Music 101: Third Wave Ska

In this episode of Music 101, Margot highlights the Third Wave Ska music scene.

Third Wave Ska grew out of the punk scene in the late 1980s with musicians who wanted to fuse their love of Punk and (primarily) the 2 Tone Ska movement. For a few hot years in the 1990s, Third Wave Ska was everywhere; radio, MTV, music magazines, and topping the charts. 

There were Third Wave Ska bands in every state but the largest concentrations were on both coasts and in the Midwest.

Part 1 of this episode start with bands considered the pillars of the Third Wave Ska movement. Parts 2 and 3 highlight bands part of the Third Wave of Ska. 

Music 101 Third Save Ska Playlist:

Fishbone – “Ugly

The Toasters-  “2 Tone Army

The Uptones – “Radiation Boy

Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “Someday I Suppose

Rancid – “Time Bomb

No Doubt – “Just A Girl

Sublime – “Wrong Way

Reel Big Fish – “Sell Out

Gangster Fun – “Brown Paper Bag

Deal’s Gone Bad – “The Elephants

The Slackers – “Have The Time

Bim Skala Bim – “Skeleton

To explore more Third Wave Ska, check out the Music 101 Spotify playlist below. In addition, Aaron Carnes has written a book that’s really a love letter to ska called In Defense Of Ska, that beautifully explains the scene and the bands. Also, check out the documentary called “Pick It Up! Ska In The 90s” .


Music 101 airs on the Colorado Sound every Sunday at 10am MST, with a repeat of the show on Wednesday at 8 pm MST. Listen from anywhere in the world.

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