When ska band Sad Snack recorded a ska version of The Mountain Goats' beloved "No Children," Mountain Goats singer-songwriter John Darnielle got so excited, that he invited the group to open for them at their San Francisco show. It was all hands on deck for Ska No Children. And during Sad Snack's performance, John and other members of the group got on stage and skanked. It was clear that it wasn't his first time skanking.
And indeed, he went to many ska shows and skanked during his formative years in Southern California, even though he was an artsy goth kid that made fun of the ska kids. Now as an adult, he can admit that he has a particular love for classic Jamaican ska and the 2 Tone bands like The Selecter, The Specials, Madness and The English Beat.
On this episode, we talk about all things ska with John Darnielle. He compares Lee "Scratch" Perry to Tolstoy, he explains why The Specials' "Ghost Town" is one of the greatest songs of all time, and he tells us about the "Fuck Art, Let's Dance" buttons that all the ska kids at his high school would wear.
But we talk about so much more, including Propagandhi, pro-wrestling, "Superman" by Goldfinger, Desmond Dekker, King Tubby's sound system, the beauty of heavy metal and why everyone wrongfully associates ska with horns.