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ROCK OF ASIAN: Rx Bandits

May 12th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana




It’s been awhile since I’ve talked to the guys in Rx Bandits, a band that once went by a clunkier name (Pharmaceutical Bandits) and pumped out lo-fi Orange County ska in the late nineties. Now settled neatly in Long Beach-ish (and their early thirties) the guys seem to have come into their own as a more-mature RxB—a dirty hippie dream with rock, prog, reggae, dub and acid influences that the kids absolutely seem to love (check out their well-received performances at 2007′s Bonaroo and this year’s Coachella festival for proof).

In the best possible way, they’re here, there and everywhere–angular guitar jabs are answered by falsetto vocals, unexpected horn lines meet aggressive drum beats, soft-spoken lullabies transform into high-energy anthems. They’re also musical poster boys for lovers of Mary Jane–spark up a sativa (Might I recommend the aromatic, and blissfully tart Trainwreck?) to rock out to electric-eclectic track “Hope Is A Butterfly, No Net Its Captor… (The Virus Of Silence)” or vape a nice indica and settle in for “March of the Caterpillar.”

I think I once made the mistake of claiming that the Bandits would be up in smoke before you could say “mother plant.” I’m rarely wrong about such things, but I definitely think I was all those years ago. What the hell was I smoking???

[Rx Bandits on MySpace]

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Thanks, G Scott!

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! No Doubt’s Tony Kanal

August 27th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


Dear Tony,

Thank you for taking Gwen Stefani off our hands this summer. And by off our hands, we mean touring with her and making a new album together, thereby preventing her from doing something foolish and godawful on her own, like parading around with her four matchy-matchy Harajuku Slaves or doing another solo record of lobotomizing tunage that serves no discernible purpose other than to fill the void during a 30-second timeout at a Laker game (some of which you’re responsible for, but let’s just pretend we don’t know that). You’re doing us–and, we like to think, the world–a HUGE solid.

Oh, and happy 39th birthday, too!

with gratitude,

DISGRASIAN

Tony and Gwen back in the day

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No Doubtful

November 24th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Gwen Stefani’s ska-pop launching pad, No Doubt, has announced an official reunion tour (via an unlikely iChat conversation) on their official website.

That’s good news for those of us who holiday-skanked to “Oi to the World” during the mid-nineties, cry whenever they listen to the lyrics of “Bathwater,” have a crush on Tony Kanal, or are willing to forgive a band of Orange County brats that traveled to the islands, messed around with a few steel drums, emerged with a record splattered with grafitti font, and called the whole damn thing Rock Steady as if it could embody the spirit of a whole genre. Good news. Great news!

But bad news indeed for a couple of silent Harajuku Girls, who, now out of work, might finally have a reason to look so glum:


…I mean, what do you put on the application for Unemployment under “former occupation?” Puppet? Yellow slave? Somebody’s silent biatch?

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ROCK OF DANCE CRAZIAN

August 29th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Much to my friend Colin’s chagrin, I am a die-hard ska nut. The commitment doesn’t always reveal itself at the surface, but it’s there: I’ve got the plaid skirt in my closet, I own enough checkered items to host a chess championship, and if somebody calls me a “rude girl” I get a little weepy and nostalgic rather than offended. In fact, I would argue that I’ve spent the equivalent of about ten years in the following positions:

Doing the ska: the only time it’s ok to skank it up

My dearest wish has simply been for ska to really make an big bang with Asians (hell, we love to dance), so I am thrilled to know that one of ska’s oldest, finest Asian ska bands–The Tokyo Ska Parade Orchestra–is still making the rounds.


Tokyo Ska Parade Orchestra: skankingly cool and dance crazian since 1985
They are rocking across Europe and Asia, including Vietnam (my homeland) as we speak. If you haven’t heard them lately, dig up some old tunes and skank your brains out.

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