Sunday, February 19, 2012

Musical Cheese II: The saga continues!

Now, I don't know how long I'll be doing this little broadcast from the studios of WIIT. There may be a job coming down the line that keeps me from coming in for class, who knows? The next podcast could be my last!

So I learned a few things after last week's opening salvo. First, the Virtual DJ software on my Windows netbook is by default expecting a soundcard installed with two outputs: one for cue and one for air. So whenever I dropped an MP3 track on one of the cue decks, a channel on the song playing on air would cut out. Finally found the configuration to acknowledge that there's just the one stereo output. Now if I can just figure why the plug feeding the sound board only plays the right channel (I tried my headphone in the jack, that's pure stereo). For the sake of this podcast, I tracked the right channel into both ears.

My topic for the broadcast came to me after watching the Grammy Awards the previous Sunday. Another slate of Best New Artist nominees that by legend would never be heard from again. Checking the lists of previous nominees and winners, that see that isn't so much the case today as it was in the 1970's. I think Christina Aguilera has gone on to better things after her win. But there were some nominees so obscure that they didn't even have a Wikipedia article about them yet. But I still found an MP3 of the J's with Jamie, so their mark on internet posterity may yet be made. And I should have known when putting together a playlist of Best New Artist nominees, I'd be rutting out the greatest piece of musical cheese ever recorded!

Note: "Johnny Get Angry" by Joanie Somers reminded me that it's one of a very small group of pop hits to use a kazoo. The only other ones I could think of offhand was "You're Sixteen" by Ringo Starr and "Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag" by Country Joe and the Fish–which was not really a "pop" hit. But once again, the Internet comes to the rescue!
And yes, the Ace Frehley version of "New York Groove" starts out draggy. A previous DJ had messed with the pitch control of the CD deck and not set it back to normal. I tried to speed it up a little bit in GarageBand.

And of course, all the songs below have links to purchase a copy for your very own on iTunes, or another source if possible!

Playlist for Mark McDermott's Musical Cheese Show #2, February 15, 2012 on WIIT:
Pushin' too Hard--The Seeds (1967)
New York Groove--Hello (1975)
New York Groove--Ace Frehley (1978)
I Was Made for Lovin' You--Kiss--12" single (1979)
The Way of Love--Cher--Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves (1972)
Acid Queen--Tina Turner--Tommy Soundtrack (1975)

Special Feature: Select Best New Artist Grammy Nominees:
Let's Not Be Sensible--The J's with Jamie (1963)
Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah--Allan Sherman--My Son the Nut (1983)
A Walk in the Black Forest--Horst Jankowski--Hard to Find Pop Instrumentals ii--(1965)
The Shape I'm In--Johnny Restivo (1959)
Afternoon Delight--Starland Vocal Band--Super Hits of the 70's v. 18 (1876)
Hey Deanie--Shaun Cassidy--Super Hits of the 70s (1978)
Feelings--Morris Albert--Super Hits of the 70s v. 17 (1975)
Rock On--David Essex (1974)
59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) - Feelin' Groovy--Harpers Bizarre (1967)
Joanie Sommers--Johnny Get Angry--Hard to Find 45s on CD Vol.5 (1962)
Steal Away--Robbie Dupree (1980)
Whispering/Cherchez La Femme/C'est Si Bon--Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band (1977)

What a Difference a Day Makes (Disco version)--Esther Phillips (1975)
Rock and Roll--Boswell Sisters (1934)
Jolly Fellows Waltz--Peerless Orchestra (1904)
Tumbling Tumbleweeds--Sons of the Pioneers (1934)
Matchbox--Blind Lemon Jefferson (1927)
Mule Skinner Blues--The Fendermen (1960)
Itchy Chicken--Los Straitjackets--Viva Los Straitjackets (1005)
Who Listens to the Radio--The Sports--Mushroom Evolution Concept (1978)
Sex (I'm A...)--Berlin--12" single version (1983)
I'm on Fire--5000 Volts (1975)
Sometimes A River--String Cheese Incident--One Step Closer (2005)
Highway 40 Unplugged--Brak--Space Ghost's Musical BarBQ
Gone, Gone, Gone--Charlie Feathers--single (1967)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back in the Booth! My Musical Cheese show

It's something I've awaited for 25 years. I had promised myself that, if by some chance I got myself affiliated with a school or college with a radio station, I would get myself an air shift!

And that one-class certificate course I'm taking at Illinois Institute of Technology is my ticket.
Once I knew I would be going to the downtown campus for a class, I signed up to do a radio shift on WIIT-FM, broadcasting from the campus center on State St.
The orientation was pretty quick and easy. Now mind you, the last time I played music on the radio was before the station at Bowling Green U. had any CD players installed. Now at orientation, the Tech Director asks "so, is anyone going to be bringing CDs?" Turns out most people just bring a laptop with DJ software installed. And they have turntables, but due to the problem of theft, I would have to provide head shell and needle for two Technics 1200 turntables. The guy says they've got a grant for new equipment that will be installed starting in March, but for now we're "stuck" using a board from the 1970s. All right by me, I started out on boards from the 1950s.

For a while, I've highlighting my favorite obscure, silly or otherwise annoying old songs when I hear them on iTunes, and tagging them as "Musical Cheese." So that's the title of my new show. Featuring the stuff your parents forgot about when they said music was so much better in their time. So watch for my show to contain bad 70s earworms, unusual or obscure tunes from through recording history, and some of the comedy stuff that we played the crap out of back in the 70s. Hey, everything old is new again.