3/17/11 in a nutshell…
Sometimes, we wake up in the morning in a fundamentally different world than the one we went to sleep in the previous night. This time, our world has been irrevocably altered by a triple-threat disaster triggered by the monster 9.0 Quake Of 2011 that struck off the east coast of northern Honshu, Japan the weekend of 3/11. The opening oldies set of this week’s RSST was quite Japan-centric, and included a couple of lush, lovely mid-‘70s Haruomi Hosono rocksteady orchestrations, with his groups Tin Pan Alley and Bon Voyage Co. Unless I hear evidence to the contrary, I figure the then-future YMO member must be the guy who introduced ska and rocksteady to Japan_ 4 years before 2Tone was launched in the UK!
The highlight of Sherwood’s set must be the three Firecrackers he set off consecutively_ those belonging to Martin Denny, Yellow Magic and Senor Coconut, respectively. There were a few of Toho’s giant monsters (daikaiju) running around loose, including Mothra, Anguiras and Godzilla’s robotic double/nemesis Mechagodzilla. Hammond B-3 monster Akiko Tsuruga also made her Sherwood’s Planet debut in high style. The 4@4 was the Air Space Museum of Ska (all-Japan edition). We didn’t have the Japanese cover of Monkey Man (trombone legend Rico accompanying Ore Ska Band) so we pulled in Reel Big Fish to do the job, before hi-tailing it back across the Pacific to take us up to The End. Also missing-in-action this week: Madness’ Honda ad theme In The City which we hope to get on next week. Vrooooom!
Colorado saxophonist Aakash Mittal came by with his quartet to preview a late night gig at the Dakota. Aakash talked about a visit to East India, home of is father, and how that inspired his album Videsh. I also played new music from Atsuko Hashimoto and Monika Herzig, as well as classics from Miles, Mingus, Lockjaw, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
The majestic EZ sounds of Nelson Riddle, the whistling prowess of Kelly’s Heroes, the forgotten and almost loathsome organ groans of Orville Thomas, and the sheer ridiculousness of the Mary Kaye Trio and their soundtrack to a Hula lesson. And that’s not even 1 / 7th of the playlist!
3/10/11 in a nutshell…
Women Of Ska night on the RSST, though a few guys with birthdays this week crashed the party, including Don Drummond and pioneering big-band exoticist Les Baxter. Morg the Hoople got into the mix when another CD player balked, as did Ninapinta and his Bongos and Congas. Rosemary Clooney and Shiina Ringo served up back-to-back Mangos straight from the shady… nuke? Hey, it’s Radio Active, right? And check out Ringo’s singularly unique take on Autumn Leaves! Toots Hibbert covered his own Monkey Man with an assist from Gwen Stefani and No Doubt, and there was time remaining(!) at the end of The End. Baron von Skankin’ Frank helped fill it.