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Revisiting My Younger Days (Thanks to a local Ska Band)

I'm essentially a 90's kid.  I graduated High School in 98, which means the most artistically influential years of my life were filled with a wide variety of music.

The first Single I ever purchased was "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mixalot.

My friends and I would ride around the neighborhood on our bikes singing "Brass Monkey" and "Supersonic."

The first CD I ever purchased was Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em.

But my biggest musical collection of all from the 90's was my ska collection.   Save Ferris, The Aquabats, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Goldfinger, and my favorite, Reel Big Fish.

Turn the Radio Off was the first CD I wore out.  I didn't know you could wear those bad boys out, but wear and tear (and scratches) made this album die after a while.

RBF was also the first band I saw live in concert.  They were performing at an outdoor festival in Riverside, CA one year, and it was a great time.  First live band, first time in a circle pit (and my first chipped tooth...).

Good times.

So when my sister in law asked if I wanted to go to a venue to see a local Idahoan ska band, I jumped at the chance.

I meet her at this warehouse location off the beaten path, and had to pay a $3 cover to get in (yeah, one of those joints).  We get there, and we're the oldest two in the place (and she's 22).  A bunch of kids are here to see the band, and are loving 'the underground scene.'

*snrk* ok kids, calm down...

The opening band starts, and didn't check their sound system first.  I see the front man shouting, but can't hear a word.  Only guitar and drums, raping our eardrums.

Finally someone tells him, and the equalizer is adjusted.  Now the rape is accompanied by unintelligible shouting.

Meanwhile, sis and I are texting back and forth, making fun of the scene and the horrible band.  She keeps assuring me the REAL band is much better, and to just endure the pain a little longer.

Finally, the intro act stops, and the real band comes on.  They check the sound system (good job) and whip out their instruments (brass = real ska band, and the first act was NOT).  They hype up the crowd, and off they go.

And they were pretty good.

They're called The Opskamatrists, and they have a pretty good beat.  What they lacked in F-bombs and sexual innuendo they made up for great energy and playing to the crowd.

Their style was so good, I bought the album.  Which is saying something, because I haven't purchased a CD in years.

Best of all, they were my age.  They were referencing and covering bands that most of the kids in the crowd haven't heard of (because they were crawling around back in those days) and their original tunes reminded me of the bands I loved as a teen.

If they're in town again, I'm going to check them out.  Until then, I have their CD and a slew of other ska tunes on my iPod now, and will be living it up on the road.
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9 witty retorts: said...

Side note, the first group not only SUCKED but they tried to weave positive messages into their act between sets.

"And remember kids... God made you special, and he loves you very much. ....ONETWOTHREEFOUR!!!"

A Beer for the Shower said...

I am a child of the 90's as well, and listened to almost all of the same albums you did too. Good times.

Also, I once saw an opening act that did the same thing you mentioned above. They stopped for a moment to give thanks to the greatest rocker or all... God!

Half the people erupted in deafening silence, the other half started laughing under their breaths, and a few stragglers were like "Yay God!" It was pretty awkward.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I'm a lot older than both you Plonkers but I still love The Specials.

Pickleope said...

Oh man, just reading this made me want to get out my checkerboard slip-ons and start skanking. I'm happy to hear that ska isn't dead! Bring on the 5th wave (I think that's what we're on now)!

Lady Estrogen said...

Ahhh... that's cool that they were "our" age.

One of my fave Cdn bands, I thought loving them was some sort of desperate grasp to hold on to my youth.. but then I researched and they're 29! Yay! We could have gone to high school together and it wouldn't have been illegal to have sex with them. NICE!

D4 said...

I'm jealous, I haven't seen a good ska band live yet, just very unfortunate. I also would've loved to hear those positive messages. Just that awkward tasting icing on the cake. Probably made with bad milk, you know the kind? That.

StephanieC said...

Man oh man... I wentto a "concert" once, naively, with my religious friuends. Turned into a praise-Jebus festival faster than you can say "shit-my-time-is-before-cell-phones-and-I-have-no-way-of-calling-mom-to-get-me-the-hell-outta-here"...

Glad you enjoyed yourself!

My first concert: The Barenaked Ladies. Canadian Band that did garner North American attention, unlike The Tragically Hip.

Though, admittedly, I was never cool enough for any type of SKA.


P.S. I could war that mask on April 1, you know!

1904 Blogger said...

awww its always nice going back to ska roots

Zombie said...

Oh How I love ska bands!! :D

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