Show Archive: Merge Records 25th Anniversary Record Collection – Or Thousands of Prizes

I packed as many of the songs off of Merge Records 25th Anniversary 7-Inch Subscription Collection “Or Thousands of Prizes” into one two hour show, while still maintaining some witty banter with guest J.FRAHM. Highlights include never-before heard tracks, alternate takes and covers from Superchunk, Lambchop, Vertical Scratchers, Redd Kross, Spoon, Ex Hex, The Clientele, and more!1000s

I signed up for one seven-inch record a month. What I got was:

– One seven-inch record a month for a year.

– A gorgeous magnetic-sealed, metal-stamped box to store all the records in.

– A bonus 12″ EP with six current Merge roster bands covering each other.

– a CD of all the seven-inch record tracks

– A surprise mail delivery to kick things off with a special t-shirt and a bunch of stickers.merge

Merge only printed 1200 copies of this, and the numbers are handwritten! Along with the box set of records, the label sponsored a weekend of shows in Chapel Hill and a run for charity with Merge bands playing along the route.

In preparation for this show, I went a little overboard on the social media. Early wins – a retweet by Merge and a response via Instagram from Jason Narducy (bass player for Bob Mould, touring for Superchunk, and heading up his own band Split Single) quickly turned into me making ridiculous demands of Narducy and Bob Mould himself.

This all started because I noticed that there were two glaring omissions from the whole birthday record collection: Bob Mould and Arcade Fire. I love everything about the record collection, but it makes you wonder…

THIS THURSDAY: My 2nd Annual Best of the Bay Area Show!

This Thursday, January 22nd – 8-10pm PST – I’m super-proud to be presenting my 2nd Annual Best of the Bay show! This special program features all San Francisco Bay Area Music, nominated by fellow local musicians.

This year, over 20 artists from Oakland, SF, and San Jose nominated over 35 recordings from 2014. Notable participants include Shannon Shaw of Shannon and the Clams, Sonny Smith of Sonny and the Sunsets, Dave Dondero, Bart Davenport , Hot Lunch, Tom Heyman, Hard Girls , Tony Molina, Cocktails, Happy Diving, A Million Billion Dying Suns, Songs for Snakes, Peace Creep, and Doctor Popular!

There might be some surprise guests, and I will be drinking Beer Thousand – a 10% ABV Imperial Lager tribute to Guided By Voices.

This show has taken two months to put together, so tune into BFF.fm and hear some hot tracks!

Forced to Look Ahead: Getting Back to Life in 2015

Recently, life has forced me to live in the present, enjoy the past, and completely postpone any thoughts, hopes or designs for the future. But all that is about to – supposed to – change. It’s exciting and terrifying.

In 2013, I spent 40 days and nights in hospitals, as well as a handful of months of full-time, “adult day care” in clinics. Through 2014, another 10 days and nights in hospital beds and innumerable clinic visits, I forgot what it was like to work and be productive, creative, and vital. My only saving grace was the energy I could put into my radio show: Cracked Machine on BFF.fm. Other than that, Doctor’s orders were to stay out of the work environment, stay out of crowds, avoid flying, and sit tight for life to start anew. I was grounded.

Despite some “hiccups”, 2015 looks to be the year I’m finally given my privileges back. Things are brewing and I am forced to look ahead:

  • I joined a gym and set up a physical trainer session for TOMORROW.
  • This week, I’m going to meet up with someone to see if we’re compatible to play music. Really, this is a test to see if I can shake off two years of rust and play bass at all like I used to.
  • I start a new job on January 21st – a job with the promise of upward mobility and personal growth.
  • I can’t stop thinking in jokes and stand-up comedy material, and need to find an outlet. For those who follow me on Twitter, I apologize already.
  • I’ve started to use a Jawbone UP24 to monitor and motivate myself to eat, sleep, and move in a healthy manor. A substitute for real discipline and inspiration, this wearable tech bit might just help pull me out of my slump.

Crabbing, fishing, camping, travelling, skiing, hiking… drawing, scuba diving, making ceramics, grilling, smoking meats, playing piano, writing words… There’s so much I want to do – so many things I’ve had to purposefully forget just to focus on surviving the last two years. And now the flood gates are barely cracking open, with me on the the other side. It’s impossible to deny the terror I feel that these hopes and ambitions I’ve already given wing to might up and disappear – that they might be taken away from me and I will be grounded once again.

People make resolutions around specific issues they have with their weight, behavior, careers, and aspirations. My needs reach broader than that – and I’ve never put stock in New Year’s resolutions. But I can say that I will be resolute in facing my fears of being grounded once again. I won’t stop in the name of fear, although it does haunt every step forward I will take. I will try to make the most of the opportunities afforded me. These are as close to resolutions I can muster.

It’s time to get back to life in 2015. The show is going to be great. The physical training is going to require much patience to get back to my former physical stature. Someone is going to laugh at my jokes or at me trying to tell them. Join me. Invite me. I’m looking forward now.

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ICYMI: White Reaper Interview

I recently wrote up my favorite albums of 2014 for BFF.fm. One release I couldn’t overlook was White Reaper’s debut EP on Polyvinyl Records. Months after playing this album religiously on my show and spazzing out to it in my spare time, I got to catch up with the whole band via telephone for a recap of their Summer 2014 tour. This was definitely one of the funnest interviews I’ve conducted to date.

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ICYMI: Protomartyr Interview with Joe Casey

Last Spring, I had the opportunity to speak with Joe Casey, frontman of Detroit’s Protomartyr, the day after their record release party at PJ’s Lager House for Under Color of Official Right. Since I recently named Protomarytr’s second album to my top albums of 2014, I thought I’d revisit this interview. I don’t remember being so nervous about conducting this interview, but I totally botched the band AND album name during the introduction. Lovely.

The interview takes place around the 1:30 mark. Listen to Joe set the bar really low, right before he jumps into the Safari.

SHOW ARCHIVE: ALL OHIO. Special Guest Tim Krug talks Brainiac Reunion Show

On the occasion of the 1st birthday of the Cracked Machine radio show, I’ve gone back to the beginning and put together an ALL-Ohio set of rock. I’m also joined via phone by Tim Krug of Oh Condor and Swim Diver to talk about the Brainiac reunion in Dayton, OH that happened last week at Blind Bob’s. We talk about the good cause for the reunion and why the band members and local Ohio artists got together.

Listen to the show:

Or read about the cause and how you can contribute.

 

SHOW ARCHIVE: My Last Wednesday!

I’m just gonna play my favorite songs, talk about Margaret Cho’s good deeds , and make a plea to CB Tarver and Matt Sweeney of Chavez to play more shows. I also spin a couple yarns about Polvo, Sebadoh, Unrest and other indie bands.

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