Category Archives: Break Your Radio

June 30: SPECIAL GUESTS in the studio

This week’s Break Your Radio show is here WSG: a baker’s dozen helium balloons, returning co-host Jennifer Lee, hip-hop starlet One Thought, and our very quiet music director.

LISTEN (2 hours):
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We start with lots of soul, get into some old-school jams, and indulge in a few digressions. We celebrate the impending Fourth of July by reciting “America the Beautiful” over machine gun fire and the tinkling of classical piano.

Herein, also learn what Lord Buckley’s voice would sound like on helium (sped up from 33 to 45 rpm). A note to trivia hounds: Frank Zappa edited the Lord Buckley album that I found in our music library, “A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat.”

Artist = “Song title”, Album title. [Notes.]

Things got chaotic in the studio. This list surely lacks some trax.

1. Roger Taylor = “Future management”, Fun in space.
2. INF = “Soul check mate”, Music for crime scenes.
3. Von Ryan’s Express = “Squat pot”, Von Ryan’s Express.
4. Johnnie Taylor = “The users”, She’s killing me.
5. Luther Ingram = “My honey and me”, I’ve been here all the time.
6. Redbone = “Sweet lady of love”, Come and get your Redbone: The best of Redbone.
7. John Lennon & Yoko Ono = “Cleanup time”, Double fantasy.
8. Exusama = Baroquin, Excusez-moi!.
9. Family of God = “Watch with mother”, Family of God.
10. Elastica = “Indian song”, Elastica.
11. Family of God = “2nd touch”, Family of God.
12. Eels = “Beginner’s luck”, Hombre Lobo: 12 songs of desire.
13. Animal hours = “Submarine”, Do over.
14. TRAFFIC = “Rock & roll stew”, The low spark of high heeled boys.
15. The Guess Who? = “Maple fudge”, Wheatfield soul.
16. The Orb + Lee Scratch Perry = “Soulman”, The observer in the star house.
17. Sleepy Kitty = “THE HOAX”, Projection room.
18. Potpourri of Pearls = “Shadow on my shoulder”, Why does coco cry?.
19. Little Lapin = “Silent tears”, Little Lapin.
20. Courtney Barnett = “Kim’s caravan”, Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.
21. Hot Chip = “White wine and fried chicken”, Why make sense?.
22. Nocturnal Sunshine ft. Chelou = “Believe”, Nocturnal Sunshine.
23. Andreya Triana = “Clutterbug”, Giants.
24. INF = “Bubble gum heist”, Music for crime scenes.
25. The Sixths w/ Melanie = “I’ve got New York”, Hyacinths and thistles.


June 23

In which I realize that three squared does not equal twenty-seven.

(2 hours)
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Scattered throughout the show are a few of the bands that I caught at the NXNE music/comedy/film/etc festival in Toronto. Not included here, though worth checking out, are brilliant comedians who gave me belly laughs, namely Ashley Barnhill and Nick Thune.

[Aside: I missed this crazy choreographed event with David Byrne, tune-yards, Nelly Furtado, et al. in Toronto by a mere one day. I don’t want to talk about it anymore because it makes me sad and frustrated to have missed it. Console me.]

Stay tuned to the end to experience the mesmerizing hypnosis of found sound from a casino. JACKPOT.

Artist = “Song title”, Album title. [Notes.]

1. Lucius = “Turn it around”, Wildewoman.
2. Hop Along = “Powerful man”, Painted shut.
3. Alabama Shakes = “Future people”, Sound & color.
4. Ava Luna = “Steve Polyester”, Infinite house.
5. TEEN = “toi toi toi”, The way and color.
6. Pins = “Got it bad”, Wild nights.
7. Matthew E. White = “Holy moly”, Fresh blood.
8. Acorn = Influence, Vieux loup.
9. Roisin Murphy = “Uninvited guest”, Hairless toys.
10. Tubes = “Muscle girls”, Love bomb.
11. Papas Fritas = “Hey hey you say”, Helioself.
12. Nick Diamonds = “Something about the moon”, City of quartz.
13. The Roots = “The seed (2.0)”, Phrenology.
14. Young Fathers = “27”, White men are black men too.
15. Justin Walter = “Western tears”, Lullabies & nightmares.
16. Andreya Triana = “Lullaby”, Giants.
17. Girlpool = “Before the world was big”, Before the world was big.
18. Prinzhorn Dance School = “Reign”, Home economics.
19. Michelle Blades = “Risk fruit”, Ataraxia.
20. Nessa = “Gigue by Blavet”, Nessa.
21. Tyondai Braxton = “Boids”, HIVE1.
22. Damaged Bug = “Grape basement”, Cold hot plumbs.
23. Nuyorican Soul = “Habriendo el dominante”, Nuyorican Soul.
24. Money Mark = “Another day to love you”, Change is coming.
25. Shamir = “Make a scene”, Ratchet.
26. Shokazulu = “Pie”, EP.
27. Adrian Rew = “Horseshoe Casino, Cleveland, Ohio”, Slot Machine Music.

We’re back online! new new new radio show

If you’ve drifted off, then WAKE UP because have I ever got a new show for you, after lo these many periods of time.

It’s not that I haven’t been playing music for you–you can Break Your Radio every single Tuesday night at 10 til midnight by tuning to 88.3 FM in southeast Michigan or streaming live anywhere on the planet via

But opportunities to Break Your Radio have been as ephemeral as the electromagnetic waves received moment by moment and emitted just as quickly through the speakers in your radio or computer, only to disappear once more into the ether.

But HOORAY, each episode once again will be memorialized on this very website for your aural pleasure.

Thanks to Chicago Alex for making this happen. THANKS, Alex, for listening all this time and for asking me so nicely to replenish your RSS feed every week. You’re not a spy from the FCC or a major record label, are you?

Please enjoy the June 2 edition of Break Your Radio:

(2 hours)
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Artist = “Song title,” Album title. [Notes.]

1. [Broadway Stars] = “Some enchanted evening,” South Pacific soundtrack.
2. Punch Brothers = “Who’s feeling young now?” Who’s feeling young now?.
3. Punch Brothers = “You are,” Antifogmatic.
4. Elaine Purkey = “Who’ll watch the homeplace,” Mountain music, mountain struggle.
5. Joan Collins = “Sleep,” The Joan Collins beauty and exercise record.
6. Stephanie Greggains = “Chariots of Fire – Cool down,” Thin thighs, hips & stomach: Aerobic shape-up III. [Contains 16 page photo instruction book]
7. Barbie Allen = “Cool down stretch – Just the two of us,” Dance/Exercise.
8. DJ Jester: the Filipino Fist = track 2, River walk riots.
9. Jib Kidder = “Lossy Angeles,” Earzumba/Jib Kidder split.
10. Bobby Troup & Trio = “That darn cat,” Original music score from the sound track of the motion picture: That Darn Cat.
11. Dean Martin = “June in January,” The Dean Martin Deluxe Set. [More than 30 of his greatest hits!]
12. Warren Covington and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra = “Orchids in the moonlight,” It takes two…to cha cha tango samba merengue mambo rumba.
13. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass = “So what’s new?,” What now my love.
14. Kenosha Kid = “Map of the universe,” Inside voices.
15. Jel = “Thnk4U,” Late pass.
16. DJ Mayonnaise = “Post reformat,” Still alive.
17. Illuminati Congo ft. Del the Funky Homosapien = “No no,” All eye see.
18. K-Chill = “Boom booms 93,” Get ya funky off.
19. Govind Bolo Gopal Bolo = “Nandbhawan Nandlal Thumak Chalan Lage,” Krishna Bhajan.
20. Frank Zappa = “Dirty love,” Apostrophe/Overnight sensation.
21. Janet Jackson = “What have you done for me lately,” Control.
22. Courtney Barnett = “An illustration of loneliness (sleepless in New York),” Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

This week was an especially auspicious time to start all this up again, as the exceedingly lovely Gina Gettum brought her brightness and her veggietables to bear during the show.

Also check out the new sticker on the window in our FM studio. It provides a pep talk every time you look up from the microphone.

Interview with Mirah

Mirah and I chatted on the phone, then a tiny bit in person after her show at Trinosophes this week. Listen to the phone interview (plus my whole radio show, even):

Right-click or Command+click to download

The audio includes my two-hour radio show, plus a smidgen of the next DJ’s. Mirah stars for the first 1.5 hours, and the interview begins about 30 minutes in.

Click to READ the interview with Mirah

Artist = “Song title”, Album title. [Notes.]

1. Mirah = “Take me out riding”, The old days feeling
2. Mirah = “Gone are all the days”, (A)Spera
3. Mirah with the Black Cat Orchestra = “The light”, To all we stretch the open arm
4. Mirah YomTov Zeitlyn/Ginger Brooks Takahashi & Friends = “Pure”, Songs from the Black Mountain Music Project
5. Thao & Mirah = “How dare you”, Thao & Mirah
6. Mirah YomTov Zeitlyn/Ginger Brooks Takahashi & Friends = “Oh! September”, Songs from the Black Mountain Music Project
7. Mirah feat. Tender Forever = “Low self control”. [video]
[The interview]
8. Mirah = “1982 (atari)” Storageland
9. Mirah = “La familia”, You think it’s like this but really it’s like this
10. Mirah and Spectratone International = “Community”, Share this place
11. Thao & Mirah = “Rubies and rocks”, Thao & Mirah
12. Mirah = “No direction home”, Changing light [video]
13. Mirah = “I am the garden”, Changing light
14. Mirah = “Pollen”, You think it’s like this but really it’s like this
15. Mirah = “Cold cold water”, Cold cold water EP
16. Thao & Mirah = “Sugar and plastic”, Thao & Mirah
17. Santigold + Diplo = “Icarus”, [Some sorta exclusive album]
18. Tune-Yards = “Little tiger”, Bird-brains
19. Kate Bush = “Army dreamers”, The whole story
20. Suzanne Vega = “Pilgrimage”, Days of open hand
21. Gaze = “Static”, Shake the pounce
22. Enon = “Daughter in the house of fools”, Hocus-pocus
23. Belly = “It’s not unusual (the usual mix)”, Moon
24. Envelopes = “I don’t even know”, Demon [which is Swedish for “demos”]

25. FKA Twigs = “Two weeks”, LP1
26. Xeno & Oaklander = “Jasmine nights”, Par avion
27. Actress = “Towers”, Ghettoville
28. Santigold = “Disparate youth”, Master of my make-believe
29. Dr. Science [the science of shampoo]

Click to READ the interview with Mirah

August 1: LAST SHOW

Feast your earholes on THIS, my last show evorrr at this point in time in this place called 88.3 WCBN-FM Ann Arbor.

The highlight (or lowlight) of this show (depending on whether you represent either the vox populi or the tail ends of the Gaussian curve) is Komar, Melamid and David Soldier’s most unwanted song. These artists aimed to maximize the probability of creating a song with wide appeal (liked by 72% plus or minus 12% of people) based on survey data about peoples’ musical tastes. The resultant masterpiece they called the “most wanted song”. By the same token, Komar/Melamid/David Soldier created the “most unwanted song” by compiling everything that people said they most hated in a piece of music. Listen to the show for more info about these hooligans and their massively un/appealing project.

Herein basks a unique version of “Queen Bee” by Taj Mahal. Strongly suggested–check out this other version.

(Un) Fortunately, I was pressed by listener request to play the most wanted song at the end of the show. It’s bound to leave you with some sort of aftertaste in your ears.

(2 hours)
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Oh, also, there’s lots of great local music showcased here AND bonus features from a Living Writers interview I shared with Keith Taylor, which you can find right here. I mean, here. OK, seriously–at this link, for reals.

Annnd to the legions of fans out there who have been following along: Thank you, and stay tuned. I’ll be posting some sorts of somethings while I’m traveling American highways in my RV. oh, did I mention that? I got a motor home, and I plan to live like a turtle for a little while. Until then, BREAK YOUR RADIO.

Artist = “Song title”, Album title. [Notes.]
1. Kay Starr = “All by myself”, Jazz singer
2. Johnny Mathis = “Chances are”, The first 25 years
3. Laurie Anderson = “Dark angel”, Life on a string
4. Beatles = “Nowhere man”, Rubber soul
5. Johnny Mathis = “A cock-eyed optimist”, Rhythms of Broadway
6. Xiu Xiu = “Apple for a brain”, Dear God I hate myself
7. Laurie Anderson = “O Superman (for Massenet)”, Big Science
8. Colin Stetson = “Fear of the unknown and the blazing sun” New history warfare, Vol. 2: Judges. [local!]
9. Daft Punk = “The grid”, Tron soundtrack
10. A.R.P. = “Gas All Clear”, Sprigs of time: 78s from the EMI archive
11. The Ladytron = “Dainty Wayne”, The Ladytron
12. Orpheum Bell = “Poor Laetitia”, The old sisters’ home. [local!]
13. Dave Soldier = “The Nasadiya”, The Kropotkins
14. Taj Mahal with Toumani Diabate = “Queen bee”, Kulanjan
15. Keith Taylor = bonus feature from Living Writers interview
16. Komar & Melamid and David Soldier = “The Most Unwanted Song”, The People’s Choice Music
17. Bill Moyers (narrator) = excerpt from some narrative, The story of percussion in the orchestra
18. Ram Jam = “Black Betty”, Ram Jam
19. Jad Fair & Jason Willett = “Monster vs. monster”, The attack of everything
20. They Might Be Giants = “Particle man”, Flood
21. Mustafa Ozkent = several trax during Events Info, Genclik ile elele
22. Keith Taylor = bonus feature from Living Writers interview
23. Andrews Sisters = “One meatball”, [78-rpm record]
24. Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters = “Don’t fence me in”, [78-rpm record]
25. Bing Crosby = “If you please”, [78-rpm record]
26. Komar & Melamid and David Soldier = “The Most Wanted Song”, The People’s Choice Music

July 25

Here, hear one of the goodies that those generous and hardworking folks at the Transistor 66 record label sent to us at WCBN. The NXNE Film Festival screened an excellent documentary about Transistor 66 this summer.

Here also, I begin pumping myself up for the Mayer Hawthorne shows that occurred the following day. Both of the shows–Mayer Hawthorne playing with his band The County during lunch hour and his DJ set at LIVE later in the evening–were terrific, for different reasons. Can I just provide noninclusive lists that detail why both shows were great?

A. Show during lunch hour
– People of all ages showed up, including at least one dancing baby
– Synchronized dancing
– The bass player’s afro
– The band set aside time to pose for pictures
– It was a FREE SHOW
– That Sonic Lunch exists
– The historic Michigan Theater
– That Ann Arbor exists like this, for reals
– Chocolates and dancing in the balcony
– Tambourine on his head

B. DJ set at LIVE
– Mayer Hawthorne aka Andrew Cohen aka DJ Haircut
– Dancing, which almost never happens
– Creepy stairwell

One never can emphasize enough this phenomenon of kittens inspired by kittens.

(2 hours)
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Artist = “Song title”, Album title. [Notes.]
1. Zap Mama = “M’Toto”, a ma zone
2. Grass Widow = “Milo minute”, Internal logic
3. The La’s [sic] = “Liberty ship”, The La’s
4. King Kong = “Scooba dooba diver”, Funny farm
5. The Vibrating Beds = “Six eight”. [EP]
6. Mayer Hawthorne with Snoop Dogg = “can’t stop”, how do you do
7. Project Move = “Woo (instrumental)”. [EP]
8. sacred rhythms of cuban santeria = “Chango” ritmos sagrados de la santeria cubana
9. Filastine (feat. Jessika Skeletalia Kenny) = “fitnah”, dirty bomb
10. April in the Orange = “She was not of the earth”. [EP]
11. Ditty Bops = “Walk or ride”, The Ditty Bops
12. Daryl Hall & John Oates = “Tell me what you want”, Private eyes
13. Petre Mihaescu = “Ninge pe strada mea”, Muzica usoara romaneasca
14. Gorillaz = “The speak it mountains”, The Fall
15. Russian Language Lessons = “Vol. 5”
16. Hofi Geza = [Hungarian stand-up comedy]
17. Pesnyary = “Come along streets”, Vocal and instrumental ensemble
18. Prazsky Poutovy Orchestra = “To by bylo neco”, Housle nebudou, Dalibore!
19. Sandor Lakatos = “Kesergo, verbunkos, friss”, The star of the Hungarian Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair
20. Edward MacDowell Camarata and his orchestra = “Will o’ the wisp”, Woodland sketches
21. Shad = “I heard you had a voice like an angel”, The old prince
22. MC Frontalot with Wyatt Cenac = “Problems: Mr. Cenac”, Solved
23. Konrad = “Luxury of wishful peace”, Shadow boxing
24. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci = “Drws”, Spanish dance troupe
25. The Death Set (feat. Beau Velasco) = “Is that a French dog?”, Michel Poiccard
26. Radio Free Vestibule = “How many times has this happened to you?, Sketches songs and shoes
27. The Death Set = “Kittens inspired by kittens”, Michel Poiccard
28. Animal Collective = “Honeycomb”. [EP]
29. King Geedorah = “Monster zero”, Take me to your leader
30. Will Smith = “Freakin’ it”
31. The Born Again Floozies = “Born Again Floozies theme song”, 7 deadly sinners
32. Le Loup = “Grow”, Family
33. Axel Zwingenberger/Charlie Watts/David Green = “More sympathy for the drummer”, The A B C & D of Boogie Woogie
34. featuring Pappy Hanahan on the ricky tick = “Golden nugget”, Honky tonk in percussion
35. Head Like A Kite = “Interested in worms?”, Random portraits of the home movie

July 11

All the selections in this show come from the “experimental” section of the WCBN music library.

Cats are popular. Our DJ Michael’s opinion of the second track in the set: “I like the part with the meows.” Me, I liked the angry-sounding meows.

In addition to cats, this show features taxi cab horns honking, men mimicking frogs, marimbas, drums of course, and much more.

Tune in.

(2 hours)
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Artist = “Song title”, Album title. [Notes.]
1. So Percussion = “Work slow life”, Amid the noise. [Cantaloupe Music]
2. Ros Bobos = “We are kittens”, Uncharted universal euphoria
3. Glen Velez = “internal combustion”, internal combustion. [Schematic]
– mixed with –
4. Holly Prado = “Rilke as door”, Word rituals. [new alliance records]
– mixed with –
5. Holly Prado = “a door”, Word rituals. [new alliance records]
– mixed with –
6. Holly Prado = “Flowerage”, Word rituals. [new alliance records]
– mixed with –
7. Joel Lipman = “The day I had love”, Down your street. [new alliance records]
– mixed with –
8. Holly Prado = “He photographed the earth as if it were a woman” Word rituals. [new alliance records]
– mixed with –
9. Joel Lipman = “Amid the Vietnamese”, Down your street. [new alliance records]
– mixed with –
10. Joel Lipman = “Why I give bums money”, Down your street. [new alliance records]
11. Shalabi Effect = “Pai Nai”, Unfortunately. [alien8recordings]
12. Richard Thomas = “Acid-free Atlantis”, Soggy martyrs
13. Daniel Bernard Roumain [DBR] = “the la la song”, etudes4violin&electronix. [Thirsty Ear]
14. Rituel = “Unseen rain”, New music for a new America. [Rastascan Records]
15. Irene Papas & Vangelis Papathanassiou = “To Potami”, Odes. [Greek Video, Records & Tapes, Inc.]
17. Colin Stetson = “Tiger tiger crane”, New history warfare, Vol. 1. [Aagoo Records]
18. The Tape-beatles = “Point within a circle”, Good times. [Public Works Productions]
19. Rough Assemblage = “Construction et demolition”, Construction and demolition. [Avant]
– mixed with –
20. Baka Forest People = “#13”, Heart of the forest. [Hannibal Records]
21. So Percussion = “Evan Ziporyn: Melody competition”, So Percussion. [Cantaloupe]
22. meri von kleinsmid = “#2 (sister joyce)”, Chi-Tape. [American Archive Recordings]
23. La Drivers Union Por Por group = “Por Por horn-to-horn fireworks”, Por Por honk horn music of Ghana. [Smithsonian Folkways Recordings]
24. Evan Ziporyn = “Frogs (I wayan wija)”, Shadowbang. [Cantaloupe]
25. Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant = “specter of serling”, sister phantom owl fish. [ipecac recordings]
26. Wobbly = “untitled 2 (yo yo yo)”, Wild why. [Tigerbeat6]
27. Ken Nordine = “the vidiot”, Best of word jazz
28. Patrice Sciortino = “Ciel de cimes”, Chronoradial: Musique de Patrice Sciortino. [Omni]
29. Evolution Control Committee = “Music for selling”
30. Rob Bobos = “Disclaimer”, Mandatory astra