You’ve gotta love Ska…

After my last post about Catch 22 I decided that I need to post a little more about Ska in general. The video I posted below is  Ska remix by Reel Big Fish of Aha’s song Take On Me

‘Ska is an odd looking word: short punchy, almost funny. So is the music at times, a light, bouncy, horn infused grandfather of reggae.’ – Niel Strauss8

What do you get when you mix a marching band, reggae and a punk band? Ska. There are considered to be three main “waves” of ska, the first starting in the 1960s and 1970s. It was mainly a combination of reggae with the addition of brass instruments (saxophone, trumpet and trombone) and keyboards. In the second wave (usually known as two-tone after the record label), ska starting combing with punk over in England. Third-wave ska is mainly American bands that began to grow in popularity in the mid 1990s. They were mainly influenced by the two-tone ska, and had more of a punk sound to them than traditional ska. Several bands such as Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones became quite well known during this time.

Ska even has its own type of dancing! “Skanking is the style of dancing that goes along with ska music. It has remained popular among ska fans since the beginning, and it’s a relatively easy dance to do. Basically, the legs do “the running man”, bending the knees and running in place to the beat. The arms are bent at the elbows, with hands balled into fists, and punch outward, alternating with the feet (left foot, right hand, etc.).”

Several of the most well known ska bands:

Reel Big Fish

I actually had the unique opportunity to see them in concert last year. They were very entertaining in a strange sort of way, but they did sound good!

Streetlight Manifesto

Discovered these guys when I got a free song from a music sampler, they sound pretty sweet!

Less Than Jake

No clue how I found these guys, although I think I found this song through the radio

Mighty Mighty Bosstones

I think I heard this song in a restaurant somewhere and fell in love with it. As soon as I got home I looked it up on youtube!

Aquabats

Discovered these guys while writing a term paper about punk music!

These are just a few of my favorite ska bands, hope you enjoy them!

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Bands That Nobody Has Ever Heard Of (2): Catch 22

Catch 22 is a ska punk band from East Brunswick, New Jersey around 1996. I had never heard of them until I somehow I got a free song from them and put it on my MP3. The song was called “Wine Stained Lips” and turned out to be one of the coolest and most addicting songs ever!

For those who are not familiar with ska it usually sounds like a cross between a marching band and punk rock, with some reggae thrown in for good measure. Depending on the band and the song it can range to both sides of the spectrum.

Amazon Biography – “New Jersey ska-punk combo Catch 22 were formed in the autumn of 1996 by singer/guitarist Tomas Kalnoky, trumpeter Kevin Gunther, and drummer Chris Greer. Recruiting bassist Pat Calpin, trombonist Jamie Egan, and saxophonist Ryan Eldred, the group spent the next two years touring relentlessly, selling out all 2,000 copies of its self-released demo, Rules of the Game. Signing to Victory Records in late 1997, Catch 22 issued Keasbey Nights the following year, quickly becoming one of the best-selling bands in the label’s history. The grind of touring ultimately became too much for Kalnoky, however, and upon his exit from the roster (he would later go on to front ska-punks Streetlight Manifesto), the remaining members of Catch 22 tapped new frontman Jeff Davidson; with Calpin then assuming guitar duties, new bassist Pat Kays was brought aboard for the 1999 EP Washed Up! Alone in a Crowd followed a year later. Davidson departed the band in March 2001, and Catch 22 were still looking for a replacement when November’s Washed Up and Through the Ringer was released. The album was a sort of compilation; it contained the Washed Up! EP and some rare tracks, along with several live cuts and two new songs that found Gunther and Eldred sharing vocals. This vocal dynamic continued for 2003’s Dinosaur Sounds, an album met with mixed fan response. Catch 22 Live appeared in October 2004; an accompanying DVD included bonus features and live footage shot the previous August at the Downtown in Farmingdale, NY. The band continued touring, including a stops at 2006’s Bamboozle and Warped Tour festivals. Catch 22’s next full-length was a concept album that followed the life of Bolshevik revolutionary Leon Trotsky, entitled Permanent Revolution. It was issued in June 2006; the band later headlined a nationwide tour with Voodoo Glow Skulls, Big D & the Kids Table, Suburban Legends, and more in tow. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide”

If you like this band you might also like: Streetlight Manifesto, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake

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