Sunday, March 22, 2009

Record Labels: TAANG!

Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Where'd You Go


As a teenager growing up in and around Harvard Square, TAANG! Records was my local hardcore label, just around the corner. I hardly ever went in to the storefront, but it was their influence that filled the local dives with loud punk, hardcore, and ska back when bands and crowds were small, and such things were truly underground.

TAANG! put out the first Mighty Mighty Bosstones album, and vinyl from Mission of Burma, the Dropkick Murphys and the early Lemonheads, including the Luka 7" I wrote about a few weeks ago; they brought ska into the city, and supported seriously local hardcore bands like Gang Green and Slapshot, which I knew of through graffiti, ubiquitous flyers, and the occasional marquee listing even before I was old enough to make it into the clubs myself.

I'm sure there are plenty who would cite TAANG for nurturing the various innovators and genre-crashers who would go on to influence the transformation of pop in the nineties and beyond. For me, the important thing about TAANG! wasn't the music it spawned, it was the way the label's very presence both honored and perpetuated the Boston skatecore/skacore scene, the angry, violent sound that was the town of my youth. That it still exists, albeit predominantly as a thrashcore record shop on the other coast, is reassuring, somehow.

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