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Apr 2021

When Two Energies Collide, Wow, Magnificent: Transmission 510, 2020 February 5


I must have been in a bad mood when this program aired, but what is new? This was the day my therapist told me to stop drinking and to see a psychiatrist. I did one of these things. I will let you guess which one it was.

ANYWAY! The program starts off well but for some reason I don’t talk during a long King Sunny Ade instrumental. I am Just Not On My A Game.

"Energies Collide" is really heteronormative, wow--
"Reunite the tantric spark, the magic?" Is this the Sting universe? They say that when you're happy you listen to atmosphere and groove and when you're depressed you tune into the lyrics. Maybe I have been happy all this time.

"Words of Expectation" is a real room-clearer, this live rendition being more annoying than I remember. It wasn’t a good segue either. I talked over “encore,” oops, but Dylan Thomas can get bent.

Since this program was broadcast, 426 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 59 times. I have delivered 51 pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. These numbers don't seem to be moving...

My therapist, when she was not giving me advice that I only partially heeded, told me, "not every trace of your existence has to disappear from the fabric of space-time." This is a good thing to remember as I try to get back into the swing of documenting this ongoing adventure.

BOMBAST playlist, 2020 February 5, 2100-2300:

  • "Ja Fun Mi - Instrumental" | King Sunny Ade | Nigeria 70: Box Set | Strut
  • "Brent" | Girl in a gale | Shepherd Drift | Kahvi Collective
  • "Energies Collide" | Black Jazz Consortium | Evolution of Light | Perpetual Sound
  • "Latin Parang" | Colleen Grant | Latin Parang / Parang Jam | Soundway
  • "Wrecked" | Zonal | Wrecked | Relapse
  • "She Don't Want That" | Midnite Snaxxx | Music Inside | Slovenly
  • "Better Change Your Mind" | William Onyeabor | Nigeria 70: Box Set | Strut
  • "Abstract of Expression" | The Durutti Column | Fidelity [reissue] | Les Disques Du Crépuscule
  • "Four Feet" | Otik | Blasphemy | Boogie Box
  • "In Wooded Country" | Whistling Arrow | Whistling Arrow | God Unknown
  • "Wild Sand" | Secret Wilderness | Out Of The Darkness | The Blog That Celebrates Itself
  • "Go Back to Oly" | Elite Beat | Selected Rhythms | Research Records
  • "Words of Expectation - Live, Larry's Hideaway, Toronto, Canada, 21 April 1983" | The Fall | Room To Live [reissue] | Cherry Red
  • "A Lover Sings" | Billy Bragg | Best Of Billy Bragg At The BBC 1983 - 2019 | Cooking Vinyl
  • "Encore" | The Velvet Orchestra | Velvet Desert Music Vol. 1 | Kompakt
  • "Josephine" | Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band | Adios Señor Pussycat | Violette
  • "Wonder Why" | dayflower | petal drops | self-released
  • "Lazybeams" | Plaid | Peel Session 2 | WARP
  • "Endless Cycle" | Lou Reed | New York | Sire | "The Listening Parlour"
  • "Passing of Time" | Moor Mother | Analog Fluids of Solid Black Holes | Don Giovanni
  • "Abidjan Adja" | Antoinette Konan | Abidjan Adja | Awesome Tapes From Africa
  • "Stars" | Kunds | Shepherd Drift | Kahvi Collective
  • "A Brief Message" | Ryo Kawasaki & The Golden Dragon | Little Tree | Studio Mule
  • "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste" | Galaxie 500 | Today [reissue] | 20|20|20

Everything will be alright, you are in my hands

Apr 2021

They Will Sell You Back Your Heart: Transmission 509, 2020 February 1


Welcome to a weird night, with lots of bizarre human traffic, on which Lady Catharsis and I sheltered in the Kenny Ritter Memorial Studio (RIP) and delivered what would turn out to be our final joint program prior to the lockdown.

Basic things kept going wrong because I was rude, during the previous program ("pa’bajo"), to a caller who wanted to be put straight through to the studio. I say "rude" because I declined the request, even though it was practically impossible to grant. This is the kind of thing my therapist keeps bugging me about, but that is another story.

I suppose that during a lot of these programs it is unfinished business and "misfit toys" time, which explains a lot of this playlist. Except for Rick James (RIP) I don't know why I'm playing a lot of what I'm playing. Bad energy: I would like to say the program crackles with it, but that would overstate the excitement factor.

"Maybe," I wrote at the time, "when I hear this program six months from now it will sound good." It does! Even though I underestimated the wait just a little bit.

Since this program was broadcast, 427 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 60 times. I have delivered 51 pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. The good news is that I'm past the point of editing old sound files, because the editing happens before they ever go out on the air. Truly I have become a podcaster.

Our discussion of "the four corners of time" captures this perpetual dilemma, but as always I am determined to speed things up and post like a normal person.

BOMBAST playlist, 2020 February 1, 2000-2200:

  • "The Modern Day Saints" | The Orange Kyte | Carousel | Little Cloud
  • "Bury It Deep" | Beat Hotel | Feel It | Occultation Recordings
  • "Ii Ooy Aniga (Cry For Me)" | Iftin Band | Mogadisco - Dancing Mogadishu (Somalia 1972​-​1991) | Analog Africa
  • "Brokos" | Gyedu-Blay Ambolley | 11th Street, Sekondi | Agogo
  • "You And I" | Rick James | Come Get It! | Gordy
  • "Il ne faut pas intervenir (Martin Meissonnier reconstruction)" | Sankayi | Kinshasa 1978 | Crammed Discs
  • "Void" | Algiers | Void | Matador
  • "A Dr0ne" | NNYz? | Reveries | self-released
  • "To Hell With Poverty" | Gang of Four | Another Day/Another Dollar | Warner Bros.
  • "Nova" | Kimyan Law | Yonda | Blue Mar Ten
  • "Remember Me" | The Durutti Column | Fidelity [reissue] | Les Disques Du Crépuscule 
  • "Rue des tempêtes" | The Young Gods | L'Eau Rouge / Red Water [reissue] | [PIAS] Le Label
  • "144,000" | James Massiah | Natural Born Killers (Ride for Me) | Levels
  • "Neo" | Leandro Fresco / Thore Pfeiffer | Pop Ambient 2020 | Kompakt
  • "The Redemption Project" | Hieroglyphic Being | Synth Expressionism / Rhythmic Cubism | On the Corner
  • "Heartbeat" | Chris and Cosey | Heartbeat [reissue] | Conspiracy International
  • "Reflections" | Taelue | Reflections | Perpetual Rhythms
  • "The Wedge" | The J.B.'s | More Mess On My Thing | Now-Again
  • "Hidden Track" | Lloyd Meadows | Oxford Synthesizer Club | The Beautiful Music
  • "The Myth Hold Weight" | Moor Mother | Analog Fluids of Solid Black Holes | Don Giovanni
  • "Range of Motion" | Force Placement | Vibe Repair | 100% Silk

Proud of the way I've avoided prison

Mar 2021

Get Ready for That Albini Sound: Transmission 508, 2020 January 29

mono_before_the_past6d2j3.jpgLockdown has entered day 367, and we are feeling great about it. I am trying out something new in the thirteenth month; I call it "proving to my listeners that I exist." If I can't provide you with recent evidence thereof, I can at least write a few sentences every couple of days and slap an old sound file on top of that. Were it not for my neurotic insistence on linearity, I could even show you what I've been up to lately. But isn't it marginally more interesting to find out, drip by drip, how we got here?

Anyway, we have an artsy-sounding beginning, and really, even looking back across this last year's wasteland of time this sounds a bit "like me" in light of today, at least early on. I even received kind words over the phone from "Mark" In Trumansburg during "Up Side Down!" We like compliments--more of this, please.

On the topic of sounding like myself, I stopped "en gammal Amazon" magically; how wonderful it would be if I had the power to do that with other phenomena. And whatever happened to Brian Harris, by the way? Subsequently I referred to something called the Celsus!!! And then, as always, conceptually things get weird somewhere between Crispy ambulance and the Black Watch. Probably a result of my trying to be ecumenical, if that is the right word. Those days are probably over.

I can’t get over how pinched and small "Volgarity." sounds. I guess it’s not 1992 anymore and we are no longer impressed. This feeling occurs to me often these days.

Since this program was broadcast, 416 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 59 times. I have delivered 49 pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. I'm trying to edit a sound file from 380 days ago--51 shows ago. Once again I am playing this silly, crazy-making game with the past.

I suspect things are going to carry on like this for a while, then get really bad, then good, then worse, then ok, and then we'll be caught up. Vague but probably accurate.

BOMBAST playlist, 2020 January 29, 2100-2300:

  1. "Arboreal Epitone" | Kimyan Law | Yonda | Blue Mar Ten
  2. "Living In Denial" | Michael Kiwanuka | KIWANUKA | Polydor
  3. "Halo" | MONO | Before The Past • Live From Electrical Audio | Temporary Residence Ltd.
  4. "An Old Amazon​(​En Gammal Amazon​)​" | Brian Harris | Thylacine | self-released
  5. "Upside Down" | Fela Anikulapo Kuti & The Africa 70 | Nigeria 70: Box Set | Strut
  6. "3:38" | The Pop Group | Y | Mute
  7. "Daradaa Muxibo" | Dur-Dur Band | Mogadisco - Dancing Mogadishu (Somalia 1972​-​1991) | Analog Africa
  8. "Egypt" | Crispy Ambulance | The Plateau Phase + Live On A Hot August Night + Peel | Factory Benelux
  9. "Transatlantic Part 1 & 2" | Jabber | Shepherd Drift | Kahvi Collective
  10. "crying all the time!" | The Black Watch | Crying All The Time | A Turntable Friend
  11. "Blacktea" | Lakey | Shepherd Drift | Kahvi Collective
  12. "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" | The Ramones | All The Stuff (And More) - Vol. I | Sire
  13. "Heptameth Rainbow" | Weldroid | Shepherd Drift | Kahvi Collective
  14. "Sweetness of the New - Free the Robots Remix" | Gray | Shades of... Anthology | Ubiquity
  15. "Gestalt Waves" | Leniad | Shepherd Drift | Kahvi Collective
  16. "The Deep" | clipping. | The Deep | Sub Pop
  17. "No Discrimination" | Tony Allen & His Afro Messengers | Nigeria 70: Box Set | Strut
  18. "Breath Mint" | Daniel T. | Heliotrope | Cascine
  19. "Kawai K4" | Guy Contact | Liminal Space | Butter Sessions
  20. "Astral Light" | Botany talk Home | Come On Feel The NoiZe, Vol. 5 - Amour pour la France | The Blog That Celebrates Itself
  21. "Night Driving" | Throwing Muses | The Season Sessions: Winter | self-released | "The Listening Parlour"
  22. "Tears from Pluto" | Kantakin | Shepherd Drift | Kahvi Collective
  23. "Volgarity" | Steroid Maximus | Volume Four | Volume

Right now some are insane

May 2020

You Should Know What You Look Like: Transmission 506, 2020 January 11

jay_glass_dubs_-_nyx_6ig14.jpgWelcome to day 67 of lockdown. I am happy to present you with a recording of a broadcast that happened with Lady Catharsis at my side. This sort of thing can't happen right now. It is good to be reminded of the world we are fighting to preserve. If this seems like a petty and trivial example of such a world, I don't apologize.

I have a lot of notes about this program, so strap in. The American Music Club segue had no business sounding good, but it did. Now, onto the bad and weird things: I'm pretty sure I say we're going uptempo only to say later that we went downtempo. Who is to say what tempo is? I am pretty sure I identified the JBs album as being released by Get On Down and I am almost certainly wrong. I say nothing when Lady Catharsis says to me, "you're the clever one." Probably a lot to unpack there! I sound exasperated with myself about four minutes into the program, which is not a good sign. "It's hot in the city tonight," Lady Catharsis says. What can it mean?

Showing up as myself (my therapist would be proud): shout out to Wally of The Beautiful Music, who shared the THE SOUND YOUR DREAMS MAKE comp with me. He is truly one of the Good People of music Twitter. I hold back from delivering a rant about the Coil reissue, "Stolen and Contaminated Songs." But (maybe this is not my best self showing up at the moment) I have to say I don't know who's pocketing the profits from this one and the label that released it is almost certainly releasing music by outright fascists. So There. I do pop off at Chris and Cosey and it pains me to say that they deserve it. Their fall 2019 reissues cost me $28 apiece, the records skip, and they insist that I pay an additional £8.99 if I want a version I can listen to on my phone. I don't think this is right and I'm not backing down. Moving on: the Dennis Green story sort of comes out of nowhere, but it illustrates the trade-offs and choices that brought me here, I guess.

Since this program was broadcast, 134 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 21 times. I have delivered ten pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. I'm supposed to be editing a sound file from 88 days ago--fourteen shows ago, supposably. There is some mental block preventing me from completing that work.

Anyway, one day I'm sure we'll do this again, and better (one can hope).

BOMBAST playlist, 2020 January 11, 2000-2200:

  1. "Oh What a Saturday Night" | Errol Strength | Take Us Home - Boston Roots Reggae: 1979 to 1988 | Cultures of Soul
  2. "Joka Awuor" | ODD OKODDO | Auma | Pingipung
  3. "Am I Just A Dub" | Lizard Brain | THE SOUND YOUR DREAMS MAKE | EVERLASTING
  4. "Light Shining Darkly" | Coil | Stolen & Contaminated Songs | Cold Spring
  5. "Arcade" | Chris & Cosey | Exotika [reissue] | Conspiracy International
  6. "Bad Television" | Smoothy | THE SOUND YOUR DREAMS MAKE | EVERLASTING
  7. "The Controversial Control" | Jay Glass Dubs | Nyx EP | Berceuse Heroique
  8. "My Only Love" | The Durutti Column | Fidelity [reissue] | Les Disques Du Crépuscule
  9. "Animation (Martin Meissonnier reconstruction)" | Orchestre Bana Luya | Kinshasa 1978 | Crammed Discs
  10. "Blue TV Screen" | Cody Currie & Joel Holmes | New Chapter | Toy Tonics
  11. "Harp at Noon" | Pandacetamol | Driftwood | Kahvi Collective
  12. "The Thorn In My Side Is Gone" | American Music Club | San Francisco | Reprise
  13. "Waiting In The Rain" | Kendra Smith | Presents the Guild of Temporal Adventurers | Fiasco
  14. "Look Know (John Peel Session 15/9/81)" | The Fall | Hex Enduction Hour [reissue] | Cherry Red
  15. "When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can (Complete Take)" | The J.B.'s | More Mess On My Thing | Now-Again

Born on a ray of sound

May 2020

He Bites on the Neon and Sleeps in a Capsule: Transmission 505, 2020 January 8

young_gods_-_you_gave_me_a_name_8m1k6.jpgAs I write it's day 66 of lockdown--I think. It's getting tougher to count, but at the moment I'm counting March 19 as Day 1 for me, since that's the first day Lady Catharsis and I were ordered to "work from home." You could argue that things started to get weird, rapidly, about 10 days prior to that, but memories of Before are a bit cloudy. I have only written notes to help me recall what this innocent program sounded and felt like.

"I played a lot of beautiful music on this show without necessarily trying to," I wrote. It feels good to read that, and sad at the same time. Maybe in January I was finding more and more confidence. It's gone now. Looking at the playlist I think I was right in the moment.

Caveats: I'm pretty sure I burped in the first voice-over of the evening. The Iftin Band segues didn't sound good on either end. I have not done right by Space Dingus, as well as they slotted into this program. Their album was good and I just didn't get to it. Does lateness mean anything anymore? Maybe there is still hope for me there. There was some post-production magic that I executed between One-Eyed Wayne and Jay Glass Dubs. And it still sounds bad! The sequence ending with James Clarke Five is "weird," apparently, and it's a "good thing the show was flawless after that."

Since this program was broadcast, 136 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 22 times. I have delivered ten pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. I'm supposed to be editing a sound file from 88 days ago--fourteen shows ago, I guess? I promised myself I would chronicle my tardiness and I am past embarrassment at this point. If these numbers mean anything to you, you're welcome.

Thanks for making it this far, thanks for your patience, and as always thank you for listening.

BOMBAST playlist, 2020 January 8, 2100-2300:

  1. "Sanctuary" | Fushara | The Mystics | Transmute
  2. "Pétaloïde" | Dosage | Theory of Pink | Les Disques Du Festival Permanent
  3. "Anthropocene" | Wrangler | Anthropocene | Bella Union
  4. "U" | Yoshinori Hayashi | Y | Smalltown Supersound
  5. "Sirmaqabe - No Secrets" | Iftin Band | Mogadisco - Dancing Mogadishu (Somalia 1972​-​1991) | Analog Africa
  6. "Makoma" | Onipa | Onipa / Makoma | Strut
  7. "Rat Laughter" | Space Dingus | Space Dingus | Subjangle
  8. "The Jean Genie" | David Bowie | The Singles Collection | EMI
  9. "Dreaming" | Maria Somerville | All My People | No Label
  10. "A New Chapter" | Cody Currie & Joel Holmes | New Chapter | Toy Tonics
  11. "Moon Shining Bright" | Pieter Nooten | Se Dire Au Revoir | Rocket Girl
  12. "L'Heure" | Luminance | Ahead | Medical
  13. "Repeater" | Moor Mother | Analog Fluids of Solid Black Holes | Don Giovanni
  14. "You Gave Me a Name - Radio Edit" | The Young Gods | You Gave Me a Name | Two Gentlemen
  15. "Animation Kifuti (Martin Meissonnier reconstruction)" | Orchestre Bambala | Kinshasa 1978 | Crammed Discs
  16. "To The Limit" | LFO | Peel Session | WARP
  17. "Diversa" | Toada | Cambiante | pluma
  18. "BLK Musak" | Mourning [A] BLKstar | BLK Musak | Don Giovanni
  19. "Woma Gara" | Mamadou Kelly | Les Bateaux | Claremont
  20. "YoYo" | One Eyed Wayne | Saucy Postcards Super Creeps | Optic Nerve
  21. "Laid Down (feat. Yorgia Karidi)" | Jay Glass Dubs | Epitaph | Bokeh Versions
  22. "Theme from 'The Main Chance'" | James Clarke Five | Parloursounds [reissue] | The Beautiful Music
  23. "Cromo 4" | Yui Onodera | Pop Ambient 2020 | Kompakt
  24. "Night Dive" | Space Ghost | Aquarium Nightclub | Tartelet
  25. "I Know - Tewz Remix" | Gray | Shades of... Anthology | Ubiquity
  26. "Lifeforce Part I" / "Lifeforce Part II" | The Comet Is Coming | Afterlife | Impulse
  27. "Brenda" | Leandro Fresco | Pop Ambient 2020 | Kompakt
  28. "Deolta" | SJ Tequilla | Sanya | Craigie Knowes

Nowadays everything can be denied

Apr 2020

Insight, Foresight, More Sight: Transmission 504, 2020 January 1

dose_of_pink_2_.jpgI don't even know where to begin. It's day 38 of lockdown--I mean, let's say that, why not. Who can tell anymore? The president just told us to inject bleach into ourselves. Figured I might post some content before the disinfectant regime becomes mandatory.

This is a program from a different time. Regular subscribers probably roll their eyes when I talk about "universes ending" and stuff like that. What do we think about this now? Not so dumb anymore, is it? WELCOME TO MY WORLD BITCHES.

Anyway, this is a good program done in the old style--that is, with me sitting in the studio and pressing "play" when it was time to hear a new song, and so forth. I'm sure part of me has been holding onto these last archaic transmissions, because who knows if there will be another of their kind? It does mess with me that I screwed up Vance & Suzzanne because otherwise this is pretty flawless--check out the transition from Grandmaster Flash to Zonal, just as an example.

Because this is also about baring my soul, I've got to get something about "Davis Homeboy DJ Shadow" off my chest. It's true that we grew up in the same town. At one point in my troubled youth I was a buyer/clerk at our record store and I was one of those archetypal record store assholes. At this point in my life I had a lot of anger though I don't know about what. I'm still dealing with it! Anyway one day these two guys came up to the counter & wanted to talk to me about something--but in their exuberance (or whatever) they knocked something off the counter, and I was like, "pick that up" before I would even engage them. They got mad and left, as they should have. NOW. I have absolutely no reason to believe this is the case but I have somehow retconned (or gaslit? i don't know) myself into thinking one of those guys was Josh Davis. Again, NO REASON TO THINK THIS but this is what I do to myself.

Anyway, now that I don't have a gym to go to I try to get out of the house every day and walk around "in nature" and this is the kind of stuff I do, replaying my life's most embarrassing episodes inside my head. Apologies to Shadow & friend or whoever the fuck those guys were. I'd like to tell you I'm a changed person but at least I'm working on it.

Since this program was broadcast, 114 days ago now, I've gone "on the air" 13 times. I have delivered six pre-recorded episodes on account of the pandemic. I'm supposed to be editing a sound file from 58 days ago--ten shows ago, I guess? I'm not sure any of this matters, but I am forcing myself to go through the motions, working the "mattering" into being, I guess, maybe. To think I once joked about quarantine giving me time to get caught up!

Anyway, looking back, I'm more convinced than ever that 2019 was indeed a good year. But let's enjoy the innocence of early 2020 while we can, however we can.

BOMBAST playlist, 2020 January 1, 2100-2300:

  1. "A Bleak Moment" | Taelue | Reflections | Perpetual Rhythms
  2. "Super Rappin' No 1" | Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five | Back In The Day (Old School Hip Hop From The Block Party Era) | BGP
  3. "Debris" | Zonal | Wrecked | Relapse
  4. "Terminal Manouevre" | XVARR | Echoes of Time | Good Morning Tapes
  5. "Drips" | Flying Lotus | Presents INFINITY Infinitum Maida Vale Session | WARP
  6. "Midnight In A Perfect World" | DJ Shadow | Endtroducing... | Mo Wax - FFRR
  7. "Cretu" | Ummagma | Compass | Leonard Skully
  8. "Exotika" | Chris & Cosey | Exotika | Conspiracy International
  9. "Patina" | Avtvmna | Summer Estate | Kahvi Collective
  10. "A Different View" | brim liski | Duels | Latenight Weeknight
  11. "Spanish Town Road Dub" | Scientist | The Scientist in the Kingdom of Dub | Superior Viaduct
  12. "I Can't Get Along Without You" | Vance and Suzzanne | I Can't Get Along Without You | Kalita
  13. "Corsage" | Dosage | Theory of Pink | Les Disques Du Festival Permanent
  14. "The Seven Planetary Heavens" | The Comet Is Coming | The Afterlife | Impulse
  15. "Mythologies" | ØxØ | Mythologies | Truant
  16. "Sálvame" | Mequetrefe | Come On Feel The NoiZe, Vol. 4 - La Furia | The Blog That Celebrates Itself
  17. "It's You" | Big Joanie | Sistahs | Daydream Library Series
  18. "Shop Lifting" | The Slits | The Peel Sessions | Dutch East India Trading / Strange Fruit
  19. "Scarred for Life" | Medicine | Scarred for Life | Drawing Room Records
  20. "Tchiokoroba" | Mamadou Kelly | Les Bateaux | Claremont
  21. "Chateau Rouge" | Bantou Mentale | Bantou Mentale | Glitterbeat
  22. "Magik" | Lee "Scratch" Perry | Magik | Stones Throw
  23. "Liminality" | Kid Koala | Music To Draw To: Io | Zenerino
  24. "Yogi Yamahssar" | Tapan Meets Generation Taragalte | Atlas | Soundway
  25. "Dinosaur Girl" | Brix & The Extricated | Dinosaur Girl | Grit Over Glamour
  26. "Kel Tinariwen" | Tinariwen | Amadjar | Wedge
  27. "Bolinas" | Meat Beat Manifesto | Opaque Couche | Flexidisc

using the ladder they call success

Mar 2020

Five to Twelve, Almost Gone: Transmission 503, 2019 December 31

big_black_atomizer-1.jpgApologies are in order. There's a slowness to my cadence when I call this "the final live program" that can trick you into thinking those words are followed by a period. Sure enough, though, "...of 2019" follows, just to dash your hopes. I'm still here. On this night, Lady Catharsis is here as well, to shake things up, argue with me about rideshare services, sing backup to Wanda Jackson, and open the door to my abandonment of the "no repetition" policy so I can play "Kerosene" to honor the spirit and chops of Dave Riley.

I am vulnerable to nostalgia at all times, but December is the worst. In 2019 I had succeeded in not walking around in the snow listening to Cocteau Twins, probably because I no longer walk around in any weather listening to anything. More encouraging: I managed to have a 4AD-free Christmas. But events conspired to pull me back in. Vaughan Oliver died, and I surprised myself by feeling things about that. So Lady Catharsis and I, and our listeners, got to work through them. Together.

scorched_earth.jpgPreviewing all of my on-air comments here would be stupid in more than one way. You'll just have to listen and find out. But it would be fair to say I'm less than 100% positive about the 4AD back catalogue. Look, I am a recovering addict and I don't know what you want from me. If there's any such thing as periodization of 4AD fandom, I am definitely a Lonely Is an Eyesore kid. And I expect things to stay awesome all the time. They can't, they don't, and somehow it saddens me. Truly I have bigger problems in this life but you wouldn't think so. Anyway, to reach back even further, "Marble Station" is absolutely majestic and would have justified getting hooked on this stuff, had it been what hooked me.

w/r/t Vaughan Oliver my hipsterism is so cringe that, I have to say, I'm a "23 Envelope person" and not "a v23 person." Did you know there were such people? Of course not because there aren't, it's only me as far as I know. Feeling something after Vaughan Oliver's death surprised me because I have opinions, you see. Nigel Grierson's work is special. His photographs made those sleeves. Read Facing the Other Way and tell me the story about the Nantes exhibit and the end of that friendship isn't the saddest thing in the book. But I am a person of Sentiment, and death is the biggest corrective, next to correction.

Since this program was broadcast, 70 days ago now, I've gone on the air 13 times. I'm editing a sound file from 13 days ago--four shows ago. How is this possible? It's not getting better any time soon, unless the coronavirus puts us all in quarantine and gives me time to churn through the backlog.

Program notes: I notice that these shows are a lot more dynamic, literally, when Lady Catharsis is the guest. She and her records are all over the place. You can see it in the waveforms. Or you could, if you were some weirdo who downloaded the audio files and imported them into a sound editing program. ANYWAY the point I am making is really about me and my normalization of everything. Not only does my voice sound like I have a built-in compressor, my taste in music is just kind of "smooth" and "regular." You can see this too. It's a kind of aesthetic fascism, and unironically I think Vaughan Oliver is partly to blame for that!

Anyway towards the end of the show it sounds like an old KDVS program with friends, which is not a bad place to wind up.

By the way, Colourbox [or "Colour Box"] record was from 1983, not 1993. I was never confused about this. I just can't talk properly.

A final correction: the 63 transmissions we broadcast in 2019 did not make it the "quietest year" in the history of the program or whatever I called it. There were two years when I did fewer shows, including a year in which I did only 52, like a regular person. I don't know what to make of having forgotten that, but I don't like it. Circling back to the first program I did in 2019 though, I sounded so dead inside, bored with what I was doing and completely devoid of affect. I don't think I sound that way anymore. Maybe it was a good year.

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 December 31, 2100-2300:

  1. "What Is It?" | The Mighty Strinth | The Rebirth of Cool Seven | Island
  2. "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" | Ella Fitzgerald | Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas | Verve
  3. "New Year" | Big Joanie | Sistahs | Daydream Library Series
  4. "It's Getting Late" | Galaxie 500 | Today [reissue] | 20|20|20
  5. "(There Ought To Be) A Moonlight Savings Time" | Bob Richardson & His Orchestra | The Pig's Big 78s - A Beginner's Guide | Trikont
  6. "The New Fidelity" | The Durutti Column | Fidelity [reissue] | Les Disques Du Crépuscule
  7. "Re:Action" | Spirea X | Speed Reaction | 4AD
  8. "Rip It Up" | Wanda Jackson | Two Sides of Wanda | Capitol
  9. "Kerosene" | Big Black | Atomizer | Touch & Go
  10. "Marble Station" | Sort Sol | Natures Mortes - Still Lives | 4AD
  11. "Altitude" | System 7 | System 7 | 10
  12. "Shout" | Afriqua | Colored | R & S
  13. "Slo Bird Whistle" | Aphex Twin | Peel Session 2 | WARP
  14. "Find My Way" | Ultramarine | This Time Last Year | Real Soon
  15. "Breakdown" | Colourbox | Colourbox [MAD 315 CD] | 4AD
  16. "More Mess On My Thing" | The J.B.'s | More Mess On My Thing | Now-Again
  17. "Marquis Cha Cha" | The Fall | Room To Live [reissue] | Cherry Red
  18. "Burn The Bastards" | The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu | Shag Times | KLF Communications

never anything to do in this town

Mar 2020

Let This Evil Season End: Transmission 502, 2019 December 24

renzo_cesana_for_some_reason.jpgDoing a program on Christmas Eve (or at least December 24, if not technically the "eve") was really important to me when I was young, even though I would almost never play Christmas music. I always seemed to have a work shift on the 24th anyway (it's still that way and the world is becoming more Dickensian all the time)--so why not have a "fun" shift as well, I guess I must have thought. Also, especially early on at KDVS, I was only cleared to be on the air at certain times of the day, but this restriction would often not apply to term breaks and fill-in appearances. So, let's say, in my first year on the air, I probably would been authorized to spin records between midnight and 9 a.m., but I could at least have an afternoon program on the 24th of December, so that felt like liberation and "prime time." No one was listening, most likely, but what good would it have done to spurn the chance? Finally, and this is kind of sad, I think maybe doing radio on this day was a way of compensating for being separated from my friends at holiday time. Maybe this is still a thing, year-round, in the present.

So you know I'm not kidding when I say I'm excited to finally have the chance. It's been fun to do all those Festivus programs on the 23rd of December, but it's not the same. It's also true that I have developed these weird associations between the holiday and music that really has nothing to do with it. It could be music that I bought for myself in December (pouring one out for Green Noise Records, situated in Eugene, Oregon, sometime in the mid-90s, where I heard the Oval cd that serves as tonight's tinkly interstitial music--if only I had gotten the name of the album right! But, you know what, there are a lot of album titles to remember, and I'm old, so every new one I have to learn pushes another one out of my brain), music that someone else bought for me, something I heard while looking at xmas lights and just sounded right in the moment, etc. Lady Catharsis, my companion on this holy night, sort of understands, or pretends to. She's a good sport!

Since this program was broadcast, 70 days ago now, I've gone on the air 12 times. I'm editing a sound file from 13 days ago--three shows ago. I'm falling behind once again, and making the same mistake I always make, which is to jump at the chance of more airtime.

Program notes: was Bandwagonesque actually a December release? No! Surely November 19 is close enough, though, and there's no way it could have made it over here on a boat that quickly. This program is full of crazy jazz dynamics, and I blame this on the actual vintage holiday music that we try to play. Those Jimmy McGriff drums are LOUD. Take that, Steve Albini! At one point I refer to myself as an "it," which I just may be for all anyone knows. I manage to biff two James Brown songs and get mad--the self-hatred doesn't take a vacation, not even for Christmas. There's an honest-to-goodness rock block in the second hour that ends, inexplicably, with some cheesy tunes from a seasonal King record that even more inexplicably doesn't include James Brown. Finally, because there has to be an agenda, we end the evening with a junk-sick tale from William S. Burroughs that, on reflection, I'm not sure kids should have heard. Anyway, to all a good night, filled with vegetable serenity!

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 December 24, 2100-2300:

  1. "Holiday On The Moon" | Love & Rockets | Express | Big Time - RCA
  2. "Christmas Time Is Here (Uh Oh)" | Telekinesis | You Wish (A Merge Records Holiday Album) | Merge
  3. "Santa's Little Sleigh Bells" | Ruby Wright | Merry Christmas From King Records | King / Sundazed
  4. "Is This Music?" | Teenage Fanclub | Bandwagonesque | DGC
  5. "City of Christmas Ghosts" | Goldblade Featuring Poly Styrene | City Of Christmas Ghosts | Damaged Goods
  6. "Christmas Island" | Depeche Mode | A Question of Lust | Mute
  7. "Violets for Your Furs (Today I Bought You Violets)" | The Continental (Renzo Cesana) | Christmas Cocktails | Capitol
  8. "Winter Circle" | Ultramarine | Ghosts Of Christmas Past (Remake) | Les Disques Du Crépuscule
  9. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" | Jimmy McGriff | Christmas Cocktails Part Two | Capitol
  10. "Chicken King & The Prince of Dreams" | Legendary Pink Dots | Legendary Pink Dots' Christmas Special 2019 | self-released
  11. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" | Ella Fitzgerald | Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas | Verve
  12. "Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto" / "Merry Christmas Baby" | James Brown | Funky Christmas | Polydor
  13. "Won't Be Alone Tonight" | Mike Krol | You Wish (A Merge Records Holiday Album) | Merge
  14. "Fast and Loose" | Motörhead | BBC Live & In-Session | Sanctuary
  15. "Merry Christmas Fritz" | The Buff Medways | Merry Christmas Fritz c/w Stille Nacht | Damaged Goods
  16. "No Gifts for Nazis" | Alice Bag | No Gifts for Nazis | Get Better
  17. "Christmas Questions" | Joe Ward | Merry Christmas From King Records | King / Sundazed
  18. "Lasst uns froh und munter sein Dub" | Dub Spencer & Trance Hill | Christmas in Dub | Echo Beach
  19. "Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star" | Lillian Brooks | Merry Christmas From King Records | King / Sundazed
  20. "The Junky's Christmas" | William S. Burroughs | Spare Ass Annie And Other Tales | Island Red Label

ecstatically happy until the end of time

Feb 2020

Don’t Ask Me Why, For I Don’t Know Why: Transmission 501, 2019 December 18

steffi_x_virginia_for_some_reason.jpgYou'll be relieved to hear that this time out I have no nightmares to share. I will not try to squeeze a life trauma into a radio-shaped narrative. Even I was worn out by that last post. Showing up is work! But fortunately for both of us, the number 501 doesn't seem to mean anything, so this is just a regular mixtape meant not to make anyone think hard about anything.

Since this program was broadcast, 68 days ago now, I've gone on the air 11 times. I'm editing a sound file from 23 days ago--four shows ago. The good news is that two of my temporal planes of existence have collapsed into one, so maybe I get to talk less about my exercise compulsion. The bad news is that my hard work never did pay off--"None of you look like you spend much time at the gym," Joseph the Engineer said at a station meeting the other night. The context of this remark doesn't matter. Do I deserve anything different? Probably not.

I think I said a couple of posts ago that radio only matters in this part of the calendar. This program doesn't provide much evidence of that but it does hold together as a bag of good tunes. Look, sometimes we can't even expect that much from me. Some transitions were better than they had any business being, and I felt good about it in the moment. If you don't think that counts for something, do you even know me?

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 December 18, 2100-2300:

  1. "Sight From Above" | Steffi X Virginia | Work A Change | Ostgut Ton
  2. "Maybe There's A Rainbow" | Ekiti Sound | Abeg No Vex | Crammed Discs
  3. "Up and Down" | Tombstones in Their Eyes | Maybe Someday (LP) | Somewherecold
  4. "Underdog" | The Dirtbombs | Ultraglide In Black | In The Red
  5. "Bad Choices" | Superchunk | What a Time to Be Alive | Merge
  6. "FATAL" | DEBBY FRIDAY | DEATH DRIVE | Deathbomb Arc
  7. "Temptations" | Jitwam | Honeycomb | Tartelet
  8. "Emotional Yoga" | S.U.V. | Our Complex Pleasures | Otomatik Musiek
  9. "Dream Date" | Lunch Lady | Angel | Upset the Rhythm
  10. "No Love To Give" | Fabienne DelSol | Four | Damaged Goods
  11. "Aa Egypto" | Inoyama Land | Commissions: 1977-2000 | Empire of Signs
  12. "Baby You're a Rich Man" | Brian | Bognor! | self-released
  13. "Flim" | African Head Charge | Pay It All Back Vol. 7 | On-U Sound
  14. "Kolo Wece" | Tabu Buzy Body | Electro Acholi Kaboom from Northern Uganda | Nyege Nyege Tapes
  15. "Neverfriend (demo)" | dayflower | petal drops | self-released
  16. "Gang Deyo" | Opiyo Twongweno | Electro Acholi Kaboom from Northern Uganda | Nyege Nyege Tapes
  17. "Stop The Coup (pfeffel mix)" | Cabinet of Millionaires vs Zion Train | Stop The Coup | Chocolate Fireguard
  18. "Bandera Pa Kaka" | Bosmic Otim | Electro Acholi Kaboom from Northern Uganda | Nyege Nyege Tapes
  19. "These Memories" | Almeta Lattimore | This Is Mainstream! | WEWANTSOUNDS
  20. "10 Commandments" | The Specials | Encore | Island
  21. "Olores" | Jaxe | Seekings EP | Dom Trojga
  22. "Cooper's Dream" | Elmono | Cooper's Dream EP | Tectonic
  23. "Dance Damage" | Algebra Mothers | A-Moms = Algebra Mothers | Third Man
  24. "I Feel Light" | A Certain Ratio | Mind Made Up | Mute
  25. "Sabbath" | Evi Vine | Black // Light // White // Dark | Solemn Wave
  26. "Dirty Games" | Saine & Smith | Dirty Games | 2MR
  27. "Have Mercy" | Loretta Lynn | Van Lear Rose | Interscope | "The Listening Parlour"
  28. "Lies" | Lara Americo | Hugs for Chelsea: benefit for Chelsea Manning | not on label
  29. "Robocop" | Haider | 10961 | Aus
  30. "Velvet" | Angel's Breath | Outro Tempo II | Music From Memory
  31. "Aquarius (Version 3)" | Boards of Canada | Peel Session | WARP

disturbing the comfortable, comforting the disturbed

Feb 2020

What Can We Do To Stop This Insanity? Transmission 500, 2019 December 11

massive_attack_atlas_air.jpgLast night I had another teaching dream. I was in a large, run-down auditorium, lecturing as I once did to a few hundred people who would rather be somewhere else. (I keep having to remind myself this never had much to do with me.) It was a familiar lecture that I actually used to deliver in real life, one that I was good at and refined constantly. But my heart was not in it and I (or the material) was losing people. At some point I decreed a bathroom break; to my surprise it seemed that the auditorium was located in some city centre, next to a bunch of retail spaces. Most of my "audience" trailed off to various stores instead of returning to class, and frankly I think I chose this option too. The dream dissolved as usual into incoherence and I woke up, not wanting to sleep anymore.

This keeps happening, probably because I keep not learning from it. But I already know that I failed at being emotionally and spiritually present in my previous life. Did I always understand this? Funny story...

My academic misadventure is pretty neatly positioned between my two stints as a disc jockey. In January 1993 I did my last KDVS program five days before leaving for graduate school; the Bombast program launched about 16 months after I vacated my last faculty office. It's weird to demarcate things this way, but where is the lie? 

Anyway, at the beginning of my MA program I needed some funds to float me for about a month or so before my graduate assistantship checks started rolling in--to cover niceties like rent, food, and so on. I had nothing worth selling except for records and CDs. It's wild to think about what was possible at that time, and what we valued. You can't make any money doing this today, no matter what Discogs tries telling you, but it absolutely worked for me at this time. AND, five months later, when my apartment was broken into, the thieves took my CDs and left my computer. If you were somehow transported back to that world, you would not recognize it.

So Lady Catharsis (yes, even then she was with me) drove me down to Amoeba in Berkeley and watched me unload about 1/3 of my collection. This wasn't one of those occasional prunings you do, just to make a little room, or because you've moved past certain things. You wouldn't believe the stuff I had to jettison. It felt like cutting off a limb. They'll tell you that commodity fetishism is a poor substitute for having a personality, and "they" are right. But I do have a personality, and this happened to hurt a lot. Sacrifices Had To Be Made, and I Needed To Grow Up. Sometimes I try to bargain with memory and imagine that maybe it was other people who told me these things, but I'm almost positive it was me saying them to myself. Anyway, in the moment you couldn't consider it anything but sensible, so onward and upward I went.

In times of acute stress and despair, during the ensuing years of being variously (and sometimes simultaneously) marginalized, stalked, overlooked, surveilled, bullied, swindled, targeted, and finally discarded, all while incurring tremendous debt and distancing myself geographically and emotionally from loved ones, I would think back to the Faustian bargain that made it all possible.

What if I had just said No, and kept my records?

How much worse would that have been? Is that a silly thing to wonder?

This is probably more than you want from a community radio podcast, sorry.

But when I speak grandly about the show's mission it's as real as it is selfish and mundane and ridiculous. I'm trying to close a circle and conjure a ghost--a lost child, maybe. If it's funny that I think of this as a self-healing ritual then at least I have brought you momentary amusement. That's something. It's amazing (even if behind the scenes I have fucking earned it and then some) that WRFI has let me do this for one thousand hours. Maybe one day I will even have spent as much time in the Kenny Ritter Memorial Studio as I spent standing in front of a resentful audience talking about things that don't matter to anyone.

Trying to rationalize what I did in this 500th ritual, I guess I would say I was a bit more overt about it than I am most of the time. Lady Catharsis told me to be my usual awesome self, and I have to say I was! It was not exactly a smooth blend of present and past, but somehow, magically, it worked.

Cabaret Voltaire actually has a song called "Invocation," but did you know that for me "Bad Self" truly invokes something? I have always loved it more than is healthy but the word "mercenary" has taken on special meaning in my postgrad life. Because I need to have some secrets I will just say that it has worked a kind of magic in my world. So this tune is a kind of theme song now for me, the guy who has no money and is letting you download his mixtapes with no strings attached.

Looking back at my other milestone programs, I don't think they were that remarkable or successful. Transmission 100 was all but a secret, executed late at night (I'm too old for that now!) and without planning or fanfare. I don't feel like hiding my light anymore as I must have felt back then. I tried to fold an acknowledgement of "200" into the usual business of that program, but you can always tell when a thing is forced. Episode 300, looking back, was a kind of Oedipal moment--the patricidal kind, not the incestuous kind--that had to be happening in a downward spiral. At the moment I'm not interested in hearing it again. The 400th show was a disaster--another magic word!--but it is one of many lessons I am learning these days about boundaries. However, this one, right here, makes me proud. It even made me proud in the moment! 

yes it's real

But I must continue to own my negligence. Since this program was broadcast, 71 days ago now, I've gone on the air 12 times. At the gym (always the fucking gym) I am listening back to a transmission from 39 days ago. I've just finished editing a sound file from 22 days ago--5 shows ago. Running through the archive, I note that I have spent an awful lot of time being two months behind here. Maybe I should just embrace that.

I know that you people don't read, but for just a moment longer I'm going to pretend that you do, and mention that a few posts ago I promised some statistics. But I've decided to spare you because if you've made it this far you've been through enough. Look, sometimes I flake out and sometimes even I get bored with me. Isn't it time for a bathroom break, or some shopping, or something? Anything?

Sweet dreams.

BOMBAST playlist, 2019 December 11, 2100-2300:

  1. "Party at Ground Zero" | Fishbone | Fishbone | Columbia
  2. "The Revolution Will Be Televised" | Tupelo Chain Sex | Spot the Difference | Selma
  3. "Menebo Nden" | Moussa Doumbia | Sound d'Afrique II - Soukous | Mango
  4. "Ooze" | 23 Skidoo | The Gospel Comes to New Guinea | Ronin
  5. "No Age Dub" | Lee "Scratch" Perry | Life of the Plants | Stones Throw
  6. "Tea Leaf Dancers" | Flying Lotus | Presents INFINITY Infinitum Maida Vale Session | WARP
  7. "Metal Banshee (Mad Professor Mix One)" | Massive Attack | Massive Attack V Mad Professor Part II (Mezzanine Remix Tapes '98) | UMC / Virgin
  8. "Confession" | Chris & Cosey | Exotika [reissue] | Conspiracy International
  9. "For Suzanne" | The Durutti Column | Fidelity [reissue] | Les Disques Du Crépuscule
  10. "Stop the Coup (Mikk Stupp - Rocked out Miami Remix)" | Cabinet of Millionaires vs Zion Train | Stop The Coup | Chocolate Fireguard
  11. "Privatise the Air" / "Privatise the Air Pt. 2" | Gary Clail & On-U Sound System | End of the Century Party | On-U Sound
  12. "Motivation" | The London Underground | Current Affairs Session | On-U Sound
  13. "Bad Self (Part One)" | Cabaret Voltaire | James Brown | Virgin / Some Bizarre
  14. "Space Dookie / At Last" | Afriqua | Colored | R & S
  15. "The Tides" | Jeff Mills | Moon (The Area of Influence) | Axis
  16. "March of the Rising Sun" | The Comet Is Coming | Death to the Planet | Leaf
  17. "Hum Along And Dance" | The Jackson 5ive | Get It Together | Motown

motivated by hype and avarice

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