Digging around WFMU's cassette racks and library can be an invigorating thing indeed; especially since it's a museum of sorts for all kinds of New York City DIY/art-rock/downtown jazz/minimalism etc. with tons of amazing artifacts that probably are in few libraries since many of the artists would hand off homemade materials to our assorted Music Directors through the decades. I've found tons of strange 7" singles in the basement that have blown my mind, have gotten to experience the full cassette of Pussy Galore's Exile On Main Street (maybe they'll let us post it some day!) and enough rich history to make it worth every minute of cohabitating with the "neighbors" down there. A recent bit of NYC history I've enjoyed for the first time was the Tape #1 compilation of some happening downtowners circa 1979-82, originally put out by Mofungo's Robert Sietsema. I got to know a fixture in that scene, Rick Brown, via WFMU around the mid-90s when he was in Run On, and knew about his history with Guigou Chenevier, Fish and Roses, Timber, and the fertile times that were Downtown during that great aera that I sadly missed in person. I was psyched to finally hear this comp as it featured some of his other bands from that era, namely Blinding Headache, and Information. He graciously allowed me to put up "Let's Compromise" (MP3), a song I had only heard covered live by Yo La Tengo, originally written back in 1977. It's a very strange punk anthem indeed, incorporating weird shifty basslines and nodding to the whole European Music-In-Oppositon movement as much as Downtown artpunk (the former being an unlikely influence in the CB's-dominated NYC punk scene to explode). Willie Klein of Mofungo/Blinding Headache and Chris Nelson of Information now have teamed up with fellow downtown fixtures Bob Bannister (Fire In the Kitchen/Tono Bungay) and Robert Dennis (Fire In the Kitchen/Tono Bungay/anti:clockwise) and just put out a swell EP as Escape By Ostrich ("Song #14" here on Real Audio) and just played CB's a while back with Chain Gang (holy time warp indeed!). Meanwhile, Rick checks in with this news: "Five years since their previous collaboration (the band Timber) ended, Rick Brown and Mark Howell have a new project they are calling Inconvenient Music. Brown has moved from drum kit to electronics and homemade percussion while Howell is still on guitar and trumpet. Somebody plays 'funnel', there is some yelling/singing." (photo of Information: Robert Sietsema)
That guy's a snake. Really.A woman married a snake in India. There were 2,000 guests at the wedding, but the groom was a no-show. He wouldn't come out of his anthill, so they used a brass replica snake. This idea has possibilities.
Swans are sluts. We all thought they mated for life, but those lady swans are messin' around. One in six baby swans is a bastard. And the male swans are also scoring what the scientists nicely call major "bonus copulation."
So what to do when World Cup rolls around and the two get entwined in a month-long headlock?
Answer: The World Cup Death Watch.
Here's how it works: Guess how many people will perish worldwide in World Cup-related violence between June 9th and July 9th. Get your guess in by 11:59pm on June 19th, EST. Whoever comes closest wins a WFMU Messenger bag filled with CDs, T-shirts and other sundry WFMU crapola. Bear in mind, we're not talking just about deaths in Germany! We're counting arson in Australia, deadly bar brawls in Brazil, homicidal hooliganism in Helsinki, just as long as the World Cup is implicated in a news report of said incident. More rules below, but first a wrap-up of World Cup weirdness to get you started:
Tomorrow, the House of Reps is expected to vote on a telecom bill that has the potential to protect Network Neutrality. Rep. Ed Markey has co-written an amendment to the COPE Act (bill H.R. 5252) that would instate non-discrimination rules for internet accessibility (essentially telling network providers that they must allow equal access to all websites, and can't prioritize based on who writes them the biggest check), enforceable by the FCC. Even Moby thinks Net Neutrality is a good idea. C'mon, listen to Moby.
This is an important free speech issue, as a tiered version of the internet would mean that telecom companies could filter the information and websites you access, based on who they collect the most money from. If a content-neutral approach to internet accessibility is not protected by law, small, nonprofit websites (including the one you're reading right now) that can't afford to pay premium rates might load slowly on a busy day... or not at all. For an idea of what would happen if Washington does not protect Net Neutrality, check out this video, courtesy of Public Knowledge.
Please send a message telling your Rep/Senators to support Net Neutrality by using the form on this page.
Jerry Lewis' The Day The Clown Cried is perhaps the most precious of all of Hollywood's Golden Turkeys. In the film, Lewis plays circus clown Helmut Doork, who befriends and entertains the child prisoners of a Nazi concentration camp and ultimately leads them, pied-piper like, into the ovens. It's a Nazi feel-good movie. Jerry Lewis now keeps his copy of the rough cut locked in his office in a briefcase.
Not only was it never released, only eight people have ever seen it, securing its legendary status. (One of the eight, Harry Shearer, said of it: "This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is.")
What hasn't been known is that long before he purchased Washington, DC, Jack Abramoff turned his financial acumen to bringing The Day The Clown Cried to a larger audience. This was to have been his own bid for Hollywood respectability, following the 1989 Dolph Lundgren movie Red Scorpion, which Abramoff wrote and produced.
Listener/Reader Lawrence reports on his Looker blog that Abramoff tried to finance a remake of the film with Michael Barclay's Rainbow Ridge Films. At various stages, the remake was to star Robin Williams or William Hurt taking on the role of Helmut Doork:
In 1991 producers Tex Rudloff and Michael Barclay announced they would make a version of The Day the Clown Cried in the Soviet Union as a joint production with the Russian company Lenfilm. Again, no film resulted. The following year, yet another plan called for Robin Williams to star and Jeremy Kagan (who'd recently made The Chosen) to direct. Yet again, nothing more was heard of the project. In 1994 Barclay was talking about a William Hurt version. But it seemed no likelier than any of his previous efforts.
Alas, no video of The Day The Clown Cried is floating around the web. All I could find is this disappointing footage from the set: [download video, 4 megs, mpg format]. On the old WFMU show The Midnight Matinee, John Schnall made a radio version of the movie which can be listed to as a streaming realaudio file here. Subterranean Cinema has a good page on the film with lots of links and original scripts here. And Jack Abramoff? When he gets out of jail, he'll still have a few million dollars left to make the indie version of The Day The Clown Cried, starring Vincent Gallo. Thanks Lawrence!
Late today the House and Senate agreed to increase the maximum fines for indecent broadcasts by passing the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (BDEA). Read the sad news here.
Had Fox aired this profanity 24 hours later, they could have been fined $325,000. But lucky Murdoch will only have to write out a check for $32,500 max. If someone complains about this to the FCC, that is...
A few weeks ago, on this post, I told you all about my soft spot for one-time EurovisionSongContest superstar Vicky Leandros. In that post, I lamented WFMU's utter dearth of Vicky material, and begged you-the-listener-/-blog-reader to send us some. And you did! Major thanks to Matt, Dale, Andy and Bas for sharing the mp3s which follow.
Radio is now with you everywhere, so there's no excuse to not have WFMU with you at the beach, on the road, at picnics, or even during your excursions into other zoological pursuits that are nobody's business. The summer schedule is effective Monday, June 19th, running through October 9th, and is viewable in both table form here, or in long form with program blurbs here.
Well, we made it through 06/06/06 with nary a sign of the Anti-Christ. To celebrate the end of Satan's Day, have a gander at "Satan Has Been Paralyzed" (8.7 meg Quicktime), a video for the David Ingles song featuring some Christian pirate puppets.
In a happy corner of WFMU's record library there is a special box of CDs and LPs called the WFMU Old Bin. Various DJs add albums of special note to the bin as they discover them in the music library, affixing to each a label containing a quick review so that other DJs can get turned on to sounds they might have missed in the past.
Years of entries to the bin have been cataloged on WFMU's Old Bin Page here. It was just recently updated, so if you haven't visited in a while, or have never seen it before, have a looky loo. Maybe you'll discover something you want to put on your shopping list for your next visit to Ye Olde Record Shoppe (or Ebay, as many entries are on the obscure side).
I grew up just across the Missouri River from Omaha, and I still have an aunt living there and maybe some cousins, so I was sorry that New York is at war with Omaha now.
Like most wars, this one was started by the Bush administration. First their dough-faced inarticulate functionary from the Homeland Security Department cut our anti-terror funding by 40% because they don’t think we have any national monuments or icons or big banks here, and then the usually rational Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention decided to cut our bioterror funds by 15%. And when we kicked up a fuss about it, Mayor Mike Fahey of Omaha
said we should “stop whining.” Hahahahahahaha. I think Mayor Mike Fahey should come over here and say that.
Omaha got a 38.2% increase in funding because they have a major national icon, Offutt Air Force Base. Maybe nobody told Homeland Security that “air force base”
means it’s a military installation and presumably can take care of itself. Offutt Air
Force Base is where Bush and his goat book wound up after being flown back and forth on 9/11, so I guess somebody thought it was pretty safe back then. But now they need our Homeland Security money. So now we have to hate Omaha and some other little dinky cities, all of which happen to be in districts where Republicans are facing hotly contested elections this fall.
I have not yet finished my FEMA online disaster management course so I don’t know, but it seems to me, having lived here through both attacks on the World Trade Center, that New York is kind of a major target. The National Guard soldiers with the big automatic rifles full of live ammunition standing around my train station every morning when I go to work sort of make me think, you know, that somebody,
somewhere, might be gunning for us. But maybe not. Maybe the Evil Ones
really have targeted Jacksonville, Florida, home of that major national landmark and icon, Alltel Stadium, where the Jacksonville Jaguars play whatever sport it is they do, and so that’s why they’re getting a 26% increase in Homeland Security funds.
And I have to admit I’m actually kind of relieved that the funding cuts apparently mean that the NYPD won’t be able to carry out their “Ring of Steel” Lower Manhattan Security Plan,
installing hundreds of spy cameras and computerized license-plate readers all over downtown. The Ring of Steel was supposed to have been modeled on the same no-privacy-ever program that allowed London cops to identify pictures of last year’s London Underground bombers just a week or two after they blew everything up, long after their blown-up dead bodies had been recovered and their identities were already known. I don’t quite understand why a system like that would make me more, you know, secure, since it seems like it just lets the Authorities spy on you and doesn’t seem to actually prevent any Bad Thing. But, like I said, I haven’t finished my FEMA course yet.
And the other good thing about Homeland Security saying we don’t need that money any more is that it must mean we aren’t on Code Orange alert--where we’ve been NON-STOP for THE LAST FIVE DAMNED YEARS—anymore. Right? I’m sure Homeland Security will put New York on Code Green any day now, maybe even before I finish my FEMA course, maybe even today.
There's a lot of slapping air bass around WFMU these days, not unlike what Alan Partridge does listening to Gary Numan in his trailer (You Tube link). We're not ashamed, either. Blues Control equals the alter-ego of Lea Cho and sometime-WFMU fill-in DJ Russ Waterhouse who also record under the name electronics/drone outfit Watersports. Blues Control is their mojo release, a bit closer to Dead C than Dicky Betts (though somehow linking the two for sure), and have a cassette out on the Palsy label that's been getting some attention around these parts. While the A-side features two killer workouts that evoke the sound of John Popper's flyin' guts hitting the wall of BB King's club when someone puts a bomb in his fanny pack, the B is "Losing Game" (MP3), a completely ridiculous endless loop culled from an Electric Flag (Mike Bloomfield's band) CD Russ bought at a CVS Pharmacy. Hence the air bass madness we are all raging. You should feel it too. Blues Control play tomorrow night at North Six in Brooklyn with Plastic Crimewave Sound and the Bible (the latter featuring Oneida/Awesome Color members); a full length album is in the works for SF's Holy Mountain label, and you can learn more about the Blues here.
My contribution of evil audio for 6/6/06 day comes from Providence, Rhode Island, clearly one of the portals to Hell. Em Dath Rir are an on-and-off outfit dealing a muzzed-out, destructive slab of hate-fi action that ranks with some of the most killer moments of Burzum while delivering a sidestep on the Black Metal ethos that can be also seen in such trashcan-banging lunatics as Therios. Back at an old No Fun Fest, Dominick Fenrow (aka Prurient) gave me a comp called Old Tyme Lemonde on his own Hospital Productions label; the Em Dath Rir stuff was some of the sickest stuff on there, and I'd been bugging him ever since to hear more. Finally, the first day I climbed down into the Other Portal to Hell (his new Hospital store in the East Village underneath Jammyland, which you literally limbo down a hatch to enter), Dom remembered what a pain in the ass I was immediately, and kindly slapped the bleak-looking Stolen cassette into my customerly hands. Turns out Dom himself played drums with these other two guys ("just snare and hi-hat actually" he says), and the assorted blackcore misanthropy to follow was recorded "under the worst conditions possible". Yes. Despite his extremely hate-crusted music he does as Prurient, Dom seems like a good guy all around, so, were Em Dath Rir and you sacrificing goats in those days? "They're extremist vegans." Here's "Disease" (MP3).
(24 faith-based MP3s and 2 videos included in this post)
Forget about the fact that "666" is in fact a divine typographical error, derived from God's keyboard having a sticky "six" key.
Pay no attention to those cynics who say The Big Man sold out, modeling today's "Halloween in June" after the Santa-Lovers' "Christmas in July."
Pretend that the decades of crass commercialization that's took the "loose" out of Lucifer never happened. I'm here to remind you what The Dark Lord is all about: Growling. Talking backwards. Retching. Kissing the Goat. All that good stuff.
Let's start with a little trip to Hell. The Devil's not allowed back into Heaven, but Jesus has an open invite to Hell any time he pleases. That's just the kind of guy Satan is. And here's a found cassette tape to prove it. The Professor found this in a thrift shop and added background effects to a wondrous tale called Jesus and I Go To Hell:download the MP3 and take a map of Hell along with you.
And speaking of Santa, here's an excerpt from a Christmas-themed Mexican film that Megan dug up, in which Satan tries to spoil Christmas by getting young Lupita to steal a doll. Santa ultimately clouds Lupita's mind, but the last laugh is on her when she find herself surrounded by creepy lifesize dancing dolls: [download video, 27 megs, Windows format]
If you missed it last Halloween, here's a 70 minute megamix of horror music and sound effects, much of it recorded on location in Hell: download The Horror MP3
Here is an MP3 of a Satanic Mass in which goats get kissed and the band Coven realizes that this black magic thing's just not working out: download Coven's Satanic Mass
Want to hear Robert Plant singing about the "little toolshed where Satan made him suffer?" Jeff Milner's backmasking site awaits.
Messerchups has a hot little music video called Go, Satan Go! [download video, 10 megs, mpeg format]
Leave it to Brian Turner to find another piece of experimental music that digs deep into my nightmares. I hope you'll feel the same way after listening to the Bernard Parmegiani cut. And after some intense investigating (and by that I mean I sent an email) I found out the title of a wonderful unreleased song Lisa Li-Lund performed live on WFMU this week.
All MP3 and RealAudio links are streaming links from the WFMU Archives.
Today we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda's infamous post-game tyrade, which lived on in cassette form until the internet bolstered its immortality. The future frozen-dinner marketer and namesake of the "Tommy Lasorda Burger" at Alice Cooperstown Restaurant in Phoenix paints broad brushstrokes of hyper-insane profanity over the Los Angeles skyline here (MP3). Besides providing some high hoo-haw moments for many, the tape also acted as a good template for interview protocol for generations of sports reporters to come. When a player whips a team with three home runs and 8 RBI's, it's probably not a good idea to ask the losing team's manager what he thought of that person's performance.