Ya can’t keep a good podcast down! 23min of Ska hitting back at you after another long week. Get prepped for that weekend, it’s gonna be fun and relaxing one. At least I hope so for your sake. We all need a respite after these last few weeks, right? Now, I’m never one to warn people away from the show, but if you’re not a ska/punk fan, eeeeee, this might not be the episode for you. Certainly there’s some straight up ska in here, but there’s some ska/punk that’s rather heavy on the punk, and just heavy in general. That’s a fair warning: this podcast plays both kinds of music, ska & ska/punk. Deal with it.
Listen up! This episode kicks off w/ two excellent new tracks! The first from the Duppies and their new album, the second is from the Holophonics and their forthcoming album! Get excited! I’m excited! I’ve been bringing you a lot of great new ska and ska/punk this month and I couldn’t be happier to do so! It’s just that time of year where the new stuff is coming out fast! I’m happy that it gives me us all something great to listen to when we’re stuck at our jobs instead of out living it up and seeing bands and drinking lemonade! Work sucks, but great tunes make it bearable. Thanks to all the bands, thank you for saving us from our mundane lives and giving us something to dance to!
Ska in the ’00s soldiered on as more and more fans left the sound for something new. Why is this? My best guess is that the pre-mid ’90s folks getting into ska were the kind of people seeking out new sounds in the underground. By 2002 most of those folks had moved on to find other new stuff to listen to as they were always just music seekers. What’s to bad is that many parts of the US didn’t have an established ska scene that dated back further than 1996, so there wasn’t much of a scene to stick with it after the local ska band broke up or moved to a bigger city. It was also around this time when the usual discussion about ska went from “Ska? What’s that?” to “Oh, ska? You still listen to that junk?” That last phrase is forever burnt in my mind after it was uttered to me by a girl in a comic shop in the Winter of 2003 as she was picking out a classic rock record to buy while wearing a Jethro Tull t-shirt, I knew this girl from punk, ska & power pop shows. Disheartening to hear, for sure. So, here’s to the bands that kept the fire going through the dark times! Here’s to the fans that found ska, liked and continued to support it! Here’s to all of us!
A fifth Thursday this month? You know what that calls for, right? A rules breakin’ episode! How does this episode break all the rules? Well listen up, I’ll tell you, but I’m also going to tell you some totally non-mind blowing stuff about ska and friends. So, once you’ve been a ska fan for long enough you make friends. I know I have, some friends for LIFE! But also some friends in bands. I was in a band (lots of horns, no ska beat, not very good) that played along side ska and power pop bands regularly, so you know “inside the scene” friends. Friends that when you’d see each other outside a local show at a Denny’s or the local record shop or book store you’d stop and talk and hang out. You’d end up at the same parties and you were always glad to see them. You’d pay to go see them play if you weren’t on the bill that night, but they’d get you in free anyway. Those kinds of friends. They might not help you move, but they’ll always recognize you when they see you and will spend a few hours over drinks before either one of you moves far away from your hometown. Heck, they may even attend your wedding. There are bigger bands that have had, at one time or another, someone I know in them. There are also other bands that I got to know, who are totally cool, but we’re more like acquaintances. Also, recently I’ve started making friends in bands again, but I’ve yet to meet some of these wonderful folks in person. So here it is, some true blue friends in legitimate ska bands! And even though I didn’t move from Peoria, IL until I got out to Los Angeles, I did spend a lot of time in Madison, WI and Indianapolis, IN to get to know those guys. So, how am I breaking the rules? Some of these bands share members (sometimes the very guy in the band I knew) and that’s something I try not to do in a series of episodes let alone one. I do it for variety of music’s sake. But eff it! I just had my birthday and I wanted to listen to my friends’ bands and share them with you!
the Small Mediums at Large – Ha Ha Ha (the Small Mediums at Large ’99)
I Voted for Kodos – I Just Want You to Know (Close Enough for Ska ’00)
No Reason Given – Babylon America (New Demo ’02)
Corey Dixon & the Zvooks – Jack Ruby (Come and Go ’01)
the Malcontents – Get Out (the Malcontents ’04)
Roscoe P. Soultrane – New Day (Ska Spelled Backwards ’97)
the MIBs – Just for Kicks (the MIBs ’96)
If you’re in a ska band and would like to be interviewed or have a song featured, please email me at radjose[at]gmail[dot]com.
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Back in my youth I was even less put together than I am now, and while I’ve never understood how people say “music saved my life,” I can without a doubt say that music kept me sane. Sane and out of trouble. And no genre more so than ska and ska/punk. It really is a lovable community! So once again I bring you listeners a bunch of songs that kept me from injecting bleach into my eyeballs or whatever the kids were doing back then. Bands like the English Beat and Sublime have been around for anyone who’s listened to the radio and had a bit of taste, but bands like the Step Lively and King Apparatus did a lot more for me personally. Like personally rocking me like Step Lively did at a basement show in Normal, IL and the Exceptions who where a super friendly group of guys who always had a handshake and a hug for any audience members. I also wanted to showcase an Exceptions song that was exclusive to the “Ska American Style” compilation that you may not’ve heard. The last song is from the Malcontents, a band so nice, that after driving for hours to attend their CD release they dedicated a song to me! See, these bands are all such lovable people that just seeing them and hanging out with them kept me from a life time of being a damn jerk all the time.
If you’re in a ska band and would like to be featured or if you know some music that you think I should hear for future inclusion, please email me at radjose[at]gmail[dot]com!