Friday, February 5, 2010

Playlist: Big D and The Kids Table

[Playlist is an attempt to distill my favorite artists to 80-minute compilations and, hopefully, provide a gateway into their music.]

Some say the best ska band around today is The Toasters. Or Streetlight Manifesto. Or The Skatalites. I like my ska sweetened with a dash of the punx, though, so I've always been partial to Less Than Jake and today's Playlist subject, Big D and The Kids Table. The band is ideal Playlist material - five full-lengths, a bunch of EPs, and plenty of non-album tracks fill out their discography, with a few dead ends and less-than-stellar releases mixed among some of the best ska albums of the Aughties.

To that end, this mix represents only certain aspects of the group's catalog. Their rap album, Porch Life, is not on here, because it's so bad that the group retroactively declared it a joke that no one got. Same for the remix records. Their pre-Gipsy Hill EP kind of got the shaft here too, with only "Find Out" from 1999's Good Luck showing up. I do feel bad about not giving that album (or the band's Shot By Lammi split) more love, but I only got 80 minutes to work with, and there are way more songs to discuss. So, apologies to "Dirt Lip," "Myself," and the title track.

What I was able to fit, in, though, were highlights from the band's three best full-lengths, each of which have their own style. How It Goes is where the band perfects their ska/punk sound. Strictly Rude skews more towards pure ska. Fluent in Stroll is where the group invents their own style, which they called "stroll," a hybrid of ska, punk, and R&B that recalls Northern Soul and Two-Tone at the same time. I've also thrown in some non-LP tracks for variety.

Oh, and a word about the homoerotic title: My roommate Eric and I are being wrastlin' fans and played Smackdown vs. Raw a lot. I quickly developed a love for '80s icon Rick Rude, with his gyrating sex organs and thick mustache. In those games, you can custom design entrances, which we took advantage of once we realized we could make dudes make out. Rude and Marc "The Alpha Male" Cor Von became Strictly Male, which combined Cor Von's nickname with a Big D reference. Randy Orton served as manager/third fighter when needed. So, that's where that came from. Don't you love my stories?!

Strictly Male

1. "Checklist," The Gipsy Hill EP [This is the song that got me into them.]
2. "LAX," How It Goes
3. "Taking Back the Rhythm," Boston to Beijing [from their split with Brain Failure]
4. "Steady Riot," Strictly Rude
5. "Not Fucking Around," Fluent in Stroll
6. "Evil Girl/Angry Girl," The Gipsy Hill EP
7. "Noise Complaint," Strictly Rude
8. "Souped-Up Vinyl," Strictly Rude
9. "Doped Up Dollies on a One Way Ticket to Blood," Fluent in Stroll
10. "Those Kids Suck," The Gipsy Hill EP
11. "Little Bitch," How It Goes
12. "175," How It Goes
13. "Try Out Your Voice," Strictly Rude
14. "Find Out," Good Luck
15. "President," How It Goes
16. "Salem Girls," Salem Girls
17. "Strictly Rude," Strictly Rude [My girlfriend hates this song]
18. "A Kiss A Week," Fluent in Stroll
19. "New England," The Gipsy Hill EP
20. "Halfway Home," Strictly Rude [vinyl only], also available on the Noise Complaint EP
21. "We Can Live Anywhere," Fluent in Stroll
22. Moment Without an End," How It Goes [I've always associated this with cancer ever since it ended up on the In Honor: A Compilation to Beat Cancer benefit comp, which in a weird way makes the lyrics more hopeful.]

No comments: