February 29, 2012

Robot Quadrotors Perform James Bond Theme

Yup. This is as cool (and absurd) as the title leads you to believe.

February 24, 2012

"Grease Release Update"

In the late '80s and early '90s Sub Pop sent the stores who bought records from them directly a newsletter that was one part informative, three parts sarcasm. Here are a few examples of what they were all about.

February 17, 2012

Melancholic Perfection : Gravenhurst - The Prize

The single is from Gravenhurst's upcoming album on Warp called The Ghost in Daylight due out in late April / early May.

And the song that got me hooked on the band years ago.

Missed the Leonard Cohen Cause & Effect Last Night?

Go here to view the set list and download the show in full as an mp3.

February 16, 2012

This Makes Me Miss Trish from Broadcast So Much.

Check out Cate Le Bon. I have my first favorite album of the year. (Greta is among my favorite songs and is where I most hear Trish)


WRIR 97.3 is proud to present it's mobile website!  You wanted a mobile webpage for your smartphone, now you've got one.  Thanks to your donations, you can now access 97.3 any time.  Simply go to WRIR.ORG on your device then add it to your home screen as a web app.  You can listen, see the schedule and even donate!  WRIR 97.3 Richmond  Independent  Radio, now mobile!

February 16th, 2012 : Cause & Effect : Leonard Cohen.

The one and maybe only perk to being unemployed is having the extra time to dedicate to my radio show. This has afforded me the opportunity to spend something like 20 or 30 hours preparing for this Leonard Cohen show,  time a man of this kind of legend deserves. In his 77 years on this planet, more than 60 of  them have been spent dedicating himself to creating art; be it as a poet, a novelist, or singer/songwriter. He has traveled the world, thought deeply about the human condition (as only a poet can do), and given his life experiences a voice that resonates like a whisper of a sage directly into your ear. He is a fascinating individual filled with curious and surprising inspiration. This in turn made for a highly unusual Cause & Effect filled with religious overtones (Judaism and Buddhism), fellow writers, Country & Western stars, jukebox heroes of the '50s, and a cast of followers who treat Cohen more like a deity than a fellow artist. (And as an interesting side note Cohen's surname is derived from the Hebrew word for priest). Lou Reed w hile giving the speech at Cohen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008  described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters". Hallelujah.  

If you don't know or appreciate Cohen, your missing out on one of the most beautiful mirrors life has to offer.

Download the show in full here
The set list all two hours is here

February 10, 2012

Pleasure in Pain : The Return to Making Music

Remember that time I was struck by a car while crossing the street?

That was nearly six months ago and my journey (polite code for hell and back) to return to my old self has been a long and arduous one. I don't care about the scars I have on my body or that I spent months learning to walk again without the support of a cane. I have gotten used to my utter fear of walking outside and I remind myself often that it is a miracle I can walk at all so feeling safe when I cross streets or parking lots doesn't take priority. So what if living a few doors down from the accident site has made living the apartment I have lived in for a decade unbearable. These are all things I am still trying to make peace with but what has been the toughest part of these months has been a terrifying experience that I haven't discussed openly until now.

A brain injury was something I initially thought I had escaped.  Because I never hit my head during the accident, I never spoke to doctors about the possibility of a serious concussion. In the hours and first few days after something as traumatic as your body being stuck by a car, you feel a strange combination of being out of your body (because it is so incredibly surreal to have something like this happen) and very much trapped in your body because every little movement that used to be easy is so longer possible and your body feels like a burden. Adrenalin takes over your very being for the first day (fight or flight feeling times a million). You are put on all sorts of pain drugs (not to mention the weirdness of tubes and drips stuck in your body). And the final strangeness? Being in a hospital at all. I found it nearly impossible to rest there as it is a scary, strange environment where people were coming and going from my room at all hours. It isn't until you return to the normalcy of your home, the comfort and safety of your own bed, that you can begin to really assess what has happened to you and how you feel compared to the last time time you were home and your old unbroken self. 

It was lying in my own bed many days later that I realized how fuzzy my head felt. Without pain pills and in the peace of my bedroom it was my head that suddenly radiated the most pain. And so began my battle with a variety of symptoms relating to a brain injury that was later decided by experts in the field came from my head being rattled severely when my body was tossed on and off of the car. (much like the kind of injury football players suffer from). For 4 months I lived with torturous migraines, memory failures, and intense fogginess that made the general act of thinking straight a difficult task. It was during this time period that I was mysteriously and surprisingly let go from my full time job so to add to the nightmare of my recovery process, I was in constant chronic pain and suddenly unemployed. (and living without health insurance so my insane medical bills are just a footnote to this personal hell) I have to be honest here, while I revel in the fact that I am still alive and truly appreciate this gift, when I was stripped of the power to think straight and living with the debilitating side effects from a concussion like headaches every day, it felt like my life was over. 

With migraines comes a sensitivity to light and sound. For those of you who know me, sound is my life. Music isn't just a part of my life, it defines me. Imagine waking up one day and your head hurts so much that that even gentle soothing tones resonate inside you like pin pricks. The pain was often so severe that whatever I was hearing couldn't register with me properly at all. And what aspects of my life did this change affect? Everything. My work. (music industry = all day sounds) My weekly radio show (more music). My home life. (where my record collection of thousands of records live). My social life. (loud live bands, noisy crowds, and DJs felt like a grenade had gone off between my ears). My record label. (more music!). Alone time. (I hated being in my own body)

And the most frustrating? Me as a recording artist silenced. The freedom to express myself creatively in a way that I have dedicated my entire adult life to was erased on August 30th. I have been trying to rebuild this missing person in me ever since. I began making music in the early '90s and the thought of this part of me going away forever feels worse than being hit by a car. 

Even as recently as a month ago, recording and making music was not something I could do with ease. While the migraines and confusion associated with a major concussion are behind me (although I still battle headaches occasionally) I am still dealing with the inability to handle certain kinds of tones, sounds, and loud volumes. This makes the act of placing headphones on my head to record and work on music for extended period of times extremely difficult. This makes playing songs back to really listen to my pitch, attack, and timing often agony. There is also no denying that being extra sensitive to sounds not only changed how often I can work on music but the kind of music I can work on. Now that certain frequencies and tones literally pain me, I find myself working on music that reflects the tones that appeal to my head. Remarkably I have found ways around these endless hurdles but on some days it has been enough of a heartbreaking struggle that I have wanted to give up. What I have learned about myself since is that I am not quitter. I am determined to push through this and not let the negligence of reckless driver strip me of my passion in life. 

It took me a half a year to get back to this point but I am proud to have finished not one but two new songs; one under my solo moniker and one under Positive No, a home recording project I do with my boyfriend Kenny. (also the man behind the incredible love, care and support that helped me heal post accident). Writing and recording music has played an interesting and important role in my healing process. It helps test and use my memory while forcing me to sharpen my problem solving skills. Best of all it is a return to something that brings me deep satisfaction and joy. I have no idea if I will be able to handle playing live and loud again, no less if my memory will allow me to recall the lyrics to a whole set list of songs but the fear of this unknown won't stop me from at least trying. If the end result means I just record music at home in a controlled setting that is kind to my ears and head, so be it. 

The good news is 2012 is the year I became an artist again.

February 7, 2012

Sub Pop Records Artifacts

Found these cleaning out some drawers in my apartment. These are a handful of press photos by Charles Peterson that I have never posted before plus the covers of a few of the Sub Pop press kits I have saves from the early '90s.

February 2, 2012

February 2nd, 2012, Cause & Effect : My Bloody Valentine Part Two

Last week I covered all the important early years of MBV. Not just their influences but where they came from, how they began forming their trademark sound, and who all was making music in the same world as them, both their peers and followers.

This week I will start of with Isn't Anything, continue through Loveless, and bring everyone up to speed on what has happened with the band and each member since they produced one of the most influential records of the last two decades. The story behind Loveless alone is really interesting and I know I was really surprised to discover the things that I did about it. (who really performed on this record, how it was recorded, and what key the entire thing was written in)

And ladies, we get a special shout out tonight because Kevin Shields' inspiration has a lot to do with female creative energy.

Tune in to WRIR from 7pm to 9pm TONIGHT to stream the show live.

Download the show in full here.
The set list is here.