Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — Videoed live, The Uptones Skank at the Ska Shrine. The Uptones, California’s first Ska band, skanking on the black and white Ska Shrine dance floor, was recently posted on Ska4u.com. Conceived by Matthew King Kaufman and directed by Jake Small, the video features members of the Uptones doing variations of the Ska dance to the soundtrack of the Skankin’ Foolz Unite! CD.
Ska began in Jamaica in the late ’50s, long before the advent of reggae, the music’s more modern cousin. Unlike reggae, often known for social and political content, ska is dance music, plain and simple. When the music spread to England in the mid-’60s, it was adopted by Mod youth of the day and reprised in the ’80s New Wave era by 2-Tone bands such as Madness, the English Beat and the Specials. The English, as they always do, translated the musical style into a fashion, complete with requisite dance steps, haircuts and wardrobes.
“When we built the Ska Shrine, we had skanking on our minds,” says Moose Lethridge, Shrine builder. “Nobody bounces back like a Skanking Fool, a soundtrack for our ska mania.”
“The Uptones dancing on the checkered floor made all that work worthwhile,” according to Eric Din. “Moose and I wonder who’s next to dance on the black and white?”
“Ska means dancing. Dancing is about the shoes, the dance floor, the music, and the dancers,” says video director, Jake Small. “The Uptones know ska better than anyone. Ska is fun for all.”
“The Uptones, the shoes, the black and white, and the music, it’s all there, a ska dream come true,” rejoices Matthew King Kaufman, noted music philanthropist.
Visitors to Ska4U.com can see: The Uptones Skank at the Ska Shrine video Dance the Ska – a comprehensive collection of Skanking videos from around the world. A GR8 collection of Ska MP3 downloads, a lot of them are free! An ever growing list of active Ska bands worldwide. The Skanking Fool’s Dance Contest, video excerpts from all the recent dance contests. Ska4U.com, the Black and White site is devoted to spreading the word about Ska and all it’s music goodness.
About The Uptones: Formed in 1981 in Berkeley, while they were still in high school. The Uptones were the first band devoted to playing Ska on the West Coast. The Uptones played to skanking crowds all over the West.
Major publications have raved about them:
“It is a sight to behold, The Uptones tearing up the stage and the audience tearing up the dance floor.” – San Francisco Chronicle
“The Uptones… without a doubt the best show in Berkeley.” – Berkeley Free Press
“Sitting down at an Uptones show is like keeping your eyes shut at a movie.” – Rolling Stone
“Live at Gilman Street” is a living proof of the raw power the band delivered every show.” -Berkeley Bowl Shopping News
“Best live Ska record ever” – Crawdaddy Magazine
“***** Five Stars “This record rocks from beginning to end.” – Rolling Stone
“The Uptones, the Bay Area’s best ska band of all time.” – Pacific Sun
Members of the original band, Eric Din, Paul Jackson, Bennie Wood and Adam Beach have been joined by Moose Lethridge, Tim Carter, Jeanne Geiger and Scott Bertrand to form the current lineup of The Uptones.
They perform next at a Ska Dance Concert at the Oakland Metro on May 16th.
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