Did you know ska is making a comeback?

No, for reals. I'm not calling it out as the next big thing (again) and I'm not saying all those hip kids with their asymmetrical haircuts are gonna go back to wearing creepers, checkered belts, and suspenders. I'm just saying that the genre is beginning to be, well, more accepted around here.

When ska was a big thing, Seattle had a few local bands to add to the national craze--the Diablotones, Instant Winner, Engine 54. They've all moved on for the most part, though, as ska suffocated under whatever next trend moved in--but that sound is slowly creeping into the music scene again.

We're starting to see a few local ska acts continue to gain momentum and play shows around town--earlier this year, the Milkbar hosted a ska show, and ska band Buck-O-Nine played at UW--and there's even a "NW Ska Showcase" next month at the Downtown YMCA with the Pulverts, the Uptowns, the Push, and Natalie Wouldn't.

To back that up even more, Instant Winner are playing a show this Saturday, August 28, their first in almost a year. They'll be at Graceland with Nobody Wins, Amber Pacific, and Aiden. I guess it's not a total "ska show" since the other acts are decidedly very un-ska, but I'm gonna count it anyway. Tickets are 10 bucks, and the show starts early at 5:00 p.m. Pick it up, pick it up.

Speaking of old things that are back in action, the Kirkland Teen Center has recently undergone a handful of acoustical treatments, supposedly making the on-again/off-again venue sound better than ever. With the new improvements in place, they hope to regularly host shows again, including one this weekend (also on Saturday) with Some by Sea, Love Hotel, Asahi, and Autumn Poetry. It starts at 7:00 p.m. and costs five bucks.

Also, for those of you lookin' for a good reason to donate to the Vera Project ('cause supporting their great programming, art gallery, screen-printing lab, and music workshops aren't enough incentive?), here's something to consider: The Charlotte Martin Foundation is offering Vera a "challenge grant," which means if the Vera Project can get $5,000 through individual donations by next month, the Charlotte Martin Foundation will give them another $5,000.

If you wanna help Vera meet that goal, donations are being accepted on their website at www.theveraproject.org, or you could also send a little something via postal mail (1122 E Pike St, #849, Seattle, WA 98122). MEGAN SELING

megan@thestranger.com

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