radiobombast header image 1


Nov 2019

She Reassured Me with an Unfamiliar Line: Transmission 478, 2019 August 9

Nancy_Sinatra_and_Lee_Hazlewood.jpgI'll begin by saying that we experienced the sublime in this episode. It was fleeting, but you have to take positivity when you get it. Somehow I made Johnny Cash fade into Roni Size gracefully, so there's at least one reason to listen to this episode. Other than that, maybe the set with The Clash and Linton Kwesi Johnson was ok.

Otherwise this episode was pretty close to the nadir. When I wasn't incoherent (I should have just said that I thought the Wanda Jackson CD was from 2004 or something) I was more or less un-PC (I should have kept my mouth shut about the origins of Coil's record and don't know why I didn't). And where I wasn't either of those things I was trampling King Sunny Ade's music (I always seem to) and ruining Lefty Frizzell segues (though I don't know if that's avoidable). I feel like I was visibly and audibly upset here, and this might be rock bottom. I'm think maybe I even scared Lady Catharsis, who is well accustomed to my negativity.

I am a little reassured to find that at this time last year I was doing terrible shows as well. What is it about summer? Wait, I know. Hopefully that is changing soon. At least I can tell you that Lady C and I have done programs since this one, and they've been better.

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 August 9, 2100-2300:

  1. "Longshot Kick the Bucket / Liquidator / Skinhead Moonstomp (The Skinhead Symphony in Three Movements)" | The Specials | The BBC Sessions | EMI
  2. "Shakin' All Over" | Wanda Jackson | The Party Ain't Over | Third Man
  3. "Dawning (Version)" | 23 Skidoo | Beyond Time | Les Disques Du Crepuscule
  4. "Blue Flower" | Mazzy Star | She Hangs Brightly | Capitol Records
  5. "Secret 77" | Bad Brains | I Against I | SST
  6. "Black Heart" | Keith Hudson & Soul Syndicate | Heavyweight Sound: A Blood and Fire Sampler | Blood & Fire
  7. "Mo Beru Agba" | King Sunny Ade | Juju Music | Island Records Ltd.
  8. "Train to Glory / The Whip" | The Ethiopians | The Original Reggae Hitsound Of The Ethiopians | Trojan
  9. "Tondibama" | Amadou Balake | Bar Konon Moussou Bar | Kindred Spirits
  10. "The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea" | Johnny Cash | Love God Murder | Columbia / Legacy / American
  11. "Ballet Dance" | Roni Size | The Rebirth of Cool Seven | Island
  12. "Bankrobber / Robber Dub" | The Clash | Black Market Clash | Epic
  13. "Reality Poem / Wat About Di Workin Claas?" | Linton Kwesi Johnson | In Concert with the Dub Band | LKJ Records
  14. "Run 'Em Off" | Lefty Frizzell | The Best of Lefty Frizzell | Rhino
  15. "Lunar Baedeker, Odious Oasis" | Parviz | Zerzura | Omena
  16. "Summer Wine" | Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood | Fairy Tales & Fantasies: The Best Of Nancy & Lee | Rhino
  17. "Theme From The Gay Man's Guide To Safer Sex" | Coil | The Gay Man's Guide To Safer Sex + 2 | Musique Pour La Danse
  18. "El Harb" | Aisha Kandisha's Jarring Effects | Shabeesation | Rykodisc

Havin' the tremors in the thighbone

Nov 2019

You’ve Been At It So Long It’s Chronic: Transmission 477, 2019 August 7

Bamba_Pana_Poaa.jpgSince the last program, big things had happened in my life and in the world. Toni Morrison had died, and to be honest I could not mourn her properly. I had been assigned Beloved in some undergraduate literature class, and I had read it, but I was so scattered at that stage of life I could not take it in. I was not living authentically and I was stretched to my limit even then. And, to be honest, I haven't been a reader of fiction for a good 30 years now. But her quote about racism being a distraction, something that pointlessly eats up time in your one precious life, resonates with me, so I feel like a light has gone out. Then of course there was the Walmart shooting in El Paso, a place where I lived briefly and miserably. So an act of literal white supremacist violence followed my summer of figurative, linguistic and behavioral white violence. I apologize if I am not making sense of this here, but I promise you it made sense to me at the time and still does even now. To articulate this here is kind of a duty but also a distraction.

Lady Catharsis and I had also become homeowners this week, something I never thought would happen after my career was ruined ten years ago. To this day I still can't quite believe it and, sure enough, I still haven't finished unboxing. But certainly during the first week of August we were in the thick of moving and I was completely out of my mind with rage and panic.

I have very little to say about this program because it reflects my terrible inner life. I've given it a couple of tries, and maybe I can stipulate that the music between the segues is good. Possibly. But this truly is "Bombast"--it merely takes up space on this night, preventing license-threatening silence between 9 and 11 pm. And it's inconsistently successful even at that.

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 August 7, 2100-2300:

  1. "Omoto" | Odomore Osarenren And Ẹwaẹn Ọsẹtin Stars | Ọyọetigbe - The Birth Of A Child | Dig This Way
  2. "Repeat Offender" | Rude Audio | Street Light Interference | Zirkus
  3. "Carry Me - Cosey Fanni Tutti Rework" | Penelope Trappes | Carry Me - Cosey Fanni Tutti Rework | Houndstooth
  4. "Into The Light" | Where We Sleep | Experiments In The Dark | self-released
  5. "Shall Not Dwell In Wickedness" | Prince Far I | Voice of Thunder | Get On Down
  6. "Soul Fire" | Gato Negro | Dub Or Die Vol 2 | ROIR Europe / Danceteria
  7. "Jpiya" | Bamba Pana | Poaa | Nyege Nyege Tapes
  8. "Satellite" | TV on the Radio | Young Liars - EP | Touch and Go
  9. "Flying 3/4" | elAstrum | Freqmod | Kahvi Collective
  10. "Otzi The Iceman" | Nymfo | Pictures on Silence | Dispatch
  11. "[Ear-Lips]" | Meat Beat Manifesto | Opaque Couche | Flexidisc
  12. "Exploding Frogs" | Coil | The Gay Man's Guide To Safer Sex + 2 | Musique Pour La Danse
  13. "Tuareg" | Brian | Not Retiring | self-released
  14. "Encrypted" | The Dirtbombs | Consistency Is The Enemy | Cass
  15. "Ghosts" / "The End of Radio" / "Canada" | Shellac | The End of Radio | Touch and Go
  16. "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" / "Give Me Love" | The Gories | Live in Detroit 5/27/88 (The Shaw Tapes) | Third Man
  17. "Deni Kelen Be Koko" | Lobi Traore | The Lobi Traore Group | Honest Jon's
  18. "Ou C'est Lui Ou C'est Moi" | Vincent Ahehehinnou | African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin & Togo 70s | Analog Africa

You could call it dead air; I think that's rude

Nov 2019

Rest in Power, Emma Durutti: Transmission 476, 2019 July 31

bad-brains-19791.jpgThe three-week hiatus that preceded this program didn't do me much good, and at the time of this broadcast I wasn't living my best life. My therapist had been telling me for weeks that my "power" was increasing, but she must have been referring to some other power than "competent radio hosting." It is true that I had stepped into a leadership vacuum at work and perhaps had made an awful summer better for some people, but to say that severely underestimates how awful the summer was and glosses over the toll it took on me. I'm trying to be as specific as possible about my feelings and as general as possible about certain other people. Surely you've seen online "defenses" of "the humanities" in this age of STEM and neoliberal rationalization of everything that higher education tries to do. One common defense is to gesture toward Venture Capital and Silicon Valley and say, "look at how racist and sexist and exploitative and generally non-empathetic these things are--this is why people should study literature and philosophy!" Let me tell you something. I've been studying and working in the humanities for three decades, and, specifically over the last three years at this "theory camp" that is a sort of finishing school for future (or would-be) "academic rockstars" in these fields. I could talk to you all day about how immersion in "the humanities" or "the arts" is no inoculation against racism or classicism or narcissism or sociopathic indifference to suffering. We'll leave it at that.

So this was the first show I did after a rather explosive ending (I don't dare say "traumatic," but it was definitely "a lot," as the kids say) to summer camp; out of practice and with a recently acquired Xmal Deutschland record in hand I was straddling the boundary between the new noise I wanted to make and the remnants of what I used to think I was doing. Sometimes it worked, but there are moments that are not authentically "me." I didn't really enjoy the set that that had Reigning Sound in it, apologies to them. I could also have jettisoned The National and Holly Herndon; at some point in my past a person I don't remember having been must have thought they would make good segues. They didn't. "What year is it," I ask, unable to figure out why I am playing three 4AD artists on this night when we all know that only one was ever truly good, and that was a long time ago.

But I can tell you that this broadcast is not even "rock bottom," so there's probably some content here that you will enjoy.

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 July 31, 2100-2300:

  1. "Entrance" | Merz, Laraaji, Shahzad Ismaily | Dream of Sleep and Wakes of Sound | Merz
  2. "Home [live]" | The Durutti Column | Obey the Time [reissue] | Factory Benelux
  3. "White Rhino - Sound Culture Remix" | Chicago Afrobeat Project Featuring Tony Allen | What Goes Up (Remixed) | Future Rootz
  4. "Gaussian" | Com Truise | Persuasion System | Ghostly International
  5. "Who Gives a Damn" | Grotto | Grotto II: Wait...No Hurry | Livingstone Studio
  6. "Big Takeover" | Bad Brains | Rock for Light | PVC
  7. "Art-I-Ficial" | X-Ray Spex | Germfree Adolescents | Real Gone Music
  8. "Eiland" | Xmal Deutschland | Tocsin | 4AD
  9. "Nasa Arab" | Coil | The Gay Man's Guide To Safer Sex + 2 | Musique Pour La Danse
  10. "Call Me #1" | Reigning Sound | Abdication... For Your Love | Merge
  11. "Birth" | Holly Herndon | PROTO | 4AD
  12. "All Of Us Waning In The Firmament" | Nonconnah | Seek Not Your Fortune | Ernest Jenning Record Co.
  13. "Oyo Ka Jojo" | Les Volcans De La Capital | African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds from Benin & Togo 70s | Analog Africa
  14. "P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)" | Parliament | Greatest Hits (The Bomb) - Parliament | Casablanca / Polygram
  15. "Dust Swirls In Strange Light" | The National | I Am Easy To Find | 4AD
  16. "Anti-Body" | FACS | Lifelike | Trouble In Mind
  17. "Des Etoile Electroniques - Demo" | Stereolab | Mars Audiac Quintet (Expanded Edition) | Duophonic / WARP
  18. "Subtraction" | Sleaford Mods | Eton Alive | Extreme Eating
  19. "They Made Them Up" | C Cat Trance | Screaming Ghosts | Emotional Rescue / Malka Tuti
  20. "Time Safari - Ambient Version" | Clarian | Time Safari | Kompakt

Prepare yourself for the final quest

Nov 2019

Maybe You Should Know That I Suffer from Sudden, Startling Revelations: Transmission 475, 2019 July 10

Little_Annie.jpgIt's a shame that I wasn't even drunk at the time of this broadcast. Such a state might have explained utterances like "I'm out of sorts" and "I'm all messed up." These were true statements attempting to excuse my sloppiness and unpreparedness, but in keeping with the times, I was upset about things outside the studio. The situation at "theory camp" had deteriorated further, branching out into ableism and just generally bad academic and leadership practice with what I will only refer to here as "the Hegel incident."

I was full of righteous anger. Check my commentary on the protest against "detention camps" and my call to action. True to my hypocritical form, I wound up not attending this demonstration two nights later. I wonder what my excuse was on that night. It doesn't matter. I wasn't living my best life at this time.

Alternating between good and bad segues, unable to remember the provenance of things, I produced a show that maybe has a few moments but is best left in the past. But all this being said, I do get off a couple of good rants. MOJO magazine did put the recently-deceased Syd Barrett on the cover but not the recently-deceased James Brown, and I don't know how to explain that other than racism or pandering to a racist audience (and is there a difference?); Hot Casa's packaging is a crime. Interesting that I deliver both of these comments with the same fire. It's typical of how shallow I have always been. Not that this will help, but it's a good thing I'm about to go on hiatus for three weeks.

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 July 10, 2100-2300:

  1. "Thank You for Talkin' to Me Africa" | Sly & The Family Stone | Anthology | Epic
  2. "Sharevari" | The Dirtbombs | Party Store | In The Red
  3. "I Remember Louder" | transmission 13 | The Edge Of The World | self-released
  4. "Don't Step on My Shoes" | Ezy & Isaac | Soul Rock | Hot Casa
  5. "In the Hole" | The Bar-Kays | The Roots of Hip Hop (Music Guide Vol. 2) | Mojo Magazine
  6. "Patience" | The Funkees | Now I'm a Man | PMG
  7. "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" | Isaac Hayes | Greatest Hits | Stax
  8. "Cold World (feat. Opal Onyx)" / "Dear John" | Little Annie | Trace | Tin Angel
  9. "Fenchurch St." | Renegade Pharmacy | Recovery Position | self-released
  10. "Zenti Baby" | Eric Random | Two Faced | Klanggalerie
  11. "Frustration" | Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Afrika 70 | I Go Shout Plenty!!! | Kalakuta Sunrise - Knitting Factory
  12. "Yallah! Imshi,Imshi" | Brian | Not Retiring | self-released
  13. "If 6 Was 9" | The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Axis: Bold As Love | Reprise
  14. "The Boat Is Sinking" | Benjamin Zephaniah | The Zulu Compilation | Zulu
  15. "Realigned Dub" | African Head Charge | Super Mystic Brakes | On-U Sound
  16. "Maggot Brain" | Funkadelic | Greatest Hits 1976-1981 | Charly

Many things is on my mind, words is in the way

Nov 2019

Expression Experts: Transmission 474, 2019 July 6

Eurythmics_-_Touch.jpg"Sometimes it gets ragged," I say to Lady Catharsis in the introduction. Whatever I might have thought I meant in the moment, listening back it sounds like I was critiquing the shows that she co-hosts. Surely, deep down, I was doing that. I critique all of my shows, as a glance at this website will tell you, but I could have been more appreciative. On this night I didn't have the energy.

As advertised, it was "an awful Saturday evening at the end of an awful, awful week." We both sounded tired; the prospect of a 500th Bombast episode, which I raise, doesn't seem to excite me. It was really hot out, and we were in the middle of moving house. More importantly, as I think back, things were falling apart at the "theory camp" I was coordinating. One group of students had accused another group of racial incitement; our director, normally afloat in a frictionless, conflict-free world of contemplation, touched down to earth briefly enough to completely overreact and exacerbate the problem. Things got so bad that we couldn't even enjoy our annual lakeside barbecue (incidentally, the reason why I didn't make a radio appearance three nights prior to this) without inflammatory incidents.

tl;dr: Lady Catharsis and I thought that maybe we could just chill for a couple of hours in the studio, but because everything is affected by everything, we were wrong.

The program did have its moments. Playing Throwing Muses after R. L. Burnside was a good choice, and the Eurythmics > Afriqua > A Certain Ratio "mini-set" was fairly sublime. One of the biggest running tensions in this program is that I have a non-repetition "policy" and yet I could happily play "Knife Slits Water" every week. To think: other people tell me that they hold back a lot! Please note that Lady Catharsis gives A Certain Ratio high praise in this episode and I am glad there is a permanent record of it.

I felt I had to play Dr. Phibes, "artsy fade-in" and all, because of the ludicrous wait I had to endure for that record. "JD," whom I refer to in the voice-over, was the Discogs seller who (finally) shipped the record to me after he, um, got shingles? I don't want to be someone who trivializes suffering, but at the same time maybe I need to be someone who owns my problems? Never having had shingles I (a) can't think about it without visualizing the Terry Bradshaw commercials and (b) don't know how it might affect your ability to think about basic life stuff. Anyway, that is why I hope JD feels better and why that record made it into a very quiet last 40 minutes or so of this transmission, before a terrible Nick Cave segue finishes off the evening in proper fashion.


BOMBAST playlist, 2019 July 6, 2000-2200:

  1. "Por Encima" | M.A.K.U SoundSystem | 5 Fuegos | PEACE & RHYTHM
  2. "Meca" | Levis Vercky`s | Angola Soundtrack 2 - Hypnosis, Distortion & Other Innovations 1969 - 1978 | Analog Africa
  3. "Soggy Tongues" | Vic Chesnutt | West of Rome | New West
  4. "Can't Hold Out Much Longer" | Little Walter | His Best - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection | Chess
  5. "2 Brothers" / "Snake Drive" | R.L. Burnside | A Ass Pocket of Whiskey | Fat Possum
  6. "Mercury" | Throwing Muses | Throwing Muses | 4AD
  7. "Happy Nightmare Baby" | Opal | Happy Nightmare Baby | SST
  8. "Got to Give It Up" | The Dirtbombs | Ulltraglide In Black | In The Red
  9. "The Law Must Change" | Keith Mlevhu | The Bad Will Die | Strawberry Rain
  10. "Aqua" | Eurythmics | Touch | RCA
  11. "Vibrations" | Afriqua | Prophette | Cure Music
  12. "Knife Slits Water" | A Certain Ratio | Sextet | Factory Benelux
  13. "Black Sheets of Rain" | Bob Mould | Black Sheets of Rain | Virgin
  14. "When Push Comes To Shove" / "Dovetail" | Dr. Phibes & The House Of Wax Equations | Whirlpool | 50 Seel Street
  15. "Spermwhale Trip Over" / "The Sun Falls Into the Sea" / "The Madonna Is With Child" / "Spanish Quay (3)" | A.R. Kane | Sixty Nine | One Little Indian
  16. "New Morning" | Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Live Seeds | Mute

It's all about what I wish would happen

Nov 2019

U_D_M Detour 36, 2019 June 29

fred_und_luna.jpg[GUEST POST]

I am back and I am Guy. I decided to stay in Ithaca for an extra weekend; as luck would have it, airtime magically appeared and I seized it. I don't wear the conceptual straitjackets that kid catharsis likes to sport and am blissfully unaffected by his crises of personhood; I do as I please when it pleases me. Consider this "normal" service, more or less. You're welcome.

But to try on kid catharsis's self-critical style for a moment, it's true when I say that the beats were a bit overpowering on this excursion. I had difficulty with the station's equipment and I am not above complaining about things that I get to use for free. There wasn't enough of "me" in this program, except for the technical and conceptual mistakes. I'll post this, we'll forget them, and move on.

U_D_M playlist, 2019 June 29, 1900-2000:

  1. "Jupiter Slack" | Juju & Jordash | Slack Trax, Vol. 2 | Slack Trax
  2. "Vanishing Landscapes" | Mano Le Tough | Cocoon Compilation R | Cocoon
  3. "Blue Velvet" | Mr. Bizz | 10 YEARS OF SCI+TEC | SCI + TEC Vinyl Audio
  4. "Laid On Coco" | Törsh | ¿Tienes Fuego? | Zissou Records
  5. "At Night" | Anthony Fade | What I Need | Lost Palms
  6. "Visions" | Fort Romeau | Heaven & Earth | Permanent Vacation
  7. "Rescue" | John Daly | It's All Around You | Couldn't Care More
  8. "People Mambo" | Fred und Luna | Im Tanzrausch - EP | Compost
  9. "Sakura" | Simon Scott | Soundings | Touch

Feel live

Nov 2019

Live Flagrant, Make People Nervous: Transmission 473, 2019 June 26

dawn_new_breed_take_2.jpgThe previous program may have been opportunistic; this one was deliberate and low-key angry. "I like this thing I've started doing," proclaims our host; while I referred to the "interstitial" music by Laraaji, I could have meant the whole transmission.

I've been coy about things that happened over the summer, and the change in direction the program has taken. Let's be frank instead. I Have Basically Stopped Searching For Music By White People. (I'm calling for a complete ban on white musicians until we can figure out what's going on!) I feel like I was radicalized by more than one thing, but let's face it--it's Morrissey. Everything comes back to that guy.

There's no need to attempt a summary or listsicle here; the internet is full of them. But at some point I discovered some terrible things he'd said during the Smiths period and it became clear that he had not changed--he's always been who he is, and those around him have always known. It doesn't matter to me that his bandmates might not be racists or Brexiteers or For Britain members in 2019; 35 years ago they knew who he was and they were ok with it. That's enough.

I don't take this as a warning not to have heroes; I still kind of think heroes are important. But you have to choose them better.

I've found myself attracted to some music because of the social scenes I've been a part of, and I suppose those scenes themselves, and/or my participation in them, are part of the problem. Whether it has been "college rock" or "postpunk" or "4ad" or "industrial" I'm too often the only black person in the room, and that feeling too is a well-documented thing on the internet that doesn't require any added comment from me. So I guess not everything comes back to Morrissey. But I'm tired of stretching to imagine that people are expressing things that are inclusive of me, relevant to me. If race is such a general, clumsy heuristic, you'll have to explain to me why it is as useful as it is. Go ahead and "Sistah Souljah" me if you must, but that this would sound really ugly coming from a white person is the price you pay for owning the entire fucking world. I don't happen to have that problem.

I had also made some new friends at "theory camp" and I'd like to think that at this stage the direction the summer would take was already determined and clear. Surely that's not true? But this is a part of my "radicalization."

My inbox is still open and I am fine with music that non-terrible people of any cultural background send me. I'm also still amenable to Music From The Past that was performed by non-terrible people, at least until I learn that they actually were. That happens a lot these days. Any aggrieved parties can sue me for whatever this program is worth.

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 June 26, 2100-2300:

  1. "Ya Nini" | Verckys & L'Orchestre Vévé | Verckys & L'Orchestre Vévé: Congolose Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978 | Analog Africa
  2. "Mama Liza" | Konono N°1 | Congotronics | Ache
  3. "Mmmhmm (feat. Thundercat)" | Flying Lotus | Cosmogramma | Warp Records
  4. "Genevieve (Unfinished)" | Jai Paul | Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones) | XL Recordings
  5. "dreams and converse" | DAWN | new breed | Local Action
  6. "Beliefs" | Sneaks | Highway Hypnosis | Merge
  7. "B Boy Your Best (Vocal)" / "Bonus Beats" | The Incredible Body Mechanix | B Boy Your Best | Mirage
  8. "Hardrock" | Herbie Hancock | Hardrock | Columbia
  9. "Mussoliki" | Bernard Ntone | Pop Makossa - The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon 1976​-​1984 | Analog Africa
  10. "Licking Stick 1" / "Licking Stick 2" | The Soul Kids | Toute L'Afrique Danse Vol. 10 | Hot Casa
  11. "Haddi Aanan Gacaloy" | Dur-Dur Band | Dur Dur of Somalia, Vol. 1 & 2 | Analog Africa
  12. "It Rough Down Ya" | I-Roy | Can't Conquer Rasta | Radiation Roots
  13. "Ten Commandments" | Prince Far I | Voice of Thunder [reissue] | Get On Down
  14. "Population Dub" | Tapper Zukie | Escape from Hell | Jamaican Recordings
  15. "Chariot Dub" | Scientist | In the Kingdom of Dub | Superior Viaduct
  16. "Connection" | Dellinger | Rhythm Shower | Get On Down
  17. "We & We In Azawad" | Mdou Moctar & Elite Beat | Mdou Moctar meets Elite Beat In a Budget Dancehall | Boomarm Nation
  18. "Colonial Mentality" | Fela Kuti | Black-President | Capitol

Make all the mistakes in life and still not give a damn

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App