Despite the nicey-niceys you always hear on the radio, behind the scenes we can be a catty bunch. As a listener, I used to imagine WFMU was some idyllic collective in common pursuit of a pure appreciation of art and culture. Fuckin' hippy. Ultimately, my perverse nature got the better of me, and I peeked behind the curtain - and summarily got my big notions pricked, toute de suite. These People can't even get it together to enjoy a nice game of softball!
I have learned and gained much from the barbs, goofs, put-downs, cheap-shots, derision and humiliation WFMU DJs regularly inflict upon each other, but one recent near rumble illuminated something that's being lost to all of this: The Mystery.
The subject of the scuffle was Jandek.
Oh boy... Should he or Shouldn't he have gone public? Many think shouldn't. Others think should, for a variety of reasons. Most think it's a pointless argument that is utterly irrelevant to the man himself and offered only for the distraction of critics, fans and DJs. I'm with the Should Nots, but I should note that my opinion is based on a position of indifference. The last time I played Jandek on the air was August 20th 2001, and it was as part of a collage, fer cryin out loud!
Nope, never really been a fan - but the one thing I could always feel excited about concerning the elusive representative from Corwood Industries was the absolute mystery that surrounded him. One time, Irwin said this:
"...imagine a subterranean microphone wired down to a month-old tomb, capturing the sound of maggots nibbling on a decaying corpse and the agonized howls of a departed soul desperate to escape tortuous decomposition and eternal boredom."
There you go! Now imagine that while looking at this picture (hidden!)
No no no no no, that's not what Jandek music looks like! Jandek music looks like Jandek album covers, some of which illustrate this here blog post (and all of which live here.) And one time, Jandek said this:
"It's probable that your crafted story would be more interesting than any other. Intrigue goes a long way sometimes."
In fact, I think he was talking to Irwin. So yeah, I agree with that Jandek. Oh, maybe you've never heard Jandek. If that's the case, click any one of these words to hear a different Jandek song played on WFMU.
I shall now reveal some WFMU Mysteries for you, and you won't like it! Look below the fold, then remember the halcyon days when you had to rely on your own crafted story...
The Old Codger was actually voiced by Kenny G, who killed the character when he got his own show. All recent "Old Codger" appearances are actually clever manipulations of a very small number of existing shows.
Alan Watts is not actually buried in the basement of WFMU's old digs on Springdale Avenue.
Dave Emory is. I've already said too much...