New Tune: Simple Minded Symphony “Mind Blind”

Hey, not missing a beat after a hard fought, strong finish in their attempt to get on Ska Mic Con, Simple Minded Symphony have just put out the first single as a precursor to the increased amount of recorded Ska goodness they have plan.

This tune has been available for a short time now, so if you haven’t heard it, get on it now and prepare for an EP that will release sometime in Mid-Early Fall and then the full length, “Horizons,” which will hit maybe around the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. So, check out “Mind Blind,” below:

If you wanna catch them live soon, they will be at:

(August 18th) MWR Customer Appreciation w/ Vertical Horizon (FREE)

(September 2nd) Oak Harbor Music Festival w/ Marc Broussard, Dirty Revival, The Paperboys and more!

(September 3rd) The Ska Mission Presents ALL SKA & NO WORK w/ The Kings, Rundown Kreeps, Echo Shot, Day Labor and Landrace!

What’s Goin’ Down with Curtis Meacham (Monkey)

As we get more and more excited for next week’s showcase, we thought we toss out some questions to Curtis Meacham, the guy who’s been heading up Monkey for over two decades now, with 5 studio albums to their credit, lots of excellent live shows in their past and plenty, plenty more to come!

What’s your favorite show that you’ve played in the last year?

That’s hard to say, as we had a really great year of touring with the Skatalites, and doing shows with The Slackers, The Toasters, The English Beat and The Phenomenauts… However, our 21st anniversary show was packed and super fun. We saw people that we have not seen for years. People were flying into SJ to party with us. What a great night!

If you could have any musician play/sing on one of your songs, who would it be?

Living or dead? If we could pick a living legend, it would probably be Roddy Radiation or Toots Hibbert. If it were someone who has passed, I may go way back to Louis Armstrong. He will always be THE BEST!

What’s the current handful of albums you have in heavy rotation?

All time Classic: Johnny Socko – Full Trucker Effect Besides that, we have lots of favs. I just picked up a super rare Oingo Boingo record called “Marching in Time,” that is blowing my mind! Also, anything by The Peacocks, or Cake is in constant rotation.

Your favorite pre-show drink?

Special Brew… Hahaha, that goes out to the Brits! The Monkey guys are really into micro breweries and small batch beers. Anything with flavor and heart.

What’s next for Monkey?

Survive this tour, and write a new record!

Coming up, Curtis will be rocking with Monkey at the High Dive next Friday (July 14th) with Easy Big Fella, The Georgetown Orbits, Fairhaven and Franks’N’Deans with DJ Brynn Danger handling the selecting! Click here for more info!

Steppin’ Out: Stoney Tony Skanks to Landrace

Hailing from the college town of Pullman, Washington is Landrace, a 6-piece latin infused ska band who is looking to change the world of ska.

When I first saw them about a year ago, I was immediately impressed. They were a little rough as they were new on the scene, but the ambition they had and the energy they provided to the crowd was remarkable. I knew over time they would tighten up as a whole and become a force to reckon with in the Northwest scene.

One thing that helped Landrace tighten up quickly is the fact that most of their members are music majors. They have one of the most powerful and tight horn sections I have ever heard. Eric, Noah and Gabby all display the thorough training they have on both their own instruments and playing in a group. Back on the drums is David Ward and at the ripe age of 19, is definitely one of the better drummers I have ever seen and helps carry the band’s energy with his “college student” antics.

The other thing that helped them tighten up so quick is how hard they work. Landrace averages two shows a month and are doing music projects on the side weekly. This is the reason why they have been able to do so much in a very short year mixed in with school, work, and personal lives; and why you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
In just about a year, Landrace has already accomplished a lot as a band. They have won two battle of the bands, are competing in Ska-mic con voting (AND WON THE FIRST ROUND), as well as play shows across the entire state of Washington and hold down the local scene in Moscow, Idaho.

When seeing Landrace, you can expect to see a balanced set list of great tunes. They do both covers and originals in both English and Spanish. They cover four songs we all know and love consistently, including: What a Wicked Gang We Are, Take on Me, Special Brew and Impression That I Get. Two of their originals really stick out to me, Chemical Smile and Tan Shirt Guy, the latter about a local legend who gets down the hardest at every show.

Landrace is particularly good to me, because of their display that music is in fact the universal language. I can’t understand half of their music due to it being in Spanish, yet I want to go see them week in and week out because of the energy those songs carry, and the message that energy imposes on the crowd.
Be sure to catch Landrace in Seattle on September 3 @ The Highline for the All Ska & No Work Show, and give them a follow on social media.

Landrace on Facebook
Landrace on Twitter

-Stoney Toney is the former host of Skagape, an awesome show that was featured on 90.7 KZUU in Pullman, Washington and on Ska Bob Radio via the interwebs. A Ska Aficionado and Coug for Life, Stoney Toney appears courtesy of himself and will be back for more!

What’s Goin’ Down with Orion Anderson (The Georgetown Orbits)

Leading up to the excellent time we shall all have next Friday, July 14th, I caught up with Orion Anderson, Guitarist and leader of The Georgetown Orbits, to get some quick insight into the man the myth the legend and see what was going down. Check it Out!

What handful of albums do you currently have in heavy rotation?

Beware by Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos
Joy In My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings by The Soul Stirrers
The Sensational Extra Classics by Gregory Isaacs
At Studio Mochilero by 2000 Tons of TNT

What show has been you’re favorite that you’ve played in the last year?

The show we played at the High Dive with Easy Big Fella and Skablins earlier this year was pretty memorable. The place was packed and everyone had a great set.

If you could have any musician play/sing on one of your songs, who would it be?

That’s a tough one. So many great musicians. I’d love to do any of our songs with one of the Jamaican greats like Bunny Wailer, Ken Boothe, or Marcia Griffiths. I also think it would be killer to do a classic tune like “No, No, No”, “Son of a Preacher Man”, or “Give and Take” with a pop singer like Katy Perry, Rihanna, or Bruno Mars. That would have the potential to bring this style of music to a bunch of new ears.

What’s your favorite pre-show drink?

Ice water. Just kidding. Beer!

What’s next for The Georgetown Orbits?

GTO is in the studio currently working on a new full-length album. The plan is to first release a single on 7″ vinyl. Then, release the LP later this year. Stay tuned!

Don’t forget, Orion and the rest of The GTOs will be playing at the High Dive next Friday (July 14th) with Easy Big Fella, Monkey, Fairhaven and Franks’N’Deans with DJ Brynn Danger handling the selecting! Click here for more info!

And get yourself some tickets here, before they sell out!

What’s New??

Hey all,

I suppose that when you have a blog, you should actually blog on it.. right?

Anyway, here’s a lowdown on what’s going with the Ska Mission:

Of course, we have the most excellent show going down in just two weeks with Easy Big Fella, Monkey, The Georgetown Orbits, Fairhaven and Franks’N’Deans with DJ Brynn Danger handling the evening’s selections over at the High Dive on July 14th! Call it a Ska Fest, call it Dance Craze.. Hell, call it a Damn Good Time in your future my friend, because at the end of the day that’s what sums it up the best. It’s 21+ and what tickets remain are going for 10 bucks on ticketfly or if you enjoy living dangerously, 13 at the door, but you knew all that, you’ve blacked out that day and already have the right pair of shows to match that awesome hat you’ve been trying to bring back since the first Specials Reunion tour 😉

What you probably don’t know, is that we will be throwing support towards ROOTS, an organization that helps to feed and shelter to young adults facing homelessness. We’re going to ask anybody that’s able and willing to bring either some non-perishable food items, toiletries, or other such essential items for us to pass on to the organization. They’ve provided us with a wish list that can be found on Amazon here, and mentioned that for those that may be short on ideas or are curious as to food preferences that are popular, ROOTS has mentioned spices, italian seasoning, jarred pasta sauces and grated parmesan are all very useful as they have long shelf lives and doing an easy spaghetti bake is a great goto meal when you have a bunch of mouths to feed. Whether or not you are able to contribute both ROOTS and Us at TSM appreciate any and all considerations.

In return, We will be giving away a couple of pairs of guest list spots to the next two shows we have coming up. Basically, for each donated item, you can throw your name in the hat and the two that get drawn will have their choice between to excellent shows that we just put together which leads us to:

SEPTEMBER 3RD, SUNDAY
THE HIGHLINE
$9 ADV / $12 DOS
21+

ALL SKA & NO WORK!!

THE KINGS
RUNDOWN KREEPS
SIMPLE MINDED SYMPHONY
ECHO SHOT
DAY LABOR
LANDRACE

That’s right my people, we have a big ole day of the Ska-Punkified style up on the Hill! The Kings have agreed to grace a stage with us and close out this party, while the Rundown Kreeps will be up to play a set full of songs ya’ll will start being familiar with on August 12th and Day Labor makes their Seattle debut of Latin infused Ska goodness up from the Bay Area. The other half of this lineup involves some truly awesome up and coming Washington Bands in Simple Minded Symphony (Seattle/Oak Harbor), Echo Shot (Tacoma) and Landrace (Spokane). This will be a fun night of a variety of SkaPunk!

 

OCTOBER 6TH, FRIDAY
THE HIGHLINE
9$ ADV / $12 DOS
21+

THE SECOND ANNUAL SKATOBERFEST
FEATURING

THE DELIRIANS
BUDDY JAY’S JAMAICAN JAZZ BAND
HATTON CROWN

Yep, last years edition of Skatoberfest was so much fun, we decided to do it again. While the lineup is smaller, we’ve opted for longer sets this time around and thought it was about damn time we got The Delirians (featuring longtime Georgetown Orbit Dan “The Man” Loren) up to the Northwest to show us how they do Rocksteady, along with Buddy Jay’s Jamaican Jazz Band, led by Tenor Sax playing Buddy Jay-Kiefer, (also sax player for The Israelites), who just released their first album, available on wax through Jump Up Records. Opening the night is Hatton Crown, based out of Seattle and comprised of current and ex members of Engine 54, The Sentiments, Hub City Stompers and The Suppresors. It will be a night of long sets, firey dancing and Great times all around!

Folklife Ska & Reggae

Hey, let’s see if I can keep y’all in the loop on a weekly basis! Here’s some quick updates on what shows we have this week, and any other news I see fit:

Seattle Shows

May 26th (Friday)
Mural Amphiteatre (Seattle Center) All Ages FREE
FolkLife Ska Showcase featuring
The Georgetown Orbits (Set starts at 5:25 PM)
The Skablins (Set starts at 4:40 PM)

May 29th (Monday)
Mural Amphiteatre (Seattle Center) All Ages FREE
FolkLife Reggae Rising Party featuring
Clinton Fearon & Boogie Brown Band (Set starts at 8:15 PM)
Kore Ionz (Set starts at 7:30 PM)
Two Story Zori (Set starts at 6:45 PM)
Playerz of Instruments (Set starts at 6:00 PM)

Okay folks, so the big happenings this weekend in the Emerald City is going to be at Folklife, the free, extremely local semi-Bumbershoot/Sasquatch alternative*. Friday, you have the Skablins kicking it off at 4:40 playing their blend of Ska, and for the uninitiated, I’d call them Second and a Half Wave Ska. Definitely some Two-Tone, definitely some Ska/Punk and honestly, Gordy’s approach to vocals reminds a bit of Danny Elfman at times. Fun group that definitely fills out a stage and a great opportunity to check them out if you have ever wondered about the kind of Skank Inducing Shenanigans that go down at their headquarters at Mirkwood.

Then, The Georgetown Orbits hit the stage with their blend of Ska/Reggae/Rocksteady with a bit of Soul/Jazz/Funk to boot! I hear they are working on their fourth album and as usual, if you want to see the group with the longest tenure of rockin the sounds of Jamaica’s Golden Era in Seattle, this is your chance. As a side note, The Ska Mission is totally stoked to have them on bill for the “Ska Reggae Etc Showcase” on July 14th with Easy Big Fella, Monkey, Fairhaven, Franks’N’Deans and DJ SoulShot at the High Dive in Fremont

Moving on to Monday, its Reggae Reggae Reggae with Playerz of Instruments kicking it off. Admittedly, I’m not familiar and not able to find any recordings, so it’s a chance for me to hear something completely new.

I love Two Story Zori, having seen them open for a king of guitar, Ernest Ranglin, and last year, when they played a free show at St. Edwards Park. Good flowing, 808 Island influenced Reggae that mixes catchy originals with some creative takes on Top 40 hits. They have a full time Uke player and excellent vocal harmonies.

Next, you have Kore Ionz, whose single “First Avenue,” gets stuck in my head from time to time with the perfect vocals and sweet horn blends. Very chill, has something of a Big Mountain feel to it.

This leads up to the hardest working man in Seattle Reggae, Mr. Clinton Fearon. Since playing in his first band, The Brothers, when he was 16, to his time in the Gladiators and then relocating to Seattle in the late 80s, Mr. Fearon has been singing, playing, writing and rocking for 50 years now. He’s put out 12 albums since 1994, with the latest, “Good Morning,” coming out last fall and he’s continually playing with his group, Boogie Brown Band, or finding places around town to play his acoustic and usually, he’s doing it for free. This Man is a treasure to our great music community and if you do nothing else this weekend, go see him Monday Night!

*At least for people that wish those shows had more Ska/Reggae ;P

Coming up: March 13th – 19th

Hey, let’s see if I can keep y’all in the loop on a weekly basis! Here’s some quick updates on what shows we have this week, and any other news I see fit:

Seattle Shows

March 19th (Sunday)
Tractor Tavern (Fremont) 21+
SOLD OUT
Save Ferris
Vista Kicks
It Gets Worse

That’s right, Monique Powell and her gang are hitting up the Tractor Tavern, but if you want tickets, you’re going to have stubhub it or find a guest spot, cuz this shindig is sold out. Pity, because local third wave heroes, It Gets Worse will be opening up the show! However, if you’re dying to here SPAM live, I suggest you leave work early and head down south to Portland, cuz they still got tickets for the Friday night Show!

Portland Shows

 

 March 17th (Friday)
The Hawthorne Theater (Portland) 21+
Save Ferris
The Bandulus
Vista Point

After that Ten Things I Hate About You Band, (or should we give Letters to Cleo that moniker?) hits the Emerald City, they travel to the Land O’ Ports to sing you some Dexy’s Midnight Riders. Good news is that there are still tickets and at $16, I’d say thats worth it just to catch The Bandulus live, because that group is FIRE and then some. So get over there on Friday to start the weekend off proper!