Joe Jackson

There was an 70’s wave of British punk/power/soul popsters that included of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson & Graham Parker. Each made a place for themselves, at the time, & each after their initial break through took their own creative journey. All are still recording.

Costello went from nerdy threatening to fairly sweet mainstream. Parker stayed closest to his r’n’b roots. Joe Jackson explored & moved away from his punky snarl through so many styles he was a chameleon. In my collection I have as stand alone: Look Sharp!; Night & Day; Jumpin’ Jive; rain. In an mp3 collection is I’m The Man; Beat Crazy; Will Power; Big World. 

I remember those first couple of lps & having ‘discussions’ with friend as to who was better Costello or Jackson. Both had a nice streak of romantic snarkiness, punchy delivery, clever lyrics. So there is no clear winner 🙂 Jackson was more ‘dangerous’ though & still carries some of the punk edge. I was amazed when he embraced small combo big band with Jumpin’ Jive & Beat Crazy. Two albums I love for ether sheer joy. Will Power is his classical flirtation which is okay – Costello recorded with a string quartet – so they are even on the score. Big World he tries latino & other influences nicely. The more recent ‘rain’ is comfortable but to me, undistinguished.

To round out the mp3 collection I included Otto (Otto Maximiliano Pereira de Cordeiro Ferreira). He mixes traditional popular Brazilian genres with electronica, drum and bass and rap. I first saw the amazing video for Bob, from his first release Samba Pra Burro (which I do have in yet another mp3 collection). Here are his Condom Black; Sem Gravidade; Certa Manhã Acordei de Sonhos Intranquilos. His singing is emotive, the engineering is brilliant & he is a hottie. Finally here is Nation Beat: Legends of the Preacher – another Latino band out of NY (a successful fusion of Brazilian maracatu drumming, New Orleans second line rhythms, Appalachian-inspired bluegrass music, funk, rock, and country-blues) I love their cover of I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.


‘Let’s check it now.’

‘Look, it’s nearly 3 a.m. Let’s get some sleep and we’ll check the tape in the morning.’

Frank was already plugging the cable connector from the camera into the back of the TV. ‘Tom this is what we came here for. We’ve been doing that jungle walk for two weeks and now we finally have something.’

The screen came to life. Murky movements jumped back and forth.

‘Worse than the Blair Witch.’

‘You try sometime then.’ Tom snapped back.

‘Sorry I was just …’

The picture came into focus. The sound was muffled, distant.

‘Shit!’ Tom hit the top of the TV.

‘That’s not going to do much.’ Frank laughed. ‘Turn it up.’

‘Why bother with that.’ Tom pulled the cables from the TV. ‘Let’s use this.’ He opened his lap top. ‘I have a program in here that will refine things considerably.’

It took the tape several minutes to be downloaded into the computer.

‘Couldn’t you get anything faster.’

‘You making a crack about the size of my hard drive?’

‘You said it not me.’

The program flashed that it was ready. The sounds were still muddied but with some audio editing Tom played them back clearly:

‘We call the time to change

we call the time to change.’

‘That’s not what that kid said.’

‘No that’s what we heard first though. Remember. I thought it might be the wind in the trees.’

‘We call the time to change?’ Frank repeated. ‘Wonder that that can mean. We call the time to change.’

The lights in the room dimmed and the computer screen blinked on and off and on again.

‘Whoa! Better not say that too many times.’ Tom pulled the curtains shut.

‘You don’t think …’

‘You know what I think. I told you we would be playing with …’

‘We are not playing here Tom. This is serious research.’

‘Right and these are serious results.’

‘Okay. Let’s see what else we have there then . ‘We call…’

Tom put his hand over Frank’s mouth. ‘Enough with that. We have to be careful when we don’t fully understand.’

‘But it’s just words Tom.’

‘You know that isn’t so.’

The teenage boy appeared on the screen. His lips moving.

‘What! I can’t hear him.’

‘There’s no audio here.’ Tom punched at the keyboard moving back and forth along the audio indicator.


‘When did the sound cut out?’

Tom did more in putting.

‘Seems to have cut out when he appeared and comes back when he disappears.’

‘Mambo? What did they say he was called? Cha Cha?’

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my next trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.