Ska music seems to be the proverbial “whipping boy” of the counterculture music scene, but there is one vibe that ska is absolutely the best at capturing. Say what you will about the cheesy horns and even cheesier lyrics, ska provides the perfect soundtrack to when you’re in a race for your life with a rent-a-cop through a crowded shopping mall.
Don’t believe us? Just picture it. You and a couple friends are already in a fierce race with a rival rollerblading gang—who also love ska—and some bozo mall cop tries to step in and put a halt to all the zaniness. Not on your watch. And once those trumpets and upstrokes hit, you know that security guard will end up splashing around in the mall fountain while you blade away.
I guess you could outrun the mall Gestapo while playing punk or heavy metal, but to me, it just wouldn’t be the same. There’s no fun being chased to a song like “City Baby Attacked by Rats” or “Number of the Beast.” Where are the walking basslines? Where are the trombones? You need this happily bombastic, musical silly-string of a genre to successfully maintain innocence while also defying the law of the land.
So next time you or someone you know happens to be stuck in a situation where they are rollerblading in a mall that people still actually go to and a shithead mall cop tries to put a damper on your fun, just remember that the only proper way to escape the wrath of the bloated, tyrannical pseudo-gumshoe is to do it in style. The checkered, odd, geeky-yet-fun oriented style that comes with ska music.