New Indie Documentary 'Pick It Up!' Details the Rise of Ska in the '90s

Featuring members of Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Boss Tones, No Doubt and more.

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Ska music has gone through a tremendous evolution since its birth in the early ’50s. The genre is often cited to begin as an early precursor to reggae and rocksteady, originating in Jamaica where people mixed the sounds of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz. Ska was largely refined in the ’60s, drawing in a vibrant crowd around the world — it was especially popular among Jamaicans and British mods. Though the genre is mostly underground today, it experienced a surge in the ’80s and is said to have peaked in the ’90s. Dubbed Pick It Up! an insightful new documentary by PopMotion Pictures examines Ska’s glory days in the ’90s as well as its abrupt decline.

The indie film gets up close with members of some of the biggest groups in Ska, like Reel Big Fish, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sublime and even No Doubt, hearing their memories of the genre’s explosion. While highlighting its swift rise in popularity, the documentary also explains how Ska somehow reached its peak and suddenly found its way back into the underground. Pick It Up! is narrated by Tim Armstrong of Operation Ivy and Rancid and is a “love letter” to what is commonly referred to as third-wave ska. Measuring at approximately an hour and 41 minutes, other Ska groups featured in the film include Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, Save Ferris, the Toasters and more.

Scroll above for a look at the trailer for Pick It Up! and head over to Vimeo to stream the documentary.

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