Hey y’all! As the vast majority of you know, I’ve been the host of The Jazz Program on datafruits.fm for a good couple years now, and the host of a small show called Talkie Time on the timeslot before it. I’ve decided to make a monthly post here to let you fine folks know which records we’re going to be playing each episode, as well as take a bit to talk about some of my favorite jazz and jazz-related artists and records. This one will be our programming calendar for the month of April, 2023.
If you’d like to tune in, head on over to datafruits.fm/chat on Tuesday evenings from 10 PM EST/7 PM PST to 1 AM EST/10 PM PST. If you’d like to learn more about the show and read about the fantastic artists and old-time radio shows we’re broadcasting this week…well, read on.
First, a bit of an interlude…
HOME RECORDING IS KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, WE MIC’D YOUR TAPE DECK SO YOU CAN HELP
Last month, I talked a bit about the early days of the tape trading traditions in the old time radio scene. This month, I’m going to take that and run in a slightly different direction (as I tend to do) and talk a bit about how how tape decks, pirate recordings, and both my works as a musician and my love of radio came about.
I’ve been futzing about with tape decks for about as long as I’ve been recording sounds. My first release as Coma Roulette has me mucking about with an old radio and a tape deck on various tracks (something that’s been a recurring theme throughout my sonic output, as you can see from this photo of me performing life as Shibito in 2021, sampling an old tape of Gregorian chant via an old karaoke box) and I’ve had a reputation for using sampled sounds in my work since the beginning. You might think a lot of this would come from my time in and around the Internet–plunderphonics and pirate radio go hand in hand with warez and IRC channels, after all–but most of my love affair with tape comes from something a bit more personal.
Something I always try to do when I’m in a new place is explore, and one of my first ports of call always seems to be either the local flea markets or the local thrift shops. You can tell quite a bit about a city and its inhabitants by what they’re willing to hawk you on consignment, and in multiple occasions I’ve had the distinct luxury of finding dubbed tapes. Whether they’re joints from local bands sold at the local music shop for a few dolars, old Dead tapes from local heads who have transcribed them by hand and are selling them for two bucks a pop, or old time radio recordings being left outside because no one wanted them,1 tapes have always seemed to find me in my travels.
There’s definitely a lot of memories attached to my very meager tape collection. Between the few albums I’ve released through labels I still have copies of, the small shelf of tapes I’ve done art for, and my racks of old-time radio recordings, and the random copies of tapes I found at thrift stores by musicians whose discographies I now own (some of whom I play on the radio for you every Tuesday!) those lil’ plastic squares have always kind of accompanied me.
And speaking of the radio, let’s get into the schedule for this month.
March 2023 Talkie Time/Jazz Program Schedule
April 4, 2023
Talkie Time : Agatha Christie’s Endless Night
Look, property ownership’s expensive these days. Murdering your wife with cyanide capsules to get her inheritance isn’t exactly out of the question. I mean, have you seen how high the rent is? Too damn high, if you ask me.
We’ll be listening to Joy Wilkinson’s 2008 BBC4 adaptation of this absolute classic.
The Jazz Program Presents First Of The Month: Listener Request Night : Lisafreak Takes The Decks
It’s Listener Request night again, and we’re doing something special. Last week was chat member Lisafreak’s birthday, and I joked in the chat that I wish she’d have told me so I could have had something ready. Thankfully, I said, next week was Listener Request night, and so if we wanted to do a birthday show then I’d be more than happy to play whatever she’d like.
Turns out, she had an entire playlist ready to go, and it’s jam-packed with some fantastic stuff. We’ll be blasting it in its entirety.
April 11, 2023
Talkie Time : Box 13 - Triple Cross / Three To Die
Three’s usually a lucky number, but there’s nothing lucky about anything if it involves Dan Holiday. It’s time for more episodes of Box 13 on Talkie Time, the show about a mystery novelist with a need for ideas and adventure, a penchant for getting himself into trouble and a PO box that just seems to keep getting filled with exactly that kind of trouble.2
We’ll be listening to Triple Cross (originally aired November 7, 1948) and Three To Die (originally aired June 2, 1948)
The Jazz Program: Bob Berg - New Birth (1978) / Another Standard (1997) / Short Stories (1987)
Horace Silver, Miles Davis, Chick Corea. If you’ve heard those names, congrats–you’re not too far from Bob Berg. The Brooklyn-born tenor sax wielder recorded with a laundry list of post-bop and modern jazz household names in his long career, and helmed his fair share of records under his own group as well. We’ll be checking out two of his post-bop recordings in two separate decades in ‘78’s New Birth and ‘97’s Another Standard, as well as a smoother side of his stellar oeuvre that lands somewhere in the middle of both with 1987’s Short Stories.
April 18, 2023
Talkie Time : The Adventures Of Sam Spade - String Of Death Caper / Soap Opera Caper
It should come as no surprise that the jump from the pages of Dashiell Hammett’s crime novels to ABC’s radio crime lineup was as smooth and easy as a strong glass of bourbon on a PI’s desk. The Maltese Falcon‘s Sam Spade has some of the most interesting stories in all of crime radio, and we’ll be airing two of them tonight–specifically, “The String Of Death Caper” (originally airing February 2, 1951) and “The Soap Opera Caper” (originally airing February 16, 1951). Steve Dunne stars in the titular role.
The Jazz Program: Tom Jones Pretends To Be An American For Two Hours, To Varied But Amusing Results-Tom (1970)/ Darlin’(1981)/The Body And Soul Of Tom Jones (1973)
Let me get a few things out of the way first, One, I unironically love Tom Jones. Whether you classify him into vocal jazz/crooner territory or not, you can’t argue exactly how fantastic and jazzy a lot of the compositions he appears on are (I’d like to submit his record “A-Tom-Ic Jones” as evidence here), and you also simply can’t argue with that vocal range. I’m playing him on The Jazz Program for the same reasons that we’ve featured both Astrud Gilberto and Portishead–the former because, in my mind, crooner pop/exotica functions very well as a “gateway drug” to the more complex stuff,3 and the latter because this is my show, dammit, I play what I want, and my standards for what counts as jazz are looser than Tom Jones’s shirt on half his album covers.
Two, Tom Jones is not American. He is not from down south, he’s not country, and despite what his multiple album covers with him sporting a full afro would have you believe, he’s not any kind of soul save plastic. Man’s Welsh.
Which makes the three records we’re playing tonight, in which he, in order–
- covers Elvis’s “Polk Salad Annie”, a track which starts with him claiming that “some y’all never been down south”, and then proceeds with him telling you all ‘bout where he’s from, which clearly is Louisiana
- puts on a cowboy hat in the cover art and does his best impression of cowboy trucker’s music,
- and, finally, dons an afro that he thought work for much of the 70s and into the 90s and has cover artist Shel Starkman paint him like he’s about to drop the best soul-funk record you’ve ever heard in your life
–simultaneously infinitely amusing and incredible listens. Somehow, Atomic Jones unironically nails all three notes. Don’t believe me? Tune in.
April 25, 2023
Talkie Time: Cloak And Dagger Night - The Brenner Pass Story / The People In The Forest
Based on Corey Ford and Alastair MacBain’s 1946 book “Cloak and Dagger: The Secret Story of the OSS”, Cloak and Dagger has proved a frequent listen while I’ve inked away at Our Lady Maven, and it’s absolutely worth a listen even for those of you who aren’t currently drowning yourself in WWII spy history for work.
While claming to be based on fully authenticated case histories of OSS espionage, the series is about as wild as your average pulp from the era. Some language and themes haven’t exactly aged well (as with a lot of its ilk and similarly-themed shows from its era up until the 80s–see also half of James Bond’s catalogue) but if you can look past its flaws, it’s still an entertaining romp for those of us who love a good spy romp.
This is our second night in our listen-through of the full series, and we’ll be listening to the two episodes which sequentially followed last month’s edition–namely, The Breener Pass Story and The People In The Forest, which aired on June 4, 1950 and June 11, 1950 respectively.
The Jazz Program Presents CRIME JAZZ NIGHT! : Crime Jazz Volume 2, Discs 7-9
Those in the know, know about Crime Jazz. And if you don’t know, we’ll be getting you in the know tonight for yet another end-of-the-month installment of Crime Jazz Night. We’ll be playing Discs 7-9 of Volume 2.
That’s the show lineup for this month! I’ll be back in a few days with a few other posts–I’ve got a lot to write about that I’ve been meaning to put up here, but I’ve been busy with a bunch of life stuff, including getting ready to finally leave Colorado and head off to greener pastures. I’ll see you next time.
Have a good one.
Honestly, finding a bunch of old recordings of old time radio that I saved from the garbage because the local consignment place didn’t feel they’d be worth selling should have been one of the first canaries in my ear screaming that I was not going to have a good time in Colorado. The first two examples are from Portland, Maine, a city which I still miss living in. ↩︎
The textual reason as to why trouble keeps following him is literally that Holiday ran a classified ad in the newspaper he used to work for saying, and I quote, “Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything – write Box 13, Star-Times”. I feel like that’s a great way to get a pipe bomb in your mailbox, but he seemed to spend much of the series getting people who just wanted to knife him instead. Not the brightest idea a noir protagonist’s ever had, which is impressive given the genre he’s a protag in… ↩︎
Case in point: look me in the eyes and tell me that Fallout 3, 4, and New Vegas didn’t do more to get folks into jazz, lounge, crooner music, and even golden-age country than literally anything else in the past 10 years. You can’t. ↩︎