In the run-up to International Women’s Day, it’s Worldwide Women Of Ska Night on the RSST… and don’t forget about what I’m declaring in online print this week to be Sherwood’s GALaxy! So whether you tune in the “Ooh” for a dose of vintage Rita Marley, Millie Small, Joanne Dennis, Girl Satchmo (yes, a female Jamaican Louis Armstrong impersonator… and she performed at Toronto’s Legends Of Ska fest back in ’02!)) and more, or catch the Home Stretch and hear Mimi Maura belting out a song by Rita’s late husband Bob, in addition to the choice voices of Donatella Rettore, Begoña Bang Matu, Pauline Black …and more (including Norway’s Razika making their RSST debut), don’t forget to check out who’s in the middle… La Lupe having herself a “Fever,” original “Dr. Who” soundscaper Delia Derbyshire performing “Love Without Sound” with her late-‘60s band White Noise, and the one-and-only Ella Fitzgerald blasting out “Sunshine Of Your Love” backed by a screamin’ hot big band! We didn’t forget your weekly dose of Shiina Ringo, either, be it the sultry bossa nova of “Ringo no Uta,” or the Horace Silver/Steely Dan/Stevie Wonder-influenced pop perfection of “Konya wa Karasawagi” with the sadly-disbanded Tokyo Jihen. Despite occasional bouts of equipment glitchery, this RSST is one for the ages. Tune in, and stay tuned!
The “Ooh” was pretty evenly split between being “Worldwide Women of Ska Part 2” and simply being a good ole Opening Oldies Hour (and 20min.) On the archive, you can hear records by Rita Marley, Jenny Taylor, Dawn Penn, and classic ska duets by Fay & Gabby, Sugar & Dandy, Derrick & Patsy and more. The set was rounded out with some choice instros by Raymond Harper, Roy Richards and Roland Alphonso as well as a few goodies by guys like Robert Marley (pre-Wailers), Lord Brynner and Desmond Dekker. Sherwood got one of his CATs (calendar-album tracks) on, this week by the psychedelically percussive Hal Blaine, and spent some more time in his “GALaxy” (spinning Lydia Lunch, Eartha Kitt, Perfume, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Nina Hagen and, of course Shiina Ringo) and also made room for Kev Hopper, Señor Coconut and The Beepers (who all happen to be named Giorgio Moroder, btw) to ease us into The Home Stretch. And guess what? The regular features were back! Jazz Jamaica All Stars launched the GotchaSAKvered Ska Cover-of-the-Month selection for March, the Don D classic “Confucious.” We had a 5@5:05 of ska bands playing things that aren’t strictly-speaking ska (perhaps furthest-afield, or perhaps not, were cumbias by Melbourne Ska Orchestra and Cabernet Deneuve), and Runa Miyoshida, St. Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review and Begoña Bang Matu took us to the wrap-up, but not before Sara McAllister covered Stephen Stills… and in fine style, for what it’s worth! If ya want more fine styles, ska-wise and otherwise next week, tune in… and stay tuned!
It was Big Name Time in the Ooh this week, and our set was peppered with plenty of the usual suspects… Lee Perry, Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley, Millie Small, and many more made the scene, some backed up by The Skatalites or some variant thereof (probably the post-Knibb/Brevett Soul Bros. propelling late-ska/early-rocksteady groovers like The Renegades’ “Mr. Hops”… ), and we didn’t leave out Byron Lee and his uptown crew of “Jamaica Ska”-ing Dragonaires. Stay tuned for Sherwood’s Planet, where Mr. B. Funn brought you Emil Richards’ calendar-album track for March, from his Stones lp (not a Mick/Keef tribute, btw), rescued a glitched YMCK cut something like 8 songs after the fact (last year’s “Turn Left, Turn Right,” which tracked flawlessy up in Deck 1), and double-shotted Victor Feldman and the cosmic Lonnie Liston Smith. GotchaSKAvered, as usual, got the Home Stretch rolling with Accurate-label jazz trombonist Josh Roseman’s take on Don Drummond’s “Confucious.” Italian ska bands made up the 5(+1)@5:05, including 3mende, Ska-J and both of Giuliano Palma’s bands, Casino Royale and The Bluebeaters. And Arpioni got into the set twice! As I type this up, the Perfume/Tokyo Ska collab gig at NHK Hall has already happened, and if I ever find tracks from it streaming anywhere (please, a recording of this DOES exist, right?) I’ll give ‘em a spin… tune in and stay tuned.
Let’s work our way back from The End this week, just ‘cuz the Home Stretch had some pretty cool stuff in it, like a 5@5:05 of Big Bands Gone Ska… including Western Standard Time, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, and whichever vintage orchestra backed up Rita Hovink on 1964’s Dutch skanker “De Blue Blue Beat.” We also had a couple of Victor Rice “Strikkly Vikkly” ska dubs, a boss mix of Skatroniks Jamaica into New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, and some TV and Movie Themes by a band whose “Rocky” cover we’ve aired before on the RSST… Germany’s Lions Club. It turns out that this band evolved out of another band that also did a TV/movie themes album: Wanja’s Choice, and that band is The Butlers. What say we put ‘em head-to-head next week? Should be fun! The ’90s Skatalites covered the ’60s Skatalites, serving up in the process our final version of Don Drummond’s “Confucious” for March. Next week is our first RSST of April. and that means a whole new GotchaSKAvered yet to be determined. Sherwood showed up with a “Maid of the Mist,” some “Snow Creatures” and a track from Shiina Ringo’s recent collabs anthology Ukina from which we heard “Becoming” featuring Takashi Taniguchi. Working our way back to the first segment, The “Ooh” Crew “Ska’d Down Jamaica Way” to tunes by Ferdie Nelson, Joe Higgs, Rita Marley, Claire Rane, The Melodians and more. You want still more? Next week, tune in, stay tuned, and support your Broadcast Home of Ska with some operating funds, ‘cuz it’ll be the first RSST of KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive 2014, so send yer radio station some bux… see ya!
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