Friday, July 27, 2012

BftRB Presents: Grind Shop Vol. 2 (Strangeland Mix)

Turning Myself Nto Energy - Axis (France)
Witch's Wand - Luv Machine (Barbados)
Sul Tuo Letto Di Morte - I Giganti (Italy)
Snuki - Omega (Hungary)
You've Got Freedom - Joel Dayde (France)
Vambo Marble Eye - The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (Scotland)
Liar - Kin Ping Meh (Germany)
Se Non E' Amore Cos'e' - Formula 3 (Italy)
Fluid - Twink (England)

*Note: Just like the Olympics but w/o drug testing!!!
Special thanks to M. (Vinyl Dog) Poletti for the hook-up.


BftRB Presents: Grind Shop Vol. 2 (Strangeland Mix)


Thursday, July 26, 2012


Currently Reading...

Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition
by Yvonne P. Chireau

"Black Magic looks at the origins, meaning, and uses of Conjure--the African American tradition of healing and harming that evolved from African, European, and American elements--from the slavery period to well into the twentieth century. Illuminating a world that is dimly understood by both scholars and the general public, Yvonne P. Chireau describes Conjure and other related traditions, such as Hoodoo and Rootworking, in a beautifully written, richly detailed history that presents the voices and experiences of African Americans and shows how magic has informed their culture. Focusing on the relationship between Conjure and Christianity, Chireau shows how these seemingly contradictory traditions have worked together in a complex and complementary fashion to provide spiritual empowerment for African Americans, both slave and free, living in white America. As she explores the role of Conjure for African Americans and looks at the transformations of Conjure over time, Chireau also rewrites the dichotomy between magic and religion. With its groundbreaking analysis of an often misunderstood tradition, this book adds an important perspective to our understanding of the myriad dimensions of human spirituality."

Currently Watching...

White Lighning (1973)

"After Gator McKlusky is arrested for selling moonshine, the police agree to set him free if he will help them catch the main players in the local whiskey-running business. Gator agrees in order to get out of jail, and for revenge, because the ring leader of his competition is the man who killed his younger brother."


Monday, June 18, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

BftRB presents: Grind Shop Vol. 1 (Authority Mix)

Camel Back - A.B Skhy
Get It On - Chase
Snap Out - Interpertations
Let's Do It Again - Billy Sha Rae
One More Time Ya'll - New Sound Express Ltd.
No Count Entertainin' Man - Larry Nettles
Amen, Brother - Winstons
I Dig Girls - J.J. Jackson
You - Groovin' Strings & Things


Blues for the RedBoy presents: Grind Shop Vol. 1 (The Authority Mix)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Blue Heaven

Currently Watching...

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - 1972

"Five young kinky actors and their artistic director come to a desolate and nearly forgotten burial island, complete with a morbid history of MURDER, RAPE, CURSES and DEMONS. Alan (Alan Ormsby), the brilliant but bizarre Director of the company, has brought them to this foreboding place to dabble in witchcraft; specifically to dig up a fresh corpse and use it in a ritual ceremony which is supposed to raise the dead from their graves.The PAY-OFF: It seems as though Alan has really gathered his "children" here, only to play a practical joke on them and then to party the rest of the night away. However, the joke's on Alan. His bizarre ritual ceremony really does raise the dead from their graves...only they're in no mood to party! NOTE: "BENJAMIN" CLARK is really "BOB" CLARK, the creative director behind the hit films PORKY'S, BLACK CHRISTMAS and A CHRISTMAS STORY among others. ALAN ORMSBY, though he turned in what has been described as " of the most obnoxious screen performances in history!", has actually made a mark for himself as the screenwriter for such memorable films as MY BODYGUARD, CAT PEOPLE, KARATE KID 3 and PORKY'S 2."


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Currently Reading.

Where Dead Voices Gather
by Nick Tosches

"[This] startling and mesmerising music," he enthuses in the opening paragraph of Dead Voices, "seemed to be a Rosetta Stone to the understanding of the mixed and mongrel blood-lines of country and blues, of jazz and pop, of all that we know as American music." In Country, the writer pinpointed [Emmett] Miller's potential influence on the likes of Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams and even Bo Diddley (whose seminal voodoo rocker "Who Do You Love" steals some of its lyrical content from an old Miller black-face comedy routine). But when it came to describing Miller's life and times, he found himself engulfed in mystery: no photographs, an incomplete discography, the few still alive who knew him giving vague, conflicting accounts."

- The Guardian

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Okeh 40239

The missing link of the "Missing Link"?

Contrary to popular belief, the blues is just pop music. I know, I know, I wanted it to mean something more too, but the blues was only ever a copy of a copy of a copy; like a copper engraving, it’s most indelible imprint begun earlier in it's material life, time and sentimentality having worn the crisp quality of that negative space down to the point where both depth and shadow are now flat with the fatigue of a thousand lesser works. Even in its day the blues was derivative and suffered from the same hobgoblins of every artistic endeavor, mainly that it was never an artistic endeavor to begin with – it was always ever about money. And why shouldn’t it have been? Slavishness to authenticity is, after all, a modern contrivance, and besides, a man’s got to live and eat and those things tend to work themselves out - more often than not - with a guitar in one's hand.

While the whole of the genre is eminently listenable, there are fleeting moments that defy convention, moments where we recognize innovation at work within inspiration, much like the Devil who mixes lies with the truth in the interests of enticing one to swallow the former at the insistence of the latter.

True: Robert Johnson’s Love in Vain shares more than a passing resemblance to Joshua White’s When the Sun Goes Down (pre hand injury), but I submit that it is not Johnson’s implied devilry which is noteworthy (Blues has always ever courted superstition and, likewise, minorities were ever associated with witchery), but the fact that Johnson - by 1937 - had improved upon the mechanics of his contemporaries to the point where by the time of his untimely death he had effectively whipped the medium till the butter came. Can anybody truly say that the medium as been improved upon since Johnson’s time?

Similarly, If Emmett Miller had only taken hokum to its logical conclusion, namely that anachronistic collision with the jazz age presaged by the success of his contemporaries, then he would have truly been relegated to the dustbin that is ignominious death, but as we are talking about him now in glowing superlatives it is apparent that Miller survived the grist mill that is pop music and came out the other side intact, lauded even. Why? After all, the man was a Blackface Minstrel, and as such, propriety dictate his legacy be chiseled off of every obelisk of cultural relevance - a heretic.

Miller's voice, for one - his is an instrument which is free in a way that most people could never be. Intoned as much as the words are sung, each vowel is impregnated with the kind of emotion which, though undeniably melodramatic, is capable of dragging even the most sentimental claptrap to the kind of lofty heights which betray the limited scope of late 19th / early 20th century balladry.

My experience with Miller begins, as most do, over whiskey and beers, “Hey, did you ever hear the earlier version of Love Sick Blues that Hank William ripped off”, a half-truth which, as an avowed Hiram Williams fan, was bound to elicit a curiosity beyond what one might deem as healthy (Thanks Peter). What's more, it changed the way I looked at music. It was no longer a question of authenticity (There's that word again) , but an elliptical undercurrent of repeating motifs transcending race and nationality. Motifs which have shamelessly been passed off as contemporary but, in reality, belong to no one author - like the elemental formula for oxygen, the very spirit of public domain.

Jump ahead several years to an unassuming Saturday morning at a local junk shop, a veritable Kingdom of the Spiders stinkin' to high heaven of kerosene and promise. After several hours diggin' I had managed to amass a small stack of 78s, slick with white mold but otherwise unremarkable save for a pair of Sugar Chile Robinson discs. It seems strange now, but were it not for the rusty math of the elderly caretaker tallying up my spoils, I might not have wandered off into the periphery and chanced a sealed box containing what were otherwise Caruso and Wagner discs, a heavy stack upon who’s top brazenly sat a near mint copy of Okeh 40329, Emmett Miller and Walt Rothrock performing Anytime and Pickaninnies’ Paradise. All told, the record cost me a dollar - the last fair deal gone down.

Cut in 1924, this disc is a long way from Ashville, NC, though  if I had to hazard a guess I would say Miller’s patronage of RCA’s Camden recording studio during the 20’s and a rumored engagement at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier might just account for the 78’s appearance this far north. Regardless, it’s a small miracle considering up until ten years ago this record was thought not to exist at all (Famously omitted from Columbia’s Miller retrospective as no copies could be located), and even now, conventional wisdom numbers those copies still in existence at three.

Concerning the quality of the performance, I’ll let the music speak to its own strength. As to what I take away from Miller and the strange circumstances of his posthumous celebrity? Simple, history is a complicated and ugly thing, but no more so than it's authors. One day someone will pick through your wreckage having not known the particulars of your circumstances. If you would have them give you the benefit of the doubt then you owe your contemporaries and, likewise, the contemporaries of your heroes, nothing less.

Anytime – Emmett Miller (featuring Walt Rothrock)

Picanninnies’ Paradise – Emmett Miller (featuring Walt Rothrock)

RedBoy XLI


You Broke Mah Heart Cause I Couldn't Blog. You Didn't Even Want Me Around...

But Now I'm Back to Let You Know I Can Really Shake'Em Down...