April 23rd, 2013

Heaven Is _____.

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I’m not a religious person, but heaven came up twice this weekend.

The first, derived from the “party” “game” Cards Against Humanity. One of the cards was “72 virgins”. I never understood why someone would want to kill themselves in order to have the unverified “privilege” of “entertaining” 72 virgins. In the event there is an afterlife and you are greeted by 72 young (I’m assuming), frightened (I’m assuming), untrained girls, which one do you choose first? The most confident one?

"Hi I’m Tania. I’ve been waiting my whole life for you - err - I mean afterlife haha. Aw geez, I only had one line to memorize and I messed up! Anyways, where should we go? That cloud looks kwel!”

Gross.

The second instance of heaven came from a friend traveling overseas. I had previously told her I love people-watching and specifically people-watching at airports. She kindly let me know I would have thought I’d died and was “in heaven” at this particular airport, what with the variety of peoples passing through.

In my response I quoted Belinda Carlisle, in that my uncertainty of the afterlife (note: not a renouncement), leads me to believe “heaven” as an individual’s utopia may as well be a place on earth. I can’t possibly imagine something better than the best of what I already know to be true. Maybe my heaven is an airport.

Wilco and Billy Bragg’s Airline to Heaven pulls in my own LOST-ian flight approach to the afterlife:

Take that airline plane / It’ll take you home again / To your home behind the skies

Many other musicians have attempted to define heaven. You may see a theme:

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March 29th, 2013

Noel Crombie: Mr. Tambourine Man

One of my favorite ’80s bands is Split Enz, perhaps the most successful music act from New Zealand not named Flight of the Conchords. What you need to know about the Split Enz is: 1. Their songs are written from the perspective of the “nice guy” standing in the corner of the bar 2. That introversion is offset by diverse music styles and arty videos like this and this and especially this 3. Lead singer Neil Finn later formed Crowded House, which had the 80s hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over”.

Their long-time drummer, Noel Crombie, had an particularly interesting influence on and evolution with the band. He served multiple roles including costume and hair designer, album cover designer, and music video director.

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January 2nd, 2013

Pretty Good Songs of The Year

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Year-end lists are bullshit.

Every year-end list is titled “Top” or “Best” but they’re really “Favorite”. Let’s cut the crap. Unless it’s an aggregate of top-rated albums, for instance, the list is a combination of two opinions; those being the writer and the popular consensus. 

I am not ashamed to admit I really like “Call Me (Maybe)”. It’s a lot of fun. My bros and I sing it when it comes on the car radio and then we go back to talking about designated hitters or whatever. I can’t imagine 2012 without C-Rae, nor will I try.

That said, a serious writer would have a hard time putting “Call Me (Maybe)” in a serious article about serious music. As much as you may be pleased with boppy sing-a-longs, popular opinion tells us artists like Beach House and Frank Ocean make better music. A Top 10 list is expected to reflect the annals of time, even if the annals of time tell us the cast of Glee has had more chart-topping singles than the Beatles.

I say: Fuck that. I haven’t listened to every song that came out this year and I won’t pretend to love “Channel Orange”. These are the songs I played the most in 2012 and it is only my humble opinion that they are, at this moment in time, pretty good.

10. Jessie Ware - Running

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December 24th, 2012

Let’s Get Friendly (mix)

A short-stack collection of 78 rpm recordings.

  1. Golden Gate Quartet - I Will Be Home Again
  2. The New York Twelve - Let’s Get Friendly
  3. Carlos Montoya - La Virgen De La Macarena
  4. Dinah Shore - Whatever Lola Wants
  5. Harry Reser’s Radio Band - When I Take My Sugar To Tea
  6. Renato Rascel - Musicomania
  7. Sam Lanins Dance Ensemble - By My Side
  8. Roland Gerbeau - Lullaby For You
  9. Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra - Blue Skies
  10. Sam Lanins Dance Orchestra - Hello Beautiful
  11. Bert Hirsch - I Want To Sing About You
  12. Jacqueline Francoise et Paul Durand - Bolero
  13. Roland Gerbeau - She Is So Beautiful
  14. Arthur Tracy - Home (When Shadows Fall)
  15. Al Jazzbo Collins - Little Red Riding Hood

Total time: 48 minutes

Download here.

December 17th, 2012

Yallin’

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An All-North Carolina mix for the road home.

  1. Superchunk - On The Mouth
  2. Archers of Loaf - Wrong
  3. The Connells - Slackjawed
  4. Bellafea - Seasons
  5. Annuals - Bleary-Eyed
  6. Spider Bags - Simona la Romona
  7. Bombadil - Laundromat
  8. Cassis Orange - Still No Home
  9. Floating Action - Well Hidden
  10. Tyler Ramsey - 1000 Black Birds
  11. Mandolin Orange - Wake Me
  12. Whiskeytown - Don’t Wanna Know Why
  13. Phil Cook And His Feat - Juniper
  14. Hiss Golden Messenger - Blue Country Mystic
  15. The Light Pines - Blinded
  16. The Rosebuds - Bullet Proof Soul

Total Time: 60 minutes

Download Here

May 7th, 2012

WUAG, we had a good run

Today at 5:00/4:00 PM central I will appear on my final WUAG radio show (probably) after six humbling years of unquestioned, unqualified airplay. For two hours I’ll be talking sports on The SportsCycle, truly, an unbelievable feat given that, as a freshman, the 10 minutes of speaking that was required for a normal radio show gave me the shakes. I have to remember that when I close this chapter in my life, what the 18-year-old me would think about all this.

When I graduated high school, I had three goals for college:

  1. Study Abroad
  2. Join the Ultimate Frisbee team
  3. Be a DJ

While I eventually accomplished all these things, being a DJ was the first thing I crossed off and maybe the first thing I wrote home about that wasn’t about a girl. I remember giggling through my DJ training with Lynda Kellam, who rolled her eyes and gave me a time-slot of 4-7AM.

After a couple months of playing music for truckers and stoners and midnight tokers, the slot after mine opened and I was offered it. I accepted AND asked to keep my first shift too. So for half a semester I had a 4-9 AM time slot that no one listened to and it earned me DJ of the week because I played five hours of music that no one listened to. At that time, WUAG posted the DJ of the Week on the website with a short interview and I’m pretty sure they stopped doing this after my interview, which included “sexy” and “OWEN” in the same sentence.

I brought a “Dave Matthews Band 2004 Tour” shirt to UNCG as a freshman, so you can imagine most of my five hours was spent whispering “FUCK” and “SHIT” and “Kings of Convenience?” as I scrambled to fill the time. When music played, I’d sit on the floor of the studio, fingering through the stacks and reading the reviews of records I’d never heard of. One of the first of these discovered records that I fell in love with was Superchunk’s “Come Pick Me Up” and I was convinced “Cursed Mirror” was the pinnacle of modern pop rock. To me, it defined indie music and WUAG and was the record I’d play if someone asked “What kind of music do you play?” If you’re a DJ, there is no more important question in your life.

For 10 of the next 11 semesters (minus the one for study abroad), I occupied every possible radio slot from 4 AM to 9 PM. I opened before much better shows, like the Movie Show, In The Beat of the Night, The Pipeline and “LISTEN! with Bootz Durango”. I sang a duet with Treasure Mammal at a WUAG Presents show and I recorded beach volleyball superstar Misty May-Treanor saying “When I’m not winning Olympic Gold Medals, I listen to WUAG 103.1.” All of these things are on my professional résumé, under “Over-Qualifications”.

Last night, I went to a concert in Saxapahaw and the first act was a two-member, acoustic Superchunk. They played only a handful of songs and one of which was “Cursed Mirror”. I have seen Superchunk now, more than any other band. Close to ten times now I’ve seen this band, and I have never heard them play “Cursed Mirror”. On the eve of my last radio show, a line about bad luck reminded me of the opposite and nothing could have been more appropriate.

The mirror gets cursed
For what’s reflected.
So you disconnect it
Will you disconnect it?

March 12th, 2012
Name that setlist!
Hint: it’s a North Carolina band

Name that setlist!

Hint: it’s a North Carolina band

March 8th, 2012

Grimes - “Oblivion” . This video is super quirky.

(Source: vevo.com)

March 8th, 2012

Awesome new video from Keep Shelly in Athens - Our Own Dream

(Source: vimeo.com)

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