<Vinyl vindication: vinyl to outsell cds; 1 min. 55 sec.>
I’ve always been a record guy. Back in Montana as a youth, I would drive 35 miles each way to record shop at the local Hastings outlet in Great Falls. Usually buy a couple pieces of vinyl and a cassette for the drive back home.
When I moved to Utah for University in 1986, I was already dabbling in CDs. In 1985, Cactus Records in Bozeman, MT had a small rack of CDs in a corner of the shop. I remember buying Fleetwood Mac and the Police Outlandos d’Amour. $16.99 (in those days a fortune). I didn’t even have a CD player yet.
For Christmas, I got a Fisher deck, (probably from Montgomery Wards), – 1 drawer, no frills: just the song number in red LED. I was blown away! Space age technology in rural Montana!
What’s not to love? Smaller. Harder to scratch. Easier to store. Portable players to play them on.
Yet, the smaller size and lack of information on many of the disks didn’t make collecting CDs as enjoyable as buying vinyl. Especially, when I switched to collecting Reggae. Early on in CD’s history there was not a whole lot of Reggae available. And a total lack of the 12″, 10″ and 7″ vinyl I especially was looking for. The rarest of the rare.
I was in a Record Shop in San Francisco. Summer of ’87. Up to my elbows in vinyl racks. The shop owner was trying to up-sell me into CDs. He was like, “Why are you so hot for vinyl? Everybody is moving into CDs”. I shrugged, “I’ll always be a record guy.”
Here is how it worked back then. CDs were new. And expensive. So, many people sold their vinyl for pennies on the dollar to add up cash for CDs.
Vinyl was cheap and plentiful. CDs were exotic, limited in selection and expensive. So the stores were in transition from black wax to shiny metal disks. I built the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives this way: buying other people’s vinyl discards.
All the great things you hear me play today came about through hoovering up as much black wax as I could in the voluminous Bay Area Record stores. I was flush with student loan cash (Thanks Ronnie Raygun!) and I went from store to store digging through the crates.
I would stay at the Travelodge across the street from Tower Records in North Beach: Columbus and Bay. Some days, I would be tired after a day of cratedigging. It was awesome.
Wheel it forward 30 plus years. Most of the record stores are long gone, (Hastings went under in 2016), via over committing to CDs in a digital age of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify. People wised up and started piecing out vinyl for the Ebay collector’s market.
But for 20 years, I maxed out the opportunities even if around 2005 I started to notice stores were no longer there when I would visit.
When Tower Records and later Virgin and Circuit City went under, that was the nadir of my CD era collecting.
That is why when I heard on the news that 2019 will be the first year since 1986 that Vinyl is expected to surpass CDs in aggregate sales, I felt a sense of vindication.
I mentioned on this blog that 2019 was the year my Dad’s health went sideways. Other than a bad back, he’s like the Montana version of Clint Eastwood. A rare brain condition damn near sent him to Jah’s Heavenly Choir.
Long story short: Jan.-June was a distracting nightmare of back and forth with my Mom reporting grim news and discouraging progress. Calls and texts to my brother and sister who all feel helpless hundreds of miles away.
Here is what Papa Bob had to recover from in 2019:
My Pops has spent more nights in either a hospital bed or “rehabilitation clinic” (aka nursing home) than he spent at his Snowbird spot in Sun City West, AZ. Retire and then get seriously ill. Life is not fair.
Long story short: The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix “fixes” NPH by installing a shunt in your skull. It’s like the condensation hose on your AC unit. Excess fluid drains away and is absorbed, harmlessly, into the abdomen.
I was there in Arizona when he turned a corner and now is walking with a cane, where he was formerly wheelchair bound.
Mayo Clinic. Wow, awesome. Thank you! Dr. Bendok; Dr. Krishna. All killer, no filler!
So I have been basically “clenched” for seven months. It affects everything and I was keeping all days free in case I had to make an emergency trip to Phoenix. So once Dr. Krishna told my Dad “the pendulum is swinging in the right direction”, it was like Pops had permission to return to the way things were.
One day he said, “Hey go get my book.” He reads these detective novels one after another. Went back to reading the local paper. We watched the Chernobyl Mini Series on HBO together and he was totally engaged. Phew!
I was encouraged enough to think I could engage in a little self indulgence. No more Family With Medical Leave Act for I ‘n’ I.
Now, I want to go on vacation: cratedig, road trip, herbal excursion, concert. While everyone else was dealing with the chaos of the first week of school I was on my way to Denver for a comedy concert.
My Version Excursion Itinerary:
I 70 to Green River for lunch at the Tamarisk Cafe’ my bredrin Aqua Boy recommended.
Stop in Palisade, CO at a dispensary. My weed concierge seemed a little grumpy. Hey fella, you could be slopping Slurpees at the Sev. Answering all my questions on my Seven Leaf purchases should be like a wine vendor sampling his wares. Come on man, you see Utah on the Driver’s License. It’s like having to talk to a toddler. But I don’t care — I’m on vacation. Just gimme my stash and choke on my cash!
Drove through the most beautiful stretch of country I have ever been on: Grand Junction to I 25 approach to Denver. Had it all: fruit stands, wineries, rivers, dams, mountain passes, tunnels, ski resorts, Amtrak. Treacherous driving even in the Summer at nearly 11,000 feet. Wow!
Check into my hotel in Denver. Hit the liquor store. Stealth vape in my room while I plot my book and record store mapping, neighborhood by neighborhood. Successful cratedig: picked up around $200 of fresh Reggae vinyl
Had Dinner a couple nights with my friends who flew in to see comedian Jimmy Dore and because I hate flying, I had my car.
Listened to KGNU Boulder’s “Reggae Bloodlines” show on Sat. 1-4pm. Having a session and a cocktail just like millions of you all do every Saturday during Smile Jamaica. Reggae Bloodlines sounded like Smile Jamaica with more Rebelution type reggae than Mutant Dub I ‘n’ I play, but straight up killer roots!
Sat. 4:20 vape like a viper before the show
Standing online with about 75 fellow Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders fanatics wearing my brand new Ilhan Omar T shirt which got many thumbs up from the Progressive audience in attendance
A round of cocktails with my friends to combat cotton mouth and settle in for nearly 2 hours of gallows humor with comedian Jimmy Dore surrounded by fellow travellers on the Far Left political spectrum. Single payer or death!
Sunday morning sunrise return trip via I 80. Thermos full of bad coffee grinding out flat and bland prairie. Cruise control at 73 MPH churning up the mile markers as my Pops loves to say, “feeling like a whore in church”, watching for Johnny Law on the 525 mile stretch back to SLC.
Gassed up in Rock Springs and called my Mom and that is how I found out my Dad doesn’t need a cane around the house. Praise Anu!
So yeah, good week after a brutal year. Selah!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-gust 17, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 43 sec.
Earl Zero – Only Jah; Only Jah Can Ease the Pressure (Freedom Sounds) ’79 JA vinyl
The Supersonics – Treasure Isle Dub vol. 2 (Treasure Isle) JA vinyl dub set of the hour
Dress: Reggae T shirt for Smile Jamaica broadcast, shorts and sandals. Plus tin foil hat
Hit the morning news cycle of my favorite news sources via Ipad: RT, Truthdig, Moon of Alabama, Zerohedge
No CNN (CIA News Nutwork); No FUX news; No MS-NBC (Mainstream nothing but crap); No Presstitute Bullshit Syndicate (PBS) for I ‘n’ I.
Since 2003 and the corporate media’s providing of legitimate cover for an illegal war, I am strictly alt news. I do not trust the 6 companies who own 90+ percent of our news media. Mostly Alt-Left but I’m a fan of a libertarian Bulgarian market site called Zerohedge for leavening. (They predicted the 2008 economic collapse before anyone else.)
I’m so “alt” I am driving 500 plus miles to Denver in a week to watch this political comedian: Jimmy Dore.
Jeffery Epstein allegedly committed “suicide.” My first reaction? How neat and tidy. Dead men tell no tales, eh? Especially considering the document dump the day before outed several high profile politicians, academics and hedge fund billionaires as accused of having sex with underage girls procured by the odious creep.
<Jeffery Epstein’s murder? suicide? escape? 2 min. 29 sec.>
I try to live the moral and upright life that I absorb through 30+ plus years of listening to Reggae music. I’m more of a paradox of virtue than any sort of saint, but I do believe government corruption and the abuse of children are part of that lens. Government interference led to Epstein’s slap on the wrist sentence a decade ago.
As compelling a story as the lurid conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s death: Was it suicide? murder? alien abduction? It still comes down to the outrageous sexual exploitation of children. Which is getting completely lost in the #EpsteinMurder and #ClintonBodyCount back and forth.
Mea culpa. I am susceptible to conspiracy theories. Probably due to my belief in Ancient Astronaut Theory, via the Anunnaki skygods traveling back to Earth from Nibiru. I do not believe 9/11 happened the way they said it did anymore than I would believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.
When this went down, my brother in law said to my sister: “Can’t wait to see how your wacko brother responds to all this.”
I went for breakfast with my best friend Nardo-jan (fellow Anunnaki/UFOria enthusiast, Ph.D. in Medieval History, librarian) and our mutual friend John (former journalist at the Salt Lake Tribune).
Of course Epstein’s “suicide” was the coffee topic of conversation. I queried both of them: (I knew Nardo-jan’s answer) but wanted to see what a professional newsman thought.
None of us believed the suicide story. Neither does my Mom, Dad and Sister.
What do I believe?
Now you understand where my brother in law is coming from!Don’t even get me started on Building 7.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-gust 10, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 70 sec.
Pancho Alphanso – Watch This Sound; Watch This Sound (Shanachie) ’82 Ho Ho Kus NJ vinyl
Supersonics – Construction Dub Style; Treasure Isle Dub vol. 1 (Treasure Isle) JA vinyl dub album of the hour
Third World – 96 Degrees in the Shade; Live at Reggae Sunsplash ’81: Tribute to Bob Marley (Elektra) ’81 Aug. in Montego Bay, JA
<“Entertainment for you, martyrdom for me”; 30 sec.>
Carlene Davis – My Mistake; 15 Classics (Sonic)
Horace Ferguson – Sensi Addict; Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture (Soul Jazz) ’87 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Dan I – Like a Seed; 10″ (Moa Anbessa) 2008 Jah-taly
Culture – This Train; Cumbolo (Shanachie) ’79 gospel/Woody Guthrie cover
The Rolands – Johnny Dollar; Crucial Reggae (Mango) ’84
Afro Omega – Watcha Need; Pick Up the Pieces EP (Afro Omega) 2006 SLC w/ female vox
Lee “Scratch” Perry – City Too Hot; 12″ (Upsetter) ’77 UK Black Ark
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 29+ Years
Prince Buster – Shake a Leg; Original Golden Oldies vol. 2 (Melodisc) ’61: Burning Spear – Oh What a Happy Day; Creation Rebel (Heartbeat/Studio One) ’74
Akabu – People Get Ready; Warrior Queen (ON U Sound) ’89 UK roots dawtas; Curtis Mayfield tune
Jah Iney & Augustus Pablo – Classic Rockers Chapter 1 & Chapter 3; Rockers International (Greensleeves) ’80
Scientist – 11 Guava Road Dub; King of Dub (Kingdom) ’81 Dub album of the hour
General Public – Never You Done That; All the Rage (I.R.S.) ’84 post 2 Tone ska/pop
Rhoda Dakar – The Wreck; Cleaning in a Another Woman’s Kitchen (Moon Ska World) 2007
Pablo Gad – What Makes a Natty Dread Cry; Blood Suckers (Melodie) ’78
Earl Sixteen – Gates of Hell; 10″ (Sip a Cup) 2004 UK
Set 5: Vinyl is Vital Set
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Rolling Stone; Marley, Tosh, Livingston & Associates (Studio One) ’82 JA vinyl; Bunny Wailer lead vox
<Bob Dylan cover; 2 min.>
The Jaytees – A Prayer to Jah; Pirates Choice (Studio One) ’81 JA female duo
Inner Circle – Mary, Mary; Everything Is Great (Island) ’79 UK herbtune
Ken Boothe – I Shot the Sheriff; Blood Brothers (Trojans) ’78 UK Wailers cover
<Why the Sheriff hated Bob; 27 sec.>
Arthur Louis – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door; This Is Reggae Music (Island) ’75 US – Bob Dylan cover
Set 6: Jamaican Jukebox 7″ 45’s
King Stitt – Herbsman Shuffle; 7″ (Trojan) ’80 UK picture sleeve: 7″ Jamaican Jukebox
Carl Dawkins – Witchcraft; 7″ (Sir J.J.) ’72 JA
Sharon Black – Struggling; 7″ (Clintones) ’77 US
Dennis Brown – Armagideon; 7″ (Emmanuel) ’80 Bunny Wailer cover
Sly & Robbie – Plastic Dub; Overdrive in Overdub (Sonic) Dub Album of the Hour
Black Uhuru – Somebody’s Watching Me; Anthem UK Rmx (Island) ’83 cover of Rockwell soul
Bunny Wailer – Revolution; Hall of Fame (RAS) ’95 50 Bob songs for 50th birthday
Peter Tosh – Pick Myself Up; Wanted (bootleg) Sept. 29, 1981 NYC @ the Ritz
Set 8: Mutant Dub
Bob Marley/Bill Laswell – Is This Love; Dreams of Freedom (Axiom) ’97 ambient translation: Mutant Dub Set
Likkle Mai – Your Love; Roots Candy (Beat) 2006 Jah-ponese dawta from Dry & Heavy
Alpha & Omega – Fire; Watch and Pray (A & O) ’92 UK trance dub
Bush Chemists – Haste Make Waste; Light Up Your Chalice (Dubhead) ’99 on Bunny Wailer Armagideon riddim