In Defense of Ska May 2022 Newsletter
The big announcement this month is that I’ve been working on an expanded, 2nd edition of “In Defense of Ska” for a while. It releases on CLASH in May 2023—two years after the release of the first edition. There will be bonus chapters, changes to the existing chapters, a new cover, an audiobook, and there will be a limited hardcover run. I’ll be posting about new 2nd edition content in the “In Defense of Ska Discord,” which you can access if you sign up for our Patreon.
Speaking of Patreon, our bonus episode documented the very first indoor show that Adam played with Omnigone since Covid began. His band opened for Voodoo Glow Skulls at the Ivy Room in Albany, CA. I hopped on stage and danced for one song. I found out a few days later that I’d been exposed to Covid. So Adam and I hopped on our mics, discussed the show, the reality of playing in the era of Coronavirus, and I took a test during the conversation and reveal in real-time what the test revealed. Ooh the drama!
And while we’re on the topic of Omnigone, make sure you pre-order their new split EP with Protagonist.
Let’s talk about May’s episode of In Defense of Ska. First up, we had on the legend Coolie Ranx, who just released his first-ever solo LP, Days Gone By. But we dug deep into his childhood, his history as a struggling Dancehall singer, The Toasters frontman, and his time fronting his own group, The Pilfers. We also discussed his close connection to the 2000s UK ska-punk scene, with groups like King Prawn and Sonic Boom Six.
We continued the conversation about UK ska-punk with Pook, who’s been involved in various bands since the early 2000s. And when that scene lost steam, he continued. His direction was less ska-punk and more ska-metal. And by metal, I mean the most extreme sign-of-the-horns, Lamb of God, Sepultura brutal types of metal. His MetaliSKA groups include Beat the Red Light and Redeemon. We also discussed Pook’s excellent record label, Pookout Records.
During our third week, we attempted the impossible: To document the full history of the scariest ska-punk band in the 90s: The Blue Meanies. We chatted with lead singer Billy Spunke and later-era guitarist, Sean Dolan, who was also a friend of the band since the early years. Between the two of them, we pieced together their full story from their early years in Carbondale, Illinois, through their three studio full-lengths: Kiss Your Ass Goodbye, Full Throttle and Post-Wave, and of course their breakup. It’s a two-hour episode and it flies right by.
We closed out the month with an epic conversation between Mike Park and Jeff Rosenstock. The purpose of our gathering was to promote the new Bruce Lee Band (Which is amazing), but we took a stroll down memory lane and looked into every crevice where their paths intersected, like when Bomb the Music Industry joined the Asian Man roster. It was an incredible conversation even though neither of them could remember much of anything.
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