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Hornpod: A Ska Podcast

Hornpod: A Ska Podcast

By JJ Loy and Matt Wixson
A podcast by ska fans, for ska fans. Each episode we discuss something related to the ska scene and decide which albums belong in the ska canon.
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029 - Full Speed Ahead

Hornpod: A Ska Podcast

1x
029 - Full Speed Ahead
Way back in Hornpod episode 001 JJ and Matt told you how they defined ska. In this latest episode, they're putting it to the test!   First we sit down with Dan Lord and Adam Guthrie of the band Salvo. We talk about the 1990's when the "horn punk" band was called Pain. We talk about the long hiatus and triumphant return, including their new album The Traveler, out August 26th via Asbestos Records. What do the guys think of Skatune Network's cover of the Pain song "Jabberjaw"? Why is it important that their fans know they don't play ska?   And then, at long last, we submit releases by Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution and Streetlight Manifesto to the Hornpod Ska Canon. Was Tomas Kalnoky talking about doing the BOTAR project before he even left Catch-22? How old are some of these songs, actually? Why don't we talk about Streetlight Manifesto as an ethnic folk-punk band? And which of Tohkay's 21st century albums are Canon-worthy?  All this and more in the least ska edition of Hornpod: a Ska Podcast yet!
01:31:12
August 19, 2022
028 - Chawalaleng Special
Coolie Ranx returns, and he's brought former Oingo Boingo bassist, John Avila! John brings stories about producing Boingo, Reel Big Fish and of course, The Pilfers Chawalaleng. 
53:16
June 27, 2022
027 - A Coolie Ranx Visit
JJ and Matt are joined by genuine ska celebrity, Coolie Ranx (The Toasters, The Pilfers) to talk about dancehall attitude, improvising live and committing to ska long-term.
01:24:48
June 09, 2022
Things I Can't Forget #09 - Plague Doctor with Larry McDonald
Legendary percussionist, Larry McDonald joins us to discuss his latest collaboration with Dave Hillyard of The Slackers.  Dave and Larry have been making music together for decades as the Rocksteady Seven and their new album, Plague Doctor is out now!  We talk about Larry's days in pre-ska Jamaica all the way up to his recent work with the late Lee Perry, and everything in between.
59:13
May 13, 2022
Things I Can't Forget #08 - Sunlight Songwriters Addendum
JJ and Matt are joined again by all six members of the Slackers for more conversation about the band's new album, Don't Let The Sunlight Fool Ya. This time the focus is on the songwriting and the stories behind some of the album's songs.
32:50
April 15, 2022
Things I Can't Forget #07
The Slackers' brand new album, Don't Let The Sunlight Fool Ya will drop on April 15th- but we're here with a track-by-track preview of the record.  Dive deep with JJ, Matt and the members of The Slackers as we reveal the new tunes and the stories behind them!
01:23:22
April 01, 2022
026 - A Long Island Takeover
It's a takeover!  Jimmy Doyle and Sean McCabe straight up infiltrate Hornpod HQ and do their own episode- all about the Long Island ska scene.  They are joined by JT Turret of ASOB and Brian Diaz of Ednas Goldfish.
01:37:30
March 17, 2022
025 - Hell of a Hat
JJ and Matt sit down with the author of the new book, Hell of a Hat The Rise of 90s Ska and Swing, Kenneth Partridge.  And don't you know it, we have opinions on 90s Ska and Swing.
01:11:33
February 03, 2022
The Still Stubborn Special with King Django
King Django, founder of Stubborn Records has been working with our own, Matt Wixson on a very special compilation the past year, and they are joining us to reveal the details of this monumental undertaking.  
50:48
January 17, 2022
024 - 2021 In Ska
JJ and Matt reflect on a year in ska- the trends, the music, the memories.  Join us as we compare Top Ten lists and throw a few more ska-mpilations into the canon.
01:27:40
December 28, 2021
023 - Still Standing
JJ and Matt look back to time when the 3rd Wave had crashed, but the ska scene carried on. Joined by the legendary founder of Jump Up records, Chuck Wren, we discuss a massive compilation designed to rally the scene at a time when all seemed lost.
01:35:50
November 25, 2021
022 - Compilation Crazy
The ska compilation: a perfect way to discover new bands and new labels. For many, a SKAmpilation album was their entry into the ska world. JJ and Matt sort through some of our favorite ska comps while reminiscing about some of the truly terrible ones.
01:06:41
October 06, 2021
A Celebration of Lee "Scratch" Perry
In August 2021 reggae pioneer Lee "Scratch" Perry passed at away at the age of 85. We gather with Emch and Larry McDonald of Subatomic Sound System, Scratch's bandmates during his final decade, to honor and celebrate a man who lived his life as art and changed music forever. Join us as we connect by proxy to the WiFi of the inventor of dub, the son of Neptune, Lee "Scratch" Perry.
48:35
September 30, 2021
Supernova Stories 04 - Adam "Flymo" Birch
In anticipation of Supernova Intl Ska Fest 2021, JJ and Matt chat with the artists and fans who are putting on the festival. In the final episode of this miniseries, we're joined by trumpeter Adam "Flymo" Birch who has played alongside Laurel Aitken, Derrick Morgan, The Toasters and The Specials.  Flymo tells us about overcoming addiction and reconnecting with ska at a Supernova festival.  
21:17
September 14, 2021
Supernova Stories 03 - Rude Girl Revue
In anticipation of Supernova Intl Ska Fest 2021, JJ and Matt chat with the artists and fans who are putting on the festival. This time, we've got one of the most anticipated acts of the upcoming Supernova 2021-  an all-star, all-female, all-ska supergroup called Rude Girl Revue.  Debuting at Supernova 2021 with 16 women on stage, they promise to make history and melt your face. We're joined by Marcia and Katie from the soul-ska band Bowcat, Jenny Whiskey from Hub City Stompers and Tara from the Checkered Cast podcast! 
38:28
September 13, 2021
Supernova Stories 02 - Tim Receveur
In anticipation of Supernova Intl Ska Fest 2021, JJ and Matt chat with the artists and fans who are putting on the festival. On this episode, we're joined by one of the founders of Supernova Ska Festival, Tim Receveur, who has seen it grow from very modest beginnings into perhaps the largest gathering in the ska scene.  Tim tells us about the challenges of organizing this event during the pandemic and the rewards of actually pulling it off.
27:46
September 07, 2021
Supernova Stories 01 - Greg Lee
In anticipation of Supernova Intl Ska Fest 2021, JJ and Matt chat with the artists and fans who are putting on the festival.   On the first episode, we're joined by Hepcat frontman, Greg Lee to discuss their unexpected journey to Supernova this year. 
33:23
August 31, 2021
021 - Traditional Ska Punk
JJ and Matt welcome Marc Wasserman back to the show to discuss the notion of traditional-ska-punk. Is it real? Can we even agree on what it is? Does it belong in the canon?  We answer these questions... and more!
01:22:06
August 12, 2021
020 - Mashin Up The Nation
JJ and Matt enlist the expertise of fellow ska scholar, Marc Wasserman to shed light on a seldom-discussed era of ska history- the 1980s.  Marc tells stories from his new book Skaboom! An American Ska & Reggae Oral History, and contributes to a lively Ska Canon discussion.
01:31:02
June 28, 2021
Things I Can't Forget #06
Berlin Studio Days Slackers saxophonist, David Hillyard, sits down with Slackers fans, Matt Wixson and JJ Loy, to comb through rare songs and alternate takes from the band's thirty-year career. Hillyard and a rotating cast of Slackers bandmates swap memories unearthed by these long-forgotten tunes, giving fans a rarity of their own: an up-close and intimate conversation with the New York City ska and reggae legends. This time, Ara and Jay are back and we're talking about side-projects, dub theory and some foggy memories of the "Berlin" sessions.
58:32
June 04, 2021
Things I Can't Forget #05
Boss Medication Slackers saxophonist, David Hillyard, sits down with Slackers fans, Matt Wixson and JJ Loy, to comb through rare songs and alternate takes from the band's thirty-year career. Hillyard and a rotating cast of Slackers bandmates swap memories unearthed by these long-forgotten tunes, giving fans a rarity of their own: an up-close and intimate conversation with the New York City ska and reggae legends.  For episode five, we are joined again by trombonist, Glen Pine and Slackers' lead singer, Vic Ruggiero to reminisce about the Boss Harmony Sessions, Self Medication and all tunes lost and found.
01:13:60
May 21, 2021
019 - Funky Fire
Back in Hornpod episode #005 Matt and JJ examined the sounds and styles of the emerging reggae sound sweeping Kingston in the late 1960's. But that isn't the end of the story. Those early funky reggae jams were reborn around the turn of the century as bands like the Slackers and Aggrolites inspired a global resurgence. Then we discuss a few relevant albums for the Ska Canon.
01:00:48
May 07, 2021
Things I Can't Forget #04
The Making of Peculiar Slackers saxophonist, David Hillyard, sits down with Slackers fans, Matt Wixson and JJ Loy, to comb through rare songs and alternate takes from the band's thirty-year career. Hillyard and a rotating cast of Slackers bandmates swap memories unearthed by these long-forgotten tunes, giving fans a rarity of their own: an up-close and intimate conversation with the New York City ska and reggae legends.  For episode four of the series, Dave, Matt, and JJ are joined by Slackers drummer Ara Babajian and later by singer Vic Ruggiero, as well, to discuss the making of the band's 2006 album Peculiar. The album boasted a new lineup, a novel recording process, and an evolved sound for the band.
58:45
April 29, 2021
Things I Can't Forget #03
2001-2003 Slackers saxophonist, David Hillyard, sits down with Slackers fans, Matt Wixson and JJ Loy, to comb through rare songs and alternate takes from the band's thirty-year career. Hillyard and a rotating cast of Slackers bandmates swap memories unearthed by these long-forgotten tunes, giving fans a rarity of their own: an up-close and intimate conversation with the New York City ska and reggae legends.  For the third episode of this series, Dave, Matt, and JJ are joined by Slackers trombonist and vocalist Glen Pine to discuss the process of creating the band's 2003 album Close My Eyes. You'll never hear the song "Old Dog" the same again after this one!
01:02:14
April 16, 2021
Things I Can't Forget #02
More Wasted Days Slackers saxophonist, David Hillyard, sits down with Slackers fans, Matt Wixson and JJ Loy, to comb through rare songs and alternate takes from the band's thirty-year career. Hillyard and a rotating cast of Slackers bandmates swap memories unearthed by these long-forgotten tunes, giving fans a rarity of their own: an up-close and intimate conversation with the New York City ska and reggae legends.  For the second installment, Dave, Matt, and JJ are joined by Slackers bassist Marcus Geard and guitarist Jayson "Agent J" Nugent to discuss the band's 2001 album Wasted Days, including discussion of the drastically different vinyl tracklisting and the impact of the iconic title track on the band.
01:00:60
April 02, 2021
Things I Can't Forget #01
1996-2000 Slackers saxophonist, David Hillyard, sits down with Slackers fans, Matt Wixson and JJ Loy, to comb through rare songs and alternate takes from the band's thirty-year career. Hillyard and a rotating cast of Slackers bandmates swap memories unearthed by these long-forgotten tunes, giving fans a rarity of their own: an up-close and intimate conversation with the New York City ska and reggae legends. In the first of this miniseries Dave, Matt, and JJ are joined by Slackers keyboard player, vocalist, and songwriter Vic Ruggiero. The four discuss the period around the band's first few albums.
01:06:34
March 19, 2021
018 - Freedom Sounds
In this long-overdue deep dive, JJ and Matt are joined by ska-jazz musician and aficionado Rich Graiko (Westbound Train, the Attractors, Void Union) to discuss the origins, output, and ongoing legacy of the legendary Skatalites. How many of their albums belong in the Hornpod Ska Canon? The answer may surprise you!
01:30:10
February 13, 2021
017 - Best of 2020
JJ and Matt compare lists of their favorite ska/reggae albums of 2020. Then they consider a couple albums for the Ska Canon that seemed to predict a resurgence of 2-Tone influence in ska-punk
01:17:55
December 31, 2020
016 - Rude and Reckless
JJ and Matt are joined by Obi Fernandez (Westbound Train, the Inevitables) to just totally nerd out about the Slackers, a favorite of all three. This is part one of two, and covers the period of the band up to and including the Close My Eyes album. Then some shocking decisions are made when it comes to placing Slackers albums into the Ska Canon.
01:30:50
December 04, 2020
015 - Songbirds
JJ and Matt are joined by author Heather Augustyn to discuss often overlooked women in ska and reggae history. Then they consider some notable records for the canon.
01:18:17
November 07, 2020
014 - My Very Own Flag
JJ and Matt are joined by Vinnie Fiorello (The Inevitables, ex-Less Than Jake) to discuss how ska is received outside of the ska scene, and also talk about his new ska supergroup and book.
01:18:50
October 18, 2020
013 - Soundbwoy
JJ and Matt trace the origins of modern EDM back to 1960's Jamaica and then see how it has fed back into ska over the years. Then they consider some albums for the Ska Canon.
01:06:36
September 26, 2020
Hornpod Offbeat 002 - A Salute to Toots
In this special episode JJ and Matt pay tribute to Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, of Toots and the Maytals, who passed away on September 11, 2020.
25:27
September 19, 2020
012 - Open Season
JJ and Matt chat about supergroups and all-star combinations in ska music, and consider some albums that fit the theme for inclusion in the Ska Canon.  
01:18:22
August 25, 2020
011 - Rudeboy Style
JJ and Matt look at toasting, chatting, and dancehall in the ska scene. Then, keeping to the theme of the episode, consider some albums for the Ska Canon.
01:12:13
July 28, 2020
010 - Ska'd For Life
JJ and Matt take a closer look at ska puns and portmanteaus, and tell you which are the good, which are the bad, and which are just plain ugly. They then consider a few examples of wordplay band names for the Ska Canon.
01:16:50
May 28, 2020
Hornpod Offbeat 001
Hornpod Offbeat is a new occasional series where JJ and Matt stop talking about ska and start talking about other things they like. Consider it bonus content. In this mini episode the boys have a conversation about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, recorded before a previous episode.
16:60
May 04, 2020
009 - Take Her To Jamaica
JJ and Matt consult a real expert to discuss mento, the Jamaican music that preceded ska, and discover that maybe it's wrong to link one to the other. They then consider which essential mento collections necessitate inclusion in the Ska Canon.
52:15
April 25, 2020
008 - Do Somethin' Crazy
JJ and Matt take on the past and present of skacore with the help of their first guest contributor, Jimmy Doyle (the Fad, the Forthrights). Then a few skacore albums are considered for the Ska Canon.
58:56
April 03, 2020
007 - Soul Revival
JJ and Matt praise their favorite soulful ska and reggae singers throughout history.  Possible inductees into the Ska Cannon include two records from the soul-ska movement of the mid-2000s.
01:01:53
March 17, 2020
006 - Nobody is Special
JJ and Matt take a close look at the Specials, a band that redefined ska for decades to come. Then they consider some Specials albums for the Ska Canon.
01:00:58
February 25, 2020
005 - Tighten Up
JJ and Matt head to the late 1960's to look at the earliest music of the emerging genre called reggae. What's the difference between this music and the Jamaican styles that came before and after it? Then your hosts debate some albums that defined the genre at the time.
55:14
February 12, 2020
004 - Best of the Decade
JJ and Matt look back at the 2010's and discuss which ska albums stand above the rest. Will any of these newer records be worthy of the Ska Canon?
58:21
January 07, 2020
003 – Pick It Up!
JJ and Matt discuss the new documentary Pick It Up!: Ska in the ‘90s, and in particular reevaluate their thoughts on the role of Reel Big Fish. Then they consider six – SIX! – big albums from the mid-‘90s for inclusion in the Ska Canon.
56:60
December 17, 2019
002 – In The Mood for Ska
JJ and Matt discuss how their respective spouses feel about the music they both love. Then they pit two Mephiskapheles albums against one another in a head-to-head showdown for Ska Canon glory: it’s God Bless Satan vs. Maximum Perversion.
53:58
November 28, 2019
001 – Is This Ska?
JJ and Matt discuss what should and should not be considered ska. Who’s definition is broader and who is the “gatekeeper”? Then they consider two albums for the Ska Canon from artists who were there at the very beginning: Prince Buster and Carlos Malcolm.
51:15
November 28, 2019
000 – An Introduction
JJ and Matt talk about their personal histories with ska, JJ as a radio host and Matt as a musician. Then they discuss their first candidates for the Ska Canon, considering bands from their home towns: the Suicide Machines and MU330.
51:52
November 28, 2019