Saturday morning the wife and I are headed to the mountains for a week. A rambling and side-spur oriented post here to keep you occupied until RG returns. If the nostalgia weighs you down, chalk it up to the spring weather and the pleasing effect of beautiful music.
Bookmark it, stream it live, listen, and enjoy. Fantastic stuff in a variety of flavors, and some great people manning the DJ booths. Check out the roster and the playlists. Hit the tip jar if you feel so inclined.
Brilliant name; ya gotta love transitive verbs that can double up as nouns. and operate as slang contractions too.
This morning I thoroughly enjoyed Kevin Spurlock’s “Outside the Box” three-hour set. I treated myself to purchasing an album by Corinne Bailey Rae after being introduced to her. Soul. . . full. (Both the set and the Corrine Bailey Rae tune, remember how exciting it was to hear Erykah Badu’s first album? This reminded me of that moment and then some, check out her Corinne Bailey Rae myspace page and turn the volume up on her free play sample songs)
Bob Rogers of Raleigh and Dave Tilley of Durham are the driving forces —and two of the DJs—behind this.
I asked Bob what taintradio was all about…
“Basically I think the point I hope to get across is that we really are an alliance of independent producers. When I recruit someone for taintradio I make it a rule never to ask them what they’re going to do on their program. I think that’s an improper question for us to be asking. I really don’t care what they play. All I ask is that they play whatever they really want to play, not what they think some theoretical audience wants to hear. I have been around radio people and programmers most of my adult life and I am sick to death of everybody’s theories about what they think people are ready for. Fuck that. We expect nothing less than self-indulgence from our program hosts. Play what you want to hear, not what you think I want to hear. Anything less than that is just boring.
Back in the mid 90s, Dana Kletter — a fabulously talented musician, songwriter, and singer; look here for one of the best essays ever published in the Independent, it chronicles the insansanity of the music biz; in an alternate universe Dish (one of a few bands Dana was in, blackgirls and Dear Enemy being others) is putting out their fifth album and playing sold-out shows on their world tour while Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard read poems to a captivated audience between sets — introduced me to Bob.
I was looking for a part-time job to complement the meager hours I was getting at the Rockford Cafe while getting H&B off the ground in the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed manner that can only come from the optimism of being 23 years old and recently emerged from the cocoon of a crafts-centered enclave like Penland . . . . where you eat breakfast next to the William Daleys and Hoss Haleys and Evon Streetmans and Amos Kennedys and Warren Mackenzies of the world, drinking coffee from mugs handmade by hippie chicks who would suggest exploring the moonlit-filled woods until dawn when you get bleary-eyed from working in studio.
Bob’s word processing company, Rogers Word Service (sporting one of the best tag lines ever written… “consonants and vowels for every occasion”) was a bit of a safe haven for musicians and artist types who needed flexible work schedules.
“Bob, I’m taking the band on tour for a couple of months.” “That’s cool, have fun and stop in when you get back to town.”
“Bob, I’m broke and got some bills, can I work every day for the next week?” “Oh, sure, have a seat, you want some coffee?”
“Bob, the press just broke, I’m not going to make it in today, I gotta figure out how to fix this puppy.” “That’s cool, good luck.”
We typed up hand-written student papers (wow, that sounds dated huh?), transcribed meetings sent in from RTP companies, designed resumes, and attacked whatever else came through the door. I was the methadone man. I transcribed reports that doctors phoned in after meeting with clients. I can’t say as I miss hearing those stories or trying to make coherent sentences of Dr. Goode butchering the English language (“was he hitting the meds himself?” I always wondered), but I do miss seeing Bob, Dana, Brad, Karen, and some of the other regulars.
Some of the highlights and interesting things I experienced or learned in my time there…
–Ticketmaster’s phone number was 834-0000, Rogers Word Services was 834-4000. Sat morn at 10 when ticketmaster opened, you’d get calls from people thinking they dialed ticketmaster and wanted to buy tickets for walnut creek shows. Occasionally, fun was had.
–Bob was some sort of counter-intelligence spy back in his (Cold War) Army days. I think he said he joined that division because he wanted to be able to read Doystevsky in his native tongue.
–I remember getting back from studio one day and catching Bob on his WSHA show letting the just released Hendrix Plays The Blues album play in its entirety. I taped it and to this day the cassette is still working and kept in my car’s high rotation shoebox stash. (I did buy the album on disc for proper listening outside the car environment)
–watching Bob handle salespeople who came in asking for …. “Roger.” Priceless.
–Bob started a newsletter for WSHA and I designed it. I remember Bob and I carrying 2,500 copies in some rather heavy boxes up three flights of stairs to the station. (Later I realized most designers have the printers take care of delivery and they use things like hand trucks) We collaborated on five issues over a few years. I looked forward to this project and still think the cover design I worked up was pretty decent. I meant to evoke the feeling of Blue Note album covers without just ripping them off. I did wish that Bob and I would have got to call the thing “program guide” like we wanted to, but the station director thought “gallery” was the way to go and hailing originally from Africa Emeka was used to a dictatorship leadership model and enjoyed the executive privileges he afforded himself as head honcho.
–getting to work with Dr. Charles Brown and creating a family genealogy book for him along with Bob and Dana’s help. The genealogy went back five generations to Anderson Brown Sr. “Grandpa,” a freed South Carolina slave. I made ten covers with handmade paper and hand-sewed those copies. For years after we finished the project I used to see Dr. Brown—then in his late 70s I believe—making the rounds in the locker room of the Y after his workout and as I changed and headed upstairs to play pickup. I like to think Dr. Brown is still around and saying hi to Willie and the guys. I still see him there in my memories anyway.