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A Season In Hell

A Season in Hell #24: Radio Valencia: Just you and I

January 31, 2011
7:55 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve been alone with you. I’ve missed your touch, the way you taste, the way you feel. Let’s take it real slow tonight, baby.

Listen here.

Roustabout: Elvis Presley
She Watch Channel Zero: Public Enemy
Home Affairs: Osibisa

Buenos Tardes Amigo: Ween
Aquarian Time: Wooden Shijps

Cocaine Blues: Johnny Cash
Messin’ With The Kid: Junior Wells & The Aces
5-Piece Chicken Dinner->Lookin’ Down the Barrel of a Gun: Beastie Boys
Peace Frog->Blue Sunday: The Doors

Constipation Blues: Hawkins, Screamin’ Jay
Hama: Boris

A Kiss to Build a Dream on: Louis Armstrong & Band (04-14-62)
I’ll Be Your Lover Too: Van Morrison
Halfway To Danville: Lee Simpson

Cortez the Killer: Neil Young and Crazy Horse (02-07-84)
Tom Violence: Sonic Youth (08-17-90)

The Catholics Are Attacking: Pop-O-Pies
My Way: Frank Sinatra
Derelicts of Dialect: Third Bass

Goin’ Out West: Tom Waits

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A Season in Hell #23: Radio Valencia: Torture Garden: John Zorn Retrospective with Ronnie James Coltrane

January 24, 2011
6:11 pm


I’ve been a fan of John Zorn since about 1994, when the first Masada recording came out, Aleph. I had the extreme pleasure of seeing him twice in concert, in SF; once with Masada in 1996, and once with Electric Masada in 2009. At the Yoshi’s show in 2009, I sat at the stage with Zorn directly within reach. He sweat on me. I have yet to wash.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with the works of John Zorn, you should be warned. Zorn ranges from the stripped down, straight-ahead jazz combo-stylings, to the most avant garde. This show will showcase many different Zorn groups. The first hour is a smattering of all things Zorn. Hours two and three will feature the Masada family-tree (Masada, Electric Masada, Bar Kokhba, Emergency, and many artists who play with Zorn. The fourth and final hour is about letting loose. Seriously lOoSe! Cobra, Naked City, IAO, Yamatsuka Eye, Massacre, and too many more to mention. Listen in.

Hour One:
Executioner: Painkiller
Mystic Circles: The Dreamers

Music bed: Iao

Sicilian Clan: The Big Goundown
Conquest Of Mexico – Part 2: First Recordings

The Gift live (09-11-03)
Broadway Blues: Spy vs. Spy
Funk in a Deep Freeze: News for Lulu
Seduction: She Must be Seeing Things (Film Works 1986-1990)

B’rachos: Masada String Trio
Shtetl (Ghetto Life): Kristallnacht

Inside Straight: Naked City

Hour two:
Beeroth: Masada 5 (Hei)
Labbiel: Secret Chiefs 3

Zagzagel: Medeski, Martin and Wood (07-04-09)
Khebar: Bar Kokhba

Tekufah: Electric Masada (06-29-07)
Zemer: Book of Angels, Vol.7, Book 1: Zayin

Ezeqeel: Jamie Saft Trio
Kezef: Marc Ribot, Vol. 7, Book 2: Asmodeus

Ne’eman: The Wolleson’s
Hour three:
Postizo: Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos

Shofetim: Yoshida Tatsuya: The Unknown Masada
Let Me People Go: Diaspora Soul
Sippur: Masada String Trio (50th Birthday, Vol. 1)

Rahtiel: Stolas: The Book of Angels, Vol. 12 (feat. Joe Lovano)
Bahir: Masada Rock
Oceania: Coalition of the Willing
Meholalat: West Coast Masada (05-30-98)
Hath-Arob: Electric Masada: At the Mountains of Madness
Rokhev: Bar Kokhba

Hour four:
D. Popylepis: Cobra
Supplicant: Moonchild

Leviathan: IAO
The Wish: Zorn: Locus Solus
Punk China Doll: Naked City

Rolled Surface: Tears of Ecstasy
Spiral: Tears of Ecstacy
Zorn with Yamatsuka Eye (03-16-95)
Black Chamber: Painkiller
Hemophiliac (12-31-05)

Yellow: Elegy
Necromicon (04-26-07)

Carne Cruda Squarciata Dal Suono Di Sassofono: Mike Patton
Shangkuan Ling-Feng: Naked City

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KUSF on Radio Valencia with John Hell

January 22, 2011
11:56 am


A terrible happenstance in radio this week, as University of San Francisco sold their broadcast license of KUSF to USC Classical Public Radio. SF classical radio dinosaur KDFC has taken over 90.3FM.

Today I’ve invited KUSF staff/DJs into the studio to play music, take calls, and talk about what’s happening.

Hour one: DJ Nobody and DJ Mun

Singapore: Tom Waits
Pachuco Cadaver: Captain Beefheart

JH with Nobody and Mun

Alice Donut: Untidy Suicides

Taking calls about KUSF

Dedicated to the Press: Betty Davis
Example 22: Laurie Anderson
Missing: Datalist

Taking calls (Ratso)

Board of Sups on the 25th this afternoon, and a rally at 1pm. The sup’s are on KUSF’s side.

Green-Eyed Lady: Vanilla Fudge
Music Automatic: Stereo Total

Do Right: Cabaret Voltaire

Hour two:
John Hell with KUSF DJs Fari and The 6th Degree

It’s not Time To Say Goodbye: This Old Earthquake

Talking and taking calls.

Hour three:
John Hell welcomes DJs Jantine and Amperdan, Shekky and Cellbot

Dedicated to the one I love: The Shirelles
Trying Times: Roberta Flack

Talking to Jantine, Amperdan and Shekky and Cellbot

Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio: The Ramones
Fight the Power: Public Enemy
Mighty Mighty: Baby Huey

Last 5 minutes of KUSF

Music is the World: Crown Heights Affair

Hour four:
John Hell welcomes KUSF DJs Germ, Shekky and Stereo Steve

Neon Beanbag: Stereolab

Talking to KUSF DJs Germ, Shekky and Stereo Steve

Heedless: No Joy
You Girls Smoke Cigarettes: No Joy

Pushing Too Hard: The Seeds
My Black Bag: The Mermen

The Catholics Are Attacking: Pop-O-Pies
Pressure Drop: The Clash

Stars and Stripes of Corruption: Dead Kennedy’s

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A Season in Hell #21: Live Evil

January 18, 2011
4:56 pm

Tonight on the show I welcome Laurent Martini of Live Evil.

Who is Live Evil?
(From their website: http://www.walkouttorockout.com/

“Live Evil (www.liveevilrocks.com) is the heavy metal playground that existed only in the mind of wannabe rocker Laurent Martini, whose love of Motley Crue drove him to pen over 120 song lyrics during his teen-aged years as he tried (albeit in vain) to evoke the rocker lifestyle: loose women, boozing, and life on the road. Having leapt from his brain to the stage after 19 years, Live Evil is a two-parts fist-pumping arena rock concert, one-part failed high-school talent show and ultimately an endearing cocktail ultimately about a childhood dream that refuses to fade.”

Laurent will be on the show promoting the 5th anniversary party for a great show: Mortified (http://www.getmortified.com/), which Live Evil will be playing at.

This should be lovely.

Hour One:
Roustabout: Elvis Presley
We’re All In This Together: Gabby Young & Other Animals
Mutant: Wavves

Pigs on the Wing 1 & 2: Pink Floyd (from the UK only 8-track release)
Red Lights: Holy Fuck
Marine Salute: Liquorball

Kissing Clouds: Sweet Bulbs
Dada Brown: Lil Daggers

The Smoke: Home Video
Get High Babe: John Wesley Coleman III

Hour Two:
Laurent Martini in the studio

Get Down and Blow Me: Live Evil

Laurent Martini in the studio

Wild Tonight: Live Evil
TnT: AC/DC (12-09-79)

Street Fighting Man: Rolling Stones (07-26-72)
Everyday People: Sly and the Family Stone (09-01-69)
In My Time of Dying: The Black Crowes with Jimmy Page (10-18-99)

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Don Kirshner Goes to the Great Rock Concert in the Sky

4:50 pm

If you were a rock music fan in the mid-1970s, you couldn’t have had a more unlikely savior than Don Kirshner. His nasal voice and balding, leisure-suited appearance made him less the stuff of hero worship than unbridled spoofing—and Paul Shaffer’s repeated impressions of him on Saturday Night Live in the late ’70s are still the stuff of legend. But Kirshner, who died Monday at age 76, was a critical pioneer for rock & roll on television with Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, the syndicated weekly show that ran from 1973 to 1982, its end perhaps not coincidentally coinciding with the birth of MTV. At a time when, if you wanted visuals to go with your music, you pretty much had to stare at an album cover, Kirshner was rock’s primary delivery system to American living rooms, nebbish or not.

It could be argued that Kirshner had an even more real and lasting influence on pop music as a behind-the-scenes figure in the early 1960s, when he was half-owner of Aldon Music, the famous Brill Building publishing outfit that signed songwriters like Neil Sedaka, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Gerry Goffin, and Carole King. He was also largely responsible for the Monkees—and the Archies. More creditably, he gave Bobby Darin his first big break.

But in the popular mindset, Kirshner will be remembered in the popular mindset less for any of those accomplishments than… that monotone. Not since Ed Sullivan had there been such a disconnect between the wild, world-changing rockers on the tube and the old-before-his-time nerd introducing them.

Watch the above clip of Kirshner introducing Queen on his television series, and you’ll see all the hallmarks that Shaffer was able to hilariously (and affectionately) spoof in the early years of SNL: the flatness of voice, the looking off-camera toward cue cards, and the completely incomprehensible recitation of an act’s record label, management, agents, and/or promoters, as if America gave a rat’s behind about who the suits behind the band were.

“When I did him on Saturday Night Live,” Shaffer said in a 2004 interview, “I would just make up names of promoters and managers. (But) the guy on Rock Concert was nothing like the real Don Kirshner. He’s actually a really funny guy.”

Indeed, if Kirshner could seem stilted and even a little tone-deaf on-camera, he was more than sharp enough off-camera, when he stopped looking like a deer caught in the headlights and got back to business.

Although Kirshner was left out of Beyond the Sea, Kevin Spacey’s Bobby Darin biopic, he was a crucial figure in Darin’s early career, having met the future star at age 20, when they began writing songs together. Their partnership as manager and client was close enough that Darin married fellow star Sandra Dee in Kirshner’s apartment. The two fell out as Darin’s celebrity grew, but Kirshner found another great partner in entrepreneur Al Nevons, with whom he formed Aldon Music. They were responsible for teaming up some of the greatest songwriters of the early ’60s and publishing such indelible hits as “Walkin’ in the Rain,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “On Broadway,” and “The Locomotion.”

Columbia Music bought the company in the mid-’60s but installed Kirshner as the head of Screen Gems, where he was the music consultant for shows including Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. More historically, however, he was the guy in charge of music for TV’s answer to the Beatles, the Monkees, and he had the faux four record smashes like “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer.”

When the Monkees, like Pinocchio, got it in their heads that they wanted to be a real band, heads clashed and tempers flared. Michael Nesmith won that battle, if he arguably lost the war when the group floundered doing original material. One flare-up came when Kirshner wanted the Monkees to record “Sugar Sugar,” and, obviously, they balked. “I said, ‘Screw the Monkees. I want a band that won’t talk back’,” he recalled later. As sung anonymously by a crew of cartoon rockers, “it was the Number 1 song of 1969. It outsold the Rolling Stones.”

Kirshner kept on with the brave new world of pop music on television, becoming an executive producer on ABC’s nascent In Concert series in late 1972. He quickly moved on to start his own show, which went head-to-head in late night with not only the ABC series but NBC’s new Midnight Special. The crucial difference between the latter show and Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert was that the Kirshner performances really were filmed in concert and not lip-synched, starting with the inaugural episode, a highly touted return to television by the Rolling Stones.

The show ran into the punk era; in the above clips, you can see Kirshner hedging with some “maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t” uncertainty over the Ramones and “judge for yourself” faint praise for the New York Dolls. Mid-’70s staples like Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and Mountain gave way to the likes of the Police before Kirshner hung up his hosting duties in ’82.

He then all but disappeared for the last 28 years of his life, although in an excellent 2004 profile in the Washington Post, he laid out plans for a business comeback that never materialized. He also expressed resentment at never having been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s non-performer division. “I don’t want to sound like sour grapes,” he told the Post, “but I believe I shoud have been one of the first three or first five inducted. Seriously. I mean, they’ve got people in there that I trained, and I’m not in? It bothers me, on principle.”

Not to worry, Don. In the hall of fame that exists in baby boomers’ and early Gen-X-ers’ hearts, you’re well-enshrined, thanks to your show’s 180-episode run. You were the delivery system for glam-rock, punk, and other outre subgenres at a time when we had to wait seven days for another shot at seeing just what these brilliant clowns looked and acted like. And all that was worth sitting through a few superfluous names of promoters and managers—and even the sight of those horrendous wide collars—for.

If you want to see Shaffer’s amazing vintage take on Kirshner, here’s a link to a prime example from a 1978 episode, wherein the future Letterman band leader opened the show as the eminently spoofable Rock Concert host:

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A Season in Hell #22: Radio Valencia: Live Evil

January 17, 2011
7:44 pm


Tonight on the show I welcome Laurent Martini of Live Evil.

Who is Live Evil?
(From their website:
http://www.walkouttorockout.com/

“Live Evil (www.liveevilrocks.com) is the heavy metal playground that existed only in the mind of wannabe rocker Laurent Martini, whose love of Motley Crue drove him to pen over 120 song lyrics during his teen-aged years as he tried (albeit in vain) to evoke the rocker lifestyle: loose women, boozing, and life on the road. Having leapt from his brain to the stage after 19 years, Live Evil is a two-parts fist-pumping arena rock concert, one-part failed high-school talent show and ultimately an endearing cocktail ultimately about a childhood dream that refuses to fade.”

Laurent will be on the show promoting the 5th anniversary party for a great show: Mortified (http://www.getmortified.com/), which Live Evil will be playing at.

This should be lovely.

Hour One:
Roustabout: Elvis Presley
We’re All In This Together: Gabby Young & Other Animals
Mutant: Wavves

Pigs on the Wing 1 & 2: Pink Floyd (from the UK only 8-track release)
Red Lights: Holy Fuck
Marine Salute: Liquorball

Kissing Clouds: Sweet Bulbs
Dada Brown: Lil Daggers

The Smoke: Home Video
Get High Babe: John Wesley Coleman III

Hour Two:
Laurent Martini in the studio

Get Down and Blow Me: Live Evil

Laurent Martini in the studio

Wild Tonight: Live Evil
TnT: AC/DC (12-09-79)

Street Fighting Man: Rolling Stones (07-26-72)
Everyday People: Sly and the Family Stone (09-01-69)
In My Time of Dying: The Black Crowes with Jimmy Page (10-18-99)

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A Season in Hell #21: Radio Valencia: Eric McFadden

January 10, 2011
7:39 pm


“A Whole lot of sweet love goin’ on here at Radio Valencia” – Eric McFadden

Local guitar slinger Eric McFadden joined me in the studio tonight to talk about music, his interests, and play some of his latest music.

Hour one:
Roustabout: Elvis Presley
Bridge over the Bay: Eric McFadden, Rick Younglove, Dustin Welch (false start)

Interview with Eric McFadden

Bridge over the Bay: Eric McFadden, Rick Younglove, Dustin Welch

Straight to Patti: Liar
Fuck Me, Kill Me: Angry Babies
Want Me Too: EMT
Medicine: Crack Daniels

Interview with Eric McFadden

Jockey Full of Bourbon: EMT

Interview with Eric McFadden

Babydoll: EMT with Robin Coomer
Last Day of my Life: Eric McFadden

Hour two:
Tick Tock: Eric McFadden and Wally Ingram with Les Claypool and Nels Cline
Hobo Love: Rube Waddell
What’s in my Head: Eric McFadden
The Ossuary: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Interview with Eric McFadden

Delicate Thing: EMT
Make yourself at home: Alien Lovestock
For Those Who Should Die: Liar

Interview with Eric McFadden

Devil Moon: Eric McFadden
Train to Salvation: Eric McFadden

Interview with Eric McFadden

Blight: Eric McFadden

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A Season in Hell #20: Radio Valencia: Ragi da Lawyer Takes Your Calls

January 3, 2011
7:15 pm

Ragi da Lawyer has graced us with his presence once again. As usual, the goal is to take your calls, on the air, LIVE, telling Ragi your legal troubles. Being a real, live, actual lawyer, Ragi will proceed to give you his best advice. Ragi does this attempting to condense all the phone calls he gets throughout the week, from his friends in search of free legal advice, into one two-hour radio program, where instead of giving each friend 15 minutes of his time for free, he can get it all out in a matter of minutes. We figure he can make it through 10 phones on the radio in one hour. Will he do it? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Better yet, call us. It don’t cost nothin’. 415-875-9051

Hour one:
Roustabout: Elvis Presley
Ashes to Ashes: Warpaint
Solitude Is Bliss: Tame Impala

Ragi da Laywer on the air!

Bugalu: Garotas Suecas
Night Jogger: Those Darlins
I Hate The 80’s: The Vaselines

Hour two:
Ragi da Laywer takes your calls.

Pass The Peas: The Meters with the JB Horns (12/91)

Ragi da Laywer takes one more call.

Jailbreak: Thin Lizzy (09-25-80)

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