Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two More Dates Added to Skatalites February Tour of Northeast USA!

The Skatalites (led by Lester "Ska" Sterling) have announced two additional dates for their mini-tour of the Northeast this February: Cambridge, MA and Killington, VT! Details below...

+ + + +

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TT The Bears Place
10 Brookline Street
Cambridge, MA

Doors at 8pm/Show at 10pm
Tickets: $15 in advance/$20 day of the show

+ + + +

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Pickle Barrel
1741 Killington Road
Killington, VT

Doors at 8pm

+ + + +

Friday, February 17, 2012

Port City Music Hall
504 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 899-4990

Tickets: $15.00 in advance/$20 day of show/$30 VIP
18+

+ + + +

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 963-3369

Doors: 6:00 pm/Show: 8:00 pm
Tickets: $8.00/in advance - $10.00/day of show
21+

+ + + +

Monday, January 30, 2012

Madness Announce Date in San Diego--Las Vegas, LA, and San Francisco Shows to Come!

According to a post on Madness Central, Madness will be playing Humphrey’s By The Bay in San Diego on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Tickets start at $58.55 (including fees) with several luxury packages available up to $499!

In addition to Madness' appearance at this year's Coachella Festival, a few more US dates are to be announced soon for Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

If I'm interpreting the language correctly here, it looks like that's it for Madness shows in the US (which is obviously a huge disappointment for Madness fans in other regions of the USA who can't make it to the West Coast...).

Friday, January 27, 2012

NYC Winter 2012 Ska Calendar Update #13

Friday, January 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm

NY Ska Jazz Ensemble

Club Drom
85 Avenue A (Between 5th + 6th Street)
Manhattan, NY
$10/advance $12/door

+ + + +

Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Top Shotta Band, The Forthrights plus Selectors Chuck and Maddie Ruthless

The Lone Wolf
1089 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY

+ + + +

Friday, February 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

The Rudie Crew and Aqua Cherry

The Bitter End
149 Bleecker Street
Manhattan

+ + + +

Saturday, February 11, 2012

King Django
backed by The Snails
Bad Luck Dice

details TBA

Tumulty's Pub
361 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2012
(732) 545-6205

+ + + +

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Skatalites

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Tickets: $8 advance/$10 day of show
21+

+ + + +

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm

The Toasters, The Rudie Crew, Hub City Stompers

Stanhope House
45 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ

Tickets: $12 in advance/$15 day of show
18+

+ + + +

Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Dub is a Weapon plus special guests Buford O'Sullivan and Rob Symeonn!

Zebulon
258 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211

+ + + +

Additional gigs will be posted when we find out about them. Send info to duffguidetoska@gmail.com!

+ + + +

More King Hammond "Remix/Rewind" Official Bootlegs Pressed!

Just heard from King Hammond that he's pressed up 50 more copies of his official, limited edition bootleg Remix/Rewind--which was definitely one of the best albums of 2011 (oh yeah, I need to get cracking and finish writing up that list, don't I?).

Remix/Rewind contains rare tracks (the extraordinary "Chula Vista Ska Man" is worth the price of the CD alone) and remixes (such as "The Loop Mayfair 68 Mix" or "Dub Movement #1") that you cannot find anywhere else. Plus, if you order it now from his site, you'll receive a free copy of either his Jacuzzi or Showbiz CDs! (Act now, as they say on TV!)

Here's a nice sampler of what you can expect from the King on Remix/Rewind...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Duff Review: "Prince Fatty Meets Mutant Hi-Fi in Return of Gringo!"

Mr. Bongo
2011
LP/CD
Also: 7" vinyl single of "Transistor Cowboy" b/w "Son of a Thousand Fathers"

(Review by Steve Shafer)

During the 1960s, the unlikely--but extraordinarily fruitful--pop culture co-mingling of Jamaican reggae with American Wild West mythology was largely influenced by the deliciously over-the-top "spaghetti Western" films of Italian director Sergio Leone and his "Dollars Trilogy" ("A Fistful of Dollars" in 1964, "For a Few Dollars More" in 1965, and "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" in 1966--all of which featured a then relatively unknown Clint Eastwood), though films by Sergio Corbucci ("Django," 1966) and Sergio Sollima ("The Big Gundown," 1966) also had an enormous impact on Jamaican audiences and culture.

These movies--featuring supremely confident and super-humanly skilled anti-heroes (traversing bleak, almost post-apocalyptic landscapes) confronting nefarious villains and meting out swift 'n' bloody justice via their blazing pistols/rifles/Gatling guns--were incredibly popular in Jamaica when they stormed local cinemas in the mid-to-late 60s, as they were simpatico with the rude boy/outlaw/rebel ethos propagated by and celebrated in reggae music. (Indeed, in the quintessential Jamaican rude boy film, Perry Henzell's 1972 movie "The Harder They Come," Jimmy Cliff's character Ivan Martin catches "Django" at the local cinema before going out in a blaze of glory himself.)

But these films also triggered the musical imagination of some of JA's greatest producers and musicians, such as Lee "Scratch" Perry and The Upsetters (whose "Return of Django" climbed as high as #5 on the UK singles chart in 1969), Lloyd Charmers and The Hippy Boys, Derrick Harriot and The Crystalites, Harry J, Clancy Eccles, Joe Gibbs, and many more who released dozens upon dozens of "Dollar" sides (many of which can be found on the brilliant and essential Trojan compilation For a Few Dollars More: 28 Shots of Western Inspired Reggae).

On the superb Prince Fatty Meets Mutant Hi-Fi in Return of the Gringo, Mike Pelanconi (Prince Fatty) and Nick Coplowe (Mutant Hi-Fi) both pay tribute to the spirit of their musical Jamaican forerunners, as well as compellingly expand the canon of Western-themed reggae (though sometimes fondly tongue-in-cheek: see the Eastern European/Transylvanian-flavored "The Good, The Vlad, and the Ugly" or the almost noir-ish "Blondes Have More Guns").

The scorching album opener, "Transistor Cowboy," starts with a pair of echoing gunshots exploding one at a time from each speaker, heralding the wicked, minor-key surf/rockabilly guitar licks that ride magnificently over a frenetic ska backbeat, sounding for all the world like Dick Dale fronting The Upsetters. (Throughout the album, there are fantastically evocative sound effects galore, as well as dialogue clips from real and/or imagined Westerns--check out Old Testament revenge-themed "Wear the Black Hat (If the Black Hat Fits).")

Other highlights include The Skatalites-inspired "Up the Creek"; a very Specials-sounding "Moscow Mule," with its sparse and eerie Jerry Dammers keyboard line and Roddy Radiation guitar riffs; the Mexican/Latin horns of "Across the Border"; the mournful melodica heard in a "Plague of Locusts"; and their respectful tip of the hat to the incredible spaghetti Western film scores of Ennio Morricone (sample "Titoli" from "A Fistful of Dollars" here) with the whistled melody of "Son of a Thousand Fathers" (which actually features Alessandro Alessandroni, the musician who whistled and performed on many of Morricone's spaghetti Western soundtracks!). You can almost see the shimmering mid-day heat rising off the caked earth in the harsh, quivering and bending guitar chords on the "Way Back to Town." And the album closes--no doubt, in tribute to Dick Dale (whose sound is borrowed so heavily here and who also covered and scored a big hit with this song in 1963)--with a raucous and blisteringly fast reading of the Hebrew folksong "Hava Nagila" (its offbeat rhythmic structure makes it a natural ska cover).

One can only wish that there could ever be a spaghetti Western film worthy enough to go along with this spectacular soundtrack...

+ + + +

The CD, LP, and single are available in the US through Ernie B's Reggae.

Preview all of the tracks on the album here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Winston Riley RIP

Reggae singer, composer, and producer Winston Riley, who had been shot in the head last November in Kingston, JA, died from his wounds at age 65 on January 19, 2012. (No motive is known for the shooting and the Jamaican police have made no arrests in this case.)

In 1964, Riley founded the ska/rocksteady group The Techniques (the group included Slim Smith, Pat Kelly, and Junior Menz), which recorded for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle imprint. In 1968, the group parted from Reid and Riley and his brother formed his own Techniques label, which also produced and released successful sides for Johnny Osbourne, Alton Ellis, Dennis Alcapone, The Ethiopians, Horace Andy, The Viceroys, and more. But what launched Riley into the stratosphere in 1971 was the massive #1 UK hit he produced for Dave and Ansel Collins: the essential skinhead reggae cut "Double Barrel"--which was followed by the smash #7 UK hit "Monkey Spanner" in 1972.

Then Riley's co-written production of Ansel Collins' "Stalag 17" stormed the Jamaican charts in 1973 and would later become one of the most popular and enduring reggae riddims ever recorded (as essential as "Real Rock" and "Rockfort Rock")--with killer versions by Tenor Saw ("Ring the Alarm"), General Echo ("Arlene"), Sister Nancy ("Bam Bam"), and countless others.

Throughout the late 70s, 80s, and 90s, Riley continued to produce hit singles and records for General Echo (a controversial--but profitable--move, as many of Echo's tracks made slack lyrics a standard component of dancehall), Lone Ranger, Frankie Paul, Tristan Palmer, Madoo, Errol Scorcher, Super Cat, Red Dragon, Flourgon, Cutty Ranks, Courtney Melody, Admiral Tibett, Frankie Paul, Ernest Wilson, Gregory Isaacs, Yami Bolo, and more.

Riley's full biography can be read here.

We offer our sincerest condolences to Riley's family and friends.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Madness Central: No HOB Show Planned

Well, it looks like Madness Information Service Mexico was wrong about any Madness show taking place at the House of Blues this April.

Rumor control at Madness Central has issued the following statement:
It’s come to our attention that an announcement for a supposed Madness concert at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California, has been posted to various internet sites.

We feel it responsible to let Madness fans know that there is NO gig planned for the House of Blues. Currently, any US gigs are still in the process of being confirmed by Madness’ management and there are no dates or venues scheduled.

When the concerts are officially announced, you can be sure Madness Central will provide confirmed information to better facilitate any travel plans and ticket purchases for the fans.

It is not a good idea to make arrangements based on this misinformation.

- Madness Central Management.
In the past, MIS Mexico has been a very reliable source, so The Duff Guide to Ska ran with this story. Nonetheless, we're very sorry to have passed along incorrect information.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Madness to Play House of Blues in Anaheim this April!

According to Madness Information Service Mexico, Madness will be playing the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA on April 14, 2012. Tickets will be going on sale soon.

This is the third date the band has scheduled in the United States for 2012 (the other two are at this year's Coachella Festival: Friday, April 13 and Friday, April 20).

Here's hoping that there will be a slew of additional dates added in the near future...(NYC, please!).

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Skatalites Play Portland, ME and NYC this February, Record New Album!

Old school ska fans in the Portland, ME and NYC metro areas will have a chance to catch The Skatalites this February, who are doing a mini-tour (what they're calling a "tour-bit") of the Northeast (see dates below).

The band, currently led by original member Lester "Ska" Sterling on alto sax (and featuring Doreen Shaffer on vocals), is recording a new album for release later in 2012 (which will, presumably, be in celebration of the 48th anniversary of the band)!

Here is the current line-up of the band:

Lester Sterling - alto saxophone
Doreen Shaffer - vocals
Azemobo "Zem" Audu - tenor saxophone
Andrae Murchison - trombone
Kevin Batchelor - trumpet
Val Douglas - bass guitar
Natty Frenchy - guitar
Cameron Greenlee - keyboards
Trevor "Sparrow" Thompson - drums

+ + + +

Friday, February 17, 2012

Port City Music Hall
504 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 899-4990

Tickets: $15.00 in advance/$20 day of show/$30 VIP
18+

Buy tickets here.

+ + + +

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 963-3369

Doors: 6:00 pm/Show: 8:00 pm
Tickets: $8.00/in advance - $10.00/day of show
21+

Buy tickets here.

+ + + +

To keep up on all the latest Skatalites news, join their mailing list.

+ + + +

New Destroy Babylon Video: "Echo Chamber"

The arrival of a trippy new video from Boston's Destroy Babylon gives me the excuse to point out just how amazing their new album is (check out The Duff Guide to Ska review of Long Live the Vortex here).

"Echo Chamber" is really about Fox News and all of the disinformation and propaganda it spews forth, but the band opted for something much more surreal...(Pintos, UFOs, aliens, skateboards, terrible 70s fashions!).

NYC Winter 2012 Ska Calendar Update #12

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dirty Reggae Party #15 with Dub is a Weapon (10th Anniversary Show), The Forthrights with Maddie Ruthless, The Shifters (from D.C.)!

The Lake
258 Johnson Avenue (between Bushwick Avenue and White Street)
Brooklyn, NY
$7

(Take the L train to Montrose, walk down Bushwick and make a left on Johnson--or take the J train to Flushing, walk towards Bushwick Avenue, make a left, and walk till you hit Johnson Avenue and make a right. Look for the metal door with '258' on it, open it, and go up the stairs...)

+ + + +

Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Bigger Thomas

Havana
105 South Main Street
New Hope, PA
(215) 862-9897

Bigger Thomas will be playing a 3-set show of 36 songs (including a good number of album tracks that don't get played live very often)!

I'm catching a ride down to PA with the band!

+ + + +

Saturday, January 14, 2012


The Huffers (Buford O'Sullivan)

Branded Saloon
603 Vanderbuilt Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

King Django's Roots & Culture Kosher Dinner Quintet
Two sets starting at 8:30 pm
King Django - ukulele, trombone, vocals
Audrey Welber - clarinet
Adrian Banner - piano
Ira Heaps - Bass
Andy O'Neill - Drums

Smokey Joe's Kosher BBQ
494 Cedar Lane
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 836-7427

+ + + +

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Across the Aisle w/Dust Angel, Slightly Askew, Red Automatic

Don Pedro's
90 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Doors at 3:30 pm
$6/21+

+ + + +

Friday, February 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm

The Rudie Crew and Aqua Cherry

The Bitter End
149 Bleecker Street
Manhattan

+ + + +

Saturday, February 11, 2012

King Django
backed by The Snails
Bad Luck Dice

details TBA

Tumulty's Pub
361 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2012
(732) 545-6205

+ + + +

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Skatalites

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Tickets: $8 advance/$10 day of show
21+

+ + + +

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm

The Toasters, The Rudie Crew, Hub City Stompers

Stanhope House
45 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ

Tickets: $12 in advance/$15 day of show
18+

+ + + +

Additional gigs will be posted when we find out about them. Send info to duffguidetoska@gmail.com!

+ + + +

Here's hoping King Stitt is on the road to recovery.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Toasters to Release "House of Soul" Single and Tour Asia This Fall!

In addition to The Toasters' massive tour of the US this January and February (which kicks off this Friday, January 13 in Cambridge, MA at T.T. the Bear's Place--read the show preview in the Boston Phoenix), the latest word from Bucket is that The Toasters will embark on a fall tour of Australia, China, Korea, Malaysia and Japan (of those countries, I think The Toasters have only been to Japan).

Buck also reported that The Toasters will "finally get our backsides in the studio and re-record the "House of Soul" track for release as a 7 inch." Can't wait for this fantastic track to come out on vinyl.

No doubt, The Toasters have much more in store for ska fans in 2012, so stay tuned!

+ + + +

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society Vinyl Reissue Project

Fans of 1990s ska should be sure to check out The 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society Vinyl Reissue Project. It's a Kickstarter thingy put together by Asbestos Records and Underground CommuniquƩ Records, the labels behind the amazing Ska is Dead 7" of the Month Club.

The plan is to reissue The Pietasters' Oolooloo, the Pilers' Pilfers, Edna's Goldfish's Before You Knew Better, and Suburban Legends' Rump Shaker all on vinyl, as the title of the project might suggest. (Since vinyl wasn't especially popular during the 3rd Wave, these records--with the exception of Before You Knew Better, which was released on VOR Records/Grover in Germany in the late 90s--have never been issued on wax.)

The 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society Vinyl Reissue Project has already exceeded its $8,000 goal (though you can still make a pledge and receive one or all of these records), but now they're hoping to hit $12k by January 18, 2012--and if they do, anyone who pledges $20 or more will receive a free, bonus 7" from "one of the best bands in ska today."

Backers of The 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society Vinyl Reissue Project should expect to receive their records this spring.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Madness to Play 2012 Coachella Festival

The ginormous line-up for the 2012 Coachella Festival has just been announced and two notable ska/reggae artists are included this year: Madness and Jimmy Cliff (with Tim Armstrong).

This festival is taking place over two weekends in April--and the exact same line-up for each day will play twice in a row over the two weekends. So, Madness and Jimmy Cliff both happen to be scheduled to appear on April 13 and April 20.

Prior to Coachella, Madness are playing the Vive Latino Festival in Mexico City on March 23-25, 2012. Other Madness North American dates are rumored to be in the works (according to Madness Central), but nothing has been announced to date.

+ + + +

Being the musical Anglophile that I am, I'm very jealous of the West Coast fans that will also have the opportunity to see bands like the Horrors, Kaiser Chiefs, Buzzcocks, Squeeze, Arctic Monkeys, and the Vaccines...

King Hammond Advert for "Specialized" Charity Album

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Toasters' Massive Winter 2012 Tour of the USA!

Chances are that wherever you happen to be when you're reading this post, The Toasters are going to be playing a gig near you this January and February. With an itinerary that would make lesser men weep, The Toasters are embarking on a massive US tour that is hitting just about every region of the country.

If you haven't seen them lately, now's a terrific chance to see this legendary band in action (who would have thought that Buck and The Toasters would still be going 31 years later?!).


January
Jan 13: TT The Bears, Cambridge, MA
Jan 14: The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 15: Championship Bar and Grill, Trenton, NJ
Jan 16: The Jewish Mother Backstage, Norfolk, VA
Jan 17: The Milestone Club, Charlotte, NC
Jan 18: The Muse, Nashville, TN
Jan 19: Maxine's, Pub Hot Springs, AR
Jan 20: Antone's, Austin, TX
Jan 21: Jake's Backroom, Lubbock, TX
Jan 22: Badlands Billiards, El Paso, TX
Jan 23: The Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM
Jan 24: The Hut, Tucson, AZ
Jan 25: Martini Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ
Jan 26: The Slidebar, Fullerton, CA
Jan 27: Hard Rock Cafe On The Strip, Las Vegas, NV
Jan 28: The Center WLCAC, Los Angeles, CA
Jan 29: Soma, San Diego, CA
Jan 30: Red Devil Lounge, San Francisco, CA
Jan 31: The Catalyst - Atrium, Santa Cruz, CA

February
Feb 01: Red Fox Tavern, Eureka, CA
Feb 02: Plan B, Portland, OR
Feb 03: Iron Road Studios, Vancouver, Canada
Feb 04: El Corazon, Seattle, WA
Feb 05: Shredder, Boise, ID
Feb 06: Burt's Tiki Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 07: The Beacon Club, Casper, WY
Feb 08: Black Sheep, Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 09: Marquis Theatre Denver, CO
Feb 10: Knickerbockers, Lincoln, NE
Feb 11: Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN
Feb 12: Otto's, Dekalb, IL
Feb 13: The Firebird, St Louis, MO
Feb 15: Frankie's, Toledo, OH
Feb 16: The Strutt, Kalamazoo, MI
Feb 17: Redstone Room @ River Music Experience, Davenport, IA
Feb 18: Punk Rock Night @ the Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN
Feb 19: 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, WV
Feb 20: Eleanor Rigby's, Jermyn, PA
Feb 21: Dub Land Underground, Rochester, NY
Feb 22: Club Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA
Feb 23: Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ
Feb 24: The Haunt, Ithaca, NY
Feb 25: Dover Brickhouse, Dover, NH
Feb 26: Upstairs, Providence, RI

NYC Winter 2011/2012 Ska Calendar Update #11

Monday, January 9, 2012

King Django
backed by The Snails
Decrepit Youth


The Court Tavern
124 Church Street
New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
(732) 545-7265

+ + + +

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WKDU University Goes Ska presents
King Django
backed by The Snails
Lion's Paw


Kung Fu Necktie
1248 North Front Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-4602

+ + + +

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dirty Reggae Party #15 with Dub is a Weapon (10th Anniversary Show), The Forthrights with Maddie Ruthless, The Shifters (from D.C.)!

The Lake
258 Johnson Avenue (between Bushwick Avenue and White Street)
Brooklyn, NY
$7

(Take the L train to Montrose, walk down Bushwick and make a left on Johnson--or take the J train to Flushing, walk towards Bushwick Avenue, make a left, and walk till you hit Johnson Avenue and make a right. Look for the metal door with '258' on it, open it, and go up the stairs...)

+ + + +

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bigger Thomas

Havana
105 South Main Street
New Hope, PA
(215) 862-9897

Bigger Thomas will be playing a 3-set show of 36 songs (including a good number of album tracks that don't get played live very often)!

+ + + +

Saturday, January 14, 2012

King Django's Roots & Culture Kosher Dinner Quintet
Two sets starting at 8:30 pm
King Django - ukulele, trombone, vocals
Audrey Welber - clarinet
Adrian Banner - piano
Ira Heaps - Bass
Andy O'Neill - Drums

Smokey Joe's Kosher BBQ
494 Cedar Lane
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 836-7427

+ + + +

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Across the Aisle w/Dust Angel, Slightly Askew, Red Automatic

Don Pedro's
90 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Doors at 3:30 pm
$6/21+

+ + + +

Saturday, February 11, 2012

King Django
backed by The Snails
Bad Luck Dice

details TBA

Tumulty's Pub
361 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2012
(732) 545-6205

+ + + +

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Skatalites

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Tickets: $8 advance/$10 day of show
21+

+ + + +

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm

The Toasters, The Rudie Crew, Hub City Stompers

Stanhope House
45 Main Street
Stanhope, NJ

Tickets: $12 in advance/$15 day of show
18+

+ + + +

Additional gigs will be posted when we find out about them. Send info to duffguidetoska@gmail.com!

+ + + +

Thursday, January 5, 2012

King Hammond's Cover of "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" for "Specialized" Charity Record

Following the interview I did with Paul "Willo" Williams regarding the Specialized charity record, I'm happy to direct you to the teaser video below for King Hammond's fantastic cover of the Terry Hall-composed "Friday Night, Saturday Morning."



I've always loved this track, as it perfectly captures the tired boredom, frustration, restlessness, disappointment--even despair--that you can feel (with or without good reason) as a teen/young adult. Your whole life is ahead of you with a million possibilities out there, but it's still somehow not nearly enough.

+ + + +

Last year, I caught the 1961 film "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning" on Turner Movie Classics, which is based on novelist Alan Sillitoe's "angry young man" book of the same name. (An impossibly youthful Albert Finney is in the title role.) Surely this film influenced both the name and content of this song...



("Friday Night, Saturday Morning" was also the name of a late 70s BBC talk show that became somewhat notorious due to a rancorous debate about whether or not Monty Python's Life of Brian was blasphemous.)

+ + + +

Specialized: A Modern Take on Specials Classics will be out in mid-February 2012 and all proceeds are being donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK. For more information, go www.thespecials2.com.

+ + + +

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Duff Review: The Resignators "See You in Hell"

Stomp Records
2011
CD

(Reviewed by Adam Coozer)

When the “third wave” disintegrated after its heyday, its greatest victims weren’t the polar opposites of trad and ska-punk, but the goofy, cheeky, and proudly immature sounds of Mustard Plug, Planet Smashers, MU330, and The Aquabats. That style seemed to attract the most budding, pre-elitist ska fans circa 1994-95, and it was also the style most easy to grow out of.

It’s rare, then, for a band to embrace those happily dopey halcyon days, that fleeting moment when bands actually sang about “skanking” and inspired you to wear a checkered suit with a long wallet chain to high school. Well, Australia’s The Resignators, as shown on the album cover, are returning this music from the grave.

Despite the sepulchral imagery, they’re not a horror/ska-punk band a la The Independents. This is simple, youthful, good-natured third wave with a peppy, positive vibe that compensates for their dubious career choice. Like the bands mentioned above, The Resignators are uptempo; often, their only connection to Ska (capital S) is fast-paced guitar up-picking and bright horn lines (the horn section here is actually quite good). Not unusual for this genre, the vocals can be flat, but gang choruses and "whoa-oh’s" make up for it.

It’s hard to critique a band that just wants to have fun. I’m sure The Resignators know that their mindless ode “Taco Burrito” won’t win any songwriting awards, but that doesn’t stop them from gleefully intoning “Tacooo, whooa ohh ohh, burritooo!” until it’s stuck in your head. And maybe that small nostalgic part of you won’t mind such a tasty, cheap treat.