Ever since I was a child, Autumn has always been my favorite of the 4 seasons. Whether it’s the leaves changing colors, or the temperature dropping low enough for sweaters with the possibility of seeing ones breath turning to fog in the brisk air, or my favorite: the anticipation of the first snowfall. For me, it just cannot be beat.
And it’s always seemed to me that there is a specific sound or feeling in the music that I listen to around this time. A certain type of melancholy that just goes hand in hand with the season. To some it may seem sad or depressing, but not to me. For me it’s uplifting, and completely relevant to the changes in our surroundings. This is mostly what this podcast series will put a spotlight on.
Way back in Autumn of 2000, I had a shoutcast station that I started up that broadcasted 24/7 out of the basement of my home in Ferndale, MI that I ran until the first snowfall, and then maybe a few weeks after. I would just run it via a winamp playlist and invite people to tune in. Sometimes I would even DJ on it for my friends who were working 9-5 jobs. I did this for a couple years, and then for some reason I never did it again. I’ve always wanted to do it again, but never really could justify using the bandwidth when I was living in New York.
But these days, with podcasting being such an easy task to pull off, I figured this would be a great time to do it again. But this time, I will release it for download once a week throughout the year. I think Sunday evenings around 9 PM (Berlin time) would be a perfect time. Something to wind down from after a crazy weekend that, if subscribed, will be waiting for you when you are ready for it. While I feel this music and mood is best suited for the Autumn months, I certainly do not feel it is inappropriate for certain settings year round.
Most of the episodes will be done by yours truly, but from time to time I will have featured guest mixes. The guests I will have could be anyone from close personal friends of mine now who are (or are not) DJ’s and or producers, to old friends of mine from many many years ago who had influence on me musically in some form or another. Hell, if I thought she could pull it off, I would ask my mother to do one!
One thing is for certain: this podcast will NOT be about anyone trying to outcool anybody else via musical knowledge. There really is nothing off limits for being too “commercial”. The only theme here is a specific mood, and if that means if someone wants to use a highly overplayed R.E.M. or Pearl Jam song, then it’s allowed. In fact, it’s encouraged!
Most of the songs will be lyric based, so (for now) there won’t be tracklists published. If something grabs your attention, then by all means pick out a line or 2 from the lyrics and toss them into a Google search. Most of the songs used on these episodes won’t be so obscure that you couldn't track down it’s title and author. And in the process, you could end up learning a bit more about it’s origin. And if for some reason you can’t find any info on it, you can ALWAYS feel free to contact me and I will gladly pass along any info I can for you.
Another underlying reason for the not wanting to post the tracklist is that these days too many of us listen to things solely based on whatever songs we may know in the tracklist. This podcast isn’t about that. It’s more about once a week, you put this on in the background and take some time to just kick back and relax. Hopefully, it will fit the mood for you and it can be something you can look forward to listen to just as much as I look forward to making and presenting them.
I also thank you for your interest, and truly hope you enjoy the series!
All the best,
Snowprayers Podcast #011
Those in Montreal know a thing or 2 about winter and the snow that comes with it. They also know a thing or 2 about our guest this week, Patti Schmidt. If you don't know, from 1995 to 2006, Patti hosted a show on CBC radio called "Brave New Waves", which I would listen to religiously when I was living in Detroit thanks to a Windsor relay station that would beam her through my radio. Oh, the wonderful music I was turned onto from this program. Her tastes were always so broad, and she would give plenty of background on the artists and releases. The show was such a great resource for finding fantastic new music, and I miss the show dearly. I had the pleasure of finally putting a face to the voice while she and I were both at Decibel Festival in Seattle in 2009, where we met and very quickly became friends. When she agreed to do an edition for Snowprayers, I was beside myself with joy and am extremely pleased to present it to you now! So, thanks so much, Patti and thank you for listening!
Snowprayers Podcast #010 (Brother Key's Lament)
You Detroiters might know this weeks contributor to the project. In the 90's, Thom Kikot was one of the DJs on 89x radio out of Windsor. We met basically by me calling up one Sunday afternoon and requesting he play some John Zorn related stuff. To this, Thom just kinda laughed and said "I wish"! He then proceeded to tell me the sad truth about how commercial radio was being programmed those days, and how the DJ's had little to no input as to what they could play on the radio, which completely broke my heart. From then on, I would call him at the station from time to time and pester him talking about music related stuff, as well as the pirate radio station that was being broadcast around that time. He was always a really great guy who personally had great taste in music. I think he headed out to California sometime in the early 00's and we lost contact with each other. When the Snowprayers Podcast launched, he had contacted me out of the blue and asked if he could contribute a mix. The answer obviously was "yes", and I'm super excited to have him be part of it. The edition is subtitled "Brother Key's Lament", as the mix was partially inspired by the tragic loss of a close friend of his from Detroit, and to quote Thom "he always called my cracker ass 'brother key'". The mix is excellent, and contains more than a coupe long lost favorites of mine from years ago. Man, I had forgotten how much I love The Cure's "Disintegration"! So, thank you very much for the mix, Thom and I hope our paths cross again soon. And, as always, thank you for listening and all the support and feedback over the last 10 editions and in the future. The whole thing has been extremely rewarding, and I couldn't be happier with the response from all of you. Oh, and don't look now, but here comes February! Winter may be over soon, but the editions will keep rolling out through the year!
Snowprayers Podcast #009
In 1995, I was completely emerged in the Detroit rave scene. I wasn't always super social, as talking with people was never really in the cards for the evening. But, after the music was off there would be some milling about and at that point, I would meet a few people. Garrett McGrath was one of those people for me. I think we met by me commenting on his T-shirt, which I'm pretty sure was either a Tresor or Transmat shirt.... I can't remember exactly. From then on, I would see him out rather regularly and we would have quick chats and such. Eventually, I saw him on the 313 list on Hyperreal, as well. He at some point moved out to Los Angeles, and our paths stopped crossing regularly. We were never really close, but I always thought he was a cool guy. And when Snowprayers launched, he dropped me an email digging the concept and asked if he could do an edition. Since I've always known he had good taste in Techno, I had no doubt he would deliver a rock solid contribution for this series. So, thank you for tuning in yet again, and thank you to Garrett as well. I hope doing this reminded you of how much you miss Fall. (photo credit: Wayne Harrison)
Snowprayers Podcast #008
Philipp Hofmann & Mea Liedl are two of my favorite people in Berlin. Always such fun loving people with tremendous spirit. When I started the series, they definitely took interest right away. And since I know how much they listen to all forms of music, it only made sense to have them set me up with a mix of theirs. And, it's quite a ride, if I do say so myself. Thanks P&M.... and thank you for tuning in. Enjoy! (Photo credit: Stephen Yeargin)
Snowprayers Podcast #007
Plain and simple, Ejival is the man. I first met him during Communikey festival in Boulder, CO in April of last year. He was playing the opening reception for the festival, and everyone had nothing but rock solid things to say about his DJing, as well as his personality. Didn’t take long til we were introduced, and we hit it off famously. We started talking about non-electronic music, and I found his taste remarkable (even if he does lean more towards the Dan Bejar side of The New Pronographers while I lean toward AC Newman). When I started this series, Ejival was an obvious choice in my first dream roster of participants. When he sent me the mix, he used these words to describe his intentions: “I tried to do something real personal, real wintery, with lots of the music I love, songs that remind me of people I have lost on the way, including stuff that had
been released on my Verdigris sub label (Florencia Ruiz, One Second Bridge and Seekers Who Are Lovers)”. This is SOOO the very definition of what I wish for when asking for editions. For more dancier things, you should check out his label “Static Discos” which he runs from his home city of Tijuana, Mexico. And if you head that way, definitely be sure to check him out if he is ripping the decks up somewhere. You won’t be disappointed. So, thank you to Ejival, and as usual... you. Enjoy!
Snowprayers Podcast #006
Snowprayers edition #006 was compiled by myself and has a specific theme running through it. Well, I guess all of them do, but this one is a tad different than the others. It’s a new year, and a time for new beginnings, So, what better way to welcome these new beginnings in than by compiling this one with nothing but opening tracks from some of my favorite LPs? Seemed like a good idea to me, so here it is! 20 track #1's from 20 different LPs. Happy New Year to all, and as always… thanks for listening!
Found this gem by total chance, this DJ really has an ear for that intangable thing that we all feel resonating inside at times, when the breeze causes ripples on the water or when you see the bellies of ducks flying overhead, through a cold twilight sky. Love it!
Shoegaze podcast from my favorite DJ
If I had to pick a single favorite DJ, Derek Plaslaiko is it, hands-down. The man is 12 DJs in one. It's nutty.
Although you'd never know it from his description of this podcast, Derek is quite well known as a techno and house DJ. For the past 17 years or so, he's traveled the world, playing 4/4 dance music at top club nights and after hours parties. He's been a staple of the electronic music scenes in Detroit, NYC and Berlin -- where he's lived at various times. And even if you don't know him, your favorite DJ probably does, and, most likely, they'd prefer he plays last so they don't get upstaged.
But what most people don't realize is that Derek is the biggest shoegaze fan on the planet. No joke. He's obsessive about it. It's at his core. And its his favorite genre to DJ.
Just a few episodes deep, this is already one of the best podcasts out there. Do yourself a favor: Subscribe and tell your friends.