What would you do if someone called you a rude boy/girl? Wouldn’t you feel like smacking them upside the head? How would you react if a girl told you that she likes to skank? It might make you wonder how her parents raised her.
These words might not sound right if you are not familiar with the Ska scene. Ska is a type of music that originated from reggae. During the 1960s, many Jamaicans moved to England, so their style of music integrated with the local British punk scene in the 1970s. This era produced TwoTone, also known as the Second Wave.
The TwoTone era paved the way for Ska to make its entrance into mainstream. TwoTone promoted black and white racial unity, hence the term “two tone.” At this time, the typical uniform of a rude boy was a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks, and black loafers.
During the 1980s, a man named Rob “Bucket” Hingley moved from the United Kingdom to New York City. He wanted to bring the Ska scene to America, so he founded a band called The Toasters. This band is mostly responsible for the Third Wave of Ska music, fusing Ska with some punk undertones, while keeping its reggae and dancehall influences.
Along with this band, Hingley started MoonSka Records, originally called Icebear, which was run out of New York City. Hingley explained that the concept behind MoonSka was “a cooperative effort to help Ska bands support each other.” This label sponsored groups like Mephiskapheles, Skinnerbox, Dance Hall Crashers, and Hepcat. MoonSka Records was largely successful until Hingley said that “a reality of circumstances, both financial and personal” forced the label to shut down.
Currently, The Toasters are working with Grover Records, Asian Man Records and Dog Eat Dog Records.
The Toasters, The Players and Rathskellar will appear at the Owl Cove in Mitten Hall on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. For more information about The Toasters, check out www.toasters.org.