DENTON JUKEBOX: KUZU Producer Edition
Who knows good music better than the staff over at Denton's newest radio station? 92.9FM KUZU is a non-profit, non-commercial local station that provides a myriad of music within an approximate 7-mile radius from the center of the wonderful 76201. KUZU is entirely run on donated money and time, whether from donors or the producers themselves. If you yourself would like to support this wonderful station, apply to become a member on their website. And now to the music!
Colonel Burns Honkytonk Hour
Johnny Paycheck- The Real Mr. Heartache (1996)
Get ready to pour yourself a pitcher and cry in your tear bucket! Hands down, this out-of-print album is the darkest, loneliest, most heart-wrenching honky-tonk album of all times! Recorded on Aubrey Mayhew's Little Darlin' Years label, Johnny Paycheck, former bass player (1962-66) for George Jones, takes you where most dare not descend!!
The Handsome Family - Wilderness (2013)
This album oozes a dark, humid, and forbidden twangy gospel sound that could easily serve as the soundtrack for a David Lynch film! It's very poetic, and in my opinion, best served-up while driving down a dark rural highway, below the canopy of a forest under a full moon, or reclined in a dimly candlelit room with a glass of a stout, dry mead!
The 8-Legged DJ
Every other Thursday 5-7pm
Craig Finn - We All Want The Same Things (2017)
I don’t know what it’s like to get busted trying to buy drugs at a car wash, but I know what it’s like to have things going so well... and then suddenly, life is unrecognizable. In just the first few lines of the record, Craig Finn sketches a character whose life is foreign to me but hugely relatable anyway. His concerns are the same here as on other solo albums and with The Hold Steady—drugs, God, and rock & roll as the framework for people trying trying to find each other and their place in the world—but the songs are nonetheless fresh. The crown jewel of We All Want The Same Things is God In Chicago, an absolute stunner of a spoken word track with a narrator who feels as real as anyone right in front of me. A whole world in ten songs.
Giant Squid - Metridium Fields (2006)
Four notes played over and over and over for fifteen minutes, slow, heavy, relentless. To me, the title cut of Metridium Fields exemplifies doom metal. But what really gets me is the particular feeling the song captures. There’s only one thing I miss from the days before I got treatment for depression: those rare, unpredictable occasions when hopelessness would flip over, and I’d spend a day or three feeling like raw determination—pure, steady power. Metridium Fields begins with a mordant, depressed five minutes. And then it turns over. Every time I hear it, I know this song was written by someone who understands. Underwater and out of options, despair somehow gives way to strength—"20 kicks into the abyss,” the way out is through. Just keep going. Four notes. Over, and over, and over.
Airing bi-monthly late Friday night/early Saturday morning
Joe Frank - Selections (2003)
I went to get a haircut at a place I had never been before. Sitting in the barber’s chair my cut was interrupted by a phone call. It was for the barber, who besides a receptionist were the lone employees that day. The barber sat holding the phone and listening intently. Then there was a wail, a guttural noise that signaled total anguish. The barber dropped the phone, slid to the floor and began sobbing uncontrollably. Someone had died. Using all the will power available, the barber and receptionist crossed the shop and locked themselves in the bathroom. With muffled screams in the background, I sat alone with half a haircut in an empty barbershop. This is the territory of Joe Frank. A radio artist of 40 years, Frank has inspired people like Chris Morris and David Sedaris with surreal, personal monologues that are the audio equivalent of a Greek slave whispering “memento mori”, or Judge Holden carving “Et in Arcadia ego” on a gun stock. Essential.
Jim Sullivan - UFO (1969)
In 1975 Jim Sullivan parked his Volkswagen Beetle on a remote dirt road in the desert of New Mexico and disappeared forever. Inside his abandoned car were his personal effects including a box of unsold records. Languishing in obscurity for forty years UFO was re-released by Light in the Attic in 2011 to a level of acclaim Sullivan never saw in his lifetime. Recorded with session musicians from the Wrecking Crew, each track seems to speak as an omen to Sullivan’s final act. This record is an absurdly powerful testament to a talented man ready to leave. To hear more about Jim Sullivan and hear tracks from UFO, listen to WOODS 07 - ESCAPE ARTIST airing on KUZU on 10/14/17 with a special rebroadcast on 11/11/17.
Radio Live Transmission - (co-host Richard Ian Oram)
4th Sundays 10pm-midnight
Candy Machine – Tune International (1997)
This 90s Baltimore art rock (for lack of a better pigeonhole) band was waaaay ahead of their time, and I’m not just saying that because the members are close friends of mine. They were like The Fall meets Gary Numan meets James Brown meets Bob Dylan. Or something like that. They were great and I loved them. And they played their last show in 1998. Well, what we thought was their last show. In honor of the 20th birthday of The Ottobar, Baltimore’s best independent music club, Candy Machine reunited this September for one night. I was there and it was better than I could have imagined. I’ve been listening to this, their last full-length, ever since.
Al Green - Let’s Stay Together (1972)
And in the 90s in Baltimore, my friends and I listened to a whole lotta Al Green. So much that the afore praised band, Candy Machine, have a song titled “Air Station to Al Green”. So my recent trip has sparked a binge period for this record, something that happens to me every 8-12 months since about 1995. I suspect that won’t ever change. The Reverend is still lighting up stages now at 71 years old, but in 1972 he was at the height of his magic, crooning syrup soul backed by an exquisite band, including the Memphis Horns and the Hodges Brothers. This is the stuff that soothes your mind and tugs at your heart. This is American soul powered via divine intervention.
Power Popular Rock and Roll Hour
Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha (2016)
Ok, maybe Snarky Puppy didn’t save fusion, but they are certainly doing it better than most. Culcha Vulcha sees the band creating linear compositions, using bridges and key changes as conversational asides whilst still propelling you forward. The sheer volume of ideas within each song is staggering. From the electro-shock funk of Grown Folks, to the ‘NEU! meets Motown’ meditation of Gemini, Snarky has created the perfect groove record from the distant future. The jewel in the crown is Go, which is the ultimate in retro-futuristic. The coda section at around the 6.5 minute mark simultaneously transports me back to 1988 listening to Spyro Gyra in the back seat of my Mom’s Camero and forward to future me... finally taking my damn jet pack for a spin.
Biters - Electric Blood (1975)
"Derivative" – a word critics love to use when approaching almost any melodic rock and roll. Rock, as it is now known, is an art form, and I guess art isn’t supposed to be fun. Biters figured out that playing pure rock 'n' roll is good. It doesn’t matter that it’s derivative. Rock 'n' roll is about passion and having a good time, which is what Biters do. Their style of glam/rock music empowers the rest of us to own the night and to write a love note to a crush to slip into their locker between periods. This album is pure nostalgia and joy... an ideal life.
Boulez Campbell Soup Listening Hour
Nico Muhly & Teitur - Confessions (2016)
Confessions has its origins based nearly eight years ago, when Muhly (acclaimed Manahattan composer) and Teitur (Faroe Island-born singer/songwriter) made a song cycle around various people's confessions they posted in videos online. Each song trades in the modern themes that depending upon who you ask either plague or enrich life in this day and age. This gets even more interesting between the combination of Teitur's high vocal tessitura, a Baroque chamber orchestra, and Muhly's established style in post-Minimalist orchestration. Earnest, playful, and at times completely lost in its own emotive musings - this is an album that I absolutely love singing along very loudly to.
Kaytranada - 99.9% (2016)
I can't dance. Or, at least I feel like I resemble a completely spasmodic amoeba when I dance. No matter. 99.9% compels me to dance in the most delightful way possible - no holds bar. This is best embraced in videos for tracks like LITE SPOTS. Oof, so good. It's all about GLOWED UP, though, with the Anderson .Paak feature.
Header image photographed by Lee Campbell
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados