Archive for the 'ska' Category


fishbone – fishbone ep & truth and soul

So if I never mentioned it…I’m going to cooking school.

Le Cordon Bleu to be specific, but before you get all excited let me just reveal that it’s their online course for restaurant management.   So…no exciting cooking classes or hands on demonstrations or anything.  When I began, it was a six week semester and then a week long break.  Now it’s a 12 week double semester with no break between.

Right now I’m really missing the break part.

But, moving right along to another great album…

Before there was No Doubt, before the Red Hot Chili Peppers hit the scene or  Living Colour dropped their first album…there was Fishbone. An unlikely combination of weirdos from a junior high school in South Central Los Angeles, Fishbone didn’t look or sound like anyone else at the time…and that suited them just fine.  The original line up of Angelo Moore, John Norwood Fisher, “Dirty” Walter A. Kibby II,Kendall Jones,Chris Dowd and Philip “Fish” Fisher refused to fit the stereotype of South Central at the time…either sartorially or musically, and began making waves with their live shows and developing a sound that would go on to influence much of the music o the next two decades.

Originally their sound was pure joyful Ska, the energetic cousin of reggae, but would soon blossom into a radical mix of punk, funk, jazz and rock.  I am aware that some will point out that Truth and Soul was Fishbone’s greatest album…and you know what, I am going to go along with that too.  But for that “opening shot of the revolution”…the one where you weren’t sure what would happen next, but couldn’t wait to find out, the original Fishbone EP was the shit.  With infectious tunes like “Party at Ground Zero” and”UGLY, ” it was THE party album of it’s time and brought Ska and Reggae to the main stream.

Then we jump ahead almost ten years and Fishbone drops Truth and Soul…the album that spawned a million t shirts, and for good reason.  For the hardcore Fishbone fan, this was the deepest shit there was, and a far cry from the sound of their first EP.  Darker, grittier and funkier…even more socially conscious , but still with an upbeat ska feel.  Truth and Soul forged new ground with a sound that no one had heard before, but many would imitate after. From it’s opening cover of the Curtis Mayfield classic “Freddie’s Dead, to deeper cuts like “Ghetto Soundwave” and “Bonin in the Boneyard” it made for a wonderful listening experience.

But Fishbone is still around and going strong, and I implore you to go see a live show for a taste of the musical energy I can only poorly describe here.

Both albums can be got for cheap on Amazon!  HERE and HERE!


amy winehouse – the ska ep

So I’m sure by now everyone in the world has heard the news that they found Amy’s body this morning…and her name is now added to the list of other rock stars who died at age 27.

While I was always a fan of her music, Amy appeared to have lost touch with her happiness in the past few years as her addiction slowly ate up her life.  I had high hopes that her recent release from rehab and new tour would signal a turning point in her career and her return to the music scene. Then came the news of her stumbling on stage and unable to remember her lyrics and I had a sinking feeling that her fight was far from over.

Sometimes really talented people can come back from things like this.  Like Keith Richards who seemed to be able to survive just about anything.  But sometimes they just end up losing the battle.

It’s just sad.

Born into a Jewish family in north London, Amy had shown musical talent at an early age.  She released her debut album Frank in 2003 to positive critical reviews as she adopted the style of the Ronettes and the sound of the sixties girl groups…but with a modern voice that drew comparisons to Sarah Vaughn.   But she really hit the scene with her hit 2007 album Back to Black, which spawned a slew of inescapable hits like “You Know I’m No Good,” “Back to Black” and the now ironic “Rehab.”

Soon after the success had catapulted her into the spotlight, the drugs and bad friends began to push her toward the abyss.

But somewhere in between, 2 Soul records managed to release this neat little EP of Amy singing some great ska covers.  Criminally under-released as 200 copies on vinyl, it was a powerful pop treat that seemed to catch the now eternally somber and intoxicated Miss Winehouse in a moment of happiness.  Singing ska tunes that might have been inspired by her punk sensabilities.

That’s how I’d like to remember her.

Since it was never commercially released, check it out here.

Oh…and found this too…

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