7/5 in a nutshell…
(and this is one monster-sized nutshell we’re talkin’bout!)
This week’s RSST has plenty going on_ first of all, we’re declaring July to be Space Month, what with World UFO Day (which the Ship’s crew just learned of), the anniversaries of both Roswell and Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk, AND a more-than-usually cosmic Rocket Ship playlist all happening this month! In this week’s “Ooh”, the present invaded the past, as happens occasionally around here, as classic original ska made way for a batch of newly-hatched Froggies fresh from our studios. Easier to roll and keep track of while trying to give away Bayfront tix! In orbit around Sherwood’s Planet, we tuned in and turned on… just in time for Carnation Trek, involving an orchestra beaming onto a spacey stage set, seemingly from the Enterprise transporter room, and accompanying Shiina Ringo in her song for a popular NHK drama series. During the song, the aforementioned transporter also beams in Tokyo Jihen for a cameo appearance! (See for yourself: currently known as “CNTN” on YouTube, and it’s a real beauty… ) Mr Funn’s planned Emi Ito/The Peanuts tribute certainly was that, but expanded and morphed to encompass classic Toho monster-dom generally, throwing in Mothra, the Gargantuas and Godzilla. Ol’ Rocket Breath wasn’t the primary cause of galactic warming, though… Yukimi Nagano was, singing “Summer Sun” on Koop.‘s debut album to wind up the hour. The 4@4 ska theme was Paradise, and only two of the four were by the TSPO! GotchaSKAvered Ska Cover-of-the-Month’s got Ball of Fire (originally “Echo 4-2”) and there was one of each in the 1st and 3rd hours… The Skatalites (Fire) in the “Ooh” and Bad Manners (Echo) in Hr. 3. The Skatalites were covering the UK tv series theme “Echo 4-2” and changed its name, which is probably how I came to believe that the UK cop show was actually sci-fi… We also threw in Yuri Gagarin, Moonbase Alpha, Capt. Future, Solar Shock and some Constellations before wrapping the show up for another week. Wanna shake with that?
7/12 in a nutshell…
It’s week 2 of “Space Month” here on the RSST, and “Oooooh”, we hit the GotchaSKAvered twice this show… As “Ball of Fire”, the Echo 4-2 theme got the Skatalites treatment, and the Laurie Johnson -penned TV tune’s been leading a double life ever since! We heard the ‘Lites right after our opener, “Rocket Ship”, and the Bad Manners arrangement was covered live by a 2Tone tribute band called Big 10 in Hour 3. Also look (and listen) for a couple of selections by “Colonel” Ken Elliott, a prog synthmeister who worked with a reggae studio crew in the early ’70s as (the) Vulcans for their debut “Star Trek”, and then as “Col. Elliott & the Lunatics” for the follow-up “Interstellar Reggae Drive”. A couple of Carlos Malcolm cuts included one from his album “Space Flight”. Space Month was a perfect excuse for Sherwood to break out all 10:32 of Mutant Frogs’ “Cassini at Titan” uninterrupted, and a “Moon Ska” (label) 4@4 in Hour 3 anticipated the combined Echo Chamber/Rocket Ship “Lunar Lunacy” 2-night party on the 18th/19th. Oh, the build-up!
By way of commemorating the 43rd anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s small steps and Giant Leap for Mankind… oops, it’s the Apollo 13 of RSST outer space specials, and we were lucky to get back to Earth in one piece! We didn’t even manage to trigger our theme music until we were already 2 songs deep into the show… oh, well, lace up those Moon Boots (or should that be a sturdy pair of Docs?), ‘cuz it’s time for summa that olllll’ Moon Stompin’! Symarip indeed worked their way into our “Ooh” hour, as did Don Cosmic, the Skatalites, and “Col.” Ken Elliott & the Lunatics. Oh, and Bad Manners’ rare “Outer Space” version of “Ivor the Engine” as well. ‘Round Sherwood’s Planet, St. Francis of Hoboken flew us to the moon, The Peanuts were waiting there for us with shiny candy moons, and Drain introduced us to a buncha guys about to turn blue. An unplanned all-*“Froggie”* 4@4 led us to GotchaSKAvered… and to Buenos Aires, where the Skatalites uncorked a live “Ball of Fire” that appears on “In Orbit, vol. 1”. A live dub from Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra helped us mark the passing of the hard-rockin’ Jon Lord (of Deep Purple) at 71. The big ‘C’ got ‘im. “Jon Lord (Live Dub)” appears on TSPO’s Full Tension Beaters. Rock In Peace, Jon.
Ooh, let’s Do The Jellyfish! The guy we like to call “Ska-daka” just for that song kicks off a set of ’60s ska and bluebeat originating outside Jamaica, and featuring tracks found on a series of 7” EPs called “Doin’ the Popcorn Ska” (listed in italic) that currently stretches to 5 volumes. Also, a short 2Tone-era set features 2 cuts from a new 5-disc English Beat “Complete” box_ an extended remix and a John Peel session number. Oh, and we’ve still got some unfinished “Moon” business, to boot! Oh, and Sherwood’s got a lot more… a lot more, including “Voodoo Moon”, “How High the Moon”, “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon” and “The Moon was Yellow”… really, you’ll see stars before this is over! The 4@4 are connected by the fact that none of them has anything to do with outer space… and they’re all Beatles covers. The July GotchaSKAvered selection wraps up with the title track from The Skatalites’ Island/Jamaica Jazz release “Ball of Fire”, and the home stretch includes a ska version of “Lost In Space”. DANGER, Will Robinson! DANGER!!!
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