JFK & the Conspirators conspire for a good fucking time and ska

By Chris McGeachy

If Christina Aguilera were to take a two year break away from her music, would she come back a much wiser and more efficient shit machine? Would her new music cast a shadow over the seemingly endless waterfall of verbal diarrhea her lips once spawned? Knowing that’s never going to happen–the plastic holding her face together does have an expiry date after all–we can, thankfully, explore this question with JFK, lead singer and mastermind of the ska-reggae group JFK & The Conspirators.

Recuperating in a sleepy mountain town before renewing their tour, JFK reminiscence about the time spent away from The Conspirators after their successful 1998 debut album Mayor of Ganja City. It gave him a chance to reflect on what he had done, moving to Montreal for a couple of years, floating between bands and gigs. Finally, though, he returned to his ska roots in Winnipeg and to his band.

“I actually became kind of blase about music,” says JFK. “It’s almost funny, the less interested I became, the more things started happening on the band front.”

Half a decade later, JFK & The Conspirators have since put out a second album Mash the Dance and this time, they’re wiser. JFK couldn’t be happier with the band’s second compact disc outing.

“This one matches our live sound much better. It’s good to be able to relate to different types of people. This time I don’t have to worry about promoting the band–which is what I had to do the first time around. This time there’s someone doing that stuff, so we can all just focus on the music.”

Whether he and the band are energizing crowds of hundreds at the Boot Pub in Whistler or crowds of thousands at the Montreal Jazz Festival, their focus and energy remains consistent.

“The reason that this band is still around after so many years is because we’re all musicians who love what we do.

“There are two types of audiences, the leaders and the followers. The leaders seek out more obscure music whereas the followers are listening to what everyone is else listening to.”

JFK & The Conspirators is the type of band that liquefies plastic pop princesses and constipate shit machines. They, along with special guests The Royal Winnipeg Porn Orchestra and Hogpuncher, will play the Night Gallery on Sat., May 15, courtesy of the Calgary Reggae Festival Society. Do not expect lethargic crowds and flimsy tunes sputtered out of speakers that deserve better. This will be a show more wise and efficient than the last.

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