Listen to the Unpopular Music webcast on, Saturdays 12 noon -2pm
Listen to archived episodes at

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast, March 21, 2015

An all over the place playlist for dancing in the snow on the first full day of spring, after the break...

Do us all a favor.

Do me a favor and listen to the first three minutes or so of Thusrday's episode of Busy Doing Nothing with Charlie on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio stream. I believe you'll enjoy it. Especially if the fact that it's snowing on the first day of spring has you down. 

Do yourself favor and listen to the whole episode. It's Charlie in top form. (And I'm not just saying this because my name is mentioned and I win a prize.) 

And do WFMU a favor and drop a few coins to WFMU before their fund-raising drive ends Sunday night.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast, March 14, 2015

Today we celebrate the 85th birthday of Ornette Coleman, one of the truly transformative musical figures of the 20th century. In order to follow the rules for internet radio there are only four performances by the master, but the remainder of the show is made up of Ornette's compositions played by others, often by musicians with only one degree of separation.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Preview for Saturday's webcast

Image result for Ornette ColemanTomorrow's show is shaping up to be a birthday tribute to Ornette Coleman. I'm not really a fan of the birthday tribute show, especially among jazz shows, but Ornette is such a major trasnformative figure in jazz that he demands an exception.

The catch, of course, is having to follow the rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which means I can play no more than four (4) tracks with "Ornette Coleman" in the artist field. So, we'll largely be featuring Ornette as composer with a selection of artists playing his tunes.

Also conspicuously absent will be the new New Vocabulary album. Since Ornette is a group member, and not listed as the "artist", I could conceivably play three tracks. But, System Dialing Records is offering it at such a high price, even for the downloads, I haven't been able to bring myself to buy it.

For another, most likely better, tribute, follow the link on the right to Charlie Kohlhase's tribute on the March 9th episode of Research and Development which should be available through next Sunday (the 21st). (I've been waiting until I finished this to check it out.) Charlie gets a pass on my birthday tribute fist-shaking, as he usually features tributes to musicians I need to learn more about.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The crisis in philanthoropy

Leon Botstein by Ric Kallaher 

The New York Times article regarding the announcement that the American Symphony Orchestra (longtime presenters of unpopular music of the symphonic world) will be shortening it upcoming season, quotes an earlier essay from music director Leon Botstein that hits the nail on the head regarding the supposed demise of "classical music":
“The challenge facing classical music today is not a depletion of audience or potential audience, or the aging of the audience,” he wrote. “The real problem is that the very wealthy no longer consider it their civic responsibility to contribute to the traditions of the symphony orchestra. Their attentions have turned elsewhere.”

Needless to say, this hardly the only, nor even, I'll admit, the most important area where our monied class is letting our society and culture down. There are many arguments out there on this subject and I don't intend on solving them here.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Webcast info for March 7, 2015

I'm out of town this weekend and there will be no new show. There will be the same rerun of the October 25th webcast that ran on President's Day weekend. Sorry for the repetition.