Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012: The Year in Ska - Amanda Hornick (A Perfect Mess Podcast and Blog)

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!

Amanda Hornick is the smarts behind the killer weekly radio podcast A Perfect Mess (you can listen to a new podcast here every Sunday on Chestnut Radio; make sure to check out her past playlists, she's got a great mix going). In addition, Amanda writes a most excellent companion blog to her podcast that is always worth a read--it features terrific interviews and lively, well-written, and insightful reviews. Her thoughts on the past year in ska are below...

2012: The Year in Ska - Amanda Hornick/A Perfect Mess Radio Podcast and Blog

Top 5 Favorite Ska Releases

Ooh! That's a toughie! Lots of good ones! My top five, in no particular order, would be:

The Pinstripes - I: I am addicted to these guys...it's ska and soul in a delicious package...I am a sucker for great vocals, and they have it and more.

Obi Fernandez - Confessions, Waves and the Garden State: Oh my fucking god...speaking of vocals...this man's voice is like cherry cheesecake. I so love it. "Color of your Voice" is perfect. Who is that about? Can I pretend it's about me?

The Bandulus - The Times We Had: That one is brandy new and JUST came out last week and is soooooooo good!

The Shifters - In It!: Amazing straight through...great music, gorgeous, catchy, vocals.

The Pandemics - Brain on Tap: One of the most FUN albums I have gotten this year...love it!

Top 5 Favorite Live Ska Shows

EASILY The Slackers booze cruise, followed closely by The Pietasters booze cruise. Ska + beer + boat + friends = One hell of a good time. Plus, during The Slackers cruise, there was a thunderstorm outside, and the boat was ROCKING...literally. I was standing on the side holding onto one of the tables that was bolted to the floor early on, and when the boat would tip, the whole dance floor full of people would sliiiiiiiiiide across...laughing and grabbing onto one another. Everyone was helping one another up, and grabbing one another for stability, and it was just smiles all around. It was one of my best nights of the year.

Top 5 Favorite Ska Merch

I always try to buy something from the bands I go to see. Even if I already have everything. I buy buttons and stickers everywhere. I buy two pins...put one on my bag, and one on my son's. My car is covered with stickers. I stick out like a sore thumb in traffic. I get excited when I walk to a merch table if I see there are stickers.

Top 5 Ska Regrets

I was pretty good about getting my fanny to the shows I wanted to be at this year. This is probably why I am broke...HA! I would have liked to have seen Skalapalooza in DC. Or Philly. Or both.

Top 5 Ska Wishes for 2013

We begin filming our documentary next month, the first episode of which will be completed for January. My biggest ska wish is that it makes the bands we profile proud, happy, and well represented. We are doing it for them, to show this amazing music to whoever we can. Beyond that, more shows, more records, more dancing, more writing, and podcasts, and friends, and beer, and good times!

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