Smile Jamaica loves Jah-loween. Here is the Monster Menagerie from the Ark-ives:
Anti-christ/Mark of the Beast/666 – 7
Bats – 2
Bermuda Triangle – 1
Black magic – 9
Cemeteries & graveyards – 7
Demons – 6
Devil, Lucifer, Satan – 59
Dungeons – 6
Duppies & Jumbies (Jamaican ghosts) – 14
Exorcist – 1
Frankenstein – 5
Ghosts – 19
Halloween holiday – 5
Haunted houses – 2
Hell hounds -1
Loch Ness Monster – 1
Monsters – 4
Mr. Brown who rides around Trenchtown in a motorized coffin – 2
Mummies – 2
Obeah (Jamaican Black Magic) – 13
Skeletons – 2
Undertakers – 3
Vampires, Dracula and soap opera vampire Barnabas Collins – 63
Voodoo – 5
Werewolves – 4
Witches – 4
Zombies – 14
By my Liberal Arts math, that tallies up to over 260 Jah-loween gems. Plus all my horror soundbytes and movie trailers. (New additions in between the horrorfest such as The Exorcist, Planet of the Vampires,nNight of the Living Dead, Phantasm).
All mixed into one bubbling cauldron of grimness. Perfect for this era of The Covid. I don’t listen to a lot of new Reggae releases but next year I’m sure to add some ghouly Covid delights.
There was once upon a time when I ‘n’ I never said a word and only played station ID’s during the 3 hours. It was truly 180 minutes of drum, bass and Afternoon of the Living Dead.
But since this is Smile Jamaica, I ‘n’ I tell you some stories to embellish the tunes:
Annie Palmer – the evil Jamaican wife of a slave plantation owner who used to whip her slaves mercilessly and continued to haunt them after she died
<Annie Palmer; 26 sec.>
In Jamaica police informers were referred to as Vampires:
<Vampire = informer; 27 sec.>
Peter Tosh always felt there were hell hounds on his trail. One night he was paralyzed from the forces of a demon. He prayed to Jah to save. Jah told him, “son, use the word and you will be as free as a bird.
That word? Bumba klaat. In Jamaica, that is as rude as saying Mother F’er in the US. Bum for vagina. Klaat = cloth. Rastas want nothing to do with their queen’s “monthly visitor”. So the epithet shocked the duppy (Jamaican ghost) out of Peter’s soul.
<Oh Bumba Klaat; 1 min. 22 sec.>
And how about the corpse who put a transmission, engine and four wheels on his coffin to terrorize the denizens of Trenchtown ghetto. His names was Mr. Brown.
<Mr. Brown rides around in a coffin; 21 sec.>
Smile Jamaica Jah-loween Monster Bash, 10/31/2020 Annotated Playlist: 85 sec.
Ini Kamoze – Hole in the Pumpkin; Shocking Out (RAS) ’87 3 Hours of Jah-loween
Scientist – The Voodoo Curse; Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Greensleeves) ‘81
Black Uhuru – Anthem; Anthem (Island) ‘83
Ijahman Levi – Devil Disciple; Forward Rastaman (Jahmani) ‘87
The Toyes – Monster Hash; The Toyes (CD Tunes) ‘96
GG All-Stars – Haunted House; 12” (GG’s Hit!) ‘78
Crucial Bee – Mark of the Beast; Just a Sting (All-Starr) US Virgin Islands vinyl
Sinead O’Connor – Vampire; Throw Down Your Arms (That’s Why There’s Chocolate & Vanilla) 2005 Devon Irons cover
The Ethiopians – Obeah Book; Slave Call (Rohit) ’74 Obeah – Jamaican black magic
Ghetto Priest – Dungeon; Vulture Culture (ON U Sound) 2003 Singers & Players cover
Clint Eastwood & General Saint – Talk About Run; 12” (Greensleeves) ’81 UK duppies in the cemetery
Lone Ranger – Annie Palmer; Barnabas in Collins Wood (Wave) ’79 JA vinyl: Jamaican witch/ghost
Pablo Gad – Blood Suckers; Blood Suckers (Celluloid) ‘78
Chalice – Back Weh Evil Forces; Stand Up! (CSA) ’85 UK vinyl
Sky High & the Mau Mau – Cemetery Robbery; Origination (Sky High) 70’s
Moses – When the Vampire Comes to Your Neighborhood; 12” (Wackies) ’82 Bronx
Leo Graham – Voodooism; Magnetic Mirror Master Mix (Anachron) 70’s Dutch vinyl; Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n
Capleton & Big Youth – Mark of the Beast; I-Testament (Def Jam) ‘97
Jimmy Cliff – Satan’s Kingdom; I am the Living (MCA) ’80 US vinyl
Easy Star All-Stars feat. Mikey General & Spragga Benz – Thrillah (Easy Star) 2012 Michael Jackson/Vincent Prince
Carl McDonald – Satan Soldiers on the Run; 12” (Makdon) ’87 Brooklyn
Peter Tosh – Oh Bumba Klaat; 12” EP (Rolling Stone) ’81 UK fight off demonic possession
David Lindley – Werewolves of London; Very Greasy (Elektra) ’88 Warren Zevon cover
I ‘n’ I father has been fighting a brain condition called NPH. Makes him wet, wobbly, and wacky. So as the eldest, I have been driving my parents from Sun City West, AZ retirement home to Fort Benton, Montana and back again. Montana summers and Phoenix winters. This is my excursion:
Day 1: Covid Airlines: SLC to Great Falls, MT.
Get up and get out of the house at 5:30 in the AM. Suitcase, Burning Spear tote bag I carry everywhere, like a man purse, cash and ID. Don’t forget your mask!
No worries, time to dial up Uber on my IPhone.
Credit card 1 rejected, credit card 2 rejected, credit card 3 rejected. Credit card 4? REJECTED. Paypal rejected. WTF? In my haste to call a cab I dropped my new IPhone on the pavement and the screen shattered. F-bomb!
As Neil Young would say, “Piece of crap.” Luckily the phone feature still worked and I ‘n’ I hailed Ute cab like back in the day. When I got settled I wrote Uber a 1 star, EFF YOU review on the App Store, deleted those fools and settled in for the dreaded wait.
Uber is unreliable: I entered four legitimate credit cards and Uber rejected them all. They also wouldn’t take my PayPal account. They don’t care. I deleted the app, told all my friends & family. Now I either use Lyft or will call a cab. FIYA BU’N UBER!!! Worse than Covid!
This trip is already starting out with a bad omen…
Flying. When I ‘n’ I told friends I was getting on planes their look of horror and incredulity was obvious. Like I need any reminders. I ‘n’ I have no choice. Maybe the plane will be mostly empty like when I flew out in May.
Nope. Tin can Skywest plane was completely full. Two seats, aisle, two seats. Luckily no Utah county maskholes. Flight to Great Falls was 2/3 full. Had to pull the mask down at TSA. WTF? Great, Covid to the left of me, Covid to the right of me….
Day 2: Fort Benton, Montana to Ogden, Utah (578 miles)
Could not wait to get on the road. Watching TV in a state with competitive electoral races is a nightmare. Every commercial was Dem attacking R. R slandering Dem. Every. Single. Break. Doesn’t anyone just sell Coca-Cola and toothpaste anymore?
1300 miles from North Central Montana to Phoenix retirement community. Drove the first stretch as far as Ogden, Utah.
Pops, who was still wheelchair bound when I ‘n’ I made the reverse trip in May. Now walking with a cane and doing well mentally.
Yimma (my mom). Sat in the back with her Ipad
Bella our lap dog/rabbit killer
I ‘n I. Did all the driving
That stretch in the Fall is beautiful if the weather is good. Freshly harvested wheat fields, cross the Missouri River a bunch of times, Go up and over the Continental Divide.
I ‘n’ I told Yimma we had to get on the road early. Because I wanted to be in our Motel Room in time for the first debate between the Orange Guy and the Pale White Guy.
Forced to listen to The Bridge on Sirius/XM. Soft rock of the 70’s. By the time we hit Butte, MT, I ‘n’ I wanted to throw myself off a bridge. After about the third Christopher Cross “classic” I was itching to switch to the Metallica channel! 1300 miles of wimp rock. Mainline the caffeine straight into my veins.
Checked into a grungy Motel 6 just off I-15. Ordered up some dinner delivery. I got out my vape pen and for the first time ever(?) watched FOX News. Shit meet show!
I ‘n’ I was vaping Trainwreck while watching a train wreck. Remember the two old dudes from the Muppets? This is America?
Day 3: Ogden, Utah to Mesquite, Nevada (376 miles); 45 sec.
Grinding through Utah in a Buick Enclave crammed so full of cra….stuff I had to rely on the side mirrors. Fighting off narcolepsy from the endless rotation of Seals & Croft, James Taylor and Carly Simon. I ‘n’ don’t think I’m gonna listen to any Steely Dan for at least a year.
Central Utah would be prettier if it were 100 miles shorter from SLC to Nevada.
Nevada has a Karen governor so we weren’t able to stay at the casinos in May. This time we checked in to Virgin River Casino. Yimma got the rooms while I ‘n’ I drove to Deep Roots Harvest.
Hit Yimma up for 2 Benjamins. My Uber fee, strike that Lyft fee for doing all the driving. That debate debacle depleted my vape stock, and so picked up a couple cartridges: Strawberry Cough and Grape Ape. I ‘n’ I have a sweet tooth.
Drove back and we all had a pandemically correct dinner. I ‘n’ I hate ketchup and pepper packets. First world problems!
Pops squeezes the nickel til the buffalo shits, so he stayed in his room and watched baseball in empty stadiums. Yimma and I hit the casino floor. She is a slots player. I’m a video poker guy.
New rules on the casino floor. My Pops said he wished he had the plexiglass business. No doubt. Gambling now is like playing cards in a phone booth. I’m claustrophobic so I looked for a machine on the end.
Low stakes, 25 cents x 5 coins per play. That first Andrew Jackson lasted long enough to wash down my “strawberries” with a Jack and coke. The bosomy cocktail waitress doesn’t come around much to the quarter machines.
Put a second $20 in. Played it almost to the end. $60 is about all I’m willing to blow in one sitting. Then it happened…..
CALL ATTENDANT! CALL ATTENDANT!
Huh? I looked down and saw 4000 coins on the machine tally. I had just hit a Royal Flush. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten of Spades.
When it dawned on me what 4000 quarters added up to, even by my Liberal Arts math “skills”, that was $1000. Then, of course, there was no attendant to be found! Covid casinos are still pretty empty. Lot of staff have been furloughed.
I ‘n’ I was afraid to venture from my machine b/c I figured the moment I step away, someone would sit down and claim my winnings. Finally I yelled at a Security Guy: HEY YOU! I WON THE JACKPOT!
He offered to get a person to pay out. That was a five minute wait that seemed like hours. I ‘n’ I was half paranoid that there would be a power outage or earthquake and the machine would black out. Once you win something like that you now have a reason to care about the outcome. Usually I play to fill time, sipping whiskey, surreptitiously toking up, (it’s flavored CBD!) and listening to every 80’s hit by Madonna on the PA system.
Nice lady comes over with her notepad and a money bag. Counted out 9 $100 bills and 5 20’s. You know they want you to kick that last $100 back to them. My mind was wrecked, no way I ‘n’ I could concentrate. I took my cash and headed to find Yimma who had run out of a $100 pretty quickly. I was shaking. Never won a jackpot like that in my history of low stakes gambling in Vegas.
No 1099 either. Pure profit. We headed back to the rooms. Pops was looking at the two of us wearing shit eating grins. I laid down in front of him, 100, 200, 300….up to $1000. He just shook his head.
When I Tweeted out my winnings, a lot of well wishers said that I ‘n’ I deserved to win for risking The Covid (Bobbylon 17, Covid 0) to be the good son to drive my elderly parents all the way home.
<Tom Petty – Even the losers get lucky sometimes>; 75 sec.
As Tom Petty sang, “Even the losers get lucky sometimes.” Day 4: Mesquite to Sun City West, 350 miles. Sailed home that last stretch. Even the Air Supply tunes on Sirius XM sounded grittier than normal.
You have heard of luck of the Irish? How about luck of the Assyrian? I n I won $1000 playing video poker in Mesquite driving my folks back to AZ tonite! pic.twitter.com/SWzP6RU05Y
I ‘n’ I went back to work last week. Hadn’t been in since the Earthquake in Mid March and then everything got shut down.
There was hardly anyone there, but I had to make sure everything was working for a new semester of Covidized media.
I manage the Audio and Video Studios for the Marriott Library at the University of Utah campus. Audio Studio is used heavily for podcast creation.
New rules: 1 person can use a microphone, with a “condom”. 2 people have to record with their masks on. I ‘n’ I got the hairy eyeball from users on that suggestion. Not my rules, but I’m the Sheriff and have to enforce them.
So I ‘n’ I get home, without incident, and just sort of randomly cough. Immediately I thought. Oh no! Is the streak over?
Then I saw this:
I ‘n’ I said to my boss: I’m taking the first of classes as vacation. Let those Covid infested University students come on campus get their books, student loans, course registration, etc.
Spewing The Covid everywhere. Let it settle and then I’ll come back.
I’m not afraid of The Covid, but I ‘n’ I would just assume minimize risk where possible. I ‘n’ I have two nephews, one already picked up a case – no symptoms, no fear – so I know the mindset of the youth.
None of them are going to classmate’s funerals, so they feel immortal. Yet, there is the Reggae Saying that I ‘n’ I know and live by:
<New broom sweeps clean, Old broom knows the corners>
My main reason is that as long as I ‘n’ I stay Covid free, I get to juggle the black wax at KRCL. They are Karen’s. I’m not. Right now, I’m the only Saturday person live at KRCL and intend to keep it that way .
Deejaying from home, without access to vinyl, offends my motto: No digital for I ‘n’ I.
<The joy of live KRCL; 36 seconds>
So just in case, they stash I ‘n’ I in a nursing home next week, I decided for one more vinyl showcase for the masses on Smile Jamaica.
<Bobbylon 11, The Covid 0; 1 min.>
So enjoy this Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive podcast and hear some stories while I’ n’ I go to the kitchen to dip my spliff in a jug of HCQ.
Story 1: the Tragic murder of youthman Hugh Mundell
Story 2: 80’s Live Reggae at the Triad Center, Salt Lake City; 45 sec.
Story 3: Ganja trimmers from Ganjarado listen online to Smile Jamaica; 1 min. 22 sec.
Story 4: Bunny Wailer’s return to live performing; 56 sec.
Story 5: KUSF – From best college radio station to classical music; 54 sec.
CD player for Christmas 1985: Fisher brand. Only showed track number. Low frills deck from Montgomery Ward. Bozeman Montana record shops. Summer vacation to Edmonton, CA Summer ’86
Moved to Salt Lake City, Utah Fall 1986 – Started adding CDs: Reggae, Blues, World, College Rock: from about a dozen great SLC record shops. (All but one out of business in 2020.)
Reggae fanatic; Oct. 1986-. I ‘n’ I had a pretty decent CD collection considering I had just moved from the rural Montana mountains. Dorms, Univ. of Utah. Met a Jewish upperclassman from Baltimore named Neil Cooperman. His CD collection was incredible. This was at a time when major stars like Beatles, Stones, Marley had very little available on CD.
Neil and I would trade out disks like baseball cards. The U of U dorms were concrete bunkers. Neil had a top rank stereo, as did I. One day we were listening in his room. He chose the disk that changed my life.
Black Uhuru – Anthem; 1 min. 20 sec.
By then I ‘n’I had a nice little Reggae CD stash: Legalize It, No Nuclear War, Marley’s Uprising. Cliff, Toots, UB40 imports. Some grey market roots collections from Germany and Japan.
Neil started up Anthem on his NakamIchi with the Bose 301’s. When Anthem was recorded, 1983, Sly & Robbie were at the synth best. Worked with stalwarts like Bob Dylan, Grace Jones, Joan Armatrading. They added electronic drum and base to Reggae riddims.
80’s were all about synth drums. Everyone from the Stones to Springsteen were overdosing on amplified drum sound. When the lead off selection, What Is Life, built to the vox I ‘n’ I was staggered. This is what I have been looking for!
Music you felt, through the bass throb, as well as heard.
Michael Rose had an Afro-Arab vocal style that was aggressive, female harmonies from Puma Jones added to the militance. Sly & Robbie brought Jamaica to NY discos.
Ka-boom! All my other genres receded to the background and I focused on building 80/20 into Reggae.
I ‘n’ I had the desire to binge as more Reggae cds hit the market, but disks were expensive. As much as $18.99 in ‘1987 dollars. (Probably 35 bucks today).
Meet the funder of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Ronald Wilson Reagan
Reagan (6)….as the Rastas would say. (35 sec.)
Back in the mid 80’s Pell Grants and Student Loans. Loans you had to pay back, grants were free and clear. I ‘n’ I would bank one of those checks and every summer from about 1987-1993. A couple New Year’s Eves. Time to feed the Reggae habit.
<Cratedigging with student loan cash>; 1 min. 27 sec.
I’m sure Pres. Reagan would give the screwface to my misuse of funds but in the end, I paid him back. I ‘n’ I like to joke: It took me 15 years to pay off my Reggae collection.
When I ‘n’ I had an aunt in SF and then Hayward, across the bay I would couch surf for two weeks:
Heading west on I-80: Sacramento, Reno,
San Fran, San Mateo, Mill Valley (across the Golden Gate), Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Hayward (East Bay).
When I didn’t have a relative to freeload, I would stay at the Travelodge: Columbus and Bay, near the Wharf. Literally across the street from Tower Records.
I ‘n’ I would scour the city or the hinterlands during the day, grab some dinner and then spend the evenings til closing in Tower Records (deceased 2006)
The justification of any addict: How do I rationalize my consumption? In 1988 I ‘n’ I went from Reggae fan to the airwaves. With a radio show, I ‘n’ I can’t play the same thing twice. (Like a fashionista who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the same outfit twice.)
Needed the Reggae Roadtrips for the masses on the radio. When I ‘n’ I started 3 0’Clock Roadblock – It was 3-6 AM Sunday Nights/Mondays.
Probably spent more dollars than ever had listeners: cab drivers, 7-11 workers and insomniacs.
But when I ‘n’ I hit “prime time” – Saturday afternoons: Smile Jamaica. Rationalization became justification.
Was it worth it? 32 years of Reggae CDs. 32 Years of Reggae Vinyl.
Smile Jamaica Annotated Playlist: August 1, 2020 – 32 Years of Reggae Radio (CDs) 1 min. 27 sec.
Black Uhuru – Solidarity; Anthem (Island) ’84 rmx of Little Steven
Blackbeard – Jazzz; I Wah Dub (More Cut) ’80 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Keith Hudson – I Shall Be Released; Flesh of My Skin, Blood of My Blood (Atra) ’74 Bob Dylan cover
Aswad – Ire Woman; Aswad (Mango) ’76
Third World – Dreamland; 96 Degrees in the Shade (Mango) ’76 Bunny Wailer/Wailers cover
Rita Marley – One Draw; Who Feels It Knows It (Shanachie) ’80 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Here’s hoping you had a pandemically correct 4th of July. It’s okay to be paranoid, they are watching if you didn’t!
Do you know what else happened around the 4th of July? 1947? The Alien crash at Roswell, New Mexico.
Roswell is the air field that delivered the atomic bombs that destroyed Jah-pon. Created at Los Alamos in New Mexico. Do you think it is a coincidence that the ground zero for nuclear weaponry was “probed” (pun intended) by extra terrestrial watchers?
Sometime in late June 1947 a ranch foreman in the rural scrub land around the Roswell Army Air Field, named Brazel collected debris, that was non-earth metals in origin. Ultimately, he delivered the pieces to the Army.
On July 8, 1947 the local paper, the Roswell Record, published a statement from the Army….
<Roswell UFO crash: June 1947 audio story>
Army press release is fascinating:
The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff’s office of Chaves County. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff’s office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home.
Flying disc. It wasn’t theirs. Flying object. Disc. Disc, Disc. Extra Terrestrial.
Ancient Astronaut Theorists 1; Scoffers 0
Alas, it couldn’t be…
The higher ups in the military back in DC freaked out. They issued a weak sauce retraction. Jesse Marcel, the local intelligence officer assigned to the Roswell Army Air Field had to issue a mea culpa. It wasn’t flying disc. It was a “weather balloon.”
Marcel’s family says that he was threatened to comply even though he knew it was not a weather balloon but a crashed spaceship.
He is holding a “piece” of the “balloon” as he bleats “weather balloon to the press.” Look at his eyes. He is not looking at the camera, but off camera. Regurgitating something he didn’t believe to please his superior officers.
If you read this blog, your take on what I ‘n’ I says next comes down to the Manichean choice. Do you believe Wikipedia or your Ace From Outer Space, Bobbylon the Ancient Astronaut Theorist?
My brother in law used to sell high tech pipe to irrigation and water conservation clients in Roswell. One day he took his client to lunch and asked, “So what’s the deal with the UFO’s”.
His customer, a ranch supply distributor, salt of the earth Southwest cowboy said outright. “The local coroner was told by the Army to deliver 3 child size coffins to the base. Why do you need coffins for a weather balloon?”
Game. Set. Match.
Ancient Astronaut Theorists 2; Scoffers 0
If you don’t trust I ‘n’ I do you trust Dwight Eisenhower. (He signed a treaty with the aliens. They can surveill us and we get their technology.)In 1954 Pres. Eisenhower went to play golf and developed a “tooth crisis” instead. He disappeared from Secret Service protection. Why?
He went up into a flying saucer to negotiate the treaty
Don’t like Ike? How about Tricky Dick? Nixon showed entertainer Jackie Gleason alien cadavers in cold storage at an Air Force base in Florida. Gleason had the world’s biggest UFO collection at the time, but seeing the reality of the alien corpses haunted him.
<Utnapishtim and his space ship. Not Noah’s Ark; 1 min. 45 sec.>
Not Noah and an Ark to survive the Great Flood. Just like outer space is the only way to escape the Covid, so was interplanetary travel the only way to survive the deluge. 500 years before the mud receded. No wooden ark with one family could survive that.
No ark. Spaceship….
More likely scenario? Sumerian immortal ancient alien, Utnapishtim, DNA seedbank to spaceship or . Noah’s Ark. 70 cubits by 70 cubits. Ricketty-ass wooden ark. One family to separate the carnivores from the herbivores, shovel shit and feed animals.
Ancient Astronaut Theory 5; Scoffers 0
<Gilgamesh, immortality and the serpent; 56 sec.>
As part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gil was half mortal/half immortal. He sought out Utnapishtim on his tesseract spaceship. Utnapushtim gave him the Tree of Life. Immortality secured, an exhausted Gilgamesh returned to Sumer (Shinar in the Bible) and fell asleep on a river bank.
The treacherous serpent slithered out of the reeds and stole away the Tree of Life (Eden). Gilgamesh died a mortal. As did Adam and Eve after their encounter with the snake.
Ancient Astronaut Theory 6, Scoffers 0
In Revelation, John the Revelator mentions the New Jerusalem. But he isn’t describing a city. It is a massive spaceship 1400 miles x 1400 miles:
Revelation 21:2 – I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband
Coming down out of heaven, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed. The jeweled dressing are the lights on the spaceship.
<New Jerusalem from the Book of Revelation is a spaceship>
Ancient Astronaut Theory 7; Scoffers 0
The Anunnaki – Those who camr down from the sky. The Ancient Sumerian Skygods: Anu, Marduk, Enki, Ishtar, Enlil and more. They created mankind to mine gold and travel in from the Planet Nibiru. My fellow Ancient Astronaut, Rasta bredrin, Tena Stelin does the roll call of all of Biblical stories of Ancient Aliens.
Tena Stelin – Flying Saucers; 7″ (River Bank) 2000; 1 min. 29 sec.
As the Rastas would say when I ‘n’ I was a youth learning Reggae music circa Fall ’86:
Maybe so, but I owe it all to the man…..I’ll explain below
Always been a huge music fan and collector since growing up in Fort Benton Montana (mid 70’s-mid 80’s). When I came to the University of Utah in Fall of ’86, I brought with me a couple crates of indispensable vinyl and a couple boxes of these shiny aluminum coated novelties called the Compact Disk.
Back in 1986, when the compact disk market was so new, there wasn’t a lot of contemporary titles available yet. You had to seek them out. In the dorms,I met a Jewish kid from Baltimore, MD named Neil Cooperman. Physics Major. (Me? Middle East Studies).
He and I were loaning out our rare finds like trading baseball cards. Think of the mid 80’s. Too much MTV synthesizer. All the rock acts from the 70’s: Rolling Stones, Dylan, The Who, etc. were issuing pretty crappy records. Even my favorite punkers like The Ramones and The Clash had fallen on hard times.
Like most college kids, I was into college rock: My Big Three: The Replacements, Husker Du, The Minutemen. When D. Boon of the Minutemen died in a car crash, that was the musical low point in my musical consumption for traditional rock.
I ‘n’ I was finally living in a city with a plethora of record stores. (90% gone now in Salt Lake City). With all that choice in an emerging CD market, where was I gonna go musically as I built my collection?
Bought some Blues (Robert Cray, Stevie Ray, Muddy Waters Hard Again). Bought some World (King Sunny Ade, Rai Arabic pop, South African jive). Bought some Reggae (Jimmy Cliff, Toots, Steel Pulse)*. Nice
*In 1986, there was almost no Marley or Tosh on CD
And then the epiphany moment. Neil played for me a disk by a group named Black Uhuru. (Uhuru – Swahili for freedom).
<Black Uhuru – Anthem. The disk that lit the fuse; 87 sec.>
Yeah, the cover is pure 80’s but Michael Rose in full dreads flashing the hairy eyeball, Puma Jones looking fetching in her 80’s fashion clash.
And the Riddim Twins in the back, Sly & Robbie controlling the scene.
1983 sound of them working with Bob Dylan and Grace Jones. They were the drum and bass standouts in an synthesized sound that was 80’s rock. (Mostly bad, but Sly Dunbar (drums) & Robbie Shakespeare (bassie) were the best of the bombast.
The dorms at the U of U were concrete bunkers. You probably had bigger closets in your home. Within 30 seconds of the lead off track, What Is Life?, that synth bass and vocoder vox ricocheted and throbbed throughout the room. I ‘n’ I didn’t burn the hippie lettuce then, (Eff you Ronnie Raygun!), but that CD lit the fuse.
That was what I came to Utah to find. A new sound. Reggae music.
Enter Ronald Reagan. I’n’ I said I lived at my Grandmother’s house to qualify for student loans and grants. My first two years of U of U (even with out of state tuition the first year) was paid for in Pell Grants and loans. The grants paid for room, board and tuition. The loans went for my Reggae collection.
Used vinyl was cheap. People were selling vinyl to buy CDs which were rare and ridiculously expensive. I hoovered up both formats.
My last year at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, I discovered their college radio station, KGLT. Very similar to KRCL. Free form format, mix of college rock and community shows like bluegrass, folk, Sunday gospel. Loved it much more than the noise of commercial radio.
I ‘n’ I assumed that the Univ. of Utah radio station, KUER, would be the same. WTF is NPR? Why is a college station playing classical music?
One of the student leaders recognized this and tried to re-boot a failed college managed “radio” station that would be broadcast from the Student Union to patrons in the cafe and study tables.
It was (and is) called K-UTE. I jumped at the chance to spin disks. I did a volunteer Reggae show called Positive Vibrations (after the Bob tune.) Spring of 1987. Pure amateur setup, but fun none the less.
A year later my friend and I were in the Pie Pizzeria and heard them call out for volunteers on the community radio station, KRCL. It was not college managed. I had been listening to them, when someone told me about Smile Jamaica.
They were looking for a late night show featuring a mix of Reggae with World and Ska. I ‘n’ I submitted a proposal and was trained Spring of 1988. First show as the last Sunday Night/Monday Morning in June. 3-6 AM.
I ‘n’ I called it 3 o’clock Roadblock – from Marley’s Rebel Music. Now I had an outlet for my Reggae collection. Even if the only listeners were cab drivers, 7-11 workers and insomniacs.
<Before Smile Jamaica; 2 min. 6 sec.>
Learned the ropes. Made all my mistakes, Tried to find an on-air announcing sound that wasn’t horribly monotonous and filled with ands and ums. Great year of apprenticeship before I ‘n’ I moved over to Smile Jamaica, October 1989.
That’s a story for another day.
From June 25, 1988 to June 27, 2020: by my Liberal Arts math that is 32 years. We celebrate that with the first vinyl additions to the Ark-Ives on this SJ podcast.
Thanks for listening for 1 week or nearly 1/3 of a century!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: June 27, 2020 = 32 Years of Reggae Radio
Jimmy Riley – Summertime; 12″ (DEB) ’76 UK Porgy & Bess cover- 32 years of Reggae Radio (Vinyl Show)
Sly & Robbie – Uhuru in Dub (CSA) ’82 Dub Album of the Hour
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Rebel Music (3 o’clock Roadblock); Natty Dread (Island) ’74 UK
<Cratedig re-collection: Bob Marley Vinyl Box Set>
March 14th. That was the last time I ‘n’ I set foot in the Temple of Sound: KRCL. The beginning of the pandemic and then a few days later the Utah Earthquake.
A full 3 months of Living Room Editions out of the Secret Dubratory of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives.
Stitching the shows together from home was a nice way to fill the time spent under quarantine. But it did take a lot of time:
Upload song, move it into place on digital editor
Record set breaks with a decent but not great USB microphone
Edit it all together into 6 x 30 minute sets
Upload to cloud storage so Program Director can add it into the queue
I ‘n’ I would venture out at 4pm Saturday, (in my brand new Subaru Legacy) and run my weekend errands just like a regular Smile Jamaica listener. Just me and a few other intrepid souls on the Covid deserted roadways.
What’s not to love? I ‘n’ I could do this forever. Except…..
In the Ark-Ive, I ‘n’ I don’t have a wheel of steel connected to my laptop. That knocks about half of my potential out of rotation for homegrown shows.
The joy of taking the record out of the sleeve, placing it on the turntable, back queuing the song to start crisp. The warm rumble as the song kicks into life.
April slides into May. I’m getting antsy. Gentle inquiries about when KRCL deejays could return. Not yet. Not yet.
“I’ll go first. I’m too ornery for the Covid.”
Okay, okay. Grumble grumble. Then I ‘n’ I get the green light.
Rules for in-station deejays:
Only 1 deejay per day allowed live in the studio
Masks worn except when announcing
Wipe down surfaces
Wear gloves. Couldn’t queue records with two gloves, so went “commando” on my “queue” hand to find the right starting point
Disposable microphone “condom”
Studio keyboard wrapped in shrink wrap, so kept a playlist off my Ipad
Great to have a microphone that didn’t pop my “P’s”. Just came off the road ferrying my parents from Sun City West, AZ to Fort Benton, MT. Little cratedig in Missoula with my down time.
The days, weeks, months, slide together. So what should I do in my first live Smile Jamaica in 90 days?
Missed out on Mother’s Day Showcase because of lack of vinyl capacity. Let’s do Father’s Day!
So there I am juggling wax: 7″, 10″, 12″, LP. Even CDs. Back to my motto: No digital for I ‘n’ I
Hailing up the fathers! Then I ‘n’ I get a phone call. “Uh, according Google, Father’s Day is next Sunday.”
In radio, you are taught to never call attention to your mistakes. So I ‘n’ I just soldiered on knowing that by the time you get this Ark-Ive link, it will be properly Father’s Day Weekend.
Just as I ‘n’ I ….errr, planned it. Yeah!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: June 13, 2020 – Father’s Day Showcase; 2 min. 27 sec.
The Wailers – Hallelujah Time; Burnin’ (Tuff Gong) ’73
IInd Street Dreds – Culture Rock; Dub of the 70’s (Atra) UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Charlie Ace – Father and Dreadlocks; 7″ (Studio One)
Black Roots – The Father; In Session (Makasound) ’85
Big Youth – Papa Was a Rolling Stone; Reggae Phenomenon (Trojan) ’77
Fort Knox Five – Papa Was Stoned; Radio Free DC (ESL) 2008 DC dubbers
George Nooks – Created by the Father; 12″ (Joe Frazier)
Prince Alla – In My Father’s House; Sweet Sensation (Cornerstone) ’84
Israel Vibration – Universal Father; Why You So Craven (RAS) ’81
Sister Carol – Mi Love the Father; Lyrically Potent (Heartbeat) ’96
Lascelles Perkins – Our Father; (Voice of Voice) ’70
Michigan & Smiley – Sugar Daddy; 12″ (RAS) ’83 dj duo
Errol Dunkley – Created by the Father; Darling Ooh (Attack) ’72
Lone Ranger – DJ Daddy; DJ Daddy (Techniques) ’84
Dennis Alcapone – Me and My Father a Spar; Good Old Days of the 70’s (Teams)
Fred Locks – Moving With the Father; Culturally (Tan Yah) ’95
R. Zee Jackson – Come Now Father; 10″ (Sip a Cup) 2005 UK
Aswad – In My Father’s House; Rebel Souls (Mango) ’84
Michael Robinson & XLR – Mother and Father; 7″ (Horse) ’75
The Ethiopian – Heavenly Father; Return of Jack Sparrow (Nighthawk) 8’7
Alton Ellis – Papa; 7″ (Clintones) ’75
Set 5: Vinyl is Vital
Don Carlos – Ababa John I (Father Majesty); Spread Out (Burning Sounds) ’83 UK
Merger – Father’s Children; Prisoner of Your Love (Takoma) ’84 US
Winston Reedy – Message to Father; Dim the Lights (Inner Light) ’85 UK
A. Doeman – Heavenly Father; Jah Jah Come Now (I & I Sound) 80’s LA
I ‘n’ I been on lockdown since the Utah Earthquake: March 17, 2020. All the Smile Jamaicas “curated” out of the Secret Dubratory within the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives.
Spring forward to mid May. The plan was to fly to Phoenix, drive my parents to Albuquerque for my nephew Aitch’s graduation. Poor kid, born two months after the 9/11 tragedy. Now, the New Mexico Gator Aid player of the year – baseball scholarship to Pepperdine University – his season gets scrapped b/c of the Covid.
My plan was in between the graduation ceremony (which, of course never happened) and the party, I ‘n’ I was gonna make my pilgrimage to Roswell.
Jews have Jerusalem. Muslims have Mecca. I ‘n’ I have Roswell, New Mexico.
Change of plans. New route: Sun City West, AZ to Fort Benton, Montana.
Diary of a Cratedigger:
Day 1: Flight from Salt Lake to Phoenix.
Flying is surreal. Had no problem with getting an Uber to the airport. The airport was abandoned on a Monday. The big travel day. Two cars at drop off, no wait at the airline, no wait through security.
More workers than flyers. Get to the TSA line. I ‘n’ I have my mask on. So does the TSA ID checker. Put my phone on the scanner, show my driver’s license. The officer says, “Please remove your mask so I can check you against your ID.”
I ‘n’ I was like, “What? You want me to take off my mask? I thought the whole point of masking up was to prevent potential aerosol spread of the Covid? Now you want me to expose myself to the other flyers’ goomba who were ahead of me in line? I’m sure they all had dry cough and were sneezing Covid like a machine gun. Why don’t I just lick the ticket scanner while I’m at it. WTF”.
Of course I said none of that. And spread my germ cocktail all over the effing place.
A couple of restaurants open. But most closed. Flying felt like going to a funeral. Surprisingly half full plane, no one in the middle seats. No beverage service. Guy in the seat ahead of me was mask shamed before take off. Phoenix 105 degrees.
Day 2: Sun City West, AZ to Cedar City, UT – 432 miles.
Left 105 degree Arizona. I’m driving a stuffed Buick Enclave where my only view is the side mirrors. Passenger manifest: Pops (recovering from a neurological condition called NPH – wet, wobbly and wacky). Beloved mother and bunny killer Bella.
The plan was to stay at the Virgin River Casino in Mesquite, Nevada. Two problems:
Nevada still a “Shelter in Place” state. No resort rooms until this week.
The dispensary in Mesquite, was like a Seinfeld episode. Remember the Soup Nazi? Had to call in an appointment, meet at a set time, order off a web menu, stay in the car, wear your mask. “Sorry you didn’t say Simon Says, NO VAPE FOR YOU!“
A loaded car, a fidgety dog, a dad in a wheelchair in 105 weather. Another first world problem/Covid inconvenience.
So we stopped in North Las Vegas. I ‘n’ I told my Mom, there will be an Uber fee for this trip. Roll into Reef Dispensary in NLV. Mom and I walked right up. She got her CBD/THC “diet coke” vape. And I’n’ I got my elephant tranquilizer vape.
We arrive to our non-smoking, non-vaping, non-whatnot motel and unload for the night: Cedar City, Utah.
From 105 to 35 degrees in 400 miles. Everything is curbside. Cedar City is deserted. Highways are mostly empty. No reason to sight see because nothing is open. Everything is in a holding pattern and tense.
Taking Bella for a walk – looking for poor bunnies to kill – you could feel the Covid around every corner.
Dystopian almost. Three people and a rabbit killer trying to be normal. Will we actually make it to Montana. Second best Covid state when it comes to total cases. Third best in mortality (17 dead.)
Day 3: Cedar City, Utah to Idaho Falls, Idaho – 405 miles
Pretty uneventful. Grinding down an empty highway looking for handi-capable rest stops. Forced to listen to The Bridge on Sirius XM. 1400 miles of wimp rock: Cat Stevens vs. Seals and Croft to see who plays The Eagles in the Mellow Rock championship.
Idaho Falls is a beautiful river city, but we never got farther than curbside at Olive Garden.
Mom and I ‘n’ I vaped while watching Game 6 of the Bulls-Jazz Finals on ESPN. I ‘n’ I should be two months into a season watching my beloved San Francisco Giants struggle to reach .500.
Day 4: Idaho Falls, ID to Fort Benton, MT – 401 miles
Left Idaho Falls, 29 degrees. I ‘n’ I still in shorts and sandals from Phoenix. Heavy fog over the Monida border pass. Giving me vertigo. Ah, what would it be to not have treacherous weather heading into Montana.
We sailed home. Beautiful rivers and green wheat fields. Arrive at the birthplace of Montana and the house I ‘n’ I grew up in.
What better place to hide from the Covid than a river town where the mosquitos are the size of house flies.
Two days later Mom gets this letter from the Chouteau County Health Department:
It has been brought to our attention you may have recently returned from travel out of state in a non- business related capacity.
You are required to do a 14 day self quarantine upon arriving in Montana. This directive is established by Executive Order of the Governor of Montana and is MANDATORY for visitors and residents alike.
This is essential because travel from another state or country is a common source of Covid-19 infection; with 25% of COVID cases in Montana being travel associated.
First and foremost, people don’t want to get sick and don’t want others to get sick. Montanans understand that. The Governor is confident that most Montanans will take this directive seriously and understand their role in cutting off the chain of transmission to save lives and minimize long term impacts to our economy.
Self-quarantine means that the resident MUST stay within the boundaries of the property on which they are residing in while in Montana and CANNOT leave those boundaries or interact with other people.
This includes the resident being prohibited from grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations/convenience stores, bars, places of worship/churches, schools, gatherings.
Exceptions will only be made in the event of medical emergency, fire, natural disaster or other acts of God preventing the ongoing healthful habitat in a residence.
Self-quarantine must be maintained through the expiration of June 1, 2020 for those arriving prior to June 1.
Please call us when you have completed your self-quarantine
This is the world of Covid-1984. The state of Montana had license plate cameras and then harvested my Mom’s GPS locator info from her fancy Iphone. Since when did I need a passport to travel within the United States? But then, maybe trampling a few civil rights is how Montana smashed their curve.
How nice of the Governor of Montana to let my parents escape a burning house or act of God. To abide by this stricture, my parents would have starved before their 14 day home confinement were up.
And this applies to guests too. So how did I spend my self-quarantine?…….a favorite from Fort Benton keggers circa 1983. Judas Priest – Breaking the Law
Day 5: Cratedigging in Missoula.
Ah, the People’s Republic of Missoula. Once we got unpacked, found some rabbits for Bella to munch on and got the house ready for “self quarantine”, I got on the Google and tapped in “Record Stores — Missoula, Montana.”
It’s not enough that they are still in business. (How many will be fatal victims of the Covid. I shudder to think. I fear that more than the critter killing 80 year olds.) They have to be open for customers.
Curbside record shopping is a joke. I have a curbside record hut, it’s called Amazon. I ‘n’ I wanna go in and dig through the crates. Don’t care about curbside.
Rockin’ Rudy’s – still in business – open to customers
Record Heaven, Rockin’ Rudy’s vinyl sister; 2 for 2
Ear Candy records – 3 for 3.
Pack up, grab my vape works and hit the road. Still freezing, but the drive over mountain pass at Lincoln (home of the Unabomber), was free and clear. More rivers to cross, per Jimmy Cliff. Listening to a mix of Led Zeppelin Radio and Little Steven’s Underground Radio. Heard nuff Christopher Cross to last 10 lifetimes.
Montana, as a Shelter in Place state. (As my Pops said – Jesus Christ, the whole state is already shelter in place). Mask mandatory. I ‘n’ I was talking to my Sister getting my vape on before a day of cratedigging. Anyone approaching Rock and Rudy’s without mask was turned away.
Grape Ape vape, 82% Sativa. I’m ready to dig. Fiya burn the Covid!
Ear Candy – $30 (more of a college rock shop where I am looking for dubstep fill ins I didn’t have)
Record Heaven – $150. Very impressed. About $120 of that was Reggae collectors titles and 12″ mix I didn’t have. Bravo. That is more Roots Reggae than I’ve purchased in either Vegas or Phoenix in the past year.
Who knows? Maybe by 2022 KRCL will let me back into the station to juggle some of this great black wax on the turntables.
So there you have it. Cratedigging under quarantine. I ‘n’ I write this blog post from the state prison at Deer Lodge, MT. I left the premises in Fort Benton and spread my goomba to Missoula. They had me before I put the first Bob Marley bootleg CD in the player!
Dammit, shoulda turned off my locator setting on my fancy Iphone!
Smile Jamaica Digital Dubplate – 2020 Roots Reggae Mashup
Zema – Fear Not; Black Sleep (Melchizedek) SoCal female Zap Pow – Last War; Zap Pow (Island) ’78
Yellowman – Lost Mi Love; Mr. Yellowman (Shanachie) ’82
Yabby You – Carnal Mindl; One Love, One Heart (Shanachie) ’84
Those bastards thought they could slip something as earthshaking as the reality of extra terrestrial visitation buried under the maelstrom of the Covid doom porn.
But I’m into those scamps! A lot of scoffers owe I ‘n’ I an apology. I will be making the rounds as soon as the lock down is lifted!
The Department of Defense released three unclassified videos showing the U.S. Navy’s encounters with “unidentified aerial phenomena” in an attempt to “clear up any misconceptions” regarding whether the videos – which have been circulating for years – are real.
From their bulletin:
“The U.S. Navy previously acknowledged that these videos circulating in the public domain were indeed Navy videos. After a thorough review, the department has determined that the authorized release of these unclassified videos does not reveal any sensitive capabilities or systems, and does not impinge on any subsequent investigations of military air space incursions by unidentified aerial phenomena,” DOD said in a statement.
The TV program Unidentified, featuring UFO investigator Tom DeLonge of Blink 182, showed these videos. The Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon clips shocked the Naval pilots. They moved at speeds that would tear up any human pilot. The quote: It would turn them into tapioca pudding!
Those bastards have been bullshitting us since Roswell,1947. And this is what they deserve when the Aliens make their presence known.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: May 9, 2020
Set 1: Best of Smile Jamaica
Black Uhuru – What Is Life; Anthem (Island) ’83
Mighty Diamonds – You Are Just a Song; Ice on Fire (Virgin Front Line) ’76 – Best of 30+ Years Set
UB40 – Sing Our Own Song; Rat in the Kitchen (Virgin) ’86
Judy Mowatt – Sing Our Own Song; Love Is Overdue (Shanachie) ’87
Benjamin Zephaniah – Get High; Rasta (Workers Playtime) ’83 UK dub poet
Smile Jamaica locked out of your station that rules the nation, KRCL, till at least the end of May. So I ‘n’ I have the entirety of the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives to peruse for the infamous, notorious, humorous, outrageous, quasi legalish 420 Cannabis Service Show.
I ‘n’ I would say 25 of the 30 or so Jah-prils of being your host, has been devoted to the Seven Leaf
I’n’ I was chatting up a friend recently: “Wouldn’t it be great if the purgative lung properties of inhaling cannabis could mitigate against the severity of the Covid?”
What if doctors were able to tell their patients. “You have tested positive for the Covid. My suggestion is to start smoking marijuana immediately!”
I mean, really. You want to go on a ventilator or smoke two joints? Lot cheaper and the mortality rate of those on ventilators is about 90%. I ‘n’ I guess we’re stuck with bleach enemas and injecting Lysol.
So all the Doom Porn I’m forced to read as opposed to news, tells us we are heading into an economic Depression. You want a leg up on revenue? Do what Lebanon did.
They became the first Middle East nation to legalize cannabis. From the Aramaic – qanneh (reed) bossom (aromatic) – so the aromatic reed = ganja stalk
So don’t call it marijuana – that is a made up name by the 30’s anti-drug thugs in the US government: Maria + Juan = Marijuana. To stigmatize the drug with Mexican laborers so they could be easily deported during the depression.
Quick history of Cannabis:
The Scythians (an Iranian people) – were the first to throw Cannabis seeds on the hot plate to inhale the vapors.
From 5th Century BC historian, Herodotus:
The Scythians said, take some of this hemp-seed [presumably, flowers], and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy.” Yes I!
They puff puff passed it to the Medes (forefathers of today’s Kurds)
The Medes spread it to the expansive Assyrian-Akkadian-Babylonian empires.
Trade with Egypt allowed for the plant to go West through the Maghreb (Arab North Africa) and north through the Mediterranean
2020 – Lebanese blonde
So, while you are forced indoors – whether sick or healthy, enjoy this cannabliss podcast: 35 Reggae songs plus special efx, movie dialog and other seven leaf snippets.
Smile Jamaica Playlist: Apr. 18, 2020 – 420 Special
The Toyes – Green Doctor; Strange Animals (CD Tunes) ’96 LA
Eek a Mouse – Sensee Party; Skidip! (Greensleeves) ’82
John Clarke – Good Collie Weed; Visions of John Clarke (Wackies) ’79 to Only Sixteen riddim
Junior Byles – Cally Weed; Rasta No Pickpocket (Nighthawk) ’86
Gracy & the Herbman Band – Follow Up; See Mi Yah (Funfundvierzig) ’91 Germ. female
Black Uhuru – Sinsemilla; Sinsemilla (Mango) ’80 without seeds
Angie Angel – Sativa Info; All I Have Is Love (Easy Star) 2001