Monday, November 25, 2013
It was proudly brought to you by COLLEGE RADIO. Nowhere else on the FM dial will you still hear creations such as this. Serendipity was a hefty contributor, as both the disks involved actually fell off the shelves on one or another of our heads so that they could be played.
I'm talking about Diabiolic's "Vengeance Ascending" followed by Beth Severe's "Sodom & Gomorrah." You can link to the playlist, and you can listen to the archive once they are processed by my brother who lives in a different time zone.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Progressive metal? Is that what they're calling it now? But wait, this guy said he was in his 60s. How could he have made it this far and not know what 'noise' was in the 1990s? Maybe he was busy raising post-punk-era asshole kids like me.
So here are some of my very favorite, uh, "progressive metal" bands and songs. For you.
And speaking of TAD, this quiz circulated the cool corners of the interwebs
Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears (documentary)
Friday, August 30, 2013
Fans of this blog- I know you are legion- already know I enjoy Protomartyr. I didn't want to offend anyone on the air, or turd up the interview by talking a lot, so I held back on this commentary: live, Protomartyr are...not thee most interesting band to see. They kind of look like three kids and their pissed-off dad (on vocals) standing on stage practicing. That is fine with me because not everyone can bring the circus to town.
We asked Mark if he would name some bands that have opened for Mudhoney recently that he liked. Here are some of them:
And here is our delightful conversation with Mark, shaved down a little so it sounds almost like we know what we're doing.
Enjoy this built-in MP3 player because it took me about an hour to get one that worked. P.S. It might not work in some browsers. Never mind, I don't have time for this shit.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father 41.
Is this just a Massachusetts thing?
Well, you know what happens when someone posts a utube video on fartbook. Down the rabbit hole......but before you watch those videos, listen. If you aren't from Boston you might find this interesting.
In the 1980s, at the dawn of MTV, the greater Boston area did not have cable TV for a reason I either don't remember or don't understand. So instead, we had V-66, a local UHF channel anyone with a TV could get, albeit with dreadful reception in some places. What was so cool about having a local music video channel during the time music video was an exciting new art form was that loads of local bands made videos and got airplay.
V-66 only existed for a year and a half, but after local independent commercial radio station WBCN, much of my early exposure to local rock and roll was thanks to this short-lived local music video channel. And now, the rabbit hole.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Onion wrote this article today. Look! But for real, some people really have a higher heat meter or something.
Anyway, July in Ann Arbor means seventeen thousand fat sweaty hogs from places like Ohio and Pennsylvania trundle out here in RVs and giant trailers to see and participate in the annual Art Fair that occupies our town at this time of year. Locals mostly hate it- at least the locals I know do.
I'm ambivalent about Art Fair. Of course there's a lot of shitty art, tents selling crap that is not art (electronic cigarettes, cable TV) and an influx of people from elsewhere which pushes up the shitty driver index by a million. But like I said last year, football Saturdays are worse, and they add up to far more days than Art Fair.
Enjoy the hot weather, because it'll be winter again soon. You can dance around your living room to this wearing only your underwear.
Friday, June 28, 2013
The Evens at the Dreamland Theater, Friday June 29, Ypsilanti Michigan. 7:30pm
WCBN's friend Mark Maynard interviewed Ian a couple of days ago. (Text & sound.)
I never saw Fugazi when I was a teen and they were a thing but I remember when they played a heavily sold-out, overcrowded, people-climbing-in-the-windows fire hazard show at Mass College of Art. Everyone I knew went. Some got in. I'm not playing Fugazi today. I'll play something else from Ian's (and Amy's) oeuvre instead. Like this:
Egg Hunt "Me and You"
Egg Hunt "We All Fall Down"
Minor Threat "Stumped"
Minor Threat "Steppin' Stone"
How about some of this?
The Warmers "Beretta USA"
The Warmers "Wanted More"
Maybe some of this:
Teen Idles "Sneakers"
Teen Idles "Deadhead"
But probably not this:
Minor Threat "12XU"
Minor Threat "Filler"
My first year of high school was mostly a horrible experience, but I connected with a kid who wasn't in any of my classes by writing out all the lyrics for "Filler" on a desk and discovering the next day that he had responded with another song which I don't remember now. That's what teens do, they write out song lyrics in places they hope someone else will see and relate somehow. When teachers see, of course, then you get suspended for defacing school property and using profane language, but you can't please everyone.
While we're slamming down memory pit, remember this album? Oh my god it's still so good. Shitty quality upload but oh well. Go and buy one yourself if you still can. Faith (w/ Alec MacKaye) first, Void starts at 12:28.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
- The Beastie Boys' fifth album, "To the Five Boroughs," is an underappreciated masterpiece.
- Rockabilly is not really a genre of music in its own right.
- "The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock and Roll" is a tremendous book that you should read.
- WCBN is doing the 33 1/3 book reading series again!
- Some new records I've really liked over the past few months include The Parquet Courts "Light Up Gold," The Hate My Day Jobs self-titled debut, and just this past week, Nice Hooves' self-titled debut.
- Speaking of Nice Hooves, meet my new favorite band.
- While we're on the local bands topic, Protomartyr make great records and I'm sorry to admit that I still have not seen them live. WTF???
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
But the real challenge is still before us. Can we succeed in recycling your irritating shekels (a reference to one of our pre-recorded fundraising announcements, not an indictment of shekels) into 3,000 watts of power? We are damn well going to try.
We have paid engineers, lawyers, and engineering firms to do all kinds of studies. We will now begin construction of a new tower, tall enough and large enough to accommodate a new directional antenna, and then place a new antenna atop said tower. We will actually buy a very expensive piece of equipment to replace our current transmitter, which I've heard is the size of a small car. When we're through, they say you'll be able to hear us in Dexter and Saline.
So once again, thank you for your generosity. Without the support of our community, WCBN would be unable to take these steps into its exciting, and increasingly relevant, future. If you pledged during one of my two fundraiser shows, you can expect a personalized thank-you note from me in the next few weeks. For some reason I have always done well during fundraiser- even my first year I am pretty sure I made over $1,000. Thank you.
Fundraiser 2013 was replete with the usual money-making tactics: pyramid schemes, blackmail, extortion, naked photos, and so on. On Thursday afternoon (2/14) David Schlitt of the Emergency Broadcast Hour agreed to have his body hair waxed, for a price. Many of you bought into his pain and exploitation, and WCBN is better for it. Thank you.
Some of us fell back on old favorites: "I will now force you to endure this Steve Perry record until you call. The first $20 pledge makes it go away." Then we responded to your obedience by engaging in three-ways with Van Halen. Thank you.
|We really felt your love, way way more than three times.|
Friday February 15 | Friday February 8
Tight Pants Fundraiser Archives:
Friday February 15 | Friday February 8
Thursday, February 7, 2013
WCBN's annual fund drive starts tomorrow, Friday February 8, and that means it is time again for you to mug the little kids on your street and send us the money! To get you all pumped, here are archives of shows I have done during fundraiser.
Friday, February 17. SECOND SHOW OF WCBN 2012 FUNDRAISER. PLAYLIST! This 150 minutes brought in $800.
Friday, February 10. FIRST DAY OF WCBN 2012 FUNDRAISER. PLAYLIST! This 150 minutes brought in $500.
Friday, March 18. Give us your money, 2 More Chuck Berry!
Friday, March 11. Give us your money, 1 Chuck Berry!
Friday, March 19 Listen
Friday, March 12 Listen
Friday, March 6 Listen
2008Friday, February 8 Listen
Friday, February 1 Listen
Friday, February 9 Listen
Monday, February 4, 2013
|DJs who want to play METAL|
Die-hard metallurgists surely would beg to differ, but I think the songs go well together whether they are black metal, death metal, thrash metal, speed metal, and so on. In fact I pretty much couldn't tell you the difference between these.
|Spinning the Kreator|
|Music for puking on tilt-a-whirls|
Links to the shows I've done.
February 3, 2013.
October 7, 2012.
Links to the playlists of the shows I've done.
February 3, 2013.
October 7, 2012.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
A couple good things did happen though. LIAR came out and I bought it, on cassette, at some place on Haight Street. Not Amoeba. I think it may have been Rough Trade.
Actual Flier, Savaged by a Cat.
Here is actual live footage of what might actually be this show.
Do you want to know who opened up that show? None other than the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Vaguely aware of Pussy Galore, I nevertheless had no idea I was about to see a band that just might blow the Jesus Lizard right off the stage. Boy did they get my attention. I guess they must have been touring on their first album which is sort of the same as but different than their second album, and then Extra Width came out the next year and this pace of record-releasing is similar to the way they play shows like where no song ends or begins and the whole thing just kind of runs together and at the end you are like "WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED TO ME."
Eventually, the euphoria of seeing these two amazing bands on the same stage in the same night wore off. San Francisco was cold, lonely and unforgiving, so I went home.
Sometimes I can't believe any of these bands are still putting out records and going on tour. But here we are, more than a decade into the new millenium, and there's a brand new JSBX record out and a JSBX show in Detroit next Friday. They may be getting old, but they can still cut a bitch, so you can bet I'll be there with my fucking walker and my orthopedic shoes.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Me and my driving companion at Niagara FallsTwenty years ago I drove cross-country from Boston to San Francisco, where I had decided to live with some friends. My driving mate and I had brand-new driver's licenses and some foolish company called All America Auto Transport let us take this poor lady's Nissan Sentra for the conditionally refundable fee of $150.
NOTE: Not actual car
The car had a cassette deck. 1992 was my year of cassettes, since it suddenly became very difficult to find new albums on vinyl and then I moved far away and left my turntable behind. My plan had not been to leave it permanently. I figured we'd get settled in SF, I'd get a job and save some money, and then have the rest of my shit sent out.
There are only two tapes I remember distinctly from this road trip. They were the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "BloodSugarSexMagik" and the Beastie Boys' "Check Your Head." Both albums still remind me of fall 1992, San Francisco, and all the accompanying ups & downs. No I'm just kidding actually. They both would if I still listened to the Chili Peppers album.
NOTE: Not actual cassettes from road trip. Those are long, long gone.
Even now, anytime I hear Robin Zander saying "this next one is the first song on our new album" and the opening beats of "Jimmy James", I can still picture our descent out of the Sierra Nevada with crystal clarity. There was a significant amount of traffic, and everyone else was hauling ass down the tight, curvy highway that winds down through the mountains. I clenched my new-driver teeth and grew some brass balls and kept up the pace all the way down. I probably left a stain on the driver's seat.
NOTE: This picture doesn't do any justice to what I'm trying to tell you. Just take my word for it.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Hello students. Hello non-students. Do you love the musics? If you enjoy serendipitous discovery and you need a way to blow off steam after classes/work, then get involved with WCBN.
You have a couple options.
- You can come to a Sunday orientation session. These occur at 4pm every Sunday. You'll get a tour and then your guide will get you started on volunteer work, as well as show you how to make an audition tape.
- You can also come visit us on Fridays at 6pm, for a program we call The 6 O'Clock Shadow. It's not a training or orientation session; rather, it's simply a chance for you to have a look around, pick out a few songs and play them with the DJ's assistance. When you're done, we hope you'll be interested enough to come back for a Sunday orientation session.
Look at our gallery of awesome fliers and think about how if you were one of us, you'd create such better ones we'd weep with admiration.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
recently ruled that the FCC couldn't levy fines for its unconstitutionally vague regulations, but for the time being, we continue to err on the side of not playing too many dirty motherfucking cunt cocksucking shitsquirt words during the day.
The idea that children who have never heard shocking language might be listening to WCBN closely enough to detect the occasional accidental f-bomb is as delightful as it is unlikely. However, not wanting to risk hefty fines or license removal or whatever horrible fates could befall us, I dutifully attempt to screen out bad language during my daytime show. Sometimes, though, you listeners insist on demanding that I play such tunes as The Jesus Lizard's "Blockbuster". Check it out.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I've spent a lot of the last few days in the zone, which means wearing the can headphones at work to shut out my co-workers, shooting baskets alone at lunch hour (which is "very zen" if you know what that means) and in general struggling with how to articulate my feelings about losing Adam Yauch last Friday. In a place as potentially public as this blog you can be sure I'll still only scratch the surface. The obvious things that everyone can relate to are (1) he was a tremendous entertainer who enriched millions of lives and (2) cancer claimed him at 47 which is just so fucking terrible.
All the internet is on fire with reflections- most of them sloppy and sentimental like this will be- but the LA Times article and the Onion A/V Club thing were good, and there might have been one or two others I read before I stopped reading that I should be mentioning but you don't really need to read more and more about it. In fact it is taking me days to write this, so let me add the Free Music Archive post, and the one on Trust Me I'm a Scientist. Blake Madden really hits the nail where the other posts seem to have shied away, in a paragraph that begins with, "Personally, I’m pissed off."
For me, and a lot of people my age, if I may be so presumptuous, losing MCA might as well be the same thing as losing a friend from high school or young adulthood. Sure, maybe we haven't seen each other in a long time, we haven't hung out in forever, we may have only a vague idea of what each other is really up to day-to-day, but we still care and cherish the times we had together when we were reaching adulthood. We partied together every night of the summer between junior and senior year of high school, drinking cases of beer in places like unused playgrounds and riverbanks.
"New York Thrash" on ROIR which is now available on CD and vinyl and includes two early Beastie Boys hardcore tracks. There's a lot of stuff on that cassette that's better than the Beastie Boys' two songs (Bad Brains! False Prophets!), but there they are in 1982 being very fucking punk.
As predicted, I can't really go on. I'm not deluded that the masses are flocking to read my blahg, but it's still the same as putting your words up on a telephone pole. A lot of what I'm thinking is still too personal to share, but I'll close by quoting myself from an email I sent earlier this week and then recommend you listen to the archives of my friend and fellow radio host Paul Simpson, this Grand Royal mixtape, and the first hour of my archive from last Friday. Having a trainee with me in the studio helped me keep it together, or else I would have been a sloppy mess and that's totally unnecessary.
"With one paragraph, he [Blake Madden] approaches one of the thoughts I keep having, which none of the other articles I've read (not that I've read more than 4 or 5) have dwelled on. The brutal unfairness of it. How come we get to hear every day about disgusting monsters like octomom and the tanning mom and whoever else, murderers like Dick Cheney who get to live long lives, all the useless pieces of shit in the world, but a righteous dude like Adam Yauch doesn't even make it to 50? This is why people invent religions, to cope with crap like this. "Oh, God needed him in heaven" or some shit."
Paul's amazing three-hour tribute show
The Grand Royal Mixtape
Tight Pants, May 4, 2012
Goodbye, MCA. You were always my favorite.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Recently - really, really recently for this blahg - I explained to you how playing records on the radio every week was not necessarily a great boon to my music awareness. Well, this is a continuation on that thought, to some extent.
Being a radio DJ has also made it dramatically harder to create a good old mix tape. There's more than one reason for this so let me see if I can explain. In a sense, I make a mix tape every GD week, on the radio. I guess some people plan extensively for their shows and then of course there are commercial radio stooges who don't get to plan at all because a robot is doing it for them, but I don't plan at all beyond taking a few records from home and maybe thinking of what I'm going to play first.
I arrive about 30 minutes before the show, pull out a bunch of things I think I want to play, and with that stack, whatever I've brought from home, and listener requests (if I can get to them) I do the show. I've gotten really good at flying by the seat of my pants to a point where if a song is longer than four minutes and I have something in the queue after it, I feel bored and over-prepared. Describing it makes it sound like every show must be a total trainwreck but I listen to my archives every week and seldom gasp in horror.
With a mix tape you have the luxury of time, and also to go back and record over "She Blinded Me with Science" when you realize that hearing it once every ten years is enough. Futhermore, you are presumably creating something that you or a special someone will listen to more than once, whereas a radio show airs once and is then forgotten. It should be anyway. Unless you save archives. Anyway, they're different. Which is why it's ironically so much harder now to make a mix tape.
Perhaps this is all complete bullshit. Making a mix tape is a skill and an art. If you don't do it for ten years, you're going to be out of practice, just like the time last week when you tried to play "Michelle" on the recorder for your special someone but you couldn't do it because you hadn't played recorder since second grade. The more you do it, the better you'll get. So if you also have a car with a cassette deck, or you're a neo-hipster on the 'tapes are cool again' bandwagon, then let's make each other some tapes. I like ones I can sing along to while driving.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
This is because duh, we listen to music because we enjoy it, right? I mean you kids today don't have any concept of an "ALBUM" but humor me for a minute. The bands work very hard on the package, including the song order and artwork, so out of decency you need to listen to the package as it was intended. Back in the mix-tape days, getting to know an LP intimately would help you make tapes no one would ever want to record over after you gave them to them.
These days it's totally different. Thank god a lot of record stores let you preview records at least, and I do. I play a couple seconds of a few tracks to see if they get my attention enough to play once on the radio. Sadly, this is frequently where my attention ends. I play the record on the radio a few times but once I stash it in my stacks, I forget about it.
Of course the record gets rediscovered every so often. I may stumble upon it while looking for something to play and I go "oh yeah, I forgot about this!" Like the proto-Birthday Party Boys Next Door record I keep forgetting I have.
Or I'll be listening to an archived show (this helps us become better DJs) and have to check the playlist and be reminded of something I played once that was awesome, like the Plungers "Let's Get Twisted" record.
The good thing about this is [re]discovering awesome stuff in your collection. Remember Rye Coalition? When they first stepped on the scene I gobbled up their early 7" records and the split 12" with Karp. Then they put out their first LP and I left Amerikkka for an overseas adventure which lasted almost 10 years. I guess they're still making records, but anyway, right now I'm rediscovering "Hee Saw Dhuh Kaet."
Tell me what you've [re]discovered lately.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I was toiling away at work today when I got a sudden earworm. I just had to hear the first Franz Ferdinand album, but I didn't have it with me because duh, I was at work, so I was reduced to playing youtube videos. They actually got the job done pretty well.
I realized that I know almost every word of this album, but not proudly because it's one of my guilty pleasures. As if I need to care what anyone thinks. As if I'm somehow losing punk cred with myself for being in love with this record.
So for the record, I'm in love with Franz Ferdinand (the record.)
I used to think sheepishly that it was pop bubblegum and was apologetic for liking Franz Ferdinand, but this is a genius album. Today I realized it not only is kind of like a Gang of Four record for the aughts (ahh, well, before Gang of Four actually made a new record for the aughts), it is also like a Talking Heads '77 album for the aughts. I'm making this parallel mainly based on lyrics and therefore attitude.
Plus I really enjoy saucy, fuckoff lyrics like "come on home, but don't forget to leave" and "I know I won't be leaving here with you." A girl can sing along with this record from start to finish. That is why I never take passengers in my car.
There aren't many albums I can remember hearing for the first time. By this I do mean a song on the radio or friend's house or whatever, not literally the whole album, but the implication is you hear the song and then you procure the album that comes with it, unless it is a single. What I also mean is the details are clear: not only do you remember hearing it but you remember where you were, what you were doing, maybe what year it was.
I was in Prague the summer of 2004, hanging around a friend's apartment and thought it would be neat to turn on a radio and check out some Czech radio and maybe discover some Czech bands but of course pretty much every station was playing English language pop or rock. It was under these conditions that I first heard "Matinee."
Do you think the nice Czech DJ came on the radio like we do at WCBN and clearly announced the name of the band and song? It was weeks before I heard it again, and I'm lucky it was a huge smash because it did reappear by way of Asian MTV. I used to live in a faraway land, you see, and I was in Prague on holiday from my Southeast Asian residence where I lived for six years.
So thanks to MTV and Asian CD piracy I bought my first copy (a burned CD in a plastic envelope with a shittily computer printed album cover and song list) of Franz Ferdinand and listened to it quite a bit for quite a while. Next six Tight Pantses, you're going to listen to it too.
...but if you're still looking for punk cred, how's this: drummer Paul Thomson was also in the wicked awesome Yummy Fur, although he wasn't on their incredible first album Nightclub. (See how uuhngschpugg can't admit that Franz Ferdinand is a good record.)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I have some things to tell you.
1. I have handed off the Program Director duties to a new recruit, so prepare to witness my transformation from the Wicked Witch of the East into Glenda the Good Witch.
2. I invented a super-fast-amazing way to create my playlists without typing any html myself!!! (No, not by making the new PD do it.) This may result in Tight Pants playlists being more up-to-date!
3. I can personally confirm that The Listenership (WCBN's 40th anniversary commemorative smoked pale ale created for us by Logan at Arbor Brewing Company) is delicious and won't fuck you up too much. You can safely drink it on a work or school night, so waste no more time and get down there in WCBN's honor.
4. Not being a native of Michigan, I have never been able to wrap my head around the fact that this bridge is privately owned. How is that possible? It's so fucked up I can't digest it at all. So I did some googling to see how many other major international, or even interurban, connectors there were in the USA that were privately owned and I found this website which is pretty cool. Bridges!
Happy Friday, which it will be soon. See you at 3pm.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Some are saying 40 is the new 30. The age until which a growing number of modern Americans are waiting to settle down, become half a marital unit, and begin to breed. But not WCBN. In its heart WCBN will always remain single, independent, and carefree. Actually it wouldn’t be that bad if WCBN reproduced.
Anyway, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of WCBN moving to FM on January 23, 1972, Arbor Brewing Company has brewed up a smoked English pale called “The Listenership.” You may join us in its unveiling on Wednesday, January 11, at WCBN’s monthly movie screening. This month the movie will be “Jailhouse Rock.”
Doors open at 8:30pm in the Tap Room Annex of the Arbor Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor. No one is sure how long this brew will be available (true greatness is always fleeting, so be thankful WCBN has existed as long as it has) so make sure you show up for the movie if you want to get a taste.