Wednesday, December 20, 2023

RIBEIRO + CO 1965-80 | 7-10 PM EST


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: A survey of French-Portuguese avant-garde icon Catherine Ribeiro's first decade-and-a-half, featuring mid- to late-60s singles, tracks from her debut with 2 Bis, favorite moments from her eight Alpes LPs, a dip into her late 70s solo tributes to Piaf and Prevert, and more

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Music from the Balconies | 7-10 PM EST

TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we spin AI-generated pop & mashups, American jazz, and punk, hard rock and psychedelic music from Iran, Belgium, the former Yugoslavia, and beyond


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

A Palestine Episode | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we're spinning tracks from and about Palestine.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Parliament Funkadelic | 7-10 PM EDT


Join me on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio tonight for an all-vinyl celebration of America’s greatest '70s band featuring three hours of hits, deep cuts, and favorite side project tracks from 1970 to 1979

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Secret Party | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: Music on vinyl found in Phoenix, Tucson, San Francisco, and the East Bay while hanging out with new and old friends

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Sublime Frequencies at 20 | 7-10 PM EDT


Launched in 2003 by co-owners Alan Bishop and Hisham Mayet, Sublime Frequencies is, for our money, the greatest American label of the 21st Century. Tonight, we'll listen to dozens of our favorite tracks and wax cornball about first hearing some of this extraordinary music

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Women : Folk : Japan | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: An all-vinyl celebration of more than half-a-dozen folk-forward singer-songwriters, from traditionalists like Keiko Hanawa and Mayumi Itsuwa to avant-garde legends Sai Yoshiko and Maki Asakawa.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Musician of the Generations: Mohamed Abdel Wahab

TONIGHT from 7-10 PM EDT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: So fierce was singer, musician, and composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Egyptian diva Oum Kalthoum refused for decades to work with him, fearing he’d upstage her. When the two finally collaborated, they produced several of Kalthoum’s greatest songs, including Enta Omri, Fakarouni, and Laylet Hob. This tribute focuses on rare 45s, LPs, and cassettes of Abdel Wahab’s own recordings, with a few covers and songs written for others woven in.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Yas Khedr (1938-2023) | Two Cassettes

 Admonitions & Mawawil (Date Unknown)

We woke early this morning to the news that Iraqi singer Yas Khedr passed away in mid-August. Blessed with powerful and expressive voice, Khedr began as a reciter of the Koran and in the 60s released a string of hit 45s, including "Al-Hadal," "Abu Zarka," and "Al-Mukair." Dubbed the Voice of the Earth, Khedr's career spanned six decades, with his last recording released in 2022.

We've got two cassettes by this remarkable artist; first up is something from the 1990s or aughts, "Admonitions & Mawawil." An incredible recording, with minimal instrumentation including percussion, oud, a single string instrument, a very suppressed keyboard of some kind, and Khedr's mind-blowing voice up front in the mix.

(Listen to "Forgive Me سامحيني")

Download the whole cassette here

Azaz (1988)

In addition to "Admonitions," we'd like to share this 1988 live cassette, "Azaz."

It was not entirely clear where each of the tracks began, so rather than cut up the recording and risk mislabeling anything, we kept each side a whole. Both sides are 30 minutes long and well worth a full immersion.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

60 Years of the Cassette | 7-10 PM EDT

TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: 

Developed in 1962 by the Philips Company, the first cassette tapes were released on August 30, 1963, at the Berlin Radio Show. This episode of Bodega Pop presents a three-hour celebration of the format focused on international cassette-only releases sourced from compilations, music blogs, friends, and Gary’s personal collection. HT to Andrew Simon for alerting us to this anniversary.

Bookmark the page and see you at 7:00 PM EDT!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Comb & Razor Sound | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: Writer, music historian, producer, researcher, blogger, and DJ Uchenna Ikonne's Comb & Razor Sound released just seven long-playing records in as many years. But the vision, the packaging, the whole approach had a significant impact on reissue culture -- and the music is unimpeachable.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

It's Bigger Than Hip Hop | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: A deep-cut, idiosyncratic tour through the first three+ decades of hip hop recordings, 1979-2012-ish, one track per year

Wednesday, August 9, 2023



TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: Freeform as freefall. The fucked. The hated. Doomsayers. Out of control and over the top. The despondent. Los Locos. Y mas.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Fables of the Reconstruction of the Fables | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: How we reimagine the past in music. The Parisian avant-gardist. An invasion from Mars(eille). The Lebanese conceptual artist. An Iraqi-American archivist. Cambodian-American bootleggers. A Vietnamese-American icon self-publishing her glory days. Mujeres en el underground metalico. All Bagged Up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Year Oum Kalthoum Died | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: With the passing of Egypt's greatest voice in February, 1975 evolved into a transitional year in the nation's music. Sono Cairo released its last 7" singles, going all-in on longform formats forever after. Hany Mehanna's debut LP hinted at an electronic era to come while Ahmed Adaweya published his first shaabi collection on cassette -- the first couple of what would prove fatal blows to the more traditional strains practiced by Kalthoum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Warda Al-Jazeera, and Farid Al-Atrash. This episode will highlight defining moments ripped from original media of the period.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Bootleg Soviet Punk Compilation (Cockroach Records, 1993)


I recently got my hands on a copy of what is likely the most interesting music-related item I've ever actually held in my hands: A bootleg sampler of Soviet-era punk (and punk-adjacent) music on cassette.

What makes this of particular interest is not the music -- I've got lots of this stuff, if not every track on this sampler, and it's all better sounding and in much better condition. What makes this particular item of great interest to me is that it was sent from some kid in just-barely-post-Soviet Russia to a couple of North Americans as part of an international punk exchange.

That's the letter -- from Vit to Chris and Darren -- above. How these three (presumably) young people, from opposite sides of the globe, in countries that had faced off against each other as primary enemies for several decades, got in touch with each other is a baffling mystery. 

Another mystery: Was Vit an enthusiastic kid who made pen-pals and shared music or was Vit personally involved in Cockroach Records (who produced this bootleg) and the associated Play Hooky! DIY zine? (Thanks to Twitter/X user @FedorLinnik for tracking down that link.) My guess would be the latter.

I had no intention, initially, of sharing this with anyone, other than posting a photo of the cassette, letter, fliers, and patches (see directly below), and a brief 1-minute video with sound, to pre-X Twitter a few days ago. I expected it might be seen by a few hundred people, maybe a thousand, at best.

As of this writing, nearly 700,000 people have seen the post and over 11,500 have liked it. Dozens have commented on it, many asking for me to rip and share the music somewhere. 

I didn't really expect, or want, to do that, in part because the primary experience for me had less to do with the sonic quality of the tape and everything to do with its physical (including but not limited to its sonic) reality. 

My experience involved listening, but listening while cognizant of the tape wheels spinning, of the artifacts assembled in front me, of being able to run my thumb along the felt stitched images gracing the patches, of smelling the aging paper on which the letter and flyers had been printed, of feeling the weight of the cassette case in my hand, feeling and hearing it creaking open and closed, and of the memories of my own taping and sharing music that all of this brought up for me -- to say nothing of the experience of imagining myself in Chris or Darren's shoes, listening to this then-mysterious music for the first time, or -- even more mind-blowing -- imagining myself as Vit, with a history and knowledge of this music, assembling a package to share with new pen-pals overseas, that feeling of here I am, this is me, this is a culture that I never could have guessed I would be sharing -- I mean, it's almost too much to emotionally process.

For those who want to track down Russian punk (or rock, pop, disco, etc.), it's worth spending a few hours on this wildly expansive Russian Music blog. (It wouldn't hurt to learn Cyrillic first, which you can easily do in a day -- it's not a particularly complicated alphabet.)

Alternately, I've broadcast a few Russian punk and punk-adjacent episodes over the last decade, including:

City of Gold: Leningrad 1974-1991

Yegor and Yanka (Grazhdanskaya Oborona aka Civil Defense)

Mike and Tsoi (Zoopark and Kino, respectively)

Listen to "Outch Putch" by Ukrainian band
Ivanov Down from A Side
(thanks to Twitter/X user 
for identifying this track)

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Pure Pop for Then People | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: Thai schmaltz. Bollywood bubblegum. Forgotten Power Pop. Stereo Monomono. Farewell to a British icon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

In His One Languages | 7-10 PM EDT

Post-exotica cultural appropriation, collaboration, provocation, hybridization, disorientation, and pure imagination, from Bollywood's amorphized manifestations of "other" to contemporary art projects redefining identity in a world of infinite availability

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

On the DL: Return to Ponytone! | 7-10 PM EDT


We thought we'd lost our all-time favorite music blog, Ponytone, forever. We thought wrong. Ponytone is back!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Tim Maia & Cultura Racional | 7-10 PM EDT

TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: Guided by Allen Thayer’s 33 1/3 book on Tim Maia’s immersion in the science fiction-y cult of Rational Culture, this episode offers a panoramic listen to Racional Volumes 1 through 3, with highlights from the Brazilian artist’s pre- and post-Racional 1970s funk, soul, and disco interspersed throughout.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Obvious as an Ear | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: An all vinyl & cassette episode featuring: Originals & their sampled afterlives, very LOUD music recorded by a variety of mysterious Japanese dudes obscured by long hair and sunglasses, the one album almost every freeform DJ has to have at least considered playing a track from this year, Egyptian mawaweel by the greatest living belter of same ... and Aris San

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Being Geniuses Together: East Coast Hip-Hop 1987-89


TONIGHT from 7-10 PM EDT, Bodega Pop on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio spins hits, deep cuts, iconic tracks, mostly from vinyl, idiosyncratically tracing hip-hop's most significant transitional period

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we spin Algerian space disco; Mandarin surf pop; Rif Mountain music; Indian vocals & veena on private press cassette; a forgotten Persian 60s star; unearthed Venezuelan and Colombian cumbia from the 1970s

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Tears in Insolent Eyes | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio we spin deeply felt, left-of-the-dial tracks from Burmese CDRs, Egyptian cassettes, and Italian vinyl

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Unholy Grails | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, I'll spin tracks from Cassettes, CDs, and vinyl records I can't believe I own -- and you may not, either (albeit for different reasons). Music from Algeria, Cambodia, Lebanon, Morocco, UK, USA, and former USSR.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Imagine Having Been Rita Lee | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: Famously kicked out of the pioneering psychedelic rock band she co-founded, Rita Lee moved on to a wildly successful solo career that ultimately earned her the title of Brazil’s Queen of Rock. This tribute draws from a half-century of her output, from her sixties and seventies work in and with Os Mutantes to her final official album in 2012.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Cosmic Vibration: Otherworldly sounds from the world we're living out | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we spin experimental and traditional music from Algeria, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Paraguay, Rwanda, Turkey, and the USA

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Memory Tracks: A Lao Family's Story through Music | 7-10 PM EDT


On tonight's show: Special guest Rattana Bounsouaysana shares a family’s migration story through interview sound clips, music, and commentary, as they make their way from Laos to the United States in the 1970s. Rattana Bounsouaysana is a student in the Master of Arts in Oral History program at Columbia University. Her work explores the Lao diaspora and the intersection of memory, identity, and history.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

La pensée se fait dans la bouche | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio we spin sons électroniques, expérimentaux, psychédéliques et antagonistes de la République française

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Dance Tracks | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio we spin international funk, disco, no-wave, house, techno, jungle, and beyond

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Egypt 1966 | 7-10 PM EDT


The year before the 1967 War, legendary singer Oum Kalthoum and composer Riad El-Sunbati released “Al Atlal,” generally recognized as the pinnacle of Kalthoum’s artistic career, and arguably one of the greatest songs of the 20th Century. Tonight's all-vinyl episode on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio explores some three-dozen releases from the same tumultuous year, ranging from escapist twist, cha-cha-cha, and comedic novelties to gut-wrenching refrains of unrequited love and amped-up demonstrations of national pride.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952-2023) | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio: Three hours, six decades, some of our favorite tracks, deep cuts, collaborations, and more.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

African Bodega | 7-10 PM EDT


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we spin late 20th & early 21st Century African pop found in African markets in Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Dallas, and Washington (DC)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Bodega Pop Comes Alive | 7-10 PM EDT

Tonight on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we feature white-hot live performances from American, Egyptian, French, German, Japanese, Lebanese, Polish, South African, and Swiss artists

Bookmark the page and see you at 7:00 PM EDT!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Nico Icon | 7-10 PM EST


A three-hour tribute to the enduring legacy of Christa Päffgen featuring hits, deep cuts, covers, deconstructions, samples, and homage

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Funky Consciousness | 7-10 PM EST


TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we're spinning heavy funk tracks from Africa, the Americas, and elsewhere

Bookmark the page and see you at 7:00 PM EST

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Far Afield | 7-10 PM EST

TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we spin traditional music on vinyl and cassette from our collection Bookmark the page and see you at 7:00 pm EST!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

My Big Fat Greek Neighborhood | 7-10 PM EST

TONIGHT on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio, we spin electronic, éntekhno, garage, laïkó, pop, and rebetiko sounds from the '60s to '80s, mostly found within walking distance of our apartment here in Astoria, Queens