December 29, 2011

December 29th, 2011 : Cause & Effect : Most Influential Artists 2011 Recap

It is impossible not to see annual music trends when you do a show like ours. Even more hard to ignore are the artists who come up year after year, no matter what direction music is headed. Some artists seem to be endlessly influential to other musicians and tonight's show is a celebration of just that. JJ an I looked over our shows from 2011 and compiled a list of the artists that we made many a repeat performance on our playlists.

Who might these classic highly influential artists be? Well tune into tonight from 7pm to 9pm to find out. Not only will it be like a greatest hits of sorts but JJ and I will be co-hosting the show together. PARTY!

December 22, 2011

"Like Everyone in the Music Industry, I'm Broke"

Check out the story of Shitty Gardens, I mean City Gardens.

For those of us who grew up in the Garden State and loved hardcore / punk, this was a venue, a cinder block box to be more exact located in what was truly the bowels of Trenton. I remember the first time I drove there with friends (I can't recall the show, maybe Bad Religion?) we kept driving deeper and deeper into what looked like an industrial wasteland and if we didn't find the club, we were certain we would be left for dead in some empty gnarly parking lot surrounded by abandoned factories and who knows what else. This was not your typical destination point but if you were a suburban kid into underground music, this was THE place to see band play. Even if you risked your life in and out of the joint to do it.

Inside the club, the shows were infamously violent so if you could survive the floor / pit of one of those shows, you could make it anywhere. And yet we were all some extended family of misfit toys and freaks living on the fringe of  normal society. It was exactly a home away from but it was some place we all considered important because so many great bands played there for so many years.

There is now a documentary about the place and the man who helped to make it all happen, Randy Now. A man who after bringing so much amazing music into our lives, is broke like the rest of us who have tried to survive in the music industry. The good news is, he appears to have one hell of a record collection. I've talked with Randy over the years for work related things and what impresses me about the guy still is after all these decades, he is no less passionate about music.

All hail City Gardens!

December 22nd, 2011 : Cause & Effect : Bon Iver

Tonight's show will be an extra special one. Not only is this a celebration of my high school intern's birthday who picked Grammy nominee Bon Iver for the artist of the week but we have a local superstar artist coming in as a surprise guest to help out with the show. I wish I could tell you more but I don't want to give away the big ending to tonight's Cause & Effect.

I regards to the music you will hear tonight, Justin Vernon, the man behind Bon Iver is involved in so many various projects, has so many off-shoot bands to his musical career that nearly all two hours is a celebration of his various musical going ons from the past decade.

Tune in tonight WRIR from 7pm to 9pm to hear his rich musical family tree and how it all ties into our home of Richmond, Virginia. Only on Cause & Effect!

December 19, 2011

Rap + Crust = Rust ? ? ?

The fine folks at Southen Lord tweeted this Lil' Wayne photo tonight and then this got me thinking of what Rap and crust punk would sound like. Oh wait, that was Crass.

December 16, 2011

Boards of Canada Show : Download Here.

Here is a link to download all of last night's show with Sean Lovelace. Enjoy! Next week's show will be about Bon Iver. It will be a birthday show for my lovely intern (one of her favorite artists) and will include a surprise on air guest if all goes according to plan.

December 15, 2011

December 15th, 2011 : Cause + Effect : Boards of Canada

Tonight from 7PM to 9PM I have a guest DJ joining me. Sean Lovelace will be giving us a glimpse into the world of Boards of Canada; a two piece composed of brothers who ask not to be tagged as an Electronic group.

What does that make them then? Tune in to find out! If you are looking to escape the stress of the holidays, let us bring you to a more peaceful place.

Tonight's show will focus on not just their unsual influences (Joni Mitchell, really?) but their peers who are also helping to redefine electronic music (Aphex Twin, Squarepush), and the new crop of music artists (Clams Casino, Neon Indian) who owe BoC in a big way.

Download last night's show in full here.




Runners Up List for 2011

More stuff I really enjoyed this year:


We Were Promised Jetpacks


Les Maledictus Sound


Il Abanico

And my favorite old record discovery was this one. I must have listened to the song Ophelia by Marie Blanche Verrgne & the Red Noise 100 times over the past few months. You can stream a bit of the song here.

December 14, 2011

Lightning's Girl 2011 Recap

My first attempt at this ended up reading more like a pity party for one but as a music blog I would like to stay on target and not dwell on the most horrendous year I have had or stress the unfortunate state of our nation and the world economy. The moral of this story is that even after being laid off twice in one year, being hit by a car while crossing the street (not to mention the tremendous amount of medical bills because I don't have health insurance), and feeling as close to rock bottom as a person can feel about their life, music is the one thing that continues to inspire me. Music connects humanity by a universal language that lets us all feel and share art without any of  the bullshit that divides us culturally. Creative expression through song is a gorgeous reminder of freedom, what it is like to be human and removed from the things that tie us down to our singular lives. Thank you music for freeing my spirit from an otherwise abysmal year and Kenny for playing the roll of my legs, arms, and brain for the months they were learning to work again.

I am happy to have made it to my first Goner Fest this year and loved it enough to want to go back every year from now on. As a label owner I am proud to have released Runhild Gammelsaeter's Amplicon and vinyl and bring the packaging I had dreamed of for it to life. There are many Cause & Effect radio shows I did this year that count as my favorite of all times (not to mention the most popular according to listeners) and those shows include Cave In, the history of sunshine Pop, Bob Schick of Honor Role, Voivod, and Converge.

It still also leaves me in shock and awe that we lost so many tremendous musicians this year and I feel like this year we said good-bye to so many inspiring women. (Trish of Broadcast, Ari from the Slits, and Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex to name just a few)

If there was a way to be 100% honest about collection of favorites, this first album would be on a list of its own. I have bowed to its alter more times than any other record this year. I will also say that live, despite them reminding me that I am 1 billion years old in rock years compared to their baby faces, their performance was phenomenal. This isn't just my number one record of the year - it is THE record of the year. Period.

Iceage - New Brigade - What's Your Rupture?

And then the rest of the albums I loved this year.
Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis - Pendu Sound

El Rego - S/T - Daptone

The Men - Leave Home - Sacred Bones

Still Corners- Creatures of an Hour - Sub Pop

Tinariwen - Tassili - Anti

Dels - Gob - Big Dada

Bjork - Biophillia - Nonesuch

The LimiƱanas - S/T - Trouble In Mind (shhh - it really came out in 2010 but I didn't hear it until 2011)

Canary oh Canary - Last Night In Sunway Knolls - Self Released - Best local band band hands down!

And last but not least, a quick mention of the most talented photographer I know. Christian Patterson released a book this year called Redheaded Peckerwood. It is amazing like all of his work.

Redheaded Peckerwood (Book Dummy) by Christian Patterson from Christian Patterson on Vimeo.

December 13, 2011

December 12, 2011

Vinyl Stash Estimated up to $250k, Record Nerd Me Guesses More like $7k

The story goes something like this....

"12/5/2011 - WAKE ISLAND AIRFIELD, Wake Island (AFNS) -- In a tale straight from an adventure book, contractors here recently stumbled upon a vinyl record collection with an estimated value between $90,000 and $250,000.
The 611th Air Support Group's Detachment 1 is now making a comprehensive effort to preserve the nearly 9,000 vintage vinyl records and ship them to their rightful owner, the American Forces Radio and Television Network in Alexandria, Va., according to Master Sgt. Jean-Guy Fleury, the detachment's infrastructure superintendent, who took over the project from the former Detachment 1 commander, Maj. Aaron Wilt.
No digging was required to access this treasure, as the records were cataloged and neatly organized on shelves in a small room on the second floor of the Wake Island Airfield base operations building. The door was conspicuously stenciled with the name of a radio station, KEAD, and a "restricted area warning" sign, which kept most people out. "

"That's a locked room normally, but people in my department have known the records were there for years," said Colin Bradley, the communications superintendent with Chugach Federal Solutions, Inc. CFSI is the contractor that currently manages operations on Wake Island with the oversight of Air Force quality assurance personnel.

"Because of the completeness of the collection, I assumed it was quite valuable," Bradley said. "I have not run across a collection that well preserved or that intact in my career. It's a little time capsule."
The collection includes a variety of vinyl albums and records specially made for military audiences and distributed monthly by the American Forces Radio and Television Network as well as some commercially available records.
"In 1942, the American Forces Radio Service was started to get American music out to the troops overseas," said Larry Sichter, the American Forces Network Broadcast Center Affiliate Relations Division chief. "Some of the radio productions were original, like GI Jill and Command Performance, and have significant value."

The article goes on to say

"The exact dates the low-powered AM station operated on Wake Island remain unclear, but Bradley shared his estimate.

"I would guess that (KEAD) started in the 60s due to the dates on the records," he said. "Also, the FAA controlled Wake Island until the mid-60s, so an armed forces radio station wouldn't have been here. I would guess it wrapped up maybe in the 70s or with the advent of satellite radio.""

And then...

"Since Wake Island Airfield is a tiny 1,821-acre atoll located about 2,000 miles west of Hawaii and 2,000 miles east of Japan, it is possible that the cost and logistics of returning the records to the mainland were prohibitive at the time the radio station was shut down, officials said.
So now, about 30 years after the last record was spun on KEAD, Fleury is spearheading the operation to ship the records back to AFRTS. He has estimated that it will take approximately 75 16-inch-by-16-inch boxes, and a total of about $10,000 worth of specialized material to properly pack up the records. AFRTS is providing the materials and Detachment 1 will do the packing, he said."

As a long time record collector and record store employee all I can think is this. If the collection is anything like your average person's collection (or DJ collection) reflecting that time period, the guestimatation of this collection is grossly over valued and probably not worth shipping anywhere. I would love to know who priced out this collection because I hazard to guess that a knowledgeable music person was NOT the one who set the value of these records. There is this never ending assumption that because some records are old, they are naturally worth something. This same mentality is applied to vinyl record "relics" priced 100 times their actual worth at antique stores. Non record stores go by how old something is to price an item and that logic doesn't work on records. Unless the radio station was serviced by weirdo small boutique labels around the world (doubtful), my bet is that over half of the collection is total junk, the kind of records one would find at any thrift store across America.

If these folks were smart they would create a list of what these records are and get them looked at by an actual music / record buying expert to determine their worth and only then, spend any sort of crazy high dollar amount to ship them somewhere new. I would just hate to see any real time and effort spent over a collection that could very easily feature the kind of LPs that nobody wants or values. I love a great happy ending story when it comes to someone discovering a random record collection but my gut tells me that this one will be end in a yawn.

And don't even get me started on how any large number of records should ship be shipped. I have three words for the Air Force - DOUBLE BOX THEM  ! ! ! But seriously, talk to an expert before you even think about keeping them / mailing them at all.

December 10, 2011

Guitar Made of Skateboards

Super cool but I have to wonder how they sound....

December 7, 2011

Post-Hardcore Flashback : Karate

A friend was asking about old Emo bands (what I still prefer to call post-hardcore but you say po-tay-toe I say po-tah-toe) and then my head went into a frenzy of bands I loved / played shows with / was friends with back in the early '90s.

In 1996 Dahlia Seed went on our one and only U.S. tour and there are certain tapes we had in the van that I will never forget. Karate was one of them and this song in particular makes me think of 1996 fondly. Even if it was 5 boys in a cramped van and me for 6 weeks.

December 3, 2011

Tom Waits Follow Up Part One

I don't know what is going on with out radio station stream right now but when I played back the recording of the Tom Waits show, I was mortified to discover that the full two hours was bathed in hiss and static crackles. While that sort of works in relation to the kind of artist Waits is in respect to digging the imperfect - if you are a fan trying to connect the dots to all the music that has inspired to sound the way he does, it gets old fast.

What I have decided to do it post my nerdy set list and notes to the show (and in turn see how I prep for the kind of show I do) - and include all of the music from this Cause & Effect episode as well as the songs I didn't have a chance to play. YAY!

Tonight's show is all picked by Tom Waits himself. He created a handwritten list of influences and favorites songs to Mojo Magazine and I have in turn created a whole radio show built from that list with an additional 4 Tom Waits songs picked by listeners. (Plus one off the new record) Thank you friends and listeners!

TOM QUOTE : "You take a little bit from here and a little bit from there. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. My dad's hat, my mom's underwear, my brother's motorcycle, my sister's pool cue... and there you go." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

There isn't much that hasn't influences Tom Waits in some way or another but working off his list of favorite songs - I organize his playlist and am starting off tonight's show with some Blues.

Harlem Nocturn 3:49 Bo Thorpe
John The Revelator 1:33 Son House
Come On In My Kitchen 2:54 Robert Johnson
Don't You Mind People Grinning In Your Face 2:24 Climax Blues Band
Way Down In The Hole 3:30 Tom Waits - Franks Wild Years - released 1987 on Island Records
Cause Of It All 2:46 Howlin Wolf
Hound Dog 2:52 Big Mama Thornton
Ice Cream For Crow 4:35 Captain Beefheart -Tom Waits QUOTE (1999): "Once you've heard Beefheart, it's hard to wash him out of your clothes. It stains, like coffee or blood. (The music) encouraged a lot of people to go into some kind of a cocoon and come out as something (different) than when they went in. (Source: "Tom Waits: The Restless Iconoclast": The Oregonian (USA), by Michael Evans. Date: October 15, 1999)
Spring Can Really Hang You Up 4:06 Stan Getz
I Think It's Going To Rain Today 2:58 Randy Newman - narrative style - soundtrack friendly - unusual voices
Martha 4:31 Tom Waits - Closing Time - Closing Time is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits, released in March 1973 on Asylum Records. Produced and arranged by former Lovin' Spoonful member Jerry Yester, Closing Time was the first of seven of Waits's major releases through Asylum, the final being Heartattack and Vine (1980).
Please, Please, Please 2:45 James Brown and the Famous Flames - an idol of his in grade school and high school
I Started A Joke 3:09 Bee Gees
The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage 2:59 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
We Can Work It Out 2:16 Beatles
Bring It On Home To Me 2:42 The Animals
I Just Want To See His Face 2:53 - Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street - early influence plus Keith Richards has played with Tom Waits on record and Tom has lent his vocals on a stones record Dirty Work
The Wind Cries Mary 3:21 Jimi Hendrix 
Satisfied 4:05 Tom Waits - Bad As Me -Bad as Me is the seventeenth studio album by American rock musician Tom Waits, released on October 21, 2011 by ANTI- Records -Bad As Me is Tom Waits' first studio album of all new music in seven years. This pivotal work refines the music that has come before and signals a new direction. Waits, in possibly the finest voice of his career, worked with a veteran team of gifted musicians and longtime co-writer/producer Kathleen Brennan
Fever 2:43 Little Willie John 
Riot In Cell Block Number Nine 3:40 Dr Feelgood
Goin' Out West 3:20 Tom Waits - Bone Machine- Bone Machine is a critically acclaimed and award-winning album by Tom Waits, released in 1992 on Island Records. It won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, and features guest appearances by Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, Primus' Les Claypool, and The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards.
96 Tears 2:56 ? and the Mysterians 

*************************PART TWO ******************************

Tom Waits (1999): "I usually try to put some weather on there, some names of places and people, and maybe a recipe or two, so my record becomes like a survival kit that people can take on camping trips." (Source: "Wily Tom Waits' breakthrough". Now On: Tim Perlich. April 22-28, 1999)

No More Auction Block For Me  5:28           Sweet Honey In The Rock    Songs Of The Civil War - 18th century protest song against slavery   
Sixteen Tons    2:38      Tennessee Ernie Ford          
Sylvie  5:23     Harry Belafonte - Most of the people that are really influencing you, no one would necessarily see. They've really become just stains on your undershirt." "I can't sing like Harry Belafonte, but I love him. If I told you all I'm doin' is trying to sound like Harry Belafonte, you wouldn't get it. And I want to play piano just like Liberace. And dance like, I don't know, Fred Astaire and James Brown. Most of us are contraptions that we made." (Source: Los Angeles Times - 2004) 
Delia's Gone 2:19        Johnny Cash   
So Long It's Been Good to Know You (War Version)   2:47     Woody Guthrie                               
Ich Bin Von Kopf Bis Fuss Auf Liebe Eingestellt (Falling In Love Again)  2:28  William S. Burroughs      Ballad In Plain D         8:17      Bob Dylan     " Suffice it to say Dylan is a planet to be explored. For a songwriter, Dylan is as essential as a hammer and nails and a saw are to a carpenter. I like my music and the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in, so the bootlegs I obtained in the '60s and '70s are where the noise and grit of the tapes became inseparable from the music, are essential to me. His journey as a songwriter is the stuff of myth, because he lives within the ether of the songs. (Source: October 1999)             
You Are My Sunshine             2:58      Ray Charles   - The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection - "I knelt at the altar of Ray Charles for years. I worked at a restaurant, and that's all there was on the jukebox " Tom Waits quote                         
Wade In The Water    2:57     The Staple Singers  
Ode To Billy Joe         4:15     Bobbie Gentry                                  
Step Right Up 5:43     Tom Waits  - 1976 Asylum Records - 4 album-  The music for the most part consists of Waits' hoarse, rough voice, set against a backdrop of piano, upright bass, drums and saxophone. Some tracks have a string section, whose sweet timbre is starkly contrasted to Waits' voice.
Midnight In Moscow 2:54      Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen                                  
A Fool In Love           2:41     Ike & Tina Turner                                       
Be-Bop-A-Lula           2:35     Gene Vincent Wild at Heart                                                 
Shake Rattle And Roll            3:00     Big Joe Turner                                            
Volver Volver 2:58     Vicente Fernandez (King of Ranchera) Waits, who taught himself how to play the piano on a neighbor's instrument, often took trips to Mexico with his father, who taught Spanish; he would later say that he found his love of music during these trips through a Mexican ballad that was "probably a Ranchera, you know, on the car radio with my dad."                  
Jesus blood never failed me yet           3:58      Gavin Bryars - Tune was recorded by Gavin Bryars in 1971 for Alan Powers' documentary / loop of a vagrant singing a hymn of that name. On top of that loop, rich harmonies played by a live ensemble are built, always increasing in density, before the whole thing gradually fades out. A new recording of this work was made in the 1990s with Tom Waits singing along with the original recording of the vagrant during the final section. 
Angel Eyes      3:42     Frank Sinatra                                                           
Nature Boy      2:55      Nat King Cole- Nat King Cole - The Ultimate Collection              
Is That All There Is      4:21      Peggy Lee      

Here is the link to my WRIR show post.

December 1, 2011

December 1st, 2011 : Cause & Effect : Tom Waits

Have you ever wondered what a mixed tape from Tom Waits would sound like? Tune into WRIR from 7PM to 9PM tonight to find out!

A few years ago Tom Waits gave MOJO magazine handwritten lists of his favorite songs, many of which he considered to be a huge influence on him as a musician. I took his final list of "58 flavors" and tracked down about 85% of the material, placed it in a thoughtful order, and created a whole two hour show from it. I then asked friends and listeners to vote on their favorite Tom Wait's songs and have incorporated those 4 songs in tonight's show too.

If you are anything like me and have never considered yourself a huge Waits fanatic, this show just might surprise you. I may not bow to the alter of Tom Waits but that man sure does have some impeccable taste. His influences are all over the place and I have to tell you that his list of songs have opened my ears to better understand and appreciate his own catalog of music. This has turned into one of my favorite Cause & Effect shows of the year!