Bring the Horn Section Back?

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Music

Although MC Lars wrote the song years ago, I have recently been thinking about the song  “This Gigantic Robot Kills” which officially discussed bringing the horn section back.  Pretty listenable song, and it is one of the inspirations for this post, check it out if you like:

Before I picked up an electric bass, I played the trombone.  Not very well mind you, but when I first heard some ska I realized that it was possible, not super likely, but possible for brass band kids to be cool.  I don’t recall ever wearing a black suit to a show, or wearing checkerboard clothing in general, so I probably am not going to compete for a spot in the Skankin Pickle fan club.  However, I like me some horns and some SKA.  Plus, with respect to brass general,  I still think that there are not a lot of things that are more pleasing to the ear than a horn section, so it begs the question, what happened to ska and the horn section.  Although there are still great bands that incorporate  a horn or two (see El Hefe from NOFX), and I have always thought that Flea on trumpet in the background of the Chili Peppers “Pretty Little Ditty” (on top of an amazing bass line) is something I could never get tired of listening to, but these don’t rise to the same level of good old Third Wave Ska.   Slightly Stoopid tours with a set of horns that seem to really add to the show.

One of the biggest and best parts of ska, other than the music itself, is the live show.  You end up with 6+ guys running around on stage and putting on a show.  I am guessing the size of the average ska band may also be the reason they dry up earlier than most bands, as money split 8 ways is less appealing than money split 3 or 4 ways.  In any event, the shows are awesome.  This is a clip of a Streetlight Manifesto show, these guys are pretty killer.

STL had a bunch of great ska bands, three that I recall extremely fondly.  The Urge seemed to lose steam the further it got from being a band with a real horn section.  These guys were idols (at least once they were not working in the stock room at Express in the Galleria). 

There was also a personal favorite, the secret Cajun band.  This band was the highest performing Land Polo playing team as an aside.  Had the pleasure to see them, albeit at a somber time, last year when they played a memorial show for Skip.

Last example, and one that definitely crosses between some ska and punk lines, which makes it a favorite, is the Mad Caddies. 

Not sure if it will take a continuation of Third Wave, of if maybe there is a Fourth Wave in the making, but I really hope that the horns keep coming back.  Less than Jake headlines Riot Fest 2010 one night, so maybe there is some hope.  Dickey and the Bosstones?  Reel Big Fish?  MU330?  The Skafia?  Where you at?

In summation, I think it is clearly time that we brought the horn section back.  Who’s with me?

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