Happy Hour

This past Wednesday, the Feedback Farmers gave us an intoxicating 60 minutes of radio.

No, actually, this past Wednesday, the Feedback Farmers stumbled and slurred through an hour on the air that would have been best experienced while inebriated. That's more accurate.

The topic was alcohol, and you know what they say about drunks: they flock to inane radio programmes. I hope this is true, at least, because then we'd finally have some explanation for the idiocy that seizes WXYC every other Wednesday at 9pm.

You'd have to be completely wasted to click here (29MB MP3).

Free Club Tix

It's practically a breeze to socially engineer your way into any club by pretending you're the DJ. Observe.

Learn how to hack at 5min.com

We Pledge Allegiance

The Feedback Farmers and John Wayne pledged their allegiance to the U S of A on the last episode of the Farm. Also making cameo appearances were a gazillion residents of the Triangle who chimed in about what they like and, gasp!, what they don't exactly care for about this country.

WXYC was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security following the airing of this program. The nice people wanted to know the names of the people who were interviewed for the show. If you contributed, fear not--the station refused to turn over the names. However, we have decided to comply with Viacom's request to turn over the names and IP addresses of anyone who downloads the archive of this show. Click here (29MB MP3) at your own risk.

Farced in Flight

The Feedback Farmers soared through the last episode with samples, interviews, and songs about flying. Yes, flying. As in airplanes, airports, airlines. All in all it was, according to PJ's mom, "an interesting choice of topics" and, according to Dale, "Pretty good--it didn't blow me away, but it was pretty good."

As an added bonus, Cole drove through town on his way back to DC from Myrtle Beach and paid the Farm an in-studio visit. Cole has never flown in an airplane. Could not have picked a better episode to crash?

Hear it for yourself here (29MB MP3).

Public Service Announcement from WXYC

Just a timely reminder,


Fill 'Er Up

The Feedback Farmers (sans Bryson) explored the rising cost of gasoline on their most recent radio programme. The entire country is in a transportation crisis with the steady increase in the cost of a barrel of oil. At this writing, oil is $130 a barrel and gasoline is nearly $4 per gallon nationwide. By the time you read this it might be $6 or $8 a gallon. Is that a good thing? How will rising fuel prices affect our lives? Listen to the show here to find out all this and more.

Oh, Bryson couldn't make it because he couldn't afford the gas to get to Chapel Hill from Charlotte.

Recipe for Disaster

1 cup samples
1/4 oz. effects pedals
2 cups commentary
5 lbs. (dry) technical difficulties
1 pinch of credibility (optional, to taste)

Pre-heat your favorite audio software to 89.3 FM. Then be sure to get out your deluxe whisk set and pick a monosyllabic spice-throwing mantra in anticipation of this week's Feedback Farm!

Last night, with help from professional and (many more) amateur foodsmiths alike, the Farmers whipped up a batch of audio delights and helpful(?) guidance on the subject of COOKING. Click here (28MB MP3) to begin.

(Thanks for the text, KC.)

Ghost of Garage: Lo-fi psych from the Bay

If you like your psychedelia served in analog grit and puddles of reverb, the fresh output of the San Francisco underground should definitely pique your interest. Recent months have seen releases by three of the scene's current heavyweights ... Thee Oh Sees have a new full-length split on Tomlab/Castle Face, Sic Alps have compiled two year's worth of vinyl/cassette output for Animal Disguises' A Long Way Around to a Shortcut, and The Hospitals have just unveiled their latest LP, Hairdryer Peace. Though the sound quality and overall technique may vary, the three outfits share a common aesthetic: obliterating pop/rock approach with high trim levels and distorted disorientation. I've written reviews for each of the releases, which I've listed below in order of decreasing fidelity:

Artist: The Hospitals
Album: Hairdryer Peace
Label: self-released

In "BPPV," singer/guitarist Adam Stonehouse best conveys the sentiments of Hairdyer Peace by decreeing "I feel dizzy, I feel stoked." If that frame of mind sounds enticing to you, then the new LP from the Hospitals will do the trick nicely.

Stonehouse and co. aren't concerned about such eccentricities as being a tight band - their intentions are much more sadistic than that.

Fidelity has been forsaken completely here, with melodies and rhythms sounding like they were assembled from the remnants of a weathered punk rock mixtape that spent some time in the washing machine.

The success with lo-fidelity is the complication that it automatically presents the listener. It's confusing, a literal mess of garbled guitar and tin can drums with a bucket of maxed-out noise thrown on top. It may sound like a trainwreck, but it's an intentional one . It happens during "Animals Look Natural," when the noise drops out to lonely vocals, quickly descending back into the fray to a devilish effect.

It doesn't really take any steps toward depolarizing those that are immediately turned off to this sort of dumptruck noise rock and those that revel in it, which is the main problem with justifying music like this. But the bottom line remains: this shit is bizarre, will probably make you uncomfortable and confused. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Is it?

Artist: Sic Alps
Album: A Long Way Around to a Shortcut
Label: Animal Disguise
San Francisco duo Mike Donovan and Matthew Hartman have been bruising the psychedelic scene for a couple years now, channeling the ghost of garage rock through guitar jangle and overloaded amplifiers both in the live context and through limited-edition recordings. Their debut full-length was released in 2006, but was recorded with the original lineup of Donovan, Adam Stonehouse (The Hospitals) and Bianca Sparta (Erase Errata). Stonehouse and Sparta left shortly thereafter, allowing Hartman to pick up the slack and maintain the vintage noise-psych vibe, recording a string of limited 7"s, 12"s and cassettes as a duo in 2006 and 2007. Each of these have long been snatched up, leaving Detroit-based Animal Disguise records to provide a CD compilation of the band's analog output over the past two years. Check the back of the disc for a track breakdown of which songs belong to which release, beginning with their most recent recording, the Description of the Harbor 12" on Awesome Vistas. The album starts out with a damaged cover of the Strapping Fieldhands' song, moving through uppity garage-pop structures before dipping back into paranoid noise collage and fuzzy nostalgia. I'd prefer to hear these tracks on the analog formats for which they were intended, but hearing them at all is an acceptable substitute. At least I won't have to get off the couch to flip “Strawberry Guillotine” over to the B-side …

Artist: Ulaan Kohl
Album: I
Label: Soft Abuse
Few figures in the music underground can boast such a consistently compelling discography as that of L.A.-based multi-instrumentalist Steven R. Smith. Since the mid '90s, Smith has been involved with a revolving door of monikers and associations, from his solo recordings under his own name and Hala Strana, to his involvement with the Jewelled Antler Collective and Thuja, to his early efforts with haze-punk outfit Mirza. I is the beginning of an ambitious new project and a brand new moniker for Smith, the first installment of a three-part suite broadly entitled, "Ceremony." The record comes hot on the heels of Owl, the 11th full-length release under his own name (not to mention a spectacular new Thuja LP put out by Important earlier this year), and the first to showcase Smith's vocal talents. On I, the theme is much more dense, distorted, and aggressive than much of Smith's previous output, with organ and rhythm guitar providing the foundation for Smith's crackling riffs, often touching on Matt Valentine's lunar blues, or the noisier side of Charalambides' Western noodling. All told, I emerges as another notch in the belt for Smith's entrancing catalog – a successful amalgamation of what he does best, melding timeless soundscapes with stark psychedelia. Be on the lookout for II, which is scheduled for release this Fall.


Now I suppose one doesn't tune in to the Feedback Farm in hopes of hearing "good radio," but the Farmers took radio to a new nadir with the most recent episode. Personally, I suspect they weren't actually prepared for the promised show about cooking, so they spent 60 minutes yammering about 40 years in the life of Farmer PJ, who apparently had a birthday recently. Well whoop-dee-doo.

And while PJ repudiates accusations that he was behind it all (listen to his feeble exclamation of surprise toward the end of the programme), he sure played along quite happily at his fete, didn't he?

Really, if these folks can't get their act together and responsibly use the invaluable outlet they have at their fingertips, they should be tossed out on their ears. Somebody else would put the airwaves to better use. The Feedback Farm is a Radio SHOW, not a birthday PARTY.

If you missed the nonsense, you were lucky. If you click here (28MB MP3), your luck will shortly run out.

Political Party Hardy

There's nothing like a presidential election to remind you that America is doomed, but last night the Feedback Farmers got mildly political anyway, taking stabs at both sides as well as some innocent Young Democrats, callers, and historic recordings in their typical endearing way. Since the North Carolina Democratic primary arrives May 6, along with a barrage of advertising and mediocre bands, the nomination war between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was the main topic of discussion, though McCain and his alleged "chipmunk cheeks" cropped up, too.

If you missed the programme, it's available in one whopping nugget of an MP3 file, downloadable here. (26 MB)

DJ Wicky Wick was not in attendance during the show, and thusly I blog-post this episode instead.