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ange on 03/14/2013 at 10:30AM
Even in the biggest pile of horse crap, there's gotta be pony somewhere. When Hurricane Sandy turned the freeform radio station WFMU into an island, damaging valuable equipment and sinking their annual record fair fundraiser, one of the bright post-storm rainbows was an incredible night of music at the The Bell House in Brooklyn.
The Hurricane Sandy Relief benefit featured outstanding performances from Arrington De Dionyso of Old Time Relijun, followed by the Dot Wiggin Band, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Texas psych/gospel legends-rediscovered The Relatives. At the show, WFMU's comeback story paralleled the journeys of many of the evenings performers.
If you're not following the growing popularity of The Relatives, you should be. Their music and resurrection story were recently featured in the New York Times and on NPR, which means your mom might be calling to ask you about them soon. The long story short is that after 30 years, they are just now releasing their first full album of original work (available for streaming here), and it seems the world is finally ready to embrace a sound I've seen best described as "Jesus on LSD."
Also performing that night was another comeback kid, Dot Semprini aka. Dot Wiggin, the lead singer of '60s all-female group The Shaggs. Depending on whom you ask, they were either the best band of all time or the worst. One of their classically controversial songs "My Pal Foot Foot" closed off their set that night. It's an ode to Dot's lost cat that will either make your brain hurt or remind you why Dot holds the place she does in Rock and Roll history.
As you enjoy these live sets, take a moment to send dry thoughts and financial support in the direction of the station these bands came out to celebrate. The WFMU 2013 Marathon is underway, and it's a chance to say thank you to the station that helps you discover incredible music throughout the year and who parents this very archive.
modsant on 01/25/2013 at 10:15AM
These little piggies skipped the market, and headed straight to WFMU to deliver their own brand of straight-up catchy rock and roll! Punk in spirit, riffing through roots-dirty, Stones-esque style hooks, The Piggies exemplify the good-time, vinyl-hugging rock-n-roll and straight-to-tape aesthetic most bands can only hope for. This could be why their releathus far have been live rehearsal room recordings on a Zoom H2.
To hear the full performance and interview with host Joe Belock, visit the WFMU playlist. The Piggies will also be playing a Hurricane Sandy benefit for Norton Records on March 22nd at the Bell House.
lizb on 12/26/2012 at 08:00AM
I've been a silent lurker on the FMA this year, but did want to pipe up to share my top picks of 2012 with you all. Like an addict, I hit the new release stack on the site with frightening regularity, the spoils of which I share on my weekly radio show on WFMU and its corresponding podcast.
I skimmed the tastiest bits from the top of my FMA pile, resulting in what is still kind of a huge pile. Therefore, yet again, this year I've got two year-end mixes to share: a short attention span mix (below), and a more complete mix (53 tracks) after the jump. Enjoy!
ange on 12/19/2012 at 11:00AM
Photos by Jeff Moore
For this live session, Wilco's Mikael Jorgensen and tech genius Travis Thatcher filled WFMU with an ungodly array of vintage, modern and homemade synths, sequencers, filters, triggers, drum machines, and patchbays, and they did it with style, sensitivity and major know-how. From EMS-synths to iPad apps, it's 1971 meets 2012 and a thrilling master class in electronic music history in between.
All songs performed on Scott Williams' show are from their forthcoming release "Songs For Sexting," due out on Asthmatic Kittys' Library Catalog Music Series. All titles are indeed ACTUAL SEXTS. See if you can decipher them yourself.
TAGGED AS:songs for sexting, mikael jorgensen, travis thatcher, balboa, mikael jorgenson and travis thatcher, See More...
paulsmith on 10/25/2012 at 08:45AM
Call him a D.I.Y. Man: Frank Bango is an independent artist. The New York singer-songwriter, whose music has been compared to Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Ray Davis, set up his own imprint, Sincere Recordings, in 1994. Since then he’s been self-releasing his warm, guitar-driven pop songs.
Along the way he’s found novel ways to pay the bills, soundtracking an Omega watch commercial by lending his song "Bunny In A Bunnysuit" to the Nicole Kidman-fronted campaign. And last year he successfully kickstarted his most recent LP Touchy Feely. Fans who pledged $250 were rewarded with soup at the B&H Dairy on 2nd Avenue while Bango and Ricky Vesecky "recounted some of their most colorful adventures culled from years of being outsiders on the inside." That's what you call D.I.Y at its tastiest.
ange on 10/03/2012 at 01:30PM
As heard yesterday on WFMU's This Is The Modern World with DJ Trouble, MI-GU is in town from Tokyo with their new album Choose The Light. The band is is Yuko Araki (drum/vocals) with Hirotaka "Shimmy" Shimizu (guitar/producer). Araki and Shimizu are also members of Cornelius group, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, If By Yes, and Brother's Sister's Daughter.
In this infomercial, Mike Watt says he just can't reccomend their new album enough, because MI-GU puts everything upfront. Upfront feelings. Upfront drums. Upfront guitars. Watt says, "It not Marlon Brando."
Scott_Williams on 08/03/2012 at 03:00PM
Jealousy in the Love Room (pic by Yvonne Szymczak)
This picture captures the last moment before the lights went out, the strobes came on, and everything went weird. Great weird: disorienting, non-linear, exploratory, and those other catchy faves trippy, spacey, and whoah...
San Francisco-based Mark Treise's 4-year running project Jealousy takes a wildly disparate set of inspirations and distills them, coherently and brilliantly, through a bass guitar and his voice. The bass is relentless, repetetive and symphonic; his voice is high & textural and occasionally takes on the cadence of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Lyrics are abstract poetry that often seems to be on about some sex stuff or other. Jealousy has been described as having come to fruition with last year's excellent Moniker Records LP "Viles" (dl the whole thing here on the FMA). But while Mark has indeed sharpened his focus, this session on my radio show displays him very much still searching. 4 of the 5 songs played were largely improvised.
Mark was joined on this session by Alison Peery, who played theremin and the handheld Korg Monotron synth - Hawkwind-style swoops and sweeps abound. The songs were dark as pitch, but the vibe here was very laid-back and open to whatever might happen.
Here's some major trippy light show video, shot by Yvonne Szymczak & David Van Dokkum.
And here are some handy links:
Scott_Williams on 08/01/2012 at 02:00PM
Obviously, you start with Suicide. Then you hit the dusty highway & head backwards, about 15 years. On the way, you stop at a Howard Johnson's where you pick up smokes and an underage girl. Leaving, you spot a shoebox on the ground - it's filled with a stranger's snapshots, postcards and love-letters. You take it, because this will contain your memories. Heading back to the future, you make a pitstop in downtown NYC ca. 1981, just to wash up.
Now that you've got the basic ingredients for Dirty Beaches, you just need the right chef. He is Alex Zhang Hungtai, a bi-coastal Canadian of Taiwanese birth and no place of his own. Though currently, Montreal seems to be doing quite nicely.
Alex and guitarist Shub Roy recently made their first visit to WFMU, and I'm the lucky sumbitch who got to host & record them, while trying not to get drool on their sweet gear. Korg MS-10 synth! Ace Tone analog delay! A homemade fuzz pedal! Real nice mic too, I forgot to ask what that was.
Anyway, we're all real excited to share their live set with you, including an interview where we learn of other things happening in Montreal, and some upcoming releases, including 2 of Alex's film soundtrack projects. An Italian horror film!!
Check out the video of their performance, and here's more Dirty Beaches on the FMA.
emcecil on 05/17/2012 at 03:45PM
Suicide may have lit the torch in the mid-'70s, but one could argue that by decade's end, its carriers lived on the other side of the country -- in San Francisco. Sure, L.A. had the Screamers and some other odd ducks. But SF hosted an impressive number of bent bands who used synths, tape machines and other electrical apparatus to extend punk's mutated left end by leaps/bounds. Informed by avant garde composers and performance artists, fueled by apocalyptic abandon and paranoid pop twitch, groups like Tuxedomoon, Nervous Gender, the Residents, Factrix, Minimal Man, Chrome, and Pink Section would release timeless slabs of aggresively bizarre noise -- as would the Units, whose Digital Stimulation LP (415 Records, 1980) remains a personal favorite. The album's a lush and moody salvo if there ever was one, and I was thrilled to ask former lead synth player and vocalist Scott Ryser (right) a few questions about the band and its M.O. by e-mail last week.
jason on 04/04/2012 at 10:59AM
WFMU live from Beerland: The Wedding Present, Death of Samantha, The Men, Supreme Dicks, Xray Eyeballs, Electric Jellyfish
WFMU held a showcase independent of the SXSW Festival at the great Beerland in Austin TX on March 17th. It was a 6-band blowout featuring Electric Jellyfish, Death of Samantha, The Wedding Present, Supreme Dicks, Xray Eyeballs and The Men. We aired sets live over WFMU (91.1/90.1-FM NY/NJ) with a stream at wfmu.org (and many FMA jams blastin thru the soundsystem betweens sets!). We're pleased to share high-quality mp3s from this event!