Pick It Up: Ska in the '90s 🕴️

Skankin' with the Rude Boys

Pick It Up: Ska in the '90s

  • Genre: Documentary

  • Release Date: May 1, 2019

  • Running Time: 101 Minutes

  • Rated: 16+ (Young Adults)

Behind the Scenes

  • Directed by Taylor Morden

  • Written by Heather Augustyn

  • Cinematography by Taylor Morden, Noah Mucci

  • Studio: Popmotion Pictures

What’s It About?

“PICK IT UP! is an independent documentary film about the rise in popularity of ska music in the 1990s often referred to as the third wave of ska.  The film showcases the underground / DIY nature of the scene all over the world and how the push into the spotlight in the mid-to-late '90s changed everything. The film was made by ska fans, for ska fans.”

Why You Should Check It Out

Directed by Taylor Morden, PICK IT UP! is an immensely entertaining and engaging documentary about third-wave ska and ska-punk. If you’re a fan of bands like Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Less Than Jake, and The Aquabats, then this well-researched and comprehensive look into the ska scene of the ‘90s is most certainly for you. This visually stylish doc has a lot to offer to both fans and non-fans alike, with insights into the genre and its sub-culture from an eclectic mix of musicians and historians.

“If I had it in me / To stop my random thoughts and my dumb dreams / I could deal with this nonstop spinning world / Yea, this nonstop spinning world”

As a kid, I heard Less Than Jake’s “Sugar In Your Gas Tank” (from the album Losing Streak) and fell in love with the band and the sound of ska-punk — an incredible combination of punk rock, reggae, and glam metal that filled me with energy and optimism. I immediately filled up my CD binder with similar bands like Reel Big Fish, Mustard Plug, The Suicide Machines, and Catch 22. Over 20 years later, Less Than Jake remains my favorite band — their lyrics are like scripture to me, their songs are the soundtrack to my life, and every live show is a spiritual experience.

After the mainstream explosion of No Doubt and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones in the mid-90s, ska music was everywhere. The Bosstones were featured in CLUELESS. Reel Big Fish showed up in BASEKETBALL. Goldfinger was featured on TONY HAWK’S PRO SKATER. Even Less Than Jake found mainstream exposure with appearances on the soundtracks for SCREAM 2 and GOOD BURGER. And then, the bottom fell out. While fans of the music continued going to shows and supporting bands, ska faded away from mainstream popularity.

Luckily, we can take a delightful, nostalgic trip to the ‘90s with the sweet, super funny PICK IT UP! You’ll leave with a new perspective on the genre and, perhaps, a renewed passion for it. It’s a damn good time, filled with the same kind of upbeat optimism and enthusiasm that fuels the music it lovingly chronicles. So put on your Vans Checkerboard Slip-Ons‎ and skank it up on Amazon Prime Video or Vimeo On Demand now!

The film features interviews with members of: 

The Aquabats • Big D and the Kids Table • Blink-182 • Buck-O-Nine • Catch 22 • Dance Hall Crashers• Fishbone • Five Iron Frenzy • Goldfinger • Hepcat • The Hippos • The Impossibles • Less Than Jake • Let’s Go Bowling • The Mad Caddies • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones • Mustard Plug • No Doubt • The O.C. Supertones • Oingo Boingo • The Pietasters • Pilfers • Reel Big Fish • Rx Bandits • Save Ferris • Skankin’ Pickle • The Skatalites • The Slackers • The Specials • Spring Heeled Jack •Streetlight Manifesto • Sublime • Suburban Legends • The Suicide Machines • The Toasters • Voodoo Glow Skulls • and more!

PS: You can also purchase a physical copy of the documentary on DVD or Blu-ray, the vinyl soundtrack, and all kinds of other goodies at the film’s official store.

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