Saturday, November 22, 2014


Guess who's coming to dinner? Listeners, friends: It's your pot-lucky day! Jandek's bringing the creamed collards, Space Lady has promised her out-of-this-world carrot soufflé, Lonnie Holley's perfecting his cranberry glazed sweet potatoes, Ernst Herbeck's all over the stuffing, and Daniel Johnston will be carving up a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped turkey that is literally illegal for health reasons in more than three-dozen counties. 

This Wednesday, November 26, from 7-10 PM ET, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio will spin three solid hours of outsider music and writing, from favorites championed by pioneering DJs Irwin Chusid and Michelle Boulé to more recent additions to the canon.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Launched in 2004 by the mysterious Los Angelean Mr. Fab, Music for Maniacs promised: "Incorrect music, all that is bad, wrong, weird, or even illegal ..." and has been delivering on that promise ever since.

From physician-penned ditties about bacterial vaginosis to Beatles albums from alternate dimensions to, literally, heaps of Zoogz Rift tracks, Mr. Fab has been bothering normal people (and delighting the rest of us) every Maniacal Monday through Filthy Friday.   

On Wednesday, November 19, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrated this pioneering and enduring vault of unusual sonic delights with a mash-up of our own and Mr. Fab's favorite tracks from M4M's deepest recesses.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


John Pirozzi's Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll  premieres in New York City on November 15 at DOC NYC

On November 13, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio honored this long-overdue film and its subject with three hours of Cambodian music, from traditional folk to contemporary rap and hip hop -- with a generous serving of rock from the 60s and 70s in between.

Listen to the show now in the archives

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rare Cambodian Tracks | BP1 | Reupped!

Reupped once again by reader request here.

Most of my files were reset to "private" mode by my file hoster, ADrive. This means most of the (especially older) albums are currently unavailable. Let me know if there's anything particular you'd really like reupped and I'll see what I can do. 

I'll try and get the other Cambodian stuff back up soon. 

Meanwhile, don't miss this on Wednesday night.

[Originally posted May 2013.] At least nine compilations of Cambodian rock have been released for western consumption over the last decade, making this incredibly rich pop from the 60s and 70s some of the most talked-about and listened-to around the world. But for every song now readily available on CD, there are 10-20 more that most people outside of Cambodia haven’t yet heard.

Over the last year I’ve scoured the furthest reaches of the Internet, pulling together a collection of nearly 1,000 songs, ranging from pretty darn okay to unimpeachably great. The selection I’ve put together here is an attempt to showcase the greatest of what has yet to see major distribution. Every song on this mix-CD is a personal favorite and, to the best of my knowledge, not otherwise available on any of the Cambodia Rocks, Cambodian Psych-Out, Groove Club, Dengue Fever or Sublime Frequencies compilations.

If I had a CD series of my own, this would be the first thing I’d release. Alas, I don’t. And, because I don’t, it looks like you’ve just saved yourself $16.95.

Don't Think I've Forgotten

John Pirozzi's Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll  premieres in New York City on November 15 at DOC NYC

On Wednesday, November 10, from 7-10 PM, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio will honor this long-overdue film and its subject with three hours of Cambodian music, from traditional folk to contemporary rap and hip hop--with a generous serving of rock from the 60s and 70s in between.

Bookmark the page and see you on Wednesday night!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Madam Maria Anokwuru, Madam Rose Nzuruike + Obi Wuru Otu Dance Group | Nwanyi Ma Obi Di Ya

Listen to Track 2

Grab the whole album here

Ihiagwa is a Christian township of 8 villages a bit south of Owerri, the capital of Imo State (and former capital of Biafra). Obi Wuru Otu is the all-women dance group of the township, led by Maria Anokwuru. Their lead singer, on this album at least, is Rose Nzuruike.

There are four tracks on this stunning CD, two of which top 15 minutes a piece. I picked this up, along with I'm-really-not-quite-sure-how-many other terrific albums, at Blessing Udeagu, a copy shop and Nollywood DVD store in East Elmhurst that also sells used books and Christian and secular music from Nigeria in CD and VCD form.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'll be devoting tonight's Bodega Pop Live episode to mostly Sub-Saharan African music, and in preparation, pulled the 60 to 70 related CDs I've managed to accumulate over the last couple of years off and out of my various shelves and plastic bins. And realized that, oh, gosh, I guess there's a lot I still haven't shared with you guys yet.

Better late than never? 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gnama-Kanté | Bimolamoya

Listen to "Moussa Kaba"

Grab the whole album here

I found this lovely CD, along with a number of other pirated treasures, several years ago in a sort of drugstore / 99-cent emporium on White Plains Road somewhere between the 219 and 233 Street stops. I was on my way to Moodies Records and Tapes -- a semi-famous purveyor of reggae on vinyl, cassette and CD -- and noticed an African music store stop out the window of the elevated train. 

Only one CD came home with me from the African music store -- a 1992 pop album by Yvonne Chaka Chaka -- but while walking up the street toward Moodies, I somehow noticed that this odd sort of mish-mash store had racks of CDs. A whole aisle of them. I had no idea where these CDs had come from, other than Africa. I think I assumed Nigeria, based solely on the fact that the only sub-Saharan African music I'd previously managed to stumble onto in my travels around the boroughs was Nigerian (found at Blessing Udeagu copy and DVD shop in East Elmhurst). 

For some reason I never got around to uploading this and, in fact, had forgotten all about it until putting together tracks for tomorrow night's Bodega Pop Live show. When I heard it I dropped everything to share it with you. And, so, here we are.


On Wednesday, November 5, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio criss-crossed Everybody's Motherland, from Angola to Zimbabwe, spinning three ear-searing hours' worth of afrobeat rock hip-hop, psychedelic garage mbalax, poly-rhythmic punk soukous and so, so much more.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I'll Be Your Mirror

On Wednesday, October 29, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio focused on collectors, collections & reflections.

Inspired by Amanda Petrusich's thrilling and hilarious DO NOT SELL AT ANY PRICE: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78 rpm Records, BPL celebrated our collective mania, as it were, for seeking, locating, acquiring and sharing record albums, tapes and CDs.

Listen to the show now in the archives

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


On Wednesday, October 22, super DJ Amanda Nazario joined Gary on Give the Drummer Radio's Bodega Pop Live to co-host thrill-inducing Austin garage-pop duo GAL PALS.

Pals Lauren Marie Mikus and Jillian Talley stopped by WFMU's Studio B on their way to CMJ to perform songs from their upcoming debut album and spin some of the music that influenced and inspires them. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


On Wednesday, October 15, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spun music from the beloved Pakistani playback singer who lent her voice to the only Pakistani film ever banned by the BBC — as well as rare studio recordings and sizzling live tracks from half a dozen or so other recording artists we’re officially stalking, including:

·        A recently unearthed over-the-top live recording by a Syrian diva who recently had her passport revoked for her vocal criticism of Bashar Assad

·        Career-spanning tracks from the Polish rocker known as much for his James Brown-like performances as for his forward-looking prog and moog-y concept albums

·        A few greatest hits by the craziest Southeast Asian rapper we’ve ever heard

·        Our favorite cuts by our favorite politicized twee band in the world

·        An unreleased early live performance by one of the towering giants of Algerian rai


Oct 22: GAL PALS | DJ Amanda Nazario joins Gary to co-host super thrill–inducing garage pop duo GAL PALS. Lauren Marie Mikus and Jillian Talley will stop by the studio to perform early hits + songs from their upcoming debut album, and spin some of the music that influenced and inspires them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Olympians | The 45s 1966-1971

Reupped by reader request, here.

[Originaly written and posted November 1, 2012.] So, contrary to my rather cavalier pre-Sandy post last Sunday, here I am about to talk about the storm. Not to reiterate on the enormous damage it has caused up and down the east coast, but to turn your attention to the magazine I've been writing for since this summer, Open City. A number of writers associated with that online journal were asked yesterday to report on the storm's impact on New York's immigrant cultures by editor Kai Ma, who is a personal hero of mine for having started a magazine that focuses on immigrant culture in New York City in the first place. 

Now Kai is assembling and editing these reports from around the New York City area on the special impact the storm has had on these immigrants who, frankly, make this city (as well as this humble music blog) what it is. The first report, from Sukjong Hong, just went up today; you can read it here

My neighborhood, Astoria, didn't fare as poorly as others, though there is at least one tree downed on every other block. (Some 10,000 trees reportedly toppled in Queens alone.) We were lucky. Very, very lucky.

Today, while one of my co-workers relocated to Brooklyn with her family from their powerless, waterless apartment on the easternmost edge of Manhattan's Chinatown, I had the relative luxury of wandering around Astoria, surveying pockets of damage here and there, and marveling at the number of businesses--pretty much all of them--that have reopened in Sandy's wake. (Truth be told, most reopened yesterday.) Including one of my go-to immigrant-run stores: GMV, or Greek Music & Video Inc. (25-50 31st Street, Astoria, NY 11102).

As you'll remember, back in February I found this fabulous CD by surf-garage-psych band The Olympians at GMV; today, I returned to the same spot in the stacks and discovered the subject of today's post: A collection assembled in 1996 of the band's earliest 45 records.

The CD includes original songs and covers in both English and Greek (including a Greek version of the Kinks' "Lola") spanning the first five years of the band's existence. It's a rock-solid, life-affirming collection that I'm going to guess many of you, regular visitors and those who may have stepped in to the Bodega for the first time today, will enjoy.

And for everyone whose lives were affected by this truly unprecedented storm, our thoughts are with you ...