4 days to climb into the Top Ten! Yes I! Get the Fever! O.J. Fever!
3 hours of All Killer, No Filler per usual on Smile Jamaica
Been harvesting nuff Roots to my iPod. Gathered up enough for a likkle set devoted to Neoliberal hit man James Bond.
But wait! There’s more!
4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement plus bonus set devoted to the Seven Leaf
Roots Dawtas: Sister Aricka Militant Steppers, American Blues-Reggae from Jessica Burks; trance dubbers Alpha & Omega; Bob’s girlfriend Martha Velez Reggae-rock high-brid; Maybe even some Sly & Robbie meets No Doubt. Last song World-dub via Al-jaherian songbird Natacha Atlas
Debut from Mutant Dubstress and Lovers Rocker Hollie Cook Twice
Wailers Family Tree: Tracking Bob’s last show in Pittsburgh, Jah-sylvania. More rarities for sure-ty off Peter Tosh’s Equal Rights. Finishing up Bunny Wailer Rootsman Skanking
Vinyl is Vital: Black Wax World Tour
Mutant Dub: Last half hour. Bassgasmic!
Smile Jamaica live every Saturday 4-7 PM Mtn. Time:
June means Summer. The best time for Roots Reggae. Celebrating 25 years on Smile Jamaica with nuff roots and unique selections.
Keeping my ears open to anything with that Jamaican swivel of the drum and bass. So that means Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer as well as The Clash, Taj Mahal, Yoko Ono, Morcheeba, The Ruts punkdub. Canadian Jamaican soul reggae. And defiling your ears with Lords of Acid at the bitter end of the broadcast.
Plus the usual high-lights: 420 Cannabis Service, mutant dub, mamas & dawtas love Vinyl is Vital. Spongi Reggae extended mix jams pon even more black wax.
This is the first Saturday of the month. For about the first decade of my 25 years hosting Smile Jamaica, I used to do a special feature every first Saturday musical episode: The Reggae Album Side of the Month.
My Reggae mentor, John “Rutabaga” Reese – who was hosting Smile Jamaica when I moved to town – started the Vinyl showcase. It was mainly so he could step out for a cigarette and get caught up on the monkey-butlering we deejays have to do at KRCL
In tribute to my spar Rutabaga, I continued the Album Side of the Month. Smile Jamaica is mostly a Jamaican Jukebox of singles, (i.e. a single selection off an album or 7,10, or 12″ piece of vinyl singles). I wanted to play an obscure and top rank Reggae album from Side A or B: Tracks 1-4 or 1-5, usually. A roots Reggae album not re-issued on CD. Gems from my 30 year collecting Ark-Ive. Vinyl is Vital, of course. Sink into the riddim. Relax, stay awhile. Jus’ cool, dreadie.
Then a piece of bullshit legislation came into law that made my Album Side of the Month illegal. The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). No more than 3 songs in a row off an album. I couldn’t do a whole 3 hours of one artist, like Bob Marley, anymore. No bootlegs. A bunch of other twaddle that did absolutely nothing to stem the tide of illegal downloads.
Clinton signed this in 1998 and it will be the reason I don’t vote for his wife in 2016. I wrote to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to try and stop this bill from becoming law.
I basically told our Senator for Life my tale of woe, “Hey Dread, I’m a radio deejay in Salt Lake City, Utah. The state you supposedly represent. My show is called Smile Jamaica. I have this tradition of focusing on one album by an artist to hear what Reggae sounds like on a long player piece of wax. Rather than my usual habit of juggling individual songs, featuring different artists, on a variety of formats. A little context. Part of my tradition of Reggae History Lessons. I’m trying to educate while I entertain. I’m showing off the fruits of my Ark-Ives. I have zero interest in aiding and abetting song theft. I want people to buy this music. Begging you a ten cent, Senata Haatch!”
“I volunteer my time on a non-commercial radio station. I am committed to public service in the community.I don’t get paid. Don’t want to get paid. How about a non-profit exception for what I do?”
I basically got the International Symbol of Ill Will
<Orrin Hatch 1; Smile Jamaica 0; 40 sec.>
So that brings me back to Johnny Cash. In the immortal words of Bob Marley, “When one door closes, another will open.” Somewhere in the last decade I have started a different, legal, tradition for the first Saturday edition of the month on Smile Jamaica.
Rockers do Reggae
Last month I gave you Billy Idol’s maiden voyage on Smile Jamaica. This week I have: Johnny Cash (debut), Taj Mahal (perennial) Wayne McGhie: Canadian-Jamaican soul/reggae hybrid and Yoko Ono (debut).
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive: June 7, 2014 sets:
Rockers do Reggae (above)
Bonus Rockers: Version galore on Bob Dylan’s Man in Me: Matumbi vs The Clash; Morcheeba (mutant dub with female box) and I will end the show with Lords of Acid: mutant dub herb tune (debut). Yes, hard techno comes to Smile Jamaica in the same show as Johnny Cash. Selah!
Dub Album of the Week: More rock/dub crossover: The Mad Professor Meets Ruts DC: Rhythm Collision Dub (ROIR). Punkdub
Wailers Family Tree: Bob Marley’s last live show in Pittsburgh, Jah-sylvania: Sept. 23, 1980; Peter Tosh rarities & obscurities from Equal Rights ’77; Bunny Wailer – Rootsman Skanking ’86
Vinyl is Vital: (midway). All female artists laying down the crispy black wax attack.
Mutant Dub: (last half hour): Even more Rockers: downtro-dubby cover of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay”.
Good luck to Collie-fornya Chrome. It is going for the triple crown today at the Belmont Stakes. If he wins, I am going to play a Jamaican horse race tune with Dreadlocks versus The Pope around 5:00 PM
Smile Jamaica live every Saturday 4-7 PM Mtn. Time:
Mixcloud hosts my Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive Streams. If you don’t want to read my vinyl cratedigging story below, just go deh!: May 31, 2014
I don’t know why last week was different, but I hit 3 charts on Mixcloud’s weekly uploads
5th in the Vinyl chart
15th in the Dub chart
17th in the Reggae chart
Yes I! Give thanks and praise to you if you made it a priority to listen to Smile Jamaica so it could chart. Maybe it was the cannabinally (did I just invent a word?) inspired Milton Glaser photo of birthday boy Bob Dylan:
So I was very happy with that and decided to celebrate the next week’s Smile Jamaica edition with an All Vinyl Show. Been committed to vinyl from Day 1 on KRCL 90.9FM. I have relentlessly championed vinyl for 25 years now. It is a rare show that I don’t play at least a set of black wax or a dozen vinyl records in 7″, 10″, 12″ and LP format spread over 3 hours.
Every once in a while I get asked how much longer I plan on programming Smile Jamaica. 25 five years every Saturday afternoon. Quite a significant time commitment, eh? I answer the same each time: “When the station de-commissions the two turntables, I will retire.”
I doubt that will happen, but without being able to play Vinyl, it would be like listening to your Hi Fi with only 1 speaker working.
I feel fortunate that I have been able to apply my cratedigging for a Radio purpose. Most record collector addicts either don’t have a media outlet for their archives or disseminate their artifacts with other collectors. Like trading baseball cards.
In my case, the lion’s share of my record haul was funded via student loan easy money from Uncle Ronnie (it took me 15 years to pay off my 80’s record haul plus 3 University degrees.)
The period from about 1985-1995 coincided with a period of cheap Vinyl titles being sold in brick and mortar record stores to clear space* and gain seed money for these new fangled thingees called the Compact Disc.
*Did you know the size of the CD was made to exact specifications: 2 CDs could sit, perfectly, side by side for every record bin. Thus, doubling the potential inventory.
I would drive to the Bay Area from Utah and scour San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, El Cerrito, Hayward, San Mateo, Carmel/Monterey, Santa Cruz and dig for Reggae Vinyl.
If I couldn’t couch surf with a relative for ten days, I would stay at the Travelodge across the street from the San Francisco Tower Records within walking distance of North Beach, Chinatown and the Bay.
I would make a special trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to shop at the excellent roots music store: Village Music in Mill Valley. I found some really rare Reggae 45’s and the first five years of The Beat*magazine there once. Once you get a nice cache, it’s worth the drive and I will make the time to dig in the crates. Village Music was my favorite Bay Area store on my circuit. I was really bummed when I read they went out of business in 2007.
*The primary Reggae and World music magazine published in the US. I wrote Mutant Dub reviews for them for about 5 years. They didn’t survive the digital era either when ad revenue dried up as Reggae labels went out of business.
On the return drive, I would hit Auburn Collie-fornya (the old state capitol; home of Cherry Records), Sacramento vicinity and Reno. I have even stopped and perused the Yellow Pages in Winnemucca and Elko Nevada looking for a little record shack.
The good times came to an end. Ebay and Amazon dried up the source records for inventory as collectors could piece out their rarities for top coin, one title at a time.
Chain stores like Mall Wart, Beast Buy and Circus Shitty stocked a boring, narrow selection of titles. They would purposely undercut the sales markup as a loss leader to get you in to buy a toaster or computer. The indie stores couldn’t buy on that volume to get the wholesale price break much less afford to sell titles for less than cost.
With digital preferences, iTunes legit, tube sites and outright online theft, the other shoe dropped on the physical record (and video) stores and more than 3000 have gone out of business in the past decade. The biggest of them being Tower Records, Virgin Records and HMV. Brutal.
It’s really depressing for a professional cratedigger like me when I pull into a town and see my familiar haunt closed or replaced by some sort of Dollar Store or Title Loan company.
Thanks for listening to these Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive streams and, by all means, puff, puff pass the links to anyone you think might like the cool breeze of musical rotation inna Irie meditation at 33 and 1/3 and 45 RPMs! Vinyl snack crackle and pop is real. Digital is just a figment of your reality.
Playlist below the Mixcloud embed
Dillinger – Reggae Beat; Badder Than Then (A & M) ’81 US; All Vinyl Show
UB40 – Present Arms in Dub; Present Arms in Dub (DEP) ’81; Dub Album of the Week
Chalawa – Jah Collie Weed; Capture Land (Green Weenie) ’78 Jah-tario, Canada; 420 Seven Leaf Set
Crucial Bee – Cocaine; Just a Sting (All Starr) US Virgin Islands
Tinga Stewart – Give Me a Puff; Key to Your Heart (Calabash) ’83 Florida
Toyan – Chalice; Toyan (Channel One) ’82 JA
Sugar Minott – International Herb; 12” (Hammah) ‘83***End of Set 1
Sophia George – Girlie, Girlie; Fresh (Winner) ’86 JA; version galore (1)
Charlie Chaplin – Boyie, Boyie; 12” (Winner)’85 JA; version galore (2)
Barry Brown – Come On Natty Roots Man; Stand Firm (Justice) ‘78 JA
Natural Roots – Influence; Natural Roots (Only Roots) ’84 FR***End of Set 2
Casselberry – DuPree’ – Positive Vibrations; City Down (Iceberg) Jah-waukee, Wisconsin; ’86 female folk duo on Marley
Peter Ranking & General Lucky – Farmer; Jah Stand Over Me (Razor Sound) ’82 JA
***Interview with NRG Rising; Maori reggae family out of New Zealand
NRG Rising – Journey; From Darkness to Light***End of Set 3
Mikey Dread – Heavyweight Style; 10” (Dread at the Controls) ’82 UK
Sena – Natural Woman + Strictly Woman; Juvenile Delinquent (Clappers) ’81 Brooklyn***End of Set 4
Cornell Campbell – No Mans (sic) Land; Yes I Will (Micron) ’79 Can.; Up Park Camp riddim
Jah Glen – Save Our Nation; 10” (South East Music) UK Lambsbread riddim