Tuesday, May 31, 2016


May 1, 2016
"Nefertiti" performed by Miles Davis
"Red House" (live Stockholm, Sweden 1969) performed by Jimi Hendrix
"Dunes" performed by Alabama Shakes
"Motherless Child" (live) performed by Prince

"Ebony And Ivy" performed by Esperanza Spalding-WSPC PREMIERE
"Blue Wind" performed by Jeff Beck
"The Tenth World" performed by Joni Mitchell
"Fillmore East" performed by Santana-WSPC PREMIERE

May 3, 2016
"What's My Name" (live 2015) performed by Prince with Kendrick Lamar

"Burn The Witch" performed by Radiohead-WSPC PREMIERE

"Talkin' Loud And Sayin' Nothing" performed by JAMES BROWN
"Penelope Please" performed by Terence Trent D'Arby
"She Makes Me Laugh" performed by The Monkees-WSPC PREMIERE
"Summer Elaine And Drunk Dori" performed by Weezer-WSPC PREMIERE
"The Daisy Chain" performed by Prince and the New Power Generation

May 4, 2016
"Ohio" performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
"Stay" performed by Wendy and Lisa
"Bermuda Triangle" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Nothing Compares 2 U" (live) performed by Prince

"Nothing Compares 2 U 2016" performed by FDeluxe-WSPC PREMIERE

May 5, 2016
"1+1+1 Is 3" (live) performed by Prince

"Never As Tired As When I Wake Up" performed by LCD Soundsystem
"Ten Years Gone" performed by Led Zeppelin
"Your Love" performed by Supergrass
"Hot Love" performed by T Rex
"Junior's Farm" performed by Paul McCartney & Wings

"Dark Necessities" performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers-WSPC PREMIERE

"Slut" performed by Todd Rundgren
"Friends Of Mine" performed by Duran Duran
"Emotional Rescue" performed by The Rolling Stones
"Lemon" performed by U2
"Lust U Always" (unreleased) performed by Prince

May 6, 2016
"Daydreaming" performed by Radiohead-WSPC PREMIERE

"4ever" performed by Prince
"The Sound Of Failure" performed by The Flaming Lips
"We Hurt Too" performed by Funkadelic
"Guess I'm Doing Fine" performed by Beck

May 7, 2016
"Gold" performed by Spandau Ballet

"The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker" (live) performed by Prince
"U Turnaround" performed by Miles Davis
"Ruby, My Dear" performed by Thelonious Monk
"All The Things You Are" performed by Charlie Parker
"Chameleon" performed by Herbie Hancock

May 8, 2016
"Make Your Mama Happy" performed by Prince
"Hey Mama" performed by Kanye West
"Dear Mama" performed by 2Pac
"Mom" performed by Earth, Wind And Fire
"I'll Always Love My Mama" performed by The Intruders
"Treat Your Mother Right" performed by MR.T!!!

"Thinking Of You" performed by Lenny Kravitz
"We Can Funk" (unreleased original 1986 version) performed by Prince and the Revolution
"No Peekee" performed by The German Art Students
"Stay Clean" performed by Motorhead
"Promised You A Miracle" performed by Simple Minds
"Ms. Jackson" performed by OutKast

May 9, 2016
"Life Begins At The Top" performed XTC
"Dry Country" performed by The B-52s
"Sick Of It" performed by The Primitives
"Hourglass" performed by Squeeze
"Once In A Lifetime" performed by Talking Heads

May 10, 2016
"When Doves Cry" Choir of 1999 live at Massey Hall Toronto May 2, 2016
"Bad" performed by U2

"Only In Dreams" performed by Weezer
"You're All I've Got Tonight" performed by The Cars
"The Seed 2.0" performed by The Roots with Cody ChesnuTT
"What's Golden" performed by Jurassic 5
"Doing What I Can" performed by Lindsey Buckingham

"Joint 2 Joint" performed by O+>
"Wonderful Ass" performed by Prince and The Revolution
"Small Club" (aftershow performance)

May 12, 2016
"Motel Matches" performed by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
"Everything Changes" performed by Matthew Sweet
"Honey Hi" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Raise My Rent" performed by David Gilmour
"To Be Over" performed by Yes

May 13, 2016
"Dear Mr. Man" performed by Prince
"Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful" performed by Prince
"<3 Or $" performed by Prince and the Revolution

"Bockagol/Allas Sak" (live October 14, 2015) performed by Dungen
"Ankh" performed by Temples
"Elephant" performed by Tame Impala
"Ball And Biscuit" performed by The White Stripes
"Darlin'" performed by Dwight Twilley

"So What The Fuss"
"Power Flower"
"You've Got It Bad Girl"
"It Ain't No Use"
"All Day Sucker"

May 14, 2016
"Snail" (live May 13, 2016) performed by Billy Corgan & Jeff Schroeder
"Superstition" (live) performed by Stevie Wonder with Prince and Shelia E.

"Crush With Eyeliner" performed by R.E.M.
"The Test" performed by The Chemical Brothers
Pete Rock FULL Boiler Room DJ set
Questlove FULL Boiler Room DJ set

May 15, 2016
Prince LIVE acoustic set from Musicology Tour
"Forever In My Life" from "Sign O' The Times" movie
"The Greatest Romance Ever Sold/Alphabet St." (live 1999) performed by Prince

"Another Sleep Song" performed by Graham Nash
"My Own Personal Gravity" performed by PM Dawn
"Bad" performed by Kirsty MacColl
"What Difference Does It Make?" performed by The Smiths
"Hong Kong" performed by Gorillaz
"Echoes" performed by Pink Floyd

May 16, 2016
"Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands" performed by Bob Dylan
"Handshake Drugs" performed by Wilco
"Crystal Japan" performed by David Bowie
"Animal Kingdom" performed by O+>
"Let's Go Away For A While" performed by The Beach Boys

May 17, 2016
"Painted Sun In Abstract" performed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
"Travels With Myself And Someone Else" performed by Bill Bruford
"Into The Hollow" performed by Queens Of The Stone Age
"Too Many People" performed by Paul and Linda McCartney
"United States Of Division" performed by Prince

May 19, 2016

"Pure And Easy"
"No Way Out (However Much I Booze)"
"Sea And Sand"
"I Am Afraid"
"Brilliant Blues"

"That Voice Again" performed by Peter Gabriel
"Hungry No More" performed by Mudcrutch-WSPC PREMIERE
"Rebirth Of The Flesh" (unreleased) performed by Prince

May 20, 2016
"Prom Night" performed by Weezer-WSPC PREMIERE
"21st Century Schizoid Man" performed by April Wine
"In The Hall Of The Mountain King" performed by The Who
"Jungle" performed by Electric Light Orchestra
"Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" performed by Todd Rundgren
"PLECTRUMELECTRUM" (live) performed by Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL

"Real Love Baby" performed by Father John Misty-WSPC PREMIERE
"Me & Magdalena" performed by The Monkees-WSPC PREMIERE

May 21, 2016
"Debbie Denise" performed by Blue Oyster Cult

"One Song" performed by Prince

May 22, 2016
"Daniel" performed by Elton John
"Sunny Girlfriend" performed by The Monkees
"Quit" performed by The Waitresses
"My City Was Gone" performed by Pretenders
"This Charming Man" performed by The Smiths

"When Will We B Paid" (live 2011) performed by Prince

Prince and The Rebels (complete 1979 demos-unreleased)

May 23, 2016
"Overture/It's A Boy/1921" performed by The Who

"Stupidly Happy" performed by XTC
"Come Back" performed by J Geils Band
"Good Morning Judge" performed by 10cc
"Baltimore" performed by Prince and the New Power Generation

"Reflection" (live) Prince with Wendy Melvoin

May 25, 2016
"Radio People" performed by Zapp
"Champion" performed by The Roots-WSPC PREMIERE
"Come On And Love Me" performed by Lenny Kravitz
"King Of The World" (live on Jimmy Fallon) performed by Weezer
"Hey Hey, What Can I Do?" performed by Led Zeppelin

May 26, 2016
"Mahna Mahna" performed by Muppets
"Day After Day" performed by Badfinger
"Go All The Way" performed by The Raspberries
"Feel" performed by Big Star

"The Getaway" performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers-WSPC PREMIERE
"Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)" performed by Stevie Nicks
"Mayisha" performed by Miles Davis

May 27, 2016
"Wind In Our Sail" performed by Weezer-WSPC PREMIERE
"No Direction Home" performed by Cheap Trick-WSPC PREMIERE
"Sunless Saturday" performed by Fishbone
"Everybody Needs A Proper Education" performed by Mikey Dread
"Choo Choo/All Aboard" performed by Santana

"The Bottle" (live 1983) performed by Gil Scott-Heron

May 28, 2016
"Splash" performed by Prince and the Revolution
"Guac Bomb" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"Here At The Western World" performed by Steely Dan

"Crush" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"Crystal" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Quiet Heart" performed by The Go-Betweens
"Cliche" performed by Todd Rundgren
"Love Put Me On The Corner" performed by The Isley Brothers

May 29, 2016
"Get On The Boat" performed by Prince and the New Power Generation
"No More Blues" performed by Dizzy Gillespie

"Party At Ground Zero"
"Skankin' To The Beat"
"Bonin' In The Boneyard"
"One Day"

May 30, 2016

"The Final Cut" by Pink Floyd-IN ITS ENTIRETY

May 31, 2016
"Blame The Weather" performed by XTC
"One Of Our Submarines" performed by Thomas Dolby
"Ethiopia" (live) performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Secret Journey" performed by The Police
"Bonzo's Montreux" performed by Led Zeppelin

"Addison" performed by Trophy Dad-WSPC PREMIERE
"Bundt Cake" performed by Barbara Hans-WSPC PREMIERE

Saturday, May 28, 2016


1. "BAD" performed by Big Audio Dynamite
2. "Watch That Man" performed by David Bowie
3. "Bad Kids" performed by Barbara Hans
4. "(Girl We Got A) Good Thing" performed by Weezer
5. "Empty" performed by Garbage
6. "Common At Noon" performed by Kevin Junior
7. "Triumph Of The Human Spirit" performed by The German Art Students
8. "Season's Trees" performed by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi with Norah Jones

9. "Earth To Heaven" performed by Esperanza Spalding
10. "Gimmie All Your Love" performed by Alabama Shakes
11."Tout Les Palmiers" performed by Beau Dommage
12."She Said, She Said" performed by The Beatles
13."Live 4 Love" performed by Prince and the New Power Generation

1. "Goodbye, Goodbye" performed by Oingo Biongo
2. "Shelter Song" performed by Temples
3. "Question/Reason" performed by Frankie Rose
4. "Fences" performed by Phoenix
5. "Dejalo" performed by Rilo Kiley
6. "Apple Of My Eye" performed by Badfinger
7. "Moving On" performed by The Dream Academy
8. "Tonight" performed by Nick Lowe
9. "Prom Theme" performed by Fountains Of Wayne
10."Kisses Start Wars" performed by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
11."Advice For The Young At Heart" performed by Tears For Fears
12."Here's Where The Story Ends" performed by The Sundays

1. "Going For The One" performed by Yes
2. "Bone Machine" performed by Pixies
3. "A Quick One While He's Away" performed by Green Day
4. "Race For The Prize" performed by The Flaming Lips
5. "You Still Believe In Me" performed by The Beach Boys
6. "En Gang Om Aret" performed by Dungen
7. "The Trap" performed by Johnny Marr
8. "Slit Skirts" performed by Pete Townshend
9. "Satellite" performed by Nine Inch Nails
10."Man Of Our Times" performed by Genesis

1. "Channel Z" performed by The B-52's
2. "Repetition" performed by The Cold And Lovely
3. "Two Hearts Beat As One" performed by U2
4. "Smile Like You Mean It" performed by The Killers
5. "Bad Luck" performed by Social Distortion
6. "Go To The Mirror!" performed by The Who
7. "New Mistake" performed by Jellyfish
8. "Guac Bomb" performed by Post Social
9. "Bad Loser" performed by Fleetwood Mac
10."Dark Necessities" performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers
11."Mind Mischief" performed by Tame Impala


Released March 29, 2009
Released April 5, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: A few years ago, I was watching footage from Director Michael Wadleigh's classic "Woodstock" (1970) on VH1 Classic and my mouth dropped to the ground once again as I regarded the performance of "Soul Sacrifice" by Santana. In that sequence alone, there was a level of musicianship that feels to be almost foreign these days in the 21st century. Hell, it seems that even Carlos Santana himself, long having relegated his skill and artistry to more pop driven material filled with notable guest stars, had even ceased to play as he once did.

With the new album "Santana IV," and featuring the bulk of the classic Santana line-up performing together for the first time since 1973, that specific level of musicianship has returned in spades. While I am still working my way through the album as of this writing, it has been nothing less than a pleasure and privilege to hear musicians of this skill and legacy burn the rafters down on tracks like the appropriately locomotive "Choo Choo/All Aboard," and the scorching "Shake It" plus also making ample room for the soulful utopian anthems "Love Makes The World Go Round" and "Freedom In Your Mind" (both performed with the iconic Ronald Isley). But so far, my favorite is the nearly eight minute atmospheric instrumental evocation "Fillmore East."
Released 2005
Released April 21, 2015
Released October 11, 1972
Released October 19, 1979
Released April 20, 2004
Released 2002
Released April 1, 2016
Released 2011
Released May 20, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: There was once a point when I think I nearly took Tom Petty for granted. And in some ways, it is quite an easy thing to do as his music has been so consistent, so dependable and so very present for nearly 40 years now, that we may forget how brilliant his entire discography actually is. "2," the second album from Petty's pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch is another document fully bestowing Petty's considerable gifts with all of us, even when everything he does feels to be so easy yet it is all so deceptively simple.

Moving to playing Bass Guitar and sharing the songwriting and lead singing duties with his bandmates, who also include then future Heartbreakers Mike Campbell (guitars) and Benmont Tench (piano, organ, keyboards), Mudcrutch's "2" continues in the vein of the band's self-titled debut (released April 29, 2008) with forays into beautifully constructed rock, psychedelia, folk and country songs, all proudly adorned with their Southern roots. Definitely a worthy addition to Petty's ever expanding canon.
Released March 21, 1988
Released July 29, 1981
Released June 1979
Released May 4, 2015
Released April 16, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: Officially released on this year's Record Store Day, Madison's very own Post Social, the collective of Shannon Connor (guitars/vocals), Mitch Deitz (guitars/vocals), Sam Galligan (bass guitar) and Brendan Manley (drums), still riding the wave of their second album "Young Randolphs" (released October 3, 2015), refuse to rest upon their laurels and have recently completed their third album, and now offering this new single as a teaser.

Composed, self recorded and produced the band, these two new selections only continue to surprise and intoxicate me with their endlessly inventive and hypnotic guitar textures and luxurious rhythms. "Guac Bomb," sung by Connor, showcases a sonic sheen that nearly suggested Steely Dan to my ears, as the relaxed and reflective track seduced me instantly. "Poster Boy," sung by Deitz, returns to the more post-punk rock energy but this time with added electronic pulses to augment the mesmerizing proceedings and the surrealistic lyrics.

I don't know how they do it but for LP3, I am so, so very ready!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 27, 2016



BRIAN BELL: Guitars, Vocals
RIVERS CUOMO: Vocals, Guitars
SCOTT SHRINER: Bass Guitar, Piano, Vocals
PAT WILSON: Drums, Vocals

All music and lyrics by Rivers Cuomo
"California Kids" music and lyrics by Rivers Cuomo and Dan Wilson
"Wind In Our Sail" music and lyrics by Rivers Cuomo, Kenneth Scott Chesak and Ryan Spraker
"Thank God For Girls" music and lyrics by Rivers Cuomo, Alex Goose, Michael Balzer, Alex Balzer and Bill Petti
"King Of The World" music and lyrics by Rivers Cuomo and Jarrad Kritzstein
"LA Girlz" music and lyrics by Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell and Luther Russell 
"Jacked Up" music and lyrics by Rivers Cuomo, Jonathan Coffer and Hugh Pescod
"Endless Bummer" Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell and Luther Russell

Produced by Jake Sinclair

Released April 1, 2016

I do realize that with the title of this latest posting that I am jumping ahead nearly two seasons but trust me, it is more than apropos and you'll see what I mean soon enough.

In the earliest days of this blogsite, I may have mentioned to you that for some reasons truly unbeknownst to me, while I have not ever really considered myself to be a full blown fan of the band Weezer, I have however acquired most of their discography in my music collection. From their self-titled debut (released May 10, 1994), I found myself thoroughly enjoying now classic songs like "Buddy Holly" and "Say It Ain't So," yet it was years before I actually ever purchased an album. Maybe it was because I had this unconfirmed sense that Weezer was possibly some sort of joke band or one steeped in self-congratulatory quirkiness or hipster irony. Or maybe it was just the name of the band itself as it sounded so close to the word "weasel" that I couldn't take it seriously...or at least as seriously as one can take anything in the realm of rock and roll.

Regardless, and even though I cannot even remember the first Weezer album I purchased, I found myself gathering one after another as they would consistently win me over and then sort of lose me for a spell only to win me over triumphantly all over again. The last up and down wave I had with the band was the period that produced their third and red color coded self titled album (released June 3, 2008), an album that found the infamously singular songwriting vision of bandleader Rivers Cuomo finding itself graciously opening its doors to his three bandmates as songwriters and even lead singers, a greater collaboration that found the band operating at higher peaks to my ears. This was the album that confirmed to me that Weezer was indeed the real deal. With the pure open-hearted earnestness of the songwriting on tracks like the anthemic "The Angel And The One," the short punchy power pop "Pork And Beans," the deliriously inventive and hilarious "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations On A Shaker Hymn)" and especially terrific bonus material like "Miss Sweeney" and "King" (very well sung by Bassist Scott Shriner), Weezer not only made me excited about them as a musical force but they also made me excitedly curious and anxious to see where they would and could possibly head next.

And then, they made "Ratitude" (released November 3, 2009) and "Hurley" (released September 14, 2010).

Now, don't get me wrong. I am no Weezer purist who feels that the first two albums, especially the originally panned but now almost universally praised "Pinkerton" (released September 24, 1996), represented the best the band could possibly offer. In fact, I still think that "Pinkerton," despite some terrific songs and its fearless honesty (including the unquestionable bodyslammer "Getchoo"), is an album I find a bit over-rated. Additionally, I am of the firm belief that if the members of Weezer desired to change it up, play around with different sounds, techniques, recording approaches and even collaborating with a wide variety of musicians and songwriters regardless of genre, then so be it. Who am I to inform the band over what they should and should not create? Trust me, if Weezer did indeed just make the exact same album over and again, they would have been written off long ago. All of that being said, those albums plus "Make Believe" (released May 10, 2005) just did not reach me and they also made me feel that the experimentation never really fit quite as comfortably as perhaps the band may have wished.

And then, the band rejoined with Ric Ocasek as Producer for the third time and created "Everything Will Be Alright In The End" (released October 7, 2014). 

This was the album that completely won me back as the band actually sounded hungry, that they had something to prove and if it were to be their last stand, they would go down swinging. The blend of power pop with some forays into metal, prog rock and even funk served Weezer beautifully well as the album was a top to bottom winner, possibly the best album that I have heard from the band to date...that is, until now.

Continuing with the self-titled/color coded album titles, Weezer returns with what is being referred to as "The White Album," a gusty move to be sure considering that other White Album. But it seems that after the success of their previous album, Weezer is emboldened and the foursome are ready to swagger. Fully running on all cylinders, the band has raised their game even further as they have delivered a tight, compact, and fully complete concept album about California and the beach, all surrounding a tale of young love, loss and heartbreak that flows seamlessly over the course of 10 tracks in a mere 34 minutes. It is an album that has essentially been played in repeat mode since I have purchased it and the amalgamation of sweeping melodies, hard rock power punches and a surprisingly emotional wallop have soared Weezer's latest to being one of my favorite album releases of 2016.

"Weezer" a.k.a. "The White Album" opens as if we are listening to a vintage Beach Boys single with the sounds of the ocean peppered with a single glockenspiel and lone guitar signifying the innocence that arrives with the dawning of a new day. The double shot album openers "California Kids" and the stunning, soaring "Wind In Our Sail" serve as a glorious overture of sorts as Rivers Cuomo sets the scene, complete with Brian Wilson-esque "O-WE-O" harmony backing vocals fueled by the classic Weezer guitar attack.

"When you wake up
Cobwebs on your eyelids
Stuck in rigor mortis
Just get going 
'Til you hit the ocean 
And you turn Californian"

With proclamations that having life's answers at the ready are not necessary and how "The California Kids will throw you a lifeline" should you find yourself falling off of the world, California is not only (and again) being presented as a mythical oasis, it also serves the album's cyclical nature for its narrative and the emotional fate of our young narrator, whom we have yet to meet.

With "Wind In Our Sail," the romance and the philosophical collide majestically as we are given the tale of "A boy and girl/Albatross around their necks" who are some how able to do "so many great things together, together." With references to Darwin, Mendel, and Sisyphus, all of which augment a theme of survival at sea, the song provides us with a swirling metaphor to the highs and lows, ebbs and flows of falling in love, how we all can clearly see the dangerous emotional terrains ahead and we still take the plunge regardless over and again.

The romanticism explodes on the album's third track "Thank God For Girls," itself a clear echo of all things Beatles/Beach Boys (think "California Girls") as the chord progression certainly sounds like an accelerated version of the classic Beatles "White Album" selection "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with more Wilson-esque harmony vocals flowing freely. To me, the song sounds like the arrival of our album's romantic hero just at the point where he has discovered the majesty of the opposite sex, or at least the pedestal sitting object of his desire. Cuomo breathlessly delivers the almost stream of consciousness lyrics, which involve references to pastry shop girls, hiking trips with lifelong friends, the pleasure of cannolis, masturbatory fantasies fueled by Sears catalog underwear pages, and the clash of spiritual and sexual metaphors, including an "Indian Fakir tryna' meditate on a bed of nails with my pants pulled down," all of which are in the service of spinning the tale of the album's hero longing for the girl who isn't his, fearing the image he has conjured up of her in his mind would shatter upon meeting the real person, and all the way to wining her over after singing her a song down upon one bended knee. And in the moment of romantic reciprocation, our hero's spirit blasts open in epiphany:

"God took a rib from Adam, ground it up in a centrifuge machine
Mixed it with cardamom and cloves, microwaved it on the popcorn setting
While Adam was like 
'That really hurts!"
Going off into the tundra, so pissed at God
And he started lighting minor forest fires, stealing osprey eggs
Messing with the bees, who were trying to pollinate the echinacea
Until God said, 'I'ma smite you with loneliness and break your heart in two!'
And Adam wept and wailed
Tearing out his hair
Falling on his knees
Looked to the sky and said,

Imagining himself and his new lady love as "a couple Hare Krishnas/Dancing, twirling, playing on the tambourine," the track "(Girl We Got A) Good Thing" presents the album's love story at its most deliriously romantic peak. With Queen-styled guitar skyrockets flying high and a beautiful Beach Boys bounce in its step, our hero wishes to only "face the great unknown" with his true love in this relationship which he proclaims he just does not see ending. But with terrific foreshadowing, he also reveals, "you know where this is heading." 

And then, things turn dark.

"Do You Wanna Get High?" marks the album's midpoint, where we begin to see just how this love story takes its turn, illustrating that the girl is clearly a bit older and definitely a lot faster than our innocent, naive hero. The song's title is the musical question she asks of our boy, explaining that "I took a road trip to Mexico/And scored a hundred count/Do you wanna get high?/It's like we're falling in love/We can listen to Bacharach/And stop at any point." 

Yet, after crushing up the blue, inhaling their their noses and scraping every quark "from the wood in the floor," and completely against his better judgement, he partakes only to experience aching bones, cramps, falling to the floor "with our face in a knot." And still, so lost in love, he cannot turn himself away from her even though she is clearly within another league. "Keep on doing what you do," he sings. "'Cuz I'll never get tired of you."

Pangs to waves of self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy surface in the hard charging "King Of The World," where our hero, perhaps slowly beginning to realize that his wished for match made in Heaven just might not be all that he wished for, stages a desperate romantic plea. Hoping to convince her (or maybe himself) that they are meant to be ("We are the small fish/we swim together"), he arrives with sweepingly earnest "me and you against the world" declarations of affection ("We'll face tsunamis together") in the attempts to prove that he is her chosen one.

By the spectacular "Summer Elaine And Drunk Dori," the album's heartbreak hits achingly and thrillingly as the track is one of the album's highest efforts with melodic twists and turns abound mirroring the emotional terrain of our now dumped narrator. Yes, at this point in the story, she has departed ("Oh, she swam away/And flexed her mermaid tail') and our hero sadly reviews the stages of his relationship, cursing himself for not being advanced enough to keep her interested or in love with him...if she ever was ("I wish I hadn't played the prude/She touched my ankle/Paranoid Android/I felt it in my molecules").

Additionally, I wondered if the song, with its two characters within the song's title possibly referenced the narrator's possible questioning of himself regarding precisely who he was in love with: a real person or the perception that he created of her or both or was he entirely wrong on every count. And ultimately, what does it matter, when she's gone, it hurts so deeply for he was in love with her and all of her personalities and personas, whether real or imagined. "Slender and tall/They whisked my worries away," he remembers as if in a dream. "But when I finally wake/Both girls are gone."

The album then segues into the propulsively yearning "L.A. Girlz" where our hero repeatedly questions, "Does anybody love anybody as much as I love you, baby?" Despite the swaggering power chords and blues-like sway, this track is most reminiscent of The Beach Boys' "Caroline No," itself an ode of longing and lost youth for a girl who has outgrown and forgotten her suitor of long ago. Disillusioned and dejected, our album's hero painfully wonders (and via more stream of consciousness lyrics which reference both Dante and Jabberwocky) if the girls of the song's title have long surpassed him, in attitude, sophistication and overall experience, that the chances of his affections being returned are severely diminished, therefore leaving him lonely and alone.

"L.A. girlz, please act your age," he pleads. "You treat me like I have the plague/It's the Gyre and Gimble in the wabe/L.A. girlz, please act your age/Sweeten up your lemonade/And meet me down a tower twenty eight."

A request that remains forever unanswered.

With a contradictory jaunty piano leading the way, the track "Jacked Up" finds our hero in existential despair, consumed with feeling of failure and the fears of being forever unloved. "Oh, why, why, why do my flowers always die?" he asks. "I'm all jacked up/Over you." 

The album concludes with "Endless Bummer," an obvious play off of The Beach Boys' classic compilation album "Endless Summer" (released June 24, 1974) but instead of eternal sunshine, blue skies and sand between the toes, Weezer provides us with an exquisitely composed ballad, like a song by The Everly Brothers, that feels like a deeply perceptive and lived in short story and the effect actually placed a lump in my throat as all of the emotional nerve endings are tenderly exposed. Our hero, now in full acceptance of his romantic loss and the realization that "She was too fast for me" and that "Not all 19 year olds are cool," is the perfectly fragile picture of adolescent loneliness as he just wishes for the summer to finally, mercifully be over and done with.

"I'm all alone at night
Dreamin' about my life
She was too fast for me
I count my steps because I'm OCD...

...My heart is so landlocked
Nothing but tourist shops
It's just like a curse, you see
This bummed out feeling that she's over me
She's over me

I put my jacket over my head
I'm trying not to stare at her chest
I can't even dance in the dark
'Cause my headphones are still on the seat of her car

Kumbiya makes me get violent
I just want this summer to end"

All is not lost, however. As Weezer phases from plaintive acoustic misery into the full rise of their wall of sound filled with rock guitar and bashing drums, we emotionally return to the album's beginnings as our lonely hero, now on his personal sinking ship, will wake up to the dawn of a new day, head to the beach and find himself surrounded by the California Kids, all ready and waiting to throw him a lifeline as life goes on and he will undoubtedly fall in love again.

Dear readers and listeners, I was uniformly impressed and wholly disarmed by Weezer's latest album. a complete triumph of melodicism, harmony, storytelling, and full on rock and roll power that congeals into a narrative that is so emotionally palpable and honest. Please do not allow the list of additional songwriters discourage you from trying out and even purchasing this album, as all of the songs are written to their sharpest points, flow beautifully from one selection to the next, creating a singular vision instead of a committee driven hodge-podge. And most importantly, the band sounds like no one other than themselves.

Frankly, Weezer sounds tighter, more focused and even hungrier than they did on "Everything Will Be Alright In The End," as it feels as if they want to hang onto whatever momentum they have received from the high response to that album. As a band, they have fully defied the laws of age and sound as if they have discovered the fountain of youth as they, especially Rivers Cuomo, sound virtually unchanged from their debut over 20 years ago. I must also make special note of Pat Wilson, as he again proves that he is one of his generation's most underrated rock drummers as his playing throughout is sensational. As a story, certainly there is nothing new under the sun narratively, but it is through the commitment and the universality of the tale combined with the band's sense of merged nostalgia and wisdom that makes everything feel fresh and as instantly recognizable as the first time we all fell in love and had our hearts broken.

Trust me, as I would never intentionally steer you down the wrong path. Weezer's "White Album" is a wonderful, addictive cure to the pop music blues with a collection of songs that stick like glue to your brain all serving a story that flies straight to the center of your heart.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Dear readers and listeners, this day could not have been any more beautiful.

From the weather, to the musical performances, to the extra special events and of course, to the excited and flowing crowds within the local establishments, Record Store Day 2016 was nothing less than blissfully perfect and purely celebratory of the Madison music community as a whole.

In past years, I have typically experienced Record Store Day very rapidly, as I would venture into a store, snap a few pictures and make a purchase either in between or after running some other errands. This year, however, I had made plans to take in as much as I was able and therefore, I mentally plotted out my day, so as to not miss anything that I had wished to see.

SHANNON CONNOR: Guitars, vocals
MITCH DEITZ: Guitars, vocals

First upon my docket was to head straight to B-Side Records and the nearby Peace Park upon State Street to witness Post Social perform once again and with both Dash Hounds, and a third band named the Pollinators performing directly afterwards. Once I parked my car in the lot behind B-Side and the accompanying stores, I ventured towards Peace Park and already, I could hear the sounds of Post Social enthusiastically bashing away at their leading track from their second album "Young Randolphs" (released October 3, 2015) , entitled "Offline." 

It was one year ago, on last year's Record Store Day in fact, when I first saw Post Social perform live and met the band members in person. Incidentally, it was also the event that became the catalyst for the extensive and exclusive interviews I conducted with the band, as well as with former Modern Mod bassist/singer/songwriter Alivia Kleinfeldt, last year (and of course, all chronicled upon this blogsite in the September 2015 and November 2015 sections)--all of which gave me a significantly larger view into their inspirations, goals and overall creative process. This year, and now having seen the band perform live on several occasions, I was able to gather another insight into the band as I am witnessing especially seasoned performers who are continuing to grow and progress.
Taking the Peace Park stage directly at noon, Post Social gave a one hour performance which continued to promote the material found upon "Young Randolphs" including the exuberant "Ohio," the propulsive "Gentle Ben" as well as the dreamy "Green Screen." In addition to dipping back into music from their self titled debut album (released December 6, 2014) with the shimmering sunshine of "Days" and the intricate and venomous power of "Something In The Water," brand new material was also presented as the performance was not only designed to support Record Store Day, it was also in support of the band's brand new two track single "Guac Bomb/Poster Boy," which was set to be released later that evening and in advance of the band's third album, which is almost in the can.
With the arrival of Spring and its full warmth in the air surrounding everyone, Post Social seemed to be especially revitalized. Guitarist/singer Mitch Deitz, guitarist/singer Shannon Connor, bassist Sam Galligan and drummer Brendan Manley remained in veritable lockstep rhythmically and forcefully, at times sounding simultaneously tighter and looser as these songs have been performed so numerously. The band was the definition of a "well oiled machine," and through the reaction of the fluctuating sizes of the crowds walking and gathering upon State Street, the band's versatility and rich textures translated most effectively.
Adorned with his bright green Record Store Day T-shirt, Deitz once again was the frontman you could not take your eyes away from as his infectious energy served as the best invitation to passerbys to stop and take a look at the band and listen to the music. Bobbing and swaying back and forth while wielding his guitar and singing with utmost confidence, Mitch Deitz was the picture of pure, unadulterated joy.
Superbly powering the band from the rear, as always, was Brendan Manley. Perpetually hunched over his drum kit, with his long hair again mostly obscuring his facial features, Manley bashed out his rhythms with authoritative flair, punch and swing. 
But what impressed me the most about this particular Post Social performance were the two quieter members of the band: Shannon Connor and Sam Galligan. With Connor, who just last year struck a pose especially reticent and almost remote despite the flexibility of his guitar work, he displayed a greater confidence this year that was truly exciting to regard. His playing has grown to be more expressive and dynamic than the year before and it was also thrilling to me to watch him take the lead vocals on more than one occasion. While I certainly do not expect him to be climbing and jumping off of speakers and Peace Park stones like his bandmate Deitz, I really loved watching Connor emerge a bit further from his shell, 
Even more impressive to me was the equally reticent Sam Galligan, a figure so quiet that I remarked to Alivia Kleinfeldt that I was unsure if I had ever even heard the young man speak, to which she cheerfully replied, "You probably haven't. He's kinds mysterious!" Even so, the thing I noticed the most about him this time around was his increasingly impressive sense of musicality. For as many times as he has played these songs, I was stunned to hear an additional flourish to his playing as if he has somehow discovered new notes to play and new and even improved ways to play the songs, therefore making now familiar songs sound even fresher. Sam Galligan is rapidly becoming a musical force to be reckoned with and most importantly, he helps grandly to make Post Social an unstoppable band fully deserving of your attention and adoration.

ALIVIA KLEINFELDT: Guitars, vocals
As Post Social performed, I was so happy to have a few moments to speak with Alivia Kleinfeldt once again before she took the "stage" with her latest project Dash Hounds, a collaboration with her former Modern Mod bandmate Brendan Manley. Although feeling a bit under the weather on this otherwise gorgeous day, Kleinfeldt remained perky, in terrific spirits and ready to strap on her guitar once again. 

For me, I have to say that I was even more excited to see Dash Hounds than even Post Social as I honestly had no idea of what to expect musically. I was witness to the debut live performance from the band last fall, and since then, I have been privy to one official studio track entitled "Idee Fixe" (which Kleinfeldt expressed that she wishes to re-record) as well as an in progress 8 minute studio track (armed with the working title "Cheetah"). But aside from those nuggets, music from Dash Hounds has been gestating slowly and purposefully, despite the relative frequency of their live performances around Madison. Essentially, the band seems to be in the process of discovering and building its musical identity, a fascinating thing to witness from my vantage point. And if their performance on Record Store Day is any indication, I am feeling that Kleinfeldt and Manley are in the throes of creating something really provocative.
Performing alongside the brilliant Sam Galligan and Tom Teslik now manning the drum kit as Manley switched from drums to guitar (the very instrument he constructed himself), Dash Hounds began their performance right at 1:00 p.m. with a vibrant track that I remember from their debut performance, a song that had the jump and bounce of something you might find on an early album by The Police. From this point, the band ventured through a series of still untitled songs (including the work in progress of the tentatively titled "Cheetah") that were more temporal in tone and mood, compared to the complex yet rambunctious energy of Post Social. 
If there is one word that I could use to describe the full performance of Dash Hounds, that word would be "stormy." The band certainly weaved a turbulently dark spell over State Street as their songs, filled will patiently revolving chords and interlocking guitar patterns that were hypnotizing, slowly built themselves into music that was completely enveloping and intense, then dissipates and reforms all over again. Each time a song completed, it felt as if the clouds were only then washed away, leaving blue skies and an altered mood in its wake. They were like early morning dreams that continued to either linger or disturb long after waking.

Alivia Kleinfeldt was in full command of her gifts this day, as I was again impressed to hear a singing voice so low and rich emerge from a figure who otherwise has been so upbeat and charming each time that I have spoken with her. If there is a certain storminess lurking inside of her, then Dash Hounds allows for her to release it in captivating style. 
Brendan Manley also stepped up to the plate with definitive skill. While he might have been a tad nervous coming out from behind the drums to the forefront, and with his long hair consistently obscuring his face, Manley contributed powerfully to the sonic textures through a variety of subtle effects and feedback washes combined with elegant lines and phrasings.

After their performance, I spent a few more moments with Kleinfeldt, congratulating her and also expressing my growing pride for what she is accomplishing through her music and art. That it takes a person of a certain strength and character to walk away from something that had built up an impressive cache within her previous band Modern Mod. That she and her bandmates could have easily continued that band and taken whatever may have been offered to them but instead walked away to begin again on their own terms as professional musicians and artists. Her strength and integrity is undeniably inspiring. And this day only made the wait for the first Dash Hounds EP that much more difficult to bear!
Now it was time to venture indoors and see my friend(s). 

As I am certain that I have expressed to you, B-Side has been one of the record store that I have frequented ever since I arrived in Madison as a college Freshman in 1987. As the last store of its kind standing upon State Street, a location that once housed a myriad of record stores, including one in which I was employed for a spell, I have made it my mission to give the store and its owner/proprietor Steve Manley my business as much as I am able to give to him. And in doing so, I have found myself with a treasured friend, one who has shared his musical knowledge and additional passions with me, as well as the beaming pride he has for his family, including his son Brendan, performing live just a stone's throw away at Peace Park.
Making my purchases, including the latest from Kendrick Lamar, I congratulated Steve on not only his son's performances but also with the heavy business he was receiving upon this day, as his establishment was rightfully populated, so much so that he was rarely able to step outdoors to see the bands for himself. Even I could not venture throughout the store as much as I may have wished due to the amount of people, a great sight to be sure, and an even greater "problem" to have for Steve.
Before leaving State Street for my next destination, I wanted to just check out first song by the day's'third band, Pollinators, which to my surprise was led by Tom Teslik, who stepped out from the Dash Hound drum set to center stage on lead vocals and guitar. Superbly supported by Cole Haman on Bass Guitar and Matt Magnusson on drums, the trio began their performance supporting their latest EP "Self Addressed Envelope" (released April 1, 2016).
With Pollinators, I was immediately impressed. Their sound, at least from what I could gather from the nearly 7 minute opener entitled "Used To Without You," the band possessed a clean, melodic sound fronted by Teslik's clear vocals and expressive solos, all of which suggested something like the lost track from Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" (released October 22, 1991)

As with what I have already heard with Post Social, Modern Mod, Dash Hounds, Trophy Dad and Barbara Hans, Pollinators feels to be yet another young, local band who truly has studied all that has come before them and have emerged as gifted songwriters and musicians who place the song at the forefront and seemingly without any sense of ego. In fact, that one song has even inspired me to check out their Bandcamp page and even make a purchase of their new effort. Moreso, this day again warmed me to see such a supportive group of musicians as they play with each other's bands and offer solidarity by becoming spectators and fans along with the general public. 

If I could accomplish this feat with my postings single-handedly, I would ensure that the nation at large would take notice of this collective of young musicians and therefore, our city at large as a viable source of musical energy and creativity worth investigating and embracing.

But first, I needed to head over to Mad City Music Exchange...


As with B-Side, I have frequented Mad City Music Exchange ever since I arrived in Madison for college and also when the store itself was housed in a completely different location in the city. In fact, I even remember my very first trip to the store sometime during my Freshman year as I, along with my roommate ventured off of the beaten record store path on State Street on the hunt for even rarer grooves. On a whim, I sheepishly asked the clerk if he had any copies of Prince's then white hot bootleg "The Black Album," the very album pulled from its 1987 mass release just mere weeks before it was set to be unleashed into the world. To my shock and surprise, the clerk replied to me, "Yeah, it's right over here," and then, the man handed me a vinyl copy which I purchased right then and there.
From that point, Mad City, before and after the move, was my home for finding those rare Prince bootlegs. But even after the bootlegs dried up, and former clerk and WORT FM DJ Dave Zero took over the location as owner/proprietor, I have still continued to venture to the store often as I happen to drive past it daily. If I have the time, there is simply nothing like thumbing through the stacks, looking for nothing and everything, all the while being surrounded by music, mystery and the joy of discovery.
Today, I ventured to Mad City for one specific Record Store Day reason: to have a chance to meet none other than Butch Vig and Steve Marker of Garbage and as Producers of "The Smart Studios Story," the new documentary film about the legendary and now defunct Madison based recording studio which was set to premiere at the Wisconsin Film Festival on this same weekend.
After saying a fast "Hello" to Dave Zero, I was told to find my spot in the already forming line outside of the store if I was interested in the Meet & Greet. I proceeded to do just as he instructed and was leased to spend my time waiting in healthy conversation with a long lost friend from my bookstore clerk days during the 1990's who was also waiting in line. 

It is here that I have to offer my most gracious thanks to Dave and the entire staff of Mad City Music Exchange as they handled this event beautifully, skillfully and so efficiently. They were entirely upon their game and the event went off without a hitch whatsoever...or if there were any hiccups, they were not evident to me at all. If any of the other people in line were anything like myself, I am certain that there was much nervous energy in the air and Mad City ensured that the event ran smoothly.

Before I had even realized, Vig and Marker alongside the film's Director and Madison resident Wendy Schneider, had all arrived and taken their places by a table next to the store's entrance. 
Finally, I made my entrance into the store and shook both gentleman's hands and proclaimed what an honor it was to meet them at last. After autographing my promotional cassette soundtrack to the film which Mad City had distributed to us earlier, I asked if it would be acceptable to have a photo taken with them and they graciously obliged (as I grinned like a buffoon while they elicited their finest grim rock star poses).
Afterwards, I took a moment to speak with Schneider about her film which I was unfortunately unable to see at the Festival but hoped would somehow find another Madison screening in the near future. She joked that she would love to find a venue where it could play on an endless loop. I laughed and then moved along my way as the line of fans was lengthy. And then, I ended up spending the remainder of my Record Store Day wandering around the record store, finally deciding to pick up a copy of Brian Eno and David Byrne's reissued classic "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts" (released February 1981). 

Soon, the excitement waned and the environment in the store became more relaxed and casual. Vig, marker and Schneider were still within Mad City speaking with fans yet the overall vibe was so low-key, that you hardly noticed them at all--possibly how they would have preferred and in essence, truly representative of the Madison record store scene and attitude.
By now, the time was around 5 p.m. and the day had been a wonderful one without question. As I have been writing this reflection, it has occurred to me even moreso that over the past year, I have been chronicling my time within the Madison music community without entirely knowing what that community was..or at least the variety and complete fullness of this community.

I am seeing that the Madison music community is not simply centered around the musicians, who of course, are essential. But our music community, like all other music communities around the country consists of the local radio stations and the DJs, the recording studios, the concert halls and bars that house live music events, and I would gather, the writers of printed and electronic media that journals about the music and so crucially, the record stores and their owners and staffs for everything comes together within those walls and flows inwards and outwards from those walls. If we took all of the record stores out of the equation, I firmly believe that so much of this specialized community would crumble for where else would be the very place where music lovers can congregate to seek, find, learn and experience the music that encompasses our lives? I am unable to imagine my life without all of the time that I have spent inside of record stores and how nearly all of the music that I now cherish emerged from these locations that are sacred to me.

THANK YOU to Steve Manley and B-Side, to Dave Zero and the entire Mad City Music Exchange staff for existing at the epicenter of our wonderful music community. Long may it run...for Record Store Day and for every day hereafter.

Friday, May 6, 2016


Computer blue...
As you all know by know, especially or those of you who know me and have taken the time to just check in with me, I have taken the death of Prince extremely hard. I am still in disbelief, so much so that when I watch the footage that has been flooding You Tube within this past week, I am amazed all over again at the sheer vitality of the man, a vitality that felt to be unstoppable and so, miraculously immortal.

Of course, I knew that he wasn't and now, we all know proof positive that he wasn't. But, as I wrote last month, Prince was an individual who just never seemed to be remotely finished. There were always the possibilities that arrived when pondering whatever was to come next. Since he was cremated only two mere days after is passing, it feels so profoundly heavy to me that he is not only gone, it almost feels as if he never was. We know that to not be true, and we know that his presence is seismic and will reverberate though the cultivation of his artistic legacy and through all those he influenced. But even so, it hurts and I've cried quite a bit over this--for his mortality and I would guess for my own as time itself is the undefeated champion. Ashes to ashes...

Well, before his passing and all of the emotions that it stirred up, I was invited to a birthday party by a friend that I have interacted with but actually have not seen since my Freshman year of college.
His name is Randy Ballwahn, and he is, and has been, a fixture of the Madison music community for close to 20 years as drummer of the highly celebrated local indie band The German Art Students--recipients of the 2015 Madison Area Music Association (M.A.M.A.) awards for Rock Performer Of The Year as well as Rock Album Of The Year for their most recent effort "Time Machine" (released March 14, 2014). 

Additionally, he is the DJ/host of the outstanding radio show entitled "Freak Scene Radio," which is broadcast on WSUM-FM Friday mornings from 6 a.m.-8 a.m. Dear readers and listeners, if you happen to be a slow riser in the mornings just as I am, Randy's radio show will indeed wake you up powerfully as it is a two hour collection of new and classic alternative rock and his presentation is spirited, aggressive and brilliantly seamless. I once expressed to him that his show sounds like an "audio speedball" due to its overall velocity and impact and he seemed to really be pleased with that assessment. So...do check out his show!!!

I first met Randy in college at the University Of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987 when I was a Freshman and he was a Senior and both of us were DJs at WSUM's predecessor, WLHA-FM, and our shows followed each other's. What I remember about our very first meeting was our brief introduction where my show was ending and I was beginning to make the transition to his show which carried a moniker that I am unable to remember at this time. Just before I was to announce that Randy would be taking the airwaves, he quickly informed me to not use his real name and to deliver his alias instead, incidentally a name I do remember but for whatever inexplicable reasons, I still feel compelled to keep that alter ego to myself.

And then, I began to watch and listen to Randy spin his music and weave his show. It was something of such confidence, skill and talent, that I new immediately as a novice that I seriously had to step up my game if I was to exist in his superior league. His musical taste was more expansive than my own at the time and it was indeed impeccable. And even though I was simultaneously intimidated and seriously impressed, Randy just carried himself with an ease and graciousness that was disarming and more than anything, it helped me to begin to find whatever confidence I needed to have when performing my own show. Besides...the man was just COOL!! It was like having Stewart Copeland as a DJ and being there to assist, guide and just have an overall affable nature which helped my overall transition to college as a whole. Nothing but good words and memories by far.

Randy graduated and I carried onwards at WLHA until my own graduation in 1991. Our paths did not cross again until very recently as Randy reached out to em through Facebook as some Synesthesia postings concerning the Madison music community began to be shared around. At first, his name did not ring any bells but after a few back and forths of an internet chat, the memories and full recognition happily came into focus.

This entire preamble was meant to provide you with a bit of background over an event I attended within the past week that very loosely tied into the emotions I was experiencing with Prince's death. The occasion was a birthday party, more specifically Randy's 50th birthday party, I was honestly surprised to have received an invitation from him as I hadn't seen him since 1987. Additionally, he was having friends take turns being DJs for the party and asked if I would be interested in doing a one hour set. Certainly I would!! Even so, I was nervous as I had never DJed at a party before. I just did not want to be the one out of step who brought the party to a crashing halt with my musical taste. What if it didn't gel properly?

Yes, I worry too much. I know.

Soon, the DJ lineup was created, I actually had a slot and everything was good to go.

DJ Lineup update:
2pm: Randy B/Freak Scene Madison
3pm: DJ Goldy/Golden Throne Lounge Middleton
4pm: Scott Sabatke/Burnhearts Tavern Milwaukee
5pm: Savage Scott Collins/Synesthesia Madison
6pm: DJ duMars/Red Planet Radio Madison/Deforest
7pm: DJ Cub/Dept. of Awesomeness Chicago
8pm and beyond: Free for all/Open platters
I picked my CDs and dug deep into my personal "archives" to grab some vinyl selections. And finally, I collected some food donations to deliver as Randy requested that in lieu of any birthday presents, donations to the private, non-profit Goodman Community Center would be more preferable and warmly welcomed.

The day of the party was quite chilly and would soon be overcome with a steady rainfall that began in the morning and did not let up whatsoever. Obviously, this was not conducive to holding an outdoor party but Randy remained intrepid and announced that rain and wind be damned, the celebration would continue as planned. I arrived at his home late in the afternoon with music and donations in hand to discover the party well attended and therefore, protected from the wetter parts of the elements from some erected tents. The DJ set-up was in the garage and functioning with loud but not over-bearing effectiveness--just enough to be the pulsing soundtrack of the day but not so loud as to be forced to shout in order to be heard. I was given a crash course over the DJ equipment by Scott Sabatke, the DJ currently manning the turntables, and by 5 p.m., it was my turn.

Feeling that I still needed to find my bearings, I began with some Big Audio Dynamite on CD and phased over to a 9 minute plus Jimi Hendrix selection on vinyl to buy myself some time. I knew immediately that Prince would have to be played this night and therefore, so would David Bowie, but I didn't want to go for obvious selections (not that there's anything wrong with those songs which are the most familiar--I just tend to want to try something different and hope for the best).
For Prince, I chose one of his now rare b-side non-album tracks: "Shockadelica" which is the flip side to "If I Was Your Girlfriend." And it was at this point where I began to take a larger notice of my surroundings. For the first three songs I played, I was trying to make sure I understood the equipment well enough but also tried to have songs that contained a certain level of "beats and bass" to help give the party a bit of a bounce. No one paid much attention to me, which was perfectly fine as I didn't really want to call attention to myself. Just keep me as a bit of the scenery and the focus would all be upon Randy, the food, drink and merriment among friends and relations. But then, as I have just eluded, I began to notice something quite nice...

My experiences in radio have all been solitary. I am typically all alone in the studio spinning songs and telling stories all the while having no discernible idea if anyone is even listening at all. It's like I am in my own private world. At Randy's party, I could be witness to an immediate effect, either positive or negative, and that had it sown share of excitement. As "Shockadelica" played, I looked up and slowly saw party-goers spontaneously begin to move their bodies to the beat as they conversed. I saw heads bobbing up and down. And I thought to myself, "Wow...it's really working."

Soon, I was approached by one party guest and we began conversing about Prince's passing. Not long afterwards, another visitor to the DJ booth began speaking to me about Prince and as I continued along my musical way, people would occasionally approach me and engage me in conversation about the music or any manner of subject matter as I still saw people bobbing up and down or taking a glance as to what was being played.

After my set and once DJ duMars took over the turntables for a vigorous set of great music (during which Prince's "Little Red Corvette" was played and received a loud cheer of recognition), I spent my time having conversations with the Birthday Boy himself, an individual whose trim fit and enthusiastic demeanor fully belied his new age (only the short grey hair was a giveaway), and whose overall disposition was as warm as it had been back when we were in our late teens and young adults, respectively. And in the spirit of giving, when I asked about his band as I was so unfamiliar with them, he quickly entered his home and returned with copies of two albums by The German Art Students. Completely unnecessary and completely appreciated.

I also spent much of my time holding court with Peter Lawrence-Wehrle, another WSUM DJ and host of the excellent program "Rock And Roll Over" formerly entitled "The Study Lounge." In fact, through speaking with him and his wife, Mary Lawrence-Wehrle, I discovered that he too was a WLHA veteran, someone I may have crossed paths with or one who joined after I had graduated. It was just a meeting that sparked some much needed uplift and only added to the full enjoyment of the afternoon/evening.

The birthday party, which was surrounded by chilly wind and unending rain, was, by contrast, a completely warming occasion, where it actually helped me to try and get myself out of my own funk regarding Prince's death. Because I would imagine that Prince himself would probably want for us to understand that life does indeed continue after one dies. It moves forwards and onwards, it surrounds us and what better way to celebrate this particular force than to join together in celebration of the day a friend was born. To find communion with food, drink, music and friendship...what could be better?
In fact, I now find myself thinking about a gorgeous song composed, produced and performed by the extremely talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jason Falkner. The song is called "Revelation" from his album "Can You Still Feel?" (released February 23, 1999) and the chorus states the following:

"So, why am I down when there is life all around?
Don't make a sound

Can't you hear life all around?
It's all around"

Yes it is. Words to remember and words that came into focus on this afternoon.

So, as we live life, I urge all of you to keep music as an essential piece...and as always...

...PLAY LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. "'BAD" performed by Big Audio Dynamite
2. "Who Knows" performed by Jimi Hendrix with Band Of Gypses
3. "Losing My Edge" performed by LCD Soundsystem
4. "Shockadelica" performed by Prince
5. "Stay (live in Nassau 1976) performed by David Bowie
6. "Beanie G. And The Rose Tattoo" performed by Hall & Oates
7. "What She Said" performed by TV Eyes
8. "Deathwish" performed by The Police
9. "No Reason" performed by Nick Lowe
10."Sunshine In The Shade" performed by The Fixx
11."Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3" performed by Ian Dury and the Blockheads