WTM #1049: 3 Proud American Voices: Black Wayne Nordine

bwn1wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 

Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies
23 February 2009 // 17.00-19.00
“Black as the ace of spades is, Black as a hole in Calcutta is, Black, … as a dream of sleep is…”
• Ken Nordine “Black” 
“Oh yea, he’s a hero, always got a toothpick in his mouth, hangs around the docks at night, he’s tuff, mafia-Jersey tuff…”
• Black Sifichi, “Tuff”
“…we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”
John Wayne
•  
WTM Story [Sifichi-Schauffhauser Mix] > Black Sifichi 
Versus > Black Sifichi vs EZ3kiel [Barbary / Jarring Effects]
The Good Things > John Wayne [America: Why I Love Her / MPI]
Chartreuse > Ken Nordine [Colors / Asphodel 1995 (1967)*]
Face the Flag > John Wayne [America: Why I Love Her / MPI]
Rosey > Ken Nordine*
White > Ken Nordine*
Blue > Ken Nordine*
Dear Superman > Superstoned [Black Sifichi vs Norscq / Jarring Effects vinyl ]
The Hyphen > John Wayne
Periphery > Black Sifichi vs Lena & The Floating Roots Orchestra [Lost-Wax / Plush ]
Why I Love Her > John Wayne
Gold > Ken Nordine*
Why Are You Marching, Son? > John Wayne
Sterile > Black Sifichi vs Brain Damage [Spoken Dub Manifesto / Jarring Effects]
Taps > John Wayne
Burgundy > Ken Nordine*
Maroon > Ken Nordine*
ObSsd > Black Sifichi vs EZ3kiel [Barbary / Jarring Effects  ]
Why Are You Marching, Son? > John Wayne
Dear Superfan > Superstoned [Black Sifichi vs Norscq / Jarring Effects vinyl]
Mis Raices Estan Aqui (My Roots Are Buried Here) > John Wayne
Black > Ken Nordine*
The Pledge of Allegiance > John Wayne
Byrika/Red Eye > Black Sifichi vs  Gnawa N Joum Experience [No Fridge]
Olive > Ken Nordine*
Muhlet / Moglobis > Black Sifichi vs One Kilo of Black Bondage [Fear the Windows, Ronda,2005 ]
Lavender > Ken Nordine*
Storm Blowin’ > Black Sifichi vs Lena [Floating Roots / Quatermass]
Flesh > Ken Nordine*
The Unity of the Circle > Black Sifichi vs Brain Damage [Ashes to Ashes – Dub to Dub / Hammerbass]
Brown > Ken Nordine*
Ageing Young Rebel > DJ Food & Ken Nordine [Xen Cuts, Various Artists, Ninja Tune, 2000]
You Know What I Like > Black Sifichi [Intro to Audiometric radio show]
~
I decided to present 3 very different American voices: Black Sifichi [the voice of the French speculative electro-dub scene], Ken Nordine [poet-investigator of the mysteries of the mundane], John Wayne [voice of celluloid nationalism and simplistic patriotism]. The task was to find common ground, to find overlap and parallels in their difference.
~
Voice: Three deep, vibrato-gritty voices… John Wayne I have never liked although there were probably a few roles he covered well. Like Charlton Heston, he just reminded me of a reptilian non-thinker, but, like Clint Eastwood, he developed a style based on a certain intonation, a certain spare use of words, limited vocabulary, maximum use of silence as awe-inspiring effect. His deep sonorous voice reminds me of my main vocal role model, that of Ken Nordine, a baffling nerdy hipster with an amazing repertoire of interesting vocal pieces, poems, observations that position him somewhere between Dr. Seuss and Dean Moriarity, a voice that resonates to one’s innermost core like a Tibetan monk chant that devolves into a sort of poetic exploration of modern neurosis. Tom Waits’ more spoken-word-oriented pieces are inspired by Nordine.
~
Black: Meanwhile, Black Sifichi has become the [anglo] voice of an entire avant subculture in France, penning and voicing hundreds of tracks and texts for several handfuls of some of the most inventive electro-dub, electronica, noise and avant sound sculpture fields. What further marks them – here – is a connection to black. Sifichi’s stage name is Black in deference to the influence that black voices have had on music and he has a decidedly Black outlook on life – hopefully bleak, blackly upbeat, constructively nihilistic. Meanwhile, Jon Wayne has that black-white kind of simplistic philosophy that seems to mirror Hollywood’s Western ethos – a man’s a man – and black is a symbol of evil although in “Rooster Cogburn” he wears a black hat and eye patch and plays an unusually complex character who probably fought for the Confederates [to maintain slavery] which some may consider unusual because he usually played a white-hat hero, although when you look at the romanticized Confederacy of fiercely independent southerners who fought for their right to own slaves it is not so farfetched. As Emmanuel Levy notes on his site Cinema 24/7, Wayne had a contentious an oh-well manifest destiny attitude towards racism and black under representation in Hollywood Westerns even though it is NOW historically recognized that Blacks were 25% of all cowboys, something you would never know watching 95% of all Westerns. He said he was just being historically correct in his attitude toward blacks in his films… In the 1970s when Blacks began appearing in films and Westerns more, Wayne though Hollywood studios were “‘carrying their tokenism a little too far.’ And while he believed that ‘there should be the same percentage of the colored race in films as in society,’ he also realized that ‘it can’t always be that way,’ because ‘more than likely, ten percent haven’t trained themselves for that type of work.’ …
~
Wayne believed in gradual integration, ‘we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of blacks.’” And once commented “‘white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.’” And the scary thing is that to some degree, his easy black-white view of morality and other issues made him one of the most popular actors of all time. In the 1934 Randy Rides Alone, Wayne wears a black hat as good guy.
~
Black Sifichi has written/compiled this “black” poem: BLACK, BLACK AND WHITE, BLACK AND WHITE MINSTRELS, BLACK BOX, BLACK BOX RECORDER, BLACK BOX RECORDINGS, BLACK CAT BONES, BLACK CAT MUSIC, BLACK CONNECTION, BLACK CROWES, BLACK CROWES, BLACK DICE, BLACK DOG,BLACK DYKE MILLS BAND, BLACK EYED PEAS, BLACK FLAG, BLACK GRAPE, BLACK HALOS / BUBBLE, BLACK HEART PROCESSION, BLACK HEAT, BLACK IVORY, BLACK JAZZ CHRONICLES, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, BLACK LACE, BLACK LEGEND, BLACK LIPSTICK, BLACK LODGE, BLACK MACHINE, BLACK MASSES, BLACK MOSES, BLACK N BLUE, BLACK NIELSON, BLACK OAK ARKANSAS, BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, BLACK ROB, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK SHEEP,  BLACK SIFICHI, BLACK SPIDER, BLACK STAR, BLACK STAR LINER, BLACK SUN, BLACK SUN ENSEMBLE, BLACK SYMPHONY, BLACK TRAIN JACK, BLACK TWANG, BLACK UHURU, BLACK WATCH, BLACK WIDOW, BLACK:DAVIS:NASH ENSEMBLE, BLACKALICIOUS, BLACKBYRDS, BLACKFOOT, BLACKFOOT SUE, BLACKHAWK, BLACKMARKET NICKY, BLACKMORES NIGHT, BLACKOUT, BLACKSHINE, BLACKSMITH, BLACKSTONE, BLACKSTONES, BLACKSTREET, BLACKSTREET GIRLS, BLACKTHORNE, BLACKWELL:WILSON JOHNSON:PREVIN:LSO, BLACKWOOD QUARTET, BLACKWORLD ………
~
Ken Nordine became famous as a voiceover artist for commercials and the like with some conceptual cred that kept mounting over the decades. He is best known for his Word Jazz albums. He popularized the genre of cool jazz poetry [see also Patchen, Rexroth and Kerouac] and laced it with some irony and self-reflection, giving his Kafka-esque writings a tongue-in-cheek feel. His word jazz often include critiques of straight society and the hypocrisy of social norms – the work floats from the lightweight and humorous, to a darker, blacker, view of society. Nordine photo courtesy of jazzspot.

 

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