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*** SUN RA Corner***


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No Crabgrass, I'm talking about the first volume of the Lost Reel series on Transparency, the second disc. It's an actual class given by Ra and I find it 100% BS and it was making me really dislike Ra, so I'm not listening to it further!

I would respectfully offer another viewpoint. And I may be in the minority, but I really like Ra's lectures/interviews. The second disc of LOST REEL vol. 1 is an exceptionally rare treasure. When John Szwed had tantalizingly described Sonny's class at UC Berkeley in his great bio, he mentioned that tape records were expressly not allowed, so it's a real treat to have this recording. I can understand why many would rather just listen to the music, but I find this UCB lecture especially entertaining. Ra's humor, intricate wordplay, baffling hermeneutics, street parables, koan contradictions, and generally wonderful non-sense. Fascinating stuff. As Szwed writes, "Sun Ra the southern black man, the jazz musician, the reluctant leader, the recipient of outer-space wisdom, the messenger, the militant, the hippie icon, the avant-gardist, was now Sun Ra, visiting lecturer." (p. 295)

Lon, you also mentioned some bonuses from Transparency. I did get the bonus live DVD. What other bonus stuff are you aware of? Thanks...

I can easily see how Ra's lectures could be hard to take for some people, but I see them as a fascinating glimpse into the process of myth-building. As long as you look at it not as literal teachings, but as a tapestry of ideas being woven into a mythos, it becomes interesting. I found as I tried to absorb what he was saying, I could even see some parallels to how he builds his music. It's as if his thought process in building his myth structures was much the same as his composition... he weaves the Bible, ancient Greek myth and other scholarly subject matter into his lectures in much the same way he weaves Ellington, African folk music... etc... into his own musical compositions. It's a peek into Blount's approach of music as myth.

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Okay I'm sorry i just can't look at it that way. Here is the honest truth with me: I've had the experience in the past with people who distort history and text and add racist and inaccurate analysis in an effort at myth-making (primarily a group of Scientologists I lived and worked around in the eighties) and a few individuals who had twisted thought processes due to paranoia, and I recognize these people vividly in that Ra lecture and i react emotonally, negatively. I'm steering clear of further instances of this sort of Ra so I can remain fond of the man and his work.

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No Crabgrass, I'm talking about the first volume of the Lost Reel series on Transparency, the second disc. It's an actual class given by Ra and I find it 100% BS and it was making me really dislike Ra, so I'm not listening to it further!

I would respectfully offer another viewpoint. And I may be in the minority, but I really like Ra's lectures/interviews. The second disc of LOST REEL vol. 1 is an exceptionally rare treasure. When John Szwed had tantalizingly described Sonny's class at UC Berkeley in his great bio, he mentioned that tape records were expressly not allowed, so it's a real treat to have this recording. I can understand why many would rather just listen to the music, but I find this UCB lecture especially entertaining. Ra's humor, intricate wordplay, baffling hermeneutics, street parables, koan contradictions, and generally wonderful non-sense. Fascinating stuff. As Szwed writes, "Sun Ra the southern black man, the jazz musician, the reluctant leader, the recipient of outer-space wisdom, the messenger, the militant, the hippie icon, the avant-gardist, was now Sun Ra, visiting lecturer." (p. 295)

Lon, you also mentioned some bonuses from Transparency. I did get the bonus live DVD. What other bonus stuff are you aware of? Thanks...

I can easily see how Ra's lectures could be hard to take for some people, but I see them as a fascinating glimpse into the process of myth-building. As long as you look at it not as literal teachings, but as a tapestry of ideas being woven into a mythos, it becomes interesting. I found as I tried to absorb what he was saying, I could even see some parallels to how he builds his music. It's as if his thought process in building his myth structures was much the same as his composition... he weaves the Bible, ancient Greek myth and other scholarly subject matter into his lectures in much the same way he weaves Ellington, African folk music... etc... into his own musical compositions. It's a peek into Blount's approach of music as myth.

I'm with you on that, like that view on the lecture. It is a fascinating look at the Sun Ra myth concept, that is also much described in the book by John Szwed - Space Is The Place.

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Here is the honest truth with me: I've had the experience in the past with people who distort history and text and add racist and inaccurate analysis in an effort at myth-making (primarily a group of Scientologists I lived and worked around in the eighties) and a few individuals who had twisted thought processes due to paranoia...

Here is the honest truth with me: I don't think there has ever been a religion on the planet that I couldn't say pretty much the exact same things about ALL religions, which ALL are a form of myth, and all myths are just different ways to try to explain the same stories.

Edited by crabgrass
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Well, there's no denying that all religions are forms of myths. So what? Doesn't make ME comfortable with that nonsense that Ra was spouting in that lecture, especially his manipulation of words. I literally was disgusted. If you weren't, cool.

I'm sticking to just listening to his music where I can.

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Here is from ReR Megacorp today:

SPECIAL

SUN RA

Media Dreams (dbl CD) [£17] ART YARD CD 002.

Companion to Disco 3000, made on the same classic Italian quartet tour with John Gilmore, Michael Ray (trumpet) and the minimal but perfect Luqman Ali (drums). Ra himself plays piano and electronic keyboards, including the mysterious Crumar Mainman, which Ra describes as ‘like a piano, organ, clavichord, cello, violin and brass instruments’ and which also, importantly, has a facility for pre-programmed bass-lines and electronic percussion - which Ra uses constantly and to great effect in this small ensemble setting - and seldom, if ever, elsewhere. The best of this collection (most of CD1) is luminous: very electronic, often rhythmical and melodic, always economical and making every sound count. These tracks are like no other jazz ensemble and, although recognisable as Ra – who else could think of, and then get away with, this – unlike any other Ra ensemble either. Ra makes the machines do amazing, visionary, things while the band exercises restraint, remaining always in focus. Between, there are piano, saxophone, trumpet and drum vignettes, fresh and perfectly judged; this really was a fine band. This places the original vinyl release (and related releases: Sound Mirror and Disco 300) back into the context of the concerts from which they were drawn. An important addition to the Sun Ra canon since it is a rare document of an unusual Ra project that produced three classic late ‘70s LPs. Beautifully packaged and well annotated.

SPECIAL OFFER. This with partner DISCO 3000 double £25

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Just finished Strange Strings and all I can say is WOW :excited: That first track just blew me away! I love that wicked riff Boykins gets with bowing his bass and then that section where its just Ra and that sick riff Boykins keeps on hammering out. That is badazz! Even the lo-fi production and the thundering tympany add to the overall surreal effect of the whole album. That second track with Ra with a sheet of metal or whatever it is...love it! And those strings are strange, man. And the creaking door has got to be the farthest thing Ra's ever done, IMO (btw, please excuse the amatuerish way of explaining the music). This has got to be one of the most far out albums I've ever heard by Ra. It even makes the Heliocentric Worlds sound tame! Thank you Atavistic/UMS for getting this one out! I can't wait for more :excited: ...oh wait, I got more...got to get to Night of the Purple Moon next.

PS: Did anyone see the Feb 25-Mar 3 issue of Newsweek with Obama on the cover? In the article on Obama there was a pic of Deval Patrick...no mention that he was the sun of Pat nor any mention of Ra though!

Edit: did anyone just catch the slip I just made? ^_^

Edited by Holy Ghost
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This is certainly one of my favorite Ra recordings.

I suspect that this was rather influential on Alan Silva - Silva was in the Arkestra as a cellist, but I feel like Strange Strings in particular seems very directly connected to the Celestrial Communications Orchestra.

I see that in his playing on Out in Space/Black Myth-he doesn't play a lot of notes, but the notes he plays hit me like a ton a bricks!

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Just finished Strange Strings and all I can say is WOW :excited: That first track just blew me away! I love that wicked riff Boykins gets with bowing his bass and then that section where its just Ra and that sick riff Boykins keeps on hammering out. That is badazz! Even the lo-fi production and the thundering tympany add to the overall surreal effect of the whole album. That second track with Ra with a sheet of metal or whatever it is...love it! And those strings are strange, man. And the creaking door has got to be the farthest thing Ra's ever done, IMO (btw, please excuse the amatuerish way of explaining the music). This has got to be one of the most far out albums I've ever heard by Ra. It even makes the Heliocentric Worlds sound tame! Thank you Atavistic/UMS for getting this one out! I can't wait for more :excited: ...oh wait, I got more...got to get to Night of the Purple Moon next.

PS: Did anyone see the Feb 25-Mar 3 issue of Newsweek with Obama on the cover? In the article on Obama there was a pic of Deval Patrick...no mention that he was the sun of Pat nor any mention of Ra though!

Edit: did anyone just catch the slip I just made? ^_^

It is rumoured that there is some squeaking door on the Batman album too! :rolleyes:

Strange Strings rules. It have just been discussed over at "The Sun Ra Album-By-Album" thread over at http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums

Edited by jostber
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It is rumoured that there is some squeaking door on the Batman album too! :rolleyes:

Really? Which track? :unsure:

From that Hoffman tread:

"Flight of the Batman" contains very strange slide whistle, siren whistle, and rhythmic squonking that could, as well, be an Arkestra idea. This track even contains a squeaking door as part of the instrumentation of the later verses, and what appears to be a garbage can be shaken during the fadeout.

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Just finished Strange Strings and all I can say is WOW :excited: That first track just blew me away! I love that wicked riff Boykins gets with bowing his bass and then that section where its just Ra and that sick riff Boykins keeps on hammering out. That is badazz! Even the lo-fi production and the thundering tympany add to the overall surreal effect of the whole album. That second track with Ra with a sheet of metal or whatever it is...love it! And those strings are strange, man. And the creaking door has got to be the farthest thing Ra's ever done, IMO (btw, please excuse the amatuerish way of explaining the music). This has got to be one of the most far out albums I've ever heard by Ra. It even makes the Heliocentric Worlds sound tame! Thank you Atavistic/UMS for getting this one out! I can't wait for more :excited: ...oh wait, I got more...got to get to Night of the Purple Moon next.

PS: Did anyone see the Feb 25-Mar 3 issue of Newsweek with Obama on the cover? In the article on Obama there was a pic of Deval Patrick...no mention that he was the sun of Pat nor any mention of Ra though!

Edit: did anyone just catch the slip I just made? ^_^

It is rumoured that there is some squeaking door on the Batman album too! :rolleyes:

Strange Strings rules. It have just been discussed over at "The Sun Ra Album-By-Album" thread over at http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums

Thanks for the thread Jostber!

I'm starting my morning off with Strange Strings again! I can't believe this gem has layed around this long with out being transferred to cd....what in the world!

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  • 3 weeks later...

is media dream like disco 3000 in that there are some cool crumar tracks and then some incongruous bonus acoustic tracks and then an annoying long freakout somewhere on the discs that sounds the same as any other sun ra freakout where the rest of the band isn't contributing at all and sun ra is doing the same freakout on organ or moog?

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