Posts Tagged ‘carbondale’

WDBX DJ Spin Party wrapup

August 5, 2010

Attendance might have been a little light, but I think the first (hopefully, annual) WDBX DJ Spin Party went very well. I was happy to see so many DJs there, and also to finally see a couple I’d never had the chance to meet before. I am also happy to report that I encountered zero instances of “hooping,” which a late-night Google Images search had convinced me might be possible. An additional bonus was my discovery of “El Paisano,”  a Mexican grocery across the street, fine purveyors of real Coca-Cola– tall glass bottles, cane sugar. Well worth it!

At any rate, it’s always nice to chat with other DJs. Countryman (Rasta Revolution, 2-4pm Friday) has started me on Alpha Blondy as a means of entry to African reggae. Fortuitously, I have several Alpha Blondy mixtapes that I picked up as part of a larger collection some years ago, but had yet to listen to. So far, so good. Sarah (Scratchy Vinyl, 7-9 am Saturday) and I discussed Freddie McCoy and some of the other fun jazz stuff lurking in the vinyl stacks. We tossed around the idea of getting some index cards for the LP sleeves, in order to leave airplay info and track recommendations for one another– and perhaps getting a little “you might like…” box going as well. Jean (Grandma’s Jazz, 10-noon Saturday) showed off her neatly-formatted playlist printouts courtesy of iTunes. It made my Sharpie marker/notebook paper look much less professional, and taught everyone a valuable lesson about age, technology, and irony.

As for my set, it was received with the usual enthusiasm reserved for long Greyhound bus rides, complete with stoic looks of grim determination and furtive nips of alcoholic beverages. There was a distinct thinning of the crowd, but I did notice a few interested listeners. Star Child (4-6 pm Saturday) assured me that getting white people to dance is nearly impossible anyway, and had personally settled for claiming an audience member’s off-rhythm toe tap for his personal victory, so I can’t be too disappointed. Despite our best combined efforts to start a sing-along, I still had to fail everyone present for general lack of enthusiasm and play Little Fyodor’s “Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In)” as a means of behavioral correction. Truthfully, I really wanted to play this one anyway– DaveX FTW!

Hijacked!

July 11, 2008

I’ve been hijacked into a “band” of sorts, one of those late-night jokes that somehow becomes reality, mostly due to the ease with which the net makes these things possible. So you’ll forgive me when you find out that the band is named “Cosmic Twilight Pimps”— I had nothing to do with it!

I would have suggested an awesome name like “Muck,” but it’s already taken.

I just found out about the CTP last week, when I accepted their/our friend request. I had to, seeing as how I’m apparently in the group. I left myself a comment, and later got the full story from co-founder (and Sweet Action Radio host) Nick… in a nutshell, CTP seems to encompass whatever random oddmusic made between our respective broadcasts, as well as some 4-track noodling going on in some Carbondale basement.

Did I mention we have a video?

Tom made this one during the ill-fated broadcast of March 8, 2008. I was supposed to have a live guest, but he didn’t arrive, so I was stuck with a studio full of ears on a gradient from fan to foe. Getting folks to come see a live set at 4 AM is no easy feat– and it really hurts the future chances of being able to do so when the musician in question fails to show up!

Naturally, I was pissed. Partly, I was upset because I had no control over the situation, and partly because I was letting so many listeners down. I decided to channel my feelings into something a bit more constructive than pacing, and whipped out a rather bold sound mix using whatever I had, and whatever sounded right at the time.

Tom, a local treasure for his ceaseless work documenting musicians and artists on video, had been well-prepared to do the same for our AWOL musician. In the end, he captured the vast majority of the morning on video… at the time, I couldn’t imagine anything worthwhile coming out of these hours of footage, but I was mistaken. Enjoy this– and be sure to leave Tom a comment, too!

Interview with Karthik Kakarala

April 22, 2008

Karthik Kakarala, currently a Carbondale-based student and musician, will be this week’s live guest on “It’s Too Damn Early.” Naturally, I’m encouraging everyone to tune in. In the meantime, here’s a short e-mail interview in which Kakarala spills the beans about the habits of underground artists, the relationship of noise to Peking opera, and future recordings.

STARTLING MONIKER: How do you approach explaining noise to an interested (but otherwise uninvolved) party?

KARTHIK KAKARALA: This is the ongoing trick, isn’t it? Well, I’m not going to trivialize it by suggesting I’ve solved how to do so, nor insist that it’s impossible due to how many different ways there need to be in order to fit with the types of listeners that exist. Of course, these explanations depend entirely upon the listening experiences of the individual(s) in the conversation, and that must be determined first.

Rock ‘n roll: I’d say this is perhaps easiest, in terms of an inherent thirst for excitement that is obviously there, even in the oldest fossil who’s still into rock music. Old-school rock music (the popular edge of which is actually far less controlled in sheer percentages due to the advent of sophisticated compressors that can, with a couple of clicks, successfully steal all heart out of a track now) flagrantly is reachable via blues, and in any case blatantly points to Hendrix. Anyone worth their salt knows that it’s more than the basic “note” sounds that make him so damned interesting in his time, and focusing the person’s attention on the compositional possibilities of those non-note sounds for expressing fuzzier, more abstract concepts. I go back that far because not everyone gets into Radiohead (as a band that has almost always required multiple listens to form an opinion of, whether or not the particular album was up to snuff), not everyone ends up listening to the ambitious steps of The Who or Pink Floyd, and most people don’t hear Sonic Youth’s “Confusion is Sex” when they’re eleven years old, even though the latter’s not the end-all reason as to why I’m here typing this.

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