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Mar 2020

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

March 3, 2020

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