Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Ska To Be Good

A Punk's Gotta Do What a Punk's Gotta Do

Which is, produce kids music.

Well, if the ska punk has kids.

And the kids like music.

Since 1996, Mike Park has run Asian Man Records out of his garage. A former member of Skankin' Pickle (for whom he both played the saxophone and sang), Mike donned his "kindie music" cap after the birth of his kids.

Looking for an upbeat primer to ska for your kids? Then Mike's CD, SMILE, fits the bill quite nicely. And for audiophiles, there is even a vinyl release available.

SMILE is everything you expect in a standard children's CD - songs about crossing the street ("When the Light Turns Red You Stop"), eating healthy ("Apples Are My Favorite"), and making music ("I Love to Play My Saxophone"). But there's an added layer of ska that you don't get with, say, Dan Zanes.

Mike's goals for Asian Man are simple – put out quality music at affordable prices and to be politically involved in the awareness of peace and unity. He was the force behind 1998's "Ska Against Racism" tour. The tour promoted awareness about racism and raised money for anti-racism organizations such as the Museum of Tolerance.

Laudable goals, accessible themes, danceable music. When you put it all together, you just have to SMILE.

SMILE is reasonably priced ($8) through Asian Man Records. The CD is also on sale at Amazon, but for twice the price.
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