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"Concert Review: CBJ, Dryvel, Spades Alone, Proj. Gift- 4.5.08"

Reviewed by Jason Mick


The show kicked off at about 9:30 pm with CBJ. Formerly known as Checker Board Jive, the band shortened its name recently to CBJ. The rename provides a rather humorous split between newer and older fans as new fans are left to guess at exactly what the acronym stands for, and some audience members did indeed guess and came up with some pretty humorous alternative possibilities for the band's true name.

One thing that made CBJ a really enjoyable band was the fact that their music focused largely on having fun and comraderie. After attending several hardcore or more punk oriented shows, it was rather refreshing to watch some more light-hearted music. While CBJ might sing a bit about rebellion, they seemed like they were enjoying themselves, a departure from the more "pissed off" brand of punk you sometimes see.

The band was composed of a solid brass section, with Mark Vanbaak on tenor saxophone, Adam Gill on trumpet, and Mitchell Lavender on trombone. Along with the brass was a solid contingent consisting of vocalist/guitarist Tom Skill, drummer Mike Land, and bass guitarist Ken Arini. One strong point of the band was that each member was very proficient at his roles, and meshed well with the band as a whole. Together the band offered up a coherent and mature act which blended ska with punk stylings. Also, fun was that Skill would sometimes democratically share vocal responsibilities with Lavender or other band members.

Opening up their set, the band broke into their electrifying tune "Unities Revolt", which featured an anthemic call to arms "fight, fight, fight the power". They also played another highlight, the more ska-heavy (as one might predict from the title) "It's Thursday, It's Skaday". This song highlighted the band's awesome brass at points.

The band ripped through more of its own material, including the songs "Change" and "DTS". They also At last they finished up after completing a 45 minute set. Despite the fact that they played a rather long set for a local show, it really went by quickly and left you wanting more, thanks to the band's catchy and strong lyricism and their solid instrumentation.

Whether you are an amateur ska fan, like myself, or a long time skanker, I think you'd definitely enjoy CBJ, if their Saturday set was any indidication. - DetroitChic.com

"Concert Review: Ska for Darfur, NOVEMBER 19, 2008"

Concert Review: Ska for Darfur, NOVEMBER 19, 2008

Reviewed by Ben Miotke @gmail.com

CbJ! Now, I’ve been trying to put pictures that show the band in full and give you a nice view of each
band’s live experience but this one is a special dedication to the Specials song “Little Bitch”, which,
apparently, CbJ refuses to take learn the lyrics to. So I was brought into a fun game, yell for “Little Bitch”
at every opportunity you get during CbJ’s set. Well, before the set even started, myself and my “teammates”
got yelled at by Mike, their drummer. We wrote it in big letters on their set list, we yelled more, I
told a girl to go to hell after she questioned me, we yelled, they played, some girl punched me in the
stomach so I punched her back for being a bitch, they played, it was fun. I simply aaaddooorreeddd
their cute little uniforms, simply precious, darlings…but really, they were great, VERY good local skapunk.
I can’t really think of some aw to point out with respect to the band except that their fans are
assholes who keep yelling stuff about bitches.

I think during CbJ’s set the damned nger thing nally started to subside. You know, when the audience
is appreciating the musical stylings of one musician in a band so they crowd around that person
and ail their ngers in worship. It gets old, kids, really, after the 10th time you do it in one show (which
was probably towards the end of Treehouse Rivals set), you need to stop. - MichiganSka.com


..2010 e.p...

Produced, Recorded and Mastered by CbJ
Release Date: Avalib. Online - Jan. 26th. 10

Track Listing
1. In the Streets
2. Fellowship at Hand
3. Life Lessons
4. Mr. NiceGuy
5. Cut Throat
6. To the Grave

...One day, On the way (Full Release)..

Produced, Recorded and Mastered by CbJ and Orange Room Studios
Release Date: june 16th, 09

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Unity's Revolt
3. It’s Thursday, It’s Ska-day
4. D.T.S.
5. How Many More
6. Change
7. Comparison Issue
8. Happy go Lucky
9. This Life
10. Left in the Dark
11. One day, On the way
12. Who else will

..One Day e.p...

Produced, Recorded and Mastered by CbJ and Orange Room Studios
Release Date: Dec. 16th, 08

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Unity's Revolt
3. It’s Thursday, It’s Ska-day
4. Left In The Dark
5. One day, On the way

..The Jive Has Arrived EP..

Produced, Recorded and Mastered by CbJ
Release Date: June 8th, 2006

Track Listing:
1. Comparison Issue
2. It’s Thursday, It’s Ska-day
3. This Life
4. How Many More?
5. Change
6. D.T.S.



On April 14, 2005 bassist Ken Arini and guitarist Tom Skill began searching for members to form a band that could create a faster, more energetic sound. In their search many musicians have cycled through the band until finally the right mix of musicianship and character was blended to form CbJ. With only a guitarist, bassist and drummer, CbJ managed to take top prize at a Battle of the Bands less than a year after the band was first formed. This was the first indication that CbJ had found a musically tight and energetic sound through strict emphasis on musical structure. Another point of pride that the members of CbJ apply in their playing is a strong belief in energetic performances. The addition of trumpet player Adam Gill, and Mark VanBaak on tenor saxophone completed the CbJ sound.
First starting out as a saying, the song "It's Thursday, It's Ska-day" has become the anthem to what CbJ is all about, with lyrics and an overall sound that reflects who the band is and what they are capable of. Always interacting with the crowd and making the shows fun for all who are in attendance, whether CbJ is the band the crowd is there to see or not, adds to the overall fan base after each show that is played. Although the six guys enjoy having fun and just being regular guys they are always strict on themselves, the music is number one with a strong DIY ethic.
Lastly, it is always a priority of CbJ to continue their progression as musicians and as a band to better themselves and put out great new material.

We have shared the stage with these great national acts... Mike Got Spiked (Dublin, Ireland), Green Room Rockers (Rude Music International/Rons Label(self produced), The Know How (Stomp Records), Manic Sewing Circle (Bouncing Betty Records), Koffin Kats (HBS), Bomb the Music Industry (Asian Man/Quote Unquote), Deal's Gone Bad (Jump Up! Records/Megalith Records), Mustard Plug (Hopeless Records), The Toasters (Stomp Records), Big D and The Kids Table (Side One Dummy Records)

Venues where CbJ has played:
Royal Oak Music Theater
The Magic Stick
Emerald Theater
Clutch Cargos
Macs Bar
Modern Exchange
The Village Idiot
The Painted Lady
The New Way
Corner Bar
National Bohemian
The B Side
Pub 1281
The Factory
The Armada Fair (Took 1st in Battle)
1021 Ottawa
Basement 414
The Hayloft Liquor Stand
Paychecks Bar
The Ritz
TNT's Bar and Grill
The Beacon (Potato Extravaganza)
Premiere Concert Theater
Oshtemo Grange Hall
Nite Moves
Static Age
MySpace Cafe (Took 1st in Battle)
Sports Forum
Lakeside Community Church (The Flood)
Roseville Masonic Center
Bethel Lutheran Church
Club Cyber Gaming Center
Game Studio 360
Conga's Coffee Shop

Tom Skill - 586.899.6739
Mike Land - 586.873.7543

Band Email - CbJSka@hotmail.com