Advice after forty years of cratedigging: Buy low, sell high. I ‘n’ I built the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives when people were shedding vinyl for these over priced gadgets called the compact disk.
Titles I bought for 4 bucks on Haight Ashbury fetches hundreds now on ebay and discogs.
It’s not that I’m cheap. I spend the GDP of small third world nations on music. But I believe a record that is worth hundreds that I paid less than a Lincoln for, makes the sound oh so sweet.
Yet I have wish lists. Things I can’t find cratedigging and must scope online. One of my “white whales” was the 8 track version of Thievery Corporations silky herb tune, Lebanese Blonde.
<$80 dollars for Lebanese Blonde; 55 sec.>
I was coming back from a cratedig in Missoula, Montana. I saw a disk on the new record rack that had a cool cover, name and song titles.
Thievery Corporation – Richest Man in Babylon
Heading back to Salt Lake from my parents’ house in Fort Benton, Montana, I detour through Missoula to cratedig in their cool indie stores: Rockin’ Rudy’s and Ear Candy.
I pushed it too far and hit the dreaded Monida Pass at sundown. Anyone travelling on I-15 heading North knows that pass right at the Idaho Montana border. Not a good place to be in a snow storm.
Twice in 25 years of driving that stretch I had to go 100 miles back to Butte, on icy roads, because the pass was closed to traffic.
I left Missoula too late and hit this pass at the worst time: dusk. As the sun went down at 7,000 feet I watched the road ice up ahead of me.
What every Montana kid is prepared for yet still dreads. Driving over an iced free way with only the guard rails to keep you out of the ditch.
Shit, this is how people die. Slide off the road on Monida. You have about 15 minutes before your car is totally iced over and NO CELL SERVICE.
He died doing what he loved: record shopping.
All right. Here we go. My All Wheel Drive Subaru. This is what I bought you for. Slow way down to about 25 MPH and just pick your way through the sheer ice. Even with AWD, do not hit the brakes.
I soldiered through. What usually takes 15 minutes, took me over an hour. Foot off the gas, when a truck would go by kicking up crystals to make visibility almost zero.
Once you hit Spencer, Idaho on the other side of the Pass, the road thaws a little. All through this, I am listening to Richest Man in Babylon and focused on their supple riddims, heavy bass and international vocalists. Kept me from freaking out through the worst of the road hazards.
As soon as I got home, I ordered their entire catalog. So, yeah $80 for one of their rare singles. Priceless.
Thievery Corporation led to my last half hour Mutant Dub Sets: 21 sec.
Wailers of Mutant Dub
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives Annotated Playlist: Jah-gust 25, 2018; 89 sec.
- Tinga Stewart – Fire; Key to Your Heart (Calabash) ’83 FL. vinyl
- Augustus Pablo – El Rockers Chapter Three; Rockers International (Greensleeves) ’80 Dub Album of the Hour
- Third World – 96 Degrees in the Shade (1865); 96 Degrees in the Shade (Mango) ’77
<Morant Bay Rebellion; 77 sec.>
- Aswad and Shabba Ranks – Fire; Lunatic Soundtrack (Mango) ’91
- Zema – Check It Out; Strangers at the Gates (Melchizedek) ’97 So Cal female
- Barry Brown – Sensemilla; Far East (Hitbound) ’81 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
- Papa Face & the Fashionaires – Girls; 10″ (Top Notch) ’82 UK
- Bunny Wailer – Work; Hall of Fame (RAS) ’95: 50 Bob Marley songs for his 50th birthday
- Hollie Cook – Desdemona; Twice (Mr. Bongo) 2014 UK dubstress
- Linton Kwesi Johnson – Sonny’s Lettah; Mi Revalueshenary Fren (LKJ) live poem in Nymegen, Netherlands
<Sus law in UK against black youths; 40 sec.>
- GT Moore – Ganja Flower; 10″ (Jah Works) 2002 UK militant steppers herbtune
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 28+ Years1
- The Clash – Police on My Back; Sandinista! (Epic) ’80 Eddy Grant/Equals cover
- Black Slate – Legalise Collie Herb; Amigo (Ensign) ’80 UK herbtune
- Dhaima – Ina Jah Children; Uptown Top Ranking (Object Enterprises) ’77 female
- Lenox Miller & Jah Coller – Better Must Come + Jah Coller Speakers His Mind; Jack Ruby Hi-Fi (Auralux) ’80 Jack Ruby prod’n; Junior Byles cover
- Aisha & the Mad Professor – Children of Dub; There Is More to Life (Ariwa) 2005 Dub Album of the Hour
- Peter Tosh – Pick Myself Up; Kentucky Fried Rockers (bootleg) opening for the Rolling Stones in Lexington, KY, 1978
- Food-a-Rama- Angellina; 10″ (Hitbound) ’80 update of Ken Boothe’s Artibella
Set 5: Vinyl is Vital
- Wailing Wailers – Ska Jerk; Wailing Wailers (Studio One) ’65 JA: based on Junior Walker’s Shotgun
<Ska Jerk = Shotgun; 71 sec.>
- John Holt – Police in Helicopter; Police in Helicopter (Greensleeves) ’83 UK herbtune
- Mother Liza – Joy to Your Soul; Chant Down Babylon (Sonic) JA
- Icarus – Sinking Deep; State of Mind (Russian Roulette) ’82 UK
- Bim Sherman & the Voluntary – Drifint Away; Century (Century) ’84 UK
- The Wailers – Stop That Train; Live 1973-1975 (Starbucks) May 24, 1973 live at the Paris Theatre London/Live on the BBC
<Wailers on the BBC; 69 sec.>
- Sinead O’Connor – Prophet Has Arise; Throw Down Your Arms (That’s Why There’s Chocolate & Vanilla) 2005 Abyssinians cover
- Equators – Feelin’ High; Hot (Stiff) ’81 UK ska herbtune
- King Tubby – Bag a Wire; 10″ (Select Cuts) ’75
- Herbman Band – Dub O Much; See Mi Yah (Funfundvierzig) ’91 Germ. Dub Album of the Hour
Set 7: Jamaican Jukebox of 45s
- The Ability – Rasta Never Give Up; 7″ (Sky High) 7″ Jamaican Jukebox Set
- Charley Ace – Ten Commandments of Joshua; 7″ (Scorpion) ’72 about Michael Manley; Prince Buster update
<Michael Manley as Joshua>
- Cynthia Richards – Sentimental Reasons; 7″ (Duke Reid)
- Bobby Hunt – Mother’s Love; 7″ (Flash) ’76
- Benjamin Zephaniah – Uganda; Dub Ranting (Radical Wallpaper) ’81 UK dub poet, picture sleeve; 9 poems EP
- Neville Martini – The Cliques; 7″ (Clandisc) ’76
Set 8: Mutant Dub
- Thievery Corporation feat. Pamela Bricker – Around the World ; 8 Trk CD Single (4ad) ’98
- Khato (Smith & Mighty rmx) – No Compromise; King Size Dub Chapter 4 (Echo Beach) ’98 female vox
- Alpha & Omega – Africa; Watch & Pray (A & O) ’92 UK trance dub
- Pama International – Float Like a Butterfly; Float Like a Butterfly (Asian Man) 2005 UK tribute to Muhammad Ali
- Aldubb feat. Alcapone JJ – Free Sensimilla Now; 10″ (One Drop) 2009 Germ. herb dub
- Dubcheck feat. Everton Sylvester – Reparation; Down Memory Gap Lane (Unitone World) 2001 w/ dub poet
Words of Wisdom: