The Uptones Orbit A Solar Disco Ball

This track from The Uptones‘ new CD is dub sunshine in a bottle. Huge molten brass slathered over a miles-wide bass and drum beat mixes it up with skankin’ guitars and shimmering organ bubbles. An instrumental reggae lovefest, “Solar Disco Ball” just became the soundtrack to my East Bay spring day.

East Bay OrbitsThe Uptones
 “Solar Disco Ball” (download mp3)
from “East Bay Orbits”
(Fun Fun Fun Recordings)
“Solar Disco Ball” (play)
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Stiff Richards was Not From Here

Stiff Richards – “Not From Here” mp3

In the long strange trip of Berkeley, California ska pioneers The Uptones, three founding members spent some time playing clubs on the west coast as Stiff Richards, while the Uptones were on hiatus. During that time, they wrote some of the gr8 songs they now play with the re-formed Uptones. One of the standouts was “Not From Here” which I was thrilled to find is on the set list for their Warped Tour appearances this month. Here is the Stiff Richards original version, off the “E-Mail EP” recently re-released by Fun Fun Fun Recordings. A scorching ska punk number about post modern alienation, sung by The Rev. Paul Jackson himself. Rock it.

Stiff Richards
“Not From Here” (mp3)
from “E-Mail – EP”
(Fun Fun Fun Recordings)

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The Uptones dub-rockin’ epic “Outback”

Best known for their Berkeley ska power pop material, The Uptones also have an affection for big-beat rock-reggae sounds. With apocalyptic horns recalling early UB40, and a bass line that sounds like bubbling hot lava, “Outback” is a round the world epic stuffed into a 4 minute track. Sung by Uptones alum and founding member Charles Stella, penned by bassist Ben Eastwood, the song is on the Uptones Live @ Gilman CD, but this studio version is only available as a free mp3 from the band’s own media page. There’s a free Outback ringtone, too. Rock it.

The Uptones – “Outback” mp3

The Uptones – “East of a Western Bay” mp3

The Uptones – “East of a Western Bay” mp3

This instrumental track from The Uptones “Live!! 924 Gilman” CD is a hi-energy ska punk jazz opus. The album influenced a lot of great bands that followed, and it’s a joy to listen to. This was my Sunday morning dance in the kitchen wake up record for a year! Superfan sez pick it up.

The Uptones – “Get Out Of My Way” (Live)

This live version from the legendary West Coast ska kings, the Uptones, is all about belligerence and life. I love this song. Also check out other songs at their skankin’ site.

The Uptones
“Get Out of My Way” (download mp3)
from “The Uptones Live!!”
(Fun Fun Fun Recordings)
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The Uptones – “Get Out Of My Way” (Live) MP3

The Uptones, “Ridiculous”

What a monster song!  Moose hits the nail on the head.  This is the simplest message song I’ve ever heard.  It’s soo right on. Scott Tee and his muted trumpet really set up Moose’s vocals, and Scott’s solo is centerfold material in Trumpet Magazine. The entire band plays their asses off. I predict big things for this song.

Ridiculous (play/download mp3)

The Uptones – “Bested By Pelicans” MP3

sfu-coverHow can you describe a song about the superior evolution of pelicans compared to man.  But that’s what the Rev. Paul Jackson wrote and sings about. Sitting on the beach observing pelicans in flight, the Rev. explains why he has pelican envy.  This is truly a one of a kind song. Once you get it, you love it.

The Uptones – “Bested By Pelicans” MP3
The Uptones
from “Skankin’ Foolz Unite!
(Fun Fun Fun Recordings)
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Hear it!

1. I Want to Kill Everybody by Ed Haynes
2. It Takes Money by  Hobo
3. Penetrating Love Ray by Sex for Moderns
4. Radiation Boy by The Uptones
5. Fell In and Out of Art by Stiff Richards
6. Sick by  D Compose
7. Sex Pig by Repulsa
8. Piñata by Critical Mass & The Lazy American
9. P.M.F. by Black Pole
10. Mr. Ed by Sex for Moderns
11. Fish In a Tree by Hobo
12. Hobbit Love by The Gazillions
13. I Am a Janitor by Surface Music
14. I Want You Dead by Repulsa
15. R.A.D.I.O. by Count Slowly and The 4 Twenties
16. They Cheat, They Steal, They Lie by McBain
17. Meditations from a Father by Subverse
18. Ridiculous by The Uptones
19. Tony Alva by Opal Book Club

Buy it now at iTunes Store

Track 4 – “Radiation Boy” by The Uptones

The Uptones’ classic tale of the metamorphosis of an ordinary kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or right place at the right time, depending, I guess, on how you feel about ambiguous supernatural powers. A timeless hard rockin’ punky ska anthem.

Check out a live video

4. Radiation Boy by The Uptones

Track 18 – “Ridiculous” by The Uptones

What a monster song! Moose hits the nail on the head. This is the simplest message song I’ve ever heard. It’s soo right on. Scott Tee and his muted trumpet really set up Moose’s vocals, and Scott’s solo is centerfold material in Trumpet Magazine. The entire band plays their asses off. I predict big things for this song.

18. Ridiculous by The Uptones

Here’s a live video