Catherine: I am a proud ska fan (of real ska: not "ska-influenced" crap like Rancid, Offspring, and Smashmouth). I like the quirky beat, the horns, the references to originators (dig calypso, R&B, jazz, and creative Jamaican youths brewing it all together), the fashion (the classic white-on-black contrast is always a reliable quick-pick). Ska is a danceable and super fun escape from daily pressures. The messages against violence and racism often forgotten by modern bands but so prolific in the 1st and 2nd wave songs of the 60s and 80s still apply today - there is no need to listen to Hepcat, Mobtown, and Let's Go Bowling in PLACE of The Maytals, Prince Buster, and Madness. It's all called ska. And oh! whatta word! *SKA* You can say it in ANY language. You see...ska also has international appeal.
Jed: Well, I too was once a proud ska fan. And I would like to say it was real ska, but I do not know what that means, or more like when it existed. If our fair Catherine is implying that the ska of Jamaica if the only kind worth dancing to then I might agree with some of what she is saying. Unfortunately, ska might have started in the Caribbean, but it sure did not stay there. I understand that Catherine does not want to credit artists such as Rancid as being ska (I mean, who would want to credit them with anything), but they are ska just as much as Hanson is rock'n'roll. And yes, there were social issues addressed, but they were not always practiced as many artists, like Catherine's beloved Toots, are misogynists among other not so nice things.
Catherine: Jed also listened to ska. So why does he NOT like it now? Because it left the Caribbean? Then Jed hasn't listened to it since he was about 5. Because it is misogynistic? So is our society, but we don't deny the existence of its merits based on just that. Well-crafted ska from any culture or year is fun for dancing. One of the most interesting things about ska is its movement from Jamaica to England to THE WORLD. I don't like bad music (be it Jed's rock band Hanson or Rancid), but I do like good ska (which is out there - Hepcat, Mobtown...). Ska is an inclusive genre, but that doesn't require my taste for it to be all-inclusive.
Jed: Once again it appears Catherine has missed the point. Ska leaving the Caribbean is not what I see as its drawback, it's that the music never varies. But, I will address that later. Catherine has really only mentioned the 1st and 2nd waves of Ska. But what about the 3rd? What about all the shitty punk bands that got some sax player and now their ska. Ska might have been respectable once, but now it is nothing more than whiny kids from the suburbs with a second-rate horn player who wouldnt know a solo if it was handed to them.
Catherine: Jed must be new to English (and the grammatical differences between their and they're) because I did discuss quality 3rd Wave ska (Mobtown and Hepcat). Ska is still fun. A modern rock station represents ska as (un)accurately as it does any other genre. There is variety between ska-jazz, ska-punk, 2nd Wave, and 1st Wave. Those ska-punk kids are one tiny cross-section of today's ska. I know a whole slew of post-college Spanish ska folk in Madrid. THEY don't play ska-punk in your U.S. suburb.
Jed: "There is no need to listen to Hepcat, Mobtown, and Let's Go Bowling in PLACE of The Maytals, Prince Buster, and Madness," says forgetful Catherine. And then there is the digression into Ska-Punk, Ska-Jazz, whatever happened to Ska? Oh yeah, it cannot stand-up on its own. The same beat song after song played by a bunch of pimply kids in suits. I am sorry, but I do not think these "Rude Boys" know anything of Jamaica's gangsters or the Sound System parties.
Catherine: Yes, no need to rePLACE the old with the new - listen to both. Unobservant Jed said I only mentioned the 1st and 2nd waves. Whatever. 3rd wave focus. There could never exist just SKA because it BEGAN as a mix - mixing is good: cookies are good, but they're so much yummier with milk. Those kids are at least having fun and channeling their energy, and they are trying to look as good as they can considering adolescence.
Jed: Listen to both. Understand social causes. Being mysongist. Stand on both sides of the fence. What's the big deal? The big deal, and really the only thing that is important, is that Ska is boring. You can dance to it real easy because the rhythm never changes, and sing about racial equality, dancing or just plain "Pick It Up"-ing, it still sucks. No matter how you can Spam, it is still Spam.
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