Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vinyl Brunch: A Beltane Celebration

Beltane is an ancient Celtic celebration that celebrates the beginning of summer.  Beltane literally means "bright fire" and for the ancient Celts, fire was a way to bring about purification.  So, bonfires were--and still are--an important Celtic tradition during this time of the year.  In fact, on April 30th, thousands of people attend the traditional burning of the bonfires in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I am about 1/3 or so Irish.  And I am also a celtophile, I must say.  I like all things Celtic.  In 2001, I got engaged in Ireland.  We had Celtic-themed wedding.  My vest was made in the traditional tartan pattern of my wife's family. And it was in a bar in Dublin where I became acquainted with Dougie MacLean.  Dougie MacLean has often been called "Scotland's James Taylor."  No, he wasn't performing in the bar that evening.  But a singer performed one of his tunes.  It was one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.  That song is "Caledonia," Dougie MacLean's love song to his native Scotland.  If you have never heard the song, tune in to this week's Vinyl Brunch.  We'll be playing it.

In honor of Beltane, this Sunday on the Vinyl Brunch we will be featuring several Celtic performers to help us usher in the summer and celebrate this Celtic tradition.  We will be playing several tracks from performers such as Dougie MacLean, Clannad, Van Morrison and the Chieftains.  Plus, an eclectic mix of music perfect for a Sunday.

The Vinyl Brunch airs every Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm (CT) on Vinyl Voyage radio.

Join us.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dena's Mix--Friday Night in Mix Tape Memories

This should really be called the "Rick Springfield Mix."  On a 1 hour mix tape, the Aussie/Soap Opera Star/Rock Star/Author appears some 7 times.  And most of the songs that my friend, Dena, placed of Rick Springfield's are those that you did not hear on the radio.  No "Jesse's Girl," for example.

This will be very interesting broadcast, from a logistic point of view.  You see, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has defined the standards for internet radio.  And you can only play 3 songs by a single artist in a 3 hour time period.  Ooops.  Playing Dena's Mix will, therefore, break copyright law.  And I can be fined upwards of $500,000 if caught.

But what the hell.  Let's live life on the edge, shall we?

This mix was made most likely in 1984.  Many of the songs come from that year.  And it was the year I began to drive and I distinctly remember playing this in the car--which happened to be a Ford Pinto station wagon.   Otherwise known as my "chick magnet."

I remember getting this Mix Tap from Dena.  She was (and still is, of course) a Rick Springfield fan.  As a result, I have seen Rick Springfield numerous times.  I can still sing along to some of the songs.  Funny story:  we were involved in Tech Theatre (any "techies" out there?) and she had placed a large Rick Springfield poster up in the tool room.  There it remained for many, many years. 

So, there is a lot of Rick Springfield here.  But there is more as well:  Genesis,  the Beatles,  Styx, the Police, Duran Duran, and Pink Floyd.

So join us at 9 pm CT on Mix Tape Memories for "Dena's Mix."

An encore broadcast will air on Monday evening, 8 pm CT.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Special Easter Presentation of the The Vinyl Brunch--Jesus Christ Superstar

The Vinyl Brunch, heard ever Sunday from 10 AM to 1 PM CT will feature a special broadcast this Sunday, April 24.  In honor of Easter, we will play, in its entirety, the original concept album of Jesus Christ Superstar from 1970.  Known by aficionados of the musical as the "brown album," this recording was made before the stage shows were mounted in London or New York.   It features Ian Gillian as Jesus, Murray Head a Judas and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene.  The musical is unique in that it does not focus on the religious nature of the Gospels too much, but on the political situation and the interpersonal relationships between the three main characters.  As a result, many accused it of being sacrilegious.  It was even banned for awhile by the BBC.

The album shot to the top of the Billboard charts in 1970 and produced two hit songs:  "Superstar" and "I Don't Know How to Love Him."

If you are only familiar with the Ted Neeley version from the 1973 film, you will find this one to be very different.  So join us at 10 AM for this special presentation of The Vinyl Brunch.

After the album, we'll continue with the theme by playing some tracks from Godspell as well.  Plus other tunes perfect for relaxing Easter Sunday.  ALl of it on glorious vinyl, of course.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"The Warrior" (Or Apocalyptic Cats)--The Vinyl Voyage Video of the Day

The other day, I added "The Warrior" into rotation. Had the song on a 45 rpm single. You know the song: "Shooting at the walls of heartache. BANG! BANG! I am the warrior!" The song was released in 1984 and peaked at #7 on the Billboard charts. Not a terrible song, to be sure. Very 80s. The video, however, is atrocious. It's like an apocalyptic Cats:  dancers in ragged tights dance-fighting in an alley.  I've seen various renditions of this over the years at high school orchesis performances.  At one point in the video, Patty Smyth's hair changes into a bizarre Bride of Frankenstein doo.  Why?  Who knows. She battles too, but stops in time to lip-sync the important lines in song.  The video is so bad, it's actually fun to watch:

After Sammy Hagar left Van Halen, supposedly Eddie Van Halen asked Patty Smyth to front the band.  Could you imagine Van Halen doing a rendition of this song?

On the Vinyl Voyage you can hear an eclectic mix of tunes from over the last several decades.  Yes, including "The Warrior."  We are adding more songs every day.  Give us a listen.

And remember:  Vinyl was the original CD.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Under Pressure"---The Vinyl Voyage Video of the Day

Remember this one from the days when MTV actually played music videos?  This was one of my favorite songs from the era and I particularly love the clips from Nosferatu within this video.  This collaboration between Queen and David Bowie was released 1981.  Of course, Vanilla Ice ripped the famous baseline off in his single "Ice, Ice, Baby" ten years later. 

"Under Pressure" can be heard on the Vinyl Voyage. Give us a listen. Streaming commercial-free all day long.

Vinyl: The Original CD

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Daily Vinyl

I recently came across this site while exploring YouTube, avoiding the task of doing some actual work. On this site, a guy who calls himself "The Dude" shows his appreciation for vinyl by creating some pretty creative videos of vinyl being played in the most unlikely of places:  on a beach, in a field, cooking on a stove--just to name a few.

Here's an example:

How about this for Bowie's "Suffragette City?"

Pink Floyd's "Us and Them:"

There's more there as well--a nice mixture of the old and new:  Wilco, The Beatles, Kansas, The Rolling Stones, Phish...and many more.

Check out the Daily Vinyl's YouTube page here.

Also, check out the website.  Some cool stuff there as well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Careless Whisper--The Number 1 Song of 1985

Yes, "Careless Whisper" was the #1 song of 1985.  It is a song you will not hear on Mix Tape Memories.  Tune in tonight for an encore broadcast of Mix Tape Memories---we'll take you back to 1985 for a decidingly non-Wham nostalgic trip to the past.

Even so, who can ever forget that classic saxophone riff at the beginning of the song?  Apparently, not this guy:

An encore broadcast of Mix Tape Memories airs tonight at 8 pm, Central. If you like early 80s alternative/New Wave, this is the show for you.

Sorry, but no George Michael.  Instead:  Boomtown Rats, Psychedelic Furs, The Thompson Twins, Nick Heyward, General Public, Time Zone, Corey Heart, Real Life, Berlin.

Oh, and also Alien Sex Fiend.

For more information about tonight's encore performance, click here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

On the Turntable Today

Records.  Lots and lots of records.

We are going to try it again, folks.  Got everything working (hopefully).  Listen live to The Vinyl Voyage all day without commercial interruptions.  We have the most eclectic mix out there and are adding more each day.

Then, stay tuned at 9 pm (CT) for Mix Tape Memories.  Tonight, we will be playing a mix from 1985 with some of the best new wave/alternative of the early 80s.  Time Zone.  The Fixx.  Real Life.  Boomtown Rats.

And, of course, Alien Sex Fiend.

Join us at 9.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vinyl Voyage is Live and Commercial Free During the Day

Starting today, the Vinyl Voyage will be live and commercial free, streaming the best music on vinyl throughout the day.  Perfect for listening at work.  Growing up during the 70s and 80s, I have a large record collection, so most of the music will be from those eras---with a few new modern hits thrown in as well.  We offer an eclectic mix of the best tunes from the last several decades plus deep tracks, rarities and oldies as well.  And we are constantly adding to our collection.  You never know what might end up on the Vinyl Voyage turntable.

Give us a listen.

Let us know what you think.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alien Sex Fiend and Time Zone--This Friday on Mix Tape Memories

This was my favorite mix tape from the 1980s; it was the one I was most proud of.  We all had mix tapes like that:  the ones we cranked up in the car when we drove with the windows down, showing off our taste in music.    This was the tape that made me feel cool, in my highschool--"look at me, I'm an individual"---way.

This is the tape with Alien Sex Fiend.

I bought that Alien Sex Fiend album at a record store in Northbrook.  I didn't know anything about them.  Just thought it would be cool to own.  It's not very good, yet I put a couple of tracks on this mix---probably just to show that I was "cutting edge,"  or something like that.  The album is called "Who's Been Sleeping in My Brain?" and contains some classic punk/death metal songs, such as "Drive My Rocket (Up Uranus)."  Don't worry, that one is not on this mix.

But "Black Rabbit" is.

The mix begins with a classic 80s song that really captures the spirit of the 80s Cold War.  This was the age of "The Evil Empire" and The Day After.  In high school, I truly believed that the end was going to come at the end of a mushroom cloud.  And no song captures this more than "World Destruction" by Time Zone.

Time Zone was a collaboration between early hip-hop artist Afrika Bambaataa and the Sex Pistol's Johnny Rotten.  It was a unique song, one that I loved to play loud.  Really loud.

It's a world destruction
Your life ain't nothing
the human race is becoming a disgrace

The mix starts with that song.  Other artists include The Fixx.  Corey Hart.  Orchestra Maneuvers in the Dark.  The Plimsouls.  Real Life.   Alphaville.  Ministry.  Nick Heyward.  And many more. 

This is a good mix. If you like early 80s alternative or New Wave--if you want to call it that--join us on Friday night for Mix Tape Memories for a nostalgic trip to 1985.  We'll be talking 80s trivia and "Name that Movie" segment as well.

Mix Tape Memories airs every Friday night at 9 pm CT on the Vinyl Voyage.  Encore broadcast airs on the following Monday night at 8 pm.

Click here for more information.

Monday, April 11, 2011

On the Turntable Today

Tonight, we will be an encore broadcast of Mix Tape Memories, Episode 1.  This mix is called "Many Songs #4" from 1986 and includes such 80s bands as Oingo Boingo, Tones on Tail and R.E.M.

Broadcast begins at 8 pm CT.

Join us for this nostalgic trip back to the mid-80s--commercial free.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Over the Rhine on The Vinyl Brunch

This week on The Vinyl Brunch, we will be featuring Over the Rhine.  Over the Rhine has been making music together for 20 years.  Their new album, The Long Surrender, is perhaps one of their best.

The core of the band is husband and wife team, Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist. They are, perhaps, the most literate of bands, making music that spans many genres.  Karin's voice radiates passion and there is no finer vocalist today, in my opinion. In fact, Over the Rhine provided some inspiration for a novel that I am writing as well.

The Long Surrender was released on vinyl this year and we will be playing several selections during The Vinyl Brunch. Broadcasting every Sunday morning from 10 am to 1 pm CT, The Vinyl Brunch offers an eclectic mix of music perfect for a Sunday morning. 

Join us.

More information about The Vinyl Brunch can be found here.

When KISS Rocked My Junior High

I used to doodle the faces of all of the members of the band KISS. We’d debate among friends who was our favorite band member. Mine: the drummer, Peter Criss. He was the “cat,” in case you’re wondering.

There was something magical about a band that wore bizarre costumes and make-up. I longed to go to a concert and imagined the fireworks, the spitting blood and the sound. Oh, that sound. I could only imagine how loud it actually was. The only thing I knew was that it would have been louder than my record player.

I first became acquainted with KISS in 1976 with, believe or not, a K-Tel album called Disco Mania. That’s right---you read correctly: Disco Mania. The song “Rock and Roll All Nite” appeared late on the second side. And I loved it. I played it all the time. I got other KISS albums. I imagined what it would be like to see them in concert.

In 1976, KISS played a concert at my soon-to-be junior high. River Trails Junior High in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, had recently won a promotion sponsored by a local radio station. The contest: the school that collected the most 3 x 5 cards with the word “snickers” on it would have KISS play a show in their gym. The kids at River Trails anteed up and KISS was coming. The concert occurred on May 4, 1976.

And I did not go.

I knew kids who went. In fact, the concert became legendary. By the time I got there in 1980, people were still talking about it. Kids my age were now claiming that they had attended with older brothers or sisters. Gene Simmons killed a chicken on stage, it was said.

There’s not much about this event online. But there is a Facebook discussion and someone posted a couple of pictures:

Photo by Ken Jenks

Photo by Ken Jenks

This month on Adventures in Vinyl, we will be taking a nostalgic trip back to 1976 through K-Tel’s Disco Mania album. Like all K-Tel albums, this one contains a diverse mix of tunes. There are, of course, some big early disco hits here, such as the ubiquitous “The Hustle.” Of course, Gloria Gaynor makes an appearance.

But then there’s Styx. Bachman Turner Overdrive.

And of course, KISS.

“Rock and Roll All Nite.”

I always wondered what Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley thought about that.


Adventures in Vinyl can be heard on the Vinyl Voyage Saturday Mornings at 11 AM CT with encore broadcasts throughout the week. This is the only radio show dedicated to a K-Tel record compilation. Each month, a new K-Tel album is featured.

More information can be found here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A K-Tel Gem from 1976: Disco Mania

I turned 8 years old in 1976. And that was the year I got K-Tel’s classic compilation, Disco Mania. I have fond memories of this album---not because I was a huge fan of disco.  Quite the opposite, actually.  This was the album that introduced me to Kiss. Yes, you read correctly. An album called Disco Mania introduced me to the make-up wearing, hard-rocking, blood-spitting band, Kiss.

That is what makes this album pure K-Tel nuttiness. Sure, there are some early bona fide disco hits here: “The Hustle,” “Walkin’ in Rhythm,” “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Disco Queen.” But then, there are some songs that are gloriously out of place: “Rock and Roll All Nite” by Kiss, “Lady” by Styx and “Hey You” by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

There are 19 songs on this album and it begins with the classic disco song, “The Hustle.” This song was all over the place in 1976.  I remember dancing to it in my living room.

Included are other Disco hits: “Kung Fu Fighting,” “Shame Shame Shame,” “Doctor’s Orders” and “Spirit of the Boogie.”

What’s interesting about this collection is that it was sold under a different title in Canada. In Canada, it was called Disco Rock.

Disco Rock? Are you kidding me?

That--in a nutshell--is what K-Tel was all about.

Disco Mania is the featured album this month on Adventures in Vinyl.   Join us for a nostalgic trip through this K-Tel album, played for you on original vinyl.  Catch the premiere broadcast this Saturday---April 9 at 11 AM CT. Encore broadcasts are available all month. Check the schedule here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Encore Broadcast of Mix Tape Memories: Alane's Mix Tonight!

If you missed last Friday's Mix Tape Memories, you can catch an encore broadcast tonight at 8 pm CT---live and commercial free.  This is a great mix tape from 1986 and features some eclectic music, including Belinda Carlisle, the Stray Cats, Duran Duran, INXS and the Monkees.  Plus a song from West Side Story, as well.  I did say it was eclectic, didn't I?

Join us for a nostalgic trip to when music was shared...on mix tapes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Vinyl Brunch--Here Comes the Sun!

This week on the Vinyl Brunch, we will be featuring songs about the sun and sunshine.  As we shake these winter blues, these songs will be a perfect accompaniment to your relaxing Sunday morning.

So pour some coffee, open the Sunday paper and lose yourself in this eclectic mix of music---all played on glorious vinyl.  What will you hear this Sunday?  The Beatles.  John Denver.  Cowboy Junkies.  Neil Young.  Billie Holiday.  Bobby Darin. Ray Charles. Vikki Carr.

Just to name a few.

The Vinyl Brunch airs every Sunday morning from 10 am to 1 pm (Central.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tonight on Mix Tape Memories: "Alane's Mix"

I am not exactly sure when "Alane's Mix" was created.  Sometime in 1986, I believe.  In that year, Belinda Carlisle released her first post-Go-Go's solo album, Belinda.  A couple of songs from that album appear on this mix including the hit, "Mad About You."  So I assume it was made around this time---summer, 1986.

This is a nice mix and very Alane.  I basically grew up with Alane.  We went to elementary school, junior high and high school together.  Our families camped together a couple of times.  We went on road trips into the city and once got lost while singing songs from Jesus Christ Super Star and didn't realize we were lost until well into the second act. (Yeah, we liked musicals and she got me hooked not just on JCSS, as we called it, but also on West Side Story as well.  Sometimes we'd act out scenes in the hall in high school.  We were Glee before Glee.)

Tonight, on Mix Tape Memories, we will feature "Alane's Mix."  This is a very eclectic mix of tunes, as all good mix tapes are.  Here's just a few of the artists you will hear tonight:

Barbara Streisand.
The Smiths.
Corey Hart.
Stray Cats.
Duran Duran.
Belinda Carlisle.

And many more.  Plus, of course, a song from West Side Story.  80's Trivia and the "Name that Movie" segment are on tap as well.  So join us for a nostalgic trip back to the age of Reagan, New Wave and big hair on Mix Tape Memories.

Mix Tape Memories airs live at 9 pm CT tonight (April 1). Catch a repeat of this show, Monday night at 8 pm CT.