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.>
Jamaicans love horse racing too. Every Kentucky Derby Saturday I try to spin a set devoted to Jamaican horse racing. Just as the bugle starts and gates fly, open I drop the bass and go for m own musical horse race.
In Jamaica, their main track is called Caymanas Park. And the jockeys tend to be Chinese-Jamaicans rather than Latin Americans, as in the US.
<Caymanas Park; 39 sec.>
And because this is Reggae, the best song is a track by Bojangles from when the Two Sevens Clashed (’77) on a grooving Culture riddim, he relays the race between these contenders in the Selassie I Cup: 24 sec.
Soul Youth 3-1
Rome – Even
Pope Pius 3-5 (the guy in the Vatican in 1977)
Win! – Dreadlocks
Place! – Baldhead
Show! – Soul Youth
And here is what happened to Pope Pius….22 sec.
Smile Jamaica Annotated Playlist: May 5, 2018; 90 sec.
Jah Lloyd – Reggae Feeling; Black Moses (Virgin Front Line) ’79 UK vinyl to Mike Brooks
Armagideon – Spiral Galaxy; 12″ (Dubhead) ’96 UK mutant dub vinyl of the hour
Big Youth – Hit the Road Jack (Tribute to Bob, Peter, Bunny); Jamming in the House of Dread (Danceteria) 8/20/90 Live at Reggae Japansplash
Sandra Cross & the Wild Bunch – Free South Africa; Roots Daughters (Ariwa) ’88
Little John – Smoke Ganga (sic) Hard; 10″ (Well Charge) ’81 JA 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Winter in our rear view. Time to plant your garden! First pleasant Saturday in March I will lead off a Smile Jamaica with Monty Montgomery and his song Seeds. 13 sec.
For I ‘n’ I, Winter has been a harvest. I have spent my weekends in my Ark-ive sorting out several thousand 7″ 45’s . Pulling titles out for my theme sets: herb, Halloween, Roots Dawtas, Wailers Family Tree, Reggae covers, etc.
I collected baseball cards as a kid. Flipping 45’s took my back to my youth. I am up to letter O for Johnny Osbourne
I give you a serving of 7″‘s in this Ark-Ive edition: Reggae covers of Soul & Rock; 27 sec.
I also feature the second addition to the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives of tens of thousands of pieces: vinyl – LPs, 7″, 10″, 12″; cassettes and CDs.
Peter Tosh – Wanted Dread & Alive (Christmas ’81) – thanks Mom!
Musical Youth – Youths of Today (Spring ’83).
As a youth growing up in North Central Montana. I had to drive from my hometown, Fort Benton (1500 people) to Great Falls. 40 miles away.
I would shop at the local record hut (Eli’s or Budget Tapes & Records). Usually I would buy a piece or two of vinyl: Led Zeppelin, Ramones, Police, Rolling Stones. But I usually also bought a cassette for the hour drive home.
That was how I acquired the smash novelty hit of 1983. A group of ex-pat Jamaican kids living in the UK who turned the Mighty Diamonds herb tune, Pass the Kutchie into a song about going hungry: Pass the Dutchie.
<Musical Youth, #2 in the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives. Before I knew about Smile Jamaica; 84 sec.>
Among all the synth rock and New Wave of the early 80’s, a cute Reggae toasting jam ruled the airwaves.
Alas, in Great Falls now if you want to buy a CD or record your only hope is Wal-Mart or Target.
Ahh, the forlorn memories of a cratedigger who’s world of record shopping is fading away.
Forward ever, backwards never
Smile Jamaica Annotated Playlist: March 24, 2018; 82 sec.
Monty Montgomery – Seeds; Seeds (Fusion) Atlanta vinyl
Dub Specialist – Luanda Dub; African Rub a Dub (Studio One) ’80 JA vinyl dub album of the hour
Freedom Singers – Train Is Coming; Denzil Dennis – Me Nah Worry (Trojan)
Junior Byles – Fever; Curly Locks (Heartbeat) ’72 cover of Little Willie John/Peggy Lee
Lorna Asher – Leave Them; Straight to Your Heart (Twinkle) ’99
Black Uhuru – Satan Army Band; Love Crisis (Greensleeves) ’77
Barrington Levy – Under Me Sensi (Ganjaman Mix); 10″ (MCA) ’93 green vinyl 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
I’m worried. Truly. The recent poisoning attack of a Russian double agent in Britain has the world ready to send ambassadors home and fire up the war machine.
“Highly probable.” “Overwhelmingly likely” is what I have seen about this issue. I think before it leads to nuclear confrontation, we need to see Vlad’s fingerprints all over the toxin.
We’ve been down this road before: yellowcake, (phantom) weapons of mass destruction, aluminum tubes. I don’t trust the Deep State warmongers on any they say through their Presstitutes pushing war for ratings.
<Britain vs. Russia; Saudi Arabia vs. Iran; Turkey vs. United States = World War III; 30 sec.>
So, I do what I always with the only pulpit I have: Reggae music and prophecy about Wars and Rumours of war from the original Cold War.
Oh, and if you think I’m being a nervous nelly. I predicted the whole Facebook scandal as well back in 2008 when I was covering politics for KRCL.
Vindication for why I 'n' I are not on #Facebook. Been predicting this outcome for a decade now. Back when I did political interviews on KRCL. Who's wearing the tinfoil hat now? pic.twitter.com/XNkGBHbhsm