It's repetitive, it all sounds the same, there's that weird "skank" dance they do. I don't care. Every time I hear ska, the horn-heavy, semi-punk thing made famous by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (with help from their Clueless appearance), I get this goofy smile and immediately feel an overall sense of awesomeness.
I was reminded of this over the weekend on the Bloomsday course in Spokane (where we did not have an outbreak of Swine flu, though some participants wore surgical masks with pig noses drawn on). There has always been entertainment on the course--an old guy dressed as Elvis playing the accordion, the nuns just past the community college--but over the years there's been an increasing emphasis on local music acts. Before he became Ben Lashes, Ben Clark's high school band The Stoics played on the course in gray suits and red ties.
Now there's an actual competition that brings out old-guy cover bands and young, punky wannabes alike. For most of the course you kind of appreciate their enthusiasm and remind yourself never to go to a bar if they're on the bill. But just before the final turn into the homestretch I came across Green Light Go, a high school group mostly from the South Hill blaring away on sax, trumpets and a trombone. The entire crowd, exhausted as they may have been, seemed suddenly to perk up, and how could you not? After all the screaming into microphones and poor renditions of "Brown Eyed Girl" it was a great way to end the race.
I looked them up later and it turns out the child-like ensemble won the Spokane Rawk battle of the bands last February. They're kids and sound like it, but here's hoping they keep making that glorious brass-punk sound.