Spring is upon us! You’d never know it given the forecast for snow tomorrow, but technically speaking, spring has begun. At least that’s what my calendar tells me. One other indication is signs of life from ska bands who’ve otherwise been hibernating all winter. It’s all of a sudden the clocks turn back, a ska band sees the sun, and the ability to play an upbeat just magically returns. This is why at least one schmuck you know calls ska “beach music.” *Shudder*
In any case…
- The Planet Smashers are going on tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The only U.S. dates announced so far appear to be in the midwest, but they still seem to be announcing dates. (*cough* Visa Problems *cough*)
- Over 20 bands (21) appear on the It’s A Ska World compilation released earlier this month. It boasts tracks from Bigger Thomas, Crazy Baldhead, Monkey and Survey Say!. There’s 2 ska portmanteaus, two bands with “2-tone” in the name, and one use of the word “rude.”
- Earlier this month, Fishbone released a split with Slightly Stoopid. The Fishbone track has this cool zydeco thing going on and Angelo Moore appears on the Slightly Stoopid tracks. Listen on Spotify or buy the split on Interpunk. Fishbone have announced a new EP entitled “Intrinsically Intertwined” is on the way.
- New York Ska Jazz Ensemble are headed back to the studio and have announced northeast tour dates, including an appearance at Manchester 65 in RI on May 24.
- Marco on the Bass has got you covered for Specials-related news: they’re releasing a Limited Edition 7″ Vinyl for Record Store Day featuring “Sock It To ‘Em, JB/Rat Race,” Jerry Dammers jumped on stage with Nevile Staples (video), and rumor has it Former Ocean Colour Scene Guitarist Steve Cradock may be joining The Specials.
- Mad Caddies’ new record is now available for pre-order from Fat Wreck, due for release on May 13. Stream a song from that record at Alternative Press. It’s not so ska, but it’s so Mad Caddies.
- Jesse Wagner, vocalist for The Aggrolites, will put out a children’s record, performing as Happy Wags. The debut album comes out June 10th on Fun Fun Records, the family label from Mike Park of Asian Man Records. Listen to “Use Your Words” below. It’s adorbs.
- Cincinnati’s ska/soul outfit The Pinstripes celebrate their 10th Anniversary this year.
- Fight cancer by picking up a a 7-inch from the new Specialized series, charity project between Jump Up Records and the Teenage Cancer Trust/Specialized Project in the UK. It features cover versions of The English Beat tunes released on 3 red vinyl singles. Duff Guide to Ska reviews the records and gives you the background on where the money is going.