Rusko ft. Amber Coffman - "Hold On"

Maybe it’s just me, but Rusko seems like kind of an asshole. Actually, it’s definitely just me since Rusko is a musician who I have never met before and I shouldn’t be casting disparagements upon his character. Or, it’s because he makes not-very-serious music within the context of a genre (dubstep) that, as a general rule, takes itself VERY seriously. Or or, maybe it’s because he executive produced that God-awful M.I.A. album that is basically an insult to complex thought that I kind of feel obligated to defend, if only because Pitchfork hated it (I have very complex feelings!).

I guess my point is that despite all that (and the despite the fact that “It Takes A Muscle” is actually really, really good), I can’t stop listening to Rusko’s song “Hold On.” The song is almost a subversion of dubstep, employing the wonky sub-bass that typifies the genre and throwing it at your face at an alarming rate, layering some gurgly synths up on top of that, and taking Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors and employing her as an auxiliary house diva for the win. Feel free just to let the audio play and turn your Internet Attentions elsewhere, because that's what I did.


For the double win, peep the 12th Planet remix, which stretches the song out, giving it a Southern Rap stomp that would make Pimp C proud.


Speaking of which, Free Pimp C TI Gucci Weezy!

WXYC Likes Pie

Read more here.

Weezer vs. Y Fuego Mod

Well how about that... I actually kept a promise (for once) and here I am, following up to my previous post with another installment concerning the (more recent) shenanigans that XYCers get themselves into.
Shall we roll with it? Ok. Ok. Here we go >>>>
I don't get out much. No, I mean, really -- most weekend nights you'll find me cooped up in my beautiful apartment, drinking German beer and reading J.G. Ballard short stories. This past weekend I was doing just that... cool breeze, fresh bowl of fried rice, and a rare Saturday night show from WXYC's longtime (soon retiring) program director Kellen C (who, by the way, runs an excellent basketball-themed [sort of] blog).
Due to a scheduling snafu, there was a blank spot in the schedule following the show. It turns out that there is a cure for the (WXYC) summertime blues. Enter Y Fuego Mod, noise project of Music Director Jonathan W and new DJ Jon O. Fresh from a gig earlier that night in Greensboro, they took control of the airwaves and kept WXYC pumpin' the jams for 6 HOURS. They even treated the listening audience to a live performance right out of the XYC control room.
Banging on what looks to be a scrap A/C vent and not without the implementation of some power tools (those poor microphones!) and a skipping record, our radio heroes brutalized the airwaves with some primitive-industrial noise. Here's a clip to share with mom and pop:
But then the night took a strange turn, the duo proceeded to sing along to Weezer's "Surf Wax America." Why Weezer?... why that song?... I don't know... but the end product was charming and totally fucked. What we have here is a true testament to the ever-present influence of Indie Rock on the WXYC DJ, a decomposing manuscript of teenage Summers and high school car ride sing-a-longs before the days of existential angst and heady coming-of-age lyrics.
It's OK that they can't remember the lyrics... even the best of us have trouble with this sort of thing. At least they went for it... and doesn't it kind of make you want to give the Blue Album a quick spin, just for old times sake? You know, sing along to Buddy Holly or Say It Ain't So at the top of your lungs? OK, maybe not, but the band does seem to be a karaoke fixture these days...
As the Summer schedule proper quickly comes to a close and WXYC transitions to the dreaded "sign-ups" period, I hope to catch more DJ sing alongs and general in-studio improvisation.... I mean, come on, when else is someone in another state (or country for that matter) going to laugh comfortably from their armchair at your wrecked nostalgia?

WXYC Goes Viral

Greetings everyone from the light at the end of the (Holland) tunnel! That's right, beautiful Jersey City is my home away from home for the Summer. Even though I can still pick up great free-form radio on the FM dial, I've found myself tuning into WXYC's webcast quite regularly. There is no better cure for a scorching hot Sunday morning (damn you urban heat-bubble) than a cold beer and a little OCS on the stereo.
As will happen during the Summer months, the WXYC blog seems to be.... well, completely neglected. In an effort to keep it somewhat up to date, I've decided to do a post or two in my own bland and underwhelming style. Bear with me here, as we delve into the WXYC history books...
From turn of the millenium WXYC 'zine Signal to Noise, Barry Summerlin explains the WXYC computer virus and its possible origins as a prank on our darling rivals over in Durham:
If anyone has the goods on the WXYC computer virus, no one's talking. Antivirus software maker McAfee says it was first tipped to the WXYC virus, which only affects PCs running the DOS operating system (i.e. Macs, machines running Unix, Linux et al are in the clear), in October 1992. The WXYC virus -- actually there's a whole gang of them cited in various online virus directories: Stoned.WXYC, WXYC.A, WXYC.A*, WXYC.A-O and WXYC.B, possibly more -- is a fairly common derivative of one of the most common computer viruses, Stoned.
Stoned family viruses corrupt the master boot record of a hard drive (usually by hiding a computer's startup instructions, eating some memory and replicating themselves onto any non write-protected floppy disks accessed) as well as a floppy disk's boot sector (which, when booting a computer from an infected disk, corrupt the master boot record of a hard drive, and the cycle continues).
The original Stoned virus contains the text "LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!" in the viral source code (the behind-the-scenes (screens?) instructions that run the virus, which would not display on a terminal). About once every eight times one reboots a 'Stoned' computer, the text "Your PC is now Stoned!" will be displayed. The WXYC virus is similar, writing "WXYC rules this roost!" on the screen 1 in 7 times that an infected computer is booted. The text "JAM WXYC" is contained in the viral code.
Other Stoned virus derivatives (there's about 100) pay homage to such WXYC-pertinent topics as the Jesus and Mary Chain (Stoned.J&M.C;), Frank Zappa (Stoned.Zappa; on Dec. 4th (Frank's death date), it displays "Dedicated to ZAPPA..."), and the Chinese government's student massacre at Tienanmen Square (Stoned.Bloody; on June 4th displays the text "Bloody! Jun. 4, 1989").
The WXYC listing at IBM's antivirus site Inside The Lab notes that "WXYC is the call sign of a university radio station in the Eastern United States; the virus first appeared on the campus of a nearby rival university." This is somewhat corroborated from this virus alert from the February 1996 issue of Connections, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' internal newsletter: "A PC virus was found at NIEHS. The virus came to NIEHS on a diskette from Duke University. The virus is a master boot sector virus that will state 'WXYC rules this roost' upon bootup of your PC."
The odds are pretty long against anyone 'fessing up to the WXYC virus, especially in print. North Carolina considers "introducing, directly or indirectly, a computer program, (including a self-replicating or a self-propagating computer program) into a computer, computer system, or computer network" a Class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious classification of misdemeanor; if actual damage from the virus exceeds $1,000, it's a felony in North Carolina, which could land our geek in the pokey.
Paul Jones, Director of UNC MetaLab, reports the WXYC virus remains "in the wild," which is geekspeak regarding a virus that remains in circulation. WXYC-B and tons of other viruses are available from mint-hpvac.com/virii/virii.html, if you make a good case ("ONLY those who need these files for researching viruses will get a reply."). On the offchance the WXYC virus resurfaces on your PC, current antivirus software from McAfee, Symantec's Norton line et al will detect and make short work of it; a specific fix for the WXYC virus is available at ftp://ftp.edu.tw/PC/simtelnet/msdos/virus/qwxyc.zip

...I hope you all enjoyed this little blast from the WXYC vaults, and who knows, you might have even learned something. As we learned today, those who don't learn from the past are doomed to spend 90 days in jail (but she was helping the kids?!). Till next time...

WXYC DJ on UNC Student Television!

An interview with WXYC DJ Brian Heim (left), aka Rhetoric, on UNC STV. DJ Kyle R. is interviewing him. Click here!

Things That Go Bump In The Night

About a month ago I had out my EMF meter and saw some unexpected readings on the display. I pulled out my IR thermometer to take a measurement, but before I could even turn it on I began to hear strange noises. I always have my audio recorder handy, and I immediately pressed the record button. What I heard truly astonished me, and if I hadn't been able to preserve those sounds on tape I wouldn't have believed my own ears. Until now I was afraid to play my recording for anyone. But the world needs to know.

Like a voice from beyond the grave, I captured 45 minutes of the left-for-dead FEEDBACK FARM!


or Download (21MB MP3).

Clara Rockmore, theremin virtuosa

During my radio show last week I noticed that Art of the Theremin by Clara Rockmore is currently in rotation at WXYC.  From Mississippi Records (who reissued the album):

"This LP, originally recorded and released by Delos International in 1977, features the eerily beautiful theremin accompanied by piano (played by Nadia Reisenberg.)  A record of stark simplicity and emotional intensity.  Mississippi is proud to present the first ever vinyl reissue of this material."

Art of the Theremin was produced by Robert Moog and features Rockmore's sister, Nadia Reisenberg, on piano.  It's a beautiful album and I'm really excited to hear it on the radio!  (NOTE:  If you happened to catch the Inside Track on Monday night, we played this album in its entirety!)