Books, Film, and Music, discovered in January, 2010

Books:

  1. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad.
  2. The Beginner’s Guide to Immortality, by Clifford A. Pickover
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
  4. Archetypes and Collective Unconscious, by Carl Jung
  5. The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud.

Movies:

  1. Avatar – twice. A very good movie with Sigourner Weaver, but I don’t think it was quite as good as it was all hyped up to be.
  2. Sherlock Holmes – best movie of the month and maybe of the year (haven’t gotten that far yet). Robert Downy Jr. is pure brilliance, and Jude Law is a favorite of mine.
  3. Up in the Air – a wonderful, deep movie with dreamy George Clooney.

Music:

  1. Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds : a reggae band from LA that was opened at a show by my man’s band, The Bend, at the Clubhouse
  2. Sinclair’s Revenge: a local punkish reggae band that played with the Bend at the Clubhouse and Martini Ranch
  3. Tribal Seeds: a reggae band from San Diego that played with the Bend at Martini Ranch
  4. Midnite: a very famous reggae band from the island st. Croix with strong influences from Rasta, Jah
  5. Boards of Canada: a very famous electronic sounding rock band from Scotland

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local music

My favorite type of music is local, bands that came from where I live and that play shows in their home area often. I sometimes go to small shows in the collegetown and such and listen to some bands. Here are some of my new discoveries:

Black Carl–

here they are at sxsw:

Black Carl is an awesome band with a soulful lead singer filled with charisma and talent. The two albums I own are: Borrowed (my favorite), and their EP album Black Carl. Borrowed is an awesome album filled with throbbing jazzy songs, my favorite being the Wolf, and also Hussie. The wolf comes with an awesome music video that was recorded by another local band that I’m putting up here next.

sample their music on their myspace: www.myspace.com/iamblackcarl

Captain Squeegee–

Captain Squeegee is a kick-ass ska band with awesome vocals, brass, guitar, and drums. They are goofy but full of talent. They were originally Captain Squeegee and the Soapsuds, and I own that album: which one of the members remarked on the album saying that it was like the awkward stage of adolescence. I also own their more refined album (when they grew up, I’m guessing) which is called Nothing Versus Everything. My all-time favorite songs of their include Gimme a Break and Real Father.

checkout their shtuff here: http://www.myspace.com/captainsqueegee

More from local bands later…

cheers!

Roots of Reggae, Rastafarianism, & music spotlight

As an avid listener to old-school reggae, I thought it was due time for a little history lesson on the roots of reggae. Reggae began in Jamaica in the 1960s, as I’m sure you could have guessed. Reggae is a mix of ska (jazzy calypso) and rocksteady (less energetic ska). Reggae can be distinguished from ska, for its slower tempo. Reggae relies heavily on the beat, which is set off one to make an off-beat effect (skank).  

examples of old-school reggae bands include the very popular–the Wailers, with Bob Marley, genius Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer.

Reggae became more mainstream after Eric Clapton’s cover of “I shot the Sheriff’ in 1974.

As I’m sure you are aware, many of the reggae leaders were Rastafarian, and many lyrics promoted those beliefs. Rasta is a religion found predominantly in Jamaica. Followers of Rasta believe in a man called Haile Selassie, who they believed to be another incarnation of the Christian God, which they called Jah. They believe in Jesus Christ, but believe him to be black.

The Rastas promote the use of marijuana for spiritual purposes, rejects western society, and believes that Africa (or Zion, as they call it) is the original birthplace of humankind. Black nationalist Marcus Garvey is considered a prophet to Rastas.

One reggae band, which happens to be one of my all-time favorites, goes by the name of the Abyssinians. Their lyrics are closely linked to Rasta, with songs titled “African Princess” and “Jah”. Some of their songs are even sung in Ethiopian. The band was formed in the late 60’s. Their best albums include “Arise” and “Satta Massagana”.  I highly recommend this band to all reggae lovers.

more reggae artists…

UB40

Mishka

Ziggy Marley

Zion

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