RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, June 20

SONG OF THE DAY: Keep It Moving


At some point this was something I wrote on this very blog. And then Boogie Brown used text to voice to make it into words that he dropped behind this Southern Gothicc Futurism Appalachian Boom Bap beat he made. And that came out on a Blue Globe Beats release, which I played this track a lot in the car, so it reappears on the blog as a song of the day. On one hand, it could be called “meta” if you think of it in digital terms. But it’s also just regeneration of thought seeds, with some pieces dominant and others recessive, and a re-creation of creative genetics. Nothing is original, and you can’t own art, even if it comes from your own mind. You can’t own anything. I mean, we tell ourselves otherwise, but we’re lying like a mufucka most of the time. Yes, to ourselves. But you already know that most likely.

Tuesday, June 18

SONG OF THE DAY: For Those Who Love to Groove (kudzu'd)


Posting slowed down song videos to youtube has been an interesting foray over the past few years, especially as I snag mp4s to use for the videos. I learned a long time ago that you can’t use actual videos for actual songs that have been slowed down, because there’s dueling copyrights between the song owner and the video owner, and youtube just shuts it down completely because they don’t know who to direct your views to. So I tend to try and find performances of songs rather than the “official” videos to use.
Some of the old Sonido Dueñez rips that I made videos for have been illuminating, because youtube reveals to me what the actual song originally was, because Dueñez’s mixtapes were notorious for not having the actual song title written on them. But some of those sneak through and I guess nobody owns the U.S. copyright or some shit, and I don’t even get a copyright notice where any profiteering acquired from the data accumulate while you watch the videos I made can be sent. So it goes to me (adding to my lifetime youtube earnings of $0, lol).
I had one especially great song I ripped and made a video for, Karthago’s “I Give You Everything You Want”, which was a 45 reissued by Fraternity Music Group in 2016, but copyright owners wouldn’t let the song live on youtube, regardless of speed or video added.
Anyways, all this is to say there’s a lot of weird behind the scenes data analysis going on, and sometimes I have to make 2 or 3 videos before one actually clears youtube. But in the process of slowing down this amazingly funky song by Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio (his band from before the “Ghostbusters” era), I got the normal copyright notice where someone else was taking the profits off it. Except it wasn’t Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio. Somehow, some rapper/producer from Texas named Six2 basically took this old “For Those Who Love to Groove” synth funk, and claimed it as his own beat, and had some woman throw a hook over it, while he raps. Not trying to hate on nobody’s art, because normally I wouldn’t, but his song ain’t all that to where he needs to be claiming the copyright of me slowing down the old Ray Parker Jr. jam. But he did, which tells me he ain’t my kinda people. Out here playing lawyerball and calling it art. The release the song that claims it’s this comes from also features a couple of features from Big Mike of the Geto Boys and Timbaland, so maybe Six2 had financial backing and was throwing money at features and actually cleared the entire rights to the instrumental. I don’t know. I do know when I spin that motherfucker live, slowed down, next week while DJing, can’t nobody say shit to me in real life. And art is more for real life benefit than filing legal paperwork and attempting in vain to stack some coins like Scrooge McDuck.

Monday, June 17

SONG OF THE DAY: Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down


This is such a wonderful song (even if this is a cover version). It seems too simple that it got co-opted for zombie movie/show soundtracks, but that also just goes to show how entertainment lacks nuance and doesn’t really see beyond the one line of the song. Anyways, a clean copy of Brother Claude Ely’s original 45 of this is probably the highest of high on my holy grail list of 45s I hope to come across some day. But I tend to get any cover of it I can find that’s at least 20 years old. (New ironic religion lacks the holy ghost spirit.)

Saturday, June 15

SONG OF THE DAY: Play At Your Own Risk


The history of racism in America affected the segregation of musical genres, which is a shame. It would’ve been nice, in retrospect, to have music jump those borders more easily. A great example of this for me lately is Planet Patrol’s “At Your Own Risk”, which was made of extra tracks not used in Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock”, so has a similarity to it, like an alternate third jersey version of Planet Rock almost. But there was a time in my life, when I had just gotten my license, and on Saturdays the liquor store in Farmville would close at noon, but the one in Drakes Branch was open ‘til 6. And my dad would get his weekend’s liquor supply Thursday after work in Farmville, because that was payday for him, and the liquor store was usually the first stop. But generally speaking, folks would show up on Friday night to play cards at our trailer, and bottles would get passed, and if anything was left at the end of a long Friday night, it wasn’t gonna go long on Saturday afternoon. So we’d drive to Drakes Branch to hit the liquor store, so he pops could restock for the impending long Saturday night (which would basically be a repeat of the previous night most times, with most of the same characters). If it was football season, he might even have to double up on the Saturday run to make sure Sunday afternoon was covered for the Redskins game.
In retrospect, that drive from our trailer in southern Prince Edward County, to Keysville, then turn by the abandoned factory on 59 to get to Drakes Branch, turning left onto Main Street of a town that was already dying even then, that close to Reagan’s politics of doom that turned the doomed into The Doomed, “At Your Own Risk” would’ve been the perfect soundtrack. And it’s a long enough song it could’ve ate up most of that 10 mile or so stretch on 59. I do recognize and appreciate my dad’s constant wishful thinking back then, that one bottle liquor on a Thursday evening was actually gonna be enough to last the whole weekend. Too bad he never got the help to get closer to making that equation actually work out. That too is the byproduct of all our segregation and division, where we get fractured into our little silos of self-destruction and think we’re out here going through something entirely on our own, when in actuality in that 10 miles we just drove down the road, even out in the middle of nowhere, we just passed 50 motherfuckers going through the exact same shit.

Friday, June 14

SONG OF THE DAY: Nous Savon Stout (kudzu'd)


One time a friend of mine stole a spaceship in high school, and had it hidden down a logging trail near where we lived. Getting in was really cool, because you realize you’re climbing into a spaceship, and also we were really high, plus had like two cases of Miller Genuine Draft with us, which is what we drank back then. But I remember the windshield being really hard to see out of, like it had a fucked up angle, and I guess whatever radar screens a normal spaceship uses to see ahead of itself was broken in this one, so we couldn’t really drive it in the daytime, because then somebody would’ve seen us, but we couldn’t really drive it at night either, unless we went super slow, because we couldn’t see shit. Luckily, there’s not a lot in the sky, but even then, a couple bowls too far into 1990s homegrown and more than a handful of empty MGD bottles clanking around on the ground, it wasn’t as fun as I would’ve expected. Plus we couldn’t figure out how to work the stereo, like in retrospect I think it had some sort of aux cord we haven’t gotten to yet, but back then we were just like, “How the fuck do we put a CD or tape into this thing?” I think the second time we went out, I took a little boombox with, but for whatever reason batteries die faster in the sky once you get outside the atmosphere. Shit never works out like you hope.

Wednesday, June 12

SONG OF THE DAY: Get Thy Bearings


Sometimes I dream about releasing bootleg 45s of things that absolutely should’ve been issued on 45 at some point but never were. I’ve got a cover version of this by The Sand Dollars on 45 that’s pretty great, but the OG is the OG. How did Donovan have a beat like this in 1968?

Tuesday, June 11

SONG OF THE DAY: I'm In The Mood


I used to have a knockin’ boots situationship with a woman who always dimmed the lights down low and played old blues music, like every time. It actually was nice and created quite the vibe, plus her bed was small, like an old school twin bed which is great because you gotta get serious, no room to escape and dilly dally. Because of this cellular memory in my physical body though (with serotonin exclamation marks), when I hear certain old blues music, it gets me all riled up. And of course it does, because just look at this song. That was sexy ass music, designed (by divine minds not actually purposefully designing too hard with the brain) to make one inclined to do just what we was doing while we was listening to it.

Saturday, June 8

SONG OF THE DAY: I've Never Found a Girl


Cultural mainstream is still pretty strong, even in these faux quirky digital times. Folks like to think we have access to everything and know about more stuff that ever, but the algorithm is still driven by pre-conceived biases, and so much shit exists outside the mainstream. There's all these non-mainstream living legends who exist, and do their thing to a big successful scale, and it's integral to certain scenes, but the mainstream still has no clue. Sunny Ozuna is an example. Dude has been making the brown-eyed soul bangers for decades, probably most famously with Sunny & The Sunliners (or Sunny y Los Sunliners, depending on your heritage). A lot of his classics have been reissued through some modern souldie labels, but Sunny himself is still out here, at age 80, playing big Chicano car shows and regional festivals, and pretty much still a staple wherever there's a large Mexican-American population.
It's summertime cookout season, and I remember being at the neighbor's cookouts back growing up, blessed to have experienced a non-white majority environment at an early age (to learn humility and how to shut the fuck up and get along better), and I think about this cultural mainstream vs non-mainstream norms with cookout season, because Frankie Beverly & Maze feels like cookout music to me. Just hearing certain Maze songs just bring those vibes, completely, like I can imagine the potato salad and barbecue chicken in front of me lol. But the mainstream (meaning, white culture) doesn't even know about that shit. Even in all the genres that the mainstream has Christopher Columbused over the decades, certain things like Maze or Sunny seem to somehow still escape the nets.
Anyways, Sunny is a classic, and for the most part, I've ended more DJ sets I've had than not with the 45 of Sunny & The Sunglows "Smile Now Cry Later" played at 33. It's my "turn out the lights, the party's over" song. This ain't that song, but it's still a banger. Sunny's got a deep discography of them.

Friday, June 7

SONG OF THE DAY: Summer (kudzu'd)


Summertime means slow down. Any time means slow down. Time needs to slow down. Time is a social construct. Slow down and live longer. On one hand, I may be older than I once was. But on the other, fuck it, I like this side of the dirt better. I think I’ll stomp around on it a little longer.

Tuesday, June 4

SONG OF THE DAY: Two of Hearts (12" version)


It apparently is 12 inch version week here at the old blog nobody reads that still writes about music as if people still download mp3s and want music recommendations and don’t just let spotify suggested playlists pour music down their throat. This song is great though, and me pushing these wonderful disco beats on you has nothing to do with Pride month. I like shit like this year round. I’m comfortable with that.

Monday, June 3

SONG OF THE DAY: Ring My Bell (12" version)


This is one of my favorite 45s to play slow… the beat just gets so thick and crazy. Then I started bumping this download of the long ass 12-inch disco version, where the crazy beat just gets all the room it needs to stretch its legs and flail its arms. True break beat shit. And a few months ago, that reminded me that during the late disco/early hip hop era, a lot of stuff got released on 12-inch records at 45 speed for singles. Including this. So I copped a nice little stack of 45 rpm 12-inch singles, and been meaning to make a new DJ Honeysuckle Vines mix with them, most likely coming out the gate with this as the opening track. And it’s an 8 minute 10 second song, that slowed down will be like nearly 12 minutes. I know that’s a “simple” calculation if you’re a white guy who loves ska music and keeps your shirt tucked in all the time, but I’m not like that so my brain can’t just calculate that shit all willy nilly; I have to let the beat ride and see where it goes. And whether I make that 12-inch mix later tonight, or later this week, or four years from now, I will let this fuckin’ “Ring My Bell” beat ride as long as it wants. In fact, maybe I need a second 12-inch copy and just juggle this beat for the whole 2 hour mixtape. Fuck it.

Friday, May 31

SONG OF THE DAY: I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix)


I went to the first Bonnaroo, which feels crazy now because I’d never do no shit like that. Even took my toddler. We got good camping spot right behind the main stage field, so a lot of times, me and Boogie Brown just sat on the roof of his Dodge Prospector truck and watched shit. The final headliner was that Trey dude from Phish, who by that point I had already become painfully tired of. My ex-wife wanted to go in for that one though, so we had the toddler, me and Brown, and were chilling at the truck. DJ Z-Trip played the transition set between whoever was before Trey and the Trey dude, and I guess mash-up DJing wasn’t huge yet at that point, and to be honest, Serrato Scratch probably wasn’t even out, so he was working from records, and it just cracked my skull wide open. It was like the promise of a genre of music that didn’t exist yet. Unfortunately, mash-up culture didn’t pan out as wonderfully amazing as originally hoped for, and is pretty limited by copyright ownership anyways.
I actually kicked it with Brown last weekend, working on some new Prolo material, and we were talking about music, and how there’s gotta be some new thing eventually, doesn’t it? But where will it come from? Has the digital age overexposed all the world to the rest of the world and no absolute mind-blowing newness incubates in some weird creative corner by itself? It seems like all possible combinations of genres has likely been tried, and anything brand new can’t be thought of as easy as a common combo. Hip hop has become so boring, which makes sense because it’s 50 years old. Rock-n-roll pretty much died after the early ‘90s, and just turned into boring ass indy rock or throwback vibes, and that was a rough half century after it first exploded.
The ultimate problem with trying to come up with something that’s never been done is most of our brains only think of what already exists. It takes a mad flash of universal lightning spark genius hitting, not just one person, but a collective, where the idea happens simultaneously in a few different minds, but close to each other, and they power each other further up into some wild ass new thing. I’m too old for that, my mind far too saturated with worn edges and fuzzy fissures to be struck like that by the universal magnetics. But I’m still pretty wide open to enjoying it. I’m bored with culture. It’s too goddamn predictable.

Wednesday, May 29

SONG OF THE DAY: Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)


A super underrated genre of music is old school doowop groups that featured 3 or 4 white guys with one black dude. It’s an exploration of how a good player-coach can hype up the rest of the team. I wish we still had the old internet and there was a whole ass blogspot posting chopped and screwed doowop music. Instead, nobody sees anything except unclickable links on social media feeds, where they poke a heart button and it creates statistics that don’t mean shit. Did you know there’s no doowop music about social media? Weird, right? Makes no sense to me. If multiverse theory is true, I gotta really think humans are an even smaller part of it all, because through free market capitalism and “tech innovation”, we’ve given ourselves less shit. No chopped and screwed doowop. No purple dominos. No Vaughn Bode Cheech Wizard embroidered patches. No pH mineral water in blue glass bottles. Just a bunch of the same useless basic shit, everywhere. Humans are like the opposite of multiverse theory… basicverse theory, where everything becomes a shittier version of what it could’ve been because it’s too inconvenient to bother with, but at a mark-up in cost somehow. I can’t wait to write doowop lyrics on the inside of a spaceship in Elon Musk’s blood. Sorry. I'm sorry sorry sorry.

Tuesday, May 28

SONG OF THE DAY: I Wanna Say I Love You


Ain’t nearly enough love in the world, at least not the one I’m seeing. Maybe it’s my fault and I’m entrusting my time with the wrong circles. Gotta re-tune my vibrations, not to blind oblivious positivity, because you gotta acknowledge all the fucked up going on in order to hope to create a better version of life that doesn’t have so many suffering in their existence. But even if you acknowledge the fucked, you gotta keep your vibrations attuned to love and hope. I got a good dear friend, who’s been battling various illnesses for a while, and they’re one of the strongest people I know, not like in fists in your face type strong, but biggest heart acting in the world with the intent of that heart type strong. Standing up to things that will kill you because they need standing up to type strong. Anyways, they sent me a haiku about how if we lose hope, our ancestors survived for nothing. I think about that shit all the time. Without hope, it truly is end times. And without love, you can’t have hope.

Thursday, May 23

SONG OF THE DAY: Imperio de Traficantes (chopped and skrewed)


Any time somebody tries to convince me streaming services are chill and not a complete and total rip-off to both the artists (who don’t get paid) and the listener (who has limited selection which can change without your realizing), I remember there’s no chopped and screwed norteño music on streaming services for the most part. In fact, streaming minded music listeners are more likely to think “slowed and reverb” is an actual thing. We never know what we have until it’s gone. RIP good internet.
Shout out to the Skrewed Up Meskins blog, which is nothing but dead links at this point, abandoned into internet purgatory until the blogspot servers purge inactive sites eventually as a cost-cutting measure. So much great shit buried into those dead links. I'm thankful I got a bunch of it on an external hard drive still. Once it's gone, it's gone. I still wonder about once a month, "Whatever happened to DJ Dreemz?"

Wednesday, May 22

SONG OF THE DAY: Cool Me Off


Still see grown ass dudes who seem to be trying to share social circles with me who say “FTW” as “for the win”, which just boggles my goddamn mind. Then I remember it’s a blessing, because what if I accidentally trusted one of these types and said some real life shit to them? It’d be immediately compromised by their unreal nature. And then I am also reminded more of the world is plastic than not, which is exactly why the traditional meaning of FTW is what it is.

Friday, May 17

SONG OF THE DAY: Muñequita Blanca


Too many people got record collections without ever thinking about sound systems. And I don’t mean stereo components so much as haphazard pieces of equipment strung together in ways they might not have been designed to do so. Anybody with money can buy a bunch of records and pretend they’re a master curator of unique vibes. It takes fuckin’ skills to string a bunch of cheap ass shit together in ways they wasn’t ever meant to go together. And I guess that applies to DJing too. A true old school DJ mind is spinning easily affordable shit to themselves that got overlooked by the masses. Everything’s become too predictable. I’m bored. Let’s go set something on fire.

Thursday, May 16

SONG OF THE DAY: The Little White Cloud That Cried


There’s a flag design that’s sort of become the unofficially accepted flag of Appalachia, and the person who designed it was reddit user Opossum Fucker 1863. Fun tidbits like that are what make living in the post-digital age so ridiculous weird, so that it feels nothing like the dark dystopias ‘80s sci-fi movies inclined us to believe. It’s all so absurd in actuality. Anyways, I hope you have founded a tiny little autonomous zone today, even if only for a few hours. Dirtgod loves you.

Saturday, May 11

SONG OF THE DAY: Take A Look At Yourself


Been feeling off kilter and not on top of my own universal magnetics flow lately. Trying to take a look at myself, and also trying to eliminate the hating, even if of self. Hating ain’t healthy. Been feeling like I’m trapped inside clouds, and can’t get a clear look at what’s ahead, and it’s been so long like that I’m starting to doubt I’m still on the right path. But I can’t tell if the path is wrong either. Probably just been too much thinking and not enough trusting heart to lead the right way through the clouds.

Friday, May 10

SONG OF THE DAY: Poison (kudzu'd)


When I was a kid, they fed us poison through a garden hose then offered their cures in the bed of a pick-up truck with no seat belts. And even though it flipped over because drunk driving was still legal or at least acceptable or at least neither but got did anyways, I turned out okay, because I was wearing my standard issue country boy overalls, with one strap flopped sexily off my shoulder, and "yung dirtgod" airbrushed on the left leg. I never would've gotten that airbrushed on the right leg. I mean, no offense to people who airbrush nicknames on their right leg, I'm open minded and know times have changed. But I never would've done that. Just wasn't raised that way I guess.

Thursday, May 9

SONG OF THE DAY: Birds


I love a good cover version so goddamned good it actually makes you forget the original even existed, and the cover takes on this weird familiarity owned by the remake. Previously to this Meters’ cover of the Neil Young song, probably the greatest example of this in my life was Swamp Dogg doing John Prine’s “Sam Stone”. This version of “Birds” is great, and for some reason, was only issued on 45 in the Caribbean. It’s on my wish list, for when my pockets ain’t flat.

Wednesday, May 8

SONG OF THE DAY: Just Me And You


Numero Group is my favorite label. All their reissue sets are so fuckin’ great. I ain’t had discretionary income lately, so the ol’ record collection has been put on pause for a while. Thankfully there’s a ton of good Numero comps, including all their variations on the East Side Story comps. Haha, my dumbass was looking at the back one day, actually hoping there were actually 19 volumes of the South West Side Story. Magic realism is way better than actual realism.