Potthast, for example, is pursuing a solo career. His second record, the charming, confident Sweets and Meats, was recently released on Asian Records. He's been playing tunes from that release at gigs around town over the past few weeks, which seems appropriate given that St. Louis figures heavily in the lyrics. On Sweets, Potthast sounds like an earnest indie pop-rocker ("The Letter") and an Americana-tinged subway busker ("Tornado Joe"). What he doesn't sound like is a ska songwriter: There's nary a chicka-chicka guitar riff on the whole disc.
But ska is exactly what Potthast and company will be offering up this weekend, ska in big, bold doses. The tuneful rumble of Chris Diebold's bass, the martial crack of Ted Moll's drums, the joyful exuberance of horn players Gerry Lundquist and Rob Bell, Potthast's cheeky guitar heroics, an active pit -- all are essential to the MU330 experience. Some things never change.