Lady in Red

Pop star Taylor Swift brought her sticky-n-sweet stage show to Toyota Center May 16.

"What a great opportunity for us to get in trouble," Garrigan says. "We have never been more excited about a show before. We're doing our best to not lose our shit and get it together."

The hard work put in by himself and bandmates Jeremy Pacheco, Steven Jolly and James McDowell — the bulk of which was done in Houston — got them the gig, Garrigan adds.

This city is growing new rude boys and girls all over again, according to Isaac Rodriguez, bassist for Fuska, one of the newer ska bands to emerge.

Taylor Swift seemed as happy to be at Toyota Center last week as her fans were to see her.
Taylor Swift seemed as happy to be at Toyota Center last week as her fans were to see her.

"Ska comes back in waves, and I guess this is just another wave," says Rodriguez, whose band formed in 2010. "The shows are getting better and better and the kids are coming out and bringing their friends with them the next time."

That growing audience is finding more to choose from when the bill is ska-filled. Joined by newer groups like La Skandaloza and The Failed Attempt, these bands have invested the time, money and energy to push their brand closer to the forefront of Houston's musical community.

Of course, anyone familiar with local bands could argue ska has never fully departed as long as stalwarts Los Skarnales have been around. That band's co-founder, guitarist Jose Rodriguez, says he admires these bands and others like The Suffers and Indiginis, who are helping bring the music back to local prominence.

"I remember the ska scene in the mid '90s," Rodriguez reflects. "All ska shows were packed and it was pretty damn cool. I think what's cool about the ska scene today is that the bands are in it because they love it. Not saying there were fakes in the '90s; what I mean is that if you play ska today, you might struggle more to get shows. You do it because you love it."

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