The background to the cover photo is a picture of the handwritten notes Robert brought with him for our episode of Playing Records, you will hear why I do not have that recording, nor could I ever provide one to Robert. No big deal, we managed to pull together a worthy send off to the singular talent, music loving big baritone who remained true to his muse to the end. New releases include Simple Minds, Robert Glasper (featuring Lalah Hathaway and Common), Wunderhorse, Morris Day hooking up with Billy Gibbons, Cheap Star with Gary Louris, Brendan Benson and Mitch Easter, Ian McNabb, Andy Bopp and IMHO The Beatles album most desired for remaster and expansion, “Revolver.” Library selections range from Mose Allison to Shuggie Otis, Jack Bruce to The Isley Brothers, Jane’s Addiction, Willie Hutch, Joe Cocker, Fine Young Cannibals and a whole bunch more. The new link for Donations is active for 28 more days, thanks as always for your generosity. https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8OiYEv1Wf1
The Playlist is only a click away....
Beginning the episode with Woody Harrelson talking about Justice leading into William S. Burroughs and “The President” may have you figuring that once again we are venturing into heavy political ground, but that is not the case. It’s difficult enough to get through a single day unscathed. This is the only escape hatch to keep our minds occupied and let the ears drive the bus for a bit. Plenty of new releases to beat the madness back and enrich our soul. David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, The Afghan Whigs, Broken Bells, Eliane Elias, The Reds, Pinks & Purples, Wild Pink, Frank Zappa, Bruce Springsteen (covering The Commodores), The Lightning Seeds and Todd Rundgren collaborating with The Lemon Twigs, Thomas Dolby & The Roots all have issued new tunes, and utilizing the expansive library for The Ohio Players, The Smiths, J Mascis, Will Hoge, Ben Arnold, Jimmy Reed, Mike Boldt, Rickie Lee Jones, The War On Drugs and many others to keep the flow just right. News of Robert Gordon’s passing happened during the show so we cover it, but expect more on him down the road. Thanks for keeping me occupied and paying the bills. I love you all.
The Playlist is here... they wouldn't let me update it last night.
Also needed to put up another of these... all help greatly appreciated.
Here is the other half of the stuff I promised. Ripper explains in the intro exactly where these mixes came from. Essentially there are 3 sets of music. 1. starts with a great Shane Nicholson song and ends with a 1970 radio advertisement for an Electric Car. Yep, it's legit. 2. Starts by showing the unlikely musical connection between the late, great and supremely overlooked Judee Sill's "Jesus Was A Crossmaker" and Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" and ends with a pretty cool new track from Cory Brannan, Jason Isbell and Brian Fallon guest. 3. Begins with some very rare live material from Prefab Sprout, has new sounds from Tears For Fears, Duncan Sheik, Broken Bells, Will Sheff and Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. The 3 sets become one uninterrupted nearly 3 hour piece. I am thinking of doing more stuff like this without my yakking. We'll see.
The Playlist can be located HERE
In the same carton that contained a batch of my Radio Terrorism Shows, I also found a cassette with a broken rubber band around it. It usually took 3 cassettes to record a full aircheck but this tape was solo with an old dot matrix printed sheet within the tape case that read 6/24/88 The Last Show... and low and behold it was the first 90 minutes of my last regular live show. Recorded 4 days after my Birthday on June 24, 1988, I thought for sure it was gone forever. These Maxell UDS II tapes are truly indestructible, so it actually played. Sound quality was dreadful but I considered the source. I was still using the same gear as it wasn't until much later that HTG upgraded the board. But whatever, I was happy to find a piece of personal history thought lost. So here you go, this is the full first 90 minutes. Maybe I will find the rest. I am lovin' the commercials!
NO playlist for this one. Sorry.
From this human’s point of view it is more important than ever to try and maintain some semblance of normalcy while witnessing, what at times, looks to be everything bursting into flames. Maybe it’s simply a product of getting older but I suspect not, as the infrequent times venturing from the cocoon of the studio into what passes for the real world, the eyes of the public say it all. By nature an extrovert, I am that guy looking to interact with others. I will always hold a door or let someone move ahead in line, enjoying the small talk that will usually arise. People don’t do this anymore. Anxiety, fear, disbelief and confusion is what I read now. Most recently today in the supermarket, but clearly increasing at a steady rate over the last few years.
Musically speaking, this is a normal episode of FTB. New or previously unreleased things from Lambchop, Josh Rouse, Julian Cope, The Waterboys, Jesse Malin, Artists For Action, Calexico, Will Sheff, Wilco, Jack White, Sloan, Bartees Strange, Bruce Springsteen, Dan Mangan, Spain, Death Cab For Cutie, Christone Kingfish Ingram And Big K.R.I.T., The House Of Love, Brian Eno, Supreme Beings Of Leisure, The Beths, The Godfathers, GA-20 and The Afghan Whigs. Joined by sounds from King Missile, The Rave-Ups, The Clash, Nazz, The Move, Beagle, The Db’s, Darrell Scott, Warren Zevon, Love, Nick Drake, R.E.M., Charlie Hunter, Phil Roy, Glen Hansard, Free, Ani Difranco, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mark Lanegan, Isobel Campbell, Caravan and others. Seems a little light on Jazz this time but that’s just how the muse moved around the library.
Thanks for listening and please try to keep your head up and moving forward while dodging the explosions of upheaval all around. If you can’t find the will to speak, at least offer a smile if you happen to spot a pair of eyes that obviously could use one.
The playlist can be found by clicking HERE
Unsure of the contents prior to opening the box I was not fully prepared to be transported instantly back to the last century, but that is exactly what happened. Bright colors and weird covers adorned the top layer of DAT tapes filling the carton. I don’t even use them anymore but back in the 1990’s it was a very common site. Here they were, I knew I never got rid of them. Last seen in early 2001 while packing to move to Washington, DC for XM. The shows that I did for WHTG from my home studio in Peabody, MA while I was working for Rykodisc. Now there’s a story…. And quite frankly I’m not sure I want to share it all, at least not this week. But since context and environment are a necessary element for full enjoyment, here’s what I will share for now.
Before Ryko I was programming my dream station, Coyote Radio in New Mexico. Located in Santa Fe and privately owned. I thought we would be there forever. It lasted a year and a half! For now we’ll avoid getting into the drama, but this was the period that changed terrestrial radio forever. The future for anything above lowest common denominator programming on FM was terminal once ownership caps were removed. So let’s just say that there is most definitely a book in there.
Rich Robinson had joined me in Santa Fe and wound up staying for a while but I took a great job with Rykodisc and once again moved across the country. This was it as far as Radio was concerned. No more. Fuck Radio! Ryko was a wonderful place to work, truly great people all with music as the center of their life. The roster of artists contained absolute gems like Morphine, Bob Mould, Alejandro Escovedo, Lloyd Cole, Golden Smog, Bruce Cockburn, Medeski, Martin & Wood, John Cale, Andrew Bird, Josh Rouse and on and on. Plus we had the catalogs of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Nick Drake, The Soft Boys, The Undertones and so much more. Jeff Rougvie was the A&R guru and we are friends for life. He’s about ready to publish his book on the label and I can’t wait to read it.
I can’t remember the exact date but in 1997 good old Rich gave me a call that started with “Hey Spike, I’m back in Jersey and you’ll never guess what station I start programming soon.” I hesitated for a second and knew there was only one answer, ``Don't tell me, HTG?” Yep, he was back and talking about “putting the band back together.” He knew there was no way i could afford the beyond extreme pay cut a full time job would be for me, but before long we had devised “Radio Terrorism.” Every Saturday I would do 10 pm to Midnight via a recorded show and Bart Cross-Tierney would come back with his new creation “Barrage From The Garage” LIVE from Midnight to 6 AM. Vintage Vinyl, easily the best and now largest Independent Record Store in the State, would pay for the whole shebang. Owner Rob Roth was a huge supporter of the station since we started it in ‘84 and he was thrilled with the change in programming.
I made zero money for doing the show and didn’t care. They covered blank media (DATS) and all mailing expenses, but the key was the rules. There weren’t any. I could play and say anything I wanted. Rob was basically sub-contracting the signal for 8 hours and was paying six months in advance. He made sure to include a clause in the contract that any forced change to the programming would terminate the deal immediately. This 77th show was actually picked at random out of the box, but is a perfect way to begin the series, as the week before it aired Rich had been let go as PD and the new program director, had a big problem with the lyrical content of the Bruce Cockburn song I played and called me up. I was in no mood. By 1999 my contempt for radio had increased to maximum. With very few exceptions, the corporations were completely in control and had systematically squeezed the adventure, discovery, respect for the audience and above all, fun from the assembly line. They had dumbed everything down to a degree I considered insulting. I almost felt bad for my reaction to that phone call, but I said what I needed to say and am glad I did. Basically I told him to check the contract. Since it was already paid through to a period about 6 weeks or so down the line, I don’t have to play or better yet, not play, anything. You have no say. Consider this my notice. I will fill out the contract and not renew. Please let me know ASAP if you will need me to provide the shows remaining. They did and so did I. Fuck Radio. I was done and haven’t done a show for “terrestrial” radio ever since.
Although very comfortable with computers, I had not yet patched mine for audio, so I would use my basic setup, 2 turntables, 3 compact disc players, 2 cassette machines, a portable DAT and cheesy old reverb. It was all done live, a 2 hour show took about 2 and a half. Today I could put together a 2 hour show in 15 minutes if necessary. And literally none of the gear just listed would be involved.
I can’t believe I have managed to save all the playlists!
The Playlist is right HERE
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