Friday, December 7, 2012

2012: The Year in Ska - Michael Inumerable (2000 Tons of TNT)

Editor's Note: As the end of the calendar year sneaks up on me--as it always does, since the fall is always so damn busy!--I always scramble around to put together my "best of" lists of the ska singles, albums, reissues, books, etc. that I really enjoyed over the past year and want to highlight for all the ska fans out there. But I also thought it might be interesting to feature some other opinions, so I approached a diverse group of ska musicians, bloggers, DJs, and label heads to find out what their favorite ska things were in 2012. And thus the "2012: The Year in Ska" series was born! Thanks to everyone who is taking the time to participate--I really appreciate it!

Michael Inumerable is the guitarist and vocalist for the excellent San Diego, CA garage/early reggae act 2000 Tons of TNT.

2012: The Year in Ska - Michael Inumerable/2000 Tons of TNT

Top 5 Favorite Ska Releases

1) I have to say my favorite release of 2012 is Maddie Ruthless Featuring the Forthrights and Friends! I play it at least once a week and love every track. I think it's so classic sounding, but fresh at the same time. The songwriting, lyrics, playing, and production are all on point. Maddie's lyrics especially break my heart (which is not easily broken).

2) Going along with The Forthrights again, I real enjoyed their self-titled release this year, especially the opening track "Blinding Light." Very honest sounding band.

3)  I was really captivated by the new Frightnrs release not only because the artwork is beautiful, but the songs and production are great and they gave it away for free! Can't go wrong.

4) Moving away from the New York scene (which I am very inspired by, living so far away on the West Coast), I am really enjoying the lastest Bandulus record, which just came out just recently, The Times We Had. Met Jeremy a few years back and I really appreciate his take on old styles. Very soulful stuff!

5) The Amalgamated's Boss Universal album. These guys are our San Diegans, so it was really cool to see an album come out of San Diego and hear a bunch of dudes we know on a recording. They got this big-band meets Jamaican ska thing going on, so its a big sounding record!

Top 5 Favorite Live Ska Shows

1) Ken Boothe in San Diego! This is a show I never thought I would see. Backed by the Amalgamated. Probably the biggest ska show in San Diego in a few years. Packed house and played all the classics.

2) Pat Kelly and The Delirians in Riverside. This is a tie with the Ken Boothe show because the Delirians are just so tight and played all the tunes perfectly. They did a memorable version of "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Procol Harem. Just a surreal show (plus we played before The Delirians).

3) I got to see The Debonaires three times this year. Easily one of the best live ska/reggae bands in history. Did two dates with them in November.

4) The Revivers in Pomona (sorry another show we played). Members of The Debonaires, Skeletones, and few others doing covers from the early reggae period. Flawless covers...always a dance party.

5) Saw The Slackers vicariously through my brother (our lead guitarist)! I've seen 'em a couple times, not this year though. This is his pick!

Top 5 Favorite Ska Merch

1) We bought a Hammond Piper II organ! Does that count? Oh and I got a new guitar!

2) Didn't buy any records this year (shame). I got the digital copies of Maddie Ruthless and The Frightnrs. Would have loved to come up on some physical stuff from these people.

3) Boss Universal CD by The Amalgamated! The packaging was very attractive, I might add.

4) Ottly Mercer's promo CD they handed out at one of their shows earlier this year! This is a San Diego band working on their first official album, so look out!

5) I traded a copy of our CD for The Debonaires' Longshout album from a couple years back! Playing in my car on most days!

Top 5 Ska Regrets


2) Really wanted to be picked to do The London International Ska Festival this year!

3) Didn't go to Europe! My favorite bands in the reggae revival scene all reside overseas (The Caroloregians, Granadians).

4) Didn't get out of town much with my band! We played a lot more out-of-town shows this year, but 2013 we out and about with a vengeance!

5) Probably not going to make to THE JAMAICANS show with The Delirians in San Francisco around New Year's! We were asked to do it, but something came up...go figure!

Top 5 Ska Wishes for 2013

1) I would really like all my favorite contemporary artists to put more material out (The Caroloregians, Granadians, Maddie Ruthless, Smooth Beans, etc.) .

2) I would like more Jamaican artists to make their way towards Southern California. We will be opening up for Keith and Tex in January, so things are looking good!

3) I would love to collaborate with different groups/scenes outside of the reggae/ska scene, especially all these gigging soul and soul/jazz groups that keep popping up in San Diego!

4) I would like to see more DJs that spin reggae, soul, rocksteady, and ska.

5) I want to get accepted to play the Victoria Ska Fest, plan a tour around, AND put out some new releases with 2000 Tons of TNT next year!

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