The Toasters, Los Skarnales

The Toasters bill themselves as the U.S.'s ­longest-running ska band, which, given the ups and downs of the genre's popularity on these shores, is a little like winning a tallest midget contest. Still, the New York band paved the way for countless latter-day ska acts — like, for instance, beloved local openers Los Skarnales — by sticking to the horn-heavy sound of the genre's Jamaican innovators and by founding Moon Ska Records. Moon Ska has released records by legends (Laurel Aitken and the Skatalites' Clash of the Ska Titans) and up-and-coming skankers like St. Louis's Isaac Green & the Skalars and South Africa's the Rudimentals alike. Both the Toasters' music and label have helped legitimize ska's third wave and push the music up from the underground.

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Christian Schaeffer