Thursday, April 15, 2004

It takes a lot of brass...

to admit to a love of Ska.

But I will. I was raised on the stuff. Long Island, born and bred, my first exposure to music in any sense beyond the radio was the Long Island Ska scene - and while it's only a small part of my listening nowadays, the fact is that I still have a place in my heart for good, interesting and original Ska like todays selections.

The Pietasters - Set Me Up - the Pietasters have been peddling their own unique brand of Motown by way of DC ska for decades now, but if you ask me, last years Turbo was a real high point - especially this song. The combination of third wave ska energy (and energy is really the only reason to fall in love with the stuff), and that soulful motown inspired crooning really makes the song come together. If only every Ska band could be as tight as these guys, maybe the genre wouldn't take so much shit.

The Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution - It's a Wonderful Life - The Bandits are an Acoustuc Ska Band. Consisting of horns, acoustic guitar, stand up bass, drums, and an honest to god string section, the Bandits were created by former Catch 22 frontman Tom Kalnoky to "prove that acoustic music doesn't suck" to his punk brethren. Regardless of the somewhat crude intent, the result is a piece of magnificent mltitonal pop, that draws as much from the Buena Vista Social Club and Talking Heads as it does from Op Ivy and the Clash. Don't let the pedigree of this band or it's genre fool you. This is the real deal. I may post the rest of the 5 song EP this was off of if the reaction is good, seeing as the album is out of print and the band has endorsed distribution. Let me know if you want more.

The Schematics - Lady in My Bed - The Schematics are a ska band from upstate NY that place significantly more emphasis on horns than most of their peers - the result is a sound that comes off as significantly more swing than many of their peers - it's always refreshing to hear a ska band that understands that Ska doesn't mean "Punk with horns"

Now to sit back and wait for the hate mail.

I promise tomorrows music will not include Ska.
Unless I'm asked for it.
Or if I change my mind.


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