Wednesday, October 26, 2016


my first RADIOTHON show for WUVT: 

(magic, monsters, myths, conspiracies, creeps, & cryptids)

Kate BushHow To Be InvisableAerial
R.E.M.Man on the MoonAutomatic for the People
The CureLullabyDisintigration
The WaterboysCorn CirclesDream Harder
Bob Marley & The WailersBabylon SystemSurvival
The PoliceSynchronicity ISynchronicity
David BowieScary Monsters (and Super Creeps)Scary Monsters
The PoliceSynchronicity IISynchronicity
The B-52'sPlanet ClaireThe B-52's
A Flock of SeagullsI RanA Flock of Seagulls
PixiesMotorway To RoswellTrompe Le Monde
Led ZeppelinImmigrant SongLed Zeppelin III
PJ HarveyMeet Ze MonstaTo Bring You My Love
Blue Öyster CultGodzillaSpectres
You All EverybodyI Am The SmokeLockedown
CreamTales of Brave UlyssesDisraeli Gears
This Mortal CoilSong to the SirenIt'll End in Tears
XTCMermaid SmiledSkylarking
Concrete BlondeBloodletting (The Vampire Song)Bloodletting
Warren ZevonWerewolves Of LondonExcitable Boy
Edgar Winter GroupFrankensteinThey Only Come Out At Night
Nina HagenAlptraumUnbehagen
The Soft BoysOnly The Stones RemainUnderwater Moonlight
Spinal TapStonehengeThis is Spinal Tap
RadioheadBurn The WitchMoon Shaped Pool
BeckChemtrailsModern Guilt
Stevie WonderSuperstitionTalking Book
PrinceDear Mr. ManMusicology
MadonnaIlluminatiRebel Heart
Sinéad O'ConnorTroy (Pulsedriver remix)Dark Trance Vs. Neo Goth
W&WBigfootAmsterdam Music Festival 2014
Basto & Natasha BedingfieldUnicornsingle
DJ DadoX-Files ThemePure Moods
Fleetwood MacRhiannonFleetwood Mac
The FallC.R.E.E.P.The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall
Super Furry AnimalsChupacabrasRadiator
RadioheadCreepPablo Honey

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


followup to my cycle of life show, 

songs about the afterlife:

Elton JohnFuneral for a Friend / Love Lies BleedingGoodbye Yellow Brick Road
Robyn HitchcockWhere Do You Go When You Die?Storefront Hitchcock
T. RexCosmic DancerElectric Warrior
AerosmithDream OnPandora's Box
Led ZeppelinStairway to HeavenLed Zeppelin IV
Bob DylanKnockin' On Heaven's DoorPat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Tin MachineHeaven's In HereTin Machine
Van MorrisonInarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 1Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Neville Marriner, Academy of St Martin in the FieldsRequiem K. 626: Introitus / Dies Irae / Rex Tremendae Majestatis / Confutatis / LacrymosaAmadeus
The BeatlesWithin You Without You/Tomorrow Never KnowsLove
The BeatlesHelter SkelterThe Beatles (White Album)
The BeatlesAcross The UniverseLet It Be
The BeatlesGood NightThe Beatles (White Album)
The MekonsHeaven And BackRock 'n' Roll
Bad BrainsReturn To HeavenI Against I
The ClashUp In Heaven (Not Only Here)Sandinista!
INXSAll The VoicesThe Swing
The ArmoiresPlaying With The LightsIncidental Lightshow
Lou ReedHeavenly ArmsThe Blue Mask
David BowieBlackstarBlackstar
Pink FloydLucifer SamThe Piper At the Gates of Dawn
Squirrel Nut ZippersHellHot
Robyn Hitchcock & The EgyptiansSerpent At The Gates Of WisdomRespect
StingSaint Augustine In HellTen Summoner's Tales
GenesisIn LimboIn The Beginning
Roxy MusicThe End Of The LineSiren
case/lang/veirsAtomic Numbercase/lang/veirs
New OrderDreams Never EndMovement
Stevie WonderHigher GroundInnervisions
The SmithsAsleepLouder Than Bombs
Simple MindsThe Big SleepNew Gold Dream
Simon & GarfunkelEl Condor Pasa (If I Could)Bridge Over Troubled Water
Van MorrisonInto The MysticMoondance
Frank ZappaBlessed ReliefThe Grand Wazoo

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

cradle to the grave

songs about the cycle of life.

The GodfathersBirth, School, Work, DeathBirth, School, Work, Death
Hüsker DüThese Important YearsWarehouse: Songs and Stories
Talking HeadsOnce in a LifetimeRemain in Light
Archie RoachA Child Was Born HereLooking For Butter Boy
The Lovin' SpoonfulDaydreamDaydream
Joni MitchellLittle GreenBlue
The SmithsThe Hand that Rocks the CradleThe Smiths
Harry ChapinCats In The CradleVerities & Balderdash
Cat StevensFather & SonTea for the Tillerman
Crosby, Stills, Nash & YoungTeach Your ChildrenDéjà Vu
David BowieKooksHunky Dory
Billy JoelViennaThe Stranger
Bob DylanForever YoungPlanet Waves
Peter, Paul, & MaryPuff, The Magic DragonMoving
The Beach BoysWouldn't It Be NicePet Sounds
Tom WaitsI Don't Wanna Grow UpBone Machine
U2Stories for BoysBoy
The StrokesSomedayIs This It?
The WhoMy GenerationWho's Better, Who's Best
The ClashLost In The SupermarketLondon Calling
Bruce SpringsteenGrowin' UpGreetings From Asbury Park
The UndertonesTeenage KicksThe Undertones
David BowieTeenage WildlifeScary Monsters
Sonic YouthTeenage RiotDaydream Nation
The WhoBaba O'ReillyWho's Next
Warren AustinDon't Throw Your Young Life AwayYoung Life
The SmithsHeaven Knows I'm Miserable NowHatful Of Hollow
The PretendersMiddle of the RoadLearning To Crawl
The ByrdsTurn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)Turn! Turn! Turn!
Simon & GarfunkelA Hazy Shade Of WinterBookends
David BowieChangesHunky Dory
Neil YoungOld ManHarvest
Grateful DeadTouch Of GreyIn The Dark
The BeatlesWhen I'm Sixty-FourSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Elvis Costello And The AttractionsBattered Old BirdBlood & Chocolate
PulpHelp The AgedThis Is Hardcore
Arcade FireIn the BackseatFuneral
Frank SinatraMy WaySinatra
Laura NyroAnd When I DieThe First Songs
George HarrisonAll Things Must PassAll Things Must Pass
The TheLove Is Stronger Than DeathDusk
Sufjan StevensDeath With DignityCarrie & Lowell

Thursday, June 16, 2016

incidental lightshow

The Armoires reveal a great big musical world with the haunting heartfelt harmonic convergence of this eclectic power pop diary.   Originally brought together as part of a Talking Heads cover band that never happened, lead singers Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko began to work on songs that Rex had written over the years.  This 'coffee house' duo expanded when Christina's son Ian began helping them record a demo.  As the sessions progressed, the band gained confidence; but after their first public performance, Ian was killed in a car accident.  In the aftermath of the tragedy, the band decided to continue with the recordings in his memory with Christina's daughter Larysa contributing viola and vocals; her bandmate Sean Barillas from symphonic metal band Mantis (referenced in "Playing With The Lights") on drums; multi-instrumentalist Nate Myer adding guitar, bass, keys, drums, and vocals; plus Derek Hanna and Clifford Ulrich who played with Rex in Skates & Rays (who get name dropped in "Doubtful Sound") on drums and on bass (and vocals) respectively.  Three of the songs ("Fort Ashby", "Unhaunted", and "Norma Corona, What Have You Done?") retain performances by Ian on drums.  Christina plays keyboards and Rex plays guitar, harmonica, and mandolin.  Recording took place at Burbank Music Academy Sound Studio, Causality Studios in North Hollywood, Roundhouse Recording in Encino (where producer Glen Laughlin sat in on guitar and bass), and "at home" in Burbank.  Much of the final mix for 'Incidental Lightshow' was done in Toronto by Alan Fraser.  

The Armoires have developed a network of likeminded musicians in the Burbank area with their monthly showcase “Big Stir: Power Pop and More” at the California Institute of Abnormalarts in North Hollywood, featuring some of the folks that helped to create their debut album and who share their genre defying mindset.  Christina considers: “We didn’t know how to start, and we didn’t know if we could go on after losing Ian.  In the end we had to. And now we’ve found ourselves welcomed into this beautiful community of amazing musicians and songwriters who get what we were trying to do all along. We’re flabbergasted, humbled, and happy to be home.”

The myriad musical styles in this mellifluous wardrobe run the gamut through Americana, sunshine pop, garage, throwback psychedelia, blue eyed soul, surf rock, new wave, shoegaze, and country.  Sometimes within a song. 'Incidental Lightshow' gets its title from the emotional centerpiece of the album, "Playing With The Lights", a touching tribute to Ian and the synchronous signs that the band experienced after his passing.  Mysterious dancing lights and mantis appearances leading to the question:  "Are you laughing in the stars and playing with the lights?".  Christina helped to compose the lyrics and Nate contributed the song's exploratory bridge.  

Each song has an emotional resonance that ties a thread through the entire album.  What are obviously very personal references seem somehow universal.  Although the lines are often blurred with alternately poignant and priceless phrases, there is a sense of a grieving process.  There is denial ("No one is to blame because no one is responsible at all") in the new wave powerpop of "Responsible", anger ("Violent revolution on behalf of the non-famous people!") in the surf rock complaints of "Norma Corona, What Have You Done?", bargaining ("Hearts might heal, but you can’t unbreak a home") in the domestic drama of "What You Don't Wish For", sadness ("Doesn’t get much lower than the waterline at Doubtful Sound") lurking under the surface of a doomed romance (or perhaps a new musical venture?) with a Mustang-less Sally, and acceptance ("Sometimes you feel like you get what you’re wishing for; sometimes you don’t even know") in the fleeting pop of the sweet album closer "Double Blades".       

Rex reveals:  “Our songs are stories.  Whether they’re dreamlike or straightforward, they always revolve around some kind of narrative, and above all, characters. The way Christina and I trade off lead vocals and come together for harmonies really allows us to bring those characters to life. There’s so much untapped potential in that male/female vocal approach. For all the classic duets in pop music, you don’t hear it much in bands. The New Pornographers are a big inspiration. Fleetwood Mac and X, as different as they are, both did it brilliantly. Those bands dig into multiple perspectives within a single song, and do it magically. That’s the starting point for The Armoires.”

In case you don't know, an armoire is a type of fancy cabinet with lots of drawers and compartments.  The songs themselves are thick with metaphors and layers of meaning that reveal more with each listen.  Although you can look too deep.  Is the "Wire Girl" an art piece, an old sketch, or a dilapidated ship?  I originally thought "Newberry Spectacle" was a reference to the matching glasses that Rex and Christina wear (instead of some kind of art contest?), or that Norma Corona might be a reference to the murdered Mexican activist.  I still like to think that the crass countrified capitulation of  "Live And Direct" could be subtitled "The Chronicles of Ventura".  And that line "he can't keep it up, she can't keep it down" is too perfect.  

The first time I ever heard of an armoire was in the famous "Soup Nazi" episode of 'Seinfeld'.  As with the many wonderful recipes that the titular character had stashed away in his armoire, you'll be amazed at the variety of musical flavors; and like armoire-stealing "street toughs" Bob and Ray, you'll be intrigued by the gorgeous inlay and insist on taking it home for yourself.  And that's all there is to it.


"Fort Ashby" opens the album with a flood of childhood memories of the Mineral Country Fair in West Virginia.  

Out-of-tune piano, cylinder gramophone
Katydids, calliopes, big machines that buzz and groan
Down at the County Fair
There’s music in the air
It’s like a Tom Waits tune but with a different singer
It’s a great big world and it seems to me (it’s coming back to me)
It’s much bigger and it’s so much smaller than it
Ever used to be
In my grandma and grandfather’s backyard
They built a forty-foot slide
All I remember is the light
There’s a funhouse called Star Warz, it’s spelled with a “z”
Copyright infringement, it’s all coming back to me
Here comes a big bass drum
To rock my skeleton
There’s candy in the air, it’s slipping through my fingers
It’s a great big world and it seems to me
It’s much bigger and it’s so much smaller than it
Ever used to be
Now they tell me that it’s monster trucks and
Tractor pulls in the night
All I remember is the light
Put me in the moonwalk, I can’t even stand
Take me to the stage to see Daddy in a country band
Some kid who’s half my size
She won the livestock prize
She had a little lamb
And then the lamb got bigger
It’s a great big world and it seems to me
It’s much bigger and it’s so much smaller than it
Ever used to be
Got my baby beside me going eastbound
On a cross-country flight
All I can think of is the light
It’s coming back to me…

"Unhaunted" describes someone obsessed with the memory of a departed love.  

Empty house on my street with the doors chained up tight
And a window with candles that burn late at night
Children quicken their pace as they walk on by
From all the stories they’ve heard and they’re too young to die
And I miss her so badly I wish I were there
To see the spectral lights and feel the chill in the air
Empty bottle of wine and nobody to toast
I’m so jealous of other people’s ghosts
When I want her to haunt me she leaves me alone
No creaking floor, no flickering flame
Black candelabra and black cat bone
No disembodied voice to breathe my name
Got a box with a lock of her hair that I saved
And a bag filled with dirt that I took from her grave
Halloween once again and I’m here by myself
While her ghost is out haunting somebody else
When I want her to haunt me she leaves me alone
No creaking floor, no flickering flame
Black candelabra and black cat bone
No disembodied voice to breathe my name
She’s leaving me
Don’t want to be
And she had such faith in the world beyond
But I’m truly afraid that she’s truly gone
She won’t come to me as some tender wraith
In a column of vapor with her face
When I want her to haunt me she leaves me alone
No creaking floor, no flickering flame
Black candelabra and black cat bone
No disembodied voice to breathe my name
It’s November the First under a hangover sky
She’s bound to leave me unhaunted whatever I try
All my breaking and entering won’t raise the dead
And I’ll still be unhaunted tonight in her bed
All the leaves on the ground blow around in the wind
Like a family of rodents relieved of their skin
Halloween on a dirt road, 1983
I believed it was real, it could happen to me

The careening groove of "Caterwaul" could fuel a rave.  

Come down, catercorner
Carry me across the square
Come down, catastrophic
Crushed and quite beyond repair
Come down, calla lilies
Cold and lovely in a vase
Come down, cantilever
Can you lever me in place?
But if it’s not your time
You can’t make it your time
If it’s not your time
Come down, cat o’ nine tails
Count again, it’s more like ten
Come down, catatonic
Cannot wake her up again
And if it’s not her time
You can’t make it her time
Can’t make it her time
Come down, Cosa Nostra
Clarity and Claritin
Come down, catalytic
Car exhaust to do you in
Come down, cantaloupe and
Honey, do it while you can
Come down, caterwaul and
Honey can I be your man?
And if it’s not your time
You can’t make it your time
If it’s not your time
Caterwaul, catewaul, caterwaul

'Incidental Lightshow'
full album:

Fort Ashby
What You Don't Wish For
Playing With The Lights
Wire Girl
Doubtful Sound
Live And Direct
Newberry Spectacle
Norma Corona, What Have You Done?
Double Blades

Velvet Ties interview: