Summer of Ska

I think ska music is the most fun, upbeat music in the world. Also, I think that Reel Big Fish is the coolest band ever.


Hi Bre. You’re on my website now. Do you like ska music?


But do you like ska music? Y’know, that dance music that originated in the 70’s or something in Jamaica, went to the UK in the 80’s, and then got big for like a few years here in the US in the latter half of the 90’s? A lot of the stuff being “ska-punk,” or ska with punk elements (or punk with ska elements)? Horns? Upbeats? Skankin’? Checkered articles of clothing? Etc.?


Members of Save Ferris turned into a band called “Starpool,” after their star-shaped pool that they had parties around down in Orange County Land, apparently. Though Monique isn’t involved with it. Apparently she started a new incarnation of Save Ferris in 2013, and fought a legal battle with other band members. Save Ferris is gonna have a new EP some time this summer, apparently.


Yeah, bands splitting gets ugly sometimes, eh? Like Tomas Kolnaky with Catch 22 and Streetlight, Joe Escalante and Steve-O with the Vandals, or Danzig with the Misfits… though he’s collaborating with them again, apparently.


Oh yeah, huh? Well, don’t you get how intertwined ska music is with punk music? At least the Third Wave, which is all I really know. Experts say that ska-punk goes all the way back to the Clash in the late 70’s!


Yeah! People who know things! The Clash did it way before Operation Ivy or Rancid! But yeah, I wouldn’t really count the Clash in the 3rd wave, since they ended in the mid 80’s… One of the first 3rd Wave Ska acts that I know of (aside from Op Ivy ad Rancid) is Skankin’ Pickle. Those guys were pretty awesome. Their first album, “SkaPunkRastaFunk,” kinda indicated what their sound was like in those days. I think they got more solidly ska-punk by their Green album, however. So yeah, they were gettin’ popular… and then Mike Park decided he didn’t want to do it anymore.


Yeah, but then he founded Asian Man Records, the Bruce Lee Band, and the Chinkees.


It’s okay, he’s Asian. Also, he’s really cool. My brother would write him to ask if he could use his bands’ music in his movies, and he’d say “yeah.” From most accounts, he’s a really nice guy, and he seems it whenever you read his stuff on social media, as well. Anyway, it was about the time that Skankin’ Pickle ended that Reel Big Fish’s “Sell Out” got played on Mtv, and the Summer of Ska happened… unless it happened a couple years later. Not really sure if it happened in ’96 or ’98, but whatever year it was, it was pretty awesome. Maybe it was both, or all 3, if you count ’97. What were you doin’ in ’97, Bre?


You have good tastes! Although Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake were probably the biggest names out of the Third Wave, and a couple of the only bands still touring as ska acts. The Aquabats decided they didn’t want to be ska anymore, for whatever reason… But yeah; Less Than Jake’s first big hit was supposed to be “Dopeman.” They made a video for it for Mtv and everything… it never got aired, because it was about a “Dopeman.” Go figure. Also, Reel Big Fish are supposedly “One Hit Wonders,” though both them and LTJ have strong followings to this day.


So they say. They say the same thing about Five Iron Frenzy… I think FIF agrees with them, though. Five Iron was a christian ska band with crossover appeal, btw. A big part of my teenage years, but then they broke up when I graduated… and then they got back together a few years ago, and put out one of their strongest albums to date, “Engine of a Million Plots.” You should check it out. It was crowdfunded, too; made a lot more than the goal was. Actually, I think Save Ferris’s upcoming EP was also crowdfunded. Lotsa bands doing that these days.


Yup… anyway, there are/were a lot of ska bands from the Third Wave, but talking about them all would take effort, and I’m lazy. The Bosstones were another big time band in the genre, and Sublime and No Doubt are frequently referred to as ska, but weren’t really.


Because I decided I wanted to draw more than one anthropomorphic animal looking annoyed at me.


There we go. So whaddya think, Todd?


What about Ska King Crab? Best Take On Me cover ever, eh, eh?


Dude, that’s harsh.