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Cleveland’s Black Rock Legacy: Purple Image

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Today’s resurgence in black rock and Afro-punk has been accompanied by a boosted interest in obscure post-Hendrix black rock from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, as shown by the rediscovery of Detroit bands like Death and Black Merda.

Elsewhere in the heartland, Cleveland’s late-‘60s soul and R&B scene (a role-call of which can be found in this bio for the Imperial Wonders) also boasted a clutch of guitar-centered rock bands, including the excellently named Purple Image. Rising from the 105th St. & Superior area (which took a big hit during the unrest resulting from the 1968 Granville Shootout), PI traded on a thumping, harder-than-Parliament psychedelic sound fortified by powerful group vocals and the two-guitar attack of Ken Roberts and Frank Smith. Unfortunately Purple Image’s excellent self-titled 1970 debut would be their one and only, becoming a rare black-rock nugget before it was re-released by the UK’s Radioactive label in 2007.

It would take another Midwestern black rocker to pick up the

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but that’s another story…
 

 
Get: Purple Image - Purple Image [CD]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Human Trafficking and Slavery Make It to America

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The State Department has released numbers on human beings trafficked into the United States, specifically the Midwest, to be used for slave labor and forced prostitution. While I can’t say I’m surprised, and suspect this has been going on for some time, the numbers are sobering. While America pretends to somehow be better than the rest of the world, the truth is that not only do we face the same problems that the so-called “developing” world does, but that in many cases we are far behind the standard of living of the rest of the world.

The grim truth is that while human trafficking is considered a problem that belongs to the Middle East and Africa, slavery never died anywhere, not even in our own country. Human trafficking networks still operate in broad daylight in Europe and, apparently, here. While the so called civilized world prides itself on having eliminated slavery, we have only eliminated the institutionalized form (and not even that, if you take a critical look at, say, prison labor in federal and private jails alike). Slavery?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment