Posts Tagged ‘ Ska ’

Rude roots and 2 tone activism: A review of The Specials at Hudson Park Pier 26

The concept of rudietuesdays as an alias started about a decade ago (oy) when I thought I was the most clever for creating a ska-based pun off of the name of a chain restaurant. For years I’ve used variations on it for usernames and handles, including my first Twitter alias back when I was just learning the point of a 140-character tweet.

The name exists because of my deep-rooted love for ska. To pin this back to one unifying moment, my ears were first opened to the goofy horns of The Aquabats’ “Pool Party.” A friend had randomly stumbled upon in back in the days of BearShare. I needed more upbeats. I couldn’t get enough.

I searched the post-Napster, pre-Spotify sites with the keyword “ska.” I can’t recall how or why I first came across The Specials, but they made all the difference. 2 tone was soon all I wanted to hear. When I doodled in my notebooks, I used thick Sharpies in black and red that would bleed through pages, turning my notes into checkerboard. I drew stick figures modeled after Walt Jabsco.

The Specials sang about unity way before Operation Ivy. They were in their prime before my time. I grew up with the third wave, with a couple of female-fronted ska bands to look up to, but in a genre vastly dominated by white guys and very little diversity. The Specials are from a time where racial divides were a huge issue in their music. By the time the third wave rolled in, bands weren’t nearly as focused on racial or political issues. Or when they were, it was from a very limited perspective.

The Specials are one of the most important bands in musically shaping me. If I had forgotten how important they are, how defining their music was, I was reminded at their show at Pier 26 on Wednesday night.

The Specials. Do the dog, not the donkey!

The set list was fantastic. They dedicated three songs to people. The first was “Hey Little Rich Girl” to the late Amy Winehouse, saying it was one of her favorite songs. It drew applause from the crowd as a sweet dedication, but the next two are what really grabbed my attention.

For Trayvon Martin, they played a version of “Why” leading into “Doesn’t Make it Alright.” Lynval and Terry said how dumbfounded they were at the jury ruling, how awful the whole case was. A few songs later, the band dedicated “A Message to You, Rudy” to George Zimmerman, adding a dark twist to a crowd favorite. Energy was still high during these songs; the crowd still skanked as best as our old bones could, and we still sang along. But behind it was a message that the status quo is still screwed up; we’re not in a happy post-racial society.

Overall, the show was incredible. A circle pit of beer-bellied, tattooed men in their 40s and 50s half-skanked, half-stumbled around together in a messy, unifying heap — a sight I doubt I’ll ever see again.

But I didn’t realize I needed a reminder of the love and respect I have for The Specials until they did they brought up the Zimmerman case, reminding everyone that they were a band always deeply involved with activism in their music. That even so many decades later, the issues they were fighting when they first formed have still not been resolved.

Free ska comp from Dying Scene: Pick it up

Ska-Punk’s glory days of mainstream success and radio air play may have come and gone with yesteryear but the punk sub-genre is far from fading into obscurity. In fact it’s very much alive and well, and we’ve got the bands to prove it. “Skaface: Evolution” is a compilation that focuses on the “punkier” side of ska-punk, highlighting bands that convey the speed or angst that originally helped define our beloved genre. Through trombones, trumpets, saxaphones and upstroked guitars the mode of “ska” delivery varies but the musical aesthetic of this group of artists is undeniably “punk rock.”

We’re releasing this digital comp simply because we think the bands it features are badass and deserve a little more attention in the punk scene at large. It features quality tunes from 15 amazing ska-punk acts, including previously unreleased material from Big D And The Kids Table, Mustard Plug, Mad Caddies, 4 Aspirin Morning, Ghetto Blaster and Huge Puppies.

– Dying Scene releases free comp: “Skaface: Evolution” (features unreleased Big D, Mustard Plug, Mad Caddies and more)

Every day is a good day for ska! Every day is an even better day when that ska comes in the form of a free comp with some killer bands. Ska’s not dead as long as there’s people who love it.

Download it here.

Toh Kay’s new Streetlight album delayed

Hi guys
It’s with a very heavy heart that I have to announce the following:
1) The Toh Kay album “The Hand That Thieves” has been canceled for the foreseeable future. More details will come to light in the coming days.
2) Due to Victory Records refusal to send us copies of our own new album, there will be another delay in our ability to deliver preorders on time. We hoped to find a compromise with them, up until the bitter end; unfortunately, it just wasn’t possible.

We ask you to once more be patient: we’re working around the clock to find a solution to our gigantic nightmare of a problem. We will be able to fulfill all orders soon, and we maintain that the only way to buy the album without all of the money going to Victory Records (which ironically funds their legal efforts against us) is via the RISC Store.

Thank you for your support during our dark and trying times. We stood up against the largest, meanest, most despised bully in the schoolyard and now we have to face the consequences. Hopefully you’ll stand with us and we can get through this in one piece.

There will be much more information available in the next few days. Thanks.

This stinks, but I can’t say I’m surprised. The great ska battle of the ages wages on.

Permalink here

“The unfathomable beauty of nature”


Also aptly timed, because Apple Stomp tickets go on sale tomorrow!



Apple Stomp!

You guys. YOU GUYS. This is it. What I’ve been waiting for. The proverbial answer to the long lost and sorely missed days of Three Floors of Ska. A ska festival! In NYC! Only months away!

Get ready for the Apple Stomp! I’ll see you at Irving Plaza, May 31 to June 1. My bank account quivers in fear of ticket prices, but you can just about bet your butt I’ll be getting a weekend pass.

The 16-year-old rudegirl in me is wigging out with excitement about this. Just one band has been announced so far — Thumper, a skacore band from Boston. My mind is brimming with the possibilities of who else could be announced, and Apple Stomp’s Facebook page cryptically announces simply that they will be announcing one band at a time.

H/T to FY!QM for bringing this awesome fest to my attention. I am seven-ways-to-Sunday stoked.

It’s never enough to do what you must

I’ve never seen The Slackers so chill and loose at one of their shows. It’s like they decided they’re done with putting on a show for the crowd, and instead are just messing around and playing like they would during a practice session. It was like 60 of their closest friends and had come to see them prep for the show that night. So much energy. So awesome.




I live for upbeats

I live for upbeats


Long Island ska. I feel 16

At Revolution about to see The Slackers. Photos to come. Sometimes I forget that there are things about Long Island that I really did miss.

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