It’s Hard to Hold a Grudge Against the Sun

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Colour me cathartized.

After I announced that the Ann Arbor Dub Project was playing at the Michigan Medical Marijuana Benefit, I got a call.
“Did you say the Ann Arbor Dub Project was playing?”
“Yes, I did.”
“That’s weird, we broke up a while ago. Nobody told me.”

Ouch. Somebody else having a bad day.

“Jean jacket reeks in the warm rain.” — Midwest Main Street, Great Lake Myth Society, 2nd best lyric of the week

“I went down hard, got up like a champ.” — Humdinger, Old Crow Medicine Show, 1st best lyric of the week


Riding the Human Highway

In which Reverend Andrew [First Church of the Atlantic (De-Hydrated) Eternal Pope of the Western Lands] and I finally spring a plan we’ve been hatching for a long time: a tribute to Neil Young and Devo’s 1982 apocalyptic-art-comedy film Human Highway. Starring Mark Mothersbaugh (who never takes off his rubber mask), Dean Stockwell, Dennis Hopper and Neil himself as bumbling gas jockey. Needless to say, this is one of the odder films I’ve seen, and we made no effort to build a less-odd musical sequence around it. We just plugged a vcr into the board, popped in a VHS tape, and let it go. Then played a bunch of related music over top of that, since just listening to movie dialog is mostly pretty boring.

If that sounds like something you’d like to experience, experience it now:

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And here’s the rough list of songs we played:


poster for human highway

Renaissance of the Euro-Trash Girl

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Bit flustered today, as I arrived in the station to find that I had left my musical selections on my bed. Still, the show went on. There was one really terrible transition (can you spot it?) and a bunch of good old music. Solo Johnny.

Pathos and Bathos


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A mix of candy-fun pop, angry political choices, and segues between them. I got to say “I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being the Master” twice and play requests dedicated to the economic crisis. Also spent some time in the west and specifically California.

Show Time Played Artist Title Album Record Label
Freeform , with DJ Hugonaut.



2:54 PM Iggy Pop China Girl The Idiot
2:49 PM The Kills Cheap and Cheerful Midnight Boom
2:44 PM The Tragically Hip Put it Off Trouble at the Henhouse
2:40 PM Steely Dan The Last Mall Everything Must Go
2:38 PM Midnight Juggernauts Shadows Dystopia
2:34 PM Electric Six Kukuxumusu I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being the Master
2:25 PM Steve Miller Band Wild Mountain Honey
2:22 PM David Byrne and Brian Eno Strange Overtones Everything that Happens Will Happen Today
2:16 PM John Prine Sam Stone Great Days
2:10 PM Rooster Alice in Chains Dirt
2:06 PM Flobots Onomatopoeia
2:02 PM k-os Emcee Murdah Joyful Rebellion
1:56 PM Camille and Alexander McGregor Government Brand Ponies in the Surf
1:50 PM Youth Brigade Sink With California Sink With Kalifonija
1:48 PM Dead Kennedys California Uber Alles
1:41 PM Wall of Voodoo Call of the Wild Call of the Wild
1:37 PM Gillian Welch Look at Miss Ohio Soul Journey
1:33 PM Steve Earle Red is the Color Washington Square Serenada
1:32 PM J.J. Cale Low Rider Number 10
1:23 PM Q And Not U Wonderful People Power
1:23 PM Lykke Li I’m Good, I’m Gone Youth Novels
1:19 PM Freezepop Do You Like Boys Future Future Future Perfect
1:13 PM Stick Mcghee Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee Atlantic Rythm and Blues
1:10 PM Charlie Feathers That Certain Female Uh Huh Honey
1:07 PM Roy Buchanan Peter Gunn Deluxe Edition
1:04 PM Blanche Garbage Pickers If We Can’t Trust the Doctors
From Belle Isle to 8 Mile, with Rob Linn.

1:02 PM Braille Main Squeeze
1:01 PM Naughty By Nature Clap Yo Hands
1:01 PM Nas You Can’t Stop Us Now
1:01 PM Freeway What We Do Is Wrong

Living Writers: Sam Quinones

I’m engineering the Living Writers show for the term. Yesterday T. had Sam Quinones on, and I thought it was an especially good interview, so I’m including it here as bonus radio.

Sam is exactly as chill and interesting in person as he sounds in the interview. It felt like meeting a celebrity, except celebrities are supposed to be dicks, and I’d never actually heard of him before.

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(I’m not sure if the audio above will work, as I’m linking to it from the wcbn server. Let me know if it doesn’t play or download for you.)

You Want to Be In the Band, You Got to Put Your Hat On


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This week was great and fun.

Who’s Been Playing Records in His Bedroom?


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Who Disco?
Who Techno?
Who Hip-Hop?
Who Be-Bop?
Who’s been playing records in his bedroom?

Who rocks out?
Who’s spaced out?
Who brings you?
Who sings you?
Who’s still workin’ on his masterpiece?

The great intoxication
The mental generation
Sound effects & laughter
Stupid ever after
Hopin’ it was cranked up
Loud enough for you to hear

He’s drunk and he’s insistent
Shy but he’s persistent
Boisterous & jumpy
Disorganized & funky
Every day he wonders
What the hell she sees in me?

— David Byrne, The Great Intoxication

When I write the post for each radio episode, I usually say how great/fun the show was. Then sometimes I delete that and write something less adjectivey, or leave it without comment. The thing is, for me every show is great and fun. I love doing radio. When I started (just over a year ago now, oh my) I usually sat in the chair. Partially because back then I was doing the 6am slot and I was tired, but mostly because that was the body language of most of the other djs I had trained with. Nowadays I’m driven to stand through the whole show. Or, yes, dance. I love doing this stuff.

Doing radio is probably an anachronism. Having one clique of the technically anointed choosing the playlist for a region may not make sense in a long-tail world of customized content. Everybody has the technological power to access the zeitgeist, or the many mini-zeitgeists of genre and locale, and shape their own experiences of them. Why would you count on radio djs to pick the music, when their only real credential is that they were willing to jump through some training hoops and caffeinate themselves through a first-term early morning shift? If you have internet and a willingness to deploy peer-to-peer software, you effectively have access to a larger music library than any physical radio station can house. And if you can read some audio blogs and music interzines, or just go to some local shows, you can get just as solid a finger on the pulse of the scene as anybody else, including the wannabegentsia with the clever names on the radio.

Apparently I don’t believe in the relevance of the college dj. So why do it? For one, ego, obviously. It’s fun to think of yourself as a radio disc jockey. But wait, there’s more. It’s true that having a real live person doing the work of putting songs together into a musical comment thread is different than having the intercloud dump a bunch of generally great music on you. Knowing that there is some one person doing it is does enhance the focus somehow. And for some reason, it helps if you know they are within a few miles of you. There is a bit of drama there. The real possibility of failure makes it more interesting. (And that’s one thing I know I can provide to an audience.)

But these are reasons why I like listening to radio, not why I like doing it. I should point out: I don’t just like listening to campus radio. I love it. College djs didn’t know they were getting me through my first two years of undergrad. They didn’t know they made my computer-staring existence in Virginia a degree of exciting. They don’t know they chivvied me through a good portion of this new degree thing I’ve been doing. They don’t know I miss them now that I’m in an office and can’t crank the radio when other folks are in there.

I recently had an email exchange with the wcbn programming director in which we both admitted that we kept cassette tapes of campus radio during undergrad. That’s right, when I got home from class I used to sit down at my desk, turn on the radio on my early 90’s stereo and press record on the tape deck. If the song wasn’t good, I would back it up, then press record again, in case the next one was. And those tapes got played again and again, and I regret not knowing where they are today.

So I definitely like listening to campus/community radio, but again: why do I like doing it? I could play the same music at home. And I sure do. Well, the ego, as mentioned. And the sense of power. Driving the transmitter tower, coating the whole town in radio frequency electromagnetic waves of my own choosing! And I really think I have some music to play that someone in town might like, as so many djs have played music which was a big deal to me. When you’re in the booth it’s hard to conceptualize the audience, but they must be out there. Sometimes they even call to tell you so. If there’s a slim chance I’m replicating the role of the djs who have shown me so much great and unexpected music, that’s an exciting chance.

Anywho, this week’s show was great and fun. I think it started out strong and dissipated towards the end, but it hardly matters does it? Because I had fun. A whole hell of a lot of fun.

Horrible Experiments, Gone Wrong and Right


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Swing-season radio, principally masterminded by un-dj janeboles. Good stuff, I promise.

My Plan is Going to Work Out Right


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Covering for Laurel’s Constellations show. It was supposed to be a random mishmash just to prevent dead air, but I’m worried there was some good music in there.

Special End of Season Special

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The first 20 minutes didn’t get recorded. To duplicate the original experience, play The Israelites by Desmond Dekker, talk a bit, then play Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt 3 by Ian Dury, talk some more, then Lay It in the Cut by Sharon Jones and Whole Lot of Walking to Do by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Then play the recording. Should be good.

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