September 2012 Rocket Ship Ska Trip Archives

9/6 in a nutshell…

Watta debut! The RSST kisses the 3-hour tour goodbye (with a little help from The Upsetters… na-na-hey-hey) as we inaugurated our new 4-hour tour (yayyy!) A heaping helping of Skatalites, Carlos Malcolm, Byron Lee, Buster’s All Stars and more stretched the “Ooh” to an hour:15, Sherwood took over with the designated September selection from Hal Blaine, leading into a set jam-packed with everybody from Andre Popp to Emerson, Lake & Palmer to Perez Prado. In the Home Stretch: GotchaSKAvered, Navarone… it’s Western Standard Time! Plus: 2 Tone International for the 5@5 theme, Soom T with Mungo’s Hi-Fi on Scotch Bonnet, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra reminding you that “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, and something from Gichy Dan’s Beachwood #9. 2 Much for 3 Hours, so now it’s 4!


It’s the RSST 4-hour tour week 2! In this week’s “Ooh”, we kicked off with an unidentified mystery ska from the mid-‘60s… I have neither artist, album, label, nor even country of origin on this thing! It’s the first ’60s-era ska I’ve heard containing passages in a meter other than 4, and for that reason alone I had to put it on… but to boot, it’s a bouncy, energetic, feet-grabbing tune, made to get ya movin’. Azie Lawrence also made his RSST (and Sherwood’s!) debut three times this week with a ska, a boogie shuffle and a cha-cha! The “Evening News” sounded slightly different this time because Kentrick Patrick (a.k.a. “Lord Creator”) recorded it for Prince Buster before he recorded it for Coxsone, and we played the Buster version this time. A still-earlier version on a Cook 45 was recorded before Creator left Trinidad for Jamaica, and we’re in search of a reasonably clean copy of that. The Prince himself also turns up in this set, alongside then-future Bullwackie’s founder Lloyd Barnes, Jackie Mittoo and Carlos Malcolm and others. When we got to Sherwood’s Planet, it was “Oye Como WHAT???” as The Snapper (artist) did “The Pig” (tune). Saito Neko and his orchestra joined Tokyo Jihen onstage for a killer tune called “Killer Tune” and Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts took The Scenic Route. And just in case you were wondering, It Gets Better… just ask Miles Davis. The Home Stretch gave us a double-dose of GotchaSKAvered’s September selection “Guns of Navarone”, even if the Col. Elliott version replaced “Navarone” in the title with “Martian Giants”. Whatever we may have had planned for the 5@5 went right down the All-Swallowing Hole as our minds blanked at 5:a.m. on the very existence of a “5@5”. Oh, well… how ‘bout an even 10 for Sept. 20th? Here on the RSST, we’ve decided (after the 9/13 Ska Trip had concluded) we’re gonna call that Slackers’ Eve, as the 21st is the night of the great Triple Rock triple-header (Prizefighters, Green Room Rockers, Slackers)… see ya there!


The “Ooh” started out this week sending one out to In Your Ear’s Angie Pykonen, who’d played “I’m In the Mood for Love” on her show. We played The Skatalites’ 1983 live version from Stretching Out, sung by Lord Tanamo, “I’m In the Mood for Ska”. 1983 turns 30 next year, making Stretching older now than the band itself was when I first heard the original cassette-only release of the landmark ‘Lites live session, easily qualifying it for inclusion in the Opening Oldies Hour (and 15 minutes). Remember, on the RSST each hour lasts 1hr+15min.! Also heard was trumpeter Raymond Harper’s “Sea Breeze”, a.k.a. “Cool Breeze”, “Breeze of the West”, and probably as many titles as the number of record labels the 45 wound up being released on. Now let’s turn our attention to the doings around Sherwood’s Planet, where we heard an “ancient voodoo tune” performed by “Biff Bailey” and his jazz combo. That combo was actually the Tubby Hayes Quintet, and the tune was lifted directly from the movie “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors”. Turns out Trunk Records, in ’09, released exactly 666 copies of the master “Voodoo Session” as a 45! What you heard on Sherwood’s was cribbed straight from the movie, not the master studio session that was dubbed into the flick as a “live club performance”. (Now if only we could find any release of Neil Sedaka’s studio master of “Do The Jellyfish” the version on the Popcorn Ska 7” was lifted straight from the movie!) Sherwood’s other notable lift directly from a movie was Les Baxter’s end title from “X – The Man with the X-Ray Eyes”. Ready for The Home Stretch? The Skatalites GotchaSKAvered this week with their 1983 take of Guns Of Navarone from the live Stretching Out. At the top of 5am, we made up for the complete lack of a 5@5 last week with a 5(x2)@5 this week… 5 Twin Cities ska bands , 2 songs apiece. Then we threw in 2 by a 6th local ska band * after that! Two *Slackers songs (Triple Rock!! This Friday 9/21!!) found their way into the Home Stretch before The End as well. Missing in action for the whole 4-hour tour? None other than Shiina Ringo! We’ll rectify that next week… promise.

9/27 in a nutshell…

Check out this week’s “Ooh” …it contains more ska, rocksteady and skinhead reggae oldies making their RSST debut than any Ska Trip in a lo-o-o-ong time, including a Lloyd Charmers weirdie that manages to evoke images of Bond… James Bond… galloping through the Old West on a horse! The famous Bond guitar riff, doubled by the bass, alternates with Hammond organ fragments of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, the Magnificent Seven… and somehow even Guns of Navarone works its way into the mix! The real, and very Greek, island of Navarone, in the Aegean Sea, was the (German-occupied) home of two gigantic Nazi guns trained on British forces stranded on nearby Kheros during World War II. The story was told by a 1957 novel and the 1961 movie whose opening title theme was redone for the soundtrack album by Mitch Miller (listen to that for “Niiiii-troglycerin, niiiii-troglycerin!”) in a version that does NOT appear in the movie! Of course, we know that the theme also became a huge hit for The Skatalites, who have recreated it in numerous live recordings since, including the one from the Teatro Armenio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that became part of the Grover live cd In Orbit vol. 1, and is part of this week’s GotchaSKAvered selection (the other part being “Guns” as done up by The Specials) that kicks off the Home Stretch. Other features of this week’s Stretch include a 5@5 made up entirely of ’60s-vintage ska from outside Jamaica… check that set out for the rollicking, raucous Hammond wailing on Lester Lanin’s “West Indies Ska” …who was that guy? In the middle, Sherwood made up for last week’s dearth of Shiina Ringo recordings, as well as spinning his usual lively blend of old cha-chas, sambas, space jazz, big-band jungle jams and something with a vibraphone on it… just ‘cuz it ain’t really Sherwood’s Planet without the occasional vibraphone popping up here and there!