Friday, April 7, 2017

Rude Boy George: 80's New Wave Goes Ska!

In the shameless self-promotion department, the band I'm in  -- Rude Boy George -- has just released its first single of 2017! Its part of a suite of ska and reggae versions of 80's songs we've been recording and releasing every few months during the last year and a half (stream the latest songs on Bandcamp or listen to our first album "Confessions" released in 2014 on Spotify.) The latest song is our new wave meets reggae version of Blondie's "Atomic. "  It joins our 2-Tone ska and reggae take on other 80's tracks including songs by Soft Cell, The Cure, Wang Chung, Kim Wilde and Howard Jones.

Truth be told, the twin pillars of 2-Tone ska and 80's new wave music sustained me through much of a challenging youth during the 1980's. 2-Tone revealed harsh economic, social and racial injustices with a power and a fury that was undeniable but also danceable. It forever influenced my world view and moved me to learn an instrument and start a ska band -- Bigger Thomas. Though I tend to be a religious secularist, I've worshipped at the Church of 2-Tone for most of my life.

While new wave retained the vigor and irreverence of 70's punk music that had fueled 2-Tone, it incorporated style and art in a way that opened my world to ideas of love, friendship, sex and fashion and helped give form to my own burgeoning identity. I sought refuge in new wave's incredible diversity of nervy pop (XTC), synth pop (Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Human League), new wave songwriters (Elvis Costello), pop bands (Squeeze, INXS), pop-reggae (The Police) and more mainstream rockers (Billy Idol, The Cars). Here in the U.S. 2-Tone was lumped in with new wave, so in many ways, despite their completely different musical world views they are inextricably linked in my musical consciousness. A yin and yang that forever form the soundtrack of my life. And that is how I see Rude Boy George -- a combination of the two music forms that have sustained me most of my life.

So if you like the idea of some of your favorite 80's new wave songs wrapped in a loving ska and reggae embrace, we hope you will consider giving our songs a spin. Many thanks!

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