Oct 2 2013

Buster Friendly turns 27


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).


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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Jul 11 2013

Ipso Factory 10-07-13


This week’s selections were inspired by the film Autoluminescent: Rowland S. Howard (see below) and by an invasion of my home by a tweaking, crazed and fully naked youth who smashed things up, terrorized my family, who came at me with a dagger of glass and who ultimately flew out the window of my office. I have been left thinking about sex, madness, property, drugs and violence. Deep in the woods is a brilliant song, but I think about it differently now that I have beautiful teenaged girls and now that I have stared in the face the genuine madness of the young men who desire them.

Rogue males – they are a problem.

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Jun 22 2013

Rowland S. Howard ~ Autoluminescent


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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Jun 15 2013

Ipso Factory 12-06-13


There was a severe weather alert out and a tornado did touch down south of the city, and so the show this week turned on themes of storms, rain, flooding. Sailors worked their way into it as well. It’s nearly two hours of pounding and howling. Enjoy.

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If you haven’t checked out the Paltry Sapien yet, please do, and ‘like’ us on Facebook too.

Feb 1 2013

Ipso Factory = Playing Catch-up


With one thing and another, I have fallen considerably behind in the posting of shows, so I’ll post two together here, one from late November, the other mid-December. The earlier program posed the question, ‘are you a biscuit’s half-empty kind of person?’

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No such pessimism in the second show, just holiday season cheer and a nod or two in the direction of Zappadan. Personally, I think Movember should be rolled forward into Zappadan, keep those whiskers a few extra days and then shave them, with all due solemnity when the clocks toll midnight on Bummernacht (Dec 4).

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If you haven’t checked out the Paltry Sapien yet, please do, and ‘like’ us on Facebook too.

Dec 21 2012

Mr Wrong: The End of the World

Dec 18 2012

Big Stick – A Threat

Dec 3 2012

Unambiguous Conversation With Geoff Berner

Fresh off an exhaustive European tour, the Colonel Kurtz of Klezmer, Mr. Geoff Berner, sets out again on a frozen lap of the Hard Core Logo circuit, that long, lonely highway run through the western prairies that has tested the metal of traveling Vancouver musicians since the dawn of time.

Our conversation with Geoff for the Paltry Sapien podcast (below), ranged over a wide variety of topics: the list of recommended (and not so recommended) power stage moves for accordionists, the child-soothing virtues of Ceausescu bed sheets, the unbearable lightness of Norwegians, and the future of voodoo calliope dubstep, to name but a few. Listen, learn, enjoy.

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