What is "ska?"

45acp

Member
Messages
25
How a ska thread goes 5 pages on TGP is something of a miracle.

How a ska thread goes 5 pages on TGP without someone putting up some Slackers is a travesty!

Vic is a severely underappreciated talent, and the band is an institution. Go see them if they come to your town. You'll enjoy the hell out of it, no matter your preconceptions on the genre.


IMO, the slackers were the pinnacle of 90s ska revival. Bought the Redlight CD on a whim, and glad I did. Had a chance to see them in Lake Charles, LA a few years later and they rocked the house.
 

Scrapperz

Member
Messages
12,297
This is the first I heard of Ska so I’m trying to learn something. I did a simple search to see what I would get this is what I came up with this. I’m still a little confused but it looks like it’s a combination of genres.



It's reggae inspired music made by punk rockers basically.
I can see where your coming from.
It really isn't.
and I can also see where your coming from.
 

toasterdude

Member
Messages
1,931
One of the wailers earliest hits. Got to see Bunny do it on a rickety temp stage at a dumpy hotel on 7 mile beach in negril. It was during Bob’s 70th bday celebration.

 

buddaman71

Student of Life
Silver Supporting Member
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12,766
I always think of typical ska rhythms are often on the “&” of the beats, rather than emphasizing the down beats. Countless variations tho.
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
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6,562
Perhaps inform him that ska predates the 70s (which is true) and he’ll be inspired to catch up?

You're right...he DOES know things that I don't know about, and they're all from the 1970's. He just stopped at some point in the 1970's. He still makes comments about something Rodney Dangerfield said on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson...I mean, THAT'S his typical time frame for conversation, and I'm not kidding.

As for educating him...I did, or...I tried, but he can't be bothered. I played a song by the Specials and one by The English Beat and it was like he couldn't get out of there fast enough.

I remember another incident and I was playing something by a newer artist, Rihanna maybe and he actually just went outside...just no interest, and I literally can not understand that!

And BTW I didn't "confront" him or anything. I did my best to get him to understand about ska. I posted about it here (1) to vent, and (2) just to get the opinions of others...

Thanks!
 

SlowJoeCrow

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
567
No, obviously ska does not equal the Clash but they do incorporate a lot of ska rhythms and elements on the album London Calling.
 

JessAnder91

Member
Messages
52
Obviously the genre predates its appropriation by punk rockers and is linked with Reggae music. But the fact is that in America and Britain Ska was popularized by it being appropriated by punk rockers. The two genres that punks always seem to go for when looking to do something different is Ska and Rockabilly. It's a mystery to me why this is but it's kind of a hilarious cliche.

Punk Rocker reaches their 30's - forms a rockabilly band, changes their rainbow mohawk out for a black greaser doo and a leather jacket and python boots. Or does Ska/Reggae.
 

AprioriMark

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,199
Ahhhhh... I love that this is a discussion. I was told in Jamaica as a youth the origins of ska music:

There were very few places with electricity, and the privelidged few would flaunt their wealth by building huge sound systems, on which they played american R&B records. A couple hilltops away, musicians sitting around a fire would add their rhythms and vocals to the basslines carrying through the air.

Take it for what it's worth, but that was the oral history passed down to me. I love ska music. We're seeing people referencing a lot of 2nd and 3rd wave ska, and that's cool. It's all street-level music. That's why it works so well with punk rock. Op Ivy/Rancid carried the torch of ska/punk, and the Interrupters continue the Unity message today (saw them earlier this year, and they all were enamored with my 8 year old daughter knowing every word... she walked away with their guitar picks and Amy hugged her and gave her the hat she was wearing).

Don't judge anyone too harshly, please, for their experience with what ska means to them. It has always been invitational, and life affirming. If it's meaningful to you, hold onto that and keep it with you. That was always the point: in the midst of suffering and oppression of all sorts, we find joy and beauty. We sing, smile, and dance.

Annnnyway... my band is opening for the legendary Toasters on the west coast tour in February, so if you want to see what old school NYC 2nd wave ska sounds like (or a bunch of cowpunk weirdos who also make some ska sounds), I'll be there playing bari sax, keys, guitar, bass, singing, and whatever else it takes.

-Mark
 

Sweetfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,079
How a ska thread goes 5 pages on TGP without someone putting up some Slackers is a travesty!
It only went four pages. I posted their Bon Jovi cover a page back. I have always been impressed by the ability of ska bands to incorporate "ska" or "tones" into their band name, album titles, etc.
 

Befuddled

Member
Messages
699
Ahhhhh... I love that this is a discussion. I was told in Jamaica as a youth the origins of ska music:

There were very few places with electricity, and the privelidged few would flaunt their wealth by building huge sound systems, on which they played american R&B records. A couple hilltops away, musicians sitting around a fire would add their rhythms and vocals to the basslines carrying through the air.

Take it for what it's worth, but that was the oral history passed down to me. I love ska music. We're seeing people referencing a lot of 2nd and 3rd wave ska, and that's cool. It's all street-level music. That's why it works so well with punk rock. Op Ivy/Rancid carried the torch of ska/punk, and the Interrupters continue the Unity message today (saw them earlier this year, and they all were enamored with my 8 year old daughter knowing every word... she walked away with their guitar picks and Amy hugged her and gave her the hat she was wearing).

Don't judge anyone too harshly, please, for their experience with what ska means to them. It has always been invitational, and life affirming. If it's meaningful to you, hold onto that and keep it with you. That was always the point: in the midst of suffering and oppression of all sorts, we find joy and beauty. We sing, smile, and dance.

Annnnyway... my band is opening for the legendary Toasters on the west coast tour in February, so if you want to see what old school NYC 2nd wave ska sounds like (or a bunch of cowpunk weirdos who also make some ska sounds), I'll be there playing bari sax, keys, guitar, bass, singing, and whatever else it takes.

-Mark
What is your band??
 

JiveJust

Member
Messages
2,580
Ska started out in Jamaica as a reaction to American R&B tunes by Fats Domino and/or songs like the Twist in the late 50s. The heavy syncopation in the traditional music of the region made their version of R&B different.

It’s this:

Somehow it split into Reggae and Two Tone Ska that had integrated groups like the Toasters and the Specials. Then can all the different waves, 2nd, 3rd with elements of punk and pop and rock.

I can tell as someone playing heavy rock in the 90s, the 3rd wave Ska kids were insufferable to deal with. They are responsible for the stereotype that people think of as Ska today.

Bob explains it well here



So basically the African traditions of music were sent to New Orleans, it got mixed up there and spread out to the rest of the large urban areas of the USA. Then when it got arrived to Jamaica they did their own spin on it. Pretty interesting. Anyway the influence of the NOLA beat can not be underestimated on Ska.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Gold Supporting Member
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100,715
Reggae ( a term coined by legend and all round super cool dude, Toots Hibbert of Toots & The Maytals) had been around decades before Jerry Dammers started the 2 Tone label.
More than a decade, for sure. Didn't Dammers start the label at the end of the 70s?
 

Ldavey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
670
Another most interesting (to me) thread on TGP, thanks folks. Much solid information shared, solid opinions.

Spotted a mention (or two) re Desmond Dekker, the Israelites tune guy, one of my favorite tunes, but my recollection is that Millie Small’s “My boy Lollipop” was a very early ska tune.
 

Clyde Billt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,006
Didn't Dammers start the label at the end of the 70s?
I thought early 1980 but wiki says '79.

Spotted a mention (or two) re Desmond Dekker, the Israelites tune guy, one of my favorite tunes, but my recollection is that Millie Small’s “My boy Lollipop” was a very early ska tune.
Desmond Dekker & The Aces have a great back catalogue and I would recommend a search. Really soulful.

I remember Millie being quoted as one of the first ska tunes. Was she Island Records first big hit?
I'm sure I have seen an interview with Chris Blackwell where he said that My Boy Lollipop allowed them to build a decent studio and get artists over from Jamaica to record in London.
 




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