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Ska ga Suki de-ska?

Ska punk was a commercially viable enterprise in Southern California during the 1990s, spearheaded by groups like No Doubt and Sublime, but boosters could be forgiven for not having any knowledge about genuine ska, since the SoCal variety was pretty much a genre unto itself. Consequently, when older ska acts came through town they found it hard to pick up musicians who could play the unadulterated kind. The Aggrolites, a quintet of local reggae musicians, formed in 2002 to fill this niche, and managed to find gigs backing classicists like Derrick Morgan, Prince Buster, and Culture's Joseph Hill. Then they decided they could do it, too.

Four albums in, the Aggrolites are pretty much the only homegrown reggae act in L.A., but the band, while still relying heavily on covers, has brought their own personalities to play, and their live shows are beholden to soul and funk almost as much as they are to reggae. Without a horn section, you probably have to try harder, but organist Roger Rivas does a great job of filling the void. There's no paucity of reggae and ska at this year's Fuji--the Aggrolites play after TheSkaFlames and before Easy Star All-Stars at the Field of Heaven on Sat.--but the harder style that the Aggrolites play is less in evidence, thus filling another void. In any case, don't expect any lovers rock.