A live vinyl radio show that airs weekly on 91.7 FM WMWM Salem featuring an eclectic mix of experimental sounds, worldly folk, extreme metal, old Americana, and non-music strangeness.
My dog Winona died yesterday. This episode has nothing to do with that aside from the fact that I needed to do something to keep my mind off things.
00:00:00 Christopher Marlowe, with Frank Silvera as Dr. Faustus – Dr. Faustus (Part 1) (from The Tragical History Of Dr. Faustus)
00:00:17 Illusion Of Safety (Chris Block, Janie Bouzek & Kitty Bouzek) – Untitled [Side A] (from Finite Material Context)
00:23:07 Jed Speare – Mettle Of Metal (from Cable Car Soundscapes)
00:25:45 Jonathan Coleclough – Summand (from Period)
00:46:41 Tom Lawrence – Grand Canal Springs (from Water Beetles Of Pollardstown Fen)
00:46:55 Jamra – Armaggedon/Invocation (from The Second Coming)
00:51:10 Pelt – Untitled [Track 1] (from Untitled )
01:01:43 TenHornedBeast – Christus Nox (from The Sacred Truth)
01:12:04 Natural Snow Buildings – Shall I Kill My Own Child, I Will Never Sing The Glory Of Satan (from Two Sides Of A Horse)
01:15:46 Hiroshi Yoshimura [吉村弘] – Time Forest (from Soundscape 1: Surround)
01:26:14 Harold Budd – Dark Star (from Abandoned Cities)
Episode 137 – Feminist
When I feel helpless in the face of insurmountable problems (like when non-elected appointed-for-life bigots force their opinions on over 300 million people), I usually turn to music. This episode is about women being powerful, women being assaulted, women being outspoken, and women being silenced. There’s Matriarkathum raging about mutilating dicks, there’s Dolly lamenting the glass ceiling, there’s Rainbow Star calling out fake feminist predators, there’s Bea Miller celebrating her bodily autonomy, there’s Ashnikko boosting about her financial independence, and there’s Perfect Pussy’s scathing sarcasm about rape culture.
00:00:00 Klaus Nomi – You Don’t Own Me (from Klaus Nomi)
“You don’t own me.”
00:03:40 Feminazgul – Forgiver, I Am Not Yours (from No Dawn For Men)
“I was not made to be gracious and I will carry this hatred to my grave.”
00:08:35 Dolly Parton – 9 To 5 (from 9 To 5 And Odd Jobs)
“They let you dream just to watch em shatter.”
00:11:16 Perfect Pussy – IV (from I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling)
“God knows you’d burn a witch to warm your hands.”
00:14:39 Björk – Mouth Mantra (from Vulnicura)
“My throat was stunned. My mouth was sewn up.”
00:20:45 Sarparast – The Red Council (from The Red Council)
“A woman’s place is in the revolution. Your place is by her side.”
00:29:45 Peggy Seeger – Reclaim The Night (from Different Therefore Equal)
“The choice is hers and hers alone.”
00:34:14 Princess Nokia – Crazy House (from Everything Sucks)
“Got his dick up in a coffin. I’m the young Lorena Bobbitt. If I want it, I’ma cop it. If I hate it, I’ma chop it.”
00:37:14 G.L.O.S.S. – Give Violence A Chance (from Trans Day Of Revenge)
“Afforded rights when convenient to protect the elite.”
00:39:09 Loretta Lynn – The Pill (from Back To The Country)
“Every year that’s gone by, another baby’s come. There’s gonna be some changes made right here on Nursery Hill.”
00:41:45 Big Freedia – Not Today (from BDE)
“You ain’t winning so you blame me?”
00:44:20 Matriarkathum – Mutilation Of The Fifth Limb (from Curse You All Men!)
“Dismembering the ones who held us back, since the dawn of time.”
00:48:35 Laura Duncan – I’ve Got A Right (from Songs For Political Action)
“Boss tells me I’ve got to stay down where I belong… but I say boss man will tumble one of these days.”
00:51:18 Janelle Monáe – Americans (from Dirty Computer)
Episode 136 – (Mostly Weird) Metal
All of these songs came out this year. Most of this is non-traditional black metal. The rest is other non-traditional metal that can barely even contain that wide genre.
00:00:00 RLYR – Head Womb (from RLYR)
In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear in the past, RLYR is the absolute fucking best. Each of their previous two records have been all time favorites for me. This new self-titled one on Gilead Media is no different. Trevor de Brauw (Pelican, Chord, Tusk, etc), Steven Hess (Locrian, Cleared, Haptic, etc), and Colin DeKuiper (Bloodiest, founding member of Russian Circles, etc) make the most indescribable metal that will undoubtedly put a smile on your face and get your fists pumping in the air. They just fucking rock.
00:08:04 Silver Knife – Ecomimesis (from Ring)
One of the two tracks from the new single/EP. Excellent black metal from Déhà and 3 others, including N from Laster and Nusquama. I don’t usually pay attention to such short releases (this is only like 13 minutes) but Silver Knife’s debut LP two years ago was incredible, so I’m definitely keeping an eye on whatever they do. As should you.
00:14:48 Ultha – Bathed In Lightning, Bathed In Heat (from All That Has Never Been True)
These dudes have been around forever (aka 7 years) but for some reason I never paid much attention to them. I think that might be because up until this record, I thought they were Ulthar, who I’m not crazy about. But holy shit this record is a year end contender for sure. Premium shrieky vocals seething in a brilliant blaze of blasting and shredding.
00:25:57 Astronoid – Decades (from Radiant Bloom)
Goddamn I love Astronoid. Not nearly getting the attention they deserve. Their bright metal is unrivaled, the peak of beauty in heavy music. Their first record is Top 10 material, their second is like Top 20, and only time will tell what tier this new one lands in but I can assure you it will be holding hands with the forever bests.
00:32:56 Häxenzijrkell – Part 1: Die Entschleierung (from Urgrund)
I knew about their debut from 2020 but never listened to it. Chalk it up to the neverending backlog. But I’m definitely going to have to check it out now because this new one is fuckin gnarly. It opens with this 18-minute burner. It’s really fucking good, a creepy long form psyched out black metal that’s kinda like Cultes Des Ghoules as a jam band.
00:51:14 Rye (Рожь) – Amen (Аминь) (from Amen (Аминь))
I found out about this Russian dude from his full length last year and was immediately hooked. Absolutely huge melodic post-doom.
01:05:29 Cavernlight – The Ashes Of Everything I’ve Failed To Be (from As I Cast Ruin Upon The Lens That Reveals My Every Flaw)
Best blackened doom this side of Mizmor. The new record is way more dynamic than the last, like this track starts out vibing with The Cure a bit before it kicks your face in, and the tremolo riff is so fucking evil.
01:09:35 Unru – Hungersteine (from Die Wiederkehr Des Verdrängten)
Episode 135 – Holy Music In America
I started out making a holy music episode. But when I was gathering records, I ended up having over 150 jams that I needed to play. Somewhere about an hour into pulling, I realized that this would end up being at least a two part episode, maybe even a series, so I just kept looking, trying to uncover every bit holy music music I could find in my library (this is where my extensive genre tagging comes in handy). Also, I’m pretty happy to say I didn’t rely too heavily on Folkways for this episode (probably will in later ones, though). There are only 2 songs from Folkways records here and I’ve got about 30 in the whole holy list.
For no particular reason, I decided to start with a 160-minute episode for American-made music. From what I can tell, all of the artists here would probably call themselves “American” (whatever that means). There were a few things I wanted to include, like Cantor Abraham Brun, a Polish Holocaust survivor who immigrated to American after he’d lived about half his life overseas, but I figured that’s maybe stretching “American” a bit and regardless is probably better left for another holy episode. That being said, I didn’t dig too deep into people’s origins. I mean yeah, maybe some of the unidentified people in the Angola Quartet from Camp A aren’t “from here” but whatever.
I tried to keep a broad enough definition of “holy” to include a variety of music beyond just the obvious gospel and hymns. This is A Thick Mist so I made sure to inject some black metal, hip hop, and drone. And it’s certainly not all Christian, plenty of it is just spiritual, like Vanum who sings “In return for tribute, a duty pledged. A mortal offering to divine ends.” Or evenly abstractly religious like the piece I played from Xela’s holy trilogy (The Illuminated, The Divine, and The Sublime) which is just a wall of sound, no lyrics. But of course there is stuff like the inimitable Reverend Gary Davis, the Handless Organist, Alberta Baker, (unironically?) singing “His Hand In Mine,” and the powerful acoustic soul of Pastor Champion. This goes all the way from 1929 (one of only two Frank Palmes songs ever recorded) up to April 2022 with Dälek’s newest dark beats and bleak verses. Something for everyone.
00:00:00 Reverend Gary Davis – I Want To Be Saved (from At Home And Church: 1962-1967)
Davis is one of my all time favorites (along with another dude at the end of this episode). I love banjos, I love his voice. He has a ton of compilations/anthologies; this is one released by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop is fantastic but really they all are and you can’t go wrong with anything he’s done (fyi there’s also some recordings under the name Blind Gary Davis, which is the same guy).
00:02:47 Old Harp Singers Of Eastern Tennessee – Morning Trumpet (No. 99) (from Old Harp Singing)
If there’s one genre of music outside of drone and metal that I would take with me to the grave, it would be sacred harp singing. There’s nothing else like it.
00:04:44 The Lord – Church Of Herrmann (from Forest Nocturne)
Debut LP under a new pseudonym of Sunn O)))’s Greg Anderson. It’s very Sunny but it’s got it’s own vibe. Also don’t miss the single track he released with Robin Wattie (singer/guitarist in Big Brave) last year it’s amazing.
00:09:55 L. Ron Hubbard And Friends – Why Worship Death? (from The Road To Freedom)
Bet you weren’t expecting some John Carpenter-esque New Age prog creep to show up on this list, let alone from Mr. Scientology himself, and with broadway singer Julia Migenes on vocals and Chic...
Episode 134 – Carnatic Music
I think Hindustani tends to be the more popular style of classical Indian music in the west (see: Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Chatur Lal, Dagar Brothers, etc) so I figured I’d shed some light on the Carnatic side. This episode features some standout Carnatic musicians like supreme violinist L. Subramaniam and veena master Sundaram Balachander as well as some lesser known but just as amazing players like Chinna Moulana and a group recorded by Brigitte Chataignier.
00:00:00 Chitti Babu – Ragam Thanam Pallavi (from Swara Raga Sudha)
00:11:56 Dr. L. Subramaniam – Rāga Śivapriya (from Three Ragas For Solo Violin)
00:31:55 Isaimani Sirgazhi S. Govindarajan – Sri Rama Charitha Geetham, Part 2 (from Papanasam Sivan’s Sri Rama Charitha Geetham (Tamil))
00:52:00 Sundaram Balachander – “Gnaana Mosaga Raadha” Raagam Poorvikalyani Roopakam Taalam (from Man From Madras)
01:13:02 Madurai Mani Iyer, T. N. Krishnan, & Vellore Ramabadran – Kamalambam Bajare (Ragam: Kalyani) (from Madurai Mani Iyer)
01:33:31 Sheik Chinna Moulana – Valli Nayakane (Ragam: Shanmugapriya) (from Sheik Chinna Moulana)
01:49:37 Vamanan Namboodiri, Soorya Narayanan, Ananthapadmanabhan, Madhusudanan, Tripunithura Krishnadas, P. Nandakumar, & Kalamandalam Kshemavathi – Sumasayaka (from Inde: Le Chant Du Mohini Attam – Danse Classique Du Kerala = India: Singing The Mohini Attam – Classical Dance Of Kerala)
Episode 133 – Appalachian Folk & Blues
Something I didn’t realize before I made this episode is that a lot of the major country blues stars like Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, and Blind Lemon Jefferson weren’t from the Appalachian region. I guess if I gave it even a second thought, I’d realize that the genre-adjacent delta blues was named after the Mississippi Delta and that the tunes coming from the rural Appalachians leaned more towards the bluegrass style. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to highlight the wide variety rolling down the mountains: everything from the banjo instrumentals of Hobart Smith to the lone black lung vocals of Nimrod Workman. I’ve always been a sucker for banjos, a cappella, and grim vibes, so naturally Appalachian music is 100% my jam.
I tried to stick to the early pre-war stuff and stay away from anything coming out of the 50s/60s folk revival. A lot of these tracks come from compilations by labels like Folkways, Yazoo, Mississippi, and Dust-to-Digital because 1: it’s not like I have a collection of 78s to pull from and 2: they’re the ones helping to preserve this history so that’s where most of us discover these artists. I did my best to find some of the lower profile compilations & songs and, as always, tried to play things that haven’t appeared on A Thick Mist/AGB Radio before (except for Lloyd Chandler’s “A Conversation With Death” that’s just too good to not include). And I veered toward the gloomy tones because obviously but also it’s called the blues for a reason. Also, I tried to stay away from any gospel because I’ll probably end up doing a gospel episode at one point.
I’m not an ethnomusicologist nor am I a historian, so I’m not going to try to offer commentary on individual tracks. I highly recommend you dig into any and every artist and compilation you find here. If you’re looking for suggestions, try either of my favorite sad ladies that bookend the episode or my man Nimrod right in the middle.
There’s probably some stuff on here that might not fit under a strict definition of Appalachian music, but lets not get too bogged down in semantics. Enjoy.
00:00:00 Sarah Ogan Gunning – Dreadful Memories (from A Girl Of Constant Sorrow)
00:02:25 Etta Baker – Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad (from Instrumental Music Of The Southern Appalachians)
00:03:47 Peg Leg Howell – Moanin’ And Groanin’ Blues (from “Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow!” – Vintage Fiddle Music 1927-1935: Blues, Jazz, Stomps, Shuffles & Rags)
00:07:18 Jean Ritchie – The Unquiet Grave (from Ballads From Her Appalachian Family Tradition)
00:11:16 Floyd Council – I’m Grievin’ And I’m Worryin’ (from Carolina Blues (1937-1947))
00:14:01 Florence Reece / Almanac Singers – Which Side Are You On? (from Classic Labor Songs)
00:16:35 Murphy Gribble, John Lusk, & Albert York – Eighth Of January (from Deep River Of Song: Black Appalachia – String Bands, Songsters And Hoedowns)
00:20:52 Edward Clayborn – Death Is Only A Dream (from Last Kind Words (1926-1953))
00:23:47 Carter Family – Motherless Chidren (from Lead Kindly Light)
00:27:23 Doc Watson & Clarence Ashley – Dark Holler Blues (from Friends Of Old Time Music)
00:32:15 Dock Boggs – Oh Death (from Virginia Traditions: Ballads From British Tradition)
00:35:32 Ruby Glaze – Lonesome Day Blues (from I Can’t Be Satisfied: Early American Women Blues Singers – Town & Country, Vol. 1 – Country)
00:38:46 Hobart Smith – Drunken Hiccups (from Instrumental Music Of The So...