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Saturday, December 31, 2016

webcast info for December 31, 2016

If all goes well, you'll be enjoying a rebroadcast of the program from November 7, 2015.

I forget whatever caused the crisis the destroyed my composure for the opening mic break, but I recall it all turning out alright.

If all continues to go well, we'll have a new show next Saturday.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

webcast info for December 24, 2016

No live webcast today as the SCATV compound is closed, and I'm off to the homestead regardless.

If all systems go there will be a rebroadcast of the December 19, 2015, last year's Unpopular Christmas episode, which had some technical disasters issues resulting in (at least) the first mic break not getting recorded, and one selection I instantly regretted, so it is highly edited (as promised) with some bonus material at the end.

If that's not enough, there is also the Unpopular Christmas episode from December 20, 2014.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for December 17, 2016

A show for folks dressed up like Eskimos, about more or less half Christmas music (and that's if you count as Christmas songs certain songs that are not Christmas songs but are actually about winter, but are only ever to be played before Christmas, which is only around the fifth day of winter.)

see the playlist after the break...

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for December 10, 2016

Holiday festivities in the SCATV compound provide some extra ambience, but they don't infiltrate the webcast (well, there's some of Messiaen's Christmas music, but you wouldn't know it without being told.) We've got some jazz and new music, and a couple of poppy thing, and we finally get around to memorializing Pauline Oliveros. (Nothing today for Greg Lake however, but possibly soon, and likely not the least jolly of Christmas songs.)

See the playlist after the break...

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for December 3, 2016

A bleak early December afternoon, and hopefully the music doesn't match too closely. We hear more from albums we've previously recently sampled. I hope that's not too bothersome, but apparently, that's how this program works. It's a mostly jazzy show, with great variety within the"jazz" landscape. The second hour get a little quiet, but hopefully not bleak and/or ponderous.

image source

See the playlist after the break...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for November 19, 2016

A program so last minute, I just finished typing this up.

A mostly jazz show with memorial tributes to Mose Allison and Boston Symphony cellist Jules Eskin, the latest in a series not only seemingly never ending, but one that doesn't even let you stop to catch your breath. The last half-hour, I'll admit, is a bit of a grab bag, but an appealing one.

See the playlist after the break

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Duty Now for the Future

George Carlin once said "the revolution is about values, what you'll do for a buck, what you'll do with a buck."

In these orange times, it's going to be important for us to look out for each other, as our already threadbare safety net will be challenged. The good folks at have offered up a list of reasonable and reputable options. I might also suggest your local foodbank and domestic abuse shelter.

You don't really care for music, do ya?

In light of what is for some reason one of my most popular blog posts, I must say I must say I respect Leonard Cohen greatly for doing this.

These days, folks not only do this at the beginning of songs, but will hoot at any proper noun they recognize, anything to mark themselves hipper than thou.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for November 12, 2016

Greetings from The Future, day 5.

No overt post-election content (there will be plenty of time for that later), save for the opening number, which was chosen before I learned that Leonard Cohen had died. He apparently got out through that crack that lets the light in.

He also have memorial segments for the Hungarian pianist Zoltán Kocsis, and jazz bassists Bob Cranshaw and Victor Bailey.

See the playlist after the break...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for November 5, 2016

Unpopular Music's Election Special

Get out and vote on Tuesday!

I had an idea to do a program of political themed songs for the weekend before the election, and then just kind of let it sit there. A playlist was sporadically amended, I found an album of old campaign songs at Goodwill. I happened upon the German version of Peter Gabriel's third album so I could include the German version of Not One of Us. I could portray that sketch by the State as a precursor for today's CNN (seriously, replace "men can not grow beards in space" with "human activity does not cause global warming" and you'll get the idea.) Things were looking good. But, I became more and more tired of this campaign, I found a welcome distraction from reading about the election (hooray, Cubbies!), had a really nasty cold, and found myself with the idea not quite finished. But, it's here, although not quite as sharp as I was hoping.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for October 29, 2016

Good music for bad weather (also bad mood) A couple of things for Hallowe'en, plus a couple that are just kind of spooky. Plus some of the usual jazz and etc. Also, apparently, some music from a film about cockfighting (not obvious from the music, though.)

See the playlist after the break...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for October 22, 2016

The first hour is the loud hour. The second hour is more suited to the rainy afternoon for which it was designed. Also, an epicly distracted mid-show mic break. Again, jazzy in the first hour (despite the introduction), freeform in the second with some moody 20th-century classical pieces.

See the playlist after the break...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The New York Times on Andrew Cyrille and Ecuadoran tape mystery

It's easy to be down on the New York Time's arts, and particularly, music coverage these days. With only a handful of tenured writers and a mishmash of freelancers, the coverage is a bit erratic and inconsistent.

Today, however, features two fine reads.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for October 8, 2016

A kind of mishmash program, which almost didn't happen twice. More of a freeform program than the wall to wall jazz of the last few weeks. There's still a lot of of jazz, but we have some 20th century classical pieces and a rare dose of reggae.

 See the playlist after the break...

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tim Kaine and the album before Tim

Esquire's Dave Holmes reports that Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine is a fan of the Replacements' 1984 masterpiece Let It Be. I have often felt that the Senator takes the safe, central, crowd pleasing option, but we're in tight agreement here.

And I'm right on board with Holmes' assessment of the album as well. I'll expand on his point that a Replacements fan not only "understands the concerns of the American middle class", but those below as well. I grew up middle class in a largely working class town (though my dad was a working class kid made good), and everything here is familiar. This was a city where that had a record store which would close for two days whenever the Replacements played in Boston or Albany.

Change in plans

It turns out I will be in town this weekend, so there will be a Unpopular Music webcast tomorrow.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

No Unpopular Music webcast for October 1, 2016

image stolen from here

There's been some sort of computer breakdown at BFR headquarters overnight, so there will be no Unpopular Music webcast (or any Boston Free Radio programming) today.

I'm off next weekend for Columbus Day Weekend, so no new show then, but a rebroadcast. Hopefully I'll use this time to catch up on my backlog of records to convert and have plenty of fresh material for October 15.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for September 24, 2016

This week we commemorate what would have been the 90th birthday of John Coltrane (yesterday), what would have been the 87th birthday of John Carter (today), the excellence, versatility and virtuosity of multi-instrumentalist reed player Marty Erlich (somewhat by accident), the 86th birthday of beloved jazz elder Muhal Richard Abrams (also by accident), the 45th anniversary of the uprising and subsequent violent suppression at Attica prison, along with three songs named Dusk.

image source:

See the playlist after the break...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for September 17, 2016

There are some long pieces today, this time not out of laziness, but just that this is music I want to share, and it goes on a bit. There's a bit of a third-stream vibe that developed, mostly of its own accord, and then started to develop into a classical-meets-jazz thing, extended more out of a desire for continuity than anything else, except perhaps to avoid another long, slow, quiet set on a beautiful last weekend of summer day.

See the playlist after the break...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast for September 10, 2016

A bit of this and that this week, a jazzy first hour featuring some somewhat above average piano players. An atmospheric freeform second hour with a variety of sounds also with some interesting piano music.

See the playlist after the break...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

RIP Rudy Van Gelder

The legendary jazz recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder has died. He had a greater influence on how jazz records sound than anyone else. You're either trying to sound like him or you're trying to sound different from him. Perhaps only Manfred Eicher of ECM comes close in terms of influence.

Since it's another two weeks until my next webcast, I probably won't do a tribute show, since every other DJ who plays any amount of jazz will have done one by then.Although, the ultimate tribute is that it's hard to do even a half-decent jazz program without playing a Van Gelder recording (although it seems I just did one (that is, a show without a Van Gelder recording, I'm making no claims towards its half-decency))

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music Webcast August 27, 2016

I'll admit not my most inspired program, It's a mostly jazz show, but with a great variety within the "jazz" label. A lot of stuff from albums I've played recently, but they're well worth investigating further. Any implied embarrassment is at the process, not the result.

See what I mean after the break...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for August 20, 2016

I was a bit lazy this week, which has manifested itself in a number of long selections. Also. in the second hour, I somehow decided to go for "haunting" without really trying.

image source 

Judge for yourself after the break...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

On vinyl buyer's stereotypes

In another shout-out to the A. V. Club, we find an article about another article about a study describing the recent "vinyl boom" as "being driven primarily by people in their 40s and 50s who don’t like sharing their feelings, and tend to spend their time alone." Now let me defend myself against this stereotype - I don't buy that much vinyl, especially new vinyl. I'm pretty omnivorous, format wise. There are a couple of shops I'll check out every so often, as I did pre-"vinyl boom."

The rest is sadly true.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for August 13, 2016

A mostly jazz show for yet another hot muggy day. Any relationship between the second set and the current global sporting event is entirely coincidental. The second hour is the type of hour I always imagined myself presenting.

See the playlist after the break...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Everything you wish you didn't know about the Telecommunications Act of 1996

The Onion A. V. Club has an excellent article celebrating commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the nefarious Telecommunications Act Of 1996, which almost single-handedly destroyed local media as we used to know it.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for August 6, 2016

Music for a hot and muggy summer's day, but nighttime in my soul apparently. A bit all over the place, but in a good way, I think.

See the playlist after the break...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gone and Forgotten - Einojuhani Rautavaara and the New York Times

Update 8/3 - After a week, the newspaper of record finally goes on record.

Update - 8/1: Still nothing in the Times. With absolutely no disrespect intended at all towards the departed and their loved ones, the Times has in this time commemorated an extreme skier, a land speed racer, and a noted researcher on "wine chemistry and vinification". All notable and interesting folks, for sure, but are these fields really less obscure and their audiences less specialized than contemporary classical music? (to be fair, they've also acknowledged one of the people responsible for this.

[original post]
In an example of the dwindling commitment to classical music by America's newspaper of record, it has been four days now since the death of the eminent Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, and the New York Times has yet to publish an obituary, or even a news item if the event. Perhaps another correspondent or two is required.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for July 30, 2016

A program following the seemingly now standard jazzy first hour, other second hour.

See the playlist after the break...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Another find from Network Awesome -

There once was a time when PBS was a showplace for serious culture. I can't imagine something like this being show today, alongside Downton Abbey, Andrea Bocelli, or baby-boomer nostalgia musical programming.

By this, I mean "Good Morning Mr. Orwell", a New Year's special conceived by Nam June Paik for New Year's Day 1984, broadcast by PBS and French TV. (Does PBS still show the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Day concert?) The program hoped to emphasize and celebrate the positive aspects of electronic culture, as opposed to Big Brother's intrusive presence. Ultimately, it's a bunch of artsy, avant-garde weirdos having a good time.

RIP Gregg Smith

One of the great promoters of twentieth-century music has died. Not so much an underdog, but a sort of invisible support mechanism. Never really a star, but his name on a record was a seal of approval, an invitation to pick something off the shelf at the library, or out of the record bin at the thrift store, to trust your curiosity.
“We do special music, chamber operas, theater pieces, folk songs and everything else that can serve to expand the whole range of vocal music [...] My great pride is that we don’t belong to any clique. We’ve sung many different kinds of music. You name it — serial, atonal, Americana, Minimalist — we’ve sung it.”

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for July 16, 2016

Hi folks, a jazzy set with some pop song interludes (plus some Messiaen) for hot July day. Plus soundboard hum and motorcycle noises.

Vive la France!


See the playlist after the break...