Category Archives: 02 – February

February 23

Manipulated sounds.
Songs end with the sounds of dishes falling down the stairs.
Education becomes edutainment when a discussion about syncopation is combined with a song from a workout album.
Children’s stories tend to be cuter when they’re played at high speed.

I loved that T-Pain stopped by the studio. When he sings a cappella…man, it makes one’s heart stop.

This particular show is listener-approved. Yea or Nay for yourself–

(2 hours)
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February 16

This show begins with a couple songs about men and women.
Somehow I got into a Latin groove, which fades in and out throughout the show. I think the song by Gaby Kerpel is a highlight along those lines. There’s a creepy “two-way Larry” featuring the Texas Tornadoes, which was requested by Ms. Sarah Barbrow. What happens with a Cuban percussive group covers Mozart? You can find out by listening.
It might not surprise you to learn that today’s program contains a couple showtunes.
Duels? We’ve got those, too. Dueling spoons and dueling tubas. Who wins??? Laughing giraffes. That’s who.

Who doesn’t win? Charles Manson.
I got a complaint today, for playing a song by Charles Manson at the end of the show. The man who called in was composed and polite, but obviously upset. He thought it was inappropriate to play something by a maniac with so much blood on his hands. I appreciated the complaint, and it’s helpful for listeners to provide feedback about WCBN’s programming.

I don’t agree, though. Of course, my intent was not to make anyone upset. I emphasized to the caller and emphasize to you, reader, that neither WCBN nor I advocate the philosophy and actions of Charles Manson. I admit that I was flippant about Manson on the air, but I was interested in hearing Manson’s album–I recently learned that Henry Rollins was in contact with Manson while Manson was in jail, and Manson was sending Rollins material that he wanted to release as an album. Rollins was all for pressing Manson’s album until his female bass player started getting anonymous death threats from anti-Mansonites. Manson was not pleased when Rollins was forced to back out of their plans. Incidentally, the notes on the album we have at the station made a tenuous link between Manson approaching publicists and death threats to the publicists who refused to record Manson’s albums. I just think that’s interesting. It’s history. Is the context of a radio show so different from showing other pieces of Manson’s history in a documentary or publishing Hitler’s Mein Kampf?

Having said all that, I did think it was humorous that Manson was singing about a garbage dump. I was amused by Charles Manson transitioning into the gospel music that DJ Matt Endahl features at the start of Doomsday Radio, the show that follows Break Your Radio. I also think it’s interesting that you’d never know it was Manson singing about a garbage dump unless you were told. And that you wouldn’t be able to predict that Manson was a crazy, murderous maniac by listening to the album (he’s got another track called “Don’t do anything illegal”).

I’m curious about what you think, so leave a comment if you have a minute.

(2 hours)
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February 15: Living Writers

I was thrilled to engineer the pre-recorded interview for an episode of Living Writers today. Living Writers is an enthralling and edifying show that features interviews with writers like Richard Price, Louis Sachar, Lorrie Moore, nobel-winning poets, non-fiction writers, screen writers, and more. The show’s host, T. Hetzel, teaches English courses at the University of Michigan; her ability to draw interesting conversation from her guests amazes me.

So. Today, Sara Marcus came to the studio to talk about her recently published book, Girls to the Front: The True Story of the RIOT GRRRL Revolution. mmm. Feminism and girls who rock. You can listen to the Living Writers episode here.

(55 minutes)
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Be sure to stay tuned–I engineered another interview with poet Carl Phillips, in which I had to bleep out a cuss word with the laughter of children. I think each recorded interview will come out a little more smoothly…

Find more Living Writers at the posted archives here. You can also find the podcast on iTunes.

Read more about Girls to the Front at

February 9

Woke up late this morning, but got to the station right on time to Break Your Radio. whew.

Contained herein is a short “Andrew Bird” set to illustrate the musical range of the man and highlight his multiple projects. I know of his solo work and his collaborations with Margaret Cho, Dosh, and Squirrel Nut Zippers. Are there more?

I did some rudimentary mixing in the studio today. I still don’t have a clue how to really mix by flipping back and forth between turntables, but hey. I can layer music like you wouldn’t believe. Try to listen for a couple instances in this show.

Every good day contains Dolly Parton. or perhaps every day containing Dolly Parton is a good one.
This show was not brought to you by Throat Coat, the herbal tea that supports throat health.

(2 hours)
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February 2

Last night and very early this morning, Ann Arbor received the tail end of a snow storm that hit Chicago hard. After carrying around my snowshoes for a few days (and storing them in the closet for years), I finally had the chance to snowshoe the city sidewalks. What luck–a 9am radio show, slow snow plows, powdery goodness all over the streets leading to campus. I strapped my boots into the snowshoes and set off with poles in hand. I was happy to see the cross-country-ski tracks left behind by someone even earlier. A news van stopped me for an interview: “What are you doing?” “What do you think of all this snow?” “Are you surprised that U of M didn’t cancel today’s classes?” “What do you think about the situation in Egypt?” (that last one was a lie; they didn’t ask me that). I arrived at the radio station, started off the set with appropriate tuneage, and the rest (including a children’s story read by Neil Gaiman) can be heard here–

(2 hours)
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