Posted by: loripalooza | February 12, 2009

Monkey Ska

redmonkeyhatThis is late in coming, but when I went to the Ska is Dead IV show two weeks ago the little writer in my head kept jumping up and down and squealing “blog fodder, blog fodder!!!” so I feel the need to share a couple of thoughts on the experience.

  • Ironically named, the show featured six ska bands, Get Down Moses, The Diablotones, (you can see these two later this month) Monkey, Deals Gone Bad, The Toasters, and Voodoo Glow Skulls.  The speed with which the bands whisked their gear on and off the stage was amazing. Reminds me of that commercial where roadies run the world, super efficient, yet fun. My kind of world!
  • It was an all ages show at a venue called Studio 7 in Seattle’s SODO district, (and I’m not linking the place because frankly the reviews are awful). If you go, go for the music, not the decor. We had rockin’ seats up in the bar/balcony area, though, and the next best thing to the bands was watching the kids jump into the ska circle to dance.  From above they looked just like Barrel of Monkeys monkeys.
  • Speaking of decor, bathroom stall graffiti these days is all about myspace.
  • There was a girl standing in front of me in the bathroom line with a fuchsia mohawk, and lime green soft-as-moss fuzz on her head. I was debating whether I should just touch it or ask.  I did neither. Just stood and waited and felt old.
  • The music compelled me to sneak down to the edge of the crowd, (in my pork-pie hat I wore for the occasion), slowly bouncing in from the edge and then letting myself get sucked into the counterclockwise swirl of swinging monkeys.  I made it around twice without getting injured, which quickly became my goal (earlier Nathan had forbidden me to dance because there were a couple guys in the crowd just throwing punches and pushing and he was getting all protective-like of his little mama).  Somewhat scary but worth the risk.  When you must dance, you must dance.
  • Whenever someone fell on the floor  others would quickly grab them up and throw them back in.  So kind. It was also amazing to see these sneering guys hammering on people in the circle (one fat dervish of a brute in particular–spin and punch, spin and punch–whom I noticed with some satisfaction later seemed to have a bit of a bloody nose), but when the music stopped, they’d all just calm down like nothing had happened. The magic of skank.
  • Joe got a Monkey ska patch and sewed it on to a jacket he has, covering the logo of the company that laid him off.
  • The sound guy for the club had fingerless black gloves painted with skeleton hands.  I was totally envious.
  • One of the drummers, I forget in which band, was this beautiful man with dreads down to his thighs. In fact, when he was loading up his drum kit the longest lock kept getting in the way and swinging through his legs like a tail.  Again, totally envious.
  • Monkey (with a girl bass player! yes!) and the Diablotones were my favorites, even though The Toasters (good, but almost too tight, if you know what I mean) and Voodoo Glow Skulls (VGS) are the well-know ska veterans.  VGS played last, and they were definitely on the punk side of ska rather than the bopping horn-playing feel-good kind of ska I really like.  Wincingly loud (ehh, sonny? ehhh?), and what I imagine a vampire bite must feel like; painful,  yet enjoyable, too. My ears only stopped ringing a few days ago.


  1. This show was fun fun fun! I definitely want to see Monkey again.

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