The People Behind Easy*Life
Current occupation: Working stiff, zine publisher, misanthrope
Favorite ska bands: Madness, Bim Skala Bim, The Beat, Bad Manners, Symarip, Fishbone
Favorite non-ska bands: The Pixies, The Damned, The Prissteens, Mr T Experience, Louis Prima & Keely Smith, Shudder to Think
Other things that make me happy: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vanity Fair, MTV's Matt Pinhead (um... i mean Pinfield), kickboxing, comic books, Repo Man, Border Cafe's Chicken Burros, Godzilla, getting married.
Some things that make me unhappy: Crowded shows & the fashion slaves at them, hollywood blockbusters & indie flicks alike, my own self-righteousness, and most people.
How I got into ska: When I first found out about ska as a genre it was through a comic book. Evan Dorkin's Pirate Corp$! books contained a ton of ska references in their pages (characters wearing Specials t-shirts, going to shows, talking records) and an introduction in which Dorkin listed his favorite bands of the moment. I loved the comic so I figured, why not see what the music was about? I wrote down a couple of the band names & one day, in a used recored store in Cambridge, I pulled the list out. I can't for the life of me remember what I bought first - New York Citizens or The Toasters. It might have been both at once. But I know I listened to Thrill Me Up first. It was okay, really liked "Go Girl", but wasn't blown away (too reggae influenced for me). But when I popped in the NY Citizens Stranger Things Have Happened, I was a convert. There it was - the drive of punk with a melody line, an emotional bang that I completely related to. I loved it immediately.
Ska is often called "happy music", but I think that's a misinterpretation - good ska, like good punk, is energy given a palpable form. It doesn't just move your feet, it moves your mind too, propelling people to want to connect to the music in personal ways (by starting bands, zines, labels, by dancing, etc.). Inherent in this activity is the message that you can be just as active too - "get up", the music says, "go do something". DIY to an upbeat, the music just gets under your skin and into your blood.
Something you want to know about me? Ask me.
My favorite song this week: