Friday, June 29, 2007

Five-Hour Hostile Gosepl Marathon

Due to extenuating circumstances last Wednesday, I manned the controls at WXYC for over six hours of radio, starting with the New Music Show from 9-10pm, and then extending my regular show from 10pm-3am. Check out the playlist for this Hostile Gospel extravaganza here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Birth, Babies, and Bumbling: WXYC's Feedback Farm

It's always tough to put on a decent radio programme after being in the middle of the clusterfuck that is Feedback Farm, and I guess last week's show reflected my disorganization. Here's a link to the playlist:

Hostile Gospel: June 20, 2007

At least Feedback Farm was actually good. We're in the midst of a three part series dealing with the life cycle, and last week's episode was dedicated to the miracle of birth. It was definitely one of the better installments of FF, and I've edited out my favorite 10 minute segment for your audio enjoyment:

Feedback Farm: BIRTH - June 20, 2007

Deconstruction of the life cycle will continue in a few weeks, though it's unclear when exactly that will happen, given that next week is the 4th and the Farmers do love their fireworks.

Monday, June 18, 2007

WXYC Playlists, Old and New

Of course I'm already lagging behind on the updates, so here are the playlists from Hostile Gospel over the past few weeks:

June 13, 2007:

June 6, 2007:
*Everything after Jean Claude Chapuis played by Drew and Phil, WXYC jocks in training
May 30, 2007:

Feedback Farm is gonna kick ass this week. Tune in Wednesday, June 20 @ 9pm, or visit for a download of the show. We'll be doing an hour long audio collage of the life cycle, birth to death I believe. It could be broken into installments though, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hostile Gospel: Wednesday, May 23rd

After feeling somewhat indifferent to performing on Feedback Farm's excursion into the summer season two weeks ago, I subsequently did one of the better shows I've hosted on the radio in a while. Check out the playlist here.

The show's highlight was a slow-built collage that revolved around an excerpt from Henry Jacobs' The Fine Art of Goofing Off DVD, released by Important records in 2005. The release contained experimental audio/video broadcasted on San Fran public TV station KQED in 1972 as a collaboration between animator Bob McClay, Jacobs, and producer Chris Koch, with contributions from Alan Watts, filmmaker Jordan Belson, and several other. The other sources in the mix with Jacobs include:

-Stephen Vitiello
Listening to Donald Judd (Sub Rosa)
-"Banjo" Ikey Robinson and His Bull Fiddle Band How Low Can You Go? (Dust to Digital)
-Jazzkammer/Howard Stelzer Tomorrow No One Will Be Safe (Pacrec/Troniks)

Download the mp3 here. (Excuse the static-infused quality - this will be remedied in the future)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Enter a Special World

Brief Intro: This blog is to serve as my own personal dump of music and radio information/media as experienced through WXYC Chapel Hill, 89.3 FM. Expect downloads of highlights from my weekly radio program, semi-lengthy reviews, and gratuitous nonsense. My new show, Hostile Gospel, airs every Wednesday night from 10pm-Midnight. Listen live at

First up, a review of Jakob Olausson's new record on De Stijl.

Artist: Jakob Olausson
Album: Moonlight Farm
Label: De Stijl

Sitting on a front porch, breathing in a drenched Saturday evening seems a proper setting to engage with the personal dictations featured on Jakob Olausson’s Moonlight Farm. Alone, listening to the North Carolina downpour, I find strange comfort in Olausson’s musings, drifting in shaky confidence but compelling in their lonesome beauty. There’s an air of solemn independence that permeates the downtrodden delivery of the Swedish folkster's double-tracked vocals. His perspective is one tied to the land, hardened by the day’s work but still possessing a sad romance, a tendency to dream briefly before drifting to sleep.

Originally a sugar beet farmer, Olausson's background provides a proper testimony for his earthly tunes. He's a relatively fresh face to the acid folk scene, previously releasing sprawling psych jams under the moniker Joshua Jugband 5. Originally available through LPs offered on a Scandinavian tour in 2005, De Stijl has finally made Olausson's debut full-length widely available in CD format. Here, his violin and guitar duets weave charming melodies that meander through a haze of twanging electricity; gentle shakers and slothful cymbal vibrations create a warm but shadowy feel, comforting yet oddly alienating.

Olausson’s sound has peers in the New England psych-folk scene, especially in the output of Matt Valentine and Dan Ireton (a.k.a. MV and Dredd Foole respectively). His monotonous vocal style is reminiscent of Iretons’s acid echoes, especially in the track “Napalm Sky” – hauntingly deep and hovering over the surrounding lilt. He also conjures the hallucinatory free-blues of Valentine through the distorted hum of his electric guitar, blending the intensity of the instrument with his vocal warbles. But whereas his Northeastern contemporaries (and his previous Jugband output) tend to wander stoned through lengthy jams, Olausson keeps focus on Moonlight Farm, letting the tracks breathe and expand but collapsing them into digestible pieces.

There are nods to the San Francisco side of things as well. Six Organs of Admittance main man and all-around psych star Ben Chasney was quoted in praise of Moonlight Farm, envious of Olausson’s droning acoustics. The sound here recalls Chasney’s more plugged-in work, where dulled, disorienting roar meets tranquil meditation. The acoustic shuffle and sing-song guitar melody of “At the Citadel” brings to mind the breezy California twang of Skygreen Leopards, but played under a shining Swedish moon.

Despite these comparisons, Olausson still presents a vibe that is all his own. His music comes from a different context, with a different feel. His songs are genuine artifacts of personal toil rendered with regard to folk structures, but achieve freedom in their somber sincerity. “Sihouette V” is about owning up to responsibilities even in the most depressing of contexts, sung from the perspective of a tired beet farmer staring sternly into the cold eyes of reality. Such a staunch outlook is a refreshing testimony to the hard-working family man, the wayward traveler, and even a fitting soundtrack for a lonesome front-porch listener.