Portia, Portia, Portia • June 1, 2006

Ska Crazy

Side Dish, 2 & 1/2 Whites, Insatiable

by Portia Early

Portia Early, X96 weekend DJ and host of Live & Local (Sundays, 8-10 p.m.), wants to tell you about three more of her favorite Utah bands and songs:

Side Dish, “Out of Time”

Horny, horny, horny—no, it’s one of my favorite music genres: Ska. Orem’s Side Dish are part ska, part rock (skrock?), and one of the best local bands to see live. They rock. That’s all I can say. Even non-ska fans will enjoy the skrock sound, reminiscent of Fall Out Boy gone skankin’. The tune “Out of Time” is a prime example: Great harmonies, musicianship and (above all) horns. The band has two albums, Truth or Dare (2004), and Age of Intent (2005); the latter produced by Joel Pack of major-label newbies Broke. What Utah band hasn’t Joel worked with? But that’s another story. Be on the lookout for Side Dish’s new EP Shot in the Arm; catch ’em live at The Circuit in Midvale on Saturday, June 3. (SideDishBand.com)

2 & 1/2 White Guys, “BBC”

Lead singer Nate is Caucasian? Really? The frontman who sounds born right out of Jamaica is actually a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy right out of the Wasatch Front. Their latest effort, Leather Jackets & Mustache Wax, came out in 2004; I’ve seen them (there’s five, not 2 & 1/2) a dozen times—most recently at The Depot opening for The Slackers last month—and it’s always a party. “BBC” is catchy but, like most ska songs, it has a depressing message that’s swallowed up by happy horns. So it doesn’t matter, right? Check them out at Port O’ Call on Saturday, June 3. (TwoandaHalfWhiteGuys.com)

Insatiable, “The More I Drink”

A staple of X96’s Live & Local, this track deserves a ska Grammy—if there were such a thing. Insatiable are the oldest ska band in Utah, kicking since 1990, and seven of the tightest musicians I know. The song is about falling in love with a girl after a few … or more. It’s also one of the few songs requested by Live & Local listeners who aren’t in the band, friends of the band, girlfriends, wives, etc. I wanted to see Insatiable go big in 1994, then 1996, 1999, 2002, 2006 … Come on, guys—get signed already so they can invent that Grammy! Next live appearance: Friday, June 23 at the Utah Arts Festival. (InsatiableSka.com)