Monday, September 29, 2014

Ska Beat 11/16/97: The Very First Tape

UPDATE: I had to go to Podomatic to get a media player to work.


******I am having difficulty embedding the player from the Internet Archive. Until this is fixed you can go here to stream or download the show.******

A long time ago in a place far, far away a radio show called Ska Beat began. Well, okay, actually it was 1997 and in Huntington, WV to be precise. A little over two years after leaving the U.S. Army I found myself helping out at WMUL, Marshall University’s radio station as a community volunteer. After suggesting non-stop that WMUL needed a ska show due to the genres increasing popularity I was informed on a Friday that I was to be doing the show on the following Sunday at noon and I needced to get my butt in the studio. With an hour or so of training I did indeed make my debut one week before my birthday.  I didn't think to record that show but I did on my birthday, November 16th, 1997. The show ran for almost three years mostly in the Sunday noon to 2PM timeslot before shifting to a Thursday evening 8-10PM shift.

I have chosen to include all of the Public Service Announcements, weather updates, mistakes and whatever else was recorded along with the music. Yeah, I’m that lazy. Be warned, the shows were taped on cassettes and as such may suffer from sitting around for the last seventeen years or so. WMUL had an ongoing issue of a loud hum that would periodically present itself when I was talking but normally it went away while the music was playing. Often I forgot to hit record or to turn the tape over at the midpoint of the show so there will be gaps in those songs as well as some being omitted entirely. I’ve tried to annotate when that happened and if the songs didn’t make it on the tape I leave them off of the playlist.

What you end up with is a snapshot of where I was and what bands I was going to see in the latter part of the 90s. It was a great time to see live music as many ska bands came through the Huntington area on their way to somewhere else. Unfortunately I’ve lost my playlists from so long ago and my memory isn’t what it used to be so there may be a few “unknown artist and song” listings. I’m not going to let that hold me back on posting these shows. Feel free to leave a comment and square me away on anything I’ve messed up or forgotten. Additionally I used to fill in at various times to keep WMUL on the air and I have about five tapes of those shows to go with the twenty odd tapes from Ska Beat. It’s been a blast listening to these tapes and remembering a time in my life that is completely different from where I am now. Hope you enjoy the show because I definitely enjoyed doing it.

Laurel Aitken - Sally Brown (in progress)
Jump With Joey - Jack Lord Ska
The Specials - A Message To You Rudy
Madness - One Step Beyond
The English Beat - Ranking Full Stop
The Toasters - Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down (stops about a minute in, wrong song played), I'm Running Right Through The World
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Let's Face It
Fishbone - Ugly
Hepcat - Dance Wid Me
Regatta 69 - The Fiasco
The Skoidats - Rootsawalkin'
Reel Big Fish - Sellout
Let's Go Bowling - Grover's Harem
THe Aquabats - The Theme Song
Skankin' Pickle - Rotten Banana Legs
Skavoovie & The Epitones - Bli-Blip
Los Hooligans - Swing Right Rudy (cuts off as tape ends and is switched)
Mento Buru - Try And Try
Isaac Green & The Skalars - Don't Count
Supertones - Supertones Strike Back
The Scofflaws - Ska Groovie
Voodoo Glow Skulls - Los Hombres No Lloran
Shoulderhopper - 67 Beetle
The Pietasters - Factory Concerto
Save Ferris - World Is New
Five Iron Frenzy - Third World Think Tank
Bim Skala Bim - Pete Needs A Friend
Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Don Quixote
Spring Filled Jack - Running Man Looking Through The Mirror)
The Allstonians - Brighton Memories
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - The Impression That I Get (tape cuts off)

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ten For Tuesday Episode 069:

Just when you thought I might not get this episode out in time here I am with another helping of ten fantastic songs. I could go on and on about why I chose these songs or give you tons of details about the bands and so forth but I won't. After all, I do want to get this uploaded in time so without further ado, here we go.

Bad Sports - Get You
Generacion Suicida - Mierda Ciudad
The Muffs - Weird Boy Next Door
The Marked Men - Fix My Brain
One Timers - I Don't Know
Dogmatics - Thayer Street
The Three Johns - English White Boy Engineer
Big In Japan - Suicide A Go Go
Belgrado - No Answer
The Skints - Culture Vulture

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What's Going On

I haven't been posting a lot this month but it doesn't mean I haven't been busy. One of my new projects has been converting the cassette tapes I have from when I was a community volunteer at WMUL (Marshall University's radio station) where I did a ska and reggae show called Ska Beat (from 1997-1999) to mp3 format. I only have about twenty or so tapes plus a few from when I filled in at other spots but it is time consuming mainly because I have to listen to them to write down the bands and songs. Once upon a time I kept my playlists but now I have no idea where they are or if indeed I still have them. As far as editing I decided to leave everything in, all of the Public Service Announcements, all of the Marshall stuff and even all of the weather announcements. I loathe editing that kind of stuff and besides, it's a testament of where I was and what I was doing at that moment of my life. The only thing I have been editing is the beginning of the recording, when the tape was turned over (not always timely) and at the end. That's pretty much it. I've decided to upload these file to the Internet Archive instead of putting them up through Podomatic as a podcast. That will start as soon as I write a few paragraphs about the history of the show.

Another new project is also music related but in a much different way. I've talked with Tommy and his son Chris about doing a spoken word/music project with them. There is no name for it as of yet but honestly it was something I thought about doing in the mid-nineties when people like Maggie Estep made it seem possible and Henry Rollins was all over the place doing spoken word. Somehow it never happened for me even as a personal, local thing and I buried it away in the back of my mind piled over by a ton of other ideas that I always wanted to start on. I finally realized that if it's going to happen I have to make it happen and since Chris and Tommy's bands are kind of on hiatus it only makes sense to do something creative together. Writing lyrics has been fun and personally rewarding for me but sometimes in my head I hear things differently than in the regular lyrics format so I want to see where this can go. It's going to be a learning process for me so we'll see how it ends up.

I have been writing but most of it has seemed incomplete or partially written to me so I've been reluctant to put much of it online. If it's a first draft and sure to change that's not a problem to me but I don't even feel that most of the new stuff is at that point yet. I need more hours in the day to work on it. Or to have money so that I don't have to work. Yeah, that'd work. It's not gonna happen but it's a nice pipe dream. Writing words for my new project is a very different process. Instead of presenting ideas in a concise manner now I get to indulge myself and get wordy. Problem is most of the time stuff comes to me I'm nowhere close to paper and pen or a recorder or it's not a situation where I can use any of those things. Case in point, while in the stage of half sleep this morning I had music and words come to me but by the time I was awake enough to try and write them down it was all starting to fade. Then the cat jumped in my lap wanting attention and my cellphone started ringing intermittently so I only got some of it down. Hopefully I can look at it later and have something else present itself.

That's about it, everything I've been working on besides doing things with the family and working a fulltime job. It's a lot but as I said earlier, if I want it to happen then I've got to make it happen. I have to start it because nobody else is gonna knock on my door and say they're there to help me do what I want to do. Resistance will always present itself in many forms to block you. Go read Stephen Pressfield and he'll tell you all about it. As for me, I have to get back to work, in one form or another.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

notmovingpictures Episode 026: Don Solo Rants Again

Ah yeah, it's time for another solo episode of me (Don) ranting about what I feel is important or whatever is bothering me at the moment. Before getting to that however I first talk about my newest artistic endeavor, getting the tapes from my old radio show Ska Beat uploaded on I don't have a timetable but I have started listening to them to get the artists and songs (lost my old playlists) and get an overview of the quality of the recordings, etc. Here's the deal, about two years after I got out of the Army I became a community volunteer for WMUL, Marshall University's campus radio station where I ended up doing a ska and reggae show for almost three full years. I've got around twenty five tapes that I recorded of my show as well as a few times where I filled in for other time slots and played, ska, punk, indie and so forth music. It's going to take some time to get the tapes converted and listened to but I have started and it will be a look at what I was doing 1997-1999.

After talking about that I started my rant about (the lack of) customer service that I experienced in a four day period from Dell, Talley's and Mom's Family Diner and how one of them differed from the other. Then I gave an update on what happened to getting the medical marijuana initiative on the ballot in the next election. Spoiler alert, it failed but the fight will go on. You can listen below or just go here, whichever you prefer.

Opening Music: Alloy - Live To See The Day
Closing Music: Alton Ellis - Ska Beat

Email: Twitter: @notmovingpics

Older episodes can also be found @, just search for notmovingpictures.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ten For Tuesday Episode 068: The Episode From Hell

This episode has been a lesson on perseverance for me. Originally I had planned on using three other bands to start the show and at first everything seemed fine. That is until I tried to assemble all of the parts together. My first audio section suddenly was sped up and I sounded like a chipmunk. I tried changing the order of the songs then tried to eliminate one and bring in another but then the songs started sounding either sped up or slowed down. It was exasperating and finally I said the hell with it and chucked the songs and started over with the ones you see now. If you're asking just what were the original three songs well, that's for me to know. At some point I may try and use them again, you never know, it could just be my laptop or Audacity acting up. Stranger things have been known to happen. Anyway, enough boring tech stuff, the new songs work and sound great. They would have been used soon anyway. Enjoy below or go to

Bad Sports - Can't Just Be Friends
Holly And The Italians - I Wanna Go Home
Back Seat Romeos - Zero Ambitions
Shock Nagasaki - These Are Our Streets Now
Crown Court - Trouble From London
Bleached - For The Feel
Terrible Feelings - Hollow
Nerve Beats - T-2
Mary Monday And The Bitches - Popgun
Poopshovel - One Pass Away

Ten For Tuesday is a podcast dedicated to playing the music I couldn't find anywhere else. The music I like varies from style to style, genre to genre and era to era. You will hear punk, ska, rock, Americana, metal, country, rockabilly and more from all over the world. It doesn't matter if it's a major label or indie as long as I like it then it gets played. The motto is Less Talk More Music which means you won't hear me waxing poetic for fifteen minutes between songs. At TFT its all about the music...and me of course.

Email: Twitter: @notmovingpics

Old Episodes can be found by going to and searching for Ten For Tuesday

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Something Else New That Doesn't Have A Title

Right after I wrote "move" last week (and I mean literally within seconds) I started this one. As usual it's just a first draft and I haven't touched it since. It's unknown if it will turn out to be something more or if pieces of it make it into something else. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Can’t play a guitar
No good to pick up sticks
The only thing I’ve got going
With the pain the words eclipse
We go down the well
Past the rabbit hole
Searching for that piece
Of my soul that was stole
Heard the words you been singing
Reaching into my mind planting seeds
Help me find a way
To get rid of my disease

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.