Friday, January 6, 2017


Freelance journalist and ska aficionado Middagh Goodwin has created every ska music fan's fantasy Coachella bill!   While the Indio, California-based festival has booked a number of high profile ska acts over the years-- The Specials, The Selecter, Madness, Jimmy Cliff and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra have all performed and Toots & The Maytals are booked for this year's edition --Coachella tends to focus on booking popular indie rock and electronic bands.

I have to confess that when I first saw Goodwin's design on the interwebs earlier today, I was completely caught off guard.  Coachella always announces their line-up in early January.  So, for about 5 seconds I thought this was a real show, until I noticed that bands like the New York Citizens, The Crazy 8's and The Dead 60's were all on the bill!  Or that The Specials and their rogue guitarist Roddy Radiation and The Skabilly Rebels were performing on the same day! If only the space time continuum would allow us to defy time or help us to patch up bands that broke up years ago!

But Goodwin's design and ska imagination (he's booked bands in Northern California for 30 years) are intriguing and it does make me think.  How do we convince Goldenvoice (the company that manages and books Coachella) or another deep pocketed promoter to consider booking an all ska and reggae festival line-up?  I bet if they held a Skachella festival in San Diego or in Tijuana, Mexico (to take advantage of the burgeoning Mexican ska scene) they might be surprised at how fast it would sell out.  To be fair to Goldenvoice, they have booked "The Devil's 3 Way" 2017 tour featuring Voodoo Glow Skulls, Buck-O-Nine and The Porkers.

Well, until this fantasy ska festival happens, enjoy some recent ska bands performing at the real Coachella including The Selecter's entire set from Coachella 2013!

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