IN DEFENSE OF SKA
By AARON CARNES
OFFICIAL RELEASE MAY 4
Print ISBN: 978-1-944866-78-5
Page Count: 330
Pre-Order the book at: Clash Books
“I DECLARE THIS THE BOOK OF THE YEAR”
-Josh Fernandez (Hard Times)
“Aaron Carnes knows that ska needs defending, and he’s highly equipped to defend it. Aaron wanted to set out to change the public’s perception of this unfairly-maligned genre.”
-Andrew Sacher (Brooklyn Vegan)
“Honestly, I wasn’t a giant fan of ska. But the stories he gives snippets, I’m definitely getting this book. It’s fucking great.”
-Mike Doyle (This Was The Scene podcast)
“I love In Defense of Ska and I can’t wait until it’s officially released.”
-Cam Brio (Cam Brio Music)
Why doesn’t ska get its due as a rich, diverse genre the way punk, metal, hip-hop and electronic music does? Or more to the point, why are ska fans so embarrassed of this music they love? The era of ska shame is officially over. In Defense of Ska is the much-needed response to years of ska-mockery. No longer do ska fans need to hide in the basement, skanking alone in their sharp suits, slim ties and porkpie hats. Now the time to take to the streets and fight music snobbery, or at least crank up the ska without being teased ruthlessly.
In a mix of interviews, essays, personal stories, historical snapshots, obscure anecdotes, and think pieces, In Defense of Ska dissects, analyzes and celebrates ska in exactly the way fans have been craving for decades. This book will enlist ska-lovers as soldiers in the ska army, and challenge ska-haters’ prejudices to the core.
Since hardly anyone takes ska seriously, author Aaron Carnes, has uncovered a bunch of untold stories. Geoffrey Hales, the “music and surf consultant” for the film Back To The Beach speaks on why he chose Fishbone to appear in the film. His decision was in part because Walt Disney was a racist and pro-Nazi; having his darling Annette Funicello backed by a black band would make him “roll in his grave.”
There’s also the story of Fresno ska band Let’s Go Bowling who, in 1998, had their touring van shot up on the freeway as they were heading home after a show. The only injury was a bullet fragment the keyboardist found in his hand. And how about Riverside skacore legends Voodoo Glow Skulls, who abandoned their first “Fat Randy” video shoot. They cast the real-life Fat Randy—a weird Polish kid they went to school with—and a bunch of old high school friends. These old buddies got drunk and dogpiled on Randy, hurting him, shutting down the video, wasting 10,000 dollars of Epitaph’s money in production costs.
Since ska is a global phenomenon, Aaron flew to Mexico to report on biggest, and most political, ska scene in the world. Many of these bands rose from the most impoverished neighborhoods in Mexico City. Few musicians in Mexico speak on political and social issues, but the ska bands do, and they’re incredibly popular with the kids from these same poor neighborhoods. Today these bands play all-ska festivals that draw 25,000 people and more.
After the ’90s, when ska was considered dead, the music continued to have a cult audience. Current-day Pitchfork darling Jeff Rosenstock used to fronted ska-core band Arrogant Sons of Bitches in the early 2000s. They traversed the country vehemently and defiantly defending ska amidst the ska-hating early 2000s musical landscape. They played to small but devoted crowds that loved that they didn’t abandon ska in the name of “rock with horn” like so many of the 90s ska bands did. It was such an arduous task, defending ska, they ended many shows injured, usually self-inflicted.
In Defense of Ska takes readers on a journey through the last several decades of music to illustrate how important ska has always been, and highlights hundreds of great, underrated bands, completely destroying the popular narrative that ska was just a zany trend in the ’90s. It’s a way of life. It’ll never die.
|THE DIRTY NIL DROP NEW SINGLE “ONE MORE AND THE BILL“|
|WATCH LIVE PERFORMANCE ON YOUTUBE LINKS: FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / TWITTER / WEBSITE / MORE INFO Today, JUNO Award-winning power trio The Dirty Nil share “One More and the Bill,” the emotional centrepiece of their forthcoming album, Fuck Art, out January 1, 2021 via Dine Alone Records and available for pre-order now. Speaking on “One More and the Bill,” frontman Luke Bentham says:|
Let’s be clear: social media hates you. “One More And The Bill“ is an ode to the primitive, casting off the shackles and enjoying life while you’ve got it. This is one of my favourite songs we’ve ever made and we hope you enjoy! Along with the previous releases of pop-punk gem “Done With Drugs,” the hardcore basement rock ode to young love “Doom Boy,” and “Blunt Force Concussion,” a slice of ’90’s power-pop, “One More and the Bill” is a grungy drinking song that climaxes with a vow to smash my TV, smash my phone, leave politics alone, go outside for a while.
Watch The Dirty Nil perform “One More and the Bill” live via YouTube and hear their frustration towards the toxicity of social media bubble up and boil over.
|Fuck Art The Dirty Nil January 1, 2021 Dine Alone Records 1. Doom Boy 2. Blunt Force Concussion 3. Elvis ’77 4. Done With Drugs 5. Ride or Die 6. Hang Yer Moon 7. Damage Control 8. Hello Jealousy 9. Possession 10. To The Guy Who Stole My Bike 11. One More and The Bill Fuck Art is a statement of confidence and defiance from a group that’s now three albums into the game—i.e., the point where ambitious rock bands are supposed to call in the orchestra, experiment with electronics, and try to make their Ok Computer. The Dirty Nil, by contrast, have opted to perfect the formula that, over the past decade, has landed them on stages with everyone from Against Me! to The Who. Fuck Art melts down all of their favourite ingredients—classic-rock heroism, pop-punk horsepower, ’80s indie scrappiness, ’90s alterna-crunch, speed-metal adrenaline—into a radiant, chromatic solution they can then mould and harden into unpredictable shapes.|
Listening to Gibberish, the recently released album from Lafayette, Louisiana punk band, Subliminal Landmines. 12 tracks of bouncy, mid-tempo, rock and roll songs, with enough grit and sneer to take the more poppy edges off, and keep it just dangerous enough to not drift into pure rock territory. The sound is defiantly out of garageland, and totally suits the band. Three piece, three chords, 1. 2. 3. Go!
Everything reminds me of everything these days, but Subliminal Landmines has a vocal style that is similar to something, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s good and it’s cool, so there’s that at any rate. Maybe I’m wrong, but as I’ve continued listening, the vocals kind of strike me as being like psychobilly/rockabilly act The Blackjakits. I dunno maybe I’m nuts.
I’ve half listened to the Gibberish a couple times now and it is growing on me with each successive run. The album as a whole sounds great and is entirely listenable, however standout Track six, Crutch, comes out of the gate like a Cheap Trick number. The intro really hooks in, and it’s totally a song about lost friendship, and about the things that you do to get by. Great stuff musically and lyrically.
The songs speak of loss, lament, drugs illicit or otherwise, and the type of soul searching that comes along with life on an isolated and often bleak planet. The effect is cathartic though. It helps to diffuse the pain of living.
“Staring at the ceiling while thinking bout way too much
Having trouble standing without you as my crutch”
Bonus Green Day cover at the end, which I suppose puts a finer point on the sound and spirit Subliminal Landmines are trying to capture.
There’s a bunch of links below if you’d like to check them out. I think that perhaps you should.
1. Criticized 02:13
2. Where’s My Coke? 03:54
3. Room for 3 02:36
4. She May Be 03:01
5. I’m Okay 02:53
6. Crutch 03:17
7. Suit Up 05:09
8. Target (Twenty-20) 02:59
9. I Love You a Camel 02:45
10. Ungrateful 01:48
11. Losing Heartbeats 03:16
12. Brain Stew / Jaded 04:30
Taking form in 2017, Subliminal Landmines exploded onto the South Louisiana Music scene with their energetic punk. Influenced by the grimey dive bars, garages, and smoke stained lungs of their youth, Subliminal Landmines released their debut EP “Captivity” which was received with open arms. Currently writing their first full length album to be called “Gibberish” which is set to release in the fall of 2020
Grant Duhon: Vocals and Guitar
Chris Hayes: Vocals and Bass
Lee Gauthreaux: Drums
Social Media links:
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/subliminallandmines
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/subliminallandmines
Bandcamp : https://subliminallandmines.bandcamp.com/
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPVJVEVYTV9GpYgVwoNA0hg?
Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/artist/1NQS1qtyBDeT3po1O8ck9k?si=KxjWGnv7QVqL1cR-JIigVA
SHARE “ONLY ONES I TRUST”
UK punk band Grade 2 have just released “Only Ones I Trust,” an outtake from the band’s 2019 album Graveyard Island. Co-written and produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, the band hopes this feel good track with stomping choruses will “unify those who have seen struggles this year, because together in this game we are damned and we are all the same. We aim to have you singing your heart out, for now just in your living room but hopefully at a show soon!”
Grade 2 is Sid Ryan (vocals/bass), Jack Chatfield (vocals/guitar), and Jacob Hull (drums). Formed in 2013, the band met at school where they would spend their lunch break playing covers of classic punk tunes together in the music room. Since their formation, the band has released several EPs and three studio albums; Mainstream View (2016) and Break The Routine (2017), and Graveyard Island (2019). The bands’ Hellcat debut Graveyard Island was recorded and produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong at Armstrong’s Shiprec Studios and mixed by The Interrupters’ Kevin Bivona.