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
How is your quarantine treating you? This show is the third Homegrown edition of Smile Jamaica since the clampdown.
I ‘n’ I have whiled away the daylight hours crafting the 6 x half hour sets to upload to KRCL to play live, Saturday 4-7 PM on air. This and the next edition of Smile Jamaica is a dubble dose of 420.
Pot-cast as opposed to podcast. All Mutant Dub herbal enthusiasts. Included are my infamous marijuana related soundbytes, movie dialog and specialty bong effects. More than 25 years of such green leafy goodness
For an introvert, you would think I ‘n’ I would be loving Shelter in Place. Been listening to about 4-5 hours of music a day. Hate daytime TV. Probably 60 disks in the queue for when the all clear is given to rinse out on the radio
You would think quarantine would be a piece of cake.
Not so. I ‘n’ I have been mostly good. Stick to home during the week. But I refused to be an invalid on the weekends. Mini excursions as a Smile Jamaica listener:
Bought gas for $1.99 a gallon. Too bad you can’t drive anywhere
Broke the glass bowl on my smoking utensil – Praise Anu the headshops are open!
Ordered some missing Jah Shaka 10″ and 12″ vinyl off Discogs to complete my collection. $50 a pop. The cratediggers equivalent of comfort food
I ‘n’ I did do some cratedigging at Graywhale. Mask, gloves and no one in the Reggae, Techno, World sections. Man, record stores are gonna be lucky to survive the economics of Covid-19
Make a loop looking for some items: have toilet paper and paper towels. Scored two bottles of bleach at the Mall-wart (where I would never shop during normal times.) Can’t find rubbing alcohol which I ‘n’ I need for cleaning my smoking utensil
Ordered some bass traps for my new subwoofer so maybe my neighbor will quit bitching about “bass infection”
Binge watched the last 2 seasons of Ancient Aliens – did you know viruses were created by Aliens to manipulate mankind’s evolution? Well, now you know!
Switched to an HBO comedy series called High Maintenance about a NYC weed delivery guy
Bombed out of line at the liquor store. Too many people outside even at six feet apart? Not worth it for my 1750 ml of Makers Mark
Cleaned out my storage shed I ‘n’ I probably hadn’t been in in over a decade
Organized my T shirt collection by: Marley, Weed, Aliens, Sumerians, rockers
Slogged through my taxes . Check daily for my $1200 Trumpbux, because….
Found out my car is dying. Took it in for 90k service and got told $3500 in my future for repairs. Gonna car shop on Sunday for a new Soob. Hope new models still have CD players!
Dodging the daily earthquakes SLC has been having.
Walking from the living room to the Ark-ives is not enough physical activity. Bought a pedometer and stealth walking my neighborhood avoiding all other people doing the same. I ‘n’ I will pay the jaywalking ticket.
Did a little work for the University
The one thing I ‘n’ I am not doing much? Reading politics. Tired of body counts, doom porn and the inevitable political bickering on who to blame for the Covid.
So I’m going old school: Found this book in a box in the shed I ‘n’ I had bought during my last cratedig to San Francisco. City Lights Bookstore:
The Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.
Something moody and macabre to fit the mood as we all wait for the Covid to come get us.
The Unparalleled Adventures of One Hans Pfaal
With a heart of furious fancies,
Whereof, I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air ,
To the wilderness I wander
Did someone say Burning Spear? I ‘n’ I think I made a good choice to counter the doom porn until we are all let out in 2022.
Banished to your living room. No work, no school, no shopping, no travel, no toilet paper. In Chicago even going for a walk outside can get you arrested.
A whole lotta down time while we all wait for the virus to come get us!
I ‘n’ I was telling Tristin Tabish, KRCL station manager, that a “shelter in place” situation would be ideal for radio listeners. Already we are seeing Netflix and Prime streaming explode.
For. I ‘n’ I, home is a work space. In the Secret Dubratory of the Smile Jamaica Ark-ives, when called upon to generate digital content while KRCL is on lockdown, I just do what I always do, cut and mix sound
Routine is how people can handle the doom porn the media has generated during this crisis. Whenever friends or family start to hyperventilate, I ‘n’ I remind them:
By my Liberal Arts science background, it is not a pandemic until newborns and third graders start dropping like flies.
But what about the boredom? Many diehard KRCL listeners have a weekend pattern of turning on classic rock for breakfast and listen all the way through to Roots Reggae for dinner. Repeat a similar pattern on Sunday.
If you are shut in and forced inside, KRCL ought to have a captured audience of weekday listening akin to weekend “radio companionship.”
Then I get a call from Program Director, Ebay Jamil Hamilton. KRCL is locking down its studio and offices. Mayday! He asked if I would curate a three hour Smile Jamaica from home.
I gladly complied. I’m stir crazy as everyone else.
Everybody is frazzled. Instead of repeating the same old reminders: “social distance, wash your hands, don’t eat bat soup, etc.”, Smile Jamaica listeners have a tether to normality as part of their weekend routine. How about three hours of distraction on a beautiful first Saturday of Spring?
So those listeners wanting to chill with “One Love” or “Irie Up Yourself” or “Burn One Down” you are in for a rude shock. I ‘n I introduced the show with “Smile Jamaica puts the panic in pandemic!”
<Pandemic show intro; 2 min.>
First five Reggae jams:
Twinkle Brothers – Stomach Sick; Me No You (Twinkle) ’81
The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me; Zenyatta Mondatta (A & M) ’81
Tenor Saw – Fever; Fever (Blue Mountain) ’85
The Clash – Lost in the Supermarket; London Calling (Epic) ’79
In the same way Pete Townshend wrote Tommy. Or Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage rock opera, I ‘n’ I was crafting a narrative through a digital medium.
I was driving around a deserted Salt Lake City looking for toilet paper and blasting Smile Jamaica, as a listener, from my car hi fi. When I got home a friend texted me: “After ten fever songs followed by Burial , I thought I had the virus.”
Just like Ira Glass. Digital storytelling in a quarantine. Nearly everyone who hit me up on social media wanted to know the same thing: “What was that song you played at the end of Smile Jamaica?”
Wed. AM about 7 o’clock. On the computer seeing how my best gal did in the Tuesday primaries the night before. (Tulsi who?)
Cup of coffee and a green rip. Breakfast of champions. All of a sudden. I hear something rumble. WTF? Did some Corona Virus infectee just slam my house with their car? If so why I am feeling my floor ripple?
Nah, Earthquake. Watch everything shake, rattle and roll. By the time I stabilized my television set, the rumbling stopped. Casualty: one bookcase in my hallway and a Bob Marley picture askew.
My first thought? “Wow this place is a mausoleum!” Got the notice from our Dean that the Marriott Library was closing down completely. Went up to a ghostly campus at the U of U to pick up a few things and make sure all the posters and such didn’t crash off my office walls post Magna 5.7 Earthquake.
On the way home, stop at Smith’s grocery. Praise Anu! Toilet paper. Every mope in the store had one roll in their basket.
Lots of items still out of stock. Cold cuts, cheese, bread. Melotonin section wiped out. No isopropyl alcohol. A lot of people out there needing to clean their bongs? Purell and Lysol a distant memory.
Get home to a call from Ebay Hamilton, KRCL’s program director. No station that rules the nation. Could I curate a 3 hour Smile Jamaica episode for upload? Station on lockdown.
“Working” from home, no deejaying, no record shopping (Record Store Day postponed til June. Summer is the low period for cratedigging). Liquor store closed! No Saturday breakfast with my friends at Left Fork Grill.
THIS VIRUS IS PISSING ME OFF
Everyone is moping around like it is the end of the world. I understand why the need for social distance, etc. But I don’t have to like it.
So here is how I intend to fight back
Not much of a beer drinker anymore, but I’m going to buy a sixer of Corona beer
Watching Andromeda Strain from 1971
3. Friday 4:20 or as I call it “worship”, will continue with my mates six feet away from each other
4. Gonna cratedig on Saturday just to get out of the house and see who is open
5. Listen to Smile Jamaica, as a listener. 3 hour show called: Putting the Panic in Pandemic 2020. From Stomach Sick to Burial
<Smile Jamaica: March 21, 2020 Putting the Panic in Pandemic; 2 min>
Enjoy this teaser from this week’s podcast:
<Smile Jamaica Reggae Virus Mini Opera; 90 sec.>
Ethiopians get the Hong Kong Flu
Susan Cadogan exhibits The Fever
Jah Lloyd says, no vaccine it will leave an infection. Gonna smoke the main jax – the collie weed
That unfortunately “ital” choice leads to the Twinkle Brothers Stomach sick
Alas, Peter Tosh’s Burial
Eat your heart out Frank Zappa and Pete Townshend. Now I ‘n’ I gonna give you 3 hours tomorrow. Gallows humor staves off the doom and gloom
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives March 14, 2020 Annotated Playlist; 1 min. 44 sec.
Ricky Grant & Augustus Pablo – I Love Jah Rastafari + dub; I Love Jah Rastafari (Message) ’78 JA vinyl
Sir Coxson Sound – King of Dubb Rock; King of Dubb Rock (Safari) ’75 UK vinyl dub album of the hour
African Brothers – Mystery of Nature; Want Some Freedom (Easy Star) ’70’s era
Ah, yes. The endorphin rush of finding that record. I ‘n’ I been a vinyl collector since clothes shopping with my Mom at Woolworth’s the beginning of 7th grade: ‘Sept. 77. The year the two sevens clashed.
My first “dig”: Best of the Doobie Brothers. (For a Seven Leaf guy, who knew the significance of that purchase 40 years on!)
With an extra Saturday, during the shortest month of the year, why note celebrate that legacy of vinyl collection with a trip down black wax memory lane on Smile Jamaica .
I was getting crosseyed with my bredrins Mike and Aquaboy. Friday 4:20. I ‘n’ I brought over a 60 minute mix for Mixcloud of my favorite UK Reggae faves. Segue into the first Black Sabbath album.
So I’n’ I said: Would you believe I have a 7″ record that mashes up Black Sabbath with Black Uhuru?
That’s the delight in record obsession. You’ve got Satanic Heavy Metal inna mi Rasta Roots Reggae!
<Guess Who’s Coming For Sweet Leaf>
Judah Eskender Tafari – Jah Light; Pirates Choice (Studio One) ’80 JA – 3 Hour Vinyl is Vital Show
Bullwackie’s All-Stars – Black Heart Dub; Dub Unlimited (Senrab) ’76 Dub album of the hour
Phillip Frazer – Watch This Sound; Big Showdown (Black Solidarity) ’85 JA Buffalo Springfield cover
The Specials – Friday Night Saturday Morning; 12″ (2 Tone) ’81 UK EP Ghost Train picture sleeve; 2 Tone ska
Quasar – Get Up Stand Up; Fresh (LASN) US Wailers cover
Chris Wayne – All the Plant Mi Plant; Progress (Heartbeat) ’89 US 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Black Harmony – Our Feelings; 12″ (Cool Rockers) ’81 UK female lovers rock
I ‘n’ I know Black History Month (February) as Bob Marley Month (Bob-ruary). Born Feb. 6, 1945 he would have been 75 had he not died of melanoma on May 11, 1981 (36 years old.)
In the Rasta community, they avoid death. So part of that Ras’pect is to say “livicate” not deadicate.
As a major Reggae collector I ‘n’ I had picked up some Marley reissues in the past year.
Plus, a CD/DVD combo that was published on the West German rock television show Rockpalast. (See image at top.)
If you were a youth in the 70’s as I was, weekend night time rock and roll TV programs, like Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack fed viewers music television fix before the advent of MTV.
The Uprising disk/DVD = Rockpalast performance was recorded in Dortmund (West) Germany on June 13, 1980.
It was haunting. Bob was at his high point. I ‘n’ I always tell people you can gauge Bob’s age by the length of his dreads. The short and wiry, athletic Bob roamed the stage like a lion. Dreads flashing. Moving about the other group members. Full of energy and passion.
Bob’s nickname was Skipper. He was an exacting band leader who would even fine his wife Rita, among other band members, if they made a mistake. This was the video performance of a man and group leading Reggae into the mainstream.
The 80’s would have seen him at the top of the pop music pinnacle alongside stalwarts like Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, U2 and Madonna.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. Almost 3 months later Bob collapsed running in New York’s Central Park. He performed one more show in Pittsburgh, PA (Sept. 23, 1980). And made his Exodus to Jah’s Heavenly Choir less than 8 months later.
As someone with a Ph.D. in Bobology, I was stunned. On stage in front of thousands, this was not the look of a many being ravaged by cancer.
<Bob’s Rockpalast performance; 72 sec.>
Bob’s passing shocked the Reggae world as well. In Jamaica, and elsewhere over the decades since May ’81, I ‘n’ I have culled nearly 50 Bob Tributes.
One thing about music when it hits you, you feel no pain. Artists exacted their grief in an expression of platonic love. Every Bobruary, I’n’ I rinse out those songs throughout the 4 weeks of Smile Jamaica editions.
<Marley Tribute phenomena; 40 sec.>
For the past several months I ‘n’ I have been tracking through the Wailers’ early pre-Island label catalog. We are on the 1970 recordings for Chinese Jamaican restauranteur, Leslie Kong
The Wailers had huge ska success with Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label. But they would sell 80,000 copies of a record and be compensated $25.
So the group quit Studio One and created their own label: Tuff Gong. However, the Jamaican music business was cut throat. DIY groups like the Wailers couldn’t get their songs into the shops or on the radio as independents. So the label folded.
Thus they turned to one of Dodd’s competitors, Leslie Kong. Beverley’s, his label, was a successful Rock Steady label selling thousands of records in the UK, especially.
Record producer is the guy that funds the sessions.
Recording in a music studio; pay for time
Paying the musicians
Paying the sound engineer
Paying to mix the tape recording
Paying to press the records
Paying to distribute the records to shops domestically and internationally
Payola to get the song on the radio.
The Wailers recorded about 10 songs. What to call it. Since Kong knew the group was hot, but records by the Wailers were hard to find, he wanted to call it Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
The group were hostile to that notion and felt they were being ripped off again. These weren’t their best songs. “Best” signifies the group was at its end, not a re-boot. The album is not exactly filler, and there are some great performances. But Best was a misnomer…at best.
The group wanted the album to be called Caution. This is where the Reggae apocrypha sneaks in. The Wailers were sighting up Rasta. With all that mystical and magical revelation, they warned Kong this offense would not go unpunished….Caution indeed.
Here is how Bunny Wailer described what happened in the liner notes of the Bunny album I have introduced on this podcast edition of Smile Jamaica. As part of I ‘n’ I Wailers Family Tree selections.
<The mysterious death of Leslie Kong; 2 min. 48 sec.>
As Bunny noted, Kong wanted to exploit the group’s sales potential: notoriety + scarcity = $$$. Call it Best Of and watch the records fly off the shelves.
He wasn’t interested in “art” but commerce. The Wailers took their craft seriously. Here was another rip off. Call it black magic obeah, divine justice or just the eerie circumstance of timing.
On the very day the records were to be sent to the shops, Kong died of a brain aneurysm. He was 38 years old. Caution indeed!
How about one more story:
Haile Selassie visited Jamaica in 1966. For Peter Tosh it was a foundation moment in the development of Rastafari worship.
Sometimes I get asked: “What’s with all the UFO tunes on Smile Jamaica. It’s even been mentioned in KRCL staff meetings: “Does he really belief that stuff?”
I do. My code of life is – Your perception is not my reality.
From my Sumerian Fundamentalist heritage through Ancient Aliens, Reggae is right in the middle.
Those who don’t like it, can scoff on over to another radio station. Because I ‘n’ I am vindicated in my belief.
Radio SOS signals from the next galaxy. Radio. Just like Carl Sagan reached out in 1977, the Aliens heard his message and are calling back.
The Voyager mission when the 2 7’s clashed (1977) was meant to reach out to any sentient beings in the vastness of space. The gold record, which included Sumerian greetings: “May all be well” along side Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode.
Well, it appears they got our gift. And here they come…..
“Mysterious radio signals from space have been known to repeat, but for the first time, researchers have noticed a pattern in a series of bursts coming from a single source half a billion light-years from Earth”
Not random. But on a cycle. Like we would do: Are You There?…(repeat). Now they are doing the same to us: We got your message (repeat). If you have ever seen the Jodie Foster movie, Contact, that is the plot.
The Bulgarian libertarians at Zerohedge muse:
So could it be aliens seeking to establish contact via hidden messages meant to be deciphered from rational patterns?
Naw. This is what I think happened. They got our package from the Voyager. But those fools at NASA didn’t include a record player. Plus zero gravity in space makes it impossible to “drop the needle pon the record.”
I ‘n ‘I think it is fascinating that the contact is by a “dead medium” of radio. In 10 years, on Earth, 70% of all media will be streamed. Not broadcast (radio, satellite radio, television).
Aliens, embrace my philosophy: No digital for I ‘n’ I.
So just like Pres. 45 listens to the Smile Jamaica Ark-Iveswhile watching CNN with the sound muted, maybe someway, somehow, some miracle, the Aliens found a fellow traveller, via I ‘n’ I Mixcloud archive, and appreciate the outer space inna terrestrial rub a dub.
Black wax. Shiny aluminum disks. No 1’s and 0’s. Why not?
Remember: Your perception is not my reality.
Smile Jamaica’s Three reasons why Aliens made radio contact; 1 min. 44
They need our gravity to play records
2. Qanon told I ‘n’ I that the radio signal on repeat isn’t an SOS but was deciphered as “Play more Bob Marley”
3. No oxygen in space to spark a doobie
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-bruary 15, 2020 Annotated Playlist; 61 sec.
Dillinger – Rockers; Tribal War (New Cross) ’86 UK vinyl
Roots Radics – Roy Cousins Presents Kings and Queens of Dub (Tamoki Wambesi) 80’s UK vinyl dub album of the hour
Lorna Asher – It Comes From Afar; Straight to Your Heart (Twinkle) ’99
Bunny Lye Lye – Keep on Dancing; Protect Me Lord (Twin Bros) 80’s
Dubblestandart feat. Devon D – We All Have to Get High; Immigration Dub (Collision) 2007 Jah-stria: 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Junior Dan – Give Thanks No Skanks + Yanks & Ises; 10″ (Hi Try) ’76 JA
Hollie Cook – Vessel of Love; Vessel of Love (Merge) 2018 UK dawta of Sex Pistol Paul Cook
Sly Dunbar – Mr. Music; Sly, Wicked & Slick (Virgin) ’79 dub to Brothers Johnson “Strawberry Letter No. 23”
Asherman Meets Dub Street Rockers – Jah Seed + Seed Grow; Zion Ready (Jump Up) 2002 vox + dj
Max Romeo & Dennis Brown – African + I Am the Conqueror; 10″ (Observer Gold) ’75