Jamaica’s Studio One house band the Soul Bros. were decades too early to have named their album Hot Shot in honor of the Granite Mountain fire crew who lost 19 of their 20 members battling the Yarnell blaze, but their loss is a loss for us all, so on went the title cut “Hot Shot” in their memory, to kick off this week’s RSST on a somber note, followed up by Bob Andy reminding us of what life could be. Roland Alphonso then picked up the pace with “Tall in the Saddle” and we were off to the races. The smart money was on Byron Lee and his Dragonaires taking “I Won’t Let You Go” for a track time of 2:13 for the win. Dawn Penn placed in second at 2:19 with “Why Did You Lie”, and showing up in third was Laurel Aitken, riding “Go Gal Go” to the finish line in 2:24. Emil Richards kicked off Sherwood’s Planet this week with his Stones calendar-album track “Ruby (July)” and Hal Blaine’s July tune will air next week. Steve Turre introduced our ears to Graciela Perez singing “Ayer lo vi Llorar” while George Russell and his orchestra went long with the 13:11 “Dimensions” from their Decca release Jazz in the Space Age.Quincy Jones and Benny Carter also displayed longevity with tracks from Journey to Next. Jones, Carter and Dizzy Gillespie are all represented by tracks on this Lightyear cd release of pre-existing music around which animated films were crafted, exactly the opposite of how a “soundtrack” usually comes into being. Sherwood hasn’t played Teebs in some time, but now that we’ve got Ardour in our collection, you’ll be hearing more of this guy, more frequently… space out! August Darnell, with his Aural Exciters, crafted one of the weirdest “Lollipops” we’ve ever heard and the Home Stretch kicked off with it. The 5@5:05 went Japanese, and locals The Dropsteppers, The Prizefighters and Umbrella Bed were hot on the heels. “The End” segued into absolute Madness (well, Dangermen) as the Morning Blend was having some trouble getting brewed on time this week… shame and scandal! And speaking of Madness, ain’t “Oui Oui Si Si… “ just the coolest? Tune in… and stay tuned!
An attempted RSST “Space Month” opening-oldies salute to everything from Roswell to John Glenn’s birthday to Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk (all July events!) got thoroughly derailed this week, but we still got in “Rocket Ship” (Tommy McCook), “Leave Earth” (Derrick Morgan) and “Cosmic Bust” (Col. Elliott & the Lunatics) in addition to Mutant Frogs bumpers like “Transkalactic”, “Interstellar Teakettle” and “Cassini at Titan”. Sherwood’s Planet fans got to enjoy a bit of the Frogs’ new “Jungles of the Galaxy,” in addition to a cumbia, titled “He’s a Tripper”, about galaxy-trotting musical astronaut Lee “Scratch” Perry (as well as original funkateer James Brown), performed by Australia’s Melbourne Ska Orchestra. They’re so good it’s sorely tempting to add the word “Paradise” to their name! Speaking of Paradise, Tokyo’s finest turn up in the Home Stretch with their “Hungry Beast”, right after another Oz act, the Unicorn-era Late Notes. The GotchaSKAvered Lollipop-of-the-Week was the work of Betka Stankova, echoing a previous decade’s version of “My Boy”, or in this case “Mne Se Libi Bob”, sung by Yvonne Prenosilova. The 5@5:05 went long (though no 8-minuters this time around) and was followed up by The Dropsteppers, by way of plugging their Nye’s house gig every Monday night. The Megalith band has a new EP dropping real soon… and you’ll here it here! Tune in and stay tuned… it gets spacier next week!
From The Skatalites’ “Ball of Fire” to the “Ganja Plant” fueling the voyages of Minister of Science and Space Exploration Prince Buster (and he made it all the way to Mars!) to an appearance by Don (“Cosmic”) Drummond himself, this is the RSST “Space Month” tribute show we really wanted to pull off last week! We had a “Moon Invader”, some “Ghost Riders” and even some “Stardust”! Heck, Roy Richards even makes “Contact”! And wait’ll you hear what Sherwood has in store… The Pleiades, Venus, and Shiina Ringo’s “Carnation” turn up. And “Carnations” have exactly what to do with space? Here’s a friendly reminder from our 12/8/11 playlist…
“Shiina Ringo: Carnation (ft. Saito Neko’s Orchestra & a cameo by Tokyo Jihen) (3:10) / pv & cd single [Toshiba/EMI] – The twin career paths of Shiina Ringo begin to merge… and I am properly gassed! Jihen beaming in, as if from the Enterprise transporter room, onto the stage set and immediately joining in the lush symphonic arrangement… has JJ Abrams seen this??? (seeing as he’s currently in charge of the Trek franchise… ) …THIS!!! …is why Sherwood’s Planet ♥♥♥♥s SR.” Sherwood neglected to mention that Neko’s entire orchestra beam into the Maestro’s presence, at the signal of his baton, on the same spacey stage set even as they begin performing the music. Vanished from US-accessible YouTube last I checked, but try something called wat.tv… Meanwhile, in the Home Stretch (kicked off by Maria Visconti’s take on the ole “Lollipop”)… the late, legendary Moon Ska Records (how appropriate!) make up the 5@5:05 with tracks by Chris Murray backed by The Secondhands and covering The Toasters, Buford O’Sullivan (on Moon subsidiary Ska Satellite), Laurel Aitken backed by The Skatalites, Skavoovee & the Epitones, The Toasters themselves, Let’s Go Bowling… you get the picture! The Liptones do their actual tune called “Moon Ska”, One Groovy Coconut (Ska Satellite again!) contribute the Star Wars-inspired instro “Millenium Falcon”, The Cat Empire (hope you caught their Cedar show, they’re amazing!) do “Prophets in the Sky” from their new one Steal the Light, and fellow Melbourners the Melbourne Ska Orchestra reprise “He’s A Tripper”. Now that’s celebrating the RSST-designated “Space Month” in high style! Tune in… and stay tuned!
This week, for the most part, the “Ooh” Crew leaves the space-themed tunes to Sherwood, and does he ever deliver! After a Tokyo Jihen fave, Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Cosmic Surfin’” leads off an extended lunar jam encompassing selected works of Les Baxter, Eden Ahbez, Lydia Lunch, Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker (with Strings, yet!), all with the Moon figuring into their titles, before Larry Coryell takes us to the end of the planet with “Planet End”. But lest you think we’re done with the Moon, here cones Lee Morgan with “Desert Moonlight” …but not before Ken Nordine takes us traveling through time! Traveling forward to the Home Stretch, Gerhana Ska Cinta’s Lollipop got-us-SKAvered and got us off to a fine start, the 5@5:05 were all Japanese instros, including tracks by 2 “Little” bands… Tempo and Elephant. We also had double-shots by 2Toners The Selecter (coming to the Cedar Fri. 9/13!!!!!) and The Specials. What’ll we get up to next week? Tune in… and stay tuned!