The Hard Times is a gift to this world. Or at least, a gift for me, the target audience for their Onion-esque satires of music and music fandoms, particularly of the underground variety. For example: the site recently published a delightful package highlighting the Best Ska Bands in every US state, which really went above and beyond to embrace the worst cliche jokes about ska while also highlighting some fantastic bands at varying levels of success across the country.
There are the obvious ones — the Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, plus some rad nu-tone groups like Catbite, Kill Lincoln, and Bad Operation. And of course, The Hard Times demonstrates a fond appreciation for wacky ska pun band names, including both The Skashank Redemption and The Ska-Skank Redemption, which are indeed different bands from different states.
But then there's South Dakota. Fucking South Dakota. The Hard Times' writers searched far and wide to find a ska band in every state — even Alaska has one (and their name isn't even the obvious pun!). But South Dakota is apparently a black hole of upstrokes and trombones and "pickitups" and dancy post-punk racial justice funtimes.
But maybe we shouldn't be that surprised. It is South Dakota after all.
From AlaSKA to NebraSKA (And Also Further East, but There Are No Good Puns): We Ranked the Best Ska Band in Every State [Eric Navarro / The Hard Times]