As the the 90's gave way to the year 2000 the curtain had lowered on mainstream exposure of ska and it went back to the dedicated scenes from which it had emerged. Following its loss in popularity some of the most popular ska bands during its period of success chose to just change there sound and give up ska (Gold Finger, No Doubt, etc.) while others continued to play just without the benefit of radio airplay and television exposure. Though mainstream interest had passed the scenes from which ska had burst forth in the US remained strong having grown during the mainstream period. Regardless some people refer to this as the the time when third wave ska died, much like the way punk rock was said to have died.
This song by Reel Big Fish sums it all up pretty well
The following excerpt is found on the site for the download for the album which is made up of punk and ska music:
Head Above Water: A Response to the BP Drilling Disaster
On Wed. April 20th, 2011 (one year after the gulf coast oil spill), Community Records has released a benefit compilation to help create awareness and progress in the wake of the BP drilling disaster. For the compilation, Community Records has aligned with three different independent record labels from across the United States who will be submitting songs: Asian Man Records in CA, Plan-It-X Records in IN, and Quote Unquote Records in NY. The compilation will have over 60 songs and will include literature, movies, and other media about the spill. The compilation will be available is 100% FREE download on CommunityRecords.org with the option of donating money to the Gulf Restoration Network. The GRN has played an active role in keeping the ecosystem of the gulf coast in tact for over 15 years. Head Above Water will only be released as a digital download to avoid the use of new plastics as well as gasoline to ship them across the country. Community Records is a 100% D.I.Y. Independent record label based out of New Orleans representing over 20 artists all over the world. The label is strongly based on free digital downloads as well as uniquely packaged vinyl and other merchandise. Community Records artists tour the U.S. constantly and many have toured Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Dominican Republic. Every year since 2008, they have put on an all day, 2 stage punk and ska music festival in the streets of New Orleans called Block Party.
So download and enjoy and don't forget to donate to help restore the gulf!
The band of the day today is Mustard Plug. These guys have been around since 1991 and are still out recording and touring. They formed in 1991 in Grand Rapids, Michigan and released they're first album in 1993 they released they're first album Big Daddy Multitude. They're latest album, In Black and White was released in 2007. Yuo can find tourdates (only 3 so far this year, all in september and in the midwest) on they're site
Instead of a band of the day today, here is a list of all the ska band (admittedly few) on the Vans Warped Tour this year:
Less Than Jake
Big D And The Kids Table
Black Square (Joins the tour on July 29th, playing Southeast, South West, and west coast)
The Planet Smashers (Only playing one show though in Montreal you lucky Canadians)
The Sheds (Playing the West coast and the South West only)
Kind of a disappointing line up this year, but I'm looking forward to seeing LTJ and Big D and there's a few good punk and Reggae bands playing as well
Find out when the warped tour comes to a town near you (Sorry international buddies, but they only tour the US and Canada) http://vanswarpedtour.com
Well I wasn't able to get online over the weekend because of some personal reasons that I won't bore you with, so on to the ska!
We're going back to my home, Long Island for a look at one of the most influential bands in third wave ska, the Scofflaws. The Scofflaws formed in Huntington, Long Island, New York 1988. Known for their live shows, technically proficient horn solos and tight arrangements, The Scofflaws were one of the top third wave ska acts of the '90s and one of the most beloved bands on the now-defunct Moon Ska label, as well as the epicenter and focal point of the Long Island ska scene. They had toured the country with fellow big name ska bands such as the Toasters. The Scofflaws have not released a studio recording since 1998, but they continue to perform live gigs in the New York area so make sure you catch a show if your ever around here =)
During the 1990s third wave ska finally broke into the mainstream in the US with bands like Sublime, No Doubt, Gold Finger, The mighty Mighty Boss Tones, Less Than Jake, and Reel Big Fish topping charts and receiving mainstream radio play and punk bands like Rancid and NOFX adopted ska sounds. Ska scenes were by this point spread through out the US though were most prominent in the North Eastern US, Southern California, Florida, and Urban pockets of the mid west. During this time period ska bands were for the first time producing large budget music videos that ran on such stations a MTV (back when it still played music =P). This could possibly be seen as the golden age of the US ska scene as never before and not since has it been as widespread. Below are some videos of the more prominent bands at the time,
Well it's late enough here now that I can't really call this the band of the day now, so Instead this post is for the band of the day for today and tomorrow (June2/3 for me in New York, timezones are confusing so do the math yourself) and tomorrow I'll put up the next part of ska history instead of a band of the day.
So anyway the band of the day today is Big D and the Kids Table. These guys are great and their live shows are amazing =). These guys are from Massachusetts and have a very nice mix in their music ranging from a high energy punk driven sound to a more laid back classic two tone ska sound, and at times a reggae sound. They came together in 1995 and released their first large scale release album in 1999. Since then they've been putting out albums and touring pretty regularly. They often play on the Van's Warped Tour and are playing it this year along with a number of other ska bands (I'm going to post a full list sometime over the weekend) so if you have the chance to check out the tour this year! =)
You can find out more about Big D at their site: http://www.bigdandthekidstable.com/
Punk influenced Big D
A more laid back style
The band of the day today Eli Whitney and the Sound Machine. These guys are another ska band from Long Island(Strong Island represent =P) and they're awesome! Why are they so awesome? Well unlike most ska bands they have 3, that's right 3 saxophones in their band! They put on a really good show altough they do usualy play here in the North East US, but if your ever in New York and want to catch some great ska (pretty easy to do here) you can dates to their shows on their site http://eliwhitney.tumblr.com/
Oh and their albums are up there for to download for free so enjoy the free music =D
The band of the day today is Authority Zero. Authority Zero formed in 1994 in Mesa, Arizona. They released their debut album in 2002. Authority Zero has a very punk driven sound as well as being reggae influenced and their shows are great for people who enjoy circle pits as well as of course skanking. They're going to be touring soon primarily in the south western US so if your in the area and feel like catching a good high energy show you can find their tour dates here: http://www.purevolume.com/authorityzero
The band of the day today is the Baltimore based band Ballyhoo! I caught them live a while back and they were great =) They have a very relaxed reggae influenced sound. You can find tourdates and other such things on their site http://www.ballyhoorocks.com/
The band of the day today is ska/reggae band The Supervillains. The Supervillians formed in 1988 in St. Cloud, Florida.The band started out as a ska punk band but has since adopted a reggae sound and play a very relaxed reggae sound with an upbeat ska sound. The Supervillains have in recent years begun touring the US and put on a great live show. They're also a great band to listen to when your in an "altered state of mind" if you catch my drift ;)
You can find their tour dates on their oficial site at
I just wanted to thank all you for helping me reach one hundred followers! You're all skanktastic!
And speaking of skanktastic I'm commemorating today by featuring my favorite ska band from Long Island, the now broken up Arrogant Sons of Bitches. The Arrogant Sons of Bitches (ASOB) was formed in 1995 by Joe Werfelman and Jeff Rosenstock. More members gradually joined their band, and in 1998 they recorded their first album, Released on Breaking the Law Records and titled Built to Fail. Following Built to Fail, the band experienced some success and played with bands such as Edna's Goldfish, Catch 22, and The Toasters. In 2000 they released their second album, Pornocracy. At this point, many ASOB members quit the band to attend college. Eventually, a new lineup formed in 2001, and recorded All the Little Ones Are Rotting in 2002. In 2003 the band decided to follow the Warped Tour, playing outside of the venues. After a while they were invited into the tour. In 2004 the band completed recording most of the album Three Cheers For Disappointment. At this point the band was starting to break up, and Jeff started a new band, Bomb the Music Industry! The album was finally released in 2006, and the band broke up officially. The Arrogant Sons of Bitches
After the band broke up some of the members went on to form Bomb the Music Industry! another major name in LI ska
Bomb the Music Industry!
Key boardist and back up vocalist Jay Tea (aka JT Turret) went on to record a solo record called "I threw away your demo" in 2005. Honoring the title track, the CD was actually packaged in other artist's discarded demo CD cases that he accumulated during his time as a Talent Buyer, Radio DJ, and Major Label Intern.This was followed by a full-length genre-bending album of Ani DiFranco covers entitled "Loaded Cannon", released for free online in 2007. A CD called "Demo(n)", including 20 songs with Jay Tea playing every instrument, was sold on tour in 2008-09. Jay Tea is currently the lead singer for the Brooklyn, NY band HELLO NURSE and keyboardist for Long Island ska-punk supergroup NIX86.
Jay Tea - I threw away your Demo
Other band members went on to play in Let Me Crazy, and the Rocky Sullivans
You can find ASOB's, Bomb the Music Industry!'s, and Let Me Crazy's albums free to download on Jeff Rosenstock's record label's site. They're the first ever run solely on donation record label!
The Nix 86's tour dates can be found on their site and they are playing a benefit for Japan this friday in New York City so make it if you can!
Jay Tea's free to download cover album Loaded Canon can be found here
Hello Nurse's site has both tour dates and free downloads of the bands albums
Enjoy all the awesome free music, you guys deserve it! =D
Ska and punk rock were first combined during the 2 Tone movement of the late 1970s, yet the fusion of the two genres became most prevalent in the 1980s, during the third wave of ska, and this is what most people associate with ska punk. During this time period Operation Ivy formed in 1987 in the East Bay area of San Francisco and is widely considered a pioneer of the genre as one of the first bands to mix hardcore punk with elements of ska, later known as ska-core. The characteristics of ska punk vary, due to the fusion of contrasting genres. The more punk-influenced style often features faster tempos, guitar distortion, onbeat punk rock-style interludes (usually the chorus), and punk-style vocals. The more ska-influenced style of ska punk features a more developed instrumentation and a cleaner vocal and musical sound.With these newer sounds at their disposal ska bands were finally ready to take the US by storm.
Going back to my home Long Island for the band of the the today, The Roast Beef Curtains. These guys have a really laid back old school sound and are one of the biggest bands in the island ska scene. They've been touring the east coast lately and if you think you'd think you'd like to pop in to see them you can find their tour dates at http://theroastbeefcurtains.com/
Well rather than continuing the onslaught of US ska bands I'm looking to Australia today. The Porkers formed in 1987 as The Pork Hunts, the band was eventually forced to change its name to the less offensive-sounding Porkers in 1990 after their regular Newcastle venue refused to present them with their old name. Because of this, their first release was the 1990 EP entitled Tired of Being Pork Hunts, which reached #6 on the Australian independent charts. They've been recording and touring ever since, The Porkers have toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Germany and Japan.
You can find more on The Porkers at http://www.theporkers.com/PorkersOnline/main.html
Today the band of the day is the Mad Caddies. The Mad Caddies (or the Caddies) are a third wave ska band from Solvang, California. The band formed in 1995 and has released five full-length albums, one live album, and two EP's. They still tour today and they are great! You can find more out about the band at http://www.madcaddies.com/
The Second Wave, also referred to as '2-Tone', ruled in the UK but made small waves in the US in its earliest moments in the 1980s. With a more stripped-down sound, 2-Tone managed to catch on with younger crowds through frequent radio play. As 2-Tone was ending its run in the years preceding the 1993 mainstream appearances, three major pockets of interest were popping up in the US: one radiating from New York City out to Washington and Boston, another in the Midwest and the third in California. These became The Third Wave. The band often considered to be the first third wave ska band formed in 1981 and have been performing ever since, it was thanks to the efforts of them and the other early third wave artists that the platform was created from which third wave ska would take the United States by storm in the 1990s.
Well I didn't really manage to get on the internet long enough to put up a band of the day on monday and now its tuesday here on Long Island (ESTzone). As such I decided I would have to choose an especially outstanding ska band so as to cover both days, hopefully my choice will not disapoint. Anyway getting down to the band of the day for yesterday/today(today/tomorrow for some of you) is Streetlight Manifesto. Formed by prominent ska guitarist/ singer Tomas Kalnoky, Streetlight is one of the most active ska bands in the world, and can be seen touring through out the world. Formed in 2002 by Kalonky, all ready a prominent member of the ska world who banded together other notable ska musicians located in New Jersey. These guys have got to be one of my favorite ska bands and I could keep keep praising them for a lot longer, but I'll spare you all the read and let you judge for yourself.
These guys put on one hell of a live show and I can't recommend checking them out enough, if your interested you can find tour info at there official site http://www.streetlightmanifesto.com/
Its late today (got stuck on the morning shift at work), but the band of the day today is the now defunct Edna's Goldfish, one of the biggest ska bands to come from Long Island. The group was together from 1997 to 2000 and their song Veronica Sawyer managed to bring the band some mainstream recognition. Singer Brian Diaz went on to form The Reunion Show with ex-members of Step Lively and The Lightweights. Trombonist Ian McKenzie continued to play with Catch 22. Bass player Kris Baldwin did some session work for Epic Records and then recorded and played with Action Action. So thats some Long Island ska for you guys =)
Day 2 of my band of the segment! This time around I'm featuring I'm promoting the international ska scene by featuring Pez Stomp. These guys rock! they're part of the Japanese ska scene which is larger than you would think! You can find they're site at http://pezstomp.com/ but its in Japanese for the most part
In the late 1970s in the areas in and around the city of Coventry in England, was a fusion of Jamaican ska rhythms and melodies with punk rock's more aggressive guitar chords and lyrics. Compared to 1960s ska, 2 Tone music had faster tempos, fuller instrumentation and a harder edge. Two Tone was popular in England through the 1980s and gave birth to the skin head (no not the white supremacists) sub culture.
Well its tomorrow here and I just got off of work so I figured I should try doing something other than just ska history so I am going to postpone part 2 of that to name the first band of the day. The band I decided on was the third wave ska band The Waffle Stompers. This band from Hoboken, New Jersey is pretty skanktastic and they put on a great live show! This is one of the tracks off of one of their album Black on Black, titled Big
I figured I might as well talk about where it is that ska came from although I doubt that anyone who was actively looking for a ska blog would need me to tell them about it. Ska originated in Jamaica the late fifties and early sixties. This was not the ska that we know today but served as a precursor to it as well as reggae. An awesome example of one of these first wave ska bands should check out The Skatalites!
Well I've finally decided to start blogging, soooo I decided after considerable thought what would better to blog about than my favorite genre of music. As someone living on Long Island I get to enjoy the local ska scene and the abundance of local bands. For those who don't know Ska is a genre of music that originally came from Jamaica and has gone through three historical waves that I guess I'll blog about another day. Modern ska is known as third wave ska and incorporates elements of punk rock. In the late nineties third wave ska actually became mainstream for a short time but still survives and thrives in dedicated scenes today.
Ska bands are usually made up of the traditional rock grouping of a drummer guitar bassist and singer, however in ska the addition of a brass section to the band is the standard.Anyway on this blog I'm going to talk about ska bands, culture, and whatever else pops into my head. I doubt anyone has actually read this though but I do hope at least one person out there finds what I have to say interesting.