If there’s anyone who loves surprise-releasing albums more than Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, it’s Jeff Rosenstock. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that he had something in store for fans to celebrate 4/20. At midnight, Rosenstock dropped Ska Dream, a ska version of his excellent 2020 album, No Dream. It’s the closest we’ll get to him bringing back his short-lived ska band, Arrogant Sons Of Bitches.
In a press statement, Rosenstock says, “As with most things ska in my life, what started out as a fun goof with friends eventually morphed into ‘Hey, what if we tried to make it good though?’ All of us have a pretty deep history playing and touring the country in punk/ska bands. We all understand the stigma that comes along with ska, we’ve all dealt with the pitfalls of it, and we’ve all kept on truckin’ regardless. If you are one of those people who loves music as long as it isn’t ska, that’s cool, we see you. This record isn’t for you and you don’t have to listen to it. Byeeee.”
Rosenstock recorded this version while living in different cities from his bandmates, so they had to put it together via file-sharing. But instead of letting the fact that they couldn’t gather to record it in the same room affect the record, Rosenstock fully embraced it, deciding to use this opportunity to feature the voices of many of his musician friends. Ska Dream features Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren, Anika Pyle (Katie Ellen, Chumped), Sean Bonnette (AJJ), Skatune Network (Jer Hunter), Babajian (The Slackers, Leftover Crack), Rick Johnson (Mustard Plug),George Clarke (Deafheaven), David Combs (Bad Moves), Augusta Koch (Gladie, Cayetana), Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Franz Nicolay, nonregla, Oceanator (Elise Okusami), Mike Park (Bruce Lee Band, Skankin Pickle, Asian Man Records), PUP, and Shannon Toombes.
If there’s anyone who’s going to convince ska naysayers that ska is cool, it’s Jeff Rosenstock.
Here’s the full tracklist:
1. NO TIME TO SKANK
2. Airwalks (Alt) (backing vocals: Augusta Koch, Shannon Toombes, Anika Pyle)
3. SKrAm! (ft. Boboso) (backing vocals: David Combs, Elise Okusami, Laura Stevenson)
4. S K A D R E A M (ft. George Clarke, Augusta Koch)
5. Horn Line (ft. nonregla)
6. p i c k i t u p (ft. Angelo Moore, Laura Stevenson, Franz Nicolay, Ara Babajian)
7. Leave It In The Ska (ft. Chris Farren) (backing vocals: Laura Stevenson, Shannon Toombes, Elise Okusami)
8. The Rudie of Breathing (ft. Laura Stevenson)
9. Old SKrAp (bv’s PUP, Shannon Toombes)
11. Monday At Back To The Beach
12. Checkerboard Ashtray (ft. Laura Stevenson)
13. Ohio Porkpie (ft. Anika Pyle, Sean Bonnette, PUP)
* Jer Hunter (a.k.a. Skatune Network) played trumpet and trombone on every track.