Sunday, April 8, 2012
My pop-psyche maunderings are the result of added research or new developments relating to recent blog posts. I decided to mention them, briefly, via this latest chapter in the erratic saga (which has now exceeded 250 individual pieces):
(1) I wrote about record producer and Jack-of-many-trades Lee “Scratch”/“the
But, then, the Upsetter has always pushed and hacked at whatever envelope he found around him. After a half-dozen years (1973 to 1979 or so) spent engineering and producing, day and night, in his own Black Ark studio--brilliant records
Freed after a fashion, he became a citizen of the world, going where welcome, performing with whoever would pay him, functioning basically as a hired gun--or a Chuck Berry on tour (“I’ll need the cash up front, and a rhythm section that can take orders”). The Berry/Perry analogy isn’t so farfetched; both Black folk-philosopher-musicians wrote influential songs, proved they could go it alone if necessary, still expected everyone around them to jump on command.
Now imagine Berry deciding he could out-do Marvin Gaye’s Soul Music, social
Back around 1972 he and King Tubby had created (Dubbed up) maybe the first concept Dub album, called Upsetters 14 Blackboard Jungle Dub, a 14-cut stereo
That was then, and the after-then. And now?
History… mystery… City too hot… E.T. not.
(2)into (3) More loose ends but I’ll be briefer; think Civil War(s) as the connection among them. Discussing Stephen Foster’s career in the piece examining “Hard Times Come Again No More,” I ignored the scores of songs (precise pun there), most only fleetingly played and then forgotten, that he wrote Between the States (as it were) for
Bruce Springsteen’s new album seems to be predicting civil unrest if not outright war. Wrecking Ball abandons the Foster song Bruce was occasionally using among his list
Still, this is Bruce the Mighty; the worst events can be saved by rock ‘n’ roll, always,
(3) The Civil Wars is (are?) also a group… that is, a folk-rock duo with a hot debut album. Also, evidently, a secure place in the heart (or wallet) of record producer T-Bone Burnett, who has used new tunes by the Civil Wars in both the 50th anniversary album of the Chieftains and the “Songs from District 12” imagined
But wait a minute! What’s this I see? Hmm... there are actually seven different bands overlapping from the Chieftains CD to the Games s’track--Civil Wars, Secret Sisters, Low Anthem, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Punch Brothers, Decemberists, Miranda Lambert with Pistol Annies--with sizzling-hot special guest Taylor Swift a sort-of eighth.
Gadzooks! Could this be another Liberal, Left-leaning lumpen-proletariat conspiracy against the rich and shallow, the shirkers and off-shorists? Or maybe an eyes-wide-shut deal Burnett worked to keep in the public ear and eye the country-folkish acts he manages or produces? (Slogan ready-made: "Hard Times come again, Hunger Games just ahead.")
From Jamaica to Jersey: too little civil discourse, too much uncivil war.