Thursday, February 4, 2010

MOJO Ska Watch

As faithful Duff Guide to Ska readers are all too aware, I am completely enamored of the British music magazine MOJO, partially because I am huge fan of Brit-pop, punk (class of '77), and post-punk/new wave and they give bands from these genres lots of coverage--and MOJO is pretty much the only mainstream music magazine to devote some ink to ska and reggae on a regular basis (admittedly, it is usually reserved for 2 Tone era acts or re-issues of extraordinary Jamaican releases--but they LOVED Madness' The Liberty of Norton Folgate and reviewed Pama International's new album in the last issue). Plus, there are so few decent music magazines left that have so much good content and are a pleasure to read. I doff my hat to the whole crew at MOJO.

They're also smart..from day one they've kept the vast majority of their content off-line, so if you want to read a feature or review, you have to buy the magazine or have a subscription to it (or thumb through it at the newsstand)--they didn't eliminate one of their key sources of income like so many other print outlets. Having said that, picking it up in the US is costly, $10 an issue (though you get a CD of music relating to a theme or band). They just started offering subscriptions in America, which I may do, as I will end up saving some cash: $80 vs. $120.

The latest issue of MOJO (Februrary 2010) has several ska-related items...
- Madness' Chas Smash is working on a dubstep album called Chas Smash's HiFi Sounds of the New Boss.

- MOJO's "Time Machine" feature--this month in 1964--notes that on February 8, Blue Beat co-owner Siggy Jackson was quoted talking about the reasons why he started issuing releases from Jamaican artists like Laurel Aitken and Derrick Morgan--plus two of the top-selling Blue Beat singles in London are Prince Buster's "Madness" and The Folks Brothers' "Carolina."

- Pressure Sounds' reissue of King Tubby & The Clancy Eccles All Stars' Sound System International Dub LP is reviewed and receives four stars.

- A feature on The Ruts DC's one record (Animal Now) recorded after their lead singer Malcolm Owen overdosed on heroin, notes that the band had backed Laurel Aitken for a spell in 1980.

- And you should check out the amazing excerpt of the new bio of Ian Dury by Will Birch (titled "Ian Dury: The Definitive Biography") simply because it's a good read.

1 comment:

Kames Jelly said...

Love that mention of the Ruts DC. The Ruts are one of my favorite punk bands. And Rhythm Collision by Ruts DC and Mad Professor is an underrated dub classic.

i LOVE mojo too. ive been reading it in Barnes and Noble for 5 or 6 years now. I'll probably take advantage of being able to get a subscription soon.