What's up ladies and germs? It's time for the heavy, heavy monster ska! Cream Dream Steve Haruch has skipped town for a couple of days and left me with keys to this here blog. Bad idea, Steve. [Editor's note: The keys, in fact, remain safely in the hands of DPR. The Cream will not become a ska blog.] Since I usually spend my Mondays pouring over YouTube and Mediafire in a desperate attempt to stave off boredom while waiting for the mailman to maybe or maybe not bring me paychecks, I figured I'd share my findings. You know, misery loving company and the whatnot.
Personally, I've been on a strange yet fruitful ’90s bender as of late. I'm not exactly sure which neuron is misfiring, but I've been absolutely obsessed with the end of the 20th century lately and all of the ugliness that entails — Butt Trumpet, That Dog, even Fretblanket has made it back into rotation. Fretblanket! When was the last time ANYONE thought about Fretblanket? And don't even get me started about the under-recognized brilliance of The Fall Outs and Gas Huffer. Or The New Bomb Turks. Or The Figgs. I could go on for days. In fact, I have been going on for days. My wife is totally super-totes sick of it.
Inevitably, all of this led me right back to that most maligned of musical genres — third-wave ska. Now, I know it might be because I grew up in Massachusetts in the ’90s and was suckled on Dicky Barrett's teat, but I don't see why everyone is so quick to groan and roll their eyes whenever the topic is breached. OK, I'll admit that all the checkerboard shirts and scally caps look silly. I'll also admit that some of the genre's worst performers were its biggest (cough *Save Ferris* cough). But at the end of the day, there was some seriously solid dance music laid down back in the day. After the jump, 10 videos to keep you skankin' til those checks come in.
The Bosstones are, hands down, the best damn band in the whole genre. If you don't think so we can fight in the parking lot after school. Bonus fun fact: I totally had the same pair of blue Doc Martens. I also had a green pair, cuz I was a total alterna-nerd.
Somewhere in my mother's basement is a copy of The Suicide Machines' first demo tape, back when they were the oh-so-edgy and oh-so-’90s "Jack Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines." I bet if I could sell it on eBay it would totally be worth ... the price of postage.
This is some sort of weird demo version of a video that I would have never admitted to liking back in the day. Does anyone know if there's any truth to the rumor that the guitar player was in Saigon Kick? ’Cuz that'd be heeeee-larious.
Satan plus Ska equals a teenage Sean's wet dream. Though I had no idea that there was a video for this, much less that it was on MTV. Still think "Saba"
is their best song, but I couldn't find a good video for it.
Speaking of wet dreams ... er, wait, sorry. TMI, I know. My apologies. Though I did like the band before I knew what they looked like. I swear to God.
Hepcat are probably the best SoCal band of the entire era, mostly because they don't sound at all like they're from SoCal. Also, if you wanted to get picky, you could argue that Hepcat don't really play ska; they play rocksteady. But that's an argument for another time.
Venice Shoreline Chris played the ska, lo-fi style, like a four-track Desmond Dekker or a skankin' Bob Pollard. Definitely one of the decade's highlights.
And Out Come the Wolves
. If you don't own it, you're an asshole. Just sayin'.
Worst band name in a genre defined by terrible, terrible band names, but they are far more entertaining than my semi-respectable adult self is willing to admit. Also, can we pint out the awesome ethnic clusterfuck going on in this little socio-lyrical nugget?