even in my youth i was a loner… introvert… odd… loser… nerd… pick your adjective. i spent a lot of time alone. not just as an only child… but because of the above mentioned adjectives… outcast. outlier. out of luck. whatever.
subsequently, i spent a lot of time reading. especially in the summer. i went to some camp of some sort or another on a few occasions… but mostly i spent my summers at my mother’s childhood home… in the midwest. coming from super liberal new england. basically culture shock every summer for like ten or 11 out of 18 summers. anyway. when i wasn’t in some camp. i was usually in ohio… or in massachusetts… either riding my bike. or reading. i read a lot. a book a day usually. a larger volume might take me two. back then i would force myself to finish books even if i didn’t like them. we’re not talking about anything challenging here. mostly science fiction and detective/crime type shit. but way above my grade level. adult books. no one ever censored what i was reading or told me not to read something. ever. lucky in that my intellectual curiosity has always been encouraged. a benefit of growing up in the super-crunchy-hippie-dippie-free-to-be-you-and-me new england of my youth….
in fact…. that’s the only consistency in my report cards from day 1 in pre-school until i left the school system 12 years later. “reading/reading comprehension beyond grade level” so at least i’ve got that going for me.
anyway… i read a lot. all the way through i’d say high school when somehow i had managed to cobble together some semblance of a social life. then after college… i picked up where i left off… and was a voracious reader. this time mostly non-ficition. i could plow through books. probably not at the one a day clip from my youth… but if i was interested in the subject matter and had good beats rocking in the background… i could read and read and read. didn’t need sleep or food. cigarettes, coca-cola and a bookmark.
somewhere along the line all that went in the toilet. with the rest of my world. and i stopped reading… just done. i didn’t stop accumulating reading material… quite the opposite in fact…. i was building my own personal library @ alexandria…. but i was curating and not actually using any of the materials i was accumulating… when i moved across the country a few years back… i streamlined. reduced 4 full bookshelves down to a few crates in a friends basement.
i moved to pdx sight unseen and went out of my way NOT to study too much about the history or mythology of the city before I got here… when I arrived the city was transitioning away from “drugstore cowboy” era portland but had to morph into “prtlandia.” anyway… i was unprepared for the numbers of brick and mortar bookstores that still existed… and was surprised to find that one of the most revered landmarks in the city is in fact a bookstore. an excellent bookstore i might add…
when i first got to town for a minute… i submerged myself in books again… from the portland public library mostly… which i might add… from what i’ve seen… is probably one of the best lending libraries in the country… but that’s neither here nor there… anyway… i stocked up and probably read about 15 books about oregon, portland and the northwest… in the first few months that i was here….
since then however… (15 years) i’m both embarrassed and saddened to say that my reading has fallen the fuck off… like way off. like…. i can barely finish a comic book. to the point where it’s a major contributing factor to the incredible amount of self loathing i’ve been overcome with of late… i know that within me i possess the power to read a book a day, write a chapter a day… i can barely put the sentences together for a 140 character tweet… the fact that it’s a point of celebration for me to finish a graphic novel… or tweet a complete thought… shows the depths to which i’ve fallen the fuck off… pathetic. despicable. disgusting. i hate my brain.
meanwhile… i digress… all that is a another post for another time… i said all that to say this…. as much as i’m still curating my great library of knowledge… for all intents and purposes…… i just don’t read anymore. not for want of trying. i’ve got bookmarks in about 45 books scattered around my apartment… i’ve sold a bunch of books and most of what’s replaced those are things i’ve been meaning to read. yet, dust and un-cracked spines is what you’ll find. *sigh*
there have been two volumes i’ve discovered quite recently however…. that compelled me to finish them in one sitting… for completely disparate reasons…. but nonetheless i felt an overwhelming drive to ingest them immediately. as if the knowledge they contained was vital to my survival and that i couldn’t continue on with my existence until i finished them… an experience which you might gather from the above i’ve not had in many moons… these are they:
read them both. your life can become nothing but enriched by doing so. what’s left of mine was.
A performer who is part of the West Coast Show performs a stunt that involves pulling an automobile with a a rope that is attached to this eyelids. The man is leaning backwards with his hands on his thighs. He is dressed in a long sleeved shirt, bow tie, vest, and trousers. Behind the stuntman hang four banners painted with illustrations advertising the carnival’s acts. One of the banners depicts a man performing the same stunt and is titled, “The Man With The Iron Eyes”.
image via: University of Oregon Libraries – Special Collections and University Archives
this blog started somewhere else… and that site folded… and at the time they gave us bloggers a bunch of options on how to transfer our intellectual property over to another service. i chose this one.
meanwhile… when i ported the old blog over to this one at first everything was cool but when the servers from the other site started to poop the bed a lot of my images disappeared… images it took forever to find… and so i reconstructed a lot of it and let me tell you… it was a fucking nightmare. and i got lazy. and i hotlinked a bunch of shit. yeah. hotlinking is bad and you shouldn’t do it. i did and now for the 2nd time 70% of the images here are gone.
i haven’t decided yet if i’m going to reconstruct those broken entries a third time… i might just delete and make note of the posts of the titles and start over again… or who knows? i might completely revamp this blog and start typing something of substance instead of just a bunch of pictures…
in the meantime… heed the words of spongebob…
someone asked me the other day for advice regarding dub reggae. i won’t bore you with the details but i’ve been listening to reggae for a long time and got into dub in middle school. that’s 30+ years of skanking.
when i lived in atlanta my crib was right down the street from a jamaican owned record store. all imports from jamaica. i probably went in there for a year or two before any of the rastas acknowledged me… one day dude behind the counter was like… i man buys a lot of dub plates… him must be a thinking man… after that they were always really cool with me…
this list could easily venture into the 100’s but i’m gonna try to keep it modest… THIS LIST IS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER… strictly stream of consciousness… but obviously the discs i think of first are probably the ones i’m most fond of or at least fresh on my mind from recent playings…
1. King Tubby’s “Rastafari Dub” (1974 – 1979)
A lot of the tracks on here are available on other compilations but this is a must have. A desert island disc for sure… Not the best but probably deserving of the #1 spot.
2. Dr. Alimantado Best Dressed Chicken in Town.
Some might argue that this is more of a toaster record than a true dub album and while that may be true the dubs he’s signing over are hot and plus this has one of the best album covers of any record ever.
3. Heavyweight Sound: A Blood and Fire Sampler Vol. 1-2
A compilation. Hot tracks. Many unavailable elsewhere. or at least not easily available… There are 3 volumes. I’ve only heard the first 2 so that’s what I’m recommending…
4. Burning Spear: Garvey’s Ghost
The dub plate of the seminal burning spear album Marcus Garvey. One of my all time favorites.
5. Gregory Isaccs: Slum in Dub
When most people think of the Cool Ruler they think of lovers rock. And Mr. Isaccs did it better than anyone. But this dub plate is from early tracks and the man on the mix is none other than Prince Jammy.
6. Prince Jammy: Kamakazi Dub
Speaking of Prince Jammy his output is prolific and it’s a matter of taste I like the early stuff. For me… this is one of the best
7. Lee “Scratch” Perry Kung-Fu meets the Dragon
All you need to know is it’s lee perry and it’s a dub record with a kung-fu cover. Can’t go wrong with the kung-fu album covers.
8. LKJ in dub
What can one say about Linton Kwesi Johnson that hasn’t been said already. With that being said, the first dub album, the one with the red cover, is just as powerful and intense as the man himself, even without his words on the track. it’s that heavy duty. another desert island disc. I’ve had at least 3 vinyl pressings and a cd of this over the years. It’s that good.
9. Scientist rids the world of the evil curse of the vampires/wins the world cup
Scientist is a newcomer when compared to Prince Jammy or Lee Perry but he studied at the alter of the mighty King Tubby and when he branched out on his own he hit the ground running. The early 80’s albums are all good. Here are two of my favorites
10. The Original Studio One Dub Vol 1 & 2.
If you don’t know what studio one is in relation to reggae and dub you should google it. type “studio one reggae.” i couldn’t do it justice in these few lines. There’s a shit-ton of studio one compilations… each seemingly better than the next. The 3 volume “roots” set is the bomb. But these dub tracks are hot hot hot. Also the single volume dub specialist from studio one is good as well.
11. Trojan Dub Box Set. Volume 1 2 and Dub Rarities.
Take your pick. 3 boxes 9 discs. ALL GOOD.
That’s a good starting point. Like I said, I could do this for a week straight and probably not really cover everything… I’m too lazy to put the links in where you can get this stuff… That’s what google is for. It’s all out there for your consumption however and easy to find. If you are so inclined.
meanwhile… another secret for finding hot dub tracks is too look and see who the musicians are… as you find stuff you like take note of who played on it and find other albums they are on… a lot of the studio musicians played with multiple artists and when it comes to dub they’re really the ones who are the backbone of the whole thing… them and the producers. or reducers depending on your point of view.
here’s a tip. any record that says “percussion: sticky” or “percussion: skully” buy it.
uziah “sticky” thompson
Noel “Skully” Simms
I’m sure some glaring omissions will present themselves to me and as this happens I will rectify the situation as needed…