January
26th 2011
WedneSKAday! Plus a public service announcement about birth control from The Specials

Posted under: American history, art, European history, fluff, Gender, happy endings, race

Remember these guys?

Ska bands were just all fun–they’re my memory of party music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ska bands–English and U.S. American alike–were frequently racially and gender-integrated, too. Anti-racist, anti-skinhead, and the Specials (for example) were anti-domestic violence and pro-birth control. In graduate school, I liked to dance at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia when the Toasters were in town. This was back in the day before they banned smoking everywhere, so I remember coming home and having to shower and shampoo before bed. (Otherwise, the next morning was especially nauseating.) Good (if polluting) times!

And besides: without ska, we never would have understood the rock-and-roll potential of the trombone!

9 Comments »

9 Responses to “WedneSKAday! Plus a public service announcement about birth control from The Specials”

  1. Comrade PhysioProf on 26 Jan 2011 at 10:54 am #

  2. Comrade PhysioProf on 26 Jan 2011 at 10:55 am #

    BTW, you can set something in your WordPress control system dealio that automatically embeds youtubes in the comments if someone types in a youtube URL.

  3. Indyanna on 26 Jan 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    The laundry and drycleaning bills must have also been a brutal drain on a graduate stipend. I wonder what the impact of smoking bans has been on the American laundry and dry-cleaning industry? Brobably pretty substantial.

  4. wini on 26 Jan 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    @Indyanna I lived near Philly and went to shows at the same-ish time (ska was never my thing), and I don’t think anyone wore dryclean only! When I was on top my stuff, I would just schedule my laundry on the day after. But, then again, I was an Undergrad.

    I love these music posts since this is what a lot of my teaching covers.

  5. Indyanna on 26 Jan 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Yeah, Historiann obviously never took ME to any of these concerts at the North Star! :) I still don’t do much in the way of dry cleaning, less than when I first got a job, since the style in my shop runs to jeans and shirts. But I did once see Elvis Costello at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the stockbroker crowd from the City was thick as fleas. If they had allowed smoking–which they did everywhere else in London–it would have been a dry cleaner’s dream!

  6. Historiann on 26 Jan 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    I’m with wini: I don’t think I ever had anything dry-cleaned in grad school except my Little Black Dress, which being black was forgiving of all kinds of urban nastiness.

    Club wear back in the day was strictly functional: miniskirt, tights, shirt and sweater, all wash-n-wear. (And that was enough of a hassle, around the corner in a laundromat!)

  7. Fratguy on 26 Jan 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    “Wash your sins away, at the laundromat today”
    Bim Scala Bim

  8. Historiann on 26 Jan 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    HEE-hee. Good one. Why didn’t I think of that?

  9. Tuesday tunes: cute nonthreatening boys edition : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present on 22 Mar 2011 at 5:54 am #

    [...] Oh, yeah: Haircut 100 from 1982. Very cute, and totally nonthreatening. (Most of the bandmates look like your friends’ dads–at least, the way they might have looked in 1982.) They have to have been the most American top-40 radio friendly “ska” band of the 1980s. [...]

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