Worse than seeing talented groups call it quits, is when the band lasts, but shouldn't. Having to watch them head out on the county fair circuit year after year, still dressing as if it they're in their heydey, is deeply tragic. Yes, I'm looking at you Starship. Or should I say Jefferson Starship. Or should I say Jefferson Airplane. You may be knee-deep in the hoopla, but the self-delusion goes all the way up to your armpits.
So how strong must the chemistry be for a band to not just still be together after 30 years, but to still be a powerful influence, still be touring and still making the kids dance?
Well, tonight, you can find out. Head down to The Red Room and catch The Toasters, who formed in NYC in 1981, and have been cranking out killer ska dance tunes ever since. That's actually long enough to be part of the initial two-tone ska craze of the early '80s, its retreat into the underground, its mid-'90s resurgence, another trip to obscurityville and yet another looming rise thanks to ska's infectious dance beat and the user-curated playlist powers of Internet radio. That's good chemistry.
The show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $8. Hotel Chelsea and Voice of Reason are opening. If for some reason you can't make it—work, childbirth, Icelandic volcano (the only reasons worth missing this show)—you'll probably still be able to catch The Toasters on their 40th or 50th anniversary tour. Let's hope so anyhow.