Monday, January 18, 2021

BLASST 128 - Looking Back on 2020


TRACKLIST

1. Cold Beat - “Prism”

2. Shamir - “On My Own” 

3. Dua Saleh - “Umbrellar”

4. Moses Sumney - “Virile”

5. Yves Tumor - “Kerosene!”

6. Chiiild - “Back to Life (feat. Shungudzo)“

7. KeiyaA - “A Mile, A Way”

8. Armand Hammer - “King Tubby”

9. The Serfs - “Perverted Disco”

10. Ghösh - “Rock 'Em Sock 'Em”

11. I Killed Techno - “I Sailed the 7 Seas of Shit”

12. Pillowsnake - “Copaganda (feat. I Killed Techno)”

13. Valley Swerve - “Apparition Haunting Grounds”

14. Ariel Zetina - “Vanity 7”

15. No Home - “A B- In This Economy”

16. Special Interest - “Street Pulse Beat”

17. P22 - “Endling Chorus for the Terminarch”

18. Straw Man Army - “Arrival”

19. Sweeping Promises - “Safe Now”

20. Chronophage - “Absurdity”

21. NNAMDÏ - “Wasted”

22. serpentwithfeet - “A Comma”

23. Arlo Parks - “Eugene”

24. Futuro Conjunto - “Heat Death”

25. Dandy Heat - “Southpop”

26. Dead Finks - “Box Office Poison”

27. Cindy Lee - “One Second To Toe The Line”

28. Ana Roxanne - “Suite Pour l'invisible”

29. Desire Marea - “Studies in Black Trauma”

30. MF DOOM - “Operation Doomsday”


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NOTES
Perhaps the first thing you'll notice about this episode is how it wasn't released last year. I had intended to release this on New Year's Eve, but in as little words as possible: I dropped the ball. Instead of rushing it, I decided to wait and work on it when I had some time and had a better headspace. That time has come. 

There was so much great music released in 2020. Killer albums, EPs, and singles. I didn't listen to nearly a fraction of what I usually do, however. I spent more time in 2020 listening to older music and playing catch-up with artists I'd never explored before, and I found a lot of joy in that. However, of all the new music I did listen to last year, the stuff that really stuck with me remained plentiful. Today's episode covers a chunk of those tracks that really hit for me. I should say that this playlist is not comprehensive, as there are songs that technically belong on this list, but simply didn't fit the narrative of the mix. 

I don't feel comfortable making 'Best Of' lists for albums or songs because most of what I did listen to last year, I ended up liking, and that's all these lists are really meant to show, anyway.

Here's a list of artists that didn't make the episode, but who released new music last year which I thoroughly enjoyed:


Here are some artists who did not release new music in 2020, but who I spent considerable amounts of time listening to anyway:


I hope that in the new year, I'll listen to more music, and be able to provide a more comprehensive list of things to pay attention to. Not going to lose sleep over it though. I think that's the biggest lesson I've learned from 2020: taking care of yourself comes first.

See y'all soon.

AS


Saturday, October 31, 2020

BLASST 127: Halloween 2020


TRACKLIST
1. William Castle - "Intro to The Tingler"
2. Sonido Verde de Moyobamba - "Danza Del Vampiro"
3. Fela Kuti - "Zombie"
4. Bertrand Russel & The Velvet Underground - "Demonology & Medicine"
5. Eartha Kitt - "I Want To Be Evil" 
6. The Shaggs - "It's Halloween"
7. Wojciech Kilar - "Corso" (The Ninth Gate)
8. Ho99o9 - "Sleep Paralysis" 
9. John Zorn - "Demon Sanctuary"
10. Flatbush Zombies - "Ascension"
11. Andrzej Korzynski - "Kreuzberg 1" (Possession)
12. Gravediggaz - "Diary of a Madman"
13. Koji Kondo - "Ghost Attack" (TLOZ: Majora's Mask) 
14. Funkadelic - "March to the Witch's Castle"
15. Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Halloween"
16. The Haxan Cloak - "The Blessing" (Midsommar)
17. Roky Erickson - "Night of the Vampire"
18. Dead Moon - "Evil Eye"
19. The Bags - "Prowlers in the Night"
20. The Cramps - "Human Fly" 
21. Koichi Makigami - "Ngoh"
22. Mort Garson - "Black Mass"
23. Robert Johnson - "Me and the Devil Blues"
24. Boris - "My Neighbor Satan"
25. Dead Kennedys - "Halloween"
26. Wendy Carlos - "City of Temptation"
27. Goblin - "Suspiria" (Suspiria)
28. Diamanda Galas - "The Litanies of Satan"



NOTES

Today's show is for all gals and ghouls of every dimension, with plenty of music and no condescension. It's Halloween, and I wanted to put together a special show to celebrate, complete with a smorgasbord of styles and sonic expressions, and some scary film soundtrack selections to boot. Not much else to say except to enjoy the show, I had a great time putting it together, and hope it keeps your Halloween nice and vibe-y. 

I don't plan to keep a regular release of episodes, as that's how I feel I got burnt out in the first place, but when I have the time and energy, I'll keep releasing stuff and posting them here for your enjoyment.

In other news, I've released a solo album! It's called Secret Stages and features music I originally composed for the COVID CALLS episodes of the show, preened and propped up by yours truly in the aptly named digital audio workstation, REAPER. You can find Secret Stages everywhere you listen to music, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud. If you want to support me directly, please buy the tunes on Bandcamp, or buy the tape which will be released next month. Will probably post a bit about that then.

That's all for now. See y'all next episode.

A

Monday, August 31, 2020

BLASST 126: Any Takers?

TRACKLIST
1. Fushitsusha - Endless Waltz excerpt
2. Conjunto Primavera - "Y Que Me Importa"
3. Thugly Mane - "I'm Baby (prod. Riddiman)"
4. Vic Spencer & Sonnyjim - "The Best Natural Face feat. Che Noir"
5. Edwin Voyager - "wear ur skin"
6. diseasefreak - "pulling+leaves"
7. Pillowsnake - "HAZEHazEHAZE"
8. Nobuo Uematsu & Masashi Hamauzu - "Due Recompense"
9. Crack Cloud - "Drab Measure"
10. Anadol - "Görünmez Hava"
11. Sary Moussa - "In Praise of Shadows"
12. Noveller - "A Pink Sunset For No One"
13. Maleem Mahmoud Ghania & Pharaoh Sanders - "Moussa Berkiyo/Koubaliy Beriah La' Foh"
14. John Fahey - "Finale"
15. Rowland S. Howard - "Avé Maria"

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NOTES
This week, I'm tired. I've been daydreaming of taking a sabbatical from everything. Everything being BLASST, social media, the U-Punk stuff - everything. I just feel overwhelmed. This is partially due to everything happening in the world, but I also just feel like I haven't taken the time to replenish my energy, both physical and emotional. I don't want to make excuses and say stuff like "I'm not as young as I used to be" because I don't think age has anything to do with this. I just feel like I'm not spending my time the way I should. I miss making music. I kind of want to take time to focus on creating, and letting my brain breathe a bit, outside of weekly obligations. Mind you, most of these obligations are ones I've set for myself, I don't have anyone else holding me accountable for any of this. In turn, the only person I let down by taking a break - or closing this chapter altogether - is myself. I know I'm ranting, and probably not making that much sense, but if you're reading this, I appreciate you. I hope you enjoy the show, save for my stream of consciousness bits between music blocks. Today's episode is full of stuff that I've been listening to that has made me feel things. Some days I forget that I can feel, and listening to music is a great reminder of that.

Anyway, humoring the idea of not doing BLASST anymore, I wonder: is anyone out there interested in learning how to do these things? I'm more than happy to share my skills and knowledge with anyone looking to learn how to run a podcast, run a weekly live music series, etc. 

Send all inquiries to uupunk @ gmail.com and I'll get back to you promptly. 

Otherwise, I'll see y'all next week - maybe.

AS

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

BLASST 125: Strange Sounds Today

TRACKLIST
1. Fela Kuti & Ginger Baker - "Black Man's Cry"
2. The Ex - "IP Man"
3. Sweeping Promises - "Cross Me Out"
4. P.E. - "Lover's Lane"
5. Waldo & Sango - "Made Me"
6. Lianne La Havas - "Weird Fishes"
7. Karkhana - "Rock Farock"
8. Clock of Time - "Rotten Master"
9. Protomartyr - "Modern Business Hymns"
10. Asian Dub Foundation - "Reluctant Warrior (feat. Assata Shakur)"
11. Agent Orange - "Kill The Police"

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NOTES
Today's episode is compiled of stuff I've been listening to lately as well as tracks I've been meaning to play on the show for some time. We begin by talking about the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha, Wisconsin police officers, 7 shots in the back at point blank range - in front of his kids on one of their birthdays - truly monstrous. Thankfully, Blake is said to be in stable condition at a Kenosha hospital, but remains in the ICU. (contrary to what my ramble in the beginning of today's episode repeatedly, mistakenly claimed, that Blake was murdered) Meanwhile the two cops who followed him to his car, including the one who shot him, are on administrative leave. As you would expect by now, people across the country have erupted in protests calling for the termination of the aforementioned officers, as well as some less-abolitionist folks calling for charges to be brought upon them for attempted murder. If only we didn't have police to begin with! If only our communities - especially those of color - weren't so systematically disenfranchised that the idea of policing is practically inseparable from the average person's concept of a society! 

That being said, today's selections veer into more strange sounds territory, with a few outliers (selections from the new Sweeping Promises, Lianne La Havas, and Protomartyr LPs) and makes for a good work mix - in my opinion. I don't know what kind of music you listen to while you work, or if you listen to music at all. If the latter is the case though...what are you doing here?

To donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund (mutual aid org helping protestors get out of jail), follow them on instagram here and donate to them here.

Take care of each other, defund your police departments, wear your masks. 

See y'all next week.


AS

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

BLASST 124: 44 Songs 4 the USPS

TRACKLIST
1. Blues Clues - "Mailtime"
2. The Postal Service - "Such Great Heights"
3. Wire - "Another The Letter"
4. Dead Kennedys - "Stealing People's Mail"
5. Blind Snooks Eaglin - "Mailman Passed"
6. Bob Dylan talks about the mail
7. Guided by Voices - "Postal Blowfish"
8. Sloan - "Penpals"
9. The Pixies - "Letter to Memphis"
10. The Zombies - "Care of Cell 44 (Alternate Mix)"
11. Shocking Blue - "Send Me A Postcard"
12. Bob Dylan talks about the mail some more
13. La Parsifónica - "Correo"
14. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - "1st of tha Month"
15. 2pac - "Letter to the President"
16. Spice 1 - "Mo' Mail (feat. E-40)"
17. Thundercat - "A Fan's Mail (Tron Song Suite II)"
18. Vivian Copeland - "Key In The Mail Box"
19. Vangelis - "Mail From India"
20. The Cure - "A Letter To Elise"
21. Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)"
22. The Velvet Underground - "The Gift"
23. Bob Dylan sure knows a lot about the post office
24. Living Colour - "Postman"
25. Vilma y los Señores - "Correo"
26. Hermanos Zaizar - "Amores Por Correo"
27. Bob Dylan, Mail, and Heartbreak
28. Beirut - "Postcards From Italy"
29. ショッピングワールド - "LOVE MAIL"
30. Slove - "Carte Postale"
31. chief. - "no mail today"
32. 21 Savage - "letter 2 my momma"
33. The Brothers Johnson - "Strawberry Letter 23"
34. The Chi-Lites - "A Letter To Myself"
35. Leonard Cohen - "The Letters"
36. Tom Waits - "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis"
37. More Bob
38. Meek Mill - "Letter to Nipsey (feat. Roddy Ricch)"
39. Linton Kwesi Johnson - "Sonny's Lettah (Anti-sus Poem)" 
40. Nina Simone - "African Mailman"
41. Bud Powell - "Air Mail Special"
42. Moor Mother - "Letters From Earth"
43. Wisp - "A Letter In The Mail"
44. Laurie Anderson - "O Superman"

Edit: Previous tracklist listed "Strawberry Letter 23" as being by Shuggie Otis, but it's actually The Brothers Johnson version. I had my files misnamed, apologies.

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NOTES
Today's episode is about the Postal Service! No, not the band, though we do play them at some point - because of course we do. It's not every day that the most essential branch of your country's government is being ripped to pieces, limb from limb, like a rotisserie chicken fresh out of the oven. Louis DeJoy - aka Trump's recent appointee to the position of Postmaster General, has effectively kneecapped the USPS at Trump's request. The reason: to curb mail-in voting, AKA the only safe way to vote during a global pandemic, and possibly the only way Trump can lose the 2020 presidential election. It's corruption at it's most blatant (Trump's admitted his plans in the news), and we the people are powerless to do much about it at this point, short of burning it all down I guess. 

On today's show, I play 44 songs about the postal service. Songs about postal workers, about sending and receiving mail under a wide variety of circumstances, including many letters to lovers, mothers, and others in our lives. The mail is a huge part of our culture, and we have come to take it for granted in our lives. We forget that most people throughout the world, not just the USPS, rely on postal services to survive. Postal workers get us our medicines, paychecks, legal documents, consumer goods, and in some cases, services! It's one of the only few lifelines incarcerated people have to the rest of the world! Without it, our country is as good as dead, and in November, Trump will take a big fat shit on the corpse if he wins. So, that being said, if you have your torches ready, I've got the music. Let's gooooooooooooooooo.

Links to learn more about WTF is going on with the USPS:

https://facts.usps.com/top-facts/ (facts from the horse's mouth)

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/five-things/the-u-s-postal-service/11433/ (more factoids)

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/16/902977021/the-history-of-political-interference-in-the-usps (great audio story here too)

Thanks for listening. Stay vigilant, and keep that lighter handy.

AS

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

BLASST 123: FOR LEBANON WITH LOVE



TRACKLIST
1. Unwound - "We Invent You"
2. Munir Khauli - "Heik ha Nishtghil"
3. DETOX - "Suckcess"
4. Scrambled Eggs & A Trio - "Koji Kabuto (Ya Akruto)"
5. Kinematik - "Murur al-Kiram"
6. Yasmine Hamdan - "Iza (George Bshoum remix)"
7. Malayeen - "Najwa"
8. El Rass & Al Nather  - "هي هيك - Hiye Hek"
9. Lil Asaf - "Msll777"
10. Mazen Kerbaj - "Tagadagadaga"
11. Christine Abdelnour & Michel Waisvisz - "Wig Wag"
12. Marc Codsi - "Invocation I"
13. Kid Fourteen - "Plastic Lasts Longer Than Love"
14. Lumi - "Talk To You"


NOTES

Lebanon's in bad shape. Hell, it's been in bad shape for a while now. I say that as if I didn't just learn about it this week. Along with last week's devastating explosion that leveled most of Beirut, the country's government has essentially walked off the job (after just getting the keys this past January) and the people are being slaughtered by police in the streets (much like our very own nation today, except it's been happening there much, much longer).


So, in honor of the fever pitch this nation is currently experiencing, I thought it would be nice to look into Lebanon's music scene, specifically (most of the time) Beirut. Turns out there was/is quite a thriving music community there, complete with artists across the genre spectrum, from hip-hop and pop to hardcore punk and avant-garde electronic composers. Needless to say, my Bandcamp hunting left me with a big Beirut-sized hole in my wallet. Several of today's artists also play in several bands and release music under a number of names, too many to feature in a single show, but just know that if you have some time to kill and want to discover a whole new musical scene, look into Beirut. Listen to Scrambled Eggs, Karkhana, Kinematik, The Bunny Tylers, all of it is fantastic. Will share some links and clips below. Up first, a 'trumpet solo' by Mazen Kerbaj.

To support relief efforts in Lebanon, you can donate to any of the following organizations:

We also opened the show with a track from Unwound's final LP, Leaves Turn Inside You, in honor of Vern Rumsey's recent passing. QEPD.


As always, thanks for listening. Take care of yourselves, and each other. Seeya next week.


AS

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

BLASS 122: Hues of Humanity

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TRACKLIST
1. Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - "Express Yourself"
2. hiviscosity - "DejaVu"
3. Lous and the Yakuza - "Dilemme"
4. hiviscosity - "DreamAnother"
5. Rae Khalil - "mortal man!"

NOTES
Today's episode features my conversation with Carina Martinez-Isaza and Divine Agbeko, two of the three founders of Hues of Humanity (the third being Madison Bickerton aka Noodl, an incredibly prolific designer from the RGV), a virtual art exhibition featuring Black artists from throughout the Rio Grande Valley from a wide variety of practices: music, poetry, digital collage, illustration, and more. The exhibition caught my eye a couple of months ago when it was first announced as a brief online event. Along with the artists and works featured in the exhibition we discuss the importance of supporting Black voices and Black art in a region like the Rio Grande Valley, the significance of virtual spaces at a time in our world where physical spaces exist largely within a realm of compromise, as well as the creative practices of both guests. 

As of July 8th, the virtual exhibition is now available for the foreseeable future. You can visit it here, and follow the exhibition on Instagram here.

This episode was intended to air last week, but was postponed due to Hurricane Hanna. To help folks who are still trying to get their lives back on track as a result of the hurricane, please visit RGV Mutual Aid and donate what you can. Your money will go directly to families in need.

Thanks again for tuning in. Take care of each other, and yourselves. See you next week.


AS

BLASST 128 - Looking Back on 2020

TRACKLIST 1. Cold Beat - “Prism” 2. Shamir - “On My Own”  3. Dua Saleh - “Umbrellar” 4. Moses Sumney - “Virile” 5. Yves Tumor - “Kerosene!”...