Episode 92 Paper Girls

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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 for subscription on RADIO MUTATION!

The Last NOVEL SOUND of Summer: WMUH ep 4

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The Hold Steady – Constructive Summer – Stay Positive
Holly Golightly – As You Go Down – Slowtown Now!*
Jan Moore – Play It Cool – Teenage Rockabilly
Janis Martin – Teen Street – The Female Elvis
Omar & the Stringpoppers – My Baby Don’t Rock – Getting Wilder with…
Rose Maddox – Wild Wild Young Men – Whistle Bait
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages – I’m a Full Grown Man – Under the Savage Sky*
The Stents – Nobody Loves the Hulk – 7”*
The Severed Limb – If You Ain’t Livin’ – 7”*
Charlie Feathers – That Certain Female – Rolling Rock Hits
Danzig – 77 7 – Lucifuge
The Legendary Shack Shakers – Go Hog Wild – 7”*
Wild Evel and the Trashbones – Beat Rat -Tales from the Cave
The Delta Bombers – Who Are You? –
The Routes – Day and Night – Skeletons*
Sleater-Kinny – The Fox – The Woods
Jonathan Richmond and the Modern Lovers – New England – 23 Great Recordings
Wreckless Eric – It’ll Soon be the Weekend – Greatest Stiffs
Ramones – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School – Soundtrack
Groovie Ghoulies – School is In – Go! Stories

Check it out here or at The GaragePunk Hideout!

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Bibliodiscoteque Ep 54 Canary on the Drug Squad

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“It’s dangerous enough when an ordinary college girl turns confidential informant. Even more dangerous when she’s smarter than the kingpins, killers, and cops who control her.
Honors student Sarie Holland is busted by the local police while doing a favor for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, Sarie has no choice but to become a “CI”—a confidential informant.
Philly narcotics cop Ben Wildey is hungry for a career-making bust. The detective thinks he’s found the key in Sarie: her boyfriend scores from a mid-level dealer with alleged ties to the major drug gangs.
Sarie turns out to be the perfect CI: a quick study with a shockingly keen understanding of the criminal mind. But Wildey, desperate for results, pushes too hard and inadvertently sends the 19-year-old into a death trap, leaving Sarie hunted by crooked cops and killers alike with nothing to save her—except what she’s learned during her harrowing weeks as an informant.
Which is bad news for the police and the underworld. Because when it comes to payback, CI #1373 turns out to be a very quick study…” – from Book Website

Favorite Quotes:

“I can’t understand a word of Naked Lunch. Except for the drug talk. That, shockingly, I do get.”
“Play with rats and you end up with bubonic plague.”
“If you were to give Ringo a job killing DJ’s, man, he’d be happy the rest of his life.”

The Clash – The Magnificent Seven
The Cure – 10:15 Saturday Night
New Order – Age of Consent
Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
The Pixies – Hey
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
The Dead Milkmen – Dean’s Dream
Agent Orange – I Kill Spies
The Smiths – Sweet and Tender Hooligan
The Plugz – Hombre Secreto
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
The Velvet Underground – Run Run Run
The Jam – Town Called Malice
The Psychedelic Furs – Danger
Siouxie and the Banshees – Spellbound
The Clash – Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad
Sonic Youth – Catholic Block
R.E.M. – Moral Kiosk
Adam & the Ants – Stand and Deliver

 

The Novel Sound – WMUH and the Noise Machine

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I consider the noise and the funk pretty well brought on this episode.
I’ve enjoyed bringing radio friendly mixes back to the world. Richard Slouch (Gutbucket Esoterica at WMUH 91.7) is a hero for letting me take over his show and be the white sugar filling to his enormous Twinkie of garage rock and roll.
I also owe all y’all a special thanks for tossing in your two cents for what tracks work best. In August, we hit the final episode as students return to the airwaves and Sir Slouch is relegated to the primordial darkness where he belongs. I’m bitter sweet about the final episode. It only seems like a short while ago that I was getting setlists and vinyl ready for the world. But all good things…and I’m a bit melancholy today. Radio hang-over.
If you want to add a request of an end of summer tune, feel free to drop a line – no unreasonable request denied. I will butcher your name. I promise.

SETLIST:

The Fratellis – Dogtown *
The Surfin’ Gorillas – Summertime Surf
The Undertones – Here Comes the Summer
The Pandoras – Hot Generation
Descendents – Silly Girl
Naked Raygun –Hips Swingin’
Pine Hill Haints – Can I Have Your Board When You are Dead
The Thermals – Now We Can See
The Mountain Goats – Choked Out
Tornadoes – The Popeye
The Mohawks –Beat Me Till I’m Blue
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Honolulu Rock a Roll a
Eli “Paperboy” Reed and the Trueloves – I’m Gonna Break Every Heart I Can
Black Joe Lewis & Honeybears – Big Booty Woman
The Bluebeaters – Toxic
Les Paul and Mary Ford – In the Good Old Summertime
Dinosaur Ghost – Jeff Goldblum
The Inciters – Hurt
Isaac Rother & The Phantoms – Mima Mounds
Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightnin’
Omar & The Stringpoppers – Shakes
The Kinks – Love Me Till The Sunshines

We want the airwaves – WMUH podcast

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Me and the Honorable Sir Richard Slouch: Never a two more handsome beasts roamed the earth
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This here is an official WMUH setlist for official WMUH DJ’s…it hasn’t changed since the 90’s, but neither have we.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
King Salami and the Cumberland 3 – Trubble Trubble
King Khan and His Shrines – Torture
The Creeping Ivies – The Witch House
Thee Oh Sees – Poor Queen
Becky Lee and Drunkfoot – I Want to Kill Myself
The Routes – Tell Me It Ain’t So
Isaac Rother and the Phantoms – Hitman
Bloodshot Bill – Can’t Dance Alone
Fia Sco and the Majestics – Boom Boom
Jay Reatard – In the Dark
Zak and his Unhappy Guitar – Jack O’Diamonds
Uncle Butcher and Margareth Doll Rod – The Best is Yet to Come
Dr. Bontempi’s Snake Oil Company – Uranium Rock
Abner Jay – My Middle Name is the Blues
Delany Davidson – I’m So Depressed
The Pistoleers – Bank Robber
Man or Astroman? – Destination Venus
The White Wires – Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Tullycraft – Lost in Light Rotation
Late Bloomer – Use Your Words
Baby Ghosts – Ghost Boyfriend
Satelliters – Where Do We Go?

Bibliodiscoteque ep 53 – Charles Burns’ Black Hole

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Hey Gang,

This episode goes out to all the folks who were uncool and unnoticed in high school. Those years are tough as hell and for all of us who came out the other side …congrats!

Black Hole is about those who didn’t. Its about the ones whose alienation shaped them into something different and set them apart from the hip kids. Its about the companionship and bonds formed on the outside of the norm. Its about the outsiders.

Speaking of which, for roughly 4 school years, I worked on WMUH Allentown, Pa. hosting a show called Holden Caulfield Must Die (I was decidedly sick of his shit by college). It was a mix of punk, indie, ska, and assorted trash. One of my biggest heroes was a guy named Idle Rich – he hosted a show called Naughtius Maximus. Well, Idle Rich is DEAD and in his place has sprouted the amazing Richard Slouch and Gutbucket Esoterica. That’s right. Long live the trash!

After a 20 year hiatus, I’m returning to the airwaves to help out Richard Slouch and spin some wild tunes. Starting May 29 on WMUH from 2 – 5 pm EST (click the link for streaming), you can Stream or listen live. Later, I’ll be re-editing the show for a podcast in June, July, August, and Sept. But don’t fret, it will still be the same great flavor, just in a brand new bag!

Dusty Chance and the Allnighters – The Bug
Tiny Fuller – Catwalk
Harold Jackson – Go Cat Go
The Intelligence – Little Town Flirt
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs – How Do You Catch A Girl
Cowbell – Love Got Me Down
Tyrone Chesnut – Bumping
The Rhythm Shakers – Senior Class
Ghouls Night Out – Love Disease
Rudy La Crioux & The All Stars – Little Ole You
Ty Segall Band – I Bought My Eyes
David Bowie – Moonage Daydream
Mothers of Invention – Freak Out
Annette – Jo Jo the Dig Faced Boy
Lord Luther and the Kingsmen – (I was a) Teenage Creature
Black Sabbath – Children of the Grave

Blood and fire – A review of The Mountain Goats Beat the Champ

Beat the Champ
The Mountain Goats

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In 2009, The Mountain Goats released Life of the World to Come, a melancholy album which found its roots interpreting Bible verses. Fans trusted singer/songwriter John Darnielle to avoid Christian rhetoric and preachiness and were rewarded with a dozen tracks of surviving heartache, loneliness, and death. In Beat the Champ, Darnielle once again asks fans to trust him as he delivers thirteen tracks about wrestling.

Of course, in the past twenty some-odd years, the songs are never really what the songs are about. Darnielle is a poet invested in word play and the subtle malleable flow of language. Beat the Champ, on the surface, focuses on the early days of professional wrestling and its bloody and pre-Hulkamania rawness. It’s an album whose premise can be as alienating as religion. But, just as wrestling itself is a gimmick of violence and melodrama, there exists something under the mask of Darnielle’s lyrics.

In “Choked Out”, The Mountain Goats deliver one of the most rocking studio tracks in the post-Tallahassee years. It’s an adrenaline rush of of a number about surviving against the odds and pushing beyond one’s limits. “Heel Turn 2” and “Stabbed to Death Outside San Juan” harken back to older songs in The Mountain Goats’ catalogue, with the latter sounding like something vocally culled from one of the early cassettes . Hell, even “Foreign Object” echoes an obvious refrain designed to be an encore sing-a-long; but, mark my words, the real crowd thumping will rise for the “ba ba da da” filler at the end. Beat the Champ exists as a culmination of sounds from decades worth of experience.

Overall, it’s a fantastic album. TMG seem to have found their groove with the full backing band sound of horns, slide guitars, and piano, but something itches at the back of my mind. After several albums with this advanced sound (advanced from brutalizing an acoustic guitar and singing about Anglo-Saxons), there is an ‘adult contemporary’ feel in this new direction. The lyrical complexity still makes Darnielle one of the greatest songwriters of the last fifty years, but the music itself is strange in that there is no real genre to it. Tracks jump from acoustic strummers, piano crooners, crowd-pleasing rockers, and Tin Pan Alley showtunes.

Trust in The Mountain Goats.

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Punk for Nothing ep 4: No Commercial Viability

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Toy Dolls – Dig That Groove Baby
The Bloody Hollies – Good Night, Sleep Tight
The Art Attack – I Am a Dalek
Urinals – I’m A Bug
Late Bloomer – Use Your Words
The Teen Idles – Teen Idles
All – Crazy?
Big Drill Car – Crust
Doughboys – I Wrote You A Letter
Married with Sea Monsters – Face It Tiger
Dag Nasty – I’ve Heard
7 Seconds – Regress No Way
Youth Brigade – Sink With Kalifornia
Wingnut Dishwasher Union – F*#! S*#! Up
Verbal Assault – Trial
4 Skins – Yesterday’s Heroes
The Mr. T Experience – Alternative is Here to Stay
Dropkick Murphys – The State of Massachusetts
Fifteen – Family values
Section 13 – Coffee Grinds
The Queers – Wimpy Drives Through Harlem
2.5 Children – Land of the Free

The Man that Challenged the World: A review of the new King Automatic album

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The most difficult part of listening to King Automatic’s new album Lorraine Exotica (Voodoo Rhythm), is getting past the first track.

“King Outomatic from Auto Space”** is a full-on floor-stomper which sounds as though it’s been beamed from an ancient alien relay station and rebounded through a set of bakelight speakers. It’s an invasion of sound with no way to stop it. It commands you to hit repeat. After the third or fourth go-round, its nothing but explosive engines of sound waiting like reinforcements among the vinyl grooves.

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King Automatic has built a reputation on being the one-man band with a full sonic sound. Not only does he back himself up on organ, banjo, harmonica, etc, but he slides across genres with flawless ease creating danceable garage, fuzz-stained exotica, and Latin beats that sizzle with alien electricity. If it wasn’t for a live show surrounded by loop machines and live samples, you’d swear he had rows of arms like something from a dingy back-galaxy cantina.

Lorraine Exotica peels back like an alien egg sack revealing “La Vampira del Raval” and “Lorraine Exotica”, songs layered in Latin roots and bringing a range of sounds not often connected to garage punk and even more rarely to one man bands. “Plan B (Adopt a Lapdancer)” (one the best song titles of 2015) slams down some Chicago style blues with an unmatched ferocity. “Lee Marvin” pays tribute to the actor in a song as bad-ass as he was and “All Crossed Out In Red”, an ode to King Automatic’s Ukrainian roots, is just as hypnotic and mesmerizing as anything label-mates The Dead Brothers have released.*  This album makes no effort to play it cool for anyone. It expertly collects sounds from across the globe and brings it all together in a display of sheer talent and diversity.King Automatic knows how to rock in any language.

This album isn’t a test for your speakers – It’s the fucking exam.

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** Spelled correctly

*I even had to double check to make sure it wasn’t a cover song.

This Island Surf 9: Songs for Tura Satana

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It’s March here in the Northeast corner of America and there is four feet of snow outside my window. But cabin fever is for the weak!
It’s the perfect time to crank your stereos, brew some coffee, and warm yourself on great tunes and B-movies!

This month goes out to the wild and brilliant Tura Satana.

Also, check out this painting by Shawn Dickinson

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its available here – Feel free to buy it for your favorite surf DJ!

Rage Well, Gang

This Island Surf 9 – Songs for Tura Satana
(incidental music) Les Baxter – Sophisticated Savage
Crushers – Faster Pussycat
The Dustaphonics – Tura Faster Pussycat
The Reverb Syndicate – Return of the Angry Gentlemen
Steve Reverb & the Sound Tones – Mr. Mysterioso’s Secret Siren
Man or Astro Man? – Reverb 1,000
The Valkyrians – Astro Zombie
Elvis Presley – Girls! Girls! Girls!
The Revelaires – Third Man Theme
Don Ralke – Head Hunter
The Alohas – The Headhunter
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Freckles
Billy Mure – Hawaiian War Chant
Johnny Aloha – Drink to Hawaii
The Vi Kings – Desert Boots
Danny Amis & Lost Acapulco – Terremoto
Me’s – Oui Oui Oui
Satan’s Pilgrims – Boss BSA
Clouseaux – Shrunken Heads
Mysterymen – The Age of Envy
The Surf Zombies – Tattoo Pin Up Girl
Mercury Four – Commie Rat Stomp