(contains possibly unrealistic air travel scenes, and a stuffed vulture) Wings Of A Dove, by the group Madness, was a hit single (lyrics) in 1983 in the UK and Ireland. The group, known for their fun and low-budget (dog runs across stage at 2:56) videos, used footage from a French TV van ad. Carl Smyth allegedly had the idea for "Wings of a Dove" while watching the Inspirational Choir of the Pentecostal First Born Church of the Living God on late night television. Smyth claimed, in later album notes, that "a voice spoke to me and said 'Boy, write a song for these good people.'" [more inside]
RIP Rico Rodriguez, most commonly know simply as 'Rico', the reggae and ska trombonist. He worked as a solo artist as well as with many other bands and musicians including Prince Buster and Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra but was probably best known as a member of The Specials. [more inside]
Fred Perry Subculture Films - A series of short films documenting the evolution of street style, music and counter culture over the last 60 years. [more inside]
This is the heavy heavy monster sound, the nuttiest sound around so if you've come in off the street and you're beginning to feel the heat, well listen buster you better start to move your feet to the rockinest, rock-steady beat of Madness... One Step Beyond!
Vice interviews the shit out of Ben Carr, full-time dancer for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones since 1983.
Pop/ska duo The Monroes had a big hit in Norway with Sunday People in 1983. Perhaps the tallest musical duo ever they were often referred to simply as 4 meters of pop. Sadly, last year they both died of cancer. Their second hit was Cheerio.
Reggae: The Story Of Jamaican Music, is an excellent BBC Documentary in three parts: 1 - Forward March, 2 - Rebel Music and 3 - As Raw As Ever.
The Studio One Story. 2. Described by Chris Blackwell as the Motown of Jamaica, or ‘The University of Reggae’, Studio One is where the careers of literally hundreds of reggae artists began: Bob Marley and the Wailers, Alton Ellis, The Heptones, Ken Boothe, The Skatalites, Burning Spear and Sugar Minott, to name but a few! Studio One is the ‘foundation’ label of Jamaican Reggae and Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd is seen by many as its father. [more inside]
They were a one-hit wonder in the 90s. Then they got a hit show on Nick Jr. and introduced a generation of young children to Of Montreal, Mos Def, and MGMT. They have another TV show where they fight evil monsters, but first and foremost they're a kick-ass band that mixes new wave, surf rock, ska, B-movies, nostalgia, romance, and general ecstatic feel-goodiness into a tight, clever, and totally awesome package. WHO ARE THOSE MASKED MEN, YOU MAY ASK??!? THEY ARE... THE AQUABATS. [more inside]
Easy Star All-Stars released (previously) their reggae and ska infused cover version of Radiohead's OK Computer, "Radiodread" way back in 2006.
Derek Morris is a septuagenarian former Cadbury's accountant from Bristol. He works a straight 9 to 5. That is 9pm to 5am, because he's also a legendary reggae DJ who M.C.s in Jamaican patois. His album is here (and part 2 of the video is here).
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation recently announced a two site approach, in Australia-NZ and Southern Africa, a move that was applauded by the Australian team. Once fully operational in 2024, SKA's one square kilometre collecting area should lead to major advances in astronomy. [more inside]
"Whatever happened to Suburban Rhythm? Why did Ed and Scott quit? Please don't go, Suburban Rhythm! All the other bands are just shit." So goes the (many versions of) the song "S.R." by a little ska band called the Reel Big Fish. [more inside]
DRUNK SCIENCE! Or, a short story about time travel, evolution, and ska. (SLYT, NSFW language, brief pedobear imagery) [more inside]
Where did Lily Allen get her music from? Her own head? Her producer's heads? Her co-writers' heads? No. Lily 'borrowed' liberally from old reggae and ska tracks and even soft porn soundtracks. The music like dirt blog (a find in itself) outlines every sample and influence in 'Alright, Still', and the result is much more interesting than the album itself. Music like dirt provides some brilliant links to classic reggae, ska, calypso, jazz..... [more inside]
Courtesy of Youtube, here are some performances from the 1981 movie Dance Craze: Nite Klub, Too Much Too Young & Concrete Jungle by The Specials; Three Minute Hero & Too Much Pressure by The Selecter; Ranking Full Stop & Mirror in the Bathroom by The (English) Beat; The Prince & Swan Lake by Madness; (Lets do the) Rock Steady & 007 (Shanty Town) by The Bodysnatchers and; Nee-Nee-Na-Na-Na-Nu & Lip Up Fatty by Bad Manners. [more inside]
Reggae and ska legend Desmond Dekker died today in London. In 1968, Dekker's song "Israelites", recorded with his band The Aces, became the first international hit by a Jamaican artist. According to his official site, the sixty-four-year old Dekker was still touring and booked to perform well into fall 2006.
I dont know about you but I dont think enough has been said about Ska. Sure, theres guys like Reel Big Fish and Sublime who try to claim the bragging rights for making Ska what it is today, however, many people dont know the real origins of this movement. More inside:
Is Ska dead? Moon Records hadn't produced any of the really good Ska music for years, but I can't believe they've closed down. Is this it for Ska? Does anyone care? Do I care?