//// CATCHING UP W/ DJ JORSH of FUZZED OUT/DIGITAL AWARENESS \\\

THE TELL ALL VERSION (TM)

Q1. DJ Jorsh – welcome to the interview. You’re the host of the Fuzz – FUZZED OUT BOSTON on our favorite station, the only WZBC 90.3. If Spinitron has it on the mark, it looks like you’ve just celebrated three years on the Z? What were those early days like and what got you into the whole thing? Did you wait until after your BC graduation to pop off Fuzzed Out and avoid any unwanted association during your academic tenure? 

Thank you KLYAM! Thrilled to be here. I’ve been a ZBC DJ since 2017, but you’re right that FUZZED OUT BOSTON didn’t kick off ‘til summer 2019. I got involved in radio a bit late as a student (at the end of my sophomore year), and I think that pressure of making up for lost time is a big reason why I first decided to keep things going post-grad.

My parents actually met on the AM radio dating show Hotline that aired on WRKO here in Boston in the early ‘80s, so you can also say I’ve got Radio DNA coursing through me. From one Boston frequency to another, it was meant to be!

As an underclassman at BC, I got my fill of musical expression by participating in the Bands program – I played baritone horn in the marching, symphonic, and pep bands. But after a few years I had burnt out on the valve oil and rulebooks and all the big personalities, so I was definitely looking for a more individualized way to interact with music creatively. Thank god for the Z!

The first show I hosted was a video game music show called Reboot, which I took over from a graduating DJ named Dom Rosato in 2017. DJs need to intern on an FM show for a semester at the station before they can start hosting their own, and I really lucked out on my intern placement. Dom gave me a really killer crash course on the station’s old analog board (RIP), and the video game music “genre” was a great way to experiment with a lot of very different sounds and styles.

My senior year was when I started hosting my first fully homegrown show, which I called The Hitchhiker’s Audioguide. I was starting to get deep into that big wave of psych and garage rock at the time – lots of spins from bands on Castle Face and Flightless Records. As the year went on, more and more local bands started making their way onto Audioguide playlists, and in my last few weeks as a student I interviewed two local artists on-air, June Bloom and Brother Toaster. I even hosted my first in-studio session around the same time – a killer live set from the now-defunct Jeb Bush Orchestra! It was during this Audioguide era that I was slowly realizing I liked doing local coverage, liked talking with independent artists, and more than anything I was learning that I love making radio!

So yeah, it was never an intentional decision to save FUZZED OUT for post-grad life, it just sorta worked out that way! Honestly though, it is a bit of a relief knowing that I can test the on-air boundaries a bit more now without worrying about getting sent to the Dean of Students’ office or something. Not like that ever actually happens to ZBC DJs, but I have a particularly good nose for trouble – if it were to happen to anyone it probably would’ve happened to me. Now I’m just focused on trying not to piss off the FCC!

Q2. It looks like Fuzzed Out has had some different slots before sliding into the former (RIP) Mass Ave and Beyond sweet spot of Fridays at 5 PM to 7 PM. If you care to share a little bit of those different time slots, the pros and cons, and things of that nature? I imagine the current schedule is quite conducive to a rock and roll lifestyle. 

Our current Friday timeslot is rock and roll as hell for sure! My first “Summer of Fuzz” in 2019 had the show airing on Thursdays from 5-7pm. Not bad, but since most new music drops on Fridays it was difficult to play a lot of brand new releases. Except of course for all the Australian psych I was still playing at the time – because of the time difference I was able to play brand new Flightless singles off of YouTube before they had officially released in the US, which I thought was pretty dope.

Since then, the show has bounced around a lot between Monday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons. Mondays were always awesome because we crossed over with Voidstar Productions’ High Voltage Circumcision Show. Can you imagine being given the license to say that name on-air once or twice a week?? Monday shows were also better for spinning new tunes, but admittedly they didn’t make you wanna scream “Hell yeah, it’s the freakin’ weekend!”

Friday shows are definitely where it’s at. It makes scheduling interviews and promoting upcoming gigs a lot easier, and it’s been way more convenient for allowing me to live the DJ dream while also holding down the day job. It’s also fun to check out the new Friday releases in the morning and see if there’s anything so good that it needs to be thrown into that day’s playlist ASAP!

Last semester I used to cross over with DJ Scott Saleem, who took over the Mass Ave and Beyond hosting duties from ZBC legend Chris Collins in 2020. It was awesome getting to know Scott and learn more about how they approach hosting such an important (and dare I say historical?) show like Mass Ave. I know there are some longtime Z listeners out there who must be disappointed that Mass Ave and Beyond isn’t continuing this semester – in fact, some have communicated these sentiments directly via their messages in our Spinitron chatroom!

And to be honest, I’m still kinda conflicted about not taking up the Mass Ave mantle. I know the show has been going on for decades, I know I already specialize in local music – but it just didn’t feel right to convert FUZZED OUT into Mass Ave. Great local tunes are the connecting tissue between the two, but the “tone” of our show is intentionally kinda stupid and irreverent. We didn’t want the added pressure/baggage of screwing up a show that people already love, and FUZZED OUT is also an original brand that I’ve slowly been building up on-air and online since 2019. It’s grown a lot in the past few months alone, and I’m excited to see where that goes!

We’re still figuring out how to do Mass Ave segments on our show in a way that’s respectful to that program’s legacy, and Scott knows that they have an open invitation to come back and host a special installment of Mass Ave and Beyond anytime they’re in town. But yes, RIP to Mass Ave and Beyond, and we’re very fortunate to have been able to move into their awesome old timeslot!

Q3. For those who are a bit behind the 8 ball on this one – if somebody pops on the Z to your program, what can they expect? Purely local stuff of the garage, psych, and adjacent varieties? Commentary and banter? I enjoyed the heck out of coming on the show to talk some KLYAM by the way. Thanks again. I really like the banter component and the leisurely approach. I find the best DJs of today aren’t the ones strictly popping on records and reading back what they played and that’s it. There needs to be more! Or should be! The Boston Call-In show was an amazing example of that. Keep up the good times. 

Thanks for coming on the program, G. Gordon! Your show was honestly a great example of what an ideal FUZZED OUT looks like. Lots of local tracks interwoven with an interview of a local artist/creative, as well heavy promotion of upcoming neighborhood gigs that deserve it. That’s been the formula for a while now, though it’s only been in the past few months that we’ve really gotten into the swing of having new guests on the show almost every week.

That’s the current format, but right now I’m also having some great conversations about the future of the show with my new co-host DJ Grey Cassettes – they joined the FUZZED OUT family in April when we assumed our current timeslot. Grey plays in a few different bands and is a massive gearhead, so having them on-board to supply the musician’s perspective has been a great way to flush things out, especially when it comes to the interviews. I also tend to like riding the levels on our soundboard just a little too hot, so Grey is gonna teach me a thing or two this summer about fader discipline! 

Our banter game is also pretty strong like you said, and the whole show flows so much smoother than when it was just a pretty anxious Jorsh in the DJ booth attempting to multitask 8 different tasks at once. Grey and I have a pretty natural cadence with one another, which is funny because we’ve only known each other for the past year or so. Shoutout to our mutual friend (and former ZBC DJ) Peter “Zogster” Zogby for introducing the two of us last summer!

As for what’s to come? We’re planning on formally dropping the “BOSTON from the show title at some point this summer – mostly for flow reasons, but it’ll also give us a bit more freedom to spin some bands that definitely fit in the FUZZED OUT mold but might not be based in the area. Spotlighting local music will always be the show’s main focus, but now that we’re somewhat established in the scene it’s exciting to branch out and check out the new stuff folks are cooking up in other scenes. Philly, Albany, Austin – you’re all on notice!

Q4. Speaking of garage, psych, punk, and all that – what was your personal introduction to this kind of music (I know that’s broad) and also the local introduction – going to shows, etc, etc? Was there the ole pop punk highschooler gets into indie rock gets into weirder shit flow of things? 

I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to fleshing out my music tastes! I was a marching band nerd in high school too so I listened to a lot of third-wave ska, a lot of They Might Be Giants, a lot of weird or funny music from the Newgrounds and early YouTube-era people I liked at the time. I listened to a lot of Q104.3 (New York’s ONLY Classic Rock) and was lucky to have a great music education growing up, so I wasn’t totally oblivious to the broader music world. Still, I hadn’t really spent much time thinking about why I liked the music I did or what my processes for music discovery were like.

My buddy Joe Taurone was sorta the one person who got the ball rolling on me changing all of that. We met as coworkers on the maintenance squad at our town pool the summer after I graduated high school, and we quickly hit it off. I made the schedules, so I’d make sure Joe and I both worked Monday afternoons. Afterwards we’d get in my ‘97 Camry and drive over to Taco Bell while listening to the hour-long “Get the Led Out” Zeppelin block on the Q. When we weren’t rocking out to Zep or scarfing down our Cheesy Gordita Crunches (or would it be “Cheesy Gorditas Crunch?”), Joe would expose me to some newer tunes and I was usually a big fan! 

I went with Joe and some friends to see Tame Impala in Brooklyn that summer, which was the psych key that I needed to unlock that part of my brain. I re-upped about a year or so later when I finally decided to check out that stupid King Gizzard Lizzard Wizard whatever the hell band Joe had been posting a lot about – I think this was right after they played on Conan in 2017. I was hooked instantly, and from there I was able to get more into garage-y and heavier stuff.

I started getting out to Boston venues at first just to see these bands when they toured through town, and from there I started going to some local garage/psych shows, mostly just at Great Scott (obligatory RIP) and O’Briens when I was still finishing up at BC. I still remember being so nervous while getting ready to go see a Zip-Tie Handcuffs / Teen Mortgage show at OB’s, because I wasn’t sure if there’d be any moshing and wasn’t sure how to dress! That was only three years ago, so it’s pretty funny to see how far I’ve come and how many local venues I’ve been able to cross off my list in the time since.

I’ve already said a lot, but my entire musical and show-going journey is all really funny to me. I grew up in central New Jersey within driving distance of New Brunswick, which is a big college town and pretty popular hub for the DIY scene and basement shows. Some kids from my town would drive out there for shows – Joe definitely did – but it took me seeing a few psych bands from Australia to get me interested in seeing the ones playing right in my own neighborhood. Joe lives out in Albany now and plays in a ton of different bands in that scene, most notably Lemon of Choice and Laveda. I probably wouldn’t be doing my thing if it weren’t for my friendship with Joe, so hey – thanks Joe!

Q5. And kind of relatedly – in contemporary times – how are you consuming or hearing about local music? I appreciate the pulse of the scenes (plural) that you bring with the radio show. There’s surely an underground or multiple undergrounds in our city. Anything you’d like to say about that – like in your view, what’s connecting bands to each other? It’s been a little bit of a trip to see the evolution of the Fuzz scene in Boston. Remember that House of the Rising Fuzz compilation from 2015 which sort of epitomized an era where the garage, psych, and punk was a major player in the DIY circuit – maybe mirroring what was going on on the national level.  You might argue that it’s all very much alive, but do you also feel a sense that the points of references/inspirations have shifted or widened and there’s more to Fuzz than what we might have thought in the past? 10 years ago I could scour local rags, blogs, and radio shows and find dozens of weird/lo-fi/experimental oriented bands playing around town, but the Fuzz seems to be trending in a little more watered down or capital R rock direction. I’d love to be proven wrong or shown the Light – so what do you got for me?

Local music consumption and discovery is the name of the game, my good man! I’ve found my brain likes to gamify things generally, and FUZZED OUT has been a super-specific way for me to gamify listening to music and going to shows. If I go out to OB’s and see a new band like Feep that immediately blows me away, I can start spinning their tunes and maybe even get them in for an interview at some point! Even just walking around in Boston, there are fun ways to gamify the physical world through a FUZZED OUT lense: there’s a random show poster hanging up on this pole, better check it out! This grimey sticker looks like it’s for a band, better search the name and try to find them!

The main way I keep tabs on things is via the @fuzzed_out Instagram account. I follow just about every New England area band or musician I come across, and right now that number is just about 2,000 which is nuts! I also drop these bands follows on Spotify and Bandcamp – I recently stopped paying for Spotify Premium, but as I’m switching everything over to Bandcamp it’s still nice to have my weekly Spotify Release Radar playlist with all the local bands I’m following in the mix.

I appreciate your comment about the show representing multiple scenes, since it’s definitely an aspect of the program I’ve been working to improve for about the past year or so! I think the expanding scope of FUZZED OUT playlists can be tracked alongside the general broadening of my music tastes. Once I did get into the psych/garage stuff I wasn’t too interested in exploring outside of that scene right away, and there are probably enough straight-up rock bands in town to make up a whole radio show’s worth of tunes each week.

But I’ve been trying to branch out a bit more lately. As much as I like fuzzy frequencies, I do think that having different genres and sounds on the show makes it a much more dynamic program. Working in commercial radio for a few years also taught me that having this level of access to a locally minded FM frequency is a huge privilege in this day and age. So while we are trying to cultivate a certain sound, I don’t want it to ever feel like we’re only playing songs from hard rock bands whose members are all four white dudes from Allston. I especially don’t want it to feel like we’re gatekeeping certain types of genres or artists off of the airwaves. 

We don’t do a great job of this every week, and certain genres are harder to incorporate than others (shoutout to all the local hip hop artists out there that release clean/censored versions of their tracks), but it’s definitely an active goal. I think if you were to look at our playlists from even just one year ago, they’d be a lot less expansive than what we’re putting on-air these days.

I also think we’re lucky to have the word “Fuzz” be our guiding light through all of this, since it’s a fairly non-specific label. You and I probably think of similar stuff when we hear “fuzzy music,” but it still isn’t tied down to exactly one specific sound or one exact genre. Of course, I will always have a soft spot for a lot of those bands on that 2015 comp – I’ve been playing Black Beach, Nice Guys, CreaturoS, and Midriffs on the show for years!

But as you mentioned, genres shift and change all the time, especially in terms of what’s “hot” right now. I don’t purport to be a genre expert, but I’ve been getting bummed out these past few years seeing a lot of the bigger, more influential bands drop their psych sounds in favor of something more generically “indie.” Tame Impala, Pond, The Murlocs, Post Animal – obviously these artists should make what they want, and each is going in a fairly different direction on their newest release. But it does feel like we’ve seen a mass exodus from a genre that was really popular only a few years ago, and it’s starting to feel more like a passing fad than I’d like to admit. My roommates with more diverse listening tastes tease me for being “psych boy” sometimes :/

And for the Boston Fuzz scene specifically? I’m not sure what it was like 10 years ago, but I do still think there are a number of local acts who are keeping the fuzz going strong. I guess we’re also in the middle of the Great Pop Punk Revival right now so you see a lot of that going on too. But you’ve certainly got newer bands like The Chives that are keeping the mid-decade Allston Fuzz sound alive and well. My friends in The Endorphins have been working dutifully on their unique grunge-infused garage/psych since 2016 – they’re recording a new record with Alex Allinson right now, which I’m sure will be a ripper. Even Black Beach put out a new EP at the end of last year called Giallo which probably sounds a bit noisier and more experimental than most of the stuff they released in the 2010’s. So I guess everything is constantly changing, but things are staying the same too… How’s that for a middle-of-the-road answer?

Q6. Switching gears a little – give the people a shout on Digital Awareness and what you’re doing with this analog video project? A little live visuals? 

A lot of live visuals!!! Digital Awareness is a new project that I’ve been working on alongside my new-ish friends Harley Spring (who may or may not also be DJ Grey) and Abbey Franz. We specialize in live, audio-reactive show visuals and we’ve been working gigs around town in our red DA boilersuits since the beginning of this year! It’s something we’ve each been interested in independently for a while, so coming together as a team and trying to make a real process and business out of it has been very exciting and creatively rewarding.

Right now we’re starting to narrow down the list of bands we want to work extensively with. It’s fun to hit as many gigs as possible, but we’ve met some really great people in the scene these past few months and think we’re ready to start honing in on unique visual styles with each of them. We’re still finalizing this initial DA “roster,” but if you’re in the scene you’ve probably already heard of Paper Lady, Dutch Tulips, The Rupert Selection, Clamb – they’re all really great musicians and collaborators. We’re so excited to keep working with them and see where each of these acts go from here, since they’ve all already been killing it around town for a while now!

Q7. I also know you’ve been lugging an Aughts or Pre-Aughts camcorder around filming some bands play music. What’s the latest development on giving that a platform?

The show capture stuff now lives under the Digital Awareness umbrella too actually! I wasn’t totally sure where this fit in last month when I filmed Death Snail and Electric Street Queens at the KYLAM Blessing of the Bay gig, but in retrospect it’s a pretty obvious fit. We film on VHS-C tape using a few different JVC GR-AX camcorder models – the first one we started using was actually my old family camcorder that I nabbed from my basement at home. It’s a pretty sturdy model though and fun to shoot with, so we’ve actually gone online and bought a few more since. 

The other big piece of the DA show capture pie is Abbey’s new mirrorless camera – she recently bought a Canon M50 to shoot on, which is convenient because she happens to be a super talented photographer! Tape filming is fun and the lo-fi look can be cool, but we also recognize that a lot of local bands are looking for really high-quality photos these days. So that’s another service that DA provides, right now just to some of our friends’ bands that we’re already working with. Once we finish ironing out a few more details we’ll be ready to start more formally shopping that around town too!

Q8. One final thing. One of the internet’s best things was Dazquest. There’s probably at least a handful of people that agree with me. For all the lazies who aren’t trying to hunt down your website (which is top notch) – tell us about this video game relic and did the subject ever find out about it? There was an entire pandemic to get all up in that business. 

I thought you’d never ask! DazQuest is a project that I started working on in my junior year, when I was studying abroad at the University of Haifa in the spring of 2018. The bus system in Haifa was generally great but it shut down on the weekends. Sometimes I was out and about traveling, but other weekends I stayed in my dorm room and taught myself Twine, a piece of interactive storytelling software that I had been interested in for a while. At the time I was an editor of the BC satire paper The New England Classic, so naturally my first target for a silly comedy video game was our incredibly mediocre head football coach Steve Addazio. (‘Daz was an early Vine star, and was eventually fired in 2019 after going a perfect 44-44 over his six year career at BC.)

I came back from Haifa that summer and went to work fleshing the game out with my friends and satire brothers-in-arms Luke Layden and Peter “Zogby” Zogster. DazQuest got some local campus press coverage and we registered over 1,500 hits in its first two weeks, which felt pretty cool. But did the mustachioed man himself ever lay eyes on it? We’re not sure, but I heard from members of the football videography staff that the players were definitely playing it on their phones in the locker room and were trying to hide its existence from their coaches.

We also went onto Daz’s Wikipedia page afterwards and wrote a whole section about the game which nobody ever removed, so I bet he has heard about it before in one form or another. It feels kinda weird to have spent multiple years of my life turning a real flesh and blood person into a living meme, but  when you get paid over $2.5 mil a year I sure hope it helps you develop a thick skin when it comes to dealing with losers like me.

Q9. And lastly – did I leave anything out? Any shout outs or wheelings and dealings in the Jorsh World? 

I think your questions were pretty exhaustive actually! I do have a few quick shoutouts – specifically to Mariam Ahmed Aare and Judy Schwartz, both of whom helped FUZZED OUT get back on-air this semester after a brief hiatus at the start of the year.

I also want to thank Ari Khoudary for all of their help and support over the years. Ari was the Program Director at WZBC when I started getting more involved at the station. They gave the Audioguide some great timeslots, helped me run the Jeb! in-studio, and opened my eyes to what good interview-based programs on the Z could look like with their show default mode. Ari and I stayed close after college – they supported me greatly during and after the launch of FUZZED OUT, opened my eyes to the joys of owning and listening to music on vinyl, and helped me get a basic foothold in and understanding of the Boston music scene when I was just starting out. Ari and I are no longer close, but both FUZZED OUT and my overall love for radio would not be the same without their influence in my life.

And of course, I want to thank everyone who has ever tuned into the show, dropped a comment in the Spinitron chat, liked one of our posts online, or otherwise kept things FUZZED OUT. Without you, we’d be doing this all for nothing! Which still wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, I guess. Thanks again for having me on for an interview, KLYAM!

KLYAM SHOW AT CHARLIE’S KITCHEN MONDAY 6/27!

Allow us to bring our Summer festivities indoors for an enviable show at the unrivaled Charlie’s Kitchen in Harvard Square where Mondays never have to suck.

The date is June 27th (yeah, next Monday night) and we’ve got one for you: two wild oldies cover bands and the wildest punk band in New England. Read on.

The debut of Pledge Pins – slop frat rockers cutting all the slack of garage classics. One to two minute blasts and on to the next.

Johnnie and the Foodmasters are cut from a similar cloth as PP; while the Pins are minimal, the 6 piece Elvis worshippers may be a described as a little bit much!

And what about RONG? Oh just the best punk band in Boston. Will give you the jitters like all the Boston underground noize greats and provoke inexplicable dancing and grooving.

Come through at 9 PM for $5. 21+



KLYAM DJ Sets @ State Park (6/1)

We painted the town red last Wednesday at State Park! The tech bros were offended by the noise, but most people seemed to enjoy themselves. As always the staff was wonderful. Here’s what we played:

Chris’s Set: Nice Guys – Jamaican Vacation/Medical Envy, Sector Zero – Guitar Attack, Spodee Boy – Big Spud/III/Sterile World, Uranium Club – Sun Belt

Glen’s Set: Children of the Flaming Wheel – Waves, Staches – Great Depression, Gremlins UK – You Lie in a Park, Nots – Floating Hand, Fagettes – My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders

Chris: The Spits – Tonight, Los Saicos – Demolicion, The Outsiders – Summertime Blues, The Banshees – They Prefer Blondes, The Crystals – He’s a Rebel

Glen: Giorgio Murderer – Theme From Star Trek, The Ar-Kaics – Make You Mine, Curtis Mayfield – Nothing Can Stop Me, Patty & the Emblems – Please Don’t Ever Leave Me Baby, John Fred & His Playboy Band – Judy in Disguise

Chris: The Dreamers – Because of You, Colleen Green – Y Do You Call Me?, Saba Lou – Until the End, Coloured Balls – Heavy Metal Kid, Vomit Squad – Amon Ra Bless America/Burning With Beelzebub

Glen: Fats Domino – When My Dreamboat Comes Home, Elvis Presley – Patch It Up, Ray Coniff & His Singers – Somewhere My Love, Jim Croce – Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Pastiche – Austin Lunch ???

Chris: A Clockwork Orange OST Side 1: Wendy Carlos – Title Music from A Clockwork Orange (From Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary)/A Deutsche Grammophon Recording (Rome Opera House Orchestra conducted by Tullio Serafin, Wendy Carlos – The Thieving Magpie (Abridged) (Gioachino Rochini)/Wendy Carlos – Theme From A Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana)/Wendy Carlos, A Deutsche Grammophon Recording (Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Ferenc Fricsay/Wendy Carlos – March from A Clockwork Orange (Ninth Symphony, Fourth Movement Abridged) (Beethoven)/Wendy Carlos – William Tell Overture (Abridged) (Rossini)

Angry Angles – Stab You Dead, You Call it Love, Ausmuteants – Fed Through a Tube, Young Identifiers – Threats, Public Execution – SS Brigade, The Press – Alcoholic

Glen: Paris Hilton – Stars Are Blind, Johnny Cash – Get Rhythm, Capes of Good Hope – Shades, Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline, Exposé – December

Chris: Madonna – Material Girl, Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick, Insults – Just a Doper, Electric Eeels – Spin Age Blasters, Black Abba – Betting On Death

Glen: Pscience – X-Ray Eyes, Charles Beverly – Don’t You Want a Man Like Me?, The 5th Dimension – Don’t Cha Hear Me Callin’ to Ya, Barbara Carr – Messing With My Mind, Charles Beverly – Hollywood

Chris: Five Discs – Never Let You Go, Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill, Bobby Darrin – Mack the Knife, Rosie & the Originals – Angel Baby, Rolling Stones – Lady Jane

Glen: Jay Blackfoot – The Girl Next Door, Dean Martin – Return to Me, The Minutemen – Slopping Around ????. The Vagrants – Rescue the Sea, The American Breed – Bend Me, Shape

Chris: Butthole Surfers – Cowboy Bob, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy – Relaxation, The Shaggs – Philosophy of the World, Little Sports Car, Toxie – Newgate, Three Degrees – When Will I See You Again?

Glen: Children of the Flaming Wheel – Trenches

Chris: The Tempos – The Closer You Are, SOA – Public Defender, Gonna Have to Fight

Glen: Paris Hilton- I Want You

Chris: Best Coast – So Gone, That’s the Way Boys Are

Bradford Barker of Death Snail / Denizen Records Releases Saves The Nation

Bradford Barker has a way about him. In the past few months we’ve become connected. Conjoined nearly. It all started with a little CATCHING UP – those that are paying attention KNOW. Whatsup. The Calendars, Death Snail, Kitty Fuckers, The Alaskas, At Stan’s Bris. All of these entities foreign to me mere months ago. And yeah I’m not going to leave off the infamous Dirty Babies Club – where it all began…. (for me)

Well, the spirit of Denizen and, by extension the Furry fraternity, is to throw a lot at you all at once. This method is refreshing and wild. So Brad drops this one on us: Saves The Nation – a studio quality release that was recorded, mixed, and mastered by co-conspirator and indie popper turned punk Gavin Caine. I knew what to expect and what not to expect. Both.

There’s plenty of remarks to be made about this record. Questions, too. But we will leave that to the talent evaluators and mass media. I’ll tell you this.

The beauty of this album is the adventurous genre hopping. Bradford goes from acoustic singer-songwriter to indie rockstar to making the alt country record that Jay Reatard never made. Splitting the difference between a Pavement era Weird Al and a vintage Dew Myron. But not ever really being satisfied with just that. Powerful.

The album to forget how to review an album.

Saves the Nation by Bradford Barker & Death Snail

SHOW ALERT: SAT MAY 14 – KLYAM BLESSES THE BAY OUTDOOR SPRING SHOWCASE!

FLYER DESIGN BY COCO ROY!

WE ARE BEYOND EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE OUR NEXT SHOW – KLYAM BLESSES THE BAY – A FREE OUTDOOR SHOWCASE @ BLESSING OF THE BAY BOATHOUSE PARK (SOMERVILLE) ON SATURDAY, MAY 14 FEATURING ……

ELECTRIC STREET QUEENS – HIGH energy rock ‘n roll mayhem – first show since 2020!!!!!!!

BAYLIES BAND (NEW BEDFORD) – 9 PIECE dance punk outfit, celebrating 28 YEARS

G. GORDON GRITTY – Experimental pop meets weird punk, 10 yr anniversary

DEATH SNAIL – Furry frat Allston allstar nu wave/ post pop punk trio

COME ON DOWN!

\\\ KLYAM’S 4/12 STATE PARK DJ PLAYLIST \\\

So you had a ball last night at our first DJ night over at the best bar around – State Park in Kendall Square? Same. It’s long been an institution, but the People Playing Records series is knocking it out of the Park as an opportunity for amateur music enthusiasts & disc jockeys to spin their heart out. We’re grateful to be a part of the mix! Speaking of which the crowd is quite the eclectic mix of students, tech millionaires, punks, pool sharks, loan sharks, friends, and first dates. The staff is friendly AF. Shout out to them.

Here are the songs/sets that we played:

Glen: Lee Hazlewood – Califa (Stone Rider), T. Rex – The Slider, Ananda Shankur – Jumpin Jack Flash, The Tail Gators – Rock ‘n’ Roll Till the Cows Come Home, Danyel Gerard – Sexology, The Hawaiian Singers – Bali High

Chris: The Earls – Remember Then, The Mighty Hannibal – Love is Funny, The Lids Something to Do, The Mummies – (You Must Fight to Live) On the Planet of the Apes/White Caps Part I

Glen: The Barbaras – Summertime Road, Giorgio Murderer – Beat Up the West Coast, Swell Maps – International Rescue, Swingers Resort – Hit List, The King Khan & BBQ Show – Zombies, Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin – I Wear Black

Chris: The Phantom – Love Me, The Novas – The Crusher/Take 7, The Triumphs – Surfside Date/Susie in My History Class, Please Seekers – What a Way to Die

Glen: Paris Hilton – I Want You, Tracey Trance 10th & Stone Lane, Beat Happening – Noise, The Beets – Broken English, Saralee – Lead the Fire, Thee Oh Sees – I Was Denied

Chris: The Cavemen – Nightmare/Over You, The Donnas – Let’s Go Mano/Last Chance Dance, The Reatards – I Lie Too/She Don’t Know

Glen: The Savages – Born to Be Wild, Bound & Gagged – Black Sand, The Hawaiian Singers – The Hawaiian Wedding Song, Swell Maps – Hey Johnny, Where’s the Chewing Gum?  T. Rex – Spaceball Ricochet, Tracey Trance – Feelin’ the Sun

Chris: Dion – I Wonder Why, The Dreamers – Because of You, The Students – Everyday of the Week, The Velvets – Tonight (Could Be the Night), Trampoline Team – Kill You On the Streetcar/False Fiend, The Wongs – Get Away/Let’s Go to Outerspace (Baby)

Glen: The Tail Gators – Cajun Honey, The Barbaras – Topsy Turvey Magic, Giorgio Murderer – I Ain’t Doing So Hot, The King Khan & BBQ Show – I’ll Never Belong, Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin – Ramona, The Beets – For You

Chris: Beat Happening – Red Head Walking, Adam Green – Friends of Mine, Atlas Sound – I’ll Be Your Mirror, Best Coast – Sun Was High (So Was I), Cyrpress Hill – Insane in the Brian

Glen: Paris Hilton – Stars Are Blind, Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime, Mohammed Rafi – Jaan Pehechaan Ho, Saralee – Jackolantern House, Saralee – Bugs in My Coffee, Charlotte Leslie – Les Filles C’est Fait

Chris: Marie Marie – Do You Do You Brush Your Teeth? Mickey Bliss – Cocktails for Two, Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time, Generation X – Dancin’ With Myself, Nots – Virgin Mary, Anemic Boyfriends – Fake ID, Icky Boyfriends – Frank’s Mom/Muffin, Euromilliard – Indolore, The Kingsmen – Louie Louie, From – Chase Me Up a Rhubarb Tree,  Fire Heads – Sleep At Night/Hardly There, Mudhoney – Sweet Young Than Ain’t Sweet No More, Bukkake Boys – Elite/Self Interest/Invisible Boundaries/Female Dog, -1 –  Hate is a Faucet/You Lack Direction/We Guilt This City/Policin the Scene/Social Justice/Negative One, Smith Westerns – Irukanji/Crabman, The Jades/Lou Reed – So Blue/Leave Her for Me, John Trubee – A Blind Man’s Penis, Connie Lingus – Fuck Me Forever, The Teddy Bears – To Know Him, Is to Love Him, The Elegants – Little Star, The Cryin’ Shames – Please Stay

NEW SUBMISSIVES ALBUM OUT NOW!!! ON BRUIT DIRECT DISQUES

Our favorites from Montreal, Canada – The Submissives – have a new album out!

BUMBLING, DYING GUITAR BUT WITH UNDENIABLE POP INTIMACY!
An unmistakable force to be reckoned with – there is no other band like them! Except maybe Gash Rat, a related band. Check out all their stuff too ~~~~

All Amateur Aspiring bands – this is must listening

Bruit Direct Disques out of France has released the LP: https://bruit-direct.org/product/the-submissives-wanna-be-your-thing/

// Catching Up With Bradford of Denizen Records, Furry Frat, and A Shit Ton of Bands \\

I wanted to get to the bottom of the cult of Denizen Records – reading their website , perusing a lengthy Bandcamp discography, and shows at the Furry Frat (and elsewhere). Brad was nice enough to answer some questions from the bathroom of his workplace. Thanks buddy.

Q1. Thanks for the interview DENIZEN RECORDS. I’m going to link to your website, which is amazing in its early internet glory. A BRUTALIST website in 2022.  So from flipping around on there I’ve gathered that DENIZEN RECORDS started in the North Shore (Massachusetts?) in 2016, maybe as a high school collective of music nerds? Is that on point? Relatedly, there are tons of bands / projects / whatever on DENIZEN RECORDS. There’s a lot of information and a lot of music. Currently or even historically, was/is there a core group of you that are in all of these bands and would you like to identify yourself? 

Glenn. Thanks again for the interview , it is an honor to be the ee of an esteemed publication such as this and sorry again for the delay. First off you’ve got us all figured out throughout all these questions. My friend Sean Burke started denizen back then and it had a major internet success (punk against trump) along with releases from some high school related bands. After that I kind of usurped it (evil tyrant style) and the breadth of dzn015 and onwards are derived from torments near and dear to me and my friends

Q2. Just to dwell on the past for a little bit – what was the dynamic or impetus for starting all of these bands and releasing music? Any ‘influences’ in the game of high volume releases? Or with having a sense of humour about it all. Some might call it ‘A Joke’. Now that I think of it I may have stumbled across y’all years back when I used to browse Bandcamp for new music. I always thought – “shit, this is a lot to digest.” I wondered who was behind it. 

It’s great you found it all those years back.

One thing I’ll say for denizen is random people have a knack for coming across it  . It’s definitely one of those things where 5 people in the world would die for the cause but all

The 14 year olds on tik tok are gonna be in the darkness . There’s been many instances of people reaching out to us from various circles of hell . Beggars can’t be choosers !Your other question – a  joke me and Gavin have after writing a song is asking each other , “what part of my brain wrote this? ” I.e. Is this kitty fuckers or death snail or what . Lol 


Q3. Let’s fast forward to 2022. In addition to being a label, you’ve got some shows planned for this winter/spring. At some hot legit venues like O’Briens, Charlies Kitchen, sure. But also FURRY FRAT. Is it safe to say that the non-traditional venue known as FURRY FRAT is home base or HQ for Denizen Records? Can you give a little history of this lovely spot? I hadn’t heard of it until I was blessed to come and fill in for Matt in DBC (Dirty Babies Club) on a whim at the Fuzzstival afterparty. It seemed to be a mix of partychasing young adults and aged/seasoned show-goers. Classic. 

What a classic night. The furry frat is the bane of my existence but it’s the only thing saving rock and roll from the tik tok teens and the yuppy scum buying up venues everywhere with their Berklee parents money . I’ve lived in Boston my whole life and it’ll be sad to see all the real music fade away to be replaced by aforementioned yuppy scum , but they gotta put a new tatte somewhere I guess . And who’s gonna write the soundtrack . 

Q4. Also a more modern question. Indulge me a bit in your own words of the DENIZEN/associated bands that are or will be actively playing out in this post-pandemic environment. KITTY FUCKERS and DEATH SNAIL – I’m seeing these pop up from Denizen. But also seems like you have a kinship with THE CALENDARS/DEW MYRON, and maybe some of the ole TRIXIES PALACE gang. I’m just an outsider, so please enlighten me on these connections. 

If you like Death snail , you’ll love death snail live . I’m excited for kitty cause that’s also Gavin’s songs and he’s the one making marionettes of us all . Dewey is the best song writer I’ve ever met and together we make tres amigos I guess . I miss the dbc and trixy days . But rumor has it we’ll play a couple reunion shows. You know Neil said better to burn out than to fade away  

Q5. Oh yes – are you just releasing stuff digitally or have there been tapes / records / mini discs / other arcane formats? Wouldn’t put that kind of stuff past you. 


Death snail was originally all tape only , there’s over a hundred songs on those tapes which are my favorite things I’ve ever made . I think they’re all gone but I  have the masters if on the off chance anyone ever wanted to print more 

Q6. This is a guest question submitted by all the shitty music blogs. What do you make of the Boston underground music scene? It seems like there’s a bevy of basements actively putting on shows. Is it like a family or little isolated nooks? Is it better than the North Shore Music Scene (TM-trademark)? I’m from the North Shore and there seems to be a solid tradition of Pop Punk and Emo Screamo, dating back to at least the 90s or 2000s. Surely that’s growing up in Boston. Imagine growing up in Memphis with Goner Records and The Barbaras?  Would I be off in saying that you may have been a part of that pop punker tradition, but evolved to a broader landscape of experimentalism/weirder shit? I appreciate everyone’s journey. 

When I was In high school my first band was a north shore pop punk thing. It was the best band I’ve ever been in cause it was high school and all we cared about was punk and girls , both of which very far out of our reach  . Now we’re all so jaded but I try to be as pure as I was back then . The scene now as I’ve mentioned sucks , every house you gotta submit an application to Berklee and fill out 3 Google docs to get a presale. thats the only thing keeping the  furry frat going though I’m getting too old for this shit . sorry if this sounds more deranged than usual I’m typing really fast in the bathroom of work! 

Thanks again Glenn 

Yours , Bradford 
^^THE END^^



UPCOMING DENIZEN-RELATED SHOWS:

MONDAY, MARCH 21 – CHARLIE’S KITCHEN – NICE GUYS, DEATH SNAIL, BETTY MOODY

SATURDAY, MARCH 26 – FURRY FRAT – CORPOREAL, RANDY AND THE SHOWER STEAM, X-RAY SIERRA, SATCHEL + CAMILO

MONDAY, MARCH 28 – O’BRIENS PUB – KITTY FUCKERS, G. GORDON GRITTY, BLUES DREAM BOX

FRIDAY, APRIL 1 – FURRY FRAT – NICE GUYS 10 YRS ANNIVERSARY

// Catching Up W/ Alex Walton (Youth Against Satan), Playing Furry Frat 3/18 \\

ALEX WALTON PLAYS THE FURRY FRAT (BOSTON) ON FRIDAY MARCH 18th – 8:30 PM – WITH THE CALENDARS, WILL MC HEEL, AND G. GORDON GRITTY. GRITTY CAUGHT UP W/ ALEX. SEE BELOW:

q1 – YOUTH AGAINST SATAN , thank you for this. Please introduce yourself(s) however you wish – is this an individual or a collective effort? According to some slight research, it appears that 2017 was the starting point with Hands Highway. Is that right on or was there stuff before then associated with YOUTH AGAINST SATAN. 

My name is Alex Walton, and I started Youth Against Satan in 2018 as an impromptu “record label” in order to create an overarching collection for the various musical projects I had done up to that point, namely Hands Highway, Semper Games, GSB, and under my own name. As time progressed, I started releasing music by my friends through it.

q2. Relatedly to the above – sorry if it’s come up a bit before in past interviews and media spells – South By South Wests and things – but the name YAS stands out. If you are at liberty to talk more on that. But if not, I was, too, wondering if Boston has always been homebase, if it is currently? 

We are called Youth Against Satan because we are vehemently against Satan, Lucifer, the Dark Lord, forces of hate, evil, nihilism, unTruth, and as such, we try to create love, good, purpose, striving towards the Truth In All Things. There’s so much shit out there that wants you to kill yourself, and we want to work against that. This doesn’t mean to be saccharine and gleeful at all times, I think you know what I mean. Redeeming, not deprecating. A song can save a life.

I started YAS in Boston, yes. Where it will go, if it goes anywhere, I am not sure. I’ve never been so good at predictions.

q3. Amazing music by the way. Noise pop, Proto or Post punk, surf, a little garage spirit that’s right up our alley so I’m inclined to think we’ve been missing the boat on your stuff – Group Sounds, Alex Walton, etc, etc – ; pre-pandemic were you playing shows in Boston / touring? Feel definitely free to give a run down/description or timeline of YAS associated bands. 

All of us have not played as nearly as many shows, pre- or post- killer virus, as we would have liked to, this city is rough for booking and short for venues. There were a small handful of GSB performances before and a handful after, but GSB has run its course and has been dismantled for the time being. AWSMASB (alex walton shame music all star band) has been getting a decent amount of shows, but people in this city need to wake up and book our other artists like Vim and Grilltones. We have had a lot more success booking and playing shows in New York with our friends John Variety and Matt Danger Lippmann (who incidentally just played a fantastic show here last week with Winkler), but it’s still rough out here.

q3a. Have YAS releases all been digital or any tapes, vinyl, other mediums at play? Any upcoming releases?

All digital file transfers as of yet, but there are plans for vinyl, CDs, a Group Sounds Band movie, a Youth Against Satan restaurant, Vim Jordan 4s, Jaden Cruz McDonald’s Signature meal, a SHAME MUSIC video game, Michael Grill AR-15, etc etc. whenever we may be given enough money to make it happen.

I am in the midst of producing a secret Jaden Cruz project, as well as a new Alex Walton ep/album/something with some remixes and special guests which should release sometime this spring. Lots of music videos.

q4. Alex Walton Band is playing at Furry Frat Friday March 18th – anything we can or cannot expect? Based on some bandcamp listens I so much feel the basement energy and getting in that spirit. Any preference of these underground gigs to their aboveboard counterparts? 

Expect a lonesome desert town in a pink glow. Expect an overabundance. Expect to find the love of your life. Expect seeing someone on stage fully invested in Quixotic ideals of pop music as art. Come with mirth in your heart and wish for nothing, you’ll find what you really want. 

The places themselves do not matter as much as how they sound. Most “venues” in Boston have not ideal sound people working much less than ideal PAs and try to run your entire band through a couple of shit monitors. I prefer all the elements to speak for themselves in an intimate space. I like playing at bars that give me drink tickets.

q5. Want to shout out what I see as a love of Alan Vega, Devo — is there a general kinship of protopunk & stuff of the like? And other modern musical favorites or even older, obscurer, whatever, things like that you feel aligned with on some level? 

Proto, post, whatever, the goal of pop music is transcendental Truth, and these descriptors mean nothing except division and abstraction away from this goal. We all want the same thing at the end of the day, to make someone somewhere at some time listen and feel and understand and be understood. I appreciate those who can create deep immediate significance from the most primal and obvious, and I don’t have much patience for “complex” and erudite music that loses what makes this all work. 

I am aligned with Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx (in that order), Arthur Rimbaud, Candy Darling, Egon Schiele, my bandmates Brendan and Jaden, everyone on YAS (especially Vim), Winkler, will.i.am, Liam and Jori from Comet Pond, the Modern Warfare 3 ads with Eminem, John V Variety, Lou Reed, Matthew Danger Lippmann, Takashi Mizutani, Patrick Gray, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Adrian Borland, and all other truth-telling liars and previous incarnations of myself. 

Duty Now For The Future,

Alex Walton

Boston based show curator, fansite, and label