were included such as Not Without A Purpose, Not Without A Fight, Strike A Blow and the fan favorite, You Alone.  They made a real effort to differentiate the set which was really nice. Other songs such as Yesterday, The Shape of Other Men, Free and even a cover of Steve Earle's Johnny Come Lately, also was a pleasant surprise.

Street Dogs who are known for their support of local causes dedicated In Defense of Dorchester to Martin Richards which incited crowd unity even more through the night.  The set ended with Back To The World as well as Fighter.  After a brief pause, it was encore time.  The six song encore was thoroughly infused with covers from both Darkbuster and the Dropkick Murphys (97 era).  Darkbuster classics such as Try To Make It Right, Stand & Deliver which was fronted by Lenny Lashley himself.  Another tune, Skinhead kept the crowd alive and going which added Mike McColgan back in on vocals.  The last three songs of the night were Do or Die, Get Up, and Never Alone originally by Dropkick Murphys.  The band has been covering these for the last couple of years and it never gets old!  It adds excitement to the set and brings the crowd in full motion.  Without a doubt, the Street Dogs played an incredible set and are a band that brings their live performance to the next level. For them, it is clear that the bar always is raised on their behalf and they always set the standard as musicians.

In the end, it was a night for the books!  Mark Lind and Josh Smith did a fantastic job setting this show up and night two at Sinclair (Cambridge, MA).  It is quite amazing what a small community can do for two families and an entire Fire Department in a time of need.  After two nights of performances, fifty thousand dollars was raised for the families of Mike Kennedy and Ed Walsh.  For anybody who attended both shows or just one of them, there is no doubt in my mind it was two shows that will never be forgotten and every was proud to be a part of.

Band(s) Info:
Duck & Cover
Burning Streets
Welch Boys
Lenny Lashley & the Gang of One
Ducky Boys
Avoid One Thing
Street Dogs

If you would like to contribute to the Firefighter Michael Kennedy and the Lieutenant Ed Walsh Memorial Fund, please use the following link: Boston Fire Credit Union/Memorial Fund Page