The Straw Hat Riots Revisitied in Song

The Straw Hat Riots


We are bent not broken and hardened to be out of line and still survive”

— Emerald Suspension

(Minneapolis, MN) —  July 28, 2023 — The catchy big band swing jazz style of “Skimmer Hat” is a big departure from the experimental music typically produced by Emerald Suspension. The group has a knack of crafting unique genres to fit whatever concepts they explore for their creative projects – For example, the first recordings by Emerald Suspension from the early 2000’s were compositions based exclusively on patterns found in stock market and in economic data and were released as an album titled Playing the Market. For “Skimmer Hat”, the more familiar sounds of horns, standup bass, and vintage drums pair well with the historical reference to the era of the Straw Hat Riots.

Most of us are fortunate to live in a society where there is room to ‘be out of line and still survive’ with respect to the clothes we choose to wear. However, the Straw Hat Riots occurred during a time in the United States when individual choice about attire was not as flexible. In fact, people were scrutinized about their choice of hats to the point of violence. Emerald Suspension refers to the Straw Hat Riots as the ‘Fascists’ Riots’ because it was the white-collar elites who instigated attacks on the working class and on their casual-dressing peers who dared to wear straw hats into late September. Today those historical events read like a satirical news story from The Onion, but the societal tensions and ultimate violence and destruction were all too real at the time.

Some of the retro feel for “Skimmer Hat” comes curtesy of modern technology. In fact, the primary vocals are modified by artificial intelligence processing to be reminiscent of the likes of the late jazz singer Cab Calloway and soul music vocalist Charles Bradley. For the full experience, watch the corresponding music video which also includes nods to animated clips from the 1930’s. The group notes that similar cartoon clips were used by the Squirrel Nut Zippers several years ago to promote their release “Hell”, which provided both stylistic and musical inspiration for “Skimmer Hat”.

“Skimmer Hat” can be heard on Spotify and other music streaming sites and the video can be found on the Emerald Suspension YouTube channel and other social media platforms. Visit for more information.

“Skimmer Hat” video by Emerald Suspension


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Hugo Coffee Roasters Coupon: SAVEDOGS