“Great music that won't be soon forgotten by anyone who's heard them”. Do you remember when Pitchfork critic, James P. Wisdom, said that about Save Ferris in his review of their 1997 album, “It Means Everything”? No, of course you don’t, because the 9.5 (out of 10) review for that record was long ago wiped off the site. Pitchfork maintains that it needs to periodically delete items to make room for the new records they are constantly reviewing (and reviewing pretty well), but I smell a rat and P4K isn’t the only corner of the internet that seems to have forgotten about the awesome ska revival of the 90’s.
I feel sort of like the intro to Portlandia’s first episode describing it, but do you remember when kids wore dirty, patch-covered suit-jackets, plaid suspenders, and Doc Martens? When Reggae’s ska stroke style guitars and horns blended with distortion and punk ethos to create a genre of music that was not only unpretentious and danceable, but anti-homophobic, anti-racist, and anti-sexist as well? It wasn’t just Save Ferris, it was The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, The PiETASTERS, Operation Ivy, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and that’s without even mentioning the so-called 2 Tone bands that influenced them.
The Toasters were one of those awesome bands and they are coming to El Corazon on Friday night. If the name doesn’t sound familiar then maybe this will help: their song “Two Tone Army” was used in the intro to the 90’s Nickelodeon show, Kablam! (listen below). Other than that, they have remained fairly obscure, releasing record after record on singer/guitarist Robert “Bucket” Hingley’s Moon Ska and Megalith record labels since ’81 (making them one of the longest running third wave ska acts still touring) and this weekend marks their return to The Emerald City.
Q: How many ska kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Three. Two to drop it, and one to pick it up, pick it up, pick it UP!