Saturday, April 27, 2024

Geeky SKAturday: The Toasters

Last weekend, we got to go to This Is Not Croydon Fest, a ska festival near Philadelphia.  Good stuff; we're lucky to get to go and I'd love for it to happen every year.

One of the highlights was getting to see ska veterans The Toasters, who I always enjoy.  Here they are last Sunday taking on maybe my favorite Toasters song, "Thrill Me Up."  (I love recording video at shows but realized lately that instead of capturing 20 seconds apiece of like 7 separate tunes, I should maybe try to get some complete songs.  This is one toward that effort...)

The Toasters are especially interesting to me for a couple of reasons.  For one, they've been doing this a long time.  Well...their guitarist and lead singer, Robert Hingley aka Bucket...has been doing it a long time.  He came to the United States to run the Forbidden Planet comic shop in NYC, founded the Toasters in 1981, then founded legendary label Moon Ska Records in 1983.  It would not be an overstatement to say that Bucket may have had a greater impact on the spread of ska in the U.S. than any other single person.  And...he put my old band on a ska compilation album back in 2003 and will always have a special place in my heart for letting us amateurs take part in something so awesome.  He's a really nice guy who still works the merch table and talks with fans!

Second...the music of The Toasters represents a lot of what I find intriguing about the idea of ska as an RPG theme.  You know what...the more I think about this, the more I think I should probably spend a whole post on it sometime, but I'll just note that the musical and visual aesthetic they've grown over the years kind of feels like an adventure story...AND the fact that they're OGs in the American ska scene helps to minimize the worry that indulging in those themes unfairly caricatures things other people hold dear.
Okay...finally, a Sound for the Rudie.

Great song here.  Gonna straight up lift a well-known D&D element for it (from White Box FMAG)...

Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down

1st-level Sound

Range: Self
Duration: 1 hour

The caster creates a magical field of protection around themself to block out all evil monsters, who suffer a -1 penalty “to-hit” against the caster, and the caster gains +1 on all saving throws against such attacks.  (What makes them "evil?"  Well, if they're the bad guys, of course...)

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