Aug 25 2015

Ipso Factory 20 08 15

rhinoYou know evil is an exact science. Being carefully, correctly, wrong.

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.


James T Kirks
(Canadian content)

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Aug 10 2015

It is the people you meat, at the Cannibal Cafe

Junior Gone Wild serve up an SNFU chili bowl at the Cannibal Cafe. Fortunately, shutterbug Marc Chalifoux was on hand to record the event.

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.

Enjoy the video, and then, please, cast a vote for it at Storyhive.

Junior Gone Wild ~ Cannibal Cafe

Spoiler alter: Contrary to local legend, she is, in fact, on the menu.

SNFU ~ She’s Not On The Menu


Dec 22 2013

The Majority Galore (Breaking Down)

If you don’t tune in to the Majority Report, let me recommend that you do. Sam Seder and the boys offer the funniest, most incisive news commentary mixed up with excellent, typically insurgent tunes. Recently there was some confusion amongst the messaging listeners as to whose tune is Stop Breaking Down – it’s a Robert Johnson composition, though most people would know the Rolling Stones’ version, and on the Majority Report, it’s the White Stripes recording that gets regular play.

It occurred to me that the version they really ought to be playing is by DC punks Pussy Galore from their cease-and-desist, cassette-only, treatment of Exile on Main St.(1986). Hence the video I’ve concocted above. Yes, the cassette skwirrls are in the original.

You can enjoy all of Pussy Galore’s po-mo lo-fi re-imagining of Exile On Main St. here. But upon further reflection, and considering the caliber of personality populating the US political scene these days, perhaps Dick Johnson is a more apt song altogether (it’s certainly a much better video):

Jon Spencer ≥ Jagger+Richards

Robert Johnson ~ Stop Breaking Down


Nov 9 2013

Zero shopping days til Great October

Whoops, Great October whizzed right by with nary a mention. Have a great belated GO, everyone and enjoy the New New Model Red Army Choir as they lay down some lucky. h/t Jackie Hutter

(According to the comments, these are Ministry of the Interior uniforms)

There are, now, 261 shopping days to Great October.

Original Post

And what are you doing to mark the 93rd anniversary of the Great October Revolution? Readers interested in Canada’s role in the Russian Revolution and Civil War might want to peruse the on-line exhibition Canada’s Siberian Expedition, bearing in mind our participation in the seizing and holding Russia’s arctic ports of Murmansk and Archangelsk also.

Here, we offer a series of videos, beginning with Lenin in repose:

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Oct 2 2013

Buster Friendly turns 27

CJSR-Radio-Adventures-Poster_11x17

27 years ago I first took to the air on CJSR 88.5 FM and started calling myself Buster Friendly. In retrospect it seems odd that music and radio should have outlasted and overshadowed so many other interests, ambitions and passions that were current to me back in 1986. I intended CJSR as merely an entertaining addition to my undergraduate life, but radio and the music have proven of far greater value to me than that BA, and it’s been quite an education. My palate has broadened considerably since I first came through the door, a fervent but narrow, suburban punk. I recall being assured by the wise DJ’s of that time – Mike Verchomin, Adil Quereshi, Andy Kerkowski – that the day would someday come, when I would calm down and learn to appreciate Jazz… I take some impish pride in the fact that that day has yet to arrive.

Please support CJSR, non-profit, campus, community and Webular radio by giving to our annual FunDrive, running now until Saturday, October 5th. Tune in, dial in (780-492-CJSR), walk in, or donate on-line right this minute at CJSR 88.5 FM. Keep this little radio station beaming out it’s creative weirdness, and help keep Thee Ipso Factory smelters full, Jazz-free, and steaming with compost mentis.

Listen live, here, now


Sep 23 2013

Poster Cat for the Professional Left

Yes, I am writing a blog post about my cat. If you have a problem with that, take it up with her (though I do not advise it; she’s moved up a few weight classes since the photograph below was taken).

ProfessionalLeftKittie

Marmalade’s rocket to fame began with an appearance as the leftwing blogosphere’s equivalent of a Sun Page 3 Girl – an Internet Kitty on the website for The Professional Left Podcast with Driftglass and Blue Gal (a hugely entertaining podcast which I subscribe to with regular donations, and which has been my Saturday afternoon company for several years now). For her next move, Marmalade plans to release a cover of Kim Wilde’s Kids in America, only slowed down to a dubstep groove, and auto-tuned with a rap in the middle. The video will feature Mar being herself, doing her thang, up close and personal, licking the many many things she just loves to lick. U-Go-Kitty! Remember us little people!

We’re the kitties in America – meow
We’re the kitties in America – meow

What Does the Fox Say was a number one jam
Damn if I say it you can slap me right here – mrrreow, c’mon

Is that a ginger cat and ferret duo? No, it’s the real Kim and Ricky Wilde bringing some vintage power pop and Christmas cheer to some London Tubeway commuters.


Aug 9 2013

Carolina Chocolate Drops

The Carolina Chocolate Drops give new life to the near forgotten genre of Afro-American banjo and fiddle music. I will be enjoying them later today at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. The awesome sauce should be sweet and savory, with zing.

Hit Em Up Style

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Jun 22 2013

Rowland S. Howard ~ Autoluminescent

Rowland+S+Howard+row

Autoluminescent, documentary of the late Rowland S. Howard (1959 – 2009) is available for viewing on the Youtubes, enjoy it while that lasts. (I am certainly grateful for the opportunity to finally see it.) Released in 2011, the film is stark and sad, intimate and feral, and so brilliantly matches the music of one of rock’s most distinctive guitarists, one with flick-knives for fingers, who always left blood on the frets.

Film-makers Lynn-Maree Milburn and Richard Lowenstein are to be commended for the balance of their narrative, which gives equal weight to all stages in Howard’s career, and so rescues the biography of the man from the mythology of the Birthday Party, and which neither revels in nor skirts the issue of heroin.

The interview materials contain many gems, but one particularly telling moment occurs early on when Nick Cave concedes that perhaps Howard, and not he, should have sung Shivers (which Howard had written when he was only 16).

I used to dread Shivers coming up in the set, because it required a certain amount of proficiency…a certain amount of talent to sing. It had a kind of melody and stuff… …I was never able to do that song justice, especially back then. Rowland must have been kind of squirming every time I sang it. I really wish he would have sung that actually, when we recorded it. It was his, it was his song.

Cave walks right up to the edge of admitting that he’d been in the wrong, and stops just shy, with a dark grimace and glare.

Autoluminescent (entire film)

Rowland took London personally, like someone had built it to make him unhappy… and he may well have taken the world in that way.
– Nick Cave

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Dec 18 2012

Big Stick – A Threat


Nov 15 2012

How Will I Ever Be Simple Again (WWIII Edition)

How Will I Ever Be Simple Again – Richard Thompson from 12Razum on Vimeo.

If memory serves, it was Greil Marcus who pointed out the Armageddon specter that haunts the works of Richard Thompson. Heartbreak in a Thompson song doesn’t merely feel like the end of the world, it writes small the general doom, like a pinhole camera. One such cruel gem is How Will I Ever Be Simple Again from the strangely hard to find Daring Adventures (1986). It is a song of war and aftermath where wounds are forever and pain always fresh as the day. Consolation flirts and departs (like she did). Here I’ve paired it with cuttings from Insignificance (1985) by Nicolas Roeg, a wise bit of lunacy, a collision of icons and a fable of the Red Scare, the impossible blonde bombshell and looming atomic annihilation.


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