An explanation of ska waves

There’s a lot of discussion and questions concerning what is ska kids mean when we talk about waves in ska music. This isn’t meant to be THE answer on all that as there is much disagreement, th following is just my answer.

To start, ska has been existing and evolving since its inception in early 1960’s or late 1950’s Jamaica. The wave simply represents a period of time when the genre enjoyed extreme popularity and seeped into mainstream culture.

The first wave was from the early 60’s until around 66 came along. In 66 there was an extraordinarily hot summer in which the rudies couldn’t dance at the standard pace. So the music got slowed down and reggae came out of this. Reggae is also where to social change politics made their way into ska.

2nd wave was roughly 3 years in the UK when 2Tone happened. This was the first blending of punk and ska. Also you had The Clash who were thoroughly blurring those lines.

In the early 1980’s ska was building in America at a slow pace, but gaining popularity. The genre wasn’t dead as Dick Lucas (prior to Subhumans) had Culture Shock who were blending the Anarcho punk of the time with ska music. I mark the 3rd wave as starting in 87 with Operation Ivy. Though the mass popularity didn’t fully hit until around 95 when ska bands from all over the country started getting signed to Epitaph or major labels. They were gaining radio and MTV rotation. This was the Skaboom. Most of these bands were ska punk, basically the children of what Op Ivy did. This lasted until about 2000.

From 2000 till about 2018 we’d been in post wave. There’s been many amazing bands and evolutions in ska such as crack rock steady and some solid soul ska acts.

2018 through now is presently weird as we’re not sure if it’s a slight crest of the post wave, or if we’re coming into a true 4th wave. This is being led by Skatune Network and Bad Times Records. I know some people point to The Interrupters for this. Gonna say no there. They’re a great band, but what sounds like female fronted Rancid is neither innovative nor particularly interesting from a musical standpoint. Jer did a better cover of Bad Guy. Also, Aimee is not our ska queen. That’s Reade Wolcott from We Are The Union.

– C Fish

Punk Politics #53

Juneteenth has become an official holiday which is a good thing. But there are some very deep problems. This is simply a cookie from the oppressors as slavery never actually ended. The plantations became prisons and slavery is still legal under the 13th amendment. Furthermore, Republicans and mainline Democrats keep the slave machine fed by insisting that the drug war keep going which disproportionately jails black and brown bodies. Also their continuation of broken treaties to have black snakes stretch across native lands ensures that indigenous are fed to this machine as they continue to defend themselves and our planet against these poisons. The 1% are the only criminals here, yet way too many Americans practically beg the masters to send those of is who engage in direct resistance or underground economy to these tax funded plantations
– C Fish

Punk Politics #51

As a reminder, the mainstreaming and growth we’ve seen in hate and right wing extremism isn’t over. The frequency and severity of incidents will likely increase. A large part of that is an irresponsibility to address Nazis in the underground. Over the past decade I’ve seen more punks seeming to have no problem with em at shows and seem more interested in partying than addressing racism and racists in the scene. There’s plenty who still do the work, but not enough to send these fuckers scuttling to the darkest corners of ideological existence. So as they’re able to gain increasing passive existence, they’re now free of the leash of Trump acceptance and they’re angry at any progressive victories. Also the extreme right has evolved from the standard swastika and shaved heads. We have the Proud Boys who were a complete joke now being the flagship as they’ve been able to become a multiethnic hate group. Ideologically they are white supremacists as they fight for the supremacy of the white male dominant paradigm that has ruled America since its inception. They proudly wish to be colonizers, sexists, racists and classists. The fact that Tucker Carlson (Q Anon/ Infowars light) is the most popular news show in America lets us know that these viewpoints are no longer underground. I’ve gotten stared down plenty by proud and boog boys at the grocery store. If we don’t take sides and actions, I believe the right will be paving over culture from the underground to main street. This is the call to action, this is the line in the sand.

– C Fish

Mumia update

Taken from the Mobilization 4 Mumia site

NEWS:

10.16.19

“Mumia Abu-Jamal just one step from freedom,” notes Maureen Faulkner

From the minute Mumia picked up a microphone and a pen at the age of 14, Philadelphia’s notoriously racist police department has been seeking to silence him. Just look at the FBI files- documenting that the Philadelphia PD Civil Disobedience Unit Red Squad trailed him — and the Police Chief Frank Rizzo targeted him — feeding his name to the FBI to put him on the “security index.” Mumia was literally covering community events and rallies, and writing for the Black Panther Party Paper, all this while he was still in his teens!

During the 1995 PCRA hearings, 13 yrs after Mumia’s questionable murder conviction, a Philadelphia police officer was heard by a NY Times reporter outside the courtroom saying “we should have executed him that night.”
Remember: it was Philly cops who shot Mumia. The Philly cops who brutally beat him at the scene, in the police wagon, and on the floor of the Jefferson Hospital emergency room entrance.
Joe McGill, the prosecutor on Mumia’s case, and Ed Rendell, the District Attorney at the time, worked closely with the police to frame and convict Mumia for the Dec. 9th 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

In 2020, a new hearing in Philadelphia Common Pleas could be, and should be, free from bias. Everyone knows that Mumia’s trial judge in 1981-1982 was s stone cold racist. A current sitting homicide judge on the Common Pleas Court bench has commented that Albert Sabo was “the most racist and sexist judge I have ever met.”
Here is information that has been suppressed and buried for decades and now could be available for the first time during a new trial.

  • Did DA Joe McGill pay off witnesses with favors and cash?

  • Did McGill allow the cabbie with a suspended license to keep driving? Photos of the crime scene by the Philadelphia Bulletin prove the cab driver’s car was literally not at the scene.

  • Did Joe McGill illegally remove Black jurors because of their race?

  • Did Joe McGill track and fix the outstanding cases of other key witnesses?

  • Did the DA’s office for 37 yrs withhold and suppress critical information from Mumia’s criminal defense team?

  • Did judge Albert Sabo state “I am going to help them fry the n*****” in front of Judge Richard Klein and court clerk Terry Maurer Carter?

  • Did Alfonso Giordano Philadelphia Police Commander– the highest ranking officer on the scene of officer Faulkner’s murder on Dec. 9th 1981 falsely state that Mumia confessed while he was beating him in the police van? At the time Giordano was under federal scrutiny for running gambling, extortion and payoffs and thus not used as a trial witness. He testified at pretrial hearings but was not “available” at trial. He retired the day after Mumia was found guilty, with full pay. Soon thereafter he pleaded guilty to tax evasion for the bribes taken from illegal gambling in East Division, 29 officers were convicted in just that scandal alone.

A few months ago, I got a chance to speak with Maureen Faulkner. I asked her: “What did she think was going to happen next in Mumia’s case?

She replied: “You have to go to Prison Radio’s website and listen. Judith Ritter, Mumia’s lawyer really thinks they have a chance.”

Maureen, paused, and continued. She had to admit:

“We are in a really hard spot. There is not much we can do, the way it is going…We have to fight to keep Mumia in prison as long as possible.”

Finally the tides are turning. Justice is palpable.

While Maureen Faulkner, widow of Daniel Faulkner, is being put forward as the face of the opposition in recent court proceedings, the real players behind the scenes are the Fraternal Order of Police. And they are worried. There is a lot of self-interest on the part of the 6500-member Philadelphia Police Union in toppling Larry Krasner, the popular new DA with an anti-corruption agenda.

Early this fall, in a groundbreaking development, Krasner filed a brief in Superior Court (see sidebar) agreeing that a new evidentiary hearing should be held in Mumia’s case by the Philadelphia Common Pleas court. “The Commonwealth does not oppose defendant’s motion for a remand to the PCRA court for defedant to present newly-discovered evidence.”
This PCRA hearing would evaluate the evidence found in the six previously undisclosed banker boxes from Storage Room 17, that Larry Krasner found after taking office and turned over to the defense. Maureen Faulkner tried to file an objection to the seeking removal of Krasner’s office. But just last week, her pro se application to intervention in the Superior Court Appeal was denied. (see sidebar)

10-4-19 FOP breakfast Rally for Maureen, John “Jack” O’Neil, Esq. Staff attorney for the IBEW Electrical Workers Union. He is volunteering to assist Maureen. He also ran against Krassner and placed a distant sixth. Note that the “trades unions” in Philadelphia share with the FOP a notoriously racist history. The motto of both the IBEW and Lodge 5 – could easily be “protect upper middle class white jobs, at the expense of people of color.” Note Krasner has identified and gone after a key lynch pin to the problem of mass incarceration: “police overtime” which is fed by the churning of false arrests in poor communities. (see the 39th District scandal, and others).

Fast forward to October of 2019,“Mumia Abu-Jamal is just one step away from Freedom”, Maureen announced at her press conference at the DA’s office at 3 Penn Square in Philadelphia.

Things are changing. Grassroots organizing popularly elected a progressive District Attorney Larry Krassner who is willing to hold the police and former district attorneys accountable. It has been 37 years, and we are closer to justice than we have been since the 1995 PCRA hearing. The courts may be slow to follow, but there is no way to go back. We are on the path to freedom.

You have been there, making it happen, each and every single step. Thank you.

We all must remember that the Philadelphia police have been violent and racist and corrupt for decades. They have a lot to lose if Mumia wins — because when Mumia wins, the forces that support Black dignity and freedom are winning.

Let us not misunderstand the depth of racism – throughout the police department in Philadelphia. Here is a picture of the brand new (this month) acting Police Chief Christine Coulter. Here she is wearing an LAPD t-shirt mocking the beating of Rodney King. “LAPD “We treat you like a King”. She did not resign when this photo surfaced.

John McNesby, the FOP Lodge 5 President, is deeply invested in continuing the brutal power that the Philly police department enjoyed in the past. At the FOP Lodge Five Event in April he tells his brother officers: “Krasner is going after cops instead of keeping this city safe…We have so many officers on the do-not-call list, we could invade Cuba”. This was a riff on the line by former Mayor and Police Chief Frank Rizzo that “We could invade Cuba and win”. The “do not call list” includes officers designated by the DA’s office as not available to testify at trial because they have been caught by the courts “test-a-lying” or they have been indicted.

The scandals regarding police corruption are splashed across the Philadelphia Inquirer’s front page each and every single week. This week another African-American man was exonerated after proving police falsification of evidence. Willie Veasy’s return to his family after 27 years of bondage was the 10th so far this year.

Mumia Abu-Jamal will follow Willie Veasey out of imprisonment. But only because thousands of you have stood by him and committed to this fight for justice. We still have work to do, we still need every one of you to make sure that justice is done and Mumia comes home.

Join all of us. It is time to move this forward towards justice and freedom and bring Mumia home.
Cuando luchamos ganamos!

When we fight, we win!

Noelle Hanrahan, P.I.
Prison Radio

Welcome to the American Fall

The new Anti-Flag album dropped today. It’s the most stoked I’ve been on a new punk album in years. I saw them live a couple weeks back. The new one is a call to action against the neo-liberal order of the previous 8 years and this alt-right status quo the rose of Trump has given us. Stand out track on this is When The Wall Falls. Anti-Flag wrote a kick ass ska track. This is the album we need now. From us old dogs who may feel a bit jaded to the scared kid that may be gay, trans or simply not about the shit happening in these times. This is a battle cry to hold the line and remain human. As always we’ve got this. I’ll see ya when the wall falls.

– C Fish

Writer’s note: stay tuned for a full Punx In Solidarity style Anti Flag article late fall/ early winter. 

Straight Edge Punk Legends Minor Threat

Looking At Minor Threat

Minor Threat was the straight edge, hardcore punk band from Washington, D.C. Led by vocalist Ian MacKaye, the band was staunchly independent and fiercely sober. Through their songs, the group rejected drugs and alcohol, espoused anti-establishment politics, and led a call for self-awareness. Every song was fast and sharp, with song a minute or shorter. Over a three year period, Minor Threat released two EPs, one album, and several singles, all of which were popular in the American punk rock underground. Their records and concerts helped spawn straight-edge, an American punk rock lifestyle based on the group’s intense, clean-living ideology. Following the disbandment of Minor Threat, MacKaye formed Fugazi, a popular hardcore post punk band.

MacKaye formed the Teen Idles while he was attending Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., and after he graduated in 1980, he founded the Dischord record label with the intent of putting out his group’s records through the label.  The Teen Idles broke up and MacKaye had formed Minor Threat with former Idles drummer Jeff Nelson, former Government Issue bassist Brian Baker, and guitarist Lyle Preslar. By the end of the year, Minor Threat had released the singles “Minor Threat” and “Straight Edge,” and had played many concerts along the East Coast. Throughout 1981, they followed this same pattern, playing a lot of concerts and releasing 7″ singles.

 

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Maty’s Corner #35 Introducing Carpit

I recently got a copy of Carpit’s self titled debut. It fucking rocks! These guys cone raging out of Long Beach, CA. The music rocks like early Pennywise and Guttermouth. Every track makes a point and would be a great background to any skate session. These guys have a bunch of shows coming up so catch em live! Hopefully I’ll see some of y’all in the LBC! You can stalk them at facebook.com/carpitlbc
-Maty Almost

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Jello Biafra For President!

READ Jello Biafra’s Politics Perspective BELOW:

Alternative Tentacles

Jello Stalking

I think that people know that [a Dead Kennedys reformation] is out of the question. There was one local fly-by-nigher who offered $100,000 for ten days but I didn’t dignify that call with a reply. The most ridiculous offer of all was from Gene Simmons of KISS calling me up wanting movie rights to Frankenchrist trial (where Biafra defended an H.R. Giger poster included with the record deemed “harmful matter,” on the grounds of free speech, as detailed on his spoken-word album High Priest of Harmful Matter). Meeting Frank Zappa was one of the few silver linings to come out of the trial. He got a hold of me and the helpers of the No More Censorship Defense Fund rather than us having to find him. He gave me some very valuable advice very early on; something that anybody subjected to that kind of harassment should remember: You are the victim. You have to constantly frame yourself that way in the mass media so you don’t get branded some kind of outlaw simply because of your beliefs and the way you express your art. The outlaws are the police. I got to visit Frank two or three more times at his house in Los Angeles and those were very special times. He showed me a hilarious Christian aerobics video. The women were in their skintight leotards doing jumping jacks. “One-two, two-two, three-two, praise the Lord!” And of course the bustiest one was in a striped spandex suit dead front center of the screen!

DK - Jello On Stage

DK Stage Dive

I’m drying out from recording and mixing a track, of all things, a Willie Nelson “tribute album”. For anybody who knows the song,” Still is Still Moving to Me,” it’s the closest thing to a, oh, a Dead Kennedys “Holiday in Cambodia” sounding song that he ever came up with, and the lyrics are cool too.

Working with Al Jourgensen was never a dull moment. He’s the Jerry Lee Lewis of the 90’s……. what can we do? He was even supposed to produce Jerry Lee but I guess Jerry Lee backed out at the last minute.

Ice-T is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. I don’t agree with all of his views-especially in the area of women! – but overall he’s a fascinating person to be around. The intelligence and energy just kind of rubs off and sparkles. “Cop Killer” is the “Born to Be Wild” of the 90’s. Everything that people find shocking now will routine in ten years. It always works out that way. Remember when Elvis Presley’s legs were banned from television? I envision that someday an ad will come on television,” Remember the good old 90’s? Well relive the nostalgia with Cop-Killers-Hating Whitey in the 90’s, starring Body Count, Ice Cube, Ice-T, NWA, Snoop Doggy Dog…” you name it.

Jello Bounce

Jello Crawl

We played shows together with Black Flag, we networked together, tipped each other to promoters in different cities when one of us would run across somebody new. There was much more of a cohesive bond between the bands that were then called punk and hardcore because there were so few of us and it was against everything we hated about the 70’s and the music establishment. We had to crack open places for us and other people to play in’ town. The very idea of an all-ages show horrified New York. But once we got in and were able to do that, it exploded and all these bands came out. That happened in a lot of places, and leaders in cracking open those towns were Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys, and D.O.A..

I’m one of the few people in this town who has articulate danger towards the outbreak of punk fundamentalism, especially when the dictator of the biggest local so-called punk magazine (Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll) is now advocating violence against people he doesn’t like. What I’ve had to do is to point out that not everybody who has a long and deep involvement with punk wants to turn it into something bitter, fundamentalist, isolationist church, and go around playing “cop” on other people. If that was the attitude I’d found when I first got into punk, I would have gotten right back out again. I think that circling the wagons and putting up fences right at a time when millions of new people could potentially turn onto the politics and spirit of punk is sad and irresponsible.

Jello Live 2

Jello Mabuhay Gardens

I don’t think either the Offspring or Green Day started their bands with the intention of becoming so enormously popular; that sort of fell in their laps-especially the Offspring. My attitude is if somebody blunders into the level of popularity, at least remember the human factor. These guys are still human beings and hopefully still have hearts and if you keep in touch with them rather than vilify them you may be able to encourage them to go in the right direction. What I’m hoping will eventually happen is that they will grasp the amount of power and financial clout that is now at their fingertips and use those as tools to help real people with real things the way punk politics was always designed to do before, but nobody had any money.

Dk - Jello Biafra Stage

Jello Crowd Pleaser

The Grateful Dead, of all people, had been doing this for years with a grant foundation. They would donate about a million dollars a year from concert receipts or benefit concerts, and that money would then be doled out to people that applied for the grant for everything from soup kitchens, battered women’s shelters, rural school districts who don’t have any money for instruments for a music program or an aspiring composer. It was a way of putting the politics behind the music into something other than your own pocket.

Jello Thrasher Shirt

Jello Getty 050711

I still think, quality of the bands aside, the only reason this later batch of bands(grunge, Green Day, the Offspring) got signed and pushed was to help steer white suburban kids away from political black rap music. Reggae they could buy-at least there the revolution was aimed at Jamaica – but some of these people were talking about revolution in the United States. “We can’t have these future middle-class model citizens finding out what America is really like!! No, no, no! Come on kids! Shoe gaze, shoe gaze! Remember, you’re slackers! You’re Generation X! You’re not supposed to care!” The whole slacker myth was imposed from above after these very alleged slackers helped throw George Bush out of the White House.

Dead Kennedys

There isn’t one magical solution. I do think that more people listen to artists-especially rappers-and musicians than they do to politicians, and if they’re going to look at us for leadership and brain food, we ought to provide some ideas for improvement over the current collapse of the Roman Empire that we’re witnessing in this country. I have tossed out some ideas on Beyond the Valley of the Gift Police [Biafra’s fourth spoken word album], some of them sarcastic but some of them also very practical. There’s a lot of allegations about the [government and AIDS] that have even made the London Times, and I haven’t really made up my mind. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit, though, the way we play around with germ bombs in the country. There was one group of military scientists who immediately went into the heart of Zaire when they first heard about the Ebola virus, and there reaction instead of wanting to exterminate it, was “Wow! Wouldn’t this make a great toy? Let’s take some back to Fort Detrick, Maryland.” And they did. And sure enough, some of the monkeys escaped., but they were recaptured. But it makes me wonder how many other things like that have happened where the germs did get out. There’s lots of evidence that that outbreak of hantavirus in New Mexico the Summer before last that killed large numbers of Native Americans had actually been leaked out of germ warfare lab right next to an Indian reservation in the Southwest.

This is my home. Home is where the disease is. As long as I stay in America, I’ll never run out of subjects for songs.

Jello Biafra
Alternative Tentacles

Jello Live Recent

 

 

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