I haven't done a weekly show on WFMU since 1999, so please indulge me. Much like that kid at the party who takes over the stereo, this is the only opportunity I get to communicate my tastes to the world at large.
When the need arose for a portable music listening device, I bought this nifty little thing called a Creative Zen Micro; it holds 5GB of music or data, is about two-thirds the size of an iPod, and best of all, you don't need iTunes in order to export/import files (easy-to-use Windows-based software is provided.) No freezing or battery charging issues, either.
So what's on an ex-FMU DJ's portable, you ask? Note the absence of Morton Feldman, Stockhausen, La Monte Young, the "Lake" album, Conrad Schnitzler, Stars of the Lid, H.N.A.S., Merzbow, DDAA and other oft-played artists of this nature from my years on the air. That stuff still gets played at home all the time; remember this is music for being on the move.
Alrune Rod - 2 albums by Danish heavy psych band, ca. '69-'70 (and way above average for things fitting that description.) Got the tip from the unsung section of Julian Cope's Head Heritage website. [mp3]
Amon Düül II - Yes, I am still a Krautrock fanatic. 2 albums: the highly acclaimed Yeti from 1970, and the less-acclaimed (but still dear to me) Vive La Trance (1974). [mp3]
Bad Brains - Their 2 great SST albums, I Against I and Quickness, plus the phenomenally good dub disc I & I Survived. [mp3]
Culture - mp3 assortment - Classic 70s reggae; including their hit "Two Sevens Clash." [mp3]
Don Bradshaw-Leather - A rare item from the infamous Nurse With Wound list. See Brian Turner's post here. Super-dark psych weirdness, heavy with mellotron and piano. Not recommended for listening on the bus.
Fugazi - Repeater + 3 Songs - For those times when I need a righteous instant pick-up. Slinky, uplifting punk music from 3 of the nicest guys I ever ate mediocre Chinese food with (Mr. MacKaye wasn't there, but I'm sure he's nice too.)
Furze - Trident Autocrat - Idiosyncratic Norwegian Black Metal, with psych and experimental flavorings. Their latest disc, Necromanzee Cogent, is even more out there and has fewer blast beats. Take your pick; both albums are a black hand reaching out through the cobwebs for your face. [mp3]
Goblin - Notturno - 1983 soundtrack to an assassination thriller starring Tony Musante (from the Toma series and The Bird With The Crystal Plumage); progressive new age spy music - a solid addition to any Goblin fan's collection.
Ibliss - Another Krautrock classic, still without a legitimate reissue. The group includes all original members of the group Organisation, minus of course Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider-Esleben, who had moved on to form Kraftwerk. Four long, percussive, jammy tracks. [mp3]
Jean Cohen-Solal - Another NWW list item. 2 albums by this rock flautist that defy easy categorization; at times like film music, with psychedelic rock ethno-Euro-jazz meanderings, and at the same time catchy as hell. See the MIO records release page for more information and some audio samples (click on the little green speakers.)
Magma - KA (2004) - Pretty much the only band in the world that still sounds as good as they did in their mid-70s "peak" period. This new album revives some familiar themes from Christian Vander's compositional trickbag, as well adding some new ones, all deftly executed by a large ensemble via 3 long pieces of soulful, hypnotic, neo-classical progressive rock.
Marduk - assorted mp3s - Marduk are the hardest-working band in Black Metal, and 14 years on and about as many CDs later, they still don't suck. Marduk deliver live, too, playing as tight and as fast as on their records, and aren't afraid to show that they're having a good time. [mp3]
Misfits - Static Age - Their first recordings (pre-proto-corpsepaint), trimmed down for my needs to an essential 10 songs, including "Hybrid Moments," "Bullet," "Some Kinda Hate," "Angelfuck" and of course "Teenagers From Mars." Best lyric - "The maggots in the iron lung will copulate." [mp3]
Ol' Dirty Bastard - N***a Please - More than the guiltiest of guilty hip-hop pleasures one assumes it to be, this is a truly hot funk album packed with great grooves, laughs and bile aplenty.
Secret Oyster - Furtive Pearl (1973) - Yet another item from the ubiquitous NWW list. Danish progressive psych-jazz rock with a very organic feel. Like a good Yes album (minus Jon Anderson) through a RIO filter. [mp3]
The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope - I never know when I may experience a sudden need to hear "Julie's in the Drug Squad"; also good for heavy Joe Strummer mourning sessions (he really was one of the greats). Plus "Tommy Gun" kicks ass.
The Human League - Travelogue & Reproduction - Their 2 albums from the pre-"Don't You Want Me" years. Catchy, droll, minimalist electro-pop. I don't listen to these too often, but I'm glad they're there. [mp3] Even more stellar and worth owning is The Golden Hour of The Future, a collection of their earliest recordings.
Trees - On The Shore - I need to have some 70s Brit-folk available, just in case. This album is as strong and listenable as anything by Fairport Convention or The Incredible String Band; a milestone of the genre, plus it has one of the coolest, weirdest sleeves Hipgnosis ever did. [mp3]
Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick - Sometime in 1977, I walked into the Korvettes store in West Orange with nothing particular on my mind; I just knew that I needed something new to listen to. I was ready to take a chance on something, which was not as risky a proposition then, as new albums averaged around $4.99. I've taken a multitude of music-buying risks over the years (as all true record shoppers have), though few chance purchases have borne such considerable fruit as this one. A quick scan of the new LPs, and it leapt out at me: Two of the nerdiest guys I had ever seen (outside of the mirror), 2 long-haired rock'n'roll pretty boys, and the name Cheap Trick written diagonally across the top about a half dozen times in typewriter font. I scanned the back cover; the album had been produced by Jack Douglas, the guy who had produced Aerosmith Rocks and engineered Lennon's Imagine, and with this cherry on top my patronage was secured. It's the most heavily rotated album on my portable, and still the best C.T. album to me, though In Color and Heaven Tonight are great too. About half the songs still give me the chills, especially this one [mp3], written by Terry Reid.
Since I don't go to parties anymore, and the only stereo I commandeer now is my own, you can count on future posts and more music to come.