Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Skank-A-Tiers - Skank-A-Tiers (1998)

This was a ska band from California that only ever released this one CD and, I'm not sure, but I think the singer for this band is Jessica Hernandez from the Detroit, Michigan band Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas. I don't know for sure that it's the same person. I'm 50/50. I can go either way.

I posted the demo tape on Tone and Wave many years ago because my friend Justin from work had a copy of it. It was a long time ago so I won't assume anybody remembers it and I have included the demo in this download. There are 4 songs on the demo. Three were re-recorded for this album.

 

1 No More

2 Sonny the Gangster

3 Unglued

4 Why

5 Tear Drops from My Eyes

6 License to Skank

7 I Just Wanted You to Know

8 The Car Song

9 Nothing's Perfect

10 Bury Me Deep

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Skank-A-Tiers demo (1997) 

1 Sunny the Gangster

2 The Car Song

3 Unglued

4 Mousetrap


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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sir Lord Erotic - No No Lola EP - A Tribute to The Melodians (1995)

Over the years several people have asked me about this but I was never able to find a copy. It seemed like everybody had heard about it and was looking for it but nobody had ever heard it. There is very very little information about this CD or about the band anywhere online so all I could do is put it in my wantlist on Discogs and wait. 

At one point it came up for sale and I bought it, but it got lost in the mail. I accepted that this is just one of those things that I'm never going to hear.

But then it happened. Another copy came up and I snatched it immediately. The seller was curious why somebody was interested in a small local band from so long ago. He didn't realize how relevant this EP is to the international ska community. It has quite the reputation for something that nobody had ever heard. There was one music video that nobody has seen. None of these songs appeared on a compilation. So why the buzz?

As it turns out the person selling the CD was JC Dyborn - Sir Lord Erotic himself - and he was kind enough to answer some questions to tell the true story of a band that everybody knows but nobody knows:

SirLord Erotic :
Pelle Ossler : Guitar, Backing vocals
Thomas Holst : Bass
Ole-Herman Finholt : Guitar, Trumpet
Mats Bengtsson : Organ, Saxophone
Stefan Nilsson aka Kiddie Manzini : Drums
J-C Dyborn : Vocals
Joachim Leksell : Backing vocals

Guest on the CD and later replacing Joachim Leksell  : Magnus Börjesson aka Miss Mango : Backing vocals
Live guest stars :
Peps Persson : Guitar , Vocals, Percussion
Bosse Skoglund : Drums and percussion

"I started a band in 1987 called Amazonas 

 ...when I found the Norweigan brilliant guitar player Ole-Herman Finholt. The rest of that band lived in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden. My idea was to make a crossover between The Ventures/The Shadows/Link Wray and Ramones. Pelle Ossler was by then a local rock star in the band Wilmer X who by then where one of the biggest bands in Sweden. Still he liked the idea and joined Amazonas. Amazonas made 2 albums on major labels before splitting up. First LP produced in London UK by Peter Gunn from British band The Inmates but he was a fan of The Shadows more than Ramones so that album sounds like…well, not Ramones. 

 


The second album was all over the place and I am not ashamed of it but not very proud either. 



In Helsingborg there was a tradition to go out and drink the Christmas away every Christmas Day (in Sweden Christmas eve is the big family day) and Amazonas had really cashed in on those Christmas Day shows for many years  so when the band was no more, a club owner in Helsingborg asked Pelle if he could put something fun together for the coming Christmas Day. By then Ole-Herman spent so much time in my house, very close to Pelles, just listening to old reggae cds, at full blast. Especially the two double Trojan story cds. And a brilliant The Melodians compilation among others. Pelle had this idea that we should start a ska/reggae band by just making me the singer instead of the drummer as I was in Amazonas. Then he brought in Thomas and Mats from Wilmer X (Mats had been in Amazonas as well for some time) and drummer Kiddie from loads of bands in southern Sweden. Best known over here; The Sinners.
We took the name from Sir Lord Comic on one of those Trojan story CDs. Ole-Herman thought, thanks buddy, that I was the least erotic person in the world and I bought that so Sir Lord Erotic it was.

We debuted in Dec 1992 and made bigger or smaller tours around Christmas time that people thought we were just a Christmas band. Truth is we played a lot of shows all year round when the band members were not occupied with other bands. We did that up until 1999.

In the spring of 1999 Sir Lord Erotic toured with a show package with Swedish reggae super star Peps Persson who also produced the No No Lola EP. It may sound strange to someone outside Sweden but Peps turned from acclaimed blues singer to reggae dito in 1974 or so. Singing in Swedish!! Very bold if you ask me. He looked, and still looks, like a real hippie with long hair and beard but I don´t think there is one artist in Sweden that people respect more. Integrity is not a strong enough word. He is definitely the reason our cd sounds so good.
Back to spring 1999. We were booked on a nationwide tour of Sweden , playing relatively big clubs. All thanks to Peps. The set up was to switch between our covers and Peps´well known own songs and it all went very well. Still, after that tour I got a feeling that we had reached the end of the line. Like, where can we go from here??

So, 1999 was the last year we played together.

The No no Lola EP is the only thing we ever recorded. I have a VHS tape of one of those Christmas Day show. 1997 I think, filmed with a very static simple camera but today I am glad I have at least some live evidence.

We also made a music video for the song No no Lola. Professionally filmed in a TV studio we borrowed in Malmö Sweden. Unfortunately I can´t find it. The tape, not Malmö.  I know it is down in the basement somewhere.
I think. Still the tape , NOT Malmö. Ha ha!"

I asked him about their style, not musical style, but how they dressed. If you see the pictures on the CD they have a really cool style


Well, the suit idea didn´t come from two-tone believe it or not. By then, none of us were fans of Specials and Madness. I saw Selecter live 1980 but that was more of a coincident on a festival in Finland. Today I regard Specials 1st album as a milestone and Madness being a fantastic pop band. The suits came from Amazonas where we all wore black suits, more in an Italian mob/godfather style. I can´t remember the train of thoughts when it came to my African caftan but in the early days our shows had a comedy touch that we toned down as we went along. I was actually beating up Joachim on stage, acting like a colonial master with my hired gun musicians. Inspiration from Prince Buster´s Judge Dread character and Scotty in Skank in bed where he tells the musicians to leave the studio for not being good enough musicians. I am very tall (and wide) , 7 ft or so, so the effect of me being an asshole to especially Joachim who was working his ass off on stage dancing and singing and being much smaller, was pure comedy show we thought. Like I said, we toned that part down and focused more on the music, as you should since all the guys in the band were really good musicians. In fact I listened to the CD yesterday for the first time in 100 years , and you are right, it is pretty good. The thing that annoys me is my singing. I mean I was a drummer originally and couldn´t sing but when the CD came out we played a lot of live shows and I got better from doing it night after night but the singing legacy will remain on CD. I was not a good singer by the time we recorded it. Sad really.

All this suit/caftan thing would have made sense if it wasn´t for the fact that I found this old poster right now. I wear a suit as well. Strange. Can´t explain.  We used this poster for all our live shows all the years. Pelle made it and it brings joy and laughter to mind. Just tiny small drawings and the guy´s personalities comes out so good.


 

 

 
 A

If you're like me you will disagree with Sir Lord Erotic's opinion of his own vocal talent. I think the vocals are quite decent, especially when you compare them to a lot of the other European ska bands from the late 80s/early 90s. 

 

Whenever I get a chance to talk to an artist about their music I like to ask what music inspired them with the question "What ten songs to you think everybody should listen to?"

Sir Lord Erotic chose these ten songs:

1 Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK

2 The BeeGees - Spicks and Specks

3 The Clash - (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais

4 Bob Marley & the Wailers - War

5 The Beautiful South - Hooligans Don't Fall in Love

6 The Ramones - Swallow My Pride

7 The Specials - Too Much Too Young

8 Peps Persson - Maskin Nr2

9 Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us

10 Scotty & Lorna Bennett - Skank in Bed

 and the whole "The Harder They Come" soundtrack.


This download includes the "No No Lola EP" as well as "Sir Lord Erotic Selects" and "The Harder They Come" soundtrack.


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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Skanksters [Norway]


 There is a band from Canada with the same name, but this is the band from Norway. I think this is everything they recorded. They do have one demo tape that I know of but it was released as the first EP.


Skanksters EP (1995)

1 Boot Boy

2 Status Quo

3 The Firm

4 Pictures 

5 Jimmy

6 Stains


Kippers Singles Club Vol No.1 (1996)

1 Jimmy

2 The Firm

3 Stain

 

 Ask EP (1996) 

1 Rainy Day

2 He Said

3 New Year

4 Summer Day

 

 Machine Gun Girl (Skanksters / Cockroach Clan split 7") (1998)

1 Skanksters and Cockroach Clan - Machine Gun Girl

2 Skanksters - Rude Boy

3 Cockroach Clan - Fly the Flag


Shaven Not Stirred (1999)

1 Weekend

2 Excited

3 Sinking In

4 Seperation

5 Adidas

6 Three Monkeys

7 Skanksters

8 New Year

9 Summer Day

10 Rude Boy

11 Rainy Day

12 Kiss of Life


This Man EP (2003)

1 This Man

2 Shake the Tree

3 Stains

4 He Said




Life is Here Today (2010)

1 Life is Here Today


*In the Rain (Madness cover)



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Sunday, April 18, 2021

SKAmpler volume 1 - 4


SKAmpler (1993)

1 Ventilators - Blue Beat Sky

2 Nude Club - Tree

3 Les Infants de St. Gall - Mexico

4 Lucky Hiob - Roschtiland

5 Jimmy Bastard - Looser

6 Crank - I'm a Reiser

7 The Noses - Ai, Ai, Ai

8 Free Cheese for All - Blue Beat Confrontation

9 The Peacocks - My Generation

10 Jolly and the Flytrap - Gang Bang

11 Die Aeronauten - Du Warst So Gern Dabei

12 Melk Them - I Love You

13 The Monsters - Whisky Song

14 The Ventilators - Mystification

15 Free Cheese for All - Luis Goes to the Guig


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SKAmpler No 2 (1994)

1 Radio Active - James Bone

2 Schlossch - I Ask Myself

3 The Peacocks - Living in a Town

4 Cadizier - Die Nachbarn

5 Les Congelateurs - Ace of Space

6 Kalles Kaviar - Stand by Me

7 Godzilla - Body Count

8 Peacestreet - El Nino de Ringo

9 Wicked - Julie

10 Hans 'n' Moses - Body

11 The Spots - Mr. Career

12 Aligaga - La Greve

13 The Ventilators - Try Me One More Time

 

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SKAmpler 3 (1997)

1 Die Aeronauten - Horror Beach

2 The Planet Smashers - Pee in the Elevator

3 Halle K - Rote Ernte

4 Less Than Jake - Boomtown

5 Humus - Fun Instead of Brains

6 Steven's Nude Club - Hit in My Back

7 Skankin' Pickle - Racist World

8 Kerbholz - Ska Song

9 Kalles Kaviar - Last Mission

10 Skarface - Politiquement Correct

11 Technicolour Yawn - Emergency Break

12 Chickenpox - Anything You Say

13 Moonraisers - Wanna Know

14 Terrorgruppe - Der Rhein Ist Tot

15 Godzilla - Mr. Fred

16 Admiral James T. - Space Sa-Five

17 Les Congelateurs - Muddy Muck

18 Shame & Skandal Family - Kingston, Kingston

19 Bruce Lee Band - Brother, Brother

20 Deep Circle Smile - Invisible

21 Bakesys - Confused

22 Radio Active - Dummi Sach

 

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SKAmpler 4 (1999)

1 Quatre In Toulouse - El Nino

2 Les Congelateurs - Fuck You

3 Radio Active - Moi

4 Godzilla - Les Liaisones Dangereus

5 Steven's Nude Club - Haunted House

6 Peek-A-Boo - Abrahim

7 Nguru - The Spider & the Sperm

8 Blind-Man's Bluff - Dirty Frank

9 Star Five - Killing Them Softly

10 Space Skadets - Explosion!

11 Kalles Kaviar - Big Fat Mama

12 Cadizier - Hitlerbubi

13 Admiral James T. - The Priest

14 Ingraban - Morning in Milan

15 King Fumm - Mr. Big Stuff

16 Scalawax - I Can Wait

17 Plankton - Nachtmusig

18 Body Bag - R.U.D.E.B.O.Y.

19 Skaladdin - It

20 Tom Hogan Motors - No Education


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Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Cats - The Cats Complete Singles 1968 - 1978


 This is a Tone and Wave exclusive. It took me years to assemble this collection. I believe this is every song that The Cats released in their lifetime. 


If you don't know, when Madness did "Swan Lake" they weren't covering the classic Tchaikovsky song outright. They were covering The Cats version of the song. The B-side to The Cats Swan Lake" single was called "My Girl" and, as you know, Madness also had a song called "My Girl" but the joke here is that when you played the B-side to the Cats single and you were expecting a cover of the Temptations song but what you got instead was a cover of Mary Wells' "My Guy".

 The Cats recorded a lot of their renditions of classical music in the studio but their releases of these songs were limited. They recorded reggae/soul versions of Beethoven's "Fur Elise", Bach's "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring", Mozart's "Ein Kleine Nachtmusik", Satie's "Gymnopedie No.1" and, I believe, Albinoni's "Adagio". These were never released until 2014 when a label called Kipa Recordings put out a CD with all of the Cats unreleased songs which were recorded in 1968. I don't have this CD but I am desperately looking for it.


What I do have is all of their singles that they did release. Here is my collection:

1 Swan Lake

2 Swing Low

3 The Hog

4 Blues for Justice

5 William Tell

6 Love Walk Right In

7 My Girl

8 Sherman

9 What Can I Do?

10 Falling in Love

11 Knees Up Motther Brown

12 Rubbish

13 Air on a G String

14 Swan Lake (1976)

15 Swan Lake (Disco Version)

 

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Rhythm Trak - Don't Ask 12" (1990)


 There is a semi-well-known California punk band called War Called Peace who put out two albums in the 90s and each one had a ska track or two.

Their first album from 1995 was called "Yuppie Ghetto" and there was one ska-inspired song called "Maggot Mentality (Donahue)"

Their second album from 1998 was called "Everyday War" and it had two ska songs - "Meltdown" and "What Would You Do?".

 

The thing that people don't know about this band is that they started out as a ska band called Rhythm Trak. Maybe not 'ska' in the strictest terms, but they were a punk band who mixed in reggae and dub into just about every song.

 You might think "so?...lots of bands did that..." but there was no internet in the 80s and early 90s and bands only knew what was happening in front of them and what they saw in the clubs and venues themselves. As far as they knew they were the only band in California playing punk/reggae. They really were pioneers but, sadly, they didn't record very much. 

As far as I know they only released this one record. The band at that time was:

Robbie Rogers - vocals

Chris Sueta - drums and vocals

Steve Burdette - guitar

Adam Gonzales - bass

Peter Carreiro - guitar (and producer)

Eric Neseth - saxophone 


I know Robbie Rogers and Chris Sueta went on to form War Called Peace about a year after this record was released but I don't know what other band members joined them. War Called Peace released their first EP in 1992. It was called "WCP" and I don't have a copy (there are several for sale on Discogs but, even though it's on my want list, there are too many other things I'd rather buy first) and I have heard that there was at least one song from their Rhythm Trak days on the EP. Was it a ska song? I don't know. 

Rhythm Trak - Don't Ask 12" (1990)

A1 - Don't Ask

A2 - Don't Dub

B1 - War Drum

B2 - War Dub

I included the three aforementioned War Called Peace tracks in this download

* Maggot Mentality (Donahue)

* Meltdown

* What Would You Do?

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Short Round

 

Short Round was a very talented 3rd wave ska band from Syracuse, New York who had alternating male-female vocals and they did the weirdest cover of "Walking on Sunshine" I have ever heard. 

Short Round - Is it Really...? (1998)

1 Summer Days

2 Big Wheel

3 Doctor Jones

4 Pants

5 The Other Night

6 Mess

7 March On

8 Slack

9 Blizzard

10 No More Troubles

11 Trendy Girl

12 Salt City

13 We're Not Gonna Take It


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Short Round - Butch Cassidy and Your Mom (1999)

1 Here We Go Again

2 Hold On

3 Where I Belong

4 Good Things (Come in 3's)

5 Kim in a...

6 Pants

7 Keep it Short

8 Walkin' on Sunshine

9 Johnny Hate

10 You 

11 Trendy Girl

12 January

13 untitled

14 Good Things (Come in 3's) [alt version] 


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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Peek-A-Boo - Lost Again (2000)

1 Aleksandr Aljechin

2 I Have Grace Kelly on My Mind

3 Tu t'es Laisse'e Aller

4 Lost Again

5 You

6 Ibrahim

 

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