Ooh! Our Pledge Drive week 1 edition got off to a slightly glitchy start when a deck locked-up in the middle of “Jamaica Ska”, West Side Symphony Steel Orchestra style. Funny, one of our other identical decks played it flawlessly just a few minutes later! It was part of a tribute to the Byron Lee hit that included the song it was modeled on, Marv Johnson’s “Come On and Stop”. We bumpered an early version of a Mutant Frogs thing we’re calling “NASKA Dub”, and hunting around on YouTube yielded an unreleased Don Drummond jam called “Port Royal”. Sherwood bumpered a new Froggie mix of various samples of interplanetary electromagnetic frequencies received by NASA satellites, called… what else? “Interplanetary Frequencies”. This week’s Planet also included Arthur Lyman, The Peanuts, Fred Katz and a guy he used to provide musical backing for, Ken Nordine. Kicking off the Home Stretch, The Ska-Men, featuring an uncredited Ska-Woman, delivered the GotchaSKAvered Lollipop-of-the-Week, and we had the RSST debut of a new Caro Emerald remix by somebody named Lokee. If we had a 5@5:05 planned, it went right down a Pledge Drive memory hole, so we’ll do a 5×2 next week! Tune in… and Stay Tuned.
Kicking off this week’s “Ooh” in memory of Annette Funicello (10/22/42 – 4/8/13), the onetime Mouseketeer who introduced ska to the beaches of California (covering the very same song with which Byron Lee introduced it to New York City). Annette sings Lee’s “Jamaica Ska” twice… once in 1964, and once in 1987, the latter version backed by none other than Fishbone, as heard in the movie “Back to the Beach”. Also reprised is the steel drum version by West Side Symphony Steel Orchestra. Sherwood gets around to April’s “calendar album” tracks, the psychedelically percussive Hal Blaine’s “Hallucinations” and the equally trippy Emil Richards’ “Diamond”. Incidentally, Emil played on Hal’s album! Via YouTube, Mr. Funn visits Tiki Oasis 10 for a 9+min. “Quiet Village” jammed out (loud), birdcalls and all, by the Martini Kings. Listen for a nicely atmospheric transition into Shiina Ringo’s “Poltergeist”. In the Home Stretch, Rita Pavone GotusSKAvered with “Tu Sei Pallido”, a “Lollipop” by any other name, and a spicy one to boot. 5 Mutant Froggies starting at a wee bit past 5:05, some Toots, some Justin Hinds, some TSPO and some Jimmy Cliff later leads up to the wrap-up, and another safe, smooth transition to the Merry Band of Coffeemakers brewing up and serving up your Morning Blend. Tune in… and Stay Tuned!
This week, let’s fast-forward to the Home Stretch. 2 weeks ago, due to the lack of a 5@5:05, we promised skassengers a 5×2@5:05 the following week, which we didn’t actually deliver last week. So this week, we decided that the whole Home Stretch (except for the Mutant Frogs bumpers and, of course, of course, “The End”) would be Japanese ska, or as we like to say around here, “Skapanese”, including the J-Lollipop unwrapped by Mie Nakao, whose version of “My Boy” manages to liberally reference that other Lollipop, the one by The Chordettes. In a then-future century, an outfit called The Dreamlets would do likewise, but this week we spun their “Nina”, inspired as we were by Sherwood B. Funn’s unplanned airing of Nina Hagen’s delightful “Flying Saucers”. Another Home Stretch highlight: a hat-trick of Runa Miyoshida goodies, one each from her first three Ska Flavor albums, albeit not in numerical order. But back to Sherwood… Imagine Herbie Hancock’s vocoderized voice scatting along with Grappelli and Reinhardt over spaciously chilled trip-hop beatz, and you’ve pretty much got the gist of “Star Scat”, a truly hallounginogenic confection from electro-swingers Caravan Palace. Don’t worry, you’re just hearing things… and I’m spinnin’em! While in Sherwood’s orbit, Shiina Ringo gave us a current weather report (“Rain’s a-comin’ down, rain’s a-comin’ deaaownn…”) while Weather Report gave us Wayne Shorter’s “When It Was Now”. Seriously, as I type this up, rain’s still a-comin’ deeaaoowwnnnn… let’s make it fly back up as we reverse the flow of time and back up into the “Ooh”… what a well-rounded selection of fine old ska goodies we have here, ranging from Clue J. to Stranger & Patsy, from The Dragonaires to The Upsetters. No real theme except, “Ooh, I like this one… and this one… and hold on, we haven’t heard that in a while!” Y’know… wingin’ it. Tune in… and stay tuned!
“Pempelem… pelem-pem-pem!” So sang Azie Lawrence to kick off a set that careened from The Melodians to Chris Farlowe & the Thunderbirds (as “The Beazers”) to Colonel Elliott & the Lunatics and of course included The Skatalites, making for hoppy-skippy-jumpy diversity that had us doing all three. And when we reached Sherwood’s Planet… well, who but Sherwood spins Emerson Lake & Palmer and the Dave Brubeck Octet back-to-back_ and the Bru’s spoken-word meditation on “How High the Moon” at that? The ELP cut was “Tank”, by the way… Yukari Ito took us into the Home Stretch with another of our three ’60s Japanese “Lollipops”, Mutant Frogs took over the 5(+1)@5:05 with a set of some of Sherwood’s bumpers, David Lindley’s take on “Werewolves of London” served to remind us all of his soon-to-be May 22 appearance at Cedar Cultural Center, and we belatedly sent Maggie Thatcher off to the Great Beyond with a certain English Beat song. Phoenix City All Stars added to its cover of “The Selecter” the tune’s original title “Kingston Affair”, and with that, we remind you to Tune In… and Stay Tuned.
Can't get enough of the programs you hear on the air? Then check out KFAI's Web Exclusive programming for the no-holds-barred, uncut content that you won't find anywhere else! New episodes are uploaded every Thursday, so look beyond the radio-dial!