WXYC Blog

the New Zealand Trick

Instead of studying or paper writing, check this out. Its cooler, I promise.

This might not make any new fans, but here I've got a pretty cool 1984 television program that takes a look at Christchurch and Dunedin. Its mostly Flying Nun-centric, but who cares? There's lots of interviews and live clips from folks like Shayne Carter, the Verlaines, Look Blue Go Purple, Backdoor Blues Band, and Alastair Galbraith. There's some forgettable stuff maybe- but this is definitely fun. Part III is probably best.

(too much to post right onto our blog, so check out some links)

Part I
Part II
Part III

And I couldn't resist putting up these videos from two huge NZ pop groups. They will make new fans, quick.
The Chills, Pink Frost. From 1984, can be found on Kaleidoscope World, an early singles collection. Its a hit.
The Clean, Anything Could Happen. Released as a single sometime during their first existence (1978-83). You can find it on Anthology, and it rocks. David Kilgour wears a Bob Dylan costume. Cool.

Inspirational Religious Leaders, pt. 3: This Guy

who is he?? someone said his myspace page was here, but i don't think that's right. we need to give this guy a time slot on XYC.


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pPlFrmkXlE]

Inspirational Religious Leaders, pt. 2: Jonathan Bell

wow.


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54jRfgtOLeM]

Inspirational Religious Leaders, pt. 1: Reverend Alicia

pimp it.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nsbMHb5608]

Feedback Farm Goes Christmas Shopping: Crap + Junk, Part II

Those of you who heard Feedback Farm on Wednesday might think I'm lying when I say that due to a technical glitch the recording of the program was lost and thus cannot be presented to you here. It would perhaps be understandable that we wouldn't want the recording of that episode made public. But I tell you, it's true.

And, in fact, as evidence of my earnestness, let me make an appeal to anyone who may have recorded the show at home: If you have a copy of the November 29, 2006 Feedback Farm, please contact WXYC and I'll get it up on the blog to the considerable embarrassment of all involved in that show.

For the benefit of those who missed the program, the best we can offer is a play-by-play of what went down:

From 9pm until about 9:10pm, the Feedback Farmers scrambled to hook up their equipment and reconnect the power to the microphones. Due the the cramped quarters, tight spaces, and the farmers' large hands, replugging the microphone mixer power cord proved more difficult than it should have been. Thanks wholly to Kevin, the signal going out over 89.3FM and wxyc.org was kept alive by a lovely Bing Crosby loop with a spoken word piece succinctly describing the Christmas season: "More is never enough." Unfortunately, the loop and spoken word lost the brunt of its considerable impact long before it ceased playing. The home listener was probably bored by 9:05pm, and given the concomitant, huge men's basketball game, most people had likely turned off their radios before the Feedback Farmers ever turned on their microphones.

At which point the fun really began.

The point of the show was supposed to be to talk about the insanity of the Christmas shopping season. Black Friday, people getting shot to get that last PS3, people camping all night to get into Best Buy, etc.

The show did cover these topics, it must be said. Cole set up the discussion, PJ took his cue and mentioned Black Friday so that Kevin could spin the Steely Dan song of the same name, and Robin told a touching anecdote about Christmas shopping with his family.

But all too often the Farmers got distracted and the discussion veered away from the evening's purported focus. As if we really care what your favorite Christmas cookie is or whether you believe in Santa Claus. O muddled inanity! Farmers, your disparaging British telephone caller may have it right when he says your show is nonsense. Please don't let him be right!

There were a few nice moments. The philosophizing caller who extrapolated from the ever-lengthening Christmas shopping season (decorations in stores before Halloween!) the day when we go shopping for next next Christmas was particularly memorable. Still, in the end, the show was one to be missed. In the future, hopefully the Farmers will stay on topic and keep their petty bickering off-mic.

That about sums up what you would have heard if you had listened live or if an archive of the show were available to download. And with that, hopefully you're all as excited as I am to tune in on December 13th at 9pm WXYC-time for the next fabulous episode of Feedback Farm!

(Seriously, though, see the blog post from November 15th "Oh, the Hypocrisy" for a sample of what the Feedback Farm can be.)

To Live is Dying, Saved in Bombay

So, after getting this in the mail the other week and listening several times, I've finally formulated a review for the new To Live and Shave in LA. Here's the XYCified version:








Artist: To Live and Shave in La
Album: Noon and Eternity
Label: Menlo Park

What has happened here!? Tom Smith and his demented vehicle To Live and Shave in LA have returned with a behemoth of brooding sound unlike anything theyve released before. The tracks are long, tedious and still a difficult pill to get down, although this time it isnt as much for the abrasiveness, oh no. This time, its for the sheer size and depth of the cavernous compositions within, roaming through a desolate black canyon of bad acid trips and stereophonic drifts. Gone are the abrasive shitstorm of samples and destroyed noise orgy. Gone are the blatant sexual images and perverted derivations blared in uncomfortable excess. Instead, TLASILA brings us four tracks that read like a book of grotesque musical wanderings scripted from a group of crazed soothsayers, forecasting an infinite spiral of despair and degradation. I think I even heard an actual guitar chord in there. Smiths vocal approach has also shifted, focusing more this time on clarity and range, rather than intense-as-possible screams of vein-bulging depravity. Joining him are long-time friends and contributors Rat Bastard, Ben Walcott, Don Fleming, Chris Grier, Mark Morgan, Thurston Moore, and even Andrew W.K. on drums. This isnt a causal listen. You need a pair of headphones and a solid hour of your time to properly digest the meticulously edited escapades of gurgling depth and disgust. There are moments of utter brilliance that shine through the sludge (see the crescendos in Tracks 1 (~12:30 in) and Track 4), but it definitely takes a while for the first three tracks to get to the climax, rumbling slowly along in mechanical drama. I prefer the tight-packed sensory overload approach of old, but I can respect what the boys are doing here, especially with the amount of time and effort they still put into the recording and editing. Its a big one to suck on, thats for sure, but dont be frightened to swallow.

Cursive/Jeremy Enigk/Fin Fang Foom/The Cops - Nov. 18 - Cats Cradle

Saturday night experimental indie rock was splattered from wall to wall as the Cats Cradle opened its doors to a sold out crowd, waiting to be laid flat by the wall of rock that is Cursive. The show started with a uptempo set by Seattle post-punk outfit The Cops. Playing a set of jumpy punk anthems and flinging themselves across the crowded stage gave the early crowd a taste of the manic energy they would be experiencing most of the night. The Cops also brought with them a special surprise unnoticed by most, as it was never acknowledged by anyone on stage during their set, but they were joined by new bass player Drew Chrurch who is no newcomer to the Cradle stage or the underground rock scene as he has been in the rhythm section of such established bands as the Supersuckers and Hater. Second on the bill was local act Fin Fang Foom who, in my opinion, gave the best musical performance of the night. Where their solemn stage presence lacked in enterntainment, their sweeping melodies, entrancing lyrics, and hypnotic delivery washed over the crowd of 600 with the beauty and style their decade together has earned them. These guys have veteran-indie-rockers written all over them. After a few minutes of tooling around and clearing the stage, Jeremy Enigk came out for a strictly solo performance. It was only him and a guitar and electric piano for 45 minutes. Not to be disrespectful to the former frontman of Sunny Day Real Estate (it truly was an honor to share the room with such a long-time warrior of indie rock) but this is the kind of set that should not follow two entrancing sets and should never be used to warm up a crowd for the locomotive that is Cursive. It was just anticlimactic. Enigk should really either be fist bill on this tour, on his own tour, or should put together a support band to recreate the masterpieces he has written in a live setting. At the end of the night Cursive once again came out to the crowd at the Cats Cradle, and after playing this room year after year throughout the evolution of their career, they played up to it like a hometown crowd, and the love was felt around the room. The sincerity was even acknowledged by frontman Tim Kasher, when he drunkenly stumbled through a midshow thanks/tuning session during which he told everyone he felt honored to be playing a sold-out show at the Cradle and joked that he didn't really know what he was talking about half of the time. Curisve rocked through some of their better tracks from The Ugly Organ and Happy Hollow, and even proved their range and scoring ability by including in nearly the entire set a three piece horn section and a cello player, which really helped build their sound and turn the four-piece into a full-blown indie orchestra for the emotionally juiced sold-out crowd.

Silence!


It's coming, and WXYC will not be participating.

Some guy from England named Bill Drummond has decided November 21st should be No Music Day. He cites stagnation in musical creativity as one of his primary reasons and hopes that a day of silence will kick-start something really new. I think he's not listening to the right stuff (does he have the Gordon Monahan and Tim Hecker releases that graced WXYC's rotation this year?), or maybe he's forgotten how to listen.

He has a point that there's a lot of musical fodder out there, but after reading his rant I personally think his idea is silly and contrived. So, despite the fact that London's excellent Resonance FM is participating, I'm glad that we are not.

I believe you can make a much more meaningful (if still futile) statement by participating in Buy Nothing Day this Friday.

Correcting A Misunderstanding

In an effort to correct misconceptions about what this blog actually is for, I submit the following list of carefully considered guidelines.

What This Is Not / Ain't According to The Talking Heads
My beautiful house
My beautiful wife
No party
No disco
No fooling around
No Mudd Club or CBGG

Oh, the Hypocrisy!


The good Reverend Ted Haggard, the honorable ex-Representative Mark Foley, and their assorted hypocrisies were discussed and remixed ad nauseum tonight on the Feedback Farm. Missed it? Download it. (25MB MP3)