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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Imaginary Pirate Radio Broadcast from KDFS (Jesus Music)


In several of these recent days, I have taken to amusing (or annoying) some of my friends on the intenets by pretending to be the DJ of an imaginary pirate radio station.  As host of this make believe broadcast I play obscure and terrible music.  Why?  Because I love it. Like this gem from Mrs. Miller.  I know that it’s dreadful in just about every way (I can’t tell if its bettered or worsened by the fact that she seems to forget the lyrics part way through) – but she seems so joyful about it that I can’t help but love it.  

I thought I might share today’s broadcast with a wider audience.  You’re welcome (or, I’m sorry – whichever is more applicable).

Whether you intended it or not, you’re listening to KDFS (and that’s Okay, Doofus).  My name’s thatjeffcarter, and I’ll be your server today, serving up great big heapings of the weird, and terrible, and the disfigured beauty.

Kicking things off today is Negativland and “Christianity is Stupid.” Here in the studios of KDFS we like the heavily ironic.  We also like that we know what movie is being sampled for most of the soundbites in this song. 



And maybe we should be more modest about it, but we’re going to follow that with this oddity: “John Hagee Describes the Naked, Merciless Power of the Illuminati


Hungry?  How about a servin’ of Methodist pie?


I wanted to play Skeeter Davis’ rendition of this next song, but I couldn’t find it on-line, so you’re stuck with the Cowboy Copas singing, "We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus and a Lot Less Rock-and-Roll."




Now before I sign off I want to play something that never fails to affect me.  It is still the odd and the strange, but it is also wonderful and beautiful.

In 1971 English composer Gavin Bryars was working with a friend on a film about people living in one of the rougher areas of London. In the course of the filming some of the people broke out into drunken songs, little bits of opera and sentimental ballads. But one singer wasn’t drunk. He sang a simple religious tune. His voice was ragged and frail and you could almost hear the freezing cold of the street. But, ultimately, it wasn’t used in the film.

Later, Bryars realized that the recorded snipped of this man singing could be looped and played in an endlessly repeating loop and that his singing was in tune with the piano. Bryars composed a simple accompaniment for the voice.

“I took the tape loop to Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this. The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping.

“I was puzzled until I realized that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man's singing.”

A further recording of the piece was made in 1993 with Tom Waits singing along with the unnamed tramp. And, I can’t think of anyone better suited to join this unidentified homeless man in his song. Tom’s connection to the poorest and surliest, the straggliest, and sweatiest of humanity brings an earthy dignity to this man’s song, and a quiet trust and security. In spite of everything, in spite of trouble and calamity, in spite of death and loss, in spite of hurt and pain and ruin and loneliness, there is trust and there is hope. There is hope because “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.





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