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Old 01-15-2005, 06:29 PM   #1
Brain Toad
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Ska Education and Discussion

Ska Education and Discussion

I decided to do this after I tired of all the ska threads we get. Face it, ska is a big genre, second or third most discussed genre here in punk, so why not have a discussion thread just for it. Also why not learn, learning is fun!

First and foremost, check out Kithkin's two threads on Ska. The first offers explnations of waves, the second offers a very good list of bands.

http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71269
http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185472

Ska is a form of Jamician music that formed in the early 1950s, it led to creation of rocksteady the one of Jamica's most famous imports, reggae. In basic ska is a blend of American R&B and traditional Jamican music such as mento and calypso. Ska is the permier genre listened to rude boys and girls, as well as the first wave of skinheads.

After World War II Jamicans began purchasing radios in large numbers and could pick up signals from the southern United States, most notably, New Oreleans. With these American airwaves came the sounds of New Orleans R&B. The Jamicans loved it. To meet the demand for this type of music, entrpenurs such as Prince Buster, Clement Dodd, and Duke Reed set up sound systems, which were portable discotheques that appeared at dances and gatherings.

When R&B fell out of favor in New Orleads in 1960, the Jamicans began recording their own interpretation of the music. Ska is known for is accented upbeats on guitar and piano. The orgin of the name is disputed between the traditional Jamican greeting "Love Skavoovie", or the sounds the music made, described by guitarist Ernest Ranglin as "skat! skat! skat!". The use of these upbeats may of come from minsinterpretations of early jazz and rock and roll broadcasts, which would sound like the off beat sounds we hear in ska because of the break up in weak radio signals. Others disagree with this and say that it is not a misinterpretation, but Jamica's response to America's music.

As American music changed, so did the influence on Ska. As jazz and rock and roll became more popular in the States, Ska bands started doing insturmental covers of popular American and British songs. And in 1966-67, when soul came into place, Ska made its transion into rocksteady, which lasted as the predominant genre until reggae in the late 60s.

In the early 60s, ska was brought to the UK by Prince Buster and U-Roy. This music had a big impact on the UK folk, and they began their own versions of ska, marking the birth of the 2nd wave. The 2nd wave was pioneered by the record label Two-Tone. Two-Tone saw the first influences of punk on the genre along with British rock and pop. The music was sped up and given a British accent.

The third wave was when Ska hit America. American punk had a big influence on this wave of ska, along with hardcore and other predominat American punk sub-genres. A lot bands from the third wave didn't always follow the same sound however. Some went so far as being just punk with a bit of ska, while some went the oppsite direction and started making first and second wave type ska.

Rocksteady:
Rocksteady came about around 1966 due to an unusually hot summer (which meant that people couldn't dance as fast) as well as a genrally desire for change. Bass lines became more intricate, horns were increasingly deemed irrevelant and keyboards or extra rhythm guitars filled the space. many ska bands such as Desmond Dekker & The Aces, The Paragons (who did the original Tide Is High which was later slaughtered by Blondie and Atomic Kitten), The Gaylads and The Maytals adopted the genre (which took it's name from an Anton Ellis track) popularising it. After a few years Rocksteady transmuted into Reggae with tracks such as Toots & The Maytals "Do The Reggay."


Dances:
For a skanking tutorial, see the first link above to Kithkin's post.
Moonstomping is another ska/reggae dance move, which consists of lifiting your knees high and stomping them to the beta of the music. This move is often associated with the skinheads in ska

Bands:
1st Wave:
Desmond Dekker
Laurel Aitken
Prince Buster
Symarip
The Ethiopians
The Skatalites
Toots & the Maytals
Hepcat (part of the third wave, but play 1st wave)
The Slackers (part of third wave, but play 1st wave)
Judge Dread

Two-Tone:
Bad Manners
Madness
The (English) Beat
The Selecter
The Specials
Special Beat
The Toasters (part of the third wave, but play two-tone)

Third Wave:
Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution
Big D and the Kids Table
Catch 22
Less Than Jake
Mad Caddies
Mephiskapheles
MU330
Mustard Plug
The O.C. Supertones
Operation Ivy
Pain
Reel Big Fish
RX Bandits
Ska-P
Skankin' Pickle
Streetlight Manifesto
Choking Victim
The Heatskores
Deltones
Hotknives
The Loafers
Maroon Town
Potato 5
The Riffs
Skadows
The Trojans

Now being discussing ska. Keep it to this thread, new threads about ska need not to be made. Any one else who would like to contribute is free, and I'll add any new info into this post.

Enjoy

Additions:
Rocksteady definition by sketchyjoe
Moving of bands and addition of bands by Oi!Tricky
Moonstomping explanation by superskankinactionhero

Last edited by Brain Toad; 01-16-2005 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:36 PM   #2
SantaDuJuan
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What about Rocksteady?

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Old 01-15-2005, 06:37 PM   #3
superskankinactionhero
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nice one nick, we've been in need of something like this! anyone who wants to know anything about ska, ask it in this thread and there's bound to be someone who'll be able to help you out. for now, i'm pretty sure everyone who reads that will have a basic knowledge of ska, it covers most of the stuff anyone getting into ska will need!

p.s. don't limit this to just ska, include reggae, dub etc
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:39 PM   #4
Brain Toad
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Yeah, expand to other ska influence genres and Jamican music. I didn't cover rocksteady, because I don't know about it, and Wikipedia didn't cover it.
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:48 PM   #5
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Rocksteady: Rocksteady came about around 1966 due to an unusually hot summer (which meant that people couldn't dance as fast) as well as a genrally desire for change. Bass lines became more intricate, horns were increasingly deemed irrevelant and keyboards or extra rhythm guitars filled the space. many ska bands such as Desmond Dekker & The Aces, The Paragons (who did the original Tide Is High which was later slaughtered by Blondie and Atomic Kitten), The Gaylads and The Maytals adopted the genre (which took it's name from an Anton Ellis track) popularising it. After a few years Rocksteady transmuted into Reggae with tracks such as Toots & The Maytals "Do The Reggay."

Rocksteady is often overlooked compared to ska or reggae but it's a great genre. Check out some of the bands I mentioned and you'll see. The Trojan Rocksteady Box Set is a good place to start and is reckoned by many to be the best of the Trojan Box Sets.
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:48 PM   #6
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*goes to his favourites*

overview of rocksteady:

http://ska.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=ska&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fhome1.swipnet.se%2F%7Ew-64697%2Frocksteady.htm

it's pretty good actually, not AMAZING though
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:51 PM   #7
sketchyjoe
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I wrote mine myself.
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketchyjoe
Toots & The Maytals "Do The Reggay."
this song set the name for the whole reggae genre
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:01 PM   #9
sketchyjoe
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I know. There's another song that was released a few months later that actually considerd the first proper Reggae record but I can't remember it off the top of my head.
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:08 PM   #10
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The Heatskores need to be mentioned in this thread. becuase they are awessome ska/punk.

Im bad with my lables. so that makes them 3rd wave?

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Old 01-15-2005, 07:11 PM   #11
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it wasn't toots and the maytals - pressure drop was it?
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:15 PM   #12
Jessizzle
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hm. i know the dead kennedys are punk. but does anyone else think they have an "upbeat" sound,?
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:28 PM   #13
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in some songs/parts they have upbeat parts, but not really the same sort of upbeat, their's is more rock n roll-ish i feel. and please keep this thread alive for another twelve hours! by that time i'll have slept, gone to work and come back again.
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:30 PM   #14
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Not generally, but DK have an upbeat sound in some songs, but so do tons of bands
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:38 PM   #15
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The only problems I have are the placements of Hepcat, The Slackers, and The Toasters because waves are more of a time period than a sound.
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:42 PM   #16
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They're both sound and periods of time. Each wave is characterized by certain sounds but that doesn't necessarily mean trad/two tone bands can't be new
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:49 PM   #17
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Well, I've always seen the wave numbers as time periods and then trad, two tone, and such are just some of the styles that were generally played in those times. I'm not quite sure if that made sense at all. It's hard to explain.
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:52 PM   #18
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Yeah I know what you mean. If someone said third wave I wouldn't know whether they were talking about skapunk or a traditonal sounding band, but if someone said first wave I would assume they were talking about one of the original Jamaican bands of the 60's
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ihatehate
What about Rocksteady?
Hey, I've got an idea! Let's quote a really long post just to piss everyone off! Yeah!!
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:58 PM   #20
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What's Ska?
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Old 01-15-2005, 08:01 PM   #21
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Its Where White Kids Dance To Black Music.
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Old 01-15-2005, 08:05 PM   #22
Brain Toad
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I understand the confusion, hence the added in notes. I actuall go by the sound more, because I can never remember the period a band is from. I really thought Toasters was an orginal two-tone band until I read up on it.
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Old 01-15-2005, 08:40 PM   #23
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i thought they were two-tone too. what year did they form?
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Old 01-15-2005, 08:57 PM   #24
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I would say the Slackers are two-tone, correct? Anyway, really really great band. Wasted Days is probably one of my favorite ska songs ever. The whole album is great.


(wheres my rep, faggot.)
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihatecelebrities
Hey, I've got an idea! Let's quote a really long post just to piss everyone off! Yeah!!
Thats why I have him on the ignore list. Oh crap, now I need to add something about ska to this post....erm...ska is for skanks?
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Old 01-15-2005, 09:52 PM   #26
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So where did the popular 'skank' dance come into play such an important role, especially, from what I've seen, in third wave ska?
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Old 01-16-2005, 01:27 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrunnch 3
I would say the Slackers are two-tone, correct? Anyway, really really great band. Wasted Days is probably one of my favorite ska songs ever. The whole album is great.


(wheres my rep, faggot.)
Lots of people consider them two tone but they sound trad to me
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Old 01-16-2005, 07:04 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G CHORD KING
So where did the popular 'skank' dance come into play such an important role, especially, from what I've seen, in third wave ska?

Kithkin wrote about the dance to each wave here:

http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71269
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Old 01-16-2005, 07:19 AM   #29
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I love to Skank
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Old 01-16-2005, 07:28 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Lots of people consider them two tone but they sound trad to me
I'd agree with that, good band though whatever they are
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