Ska Online: YouTube Rocks the Doctor

Posted on November 30th, 2007 by JJ Loy

Dr. Ring-Ding has never been one to shy away from any style. I was first introduced to the Doctor when he was burning up the scene by combining The Senior All-Stars’ Traditional Ska sounds with his own Dancehall-style chatting. Since that time, I’ve witnessed Ring-Ding move into several revivalist arenas- from Lord Creator inspired Mento to 80′s style Dancehall. I’ve even played you a track of his recently, that fits into the category of Ska Rap.

Now, we find Dr. Ring-Ding exploring a more Rock persona here in a couple of YouTube videos:

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Comments (0) Nov 30 2007

Ska Online: Free Slackers Concert

Posted on November 24th, 2007 by JJ Loy is yet another streaming video site to come along and take advantage of the broadband boom. However, you won’t find user-uploaded content or the latest music video. What you will find is free concerts- complete, clean-sounding, well shot concerts.

They also appear to have some degree of good taste, as evidenced by the inclusion of a live performance from The Slackers. Eighteen Slackers tracks from a 2006 show in Melkweg, Amsterdam, were digitized and streamed all for your online enjoyment.

Swing over to to check out all the site has to offer, or click here to be taken to The Slackers show directly. Here’s a little preview of what to expect:

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Comments (0) Nov 24 2007

Ska Online: NPR hearts Jamaican Music

Posted on November 16th, 2007 by JJ Loy

Maybe you are already a fan of NPR. For those of you that aren’t- that’s National Public Radio. Think PBS, only radio. My love of NPR began with shows like Car Talk and This American Life, and has since grown to include the core of Public Radio’s musical programing. Shows like, American Routes and World Cafe offer listeners music and context that steer towards ethnic, traditional and revivalist styles and away from commercial influence.

Links of Interest:

Live Performance:
LIVE NOW: Toots and the Maytals in Concert
Dave Wakeling: Ska and The English Beat
Lily Allen in Concert with The Bird and The Bee
NPR’s All Things Considered: The Slackers

Ska Cubano

Gypsy Punk Group Gogol Bordello in Concert
Fishbone Flies the Black Rock Flag High
Jackie Mitto: Infectious, Philly-Style Soul, by Way of Jamaica
Ska Cubano: A Parallel Musical Universe
Bob Marley’s Music and Magic Endure
Bob Marley and the Culture of Reggae
Music Review: ‘Mento Madness’ from Various Artists
Jamaican Independence Day

Desmond Dekker, the ‘King of Ska’
Remembering Reggae Pioneer Coxsone Dodd

Comments (2) Nov 16 2007

Cut the Chit Chat – 06 – Even Newer Ska

Posted on November 13th, 2007 by JJ Loy

Way back before Episode 01 of Cut the Chit Chat I had scoured the internet trying to find the newest bands and the newest tracks. But I always felt the episode still wasn’t reflective of the unique time/space location that is late 2007. Luckily for me, the episode opened some doors with several prominent labels. Since the begining of this series, I’ve been swamped with samples from bands that I’ve never heard of.

New Skool and Traditional Style Ska are seeing a huge push in Europe and South America. Not to be counted out, the old USAok has it’s share of Traddy bands dotting it’s wide landscape.

Let me tell you a little bit about each band featured on this episode:

Downbeat Alley – Django Kill – Born from Royal Roost this group delivers heavy organ Reggae.

Deal’s Gone Bad – Rough and Ready – Chicago’s up and comers with a cut from the new album.

New Town Kings – Fire In the Hole – Do the Dog Records sent me this song, it’s fast, it’s rockin’ but it’s not typical.

The Dualers – Money – I found these guys on MySpace and was immediately impressed by their unique sound.

Bedouin Soundclash – Trinco Dog – See? I like them.

Miss Mad-e Ruthless – Dia De los Muertos – This fellow ska enthusiast has decided to lay down some tape of her own with this pretty song about scary things.

The Pepperpots – Be My Baby – Less of a band and more of a Ska Review, The Pepperpots prove their slickness with this classic cover.

3 Minute Warning – Sussed Out – Another Do the Dog offering seems to blaze past in an flash of high energy.

Green Room Rockers – Divided – A Soul Reggae group from West Lafayette, IN of all places, unplug their instruments and criticize foreign policy.

Rebelation – Minor Incident – This instrumental track takes it’s time and allows for so many solos; it might be my favorite cut on their whole cd.

Lord Mike’s Dirty Calypsonians – Rub My… – Classic Calypso tune- raised from the dead by this Chicago Revivalist group.

Ticklah/Victor Axelrod – Mi Sonsito – If you don’t have this cd- get it! A member of Easy Star All-Stars and many other dubby projects, Ticklah is Axelrod. But is the converse true?

The Slackers – Wanted Man – Vic and the guys cover the result of a Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan team-up.

Kingston Kitchen (Dr. Ring-Ding) – St. James Infirmary Blues – Another classic cover, with the Doctor taking on a very Tom Waits style voice.

The Pietasters – G to F – One of the best songs of last year. Great album great song.

The Toasters – Run Rudy Run Redux – I talk a lot of shit about the silly side of ska. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a huge soft spot for cheezy spy-style ska. Run Rudy Run was on the second ska album I ever owned and this reworking of the classic Toasters track is really fun.

As I state on the show, this will be the last episode of the Cut the Chit Chat series. However, it is not the end for Ska Blah Blah. Expect a new interview series in January, and the blog will continue throughout. So keep your subscriptions active and you won’t miss a thing.

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Comments (3) Nov 13 2007

Combination13 makes Ska look good.

Posted on November 12th, 2007 by JJ Loy

So by now, you’ve probably noticed that Ska Blah Blah is sporting a new logo. Pretty nice, eh? It’s the work of Steve at Combination13, who designs album covers and promotional designs that often fit a very ska aesthetic.



Steve is the designer-in-residence at UK’s Do the Dog Records and is responsible for their main logo and all promotional material. The bands signed to Do the Dog also get the benefit of Steve’s artistic touch- he’s designed album covers for such bands as Too Many Crooks, Squid 58 and 3 min Warning.



You can see a variety of this work at Combination13′s Gallery. Surf shops, skate companies, and independent clothing lines have all employed Steve’s talents, as well as your pals The Slackers and King Django.



Like a digitized tattoo, his work feels vintage in approach but modern in it’s execution. Classic icons as wide ranging as Betty Page and Sailor Jerry as well as Walt Jabsco and Spy vs Spy, influence his clean vectored lines. Despite his polished graphics, many of Steve’s projects have a used- almost tarnished veneer that keeps the look from getting too slick. This salty-sweet combination epitomizes DIY, with a professional touch.


He’s a fan of the show, and kindly offered to work on my new flyers and logo. All he’s asked for in return is a graciously placed link on my site. Now that fits my budget. The flyer below is a preview for the new episode, which should hit the net tonight.



Comments (1) Nov 12 2007