A Tribute to Shindig! Radio

Shindig radio

Living marginally north of Providence RI and slightly south of Boston Ma, in the pre-useful internet 90′s was a goldmine of college radio. At a point early on I realized I wasn’t all that interested in what pop oriented stations like KISS 108 were playing, and “alternative” stations like 95.5 WBRU weren’t quite alternative enough for me. I became enamored with turning the (actually physically existing) dial on my boombox all the way left to the stations residing below 91.9 – the world of low wattage college radio. Being so close to what are essentially two college towns meant I could almost always find something interesting to listen to, even if it meant I had to lean this way or that way, or place the radio just right on dresser next to the window to get a clear signal.

I had a stack of dubbed cassette tapes that came in and out of rotation as I taped shows. The tapes themselves became hiss filled palimpsests of radio, I could turn the volume way up and hear past tapings playing layered in the background. Oftentimes it was simply trial and error before I could hone in on shows that I wanted to tape with regularity. And just as often, the semester would change and some show would change its time slot or disappear into graduation. Tape sides that had shows that I really grooved on would be labeled and put on a separate pile, the permeant pile.

Two shows in particular consistently made it to the permanent pile. Both of which, if you know me now, had a profound and permanent impact on my music taste. The first was a reggae show on Emerson College’s station (88.9 WERS) called Rockers. I lived just on the edge of the station’s range and would often be devising ways to extend the antenna depending on the cloud cover, or a full moon, or whatever actually influences a radio signal.

The other show, which soon became a must listen for my brother and I, was on URI’s station, 90.3 WRIU. Shindig! stood out in the sea of mumbling, awkward college DJs because not only was the music selection strong, it was hosted by a crew of guys whose on-air chatter was as compelling as any song. Hosted by Kevin and Liam and a revolving crew of friends. Between song sets they would crack jokes on each other, discuss punk 7″, and tell stories. There would be narratives between some weeks shows. And it never seemed like this was pre-planned or anything more intentional than a group of friends who were into music hanging out over the course of a couple hours, yet it was compelling.

And in the Rhode Island area, Shindig became something of a hub for the punk scene. It was through their rundown of local shows that I became aware of the who was playing where. They also booked shows and eventually released a couple of 7″ records. If they were excited by an upcoming show at the Met Cafe I would try to convince some friends and beg a ride to get to it.

The Met Cafe, where many a matinee was attended.

The Met Cafe, where many a matinee was attended.

The Shindig! definition of punk was rather Catholic, and they played garage, pop-punk, crust, hardcore, and all the other granular sub-genres. My brother would frequent call up to request power violence and they would play a 23 second Spazz or Capitalist Casualties song, and then my brother would call back and ask for another, since it was so short.

Anyway, eventually Shindig! added on booking shows and a label, releasing a few records under the Owen Records moniker.

Just before my brother moved to Florida we decided to use the monthly radio show at Bel-air radio to do a version of Shindig! It was a fraction of the banter and a smaller fraction of the humor, but it was fun to play a stack of punk records and to crack jokes while doing so.

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met cafe drop dead Providence legends Drop Dead at the Met Cafe

Bel-Air Radio 2

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Another radio show from 2014, this one was a solo flight at the original Bel-Air studio. From re-listening to the show, I brought a bunch of B-more club, Brazilian Carioca, and a smattering of other stuff from Jamaica to Angola. In the early aughts I was fully diggin’ on the Baltimore sound Unruly Records and their brethren, along with the Baile Funk scene. The skeletal, hard hitting rhythms are, to my ear at least, close cousins. Like many, Diplo’s Favela On Blast broke the sound open to me. Each deserve a post on the records I copped at the time. Upon review, 2004 was a solid era for music built around a specific rhythm, with Reggaeton also blowing up. The set ends with with Turbulence’s Notorious, which is still fire and a song so nice I had to have the record twice.


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Bel-Air Radio Show 1

Not so long ago Paul and I did a show together on the internet radio station Radio Bel-Air. Run out of a studio on Bushiwck, it is a very DIY affair and essentially run by those who have shows on it. I have some old shows on my phone and in the interest of space on my phone, and giving the shows a home, I’m going to record the shows into my mixer and then post ‘em here. This one deleted itself off the phone after it finished the recording, so little info on the show, other than Paul played the first half hour, and we played mostly electro.


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Discogs Update

After a slow slog through the stacks I’ve finally catalogued all the Lps / 12″ singles save for a handful of seemingly not so relevant albums. As of 01/04/18 I have 1,860 Lps & 12″s. One of the dancehall 12″s didn’t get catalogued because there is one entry for it with one contributor and one record for sale and it is “valued” at $75- that doesn’t seem right. But who knows, maybe I stumbled into someone’s holy grail (although it seems like wishful thinking on this person’s part).

Faux Disco Discogs

Pharaohs in Waiting

Handmade before handmade was back in fashion.

Handmade before handmade was back in fashion.

I’ve had to clean up and clean out the piles of cassette tapes that were at my parents’ house, the shoe boxes that were in my closet and stashed on shelves. Most of the tapes were recordings of records I bought so I could listen to them in car and on a Walkman in the pre-MP3 era. I got ride of most of them but kept nearly all of the mixtapes that people made for me. This one is a pause tape that my brother made for me back in 2006. The tape reflects his ecletic world of hip-hop taste. Think Stones Throw meets back of the crate gems.

And the best part is that it is a pause tape. As much as I love a well done live analogue mix, there is a special place for a pause tape. As much effort, time, and care the a mixtape takes, the pause tape is that extra step of planning and effort that reach a sublime when it is executed well. This one is well done. Pause tapes have a long history in Hip Hop. I’d argue that the pause tape is a physical representation of Hip Hop. But that is a longer take on history and theory…let’s just get to the jams.


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Pharaohs in Waiting song list

Pharaohs in Waiting song list


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Roots & Rockers

GIS can yield so many treasures, but who took the photo...

GIS can yield so many treasures, but who took the photo…

In December my wife had a birthday party at a local bar. I put together a mix of ska and roots reggae, focusing on the chunes that she big ups. It is a nice mix to listen to so I’m sharing it with you.


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Track List:
Baba Brooks- Guns Fever / Alton Ellis- Dancehall Crasher / The Valentines- Blam Blam Fever / Derrick Harriott- The Jerk / Nora Dean- Barb Wire / Dave & Ansell Collins- The Third / Junior Byles- Beat Down Babylon / Niney The Observer- Blood & Fire / Dennis Brown- Wolf & Leopards / Barry Brown- Buriel / Barrington Levy- Sister Carol / Junior Murvin- Police & Thieves / The Congos- Row, Fisherman Row / Althea & Donna- Oh Dred / Sugar Minott- Inna Dancehall Stylee / Junior Reed- Original Foreign Mind / Eek-A-Mouse- Ganja Smuggling / John Holt- Police in Helicopter / Lynval Thompson- Six Babylon / Capelton- Bun Dem Everyday / Tanya Stephens- It’s a Pity / Stalag Riddim / Sister Nancy- Bam Bam / Buju Bantan & Tenor Saw- Ring The Alarm / Barrington Levy & Beanie Man- Under Mi Sensi / Yellow Man & Fathead- Mash It Up Now / Michigan & Smiley- Diseases / Johnny Osbourne- Ice Cream Love / Cocoa Tea- Jah Made It That Way / Half Pint- One In a Million / Conroy Smith- Indian Lady / Ini Kamoze- World a Music / I Wayne- Living in Love / Fanton Mojah- Hungry / Warrior King- Virtuous Woman

Collector’s Mix Episode 1

RJ

RJ

Things have been a bit moribund on the site but I recently had an idea to liven things up this winter. I am inviting over to therecordgame.com lab collectors of vinyl to make a mix of their choosing. It can be a good ole fashioned DJ mix or it can be some out there platters that they’re currently grooving on (the choice is yours!). The collector lays down the mix and I upload to it here for all to enjoy.

First up is movie sound track, hardcore, and house music collector Ryan Johnson. An all around good dude with damn good taste in music. He brought a heavy crate of House over to the house and mixed it up. Unfortunately, somewhere, somehow, the mix got cut 2/3 of the way through; but luckily that first 2/3 is all killer and no filler. He will have to come back to drop some more chunes (maybe I can entice a soundtrack mix out of him).


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Newish ‘Ish

soul music comic

While packing for a trip I was throwing on records to nice up the vibes and to have a mix to listen to while traveling. It is mostly newish R&B, Funky House type stuff. I recall jotting down the tracks, to really up the multi-tasking game, I guess. But paper is nowhere to be found, so there may or may not be an update. There is always Shazaam.


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G Code Party Mix

Records in Bag

A friend asked me a to make a mix to play at a fall party / cookout. Being during the day and an older skewing crowd, I stacked up jazzy, mellow ,funky, type records. But as always, it is some free form funkified filth. And, as always, all vinyl.

It is more of a free association type mix, pulling records out just before playing, and few rough spots happen along the way (especially when I was making coffee). All fun though.

Side One

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Track List:
Gover Washington – Mister Magic / Grant Green – Sookie Sookie / Yusef Lateef – The Hump / Tribe Called Quest – Excursions / J. Rawls – A Tribute To TROY / Yesterdays New Quintet / Arroyo / Nas – The World is Yours (Tip Mix) / Bobbi Humphrey – Jasper County Men / Cal Tjader – Soul Sauce / Sabu Martinez – Wounded Knee / Black Sugar – Fuego / Joe Bataan – Regresso / Willie Colon and Ruden Blades – Buscando Guayaba / Eddie Palmieri – Harlem River Drive / Power House – Late Start / Allan Moorehouse – Soul Skimmer / Ersen – Gonese Don Cicegim / Erkin Koray – Esterebim / Husni Ozkartal Orkestrasi – Su Deremin Sulari / Metin Alatli -Meulana Boyle dede / Erkin Koray – Turku

1:21:19

Side Two

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Track List:
Oliveire E Seus – My Boy Lollipop / Brian Bennet – Solstice / David Axelrod – Mucho Chupar / Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Everybody Loves The Sunshine / Dorothy Ashby – Come Live With Me / Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson – Must Be Something / Donny Hathaway – Everything is Everything / Earth, Wind, and Fire – Everything is Everything / Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up / Isaac Hayes – Hung Up On My Baby / Geto Boys – Minds Playing Tricks on Me / Alliance – Cupids Holding / El Michaels Affair – Creation / El Michaels Affair – Shimmy Shimmy Ya / Camp Lo – Luchini / DJ Premier – Unreleased White Label / The Winchester Seven – The Next Message / Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman / Linda Lyndell – What a Man / Lynn Taitt – Stepping Up / Chakachas – Jungle Fever / Mighty Tom Cats – Soul Makossa / Afrique – House of The Rising Funk / Trinidad & Tobago Steel Drum Allstars – Do Your Thing / Public Enemy – Shut ‘Em Down (Pete Rock Mix) / Nice & Smooth – Sometimes I Rhyme Slow / Fugees – Ready or Not / De La Soul – Itzsowezee (De La Mix) / Jimmy Ross – First True Love / Rufus Feat. Chaka Khan – Ooh I Like Your Lovin / Donna Summer – Spring Reprise / Diana Ross – Upside Down / Billy Frazier & Friends – Billy Who? / Jimmy Bo Horne – Spank (re-edit) / Le Stache – African Ole (rmx) / Common Sense – Voices Inside My Head / Bobby Pickett – Monster Mash

2:03:12

A Brief History of Seven Killings — Papa Lo Struggle & Unity Mix

7 Killings and 45s

As I read Marlon James’ Man Booker winning novel A Brief History of Seven Killings I was “listening” to different chunes in my head throughout the book. If you haven’t read the book, it is divided into two parts, with the first half detailing the turmoil roiling Jamaica in the days leading up to the attempted assassination of Bob Marley.

While little actual music is detailed in the story, with vivid scenes and characters that ring authentic, having a bit of knowledge of reggae made it easy to imagine what might have been playing on radios tucked in the background. I decided to split the mix aligning with the book; with part one being some 70′s rasta upliftment, and the other some rough’n tough 80′s ragga. I didn’t absolutely adhere to time and place, but I did absolutely adhere to an all vinyl mix.

Part Two will be posted at the end of the summer.

Bring fire pon Babylon


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Track List:
Culture- Two Sevens Clash / The Abyssians- Satta Massagana / Hortense Ellis- Woman of the Ghetto / Wareika Hill Sounds- Sweet Incense / Marcia Griffiths- Stepping Out of Babylon / Johnny Clarke- Declaration of Rights / The Revolutionaries- Jah Rastafari / Niney The Observer- Thief / The Mighty Diamonds- Dredlocks Time / The Upsetters- Groove Dubbers / Bob Marley- Belly Full / Culture- Iron Sharpening Iron / Peter Tosh- Stepping Razor / Freddie McGregor- Jah Help The People / Althea & Donnna- If You Don’t Love Jah / Black Uhuru- Stalk of Sensimilla / Barrington Levy- Jah Life / Jah Stitch- From The East to The West / Clint Eastwood- Faith Move Mountain / Ranking Spence- Go De Natty / The Congos- Fisherman / Gregory Isaacs- Created By The Father / Junior Reid- Black Man’s Seed / Dennis Brown- Whip Them Jah Jah / Sugar Minott- Africa is The Black Man’s Home / Barry Brown- Jah Jah Guide Them / Junior Murvin- Police & Thieves