Smile Jamaica loves Jah-loween. Here is the Monster Menagerie from the Ark-ives:
Anti-christ/Mark of the Beast/666 – 7
Bats – 2
Bermuda Triangle – 1
Black magic – 9
Cemeteries & graveyards – 7
Demons – 6
Devil, Lucifer, Satan – 59
Dungeons – 6
Duppies & Jumbies (Jamaican ghosts) – 14
Exorcist – 1
Frankenstein – 5
Ghosts – 19
Halloween holiday – 5
Haunted houses – 2
Hell hounds -1
Loch Ness Monster – 1
Monsters – 4
Mr. Brown who rides around Trenchtown in a motorized coffin – 2
Mummies – 2
Obeah (Jamaican Black Magic) – 13
Skeletons – 2
Undertakers – 3
Vampires, Dracula and soap opera vampire Barnabas Collins – 63
Voodoo – 5
Werewolves – 4
Witches – 4
Zombies – 14
By my Liberal Arts math, that tallies up to over 260 Jah-loween gems. Plus all my horror soundbytes and movie trailers. (New additions in between the horrorfest such as The Exorcist, Planet of the Vampires,nNight of the Living Dead, Phantasm).
All mixed into one bubbling cauldron of grimness. Perfect for this era of The Covid. I don’t listen to a lot of new Reggae releases but next year I’m sure to add some ghouly Covid delights.
There was once upon a time when I ‘n’ I never said a word and only played station ID’s during the 3 hours. It was truly 180 minutes of drum, bass and Afternoon of the Living Dead.
But since this is Smile Jamaica, I ‘n’ I tell you some stories to embellish the tunes:
Annie Palmer – the evil Jamaican wife of a slave plantation owner who used to whip her slaves mercilessly and continued to haunt them after she died
<Annie Palmer; 26 sec.>
In Jamaica police informers were referred to as Vampires:
<Vampire = informer; 27 sec.>
Peter Tosh always felt there were hell hounds on his trail. One night he was paralyzed from the forces of a demon. He prayed to Jah to save. Jah told him, “son, use the word and you will be as free as a bird.
That word? Bumba klaat. In Jamaica, that is as rude as saying Mother F’er in the US. Bum for vagina. Klaat = cloth. Rastas want nothing to do with their queen’s “monthly visitor”. So the epithet shocked the duppy (Jamaican ghost) out of Peter’s soul.
<Oh Bumba Klaat; 1 min. 22 sec.>
And how about the corpse who put a transmission, engine and four wheels on his coffin to terrorize the denizens of Trenchtown ghetto. His names was Mr. Brown.
<Mr. Brown rides around in a coffin; 21 sec.>
Smile Jamaica Jah-loween Monster Bash, 10/31/2020 Annotated Playlist: 85 sec.
Ini Kamoze – Hole in the Pumpkin; Shocking Out (RAS) ’87 3 Hours of Jah-loween
Scientist – The Voodoo Curse; Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Greensleeves) ‘81
Black Uhuru – Anthem; Anthem (Island) ‘83
Ijahman Levi – Devil Disciple; Forward Rastaman (Jahmani) ‘87
The Toyes – Monster Hash; The Toyes (CD Tunes) ‘96
GG All-Stars – Haunted House; 12” (GG’s Hit!) ‘78
Crucial Bee – Mark of the Beast; Just a Sting (All-Starr) US Virgin Islands vinyl
Sinead O’Connor – Vampire; Throw Down Your Arms (That’s Why There’s Chocolate & Vanilla) 2005 Devon Irons cover
The Ethiopians – Obeah Book; Slave Call (Rohit) ’74 Obeah – Jamaican black magic
Ghetto Priest – Dungeon; Vulture Culture (ON U Sound) 2003 Singers & Players cover
Clint Eastwood & General Saint – Talk About Run; 12” (Greensleeves) ’81 UK duppies in the cemetery
Lone Ranger – Annie Palmer; Barnabas in Collins Wood (Wave) ’79 JA vinyl: Jamaican witch/ghost
Pablo Gad – Blood Suckers; Blood Suckers (Celluloid) ‘78
Chalice – Back Weh Evil Forces; Stand Up! (CSA) ’85 UK vinyl
Sky High & the Mau Mau – Cemetery Robbery; Origination (Sky High) 70’s
Moses – When the Vampire Comes to Your Neighborhood; 12” (Wackies) ’82 Bronx
Leo Graham – Voodooism; Magnetic Mirror Master Mix (Anachron) 70’s Dutch vinyl; Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n
Capleton & Big Youth – Mark of the Beast; I-Testament (Def Jam) ‘97
Jimmy Cliff – Satan’s Kingdom; I am the Living (MCA) ’80 US vinyl
Easy Star All-Stars feat. Mikey General & Spragga Benz – Thrillah (Easy Star) 2012 Michael Jackson/Vincent Prince
Carl McDonald – Satan Soldiers on the Run; 12” (Makdon) ’87 Brooklyn
Peter Tosh – Oh Bumba Klaat; 12” EP (Rolling Stone) ’81 UK fight off demonic possession
David Lindley – Werewolves of London; Very Greasy (Elektra) ’88 Warren Zevon cover
I ‘n’ I father has been fighting a brain condition called NPH. Makes him wet, wobbly, and wacky. So as the eldest, I have been driving my parents from Sun City West, AZ retirement home to Fort Benton, Montana and back again. Montana summers and Phoenix winters. This is my excursion:
Day 1: Covid Airlines: SLC to Great Falls, MT.
Get up and get out of the house at 5:30 in the AM. Suitcase, Burning Spear tote bag I carry everywhere, like a man purse, cash and ID. Don’t forget your mask!
No worries, time to dial up Uber on my IPhone.
Credit card 1 rejected, credit card 2 rejected, credit card 3 rejected. Credit card 4? REJECTED. Paypal rejected. WTF? In my haste to call a cab I dropped my new IPhone on the pavement and the screen shattered. F-bomb!
As Neil Young would say, “Piece of crap.” Luckily the phone feature still worked and I ‘n’ I hailed Ute cab like back in the day. When I got settled I wrote Uber a 1 star, EFF YOU review on the App Store, deleted those fools and settled in for the dreaded wait.
Uber is unreliable: I entered four legitimate credit cards and Uber rejected them all. They also wouldn’t take my PayPal account. They don’t care. I deleted the app, told all my friends & family. Now I either use Lyft or will call a cab. FIYA BU’N UBER!!! Worse than Covid!
This trip is already starting out with a bad omen…
Flying. When I ‘n’ I told friends I was getting on planes their look of horror and incredulity was obvious. Like I need any reminders. I ‘n’ I have no choice. Maybe the plane will be mostly empty like when I flew out in May.
Nope. Tin can Skywest plane was completely full. Two seats, aisle, two seats. Luckily no Utah county maskholes. Flight to Great Falls was 2/3 full. Had to pull the mask down at TSA. WTF? Great, Covid to the left of me, Covid to the right of me….
Day 2: Fort Benton, Montana to Ogden, Utah (578 miles)
Could not wait to get on the road. Watching TV in a state with competitive electoral races is a nightmare. Every commercial was Dem attacking R. R slandering Dem. Every. Single. Break. Doesn’t anyone just sell Coca-Cola and toothpaste anymore?
1300 miles from North Central Montana to Phoenix retirement community. Drove the first stretch as far as Ogden, Utah.
Pops, who was still wheelchair bound when I ‘n’ I made the reverse trip in May. Now walking with a cane and doing well mentally.
Yimma (my mom). Sat in the back with her Ipad
Bella our lap dog/rabbit killer
I ‘n I. Did all the driving
That stretch in the Fall is beautiful if the weather is good. Freshly harvested wheat fields, cross the Missouri River a bunch of times, Go up and over the Continental Divide.
I ‘n’ I told Yimma we had to get on the road early. Because I wanted to be in our Motel Room in time for the first debate between the Orange Guy and the Pale White Guy.
Forced to listen to The Bridge on Sirius/XM. Soft rock of the 70’s. By the time we hit Butte, MT, I ‘n’ I wanted to throw myself off a bridge. After about the third Christopher Cross “classic” I was itching to switch to the Metallica channel! 1300 miles of wimp rock. Mainline the caffeine straight into my veins.
Checked into a grungy Motel 6 just off I-15. Ordered up some dinner delivery. I got out my vape pen and for the first time ever(?) watched FOX News. Shit meet show!
I ‘n’ I was vaping Trainwreck while watching a train wreck. Remember the two old dudes from the Muppets? This is America?
Day 3: Ogden, Utah to Mesquite, Nevada (376 miles); 45 sec.
Grinding through Utah in a Buick Enclave crammed so full of cra….stuff I had to rely on the side mirrors. Fighting off narcolepsy from the endless rotation of Seals & Croft, James Taylor and Carly Simon. I ‘n’ don’t think I’m gonna listen to any Steely Dan for at least a year.
Central Utah would be prettier if it were 100 miles shorter from SLC to Nevada.
Nevada has a Karen governor so we weren’t able to stay at the casinos in May. This time we checked in to Virgin River Casino. Yimma got the rooms while I ‘n’ I drove to Deep Roots Harvest.
Hit Yimma up for 2 Benjamins. My Uber fee, strike that Lyft fee for doing all the driving. That debate debacle depleted my vape stock, and so picked up a couple cartridges: Strawberry Cough and Grape Ape. I ‘n’ I have a sweet tooth.
Drove back and we all had a pandemically correct dinner. I ‘n’ I hate ketchup and pepper packets. First world problems!
Pops squeezes the nickel til the buffalo shits, so he stayed in his room and watched baseball in empty stadiums. Yimma and I hit the casino floor. She is a slots player. I’m a video poker guy.
New rules on the casino floor. My Pops said he wished he had the plexiglass business. No doubt. Gambling now is like playing cards in a phone booth. I’m claustrophobic so I looked for a machine on the end.
Low stakes, 25 cents x 5 coins per play. That first Andrew Jackson lasted long enough to wash down my “strawberries” with a Jack and coke. The bosomy cocktail waitress doesn’t come around much to the quarter machines.
Put a second $20 in. Played it almost to the end. $60 is about all I’m willing to blow in one sitting. Then it happened…..
CALL ATTENDANT! CALL ATTENDANT!
Huh? I looked down and saw 4000 coins on the machine tally. I had just hit a Royal Flush. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten of Spades.
When it dawned on me what 4000 quarters added up to, even by my Liberal Arts math “skills”, that was $1000. Then, of course, there was no attendant to be found! Covid casinos are still pretty empty. Lot of staff have been furloughed.
I ‘n’ I was afraid to venture from my machine b/c I figured the moment I step away, someone would sit down and claim my winnings. Finally I yelled at a Security Guy: HEY YOU! I WON THE JACKPOT!
He offered to get a person to pay out. That was a five minute wait that seemed like hours. I ‘n’ I was half paranoid that there would be a power outage or earthquake and the machine would black out. Once you win something like that you now have a reason to care about the outcome. Usually I play to fill time, sipping whiskey, surreptitiously toking up, (it’s flavored CBD!) and listening to every 80’s hit by Madonna on the PA system.
Nice lady comes over with her notepad and a money bag. Counted out 9 $100 bills and 5 20’s. You know they want you to kick that last $100 back to them. My mind was wrecked, no way I ‘n’ I could concentrate. I took my cash and headed to find Yimma who had run out of a $100 pretty quickly. I was shaking. Never won a jackpot like that in my history of low stakes gambling in Vegas.
No 1099 either. Pure profit. We headed back to the rooms. Pops was looking at the two of us wearing shit eating grins. I laid down in front of him, 100, 200, 300….up to $1000. He just shook his head.
When I Tweeted out my winnings, a lot of well wishers said that I ‘n’ I deserved to win for risking The Covid (Bobbylon 17, Covid 0) to be the good son to drive my elderly parents all the way home.
<Tom Petty – Even the losers get lucky sometimes>; 75 sec.
As Tom Petty sang, “Even the losers get lucky sometimes.” Day 4: Mesquite to Sun City West, 350 miles. Sailed home that last stretch. Even the Air Supply tunes on Sirius XM sounded grittier than normal.
You have heard of luck of the Irish? How about luck of the Assyrian? I n I won $1000 playing video poker in Mesquite driving my folks back to AZ tonite! pic.twitter.com/SWzP6RU05Y
I ‘n’ I have been hosting Smile Jamaica for 30 years now. October 1989. Don’t remember the first Halloween Reggae show I did, but it would have been early 90’s.
So a quarter century of the exploration of Jamaican, mostly, superstitions about witches, vampires, ghosts/duppies, Obeah Black Magic, The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein and the rest!
About 10 years ago I was transitioned into head of the Audio Studio at the Marriott Library: Fall 2009. The early days of digital content. So I had started to notice many soundbytes in a horror vein from my Reggae CD collection.
I started ripping those clips from CDs, pull them into ProTools digital editor. “Snip, snip”. Export as .mp3. Same with a multitude of Halloween sound effects disks.
And there you go! Just like Dr. Frankenstein cutting up sound for your ghoulish pleasure!
Oct. 26th Smile Jamaica will be 3 hours of Boneyard Skanking. But play this podcast to keep the kids off your porch while you hand out your high fructose delights.
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-tober 19, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 91 sec.
Don Carlos & Gold – Harvest Time; Raving Tonight (RAS) ’83 DC vinyl
The Aggrovators – Strictly Rockers in the Dreadland (Justice) ’76 JA dub album of the week
Victor Essiet & the Mandators – Mi Friends (Duppy Conqueror); One Love One World (Mystic) 2006 Nigerian singers cover Bob Marley Halloween tune
To “rinse out” is a deejay term commonly used to showcase a fresh stash of vinyl on your sound system or deejay gig.
I ‘n’ I use it on this edition of Smile Jamaica as a way to juggle the Reggae vinyl I recently purchased while on vacation in Denver.
Bobbylon’s Guide to Cratedigging
Plan your record (and book and dispensary) shopping before you leave the house. I tend to go neighborhood by neighborhood to minimize transit time. Yelp, Yellowpages online, Google.
Upload my discographies to Google Drive or Dropbox so I know what I have and don’t buy duplicates
Print out my wishlist of items I’m looking for
Load up on coffee and green smoke for the excursion. Cratedigging on the Seven Leaf is one of life’s great pleasures
Comb through the racks: I start with Rock and Blues. Spend time on Soul and Jazz. Mutant Dub gets the second most time “digging”: Techno, electronic, lounge. Then Reggae CDs (many of them I already have.)
Spend the bulk of time in the Reggae Vinyl section.
Mention I’m a Radio Deejay and try and score 10% off
Take my trusty Burning Spear record bag to keep everything together
Never leave vinyl in the car during warm months.
Always put your stash in the trunk to deter break ins
At the end of the day sift and sort my haul
And that is how you Cratedig!
So I bought about $200 work of Reggae vinyl and let it simmer for the week. So I could hear it fresh from the needle to the monitor speakers on Smile Jamaica.
First time audio experience for I ‘n’ I as well as the masses. Tune in and hear the fruits of my labor!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives Jah-gust 31, 2019: All Vinyl
Black Uhuru – What Is Life; Anthem (Island) ’83 JA vinyl (no overdub mix): 3 Hour Vinyl Show
Blackbeard – Electrocharge; I Wah Dub (More Cut) ’80 Dub Album of the Hour
The In Crowd – Born in Ethiopia; His Majesty Is Coming (Creole) ’78 Fr.
Judy Mowatt – Mr. Big Man; Mellow Mood (Ashandan) ’75 JA
Johnny Organ – Bewitched; Come Back Darling (Techniques) ’70 JA
Sugar Minott – Ease Up Mr. Customs Man; Time Longer Than Rope (Greensleeves) ’85 UK
Idren Natural & Seventh Sense – Sip a Cup; 12″ (Jah Works) 2007 UK 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
Paul Davidson – Midnight Rider; Reggae Chartbusters 76 (Cactus) ’76 UK
Yellowman – Honour Your Mother; Jack Sprat (Hit) ’82 JA
Barbara Paige – Babylon Must Fall; Hear Me Now (Epiphany) ’82 Santa Cruz, CA
The Upsetters feat. The Heptones – Zion Blood; Super Ape (Mango) ’76 Lee “Scratch” Perry/Black Ark prod’n
Mark Jah Jah Bryan – Revelation Song (Rohit International) ’83 Barbados Reggae
Dennis Brown – Slave Driver; Joseph’s Coat of Many Colours (Laser) ’79 UK
Bomb Shelter – Stampede; Human Rights (Total Sounds) ’89 US
Doreen Shaffer – This Love; Pirates Choice (Studio One) ’80 JA
Jonathan Arthur – Burnin; 12″ (Emerald Isle) ’89 Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Bullwackies All Stars – Recording Connection; Black World (Wackies) ’79 Dub Album of the Hour
Dillinger – Tallowah; Tribal War (New Cross) ’86 UK
Kojak & Liza – Two Bad Duppy; Showcase L.P. (Kojak) ’80 JA
Michael Palmer – Mr. Officer; Ghetto Living (Bebo’s Music) ’85 Wheaton, MD
Carlton Livingston & U Brown – Mr. Deejay; 12″ (A1) ’81
Kofi – Reggae Starship; Black…With Sugar (Ariwa) ’89 UK female
Owen Gray – Turning Point (Version); Dreams of Owen Gray (Trojan) ’79 dub to Tyrone Davis soul cover
U Roy – Babylon Burning; Natty Rebel (Virgin Front Line) ‘ UK dj to Turning Point
Sylford Walker – Books of the Old Testament; 12″ (Art & Craft) ’79 UK
Set 6: Wailers Family Tree
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Let Him Go; Marley, Tosh, Livingston & Associates (Studio One) ’66 JA – Wailers Family Tree; Bunny/Peter on vox
<Let Him Go; 90 sec.>
Peter Tosh – No Sympathy (1972 mix); This Is Reggae Music vol. 3 (Mango) ’76 US diff. mix than on Legalize It