Good Music We Can Know

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: A Look Back, Then Onward, Ever Onward


Tonight we look back at a year in the Explorers Room; I will play one song each from every show of 2016 (with the exception of some of the more recent shows, for which I'll play the songs I almost, or perhaps should have played).  An evening of retrospection before we make the leap to a new and probably even more horrifying new year.  Join me, tonight, in the Room.  7-10.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: A Do-Your-Thing Batucada (Strong as Thing, Sweet as Do)


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll be hearing long-form funk excursions, avant-Peruvian abstractions, woozy film jazz, and more.  Join me tonight for 2016's second-to-last Explorers Room.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Bahama Boat


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll be listening to music from the Bahamas, and music about boats.  I recently moved to Bahama, North Carolina, into an old house that's rickety and crooked and wood-paneled in a way that frequently makes me think of it as an old riverboat or clipper ship or something.  Obviously, it's not a boat which can travel, it's a mostly stationary house; and I don't live in the beautiful Bahamas, I just live in Bahama (pronounced, tragically enough, Ba-hay-ma) in a doomed state in a doomed nation, but it's the fantasy space bridging these concepts that is the lifeblood of the exotic, and anyway, I like songs about boats and I like Bahamian music, so let's just roll with it and see what happens.  Tonight!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cover Art, the Cover as Art: Flash Car, Dying to Sing


I think this came out almost a whole month ago (I've been moving and let a lot of things get away from me recently), but better late than never I'm happy to post about this, for two reasons: one, I did the art for it, and two, the music is really good.

Actually, I did the art for half of it.  It's a split single for Third Uncle Records; one side is No One Mind doing a cover of "Land of Dreams" (art on that side by No One Mind's Ellis Anderson), the other is Flash Car (for whom I've done art before, and will do again – stay tuned for an upcoming LP with cover art by yours truly) doing a cover of the legendary Eddie Callahan's legendary track, "Dying to Sing."  Just as passionate and psychedelic as the original, faithful but not pointlessly so, with a cavernous, gargantuan outro and a synth solo that goes totally cosmic in the mode of Gert Thrue's Sound Painted Pictures of Cosmic Love.  Check it out:



Grab a cassette or check out the flipside here.

And stay tuned for more extremely exciting art news around these parts!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: African Queens, Tunisian Knights, and other Jazz Tropical Tabus


Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be taking another swim in the warm and plentiful waters of exotic jazz.  Tabu, Night in Tunisia, African Queen, Flamingo, and more, ranging from Afro-Cuban rumba-exotica to modal experimentation, with lots of hot pounding percussion and mysterious shadowy flutes along the way.  Prepare to smolder.

It's also my first Explorers Room to be broadcast from my new home (and thus, new actual explorers room) in Bahama, NC.  So I'm excited to turn over this new frond and embark on a fresh series of Explorers Rooms.  Tune in for the first installment of a new era, tonight!

BAP-BAP-BAP

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Psychedelic Chants and Dances


Tonight the Explorers Room returns, after a two-week absence, to bring you three hours of psychedelic chants and dances and lush music full of life.  Tune in and experience a sprawling, teeming, wild world of sound.

TONIGHT! 7-10! We're back!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room we try to deal with all this shit: "America Leads the World in Shocks"


Tune in to the Room tonight and together we will try to deal with this horrible new paradigm through music.  Also, to a lesser extent but not at all for nothing, Jean-Jacques Perrey's passing.  What a bad week in a bad year.

My heart goes out to all my brothers and sisters and comrades who are the Other of any stripe in this society.  The American "unity of negative forces" may be proud to display their hate for you, but the Explorers Room loves you, for whatever that's worth. Solidarity now as the struggle continues.

TONIGHT

PS. It has NEVER been more important to support independent spheres like WFMU.  Please pledge TODAY, TONIGHT, NOW

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Atmospheres & Organisms


Tonight in the room I'm going to play it sort of loose and put on a lot of records that I have, because listening to records is a blast.  Most of the stuff tonight will be from my collection of LPs, and some of those will be very new to me.  Some, I will be playing for the first or second time, some will be stuff I've had for ages and been wanting to play. 

AND DONATE TO WFMU TODAY! It is wise, to do this.  It is right and kind.  Help the station reach its goal, and keep existing.  Seriously, please please please donate today.  It may never have been so crucial.

See you in the room, TONIGHT!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Exotic 78s


In recognition of Singles Going Steady, when WFMU DJs often play whole shows of 45s and other singels, Explorers Room will be playing a full program of exotic 78s, mostly music, some stories, many from the excellent blog, 78 Toeren: Curiosa Wereld Jazz. Everyone involved in these recordings is very likely long-gone and infrequently remembered, so come dance a crackly foxtrot with me and a bunch of happy-to-be-heard music ghosts as we revel in the dusty clouds of time.

AND DONATE TO WFMU TODAY! It is wise, to do this.  It is right and kind.  Help the station reach its goal, and keep existing.

SHOW STARTS IN A FEW MINUTES!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Walking Back to Waterloo: The Costume Dramas and Psychedelic Tragedies of the Brothers Gibb


Tonight's Explorers Room will spend an evening chasing down the various historical obsessions of the Bee Gees – it will be a program of unapologetic melodrama, heroic sentimentality, hastily remembered historical vignettes, bizarre period details, and a kind of boyish fixation with costume drama. Perhaps because they wrote as such a tight-knit brother-trio, the Bee Gees are some of pop music's most idiosyncratic and particular artists; they almost seem to live in a completely different reality from our own, where supporting monarchy is a rock n roll concept and anguished references to Horatio Nelson never go out of style.  Will feature dynamite harmonies, an overworked mellotron, and absolutely no selections from after 1973. 

 Tonight, at the Turn of the Century

And once again I humbly, but also sort of proudly, beg you to make dollar-style support gestures to this great and glorious enterprise that is WFMU and Give the Drummer Radio.  It is a tragic thing that doing something so good and right brings with it the reality of being constantly out of money and under threat of extinction, but it's also completely amazing that every year real human beings support its existence through personal generosity great and small.  Almost gives you some kind of hope for the species.  After all, if civilization can't keep WFMU around, then what's the point of having civilization at all?  Pledge to WFMU today, so we don't have to wake up tomorrow and realize the terrifying pointlessness of a human civilization without freeform radio to act as counterpoint to our myopic, wanton destructiveness. 


¡¡¡PLEDGE TO THIS GOOD THING!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Walking Along, Kicking the Leaves


Tonight in the Explorers Room we try to find the exotic and sublime in the changing of the season without being super lame and pumpkin patchy about it.  I love autumn but it always freaks me out what it portends in terms of winter – seasonal depression, constant cold toes, not very exotic – so I'm trying to go into this season looking at it as more than just winter's waiting room, like it's something strange and spectacular (which it is).  Sort of a pedestrian show concept, I know, but I promise it won't be pedestrian in execution. 


And if you want to keep hearing unusual executions of bizarre/oddly specific concepts and otherwise weird, ambitious, gloriously freeform radio programs, please consider making a donation to this utterly valiant enterprise, the good ship WFMU.  It's week two of the quiet fundraiser and we still need a lot of help to keep the lights on and the needles droppin'.  There's nothing like this station anywhere else on earth, largely because things like this don't benefit the gods of big-big money, so it falls to you the mighty listener to protect the existence of WFMU.  No one else will take care of that for you, or for us: it requires a collective effort, which is sort of righteous.  Think of it like a perpetual revolution, because it is one.  Donate, and give your dollar a hero's journey.

¡¡¡PLEDGE TO THIS GOOD THING!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Primordial Swamp Exotica for the Sacrificial Age: Kava Kon – Virgin Lava


A while back, I made a cover for a single, to be called Virgin Lava, by the contemporary electronic-exotica outfit, Kava Kon (in collaboration with the Kilimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble).  It didn't come out right away, obviously, and in the time since, Kava Kon finished and released a pretty great full-length, their third, the exotic-but-not-exactly-exotica Maritime Mysteries.

But just the other day, Virgin Lava actually dropped, and I'm very, very excited to finally hear it and spread some word about it.  Because it's even better than I'd hoped it would be (and I had high hopes based on the demos I'd heard). Three tracks of totally psychedelic swamp exotica from another dimension, dripping with jungle rain, teeming with birds and insects, haunted by wordless voices.  All three are exquisite, classically "exotica" compositions (in a way), but rich and exploratory within its formal structures, densely populated with small details and thick atmospheres, and synthy in a way that pushes the sound to an unworldly place not exclusively tied to midcentury exotica. "Dagobah Landing" even seems to be invoking Can, at times (specifically, but not exclusively, Landed, "Unfinished").  Also, a certain planet of primordial swamps.

At their best, Kava Kon gives us a vision of exotica as a living form, progressively-evolving and capable of inspiring new reveries on an old kind of wonder.  This release is one of the finer examples of this notion that I've heard – it reminds me of Jungle Obsession, and I mean that – and I highly recommend you check it out.  It's on bandcamp, I'll link to it now.  Also, check out the art! That's me, I did that.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: A Discussion in Percussion and Re-Percussion


Tonight we'll be hearing drum-driven dialogue between artists and cultures, from the Akiwowo train man of Nigeria to the edifice of the Waldorf Astoria, with genuine African percussions, ethnoforgeries, knowing appropriations, and earnest collaborations, as well as a wealth of percussion orchestras, big bands, and rumba outfits.  It's a rhythmic hodge-podge of exotic and exoticist sounds, in other words: we're gonna give the drummer some.

On that note, it's time for WFMU's October hush-hush fundraiser.  You're not going to hear too much about it on air, unlike the big one that comes later, but it's still a crucial time to help, if you can, keep this station lubricated and roaring down the tracks.  As my esteemed colleague Gary, of Bodega Pop, said:

"If the shared cultural experience of mind-warping music radio curated by people with awe-inspiring collections and zero obligation to advertisers, corporations, or government agencies is something you care about, then show your love by pledging here, and ensure its continued existence on this planet – which, I hardly need to remind you, is your planet, too."


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room! Earth is Hell, Apocalypse is Now: Revelations, Revolution, and Disorder in a Funky Eschatology


Tonight's Explorers Room will explore themes, as they appear in funk and jazz, of eschaton, apocalypse, and final judgment in terms of both Revelations and revolution; as well as the world being "disordered," gone wrong, an inferior or incomplete creation of a lesser god, or a manifestation of hell.  These themes, particularly common to eschatological and Gnostic art and theology, are perhaps best exemplified in the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, who employed vernacular visual language and grotesque, esoteric imagery to pursue  polemics of discontent against the hypocrisies of the social order and the corruption of the material world itself.

Such themes and methods also appear in abundance in revolutionary and counter-culture music of the 1960's and 70's, nowhere more saliently than in Black Power and black empowerment musical circles, where visions of Earth/America as a hallucinatory madhouse – cruel, depraved, and spiritually unstable – transform into incendiary poetic allegory for the experience of the oppressed, living in a world designed to exploit and alienate them.  The dead will rise and be judged according to what they've done. Will be funky.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Explorations of Egypt in Jazz


Tonight in the Room we'll be immersing ourselves in jazz selections with Egyptian themes, with all the exoticism, Orientalism, Afrocentrism, and Afrofuturism that implies. And with no small amount of selections from Sun Ra (and his cohort), for whom Egyptological themes were an absolutely essential aspect of the cosmology.  Prepare for an extremely spiritual night of jazzy magic as we travel both forward and backward in time (simultaneously) to an Egypt unconquerable by Napoleons, where the mummies were never unwrapped. Tonight, 7-10.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Lotus Lands and Oriental Mambos


Tonight we sojourn once again into total exotica.  Percussion, Orientalism, bird calls, mambo/rhumba/cha-cha-cha, Hawaiian lounge acts, etc. etc. etc. The good stuff.  May dip back in time a bit to some 78rpm-era exoticism.  I really can't wait to fill the Room with these tunes.  In the meantime, fix yourself a drink; I've been really swinging on this older, rather minimalist Planter's Punch recipe that's basically just equal parts rum, white cane sugar syrup, and fresh lime juice in crushed ice.  Extremely plantocratic stuff, elementally Caribbean, a perfect complement to the paradise humidity of this forthcoming lotus land of exotic sound.

See you there? 7-10.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (funk, jazz, children's delights)


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll have a thrilling assortment of funk, jazz, and children's music.  No grand theme to unite this particular evening, just a vague sensibility in search of a really, really enjoyable night of music.  Possible profundities may seep through the cracks if you meet me halfway. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: We Set the Mantrols for the Heart of the Sun (Cosmic Themes in Dub and Reggae)


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we go boldly forth into heavy heavy dubspace, in search of cosmic themes in dub and reggae, a little corner of music that is, or can be, as Afrofuturist as Sun Ra or Parliament-Funkadelic.  It's just endlessly trippy as well, so it should be a wild evening of sounds: heavy echo, laser synths, alien moogs, and bizarre vocals.  See you there, explorers, gazing at the cosmos through the bay windows of the Starship Africa.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Extended Meditations


Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be easing our troubled souls with a variety of extended meditative compositions, including new age soundscapes, German synth music, field recordings, and ethnological forgeries.  Come join me for a dip in the embryonic waters.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Heat Waves, Echoes Hypnotiques



Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll be once again trying to combat the oppressive summer heat with steamy hot night music – from Jamaica, West Africa, and elsewhere – teeming with echoes, echoey electric guitars, and revolutionary sentiment.  Let the sounds ring through the night like heat lightning in your soul, and cool thyself in righteousness.

HYPNOTIQUES

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Modern Sounds, Primitive Feelings – Martin Denny, the Prime Birdcall Years


"...a combination of the South Pacific and the Orient...what a lot of people imagined the islands to be like... it's pure fantasy though."
-Martin Denny, on his particular brand of musical Exotica
In the Explorers Room tonight we'll be conducting a survey of Martin Denny – his music, his themes, his wild animal cries – featuring some of the most interesting selections from his best Liberty LPs and a rundown of the various liner notes that accompany them.  You're going to want to listen with a cool tropical drink at hand; I recommend, for obvious reasons, the Jungle Bird.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Sonic Waters and Silent Worlds (Underwater Synth Music)


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll be cooling off with an evening of underwater synth music.  It's muggy out there.  It's hot. But in the ocean we'll be cool, at peace, submerged in wonder. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Exotic Forests and Enchanted Tangos


Last week, Explorers Room was to fill in for Give the Drummer Some AND the following show, Kaminsky Kamoutsky, for a 4-hour program. A power outage, sustained at exactly 5:58 and delivered by one whopper of a lightning storm, wrecked that whole scene.  Alas, alas, but tune in tonight to pick up that very show, retooled for a leaner meaner 3-hour regular slot: exotic forests and enchanted tangos with myself and all the other explorers, on this hot hot night, 7:00 - 10:00.


EXPLORE

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: A Nature Walkabout with Sven Libaek


Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be spending an adventuresome and lovely evening with one of our (I include you in this statement, dear reader, out of respect for your well-documented, impeccable tastes) very favorite composers in the world, the one and only Sven Libaek. A Norwegian by birth and Australian by choice, Libaek is a towering figure of Australia's recording industry and a highly idiosyncratic composer with a unique and instantly recognizable sound. This is the music of underwater film, contemplative shots of birds in flight, washed-out technicolor blues, search and discovery, natural wonder – documentaries, and dreams of documentaries. I'm not trying to impress with rarity or astounding feats of deviation and variety this evening; no, by gum, I'll be playing all the hits, from Inner Space to Nature Walkabout, and so on and so forth.  Tune in and walkabout with your fellow explorers through vistas of warm searching sound.

SURFING THROUGH THE BIRDS, 7-10 

Also, I'll be out of town next Thursday, but to make up for it I'll be doing a 4-hour show on Tuesday, July 5, from 6:00-10:00.  So inform your secretaries so they can adjust your schedule accordingly.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Wind and Surf – Melodrama, Mysticism, Atrocity


Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be swimming through an evening of surf–furious, dreamy, or exotic, as the case may be–and sounds of melodrama and temptation inspired by Douglas Sirk, Gone with the Wind, and Kenneth Anger.  With a diversion into Native American themes, I think.  So it's a night of some variety and, I hope, much interest.  See you there, don't miss it now.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Los Dinosaurios / Cuando Los Dinosaurios Dominan La Tierra by Personal Mythologies with Art by Yours Truly


Bit of a late announcement as this came out back in April, but better late than never: check out this EP (on Hooded Records) by Personal Mythologies, LOS DINOSAURIOS, for which I did the cover art.  The B-side, "Cuando Los Dinosaurios Dominan La Tierra," is particularly choice, a totally primordial synth landscape creeping with primitive life and dark shapes.  Order a copy and it comes on white 12" vinyl, with that art I did right there, right there on the sleeve.  Pretty cool.  

''We live in a age of dinosaurs. All around us enormous, social, economic, and political behemoths lumber through destroyed environments, casting life threatening shadows over the entire planet. there is a titanic struggle taking place in our communities as Capitalist-Rex and State-asaurus struggle to fill their bellies with more resources and power while fending off the claws of competing species such as the newly savage Pterror-dacyls. The battle between these giants is terrible and rages on, but it cannot last. Evolution is against these doomed tyrants. Already their sun is dimming and the bright eyes of others gleam in the darkness, demanding something else.''

Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs - Technologie und das Unheimliche.

I like doing LP cover art, by the way.  I do it a lot.  Hit me up if you have needs in this department. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Tanganyika Tiger Voodoo Konga (Shipwrecked on Planet X)


Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll have a classic episode full of adventure stories, voodoo, exotic jazz, bonafide all-time great exotica, and psychedelic weirdness.  Don't miss this one, explorers, because it will be a great deal of fun.

TONIGHT! 7-10, WE HUNT THE TIGER WITH OUR VOODOO

Thursday, June 9, 2016

TONIGHT ON EXPLORERS ROOM! 5-HOUR SOUND TOWER SUN ARAW SWEAT LODGE


Tonight, Explorers Room does more than just its regular duty and fills in for The Cool Blue Flame for a total of five hours of teeming radio, dedicated to the works of prolific artist/project Sun Araw.  Containing multitudes and endless experimentation, Sun Araw's music envelopes like a primordial, swirling lake of ancient phantasies and modern anxieties–perhaps the most genuinely, thrillingly psychedelic music of the 21st century so far, shot through with rich veins of exoticism and penetrating avant-gardism.

Tonight's program will feature a great variety of wide-ranging selections from throughout Sun Araw's sprawling body of work, including associated acts emanating from Cameron Stallones, the human who is Sun Araw, and from his Sun Ark studio.  Prepare for an intensive immersion in this sweat lodge of sound, as you will be taken on patrol into heavy jungles of sound-ruins, nightcrawling through pools of danger, and set free-floating like a molecule in an empty room of light.  Bring your heads and also their lids.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Bananasmania – Exotic Disco


Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be taking a bizarre odyssey through exotica and themes of exoticism in disco and dance music, from Lalo Schifrin's disco-jazz Black Widow to more uncategorizable new wave/electrofunk exotic concept albums.  Germany, Italy, France, Philly, LA, San Francisco, Belgium, even South Africa: everybody it's a little disco-fever revival of turn-of-the-century Egyptomania, or 1920s negrophilié.  Let's investigate.  And get funky. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bibliotheque Exotique: Gérard Levecque & Claude Romat ‎– Africadelic's The Name N° 1&2 (MP2000, 197?)



Posting these by request. While never my favorite of the exotic library LPs that are out there, these two monster jam-filled records by Claude Romat & Gérard Levecque (with "Black Colored Drums" handling percussion on side 2 of volume 2) on the MP2000 label are nonetheless red-hot blasts of wild French Africanesque funky percussive madness and essential to any collection of bibliotheque exotique, if only for their insanely appealing covers (though thankfully, they don't have to rest on that alone). Vol. 1 in 192, unfortunately, Vol. 2 in a much nicer 320.

Africadelic's The Name N° 1

Africadelic's The Name N° 2

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room–In The World, But Not Of It: An Evening with the Compositions of Moondog


Tonight's episode of Explorers Room will be an all-Moondog affair, with a special emphasis on the composer's multi-part suites, later-period symphonic/saxophonic recordings, and–of course, of course–his exotic themes and motifs.  Moondog is no secret to serious music listeners these days, but that doesn't mean we can't spend an enlightening evening eraptured by his elegant repetitions, now does it? Bring fresh ears; all other senses strictly optional.

Tonight, 7-10, followed by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.

WESTWARD HO! – No, the Wheel Was Never Invented


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tonight on the Explorers Room: Certain Sounds from the Caribbean Diaspora


Tonight's Explorers Room will be casually curated trip through a bevy of musical styles from the Caribbean diaspora–in this case mostly drawing from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Belize (which is, I should note, by no means a fully representative sampling of the intense multitudinous nature of the Caribbean diaspora)–from Reggae to Mento, Rapso to Calypso, Garifuna to Goombay, and a variety of syncretic overlaps and cultural kriols in between. Tonight, 7-10.

Tonight's program will be immediately followed, I am very pleased to say, by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny. 

COME TO THE CAR IB BE AN

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tomita has passed, the snowflakes dance on


With the sad news of Isao Tomita's death, I am reposting the May 14, 2015 notice for the Explorers Room Tomita-themed show.  Give it a listen, if you will, and spend some time with some of the greatest music in synthesizer history.  

Explorers Room returns this Thursday, from 7-10, and will be followed by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.

Tonight's program will consist of Isao Tomita's synthesizer renditions of classical compositions, some of the most unusual and sublime music ever recorded.  

"Isao Tomita was nine years old when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. In the years that followed he found himself surrounded by destruction: Half a million men, women, and children–the majority of whom resided in Tomita’s home city of Tokyo–would be killed in air raids or die from starvation.
To know where the bombs would fall next, Tomita and his family would leave the radio on throughout the night tuned to the national military service. One evening toward the end of the war the usual news and propaganda briefly vanished. In its place, through the static, Tomita heard music that would change his life.

Japan had been closed to Western culture throughout Tomita’s childhood. On this night, with U.S. aircraft carriers getting closer, radio crosstalk had caused a trace of Western music to reach Tomita’s ear.

And when Japan surrendered, the strange music proliferated.

“Jazz, pop songs, and classical music was filling the airwaves of Japan” after the war, Tomita recently told Tokyo Weekender. “To me, that music sounded like it was coming from aliens in outer space. That was really what I thought. I thought I was listening to music from outer space. […] I was inspired by those sounds, and this was the catalyst that began the creative spirit within me.”
As a young boy, Western music sounded literally alien to Isao Tomita. So he would spend the majority of his life making Western music sound alien to everyone else."

From Deadelectric's article, Spaceship Japan: An Introduction to Isao Tomita (Part 1)

T O M I T A : listen

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Visages et Chants du Monde


Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be enjoying music from all over the world, including some pretty amazing 10" and 7" French ethnographic recordings and Brazilian/Latin LPs I found at a thrift shop two days ago.  Just a cool evening, bursting with all kinds of juicy sounds.  Some of it, I'll have barely heard myself.  It'll be fun.  See you there, I hope.

C H A N T S (7-10, you know the drill.)

After tonight's show, I'll be gone for two weeks, bopping around in jungle and sea, expeditioning, collecting new artifacts for the explorers room.  I'll be back on May 12.  But stay tuned to Thursday nights, as any week now we'll see the maiden voyage of Little Danny's (of Office Naps/The Exotica Project, etc.)new show, the Cool Blue Flame.  Yes please. Very exciting.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tonight's Explorers Room: Transmissions from the Electrified World of Eddie Harris


Tonight's Explorers Room will be a laid-back, highly groovy sound safari through the electrified world of the electrifying Eddie Harris.  Naturally the focus will be on Harris' experimental work: varitone sax-driven funk-jazz, swelling echoplexed chambers of sound, spoken word, singing-through-horn, and restless mad scientist adjustments to existing instruments (both swapping parts–the reed trumpet, the saxobone, etc.–and adding synthesizer components).  Harris was prolific, and at least for a time, extremely successful, but he was also a fiendishly restless, brilliant polymath, fearless of failure, who never stopped tinkering with and rewriting his sound and his methods. 

In this case, I'm not even remotely an expert on the subject; rather, newly obsessed, and still in the process of "discovering" it for myself.  Come along and discover with me these sounds–thoroughly jazzy, excruciatingly weird, intensely funky, and cosmically trippy.  7-10, my friends.

"LISTEN HERE!"

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Explorers Room Tonight! A stream of exoticness, 7-10


Tonight on Explorers Room, I'll be playing an assortment of music bound together by no real theme whatsoever, except that a fair amount of it is made up of recent acquisitions.  Latin exotica, avant-garde, politically conscious jazz, and definitely some Gato Barbieri, may his horn blow eternal in search of the mystery.  See you there my exots. 7-10 with bells on.

H E A R  THE   H E A T

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Explorers Room Tonight! 7-10



Explorers Room starts in 40 minutes! See you there, I hope!

EXPLORE

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tonight on Explorers Room: The Women of Exotica


Tonight on Explorers Room: Mythology, Ethnomusicology, Wordlessness and Disembodiment–The Women of Exotica.  Tune in for all the wordless vocalise and unworldly sounds of Yma Sumac, Miriam Burton, Elizabeth Waldo, and others less-heralded but only slightly less exquisite.  I'm looking forward to this one, friends.  I hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Marathaan Week 2: Beat Back the Hell of Hegemony by Supporting WFMU, the Station of Pure Resistance


Tonight! The final week of WFMU's fundraising marathon, the second and last Explorers Room marathon show of the year.  If it is at all possible for you, do your part–no matter how small–to maintain the existence of this good thing, this freeform radio empire, this island of resistance, difference, and independence in a boiling ocean of commodification and mediocrity. 

Please tune in, jump in the comments, express solidarity, and toss us some fliff. If you donate $20 or more, you're eligible to win prizes (see the graphic above to get a sense of the excellence we're giving away tonight), or $75-and-up to win prizes PLUS my DJ Premium prize (see below): a special mix made just for the marathon entitled The Fabricated Wilderness, a collection of the most immersive, artificial, outrageous, or sublime exotica bird calls, seascapes, and jungles.

To pledge to my show specifically (it all goes to WFMU in the end, but a donation to my show makes you eligible for tonight's prizes, and makes me look like I'm pulling my weight), go here.  Donate, then click the plus sign.  Like so:


Please help support free radio.  Nothing could be more true, nothing could be more right, than helping WFMU stay afloat: it is a revolution, a utopia, a model of what a functioning society should foster. See you tonight for some intense Marathaan jams!

T O N I G H T 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tonight on Explorers Room: WFMU Marathaan Week One! Tune in for Prizes and Lofty Rhetoric


 It's the time of year when WFMU, the listener-supported, independent community radio station and longest-running freeform radio station in the U.S.–a station which airs no ads and accepts no corporate underwriting–does that thing that must be done, that noble herculean task of raising a year's worth of money to keep a station afloat by appealing to its listeners.  It's Marathaan Time, Week One.

Please tune in for Explorers Room's first-ever marathon show, and donate $20 or more to win prizes (see the graphic below to get a sense of what we're giving away tonight), or $75 and up to win prizes PLUS my DJ Premium prize, a special mix made just for the marathon entitled The Fabricated Wilderness, a collection of the most immersive, artificial, outrageous, or sublime exotica bird calls, seascapes, and jungles.

To pledge to my show specifically (it all goes to WFMU in the end, but a donation to my show makes you eligible for prizes and makes me look like I can pull my weight), go here.  Donate, then click the plus sign.  Like so:


Please help support free radio.  Nothing could be more true, nothing could be more right, than helping WFMU stay afloat: it is a revolution, a utopia, a model of what a functioning society should foster. See you tonight for some intense Marathaan jams!

T O N I G H T


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Girl Groups! (with special guest-explorer) 7-10


Tonight in the Explorers Room we are joined by special guest-explorer Julia Sull as together we set forth on a thrilling investigation into the themes and sounds, texts and metanarratives, of the girl group musical diaspora, from literal manifestations of patriarchal ideology to non-verbal expressions of female desire and liberation. Girl groups shoop and the subaltern speaks. Some of the most fun and fascinating recorded music of all time. Doo-lang doo-lang, doo lang.
 
 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tonight on Explorers Room: Stardust, Civilization, Cha Cha Cha, A Place Called Africa


Tonight we trip through a vaguely surreal bricolage of sounds and themes.  For some reason I've had "Stardust" running through my head, so we'll hear some of that one this evening, as I exorcise and exalt its persistent beauty.

And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart
You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust
Of yesterday
The music
Of the years
Gone by


SOMETIMES I WONDER if you'll tune in tonight, 7-10 PM EST