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FAQ: Ska (alt.music.ska) Frequently Asked Questions (Part 1 of 3)

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Archive-name: music/ska-faq/part1
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URL:http://www.twillis.com/ska/faq/
URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/music/ska-faq/part1

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                        FAQ for (news:alt.music.ska)
                   Questions and answers about ska music
                              Tomas Willis
                            tomas@twillis.com

Administrivia:

    Go forth and skank.


Subject: 1.1: Introduction In response to all of those ``Isn't ska some dance form of reggae?'' questions, I present the following historical background to the music we call ska, gleaned from liner notes I have lying about the place, various postings to (news:alt.music.ska), and sundry emailings with helpful ska fans. *** [August 96] The Hypertext Ska FAQ has moved to its final home! The new URL is <a href="http://twillis.com/ska/">http://twillis.com/ska/</a>, at the International House of Ska. This webified FAQ contains text, links and graphics that don't fit here in alt.music.ska. Please update your bookmarks! This is part 1, $Revision: 3.104 $, posted to (news:alt.music.ska), (news:rec.music.info), (news:alt.skinheads), (news:alt.answers), (news:rec.answers), and (news:news.answers). This FAQ is posted twice a month, whether it needs to be or not. This FAQ file is also available for anonymous ftp on the archive site rtfm.mit.edu as the file `pub/usenet/news.answers/music/ska-faq/part1'. This FAQ file is on the Web as URL:http://www.twillis.com/ska/faq/ Acks: Michael Cancilla (mailto:mcancill@polyslo.calpoly.edu) posted a long list of ska bands that I have incorporated into this FAQ. That list has grown to list over 500 bands! Mike Fragassi (mailto:mfragass@ucs.indiana.edu) emailed me about 10k in response to my request for more info and is still at it. Thanks Mikes! Thanks also to everyone else in a.m.s and other reaches of netspace who sent me info. Dance harder! Tomas Willis (mailto:skafaq@twillis.com) Also, you can get at this document on the World Wide Web (WWW) at URL:http://www.twillis.com/ska/faq
Subject: 1.2: Table of Contents The ska FAQ is now distributed in three sections. Part one addresses background questions, part two contains information about ska via various media, and part three contains infomation about bands. Table of Contents: Part 1 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Table of Contents 1.3 What is ska music? 1.4 Where did ska come from? 1.5 What is first-wave ska? Second-wave ska? Third-wave ska? 1.6 What is ska-core? 1.7 What is a rude boy? 1.8 What is with the narrow-brim hats, dark suits and narrow ties? How come some of these ska bands look like the Blues Brothers? 1.9 What is skanking? 1.10 What about reggae? 1.11 Oi! What about skinheads? 1.12 Recommended reading and Bibliography Part 2 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Table of Contents 2.3 Where can I hear ska on the radio? 2.4 Where can I hear ska live? 2.5 Is anyone doing ska video? 2.6 Are there any ska movies? 2.7 Are there any books about ska? 2.8 What are some ska-related 'zines (fan-created magazines)? 2.9 How do I get a ska email-based mailing list? 2.10 What are some more Internet ska resources? 2.11 Can anyone reccommend some good ska albums for someone who has absolutely no clue about ska? 2.12 What are addresses of some record labels producing ska discs? 2.13 Are there some mail order stores that carry ska? Part 3 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Table of Contents 3.3 What are the names of some ska bands? 3.4 Can I write to any of these bands? ------------------------------ History ******* Beginnings ========== Subject: 1.3: *What is ska music?* Ska is dance music, first and foremost. Ska was a *Jamaican dance music* that swept out of Jamaica in the early 1960s to shake the butts of working- and middle-class Jamaicans before going on, via the West Indian immigrant connection, to the UK, and then on to the world. In the UK, ska was also known as *blue beat* music. *Rocksteady*, and later, *reggae* sprang from the loins of ska in the late 1960s. Mid-1970s and 1980s/1990s revivals of this popular dance form have kept this music alive and fun through the present. The ska beat on drums and bass, rhythm guitar, lots of horns and maybe a Farfisa or Hammond organ -- that's the ska sound. Ska was *not* recently invented by ska-influenced bands like No Doubt, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish or any other 90's band.(1) Ska *is* a forty-year-old music form now in a fresh, vigorous "3rd Wave". Ska is rich in history, broad in scope and guaranteed to make you shake your groove thang. For the musically inclined, here is a description of the rhythmic structure of ska: Musically, Ska is a fusion of Jamaican mento rhythm with R&B, with the drum coming in on the 2nd and 4th beats, and the guitar emphasizing the up of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th beats. The drum therefore is carrying the blues and swing beats of the American music, and the guitar expressing the mento sound. `[SB(JJ)]' Brendan Tween (URL:mailto:brendog@panix.com) mentions that the Skatalites frequently used a G-Em-C-D guitar progression, while most modern ska uses a straight 1-4-5 progression (A-D-E C-F-G), although A-D-E9-A is another possible progression. Bob Timm, of the Ska Mining Company, offers some additional thoughts about `What Counts as Ska', at http://ska.miningco.com/library/weekly/aa100397.htm. Ska features a strong bass and drum rhythm section, guitars, keyboards and brass. *I* say, the bigger the ska band, the better. ---------- Footnotes ---------- (1) Props to these bands for their commercial success, but don't let the hype convince you that their sound is the ska sound! Jamaica ======= Subject: 1.4: *Where did ska come from?* In the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica rhythm & blues sounds from the African-American experience in America were adapted by Jamaican musicians and blended with traditional Jamaican *mento*, spiced with jazz, as well as ya-ya, See , and other island sounds and cranked out of dance hall systems and mobile "sound systems" mounted on huge trucks. In the late 1950s Jamaica was about to gain independence from Great Britain, and pioneering Jamaican record producer *Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd*, no doubt in a spirit of nationalism and a desire to get down, called on his musicians to create a danceable uniquely Jamaican sound. Bassist *Cluet Johnson (Clue J)* ran the "hardest-driving dance and recording band" developing this sound in Jamaica and went about the town greeting his friends with a call of "*Love Skavoovie*." `[SB(JJ)]' From this greeting, the name of the music naturally developed into "*ska*." In late 1960 and 1961 bands recording for Dodd laid down the first truly ska tracks, distinct from calypso, r&b, jazz and American and British pop sounds. *Coxone* was in strenuous competition with Arthur "Duke" Reid, who founded Trojan Records (see ) and Prince Buster (Cecil Campbell), who left Dodd to found "The Voice of the People", his own sound system. Chris Blackwell's Island Records provided another vital nexus for early ska music (see ). There developed "a unique Jamaican jazz culture where the melody of horns fused with the drums in a free form music which was mellifluous and rebellious."`[RAR,p.126]' Thus, ska became Jamaica's first indigenous popular music form. A hit at home, ska reigned supreme in Jamaica for many years: "The National Dance", indeed. As many have stated in alt.music.ska, ska did not spring into sudden existence out of nowhere. Many of the elements of ska can be heard in recordings from the late 1950s. It wasn't until these were all brought together in the Kingston scene under the influences of Coxsone, "Prince Buster", Clue J, "Duke Reid" and others that ska emerged as a distinct sound. By the time ska made its "world debut" at the 1964 New York World's Fair at the the Jamaican exhibition it was an established phenomenon at home. More ska history is available from the exciting new Island Records site, http://www.islandlife.com/tough/1.html. Ska came to England with immigrants in the early 1960s. Known in the UK briefly as "Jamaican Blues", ska inspired the formation of the Blue Beat record company, providing yet another name for the ska sound: "blue beat". Ska gained popularity in the UK amongst the members of the "Mod" scene, leading to the residual association of small-brimmed trilby (pork-pie hats)(1) and scooters(2) with ska music.`[HSBR]' About the time "skinheads" in the UK were getting into ska, Trojan Records was still releasing ska hits into the UK top 10 (as late as 1969 or 1970), but by that time rock-steady and reggae were waxing as ska waned, for a while, at least. ---------- Footnotes ---------- (1) The pork-pie (trilby) hat came to the Mods by way of the rude bwoy fashion of Jamaican immigrants in the UK. See . (2) For scooter talk, check out the Usenet group alt.scooter or the Original Motor Scooter Home Page (http://weber.u.washington.edu/~shortwav) or `The Bollocks Page', http://www.t5.net/TheBollocksPage/. Calypso, Trinidad and Tobago ---------------------------- Three waves of ska ================== Subject: 1.5: What is first-wave ska? Second-wave ska? Third-wave ska? Is there a fourth wave? These terms describe ska music coming from three different time periods separated by gaps in the popularity of the music. Roughly speaking, "first-wave ska" began in late 1960(1) in Jamaica and lasted until the late 1960s in Jamaica and England (as blue beat), by which time its popularity had declined in favor of ska offspring rock-steady and reggae. Seminal first-wave Jamaican ska artists include the Skatalites, Laurel Aitken, Prince Buster, Derrick Morgan and Desmond Dekker. Joly, joly@dti.net, reminds us that Duke Vin brought Sound System to London in the 50's, and in the Sixties the London Ska scene became so strong that, as can be seen in the movie `Scandal' (see ), it eventually toppled the government! "Second-wave ska" flourished in the late-1970s and very early 1980s and saw the emergence of popular groups such as the Specials, the (English) Beat, Madness and the like in England. Second-wave ska is strongly associated with the 2 Tone scene [1979-1981] in the UK, as shown in the movie `Dance Craze', although American bands like Her Majesties Secret Service brought the 2-Tone sound to the States in the early Eighties. Two-tone ska is faster, tighter and uses more horns than some older Jamaican ska, although certainly not as much as the Skatalites. Certainly, through the first and second waves, ska was a music for the man-in-street, the working people. "Third-wave ska" is a late-1980s/early- 1990s revival of ska, involving such bands as Weaker Youth Ensemble, the Allstonians, Bim Skala Bim, the Voodoo Glow Skulls and The Toasters. Many popular rock/hardcore/funk bands, such as The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, are strongly influenced by ska sounds. In the last few years, some bands, like Hepcat, Steady Earnest, the Allstonians, Skavoovie and the Epitones, have recovered a roots ska sound. In Puerto Rico and Latin America, new ska fusions are emerging. Some call the emerging latin ska "salska", with bands fusing afro-caribbean and Latin pop-rock sounds with roots ska for a unique and exciting sound! Skarlos, carlos@skinhead.org, reports the development of "skakakore",(2) a ska/hoodcore or rap/ska/hardcore mix. The band with the longest name to date, La Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del quinto Patio, mixes cha-cha with ska - "chachaska". Let's not forget "freestyle ska", that European ska/hip-hop fusion. It sure isn't ska-core, but it is a new direction! Is this the *fourth* wave of ska? Additionally, there has been a recent infusion of self-identified *Christian ska* bands, particularly in the US. These bands include the O.C. Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy, the Insyderz, Squad 5-0, the Israelites (not Desmond Dekker's backup band), Aloha Fridays and Big Dog Small Fence. This is one step beyond the gospel covers the Wailers recorded in 1962! How do you know a band is a Christian ska band? Ask them. (Mephiskapheles is another sort of thing, altogether.) For more details on the Skatalites, check out http://www.profane.com/skatalites/ A recent Max Perlich interview of Dodd is available at http://www.grandroyal.com/Magazine/Issue1/UpFront/Clement.html, wherein *Coxsone* answers the question: "How does it compare to the ska of the past?" For more on skinhead reggae, check out http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~lashout/sknmusc.html. For Usenet discussion of reggae, check out news:rec.music.reggae ---------- Footnotes ---------- (1) There is some discrepancy as do the *exact* time at which a music distinctly "ska" was first played and recorded. Music recorded as early as late 1958 and in 1959 have much, if not all, of the musical elements "required" to be ska. It is not clear to me that the term "ska" was in use prior to late 1960, however. The knowlegeable Noah Roy (nr24@columbia.edu) of Moon credits Theo Beckford's `Easy Snappin' as the first ska recording. (2) "Kako" is Puerto Rican for "homeboy". Ska-core ======== Subject: 1.6. What is ska-core? Yet another label. A matter of semantics. Ska-core is either hardcore/punk-influenced ska or ska-influenced hardcore music. Or a fiction. Compared to traditional ska, ska-core is faster and harder. Voodoo Glow Skulls and Operation Ivy are commonly called ska-core bands. At some points, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have claimed to play ska-core. Some claim that ska-core songs change rythmic structure from ska-like to hardcore-like within one song. This could be differentiated from ska-influenced punk. Others point out that ska-core bands may have a rock-like lineup, without horns. *Just turn up the music and dance.* Lately, I've heard the terms "carnival punk" and "skunkcore" applied to the kind of thrashy ska/punk/hardcore/klezmer fusion played by the Blue Meanies and others. Is this another form of ska-core? Your Usenet news server may support the new "ska-core" newsgroup, alt.music.ska-core, which is dedicated to discussion of ska-core *without* traditional ska *vs.* ska-core flame wars. Rude bwoys ========== Subject: 1.7: *What is a rude boy?* A "rude boy" is not just an impolite male child. The street-cool toughs of Kingston, Jamaica, dressed nattily in the latest and hep-est threads were known as "rude boys" and they ruled the Kingstown dance halls. (Read "rude" as "chill" or "dope" or, if you are older, "cool", or if older still, "reet"). The term spread to the UK, and was revived by second-wave ska fans in the UK. Academic Caribbean historian Horace Campbell writes, in `Rasta and Resistance': Between 1964 and 1967 a subculture of angry youths developed in the [Jamaican] society. Answering to the psuedonym "Rude Bwoy" [sic] and searching for for avenues of self-expression and recognition, these unemployed youths were quickly integrated into the [ganga] export trade, many of them as enforcers. ... these young people created terror among working people, such that they were feared by both citizens and police. `[RAR, p. 111]' The [bracketed] comments are mine. Referring to Desmond Dekker's `Rude Boy Train', `007', and other songs describing rude boys, `Melody Maker' defined the term as "a sort of cool super-hooligan.' [DD] Dekker sings: Them a loot Them a shoot Then a wail At Shanty Town When rude boy deh 'pon probation Then rude boy a bomb up the town. `[DD]' Obviously, rude boys are the people your mother warned you about. For a cinematic example, check out Jimmy Cliff's portrayal of real-life rude boy Ivanhoe Martin Rhygin in the film The Harder They Come (For more information, see See .) Laurence Cane-Honeysett wrote on: From the summer of 1966, up until 1967, a whole series of records referring to the exploits of so-called "Rude Boys" were released in Jamaica. Almost every major artist on the island recorded material featuring lyrics either condemning or defending the actions of the young men who spread mayhem across the island. Some described the Rude Boys as no more than glorified hooligans, who caused trouble for trouble's sake, while others depicted them as heroes, akin to the gangsters and cowboys featured in the popular films of the day. To most, however, they were simply victims of the deprived social conditions into which they were born and subsequently raised. Whichever way one viewed them, the Rude Boys were an established part of Jamaican life and had been around long before the glut of releases which drew attention to there activities. The main reason for the sudden interest was the explosion of violence during the summer of 1966, undoubtedly agitated to a large degree by the exceptionally hot weather. By October, following six deaths over the preceding three months, the Jamaican government declared a state of emergency and instructed the police and military to cordon off the trouble zone in Kingston and enforce a 10pm to 6am curfew. The fact that this period coincides with one of the major transformations in Jamaican music is no coincidence.[sic] The heat which had made tempers become frayed had also made dancing to Ska an exhausting experience and it was a natural progression to slow the tempo of the music. Eventually the rhythm slowed to such an extent that it became a completely new sound - Ska had been replaced by Rocksteady. By early 1967, both the weather and tempers had cooled and the Rude Boy theme became less frequent in song lyrics. Over the years that followed, Rude Boys were rarely mentioned and despite the succes of Perry Hanzell's film, `The Harder They Come', which starred Jimmy Cliff as the doomed anti-hero, 'Ivanhoe Martin Rhygin', they featured only occasionally in songs such as the Slicker's `Johnny Too Bad'. Towards the end of the seventies, British Ska bands such as The Specials and Madness re-invented the image of the Rude Boy, presenting him as a fun-loving young man, attired in a stylish two-tone suit and a pork-pie hat, more akin to the Mods of the sixties than [to] the original Jamaican version. The British Rude Boy was not to last, however, and following the demise of the Ska revival, he quickly vanished. Since then, Rude Boys seem to have been all but forgotten outside Jamaica ... until now! `[C25]' Today, a "Rude Boy" or "Rude Girl" is a *dedicated* ska fan, with a sense of history, style and the ska scene. A trendy poseur *cannot* be rude. Fashion ======= Subject: 1.8: What is with the narrow-brim hats, dark suits and narrow ties? How come some of these ska bands look like the Blues Brothers? This is rude boy fashion from Jamaica in the 1960s. Jamie Mowder in NYC (mowder@axp1.acf.nyu.edu.) writes about ska fashion: Maybe the "dark suit and pork-pie hat" thing comes from people trying to look like Jerry Dammers from those old Specials album covers. And *he* was probably trying to look like "Walt Jabsco", the cartoon guy from the 2 Tone label design. And Walt was (so I've read) modeled after the way Peter Tosh looked on the cover of the `Wailing Wailers' album from Studio One. So, I guess all these *Blues Brothers* types are actually trying to look like Peter Tosh from 1965! It is "rude bwoy" fashion from Jamaica. Dancing ======= Subject: 1.9: What is skanking? Skanking is the *canonical* ska dance. Being canonical doesn't make it the only or One True ska dance; it is, however, the standard dance these days. Skanking involves angular pumping of legs and arms, with knees and elbows bent. Mike Fragrassi (I think) described this a rythmic "herking and jerking." The original *official* ska dance was called "*The Ska*." This dance originated in Jamaica and was the dance one did at ska shows. It is not as punk-influenced as contemporary skanking. Jeremy D. Mushlin, JDM7548@acfcluster.nyu.edu, described it as: Not like jamming your elbow to your opposite knee back and forth, but sort of like the milk-the-cow, do the monkey sort of thing ... Guido van Breda has turned up a great series of still shots of *Ronnie and Jeanette* - *the couple who taught New York the Ska*, who visited the 1964 World's Fair in New York with Jamaican musicians Byron Lee and The Dragonaires, Jimmy Cliff and Prince Buster. Watch them dance in the animated GIF, or check out the stills at http://www.dataweb.nl/~vanbreda/pictparade.html Hey! All you skankers and moshers: class up the joint and do The Ska! Controversy now rages over the propriety of slamming, moshing, body-passing and stage-diving at ska concerts. These dances, while wildy popular with some, are reviled by most more traditional types. However, Jay Vidheecharoen, jvidhee@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu, wisely points out that "*Stage diving on top of people who are skankin' isn't too smart ...*" Reggae ====== Subject: 1.10: What about reggae? Reggae music is an offshoot of ska that developed in the late 1960s. Reggae was developed out of rocksteady music, a music developed by early ska vocalists (e.g. Laurel Aitken, Derrick Morgan, Desmond Dekker) as audiences demanded a more *steady* beat `[TKS]' and perhaps less all-instrumental music. (see ) Note that many reggae stars got their start as ska musicians. Notable examples are Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Rita Marley Anderson, Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Dekker. As the fast beat of ska mellowed through rocksteady, it gradually led to the creation of reggae. As Horace Cambell wrote in `Rasta and Resistance', "The transition from rock steady to reggae was, like the transition from ska to rock steady, an impreceptible process which was both a response to and a reflection of the changing social conditions of the society. Where rock steady had the legacy of singing the sex and romance songs of Jackie Opel and Lord Creator, reggae laid emphasis on Africa, black deliverance and redemption." `[RAR]' Note that reggae has not always been inextricably linked to Rastafarian culture. See . The British band UB40, loosely associated with second-wave ska, offers the following thoughts about the origins of reggae in their all- cover tribute album, `Labour of Love':(1) "This is a selection of songs. They represent an era. An era, after the first skinhead wave, when black boys were still rude boys and only hippies wore their hair long. They represent reggae when it was first called by that name. Reggae before it was discovered by cops, sociologists and TV producers. Before it was claimed by lefties, liberals, punks and rastas. Reggae was just another dance music and most D.J.' still sniggered at it. In those days, reggae appealed not to the intellect or the social conscience, but to the heart and hips." `[LL]' For more reggae info, check out the rec.music.reggae Usenet group. Usenet rec.music.reggae The rec.music.reggae-related Jammin Reggae Archive is accessable on the WWW from the Jammin home page, which has *moved* from the older `jammin.nosc.mil' site and the old `orpheus.ucsd.edu' site to the new site at www.arrowweb.com/jammin You can access the Jammin archive by ftp, too: ftp://spectra.math.uga.edu/ ---------- Footnotes ---------- (1) Side note for UB40 fans: UB40 covers Tony Tribe's 1969 version of "Red, Red Wine," but this song was written by Neil Diamond! Rastafarianism and Ska Music ............................ The Wailers, for example, were not to embrace Rastafarianism until after the 1965 visit of Jamaica by the Ethiopian emperor Selassie I, and did not cut their first song with Rasta lyrics until 1966, with "Rasta Ship Them Up." In fact, Reggae's early popularity in England was due mainly to the "Skinheads" and "skinhead reggae". (see .) For more on Rastafarianism: `"Rastafari: The Birth and Development of Cultural and Religious Resistance in Jamaica and Throughout the Rasta Migration", by Bush Doktor' http://ebhon.jnst.uor.edu/Users/doktor/rastapaper.html. `"A SKETCH OF RASTAFARI HISTORY", by Norman Hugh Redington' http://paradigm.uor.edu/users/doktor/norman2 Skinheads ========= Subject: 1.11: Oi! What about skanking skinheads? Skinheads, originally, come out of the same *working class* culture as ska. Just look at early Sixties pictures of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer -- they have no hair! Skinhead culture spread more widely in the late Sixties as more and more Jamaicans went to the UK and influenced the White youth culture there. These old UK bald-heads were rude boys. Yesterday's and today's skinhead fashion has a legacy from Black Jamaica. Since the first skinheads were trying to look like shave-head rude boys, it makes all those Nazi skinhead types seem pretty ignorant, eh? It's a good thing they are in the minority. For more info see the FAQ for alt.skinheads by Sid Sowder, if you can find it. It no longer is being posted to the obvious places on Usenet. (If anyone turns up a copy of this c.1991 document, please send it to me me. -TCNW) Skinheads in the Caribbean ("Cocos pelados") are still associated with the ska scene, as they are elsewhere. In Puerto Rico, the ska scene is closely tied to the skinhead *(Cabezas de Piel)* and oi scene, according to Skarlos. More info on non-racist skinheads is available on the Web: http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~lashout/skns.html, thanks to Paul Paukstelis lashout@ksu.ksu.edu, a.k.a. *Lash Out USA*. `Lashout' seems to be unavailable a lot, because of KSU's draconian web quota policies. A bi-linugal, non-racist skinhead page is `Un Mode de Vie', http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/1741/. Another good skinhead page is `Monkey Boots', http://www.zebra.net/~mdjones/page_monkey_boots.html, by Lisa (monkeyboots@zebra.net). For more about the "straight-edge" scence, check out http://www.straight-edge.com/define.html. Skinheads can be found on the Usenet in the newsgroup news:alt.skinheads. In addition, calmer skinhead conversation can be had in the newer newsgroup news:alt.skinheads.moderated. There is skinhead chat on the IRC, on the Undernet, on channel `#skinhead'. Recommended Reading ******************* Subject: 1.12 Recommended Reading and Bibliography Recommended Reading: (see ) The liner notes to [SB] are particularly rich, with extensive text and great photographs. Also, the notes for [C25] and [DD] are quite informational. Amber, 74653.2176@CompuServe.com, of KRUA's "This is Ska" show recommends `Reggae Bloodlines: In Search of the Music and Culture of Jamaica' by Stephen Davis and Peter Simon for "a lot about classic ska, the politics involved, the origin of Rastafarians, and a bunch of other stuff." If Davis and Simon leaves you hungry for more Jamaican politics, check out a Marxist view in `Rasta and Resistance', as cited the See . Also, check into the alt.skinheads, and rec.music.reggae, Usenet groups for related topics. The rec.music.reggae-related Jammin Reggae Archive is accessable on the WWW from the Jammin home page: http://www.arrowweb.com/jammin. There is a glossary of Jamaican terms and idioms in the book `The Harder They Come', by Michael Thelwell (Grove Press, NY, or Pluto Press, London, 1980). More etymological information is available in `Dictionary of Jamaican English', by F. G. Cassidy and R. B. Le Page (Oxford University Press). The novelization of `The Harder They Come' has also been recommended as a tool for understanding Jamacain patois and culture. You can find a patois dictionary on the WWW at: Patois Dictionary. Another can be found at http://www.willamette.edu/~tjones/languages/rasta-lang.html. For more information on Jamaican culture, you could check out the gopher and WWW servers at the University of West Indies, Mona, in Jamaica, University of West Indies Mona Home Page, http://www.uwimona.edu.jm/. Sappy@aol.com recommends: "a really good book on Reggae, Ska, Calypso, and other forms of Caribbean music:" `Cut `n' Mix', by Dick Hebdige. "It explains the heritage of these forms of music and talks of some of the more renowned original artists. The second part of the book gives a full account of the Rise and Fall of the Two-Tone label and movement in England. It's published by Comedia and the ISBN is #0-415-05875-9." Thanks, Sappy! Total Madness - you list it as Complete Madness, but that's a mistake. It's by George Marshall and traces the history of the band from their very early days to their reunion concerts. Includes full discography and colour photos. Boss Sounds - Classic Skinhead Reggae - by Marc Griffiths, this book is the first ever referencew guide to reggae from 1967 to 1972. Includes loads on ska and ska artists too. Spirit Of '69 - A Skinhead Bible - also by George Marshall traces the history of the skinhead cult from the Sixties right up to today. So there's plenty of ska in it, plus a chapter on 2 Tone. Skinhead Nation - George Marshall's follow up to Spirit Of '69, again with plenty of ska references. The Two Tone Story - Actually this is George Marshall's first book, but it has just been revised and published again. Loads of info on The Specials, The Selecter, The English Beat and so on. You're Wondering Now - Paul William's guide to all things connected with The Specials. All of the above books are available from Moon or Taang! in the USA. For a free catalogue anyone can e-mail S.T. Publishing at stpbooks.com or can write to S.T. Publishing, P.O. Box 12, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire. DG11 3BW. Scotland. Bibliography ************ Cited Sources ------------- "[SB]" "Ska Bonanza: The Studio One Years," Various Artists, Heartbeat CD: HB 86/87, (1992). Liner notes by Julian Jingles (JJ) and Chris Wilson (CW). "[C25]" "Celebration: Twenty Five Years Of Trojan Records," Various Artists, Trojan Records CDTRD 413, (1991). Liner notes by Laurence Cane-Honeysett. "[DD]" "The Best of Desmond Dekker: Rockin' Steady," Desmond Dekker, Rhino Records R2 70271, (1992). Liner notes by Harry Young. "[LL]" "Labour of Love," UB40, Virgin/A&M Records, CD4980, (1983). Liner notes by the band. "[HSBR]" "The History of Ska, Blue Beat and Reggae," Various Artists, Esoldun S.A.R.L./Blue Beat REG 101, (1992). Liner notes by Delroy Sion Eccles. "[TKS]" "Two Knights of Ska: Derrick and Laurel," Derrick Morgan and Laurel Aitken, Unicorn Records PHZD-61, (1992). Liner notes anonymous. "[RAR]" "Rasta and Resistance," by Horace Campbell, Africa World Press, Inc., P.O. Box 1892, Trenton, New Jersey 08607, USA, (1987). "[RPM]" "RPM" A Ska museletter. (see .) Uncited Sources --------------- "[AMS]" `alt.music.ska', various postings. This was become the largest source of info for this FAQ through 1995. ------------------------------ End of FAQ: Ska (alt.music.ska) Frequently Asked Questions: Part 1 ******************************************************************

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