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.
As Judy Mowatt sang: Many are called but few are chosen. I have been offered a job. General Giorgio of the Space Force needs me.
I will be the Minister of Lunar Agriculture; 103 sec.
Scoffers tell I ‘n’ I that this is just more cash for the Military Industrial Complex. Maybe so, but as an Ancient Astronaut Theorist, I think the Anunnaki might return to put a stop their puny creation, mankind’s, weaponization of Space.
I plan to Make the Anunnaki Great Again! As a Sumerian Fundamentalist, I am with my people!
<Ancient Astronaut Theorists approve of the Space Force; 25 sec.>
<Happy Birthday to the World’s First Hippie – Haile Selassie I> 68 sec.
Ras Tafari Makonnen: The Head Creator
Haile Selassie I: Power of the Trinity
<Power of Jah Trinity; 27 sec.>
Negusa Negast: King of Kings; 30 sec.
Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Elect of God, Ever Living God, Earth’s Rightful Ruler
<Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah; 13 sec.>
Without this little short man (Selassie was 5 foot 2) Reggae consists of love songs, novelty records and pop and soul covers. This is the heart of Smile Jamaica.
Rastafari gospel love songs to His Imperial Majesty from the Rastas. In Jamaican, when Nationalist hero Marcus Garvey was recruiting blacks to return to Africa, he prophesized: “Look to the east where a black king will be crowned. That will be the signal to load up the Black Star Liner (as opposed to the Titanic passenger liner White Star Line) to go back to Africa
<Garvey’s prophecy; 63 sec.>
From that moment the movement grew from the impoverished in Jamaica who wanted a black Jesus not a colonial white Jesus. Selassie was the reincarnation of Jahova (Jah).
He ruled in Ethiopia until the communists in the hinterlands took advantage of corrupt Selassie courtiers who refused to acknowledge famine in the provinces. Selassie was deposed and most likely murdered in the basement of his Imperial Palace in 1974.
<Selassie’s downfall; 30 sec.>
I call myself a Rasta enthusiast or empathizer and even a Sumerian Fundamentalist like myself, is powerfully moved by such beautiful musical devotion that we will hear on this Ark-Ive Podcast.
Haile Selassie – July 23, 1892.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: July 21, 2018: Happy Birthday His Imperial Majesty; 95 sec.
Naturalites – Picture on the Wall; Rub a Dubble vol. 1 (CSA) ’86 UK – 3 hours for Haile Selassie – July 23, 1892
Roots Radics/Bunny Wailer – Roots Raddics; Dub D’sco vol. 1 (Solomonic) ’77 JA vinyl Dub Album of the Hour
Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus – Ethiopian National Anthem; Movements (Dynamic) ’78 JA vinyl; nyahbinghi style drumming
<National Anthem of Ethiopia; 23 sec.>
Black Uhuru – I Love King Selassie; Tear It Up” Live (Mango) ’83
Chalawa – Jah Collie Weed; Capture Land (Green Weenie) ’78 Can. vinyl 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
African Princess – Jah Children Cry; 12″ (Jah Shaka) ’85 UK vinyl comp
Keith Hudson – I Broke the Comb; Rasta Communication (Greensleeves) ’78
<The Old Testament Nazirite Vow and Dreadlocks; 84 sec.>
Sister Carol – Jah Is Mine; Black Cinderella (Jah Life) ’84 on McCartney/Jackson Girl is Mine
Peter “Roots” Lewis – Jah Is My Salvation; Wicked Roots (Reggae Retro) 2000
Hugh Mundell – That Little Short Man; 12″ (Rockers International) ’78; Selassie was 5 foot 2
Jacob Miller – False Rasta; Don’t Give Up Your Culture (Moll-Selekta) ’77
<Beware the Follow Fashion Dread; 47 sec.>
Judy Mowatt – Many Are Called; Black Woman (Shanachie) ’76
Aswad – He Gave the Sun to Shine; New Chapter (CBS) ’81 UK
Ranking Trevor – Give Thanks and Praise Unto Jah; 12″ (Greensleeves) ’78 UK to Heart & Soul
Augustus Pablo – Chant to Selassie I; East of the River Nile (Shanachie) ’78 Dub Album of the Hour
Cedric Myton & the Congos – Where He Leads; Face the Music (VP) ’81
Burning Spear – Jah Is My Driver; Farover (Heartbeat) ’83
Daweh Congo – Jah Is My Shepherd; Human Rights & Justice (Roots & Culture) 2000
Hortense Ellis – Jah Mysterious Works; Women in Reggae (Shanachie) ’75 extended
Set 5: Vinyl Is Vital
Leroy Smart – Jah Jah Forgive Them; Live Up Roots Children (Striker Lee) ’85 UK
Clint Eastwood – Whip Them Jah Jah; Step It in a Zion (Third World) ’78 UK
Michigan & Smily – Jah Ruled Over I; Step By Step (Hitbound) ’82 Brooklyn
Jah Malla – Jah Love; Jah Malla (Modern) ’81 US – children of Reggae players in JA
<Jah Malla: songs of Reggae players: Val Douglas, Roland Alphanso, Ernest Ranglin, Sylvan Morris; 30 sec.>
Zema – Selassie; Zema (Melchizedek) ’86 So Cal female singer
Set 6: Wailers Family Tree
Peter Tosh – Iziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised); Legalize It (Columbia) ’76
Bunny Wailer – Rasta Dread (Natty Dread); Hall of Fame (RAS) ’95 50 tunes for Bob’s 50th Birthday
Rita Marley – Good Morning Jah; Who Feels It Knows It (Shanachie) ’80
<Rita encounters Haile Selassie; 81 sec.>
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Conquering Lion; One Love Peace Concert: Kingston, JA 4/22/78
Dub Specialist – Fire Coal Version; Version Dread (Studio One/Heartbeat) ’75 17 Dub Shots From Studio One
Cymande – Rastafarian Folk Song; Cymande (Sequel) ’74 UK – World’s first hippie
Aisha – One God, One Aim, One Destiny; True Roots (Ariwa) ’95
Winston Jarrett – Selassie Is the Chapel; By the Rivers of Babylo (Shanachie) ’95 comp: cover of the Orioles Crying in the Chapel
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Selassie Is the Chapel; Rebel Box Set (JAD) ’66
Alpha & Omega – Who Is the Ruler; Watch and Pray (A & O) ’89 UK vinyl trance dub
Doctor Alimantado – Chant to Jah; Born For a Purpose (Greensleeves) ’75
Johnny Osbourne – Jah Promise; Truths & Rights (Studio One/Heartbeat) ’80
Misty in Roots – How Long Jah; Live at the Euro Countervision (Kaz) ’79
Bim Sherman – Lamb of Judah; Bim Sherman Meets U Black and Horace Andy in a Rub a Dub Style (Original) ’79
Wailing Souls – Jah Gives Us Life; Very Best of (Greensleeves) ’78
Words of Wisdom:
Smile Jamaica is hosted by Robert Nelson on 90.9 FM KRCL in Salt Lake City, Utah (Saturdays, 4-7 p.m. MT). Ark-ives available weekly here at the Smile Jamaica blog.