Rocket Ship Ska Trip

RSST as a weekly four-hour tour debuted in September.  Starting and ending with traditional, 2-tone and modern ska and rocksteady, sandwiching an hr.20min. of space-age lounge, latin jazz, higher-AND-lower-than-fi exotica, moog-o-phonic-a-delia, extremely jazzy ska/lounge and more of all eras in the middle.  Due to Sherwood's Planet, Vershuub, having fallen through a wormhole, a naturally-occuring teleport engine, and having emerged in a location with ESO 593-IG 008 (a cosmic 3-way intergalactic traffic accident resembling "Tinkerbell") vividly taking up a good chunk of night ska, er, sky, the planet's rotation on its axis has been mysteriously altered to 1 day = 32 (Earth-standard) hours, or 1 &1/3rd days, resulting in Sherwood's Planet, the radio show-within-a-show, adding 20mn. to its run-time to reflect the fact that 1hr. Vershuubi time = 1 1/3rd hr. Earth time. The rest of RSST will accomodate, as follows: 

The "Ooh": 2:a.m. - 3:20a.m.

The "Voov": 3:20a.m. - 4:40a.m.

And the rest (The "Home Stretch"): 4:40a.m. - 6:a.m.

The 4(+?)@4 now mutates into the 5(+?)@5:05.

Hr. 1: The "Ooh" (pronounced "oooooh!") The Opening Oldies Hour, consisting of classic Jamaican ska and rocksteady (Skatalites, Cavaliers, Wailing Wailers, Desmond Dekker, plus some international surprises from around the globe), 2Tone (both the label _and_ the era, so think Specials, Selecter, Bad Manners, as well as '80s ska one-offs by The Lambrettas, (Donatella) Rettore, Yellow Magic Orchestra(!) etc...  and Ska's Lost Decade (roughly '68-'78), peppered with rare mid-'70s ska by names like Zap Pow, Skatalites founder Tommy McCook,  Haruomi Hosono ("Ska Beguine" anyone?) and others!

Hr. 2: Sherwood's Planet...  a.k.a. "The Voov"  ...short for the "Voovie Doo Lounge",  middle-hour alter-ego host Sherwood B. Funn's orbital party palace famous galaxy-wide (at least in the hyperactive imaginings of Mr. Funn) for orbiting the aforementioned "Planet", and also for spinning space-age trop/pop, exotic jazz, moog-o-phonic-a-delia and the like, by everyone from Duke Ellington to Les Baxter, Cal Tjader to Arthur Lyman, Combustible Edison to Tipsy, Senor Coconut to Perrey/Kingsley, Shiina Ringo to Yasutaka Nakata... and that's just lopping the tip off the iceberg!

Hr. 3: The Home Stretch...  this feature-packed hour:20 includes the GotchaSKAvered Ska Cover-of-the-Month Club at 4:40,  the 5:05 5(+?)-in-a-row and a local-to-global ska selection encompassing The Prizefighters, The Dropsteppers, Umbrella Bed, The Slackers, The Pinstripes, Westbound Train, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Cabernet Deneuve, Jazz Jamaica All Stars... mixed in with a stray musical wild-card here and there... and you get bumpers by RSST's very own Mutant Frogs (and Carr/McWheele Orch.) throughout the whole show...  2 Much for 3 Hours, so we've gone to 4!

And don't forget, if you miss the show, listen anytime on the internet... all KFAI-originated shows are archived online for 2 weeks_ sometimes more!

Recent Playlists

4/17/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip
4/10/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip
4/3/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

4/3 in a nutshell…

We broke format this week, as Caravan Palace (Cedar Cultural Center, Sat. 4/5) found their way onto the “Ooh” portion of our playlist, usually reserved for ska and rocksteady oldies of the ’60s and ’70s. We were also offering up free admission to the show as a pledge premium for our Spring 2014 fundraiser, along with Bim Skala Bim’s comeback release, Chet’s Last Call, from which we played “Summer Of Ska” and other tunes as pledge bait. But seriously, I wanna head down to the Cedar this Saturday and find the place packed to the gills… the Palace deserve it for being such a foremost exponent of the occasionally ska-influenced Django-Reinhardt-meets-Daft-Punk rhythmic stew known as Electro-Swing. Last time they played the Cedar, this DJ/bandmember was out of town on a gig and couldn’t go, so this time I ain’t missin’ it for the world, boss. Emil Richards got two of his calendar-album tracks aired in the Voov, “Diamond (April)” and “Emerald (May)” from Stones, and with that Sherwood took his “Planet” globetrotting all over the place: Korea (Ga-In), Japan (Unchain, Melting Holidays), Sweden (Little Dragon featuring Yukimi Nagano), and France (had to get some Caravan Palace into the mix). The Home Stretch introduced “Ball of Fire” as the GotchaSKAvered Ska Cover-of-the-Month Club selection for April, leading off with the Ernest Ranglin version from Below the Bassline. Keep in mind that every version of this tune you’ll hear this (or any) month is a cover of British TV’s “Echo 4-2” theme, but to the best of my knowledge. the only ska band calling it “Echo 4-2” has been Bad Manners. Which leads us to…. the 5@5:05. Last Friday, RSST essentially filled in for a vacationing Simon on KFAI’s True Brit and put on… The Great British Skaaaaaaa!!! Wanting to continue that business here, but with bands we didn’t play last Friday, the result was… The Meow Meows, The Delegators, Phoenix City All Stars, The Dualers, and King Porter Stomp. And from there, it was a hop, skip and a jump to The End. Next week, Spring 2014 pledge drive RSST week 2! Tune in and stay tuned!

3/27/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

3/27 in a nutshell…

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!

3/20/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

3/20 in a nutshell…

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.

3/13/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

3/13 in a nutshell…

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!

3/6/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

3/6 in a nutshell…

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!

2/27/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

2/27 in a nutshell…

Lotsa ska and rocksteady oldies made their “Ooh” debut this week. Including tunes by Desmond Tucker (not Dekker), King Rocky (not Sporty), Andy & Lloydie (not Andy & Joey) plus… a second Studio 1 take of Lord Creator’s “Evening News” (actually, for all I know, it might’ve been the first Studio 1 take!) Anyhoo, we compared the endings of the two on-air… listen for the completely different piano splashes that end each take… ‘nuff said! Sherwood got about five songs into his set when it hit him that all five were on RCA Victor, including two by Henry Mancini from Breakfast at Tiffany’s… so he ran with the ball and devoted a fair chunk of his air this week to an extended all-RCA set that included Dick Schory, the Three Suns, the Sauter/Finegan Orchestra and Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, among others. The Home Stretch put February, and the Lollipop-of-the-Week, to bed with something we just recently found… Yvonne Prenosilova’s “Lollipop” (“Mne Se Libi Bob”), but not the nearly-halved just-over-a-minute vidclip edit we’ve played before, but the full 1:57 song as Bob intended. Then The Sideburns follow up last week’s “Exodus” with an Exo-Dub, and there’s a 5@5:05 from across the Atlantic… Spain, to be exact, and wait’ll you hear Barcelona’s Sybarites skank their way through “Lady Marmalade” …morphing it into “Oye Como Va” before they finish! Before the show wraps up, we hear Runa Miyoshida put her Ska Flavor touch on John Denver’s “Country Roads” (which song you also heard during Sherwood’s Planet, played by the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu-produced Zaki) and another Spanish outfit, Dr. Calypso, play ska with Patrick Hernandez’s old disco tune “Born to Be Alive.” Next week, the first Ska Trip of March… which means calendar-album time again on Sherwood’s Planet! That, plus lotsa ska and more, when you tune in… and stay tuned!

2/20/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

2/20 in a nutshell…

It’s “Ska-Re-Mi” as the Ooh salutes Ernest Ranglin to kick off the show, with a 4-song set that culminates in Horace Forbes (backed by Ernie and crew) singing “Gentle On My Mind.” Skatalites sequel the Soul Bros. version Wings of a Dove into “On the Town,” and we take back-to-back “Sea Cruises” with Jackie Edwards and original singer Frankie Ford. Prince Buster turns in a fine, funky 1972 take of “Al Capone,” and Otis Gayle will “Be Around.” When we say hello to Sherwood’s world (and welcome to it, by the way) we paradoxically enough hear Serani Poji bidding a Sweet Strawberry goodbye, Modern Jazz Quartet welcoming a visitor apiece from Mars and Venus, and we have a pair of jazzy, laid-back tunes by the often hypercaffienated Macdonald Duck Eclair. Later, Philly legends MFSB lay on the “TLC.” Want actual proof? Herbie Hancock’s got it! We also hear from Capsule, Fred Katz and Artie Shaw before it’s Home Stretch time. Once there, Tamara Saric delivers the Lilihip, er, Lollipop, it’s The Sideburns with “Exodus” (part one, btw) and in the 5@5:05, Japan Takes Ska into Space… which, after all, is where it’s lived ever since Tommy McCook named a certain band The Skatalites. Tune in, and stay tuned!

2/13/2014 Rocket Ship Ska Trip

2/13 in a nutshell…

This week’s “Ooh” goes out to Angie and The Nighthawk in a continuation of their V-Day “Love Stinks” shenanigans. Classic ska titles like Delroy Wilson’s “Tear Us Apart,” Rita Marley’s “You Lied,” Ken Boothe’s “You’re No Good” and Mamie Perry’s “Lament” are the tips of the iceberg, we’re sure you’ll agree. We even chucked in a good ol’ silly love song just for kicks… but not the one by Sir Paul! Next, drown your troubles in the doubles (and even a pair of triples) poured by Sherwood in the Voovie Doo, in orbit around his Planet. You’ll be carried away to the tropics of your imagination by Arthur Lyman, David Rose, The Islanders and more… and about those triples: you can overdose yourself on George Russell’s “Chromatic Universe,” parts 1, 2, and 3… and then cross the Yello “Swing” bridge over to the Mort Garson hat-trick! Garson himself performs “Symphony for a Spider Plant,” followed up by Terry Gibbs vibing his way through Garson’s hit “Our Day Will Come,” and finishing up with a live-in-concert Shiina Ringo (had to work her into this mix somehow), singing with Tokyo Jihen in what we call the “N… H… K…?” version of Garson’s “Dynamite.” The Home Stretch gave us Lulu (or should we say “Our Girl Lulupop?”) singing… oh, you know what she sang! “Exodus,” the movie theme and the GotchaSKAvered Ska Cover-of-the-Month selection for February, was done up by Jazz Jamaica from their Double Barrel release, and five more non-2Tone-affiliated UK artists made up the 5@5:05. Perfect excuse for us to dredge up The Dualers’ winter-weather advisory “Jack Frost” again… we love that thing around here, especially when we know the degrees are about to drop like flies into stupid-below-zero territory… and we’ve been pounded by a lot of that this winter! So will “Jack Frost” get played again next week? Tune in, and stay tuned.