Confessions Of A Former Deejay

I used to be a college radio deejay and it was pretty cool. I remember finding out that a lot of stuff I had is simply unknown or ridiculously expensive. I had a bunch of compilation CDs I’d bring in, but we weren’t allowed to play more than 1-2 songs off one CD an hour, so I’d get online and track down the original artist’s album to fill that into the computer program that tracks such things. It was at that point that I discovered I’d never be able to afford to replace my music collection if something awful happened to it. Cases in point: The Jeevas’ 1 2 3 4 was priced at $36.00 before tax and shipping. Holy mama! And Rialto’s Girl on A Train EP is likewise apparently super rare. Probably because the same six people with good taste all want it and they only made five or something like that. I think it was put out through an Internet-based company, and after watching other artists deal with that happy fun bollocks (Warren Cuccurullo, I THINK, The Tender Idols, for sure, and Ash, perhaps, all had to suffer through that shit), I’m sure the Rialto thing is rare because practically no one knew about the EP even existing and thus didn’t buy it and the Internet company bombed miserably and now no one can get any more.

Most of the time this kind of stuff makes me angry. I know too many great bands and artists who struggle endlessly to get thrown a crumb and there’s excruciatingly terrible CRAP promoted far and wide on TV and radio. Makes me want to shoot Sean Polly Wolly Puffy Diddy Daddy Doodle Combs in the butt with a howitzer. Even when it’s clear to all and sundry that some artist is pure-dee crap, like Asslee Simpson (or whatever her name is, the one with even less talent that does hoedowns), they get record deals and you can’t go to Target for some goddamned blank CD-Rs without having to see her smug face being promoted and her crappy “music” being sold for nearly $20 a pop. Hate. Hate, hate, hate.

But life’s too short to grouch myself into a conniption fit. I’ve been eating too much pizza, I might clutch my chest and fall over or something. I’ve already seen two of the “I Hate” books that offer–though you wouldn’t guess it from the title–well-researched vitriol about the Rumfelds and Cheneys and Coulters and Hannities of the world. Yes, indeed, they are hated. The authors hate them long time. The combination of junk food and stress and political angst and crap music might kill me. Have mercy.

On a completely unrelated note, if you want to know what I looked like when I was slummin’ it in college, I often described myself as looking like a blonde Keith Richards clone with dominatrix boots, black turtlenecks, (literally) painted-on jeans and an extremely over-sized army jacket or silky “smoking jacket”. I was a charming art student clichè, I’m sure. In truth, I looked sort of like David Sylvian on the cover of Obscure Alternatives. This is not a good thing, honestly. And don’t be thinking “David Sylvian wot Nick Rhodes copped the look off of,” all pretty with nice eyeshadow. No, darlings, because this was the David Sylvian that David Johansen copped HIS look off of circa NY Dolls. Only more tatty. I am ashamed.

That’s my twin, on the far right. I did, in fact, own this album at the time, but was oblivious to having picked up on the “I slept in my thrift store linen suit and stole my grandma’s Bakelite bangles” look. Yes. I, as a blonde, actually wore BEIGE.

I had less five o’clock shadow, though.

I can’t believe I got dates in college looking like that. What the hell was I thinking? It’s the equivalent of taking an ERASE cosmetic concealer stick and trying to “erase” your entire face. You turn into one big blank spot. It’s the next best thing to learning how to turn invisible on command.

Then again, I cleaned up pretty nicely.

Why am I thinking about Obscure Alternatives? I played a track off it tonight during Britpoptarts The Radio Show and got to looking at the cover art. Oy. That’s a humiliation that bites deep.

At least I wasn’t dressing like Madonna or (gags) Tiffany.

I have just given away my decrepitude and old age. I hope you’re all art and English majors out there. I’m not overly thrilled about it! You smart maths people, you hush.

Though I was a mere babe in arms when Obscure Alternatives was out, I have to say. What can I say? It beat buying copies of “Chevy Van” and “Havin’ My Baby” when I started buying music. I started off rad-i-cool. I teethed on Johnny Cash and Elvis singles (and, ahem, Kingston Trio and the New Christy Minstrels). I had exposure to Tom Lehrer (and, ahem, the Smothers Brothers). I knew who Teresa Brewer and Prez Prado and…what? YES, I AM proud of that. Sheesh. 🙂 That’s my parents’ era, anyway. My mom tries to claim she was into The Beatles in the sixties, but I saw her Englebert Humpnerdinck albums. She can’t fool me.

As you may have guessed, one of my more obnoxious traits is Music Snottery. I apologize in advance. At least I know I can be insufferable and poke fun at myself. Theresa Brewer, indeed. Harrumph. (She was the Cyndi Lauper of the 50s, for what it is worth.) I knew things had to be reined in when I was singing along in the car to one of Atlanta’s more, er, eclectic student radio stations (you know, the kind you can get Buddhist monks chanting and then DĂ«athMöle! and then alt-country and then whales farting, all in a row?) and some Brazilian or East Indian or African thing came on and I started singing along as best as I could, not knowing the language, BECAUSE I OWNED IT, and my poor, long-suffering roommate sighed and said, “God. Do you know EVERY SINGLE SONG IN THE UNIVERSE?!” I think she meant it as a compliment, but I chastised myself anyway. (My roomie claims she said, “Is there any song you DON’T know?” but that’s pretty much the same thing. And, yes, there are songs I do not know: I don’t know any Justin Bieber songs.)

Anyway. No one fucking CARES, yo. I can’t get a good-paying job knowing a shit-ton of decent music, apparently. (Let me know if I am wrong about that.)

I am definitely a major pain in the arse musically. I just know it.

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