Now is the time of year when thoughts turn to the warmer days of spring and summer just ahead. It’s also the time of celebrations. Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is celebrated between January and February. The old Celtic holiday of Imbolc on February 2nd marks the halfway point between the Solstice and Equinox. February is Black History Month. Valentines Day, Presidents Day. We have a lot to occupy ourselves while we wait for spring. Robert Nesta Marley’s birthday is February 6th, and so today’s Test of the Boomerang features a Bob-inspired mix of music to warm up with during these waning cold days.

There are some cuts from Bob himself, as well as Stephen “Raggamuffin” and Damien “Jr. Gong” representing the rest of the Marley family. You’ll hear from the great Bill Laswell (born Feburary 12th) with the Algerian band Maghrebika, as well as a cut from Laswell’s brilliant Bob Marley tribute, Dreams of Freedom: Ambient Translations of Bob Marley in Dub. I’m also sharing with you some music by the lost great band Catalyst, whose essential collected discography set, The Funkiest Band You Never Heard Of, seems to sadly have gone out of print yet again. If you find it at a decent price, definitely pick it up. Some brilliant stuff there.

Last on the playlist today is a live recording from the Grateful Dead, taped on March 21st, 1991. This is a improvised jam on “Stir It Up” that appeared in the second set out of “Fire on the Mountain” and leading into the “Drums” portion of the night. The inclusion of new keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Vince Welnick in 1990 infused some new energy and a renewed sense of adventure to the band, and this is a good example of that. A lot of fun.

Enjoy the tunes, folks. Stay warm. Beware of black ice, and I’ll meet you all back here next week.

Bob Marley, “Rastaman Vibration” Live from Rockpalast (1980)

Animal Collective, “Queen in My Pictures” from Campfire Songs (2003)

Damien Marley, “There for You” from Welcome to Jamrock (2005)

Catalyst, “A Country Song” from The Funkiest Band You Never Heard Of (1999)

Scientist, “Imperialist Illusion Dub” from ALL HAIL THE DUB HEAD (2001)

Stephen Marley, “The Traffic Jam” (featuring Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley) from Mind Control (2007)

Maghrebika with Bill Laswell, “Tyran Pendant” from Neftakhir (2006)

King Crimson, “1 ii 2” (live in London 1 December 1997) from Cirkus – A Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson (2007)

Gyptian, “Serious Times” from My Name is Gyptian (2006)

Mickey Hart & Zakir Hussein (Global Drum Project), “Kaluli Groove” from Global Drum Project (2007)

Bob Marley, “Burnin’ and Lootin'” (remixed by Bill Laswell) from Dreams of Freedom – Ambient Translations of Bob Marley in Dub (1997)

Grateful Dead, “Stir It Up Jam” Live Landover, Maryland 3/21/91

About the Author

Ben Wiser

Test of the Boomerang is an in-depth exploration of some of the best material found on the Live Music Archive.

View All Articles