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 ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On the DL | Interstellar Medium

In celebration of the Bodega's Music Blog of the Year: Interstellar Medium | Lavish Foreign Sounds, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spun choice downloads from collector-fanatic Gabriel Aguillar's head-dizzying altar to 1960s-70s international psychedelic music and exotica, from Azerbaijan to Macedonia to Yemen, and multiple points in between.