Canonball: Aaron Carnes on third-wave ska

25th June 2021

Canonball is a segment on Bullseye that gives us a chance to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. This time, the writer Aaron Carnes tells us why Crab Rangoon by MU330 deserves to join the canon of great pop records. Aaron is a music journalist who just wrote In Defense of Ska, which, well, does what it says on the tin: It champions not just the critically acclaimed, punk-adjacent two-tone bands of the late 70s and 80s, or the pioneering Jamaican bands from the ’60s, but ska’s third wave as well. That means Reel Big Fish, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and more. Aaron tells Bullseye about Crab Rangoon by MU330, putting the album in the context of the entire third-wave movement, and explains why the album shows that ska music can be more complex and serious than you might think.

Episode notes

(Photo: Clash Books)

Canonball: Crab Rangoon by MU330

Canonball is a segment on Bullseye that gives us a chance to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. This time, the writer Aaron Carnes tells us why Crab Rangoon by MU330 deserves to join the canon of great pop records.

Aaron is a music journalist and the editor of Good Times, a weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, California. He also just wrote a book called In Defense of Ska, which, well, does what it says on the tin. It champions not just the critically acclaimed, punk-adjacent two-tone bands of the late ’70s and ’80s, or the pioneering Jamaican bands from the 60s. In Defense of Ska offers a full-throated defense of ska’s third wave. That means Reel Big Fish, Operation Ivy, Fishbone, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and more.

But when we asked Carnes if he wanted to elevate one ska album into the canon of great pop records, he didn’t go for any of that. He picked a band that, unless you’re currently wearing black-and-white vans, you may have never heard of.

Instead, he went for Crab Rangoon by MU330, a ska band from St. Louis. He puts the album in the context of the entire third-wave movement, and explains that the album shows how ska can be more complex and serious than you might think.

In this episode...

Producer
Associate Producer
Maximum Fun Production Fellow
Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Guests

  • Aaron Carnes

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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