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San Francisco-based ska/swing purveyors Monkey formed in 1996 around a mutual love of (obviously) ska, but also through their strong affections for soul, jazz, Latin, and rock. Their self-produced, self-issued debut album, Changito!, moved over 6,000 units in 1997 and propelled this ambitious band into a very long and quite successful career. With five EPs, over 20 compilation appearances, film and video game soundtrack contributions, and four full-length albums under their collective belt, Monkey certainly have not been idle. Coupled with an average of 200 live appearances a year, one gets the idea that Monkey might just be one of the hardest-working ska groups of the 2000s. As of 2009, the band has continued to tour internationally, at its accustomed frantic pace, and released a compilation CD, Monkeyska, in Japan on Disc Union Ltd. ~ J. Scott McClintock