Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Friends, through our friend Adam Brook I have the sad task of posting this email about the passing of CHEF RA on to you all. Chef Ra was a good friend of THE PROCESS and a warrior in the fight for freedom. I will miss seeing him at Hash Bash and miss his laughter and keen wit. Perhaps where he is now he can let Jah know we need more help to change these unjust laws. Wherever Chef Ra is you can bet freedoms flag is flying HIGH!
Peace and blessings for the new year and please take a moment to say a prayer to the MOST HIGH for Chef Ra, David
From: Adam Brook [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 2:01 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: MINORML-TALK: Chef Ra Crosses Over
Well folks I had planned on having a Cannabis Cup at the next HASH BASH, I
have been in contact with a few growers and we were almost ready to announce
our plans but it will have to wait.....with the loss of my good friend CHEF
RA....aka James Wilson. My efforts will be going to remind people what an
activist and a friend of the HASH BASH this man was.
I am going to dedicate the next HASH BASH, #36 to the memory of CHEF RA, If
you don't know why he deservers this you should wait a few days, let us
mourn and then question my actions.......
I posted this at the High Times story on the passing of CHEF RA, so I would
expect a large crowd.
PLEASE JOIN US AT :
The CHEF RA MEMORIAL
HASH BASH (HASH BASH #36)
Saturday April 7th 2007
U of M
ANN ARBOR, MI.
There will me a memorial at about the time RA would historically speak at
the event to honor CHEF RA.
Please send any photos or video of Chef Ra at past HASH BASHes to
firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can include them in our program.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Excerpt from Review Magazine:
The Year in Music
By Scott Baker
And last (but certainly not least) The Process 'Weapons of Mass Percussion' became one of 46 releases in contention for a 2007 Grammy Award Nomination in the Reggae field. This group consistently has forged into creative and challenging terrain during the expanse of their two-decade career, so it is gratifying to witness such hard work and persistence paying off with national & international acclaim.
"It's been an exciting and challenging year, with the new CD being a departure from our usual releases, as well as it being a departure from standard dub or remix projects," commented Process avatar David Asher.
The Process Contenders for 2007 Grammy for 'Weapons of Mass Percussion'
by Lauren Davis
When the news hit that the reggae/rock warriors The Process secured a nomination contention in the Reggae Division for the 2007 Grammy Awards, it was the peak accomplishment for a driven band that has consistently developed new material and broken into new territory for over 20 years.
Recently I caught up with main-man David Asher to glean his reactions to this accomplishment.
Lauren: first, tell me on how you feel about the recognition:
Asher: It really is a thrill to receive recognition from the recognized establishment of the industry. After being on it's periphery for so many years, it's just a good feeling. Also knowing that we were able to achieve this as an independent artist with no major label backing is a satisfying feeling. To be fair we are well represented by a Madison Ave Law firm in New York, Jacobson & Colfin P.C. www.thefirm.com
Lauren: Had you not done music, who would you be right now?
Asher: "Can't image it. If I hadn't been commissioned by the Most High to do this work, I'm sure I would be somewhere tropical. Because it is a commission and it does involve sacrifice which most people would not be willing to deal with, in terms of free time and family."
Lauren; What is the key to staying in love with your music?
Asher: "The key for myself in staying in love with music and the creative process is the wonderful musical brothers I have been blessed with surrounding me, Garrick Owen, Bill Heffelfinger, Gabe Gonzalez and Sam Metropoulos and our fans, friends and families. I also should mention our fantastic producer Gee "Genius" Pierce. What keeps it fresh for us over the years is our creative process. We never write the same way twice in the way we approach the music. We have a formula for preproduction and production but the creative process used in writing is nearly always unique. Sometimes I write alone, sometimes with Garrick. Sometimes I write on the guitar, sometimes I plunk the melodies out on the piano. The best stuff comes to me when I'm walking around or driving in my car. Bill always brings a unique approach to the arrangements as well, so we mix it up with out too much thought about it.
Lauren: What is the most ridiculous idea you have had, that worked?
Asher: To make a remix album using bits from the news and found sounds (which became Weapons Of Mass Percussion)".
Lauren: What is the coolest aspect of the nomination, and tell me your thoughts on, (if you'll pardon the inference) the process involved?
Asher: Well it was a nomination "consideration" where we were one of 46 contenders. The coolest part for me was getting an email from Grammy Chairman (reggae) Roger Steffens wishing us good luck. Roger is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world about reggae music and I admire him a lot.
I would just like to thank our friends, fans and families who have supported us through good and bad times over the years. They are truly the ones who have enabled us to continue doing what we love. God bless em.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
By LES NEUHAUS, Associated Press Writer
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam was convicted Tuesday of genocide and other charges in a rare case of an African strongman being held to account by his own country.
Mengistu, who lives in exile in Zimbabwe, was tried in absentia. He could face the death penalty at his Dec. 28 sentencing, but Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said he won't deport Mengistu if he refrains from political activity.
The trial focused on Mengistu's alleged involvement in the killing of nearly 2,000 people during a 1977-78 campaign known as the Red Terror. A panel of judges, sitting in a packed courtroom, convicted the former dictator of instigating genocide, committing genocide, illegal imprisonment and abuse of power.
Mengistu had taken power in 1974, when his military junta ended Emperor Haile Selassie's rule in a bloody coup.
Mengistu was tried along with 72 of his former aides, although there were only 34 people in court Tuesday. Fourteen died during trial and 25 were tried in absentia. All but one man were convicted of at least one charge Tuesday.
Most of those in the courtroom were family members of the defendants, and looked sullen after the verdict.
"I am very happy he has been found guilty," said Tadesse Mamo, 32, a businessman in the capital. "He killed so many of our intellectuals and our youth, most notably our emperor."
Selassie's cousin, Mulugeta Aserate, said Mengistu's men came to his family's home in June 1974 and took his father away. He was a young boy at the time, and never saw his father again.
"They told us that they were taking him to an interview, but I found out later he was summarily executed with 60 others," Mulugeta, 55, told The Associated Press.
Some experts say 150,000 university students, intellectuals and politicians were killed in a nationwide purge by Mengistu's Marxist regime, though no one knows for sure how many suspected opponents were killed in the Red Terror.
The case has been closely watched in Africa, where dictators have been known to harbor colleagues from other countries and to stymie attempts elsewhere to bring despots to justice.
It was seen as a watershed when, in March, former Liberian President Charles Taylor was brought before a U.N.-backed war crimes court in Sierra Leone on charges of backing Sierra Leonean rebels, who terrorized victims by chopping off body parts during the 1991-2002 civil war.
The rebels who toppled Mengistu, however, were determined to pursue him in the courts, and began planning for trials almost immediately upon taking over in 1991, producing 8,000 pages of evidence.
When he was deposed in 1991 by rebels led by Meles Zenawi, now Ethiopia's prime minister, Mengistu fled to the protection of Mugabe's authoritarian regime in Zimbabwe, where his army had helped train guerrillas in their struggle for independence from white rule.
The trial, which began in 1994, has been complicated by requests from both sides for long breaks. Hundreds of key witnesses have also died, making it difficult for prosecutors and defense lawyers to present their cases.
Ethiopia's courts have convicted more than 1,000 people since 1994 for participating in the Red Terror, but thousands more live in exile.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Heres a review of the film "The US vs John Lennon, in the UK online rag the Independant.
It is followed by my response:
Click here to read the review online.
Reviewed by Anthony Quinn
Published: 08 December 2006
"Even as a lifelong devotee of John Lennon's music, I would have to concede that the man himself really did talk the most prodigious amount of balls. This much is confirmed in the course of The US vs John Lennon, a documentary that seeks to lionise him as peace activist and spokesman for a generation, but inadvertently has the effect of making him look a pious, publicity-crazed bore. Film-makers David Leaf and John Scheinfeld concentrate on Lennon's life in the aftermath of The Beatles' break-up in 1970, when he and Yoko Ono moved to New York and established themselves as gurus of the counterculture. Ever keen to play the rebel, Lennon spoke vociferously on behalf of the anti-Vietnam movement and black radicalism, or staged publicity stunts like his notorious "bed-in" for peace. The film interleaves contemporary news footage with a selection of talking heads - Walter Cronkite, Angela Davis, Carl Bernstein, Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky et al - to reminisce about the political and social convulsions of late-Sixties and early-Seventies America. It is the thesis of Leaf and Scheinfeld that Lennon's involvement in this revolutionary spirit so rattled the likes of Nixon and FBI boss J Edgar Hoover that he was secretly declared an enemy of the state and put under surveillance. No hard evidence of this is brought to light, but the merest suspicion of it supposedly underpins the idea of Lennon as one of the unacknowledged legislators of the world, a role he himself was happy to endorse. Indeed, the cumulative impression you would glean here is that, before Lennon, nobody had ever picked up a guitar in protest. Dylan, a hero to Lennon and his fellow Beatles, is conspicuously ignored throughout. The most significant interviewee is Ono, whose approval of the film should strike an ominous note. While it would be too easy to blame her for the self-absorption of Lennon's post-Beatles career (no mention is made, incidentally, of his 18-month separation from her in 1973-74), it does appear that, artistically, they brought out the worst in each other. Ian MacDonald said it best, as he nearly always did concerning The Beatles, in his seminal book Revolution in the Head: "Under the ostensibly selfless holy foolery [Lennon and Ono] indulged in during 1968-70 was a core of exhibitionistic self-promotion. Behaving as if they had personally invented peace, they jetted round the world in first-class seats selling it at third-rate media-events. This was arrogant as well as silly, and the news media's derision was not only inevitable but, in the main, justified." Such perspective will be a tonic after watching this remorseless hagiography."
The word hagiography is used to describe this Lennon pic. I guess what John and Yoko did for peace really did suck and wasn't worth a damn. Yeah the war machine can just roll right on and it's a beautiful thing. It's a shame they ever even called attention to the stupid idea of peace at all. What a stupid idea "peace". "Behaving as if they had personally invented peace", that WAS arrogant. They should have just ignored the whole idea and went along with the war which did so much good for everyone. Just like the war today is so beautiful and good for everyone. Peace on Earth: this Christmas season flush that idea, war is a much better way to go! Right everyone? Since we can't bring Richard Nixon back lets re-elect Mr. Bush again. He is even better than Nixon and his war is a better one too. Bush and Nixon both did so much to make the world a better place, not like that dirty hippy John Lennon and his "hag" wife Yoko Ono, "artistically, they brought out the worst in each other". Now Bush and Cheney, they bring out the best in each other. Money, greed. oil. Those are the things that are really worth dying for. Not the silly idea of peace. What a stupid idea, who would die for that?
Happy Christmas, War is Over If You Want It.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Read the good Doctor's review of the album below:
What can I say but "Wow!" This is not your ordinary Process album... Where previous Process releases were very good roots/rock/reggae outings - with some standout vocal tracks and an album's worth of darn good dub - this new release takes the Process to some unchartered territory. There is a heavy, heavy dubwise treatment throughout most of the session, with the best (and most disturbing) war on terror/911 soundbytes yet to be interwoven with music. And though the use of vocals is limited, where they do appear they range from the commanding (in the case of group leader David Asher), to the ethereal, to the shamanic. Middle Eastern percussions and chants. Robotic voices and electronic blips and bleeps. The repeated images of the Rasta soldier and the prophecy of Armageddon. The combined effect of this many-layered mix is to transport the listener on a journey of mind and soul, from the ravages of war to the Utopian world of Rastafari salvation. This is an overtly political album, without any overt political or partisan propaganda. This is a very spiritual, even religious exercise, that never preaches or pushes dogma. It's the awakening of the spirit, and the eye-opening journey through the disturbing events from the nightly news, that really matter here. More questions are raised than answered here...but that's exactly the point. And then, of course, there are those heavy, heavy Weapons of Mass Percussion. In my mind the heavy, electronic dub (with an organic core) put together by Mr. Asher and The Process on "Weapons of Mass Percussion" sits quite nicely alongside the best, most mutant dub from studios/labels such as On-U Sound, Wordsound, and B.S.I Records. Great stuff.....pointing to a brave new world for The Process... and us all.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
The Process - Weapons of Mass Percussion
A Modern Reggae/Metal Political Opera
This is by far the most ambitious musical statement undertaken in response to our invasion of Iraq, though it is a difficult listening experience. No la-de-da here, no sir. This sure is a gutsy statement for a post 9-11 American band who may wanna sell a few discs to a distracted and frightened public. Why would you wannna lay down your hard earned ching on this when you can buy a tasty glazed disco doughnut by Bo Bice or Kelly Clarkston, its much easier to listen to and you don't have to think at all. Hey mon, you better stay with all them typical bread and circuses peddled to the masses. It's far too heavy for you American Idol types. Some of you might be puzzled by this disc; its not typical Process stuff. It communicates thematic content almost entirely through synthesized instrumentation and dubbed-in sound effects and voices. The Process have outdone themselves in creating this apocalyptic punk/reggae opus. Its a totally outrageous in its scope as it intersperses dub mixes along with traditional Rasta rhythms to tell the tale of a never ending war, a war so deeply embedded in ancient wounds scratched open by Americas hegemony that it threatens our very survival. The architecture of the sound is programmed for maximum effect and it is evokes a type of primal worry. It is not difficult to imagine the horror portrayed in this synthesized Armageddon. The sound is clear and stark, almost operatic, lending itself to a soundscape that is haunting and discordant. A horrifying beauty. The prologue, Rasta Soldier, portends revolution with its insistent rhythms as Asher spits out his disgust like a bad taste in his mouth. His urgent rasp is seething in anger, protesting our foolish open-eyed self-immolation. Asher dispatches a traditional verse/chorus/bridge for a minimalist format (parados) with a simple repetitive verse, a hopeful message, Coming from rebel country over the mountains and hills, its a Rasta Soldier. Stay out of Babylon. But there is little chance to save Babylon or Baghdad, or each other, as mans time is up and those of the earth must return to dust. And mans folly, a legacy of international terror, death and destruction, gains ascendance. The rest of the disc is divided into movements or episodes, the first such episode Osama Forgotten identifies the moral ambiguities of 9/11 including the reactive use of violence and state terror. This segment is less musical as echoed and synthesized sounds are layered between inhuman computerized voices, If you obey me, you will survive and dub mixes of radio broadcasts, "We have an airplane crashed into the pentagon". It tells the story of our post 9-11 experience and our deeply felt moral uncertainties. In their unquenchable thirst for power and control of markets and resources, our leaders have created the exact conditions for Armageddon and the end of times. Can the Rasta Soldier help us regain our spiritual balance and apply the universal standards of peace, love and justice to anyone but ourselves? The Logic Probe opens like an old Karloff horror flick, the mad scientist intones (with a slight British accent), Bring in the Logic Probe well jolly well right, bloke. This is some spooky shit; all they need is a Theremin to complete the vibe, though the other worldly background vocals echo incredible haunting tones, poetry without words. The theme of Megatron Cube , "Disclosure Averted; Continue Observations" signals that middle phase of post 9-11 in which government duplicity and the subversion of civil liberties are apparent though accountability becomes quite elusive. In the 4th Episode Tetragammatron, Asher reprises Rasta Soldier but it seems that the battle between the sacred and profane has reached a more terrifying level of destruction, our very soul us at stake. This is trippin music but its a bad trip, destruction everywhere, at least in the beginning and just as it feels hopeless the tone and rhythm begins to change and a glimmer of a small hope seems to emerge from despair and is echoed into the fade out. Subsonic Temple reveals the governments not-so-clever use of propaganda "STAND BY FOR MIND CONTROL". The disembodied voice of President Bush declares, "Weve just seen the first war of the 21st century and there is universal approval". Its followed by a dubbed-in bit by the Three Stooges, "Quiet numbskulls, I'm broadcasting". Then Asher sings, "Why you such a crazy dog?" perfect. The band really shines on this track with Garrick Owens licks finally getting out front in the mix, and he rocks as if his life depended on it. This cat can play! Vortex 4 continues the heavy metal assault all caution is observed as the haunting vocals and ghostly harmonies portend danger. It is in this episode where the battle between commerce/profit and humanity is clearly engaged. Who or what will prevail? The Evildoers Stamp'd Out In Dub episode features the horn section from the reggae/ska stalwarts Stamp'D. The music echoes our spiritual void and seem to protest our blind obedience as if to say "WAKE UP" and serves as an effective segue to Weapons of Mass Percussion and the whispers of conscience as "other voices" give rise to an alternative perspective - "I don't know anyone in any government or any intelligent agency that I can think of who has contended that Iraq had nuclear weapons - that's fact ..1" - to peculiar Bushisms such as "It will take time to restore chaos." This epiosde is a wicked and spot-on satire of our controlled media with the (now obligatory) opening teaser, "Terror, Horror, and Death - News at Eleven". Weapons Part II sets the stage for the dub mix of a glorious trio of songs originally heard on the triumphant Blood & Bones beginning with Rapdown, a warning about "evildoers and devil governments" that also plants the seed of hope...Jah is not dead, Jah is alive and well and can hold them in a cloud and in a lightning bolt. A musically dynamic track, a celebration of the spirit like Pete Seeger's "We Shall Overcome". Run Them Down warns "You better wake up" as the dub mix is accompanied by echoed voices and synthesized sounds that resemble an acid trip that alters your sense of reality and reveals a truth that exists deep inside you beneath layers of acculturation and social control. It's your truth but it's somehow universal and suddenly, and only for a moment, you realize that you are part of something much bigger. Rising Up (Old School and Techno) is the resolution of the internal conflict and a call to the universal spirit. It is a song of hope with an undercurrent of wonder...It's not too late, is it? The Process have created a difficult but wondrous musical document and they have joined hands with other iconoclastic artists such as Steve Earle (The Revolution Starts Now) and Neil Young (Living With War) who have the courage of their convictions and are not afraid to speak their minds. Damn Commerce, Do Right.
Peace, Bo White
"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph." Haile Selassie
Writer, Author Bo White has reviewed a zillion CDs and concerts over the years. He's the man to see if your band wishes to showcase at the legendary Whites Bar. In addition he is a founding member of SAGINAWMUSIC.COM
Monday, May 01, 2006
Sunday, April 23, 2006
THE LAST DAY CROWN AMUSEMENTS CAME TO VASSAR (As told to David Asher by Art Howse.
Danny Clark of Vassar was hanging around on Friday before the last day the Crown Amusement Carnival came to Vassar. The carnival was closed, all the rides were shut down and the kiddies home in bed. The "carneys" were partying at the Vassar Fairgrounds, drinking on a keg of beer and socializing with a few locals in the special way that carnival workers do. There was a carnival girl there that Danny Clark fancied and she fancied him as well. The only problem was that her boyfriend (who worked for the carnival) was not happy with this AT ALL. He snuck up behind Danny and broke a bottle over his head. This caused a severe eye injury that looked really bad but Danny managed to crawl into the bushes and get away. When he had composed himself, he started rounding up his friends to put a revenge party together. Danny put together the most roughneck, ruthless posse of local boys he could find. He went to Art House, a construction worker from Millington, a fearless big boy. He next woke up Gerry Petkoff another real big Millington boy. "Look what those motherfuckers did to me!" He wailed, "We gotta get em!" Others in the posse included fearless smalltime career criminal and outdoor adventurer (poacher) Tommy Fuller and another of their grizzled partners Roy Klein. They armed themselves with all manner of crude bludgeons they could find. Rolling pins, baseball bats and what ever else was around. At high noon on Saturday they walked down the carnival fairway, armed to the teeth and hell-bent on extracting revenge. Mothers saw them walking with a determined swagger and grabbed their children off the rides, fleeing from the scene about to unfold. Then a giant Carnie, a mountain of a man, stepped in front of them and looked at Danny Clark with his crude club in his hand. He bellowed in a rage, "What are you gonna do with that stick boy?!" Danny, not skipping a beat, pointed to his assailant from the previous night (who had also stepped out into daylight) and said, "I'm gonna hit that motherfucker right there with it!" The giant roared back, "I'm gonna take that stick and shove it up your ass boy!!!" At that moment Danny ran forward and with a sideways lunge, cracked the Giant mans kneecap with his club, hard. The Giant cried out in pain and fell to one knee. Then Danny swung the club over and smashed it over the big mans head with a crack! The Giant fell face first into the dirt, knocked out cold. A second later, a loud bullhorn blasted from atop a telephone pole and carneys came running (armed with whatever they could find on such short notice), from all directions, toward Danny and his friends. Now the boys were in the fight of their lives. A 300 pound women swung at Art House, missing him. Art slugged her hard in the face, dropping her to the ground. Knives were drawn and Danny and the boys scrapped hard for their lives. Men, women and children from the carnival joined the fray until police sirens were heard, approaching. Then the boys ran like hell and escaped to the railroad bridge nearby and split up. They were cut, scratched and bruised, but not too badly. On the other hand, three ambulances left loaded with carnival workers for Saginaw General Hospital. The next day, the Vassar city fathers met and decreed an ordinance that Crown amusements would never be allowed into Vassar again. The boys were never caught (no one from the carnival knew who they were). On Sunday, after the tents had been struck and the battered and injured carneys loaded into trucks to head for the next destination, the boys were ready for the final revenge. As the carnie caravan rounded the bend by the river leaving town, Danny, Fuller, Roy and the others hid in trees with sling shots. As the carneys passed, they let the pellets fly, crashing out the windows of the Crown amusements buses, the last revenge of Danny Clark. Crown amusements has never returned to Vassar to this day.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
Detroit Music Awards 2006 Final Ballot Released, Voting Underway.
THE PROCESS has received four Nominations this year.
Outstanding Reggae/Ska Group
Outstanding World/Reggae Vocalist (David Asher)
Outstanding World/Reggae Songwriter (David Asher)
Video (Pigman the Movie)
Voting ends at Midnight on May 1st.
This year's award show will be held on May 18th at the State Theater in Detroit.
Thank you all for your love and support of THE PROCESS
Friday, March 17, 2006
THE PROCESS performs live on "The Mitch Albom Show" Thursday March 30th.
The Program which airs 5-7 p.m. Eastern time, is now in its ninth year.
Broadcasts originate from ABC-owned flagship station WJR-AM in Detroit, a 50,000-watt station that reaches 38 states and much of Canada.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Watch THE PROCESS Video Beggar on MYSPACE.
Detroit's rock reggae madmen, THE PROCESS, go from New York to LA in this adventure in the life of a street person. This Award winning video takes you with the band to the Holland tunnel in New York, on to Al's Bar in LA, and back to Detroit again. THE PROCESS tell the story of a homeless person with a wild montage of images and never before seen concert footage.
CLICK HERE to watch the video!
Friday, March 10, 2006
Steve Griffin, Midland Daily News 02/24/2006
Sixty-one years after his birth, and 25 years after his passing, the life of reggae artist Bob Marley continues to be celebrated -- and not just in the Rasta-man's native Jamaica.
Saturday, Shooters, on Gratiot Street in Saginaw, will host its annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash. Headlining will be The Process, a Detroit-based rock/reggae outfit with mid-Michigan roots. The Saginaw ska band Stamp'D will open, and Ambassador David from Reggae Ambassador Worldwide will serve as DJ.
"Put on your dancing shoes," advises a news release from Ambassador David, "and come ready to party."
First to send you to the floor will be Stamp'D, which began as a Saginaw trio in 1996 and has blossomed into its current horn-enriched seven members, several of them from the Birch Run-Saginaw area.
Saturday will be the first public performance for the band's new lineup.
When founding member, guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Garno moved to Texas several months ago, sax player Seth Payton stepped up to the frontman and vocalist role, grabbing a guitar as well as his horn.
"I'm excited, and a little bit nervous," he said of the brighter spotlight. "But we're still the fun, happy, rock/reggae/rhythm outfit."
They're known as a "ska" band, specialists in the Caribbean-based music that, mixing its genetic material with slower, more vocal "rock steady" music, evolved into reggae.
"Like reggae, ska is roots music," said Payton, "about freedom and oppression. But it's not always making a political statement. And no matter what it's talking about, it's still feel-good music."
Ambassador David notes that Marley, best known for reggae, made three ska songs his first recordings.
Payton calls his band's music "third-wave ska." First came the Caribbean original, then a second wave from enthusiasts such as the English Beat and The Specials in Great Britain.
The third wave keeps the basic concepts, including a moving bass line and guitar and horn notes on upbeats, but adds a rock-driven feel.
Along with Payton's move to center stage, other lineup changes have taken place, "as people get older and move on with their lives," he said.
Remaining are longtime members and current Saginaw residents Billy Filter on drums and Jim Garno on bass, and Birch Run native and East Lansing resident Matt Wesener on guitar, percussion and synthesizer.
New to the band are trombonists Tim Horenziak, a Birch Runner now living in Caro, and Joe Greer of Saginaw. Former member Justin Comerford of Saginaw will sit in on trumpet Saturday night, while Payton continues to seek one or more band members on that instrument.
For the band The Process, the event is a twofer: they're headlining the Marley celebration, plus launching their seventh self-produced CD, "Weapons of Mass Percussion." The new disc was produced by veteran Gee Pierce.
Asher, never one to shy away from politics as ammunition in a musical war for peace, says the new album calls on memories of all the things that have happened since September 11, 2001: "This is a snapshot of everything you couldn't process then."
The title cut, for example, features sound bites of politicians, including President George W. Bush saying of insurgents, "Bring them on."
The band has been in business for 15 years: music meets technology, organic meets technology. It works in musical forms including rock, rhythm, techno and dub, the latter a Jamaican musical form that features plentiful sound processing.
Overlaying music in diverse forms and sounds from outside the musical sphere has become simpler, said Asher in a phone interview. "What used to take all day with a huge stack of hardware can now be done in minutes with software.
"Some of this is so essentially remixed they're like entirely new tracks."
The Process comprises Asher, Bill Heffelfinger, Garrick Owen and Gabe Gonzalez, the latter a former member of George Clinton's P-Funk All-Stars who, besides laying down a variety of rhythms, provides live remixes.
At last year's Detroit Music Awards, Asher was named "Outstanding World/Reggae/Ska Songwriter," while his band received nominations in four additional categories.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The award brings cash and recognition to Asher and Owen, the primary writers of THE PROCESS.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
From an email from the the http://www.freepress.net/ website.
Bust Big Radio Payola
Dear David Asher,
Ever wonder why commercial radio has become a mind-numbing repetition of the same songs by Jessica Simpson and Celine Dion? It's not just you. Corporate radio in every town has become a wasteland. And in many cases, it's a crime.
An investigation airing tonight on ABC News "Primetime" exposes illegal payola across the radio dial. Radio conglomerates that control hundreds of local stations are taking bribes to endlessly spin major label acts, keeping independent artists off the air.
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adlestein calls big radio payola "potentially the most widespread and flagrant violation of FCC rules in the history of American broadcasting." But the FCC's Republican leadership remains reluctant to crack down against the corporate radio giants that have sold off our airwaves.
Tell the FCC to Bust Corporate Radio Payola
This new age of payola is the product of consolidated radio ownership. Several of the largest radio conglomerates in America -- including Clear Channel, Viacom/CBS radio and Cumulus -- are among those now under subpoena in a criminal investigation by the New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
Spitzer has exposed a shadowy network of promoters hired by the recording industry to launder hundreds of millions in cash and prizes each year, lining the pockets of big radio broadcasters who agree to spin corporate acts nationwide.
"They thought the FCC was asleep, and they shot someone in front of the policeman," Adelstein tells ABC News. "The policeman is obligated to act when evidence is so clear."
Tell the FCC to Stop the Abuse of Our Airwaves
The airwaves belong to the public -- not the media companies with the fattest wallets. Any broadcaster in violation of payola statutes could face severe FCC sanctions and even the loss of their broadcast licenses.
But the FCC won't act unless they feel pressure from you. Please take action today.
Timothy KarrCampaign DirectorFree Presswww.freepress.net
P.S. Activists, musicians, students and independent broadcasters are joining with Free Press to stop payola and reclaim the public airwaves. Learn more at www.freepress.net/payola.
P.P.S. Want to do more? Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold has introduced a bill to stop record labels from paying off radio stations in exchange for airplay. Urge your senators to co-sponsor the "Radio and Concert Disclosure and Competition Act" (S. 2058).
Monday, February 13, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
'The Process: Gabe Gonzalez, Bill Heffelfinger, David Asher, Garrick Owen.Photo by 'Gotts'
Pre-release reviews of the new CD by THE PROCESS are starting to appear. Check out the interesting article by
Lauren Davis in Review Magazine.
Click Here to read the article online.
THE PROCESS: Weapons of Mass Percussion Newest CD Release Marks Continued Evolution from One of Mid-Michigan's Most Prolific Bands
By Lauren Davis
If you asked founding member David Asher of "The Process" how he would sum up the last 15 years, he would likely tell you it's been a great ride. He would also immediately remind you that it's just getting started.
With a hard-hitting mix of rock, rhythm, techno, and dubbing, the band is preparing to release its seventh self-produced album to fans that have come to expect the unexpected.
There is an old saying that a person's perception is often their reality. With "Weapons of Mass Percussion", The Process challenges the perception. It's an eye-opening trip through the status quo that draws attention to the way we view our society, our potential for ignorance, and our subjective sense of bliss.
This is not a project bent on swaying opinion. Rather, "Weapons of Mass Percussion" is a testament to a musician's ability to call traditional thinking and norms into question. In a politically correct world, The Process is not even close to fitting in and they wouldn't have it any other way.
My first encounter with the new CD is the title track; A dub mix of sound bytes from our favorite government misfits. It's akin to a smack in the face with the blatantly obvious. Both astute and amusing, the montage of political rhetoric falls right into the adept hands of the musicians crafting the backbeat. Its defining quality is not just its willingness to "go there", but to do so with a wink and a nod at the ridiculousness that often befalls the empowered.
If it seems to the average individual that stringing together a bunch of soundbytes into a powerful musical arrangement is taking some shortcuts, consider the thought behind it:What you hear is an audio snapshot of all of the things we are either too overwhelmed to contemplate, or too disgusted with to challenge. "Weapons.." manages to make its point without driving it too far over the top. Because he considers it a far less "mainstream" piece of work, David Asher describes this album as a "departure" from traditional Process releases.
I call it an evolution.
In today's entertainment world, it's not easy to be a do-it-yourselfer. But Asher describes the challenges of being a self produced band in a corporate musical environment with some degree of nonchalance. The Process has done it for fifteen years, and, he says, it never gets easier. "It's like going to battle. We have to push, and promote, and produce, and do all of those things that we did when we first started out. We face a lot of challenges every time we put something out there. But we believe in ourselves, and having friends and fans (who) support and believe in us really helps".
As one would anticipate, the fan base has changed over the years without the help of corporate entities, thank you very much. When asked if outlets like www.reviewthisradio.com, and the underground music scene, in general, have helped to develop the band, Asher answers before I finish the question.
"The fan base? It's broadening across all demos. The explosion in the underground music scene, especially on the Internet, has helped a lot. I mean, I'm recording songs that have been around since the time of King David. I'm really just a conduit for what's really out there. But I get letters and e-mails from Japan, Europe, South America all over the world. It's amazing!"
Would a band like The Process ever really acclimate to a corporate label? Asher doesn't think so. "Corporate Support is great when corporate actually supports you. But most of the time, what they do is support you for a time, and then hand you a bill after it's all over (or when they determine you're done) for 'talent development'. We just want to keep creating."
Though The Process has the support of talented studio producers like Gee Pierce, and some quality promotional people with whom they work closely, the band still maintains control over their product. They have also managed to keep ownership of their library: Something even the most successful artists have regretted signing away.
Retaining creative control has given The Process a certain level of freedom to explore more drastic changes in their musical approach. David Asher excitedly tells me about how, four years ago, adding a new drummer with strong African influence led them to explore other avenues.
He describes it as a major turning point. Following their sixth release, "Blood & Bones", The Process immediately began working on the new project. "We never left the studio," he says. "We've done re-mixes on various tracks that are so different they're essentially like new. Our new drummer gives different techno vibes, rich rhythms, and a very real, new feel to everything. It's a lot of fun!"
Though wildly popular overseas, dub music is still taking root in the states. So how do you define it, exactly?
"It's the influence of turning music around using what's out there in new technology. It got more creative by taking western rock instruments to make African music." Though as the genre expands, admits Asher, " It's become more bionic and technological."
For that very reason, the techno approach sometimes has more traditional musicians struggling with the age-old battle of craftsmanship vs. technology. How does a band like The Process answer critics who view a synthesized/dubbed product as, while certainly creative, not necessarily musical in nature?
It's a tough question, but he takes it in stride. "I would point out that my guitar player, for example, is a highly skilled musician featured in many industry mags, and widely viewed as one of the best. I have a drummer who can play circles around any rhythm you throw at him. My whole band, these are quality players. And they find plenty of ways to express themselves in what we do".
But of the musical merit, itself? "I understand the question" he says honestly, "But you have to embrace the new technology, and move forward with it. It's part of the creative process. For example, The Beatles heard a synth and immediately put it to work for them." Taking the technology to new heights, explains Asher, "Šis what makes music evolve."
Still, he seems to appreciate the value of more traditional timbres. "We try to bring a warmth and an organic feel to what is a fairly cold, technological arena. To juxtapose that is a great challenge. You know, it's a tough balancing act being true to yourself, and being something marketable. A good man once said 'By what do you measure your success? Becoming a flash in the pan, hoping for more? Or is it the ability to keep pushing and creating?' We're out there pushing, for better or worse, and it's really what it's all about. As long as we can keep doing it and be true to the effort, we're good with that."
In the decade and a half it's been making music, The Process has seen his share of challenges, frustrations, and successes. I ask David, "If something were to happen tomorrow, and "Weapons of Mass Percussion" were to be the final word from the band, what would the overall message have been?"
"It's all peace." He says. "And it's okay to be a warrior for peace." He brightens as he adds, "I see the future though, and after seven albums, it's still forward to the best of our abilities.""Is there anything you would have done differently?" I ask.
The question seems to catch him off-guard. After a long moment, he answers, and I can hear him smile through the phone. The response is slow, and somewhat introspective. "What would I do differently?" He muses.
"Nothin'. Not a thing. I'm doing the same thing (taking the same approach) as I did back then. I've just become a little better at it."Another long pause and then:
"...Rastafari flows like a river. After fifteen years? It's a soul refresher now."The Process will be at Shooters headlining the annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash and releasing their new CD, Weapons of Mass Percussion on Saturday, February 25th, and is a featured artist on Review This Radio Dot Com.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
THE PROCESS release their newest CD "WEAPONS OF MASS PERCUSSION" at a party Saturday Feb 25th, 9:00 PM at Shooters of Saginaw (8845 Gratiot Rd, Saginaw, 48609 - (989) 781-6333, $5.00 at the door). Celebrate Bob Marley's Birthday with a night featuring THE PROCESS and STAMP'D, vendors and a reggae DJ. Don't miss this very special event!
Monday, January 23, 2006
THE PROCESS return to the stage after a lay-off of several months Saturday Feb 25th at Shooters Nightclub in Saginaw. The event is a double feature, the celebration of the Honorable Robert Marley's birth, as well as a CD release party for the newest release from THE PROCESS "Weapons Of Mass Percussion".
Opening the show is the return of the much venerated Ska kings of Saginaw, Stamp'd, now fronted by horn man and process session man Seth Payton. Stay tuned for more info as this landmark night advances toward us!