Friday, April 21, 2017

Hey, You There! The Awesome World of Imants Kalniņš


On Wednesday, April 26, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrates the most diverse music-related personality we know of: Latvian legend, Imants Kalniņš. Classical composer, rocker, dissident, folk hero, jazz artist -- you name it, Kalniņš lived it.


Bookmark the page and see you Wednesday night!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Lao New Year with Rattana!


This Wednesday, April 19, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio welcomes special guest Rattana; together we'll spin some of our favorite Lao tracks for Pi Mai Lao 2017! Classical, mor lam, post-rock, lam luang, hip hop, khaplam wai, synth pop, and much, much more.


Monday, April 10, 2017

An Evening with Phew


Phew is new ... again. The pioneering punker cum avant-gardist has been rediscovered here in the United States, following the release of 2017's solo Light Sleep and her debut U.S. performance last Thursday at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in downtown Brooklyn.

Born in Osaka in 1957, Hiromi Moritani felt early on she was not like the others. "When I was at school, if the teacher told a joke and everyone else in the class laughed, I was always the one who couldn't see what was funny," she told The Japan Times in a 2015 interview

In a culture with no short supply of distinctive, groundbreaking sonic artists, Phew is still at one remove. It's not just the dizzying array of genres she inhabits -- punk, post-punk, synth pop, jazz, experimental, folk, noise, electronic -- nor the stunning list of her collaborators -- Yasuko "Bikke" Mori, Dieter Mobius, Anton Fier, Holger Czukay, Jun Togawa, Bootsy Collins, Jaki Liebezeit, Buckethead, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Otomo Yoshihide. 

It's that voice. And sensibility, for want of a better word. It often feels like she is simultaneously flat and emotionless, wound up so tight you expect her to snap at any moment, and in a constant state of raw? playful? abandon. There's a richness to her that renders what she does "indecipherable" to some, but extraordinarily rich -- relentlessly so -- to the rest of us.

This Wednesday, April 12, from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio celebrates four decades of Phew's work, from late 1970s punk outfit Aunt Sally, through her edgy synth-pop solo albums of the 1980s, her collaborative efforts of the 1990s, her return to rock in the aughts, and her embrace of analog electronica in the 2010s. And, you know what? We'll throw in a recording we made at the aforementioned performance at the First Unitarian.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Louie Louie Palooza


In advance of International Louie Louie Day, on Wednesday, April 5, from 7:00-10:00 PM EDT, Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio honors the most recorded rock song of all time with three solid hours of covers from around the world. 



Monday, March 27, 2017

Altın Mikrofon 1965-68


Join me this Wednesday from 7-10 PM EDT for a very special episode of Bodega Pop Live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: We'll be spinning every track published as part of Turkey's legendary Altın Mikrofon contest -- for the first time ever on American radio.


Organized annually by Turkey's largest newspaper, Hürriyet, the Altın Mikrofon contest could easily have been lost to history as one of thousands of similar "battle of the bands" competitions scuffling across the cultural lamescape from Houston's Catacombs of the 1960s to today's GBOB

Instead, Altın Mikrofon (English: Golden Microphone) became a far-reaching aesthetic rallying cry that shaped Anatolian rock to come, similar to the effect closer to home of Lenny Kaye's original Nuggets. A key difference being that these bands weren't writing someone else's future; they were writing their own: Mavi Işıklar, the so-called "Turkish Beatles," took 2nd place in 1965 and 1966, Cem Karaca ve Apaşlar (Cem Karaca and Apaşlar) took 2nd in 1967, and in the contest's final year, Haramiler, Moğollar, and Erkin Koray Dörtlüsü (Erkin Koray Quartet) took 2nd place, 3rd place, and 4th runner up, respectively. Altın Mikrofon gave these and several other prominent acts of the sixties and seventies, their first (and in some cases first and second) 7" hit singles, propelling them onto the national stage to stick or slide. Many stuck. 

As unlikely as it seems, Hürriyet's call to action almost ensured the acts debuted something more than admirably chuffed versions of "Pushin' Too Hard." The ad launching the contest specified that bands should deliver Turkish music, however that be interpreted, but using Western instruments, formats, and techniques. A very few simply wrote Turkish lyrics to Western melodies. Most, however, wrote original works or rearranged traditional Turkish folk songs for electric guitar, piano, jazz band. For anyone paying passing attention to the annual battle, it might have been a bit like catching a glimpse of your family in a fun house mirror.

Another reason the contest had such a defining impact on the music of the day and that which followed: 7" singles were published and distributed, widely, by all of the finalists -- there were 10 in 1965, seven in 1966, six in 1967, and five in 1968. That's 28 discs, or 56 tracks; not so many as to suffocate the market, but enough to make an impression. 

These 56 remarkable tracks have never been compiled and reissued outside of the Republic. I found a three-CD set of the whole shebang published in Turkey in 2005 at Uludag Video (1922 Avenue W, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn), a few years before the shop stopped importing CDs. I had no idea what they were at the time, but my guy there implored me to pick up all three, promising me I'd only ever regret leaving them there for someone else to snatch up.

When I took them home and first punched them into my player, I knew immediately not only that he was right, but just how right he was. This is culture-shifting music, each track a nudge pushing Anatolian rock into the full glory we've come to know and love.

Here's a peek at what we'll be hearing Wednesday night:

1965




Cahit Oben
Makaram Sarı Bağlar / Halime
Hürriyet ‎– H-001



Ferdi Özbeğen
Kes-Kes / Sandığımı Açamadım
Hürriyet ‎– H-002




İlham Gencer
Zamane Kızları / İstanbul
Hürriyet ‎– H-003


Kanat Gür
Karadır Kaşların / İçimdesin
Hürriyet ‎– H-004




Mavi Işıklar
Helvacı / Kanamam
Hürriyet ‎– H-005



Metin Alkanlı
Karadut / Gül Dalında Öten
Hürriyet ‎– H-006




Selçuk Alagöz
Kaleden İndir Beni / Kemerin Naftaları
Hürriyet ‎– H-007




Silüetler
Sis / Kaşık Havası
Hürriyet ‎– H-008




Grup Sonya Dores
Gemiciler / Espanola
Hürriyet ‎– H-009



Yıldırım Gürses
Gençliğe Veda / Canım İstanbul
Hürriyet ‎– H-010

1966



Ali Atasagun
Yarim / Eminem
Hürriyet ‎– H-011



Kent Yedilisi
Kara Kasli Haticem / Mühür Gözlüm
Hürriyet ‎– H-012





Mavi Işıklar
Çayır Çimen Geze Geze / Pınarbaşı
Hürriyet ‎– H-013



Selçuk Alagöz
Ararım Senı Her Yerde / Bahçelere Geldi Bahar
Hürriyet ‎– H-014



Silûetler
Lorke Lorke / Dede Efendi 66
Hürriyet ‎– H-015



T.P.A.O. Orkestrası
Kaleden Top Atarlar / Fırat Kenarinda Yüzer Kayıklar
Hürriyet ‎– H-016



Cahit Oben
Hergün Kavga Var / Şey
Hürriyet ‎– H-017


1967



Cem Karaca & Apaşlar
Emrah / Karacaoğlan
Hürriyet ‎– H-018




Haramiler
Çamlıca Yolunda / Adanalı
Hürriyet ‎– H-019




Mavi Çocuklar
Develi Daylar / Tanzara
Hürriyet ‎– H-020




Rana Alagöz
Konya Kabağı / Bahçelerde Böğrülce
Hürriyet ‎– H-021



T.P.A.O. Batman Orkestrası
Kara Toprak / Ay Beyaz Deniz Mavi
Hürriyet ‎– H-022



Yabancılar
Agit / Kayalar
Hürriyet ‎– H-023

1968



Sis Beşlisi & Turgut Oksay 
Sis Beşlisi ‎– Çarşambayı Sel Aldı
Hürriyet



Erkin Koray
Çiçek Dağı / Meçhul
Hürriyet 





Moğollar
Kaleden Kaleye Şahin Uçurdum
Hürriyet



Haramiler
Aya Bak Yıldıza Bak
Hürriyet 



T.P.A.O. Batman Orkestrası
Aç Aç Kollarını / Meşelidir Enginde Dağlar Meşeli
Hürriyet