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Mar 2013

We Are Having the Pleasure of Being Slowly Nowhere: Transmission 22, 2013 March 23

zimbabwefrontline.jpgOur first Saturday program is in the books. By "the books" I mean "the big intangible book of everything that ever happened." Another place where the program "is" happens to be this blog post, right here. Or your RSS feed. Or your iTunes window. You do know that you can subscribe to the BOMBAST phenomenon by these means, right? Okay, good.

Anyway, we just pre-empted four hours of pre-recorded, syndicated Saturday programming for live DJs. We did this without notice. Not only did the world not end, but we didn't receive angry phone calls or emails from anyone. This means either: that people have been really anxious for this to happen; that the syndicated shows were truly awful; that I and the DJ who preceded me were just excellent enough not to prompt complaints; or that nobody was listening. [It couldn't literally have been nobody, since someone did call in and claim free movie passes, but still.] It is a process.

fist-pump-baby-260x152.jpgOn this podcast, you get to hear The Lions' excellent cover of Van Halen's "Jamie's Crying" without hearing the Emergency Alert System test that we received, without warning, and that went out on air during the song. That is the magic of the Internet, and signal routing, at work. The "special event" we wound up broadcasting live Sunday night, by the way, was an Amy Goodman appearance at a local school. We threw that together with an iPhone app on-site and a laptop connection in the studio. If you heard're welcome? Feel free to pitch in some funds so we can get some legit gear.

I did use the word "awesome" at least twice, and I played the wrong track on the Zimbabwe Frontline record. I chalk this up to general giddiness, from not having to stay on the air past my bedtime.

BOMBAST playlist, 2013 March 23, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

  1. The Lions: "Jamie's Crying" [Stone's Throw]
  2. Les Sins: "Prelims" [Jiaolong]
  3. Thomas Mapfumo: "Pidigori" [Earthworks / Virgin] / "Physical Evidence"
  4. Carmen Villain: "Two Towns" [Smalltown Supersound]
  5. Pickwick: "The Round" [self-released]
  6. Syclops: "Jump Bugs" [Running Back]
  7. We Scare Nightmares: "Work Until You Die" [self-released]
  8. Joe Jackson Band: "Mad At You" [A & M] / "Listening Parlour"
  9. Witch: "Little Clown" [Now-Again]
  10. Fort Romeau: "Love (Dub)" [Spectral Sound]
  11. Susan Mapfumo & The Black Salutarys: "Dzvoko" [Earthworks / Virgin] / "Physical Evidence"
  12. L'AS: "Zaikedelic" [Box Clever]
  13. Frank Agrario: "Labyrinth Disko" [Internasjonal Spesial]
  14. Robson Banda and The New Black Eagles: "Nyimbo Yakwasu" [Earthworks / Virgin] / "Physical Evidence"
  15. Scott & Charlene's Wedding: "Hazy Morning" [Critical Heights]
  16. Joe Jackson: "You're My Meat" [A & M] / "Listening Parlour"
  17. The Golden Filter: "Age of Consent" [Mojo Magazine]
  18. Pan-Pot: "Kepler" [Mobilee]
  19. Jonah Moyo and Devera Ngwena: "Taxi Driver" [Earthworks / Virgin] / "Physical Evidence"
  20. Butane: "We Long to Move the Stars to Pity" [Sci-Tec]

next week: ventriloquism. Enjoy the music! --kid catharsis

Mar 2013

An Unquiet Skull: Transmission 21, 2013 March 20

coilmoonsmilkfront.jpgIn part 2 of their Hall of Legends induction, Coil provide a soundtrack for the Spring Equinox. A "stealth" tribute* continues. I almost mislead listeners into thinking the late R. L. Burnside once played guitar in the Cocteau Twins--or maybe it was that Robin Guthrie was a foul-mouthed Mississippi blues curmudgeon, and not a foul-mouthed Scottish post-punk curmudgeon. In other words, it is a typical week of arbitrary, dogged self-indulgence.

I realized while the show was airing that I would have very little to say about it, Ellen Allien having fried my brain each time I heard her new piece. Hopefully you emerge from the experience more intact. The odds favor it.

The big news is that, for a couple of reasons, the BOMBAST phenomenon is moving to Saturday afternoon. While the obsolescence of our "hump night" poster [just visit the facebook page and scroll down] saddens us, we see this move as a positive thing. In the pre-internet era of WRFI, we think there are probably more listeners at that time, and we are trying to minimize our "canned" programming on the weekends. I am still trying to figure out what this contingent of listeners will hear, since I feel a decent percentage of what I play is "nocturnal" music, but it will come, and if it doesn't, I will force it.

Hopefully the "extra" show makes up for "legendary lost program" #19. I spend my time looking for little signs that its disappearance won't haunt me for life. Thank you for humoring me.

BOMBAST playlist, 2013 March 20, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

  1. Karl Bartos: "Atomium" [Bureau B]
  2. New Order: "Confusion (Rough Mix)" [Factory] / "Listening Parlour"
  3. The Dur-Dur Band: "Amiina Awdaay" [Awesome Tapes from Africa]
  4. Coil: "Moon's Milk or Under an Unquiet Skull (Part 1) [Eskaton] / "Physical Evidence"
  5. Dump: "Ode to Shaggs' Own Thing" [Morr Music]
  6. Robin Guthrie: "Circus Circus" [Darla]
  7. R. L. Burnside: "See What My Buddy Done" [Fat Possum]
  8. Blancmange: "22339" [London / Sire] / "Listening Parlour"
  9. Tape Deck Mountain: "Kellies" [Lefse]
  10. Zombie Zombie: "The Beach" [Mojo Magazine]
  11. Coil: "Moon's Milk or Under an Unquiet Skull (Part 2)" [Eskaton] / "Physical Evidence"
  12. Ellen Allien: "LISm" [BPitch Control]
  13. Le Carousel: "Winter Months" [Phil Kieran Records]

* not that stealthy.

Mar 2013

Smoke-filled Rooms and Mint-flavored Lounges: Transmission 20, 2013 March 13

Normal service resumes.

Every week is a bit of a rollercoaster with regard to the new releases. I feel things are awesome, then not good enough, then awesome again, and so on. In the end, I don't really know until I actually play the music, in sequence, on the radio program. So far it has been working out.

In addition to joining the WRFI board of directors, I have started writing again, for money.* A local newsletter** has asked me to write an advice column. Apparently, people really care what I think.*** I've cut-and-pasted the first installment for you, and it will serve as this week's accompanying text.

"Dear Kid Catharsis,

I just broke up with my boyfriend. It was a 'serious' long-term relationship, and we were/are both vinyl junkies. Now I am stuck with all this music. Some of it he gave to me, and some of it reminds me of him. Should I get rid of it even if I like the tunes? P.S. this is pretty obscure stuff, not of interest to many."

Dear Reader,

primaryindustryultramarinefront.jpegThere is a school of thought that says you should dispose of all such reminders, but I failed out of that school. In my experience, burning stuff, or melting it, is messy, tedious, and bad for your lungs. Smashing stuff is cathartic at first [see what I did there?], but offers diminishing returns [and don't forget to wear goggles].

You could wait for a temperate, overcast day without rain and leave a box of records marked "free" out on the curb. Or you could use the Salvation Army as your personal landfill [what else are those bigots good for?]. But good music deserves a good home. You don't want just anyone taking ownership of your love-detritus.

"What if I sold it," you ask? How do you want this to go? Are you up for a post-breakup garage sale? Do you actually think Craigslist is good for anything except reading the "missed connections" page? Do you want the dudes at the used record store to pay you 25 cents on the dollar for what they will charge for your music? Having thus converted your serious relationship into pocket change, what will you do next?**** Treat yourself to lunch, maybe? Enjoy the most Tragic Samosas of a Lifetime. I hope they are worth it.

This is what you do. You keep records if you like them, no matter what they "mean." You will need them 20 years from now. If you love music, you know this.

In the late 1980s I was madly in love with this girl, and the whole thing was obviously doomed. We were ill-suited to each other, and we both made our concessions in an attempt to prolong what was never anything more than an infatuation. I pretended to be more ambitious than I apparently was, and she, Eurythmics/Style Council/Everything But The Girl fan that she was, pretended to appreciate underground music.

primaryindustryultramarinerear.jpegOne night we were in a record store--probably this one--and she happened to find "Ultramarine" by A Primary Industry before I spotted it. In keeping with her side of our unspoken bargain, she was going to buy it. I tried really hard not to appear as jealous and sad as I was, but there are reasons people wind up as performance theorists and not actors. Anyway, we really loved each other at this point; she knew I needed this album more than she did, and "allowed" me to buy it and own it. It was the best thing for both of us--what on earth would she be doing with this record now?

When I hear this record, I inevitably remember how I came to possess it. My girlfriend and I did mean, stupid things to each other in our relationship's inevitable death-spiral, so the memories aren't fun. But it's delusional to think that Angry Mom Records, or somebody, is going to wave a magic wand to make these memories disappear AND give me $2 or $3 for my trouble. I'm keeping the damn thing because I enjoy the songs. Why I should have to endure the personal trauma AND lose the record escapes me.

You are probably thinking, "how horrible this Kid Catharsis is--he cares about records more than feelings and people." Well--okay, I have no answer for that. Jean-Paul Sartre would remind you at this point that there's a reason you sought my advice, and not someone else's. You're welcome! 

So what was I saying? Oh yeah, keep your stuff or you will regret it later. BOOM. Minimum word count reached. Cha-ching, I'm hungry for samosas. You take care!

--kid catharsis

BOMBAST playlist, 2013 March 13, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

  1. Reso: "Check 1,2 (Emperor Remix)" [Civil Music]
  2. Benoit Pioulard: "Florid' [Kranky]
  3. Youth Lagoon: "Mute" [Fat Possum]
  4. Will Saul and October: "Light Sleeper (Michael Mayer Remix)" [Aus Music]
  5. Grandmaster and Melle Mel: "White Lines" [Sugar Hill] / "Listening Parlour"
  6. Biosphere: "Blue Monday" [Mojo Magazine]
  7. Hollis Brown: "Doghouse Blues" [Alive Naturalsound]
  8. Family Atlantica: "Manicero" [Soundway]
  9. A Primary Industry: "Sans Orange" [Sweatbox] / "Physical Evidence"
  10. A Primary Industry: "Cicatrice" [Sweatbox] / "Physical Evidence"
  11. The Men: "Half Angel Half-Light" [Sacred Bones]
  12. Bill Baird: "Sailing" [Pau Wau]
  13. Tom Jones: "Without Love" [Polydor / Universal] / "Listening Parlour"
  14. Javelin: "Garth Hudson" [Luaka Bop]
  15. John Talabot: "El Oeste" [Permanent Vacation]
  16. Burial: "Rough Sleeper" [Hyperdub]
  17. A Primary Industry: "Silesia" [Sweatbox] / "Physical Evidence"
  18. A Primary Industry: "Rose Madder" [Sweatbox] / "Physical Evidence"
  19. Geiom: "Glesprin" [Frijsfo Beats]
  20. Superhuman Happiness: "Hands" [Royal Potato Family]
  21. Vietnam: "I Promise...Things Are Gonna Get Better" [Mexican Summer]

* Monopoly money.

** Self-Absorbed Depressive's Weekly, issued only in my mind.

*** No, they do not.

****You give your money to St. Baldrick's Foundation, that is what you do.

Mar 2013

He Held the World in His Iron Grip: Transmission 19, 2013 March 6

stereolablowfifront.jpegI suppose it is a mark of "professionalism" that a couple of raging "backstage dramas" at the station remained backstage during what was otherwise a pretty good show. The burden of the "performer," however, is that both onstage and backstage events combine to form a memory of the evening. I felt quite weird while doing this show, and would probably always be reminded of it when I listened.

Who am I kidding? I never have time to listen to these recordings more than once. Anyway, as I suggested, the music's quality was high this week, as we had Bombast Hall of Legends inductees Stereolab in the "Physical Evidence" segment and a cornucopia of wonderful new releases filling out the rest of the program. Musically, it was a good week.

I had another lengthy, thoughtful dissertation planned, but screw that. Life is busy. I am now, suddenly, a member of the WRFI Board of Directors. I don't know what I have gotten myself into. Stereolab good, drama bad. There is your commentary. You are welcome.

Oh, but there is some bad news. Somehow, in a week in which other aspects of "data management" went really well, I accidentally deleted the sound file from the program. [Yes, it really was an accident--I am not being sarcastic.] So I guess I am not to be tormented, except in my own head. And--bonus for you--here is an opportunity for you to catch up on one of the other fine programs available on the website.

BOMBAST playlist, 2013 March 6, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

  1. Deathfix: "Better than Bad" [Dischord]
  2. Weird Guilders: "Sentimental Journey" [Rush Hour]
  3. Autechre: "jatevee C" [Warp]
  4. Tony Allen: "Ariya Revisited" [Comet]
  5. Stereolab: "Low Fi" [Too Pure] / "Physical Evidence"
  6. Ludwig Amadeus Horzon and Peaches: "Me My Shelf and I" [Martin Hossbach]
  7. Lee "Scratch" Perry and ERM: "Capricorn" [Rubis Management]
  8. Tom Dissevelt: "Syncopation" [Trunk]
  9. FaltyDL: "She Sleeps (Gang Gang Dance Remix)" [Ninja Tune]
  10. Stereolab: "(Varoom!)" [Too Pure] / "Physical Evidence"
  11. Doldrums: "Sunrise" [Souterrain]
  12. Fréhel: "Si tu n'étais pas là" [Victoires / Virgin] / "Listening Parlour"
  13. B/B/S: "Gather Part 1" [Miasmah]
  14. Stereolab: "Laissez-faire" [Too Pure] / "Physical Evidence"
  15. Permanent Makeup: "Don't Self-Destruct" [New Granada]
  16. Boris: "Cosmos [Parts 1-3]" [Invada]
  17. Stereolab: "Elektro (he held the world in his iron grip)" [Too Pure] / "Physical Evidence"
  18. Frikstailers: "Cumbianchamuyo" [ZZK]
  19. Chico Mann: "El Paragua" [Soundway]
  20. Fredda: "Constant" [Le Pop Musik]
  21. Wayne Hancock: "Ride" [Bloodshot]
  22. The KVB: "Human" [Cititrax]
  23. Deux: "Ministry of Love" [Minimal Wave]
  24. Edith Piaf: "Non, je ne regrette rien" [Columbia] / "Listening Parlour"

Next week: let's just try to get some audio up. thanks for your patience! --kid catharsis

Mar 2013

Back Brain Stimulator: Transmission 18, 2013 February 27

No one has volunteered for an uncompensated, unaccredited Bombast internship, which--I apologize--must be as shocking to you as it is to me. Still we press on. Since I last wrote, we reached an equilibrium in which, clearly, at least one show was prepared. So here it is. Somehow this week became all about neo-psychedelia and space-rock, but there are worse things around which a show could coalesce. How serendipitous that The Legendary Pink Dots and Acid Mothers Temple should have new releases out at the same time that reissues of both Pop Will Eat Itself and Hawkwind, playing "Orgone Accumulator," pass through their window of currency.

mybloodyvalenitneecstasyandwine.jpegI gather from your silence that I must not have explained that phrase, "window of currency." It is one of those heretofore-unspoken "rules" I follow, and which I've stopped documenting because it just angers Lady Catharsis. Anyway, "back at the old grey school," there were three "content guidelines" to which every DJ at the otherwise free-form station was expected to adhere. I need hardly say that one was, "no obscenity" [except during the "safe times," when those existed, and what obnoxious fun was then had].

The second rule concerned the stylistic territory of your show. Let us say that you applied to do a gospel-music program and were given a Sunday-morning spot, and the station advertised the show accordingly. Let us then imagine that somewhere along the line you discovered that what you really liked best was the DC hardcore scene [you know, the part of it that wasn't gospel-related], and began playing that instead. You would eventually be summoned to the Music Director's desk for a chat.

[This is one reason why I feel good about the current shows, and remorseful about the "old days"--I painted myself into a corner back then, and it was not such a great period for what I was playing. If only I hadn't been so far ahead of my time!]

mybloodyvalentineecstasy.jpegAnyway, rule #3 pertained to the "currents." The records and CDs that campus mail would deliver by wheelbarrow were received by the Music Director [how long before WRFI gets one of these?], accepted or relegated to coaster/frisbee status, dated, and placed in the "current" bins, where they would sit for 90 days before moving to the permanent library. The current releases were to comprise at least 30% of our music programming.

The Music Director reviewed every DJ's playlists [which we filed primarily to satisfy FCC requirements], not every week but more or less once per academic term, to assess our adherence to this rule. It mattered, and should have. The "current" policy was one of "our" best principles, as it represents the overlap of entertainment and information. That 30% figure could and should have been higher.

One of my colleagues at the time hosted a program that played current records, exclusively, as its only organizational concept. Young Master Catharsis looked askance at this, but YMC was a pedantic douche who fetishized aesthetic uniformity and production values. Now that I am just a pedantic douche who doesn't much care, I grasp the brilliant simplicity of this idea. Such a show moves forward, perpetually, without conscious effort.

Now, if I could just minimize effort and pedantry [INTERNS! I am telling you. Especially if they are willing to ask the tough questions, like, "Who cares about Sucking Chest Wound?"], I could arrive within shouting distance of perfection. If I could just stop making such willful programming choices, and stop conceptualizing so damn much, BOMBAST would achieve perpetual-awesomeness-in-motion. For now we have to settle for "as much current music as I can fit around my own crazy impulses."

Clouding this picture is the phenomenon of reissues, which were not so numerous in the Old Days. Does a reissue constitute something old or something new? The display racks of nearly every independent record store I have visited [large sample size there] would indicate the latter, not that commerce is a reliable guide. It feels a bit like "cheating," but at whose expense? I see The Kidz walking around in their music t-shirts--The Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Joy Division, etc.--and reflect that no college students in the 1980s sported Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby tees, which would have been the equivalent of today's pop-culture nostalgia.

mybloodyvalentinestrawberrywine.jpgIn light of this, what would my hypothetical young Interns demand that I play, if not the likes of U Roy and Hawkwind? [I know, I know, "Mumford and Sons"--but, let us be frank, such interests would rule out a second interview.] Or, for that matter, tonight's wonderful [but not presently reissued] piece of "Physical Evidence?" As I say on air, no one needs me to share the new My Bloody Valentine. But, since someone decided that we have reached the end of history, I figured that we could fold the past into the present without much complaint, and remind ourselves that the MBV story is: not just about post-rock, but also about rock; not just about taking 22 years to release an album that sounds pretty much like the last one, but also about moments of spontaneous greatness not to be reprised.

Oh--[hey Jezebel, I am friendly and available]--and it is also not just about Kevin Shields, who gets all the interviews, but Bilinda Butcher as well, the second guitarist / vocalist and secret weapon, heard here in the first recordings the band made after she joined. This is the moment MBV became what we now know them to be, whatever that is. Before they nearly bankrupted Creation Records while making Loveless--setting off a chain of events that finally gave us Oasis--and by the way, for the sake of truth in advertising, should they not have stayed with "Lazy Records?"--the band had occupied the space where the Jesus and Mary Chain used to live, and made it better. Strawberry Wine and Ecstasy are special achievements, records that are at once breezy and hard, childlike and sophisticated. "Never say goodbye as we chase the clouds away"--chills and happy tears, simultaneously.

Technical notes: signal levels were a bit all-over-the-place, but get better as the show progresses. Other than that, it was a night without errors! "Striving for excellence in content and technique"--it is part of our mission.

BOMBAST playlist, 2013 February 27, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

  1. The Legendary Pink Dots: "Immaculate Conception" [Rustblade]
  2. My Bloody Valentine: "Never Say Goodbye" [Lazy] / "Physical Evidence"
  3. Pop Will Eat Itself: "Orgone Accumulator" [Optic Nerve]
  4. John Talabot: "Destiny (feat. Pional)" [Permanent Vacation]
  5. Ramones: "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" [Sire] / "Listening Parlour"
  6. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley: "Adwoa" [Academy LPs]
  7. My Bloody Valentine: "The Things I Miss" [Lazy] / "Physical Evidence"
  8. U Roy: "Come on Deh" [Clocktower]
  9. Greg Foat Group: "Have Spacesuit Will Travel Part 2" [Jazzman]
  10. Hawkwind: "Orgone Accumulator" [EMI]
  11. King Missile: "She Had Nothing" [Shimmy-Disc] / "Listening Parlour"
  12. Ergo Phizmiz: "Fingerwings" [Care in the Community]
  13. Philip Gorbachev: "Where Is Rony Douglas?" [Comeme]
  14. Smersh: "Herman" [Dark Entries]
  15. Sucking Chest Wound: "Who Shot the Pope?" [DOVentertainment]
  16. Seawash: "Revolution" [Delsin]
  17. My Bloody Valentine: "(Please) Lose Yourself in Me" [Lazy] / "Physical Evidence"
  18. Acid Mothers Temple / Melting Paraiso U.F.O.: "OM Riff from the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Part 1" [Riot Season]
  19. Ulrich Schnauss: "Her and the Sea" [Scripted Realities]
  20. My Bloody Valentine: "Clair" [Lazy] / "Physical Evidence"
  21. The Legendary Pink Dots: "Immaculate Conclusion" [Rustblade]

Next time: chansons. Enjoy the music! --kid catharsis

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