06 November 2012
Orange County’s Own Wave of Ska
Throughout history, many musical cultures have affected others. Whether it be by new governmental forces coming into power, or through migrations of populations into a different areas, music travels just as well as the humans that produce it do. In the mid 1990's, the relaxed beach towns of Orange County rose to be one of the major hotspots of the 3rd wave Ska generation in the United States, being the hometown to well-known bands such as Reel Big Fish, Sublime, and No Doubt. Ska music is known for its energetic beats, melodic horns, and reggae vibe. The third wave ska scene in Orange County attracted young kids from the suburbs out to a community, developing a unique sense of style and culture -- celebrating individuality, fun, and a carefree attitude, staying true to the Orange County beach culture. The beginnings of the Ska genre can be traced to the island nation of Jamaica in the mid 1950s. Initially, it was defined as “a kind of ham-fisted combination of American rhythm and blues and Caribbean folk styles, such as calypso and mento” (Selvin). This melting pot of sounds was credited to the fact that post World War II, the inhabitants of Jamaica were able to listen in on American radios due to American soldiers’ stationings. Tourism and other outside forces have always had an influence on Jamaican music, with textbooks coining that “Caribbean musics have participated in significant ways in globalized networks of music-making… that have historically emerged in response to travel in the Caribbean” (Nettl 345). With Jamaica’s music culture being accepting and adapting to outside instrumentation and styles, they were able to create a genre that appealed the to United States as well. With warm weather found in all twelve months throughout the year, a relaxed coastal feel throughout the area, and a strong teenage population, Orange County in southern California made for the...
Cited: Apter, Jeff. Gwen Stefani & No Doubt: A Simple Kind of Life. London: Omnibus, 2008. Print.
Nettl, Bruno. Excursions in World Music. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2011. Print.
Selvin, Joel. "A Brief History of Ska." San Francisco Chronicle 23 Mar. 2008: n. pag. Print.
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