In Defense of Ska July 2021 Newsletter

July was an excellent month for the In Defense of Ska podcast. Now’s a great time to catch up on episodes you might have missed. But first, here’s your Ska Fact Of The Day, courtesy of everyone’s ska friend, Brent Lawrence Friedman

At the beginning of the month, we interviewed Philadelphia 4-piece Catbite, one of the best new ska bands who are looking to blow up in the near future. Their new album, Nice One is just that good. And believe us, we’ve been bumping our advanced copies for months! During the interview, I loved listening to them tell the story of how they found Mannequin Pussy’s touring van. The only-and-only feel-good story of 2020.

Marc Wasserman was our guest the following week. He released the comprehensive oral history on early American ska called Ska-Boom!: An American Ska & Reggae Oral History. His book is a must-own for ska fans and lovers of DIY music. And because ska hasn’t been given the critical respect it deserves, you will find so many amazing stories in his book you’ve never before, like the story of how Cyndi Lauper’s famous album She’s So Unusual started out as heavily ska influenced. Still blows my mind.

A big highlight for us this month was having Laura Jane Grace on the show. She’s been tweeting about ska quite a bit since the pandemic started. We discussed several of her ska-tweets. But the ones that got the most focus were her multiple pleas to Operation Ivy to reunite. It’s always a delight to geek out on bands you love with artists that you are also fans of. And if Op Ivy does get back together, you can thank us and Laura Jane Grace for this episode.

Our final episode for the month with Jason Navarro of Suicide Machines was a really in-depth discussion about his life and musical career. Jason and the rest of The Suicide Machines came from a scene in Detroit filled with a lot of drugs, violence, and insanity, and it all got funneled into their unique take on ska. On Instagram, he said that this was the most in-depth interview he’d ever done. So many incredible stories packed in this one episode. Definitely check it out.

If you haven’t already, check out my book In Defense of Ska. It even got a nice mention in a recent GQ article.

In Defense of Ska’s editor, Chris Reeves has his own podcast, Ska Punk International. Check out his episode with Mexican band Girls Go Ska. You can order their album in the US on his label. They are such a fantastic band.

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