Band: The Slackers
Why: Chlamydia causes tenderness in the genitals, inflamed pelvises, and a low fever. That can also be said of girls who see the Slackers in concert and fall in love with the singer’s “dreamy voice.” (That gravelly voice, by the way, may be caused by oral-to-anal contact, which can result in throat inflammation.) Unsurprisingly, most men don’t show similar symptoms, and even if they have the bacteria of liking the Slackers, they don’t always get the same noxious emissions.
Treatment: Antibiotics work well. In this case, faster-paced ska with non-dreamy vocals is recommended.
Also beware of: Hepcat, John Holt
Band: The Toasters
Why: Gonorrhea is one most common STDs, and it affects men and women alike. So too are the Toasters one of the most commonly touring bands, spreading their disease to a gender-equal audience. Gonorrhea may cause abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, sore throat, and arthritis, all of which can also occur from skanking too much and singing along too loudly. Anal and rectal itching, anal discharge, painful bowel movements, and painful anal sex may occur, which may also be true of having anal sex with the Toasters.
Treatment: Gonorrhea is resistant to just about everything, save for a handful of medicines. Just as the Toasters are resistant to the downswings in the ska world, and will continue recording and touring ad infinitum.
Also beware of: Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish
Band: The Pietasters
Why: An especially nasty disease, you can unknowingly have syphilis for years when – bam! – your entire body is eaten away. Likewise, the Pietasters put out some great albums, getting bigger and bigger, spreading throughout the country, when all of a sudden – bam! – they’re huge but putting out mediocre-to-crappy albums.
Treatment: If you catch it early on, and only get their first three albums, you’re fine. But if you let it progress, the damage is irreversible.
Also beware of: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Suicide Machines
STD: Yeast infection
Why: Since yeast infections affect mostly women, you can be sure that’s why there’s nary a woman to be seen air drumming at a Rush concert. Yes, Rush isn’t ska, but they rock and I’m glad they don’t give me any weird penile discharge, other than ejaculated sperm.
Treatment: Vaginal cream. I’ll give you some vaginal cream, baby!
Also beware of: Dream Theater, Primus
Band: The Skatalites
Why: Herpes is a reoccurring, lifelong viral infection that will be in your body forever, just as the Skatalites have been playing the ska for 40 years, popping up again and again when you least expect it. Fluid-filled lesions cover the genitalia, just as the Skatalites have covered the world with their message of ska.
Treatment: Anti-viral drugs can control outbreaks, but you will only be rid of it once you drop dead. Same with the Skatalites.
Also beware of: The Marley Family
Band: Local ska bands
STD: Genital warts
Why: Soft, flat, gushy warts may appear inside or outside your genitalia, just as they have dotted the American landscape, spawning from the lesions of high schools, most noticeably on Long Island and in New Jersey. The effects are numerous, and they come in all different shapes and sizes.
Treatment: There is no cure, but chemical gel treatments may destroy wart tissue. However, chemical sludge may also be from whence these bands sprung up.
Also beware of: Edna’s Goldfish, Catch 22
STD: Pediculosis pubis (Crabs)
Why: Madness’ infectiously boppy and upbeat nutty-boy music crawls under your skin and makes you itch to dance. Unfortunately, the itch can become unbearable, leading to your own “madness”.
Treatment: Lice remover works well, though you may not want to use it.
Also beware of: Specials, Selecter
Why: Like Madness, Sublime can get under your skin, but unlike Madness, not in a good way. Some find them catchy, but only as a guilty pleasure. Others just find them annoying. In any case, it’s not something you want people to know you’re into. Plus I think the band themselves have scabies.
Treatment: Topical prescription creams and lotions may work, but the self-loathing may take longer to heal.
Also beware of: Dirty-ass crusty ska-punk, like Leftover Crack and Choking Victim
Band: New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble
Why: Trich is said to be caused by the sharing of sex toys or mutual masturbation. There is no other band as incestuous and parasitic in its sharing of members as NYSJE, not to mention they’re very mutual masturbatory (as most professionally trained jazz groups tend to be). NYSJE causes a frothy yellow-green or gray vaginal discharge and unpleasant vaginal odors, which is why it’s hard to find women at a NYSJE show.
Treatment: The only treatment is prescription drugs, though marijuana helps get you into their groove.
Also beware of: Scandalous All-Stars
Please contact your doctor before seeing a ska band. Ska is highly contagious and difficult to treat, but ultimately, it’s preventable if you take good enough care. Please do not transmit the ska to your loved ones.