Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day: SKApril 2016

The sixth edition of SKApril featured thirty songs by thirty bands over the course of thirty days, plus five bonus! songs of the day by five bands, four of whom were also regular participants in SKApril '16. The nine SKApril all-stars were joined by seventeen returning ska bands; four bands made their SKApril debut in 2016: Be Like Max, Ich Bin Ein Berliner, the Soul Rebels, & the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. That is an absolutely average number of debutantes. Not counting 2011 (all thirty bands) & 2012 (eighteen who hadn't made the fierce 2012 cut), 2013 saw six new bands, 2014 only two, & four each in 2015 & 2016, for an average of four after the two premiere years. The only outside nomination of an R.B.D.S.O.T.D. came from, as in 2015, a member of The Loose Ties. SKApril '16 featured songs from original Jamaican ska, second-wave 2-Tone, third-wave ska-punk, & reggae.

In years past, something an embargo has been placed on ska music in the weeks before & after SKApril. This year, I cannot see the sense in such a policy & the skanking fun has continued as the "SKAfter Party," allowing me to focus on some of my very favorite bands, who are limited to a single contribution to the intentionally diverse SKApril. I'm having too much fun to stop anytime soon.

Embrace the message behind ska's familiar black & white color scheme. The things that unite us are greater than the things than divide us. Don't let the bastards grind you down, & don't stop skanking!

The Queue
I'm already more than two-fifths of the way through Rebuilt, scowling & coming this close to throwing the dratted thing across the room with almost every new page. This is good, frustrating as it is, because the Christian life isn't easy & we need to be challenged constantly to keep us from falling into complacency. (Plus, all the anger I've been venting will be the perfect impetus to get me to the confessional.) Man alive, I hate this book! I might also love it. The co-authors might just be right, in which case we all need to take this book to heart.

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