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.

Wednesday, November 30

SONG OF THE DAY: Real Connection


I regret to inform you I have become a “souldies” guy. Maybe it’s because I have a radio show where all I do is play 45s at 33 speed, and the vast bulk of new 45s released are from the rapidly expanding souldies scene. Bobby Oroza is a dude from Finland who dropped Get On The Otherside this year on Big Crown Records, and that shit slams. Sadly, Big Crown Records has not released “Real Connection” on 45 for me to play at 33 speed. The fun thing about souldies is it’s the strangest multicultural scene ever, that has scenes pop up in expected places (like Brooklyn and Northern California) but then Finland. Anyways, I want to start a record label now, with no money and no experience. That’s what happens when you start to listen to too many 45s.

Tuesday, November 29

SONG OF THE DAY: Smother Me With Your Love


A face sitter aficionado’s secret anthem, thus a degenerate classic. I think I’ve convinced my girlfriend that should I ever get old and be on my deathbed to smother me out of my misery in this manner. It’s a shame we don’t live in an actual progressive society which could respect my wishes. Instead, I’ll likely be separated from everybody I love, and kept alive against my will hooked up to a bunch of goddamned machines that will drain whatever meager coins I have saved in my pitiful life right out of the possibility of sliding into my children’s hands once I’m gone. What a disgusting world we’ve built, and I say that as somebody who began this paragraph talking about women sitting on my face, lovingly.

Monday, November 28

SONG OF THE DAY: Drip Drop


Another Cadillac spaceship banger perfect for time traveling because the audio is skewed ever so wonderfully as the 4th dimension recalibrations happen upon re-entry to earthly atmosphere. If you've never experienced it, it's like the sound of having done 17 whip-its all at once, but it doesn't hurt your head and feels like you just dove off a cliff into deep mountain spring. Pretty great, except for the realization that, "Oh fuck, here I am back to my normal base life, back to work, no more playing dominoes with 1971 Pam Grier lookalike in Dayton, Ohio, motel." Hate that shit.

M0ST MY P30PL3'S M3N P4SS3D...


most my people’s men passed 
early - tragedies waiting 
to happen from beginning 

Sunday, November 27

SONG OF THE DAY: Right Place Wrong Time (kudzu'd)


The permutations of place and time are infinite, in fact an infinite number of infinities of them. Infinity can seem way smaller than it actually is because it’s such a simple word full of slender letters. But the infinite permutations of place and time go on and on, and the best you can hope for is to slice a little sliver of your minor infinity into a beautiful snapshot of feel goodness. It’s hard though, because institutions stuff every crack in our infinities with bullshit, trying to misdirect and channel us the wrong way, into some tiny boring ass corner, instead of exploring our infinite place and times of our tiny slice of conscious existence (assuming we’re conscious).

R3MN4NTS 0F TH3 R04D TR4V3LL3D...


remnants of the roads travelled 
stains cellular memories; 
new practice takes time to take 

Thursday, November 24

SONG OF THE DAY: Don Dada (Hip Hop Remix)


I went to sleep playing this 100% Dynamite! NYC dancehall meets rap compilation the other night, and when I woke up, I had transformed into wearing a light blue and white tracksuit with Polo sneakers on. It was crazy. I guess I got a fairy godfather I didn’t know about.

M4K1NG D0 B3C0M3S 34SY...


making do becomes easy 
if you ain’t got no other 
choice… well-practiced survival 

F33L M0ST BL3SS3D 1N TH3 D4RKN3SS...


feel most blessed in the darkness, 
crawling through marginal zones 
which don’t know that much newness 

0VR VNT3ND3D D1M3NS10NS...


our untended dimensions 
fall apart easy enough… 
fix what you need, fuck the rest 

Wednesday, November 23

SONG OF THE DAY: Computer Love Part II (kudzu'd)


A solid proof of America's deep and inherent racism is a bunch of people love Bruce Springsteen still, for some reason, but ain't nobody talking about Roger Troutman. Neoliberal bullshit. Also this song should be the internet's theme song, but we blew it. Now libertarian tech dorks own the internet and we're like ten years away from the national anthem getting changed to a pun that 13 year olds think is stupid.

M4NVF4CTVR3D PVRP0S3 C4STS...


manufactured purpose casts 
long shadows in our culture, 
but I ain’t got to do shit 

L0ST BVT F0VND PR0PH3C13S 4R3...

 

lost but still found prophecies are 
never profitable… find 
joy in my own foolishness 

SP34K1NG P03MS T0 G14NT...


speaking poems to giant 
hulks of metal, hovering 
all ‘round my one-man cipher 

Tuesday, November 22

SONG OF THE DAY: La Risada (rebajada)


Slowed music is a lifestyle choice. Slow living prevents slow death, and around the clock digital clockfaces got too many of y'all thinking some RIGHT NOW shit is more urgent than it really is.

B1NG3 W4TCH1NG CL0VDS, STR3TCH3D 0VT 1N...


binge watching clouds, stretched out in 
the dirt of America’s 
rapidly-declined margins 

M41NT41N1NG 1MM4CVL4T3...


maintaining immaculate 
castles made of sand becomes 
difficult work… we’re lazy 

TH3 BRVT4L 4RCH1T3CTVR3...


the brutal architecture 
of displacing natural 
thought with chasing a clock’s face 

Monday, November 21

SONG OF THE DAY: Soul Heart Transplant (kudzu'd)


[Been out of practice of writing blurbs for songs, so just whipped out a freestyle sonnet for today...] 
The ebbs and flows of brain and heart... Information 
consumed often containing poisons, polluting 
thinking with fear or hate, raw manipulation 
of reactionary types quick to be shooting 
off "just asking questions" digressions of discourse. 
Meanwhile, natural rights and wrongs known (or divined) 
at heart level from birth, which manmade laws enforce 
according to our mythology; but you'll find 
aberrations from heartfelt path, men using math 
chasing pyramids of numbers rather than shared 
goodness of existence, before bloodletting bath 
between divisions. Mind is where the two are paired - 
brain and heart - coming together, and back apart. 
I always hope that spirited thought's seen as smart. 

4SS1GN1NG 0VRS3LV3S PVRP0S3...


assigning ourselves purpose 
where none needed to exist… 
fuck it, I’ll be in the woods 

VN1V3RS4L D3TR1TVS...


universal detritus… 
us human beings born from 
wild stardust (allegedly) 

Saturday, November 12

Friday, November 11

Thursday, November 10

SONG OF THE DAY: Pull My String (kudzu'd)


This is a perfect example of how a song I’d barely noticed in my lifetime suddenly becomes amazing when slowed down. I have a hard time not playing “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward followed by this all the time on my radio show.

Wednesday, November 9

SONG OF THE DAY: Butt In The Meantime (kudzu'd)


Way back in the day when I was buying up all the new tapes and making dual tape deck mixtapes for anybody who gave a fuck, I absolutely loved to start the B-side of a tape with “The Bridge is Over” by Boogie Down Productions with this song second. The two beats are very complementary. Hadn’t found the 7” 45 of “The Bridge is Over” yet at an affordable to me price to recreate that magic on the “45 era Raven” turntables at a slower speed, but we’re halfway there.

CH1LDR3N 1NH3R1T1NG 0VR...


children inheriting our 
destructive psychologies, 
nature and nurture the same 

M0D3RN L1V1NG G1RDL3S VS...


modern living girdles us 
to productive consumption 
(and consumptive production) 

Tuesday, November 8

SONG OF THE DAY: I Don't Want Your Love


I mostly listen to soul oldies now, and also wear tracksuits more than I used to. I had to promise my man DJ Brilliant though that I wasn’t gonna start using beard oil (outside of natural ones resulting from giving oral sex).

TH3 VRG3 T0 RVN R3M41NS STR0NG...


the urge to run remains strong, 
but we convince ourselves to 
ignore heart’s desperate pleas 

Monday, November 7

Sunday, November 6

Saturday, November 5

Friday, November 4

Thursday, November 3

SONG OF THE DAY: EVERYWHEREIGO


Just a great song, nothing to write here, other than this, which is actually nothing, but I feel like words are supposed to go here. Do people still do music blogs anymore? Why am I here? What is the purpose of this?

F33L L1K3 1'M F4D1NG 4W4Y...


feel like I’m fading away 
many days, my daily ways 
running round downward spirals 

H34RT 0F G0LD M3T4PH0RS M1SS...


“heart of gold” metaphors miss 
the mark, but brains are poisoned 
with relentless lust for wealth 

Wednesday, November 2

SONG OF THE DAY: Alive Ain't Always Living


I follow the Islamic calendar for a couple art projects, and prayer times as well, because it helps me be in tune with the natural cycles of the universe, and I can better place myself in the context of that universe keeping in mind the new and full moons. When I scribble on trains, I follow the tradition set before with monikers of including a date reference/time stamp, but I’ve always done the Islamic year. When 1444 came around a few months back, I got excited to switch from 1443s to 1444s, and the first Sunday after the new year, I was up before sunrise to hit a couple of my favorite nearby yards that required that type of early morning stealth. I like day time in yards better than night, but day is when workers are there, and workers don’t like people fucking up their jobsite with their presence, especially not in train yards. So it’s gotta be the right day of the week at the right time, and Sundays at sunrise are just about perfect (and always have been, my whole life). I was bumping Quelle Chris’s latest album, especially “Alive Ain’t Always Living”, so I ended up writing that a bunch of times on hoppers in the yards that day. Scribbling on trains is sort of like writing little prayer poems, and the combination of phrase/year definitely creates ties for me to where I was, both physically but spiritually/emotionally. “Alive Ain’t Always Living” was also a perfect meditation to scribble onto giant industrial hunks as a reminder/manifestation for the new year, signed with the 1444 to make it real for the whole ride around the sun. That song, and sentiment, is completely wrapped up with this whole rest of the new year in my heart, which doesn’t match the Gregorian calendar that’s more commonly known and accepted as the norm. The whole thing is esoteric, strange, but completely obvious, and not weird at all. It’s just doing things to make life more magic and less fucked feeling. That’s all prayer is, or poetry, or being alive to be honest.

Y3ST3RD4Y'S G0LD3N GL1MM3R...


yesterday’s golden glimmer 
fades into tomorrow’s rust - 
natural character arc 

Tuesday, November 1

SONG OF THE DAY: The Way You Look Tonight


A lot of record collectors are way too precious about their shit, acting like their living room Ikea shelf is a museum archive. I take care of my records, but also beyond the actual record, I don’t stress it. One of my great joys in getting old 45s is the label and sleeve ephemera – people writing notes or names or weird codes or who the fuck knows what it means. Because of this, I’ve been practicing scribbling little notes or words on the sleeves and labels, especially when I use a 45 for my radio show. I’m not permanent, nor is my collection, and it’s gonna scatter like my own ashes at some point, so having a Conway Twitty 45 with “dirtgod theme” written on the label is most likely gonna be some interesting shit to somebody somewhere down the road.

F34RFVL SH4D0WS 0F GR0VPTH1NK...


fearful shadows of groupthink 
cast an ominous pall 
over otherwise blue skies 

Monday, October 31

Sunday, October 30

SONG OF THE DAY: I'll Go Crazy


I don’t listen to a ton of James Brown, because he got so played out by the hip hop samples. Then again, there’s a reason he got so played out, because the shit can be pretty great.

H3LLB3NT 0N D3ST1N4T10NS...


hellbent on destinations 
where every unseen sign 
shown says, “maybe turn around” 

Saturday, October 29

SONG OF THE DAY: Come and Get Your Love (kudzu'd)


Fell into DJing at a ladies arm wrestling event tonight, so I’ve got on my nicest tracksuit and used a cotton swab with yarrow tincture to clean my dimples out real good. Y’all should follow me in real life… it’s a fun ride.

WH3N3V3R TH3 D4YS F33L L1K3...


whenever the days feel like 
more of the same, it becomes 
time to do the opposite 

Friday, October 28

Wednesday, October 26

SONG OF THE DAY: On and On Infinite P Remix


I was thinking about how Erykah Badu was gonna make a perfume that smelled like her cooch, and how weird it was that people thought that was so weird. She should’ve made it a cologne in my opinion. Y’all are so fuckin’ uptight.

Wednesday, October 19

SONG OF THE DAY: Tearz (kudzu'd)


Haven’t been writing a whole lot on here lately (though I have been on my patreon still, and in notebooks, and still doing things… I guess… it’s been a busy month without a lot of free room to idly do the things I love) but this exact slowed down version of this song came on the shuffle machine I utilize in the car when I’m driving 17,000 miles a week, and fuck if it’s not just an absolutely wonderful song slowed down. I hope you are well, if you still come to this site. Probably return to gambleraku in a couple weeks, and maybe I’ll have time/motivation for more of these unnecessary blurbs.

Friday, October 7

SONG OF THE DAY: The Creator Has A Master Plan


Pharaoh Sanders died the other week, and he was pretty amazing. This is a cover of one of his more famous songs, or at least my favorite. I don’t even know shit about the group who covered it; I just follow all these mp3 music blogs still, like it’s 2008, and one of them is a collective of DJs that release souldie mixes, and this was on one, and it rose to the top of the old iphone I use as an ipod’s play count, because I enjoyed the fuck out of it. The Pharaoh original versions on record are also great, but also recorded versions of free form songs that were played even more often live as like single snapshots of some shit that was going on constantly. It’s all very immense, and what we have to *consume* is only a tiny fraction of it all. Which of course is why this song is so beautiful in the first, and last place (alpha and omega), because ultimately we can’t control all this shit. We don’t even do a good job controlling the little tiny fraction of It All that we’ve created ourselves. You gotta let it go, and you gotta have faith, in something or another, or else you’re gonna be panicking all the damn time. Ride it out. It’ll be okay. Hopefully.

Tuesday, October 4

SONG OF THE DAY: I Pity The Fool


I AM WEARING OVERALLS BLASTING BOBBY BLUE BLAND TYPING IN ALL CAPS TRYING TO PRETEND IT DIDN'T GET COLD AND HEATING OIL IS TOO FUCKIN EXPENSIVE. BOBBY BLUE BLAND IS PERFECT FOR THIS TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT TO BE HONEST. SADLY AS A YOUNG WHITEBOY EVEN A RURAL WHITEBOY I DIDN'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ZZ HILL AND BOBBY BLUE BLAND, BUT I'VE RECTIFIED THAT SITUATION. WHITE PEOPLE HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB OF REDEFINING WHAT WHITE PEOPLE MEANS.

Monday, October 3

SONG OF THE DAY: Space


Bums me out that futuristic visions always have to be highly technological and flying through space and shit. Southern gothicc futurism is firmly based on the historical precedence of tri-racial isolationism, hopefully somewhere where there’s mountains and sea, definitely rivers, and that can be anywhere in space. But it also has to be somewhere, like early American swampland, seen as not having value, so all the assholes go away. Although I guess they never go all the way away.

Thursday, September 29

SONG OF THE DAY: Duke of Earl (kudzu'd)


I don’t have a low rider to cruise around in, so my Corolla will have to do. But fuck if I don’t love this silly assed old “Duke of Earl” song slowed down. There’s a pretty great Jesus movie on the youtubes, named after this whole song. The purped out video clip I used for this is from that movie. If I remember between the time I wrote these words and I post this on the rojonekku blog, maybe I’ll include a link.

Wednesday, September 28

SONG OF THE DAY: The 900 Number


Now that I’ve returned to record dorkdom, I maintain an internal list of select 45s I’ve yet to find at a reasonable to my broke ass price. This is near the top of that list. And as my 45 collection has gotten stronger, I've often thunk about what kinda 45 collection The 45 King must have had. By the way, I've been doing my Slow Hand weekly at WTJU in Charlottesville, and you can scope out the previous two weeks' shows online.

Tuesday, September 27

SONG OF THE DAY: Vuelve Mi Negra (rebajada)


Seent a news story this morning about a state record blue catfish getting caught in Tennessee, well over 100 pounds, and those stories always bum me out, because all they focus on is the size of the now-dead catfish. Those bad boys are likely well over 20 years old, and could be as old as 40 to be honest (we don’t know, and have no easy way of knowing). Imagine being some fat ass catfish that’s been poking around, bottom feeding in some giant ass lake since the drunks on the shore blasted Bell Biv Devoe, since before the age of “Chattahoochee”, and some overzealous redneck with three month’s pay worth of fishing equipment “lands” your big ass, bringing to an end a long and wild run, thriving in the subaqueous crevices men neglected to get at. If you catch a fish older than yourself, in lieu of actually executing you as a crime against nature, I think you should lose all right to fish for the rest of your life. So go for it, oh ye of mirrored sunglasses dominion over the semi-rural Earth… but beware the glories you seek, for there may be dark consequences.

Monday, September 26

JVST 4N0TH3R 1D10T...


just another idiot 
wandering the Earth’s surface 
(pretending I have purpose) 

Saturday, September 24

W3 4LL D0 WH4T W3 C4N T0...


we all do what we can to 
make our mark while still living 
(but it’s all impermanent) 

Friday, September 23

T00 0RG4N1C T0 3ND VP...


too organic to end up 
rusting away, stubbornly 
(sweet release of worms in mind) 

Thursday, September 22

4CCVMVL4T1NG W4ST3D...


accumulating wasted 
moments, burned out by what’s passed 
(trying to remain present) 

Wednesday, September 21

C4N'T H4VL 4W4Y H1ST0RY...


can’t haul away history 
like a broken corner lamp 
(it sits there, often ignored) 

Tuesday, September 20

4LL TH4T GL1TT3RS 41N'T G0LD, 4LL...


all that glitters ain’t gold; all 
you need is within your soul 
(most of us pawned it away) 

R41LR04D TR4CKS 4ND R1V3R B3DS...


railroad tracks and river beds 
keep me of a simple mind 
(but even that was “progress”) 

Monday, September 19

SONG OF THE DAY: Cheating In The Daylight


Been doing a radio show called Slow Hand on WTJU out of Charlottesville, where I play old 45 singles at 33 speed. I was going in every other week, then got knocked out by covid for a month, but have been doing it weekly the past few weeks, and really enjoying the vibes of it all. I'd say it's been over half old funk, but a lot of other stuff feels funkier slowed down, because the bass thickens and the vocals turn into ghostly warbles. Last night, I dip dip dived through some old country, because I ate some fried chicken gizzards from the Valero last week, and it reactivated my bumpkin soul. I love that stretch of southern Virginia/eastern or central North Carolina that has unique vibe to it, where you're bound to still find chicken gizzards at a gas station, and the racial mix between black and white was always a lot closer to an even break than the rest of the country. It's Swamp Dogg country.

SV1C1D3 R4T3S H4V3 SH0T VP...


suicide rates have shot up 
during digital era 
(charting like a blue chip stock) 

Sunday, September 18

SH1N3 VP TH3 P4ST H0W3V3R...


shine up the past however 
you want, the oil stains remain 
(please accept imperfection) 

Saturday, September 17

N3WN3SS 1S 1MP0SS1BL3...


newness is impossible 
to maintain, so why bother? 
(“Sisyphean” repurposed) 

C1V1L1Z3D SH1N3 G3TS R3PL4C3D...


civilized shine gets replaced 
by abandonment’s Earth tones 
(“dust to dust” makes supreme sense) 

Friday, September 16

SONG OF THE DAY: Tulsa Turnaround


“If a man’s gonna eat fried chicken he’s got to be greasy” is tattooed across my shoulders in Olde English 800 letters. Ever since I was a kid, and the power went out at our house I grew up in, down in Meherrin, Virginia (the home of Roy Clark), right as that song was playing and Kenny Rogers was singing that line, so it warbled down slow and ominously – “IF A MAN’S GONNA EAT FRIED CHICKEN HE’S GOT TO BE GREEEEEAAAAAASSSsssyyyyyyyyyy” – I hear it in my mind as a warning, and yet also a proud mantra. If one loves fried chicken, they should not be ashamed of the grease on their fingers necessary towards the joy of fried chicken. Just be careful not to wipe your fingers on your Homestead Grays throwback. There’s napkins from Subway in the glove box, get you a couple of those. No, don’t use that towel, that’s my shoulder towel for walking around. Why would you think it’s okay to wipe your greasy fuckin’ fingers on my lavender shoulder towel? What the fuck?

1NDVSTR14L S4ND C4STL3S...


industrial sand castles 
washed out easily enough 
(nature makes no humane claims)