I went to Montana State University in Bozeman from Fall of ’83 to Spring of ’86. I had a studio apartment right around the corner from Cactus Recyords.
I would spend hours there on Saturdays. Buying vinyl. Music magazines like Trouser Press and Spin. (AlreadIy a subscription to Rolling Stone.) had read in an electronics magazine about these space age inventions called the compact disk.
Aluminum based not vinyl. Harder to scratch or warp. Smaller and lighter so easier to store. For me the best benefit was you could play the whole disk without need to get up and flip the disk over for Side 2.
I wanted these. November ’85 Cactus put up a little rack of these disks. I didn’t even have a CD player yet. So I bought 2 of a very limited stock. The first Fleetwood Mac album (Nicks/Buckingham edition) and Steely Dan a Decade of Hits. I think they each cost $20 which was a fortune in 1985 dollars.
I would stare at them and wait impatiently for Christmas. I had asked for a CD player for the Holiday. Got a Fisher Deck. Mom probably got it from Sears or Montgomery Ward’s.
The deck itself was bare bones. All it did was display track number. No time counter, no programming. I think it had a repeat feature but that was it.
So when Walter Becker, one half of Steely Dan passed away this week, I fetched this disk and livicated the Reggae jam “Babylon Sisters” on this Ark-ive edition of Smile Jamaica
Livicated to Walter Becker; 22 sec.
<Babylon Sisters – turn that jungle music down; 26 sec.>
I can usually find a Reggae jam
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-tember 9, 2017 Annotated Playlist; 52 sec.
I Roy – African Continent; The General (Virgin Front Line) ’78 UK vinyl
Chalawa – So Much Things to Say Dub; Exodus Dub (Micron) ’77 Can. Dub vinyl of the hour
Bunny Wailer – Cease Fire; Roots, Radics, Rockers, Reggae (Shanachie) ’83 – cease fire and light the chalice: Trump vs. Kim Jong-un
<2 guys w/ bad hair – Cease Fire and light the chalice!; 30 sec.>
Sylford Walker & Welton Irie – Chant Down Babylon + Ghettoman Corner; Lambs Bread International (Blood and Fire) ‘79
Abassi All-Stars feat. Omar Perry & Minoo – Ain’t So Fine + Jah Is Here; 10” EP (Deep Root) 2006 UK militant steppers w/ female vox
Black Uhuru – Sensimilla; Tear It Up – Live (Mango) ’82 live in London; herbtune
Winston Jarrett – Selassie Is the Chapel; By the Rivers of Babylon (Shanachie) ’95 cover of Bob’s cover of the Orioles gospel tune
Michigan and Smiley – Reggae Ska; Reggae Dance Part (RAS) ‘83
About a month ago I was at breakfast with my best friend Nardo-jan. After six cups of coffee I was ready to head back to Mission Control for more work in my new Ark-ive. Saturday routine before Smile Jamaica.
Turned over the car battery on my Soob. Whrr, whrr, whrr. Click, click, click. Finally started but I figured my battery was a goner.
My buddy took me to his mechanic and they jumped the queue to get my battery installed.
I asked the girl working the counter if I could have my car back by 3pm. That is my drop dead time for Sugarhouse to KRCL by the SLC airport. I told her I was on the radio and needed to make sure I had time.
She asked me what station I was on. KRCL I said. I do Smile Jamaica. “Oh, that’s you? We listen in the shop and will have it on latter today.”
There was a youth also waiting to pay for his car. He chimed in. “My Uncle makes me listen to that show.” Not a big fan I take it? “Nah. I like country and classic rock.” He gave me the baleful look of someone who was not impressed.
So, I guess not everyone thinks Smile Jamaica is “all killer, no filler.” Torture!
So I livicated a song to this youth “forced” to listen to Smile Jamaica: Toots Hibbert’s Beautiful Woman. Country & Western.
<Toots country; 95 sec.>
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Annotated Playlist for Jah-gust 26, 2017;90 sec.
Sinead O’Connor – Glory of Jah; Theology (2 CD) (That’s Why There’s Chocolate & Vanilla) – live acoustic at the Sugar Club, DUBlin, Ir(ie)land; Nov. 2006
<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
I pay tribute to his legacy in funding the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives through the 80’s student loan program. 30 years ago it was more Pell Grants than 9% Loans.
So I would take the check, put in a savings account and once in the summer and usually once during the Holidays, I would travel to the Bay Area and descend upon the plentiful record stores from Reno to San Jose.
So it is hard not be nostalgic after I have been moving into my 400+ square foot Ark-Ive: 31 sec.
From the Garage:
To the Ark-Ive:
Spent 2k on CD towers to empty out the cardboard boxes and onto shelving. Every Saturday before Smile Jamaica since New Year’s I have prepared for this move.
Now that I am inside the house, I have to make sensi of the entropy. A journey of a thousand miles begins with unloading a single box.
A luta continua – The struggle continues
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: June 24, 2017: Annotated Playlist: 40 sec.
When he was a kid, Neil was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of his neighbors’ bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, he heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Oral sex? Oral sex you want? You’ll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”
Who ya gonna believe?
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives May 20, 2017 Playlist:; 50 sec.
Sister Carol – Reggae Gone International; Black Cinderella (Jah Life) ’84 NY vinyl
Africjam – Woman I Love; Instrumental Dub Reggae Music (Africjam Productions) ’93 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Mikey Dread – Behold Jah; World Tour (Dread at the Controls) 2000
Mike Brooks – Man to Man; Rum Drinker (Teams) ‘70’s
Josey Wales – Tax Me; Outlaw (Live & Learn) “83 dj to Wailing Souls
Chosen Brothers & ? DJ – Mother I Love You; 12” (City Line) ’77