Taste of Ska

A good friend of mine in Los Angeles who's extremely tapped into the music scene and underground goings-on swears up and down that ska is making a comeback and that it's happening all over the country. If she's right — and I haven't yet seen or heard any proof for myself — I suppose it wouldn't be a shock. Ska's had about 19 waves of (brief) popularity, and thanks to the Warped Tour, it's still being kept somewhat alive in the ears of punk kids. The Pietasters — an eight-piece ska/soul/rock band from Washington, D.C., equally inspired by the Specials and Minor Threat — have also been keeping the dream alive for more than 15 years. Led by singer Stephen Jackson, the Pietasters have warmed up crowds for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Reverend Horton Heat, and No Doubt; have put out a bazillion albums; have garnered a small but fanatically devoted audience; and even once served as the backing band for none other than James Brown. Plus, any band whose motto is "It's not a good show unless somebody bleeds" has gotta be kinda cool, no matter how in or out of vogue their style may be.

The Pietasters join the Toasters and the Supervillains on the Ska Brawl Tour on Friday, December 1, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $12. Call 954-564-1074, or visit

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Michael Alan Goldberg