118 episodes

Ska no longer needs to be the butt of every joke. IDOS is flipping the narrative on this style of music that they love dearly.
Hosts Aaron Carnes (author of "In Defense of Ska") and Adam Davis (Link 80, Omingone) chat with people in and outside of the ska scene to tell its stories, show its pervasiveness in culture, and defend it to their last dying breath.

In Defense of Ska Aaron Carnes

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 55 Ratings

Ska no longer needs to be the butt of every joke. IDOS is flipping the narrative on this style of music that they love dearly.
Hosts Aaron Carnes (author of "In Defense of Ska") and Adam Davis (Link 80, Omingone) chat with people in and outside of the ska scene to tell its stories, show its pervasiveness in culture, and defend it to their last dying breath.

    In Defense of Ska Behind The Curtain: Looking at the Future of Ska with JER (Skatune Network)

    In Defense of Ska Behind The Curtain: Looking at the Future of Ska with JER (Skatune Network)

    Is 2023 the year ska comes back? Oh I know, you've heard that one before. But it does seem like there's some great things happening in ska in 2023, and we thought we'd talk to one of the leaders of the new ska scene (JER of Skatune Network and We Are The Union!) about what this all means for the future of ska!

    To listen to the entire episode, sign up for the In Defense of Ska Patreon! 
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    • 10 min
    In Defense of Ska Ep 106: Supernova International Ska Festival (Tim Receveur, Mike DeMatteo)

    In Defense of Ska Ep 106: Supernova International Ska Festival (Tim Receveur, Mike DeMatteo)

    Supernova International Ska Festival started in 2013 as a house show that got so big, it was moved to a local brewery. Though it took a few years before it got the name Supernova, and that first show wasn't even a festival; just a kick-ass show with Chris Murray and King Django.

    Every year, Supernova has grown. 2023 is looking to be the biggest and best version of the festival to date with acts from all over the world like Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Fishbone, The Dualers, Don Letts, Stranger Cole, The Planet Smashers, Catbite, Out Of Control Army, and so much more.

    Today we talk about all things Supernova with co-founder Tim Receveur (He founded the festival with his wife April) and creative director Mike DeMatteo. We talk about the festival's history and dig into what people can expect at this year's festival. We also chat about some fun stories from Supernova's previous festivals. And there are plenty of fun stories there!

    We talk about Derrick Morgan's epic 2017 performance, 2020's quarantine edition (fundraiser for Alpha Boys School), and how Taylor Morden managed to film several interviews for Pick It Up - Ska In The 90s at the festival in 2018 during a storm. We also talk about Hepcat playing the festival (Their first east coast concert in decades!), the creation of the Rude Girl Revue and Tim lets us know how he managed to get Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra to headline this year's festival.  
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    • 1 hr 22 min
    In Defense of Ska Ep 105: John Ross Bowie (Big Bang Theory, Speechless, Egghead)

    In Defense of Ska Ep 105: John Ross Bowie (Big Bang Theory, Speechless, Egghead)

    Actor John Ross Bowie is best known for playing Barry Kripke on the hit TV show Big Bang Theory as well as Jimmy DiMeo on Speechless. But when he sat down to write his memoir, No Job For A Man (released in 2022), he focused a lot more pages to his formative shows going to punk, hardcore and ska bands in New York's vibrant live music scene than he did being on the set of these hit shows.

    Today, we speak with John and he surprises us with quite a few details about New York's ska scene in the 80s. We talk about seeing CBGB ska matinees, The Toasters, New York Citizens, The Boilers, Second Step and Bigger Thomas. And John also tells us about going to college in Ithaca in the early 90s, where he interviewed several musicians on his radio show, including Joe Gittleman of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Marc Wasserman and Robert Apollon Jr. of Bigger Thomas.

    We also talk about his band, Egghead meeting One Eye Open on the road, his love for The Ramones, The Dickies and The Toy Dolls, the hyper-specific and bizarre hardcore subgenre known as Krishnacore, and why Chris Gethard insists that John is his comedy mentor. 

    And most importantly, John gives me advice on how to record the audio book for In Defense of Ska. Thanks for the pointers, John! 
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    • 1 hr 15 min
    In Defense of Ska Ep 104: Cory Murchy (Minus The Bear, Killsadie, The Holomen)

    In Defense of Ska Ep 104: Cory Murchy (Minus The Bear, Killsadie, The Holomen)

    Indie rock band Minus The Bear created a unique sound that blended a multitude of genres: math rock, emo, pop, prog, and yes, ska. Well, at least, the bass lines were informed by ska and reggae. Bassist Cory Murchy grew up obsessed with ska music. And when it came time to write interesting and moving bass lines, he often drew inspiration from the bass masters in reggae and ska bands. Besides, who plays bass better than ska and reggae bass players?

    Today, Cory joins us to talk about the secret ska influence of Minus The Bear. We break a few songs that lean the heaviest into ska territory ("My Time," Memphis & 53rd," "Pachuca Sunrise"), and we also talk about Cory's ska formative years growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He even discusses his high school ska band, Soulskats.

    We talk about the impact seeing Mealticket live had on Cory, we discuss a few of the key New Mexico DIY spaces, and we talk about the Seattle indie rock scene that Cory joined when he got a little older (and its connection to Animal Chin)! We find out why Suicide Squeeze's David Dickenson has a "Cory Murchy" tattoo and we learn what ska tattoo Cory has on his body. 

    And during the interview, Cory casually drops a huge reveal on us. His mom used to babysit Kurt Cobain! 
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    • 1 hr 18 min
    In Defense of Ska Ep 103: Sammy Kay (The Forthrights, The East Los Three, The Fast Four)

    In Defense of Ska Ep 103: Sammy Kay (The Forthrights, The East Los Three, The Fast Four)

    While still quite young and headstrong, Sammy Kay dove headfirst into the ska scene, doing touring work for The Skatalites, King Django, The Slackers and Westbound Train. He later played in trad ska/rocksteady group The Forthrights and then fronted his own group (featuring future members of Catbite): Sammy Kay and The Fast Four. In that time, he accumulated a lot of stories! 

    Today we bring on Sammy to hear his tales. And he has quite the tales. He tells us about living with Vic Ruggiero, how he juggled working for so many bands at once, and how he helped to build a ska/rocksteady revival scene in Brooklyn in the late 2000s/early 2010s. 

    Sammy gets deep and personal and talks about how he dealt with his addiction and how difficult that was. You don't want to miss this episode! 
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    • 1 hr 37 min
    In Defense of Ska Ep 102: Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Guignol, Someone Should Pay For Your Pain)

    In Defense of Ska Ep 102: Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Guignol, Someone Should Pay For Your Pain)

    World/Inferno Friendship Society was not a ska band. However, their punk cabaret sound was similar in spirit and they played with a fair amount of ska bands. They even toured with Blue Meanies and The Independents. Accordion/Keyboardist Franz Nicolay WAS a ska fan. When he moved to New York in the 90s, he saw many brilliant ska shows at The Wetlands. Later when joined indie rock group The Hold Steady, and continued to love the music wholeheartedly.

    Today, we talk to punk rock's number-one accordionist, Franz Nicolay. He explains why he once sent In Defense of Ska a message to inform us that he NEVER renounced ska. He tells us about discovering ska in the 90s and seeing many Moon Ska bands perform in New York. He also tells us many unhinged World/Inferno stories from the road. And he tells us what the other members of The Hold Steady REALLY think about ska!

    We also discuss Franz's excellent novel, Someone Should Pay For Your Pain, and he tells us why he often thinks about the unglamorous side of being a touring musician. 
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    • 1 hr 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
55 Ratings

55 Ratings

Aaron&Laura ,

Good Conversations

Really enjoy the conversations on the podcast.

aaajn ,

Fantastic Discussions

This podcast is meaningful, well down. Thanks for your hard work.

jimmy carribean ,

Pick It Up

This pod is good. Also pick up the book. Hope this never stops. Ska is a band of misfits and this one does justice to that fact.

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