Local Wire

Ska is Dead Tour

Cockroaches and ska music have a few things in common. Both are reviled by a large portion of the population and, despite repeated attempts to stamp each out, neither will ever be exterminated completely. Hence the ultimate irony of the recurring Ska Is Dead tour (now in its fourth edition): the Jamaican-born musical style will seemingly never die off. Instead, it will continue to survive and evolve, infesting generation after generation. Just witness the chain of influence evident amongst the acts making up this year's tour: The Toasters, who formed during the birth of the third wave of ska-punk in the early '80s, helped pave the way for early-'90s bands like the Latin-tinged Voodoo Glow Skulls, the more traditional reggae/rocksteady Deal's Gone Bad, and San Diego's Buck-O-Nine — all of which likely inspired the local skankers of 2 Tone Lizard Kings. We're even willing to bet that like the mighty Periplaneta americana, ska will even survive the inevitable Armageddon (skarmageddon?) and will be blasting out of the iPods of those folks who'll be partying at ground zero.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.