Give Me the Ska Beat

I don’t know quite what it is, but music that would otherwise be abhorrent to me sounds great when it’s played with a ska beat. Give me that brass, baby. I dislike jazz, but there are a lot of jazz elements in ska, I don’t care much for hip-hop, but when I listen to ska with hip-hop elements, hey, I like it. Heavy metal can go hang, as far as I am concerned, but combine it with a ska beat, and I am delighted. I recently heard a popular carnival song from Cologne –this is music that can instantly rob me of the desire to live– with a ska beat and those wonderful horns… and I liked it. Can you explain to me why that is?

Laid Back

Listening to From Russia With Love from the Skatalites. Now that is laid back. I hate jazz, fuck jazz and all the jazz bastards out there, I know you think you are so cool… but the jazz influence in the original Ska is undeniable, and I love it. It’s the kind of jazz you find in jive, and I can live with that any day.

East-European Ska

Guttural ska. Root-punk-ska, combined with east-european influences, Klezmer, Russian traditional shit, Hungarian, Czech, what-the-hell-do-I-know and so on… it’s worth listening to. I love music that has mixed influences.
Perhaps some of you may not know all of the different influences that went in to rock ’n’ roll. Rock ’n’ roll is crossover if there ever was such a thing. People talk about independent and crossover like it was something new… they talked about music like that in my youth too. What a joke. There is and never was any music that isn’t crossover. Any good band has many influences and is inspired by the bygone.
I remember Allen Toussaint, I saw him play piano in a small place in New York, damned if know what it was called. It was one of the moments which made me believe in music, no matter that I never had the talent to be a true musician.
He played piano… he was alone. He played a song that began in classic, for which, at the time, I had no real ear. But nevertheless I could hear the beauty in it. And slowly, virtuously, he mixed it with cajun elements, with elements from rock, and soul… he made a melange out of it. In the end he was playing New Orleans blues piano. And he showed, effortlessly, beautifully, how all music stands together, how classic influences rock, soul, blues, punk, ska… how everything influences everything, to this very day.
I’ll never forget that experience.