Monday, June 24, 2019

Bim Skala Bim Tours the US Northeast this Summer, Premieres New Song/Video "Gumbo," plus Screenings of "Chet's Last Call"!

Boston's legendary, US ska pioneers Bim Skala Bim are back for their annual summer tour of the Northeast, with shows in Massachusetts, Maine, and upstate New York--see all the dates below (note all of the amazing ska acts opening for them!). Bim's also promoting the new song and video for "Gumbo," which is a fantastic, New Orleans jazz-infused ska track promoting multiculturalism and racial unity through the simple act of people of all races and backgrounds coming together to share food and companionship: "No us and them/Just me and you/and some tasty stew." See the video below.

Bim's singer Dan Vitale is also bigging up screenings of the music documentary "Chet’s Last Call!: A Story of Rock and Redemption" he co-directed with his brother Ted, which is about the long-gone downtown Boston bar/club of the film's title, run by the now departed Richard “Chet” Rooney (watch the trailer for the film here). In the 1980s, Chet's Last Call was the place (like NYC's CBGBs, Max's Kansas City, etc.) for Boston's underground punk, rock, and ska bands (including Bim Skala Bim, The Bosstones, Dropkick Murphys, The Liz Borden Band, Pajama Slave Dancers, and many more) to do their thing. Screenings of "Chet’s Last Call!: A Story of Rock and Redemption" (some of them with Q and As afterwards) are being offered on July 5th at the Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA; July 22nd at the Wellfleet Harbor Actor's Theater in Wellfleet, MA; August 1st at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA and the Once Ballroom in Somerville; and August 2nd at the Record Archives in Rochester, NY (more info on all screenings can be found here).



Bim Skala Bim Summer 2019 Tour Dates!
June 28th Revere, MA @ Oceanside Events Center with Desorden Publico (from Venezuela!)
June 29th Quincy, MA @ Veterans Memorial Stadium (2:30-4:30 pm slot)
June 29th Kingston, MA @ PINZ in Kingston Mass with The Instigators
July 12th Wellfleet, MA @ The Beachcomber with Thumper
July 18th New Bedford, MA @ Vault Music Hall with Void Union, NB Rude Boys
July 19th Portland, ME @ Bayside Bowl with Zeme Libre and Roots, Rhythm and Dub
July 27th Somerville, MA @ Once Ballroom for the New England Ska Summit with Copasetics, Hempsteadys, El Grande, plus special guest Rikki Rocksteady and screening of "Chet's Last Call!: A Story of Rock and Redemption"
Aug 2nd Rochester, NY @ Flour City with Personal Blend and Miggedys Reunion
Aug 3rd Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt with Hub City Stompers and Miggedys

Tickets for any of these shows can be purchased here.

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Duff Guide to Ska Summer/Fall 2019 NYC Ska Calendar #6

Sticker depicting Nelson Mandela on the cover of The Special AKA's "In The Studio" LPSaturday, June 22, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

Reggay Lords (2 sets!), plus DJ Alexander Orange Drink

Riis Park Beach BazaarJacob Riis Park
within Gateway National Recreation Area
16702 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Queens, NY
Free/All ages

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake, DJ Ryan Midnight

FM Restaurant Bar and Lounge
340 Third Street
Jersey City, NJ
$15

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Vivien Goldman w/Dunia and Aram of Dubistry, Cate Le Bon, Moon Diagrams

Elsewhere
599 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$16-$18 (sold out)
16+

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Desorden Publico

Parranda Boat Party
Hornblower Cruises & Events Pier 15
78 South Street
New York, NY
$45

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

King Yellowman w/Sagittarius Band, K'reema

Knitting Factory Brooklyn
361 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$20 in advance/$22 day of show
All ages

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Thursday, July 18, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Sister Nancy

El Cortez
17 Ingraham Street
Brooklyn, NY
$27.50/21+

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Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

Radicsfest #2 (In memory of Roy Radics of The Rudie Crew; a portion of the proceeds of the show will go to Roy's family.) w/Pilfers, Mephskapheles, Spring Heeled Jack, Hub City Stompers, Rude Boy George, Sgt. Scag.

Gramercy Theater
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY
$25/16+

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Friday, July 26, 2019 @ 9:00 pm

The Return of Electric Avenue w/Beat Brigade, The Rudie Crew, The Twilights, Barbicide, plus DJ Ryan Midnight

Characters NYC (back room)
243 West 54th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
NYC, NY
Cover: $7 (all of which goes to the bands)
18+

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Saturday, July 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Long Beach Dub Allstars, The Aggrolites, Mike Pinto

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$20/21+

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Saturday, July 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

DJ Gorilla Presents PrinceLionSound, The Damn Long Hairs, Ska-Walkers, Team, Eye Defy

Desmond's Tavern
433 Park Avenue South
New York, NY
$10/21+

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Friday, August 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Prizefighters, The Pandemics

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Sunday, August 4, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

The Shipwrecks, plus DJ Alexander Orange Drink

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
Jacob Riis Park
within Gateway National Recreation Area
16702 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Queens, NY
Free/All ages

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Friday, August 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

The Slackers

Rocks Off Concert Cruise
The Liberty Belle Riverboat
Boards Pier 36, 299 South Street
New York, NY
$35 in advance/$40 day of show
21+

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bedouin Soundclash

Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY
$29.50

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Saturday, August 24, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

Beat Brigade, plus Future Punx DJs

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
Jacob Riis Park
within Gateway National Recreation Area
16702 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Queens, NY
Free/All ages

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

NY Ska Jazz Ensemble

Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway
New York, NY
$25/all ages

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Friday, August 30, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

The Skapones (UK), The Pandemics, Ensemble Calavera, plus DJ Ryan Midnight

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Selecter w/special guest DJ Rhoda Dakar (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA)

Gramercy Theater
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY
$29.50/16+

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Friday, September 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Toasters, Beat Brigade, Catbite

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Saturday, September 21, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Lee Scratch Perry and Subatomic Sound System, The Far East, DJ 2Melo

Industry City Courtyard 1/2
(Food Hall Entrance)
238 36th Street,
Brooklyn, NY
$25 in advance/$32 day of show
21+

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: Catbite, King Zepha, and The Mad Geezers!

(Reviews by Steve Shafer)

Catbite "Amphetamine Delight" (7" square yellow flexi disc, Bad Time Records, 2019): While awaiting delivery of my mail-ordered copy of their debut album, I received a free copy of Catbite's sweet flexi disc single with another LP I bought (the ACLU-benefit Bad Time Records compilation album The Shape of Ska Punk to Come, to be reviewed soon). Ostensibly about the joys of doing speed (though maybe obliquely it's about the high that comes from being with that special someone?), this wonderfully catchy jolt of ska, pop-punk, power-pop, and rockabilly is completely winning (among their influences they list The Specials, The Exploding Hearts, The Undertones, and Chuck Berry--all of whom you can hear in this track). Props to the label for this cool old-school promo item and to Philly's Catbite for knocking it out of the park with this song.

King Zepha King Zepha's Northern Sound (CD/digital/LP, Happy People Records, 2019): As the title of this album infers, King Zepha's Northern Sound is vintage ska imbued with 1960s American rhythm and blues (see their fantastic cover of Doris Troy's "Just One Look"--which is instantly recognizable to anyone who grew up in the '70s, as this was all over AM radio, in TV ads, and featured on multiple K-Tel comps), along with hearty helpings of '50s rock, big band, Henry Mancini or Neal Hefti-like movie music, and dashes of reggae and dub (fans of Laurel Aitken, The Trojans, Jump with Joey, and Dr. Ring Ding will love this record). All of the tracks are brilliantly heavy on stick-in-your-head melodies and the band (King Zepha on lead vocals, bass guitar, guitar, organ, percussion, tenor and baritone saxes, Joe Love on drums, Adam Richards on double bass, Chris Lloyd on piano, Ric Colley on backing vocals and lead vocals on "Just One Look," Sonny Thornton on backing vocals, Stuart MacDonald on alto sax, Jack Davis on trumpet, Stuart Garside on trombone, Jon Burr on harmonica solos, Al MacSween on organ solos, and George Birkett on guitar solos) is incredibly versatile within this compelling mix of musical genres.

While their music mines retro sounds from yesteryear, the topics of King Zepha's songs address some of today's madness. "Bottom of the Pile" is an anthem of solidarity among the working class, as well as a critique of free market capitalism ("We welcome one and all/Together in this hall/There's room for everyone/Together we are strong/Stick together, all the rank and file/It's fine at the bottom of the pile/It's lonely at the top/But there's a bigger drop/To get there one must climb/On those they've left behind"). In what is clearly pointed commentary on Rupert Murdoch-like right-wing tabloids and their slimy ilk and how they've been weaponized (and not aimed at papers striving to sort out and convey the truth), "Shoot the Messenger" advocates the boycott of the conservative echo-chamber media: "They pit the labourer against the foreigner/They call a traveller a lazy scavenger/They use the newspaper to stir up hate in you/We need a takeover, let's shoot the messenger/Propaganda, fabricated facts/Leading weapons of the ruling class/Just as deadly as a poison gas/So, shoot the messenger."

The completely epic "Mother of All Hangovers" should be your go-to song whenever you find yourself in this inevitably regretful/hellish state. "Let Your Hair Down" is a lovely plea for a good deal more more than the proverbial lowering of one's locks, while "You Let Yourself Go" admonishes the aging rude boy for going to seed, both physically and fashion-wise ("You used to be lean, mean and very, very clean/Now you're chubbier and grubbier than others on the scene"). King Zepha offer their own (not John Holt's) Middle Eastern-tinged ska take on the Ali Baba/"Arabian Nights" myth (which is accompanied by its dub version "Dubfart"). And there are also instrumentals on hand: the swinging jazz of "Tin Man" and the contemplative "Catalunya" (dedicated to that breakaway province from Spain). The album closes with "Grass is Greener," a sweet fantasy (?) about shedding one's dreary, soul-deadening, day-to-day life and going on holiday for good ("Days are longer and the beer is stronger/And the locals are a scream/By the sea, as he escapes reality/Our boy's the cat that finally got the cream"). All in all, this is a tremendously good record that is destined to become a classic of whatever we're labeling this current era of ska.

The Mad Geezers "The Donkey" b/w "The Snake Charmer" (7" vinyl single/digital, Swing-A-Ling/Names You Can Trust, 2019): At first glance, this band of insanely good Los Angeles-based musicians (Oliver Charles on drums, Jason Yates on organ, Dan Ubick on guitar and percussion, and Dave Wilder on bass) have seemingly come out of nowhere to deliver this incredible single. But when you find out that they've worked with De La Soul, Hollie Cook, The Heptones, and The Lions in particular, you realize why they're so far ahead of the pack from the get-go. While The Mad Geezers are heavily influenced by Jackie Mittoo in his brilliant prime--you'd swear that the Geezers' funky reggae cut "The Donkey" was off Showcase--the Lions connection is what makes complete sense (read The Duff Guide to Ska review of their extraordinary 2015 LP Soul Riot). There's a mastery of, and reverence for, reggae and all of the black American music that helped create and shape it over the years--all of which is so clearly evident in The Lions' music. While "The Donkey" is keyboard-centric, "The Snake Charmer" is an hypnotic and loping bass-driven reggae skank, perfect for dancing in the wee hours after partaking in whatever makes your cares temporarily slip away--but beware, the low-end on this track is so heart-thuddingly deep that it just might blow out your speakers if played at top volume.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

The Duff Guide to Ska Summer/Fall 2019 NYC Ska Calendar #5

Ska on TV!
Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

The Bluebeats

Hank's Saloon
345 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

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Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

The Pietasters

Rock Off Concert Cruise
Aboard The Lucille
Boards at 23rd Street and the FDR Drive
Manhattan
$37.50 in advance/$40 day of show
21+

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Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

The Specials

Brooklyn Steel
319 Frost Street
Brooklyn, NY
$45 in advance/$50 day of show
16+

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Tuesday, June 18 and Wednesday, June 19, 2019 @ 6:30 pm

Toots and the Maytals w/Selectress Iriela

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$36-$129
21+

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Desorden Publico

Parranda Boat Party
Hornblower Cruises & Events Pier 15
78 South Street
New York, NY
$45

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Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

Radicsfest #2 (In memory of Roy Radics of The Rudie Crew; a portion of the proceeds of the show will go to Roy's family.) w/Pilfers, Mephskapheles, Spring Heeled Jack, Hub City Stompers, Rude Boy George, Sgt. Scag.

Gramercy Theater
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY
$25/16+

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Friday, July 26, 2019 @ 9:00 pm

The Return of Electric Avenue w/Beat Brigade, The Rudie Crew, The Twilights, Barbicide

Characters NYC (back room)
243 West 54th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
NYC, NY
Cover: $7 (all of which goes to the bands)
18+

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Saturday, July 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Long Beach Dub Allstars, The Aggrolites, Mike Pinto

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$20/21+

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Friday, August 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Prizefighters

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Friday, August 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

The Slackers

Rocks Off Concert Cruise
The Liberty Belle Riverboat
Boards Pier 36, 299 South Street
New York, NY
$35 in advance/$40 day of show
21+

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bedouin Soundclash

Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY
$29.50

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

NY Ska Jazz Ensemble

Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway
New York, NY
$25/all ages

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Friday, August 30, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

The Skapones (UK)

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Selecter w/special guest DJ Rhoda Dakar (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA)

Gramercy Theater
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY
$29.50/16+

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Friday, September 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Toasters, Beat Brigade, Catbite

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Saturday, September 21, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Lee Scratch Perry and Subatomic Sound System, The Far East, DJ 2Melo

Industry City Courtyard 1/2
(Food Hall Entrance)
238 36th Street,
Brooklyn, NY
$25 in advance/$32 day of show
21+

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Return of Electric Avenue with Beat Brigade, The Rudie Crew, The Twilights, and Barbicide!


Yep, we're putting on ska shows once again (though not every month like we did previously). All details are in the flyer above. There's great food and drink to be had at Characters and the bands are guaranteed to put on a fantastic show! Plus, it's easy to get there from most parts of the city--the A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, W, and 1 trains all stop within blocks of the venue...

Come out and support live ska music!

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: The Prizefighters!

(Reviews by Steve Shafer)

There sure are some mighty sweet vintage rocksteady and ska sounds on The Prizefighters' superb new album Firewalk (CD/digital/cassette/LP, Prizefighter Sound System/Jump Up Records, 2019), which are clearly influenced by rocksteady greats like Alton Ellis, The Gaylads, The Heptones, Slim Smith, Delroy Wilson, etc. and The Skatalites (though they're a bit more organically raw, like Japan's Ska Flames--see The Prizefighters' boss instrumentals "The Accolade," "Bebop Rocksteady"--an incredible cover of one of Yoko Kanno's soundtrack compositions for the Japanese animated sci-fi TV series "Cowboy Bebop"--"Kashmir Rock" or "Mars Rover," amongst others). But all of this bright music doesn't really mask The Prizefighters' white hot outrage at the increasingly dismal state of affairs in America (they hail from the heartland: Minneapolis, MN). "Temper Running Hot" comments on the police's disgracefully hostile and violent (at times deadly) treatment of black Americans--sung in manner close to a stage whisper, but seething at the injustice of it all: "They only want to chat/with the hammer back/Violence in the street/and the country road/Each breath could be your last/as the sirens flash." "Along for the Ride" calls out people who casually associate with those in racist or fascist groups, but may not be really committed to their twisted cause, with this warning: "Are you on board, or just along for the ride?/Life's too short to choose the wrong side...Oh, you keep such bad company/Either way, you'll have to pay for their crimes."

Then there's The Prizefighters' stellar anti-racist track "Stop Them," which was written in direct response to the white nationalism/supremacy unleashed and supported by the overtly racist policies and messaging of Trump and his wretched administration--and, as the band puts it, is "less a protest song and more a call to action" for all good people to unite and collectively counter this bigotry and hatred of everyone not white, Christian, right-wing, and male. "Stop Them" is the ideal fusion of relevant socio-political message with move-your-body music (and very much in the tradition of 2 Tone). This cut is super-sing along-catchy and rightfully uncompromising in its anti-racist/fascist stance, much like The Special AKA's "Racist Friend" or Linton Kwesi Johnson's "Fite Dem Back." Check out these lyrics (which ding both Trump and his daddy's beloved Klan):

Now the fascists are back in town
Marching through our streets
Now their jester wears the crown
They keep popping up like weeds
We've gotta put them back in the ground
And hang out their sheets
They will never never never stop
Until we stop-a stop-a stop-a stop-a stop them


On a more uplifting note, album opener "Just Let the Music Play" encourages unity--both racial and economic (as in trade unions)--and doing what you can to enjoy life, stay inspired, and survive in an unforgivingly dog-eat-dog, Ayn Rand-ian capitalist society ("We'll stand united, there's nothing we can't do/We'll keep on fighting and aways will stay true"). While the album closes with "Firewalk," whose lyrics--"When the ground gets too hot/You must do the firewalk--suggests that these dark days are a trial by fire of sorts, a test of one's faith, fortitude, and courage. How we behave towards our fellow human beings and the tough choices we make under duress will reveal our true moral character, forge bonds between people of good will, and shape how one's life will be evaluated come judgment day.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

MOJO Remembers Ranking Roger

Beat fans should take note that the June 2019 issue of MOJO contains a wonderful tribute by Lois Wilson to the late and sorely missed Ranking Roger. Click on the image below to read/enlarge the article.


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In case you haven't read it, The Duff Guide to Ska posted a remembrance of Roger back in March.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: The Frightnrs, NY Ska-Jazz Ensemble!

(Reviews by Steve Shafer)

"Make Up Your Mind" b/w "Make Up Dub" (7" picture disc, Mad Decent, 2019) is the second physical release mined from The Frightnrs' excellent 2015 digital-only Inna Lovers Quarrel EP (the other 7" single was "Sharon" b/w "Admiration"). This ace rocksteady cut and its dub version (perfectly captured--as always--with an early '80s Henry "Junjo" Lawes-like production by Ticklah) features the singer frustratedly pleading with his lady to send a clear message as to where things are (or aren't) heading: "Make up your mind/Please don't leave me hanging on/Because you're fine/You know my love for you is so strong." Viewed through the lens or strobe light of a smart phone, this instantly collectible picture disc produces a pretty cool zoetropic visual effect as it spins on your turntable, but the main attraction here is the great music and the late Dan Klein's honeyed voice.

NY Ska-Jazz Ensemble's Break Thru (CD/digital, Brixton Records/Ska-Jazz Productions, 2019) is the 14th studio album from this Third Wave-era powerhouse led by Fred Reiter on sax/vocals with Mark Damon on bass/t-bone, Kevin Batchelor on trumpet, Joey Gallo on drums, Simone Amodeo on guitar, and Andrea Ferraro on keys. As always, NYSJE works wonders within the sweet spot between American jazz and Jamaican ska originally forged by The Skatalites well over 50 years ago. Break Thru sports terrific, mostly instrumental originals; three covers; and truly incredible musicianship throughout. The more ska-leaning tracks include the infectious, smile-inducing "Chicky Chicky Boom Boom," the frantic "Bopicana," the hard driving "Blowout," and the sung title track, which is part global travelogue of places the band has toured blended with words of encouragement for the fans. The cuts "Freddie's Bounce" (swinging trad jazz) and "Subliminal Seductions" (funky and rocking) permit the band members to show off their considerable jazz chops. While NYSJE's cover of the well-trod "Perfidia" and revisit of Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Love and Affection" (first covered by NYSJE back in 1998 for Moon Ska Records' Love and Affection: Ska in the Key of Love compilation) are quite good (love the harmonizing!), it's their surprisingly vulnerable and affecting version of Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" that might leave the listener with a lump in their throat.

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Duff Guide to Ska Spring/Summer 2019 NYC Ska Calendar #4

Caption: Members of The Bodysnatchers performing.
Friday, May 10, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Mephiskapheles, The Press, The Take, Sewer Skrewer, Gilipollas

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$15 in advance/$20 day of show
16+

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Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Slackfest: The Slackers play Big Tunes (potential set list includes "Married Girl," "Sarah," "Rude and Reckless," and more; go vote www.theslackers.com/polls) with The Hempsteadys, The Fad, DJ Rata

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$20 in advance/$25 day of show (3-day passes available)
16+

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Saturday, May 18, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Slackfest: The Slackers play Love and War (potential set list includes "Red Light," "Feed My Girl," "International War Criminal," and more; Go vote www.theslackers.com/polls) with Westbound Train, The Scotch Bonnets, DJ Miss Haps

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$20 in advance/$25 day of show (3-day passes available)
16+

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Saturday, May 18, 2019 @ 10:00 pm

Dubistry

Shrine
2271 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd
New York, NY
No cover

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Sunday, May 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Slackfest: The Slackers play Deep Cuts (potential set list includes "Stars," "Sing Your Song," "Contemplation," and more; go vote www.theslackers.com/polls) with The Far East, Ensemble Calaveras, DJ One Hundred Decibels

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$18 in advance/$22 day of show (3-day passes available)
16+

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Friday, May 31, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Subway to Skaville Presents: The Pandemics, Sgt. Scagnetti, The Twilights, Fink's Constant w/DJ Ryan Midnight

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street (between Avenues A and B)
New York, NY
No cover (but bring cash for tip bucket!)/21+

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Friday, May 31, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Full-Watts Band w/selector President Carter

C'mon Everybody
325 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10

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Saturday, June 1, 2018 @ 9:00 pm

David Hillyard and The Rocksteady 7

Hank's Saloon
345 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY
$8 in advance/$12 day of show
21+

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019 @ 10:30 pm

Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk, Miss Velvet and The Blue Wolf

Sony Hall
235 West 46th Street
New York, NY
$25-$60

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Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

The Bluebeats

Hank's Saloon
345 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

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Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

The Pietasters

Rock Off Concert Cruise
Aboard The Lucille
Boards at 23rd Street and the FDR Drive
Manhattan
$37.50 in advance/$40 day of show
21+

+ + + +

Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

The Specials

Brooklyn Steel
319 Frost Street
Brooklyn, NY
$45 in advance/$50 day of show
16+

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Tuesday, June 18 and Wednesday, June 19, 2019 @ 6:30 pm

Toots and the Maytals w/Selectress Iriela

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$36-$129
21+

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Desorden Publico

Parranda Boat Party
Hornblower Cruises & Events Pier 15
78 South Street
New York, NY
$45

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Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

Radicsfest #2 (In memory of Roy Radics of The Rudie Crew; a portion of the proceeds of the show will go to Roy's family.) w/Pilfers, Mephskapheles, Spring Heeled Jack, Hub City Stompers, Rude Boy George, Sgt. Scag.

Gramercy Theater
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY
$25/16+

+ + + +

Friday, July 26, 2019 @ 9:00 pm

The Return of Electric Avenue w/Beat Brigade, The Rudie Crew, The Twilights, Barbicide

Characters NYC (back room)
243 West 54th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
NYC, NY
Cover: $7 (all of which goes to the bands)
18+

+ + + +

Saturday, July 27, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Long Beach Dub Allstars, The Aggrolites, Mike Pinto

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$20/21+

+ + + +

Friday, August 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Prizefighters

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

+ + + +

Friday, August 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

The Slackers

Rocks Off Concert Cruise
The Liberty Belle Riverboat
Boards Pier 36, 299 South Street
New York, NY
$35 in advance/$40 day of show
21+

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bedouin Soundclash

Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY
$29.50

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

NY Ska Jazz Ensemble

Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway
New York, NY
$25/all ages

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Friday, August 30, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

The Skapones (UK)

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Selecter w/special guest DJ Rhoda Dakar (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA)

Gramercy Theater
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY
$29.50/16+

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Friday, September 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

The Toasters, Beat Brigade, Catbite

The Kingsland Bar and Grill
269 Norman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
16+

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Saturday, September 21, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

Lee Scratch Perry and Subatomic Sound System, The Far East, DJ 2Melo

Industry City Courtyard 1/2
(Food Hall Entrance)
238 36th Street,
Brooklyn, NY
$25 in advance/$32 day of show
21+

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: K-Man and The 45s and Pama International!

(Reviews by Steve Shafer)

I've been hearing really good things about Montreal's K-Man and The 45s for several years now (mostly in relation to the annual Montreal Ska Festival), so it's great to finally have a chance to review a new record from these ska/rock 'n' rollers (who veer into reggae, punk, even '80s hardcore--see the excellent, fiercely anti-heroin track "Don't Touch It"). Stand with the Youth (CD/digital/LP, Stomp Records, 2019) is K-Man and The 45s' dynamite fourth album (if you include their CD of ska covers of Ramones tunes) and its title track was written and recorded in response to the activism of the student survivors of the horrific Parkland school shooting and their allied peers who are organizing and advocating for sensible gun control laws in the US to help prevent future mass shootings, which continue to occur with alarming (yet increasingly numbing) frequency. K-Man and The 45s firmly side with the kids in this righteous cause: "We got a bullied young boy who wants to shoot it up/Then we watch it on the news how he went and lit it up/And now the youth of the nation ain’t giving it up/Because they’re fighting for their freedom and ain’t never going to stop." "Hooligans" pushes back against the gentrifying real estate developers ("goons with clipboards") who destroy vital and funky neighborhoods/communities for greed; the hard rocking "Paranoid Panic" is about succumbing to the fear created by the never-ending barrage of sensationalized crime stories in the media ("Another drive by on the news tonight/Seems like the neighborhood is one big fight/It’s a revved up panic that’s pushing her through the night"); and "Free to Go" encourages a woman to leave her physically abusive partner. But it's not all grim. The ridiculously catchy--and best cut on the album--"I've Got a Minute" ("...I want to waste it with you") is about working up the nerve to ask her out. "Hero with a Death Ray" is an homage to Cold War-era TV sci-fi characters like Flash Gordon or Captain Kirk ("Flying around going to slingshot in deep space/Hyper drive winning at the space race/Pick up the trophy, kiss the girl/Then he sets off to save the world." And the reggae track "Cooking Out the Pans" is concerned with nothing but the simple pleasures of hanging out on a beach, eating fish, smoking weed, and listening to live music. Anyone itching for a new Toasters record should absolutely grab this--most of the fantastic horn lines and arrangements sound like they could have been written by Bucket himself (and both bands share an admiration for '60s ska influencer Chuck Berry; on this record, K-Man and The 45s deliver a cool ska cover of "Never Can Tell"...).

Temporarily shedding their ska and reggae to fully explore the "altruistic soul" aspect of their sound, Pama International's Stop the War on the Poor (CD/digital/LP, Happy People Records, 2019) is a spectacular concept album of sorts, full of Motown and Stax-like songs by Sean Flowerdew and Lenny Bignell about love in all its forms--romantic love between people; the spiritual/moral love in forgiveness and redemption; and the love expressed through compassion and empathy for your fellow human being. Cara Jane Murphy and Jewels Vass split the vocal duties here (sides A and B, respectively) and both are are nothing short of amazing. Top cuts here include the Birmingham gospel/soul of "Get Up Off Your Knees" ("Lord he dared me/Raised my heart and compared me/To something he had trod in/Spreading disease/To my shame/I played him at his own game/Lord, get me off my knees"); the Detroit soul of the wonderfully named "Sure You Know the Price (But Do You Know the Cost)," which asks if you're willing to go all in--being vulnerable and risking hurt and more--for who you love ("I put myself in your heart/For all the good it did/Failed to understand/All that you kept hid/What's the use in worrying/If you never doubt/You get all that you give out"); the magnificent "Stop the War on the Poor" pleads for our collective focus to turn towards the corruption and criminality of the rich and powerful (who have rigged the system in their favor at the expense of everyone else) that is largely being ignored while the indigent are blamed for society's ills and punished/humiliated for their own supposed moral failings for not being materially successful; a great Temptations-like cover of Billy Preston's "You Are So Beautiful To Me"; and "I Love You (Wake Up)," which conveys sweetly intense longing and loneliness ("Four o'clock/Still awake/Waiting for/the day to break/Where are you?/Lying in silence/Deafened still/Don't want to spend/Another night/without you"). I'm not an expert on soul, but--damn--I know brilliant music when I hear it and Pama International's Stop the War on the Poor is it! All CDs and LPs come with an additional, free CD to share the musical love with friends, family, or strangers on the street!

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