This week’s show turned into a 3-hour tour of the stations of the Crass. It was more draining than I remembered. The last time I did 3 hours of radio would have been around 1993 on WHPK 88.5 FM out of the University of Chicago. I’d been a DJ at CJSR for about six years already, and so when I arrived at Chicago, I applied for a time slot and was rejected at first. I had to submit a 40 song playlist so that they could scrutinize my cool, and they found my cool lacking and turned me down. Part of the problem in that year may have been that I thought Superchunk sucked; I also thought that Pavement sucked. History, I think, has borne me out. I was also made the object of ridicule over Canadian content restrictions. “30 percent Canadian, really? Whaddaya do, play BTO and Bryan Adams over and over?” I always answered these jibes with a middle finger and the words “No Means No,” that tended to shut them up. Also, at a social event I earned a hail of laughter and derisive spittle from the WHPK manager, Tom Frank, now better known to the world as Thomas Frank. He sprayed beer rain into my face when I suggested that Randy Newman had subversive value and that Tom Waits was a genius. Again, history has borne me out.
Eventually I was offered a time spot, three hours, from 3 AM to 6 AM on Saturday mornings. I took it, learned to craft a 3-hour broadcast that slowly developed its themes like flavours in a stew. After the first year, I was migrated to better and shorter time slots and remained an odd Canadian fixture at WHPK until 1996 when I migrated back to Edmonton and CJSR.
So, this is my first three-hour show since those times and many of my selections harken back to the campus radio scene in Chicago in the early 90’s. Please listen and enjoy.
So it’s been a long time since I posted a show, and since then I’ve changed time slots and now only have an hour to play with. Thee Ipso Factory is now on Thursday evenings from 9 to 10 on the mighty FM 88.
Below is my latest video effort. I tried several times to pair songs with images from Sorcerer, but they never really worked. Here is a song by Bluebeard, a band out of Calgary, from about twenty years ago. I think it serves nicely. If you haven’t seen Sorcerer (1977) by William Friedkin (same director as The Exorcist), do so immediately. If you have seen Sorcerer, see also its source material The Wages of Fear (1953) by Henri-Georges Clouzot.
Innocent diners eat a strange form of meat that transforms them, while music lures them to an isolated barn where they face an unknown fate. Edmonton legends Jr.Gone Wild put their own spin on S.N.F.U.’s quirky 1985 classic Cannibal Café.
Laurence Miall has produced his first novel, Blind Spot which came out on Newest Press last month. In town to launch the book, he stopped by the radio station for a chat. The interview begins at the 1:02 mark and we talked for just shy of half an hour. If you do jump ahead, I recommend starting at 0:56 and letting Robbie Fulks’ Night Accident provide the introduction. The song hits the right mood and, like Blind Spot, it turns on infidelity and a train crash.
Song selections for the balance of the show are peppered with bookish themes and even more smartass literary references than usual. Enjoy the show, then curl up with a copy of Blind Spot and a big glass of Writer’s Tears.
Ukrainian ethno chaos, rude Siberian punk, and a boy and his tuba make for a lively and varied program this week – that and you can enjoy hearing me flub Funnel/Tunnel of Love, which I played on account of having thoroughly enjoyed Only Lovers Left Alive the night before.
Wanda Jackson ~ Funnel of Love (real slow version)
Don’t worry about the smokey Jazz that starts the broadcast, I extinguished that immediately.
Every year the Edmonton Folk Music Festival showcases at least one real gem; this year it was Kiev’s DakhaBrakha who stole the show. That a band this talented, unique and innovative was denied any time on the main stage was simply disgraceful. DakhaBrakha roughly translates a ‘Give and Take’ and the name also refers to the Dakh Theater, a hive of Kievan cultural life since the mid-90’s. The four-piece practice what they call ethno chaos to intense and beautiful effect. Their most recent album Light, downloadable here, is brooding and sumptuous, growing in haunting power with each listening. I recommend it very highly.
Dakha Brakha ~ Carpathian Rap
Also progeny of the Dakh Theater are the Dakh Daughters, a cabaret show trading in Da Da and psychodrama.
Sam Beckett, a cockroach and Nestor Makhno walk into a bar cabaret…
Back in the saddle after a long convalescence. This week’s Ipso Factory was a smoking show to match the wildfire haze and sweltering heat. Bright spots included great new stuff from Parquet Courts, Ex-Cult and the Pink Mountaintops. Gary Numan’s version of White Light/White Heat should also not be missed. We also spotted what may be one of the missing Moose Brothers, his name is Sugar Brown (shades of Toots Sweet from the movie Angel Heart) and his new record is very cool.
Colonel Kurtz of Klezmer and friend of the show, Geoff Berner is off on a 7-stop dead-of-Winter tour of western Canada. He is promoting his new novel, Festival Man out on Dundurn press, but fear not, music fans, he’s still bringing the accordion and the bad attitude. Here in Edmonton, he’ll be playing the Wunderbar Friday and Saturday. We got him on the horn during this week’s Ipso Factory, discussing such matters as the agony of letters, the ecstasy of Punk, and the many moods of Stephen Harper.
The Berner segment starts around the 70 minute mark.