Ep 97 – John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester

Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It’s a small town in the center of the state―the first a in Nevada pronounced ay. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It’s good enough for Jeremy: it’s a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck.

But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return her copy of Targets―an old movie, starring Boris Karloff, one Jeremy himself had ordered for the store―she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it,” she says, but doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, a different customer returns a different tape, a new release, and says it’s not defective, exactly, but altered: “There’s another movie on this tape.”

Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious, but he brings the movies home to take a look. And, indeed, in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark for a moment and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video. The scenes are odd and sometimes violent, dark, and deeply disquieting. There are no identifiable faces, no dialogue or explanation―the first video has just the faint sound of someone breathing― but there are some recognizable landmarks. These have been shot just outside of town.

So begins John Darnielle’s haunting and masterfully unsettling Universal Harvester: the once placid Iowa fields and farmhouses now sinister and imbued with loss and instability and profound foreboding. The novel will take Jeremy and those around him deeper into this landscape than they have ever expected to go. They will become part of a story that unfolds years into the past and years into the future, part of an impossible search for something someone once lost that they would do anything to regain. AMAZON

Novocain Stain – Modest Mouse
Wicked World – Black Sabbath
Never Learn Not to Love – The Beach Boys
Camera – Pavement
The House that Dripped Blood – Hallelujah the Hills
Hooray for Tuesday – The Minders
New Zion – The Mountain Goats
Indian Summer – Beat Happening
Happily Divided – Sebadoh
Wrong – Archers of Loaf
Cause and Effect – Bingo Trappers
Orange Ball of Hate – Hefner
I am a Cinematographer – Palace Brothers
Thinking of You – The Thermals
I Guess I Remembered It Wrong – Superchunk
Standard Bitter Love Song #4 – The Mountain Goats
Smoke and Mirrors – The Magnetic Fields
True Love Travels on a Gravel Road – The Afghan Whigs
Pictures – Galaxie 500
Alpha Rats Nest – Andrew Jackson Jihad

EP 96 Memento Bowie


Herman’s Hermits – Oh! You Pretty Things
Ale Vanzella – The Man Who Sold The World
David Bowie – Days
Switchblade Kittens – All the Young Dudes
Balzac – Ziggy Stardust
Lulu – Watch that Man
Ian McCulloh – The Prettiet Star
Miriam – You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving
David Bowie – The Laughing Gnome
Placebo (feat David Bowie) – Without You I’m Nothng
The Cure – Young Americans
The Get Up Kids – Suffragette City
David Bowie – I’m Afraid of Americans
TV on the Radio – Heroes
The Dandy Warhols – Jean Genie
Dinosaur Jr. – Quicksand
Sunshiners – Modern Love
Bauhaus – Ziggy Stardust
David Bowie – When I’m Five
Iggy Pop – The Passenger
David Bowie – Velvet Goldmine
Purple Hearts – Can’t Help Thinking About Me
Beck – Diamond Dogs
The Sea and Cake – Sound and Vision
Warpaint – Ashes to Ashes, pt 1
David Bowie – Seven
Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World
Barbra Streisand – Life on Mars

EP 95 Punk for Nothing Election Special


Alt Title: Please Kill Me, An Election Special

They say songs are just songs and can’t really change the world.
This may be true, but they sure as hell can help a person blow off some steam. So wrap yourself in the Stars and Stripes, crank up your stereo, and scream as loud as you can.

Don’t Pray on Me – Bad Religion
Rise Up – Darkbuster
Their System Doesn’t Work for You – Anti Flag
Stab Yor Back – The Damned
Homophobes are Just Pissed… – Propaghandi
New Radio – Bikini Kill
I Refuse to Be a Victim – Jennywoo
O, Pennsyltucky – Mischief Brew
Weston vs. Total Chaos – 2.5 Children
In Defense of Humans – Fugazi
Houston We Have a Problem – The Queers
You’re Fired – Strike Anywhere
Government Flu – Dead Kennedys
Get Off Your Ass – SNFU
‘Merican – Descendents
Mexico – Manic Hispanic
Homba – Hank Robot & the Ethnics
Up to No Good – Los Benders
I Rot – White Lung
19th Hole – Gang Green
Propaganda By The Deed – The Pinkerton Thugs
Politicians – The Templars
Born to Lose – Johnny Thunders
Let’s Lynch the Landlord – L7

Also at RadioMutation.com

Ep 94 True Crime


Hate So Real – J Church
Nebraska – Bruce SpringsteenKeep Searchin’ – Del Shannon
Psycho – Beasts of Bourbon
Guns of Umpqua – Drive by Truckers
Outside of a Small Circle of Friends – Phil Ochs
Georgia Lee – Tom Waits
January 10, 2014 – The World is a Beautiful Place…
Jail Guitar Doors – The Clash
Your Home is Where Your Heart Is – The Lemonheads
Death Valley ’69 – Sonic Youth
i Don’t Like Mondays – The Boomtown Rats
Let Him Dangle – Elvis Costello
Diane – Husker Du

This Island Surf 15 LOS


Hola, Creeps! This here is Episode 15 of This Island Surf (the novel sound ep 93) inspired by my buddy Hugh who said to me, “Erik, do an episode of all bands that start with Los!” And here it is.
This episode’s drink is the ever fashionable and always delectable Sidecar: Riding shotgun is always the best choice.
Another buddy, Knute, introduced me to this drink of greatly disputed origin, and now I’m passing it on to you. It’s as easy drink to make, but it takes a bit of alchemy to get right. So get practicing.

The Sidecar:
·  2 ounces VSOP Cognac, Armagnac, or good California brandy
·  1 ounce Cointreau
·  3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, to taste

Rage Well,

Los Tiki Phantoms – Muertos y Furiosos
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs – Should I Stay or Should I Go
Los Volidos – Hot Rod Woman
Los Twangs – Amor Amargo
Los Straightackets – El Microscopico Bikini
Los Paraconas – Spiderman
Los Pontiaks – Sin Combustable
Los Pocos Locos – California Dreamin’
Los Galerna – La Cruda
Los  Coyotes – The Spider
Los Barreiro – Rey de la Radiofonia
Los Plantronics – Zapatista Surfista
Los Peyotes – Chacalon
Los Muertos Vivientes – Adelante Muertos
Los Mambo Jambo – Flamin’ Hips
Los Derrumbes – Krakatoa!!
Los Elasticas – Pirakor
Los Coronas – Big Wave Rides
Los Coronas & The Hi Risers – Flamenco

Head over to one of the links for more great music or to leave a review on iTunes!
Download I Radio Mutation I iTUNES

Fear of a Dork Planet 21 Heat, Celebrity, and Bathroom Etiquette


We’re having a heat wave, a Satanic heat wave. Erik and Annie brave near triple digit temps to bring you an all-new show…which is less a show than a gossipy brag session about all of the cool famous people we met. Also, urinal etiquette is discussed, Gordon Ramsay is cool and intense heat causes sporadic aphasia. IT’S SO HOT!!! Yet we’re so cool.

Fear of a Dork Planet EP 20 Bill and Ted are Undead


Okay kids, put on your yoga pants and relax, it’s time to tune in to our 20th episode in which we discuss dental procedures, socks and that one time that Erik hid under his bed for two days. Oh, and we might have mentioned something about porn stars, killer kids and fantasy cosplay as well. Also, Annie almost chokes to death. Again. Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K, you medieval dickweeds!

Brian Reedy – www.etsy.com/people/brianreedy1
Evol Soul Buttons and Patches –  www.Evolsoul.com
Dais Records – www.daisrecords.com
Youth Code – www.youthcode.bandcamp.com/

MIXCLOUD Link for the streaming sect

Episode 92 Paper Girls


I love this episode.

Over the past few years, I’ve poured my heart into various episodes and worked to make the ‘perfect score’ for numerous books and comics. I’ve had a moderate and small amount of success and people seem to dig what The Novel Sound sets out to do. But this one, as they say, is just for me, folks.

Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang have created some kind of wonderful with Paper Girls. Once upon a time in the mythical land known as the 1980’s, the suburbs were ruled by packs of seemingly feral children roving the streets on BMX bikes (ugh, who would dare ride a 10 speed) and armored in jean jackets and multi-colored Converse sneakers. Or Nike if you were of that persuasion. The point is that the youth ran wild. Most summers were spent traversing miles of pavement for Slurpees, slices of pizza, and coin operated video game machines. How I myself loved greasy pepperoni cups and pouring quarters into Gauntlet…I still hear the electric vibrato of “Warning: Don’t Shoot Food” while I, as an adult, grocery shop for organic free range Kale at Trader Joe’s. Times change.

And that is, in a weird way, exactly what Paper Girls plays with. Sure, its got time travel, its got giant microscopic monsters, its got witty banter, beautiful art, and bold colors, but its also got characters battling with who they are, who they were, and what they are going to become. It’s the struggle many of us face on daily basis complicated with actually walking around with those versions of ourselves and trusting that each one shares a similar desire to fix things. I mean, would a sixteen year old me work well with a 42 year old me and could I handle myself as a retiree? Frankly, I wouldn’t trust us to get out of a unlocked, unbuilt, garden shed without it coming to blows. If I had to escape homicidal future teens and time cops, I’d be  quickly relegated to a foot note in history that got edited out for lack of anyone giving a shit.

But I digress.

Episode 92 is another great chance for me to play some tunes (popular and not) from the 1980’s. And, since technology plays such an important role in the book, I decided that I’d invent a radio station (WTNS – The Novel Sound) and put on another fake broadcast (you’ll remember I did it once before). This time I wanted to exorcise the zeitgeist and I, for better or worse, incorporate the voice of Mr. Mark Klee.

Mr. Mark was radio broadcast hero in Allentown, PA. He was irreverent, wild, and told rambling tales of such glorious nonsense, that his fans would sit through hours of Brian Eno, live Roxy Music, and John Cage, for a Terrible Parable or warped PSA warning listeners about dinosaurs, UFO’s, and police. For one semester at WMUH, Mr. Mark’s show came on immediately after mine and we would chat in short mumbled sentences. But I would sit in in the studio and listen to him twist, bend, and splice words into wonderful shapes. I’m sad that Mr. Mark is dead. As are those who knew him better and those who looked forward to his tales. It’s a terrible thing when our heroes pass.

I’d been playing with the idea of mashing in some Mr. Mark dialogue for ages, but never felt I had the right output and worried I’d be set on by people thinking I’d committed a great sacrilege. For this episode, I wanted to create an anachronism. I wanted this to be a 90 minute ‘lost recording’ from the spirit of a long extinct radio show. It needed to fit precisely on a 90 minute Maxell tape because that is what I have left of Mr. Mark…a few clips pulled off the radio in an effort to record him and not the sustained noise he loved to play. And the best way I could work with the present was to incorporate the past. I hope those who knew him forgive me for this.

Part of why I podcast is to share the music and books I love with people and bring a little bit of positive noise to the world. It’s how I chose to push back against the closed minds and daily barrage of negativity and sorrow. There are some who deal with hostility, shaming, and battles many of us can’t even begin to comprehend. To those people, each day is a struggle. And to those who need extra help or feel they may be losing that war…please take the time to reach out. Find a friend. Find a family member. And if you need more than they can provide, reach out to crisistextline.org or another such suicide prevention agency.

You are important.

Episode 92 is not only a homage to Paper Girls, but to the 1980’s as a whole and the radios that provided soundtracks for the kids who ran amok. The streets will never be the same.

Kim Wilde – Kids in America
Joe Jackson – Sunday Papers
The Clash – The Leader
The Go-Go’s – This Town
The B-52’s – Cosmic Thing
The Psychedelic Furs – Run and Run
Sonic Youth – Silver Rocket
Devo – Freedom of Choice
Concrete Blonde – God is a Bullet
Love and Rockets – Ball of Confusion
The Cure – A Strange Day
Husker Du – She Floated Away
The Lemonheads – Die Right Now
Cyndi Lauper – Money Changes Everything
Adam and the Ants – Friend or Foe
Morrissey – Suedehead
Siouxie and the Banshees – Peek A Boo
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Victim of Circumstance
Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again
Elvis Costello – Waiting for the End of the World
Bauhaus – All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Also available at RADIOMUTATION with dozens of other great podcasts! Support great music and take a chance left of the dial!

The Novel Sound ep 91 Apes, Monkees, and Karaoke Nightmares


The Novel Sound ep 90 Apes, Monkees, and Karaoke Nightmares

Gino Washington – Come Monkey With Me
Lew Williams – Gone Ape Man
The Cramps – Monkey With Your Tail
Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Bomboras – Planet of the Apeman!
The Apemen – Invasion of the Apemen
The Space Cossacks – Planet of the Apes
The Kongsmen – Karate Monkey
Baby Huey & the babysitters – Monkey Man
Thee Headcoats – Monkey’s Paw
Frankie Tyler – I Go Ape
Chuck Berry – Too Much Monkey Business
Smokey Joe with the Clyde Leoppard Band – The Signifying Monkey
Thee Vicars – Monkey Mess
The Monkees – Birth of an Accidental Hipster
The Mr. T Experience – Pleasant Valley Sunday
The Monkees – Mommy and Daddy
Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) – Groovie Ghoulies
The Church – Porpoise Song
Groovie Ghoulies – She Hangs Out
Bad Manners – Randy Scouse Git
The Descendents – Coolidge
Fugazi – Waiting Room
Alternative TV – ATV
Black Flag – TV Party
The Bouncing Souls – These are the Quotes from Our Favorite 80’s Movies
The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
The Rezillos – Mystery Action
The Go-Go’s – La La Land
The Vibrators – Stiff Little Fingers
New York Dolls – Personality Crisis
Ramones – Gimmie Gimmie Shock Treatment
The Circle Jerks – All Wound Up
Dead Kennedy’s – Kill The Poor
Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized
Xray Spex – I am a Poseur
Pixies – Letter To Memphis
The Misfits – Skulls
Social Distortion – Don’t Drag Me Down
NOFX – The Idiots Have Taken Over
Cocksparrer – England Belongs to Me
The Clash – London Calling

This Island Surf ep 13 Wonder Woman


Boardwalker – It’s a Bikini World
Daikaiju – Double Fist Attack
Jason Lee and the R.I.P Tones – Sucker Punch
The Tiki Tones – On the Scene
Les Spadassins – All Your Secrets
Said the Ripper – Slicked Down
The Tiki Men – Fireball
The Trashwomen – Bumble Bee
Surf Trio – Vibrosurf
Cocktail Preachers – Slingshot to Durango
The Ghastly Ones – Hangmen Hangten
Chaino – The Pygmy Song (Tikky Tikky Boom Boom)
Aloha Haole – Hard Rock Feelings
The Phantom Surfers – Monster From the Surf
The Surf Zombies – Mind Worm
The Plugz – El Clavo Y La Cruz
Johnny Aloha – Vacation
Creepxotica – Creepin Kilauea
Laika & The Cosmonauts – Surf’s You Right
Surf Raiders – Surfin’ Elephant
The Dead Milkmen – Beach Song