Its always interesting to run across something that seems to defy the ethos of its generation, something that goes against the oppressive grain which may have controlled said generation. In this case a militant documentary about black history narrated by Bill Cosby which aired on CBS in the summer of 1968. That alone is enough to pause. The idea of a figure like Bill Cosby taking a visibly angry and militant stance against white America and the haunted past of blacks in America seems unheard of. The idea that CBS was involved is reason to pause. During the late 1960′s Cosby was one of the few black Americans to be perceived as true celebrity, and as a non threatening figure. He was on a hit TV series (I Spy), and had found superstardom as a comedian. So how did this come about? Who’s idea was it to make this doc? Cosby is in rare public form here, and he shows us his true beastWAVE, he has choice words for Sidney Poitier which is interesting considering they would later go on to star together in three films between 1973 and 1975 (films directed by Poitier).
Curious it is that Bill Cosby was not a larger star of cinema in the same vain as other black comedians such as Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock etc. Was it all a part of some BASED design by Cosby himself to stay away from that limelight? Maybe he took one for the team so-to-speak regarding a career in films and this was one of his rare chances to speak his mind and present himself in a more serious tone while helping set a cosmic balance to the universe. Bill Cosby was a man of many talents and forms, we often times forget his obsession and contributions to music (noted friendships to many of the era’s jazz greats, releases of his own songs). We also forget that for a time Cosby was pushed as a sex symbol with his role as the calm, cool and collected genius alongside Robert Culp in the series I Spy . (Shame on Robert Altman for not casting Cosby in his brilliant films of the 70′s.)
Black History: Lost, Stolen or Stayed was the real deal. It happened. The doc was so successful for CBS that they aired it a second time. For whatever reason this interesting little piece of history doesn’t seem to make the rounds and that is a shame. Check it out…
Jazz is filled with many cosmic and influential yet unrecognized men and women. This morning we start you off with a track from a Detroit trumpeter by the name of Marcus Belgrave. Like a lot of guys, he paid his dues by playing with famous musical acts such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Ray Charles (just to name two of them), but its his stunning work as a band leader that seems to get lost in the ages. In the early 1970′s jazz was becoming more political, more obscure, more far-out, and seemingly vanishing from the States only to reemerge in Europe and other areas. Belgrave released a cosmic album titled Gemini II in 1974 (and would not go on to release another until 1992), that has been inspirational to many musicians working today. Much of what Belgrave accomplishes on Gemini II is of its era without question, but the 1970′s was a very lush and experimental time for jazz (and currently an expensive niche in vinyl collecting). Belgrave has worked with the likes of electronic music legend (and fellow Detroiter) Carl Craig and Detroit producer Karriem Riggins (just to name two modern musical entities), and continues to be active in music as a visiting staff member at Oberlin Conservatory. We won’t bore you with anymore histrionics, do your own research, and make your judgments and enjoy these trippy, bizarro gems from defiant artists Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, and Sun Ra. Have a cosmic Sunday wherever you may be…
What is the beastWAVE ?
Taking control of the scene, whatever it may be is essential to the beastWAVE. The stylish Rutger Hauer does it like no other as he discusses Blade Runner, acting, and self worth in this amazing interview by John C. Tibbets. What we love about this is Rutger’s tone, intensity, style and individuality during this piece.
Rutger Hauer signifies the perfect example of a cyberpunk icon. His work in Ridley Scott’s masterpiece Blade Runner as the character of Roy Batty stamps his place in science fiction history. The fashion in Blade Runner was ahead of its time yet borrowed then current elements from the post-punk explosion of the late 70′s and early 80′s (often confused with punk or goth) in addition to its vintage film noir homages. A big reason as to why the fashion stood out in this piece was the stature and beastWAVE of Rutger Hauer. He was handsome, menacing, humorous, and tragic all at the same time all while being the perfect model of trench coats and what could be looked upon as work wear inspired garments. The fashion and design elements of Blade Runner (as well as other cyberpunk works) are now more relevant than ever, and apparently Rutger knew what was good.
Our Boy T. Held passed this along to us…looks like a pretty dope team!
Samples, loops, guitar pedals, distortion, sampling and expert sound men have made it easier for musicians to perform live feats without human players. As a culture we’ve become accustomed to the production values of hip hop and various electronic musings that minimize the use of physical instruments. In the slightly more condensed world of bands, Low-fi was a hot deal for a spell and very much en vogue, some known commodities to replace the human player are drum machines and effects pedals. Vintage bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain with their use of samples and drum machines have proven that key roles can be filled with machines. (The world of shoegaze is built on a similar ethos.) No longer is the argument so black and white about whether music from machines is real music, we live in an age where machines can make music that gets into your bloodstream with the same affect as that which features live performers. But how far can an artist take that concept? Vintage artists such as Martin Rev and Alan Vega pushed boundaries to their era’s extremes, so much that audiences would pelt them with broken glass. What is an audience willing to pay to see live? What is performance measured by? All kinds of frustrated do-it-all musicians have attempted to replace would be bandmates with devices and programs, this can be a slippery slope, but then again every day we are moving closer into a new age. An interesting thing happened in Hartford, Ct. a production of Richard Wagner’s four-opera Ring cycle has been postponed due to technological advancements in music..
As time passes technology is only going to get more intense and intrusive. Are you ready to make out with the future?