Razika: Ska In Advertising

Posted on December 10th, 2012 by JJ Loy

If I was the maker of fine sugar, I wouldn’t sell it in a milk carton. But I would use the sweet Ska sounds of Norway’s Razika to sell the stuff. Luckily, the makers of St. Louis Sucre got it half-right, featuring the sugary sweet, Taste My Dream.


Comments (0) Dec 10 2012

Shatner: Ska In Advertising

Posted on November 4th, 2012 by JJ Loy

The Scofflaws tune that once celebrated the man is now being used to advertise Trek itself. IFC knows the secret to selling anything is to use the Ska.


Comments (0) Nov 04 2012

Red Stripe: Ska In Advertising

Posted on October 8th, 2012 by JJ Loy

Comercial radio won’t touch Ska with a ten-foot pole, but commercial commercials have no problem exploiting this infectious beat:

Comments (0) Oct 08 2012

The Slackers: A Documentary

Posted on December 29th, 2011 by Dan Schwent

The Slackers: A Documentary is a documentary about The Slackers, directed by Ben Levin.  Now that we’re all on the same page, on with the review…

The documentary starts with some concert footage of The Slackers playing Married Girl, then goes into the roots of the band, starting with Vic Ruggeiro’s days in Sic and Mad with bassist Marcus Geard.  From there, it goes into the formation of the Slackers by Vic with Marcus, original drummer Louis Zuluaga, Q-Maxx, and T.J. Scanlon.

Vic talks about how they were a two-tone band in the early days and he desperately wanted to be Paul Weller.  From there, the DVD goes into how Dave Hillyard and Jeremy Mushlin helped shape the Slackers into the form they currently have, ditching two-tone in favor of traditional ska.  From there, the formation of Hellcat is covered, as it Redlight and the coming of Glenn Pine.

Once Glen’s arrival is covered, the remainder of the DVD is talk about life on the road, thoughts about ska in general, and a lot of concert footage.  The Interpunk page lists these songs but this isn’t the order they appear on the DVD.

  • Sarah
  • Wasted Days
  • Married Girl
  • I Still Love You
  • What Went Wrong
  • Watch This
  • Peculiar
  • International War Criminal
  • Keep It Simple
  • No Good To Be In Love

Why this Documentary was awesome:

  • The behind the scenes glimpses of The Slackers while they weren’t on stage were well worth the price of admission.  While we’re enjoying watching the Slackers play live, it’s easy to forget the miles they drove to get to us.
  • The concert footage was top notch.  I actually preferred the recordings on this to the ones from Live at the Flamingo Cantina.
  • Seeing Vic and Glenn practice What Went Wrong was worth the price of admission.
  • Hearing the band’s thoughts on making the music, touring, etc, was quite something.  In particular, Vic’s talk of giving something back to the music that gave him so much was powerful stuff.

What I Wish They’d Done Differently:

  • There’s not a lot I would change about this documentary, honestly.  I wish it would have been twice as long, though.
  • I wouldn’t have minded the documentary covering the departures of Zulu, T.J., Q-Maxx, and Mush-1.
  • I also wouldn’t have minded something talking about Ara Babajian and Agent Jay joining the band.

The Thrilling Conclusion:
If I wasn’t already a diehard Slackers fan before watching this documentary, I would have been by the time I was finished.  This dvd is a clear indication that The Slackers are doing what they love and loving what they do.  If you’re a fan of The Slackers, and you should be, you owe it to yourself to buy this DVD.

Highest possible recommendation!

Comments (0) Dec 29 2011

Ska: An Oral History

Posted on December 29th, 2011 by Dan Schwent

Hey, gang! For my first contribution to Ska Blah Blah, I thought I’d take the lazy way out and re-post something I wrote on Goodreads over the summer. I hope you like it.

Ska: An Oral HistorySka: An Oral History by Heather Augustyn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ska: An Oral History covers the history of ska music from its inception to Jamaica through the ska boom of the 90′s, all the way up to present day.

Lean closer everyone, I have something to reveal. I became a ska fan when I got my first CD player in 1993 and my neighbor gave me a copy of Ska Core, the Devil, and More by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I’ve remained a fan of the music ever since, though these days I’m more into the more traditional ska sound of The Slackers, Mr. T-Bone, and Dr. Ring-Ding. Anyway, on to the review…

The chronicle starts in Jamaica, naturally. Pioneers like Derrick Morgan, Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, Toots Hibbert, and The Skatellites were given their due. Some of the stuff, like Don Drummond murdering his girlfriend and dying in the insane asylum, I was familiar with. Others, like the feud between Derrick Morgan and Prince Buster, I was not.

From there, the English skinhead reggae scene of the 60′s is covered, primarily focusing on Laurel Aitken and Judge Dread. The focus shifts to the two tone era of The Specials, the Selecter, Madness, and Bad Manners. It really put me in the mood to dig out the Specials debut album. Actually, I’d say a bit too much time was spent on the two-tone era. I could have done without entire chapters detailing The Beat, The Selecter, and Bad Manners. It seemed a bit like padding.

The third wave was covered, starting with the Toasters and Bim Skala Bim, and moving along with Fishbone, Let’s Go Bowling, the Scofflaws, Agent 99, Jump with Joey, and the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble.

Hepcat was mentioned next and I began getting excited. Then radio ska bands like No Doubt and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were mentioned. Deals gone bad was mentioned and then Agent Jay of The Slackers and Isaac Green of The Skalars talked about how the scene died because most of the people going to shows were in bands and nobody was buying records. Which I witnessed first hand in my first couple of years of going to ska shows.

That’s pretty much it. The book did a good job of detailing the history of ska but I think it focused on the two tone era a little too much and could have used more than a mention of The Slackers, since they are by far the biggest touring American ska band at the moment. It also wouldn’t have hurt to mention that ska has a much bigger audience in Europe and Japan, evident by the turnouts that Mr. T-Bone, The Moon Invaders, and Dr. Ring-Ding see. For being released in 2010, it doesn’t feel current to me.

Man, it’s hard to settle on a rating for this. I’m giving it a three. I’d give it a four but the writing seemed choppy in places, especially during the transitions between topics.

View all my reviews

Comments (0) Dec 29 2011