Sunday, August 30, 2015

Welcome to Sly

Welcome to Sly Mongoose, my music blog.

I am a lifelong reggae fan, and this blog will mostly be about reggae and various musical genres related to reggae - including mento (Sly Mongoose is a mento song), Jamaican R&B, American R&B, ska, rocksteady, dancehall, dub and all things dubby, cod reggae, punk rock, and especially, post-punk, which I suppose is my second favourite genre. These are my main areas of interest, the grooves that occupy my brain and dominate my home stereo.

I am a Canadian of European descent, born and bred in Windsor, a small industrial/post-industrial city across the river from Detroit, one of the greatest cities in the world - the place where I saw Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1978, at the age of 15. I have been a serious reggae fan ever since. Bob Marley was my introduction to the music of Jamaica, but over time, I’ve learned that he’s just one (big!) name on an incredibly long list of great musical artists from that small island. 

I’ve never been to Jamaica, or much of anywhere, really. I simply love the music. Jamaican history and culture are fascinating to me, but I’m not an expert. So I encourage input from any possible reader out there. Especially welcome are corrections to any lyrics that I post. (There's already a lot of wrong lyrics on the internet!) As an English grad who loves language and poetry, I'm going to examine song lyrics; it's inevitable. But honestly, I'd appreciate any clarification of cultural idiom or any other relevant facts or stories that anybody might be willing to contribute. If it revelates the music, I want to know about it.

My love of music is broad; my love of Jamaican music is boundless. Posts will mix news and grooves. I’m only an amateur accumulator, more haphazard than a serious music collector ought to be, really, so I don't expect to talk in any detail about vinyl and records and such. Maybe occasionally showing off a particular favourite funky old 45 or record cover - I like LP cover art as much as the next music-nerd or aesthete. LPs are beautiful and I'm glad they're making a come-back, but I like any and all formats for music.

I'm happy to say that most of the songs I've been wanting to write about for Sly Mongoose are already up on YouTube or elsewhere. My posts will always include links so you can hear for yourself whatever I'm trying to say about them. Reading and listening (especially to dub) go together!

I love to DJ because I get to share the music that I love with friends and strangers. Now I'm gonna try to blog about music, because after listening and researching and thinking about it for so long, I think I've got a few interesting ideas and musical observations worth discussing. All I've gotta do is write them down. Stay tuned.

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