Sunday, January 26, 2014

My ska picks for 2013

First off - the oldies but goodies.

Selecter's String Theory

 . - Like most good 80s albums (records and tapes in those days) the "first side" was the mediocre side that was intended to sell the record. The good stuff was always on the b-side.
"London's Burning"

Bad Manners released "You're Just Too Good to be True".
Out of all of Dion's songs you could cover, why in the hell would it be that one? That's like covering Ricky Nelson and doing "Garden Party". [*Arthur Kay's "The Last of the One Named Singers" was a tribute to Dion. So was THIS)
.Anyway...this album is a collection of songs previously released by Bad Manners, cover songs, and the rare original. While I appreciate the Jo Jo Zep cover and the Bad Manners cover of the Frank Black and the Catholics' cover of the Specials' "Do Nothing"  I wasn't really impressed with it.
"Shape I'm In"

The best bang for your buck in 2013 had to come from Bigger Thomas' Under a Super Moon EP. 

Read more about it HERE. (One thing that Marco didn't explain is that "The Lake" mentioned in the lyrics is not a lake, but a club called The Lake)  
Two great songs for $2.00. Buy the EP HERE.

Australian ska band the Funaddicts only released one 7" in their existence. They had a couple songs recorded that were supposed to be released as a second single but the band broke up and it never happened. Until 2013 when they released an 8-track EP called "The Turn Out"
. It includes both songs "Mandela" and "What's Going On?" from their only record plus 2 studio songs, 2 studio demos, and 2 live songs.
Buy it HERE
"All Day Till Midnight"

Speaking of Australia, ska legends Strange Tenants released a social commentary called "Who Mines the Riches" dedicate to mineworkers, their families and communities the world over.

The release in 2013 that had me the most thrilled was the Ann Arbor Michigan band S.L.K. (Street Light Knights) with their compilation release simply titled "S.L.K." which is available on Amazon
They previously released 2 singles "Trigger Talk / Loralle" (1982) and "Betrayed / Why Don't You Call" (1984) and one 8-track 12" called "The Dance Disk". All songs from the 12" except for "Television" are on this comp (which includes both songs from the "Trigger Talk" single). Neither song from the "Betrayed" single is on here, but there is a ska cover of the Dave Clark Five's "Bits and Pieces" and five other previously unreleased songs.
"Trigger Talk"
"Bits and Pieces"

 The Trojans - Smash It
"Pussy Riot (Girl Power)"

Bim Skala Bim  - Chet's Last Call
 still sounds like Bim Skala Bim


Other stuff I've listened to in 2013:
Skambomambo's [Szczecin, Poland] "Made to Specification"  LP

Saucy Horn [East Los Angeles] - Riddim and Riot
 "The Chase"

Cabstars - Ends in Goodbye
"Too Easy"(they've been playing this one live for a while VIDEO)

Aggressors BC - The Tone of the Times

"What She Gets"

Screw Ups - The Screw Ups EP
"New Song"

JK and the Relays
"Timebomb" from Skannibal Party 12 (their EP was released in 2012 but this song appeared on Skannibal Part 12 which was released in 2013 so I'm allowed to post it. Fuck the system!)

Debonaires - Movin' (Buy your copy HERE)
 "Music in My Soul"

The Kinky Coo Coos - Sweet, Fun, and Ready
"Quick Wink"

Ottly Mercer [San Diego, California] Big Noise

 "Imperial Skank"

Cartoon Violence - Tit for Tat

Bombskare - The Day the Earth Stood Stupid
"Small Man Syndrome"

Common Sense [reggae, funk, blues, and ska from Orange County California] "What's it All About"

65 Mines Street - Fix the Clock

Melbourne Ska Orchestra - Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Club 99 - Club 99

Less Than Jake - See The Light
"Give Me Something to Believe in, inc."

Delegators - All Aboard
"I Didn't Mean to Break Your Heart"

Andy Keys Clark - Adventures in Ska Town single

Rough Kuts - "Dirty Sex at Midnight"

Dave Hillyard Presents California
Simmertones - Something for the Weekend
 "Sunday Morning Calling"

Stiff Joints - Circus on Repeat
"Bosh Bosh"

I was most impressed with Boss Capone's "Another 15 Dance Floor Crashers"

(as a side note...
Boy George released "This is What I Do"
which had a few ska songs on it:
"My Star"

(There were lots more great ska releases from 2013 (I may edit this post at some point)...a lot of these I found on Bandcamp. The music's out there...find it...)