Ska's Not Dead

After the third-wave of Ska fell out of mainstream favor in the ´90s, the genre became the butt of jokes and many assumed that bands playing Ska disappeared completely. But the Ska underground

After the third-wave of Ska fell out of mainstream favor in the ´90s, the genre became the butt of jokes and many assumed that bands playing Ska disappeared completely. But the Ska underground has never gone anywhere and, today, it seems to be building steam once again. For further proof that the fourth-wave of Ska is upon us, look no further than the upcoming Ska-Stock, a three-day festival featuring about 20 bands per night. The fest — spearheaded by locals The Pinstripes, who have a new CD set for release July 6 — runs Monday through Wednesday at Downtown´s Poison Room (utilizing the club´s newly opened upstairs stage, along with the main stage). The event showcases local, regional and national acts that spin around the Ska/Reggae/Rock/Punk axis. Along with The Pinstripes, area groups like The Frankl Project, The Prairie Dog Gangsters, Sofapunch, Forest Fire, The Shelbys and Jasper are on board.

Music kicks off at 4 p.m. each day. Tickets are $7 per night or $14 for a three-day pass (the event is all ages, but those under-21 must pay a few bucks more). For a full run-down of performers, go to

More Local Notes
· The Pride Alive Festival returns to Northside's Hoffner Park Saturday and Sunday, featuring its usual array of musical performances.

Starting at 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday, the free festival (presented by GLBT Coalition) will have music by area musicians like the Cincinnati Men´s Chorus, the Queen City Rainbow Band, The Beau Alquizola Band, Tracy Walker and The Katie Reider Band. This year's fest also features plenty of out-of-town talent, including spoken word poet Alix Olson, New York City-based R&B singer/songwriter Nedra Johnson, political folkie Pamela Means, Michigan Pop/Folk quartet Lazy Sunday, rapper Tim'm West and Dance music fave Jason Walker. For a full list of events, go to

· Singer/songwriter Kelly Thomas continues the celebration of her new CD, Another Mile, with a release show at the Blue Note in Price Hill this Saturday. The 8 p.m. event features an impressive line-up of local support, including Marvin & The Experience, The Nailers, STASH, Turnbull ACs, Hyde Park Outrage, Lavender Drags, 500 Miles to Memphis, Sleeper Cars on Bullet Trains, Sweet Ray Laurel, Kristen Key, Visceral Elixir, Strange and, of course, Thomas, who will be joined by her band, The Fabulous Pickups. (

· Folk/Pop singer/songwriter Liz Bowater and The Sheds (the sublime acoustic venture from local singer/songwriters Chris Haubner and Cameron Cochran) kick off the "Under a Full Moon" summer concert series at the Imago Earth Center, an "urban nature preserve" in Price Hill, this Saturday. Music starts at 8 p.m. and it's BYOB. Admission is $7 or $5 if you're an Imago member. (

· If you are one of the first 50 people to this Saturday's show by Funk kings Freekbass at Rhino's in Eastgate, you'll get a free ticket to the June 17 Reds game against the Chicago White Sox at Great American Ballpark. Freekbass, along with many other local performers, appears on the baseball-centric Clutch Hits CD, which benefits the Reds Community Fund. At the June 17 game, Freekbass will perform a funkafied spin on "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch. After the game, the band plays a free (for game ticket holders) concert in the "Fan Zone" area of the park. (


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