Category Archives: Ska

Rancid: …And Out Come the Wolves

Rancid – …And Out Come the Wolves (1995)

Jeff: What, you might ask, is the prestigious and well-esteemed SWR blog doing reviewing a derivative 90’s pop-punk-revival album? The answer is multifaceted but the first component of it is that it’s an amazing album. Another part of that answer is that I for one first began coming of age in musically the mid-’90s–the major labels were well into their signing spree of “alternative” bands, and MTV was playing music that was like nothing else I’d ever heard (it’s not Debbie Gibson, it’s not Guns ‘n’ Roses, it’s something else entirely). Weezer, Green Day, the Offspring, and Hole seemed like a breath of fresh air to a kid who wouldn’t hear indie music for another four years.  It was an exciting time to be a 7th grader.

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Filed under 1990s, Pop, Punk, Rock, Ska

A Clash Triptych

The Clash – “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” single (1978)
The Clash – “Safe European Home” from Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)
The Clash – “Rudie Can’t Fail” from London Calling (1979)

“Safe European Home” tells the now-famous story of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones’s disappointing trip to Jamaica. Thematically, it echoes one of their best singles, “White Main In Hammersmith Palais,” a stream-of-consciousness Strummer rant set off by a dopey reggae showcase in London: “On stage they ain’t got no roots rock rebel.” Taken together, these two songs set up ideas about cultural imperialism and idolization that the Clash would explore, lyrically and musically, on London Calling, Sandinista!, and Combat Rock.

And since “Safe European Home” ends with the words “Rudie come from Jamaica, ’cause Rudie can’t fail,” I include the stone-cold classic from London Calling.

These also happen to be three of my favorite Clash songs.

Buy The Clash

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1970s, Punk, Rock, Ska

Dore - Feast of the Passover

The Congos – “Feast of the Passover” (1977)

Okay, Jordy, I’ll bite.

Probably a little late to be officially “rock-n-steady,” this track nevertheless rolls with a quick, ska-like vibe. The internet informs me that it appears on one edition of the classic Heart of the Congos (1977), but I found this track on the Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry comp Arkology (1997). And apparently some version of “Feast” is on the new Scratch comp Baffling Smoke Signal. Regardless, this is a great, soulful tune.

Buy Congos here (scroll down to see the Scratch anthology)

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1970s, Reggae, Rocksteady, Ska

“A wise man keepeth his life.”

Desmond Dekker – “Wise Man” (1967)

Originally released as a single on Beverley Records in Kingston, Jamaica.

Is this gonna be the only ‘rocksteady’ post, Glenn?

Buy Desmond Dekker here

Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1960s, Reggae, Rocksteady, Ska