Uke Ska Revolution

Posted on September 15th, 2010 by JJ Loy

The internet is full of ukuleles.  I first started picking up on the trend a couple of years back, when Boing Boing first got interested.  The ukulele and embedded video  seem to be a match made in heaven.  Both are tiny, personal and expressive.  Ukulele Revolution, meet Acoustic Ska Revolution; I think you’ll hit it off.

Here’s GUGUG with a Uke/Melodica version of Exodus:

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And Logophile with Star Trek Ska:

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Here’s a funny little Video Birthday card from GOGO13′s Parker:

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And finally, you too can learn to play ska on the ukulele:

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Comments (2) Sep 15 2010

Greetings Happy Mutants!

Posted on January 12th, 2009 by JJ Loy

I know a lot of you are dialing up SkaBlahBlah for the first time, thanks to a kindly post on BoingBoing.net from my new pal, Shawn Connally.

My guess is that most of you kind of like ska, but weren’t compelled to find a site such as mine before now.  I hope that you will find that ska is still viable and worthy of discussion as my listeners have already discovered.

Dig in, watch some videos, listen to an episode or two… and discover some new or new to you music.

Ska is a serious thing:

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Comments (6) Jan 12 2009

Toots and The Maytals on Boing Boing TV

Posted on October 8th, 2008 by JJ Loy

Boing Boing, a collection of wonderful things, has an irregular series of videos that they call BB TV.  Xeni Jardin is the usual host, but BB’s music coverage is done by Russell Porter.

Porter, got himself on Toots Hibbert’s tour bus to ask about the birth of Reggae and the current state of Jamaican Music.   Toots is quick to point out that he coined the term Reggae, and I’ve heard this many times from the man, but I’ve never gotten a satisfying answer to why the word Reggae was used in the first place, or what it really means.  What he does offer is the meaning behind the lyrics to Monkey Man, and that story makes this video worth your while:

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Comments (1) Oct 08 2008

Off Topic: JJ Loy Makes Make

Posted on February 25th, 2008 by JJ Loy

I am pleased to announce that the newest issue of Make Magazine will feature a small article by yours truly. While the article has nothing to do with Ska music, I did get a nice plug for the web site at the end.

It is an honor, not just to be published by the legitimate press, but because of the publishers and editors in particular. I’ve been a reader and sympathizer with the BoingBoing.net kids since I first picked up The Happy Mutant Handbook in 1996. It was a surprise when Boinger, Mark Frauenfelder answered my email about magicians and patent law, but it blew my mind when he asked me to write about it in Make.

Make is a kind of How-To/DIY mag, for the digital age. It’s published by O’Reilly Media, who also put out Craft and The Missing Manual series of books. I could not have hoped for a cooler group of people to be associated with.

My contributor page.

Link to the article The Conjurer’s Dilemma (Make subscribers only)

Comments (0) Feb 25 2008

Wired Magazine: Jamaica Birthed the Mash-up

Posted on January 5th, 2008 by JJ Loy

I just ran across this great article from Wired Magazine, my favorite Tech and Tech Culture periodical. Writer Scott Thill, draws a clear line from the birth of Dub Version and Reggae covers to our current Mash-Up culture. This connection is evidenced by Trojan Records 40th Anniversary, and their recent compilations.

“A host of musical all-stars — from reggae pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry to Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and Super Furry Animals bassist Guto Pryce — have put together collections of classic Trojan tracks showcasing the indelible impact reggae has made on hip-hop, rock and electronic music over the last four decades.

Certainly, the genre’s cutting-edge production techniques and intoxicant-friendly island vibe have earned it the highest respect among producers, musicians and DJs. But it is the reggae producers’ penchant for turning out remixes and cover versions of popular songs that has left the biggest impression on today’s share-alike digital culture.

Link to the Wired Article.

Comments (0) Jan 05 2008