It’s OK To Like… Ska

Every week, we encourage you to let your guard down, crawl out of the indie rock bunker, and embrace your guilty pleasures. You’re welcome…

Ska Music: Five reasons to love Toots AND the Maytals:

1. Horns!
A liability, you say? We say: thank you ska, for making it easy to tell when we are listening to ska. We might not be too clear about the difference between Skavoovie and the Dance Hall Crashers, but when those horns kick in we know it?s time to stop with the indie rock head nodding and skank out, whatever that means.

2. Dickie Barrett
Leader of the unfortunately-named Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dickie B growled like Morrissey after a six-day organic gin bender. His hobbies included wearing plaid, drinking, and smoking a pack of cigarettes at the same time.

3. Rudy
We thought Rudy was the hobbit who talked his way into Notre Dame, but apparently it?s short for “rude boy,” a ska-term that seems to apply to, well, everybody, as far as we can tell. Still, “A Message to You, Rudy” and “Rudy Can?t Fail” kick ass.

4. Reel Big Fish
Nothing gets us smiling like a good ska cover, and Reel Big Fish were masters of the form. The weren?t all that good at writing their own songs, but give ?em a bit of Duran Duran, Pixies, or even Rogers and Hammerstein and they always came up with something playlist worthy.

5. High School Ska Bands
Mark’s brother Steve was all, can I be in the band, and we were like Steve, Jimmy Eat World doesn?t have horns, and he was all but I?ve been playing the trombone since like fifth grade, and we were like, no way dude, and he was all, I?ll let you play my Playstation 3 and so finally we were like fine, dude, you can be in the band.

But seriously, got an idea for It’s OK To Like…? E-mail tips at stereogum.com.