This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"We must pull it with shackles around our necks" - Burning Spear

News item the first: I'm coming back to Atlanta for a visit. Check the appropriate sources for the details.

News item the second: So apparently liking R.E.M. and Eminem is cause for angry hipster backlash. Is it my fault the mainstream gets it right sometimes? This was by far the worst, most condesceding: "Eminem? R.E.M.? Common, I thought better of you." Fucking idiot music snobs.

News item the third: I'm interviewing Hank Williams III before his show at the Black Cat this Saturday, so any help with the questions would be mad appreciated.

News item the fourth: Watching three James Cagney gangster pictures in a row certainly gives you perspective on a lot of modern acting styles.

Normally, I don't listen to a lot of ska or reggae. There are plenty of artists I like I a lot from both genres: Desmond Dekker, Alton Ellis, Dillinger, whatever. I can't listen to a whole lot because it starts to bleed together. I guess it's because I'm not a genre fanatic. I listen to a lot of early-to-mid-80's punk and hardcore, which I'm sure all sounds alike to the listener that doesn't really care.

This issue was brought up once when I was getting stoned at a friend's apartment. We wouldn't listen to much reggae when we smoked because even when we were baked, we couldn't turn off the rock critics inside each of us, and we both thought too much reggae involved palm-muted two-note noodling and virtually identical rhythms. Our post-spliff music schedule usually consisted of classic rock - Sabbath, Rush, AC/DC. However, one roots record we would always make an exception for was Toots and the Maytals' incredible Funky Kingston, as much a tour-de-force as any reggae record ever released.

One such record is Burning Spear's classic Marcus Garvey, which was purchased on a whim after one of my favorite clerks at Record and Tape Exchange (the one I drink and remix old hip-hop singles with) was selling off his considerable Jamaican music collection. (I almost bought his copy of Big Youth's Screaming Target, but he wanted $50 for it, which he got from someone else.) Despite the fact that I deplore Marcus Garvey's racialist politics (same goes for the National Front), it's a good record, and I tune out the back-to-Africa crap as well as I can the Rastafarian nonsense present in many reggae songs.

I don't know much about Burning Spear - it seems every time I try to find out anything about any reggae group, the same words and phrases keep popping up: Studio One, Jack Ruby, Lee Perry, Jah, Jack Ruby, Robbie Shakespeare, blah blah blah, so much so that it begins to run together as much as the reggae music itself. Just know that this album (and the song I picked out for y'all) is killer and worth a spin or five.

Burning Spear (essentially Wintson Rodney, now with greyed dreads) often plays Atlanta, and I keep missing him. Maybe I should go next time, but only if I have the proper Rasta offerings in my pocket.


Blogger AmyMeacham said...

I've found that at a Burning Spear show (excellent, as I recall) or most reggae shows, you just need to inhale deeply....

1:50 AM

Blogger Matt Ramone said...

Duly noted.

Hey, I'm coming back to Atlanta to visit in early November. I'm sure to be hanging out with Ian, Joe, and Rob, and maybe all of us could meet up for drinks or something, maybe before a show. Sound good?

12:48 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home