A rather bizarre question… what if what we refer to as “3rd-wave” ska had accidentally been invented a full decade before the birth of 2Tone by a British prog/fusion horn band? The result might have sounded something like our opening number from way back in ’69, Galliard’s “Pastorale”. Pay close attention to the rhythm guitar to hear what I mean! Sherwood’s Planet got off to a “Funn” start with m-flo/Nomiya Maki/Crazy Ken Band samba delight “Cosmic Night Run”. The Home Stretch had Swedish dance band Jontez saxophoning their way through an instrumental Lollipop, the 5@5:05 were all ska Beatles covers, including one by The Skeatles, and we had a double-shot of The Selecter, a newie and an oldie. Though String Theory already sounds like an old friend… we’ll still be grooving to that one when it reaches Bullet or Pressure’s current age. ‘Til then, tune in… and stay tuned!
The RSST broke out some oldie mixes for the “Ooh” that we haven’t aired in quite a while, including two Jamaican versions of a Doc Bagby tune called “You’re So Delightful”. It was renamed “You Can Depend On Me” for the Roland Alphonso take that kicks off the set, but got its original title back for the Skatalites cover a couple of short years later that “Depend” segues into. “Guns of the Martian Giants” is a reworking of, again, The Skatalites… this time their reworking of “Guns of Navarone”, the movie theme. “On the Beach” was two entirely different songs, and our 3-song Monkey Mix includes a “Monkey Man Ska” by Carlos Malcolm that’s not to be confused with anything Toots did with the Maytals. Having mentioned Roland Alphonso earlier, do check out the Creedence cover by his son, drummer Noel Alphonso with his band Jah Malla. Now Sherwood had himself an interesting Planet this time out. Japanese steel drummer (and Sun Ra enthusiast) Yann Tomita traveled the spaceways, Oriental Magnetic Yellow (OMY, sort of a parallel-universe YMO), gave us “Beyond the Muscle” (“Behind the Mask’s” jazzier-sounding cousin), and a non-Japanese band with (parentheses) in its name, The Rising Sun (Treasure Cove) Steel Band played “Enjoy Yourself” and “Somewhere My Love”. Electro-swingers Odjbox turn up both in the Voovie Doo and in the Home Stretch, exhibiting electro-swing’s occasionally strong ska-like tendencies on “Baker’s Dozen”. All-Jamaica crew Coyabalites, complete with guitarist Ernest Ranglin did the Lollipop honors this week, and he 5@@5:05 had a 2Tone connection, tho’ these tracks weren’t released by the label (certainly anything from The Selecter’s fine current release String Theory are way too recent to have been on 2Tone). The set includes occasional Madness co-producer Clive Langer with his band The Boxes, from Splash. Aside from Giuliano Palma’s cd-glitch-foreshortened “Jump”, the rest of the Stretch went off without a hitch. ‘Til next time, tune in… and stay tuned!
Ahh, another oldie-debut-intensive “Ooh” this week. Perhaps the most surprising title comes to us from Bell’s Orchestra way back in ’61… “Cable & Wireless” …I kid you not! Two Nevilles followed, and they’re not brothers: Neville is their first name. Neville Esson sang “Wicked & Dreadful” and Neville Hinds ripped into his Hammond B3 with enough energy to light up the entire Eastern Seaboard on “Kingston West” …did I just say “eastern” something-or-other? My bad. Lord Tanamo and Derrick Morgan both sang “You Never Know” …2 entirely different songs! Bunny & Skitter sang about a boogie shuffle DJ named “King Spinner” and Lord Briscoe’s “Spiritual Mambo” was in fact a full-on Lloyd Knibb-powered burru explosion that I think I in fact have spun on these airwaves before! Sherwood for the first time spun OMY and YMO back-to-back…Oriental Magnetic Yellow is a parallel-universe YMO dreamed up by VGM (video-game music) composers, and their “Namoon” segues quite nicely into Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Simoon”. OMY have a back-catalogue by now reinventing quite a few YMO releases with ear-startling results, and longtime YMO fans will recognize the arrangements if not the actual tunes! The “Planet” also finally got around to this month’s “calendar album” tracks from Hal Blaine and Emil Richards. What Sherwood DIDN’T do this week was any Shiina Ringo, so you got “Ringrolled” in the Home Stretch with SR/TSPO collab “Mayonaka wa Junketsu” …and it was about damn time! Metro Stylee contributes the second “My Boy Lollipop” in as many weeks to feature the talents of Ernest Ranglin. Wanna hear E.R.‘s guitar on a hip-hop cut? This is it! The 5@5:05 rocked the Froggies this week. ‘Til next week, tune in… and stay tuned!
The “Ooh” got rolling with an English Beat classic in honor of their coming appearance at the Cabooze on 12/1 before settling into a comforable old ’60s ska groove, throwing occasional curveballs like Annamarie’s “Lollipop” knockoff “Little Boy Butterfly” and the yardstyle Perrey/Kingsley-isms of Colonel Elliott & the Lunatics. Sherwood’s Planet didn’t get shorted… it only looks that way because the Perez Prado Orchestra stretched their “Voodoo Suite” out to a whopping 23+ minutes! Also check out Rubin Steiner (who we haven’t played in, like, forever… shame on us!), Les Baxter, Lionel Hampton and a duo named Serani Poji. The Home Stretch launched us Earthward again with Italians Arpioni and their girl Lollipop. The Lights Went Down and a Bad Moon Rose thanks to Noel Alphonso’s outfit Jah Malla before the 5@5:05 took us to the Japanese Ska Zoo. Lions, ducks (drakes, to be exact), a penguin, an elephant, and later on, even some mice… well, their teeth, at least… all doing the Ska quite authoritatively. Begoña Bang Matu made her RSST debut, appropriately enough given the time of year, with “Autumn Leaves” and, just wait’ll you hear MFSB playing ska… no, not thatMFSB, but rather Mr. Fly Ska Band!CURVEBALL! ‘Til next time, tune in… and stay tuned.
Jumbies, ghost riders, Frankenstein, Dracula (and a she-Dracula at that!), drunk first mates, devils (and their daffodils!), Martian giants (and their guns)… and cannibal schoolkids who think Santa Claus is “good enough to eat” (how’s that for a Nightmare Before Christmas?!) more Skalloween fun than a barrel of flying monkeys on this week’s RSST… plus there was a whole lot of voodoo goin’ on onboard the Voovie Doo… 23+min. worth of Perez Prado, plus later on, some Tubby Hayes (as “Biff Bailey”) from “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors”. Voodoo aside, Sherwood also had Count Slapbackula, the Devil’s daughter, a spider plant, visitors from both Mars and Venus, and dancing skeletons on offer. The Home Stretch launched with two Lollipops, one under Ernest Ranglin’s name (ft. the voice of Alana Davis) and one we’ve heard before… our weirdification of a horribly low-bitrate mp3 of the La Famille Staunton take, featuring the voice of a then-9-year-old Beverley Staunton. There actually was a theme to the 5@5:05 this week… ska tunes that had absolutely diddly-squat-all to do with Halloween! We also had cuts from the Skannibal Party series and something from our pick for the OFFICIAL album of Skalloween: “It Came from Six Feet Deep” …it came from 1997. Tune in… and stay tuned!