Growing Up

Scorcese's favorite Irish punks look back in anger.

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If you want to see the Dropkick Murphys in concert, you have two weeks to do so. Then you’ll have to wait a whole month before Boston’s best Celtic punks resume the tour in support of their latest CD, The Meanest of Times -- because the dedicated baseball fans don’t do October. It all stems from a Florida gig four years ago, when the Red Sox lost to the Yankees in extra innings during the seventh game of the playoffs. “We wouldn’t go on till the game was over,” recalls singer and bassist Ken Casey. “The club owner said, ‘You guys might want to think about not touring in October.’ So we don’t.”

The Meanest of Times, which comes out today, is the band’s most reflective album -- a collection of songs about battle-scarred childhoods, impending parenthood, and growing up with some really heavy baggage. “[Youth] can be the meanest of times,” says Casey. “But you wouldn’t change it for the world, because it makes you who you are.” Still, the music the seven Murphys play (on traditional Irish instruments like accordion, bouzouki, and tin whistle, as well as the usual rock ones) comes pretty close to celebratory this time around. “These songs are about our families,” says Casey, a father of two. “We’ve grown up a little bit, but the same spirit is there.” The group is still reeling from its inclusion in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed last year, says Casey. “I’m Shipping Up to Boston (from 2005’s The Warrior’s Code) was featured prominently in the movie. Sales of the band’s 11-year back catalog immediately skyrocketed. “I don’t know if [Scorsese] knew who we were or not,” laughs Casey. “But he’s big on getting in touch with what’s going on. It was a cool connection. We now have a lot of fans of Irish gangster movies at our shows.”
Tue., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.

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