About the Tracks:
Nathan Leigh and the Crisis Actors – This Machine Kills Centrists
Nathan Leigh and the Crisis Actors are an interesting project that tends to play punk-influenced folk and rock music, but has been known to pull influences from all over the map ranging from swing to ska, to country and beyond. They pulled yours truly into play trombone on this record and it’s one of my favorite projects I’ve been a part of. Their new album, “Myths, Conspiracy Theories and Other Things I Made Up to Sound Interesting” dropped last week, and it even had a ska song on it, lamenting an all too familiar attitude in our political discourse.
The Autocratics – Brainwashed Friend
The Autocratics, from Tokyo, Japan, are what would happen if you took bands like Bad Manners, Madness, and the Specials further refined that nutty two tone sound to its apex. Fronted by Shuhei Yokota (Rude Bones), The Autocratics have been carrying the two tone torch in Japan for over a decade now and have developed quite a fanbase, and yet remain one of ska’s best-kept secrets. So grab your Fred Perry, crack open an ice-cold Stella and enjoy The Autocratics!!! Brainwashed Friends is my favorite track off the band’s debut album.
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra – Perfect Future
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra is, for lack of a better description, perfect. My favorite band by about a mile and a half, having been together for over 30 years they’ve got a catalog deeper than the Marianas Trench. The band’s trademark of blending ska with just about anything you can think of and making it their own is evident on this track, the leadoff/title track of 2009’s “Perfect Future ”
Karikatura – White Lies
The quick way to describe Karikatura is to say they play trans-global soul or world indie. A deeper inspection, however, yields a dizzying array of sounds ranging from jazz to cumbia to reggae to funk and of course the aforementioned soul. Crisscrossing the world for over 10 years, they dropped this aggressive meringue track, White Lies, as a response to the Eric Garner murder and Black Lives Matter movement. Diverse and eclectic music with (a) soul.
Warsaw Poland Brothers – Summer of Ska
Warsaw Poland Brothers are the unsung heroes of the socal/southwest ska scene. Having been active for over 30 years, and forming 2 sub-bands (California Celts, Kalifornia Krauts) they have managed to carve out a cult following from coast to coast. Great songwriting and excellent musicianship from the Poland brothers (Chris and Aaron). Summer of Ska is a single off the as of yet unreleased 8th album! The perfect track to get you ready for summer, even if we’re all stuck indoors. Catch these guys if you ever get the chance and wish their singer Chris a happy 50th Birthday!
Chris Malone is a busy guy. Having been playing trombone in ska bands from all over the NYC/Long Island area for over 20 years, he is currently the bandleader/singer/trombonist in NYC based ska-punk band The Pandemics, he also occasionally plays with raggacore legends Pilfers. In addition to being an active musician, he also runs the fledgling record label, Lonely Atom Records, runs the Touring Ska Bands Facebook group (a resource for independent ska bands looking to book their own tours), and curates a Spotify playlist called The Best Ska Bands You’ve Never Heard Of that spotlights 5 criminally underrated ska bands from all over the world, hoping to shine a spotlight on all of the great ska bands making great music under most people’s radars. The playlist is updated every Wednesday!
00:00 – Nathan Leigh & the Crisis Actors – This Machine Kills Centrists (Myths, Conspiracy Theories, and Other Stuff I Made Up To Sound Interesting ’20)
01:59 – THE AUTOCRATICS – Brainwashed Friends (the Autocratics ’17)
04:42 – Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra – Perfect Future (2020 Remaster) (TOKYO SKA TREASURES ’20)
08:28 – Karikatura – White Lies (Speak Now ’16)
12:35 – Tommy Tornado and the Clerks – Downhill (Back on Track ’19)
17:04 – Warsaw Poland Bros. – Summer of Ska (Summer of Ska ’19)
RJ sez: I added the Tommy Tornado and the Clerks song because, well, I like that band, and this song seemed like it’d be in good company with all the great tracks that Chris chose. There’s not too terribly much I can add about Chris that he didn’t already cover, but I don’t think he mentioned the Lonely Atom Youtube though, so go subscribe to that! I’ve known Chris for a few years now, he was even a guest on the late Ska After Party and we’ve kept up with each other via social media all this while. We’ve actually verified that we’ve been at shows at the same time, but that was well before we got in touch with each other. So this wraps up the Convoy series. It was a lot of fun these last 7 weeks, and it went so smoothly and brought so much good stuff to the show I’m fixing to find a way to do it all over again. If I’m lucky, I’ll find another talented batch of folks to collaborate with!
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