Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Documenting the Broken Diamond's Cultural Staying Power

We have spent the last 72 thinking over a wide range of things DC. This AM it's the Blackbyrds. Sunday it was Alma Thomas and other areas painters. We are left with the impression that there is not a written record and that there should be.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Satchmo, p. 8

Somehow a propos of this sacred day (and contrary to its appropriation by lowslung midwestern and southern hatas today):

There were churchpeople, gamblers, hustlers, cheap pimps, thieves, prostitutes and lots of children.

Everyone is in the audience when we seek redemption. Everyone. You aren't going to keep it to yourself no mater how many times you take the steps and try.

Warloard Nuh Business

From the front page of today's Gleaner: a warning about plundering the public purse. We just call it the blues in any language, any gramma.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What We're Hearing

Worth digging into:

What we came to do today is drop the science
and spread love your ways peoples. You better move something.’
We get the fire started inside of the party.
You know how my herd play love. You better move somethin.’
Money grillin, gruntin, playin the role frontin.
Get off the wall. Come have a ball. Killer move somethin.’
Shit muh'fuckers recognize.
It's Organized (fuck shit up). Bitch you better move somethin.’

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just for Reference: Two Takes on the Same Theme

Some copywork that is a propos of this morning's work over @ the Blue Light.

Rob't Johnson, "I Beleive I'll Dust My Broom"

I'm goin' get up in the mornin', I believe I'll dust my broom
I'm goin' get up in the mornin', I believe I'll dust my broom
Girlfriend, the black man you been lovin', girlfriend, can get my room

I'm gon' write a letter, telephone every town I know
I'm gon' write a letter, telephone every town I know
If I can't find her in West Helena, she must be in East Monroe I know

I don't want no woman, wants every downtown man she meet
I don't want no woman, wants every downtown man she meet
She's a no good doney, they shouldn't allow her on the street

I believe, I believe I'll go back home
I believe, I believe I'll go back home
You can mistreat me here, babe, but you can't when I go home

And I'm gettin' up in the mornin', I believe I'll dust my broom
I'm gettin' up in the mornin', I believe I'll dust my broom
Girlfriend, the black man you been lovin', girlfriend, can get my room

I'm gonna call up Chiney, see is my good girl over there
I'm gonna call up China, see is my good girl over there
'F I can't find her on Philippine's island, she must be in Ethiopia somewhere

Kokomo Arnold, "Sissy Man Blues"

I believe, I believe I'll go back home.
I believe, I believe I'll go back home.
Only to acknowledge to my good gal, mama, lord, and I have
done you wrong.

Now, I'm gonna ring up China, yeah, man, see if I find my good gal over there.
(Ride it, Kokomo, ride it.)

I'm gonna ring up China, see can I find my good gal over there.
Says the Good Book tella me that I got a good gal in this world somewhere.

Hollerin' the church bells is tonin', yeah, man, on one Sunday mornin'.
(Boys, that's old Kokomo.)

Hollerin' the ohurch bell is tonin' on one Sunday mornin'.
Hollerin' some old dirty deacon come and rung that bell, stole my gal and gone.
(Play it, Kokomo.)

Lord, I woke up this mornin' with my pork grindin' business in my hand.

Says I woke up this morning with my pork grindin' business in my hand.
Lord, if you can't send me no woman, please send me some sissy man.

I'm gonna sing these blues, mama, yeah, man, and I'm gonna lay 'em upon your shelf.
Now, I'm gonna slng these blues, mama, and I'm gonna lay 'em upon your shelf.
Lord, lf you wanna hear these blues again, mama, well you sure gonna sing them yourself.
(Now, play It, Mr Koke.)

Robert Johnson Toolkit

We loves the internets as much as the next fella. But we also have to breath out before we praise again, just because it is such a thorough mixup.

As the sun comes up this morning, we've been living our own version of "Phonograph Blues"* w/ Robert Johnson, and we're prompted to look about for tools to assist us in our persistently (failing) sensemaking. Thus, a few bullets:

  • Lyrics and some sources. Delightfully free of popups and transparencies. Nothing special, but that's what we're looking for.
  • Songlists and discography. The former stands on its simplicity. The latter is an apt representation of the ball of confusion we call the recording innustry.
Wikipedia's bio page is not worth citing because it's cluttered with foolish references to the young Keith Richards, and can't resolve the unresolveables at the crossroads with the elegance the episode deserves. But some wikipedier has invested a great deal of time in a couple of song pages, so let's also commend them.
We want these at our fingertips, want to return to them, because they remind us of the complex exchanges that make up the songs and the body of work.


* We must observe, even before you read them, that these highlights are in our own context, appropriated from the song, and this is as it should be. Everything, after all, is autobiography.

Beatrice got a phonograph, and it won't say a lonesome word

And we played it on the sofa, and we played it side the wall
But boys, my needles have got rusty, and it will not play at all

Beatrice, I love my phonograph mmm, babe and I'm bound to lose my mind

Now Beatrice, won't you bring your clothes back home
I wanna wind your little phonograph, just to hear your little motor moan

Saturday, August 21, 2010

: Prospect

Prompted by both Giddins and Teachout, we have picked up a copy of Pops's second book. It is a brilliantly slow and clearspoken exercise in autoarchetyping, comparable not only with Sidney Bechet, but Ben Franklin.

Since this is nothing but a place for my repeater pencil, I'll be posting my favorite snippets from time to time. I just don't want to lose them.

What We're Hearing

This music is sweeter than wine,
It can make you,
Feel a little better now!
And it's a long, long, long, time,
We no have a little nice time.
Feel a little better now!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Footnote on the entry below...

Always begin w/ the basics.

Who's written the big book...

On the magnificence that is Fania Records. The present retro vogue for salsa goes w/out saying. And Fania = Motown = Studio 1. Etc & duh.

So: There is no greater example of the identity creating power of the culture industry, and there is something to be said about the people behind the identities.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

:: pours a little liquor on the ground ::

Ancestors are happier, but we at a loss.

The story in the story

...is what needs the attention here. This story, told better here, here and here, is about the scholar as much as it is about the scholarship. There is too much made of the language of the Sea Islands, an easy fascination even more easily taken to romanticism of pure folk roots, or maroonism, or something in between. We leave thinking more about the prodigious personal will of Lorenzo Dow Turner, who took an English degree and ,on the one hand, shaped it into an interdisciplinary knowhow and made sense of someone else's ways of knowing and, on the other hand, administered more than one university during the course of a career.

You Must Learn

We are all about the simple act of making more available. The worst happens in shortages of what we need most. It is hard, on the other hand, to fight what is true when there is abundant evidence.

In this spirit we say thanks to the effort underway in Chicago to make sense of the boxes of stuff people have been holding on to. 'Though they offer perilously little of their holdings on the internets, still requiring the fare to roll into the library to learn, there are some tantalizing glimpses here.

I’ve always liked my women book and street smart

For simple lechery, can't we all just agree that "Good Morning Little School Girl" is the most down low, wretched, cat chasing song written?

I'm'a buy me an airplane.
I'm'a buy me an airplane.
I'm'a fly it over this land.
I'm'a fly it over this land.
And if I don't find some loving,
I ain't gonna touch my airplane down.

j y e a h

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Problem w/ Analytic Thinking...

... is that you can't get everything into a single field of vision. Then, what's missing stands out. Please take this tomfoolery as Exhibit∞.

(*4-tons of vinyl, this is true.)

Can you see the edifice Otis Jackson Jr. is building from your side of the horizon? It should be visible even from your distance from the street.

We're crawling up the side like your friendly neighborhood spiderman. From this vantage point Brovah Otis is lookin like Anansi, jyeah. Make of this giant web what you will, you cannot talk bad about its size, or its relentless creolization of everything touched by it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Soaking in the Fresh

Text stolen from yesterday's Observer. We're all up on Elephant Man, but there are plenty of leads to the island fresh worth following up on.

Other activities not directly related to the independence celebrations but taking place today include, the hip-hop dancehall show, Fully Loaded which takes place at The Old Coal Wharf Port Royal, and features Ricky Blaze, Tony Matterhorn, Bass Odyssey, Black Kat, Boom, Vertex, Sky Juice, Renaissance, ZJ Liquid, Bambino, DJ Shine, Flava Squad. Radio station, Fame FM hosts its Beach Fiesta at Sugarman's Beach, Portmore. For Jamaicans on the country's north coast, there is the party, Disturbia, Club Jamaica Jamaica in St Ann, featuring Elephant Man, Ishawna, Foota Hype, Bass Odyssey and DJ Pele. Lovers of old school music can also check out Yesterday, The Independence-Day Edition, to be held at Kingston's Mas Camp.

Need to Re-Read This One

It's been about 20 years since we worked through this. It's time to return. We are remembering when the thoughts were fresh in our head.

The Ancient Art of Stand Up

We were happily reviewing the output of the mighty Ed Lover, and we realized that he was biting deep into the tradition.

We have nothing but love. No use in hating. But we'll wait 'til the judge gets here before we say we're done laughing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Of All the Fats, One's the Fattest

Well alright. Let's beat it out like you know something.

What We're Hearing

The epitome of sweetvoice and sweeter melody. Can I Change My Mind makes blue blue.

"I would like to start all over again..."