Ska News To Me

Posted on December 13th, 2007 by JJ Loy

Here’s a quick rundown of a very busy week in the world of Ska:

After months without any new Slackers bootlegs, a new set hit the internet hit the internet like a cannonball. Recorded in Syracuse, NY on 11.15.07, the set has been dubbed Funk n’ Waffles, after the venue of the same name. I can attest to the live set’s quality, so feel safe clicking here for the .zip file, or here for the original post at Stubborn Records Forum.

Speaking of The Slackers, Dave Hillyard recently posted a very optomistic, State of the Scene-type blog post. What does he say? Ska is making a comeback. But you knew that. Link

This isn’t breaking news, but in light of Hillyard’s positive post, it serves proof of the scene’s recent strength. The popular series of Ska compilations, United Colors of Ska has just released their fourth installment, or 4.0. Much like my recent selections, the UCS folks have been using MySpace as the catalyst for finding new Ska music from around the world. Link

The Holidays are upon us (is Hanukkah really over, already?) and DC Ska is making it easy for you to find the perfect gifts for all the Ska Geeks on your list, with their handy Gift Guide. Link

Go Jimmy Go has gotten into the X-Mas mode, as well, giving us all the gift of a Holiday themed album, Holiday Hell Yeah. Link

Victor Rice is still bustin ass and maintaining his rep as the go to guy for all things Ska. Look for new recordings by Stingers ATX, Buford O’Sullivan, Chris Murray Combo, and Crazy Balhead (feat. Alex Desert, King Django, Steve Jackson, Bucket, and Vic Ruggiero) with Mr. Rice at the mixing board, next year. He’s also involved (to some degree) with a new Skatalites Live DVD.

It would seem that the rumors are sadly true, Lynette Knackstedt, founder and guitarist for Skankin’ Pickle died at the young age of 37. Here is the post where I found out. Here is Mike Parks personal blog post on the subject. And here is an odd turn of events effecting Lynette’s estate.

The other night, my roommate and all around cool guy, Jameson played about 6 Skankin Pickle songs for me and Dira at the 521A. We remarked at how long it had been since we played them. Jameson translated a few Korean lyrics for us. I commented at what a bad-ass guitarist the Pickle’s had. I would later learn that Lynette died sometime that evening. It was an eerie coincidence that my friends and I were missing Skankin Pickle while Knackstedt’s family was missing her.

Sources: DC Ska, Dancin Mood, Stubborn Forums, Asian Man Records, and Do the Dog Skazine

Comments (2) Dec 13 2007

Ska Online: DJ Sleeper Spins the Real Rare Reggae

Posted on December 11th, 2007 by JJ Loy

I’m not one for competition. I’ve let everyone beat me in almost every game I’ve played, save bowling and Boggle. As far as my “competition” in the Ska and Reggae Podcast game- I’m not too proud to recognize their achievements. Podcasters like Gabe Pressure and the fellas at Music is Our Occupation, are some of my most vocal listeners, after all.

It’s with this supportive spirit that I rcomend to anyone reading this, Sleeper’s Record Shack. Host/producer Mick Sleeper has a massive Reggae wax collections, and uses that as the foundation for his show. Episodes tend to follow a theme, be it a musical style or a single artist. Some of my favorite episodes have been, Far East Sound, Cuban Missle Crisis, and Motown Meets Trenchtown.

These episodes will have familiar artists but the tracks are fairly rare, and unless you have a hefty collection yourself, you are sure to be impressed with Sleeper’s selection. However, the element that completely sells this show, in my opinion, is Sleeper’s delivery. If you thought I sounded square on the air, you’ve got to hear this classic Kingston DJ style chat, read in a Ward Cleaver-type diction. I’m telling you, Sleepers Record Shack is worth a listen just to hear the intros, but the music will keep you until the progress bar hits zero.

Comments (1) Dec 11 2007

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