Friday, October 23, 2009

They Wouldn't Print It If It Wasn't True (Sunday Papers)

I don't think the old maxim that "all press is good press" applies to a hatchet job like this. I mean, why bother writing anything at all if you're going to be this hostile and ignorant?

The show "preview" opens on this "high":
Columbus brought smallpox to the New World. Enola Gay brought the A-bomb to Hiroshima. And The Toasters brought third wave ska to the United States.
And things only deteriorate from there...
In one of the great musical disasters of the 20th century, ska put trombones into the hands of jilted punks world wide. After a thriving first life in Jamaica and England as a legitimate musical art form, ska turned lemon when it hit the domestic shores, and became a fashion statement that, at the least, swapped grimy leathers out for a vest and fedora.

And tonight, The Toasters are playing the Triple Rock. Which means that attendees will do well to stretch out their skanking muscles which likely haven't been used in over a decade.

Yes, the Toasters spawned domestic popularity for a genre that would go on to give us the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Animal Chin, Skankin' Pickle, and numerous other musical unforgivables.

Hey, let's give credit where credit is due--they haven't given up, even if their peers and former fan base have. They kept right on skanking when the ska bubble burst somewhere near the late 90s. Kept right on tootling on the trumpet and trombone, being the rudest of all rude boys.

Well, perseverance is a virtue of its own, we suppose.
Really, who needs the "music press" when a) they don't really know anything about the past and present of the music/band/scene that they are smearing; and b) seem to be advocating that an entire genre of music--and the musicians playing it--piss off and die?

This guy's editor should have pulled the plug on this piece of crap.

+ + + +

In contrast, apart from this being a positive preview for The Toasters' gig in Milwaukee, it's obvious that this writer knows something about his subject.


David T said...

My wife and I went to the Milwaukee show last night and really enjoyed it. I posted a review here:

Jeremy Patton said...

It's funny considering A) The Toasters were around LOONG before "third wave" was even a term and they sound NOTHING like the supposed "third wave" bands they gave way to forming. I have always considered The Toasters "Post 2Tone" because, if they would have actually formed in the UK or Europe, they would have been considered 2Tone, 1981 was still seeing 2Tone bands playing on a regular basis in Europe and slowly making their way across the sea. The Toasters are more blues based and influenced by Jamaican based music. "Third wave" bands were influenced by bands who were influenced by early ska and reggae, so they have a watered down version of ska, in which they added punk guitars and crunchy horn lines.

B) The Toasters haven't had a trumpet player in almost 8 years or more! ;)

Steve from Moon said...

Thanks, Jer.

Yes, so much was wrong about the show preview. And I agree with you that The Toasters should be considered more as a post-2 Tone band than third-wavers (but they certainly helped make the the third wave possible).

Unknown said...

I am in one of the 3 local bands that opened the Minneapolis show, and I am severely disappointed at our local press for allowing this story to be published. I help run the website, which is the homebase for the Minnesota ska scene. We have worked hard for many years to create a place where ska bands and fans can come together and look for the local music scene to support us. But support is hard to come by if an article is written to dissuade people from coming to the show. When the Toasters played here in February, the place was packed. This time around, it wasn't. No wonder.

Steve from Moon said...


Thanks for your comments! I saw your link to my post on the Minn Ska site (thanks!). The ska bands and fans in your area should let the editor and writer of this piece know how unhappy you are about it (it was full of inaccurate information about The Toasters and ska--plus what was the purpose of the article, apart from the writer grinding his axe?). Send in (well-reasoned) letters to the editor, etc. Tell the club owner to contact the paper and complain! Hold their feet to the fire!

Good luck!