Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ska 4U at Mog!!



A great site for blogging and music!
And now Ska 4U is on Mog!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SKa is out of ICU- The tale of the Skanking Fool

Back in the mid 90's there was a hint of ska music. Since then, the genre has been on a steady rise in popularity. There are more people today who can name a few ska bands without having to think real hard, or too long about it. I always tell folks, who are curious,  to read the Bob Marley story for an introduction to ska. Because just about everybody knows who he is. It's a good starting point. All the artists in Jamaica who were playing music at the beginning of his career were the originators of the ska music. Ya see, rather than try and name them all, I would just say start researching it when you have the time. And you will eventually come up with the songs and the artists who were the "first wave" of ska. About the  late 50's through the late 60's. Right after Jamaica gained independence from the UK.
 The 'second wave" of ska happened in the UK during the 70's and early 80's. Where the ska music began to slowly unwind the tension between it's people. You figure, it worked in Jamaica, why not try it in the UK? Groups like the Specials, The English Beat, The Selecter. They started the two-tone movement. An artistic response to the segregation problems in the London region. A checker board theme was created to be the emblem of racial unity in society. A remedy for, not only, racial tension, but class as well. In the 80's this music was slowly being recognized by Americans. And for a brief time, two-tone ska music was gaining popularity in the states. My band the Uptones were actually one of the first American ska bands to tour the west coast. Inspired directly by the Specials and The English Beat. And by this time, Bob Marley had taken Reggae, the slowed down version of 1st wave ska, around the world.
 To many ska fans, the two tone style crashed and burned itself out by the late 80's. Electronic music began to rise out of disco...and ska had taken a quick drop in popularity. The phrase, " Ska is DEAD..." became a popular anti-motto, instead and drummers began turning in their sticks for midi computer programs and drum loops(Don't try and say that you didn't, either). 
 The 90's was pretty dormant for ska music. No Doubt, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sublime, Rancid, The Dance Hall Crashers and Fishbone were about the only brave souls left playing the ska. And electronic music began to dominate earth. Drummers were now Dj's( and maybe still are)
 Bush took office in 2000 and that was the last straw. For everyone, really. But more directly related to this blog; it was time for ska to rise like the mighty phoenix again! So when I joined the Uptones in 2005, I figured there was some explaining to do. That phrase, " Ska is dead, " kept ringing through my head. I thought, now what do most people do when they think something  or somebody is gonna die? Call an ambulance!! Get it to the hospital and see if we can save it! Don't just stand around saying it's dead. How do you dance to that?! 
 And now ska is out of ICU and coming to a theater near you. Ska wants you to dance. That's it's message to me. And there aint but one rule to ska dancing: do not stand still...

your friendly cyberhood
Uncle Samurai

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stop! Wesley Willis time!

Every so often I have to stop and listen to Wesley Willis.
Then the world is a brighter place.

your friendly cyberhood
Uncle Samurai

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Save the kittens!!

There are demons out there! They have kitten farms. Yes...don't freak out or gasp too hard, but it's virtually true! Somewhere between hell and that hand basket, lies the property which they had built upon: Kitten Slave Farmland Housing Project

That's right ... THE KSFHP (scream)

Ya see, it's a cruel world every time you take a look and I'll spare you the horrible details that animal planet aired last night, but while I was in my head this morning I came up with a plan: for every cd that we sell on i tunes, they release one kitten, possibly returning it to the worried cat/mom, who is in despair right now...poor pussy mommy...

So NOW YOU can save the pussy from the demons by acting now!!

They're little furry kittens, man...come on!

Buy Uptones cd on line!!!

Thanks and let's do this for pussy


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Skanks the Limit! The Uptones throw a baller!

A big thank you to Jake the Skanking Video Fool for putting this one together! I had no idea that the show was gonna look that fun. But when you are a certified skanking fool, the obvious is clear in a world of people who REALLY like to have a good skanking time! And they came through, one and all, big and small, short and tall to have a skanking ball!
And whoah, did you see that guy do a back flip?!! Holy dancing shoes, batman! I have not seen that move since the last time I watched the Olympics!!
Kudos to that dude!!

your friendly cyberhood
Uncle Samurai
and now...


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Delegators

The Delegators are a UK rock steady ska band. I just found out who they are today.
I have posted 3 blogs so far. I hope they come to the USA some time. I have not heard a singer like that in such a long time. She was singing with a band! Not some auto pitch pro tools sound effect program. A band! You can feel it when a real singer hits ya, too. That's what reminds us of our very soul, sometimes. It's obvious when it happens. And in todays world of gadget funksters, it's a rare moment when my soul says, "..HEY...who is THAT singing?!? "
I was moved, to say the least.
No Bots please...let the lady sing...

your friendly cyberhood
Uncle Samurai

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

At the Uptones' Skanking Fools Dance Contest, Ska Reigns Supreme

"He told me ska was dead, so I dialed 9-1-1..."

I wrote those lyrics a couple years ago in my dingy garage and now I get to hear ska fans sing them out loud at our shows! It's a breath taking experience to behold. I am lucky to be a part of a continuous, growing scene, here in the Bay Area. Ska has rekindled itself in the
youth of today's modern, busy and hectic world. And ya have to be in shape to dance a full ska set! The music allows that to happen naturally. The fashion has always been prevalent. The moves that I saw these people pulling off! Who goes to a Britney Spears show and does a backflip? Unless you are her manager, I would assume that no one does.

Anyway, thank you Nate for capturing this particular show with words of inspiration. Thanks to the Street Vendors and Hectic. We look forward to playing again soon...And thanks to the SKANKING FOOL for making this all happen!

Here is the article from the East Bay Express Newspaper

And here is a link to more info on upcoming Uptones shows!

SKA is the limit!

your friendly cyberhood
Uncle Samurai

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reggie Watts is the sh*T! F*ck!!

I have a new hero in the entertainment world. Telling us how the world of music has been reduced to shit like this!!
And look how EASY
it is to make those sounds that you hear everyday on commercial radio!!
ANYBODY could spend about
a month learning how to program sounds like that!
But this guy is actually talented and knows how to entertain with the machines.
Alright...I gotta get back to my guitar...

Thumbs up from
your friendly cyberhood
Uncle Samurai

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hit it and quit it! Phelps Stylee...

Just when I thought Phelps was not cool anymore...NOW he has my full earned respect as a professional. It takes alot of weed to focus in today's mad mad mad world of multi tasking distractions. You HAVE to inhale deep, too. I know. I have 3 quart swimmers lungs, well at least I did when I was 16. And it helps to have gynormous lungs when you are smoking weed with your friends. I had a friend nick named " Iron Lungs Mc Gintess" and whenever anyone hit the bong after him, it was like inhaling an ashtray. Nada. Nothing. Might as well be smokiing air biscuits with gramps...
Anyway we need to help Phelps by supporting his past habits. The media doesn't give a rats ass that he is clean now. So I say anyone with a graffix should step forward and lend Phelps your support so that the media monster doesn't
"goody two shoes" him to death.
Weed smokers tend to stay home and contemplate things like quantum physics, spherical algebra, the fulcrum on the weed scale, hella fine ass girls that should be calling soon....and MUSIC!!

Have a great day and night! And remember...inhale AS you's also a good swimmers habit if you are competing!