August 2012 Rocket Ship Ska Trip Archives

8/2/2012 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

8/2 in a nutshell…

“On the Beach” is two entirely different songs… and we’ve got ‘em both this week! What they have in common is that these are both toasted-over versions on straight-sung originals… one, saluting Studio 1 founder Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, is an Owen Gray shuffle with the mighty King Stitt riding the riddim on top, about 3 decades after the fact! The other is the far-better-known Paragons/U-Roy classic in which a beachcomber requests “one more box of Happs” (beer?) from the bartender. A WHOLE BOX? Remember, there’s a party goin’ on at this beach, and a pretty well-attended one if they’ve already gone through a box and want more_ I’m guessing our “beachcomber” is the designated gofer. The “Ooh” also had a pair of songs from Millie (Small, though she was marketed by just her first name in most of the world outside the U.S.) and songs from 2 Laurel Aitken & The Unitone 45s on I-Spy. Around Sherwood’s Planet, Mr. Funn spun Hal Blaine’s psychedelically percussive August selection, Vibrations (August), hot on the heels of one of Fred Katz’ “Folk Songs for Far-Out Folk”. Folk like , ummm, Russ Garcia’s “Goofy Peepl of Phobos”, perhaps? Throw in The Specials, Lord Sitar, Shiina Ringo, Janelle Monae and Lee Morgan, and you’ve got a party in orbit! The 3rd hour featured 4 from the “Doin’ the Popcorn Ska” series of 7” ep’s, the August GotchaSKAvered club selection “Phoenix City” (this week as done by skinhead pioneers Symarip), version 2 of “One More” (one more, get it?) from the new Jimmy Cliff album Rebirth, and a pair of twistin’ peas in a pod by Gary “U.S.” Bonds and the aforementioned Owen Gray, among other goodies. Now that’s juggling!

8/9/2012 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

8/9 in a nutshell…

Where were YOU in ’62? Jamaica just turned Big 5-0 this month, and we here at the RSST are celebrating in the “Ooh” with a set of mostly circa-1962 ska/boogie faves, including some songs about newly-gained independence, as well as two Jamaican Boogie era non-“My Boy” Lollipops (Hmmm… belated answer records to the influential 1956 Barbie Gaye 45 “My Boy Lollypop”? Jus’ askin… ) culminating in the 1st hour’s only 1964 track, Millie’s world-famous cover of Barbie. Other hour-1 highlights include Lloyd Clarke’s “Parapinto Boogie”, about a Jamaican dice game. But you knew that if you were paying attention: “You can throw twelve-eleven-five straight, but you can’t throw out… “ …In the “Voov” meanwhile, Sherwood got your ears on the first-ever posthumous debut of Tokyo Jihen… their upcoming b-sides anthology Shinya Waku contains the previously-unreleased song Tadanarafu “Tadanaranu Kankei” and weeeeeeee’re lovin’ it! Now, I’ve been wrong before and I could be wrong again, but I’ll betcha Shiina Ringo’s former crew have an entire album’s worth of fabulous old vault material waiting to be debuted… Anyway, next up, Senor Coconut, the genius behind the Kraftwerk-Goes-Latin album El Baile Aleman, related Deep Purple’s hard-rockin’ tale of the 1971 fire that burned down a legendary lakeshore casino/concert venue, interrupting Frank Zappa and his Mothers in live-performance (resulting in the live boots Swiss Cheese and Fire). The casino got rebuilt, and by 1975 resumed being, as it had been before, the home of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Also in Hour 2: Calypsonian Lord Kitchener’s salute to bebop, Earl “Fatha” Hines’ presciently-titled “The Web”, and more… including the Milton Banana Trio. In Hour 3, the Cap’n & Cozy “Ringrolled” you after Prince Buster’s “Phoenix City” got “GotchaSKAvered”, hot-on-the-heels of a modern-era, non-Yard 4@4… Coyabalites took us back to Jamaica, and from then it was JA ska oldies, including one about a “Trip to Mars” just for Curiosity’s sake, all the way to that “Froggie” bumper just before The End….. r-r-r-riddip!!

8/16/2012 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

8/16 in a nutshell…

This week’s “Ooh” (“Opening Oldies Hour”) featured a Monkey Mix, a couple of Jamaican Independence songs, a preview of this week’s James Bond-themed 4(+1)@4, and Owen Gray mashin’ it! Among other things. Sherwood got into one of the far-outest Quincy Jones compositions imaginable, from the three-artist “Journey to Next” cd (works by Q.J., as well as Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Carter) issued on Lightyear. Also heard: the new posthumous Tokyo Jihen song from last week got reprised, among other things_ such as Steve Turre’s 12+min. epic “The Emperor”. In the Untitled Hour 3 (UH3? ‘Til I come up sith something better… ), after the aforementioned Bond 4(+1), John Shroeder gave us our weekly helping of “Phoenix City” in GotchaSKAvered.

8/23/2012 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

8/23 in a nutshell…

This week, we were inspired by Diana Nyad’s fourth (!) jellyfish-plagued Cuba-to-Florida swim attempt to once again bust out Neil “Ska”-daka’s contribution to the ‘Z’-horror movie “Sting of Death” (one of two, actually)… Diana, major props for trying, you savvy traveler you. Next time, a head-to-toe scuba outfit, perhaps? Just don’t let all those jellyfish do you… From the sea to the air, we had “Lonely Robin” by Lascelles Perkins. On dry land, it’s Mango Jones tooling down “Coffee Street”, and six feet under, you won’t find Prince Buster (“Hard Man fe Dead”). Not yet. From the “Ooh” to the “Voov”, Sherwood’s Planet embarked on an hour-long Japanese kick to make up for having missed the annual Como Park festivities of 8/19, aurally ogling sonic gems by Yasutaka Nakata (think Capsule and Perfume), Shiina Ringo, Yukimi Nagano (think Little Dragon), The Peanuts, YMCK and more. Cozy and the Cap’n continued the theme in hour 3 with the first of 2 J-Ska 4@4s, but then jumped over to the UK for Judge Dread’s Phoenix City GotchaSKAvered selection. ‘J’ met ‘UK’ as Kagoshima’s ARTS (“Authentic Rocksteady Traditional Ska”) covered The Beatles, and there was time remaining after The End to slip in a little bit of our very own Frogs’ UFO Crash. Anybody back-engineer that damn thing yet? NASA could really use one…

8/30/2012 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

8/30 in a nutshell…

Wotta show this week… our final 3-hour tour (the RSST 4-hour tour begins next week!!!) debuts a Don Drummond oldie, “The Rocket”, on these airwaves… and boy, does the mere existence of THAT ever explain a thing or two to me! See, our show’s theme, Tommy McCook’s “Rocket Ship”, has often been mis-credited to Drummond even though he neither wrote nor played any trombone on it. And I, silly me, have long wondered why! Of course, understandably, the titles “Rocket Ship” and “The Rocket” got taken for the same tune by a few labels outside of Jamaica (duh!), and now I’m bettin’ I’ll eventually find a copy of “The Rocket” erroneously credited to McCook! If I do, I’ll let you know. We also introduce your ears to three pre-2Tone cuts from ’78, including “Dance Dance”, a Plastic Bertrand number modeled on Prince Buster’s notorious “10 Commandments”. This after Byron Lee’s “Jamaica Ska” was presaged by R&Ber Marv Johnson’s sorta-similar-sounding “Come On and Stop”, a don’t-be-cheatin’ song addressing both partners. Sherwood saluted the newly-late Neil Armstrong, Drain style, with “A Bunch of Guys About to Turn Blue”… fly in peace, Neil. Artists debuting on SP this week included Brian Bennett, Godley & Creme, the Astro Age Steel Orchestra and Sandro Brugnolini. An all-Skapanese 4@4 led into a GotchaSKAvered rule loophole, as Roland Alphonso’s original “Phoenix City” is in fact a cover, however radically reworked, of Mongo Santamaria’s “Hammer Head”. Madness teamed up with Ian Dury for “Drip-Fed Fred”, and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra’s Saitama-fied “Walk Between Raindrops” led nicely into Steely Danner Donald Fagen’s “Wooooooooooooooh, Miami!” original. At least it wasn’t Tampa…