Local Wire

Captain Squeegee

One thing is certain about Mesa's only known ska-rock septet: They picked a hell of a fun name. Go on. Say "Captain Squeegee" to yourself a couple of times and try not to crack a smile. Try to deny the mental image of a wacky Halloween outfit or the latest revolutionary cleaning product from the ShamWow guy. It's simply fucking joy to contemplate. And the music? Also categorically joyful. It's Fantasia music, with lead singer Danny Torgersen making like Mickey in a swirling maelstrom of flying horns, dancing guitars, broken melodies, and mad-prophet vocalizing. It's not really ska, or rock. It's something like a mash-up of the Pixies, Carlos Santana, Cake, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and, yes, the French love it (the band's debut full-length album Nothing vs. Everything won "Best Album of 2008" from the French webzine Progressia). Formed back in 2002, these local live-music heroes eventually took a cue from No Doubt and steered away from their ska roots, but unlike Stefani and company, they didn't shed the horn section. Or the fun.
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Craig Outhier