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King Django | A Single Thread

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A Single Thread

by King Django

2004 release presenting an eclectic overview of King Django's recorded output from 1994-2003 including some very rare gems spanning genres of traditional ska, 2-Tone, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall, rock-reggae-rap and more, featuring over 30 musicians
Genre: Reggae: Ska
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Does He Love You (feat. Skinnerbox)
2:53 $0.99
2. Rise to Find You (feat. Stubborn All-Stars)
3:14 $0.99
3. No Mas Errores (feat. Don Khumalo)
3:24 $0.99
4. Take Your Chances (feat. Stubborn All-Stars)
3:04 $0.99
5. You Knock the Wind Out of Me (feat. Skinnerbox)
2:02 $0.99
6. Lifeboat
3:37 $0.99
7. Tired of Struggling (feat. Stubborn All-Stars)
4:09 $0.99
8. Move Like Ya Gone (feat. Skinnerbox)
3:53 $0.99
9. Open Season (feat. Stubborn All-Stars)
3:16 $0.99
10. Nex Finga (feat. Skinnerbox)
3:09 $0.99
11. Steal My Thunder
2:48 $0.99
12. Hepcat Season (feat. Skinnerbox)
2:49 $0.99
13. Voodoo Altar
3:23 $0.99
14. Thirsty
3:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Liner notes by Victor Ruggiero:

It doesn't seem as long ago as it was, sitting on the steps of the Ortiz Funeral home on that hot sticky night on 2nd Ave. "Hey, what's going on?" I look up from my 40oz. Who is this guy? I know him, his reputation precedes him, good and bad. It's this guy Jeff Baker. The guys in my old band loved this guy. I've already played one of his songs, "Permanent Holiday," in a band I was in. I think we were learning "You Knock the Wind Out of Me" when the band broke up. So his band now is Skinnerbox. They play Skatalites one day and funk the next. His old band was the mid 80's ska-rulers, the Boilers. But who IS this guy?

From the first I could definitely say that he was searching-- for a place, a name, a persona-- one he found in Django, someone who could be an icon, just like the ones that Jeff followed, from Jamaican heros like Prince Buster, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Desmond Dekker, to rock legends like Jethro Tull, Dr. John, Jim Morrison. Guys who took chances, who would insult you and uplift you in the same breath. "Take your chances, make your choice, choose your weapon, use your voice!"

Django! As much as he is the chatter who asks any sucker to TRY and take him on the mic, he is as much the ska self-help guru who'd write "Pick yourself up when the world puts you down, tackle your problems and turn them around." He is the ska everyman, or every-"boy" as that case may be.

"I gotta put myself into action, cuz I'm so tired of strugglin'" I remember those days, early days, sitting around thinking about all the guys in the neighborhood bands that WE'D wanna be in a band with. That was the Stubborn All-Stars. Music WE'D like, no bull-shitting, no half-stepping. This was my life around Jeff, going forward without worry if we were doing the right thing or if anybody would like it. We would like it! That was right. That was before "old" was cool.

Who's to tell you what the rules are? The boundaries? What you can do, what you can't? What was Skinnerbox if not that? If not the most stylishly unpredictable band, the weirdest band full of the most volatile personalities and best musicians you could ever hope to combine. If anything, Jeff's a great catalyst, a combiner of elements. Who else but him and the myriad musicians that comprised Skinnerbox over the years could cruise seamlessly from old ska and dubby reggae to moshed up punk or hard psychedelic funk in the blink of a dilated pupil-- and then mix 'em all up if you wanted? Who are these guys? Crazy. "Move Like Ya Gone!" Those were some gone cats. And then, after so many years of ambiguous morphing existence, they WERE gone.

And then Version City: trying all new things. DUB, RECORDING, MIXING, the mysteries of the universe unraveling. Sitting up all night, drinking, smoking, playing. Mixing dubs live for each other... to cassette. A non-stop party-- creating, experimenting. Before gigs, after, whenever! Whoever! And Django was the host. He bought the equipment with the money he made off Rancid gigs (they asked for the only reggae-punk trombone player in NYC). Yes, this is my friend, these are my friends, all of us buried in a rat-infested basement, all hours. "No Pissing In Bottles" tacked up on cardboard over the pile of bottles, somewhere to the left of the hole which gurgled alternately sewer water and soap. But the records that came out of that moment were all beauty, setting a new high mark for us. Something to compete with and something to try to outdo: each other.

Jeff, Django, now they had morphed, they were one-- the man of many faces, Gangsta, Rude Boy, Hippie-Mystic in the park with nothing but a pair of drawers and his trombone. The man of many tongues, what is he singing? Spanish, French, German, Patois, New York-- and beyond words, the lyrical melodies, "Lifeboat"... come to my rescue... What did he used to say in the Stubborn days? "We're out there every day trying to save each other's lives..."

It's been ten years or more since the Ortiz Funeral Home and what's come of it? Records and records, over 30 musicians. Believe me, 14 tracks don't even begin to touch it.

And are we rich? Not in dollars. Are we tired of Struggling? Are we even more that than back then? When half-baked bullshit is still the flavor of the week and pretty boys and pretty girls still fly up the charts? And we ask, "Well who is THAT GUY?!" The one with all the glitters and lights around him? Is he bigger? Stronger? Smarter? Richer?

Better looking? Maybe...

...but does he love you?

...Django does.



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