Ska Blah Blah

Ska Blah Blah kicked off in Feb. of 2007 as nothing more than a place to host my first podcast series, Conversations on a Revivalist Movement.  The podcast was born from the idea that there was a serious side to Ska that many music listeners weren’t aware of.   I wanted to smash the idea of Ska being a silly party genre, and to tell the stories of the musicians that were living in difficult circumstances- all in the name of furthering this music.

However, the blog bug bit hard, and the site quickly expanded it’s scope to collect the best ska links on the web.  Every day, I was discovering more and more people that felt the same way I did about Ska, and that a new, online wave was starting to mobilize.  Artists with similar tastes from all over the world began contacting me.  Soon, I had enough new music to launch an all-music series of podcasts, aptly titled, Cut the Chit Chat.

But I hadn’t forgotten about the Blah Blah’s in the title, and in April of 2008 I began releasing a new interview series, Small Talk.  While the first series dealt with the musicians that carried the Ska torch through it’s dark era of the early 2000′s, Small Talk featured artists that weren’t exactly new to the game, but were doing something distinct and fresh with the sound.

I have every intention of doing another series, but for now, Ska Blah Blah will continue to offer up the best Ska-related links, videos, live performances, news and rumors.  Please enjoy…

JJ Loy

I am the creator/host of Ska Blah Blah.  After a somewhat disappointing attempt at producing short films, I went looking for projects that could fit into my day job schedule and required little to no collaboration.  Having been a huge fan of Public Radio, especially This American Life and Fresh Air, I was attracted to the idea of learning some basic broadcasting techniques.  This was 2005, and the world of radio seemed to be in decline.  I knew that a career in radio was unlikely, but that maybe I could get some notice by making an audio documentary on spec.  That is, until I first heard about podcasting.  The idea of DIY broadcasting to a specific audience lit my brain on fire- and there was one subject I wanted to tackle: Ska.  (I also wanted to take on comics and comedy, but Ska always comes first.)

I tried two attempts at podcasting, The Off-Centre Label and The Tradicle Time Capsule, before becoming discouraged and giving up.  I wasn’t enough of an expert on the matter to be taken seriously; I needed a voice of authority.  This lead me to write Victor Rice (rumored to be the nicest guy in the scene), asking for an interview in the hopes that his insights would nudge me in the right direction.  He accepted.  By the time I was off the phone, I knew that an interview series was the perfect format to discuss some of the major issues in the Ska world.  Soon I was doing interviews with Chris Murray, Joey Altruda, Dave Hillyard and Vic Ruggiero.  All combined- my absolute favorite Ska musicians, in one podcast series.

Since then, I’ve become the host of Ska’s The Limit on my local community radio station 88.1 KDHX in St. Louis.  I’m only the latest host of a show that has been on the air for 18 years now- making Ska’s The Limit the longest-running ska-themed radio show… ever.   You can hear STL every week on-line via STLSka.org or KDHX.org

I’ve written articles for Make Magazine and Really Good Magazine as I’m still very interested in film, comics, technology, sci-fi and comedy- and my future projects just might reflect these persuits.  But for now, I’m content to be a stubborn, snobby Ska DJ.  Please enjoy…