What is "ska?"

ned7flat5

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The ska acts that appeal to me are all of ‘70’s British working class origin - Madness, The Specials, Fun Boy Three, The Selecter, The English Beat, Bad Manners...



The US derivatives (like the Bosstones) all look and sound like second tier, obnoxious, college frat boys.
 
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chopsley

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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.
It's probably a little unfair to say that the late-70's ska revival was pure appropriation by punk rockers -- a lot (most?) of the two-tone bands were integrated, and many of the members were from the West Indies (or their families were, at least).

It would be interesting to know what the ska originators thought of the two-tone stuff.
 

JiveJust

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2,580
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.
Yeah it split into to different things. I guessing smoking herb lead to the slower tempos and lyrical content of Reggae?
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
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The ska acts that appeal to me are all of ‘70’s British working class origin - Madness, The Specials, Fun Boy Three, The Selecter, The English Beat, Bad Manners
The 2 Tone scene was definitely where I got on board, although Fishbone was every bit as big for me in the latter half of the 80s.
 

ellis dee

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In a 2005 interview, Plant discussed the different interpretations and pronunciations of the name of the song.[2] He explained that the title is derived from an old joke, where two friends have the following exchange: "My wife's gone to the West Indies." "Jamaica?" (which in an English accent sounds like "Did you make her?") "No, she wanted to go".[5]

The title, which appears nowhere in the lyrics, was chosen because it reflects the reggae feel of the song. It was an example of the Led Zeppelin band members' senses of humour.[2][6] Because of the unfamiliarity of listeners to this back-story, DJs and fans often mispronounce the title as "dire maker".[2] This confusion and mispronunciation was more common in the US than in Britain, according to Jimmy Page.[7]
 

2HBStrat

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41,289
In a 2005 interview, Plant discussed the different interpretations and pronunciations of the name of the song.[2] He explained that the title is derived from an old joke, where two friends have the following exchange: "My wife's gone to the West Indies." "Jamaica?" (which in an English accent sounds like "Did you make her?") "No, she wanted to go".[5]

The title, which appears nowhere in the lyrics, was chosen because it reflects the reggae feel of the song. It was an example of the Led Zeppelin band members' senses of humour.[2][6] Because of the unfamiliarity of listeners to this back-story, DJs and fans often mispronounce the title as "dire maker".[2] This confusion and mispronunciation was more common in the US than in Britain, according to Jimmy Page.[7]
Huh?!?
 

Jason Calieri

Supporting Member
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5,771
Not that they're a classic representation of ska or anything, but I was a GIGANTIC Mighty Mighty Bosstones fan as a kid. First saw them when I was in high school, in 1992, at a big outdoor college fest, and I was hooked immediately. Such a great live show.

Being that they were from Boston, and mentioned it quite a bit, I became interested in the city. And funnily enough, that's the main reason I decided to leave Buffalo and attend college in Boston. Been here ever since. And I've seen the Bosstones probably 20-25 times, easily.
 

I Am Misery

Member
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3,220
... It’s this:
this reminds me... strange that it's always country or jazz that first come to mind in the case of "music that i don't like", because there's a fair amount of country and jazz that i do actually enjoy quite a bit.

i like some reggae/dub, but i can't ****ing stand "ska" at all. the fast 8th-note "horns on the upbeat"... ugh, instant headache. when i finally make it to hell i'm sure it'll be playing 24/7.

that said, i came to appreciate it as a small ingredient of Mr. Bungle.


[EDIT] on the other hand, i can listen to this all day long and never get bored:


...and love this whole album:


oddly, both of these share a lot in common with what i don't like. not sure how to explain it. i think it's more the "energy" or "attitude" of what i generally think of as "ska" (Bosstones, etc). that same "hopped up on kool-aid, happy about whatever" thing that pop-punk (Green Day, Blink 182, etc) has. it's got nothing "sexy" about it, if that makes any sense. no groove, no funk. ...i'm really generalizing here. i'll check it out some more.
 
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arem

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1,254
I guessing smoking herb lead to the slower tempos and lyrical content of Reggae?
The (probably apocryphal) story goes that Ska took off in the early 60's and was the dominant sound in JA for several years, but the spring/summer of 1967 was much hotter than usual and the bands started playing slower as a result, leading to the development of the Rock Steady sound which becomes massive at this time. No doubt there were precursors, but this song set the tone for the next couple of years until Reggae took off.
 




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