Big D and the Kids Table, Unlikely Survivors of '90s Ska, Play Propaganda November 10


Frankly, the many-membered Boston act Big D and the Kids Table were not, at their inception, among the front-runners for survival of ska's so-called "Third Wave" in the '90s. The band started a little too late - 1995 - to be seen as truly authentic at the movement's peak, around '97 or '98. Its hometown, too, was seen as an also-ran to the big ska epicenters of New York City and Southern California. What's more, the band's slap-happy, distorted punk guitar stylings alienated the genre's so-called "traditional ska" purists.

Yet here we are in 2009, and Big D and company are going as strong, with as big a lineup, as ever. Where the band excelled in the beginning was in ignoring the snobbery from all sides and instead, growing its fan base grassroots-style and always keeping a sense of humor. Take, for instance, that 2003 disc of rap versions of its own songs, or that gonzo cover of the Specials' "Little Bitch." This may be cringe-inducing to some, but to many others, it's a welcome, brass-fueled escape from Real Life Problems -- and it's hard to hate on that too much. 

Further, surprisingly, the band's latest album, Fluent in Stroll, takes an unexpected turn. While the "stroll" in the title is, supposedly, a new genre-blend term coined by the band (sigh), it means a melodious blend of slightly less spastic ska, surf rock, dubby reggae, and vintage soul.

Big D. & the Kids Table, with illScarlett and the Methodaires. Tuesday, November 10. Propaganda, 6 S. J St., Lake Worth. Doors open at 8 p.m., tickets cost $10. Ages 21+ with ID. 561-547-7273; propagandalw.com 

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