Friday, July 18, 2008

New Bluebeats Dates!

If you are in the NYC metro area, take note of some new gigs The Bluebeats are offering:

Sunday, July 27: Kismet, Fire Island, NY--The Out (4-9pm)

Saturday, August 2: NYC, NY--The Knitting Factory (Version City Party)

I used to work with them both at Moon and for 7 Wonders (Mike Drance, the John Lennon of the NYC ska scene, is the man!)--and they are one terrific band serving up some incredibly good rocksteady and ska music. See them!

Also, make sure to check the NYC Ska link to the right...there are a bunch of ska shows coming up, including The Skatalites at Central Park Summerstage (a free gig) also on July 27 at 8pm (if you're stuck in the city can't make it out to Fire Island) and some booze cruises in August with The Pietasters, Slackers, and Fishbone...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Madness Record Imminent!

I know, another bit of ska news from Mojo (hey, they are one of the few mainstream publications reporting on ska, so what am I gonna do? And the ska scene is hot in the UK right now...), but their August 2008 issue (with Nirvana on the cover) is reporting that Madness will be releasing a new studio album this September! Titled The Liberty of Norton Folgate, and produced by Clive Langer (who along with Alan Winstanley produced many of their previous albums, including the extraordinary and essential One Step Beyond), it's being billed as a concept album, a la Sgt. Pepper's, about the "semi-autobiographical, metaphysical history of London...a city born of blood, mud and immigrant." Something about the memories of events in that city's long and storied history being carried in its very stones. Okay. (Are you putting us on?)

Suggs does assure the reader that the record "get[s] back to the classic Madness pop-reggae sound."

All in all, I'm intrigued and can't wait to hear it.

* * * *

Also of note, all members of The Specials (except Neville Staple, who was prevented from attending by travel delays) showed up at Mojo's annual music awards ceremony to receive The Mojo Hall of Fame Award, which was presented to them by Dennis Alcapone(!). There is a lovely testimony to the band written by the Mojo staff, if you can snag a copy of this mag to read...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vinyl Lust: The Prince Buster Fantasy

[All apologies to Duff Guide to Ska readers for not having posted in a few weeks. I'm in the midst of switching jobs--I'm taking a much better position somewhere else and am currently finishing up at my old one--and I also managed to squeeze in a week's vacation at the Jersey shore with the wifey and kids.]

Here's some insight into how much of a music nerd I am. The other night, while on holiday, I had an incredible ska dream. Tower Records had unexpectedly reopened (!) and was selling all sorts of amazing ska releases that I have never found anywhere else--mostly super rare vinyl singles from Madness and The Specials. But the highlight of this fantasy were these collections of Prince Buster CDs, LPs, and singles that were sold in these clear, hard plastic containers designed to be hung on hooks (like how action figures are packaged and displayed)--with an LP was in the center, surrounded by several 7" singles (for whatever reason, all the sleeves were absent). There were three collections in this series; I forget the names of the first two, but the third, which I picked up, was titled "Funeral." For some reason, the quality of the pressing was poor on some of the singles (they were misshapen and thick as pancakes), but I didn't care--we're talking The Prince here, baby!

I told my wife about my ska vision the next day and she thought it was kind of sad and pathetic. Then again, she doesn't understand why I truly enjoy roaming record stores and collecting LPs and CDs...