3/3 in a nutshell…
The RSST lit up cakes for the late greats Tommy McCook, Jackie Mittoo and the still living Lloyd Knibb to blow out. In other ska, Prince Buster commands some Respect, Mamie Perry sings a Lament, and Roy Richards chills with Green Collie. Not a dog. Hal Blaine’s Psychedelic Percussion selection for March, Kaleidoscope, kicked off a Sherwood’s Planet airing on Desi Arnaz’s birthday, and Desi’s recording of Carnival in Rio had to suffice ‘cuz we couldn’t scare up the Lucy theme, or anything else by the guy. The RSST 4(+1)@4 headed for the West Coast of Ska, with tracks from LA and Seattle. Well, mostly LA… The third GotchaSKAvered Ska Cover-of-the-Month is the Maytals’ classic Monkey Man, easily the most famous cover of which is by The Specials. The other big cover attraction this week is Unsteady’s ‘roiding-up of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra’s Vampire, with a chilling Hammond lead that made me jump outa my socks, and some curl-shooting, ten-hanging surf guitar to boot. OK, full disclosure: I used to play that track before I found out the original was by TSPO, and I’m pleased as punch to have found it again. :^)
3/10/11 in a nutshell…
Women Of Ska night on the RSST, though a few guys with birthdays this week crashed the party, including Don Drummond and pioneering big-band exoticist Les Baxter. Morg the Hoople got into the mix when another CD player balked, as did Ninapinta and his Bongos and Congas. Rosemary Clooney and Shiina Ringo served up back-to-back Mangos straight from the shady… nuke? Hey, it’s Radio Active, right? And check out Ringo’s singularly unique take on Autumn Leaves! Toots Hibbert covered his own Monkey Man with an assist from Gwen Stefani and No Doubt, and there was time remaining(!) at the end of The End. Baron von Skankin’ Frank helped fill it.
3/17/11 in a nutshell…
Sometimes, we wake up in the morning in a fundamentally different world than the one we went to sleep in the previous night. This time, our world has been irrevocably altered by a triple-threat disaster triggered by the monster 9.0 Quake Of 2011 that struck off the east coast of northern Honshu, Japan the weekend of 3/11. The opening oldies set of this week’s RSST was quite Japan-centric, and included a couple of lush, lovely mid-‘70s Haruomi Hosono rocksteady orchestrations, with his groups Tin Pan Alley and Bon Voyage Co. Unless I hear evidence to the contrary, I figure the then-future YMO member must be the guy who introduced ska and rocksteady to Japan_ 4 years before 2Tone was launched in the UK!
The highlight of Sherwood’s set must be the three Firecrackers he set off consecutively_ those belonging to Martin Denny, Yellow Magic and Senor Coconut, respectively. There were a few of Toho’s giant monsters (daikaiju) running around loose, including Mothra, Anguiras and Godzilla’s robotic double/nemesis Mechagodzilla. Hammond B-3 monster Akiko Tsuruga also made her Sherwood’s Planet debut in high style. The 4@4 was the Air Space Museum of Ska (all-Japan edition). We didn’t have the Japanese cover of Monkey Man (trombone legend Rico accompanying Ore Ska Band) so we pulled in Reel Big Fish to do the job, before hi-tailing it back across the Pacific to take us up to The End. Also missing-in-action this week: Madness’ Honda ad theme In The City which we hope to get on next week. Vrooooom!
3/24 in a nutshell…
Gina, Gina… he’s just a ski instructor! But of course, it did snow a little, even if the storm was a wee bit overhyped in the TC area, where we’ve occasionally seen worse as late as Tax Day. In any case, the Kid Creole song all about Gina (and the aforementioned ski instructor) earned its rightful place in this late-March playlist, in a first hour jampacked with the likes of Ken Boothe (3/22/48 – c.), Lee Perry (3/20/36 – c.) as well as locals Umbrella Bed, The Prizefighters and Jon Wayne The Pain.
Sherwood gave us double-shots of Jack Fascinato and Ahmad Jamal, plus numerous other goodies. The 4(+1)@4 was tunes from outside Jamaica that sound like they just may have been influenced by ska, however tenuously (although it works the other way in the case of Sea Cruise, cut in the late ’50s before Ska’s early ’60s birth… ) and Rico traveled all the way to Japan to give us this week’s GotchaSKAvered (Monkey Man), a collab with Ore Ska Band.
3/31 in a nutshell…
’60s vintage bluebeat ‘n’ ska from beyond Jamaica’s borders! Made in the UK, US, France, Poland, Mexico and more! And if it’s more you want, YOU, TOO! can support the radio station that delivers it, during KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive! Any amount helps… just listen and you’ll hear the phone-bank number (and the website!) being given out on a regular basis. Your support guarantees that you’ll continue to hear things like…
Agnes Loti doing My Boy Lollipop in French
The English Beat instrumental March of the Swivelheads
Mothra (and real-life) twins The Peanuts on the occasion of their birthday (Apr. 1st, no foolin’!)
An entire set of my official RSST in-house one-man band Mutant Frogs
The GotchaSKAvered! Ska Cover-of-the-Month Club Selection (same tune covered by a different band every week of any given month; no original versions in this segment)
When you support KFAI, you support Rocket Ship Ska Trip!
(and all the other cool stuff that goes on around here)
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