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.
My ongoing efforts to broaden the Youtubular footprint of Mr. Jerry Jerry have yielded further strange fruit in the form of this video for Smart (I’m Smart) from the stripped-down solo effort The Sound and the Jerry (1997). I had thought to go with the Marx Brothers, or maybe mad scientists (saving the immortal Herbert West for when I tackle Wierd), but for reasons that surpass my own understanding, I settled on a mishmash of Daniel Day-Lewis characters. If Jerry ever releases an extended dance remix, I’ll cut the video again with some ripe footage from Nine spliced in.
Jerry Jerry ~ Smart (I’m Smart)
Intelligence is force, insight is violence, wit is aggressive display.
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.
Three members of Moscow’s Pussy Riot continue to languish in pre-trial incarceration, but the international movement to see them freed continues to swell, and their enemies remain vulnerable to and deserving of mockery:
Some talk of Buñuel here at the Paltry Sapien prompted me to put this clip together. Luis Buñuel made this strange film L’Âge d’Or in 1930. When I first saw it, I had a eureka moment as I thought I had discovered the cradle in which Monty Python had been birthed. The inception point comes earlier in the movie, when the protagonist becomes enraged at the site of a blind beggar, runs over and kicks the man in the belly for no apparent reason. Tennis anyone? Watch how he sneaks into the party the second time, bristling with craven pomposity, and tell me that John Cleese would have played it any different.
The song I,Showbiz comes from The Sound And The Jerry (1997), a late album that may lack the power of the Sons of Rhythm band but contains some of Jerry Jerry’s best and funniest writings. If a forlorn girl sucking the toe of a cold, remote statue isn’t a perfect icon for Rock-and-Roll stardom, well then I guess I don’t understand imagery. I wonder if anyone ever tried to clamp their lips on the end of Jerry’s cowboy boot.
Apologies to all loud-mouth liberal clueless kumquats.
Four-string, no-cymbals sludge-a-billy duo of Montreal Deja Voodoo put Viet Cong on their third album, Swamp of Love in 1986. They also ran Og Records which played an essential role in allowing Canadian indie music to flourish. A lifetime of kudos is owed them (and perhaps a couple of seats in our appointed senate).
In 1989, Peter Jackson, now of Lord of the Rings fame, released Meet the Feebles, his audaciously tasteless and utterly brilliant assault on the Muppet Show (and The Deer Hunter).
It occurred to me that these two works really did belong together and any liberties I may have taken are more than justified by the fact that there is a band wandering around New Zealand calling themselves Deja Voodoo.