Thursday, February 29, 2024

Leap Into T. Marrow


Ice T - Ricochet

The extra day brings extra flavor to February, as we close out Black History Month with a bang.

I don't do nearly enough Hip-Hop so for today we will time machine back to the Golden Age, when LA rap was rising ramping up to the riots in 1992.

He may play the police on television now, but there was a time when the roles were very much reversed.

Probably the alpha/omega figure for the late 1980s Los Angeles rap scene when the genre was just beginning to dominate the world, it was when he went Punk Rock that the authorities really got in a twist.

When his rock band hit in the early 1990s and he added that ensemble to his arsenal of artistic weapons, he got into the crosshairs of the Culture War machine in a big way.

They were called Body Count, and their song Cop Killer really got the authoritarians way up in their feelings, even though it was just a song on a record.

The authoritarians really had it in for Hip-Hop back when it was unhomogenized.

Here's a wild set from the East Coast from during that time, really well captured too. Which is sadly not the norm for most ROIOs of this kind of music, all too rare as they are.

This set features Ice-T -- born Tracy Marrow 66 years and a couple of weeks ago -- at the height of his powers doing the rap thing and the rock thing.

Unfortunately, the security for the show gets out of hand during the second portion so he quits the stage midway through the Body Count segment, before they can play the controversial track.
Fortunately, before that happens he makes it through almost 74 minutes of prime aggression and mosh pit mayhem.
Capitol Theatre
Port Chester, New York USA

01 intro
02 Ricochet
03 You Played Yourself
04 High Rollers
05 I'm Your Pusher
06 Ice talk
07 Girls L.G.B.N.A.F.
08 Ice talk
09 The Iceberg
10 Power
11 6 'N the Mornin'
12 Drama
13 Peel Their Caps Back
14 Ice talk
15 O.G. Original Gangsta
16 Ice talk
17 New Jack Hustler
18 Colors
19 Ice talk
20 Body Count intro
21 Body Count's In the House
22 Body Count Anthem/band introductions
23 Bowels of the Devil
24 KKK Bitch

Total time: 1:13:38

Ice-T (Tracy Marrow) – vocals
DJ Evil E (Eric Garcia) - turntables & vocals
Afrika Islam - vocals
Sean E. Sean – sampler & vocals
Sean E. Mac (Sean Thomas) – vocals
Body Count (Tracks 21-24):
Ernie C (Ernie Cunnigan) – guitars
D-Roc the Executioner (Dennis Miles) - guitars
Beatmaster V (Victor Ray Wilson) – drums
Lloyd "Mooseman" Roberts III – bass & vocals

1st gen DAT from the soundboard
recorded, edited and remastered by RB in 2020
slightly edited, volume adjusted and retracked -- with beginning of show somewhat repaired and reconstructed -- by EN, February 2024
423 MB FLAC/direct link

I'll be right back on Sunday, with a big anniversary tribute to a recently fallen icon.

But before I did that, I wanted to utilize Leap Year to jump on this Ice-T anniversary special from The Golden Age of Hip-Hop, one of only three of 13,000 concerts I have that was recorded on February 29th!--J.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Rest In Bass: Family Leave

We'll midpoint the weekend with another passing, including a tasty related bonus concert because I felt like it.

Because a couple of days into February, we lost a Reggae icon for the ages.

Far more than just "Bob Marley's bass player," in fact.
Truth be told, without this guy, Bob probably doesn't have the goods all sewn up and arranged to take over the world like he did, when the opportunity presented itself.

Because in essence, this guy was Bob's right hand man and the person responsible, as Wailers musical director, for the arrangements of all of dude's songs.

When the CIA decided it was time for Bob to go, his legacy was largely left to be carried on by today's dearly departed hero.

The Wailers carried on for several decades after 1981, with Aston Barrett -- famously called "Family Man" -- evolving into a global Reggae ambassador.

It's no exaggeration to say that the position of the bass in Reggae -- arguably the central instrument in the music -- owes in extremely large part to Fams.

In fact, you could say that every person who's ever picked up the bass since he came on the scene owes some sort of cosmic debt to Aston Barrett.

That's a mighty impressive shadow to leave upon your departure.

Anyway here he is, leading those mighty Wailers through their first performance in Jamaica after Bob died.

The Wailers
Jamaica World Music Festival
Bob Marley Performing Arts Center
Montego Bay, Jamaica

01 Marching Through Creation
02 Well Pleased
03 Preacher Man
04 My Friend
05 Rastaman Vibration
06 Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
07 Redemption Song
08 Exodus

Total time: 42:57

Aston "Family Man" Barrett - bass
Carlton "Carly" Barrett - drums
Junior Marvin - guitar & vocals
Denval Darrick - guitar
Tyrone Downie - keyboards
Earl “Wya” Lindo - organ
Alvin "Seeco" Patterson - percussion
The I-Threes (Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley & Judy Mowatt) - vocals
with The Zap Pow horns:
Glen DaCosta - saxophones
David Madden - trumpet
Stephen Marley - additional vocals on Exodus

master soundboard cassette, transferred & mastered by Charlie Miller, 2011
slightly edited for dead air, denoised and retracked -- with volume boosted +1 dB throughout -- by EN, February 2024
250 MB FLAC/direct link

You'll notice that I've placed another treat into the folder -- recorded 16 years ago today, actually --  which I felt was relevant to Family Man, Bob Marley and Black History Month.

This would be Sonoma State University Professor of Reggae Harrison Stafford's tribute project --  which I think delivers the Wailers vibe as well as anything out there in this century -- falling like petals on Petaluma in 2008, turning in a smokin' two-hours-and-change set of BM&TW album tracks.

I shall return midweek with some more BHM bombshells, you can bet your last money on it like Don Cornelius would say.

But before that happens I wanted to make sure I got a proper tribute in to Aston "Family Man" Barrett -- his friends called him Fams -- and commemorate both his passing and his eternal contribution to the music of our age.--J.

11.22.1946 - 2.3.2024

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Super Cupid: Spinning Away

Spinners - Cupid

I wanna catch up to the deaths of late, which are coming fast and furious... we're already down to no original Spinners and one, lonely keyboard player from Can, and it's only Valentine's Day.

Ah, what better group to cover on such a day than The Spinners, as powerhouse a hitmaking machine that ever existed, with damn near every tune standing in the shadows of l-o-v-e.

 A week ago, we sadly lost the last of the original guys from that group, which was formed in 1954.

Which is only six years younger than the State of Israel. The Spinners didn't ethnically cleanse anyone though, to my knowledge.

They did, however, light up the charts in the 1970s with what seemed like dozens of huge hit songs.

Henry Fambrough wrote and sang a bunch of 'em, having been instrumental in forming the band back when color television was still 10 years away.

When he died last Wednesday, I started thinking about how, as a kid, my parents would leave me in the car with the radio on when they went shopping, and how there was a time in around 1976 where you could tune across the dial and every song was a Spinners song.

I was sitting here lamenting how there are no Spinners bootlegs, when a visit to Mr. WD 18TB revealed that there is indeed one, and it's a damn good one to... well, boot.

A few days in the remasterizzation rinse, and the pre-broadcast LP is here and sounding as fresh as the day, in 1982, when this tremendous concert happened. Cupid! Draw back your bow, I say.

Academic-Athletic Center
Morehead State University
Morehead, Kentucky USA

01 Could It Be I'm Falling In Love
02 Yesterday Once More
03 Cupid
04 Now That You're Mine Again
05 Love Connection
06 Spinners Golden Medley: Then Came You/I'll Be Around/One of a Kind (Love Affair)/Games People Play
07 Rubberband Man
08 Lady
09 Working My Way Back to You
10 Mighty Love/FM outro

Total time: 51:56

Henry Fambrough - baritone vocals
Billy Henderson - tenor vocals
Bobby Smith - tenor vocals
Pervis Jackson - bass vocals
Jonathan Edwards - vocals
with The Spinners Orchestra under the direction of Maurice King

preFM LP from the Westwood One "Budweiser Concert Hour," digitized & declicked by draftervoi in 2021
somewhat remastered -- with irritating announcer mostly removed -- by EN, February 2024
first broadcast 5.7.1982
319 MB FLAC/direct link

This circulates widely as May 7, 1982 but that was the date it was first broadcast over Westwood One.

I'll be working my way back to you this weekend, with yet more Black History Month fare, and once March comes I will make sure Damo Suzuki (rest in eternal peace) and everyone else are properly memorialized.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, I've always wanted to cover The Spinners, even if it took a sad occasion to make it happen.

So Happy Valentine's Day and farewell to Henry Fambrough, who nurtured this great and timeless group through many decades of excellence and who brought so many people -- even little kids in cars, waiting for their parents to leave Korvette's -- so much love and joy in asking if it could be that they were falling in love.--J.

5.10.1938 - 2.7.2024