This section is
dedicated to opinions. Everybody has one, so here's your chance,
after you're done here go to the contact section and e-mail us something!
Unless it's racist we'll probably publish it for you. If it IS racist then
we'll find out where you live and give your address to the local S.H.A.R.P.'s!
(Updated April 3rd)
"A State of the Scene Address"
"Exclusiveness" (Russ Costa)
"Get off Yer Arse!" (Chris)
"Stupidity, spelled "J-A-N-E""
"STUPIDITY, SPELLED J-A-N-E"
before I go off, you have to read this, so you understand the title:
"The kids love ska, which I have no problem with, especially if
they do their cute little running-in-place dance. I like ska,
too, although I feel woefully uninformed on anything later than
Madness. (I'm just getting older and older.) Hepcat plays
an old school, slowed down version of ska that is soothing and
just so civilized. Actually, since ska is sped-up reggae, I
don't know why people don't just call Hepcat's music reggae. Because
of the horn section? Or maybe because reggae isn't
the next big thing. It will be next year. -CHRISTINA KELLY"
JANE Fairchild Publications,Inc.
7 W. 34th ST., New York, NY 10001 (attn: Christina Kelly)
See what I'm talking about? My question
is, since when did it become the policy of national publications to hire
directly out of high school creative writing classes? You know what I'm
talking about. When the rest of us were taking classes which taught us
at least something about the literary traditions of western culture,
there were always a few special cases. theses were the ones who
needed that extra bit of attention, AKA, "I can't hack it in normal, challenging
classes so I'll take the one where the teacher's a hippy, and thinks grammar
is a government conspiracy to inhibit our inner selves." Not only did that
review by the illustrious Miss Kelly lack the personality of a jellyfish,
it proved that the idea of researching your subject before putting pen
to paper is evidently just a tad too challenging for a mind mainly
concerned with the shade of lipstick that will be "in" next week. When
did the act of typing "ska" into a search engine become so difficult a
task that a person would be more inclined to make up facts in her head,
than to actually take pride in her future reputation and, spending a few
minutes on a computer, save her literary hide from the eternal name tag
"idiot"? True, the clipped
review may currently seem like a minor mistake, though laughable, but what
are the future ramifications of such a "tabloid" definition of Ska as Miss
Kelly produces? When you consider that the many representatives, (though
hardly by our vote) of Ska culture in the mainstream, are such bands as
Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris, and No Doubt then you can see that we hardly
need MORE misleading press about a type of music already ill-defined and
misunderstood by much of the populace. Perhaps the only thing worse than
sharing standing space with a greek letter T-shirt wearing, overly physical
frat boy at a show, is sharing it with one who's conceptions about Ska
are entirely misled. Have you ever tried to correct a drunk frat boy about
something that they said, especially when you've had a few yourself? Unless
you are one of the few fortunate enough among us to be both intelligent
AND built like a brick wall, you're going to come out the loser, especially
when the football team turns up.
Okay, so what am I saying? Is there
a point to this rant? Well yes, and it's called being pro-active,
rather than re-active. The tendency, as Ska becomes the next big
thing, is to react negatively to the bad press. Perhaps you feel "packaged"
by the media, but how to stop this? The answer is one that many people
might find painful, it's to go out and promote yourself. Look at it this
way, you're going to get a poster image whether you like it or not, so
would you prefer it to come from Miss Kelly of JANE fame, or from your
own mouth? If YOU tell it like it easy then at least it's going to have
a ring of truth, no matter what Mtv does to the wording later on. Otherwise
you are just another one of those crazy kids who likes "reggae with horns",
something Miss Kelly doesn't understand and so compensates for with lies,
and that just plain sucks.
State of the Scene Address By Chris (Web editor)
90's, Ska is now in what is referred to by most as its third wave. Other
genres of music such as punk and hard-core, as well as just about any other
type of sound, are having a large influence on the traditional and 2-tone
beats we hold so dear. Ska has definitely become more aggressive and louder
than it ever has been in the past, because of this it is becoming more
and more popular, attracting a much larger audience of people. Thanks to
music television stations, and movies, (I know I heard Fishbone
playing in the background of a Movie Ad. the other day), it is definitely
edging closer to the mainstream, though I doubt it will ever achieve "Madonnadom",
if you know what I mean. Still, we are watching what many of us considered
a private club, and guarded jealousy, go public. The question is, how bad
is this really? That is the point I want to address.
Yeah, we all
get irked when our domain gets invaded, seeing a crowd of white hats converging
on your local club for the show can produce shivers of ill feeling in anyone,
because you know they are going to get rowdy at some point and cause a
problem. Or perhaps it's the gaggle of teenage girls who read that ska
shows are where ALL the cute, trendies will be this season, and so paint
themselves up like street walkers in vain attempts to get attention. Usually
though, they just pose in the back and yes, meet a nice white hat or two.
But whoever you have your personal vendetta against, and you know you do,
they can easily take away from the over-all vibe you are getting from the
show, and the band, right? Especially that band that you love and almost
never get to see 'cause damn it, they hardly ever tour around where you
live. Well, hey, guess what? sorry to say, but if you want to see more
shows, then those meat heads and those ditzy girls are your best friends.
Most Ska bands scrape by on what they earn from playing, it looks fun but
it's hard work to be in a full time band. Five hundred dollars for a show
might sound great, but split it six or eight ways and it isn't so exciting
is it? Money makes the world go round, and it definitely makes a band travel.
If a band attracts a good audience word will get out. Club owners want
profits, not to tend to your need to feel special and cool because you
listen to underground music! They will bring in the bands that bring in
the cash, so if your favorite Ska band brings in the cash chances are you
are going to see a lot more of them at the clubs in your area. In the end
that IS what you really want isn't it? If it isn't then maybe you
should check your own reasons for going to shows and listening to Ska.
Because if it isn't, then what separates you from those mainstream monkeys
you love to hate? Besides, give it a chance and the hoopla will blow over,
shallow people and long term interests have very little in common, and
anyway, you're an individual right? So do your own thing and let everyone
live the life they are inevitably going to lead anyway.
"Stay Rude, Stay Rebel!" -The NoSports
By Russ Costa
Think of a time when someone didn't
accept you because you were different. It has happened to almost everyone
who displays some sort of individuality, whether it be in hair style, clothing,
musical taste, actions, or beliefs. I think most of us would agree that
we should accept people for who they are, even if they are different. However,
many who agree with this policy of acceptance do not practice it. Many
of us were listening to ska music before it was "trendy". Friends have
said things to me such as "why do you listen to that shit that nobody has
ever heard before?" I'm sure many of you once heard similar comments. Of
course, now that ska is becoming more popular, the frequency of those remarks
are declining. But today, I hear many rudies saying things to the effect
of "your music sucks and you suck because you listen to it!" These speakers
are the same people who once took shit and hated it for the music they
listened to. I'm not saying that you should like every type of music ever
created, only that you should respect all music and its fans. Although
it seems this point is driven into the ground and well known, I still hear
rudies saying punks suck (and making fun of their clothing, dancing, and
music), and punks saying the same about rudies (insults about dress, dancing,
and musical taste included). Also, both punks and rudies criticize punk-ska.
There is nothing wrong with not liking the music, but most of the comment
are not "I don't like ______,"but rather "You and your _______ music sucks."
In a sense both the punk and ska scenes (ands many other genres) are in
a similar situation - they are not about a vastly popular style of music,
and most of the fans are expressing some form of individuality, and are
being somewhat different, by listening to whatever form of music they chooseto;
and most likely, they are dealing with some lack of acceptance for listening
to it. Yet these are the same people who tear down someone else for not
listening to their style of music. Hypocrisy? Yes. Problem? Yes. There
is a relatively easy solution to this problem, though - OPEN MINDS. No,
we don't have to like everything, but we shouldn't irrationally hate everything
that's different from us or our tastes. I think one can also see how this
problem extends beyond simply musical preference.
Get off Yer Arse!
By Chris (Web editor) Ska is still small time, sure,
there are a couple of bands on eMpTVy with videos, and you can sometimes
catch a commercial with Ska background music, but in the grand bugger all
that is the mainstream music scene, Ska is a small pimple with dreams of
boildom, and that isn't just a disgusting description. I really hope that
when Ska hits the big time it makes all those fat corporate record label
hogs scratch their asses in irritation because it won't lie down and stop
making a unique contribution to mass music culture. But anyway, back on topic, Ska is still relatively "underground"
in that it doesn't enjoy a wide spread audience right? So why the hell
is everyone acting so bloody stuck up lately? What I'm talking about is
the criticism and rejection of little known and unsigned bands that I've
noticed lately. Seriously, it seems like most local bands have to stay
home if they expect anyone to turn up, let alone dance to their music anymore.
There seems to be some kind of bullshit elitism going around that accords
people the right to ignore a band just because it's not on the Moon Ska
line up! You know exactly what I'm saying, everyone sits around smoking
and staring at the band, which is composed of a bunch of individuals who's
excitement and dedication is directly affected by the amount of acceptance
they receive. So what do we do? Instead of giving them the encouragement
they deserve just for getting up in front of everyone and banging away,
we make them feel like they suck. Guess what? Most of those big bands that
are "cool" to dance to were small time once, they probably weren't too
tight, their singer's voice may have cracked on stage, all in all they
weren't too great, but they stuck to it and it got them somewhere. If small
time bands have the level of dedication to keep getting on stage and performing,
and practicing, don't they at least accord the right to some respect? Hell
yes they do. Perhaps you don't realize it, but think of it this way, even
if you are a loafer, you can't play an instrument for the life of you,
or you lack the courage to stand on stage, you still have an effect on
the future of a band, simply by giving them the support they need. That
way you can gain some small confidence in the fact that you were partly
responsible for the next Toasters, or Johnny Too Bad. I admit to having
been one of these offenders that I am complaining about, but no more, it's
time to stop the stupid competitiveness that has infiltrated the fan contingent
lately. I mean, it's bullshit, where do fans get off being cocky? What
have you done that's so special? Stand around looking cool? Try PERFORMING
for people tough guy! Then you have the right to have an ego. So, start
going to small Ska shows, turn up to actually see the opening act PLAY,
not to watch them pack up their equipment. Go up front and dance, so what
if people stare?, you deserve more respect than they do because YOU support
the big bands of tomorrow. I'll see you at the next show.
Back to the top!