Way “back in my day,” I used to do a radio show for the best college station west of the Mississippi: KCSB. It was called the Aleph, and it was a pretty spectacular mash-up of punk-funk, post-punk, post-disco, no wave… you get the idea. Sadly, I was too busy getting straight A’s and hanging out at the Hard To Find to ever record more than one edition of the show. All I have is one very early recording, before my taste was a bit more, um, refined, or you know, obscure and awesome.
[Aleph poster designed for me by my ex-bf, who I haven't spoken to in ~6 years, and who at the time played in Springtime Is Wartime.]
[DJ poster, again designed for me by same ex, who immediately after our break-up abandoned his math-rock ways in favor of a starting a sax-y, dance-y post-punk-funk group called Easter Teeth. I like to think I influenced the creation of their entire first EP, but I'm pretty vain. This song, at least, is apparently about me.]
So, if you didn’t catch that Myspace (yes, Myspace!) link to the Aleph in the first paragraph, here you are again. I also found a “complete” list of my favorite music from back when I was a teenager (according to Myspace), which may or may not be listed for shits and giggles at the end of this post. But you can def expect some fabulous sounds from A Certain Ratio, Wire, Unwound, ESG, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, etc if you listen to the whole podcast, which is broken into 4 parts. One of my regrets is failing to record the interview I did with Cynthia Sley of Bush Tetras during a later edition the Aleph. In fact, not recording A SINGLE OTHER show in general was kind of stupid.
After I did the Aleph for almost 3 years, I spent my last year programming a ’60s soul, motown, and R+B show entitled Motortown Revue. I actually don’t have ANY recordings of that one at all, but it was fun, and it was during the day, so I didn’t have to worry about stalkers and whatnot.
It’s pretty hard for me to write about KCSB without getting more than a little sentimental. It’s where I met some of my best friends, where I started my first “meaningful” job, and where I learned what it means to be part of a community. Santa Barbara was always a little too “small town” and “fratty” for me, but when I found KCSB that first quarter of college, I knew immediately- this is where I belong. I think I spent more hours at that station than my dorm room, apartment and classes combined. If I wasn’t at KCSB, I was at Biko, the Hard to Find, the Merc, Muddy Waters, or that weird woodshed downtown where we put on shows for a couple years.
Last year, I attended the KCSB “50 years of people-powered radio” reunion, and it was really inspiring to see everyone keep on keepin’ on, as well as hear Elizabeth Robinson’s farewell speech since she retired last year. I know she was a mentor to thousands, but really, that woman may have influenced me more than any other person in my life. She invested me in things like social justice and feminism, and being around her was a lesson in how to live your life being ALL three of these things at the same time: kind-hearted, wise, and a total badass. I’ve never met someone so simultaneously skeptical and accepting. (Still working on the latter, myself.) Elizabeth still does her show, which I listen to from time to time, called No Alibis.
Here’s a bit of personal visual history for you:
[Clitorectomy and the Mutilators. In IV.]
[Me, DJing an event at Muddy Waters in Santa Barbara]
[KCSB ExComm family photo. <3 Interesting fact: EVERY SINGLE one of the people in the top row of that photo, now lives in San Francisco. Michael is in a relationship with my bff from childhood. Pat plays in a local band called Cool Ghouls.]
So there you have it. If you’re into KCSB and/or punk music, you should absolutely check out a late ’80s KCSB show called White Trash. It’s what inspired me to do this post in the first place.
And finally, just for the sake of SB-love, this poster from that time the Ramones played La Casa:
According to my Myspace, when I was 19, I loved…
A Certain Ratio, As Mercenarias, Au Pairs, Baron Zen, Glenn Branca, Bum Kon, Bush Tetras, James Chance / Contortions, Rhys Chatham, Ciccone Youth, Crispy Ambulance, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Desperate Bicycles, DNA, The Dynamics, Electrelane, ESG, Essential Logic, The Ex, The Fall, Fire Engines, The Frantic Elevators, Fugazi, Glaxo Babies, Philip Glass, Gorilla Biscuits, Isaac Hayes, Richard Hell / Voidoids, The Homosexuals, Josef K, Paul Lansky, The Last Poets, Fela Kuti, LiLiput, Liquid Liquid, Lounge Lizards, Lydia Lunch, Magazine, Mars, Maximum Joy, The Minutemen, Mo-Dettes, Modern Lovers, Monochrome Set, Pere Ubu, The Pop Group, Pylon, The Raincoats, Arnold Schoenberg, The Slits, The Stranglers, Suicide, Swell Maps, Talking Heads, The Tea Set, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Television, Theoretical Girls, This Heat, James “Blood” Ulmer, Wire, La Monte Young, Y Pants, etc.
Not far off from now, actually. (Nvr evolve? / Fuck Tom Waits!)