Let’s Go Bowling- Music to Bowl By (1991)

Let’s Go Bowling is a Third Wave ska band out of southern California formed in 1986 and still playing to this day. Music to Bowl By is the album I am most familiar with, a band that toured with many big name bands so most everyone knows the name, but a band that is often overlooked.
They play good Third Wave with their own twist that is both energetic and fruity, but I still like it. Musically it is like Laural Atkins made love to the Beach Boys and this is their offspring.

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The Wailing Wailers (1965)

I’m sure everyone has heard of Bob Marley’s early recordings, not many people actually have them, so here we have 1965’s The Wailing Wailers, which is essentially their ska album. Also, it is a collection LPs so it was recorded at Studio One over a span of time, not all at once.
Wiki explains in greater detail but this is a difficult album to find information for, because I recall a few details that I was unable to confirm and most of the descriptions are vague.
Either way it is an interesting one.

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Byron Lee and the Dragonaires Play Dynamite Ska

Just when I was about ready to put Ska and Rocksteady Thursdays on hold for a bit, I stumbled across this gem by accident and it has renewed my love of ska once again.
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires are another of the old Jamaican bands that has been around since the 1950’s, playing with everyone from Chuck Berry, the Drifters, Fats Domino, Prince Buster, Jimmey Cliff, they were in and played in the 1961 James Bond movie Dr No as the hotel band. The Wiki article explains their history in greater detail (for those who wish to look. I will explain further in future posts).
Byron Lee and the Dragonaires was never a band that I was ever “into”, I believe this is the only album of theirs that I ever owned, so I am just now “discovering” this band.
So Ska and Rocksteady Thursday lives on… at least until I see some goon wearing checkers and Skank’in.

download CD 1
download CD 2
band site

Prince Buster (and the Skatalites) Fly Flying Ska (1964)

The Skatalites playing the instrumentals for Prince Buster’s album… there is something deep and profound that this album reveals about the relationship between Prince Buster and Ska, and Jamaican music in general (rocksteady and reggae also).
Prince Buster has been influential but a step removed to the point that it is difficult to box his style into a genre. He is so removed from reggae that he stopped making music because the Rastafarian influences offended his Muslim beliefs… I have no idea what allure Islam could possibly have over rastafarianism, but whatevesies. He lives in Miami likely spending most of his time playing shuffle-board, as old as he is now (74).

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The Skoidats- A Cure For What Ales You (1999)

The Skoidats are an Oí-Ska-Punk band from Montana of all places. They formed in 1995 and released two albums and a split. Interesting sound but there seems to be a severe limit on their style of ska. I have always felt that must have been a contributing factor in regards to their break up. It is likely a result of the Oí influence, which is more monotonous than even punk rock. Seriously, you hear a couple of good Oí songs and that’s it, the entire genre can be “played-out” in an hour.
But I still like them, one for the collection anyway.

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Favorite 100 Albums; Ska Island (compilation) (1997)

Ska Island (1997), I remember Meric and I both bought this album at Peaches the week it came out. It brings back fond memories of high school, if there are such things assoicated with Lyman High School (Death went to school there also,that school is so shitty that it helped inspire death metal).
It is a compilation, and the first time I had ever hear Prince Buster. Oceans 11 track is good too, in fact the whole album is a put-on-repeat-and-leave.

download Ska Island

The Toaster- Skaboom (1987)

The Toasters are often thought to be the first “Third-Wave” ska band (Wiki), with this being the first such album. I would go even further and say that their sound is so appealing and energetic that they sold the world on ska as a genre.
Third Wave Ska is universal music that brings a smile to one’s face. It’s happy music where the vocals often follow the lead of the instrumentals making Japanese or Spanish ska just as listenable and enjoyable as American bands.
I used to love Third Wave in high school, not to the extent of dressing in checkers and making a spectacle out of myself, but I was quite fond of the music. There must be a threshold for how many hours a person can truly enjoy Third Wave because now I can only listen to a few songs at a time…

download Skaboom

Also, last week’s YouTube-only Skatalites post had to be pulled down because some ass-clown who isn’t in the band complained. He was quite rude and that attitude surprised and insulted me because ska used to be a very friendly DIY scene, so I found another link to download the album, yet again, so that everyone can enjoy it.
Fans will naturally pay to see bands play, just as they will buy merchandise over the internet. Downloading music is not some cardinal-sin, it is just portrayed as such by non-musicians trying to makes a living off of the music industry and a few bands that can not seem to grasp economic realities. I mean there are still sound waves reverberating around from the Big-Bang for Christ’s sake! And these guys expect payment for canned sound??? So please, download and enjoy.
-ApogeeMatt
download the new Skatalites album,”Walk With Me”