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by Jason Gubbels

by Jason Gubbels Kicking the Canon Music

Mighty Diamonds | Right Time

The 1976 debut album from reggae trio Mighty Diamonds doesn’t usually get lumped in with other roughly contemporary works of Jamaican revolutionary agit-prop, and the reasons why aren’t difficult to comprehend. Burning Spear’s Marcus Garvey, the Abyssinians’ Satta Massagana, and Culture’s Two Sevens Clash all spelled out their apocalyptic intentions — even…

by Jason Gubbels Kicking the Canon Music

Randy Newman | Good Old Boys

Few things rankle a Southerner quite like the feeling that they’re being condescended to or underestimated by an outsider, and Good Old Boys toes a very fine line between being a smug bit of regionalist condescension and a brilliant albeit witheringly cynical piece of sociology. It’s…

by Jason Gubbels Kicking the Canon Music

Magic Sam | West Side Soul

Samuel Gene Maghett entered Cobra’s recording studios in 1957 as “Good Rocking Sam,” and luckily for all of us, some other Samuel was already laying claim to the clunky sobriquet. Maybe it really was Sam’s old friend and bass player Mack Thompson who suggested…

by Jason Gubbels Kicking the Canon Music

Tangerine Dream | Phaedra

The daughter of Minos and wife of Theseus has long fascinated many a romantic soul — Euripides, Racine, Swinburne, and Lee Hazlewood all wove the name of Phaedra into their offerings (Hazlewood via the 1967 Nancy Sinatra-aided schlock classic “Some Velvet Morning”). Edgar Froese’s reasons for…

by Jason Gubbels Kicking the Canon Music

Art Pepper Quintet | Smack Up

Alternate title: The Junkie Blues. Altoist Art Pepper only had a few sessions left before a lengthy stint for heroin in San Quentin loomed, and while all the gory details of that are available in his peerless autobiography Straight Life (jointly written with wife Laurie), what matters is…

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