(from 2013 : Lamont Thomas and Elijah Vasquez of Cleveland, OH’s Obnox react to the news they’ll be using microphones once touched by someone who’d met someone who once hung out with Adrenalin O.D.)
There’s no better way to distract yourself from the craven, creepy meat-marketing that is Austin’s annual tech/film/music trade fair than by focusing your attention on Jersey City’s venerable WFMU, and their annual fund raising marathon. Keep in mind, this is the station that ended my own radio career in the most inglorious (if not brutally unfair) way, so I must really really love the fuckers to death to continue shilling for them.
I don’t listen to enough other radio — online or otherwise — to say with authority that WFMU is the nation’s (or the world’s) best broadcaster. But as someone who’s been listening to the station for longer than some of you have been able to scratch yourselves, I will say this much : in an era in which there’s myriad options that all but guarantee you’ll never encounter something you dislike, a genre you’re unfamiliar with or an artist that lacks the backing of a colossal/rigged infrastructure, WFMU has never been more crucial or fun. Even with the disappearance of a certain Tuesday night program two years ago, WFMU’s cavalcade of hosts have the ability to entertain, educate and enrage, sometimes within the confines of the same show/hour/set.
I live in a house surrounded by more interesting records than I’ll ever have time to listen to, yet I still find myself listening to WFMU when I get up, in the middle of the afternoon, driving around town or at the end of the night. At any given moment I might hear an amazing song I’ve not even thought of in years. Or I might hear something (old or new) that I’ve never come across that’s nothing short of mind-blowing.
Is every show the greatest listening experience of all time? Absolutely not (HELLO, DAVE HILL). But the vast majority are programmed by the sort of insane music obsessives that have the sort of wit, zeal, perspective that no algorithm can ever hope to replace. To say this type of broadcasting is not exactly in vogue would be a huge understatement — even so-called public radio is tightly playlisted, genre-specific and fixated on branding in ways you’d have previously associated with commercial radio (or sterilization via pesticide exposure). So give what you can ; they only do the shakedown thing once (ok, sometimes twice) a year and given the amounts people are dropping on cable, netflix, hulu, various music subscription services, Nintendo Switch, washed coffee beans, Zosia Mamet’s kickstarter etc., throwing a few bucks at WFMU isn’t the least you could do (that would be giving them no money at all), but please consider it just the same.
On the bright side, there’s no Randy L. in Queens brandishing scissors to relieve Jacob de Grom or Noah Syndergaard of their long, lustrous hair. On the other hand, considering Matt Harvey is at least as likely to take up full-time food blogging as he is to contend for a Cy Young Award, was it really a great idea for MLB and the Mets to depict him shoveling food into his mouth?
REPORT #1 from the frontlines of America’s Favorite Tech-Film-Music-Trade Fair & Expo :
The food item depicted aboe was purchased earlier today at a local big-box retailer with the proceeds from a kill-fee for an article entitled “Members Of The FreeCreditReport.com Band Have Mixed Feelings About Their SXSW Experiences”.
Receipt from said purchase will be used for a subsequent proposed article about SXSW’s impact on the local economy.
Of his upcoming heavyweight bout against Tony Bellew at London’s O2 Arena this Saturday, former World Champion David Haye has claimed, “even in (Bellew’s) home town of Liverpool, I would be stopped in the street by people begging me to spectacularly send him into retirement.” At a Monday news conference in that very city, Haye was somewhat unnerved by the locals’ support for their fighter, calling the crowd, “fucking retards.”The Guardian’s Mark Dobson :
“I’m really happy you’ve all come out,” Haye said. “Bet all the money you have. Each and every one of you should bet on Bellew to win the fight.
“You know your fighter is going to get drilled. When he comes back to Liverpool be there for him, because he’s going to need you.”
The fighters had to be separated during a feisty press conference but Bellew said: “I’m proud of where I come from and what I stand for. Saturday I’m going to create something that will never die, when I beat Sideshow Bob.
“I’m not going in with an invincible; he was fantastic, in his prime. Still, the single punching, quickest heavyweight in the world. But the gas tank is very low.
“I’m expecting the best David Haye, but it’s not going to be there for very long. When it runs out, the big fat scouser will come through you like a steam train.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE : While our talented team of technicians feverishly attempt to determine why the 12XU website has been down for the past 2 weeks, they’ve been instructed to highlight the label’s March 24 releases in this otherwise-dormant space. Since none of them have been paid in ages, however, I’ve had to do so myself. FUCK ME. – GC)
16 song, career-spanning compilation dragging together the most malevolent bits this Mobile, AL assemblage has released on Gary Wrong’s own Jeth Row label as well as assorted sides for Total Punk, Bat Shit, Scavenger Of Death, Pelican Pow Wow and 3 NEVER BEFORE AVAILABLE COMPOSITIONS. Apocalypse-level murky madness from one of the U.S underground’s most crucial characters. RIYL : sending .zip files to help Levitation Fest’s creditors thru a spate of bad, bad news.
Brisbane’s Thigh Master make their first U.S. tour this spring and no less an authority than Sir Douglas Mosurock has said the quartet’s ‘Early Times’ debut LP “is loaded with sunny, ragged hooks and big, sloppy singalongs,” likening the combo to, “a lost Flying Nun band.” Both songs on this 7” dial up the ragged / dial down the singalong, but you’re free to try anyway.
Hailing from Melbourne, Borzoi are a bunch of rite yung fucks who sing about goon sacks and shrimps on barbies. ther new bonzer of asingle ‘sout on 12xu, hit the turps n give it a burl!
(EDITOR’S NOTE : Borzoi are actually from the far northwest corner of Melbourne known as Austin, TX. “Rite” should be spelled, “right”. I have no idea what they mean by “burl”.)
That said, I haven’t seen a better live band in the last two years. That I’ve been under house arrest during that stretch should not diminish the importance of that statement. Either way, Borzoi have pivoted from a powerful debut 7? for Austin’s Pau Wau label to a genre-obliterating, pneumatic noisy-as-fuck-all 4 song EP on 12XU this Spring (more Ron Jonnson than Ron Santo, though I sincerely doubt they’re fans of either). catch the trio on tour this May or watch ‘em from the back of the room like a smug, self-satisfied cultural tourist at SXSW this March.
NY Post sports media columnist / conscience Phil Mushnick has long been our last line of defense when it comes all sorts (OK, mostly hip-hop) of popular culture invading the sporting sphere and wrecking society what with all the n-bombs and h-bombs and a-bombs and crotch-dusting. And the hip-hop!
What we do know is Lady Gaga isn’t shy. And her outrageous side, as much as her considerable talent as a singer, is why she is famous and why she was engaged. So, like stubbing our toe, we’re conditioned to anticipate pain before we know if it even hurts.
Super Bowls that once featured entertainment by the reliably clean and talented have been replaced by “edgy,” let’s-risk-it talent. Up With People replaced by Down With Pants. That’s the bag we’re in.
Keep in mind, please, the columnist’s offspring must be pushing 30 at this point and he’s still worried MTV’s going to turn them into gang bangers or bang gangers or Bango Tango or Tago Mago or something. But full credit where due, “Up With People replaced by Down With Pants” is almost Norman Chad-esque.