Sunday, January 28, 2007

UW's Attic #20: The Top 40 Show

Fair warning: This one is different from everything that came before.

Everyone who has ever been on the radio has a dark place in their soul. Maybe it comes out on the full moon, maybe it comes out when they realize how silly life in general is ... but every so often they sneak off to that dark place and become ... a Top 40 DJ.

Recently, listening to tunes I'd downloaded from the Podsafe Music Network and Sub Pop Records, I found myself falling into that dark place, and before I realized what was happening ...

It was too late.

1. Rollin' - Maria Daines
2. Sin City - The Legendary Hucklebucks
3. Zen Hot Dog - The Sealed Weasels
[tie] The Dog Song - Piney Creek Weasels
5. Say I Love You - Ruby James
6. Atlantica - Speed Limit 35
7. The Ghost of an Unkissed Kisses - Trembling Blue Stars

UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot to acknowledge the contributions of my partner, Red, who makes her podcast debut in the roles of news reader Red Roberts (not her real name!) and Jeanie, Caller #15. Thanks, hon! It wouldn't be the same without you.

Click on the Pod symbol or here.

Guy & Brad Gilchrist are music lovers

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Coming attractions

For the first time, I have a clear idea what the next two shows will be like. Browsing through the songs at the Podsafe Music Network the other night, I suddenly started imagining them in the context of an oldtime top 40 show. If it's as much fun as it sounded in my brain, UWA 20 will be a milestone. I'm working up sounders and jingles right now, and I'm trying to recruit Red for her podcast acting debut; watch for it in a few days. There should be good rockin' that night.

Then I got a listener suggestion that instead of trickling out the remaining tunes in my collection of records in the Batman series of kids' 45 rpm tunes, I do a "Batman band blowout" episode. It has a certain appeal. He also let me know the songs were once collected in an album and the band has a real name: The Merriettes. They're not credited on the 45s. At the moment, I'm slating that one for UWA 21. But I have to admit, these little tunes are easier to take one at a time. When I digitized the remaining six tunes in one sitting, my brain exploded. I may yet chicken out on this idea.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

UW's Attic #19: Historic sounds

This show ended up revolving around sounds that you don't hear much anymore: A telephone ringing, an electric typewriter, a steam engine. Along the way, as always, we unearth a few tunes.

The centerpiece - or the longest piece - is a 1993-ish radio report I did about the Milwaukee Road 261's visit to Green Bay. This magnificent steam engine was restored to its original working condition, and capturing its sounds was one of the highlights of my halcyon radio days.

Musical entries are "Hobo Bill's Last Ride," a 1930 recording by Jimmie Rodgers you can find at the Internet Archives ... "North of Milwaukee, South of Green Bay" by Big City Bob and the Ballroom Gliders. A Web search will land you a guy named Big City Bob, but this record seems to predate the contemporary Bob's musical activity ... "Sweet Patunia" by Willie Jones a k a Will Baker, a 1927 recording for which precious little info is "out there."

Download by clicking on the pod icon or this link.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

'America, where are you now?'

My friend B.W. Richardson put down some good thoughts this morning about the classic Steppenwolf album "Monster." Now, my mind doesn't often go straight to Steppenwolf when I think about my favorite rock bands, but its stuff has weathered time well. "Monster," in particular, seemed to be outdated at one point in recent history, but revisiting it now, it may be more relevant than ever.

I sometimes forget that the first rock concert I ever attended was a Steppenwolf date. The memories are faded - I remember John Kay with his sunglasses - the fascinating instrument the guitarist put in his mouth that allowed his guitar to talk, literally - and something that you're not allowed to see anymore: a smoky haze over the whole auditorium. That last fact is indicative of why "Monster" is still a song for our times.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Eek! Where'd everyone go?

According to the stat machine, there's been a precipitous drop in the number of people downloading the show. This is what Dave Slusher must have meant when he said the true measure of a podcaster is what he would do when almost no one is listening: If he quits then, he wasn't in it for the right reasons. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Well, I'm doing this because it's just too darn fun. Maybe a poddy audience is like the proverbial bar of soap: If you try to hold it too tight, it slips away. Maybe I've been thinking too hard about how to keep the audience happy, when what made the audience happy in the first place was I was just having fun poking around in my attic. As long as most of you are gone, maybe I'll just throw what makes me happy into the next show.

Of course, the other possibility is that the stat machine is malfunctioning again and the audience is bigger than ever ... in which case, talk amongst yourselves and ignore this note.

UPDATE: OK, now I'm sure it's a malfunction. The counter hasn't changed for three days, and I've been getting comments from people who've downloaded the show within the last three days. Yippee! You still like me! You really like me! (Down, Sally.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Uncle Warren's Attic #18: Fond memories

... of working in radio, covering the news and Studebakers are interspersed with some tasty music by Los Gallos, the Young Iroquois Drummers, Paul Whiteman and Melanie Lewis (pictured). The exact set list goes like this:

"Amor Prohibido," Los Gallos (from the Podsafe Music Network)

"Honor Song," Young Iroquois Drummers of the Oneida Nation, from UW's personal stash of tapes from his radio news career

Thoughts about radio and podcasting from Dave Slusher of the Evil Genius Chronicles, via the Podcast & Portable Music Expo

"Anything Goes," Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra, from the Internet Archive

"Satisfy Me," Melanie Lewis (from PMN)

"Golden Hawk," w.p. bluhm (from the forthcoming album "Songs From The Attic")

Enjoy! Download by clicking the podcast icon or this link.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

UW's Attic #17: Hurry Up

New music, live music, old music and a peek inside Spider-Man comics. What more could you ask for? It's UWA 17!

The musical features: The opening salvo of "Rama Lama Ding Dong" by The Edsels ... a brand-new version of "Hanky Panky" by The Vultures ... a smidgen of "Smile" by The Beach Boys ... the old chestnut "Gee" by The Crows ... the enigmatic "Double-Double: A Waltz for Voice" by Uncle Seth ... the psychedelic pop nugget "Sunday Girl"* by The Telling Eye ... and Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" by Greensky Bluegrass. And a couple of other surprises.

* On the show I identify it as "Sunday's Girl," but there is no apostrophe-s in the song title. I also didn't realize until later it's a cover of a Blondie song - a very good song, I might add.

Sources include the Podsafe Music Network and the Internet Archive.

Download UWA 17 here!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Everything Aileen

I haven't been able to get that Billy Murray-Aileen Stanley song out of my head, so I went Googling for Aileen this morning and found this comprehensive review of her life. I'm drinking up the available recordings, so don't surprised if she turns up on the show sometime soon.

If you enjoyed "Keep Your Skirts Down, Mary Ann," make sure you check out "Bridget O'Flynn" at the bottom of the Jazz Age link!

Monday, January 01, 2007

UW's Attic #16: New Year's Rockin' Attic

Celebrating 2007 and the spirit of freedom with nifty stuff from 1922 to the present day! The show is peppered with moments from the classic James Stewart vehicle Shenandoah, which should be mandatory viewing for kids of all ages.

The picture of Hemi the cat in the sink has nothing to do with this show; I just think it's cute. Hemi occasionally drapes his body over my left arm and falls asleep while I'm typing, so he's kind of a silent partner to the podcast.

Courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network comes Rockosaurus Rex with "Auld Lang Syne," the only way to start the new year, says I.

After a Marines recruiting ad from Lefty Frizzell, we welcome back Billy Murray and Aileen Stanley, who spiced up UWA #3 with their rendition of "Keep Your Skirts Down, Mary Ann." This time around they perform a piece I found at the Internet Archive called "I'll Stand Beneath Your Window Tonight and Whistle." All that whistling inspired me to follow it up with a vintage excerpt from Lux Radio Theater; I bet you can guess what it is!

"I Wonder How You're Doing" is a song I wrote and recorded at home in 1985; it becomes the latest Uncle Warren project to be hauled out of the attic and shared with the world.

Then it's back to the present day for Jonathan Coulton's wonderful a cappella tune, "When You Go," and a brand-new piece by Los Gallos called "Free the People" - a terrific sentiment to start the new year with, says I.

After an ad for the new Sunday edition of Newsday, we close out with Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter doing his song "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," perhaps best known as the piece that Kurt Cobain made his own when Nirvana played MTV's "Unplugged."

All this and 22 seconds of Firefly, too - what are you waiting for? Download the darn thing!