Monday, November 29, 2010

Sing a Holiday Hymn!

Thanksgiving weekend has officially come and gone here in the states. We've survived Black Friday (crazy long physical shopping day), and today that I guess we're now calling "Cyber Monday" (shut-in/office drone day)!

Some gifts however, need not be purchased. Thanks to the internet and dedicated pop archivists out there, every now and again an absolute treat like the video below is stumbled upon. It feels particularly poignant since I decided to open the radio show I was asked to fill in on with "Holiday Hymn." It sounded better than I remembered, and so perfect for the extremely chilly and windy evening that we experienced here in Los Angeles. Add to that, the show was extra heavy on Edwyn Collins last night; I played something from his new solo record, AND the Orange Juice Box Set. Plus, it's just... the holidays, there's something kind of wonderful about that, especially with tunes like when tunes like this one out there.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thoughts About Halloween, Jandek, and (You Guessed It) A Link to a Radio Show...

On a scale of one to ten my level of "into-it!-ness" for Halloween is somewhere around a three. I don't despise the holiday, and I've had a pretty good costume or two in my day, but I've never been one for the vast minutae of Halloween that so many seem to hold so dear.

That said, one thing that I do love is a good theme to base a radio show around. The fact that the majority of my October 31st was spent either on the air, or preparing to be on the air is perhaps the most perfect way I've ever spent a Halloween. Looking back, I realize that I perhaps should have made at least one of the shows entirely Halloween themed, but there's always next year. One particularly noteworthy artist that my exploration for spooky tracks brought me back to was Jandek.

There's nothing all that particular in Jandek's work that you could use to tie back to Halloween, I loosely went with the fact that he has a record called Blue Corpse, but the overall atmosphere is what makes Jandek's music so chilling. Despite a few shows within the past few years, Jandek still remains largely a creature of seclusion and mystery. In fact, Spin Magazine ran an article about Jandek several years back and there was a sidebar citing the 5 least plausibe Jandek rumors. One of them was; "He's actually Thurston Moore." I like that. I like the idea of Jandek shrouded in as much mystery as can be, it makes the songs all the more discomforting. Cause these songs are so spare, so strange, and so sure haunt you for some time that to know anything about the person responsible for them would almost seem to take away most of the songs' overall appeal.

All that said, you must certainly be able to imagine imagine that after a year or so of not thinking about, or hearing those songs; they're all the more jarring. The song I played on this particular Halloween show, "Part II," has always been my favorite. I can't explain why, and I think that for the best. Jandek, and this song in particular, just make me nervous, and I like it.

You can listen to the show here.