The other day I'm watching The Tube (thanks to the miracle of digital television signals) and what should come up but Madness' seminal classic, "One Step Beyond". For about the first thirty seconds I was bemused. It was very obvious he was lip syncing (I guess music videos hadn't been refined as of then) and the clothes were so dated. It's a little frantic and goofy, but it's classic Madness. I personally love the bassist in this video. If you watch closely you'll see Jan's clean-shaven circa 1997 doppleganger in there too. And I'll be danged if I hadn't gotten up and started skankin' around my living room by the end of it.
Go ahead, click on the link. Watch the whole thing without tapping your toes or getting up to dance. Then walk away and somehow have any other song in your head today. You can't.
Little did I know that this seemingly innocuous event would awaken a long-dormant ska freak in me. I'm ready to admit it, I was a huge ska fan in high school. Many of you already know it, but it's an important step that I admit it. It's not like I'm ashamed to know the differences between ska, rocksteady, and reggae, or that I've been living a lie for the past few years. But I've been deliberately ignoring a very large part of my music collection, dismissing it as a childish phase that I went through. And I was wrong.
Since then I've been rediscovering some of my lost treasures, especially in the car to and from work. Man, the Specials really had something going, didn't they? The Slackers, Skavoovie & the Epitones, mmm mmm mmm. I have to complain about iTunes at this point. I wanted to fill in some gaps in my collection so I tried to find three songs and only found one. I was able to locate Desmond Decker's "Israelites". Which is a relief. I heard that in Goodwill of all places a couple months ago and just about flipped out. But iTunes didn't have the aforementioned "One Step Beyond", nor Barbie Gaye's classic "My Boy Lollipop". If anyone has these songs (or knows someone who does), could you help a brutha out? Eternal gratitude awaits.
My advice to you: embrace your inner ska freak. Let the checkers out, dust off your pork-pie hat, maybe toast a little somethin' if you feel up to it. That's it for now, enjoy your Thursday and remember: Californians are people too.