Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rocking Steady Skazine

As with many printed publications, the skazines that connected and informed the fans during much of the late 80s and throughout the 90s were decimated by the rise of the internet [insert ominous sounding music here]. And, really, why should the skazine editors go to the trouble and expense of laying out, printing / copying, and distributing a tangible publication (and no doubt lose money doing so), when it suddenly became way easier and cheaper to set up a website or a blog to serve the same function and potentially reach ska fans around the globe? (Having said that, I miss them--will there ever be a new edition of Hoi Polloi again?!--and I greedily treasure the ones that I have in my possession, particularly my old copies of "Zoot!")

Unfortunately, there is the downside to every technological development, and for our little discussion today, that is music file sharing (read my general thoughts on why music file sharing is flat-out wrong and killing the music we love here and here). In regards to the subject of skazines, it seems like far too many ska blogs lazily exist simply to post links to file sharing sites where people can illegally download ska and reggae albums for free. They don't bother to actually review the music, interview the bands, or promote their gigs (and if you want to make it so people can hear a band's music, why not use a free application like Div Share, so fans can stream a song, but not download it?).

Apart from Kevin Flowerdew's awesome "Do the Dog Skazine," few current skazines come to mind. But now we have the ambitious Rocking Steady Skazine out of Germany, which is both a website and e-zine. The Rocking Steady e-zine is already up to issue #2 (find the PDF here)--featuring nice interviews with Vin Gordon, Rico Rodriguez, and Mr. T-bone (do you sense a theme here?); a focus on still active 80s/90s-era bands like Mr. Review, The Busters, and Bluekilla; an article on ska graphic designer Jada Leblanc--and a slew of record reviews (Roy Ellis, Hotknives, Resignators, Mr. T-Bone, and many more). While, at times, it seems like some things are lost in translation (the results of Google Translate often make for rough reading), there are many great things going on here. Do yourself a favor--bookmark Rocking Steady and visit it frequently!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

rockingsteady = consulting company? capitalism sucks