SOME THOUGHTS ON VIEWING ENGLAND FROM ABROAD.

This last year I’ve found myself watching a fair bit of TV on Netflix, mostly BBC, which is quite unusual for me. Initially I was drawn to Last Tango in Halifax, primarily because I hadn’t heard adult males begin sentences with ‘Happen’ or actually ‘appen’ as in ‘appen I might go to t’spill for a minute love’, and I hadn’t seen the countryside of my childhood since I’d lived there, it was a real pleasure. Another program was Happy Valley which I enjoyed for similar reasons plus the excellent Sarah Lancashire who was also in Last Tango. Peaky Blinders was definitely different, but even though it was set in Birmingham it absolutely brought back for me so many memories of the slums of Sheffield during WW2, the filth, the smoke, the canals, the depression, it was all there. Plus the stories of the Irish gangs, we had ‘em also; I started out on Solly Street in 1936 and Wiki will tell you about the Irish Solly Street gangs of the 30’s. Many industrial northern cities were inundated with Irish immigrants due to the famine and the social conditions there.

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SOME AFRICAN REGGAE/GOSPEL.

I was sorting through a stack of mini discs and I came across one that wasn’t clearly labeled but I remembered it from the 80’s. The key phrase was ‘Praise the Lord’, so I did a search at youtube and sure enough, there it was . A Nigerian reggae musician who turned to gospel. Sonny Okosun, I don’t know where I got this piece but it’s worth a listen just for the energy, a bit of African reggae/gospel. You don’t have to watch the entire piece unless the spirit moves you.

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS – LONG CUTS.

This week I was listening to a cassette of one of my radio shows from about 20 odd years ago, the title of the program was ‘Long Cuts’. I’d previously played a program devoted to the sort of music that was frequently heard here on the West coast in the 60’s/70’s but radio stations were reluctant to play anything longer than 4-5 minutes, the record companies even issued edited short versions to radio stations so the effect was that many listeners often didn’t even know that what they were hearing was an edited version. And of course the long cuts were often the best things on an album but they went unheard except for those who bought the albums. I’ve always had a soft spot for the longer cuts so I decided to devote a 2hr program to them.

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FROM THE ARCHIVE

I was just poking around in my Mac search mode [spotlight], when I suddenly came across an item labeled ‘Spill Jazz’. It was dated April 2009 and I had no idea that it even existed, it was an extensive series of Spill comments relating to a post concerning Jazz versus ‘Free Jazz’. We never seem to have arguments or dialogues like that any more, it took me half the morning to read ‘em all. I guess the reason I saved it was because I was one of the principal participants, the others being Abahachi, Chris, Ejay and Nilpferd, though many others chipped in. As part of my participation I included a playlist of the sort of jazz I enjoy, it still sounds great so as a nod to Albahooky’s ‘Absolute Beginners’ post last week I’ll include here. The cuts are: Continue reading

LET’S GET TOGETHER AND FEEL ALRIGHT.

Back in the 70’s/80’s I used to enjoy making tape playlists of my various favorite musics, reggae was high up there then. I must have made hundreds, for myself, my car, my friends and many of them wound up in the living room along with all the VHS, the CD’s and the vinyl from whence many had originated. But then several years ago we had the big clean up and since they were not getting played much they were all consigned to the storage room upstairs, at one point I did a quick count and there were over a thousand. In latter years I sleep much less, often lying awake for several hours in the middle of the night, so I set up a cassette player with a pair of earbuds and started playing my cassettes: I’d usually have a dozen or more which were randomly chosen on the headboard. It’s wonderful, I’m re-living my musical tastes of those decades and also playing lots of interviews and musical documentaries and live performance tapes; I look forward to going to bed and I don’t mind a bit when I wake up at 1am. Last night I played a tape labelled ‘African & Jamaican dance music for Nathan” God knows why I have it and not Nathan but it was wonderful, 90 minutes of memorable music. Here’s side one of that cassette, a dozen+ cuts of favorite classic reggae. Let’s dance!