Not only are Thou vocalist Bryan Funck and bassist Mitch Wells guests on the latest episode of Aaron Carnes and Adam Davis' In Defense of Ska podcast, Bryan made a two-hour-long ska-punk mix and wrote a very entertaining track-by-track breakdown of it. Listen to the mix HERE and read on for what Bryan had to say...
Ska punk is truly "a young person's game" if there ever was one. A scene riddled with Peter Pan syndrome, catering mostly to adolescents (boys especially) and grown ass people trapped in perpetual adolescence. All of that being said, since I made this mixtape a couple of days ago, I've probably listened to it ten times. I'm listening to it right now.
Clearly my taste with this stuff veers more to the PUNK side of ska punk. Ska just always seemed a bit limp dick to me, I don't know. These days, I'd probably go for more of the traditional type stuff, two tone, dub/reggae--all the stuff I couldn't get into as a boy. I was too busy seeking external articulation for my inner frustrations and resentment, I guess.
I didn't repeat any bands on this. I kept it mostly third wave ska punk, all songs I really like. Tried to hit it pretty close to the two hour mark. Couldn't quite find enough to make it, and I padded this turd out with a few songs that break from the genre. Oh, well. If you have any suggestions of songs I missed, let me know. I'll give it a listen even if I'll probably hate it and totally disagree with you.
01 PROPAGANDHI - Ska Sucks
I never got into Propagandhi; they always seemed really ham fisted to me. I do like some of those John Samson demos though. But you can't really start a ska mixtape without this song, so here we are. I still regret missing them at the Faubourg Center. Why didn't Tommy or Stephen invite me to go? I heard the guy got naked, but doesn't he do that at every show.
02 LESS THAN JAKE - Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts
I don't go past Losing Streak with these guys. Glad this song is on both of the albums I like. Remember that free show LTJ played at the skate park in mid city when the Supaflies were dressed up in furries outfits and going nuts?
03 THE SUPAFLIES - Children of the Night
Speaking of which, this was a hugely impactful band on me as a young, New Orleans punk. When I finally got to know them a little bit towards the end of the Supaflies and the beginning of Community, their approachability had an even deeper impact on how to treat people. Love this band, love these dudes. Can't wait for Ashtray Monument to do that discography.
04 SLAPSTICK - The Punks
I never got to see Slapstick, but I did see Tuesday and The Broadways play together at Jimmys (thanks, Kevin B!). You can really hear how this band laid the groundwork for The Broadways and the early Lawrence Arms stuff.
05 SON OF SAM - Matt's X Girlfriends
Lyrics that definitely wouldn't fly in 2021, despite the fact that we're clearly listening to a "faulty narrator" and the song's actually an indictment on the singer. That part where he says "USA!"--GOD, I love it.
06 REEL BIG FISH - Hate You
Never got into this band. They hit it big just as I was delving pretty deep into DIY punk, Ebullition, and all that. So, obviously, I didn't care for "sell out with me." I love this song though. I think it was on the Misfit of Ska comp.
07 GOLDFINGER - Here in Your Bedroom
Another MTV mall punk ska band I hated in high school. I'd probably like them a lot now. Sorry, Melissa Giardina!
08 FISHBONE - Lyin' Ass Bitch
At some point in high school, my cousin gave me a random ska mixtape that got me into all sorts of songs. No tracklist though, so it took me years and years before I found out this was Fishbone.
09 AGAINST ALL AUTHORITY - Centerfold
Kyle Hayden once told me he hated all ska punk, but he loved this cover. (He had to have liked Choking Victim though, right? I mean, you can't get your Cold Cruster ID card approved without at least a few of their patches on your pants.) I never really listened to AAA, but I also love the cover. Vile Kyle Kaaos was right.
10 NOTHING COOL - My Life
Love this cover. I heard it on a reissue of Skank for Brains. This is definitely my kind of ska: mostly punk, and the ska part is just a poor man's breakdown.
11 VOODOO GLOW SKULLS - Insubordination
Steve Wiegand had this cd and the Spanish version of Firme. I remember him blasting that Beatles cover a few times one night when we were hanging out at Andrea Adams'. I think I grabbed this one a few days later at the Mushroom. Could probably fit all their best songs on a single LP, and I wouldn't really go past Firme. Some cool ones though. I still love that dragon ball z looking art on this one.
12 COQUETTISH - You Chase Me
I guess this isn't much of a ska song, but I'm pretty sure these guys were a ska band. SoCal? Skate punk? Who knows? I think I got a promo version of this cd when I was still doing The Hatemonger.
13 THE HIPPOS - Don't Worry
I remember Tommy Sutor loving this band, but I might be making that up. I definitely remember him singing this song a bunch though. Did they open for the Aquabats at State Palace?
14 MU330 - Hoosier Love
This song was on that ska tape my cousin gave me, and it was also on the first punk mixtape that Steve Wiegand made me. He had recorded it off WTUL, and the beginning was clipped off. That version was how I knew this song for the first year or two. I think this band has one other good song on the second LP, but it might just be annoying.
15 SKANKIN PICKLE - $13,000 is a Lot of Food
Never got into Skankin Pickle, but I remember seeing their stickers and shirts everywhere. I like this song and that Gorilla Biscuits cover a lot though. Did they do a Devo cover too?
16 ZOX - Ghostown
Steve Springer got into this band way after he was done with punk. He played them for me in 2010 or so, and this is probably the last ska band I've enjoyed. It was probably still the 90s before that!
17 THE SLACKERS - Keep Him Away From Me
I was never into the more "traditional" type ska, but I always loved The Slackers. Those first two records are especially sick. Wish I had caught one of those millions of Maple Leaf shows they played.
18 PRIMUS - Tippi-Toes
A total cheat. Primus doing a Funky Meters cover. Had to fill some time though. Not enough good ska punk bands.
19 MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES - Kinder Words
Bosstones might only have an album's worth of songs that I like (and it's mostly that covers EP), but I love this song and "Pictures to Prove It."
20 MISSILE COMMAND - Shorty
Another cheat. I don't think any of the Missile Command stuff ever ventures into ska, but I always lump them in with all this stuff because of Gals Panic, I guess. This song was on a few different comps, but I know it from the legendary Quickdummies comp. The Missile Command full length is great (someone press it to vinyl, please!); this song and two others are the clear standout super rockers.
21 THE IMPOSSIBLES - Fat Boy
Really, these guys should've dropped the ska bit and just gone full on Weezer. LOVE that this song mentions "Todd McFarlane"; that was a huge draw for me as a kid. Me and Eddie Pellegrini drove up to Baton Rouge to see the Impossibles at Spanish Moon (did Community open?). I think people were mad at us for dancing so hard to them.
01 SUICIDE MACHINES - Green World
Skank for Brains and Destruction by Definition were in HEAVY rotation for me when they came out. So much so, that the records after that seemed totally lame, and I basically stopped following the band. Managed to see them a bunch of times though, and every show was a blast--exactly what I wanted from punk and hardcore shows. One of those shows was my first time catching the Supaflies.
02 LOS RUDIMENTS - Wailing Paddle
God, that Skank for Brains record was so sick. Suicide Machines side was killer, and so was the Rudiments. Steve Wiegand put two or three of these tracks on that first tape. Love it.
03 OPERATION IVY - Bad Town
Probably the only ska band who's entire discography I enjoy.
04 RANCID - I Wanna Riot
One of my biggest show regrets was not going to see Rancid and the Suicide Machines at Jimmys. I really fucked up.
05 COMMON RIDER - Classics of Love
When I first started going on tour, I used to love to make mixtapes at folks' house from their records. We got stuck in the twin cities for a couple of days on the last Dear Diary tour, and the guy we were staying with told me to throw this song on the tape. I didn't even know Jesse had another band after Op Ivy. Are any of their other songs good?
06 SUBLIME - STP
When Sublime first appeared on the radio, the only thing I hated more than "What I Got" was all the douche dicks who liked this band. It wasn't until Steven Springer put a bunch of songs from 40oz to Freedom on a mixtape for me that I got into them. Now I love this band; they're awesome. It's a fringe benefit that loving Sublime and wearing flip flops makes you persona non grata in the metal scene. Good!
07 NO DOUBT - Sunday Morning
My first concert was Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt opening for Bush. Wish I had listened to them more before then. Still haven't really gotten into No Doubt, but they're one of those bands like Everclear that if someone puts them on in the van, I don't hate it.
08 THE SKOLARS - After the Show
I think I grabbed this cd because the Suicide Machines liked them or thanked them or something. It reminds me a lot of that early Suicide Machines stuff. I remember one Saturday listening to this record and those two good Less Than Jake records on repeat, all day, playing Dragon Force on Sega Saturn. They changed their name to Telegraph after this record.
09 CYNDI LAUPER - Witness
Another cheat. There really isn't enough good ska punk to fill two hours.
10 THE PIETASTERS - Without You
Another one from the Cousin Mixtape. I'm pretty sure the version that was on the tape was different than this. I think this is the one off the album. Am I trippin?
11 GALS PANIC - Superstar
Gals Panic was definitely on that Cousin Mixtape. One of the first ska bands I managed to see. Went to the show at Monaco Bob's by myself of maybe with Tommy Suter. I remember Kim Fricke fighting a skinhead at this one!
12 NOFX - Kill All the White Man
I guess this is a pop punk band, but they do some ska stuff (even if they're taking the piss), so whatever.
13 MAX LEVINE ENSEMBLE - Poop Farm
Another cheat, but where else am I going to put this dumb song? I hate most of the Plan It X stuff these days, but this one is super catchy!
14 JOHNNY SOCKO - (This is Your) Vasectomy
I cannot believe how long this song is! On the Cousin Mix for sure.
15 MUSTARD PLUG - Mendoza
Another one from the Cousin Mix. Another one that I swear was a different version on that tape.
16 BOUNCING SOULS - Quikcheck Girl
Is the Bouncing Souls even a ska band? This song clearly isn't, but this band lives firmly in my mind with all the third wave ska punk stuff. I missed them at the Faubourg, but I remember seeing their stickers everywhere after that show and tons of kids wearing their shirts.
17 CHOKING VICTIM - Infested
I only know this song and this band because it was on the jukebox at the Dixie Taverne. They probably have some other good ones, but my experience with Leftover Crack left such a sour taste in my mouth that I'm not very interested.
18 GLG 20s - Burn
Random comp song that I think is sick. Never knew anything else about this band though. Maybe they're awesome?
19 JANITORS AGAINST APARTHEID - I am
From the Nerds split with One Eye Open. Absolutely did not like OEO, but I remember loving the Janitors side.
20 JC SUPERSKA - Home
Steve Springer filled some dead space at the end of a mixtape with the first minute or so of this song. I always loved it and wished he had included the whole song instead of that same Flipper song for the hundreth time. Finally tracked this one down on Soulseek years and years later. Its killer.
Listen to the mix at this link and listen to the In Defense of Ska episode with Thou here:
Read much more about Thou's history with ska HERE.