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phoningitin on 04/08/2009 at 10:30PM

Daniel Johnston!

daniel johnstonOne of the "Oh shit..." questions I get asked a lot about Phoning It In (not that I actually get asked a lot about Phoning It In, that is) is " did you get Daniel Johnston on the show?" He has an aura of inaccessibility about him, but setting things up with his brother Dick- Daniel doesn't use email; his family handles most of his affairs- proved surprisingly quick once I got in touch. Really, all it takes in most cases is to ask nicely. I hadn't yet heard of Daniel's legendary over-the-phone sets for WFMU, so I didn't know that the concept wasn't such an unusual request. Dick had rigged up some kind of speaker-phone setup, but when I called for the show, no one else was around so Daniel just picked up the handset and played into that. As you can hear, the results didn't suffer. A few years later I saw him play a packed club in Boston, and though he was clearly having a ball, this is the way I prefer to listen to his songs: distantly, but as though being whispered only for me.

photo of Daniel Johnston (cc) by-nc-nd 2.0 Redheadwalking

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longrally on 04/01/2009 at 09:36AM

Taylor Ho Bynum/Tomas Fujiwara Duo Live at WFMU

photo (cc) by Scott McDowell

Taylor Ho Bynum and Tomas Fujiwara stopped by recently for a Sunday brunch set at WFMU.  The drums/cornet duo met in high school and have collaborated ever since, playing together in a plethora of bands/musical settings.  Playing a mix of composed and improvised music, and drawing on a broad spectrum of jazz styles from Ellington to Bill Dixon to smoldering grooves and who knows what else, the duo sounds loose and relaxed on the five tunes below.  Thanks to Mark Triant for engineering.

Their latest project together, The Thirteenth Assembly (a quartet with Jessica Pavone on viola and Mary Halvorson on guitar), has a brand new record on Important called (Un)sentimental.  Also, if you're in the midwest, they'll be playing a tour April 5-12 hitting Minneapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago, where they'll play as a duo and in various configurations with a bunch of amazing Chicago musicians as part of the Umbrella Music Series.

The live audio in this post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States license.

[Full set]

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robw on 02/20/2009 at 03:29PM

Balkan and Middle Eastern music from the Golden Festival

Every January, NY Balkan music scene pioneers the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band and friends organize a massive two night grassroots Balkan / Roma / East European music and dance festival / celebration at the Good Shepherd School in the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan.

Audition the collection's page on the FMA here, or follow the jump for a few audio highlights:

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longrally on 01/20/2009 at 06:19PM

Zola Jesus live on WFMU

Coming off two killer 7"'s and on the verge of releasing the excellent Tsar Bomba EP on Troubleman, Zola Jesus was nice enough to drop by for a brunch-hour set on a winter Sunday morning.  The Madison, WI-based band is led by the warped caberet chanteuse vocalizing of Nika (sometimes aka Zola Jesus, actually) who constructs and plays the tunes herself on the recordings.  The live band version consists of Max Elliott (floor tom), Lindsay (ex-Pink Reason, bass) and Dead Luke (synth).  Zola Jesus stirs up a charming mix of synth-mired darkwave and lo-fi bedroom haze with charisma to spare.   The Jersey Boy bagels were a big hit with the band.

Zola Jesus - "Odessa" (03:34)
Zola Jesus - "Odessa" (03:34)
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longrally on 01/20/2009 at 06:09PM

Lucky Dragons Live at WFMU

Equally adept at community building, sonic exploration and art making, Lucky Dragons brought all sides for a live set recorded just before the holidays for the Long Rally.  It's one long track of computer gamelan, echoed out flutes, and tiny percussion.  Take a listen or download away.  Thanks to Jason Sigal for engineering.  And for all LD all the time, hit up the website, Hawks and Sparrows.

Playlist [link]   //  Blog Post [link]

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Scott_Williams on 01/03/2009 at 12:45AM

U.S. Girls Live on WFMU

Us_girls_046Filling in for Hatch this week, I had the thrilling opportunity to present a live set of music from the Chicago entity known as U.S. Girls, which is actually one U.S. girl, named Megan Remy. Packing nothing more than a reel-to-reel tape deck, a mic, and 2 stomp boxes, U.S. Girls delivered a maelstrom of classic pop filtered through something unknowable and kinda crazy, I don't know what it is. I'll indulge the facile "A meets B" thing by saying imagine Phil Spector covered by The Conet Project, or The Dave Clark 5 as done by a gang of angry ghosts. It's strangely still pop music, stripped of all affect, leaving behind the pure emotion and meaning of songs like "Bits and Pieces" and The Kinks' "Days".


Here, for your health and holistic well-being, is the entire set U.S. Girls played, including the un-aired (and un-airable) full 27 minute chat. You can also check out the entire set as broadcast, complete with listener commentary and contextualizing other stuff (up to and including Pete Townshend's 1982 masterpiece "Slit Skirts"), here.


mp3s: St Jude Boys Choir | Bits & Pieces (Dave Clark 5 cover) | Come See Lightly | Don't Understand That Man | Everyone I Know Is So Insane | Prove It All Night (Bruce Springsteen cover) | O What A Nite | Days (Kinks cover) | Buzz Chant | I Can Hear Music (Ronettes / Beach Boys cover) | interview (complete, unedited & unexpurgated)

Creative Commons License

All original work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


Siltbreeze recently released the excellent Introducing U.S. Girls; visit their site for more. And here's a great writeup at the 20 jazzfunk greats blog. Jump the flip for more pics, plus some awesome video of "I Can Hear Music", shot by Jason Sigal.

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jason on 12/30/2008 at 02:47PM

Barnacled Live at WFMU

Barnacled live on WFMU: Alec K Redfearn on mouth harp towards the end of "Vulcanizing Society"

Last Tuesday’s episode of Talk’s Cheap featured Barnacled, an avant-jazz super-group from Providence RI. They have a new album on ESP-Disk called Charles, and played the following set before their record release party at the Bowery Poetry Club with Alan Sondheim and Septimania.


Barnacled Live at WFMU on Talk’s Cheap 12/16/08 [playlist] engineered by Trent Wolbe

1. Title (mp3) opening track to Charles

2. Polyurethane (mp3) from Charles

3. Slappodrome (mp3) a Nicotina and the Legs song (see below)

4. Vulcanizing Society (mp3) orig. from the 7” on White Denim


Lineup: Frank Difficult - Electronics/keyboard // Michael Jeffries - Baritone sax // Matt McLaren - Drums, percussion // Alec K Redfearn - Accordion, Jaw’s harp // Ann Schattle - Horn in F // Erica Schattle - Bassoon // Chris Sadlers - Bass // Nicotina - Guitar // (thanks to Alto Sax player Jason McGill for cordinating the session, though he was unfortunately not able to attend)

live tracks posted under a Creative Commons license, photo (cc) Trent W

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BTurner on 12/19/2008 at 06:07PM

Wire & Times New Viking Live at the Fillmore on WFMU

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jason on 12/15/2008 at 05:41PM

Song of the Day: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

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jason on 12/15/2008 at 12:43PM

Jeremiah Cymerman live at WFMU (mp3)

Jeremiah Cymerman live at WMFU
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