Man am I exhausted by the divisiveness in this country and the world. Seems like we’re lurching to mass destruction through hatred and mean spiritedness. War is the first bag out of the club. Threats of war, sanctions, all negativity for surety.
What can we do? What comes first: Civil War in America or World War 3.0 in East Asia.
Reggae prophesied what happens when nations result to wars and rumors of wars.
Wish I had something more encouraging to report. But I don’t. So let’s hope we can cool down the pace and get along in the rat race
Have no fear for atomic energy ‘Cause none of them can stop the time
-Bob Marley : Redmeption Song
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives Annotated Playlist: Jah-gust 12, 2017; 63 sec.
Don Carlos & Gold – Roots Rock Party; Showdown vol. 3 (Hitbound) ’84 JA vinyl
Dub Specialist – Hanging on the Wall; Dub Store Special (Studio One) ’74 JA vinyl dub album of the hour
Peter Tosh – No Nuclear War; No Nuclear War (EMI America) ’87
<Tosh’s murder – 1987; 26 sec.>
Hugh Mundell – Walk With Jah; King Jammy in Roots (Auralux) ’82
<Mundell’s murder 1983; 30 sec.>
Carlton Livingston – 100 Weight of Collie Weed; Retrospect (Grapevine) ’84 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
<Ask Ed – How people get busted for weed; 43 sec.>
3 Ways people get busted:
family members/significant others turn you in during quarrels
bad luck/wrong place at the wrong time
Naffi I – We Shall Not Want; 10” (Roots Injection) 2007 UK female militant steppers
Collie Buddz – Tomorrow’s Another Day Collie Buddz (Columbia) 2007
Mike Brooks – Culture; Classical Anthology (Teem) ‘75
Aswad – Just a Little Herb; Rebel Souls (Mango) ’84 herbtune
Marcia Aitken & Trinity/I’m Still in Love + Three Piece Suit (Trojan) ‘77
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 27+ Years
Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner; Black Uhuru (Virgin) ’80
<Black Uhuru – adventures in cratedigging; 37 sec.>
Before the crappy Digital Millennium Copyright ACT (DMCA) I used to spin one half of an album midway on Smile Jamaica. Usually something rare that hadn’t been issued on CD (much less digital).
Orrin Hatch put a stop to that.
DMCA verboten: Can’t play more than 4 songs by the same artist
DMCA verboten: Can’t play more than three songs in a row of any one album.
So I switched up a new tradition: Rockers do Reggae
I ‘n’ I am a music obsessive who listens to a lot more than Reggae. So I have 2 CD Suitcases and then some of Rock, Soul, Jazz, Punk artists doing (usually) one shot Reggae riffs.
Every once in a while someone pitches a bitch. Got a nasty email when playing UK angry rocker Graham Parker’s soul riff down rub a dub “More Questions than Answers”.
Another time I had a caller asking me when Smile Jamaica would be over because I played a Camper Van Beethoven ska tune!
But you gotta trust me. Reggae is universal. Not all of it is great, but some of it is right on.
With that in mind enjoy this week’s Ark-Ive and listen for: Last week it was jazbo Herbie Mann. Get set this week – Ella Fitzgerald, Eric Clapton, Bad Brains, Judy (Mowatt) does Jerry (Garcia). From Bad Brains to Bob Dylan.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-gust 5, 2017 Annotated Playlist; 90 sec.
Brigadier Jerry – Jah Jah Move; Jamaica Jamaica (RAS) ’85 DC vinyl
Desmond & Joe – Bristol Rock; Dubbing in the U.K. (Starlight) UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Peter Tosh – Coming in Hot; Honorary Citizen (Columbia/Legacy) ’82 Boulder, Collie-radio live
Bad Brains – Leaving Babylon; Babylon Central Soundtrack (ESL) ’83 DC punk-dubbers
Capital Letters – Rumours; Headline News (Greensleeves) ’79 UK youth group
<Headline News? Roots Reggae vs. The CIA News Network; 13 sec.>
Gracy & the Herbman Band – Forward Up; See Mi Yah (Funfundvierzig) ’91 Germ. Female herbtune
John Holt – Police In Helicopter; 12” (Holt) ’81 siren mix: 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
<Police Siren in your rearview? Johnny Law or Smile Jamaica? 32 sec.>
Bob Marley & the Wailers – So Much Things to Say; Exodus 40 (Tuff Gong) ’77 original + 2017 Ziggy rmx
Doing Reggae Radio for three decades, you do what you can to mix it up and stay out of ruts.
About six weeks ago, a listener Stephen – hit me up on Twitter asking me if I had heard of an obscure Reggae album by a traditional jazz flute player, Herbie Mann.
Indeed I had. My sister lives in Albuquerque. So we meet there for Christmas now, instead of me having to make a 600 mile drive through the frozen North to get to Montana.
Whenever I go anywhere, I pick up the Yellow Pages (now have to do it from their app.) Where are the Record stores?
ABQ has a good boutique shop called Mecca. Past downtown as you get to Old Town. I chat up the owner on soul reissues and what I call Mutant Dub: Dubstep, lounge, experimental ambient.
The tiny shop crammed with disks and cds lends itself to a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. Along the lines of the movie High Fidelity
Last Christmas I walk in and he greets me. Reaches behind the counter and pulls out a record. “Now that you’re here, maybe you want this”
It was a copy of herbie Mann “Reggae’. Once I saw the vinyl sleeve and knew it was vintage and not recent, all I had to say was put in on my pile.
1974. Love that era of Reggae and Rock. Everything was real music. Not synthed overdubs.
I tend to buy in waves and so I have a queue of about 100 priorities. Vinyl gets played first.
It took me about 6 months for this to jump from the crate to the turntable. Damn good on the riddims and the flute. Nothing soft or cheesy. I don’t know a lot about jazz. But I know an encyclopedia’s worth of Reggae.
When Stephen inquired about this. I dropped the 18 minutes of Side 2 during this week’s Vinyl is Vital segment. Smokey Robinson’s My Girl.
After Tosh and before Marley, that instrumental gem fit hand in glove with the Roots.
3 decades of Smile Jamaica – It’s Reggae when I say it’s Reggae. Gonna play Ella Fitzgerald covering The Cream inna rub a dub style this Saturday!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-ly 29, 2017 Annotated Playlist: 1 min. 50 sec.
Bunny Wailer – Rockers; In I Father’s House (Solomonic) ’80 JA vinyl
Augustus Pablo feat. The Crystalites & Big Youth; Melodica Melodies (Trojan) ’81 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Ken Boothe – In the Summertime; Freedom Street (Beverley’s/Jet Set) ’70 – Mungo Jerry cover
Wingless Angels – Rasta Army; Wingless Angels vol. II (Mindless) ‘96 – Keith Richards, Justin Hinds nyah group; 18 sec.
The Equators – Police on My Back; Hot (Stiff) ’81 UK ska update of Eddy Grant & the Equals
Prince Alla – Sensimilla; More Love (Jah Warror) 2002
Christine Miller & Roots Hi Tek – The Light; 10” (Roots Hi Tek) 2009
Peter Tosh – Rastafari Is; Honorary Citizen (Columbia/Legacy) Nov. 5, 1982 live the Roxy – Los Angeles
Jay Tees – Come to Me; 10″ (Music Lab) ’81 JA female duo
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 27+ Years
Althea & Donna – Jah Rastafari; Uptown Top Ranking (Virgin Front Line) ’78
Sylford Walker & Welton Irie – Give Thanks and Praise to Jah + Rolling Stone; Lambs Bread International (Blood & Fire) ‘79
Wailing Souls – Jah Is Watching You; On the Rocks (Greensleeves) ‘83
Benjamin Zephaniah – Rasta; Rasta (Workers Playtime) ’83 UK dub poet
E.T & Randy’s All Stars – Ordinary Version 3; Rough Guide to Dub (Rough Guide) 2005 Dub compilation of the hour
Mike Brooks – Rum Drinker; Classical Anthology (M-10) herbtune
<Inna my house, there’s a picture on the wall – Rastafari sit upon his throne – Happy Birthday Negusa Negast!; 10 sec.>
Rastafari Reggae. Don’t say Rastafarian. That is an ism and schism. Without His Imperial Majesty, Reggae would be reduced to AM pop hits, lovers rock and island novelty kitsch.
Tributes to the Head Creator (Ras Tafari in Amharic, the language of Ethiopia). That is what attracted me to Reggae around 1986. It still is what moves me today, pumping Reggae Radio 29 years later.
These songs are platonic love songs to a man revered for his commitment to Christianity, (as head of the Ethiopian Church), Africa (fought against Euro-colonialism) and poor Jamaicans alienated from a white Jesus.
Power of the Trinity (Haile Selassie in Amharic)
Negusa Negast (King of Kings, Amharic) and the Lord of Lords
Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah; 6 sec.
Elect of God/Everliving God
Earth’s Rightful Ruler
Kibir la Amlak – Glory to Jah
The downtrodden in Jamaicas: the poor farmers and ghetto dwellers alike tended to be very religious. The only book they might have ever read was The Bible.
Jamaicans knew that Selassie was, like Jesus Christ, descended from the House of David. Black nationalist Marcus Garvey predicted, “Look to the East for a black man will be crowned. Thus signals the return of blacks from the New World back to Africa.
<to the Rastas: Jess-us not Jeezus; 24 sec.>
The Rastafari movement was born: 40 sec.
Sing praises unto Jah
Smile Jamaica Annotated Playlist: July 22, 2017 – Selassie I Birthday Special; 64 sec.
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Jah Live; 7” (Tuff Gong) ’75
<Jah Live – you can’t kill God; 24 sec.>
Chalawa – Natural Mystic Dub; Exodus Dub (Micron) ’77 Can. Vinyl – (Marley) Dub Album of the Hour
Naturalites – Picture On the Wall; Rub a Dubble vol. 1 (CSA) ‘88
<Picture on the Wall: From SLC to So Cal to world wide; 67 sec.>
Althea & Donna – If You Don’t Love Jah; Uptown Top Ranking (Virgin Front Line) ‘78
Black Uhuru – I Love King Selassie; Tear It Up: Live (Mango) ’82 London
<Prince Lincoln: The Aliens gonna whip you and put you in your rightful place!; 10 sec.>
If you have listened to Smile Jamaica regularly over the past 5 years or so you will notice that one of my musical fascinations is UFO tunes.
I used to do political interviews on KRCL. When the Radioactive program was changed by an odious new station manager, (who has since ignominiously resigned), to a lightweight news show as opposed to hard news format, I quit doing it. I charitably said I “retired” from political interviews.
That left me with a whole heap of time to explore other pursuits. Based on recommendations from a couple of my coffee buddies, I started watching the Ancient Aliens show on History Channel.
The gist of the show is that Ancient civilizations were impacted by travelling space visitors who helped create mankind to do their bidding: mining gold to repair their damaged atmosphere on their home world of Nibiru.
The 12th Planet that exists at the outside of our solar system.
The show tracks mostly Sumerian, Egyptian and Mayan stories and myths. I’m one half Assyrian – from the land of the two rivers (North of ancient Sumer.) So I was fascinated by the connection between one man’s mythology and an alternative world cosmology
<Cosmology vs. Mythology; 3 sec.>
One of the things I noticed, especially in Mutant Dub, was the number of Reggae and Dub tunes devoted to space travel, aliens and UFOs. Add in several dozen Rock examples and you have enough for a 3 hour showcase on Smile Jamaica. I got to nearly 300 on my Itunes UFOria playlist. A Smile Jamaica episode averages about 35 songs in 3 hours.
Since so much of Rastafari Reggae is devoted to the Bible, I could connect the dots between Sumerian Cosmology of the Anunnaki – Those who came from the sky and UFO’s in the Bible and other ancient stories.
Noah’s Ark – No: Ziusudra in his submarine or Utnapishtim in his Tesseract (spaceship)
Burning Bush – Spaceship
Ezekiel’s Wheel – Spaceship
Jacob’s Ladder and the Stairway to Heaven – Spaceship
Elijah’s Chariot of Fire – Spaceship
Enoch (Noah’s great grandfather) – “walked with God and then was not”. Taken to the Heavens via Spaceship
Magic Carpet Ride – from the Arabian A Thousand and One Nights – Spaceship
Vimanas from Hindu theology – flying spaceships who fought battles in the skies
Lot’s wife was not turned into a pillar of salt. That is the wrong Hebrew word. She was turned into a pillar of smoke after a nuclear attack to destroy the Sinai spaceport.
Even Led Zeppelin would agree:
There’s a lady who’s sure All that glitters is gold And she’s buying a stairway to heaven. When she gets there she knows If the stores are all closed With a word she can get what she came for.
The idea that space travellers from hundreds of thousands of years ago had the capacity to see Earth as a habitat to exploit seems far fetched. But is it any less fantastical than the Bible, Greek myths or Hindu stories?
But one man’s Skygod is another man’s Ancient Astronaut. According to Ancient Aliens, man’s evolution and creation is connected to the very same DNA that contains mysteries we mere humans can not yet comprehend.
Noah’s Ark is unbelievable. 2 of every animal on a ricketty ass wooden boat? 70 cubits is 105 feet. Less than a modern Aircraft carrier. So you’re gonna fit elephants, giraffes, hippos and rhinos etc? Plus all the smaller creatures. No way.
How you gonna keep the lion from eating the lamb?
Space ship or submarine? Makes more sense. And if the Anunnaki could travel from the outer reaches of our Solar System, they would have the advancement to use the DNA they developed to re-create the animal and plant kingdom from seed banks and DNA repositories they housed on board their space craft.
Modern technology we can’t even hope to approach in 2017 in an era of primitive Earth history. What local Sumerians, Arabs, Hebrews, Mayans and Hindus saw as chariots, or flying carpets or ladders we would immediately recognize as space craft.
Listen to my description and Tena Stelin’s song paying tribute to the Ancient Astronauts coming down from the sky…
<The Anunnaki phenomenon>
In America, UFOs are most connected with the July 1947 Roswell New Mexico crash. Wasn’t swamp gas or weather balloons until military censorship
Long story short: In early July 1947, a ranch foreman named William Brazel discovered debris of a downed space craft. He recovered bits of the material and took it home. When he crinkled the metallic material it resumed its smooth, flattened exterior.
The Air Force bullied him into giving up his souvenirs. The Air Force investigator, Jesse Marcel, was also finessed into claiming what he found was nothing more innocuous than a weather balloon.
I have a personal connection to what happened in Roswell that day. My brother in law, Michael, sells high tech pipe to computer companies. He is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
<Robert’s Roswell Recap; 1 min. 14 sec.>
He was in Roswell selling high tech pipe to local salsa manufacturers. He was having lunch in the local cafe with one of his clients. He innocuously asked, “What’s the deal with Roswell and UFOs?”
His lunch mate said that the coroner was instructed by the Air Force to bring 3 child size coffins to the Base. “You don’t need coffins for a weather balloon.” The coroner was total salt of the earth, rural roots and no big city conspiracy nut.
That was enough for me! Do not scoff, Look to the skies!
<Coffins for a weather balloon?>
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: July 8, 2017 Tracklist: 70th Anniversary of Roswell UFO Crash: 1 min. 17 sec.
Ancient Astronauts – From the Sky (ESL) 2009 Roswell UFO 70th Anniv. Show
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra – Also Sprach Zarathustra; 2001 Space Odyssey (MGM) ’68
Jimi Hendrix Experience – EXP; Axis: Bold as Love (Reprise) ’67
Kingstonians – Come We go Moonwalk; Sufferer (Attack) ’70
Dubadelic – MIB; Bass Invaders (ROIR) ’98 Men in Black
Dennis Alcapone – The Sky Is the Limit (Flying Machine); Guns Don’t Argue (Trojan) ’70
WordSound I Powa – Intro; Live From Planet Crooklyn (ROIR) ’96 – Aliens looking for weed; 14 sec.
The Herbaliser – Moon Sequence; Road of Many Signs EP (Ninja Tunes) ’99 UK space chatter
Laurence Harvey – First Came the Sky Chariots; Ancient Astronauts (Laurence Harvey) 2008
Kraftwerk – Spacelab; Man Machine (Capitol) ’78
Dubblestandart feat. Devon D – We All Have to Get High; Immigration Dub (Collision) 2007 Jah-stria – quoting Jim Morrison – out here on the perimeter there are no stars, we is stoned immaculate; 15 sec.
Transcend – 2002; Earthrise.ntone.1 (Instinct) ’95 space chatter
Anubian Lights; Outer Space Music; Naz Bar (Crippled Dick Hot Wax) 2001 Ezekiel UFO
Fall of 1986. Moved from Bozeman, Montana to SLC for University. Met a guy in the dorms from Baltimore with a kick ass stereo. CDs were new. I was looking for a new music form (mid 80’s synthesizers weren’t cutting it for I ‘n’ I). Dabbled in blues and world looking for a sound.
Neal my music pal, played for me a tough looking Reggae group called Black Uhuru. Anthem was the name of the album. On his massive stereo in the cinder block dorm rooms it was like an epiphany.
That’s the sound I am looking for! Went out and bought the LP the next day. (Couldn’t find the CD locally.) That lit the fuse to 29 years of Reggae Radio. 66 sec.
Wheel it forward to Spring of 1988. The local community radio station ran ads looking for late night volunteers. My roommate and I were in the Pie Pizzeria near the U of U campus. We had both been doing little shows running in the Student Union on something called K-UTE. My show was called Positive Vibration (after the Bob song.)
Roomie wanted to do 80’s indie. KRCL had plenty of that. But accepted me for late Sunday/early Monday – 3 o’Clock Roadblock (Also Bobness.) Six weeks of training before I debuted July 2, 1988. 84 sec.
Once I got the show, it gave me a reason to begin expanding the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives. Jah forbid, I play the same album two weeks in a row. So I would take my student loan check, thanks Ronald Reagan, bank it in a savings account. And then once or twice a year, drive or fly to the Bay Area and scour the plentiful record stores.
The secret? CDs are half as wide as an LP. So you could fit twice as many, at nearly double the cost, in each rack.
As consumers started selling vinyl for seed cash for CDs, I swooped in and vacuumed up all the great Reggae for dirty cheap. I would get UK albums that sell for $100 on Ebay in 2017 for around $4. I rarely paid more than $10 for an album.
That’s how you get to this three decades later….
<Smile Jamaica’s Cratedig itinerary: Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, El Cerrito, Mill Valley; 26 sec.>
So on July 1, 2017 – I celebrate 29 years of juggling black wax!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Annotated Playlist July 1, 2017 – 29th Anniversary All Vinyl Showcase; 85 sec.
Zap Pow – This Is Reggae Music; Reggae Rules! (Rhino) ’80 US
Alien Dread – Firstlight; Cosmic Dub Clash (Log On) 2009 UK Dub Album of the Hour
The Meditations – There Must Be a First Time; Message From the Meditations (United Artists) ’76 US – Lee Perry prod’n
ILive – Natty Dread on the Mountain Top; Jah Guide (Out of Many, One) ’90 San Fran female singer
Crutches & D. Brown – Wackie Fence Skank; Java Java Dub (Impact!) ’72 UK studio labrish
Desi Roots – Weedfields; Weedfields (Hawkeye) ’80 UK 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
<Burning the weed fields killed the Jamaican middle class; 25 sec.>
Kojak & Liza – Black Skin; Showcase (Nigger Kojak) ’80 JA
Soul Syndicate – King’s Highway; High Times All Star Explosion (Alligator) ’85 Chicago blues label
I Roy – Commandment II; Ten Commandments (Virgin) ’80 UK yellow, picture sleeve – to Bob Marley’s Heathen
Sister Carol – Spidla-Ding; Black Cinderella (Jah Life) ’84 Brooklyn singjay