|Year Six (Episodes 235-288)
Episode 288: Props (12/30/2002): (Full Staffed) There I was, inside this Philip Johnson-circa-1958 home in idyllic western NY state. The sparse huge trees and well tended grounds were just the other side of the thick walls of glass framed with dull beams of a wood I had never seen before, but came closest in description to walnut. It was overcast and warm, Lake Chautauqua mere minutes away, and I decide from my ultra-lounge lounge chair that I will finally help Carrot Top with his scheme, only then to renege when I find out his true plans. He goes on, expecting my support. It had something to do with a street in the neighborhood of this house I was in, [but never did leave]; a street on a hill, like that in nearby Mayfield, NY, only smaller and more aboricious. Carrot Top's left in the dust, his plans collapse. Quite rightly, he blames me. I'm now glad that there are only relatively tiny venting windows at the tops of the glass walls of this house I'm in, because Carrot Top wants to kick my ass. He's been working out and he's mad as hell. He keeps pounding on the glass. He keeps charging it like a wild animal, during which time I never realize that he is without any props. You'd assume that he'd have some kind of goofy glass breaking utility, like a portable Beverly Sills or something, but it's just his fists and feet this time. He makes one last charge at the glass, kicking it wildly. Then, the alarm screams to life!. The radio station it is tuned to is kicking up about the Cleveland Browns as it jerks me awake. It was a dream after all . . . and I presume it was generated by the radio show. Call it "X-Mas" themed with new remodeled compositions of Yuletide favorites, like 23 layers of White Christmas, Too Many Days of Christmas, Every Saturnalia (beta), and "Crack Your Nuts To This", which might make Tchaikovsky barf. Dr. Asbestos made an audio tour of the incoming waves of relatives and festering new crops of holiday music by "modern" artists, as we also heard from something like karaoke, from WRP, [not too much like, though] and the Lost Scrolls from the Book of Frosty about the coming of the Savior, his minions and vices, and the Virgin Mary's sweet ass. . . or something like that. A fairly evil show, all in all, if it can generate dreams like this. And the words, and the music, and what we did with it . . . this is one of those few shows that will surely damn us to hell.
Episode 287: Nagoya Math Journal Subs Two (12/29/2002): (Full Staffed) Once again, we were subbing for the infamous Nagoya Math Journal. Though this was a "full staffed" show, it certainly wasn't a proper Press The Button format. It was essentially a second attempt at last week's "966" without the Recycled Crayon present. Make no mistake, there was no shortage of pornographic disco content (some of it actually made by porn stars!) We also featured some audio collage from our friends Stop Children, Stark Effect, stAllio!, Michael Townsend, and Wobbly. Oh, and we proved that pornography leads to drug use and Communism. Before leaving the air waves, we taught some 15 year old boys all the graphic details about puberty, sex, wet dreams, and masturbation. As usual, we were bombarded with phone calls . . . the most noteworthy of which came from Pimpdaddysupreme and the PiSs. We asked people to give their New Year's resolutions for 2003, and instead they gave us extremely uncreative insults. For example, "your show sucks worse than a Hoover vacuum cleaner" (that was one of the more funny ones.) This show is only available as a partial 1.5 - 2 hour program, since most of the music played during the program was edited out. It will only be sold along side another order, but not by itself.
Episode 286: Feminine Dialogues (12/23/2002): (Un-Staffed, Widget, Recycled Crayon) <written by the Recycled Crayon> Is a woman’s perspective and methodology all that different from a man’s? Having witnessed a few male audio collage shows that sometimes tend to became male cock fights about trying to be louder, better, and bigger, we got the inspiration to attempt our own show. What would happen with women working together without men? Would the same thing happen? Would they even approach it in the same manner and attitude as a man? Of course there were certain unavoidable influences that needed to be taken into consideration. Being closely associated with Press the Button, we were naturally going to be unduly influenced by them and their approach to collage. Considering this, our approach was familiar to the audience, yet surprisingly unique. All the samples, readings, music, and songs were about, composed by, and performed by women. To mention a few, we played compositions by Pauline Oliveros, Helen Reddy, Cherry, Janis Joplin, and Leslie Gore. Our topics covered a wide range of issues, including the cultural and historical stereotypes of women and women’s roles, the liberation movement, barriers faced by women in the work environment, athletics, discrimination, self image, biology, health issues, women in the military, female oriented cartoons, and the history of prostitution. Also included in the mix were some lovely chords played by Widget on her new guitar.
Episode 285: Nagoya Math Journal Subs One (12/22/2002): (every man/Paul Ryan/Recycled Crayon) This show took place on Saturday night, and our attitude reflected it (we were substituting for the Nagoya Math Journal who couldn't make it this week.) We threw several pieces of ear candy at you during this three hour carnival. Firstly, we bombarded you with oodles of goofy and mindless chatter. Secondly, in between our talk segments we spun some fun-filled records of audio collage music composed by like-minded musicians. Finally, we provided you with a surplus of ignorant, perverted, disrespectful, sexist, racist, indecent, and closed minded phone callers. We often referred to ourselves as "966" since our format often resembled that of "669," a local college radio talk show which airs locally in Cleveland on WCSB, 89.3 FM. Some of our callers were so spiteful with their comments that you could almost consider their content to be "hate speech." We hung up on them whenever we could, but they kept coming back. Despite the low level of humor and intellect presented within this program, we had all of our lines ringing off the hook well into the next program. This show is only available as a partial 1.5 - 2 hour program, since most of the music played during the program was edited out. It will only be sold along side another order, but not by itself.
Episode 284: 29 Times (12/16/2002): (Full Staffed) The show opens with the song "RIAArt" (off "The System That Never Fails") representing a little tribute to our recent critics and their small-minded zealotry. The sea is a hard mistress, and takes many with her every year. This show is a look at some of those unfortunates. Liquid sound and song ebb and flow . . . long samples . . . largely unprocessed . . . settle to the bottom . . . gently bending . . . deforming, under the pressure of the water. Taken from documentaries and our own voices, the stories of just a few of the many ships that now find harbor where only the giant kraken go were slowly pieced together, weaving civilian tragedy [the Titanic] to the detritus of war [the Bismarck] and everything in between [the Turtle, the Edmund Fitzgerald, etc.] By the third hour, the storms calmed. The music settled and Mary and Jimmy take a boat trip . . . [trip] [trip] [trip] [trip] [trip] [trip] [trip] [trip] . . . we hear new music made from the uninspired musical compositions that bathed the narrators during several Titanic documentaries. Little rivulets of incidental music coalesce and join, filling the pool of sound ever deeper, until all of the listeners, with their water-jackets soaked through (and sunk beneath the surface), smoothly blend with the Spacemen 3 of the next program. Far looser than usual -- one of the most trippy shows this year.
Episode 283: Remetaled (12/09/2002): (Full Staffed) Throwing you all for a loop that the Washington D.C. Beltway would be proud of, we actually performed Heavy Metal music! Okay, we didn't perform it, per se. We sequenced it! Overall, this concept is no different from how a hip hop or techno DJ carefully beat matches his music in a "cue" mode before mixing it into his currently playing tune. We just decided to pick a more unique and challenging format to use for the same purpose. After spending several hours during the week gathering source material, each of us presented an hour long composition of sequenced (or "beat matched") guitar riffs from past and modern heavy metal music. No vocals or drum solos, no intros or outros, and sorry . . . playlists weren't included either. The first hour was simply titled "Remetaled," and was randomly composed without our listening to the piece while putting it together. In essence it was "Remodeled Metal." The sequencing approach was academic, in that the BPM's of all the riffs were matched perfectly, but the random inclusion of what loop goes where made it rather startling and humorous in several sections. The second hour was made up of three sections: Remetaled A, Remetaled B, and Remetaled X. This hour wasn't randomly produced, though mostly stuck to an academic beat matching approach. Remetaled A was more like listening to a live rock concert with a never ending (though constantly evolving) guitar solo; that's how smoothly it was produced. Remetaled B was ambient in its flow like a breakdown from all of the earlier monotony . . . giving you mellow strumming with and without distortion pedals being used and virtually no drums were included, if any at all. Remetaled X kept the trance feel, but added drums and more distortion. This one evolved into the most varied section of the three that hour offering a pleasant grand finale. The last hour was called Every Metal, and was sequenced live using two methods . . . computer software and CD decks with beat matching capabilities. It flowed a bit differently from the first two hours, in that the first half of the hour was usually playing three loops simultaneously. It was a wall of heavy metal madness, constantly changing riffs every few seconds . . . not that you'd ever know! The second half was a stark contrast . . . more transcending, less chaotic, and kindly removing a few levels of warp speed from your earlier drives (we're not sure what that means either.) If you love heavy metal, you'll definitely get a "name that tune" kick out of this program on Drinking Game proportions. Even if you don't care for metal, you'll love what we did with it.
Episode 282: It's a Setup (12/02/2002): (Full Staffed) When a standup comedian tells a joke, it can be broken down into two parts: 1). The setup, which lays down the groundwork for the joke, and 2). the punch line, which ties together the various loose ends that the setup laid out before. We removed the punch lines from the 45 years worth of standup comedy records we brought (which ranged from the white bread to the risqué.) An audience laughter without a punch line is absurd. A joke without a punch line isn't a joke . . . it's possibly just as absurd, since this removes the nature of the joke. Some might refer to such a thing as "dada." If you want to look inside the nature of jokedom, you avoid the humor at all costs. This was probably the least funny program we've done in a while, and possibly the most labor intensive to put together. Samples would start, from Bill Cosby to Rusty Warren, then stop . . . and stop . . . and what the hell happened to the show? Oh there it is . . . some laughter and clapping. Then another sample, and so on. Very spare, anti-flow, anti-rhythm, a hard look at a hard job.
Episode 281: Charlatans "OK" (11/25/2002): (Full Staffed) Three different hour long presentations of a charlatan who "crosses over" daily, John Edward. First hour is rather musical, second hour is more philosophical and contemplative, and the third hour is densely chaotic. If you had your doubts of this man before, hearing his statements cutup into over 4,000 phrases (thanks to over 48 hours of our meticulous masochism) you'll be far more skeptical. Aside from constantly repeating "OK" and "does this make sense to you?" you find that he is regularly envisioning children with a name that starts with the letter "J" (like JOHN?) and often "crosses over" to five families at the same time (increasing the odds of his successful predictions by 400%.) We're not saying we don't believe him. We're open to the possibility that he receives messages from the afterlife . . . as much as we're open to the existence of an afterlife. In either circumstance, we seek indisputable proof before passing final judgment. We certainly don't deny the lack of indisputable evidence towards the opposing claim that life is terminated when our physical bodies die. There's nothing wrong with asking "what if?" However, we'd like to think this program answers "because . . . " without asking for proof. In this case, we spend three hours considering the source.
Episode 280: Saran Wrap Silence (11/18/2002): (Full Staffed) Reeling in shock from the cancellation of previously scheduled guest performer Varian Shepherd (Silence Syndrome), The Buttoneers retaliated by doing everything in their power to become Varian (hopefully without insulting his dignity.) It is important to note the Button staff were basking in the exaltation of a successful performance the previous night at the OCEA(n) festival [where n is a variable.] There, they met many creative audio artists and musicians, spending several hours discussing unique philosophies and artistic approaches. This combination of conflicting emotions resulted in the happiest, crunchiest, crankiest, noisiest show they have done in a while. Extraordinary amounts of sonic creativity was afoot. The intrepid Dr. Asbestos arrived with much keyboardage, and a truly knobolicious new Yamaha sequencer. To be honest, he could have been a show by himself. Much like his mind at the time, his fingers were a frenzy, determined to find the structure within the chaos. His audible urges ceased to terminate, yet continually gave birth to new forms of energy and feeling. He was the oceanic tidal wave; building, crashing, giving, and receiving; leaving his cohorts no other choice but to let go of their egos and follow his sail. The redoubtable every man sat aside Paul Ryan on this ship, rowing starboard with not only his sampler, but with CD players he could prove actually work (unlike the unfortunate castoffs awaiting service at the station) plus a new articulated frame to house his copious gear that looks for all the world like a 7 foot tall steel cockroach. Paul Ryan, rowing on the port side, finally developed the sequel to the original "radoiophone", which utilizes what he calls "DUal PAth Multi-band VarIable Output muLtitasking-intErface NeuroTronic technoLogY", or DUPAMVIOLENTLY. As a result of this, Paul Ryan is no longer allowed to create acronyms. Needless to say, there was so much static that Van De Graaf would have wet himself out of joy, probably electrocuting himself in the process. Frequencies surged and folded into each other (like cake batter) filtered through an entire Siberia of electronic snow. Shapes in the sound began to form ghostlike rhythmic asymmetric sonic sconces in the deep velour wallpaper of the overwhelming noise. Specifically generated pink noise came and went, followed by brown, which is usually the way that goes, and the callers went out of their way to match the mood as they plowed through the heavy seas of sounds. Everything got turned way past eleven, finally culminating in the radoiophone 2.2 being turned upon itself. The Button dropped the anchor with this device, pulling in the very broadcast it was broadcasting, effectively turning a 15 kilowatt transmitter into an instrument. After reaching the shore, we began walking what proved to be an unusually broad edge between endless heavy loops and utter feedback destruction. A very involving show.
Episode 279: Animalistic Evolutions of Recycling (11/11/2002): (Full Staffed) The last of the performances from Recycled Rainbow 4 that we plan to broadcast. We started by playing the final hour of the event. This was a live improvisational acoustic set, including every man, Paul Ryan, Billy Catfish, plus Micah & Michael from the Nagoya Math Journal. This set was recorded with 3 microphones placed in 3 different rooms, each one panned in a different direction to give the listener the perspective of sitting right in the middle of it all. It was recorded around 8 am Sunday morning, not that you could tell. The sonic progression went from dadaist spoken word, to melodic singing, to harmonic electronic noise. The second hour was the Evolution Control Committee's set, which started out as a tribute to the removal of pants only to evolve into selected tracks from their new album "Plagiarhythm Nation." Much of this hour was distorted because someone wasn't watching the levels during the second half of his performance, but it's still listenable for the banter in between the songs where the ECC described the songs and asked the audience whether or not each track should be included on the album. The show ended with one of our most favorite performances, albeit the most noisy. Of course, it could only be the Animals Within Animals . . . and this time there were 8 of them! Sonic distortion, perverted spoken word samples, radio white noise, and a whole mess of found sound layered itself all over this hour long set of audio cacophonic explosions. They would have played longer but the cops showed up and told us to turn everything off.
Episode 278: Billy Shepherd Journal Data (11/04/2002): (Full Staffed) More performances from Recycled Rainbow 4. An extraordinarily psychedelic Billy Catfish started off the hour with bluegrass guitar layered on top of a banjo playing in reverse. He was followed by one of the most noisy performances we've ever heard from Varian Shepherd (Silence Syndrome.) Varian's set started out with dark ambiance, only to rise to an extremely high level of abstract minimalist noise. The second hour was filled with the very first debut live performance from the Nagoya Math Journal; a young group of intelligent collage artists whose expertise range from Physics to Drama. The sound of their overall performance was "like touching Jesus." The third hour was filled with something that can not, should not, and will not be elaborated upon. On record, it will only be referred to as "data."
Episode 277: Kevin's Tape Recorder (10/28/2002): (Full Staffed) Included many analog tape recordings made before, during, and after the Recycled Rainbow 4.0 event that took place on October 19th, 2002. Among these were selections from the "dadaist tape recorder" which sat atop the bar during the event, used as a cash register. Those who wanted a beverage of any kind would be charged "sentences" before receiving their poison. It was interesting to hear the tape progress, as it identified who drank the most, and how far along into the realm of drunkenness each "customer" was. We also featured several conversations among Pimpdaddysupreme, Micah - Michael - Sean (of the Nagoya Math Journal), Your Girlfriend, every man, Matt the PM, Connie McCue, Hetmana, and the Recycled Crayon. The third hour was an extremely mashed up rendition of the Nagoya Math Journal radio show which aired on WRUW the night the actual NMJ members were at Recycled Rainbow 4.0 performing. This means, they weren't present for their radio show! Instead, a kind fellow named "Kevin" did their program that night, doing his best to emulate their style of layering and collage. We took those three hours, injected some of our own recordings, and squished them into one hour which resembled an extremely long and dense version of A Big 10-8 Place (part 1) by Negativland. Not sure why, but this entire hour was rich in caller content (none of it directly demanded any caller interaction.) We even lit up all the lines a few times, something which hasn't happened in months.
Episode 276: Audio Cock Fight (10/21/2002): (Full Staffed + WRP + Micah + Your Girlfriend + Recycled Crayon + Connie McCue + "Ann") This show basked in the afterglow of Recycled Rainbow 4.0, featuring many guests. They all did a program very much like their "regular" radio jobs on the internet megastation, Radio Freedom, but now with more wiring. Much needed to be set up, and duct taped down, or ought to have been since there was no duct tape which Paul Ryan decried. There was, however, Wasabi, rice, and jelly doughnuts which helped alleviate Paul Ryan's pain. Once connected, everybody who could, grabbed a family radio and promptly ran outside looking for PDS, but ultimately found the cheese plate which is not the same thing. Frequencies bent . . . even the EBS frequencies. The phones lit up like the Christmas tree at Pomona on Beat the Heat Fridays. There was funk, there was Speak and Spell in equal measure, Dr. Asbestos played a keyboard sideways and backwards, but this caused him to deny his identity [he was fed doughnuts until recovered] every man was doing. . . well, something, there was certainly a lot of THINGS coming from his gear, not all of which could be readily identified, Jim Lederer spoke, allusionarily, by the bye, D^2 (Dr. David Dixon), there was something about Bonanza, and it got noisier and noisier and louder and louder like we had just spun the bearings on the main shaft and were about to go after the seals, pulling an mini- Exxon Valdez all the way down the highway. Needing to refuel, Team PTB pulled into the pits leaving Team WRP out in the lead, backfiring sonically but roaring away with it all from 2:30 onward, totally confusing the next DJ coming up no matter how many times we explained it to him. We might have done a noisier show than this in the past, but never with so much style.
Episode 275: Exploiting Great Explorers (10/14/2002): (Full Staffed) This week we tried our best to make some interesting art out of several hurriedly produced and overall god awful documentaries. These found recordings attempted to provide informative biographies on the world's most "famous explorers," such as Davie Crockett, Daniel Boone, Jacques Cousteau, Leif Ericson, Ponce De Leon, Marco Polo, A. H. Stanley, Lewis and Clark, Christopher Columbus, and Richard Byrd. Rich in content, though always careful with delivery... we meticulously saved your ears from being constantly bombarded from the same boring narrators; and all their stale, skeletal, and sloppy sentence structures (which were so obviously written at the last minute as though the producers had guns held to their heads from network executives who made promises they couldn't keep to the world's most famous cable companies.) These documentaries came from specialized and extremely content hungry cable channels that never should have gone on the air in the first place. We hope you'll enjoy how we gave a little meaning to the meaningless this week.
Episode 274: Remote Listening (10/07/2002): (Full Staffed) Right now, there are aliens, little gray men, in Nevada. You can see for yourself, all you have to do is project yourself astrally. We'll tell you how. Ordinary folks' encounters with "the grays", trips inside the vaunted Area 51, tours of the Roswell Extraterrestrial Museum, and a hypnotically turbid explanation of astral projection and remote viewing. Thin and straggling at first, like faint blips on NORAD's radar, the many voices (some calm, some hysteric) dip and weave together like those little spaceships across the Oregon sky; built just like lifting-body planes, by the way, until the smooth tones of astral projection filled the radio drop by drop like water until the various little beeps and boops from the space noise factory brought by Dr. Asbestos diluted into an ever-widening pools of sound. So pervasive was that voice, that at the command to rest, first Paul Ryan's hands and feet went numb, rapidly followed by his falling into a deep sleep. This lasted about 20 minutes, when at the command to wake, Paul felt what he described as an "electric shock evenly distributed over my whole body" and was suddenly wide awake again. (Yes, one of our staff members actually fell asleep on the air!) Ordinarily, Paul claims he is not susceptible to that sort of thing. Only by buying this program will you know for sure if the same can happen to you.
Episode 273: Sierra Nevada Puree (09/30/2002): (Full Staffed) First 90 minutes were an extension of last week's program, The Californian, with material we never had a chance to get to (like the recording of my pulling up into The Weatherman's driveway for the very first time, his washing my feet upon our first meeting, and our first conversations together in person.) The second 90 minutes slowly blended from Californian recordings to older Nevada recordings. Those were interesting selections from the Burning Man 2001 archives that we didn't get a chance to air last year, mostly because there are over 50 hours of them. The "burning" sections were as every bit surreal as the Burning Man event itself, while Dr. Asbestos washed every single layer in his constantly evolving and entrancing hypno-psychedelic melodies.
Episode 272: The Californian (09/23/2002): (Full Staffed) A thick mix of all things every man recorded during his trip out to San Francisco, where he stayed with Negativland's David Wills & Richard Lyons. We started out the first hour playing the entire hi-fi audio version of the KJR Culture Jam, which was written and recorded by Richard Lyons to satirize the false claim so many Clear Channel owned radio stations make when they say they play the best hits of the 1960's and 1970's, but always seem to include several tracks from the 1980's, though their advertisements deny it several times each hour. The mix thickened with several recordings of every man having discussions of artistic (and non-artistic) natures with Don Joyce, Peter Conheim, David & Richard, the Recycled Crayon, Alex (Kirby Hooks), and Wobbly. Alas, since the microphone was wrapped around every man's neck, he was in the audio limelight much more than he would have liked (even when he was drinking or eating.) Also included is a 72 minute group jam recording every man composed with David and Richard before leaving California. Dr. Asbestos performed along side this recording nicely with his Optomin, adding a spacey layer of sonic richness. The show's final hour mixed more of every man's field recordings, which this time featured the 9/11 performance Negativland members Peter Conheim and Richard Lyons put together, as well as an endless array of answering machine messages left at David's house several years ago.
Episode 271: Amnesia: Part Decatur (09/16/2002): (Paul Ryan & Dr. Asbestos & Micah) Having learned his lesson from last week's program, Paul Ryan remembered all the equipment that he had forgotten to bring from last time. However, he was so caught up with remembering that gear, he forgot his "Big Bucket O' Cables", which connected all the parts together. Much chaos ensued. Out of this rose a thick electronic "taco" sauce to cover the bowl of rice brought by Micah of the Nagoya Mathematical Journal, who was, oddly enough, using chopsticks as eating implements, instead of musical instruments. Crazy. Suddenly every man called, stupefyingly turned into Matt the PM, but then the REAL Matt the PM called, and possibly also Hetmana, though Every swore that it was just a recording, but then again, by that time, he had transformed himself into Every Jam, so some of his statements may have become suspect. But not the ones about Decatur [sorry, Indiana]. Several trips were taken into the very early dawn of techno, acid house, Marrs, and The Sparks, of all people. When we were done whomping those suckers, several records were scratched in rising anticipation of the climax of Every Jam's surprise: Luscious Jackson really can be remixed. A loopy, lunatic musical adventure.
Episode 270: The Show That The Button Forgot (09/09/2002): (Paul Ryan & Dr. Asbestos) every man forgot to show up; admittedly, he was in California getting his feet washed by The Weatherman, David Wills, so he sort of had an excuse, Paul Ryan forgot his keyboard, though he remembered its power supply, and a bunch of cords he didn't need, which displaced space in his bags that should have gone to other things he did need, like a microphone clip; Dr. Asbestos forgot a number of items as well, such as an on switch for his newly invented Optomin, the greatest advance in Theremin technology since Lenin learned how to use one. Using specially developed optical sensors, the Optomin "sees" the good doctor's movements, and generates sounds from that movement. Coupled to Paul Ryan's first musical foray into chopsticks, and Dr. Asbestos's ultra-analog, ultra- Realistic, ultra-keyboard the sound was rich and varied, opening with what could fool people into thinking they were real drums and gongs [they weren't, it was super-Thunderbunnies-stylee'], dense walls of electronic sound were erected atop PTB favorite whipping boy, Peter Jennings, who first attacked us with a US Army sound weapon, identical to one of Dr. A's keyboard presets, only then to morph into Tinky-Winky, as the third hour dawned onto the bright smiling face of a Sun-God Baby and the Teletubbies transported themselves onto the starship Enterprise [Enterprise-D, that is] only to find themselves on the Holodeck program of a Buddhist temple in 20th Century England, blowing, and getting blown by monks, forcing those of us who could still comprehend what the heck was going on, to chant. Extremely-Super-Tremendous call in appearance by both every man and The Weatherman, which sounds redundant but isn't, a lot of gear plugged into a phone, and presumably a big bottle of "alcohol", which we assumed was rubbing alcohol, but you never know.
Episode 269: The Pacific Theater of the Mind (09/02/2002): (Full Staffed) Is this what we call the the greatest Generation? If you go by what these oldsters are saying, the Japanese are pretty awful people, bucktoothed, nearsighted people. At least during WW2. But war, even war samples, do that to you. Close combat, cave-ratting, braving napalm and heavy shelling, it makes you bitter. Samples of men crawling up beaches, watching friends die or the USS Arizona blowing sky high, jumbled violently together like the unending chaos of war, this program features the two who have become WW2's usual suspects: Tom Brokaw and Stephen "does-this-man-have-no-other-job" Ambrosia. Lots of callers added to the warlike chaos, sounds almost seeming to come from the 60's age of computer music, whipped past like tracers right and left, all in all a very cold and dark sound, for the first two hours, island hopping and the sound of the shattered peace in Pearl Harbor. ["You could only volunteer to be a flame-thrower, you know."] And no, that's not the sound of a bong, that's cavitation sounds of the screw from a midget submarine. Finally, David Brinkley restores some order for a few brief moments in the third hour, only for it to come completely apart, like many campaigns do deconstructing yet again in the third hour, pouch by pouch, blow by blow, as Sinatra is a Japanese black Jew, and so is Kermit the Frog, but only on the Ovarian calendar. Then Ronald Reagan called. Shake your ass to this, clap your hands to this, this war in the Pacific, WW2 was the Big Beat Revolution, Snoopycow is rediscovered at the Paul Ryan Roast, and if you got 'em, smoke 'em. Get high, get happy.
Episode 268: Are You a Good Glitch, or a Bad Glitch? (08/26/2002): (Full Staffed) We have problems, the station is full of glitches. Paul is losing his bass and Dr. Asbestos is inside every man's stomach. In a rather violent break from our norm, we tread heavily upon the toes of other specialty electronic artists and prove that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to create this, even our callers glitched us as we talked about glitch...talk about symmetry. We briefly discussed "bootlegs," compared them to Remodeled Music, read off the Top 13 Greatest Glitch Albums Ever, tested the new TELOS system, discussed various methods of making "glitch," talked about Kid606, discussed art vs. entertainment, and made tons and tons of outstandingly loud and obnoxious "glitch" music on the fly, having never truly defined the term for our listeners, or ourselves. (Glitch is apparently a method of creating new music using super tiny "partials" of old music, with total disregard to keeping any original rhythm structure or context...often parts of words are spliced together too, resulting in a completely incoherent mixture of noise without any comprehensible lyrics.) The third hour was quite possibly the most noisy and chaotic we've ever sounded, with glitch coming from NINE different sources. The entire show features brand new music from The Button, including songs that exhibited different approaches to making "glitch" from Dr. Asbestos, Paul Ryan, and every man.
267: From an Old Depression to a New Deal (Part II) 08/19/2002): (Full Staffed) This time, instead of the
generalities of the decade, we focused upon the Great Depression. It
was appropriate, really. It was late, we were tired, and the low mood
of the show fed into our pacing of the program, enhancing the feeling
of downtrodden-ness and out-of-luck-ability. Even Groucho attempting
to lighten the mood seemed hollow and distant [Or was that the Weatherman?
There were several calls of cribbed phone conversations, some of which
were undoubtedly from that big Berkeley pixie]. There were more important
things to worry about, like food, or getting a job, even a bad job,
or getting that Army bonus. Nobody wanted to have sex (except Mae West),
all you could do was listen to the radio or go to the movies, assuming
you afford even that. However, as even depressions go, the pace picked
up by the third hour. The mood lightened. Buck Rogers was asleep in
Niagara. A bunch of young idealistic Communists called up, demanding
the overthrow of capitalism, or perhaps capitalism. They seemed against
big record labels, too, but what they got was The Crucifix Switch, (everybody's
doing it) rammed right up their atheistic asses. There's
a reason they called it depression.
Episode 265: Party Like It's 1929 (08/05/2002): (Full Staffed) Back in the Old Days, there was no good music, no sex, no fun. Wrong. Reminding our younger listeners [anyone under 60] that back in the day, the Roaring 20's really roared, even if it is Peter Jennings and that guy from "Front-line" doing the narrating. There was booze, and sex, rumble seats to have booze and sex in, barnstorming airplanes to watch people having booze and sex from, and when you have this much booze and sex, you usually have at least one flapper mixed up in there somewhere (or more like a dozen or so) plus a bunch of vamps and the occasional "it" girl. Jungle Music thumped away, that's what they called that early jazz coming from Harlem, sometimes taking on a modern beat but the vast majority was unaltered from the days when they were new. We dare you to say that the original version "Happy Feet" does not kick ass. Yes, they had BPM back then too, right along side the fast cars, college sex parties, and a dapper Jay Gatsby in that blasted pink suit of his. Bonnie and Clyde, Scarface, the Great Waldo Pepper, and Babe Ruth all made special appearances as well. The landscapes were cut-up, glitched, bootlegish mash-ups of ragtime and jazz from the era that hailed such great composers as Gershwin, and gave birth to the great anti-art movement named "Dadaism." Sonically, this is a lighter, more thought-provoking arraignments of samples, to the casual listener this could pass as an actual avant-garde documentary.
Episode 264: Playing with a Handicap (07/29/2002): (Full Staffed) This week, we brought in all of our regular DJ equipment, mixing boards, effects boxes, guitar pedals, source material, microphones, etc., and instead of setting it up...we thought about it....and thought some more. Ultimately we decided we've grown too dependent on our gear, and the mere notion of "perfecting" ourselves. We've tried so hard, week after week, to have a certain special unique sound from any other radio program that you've ever heard in your life that we've ended up sounding the same. We've perfected a certain sound that we've been going for, but have totally forgotten about the impetus behind our show. We've forgotten about the "vibiance" and the "pancultural medium" that we've been attempting to prove evidence of in our every ounce of spent energy. We decided against setting up our equipment...and instead, gave ourselves a handicap. We optioned to rely totally on the radio station's equipment, something we hadn't done since we had our very first program. The idea here was to prove a point...that we do not need all of our fancy electronic gear to do what we do...we wanted to prove that we could "culture feed" using the most primitive setup available if we had to, and by doing so, we hoped to avoid getting into "formula writing" and invigorate our cause, our very reason for performing this kind of audio art every week without ever receiving a cent. We put off our scripts, our source material, and all of our regular gear for another week. We went into WRUW's vast record library, grabbed whatever seemed interesting to us in a 15 minute period of time, and sat ourselves down in front of a couple of their turntables, turned on their microphones, fired up their simplified non-scalable center-panned digital mixing board, and took the difficult challenge of having to entertain our listeners for the next three hours having nothing at hand but the minimal setup before us. It was as though someone picked us up, tossed us into a teleportation machine, and made us appear in some strange and unfamiliar place that had nothing but a few pieces of standardized gear that your typical club DJ would be content with. We were surrounded by records we've never seen before, but forced to find a way to make them entertaining in an art form this place has not yet seen or heard. We would prove that we can do this with two hands tied behind our backs if necessary. We proceeded to do this with great gusto, deceiving our listeners by saying that technical problems made it impossible for us to do our normal show this week, so we're going to "wing it" instead of doing a re-run. We removed the spit socks from our microphones and stuck them into our A/C units. We also stuck them in our rotating fans, as well as the radio station's vacuum cleaner. We narrated the job a typical DJ has, and broadcasted all of the sound effects you'd normally hear in a radio station behind the scenes, including someone handwriting documentation on the station's log, tape splicing, cleaning tape heads, cleaning vinyl records, and picking out music from vasts amounts of plastic CD's clicking and smacking together. We had fun doing a cut/paste with an old anti-drug record which focused some of its content on Johnny Cash, we ridiculed some early 80's electronica, we made some interesting rhythms by blowing on our microphones in unison, we tested the "hiss" problems going on with the main microphone in studio B, and we made some more prank phone calls to WCSB, declaring that "the DJ just kicked the narrator's ass!" Digging back into our collective audio collage roots, we rooted through the endless collection of rare and unusual vinyl in WRUW's record libraries, [do you remember the soundtrack to the movie "Battle From Beyond The Stars"?] scratching them together atop a thick background of every noisemaking object and machine we could reach with our microphones. In hour two, that's when every man described what was being played rather than playing it on the air, while Paul and the good doctor struck a treasure trove of reel-to-reel recordings of Turkish radio programming and "Sam Snerd, Space Detective", possibly produced in 1983. If that wasn't enough, we spent the entire final hour performing an amazingly thick deconstruction of classical music, with layers upon layers of backwards and forwards pianos, violins, horns, vocals, and strings...using cassettes, CD's, and tons of vinyl. Yes, it was the world's first live three-way performance of the Thunderbunnies' song "The Battle of Britain plus 7", a turbid meandering of every classical work that could be played at once, by hand. Electric motors are for sissies. The show had no proper intro or outro, as though it wasn't even Press The Button on the air this week...which was a wonderful feeling of relief...to go outside your own parameters, to re-define your own category. and to once again discover your original purpose....which we once again found in Press The Button.
263: Mixed Fruit (07/22/2002): (Full Staffed) A three hour blend of random
silliness from the past; including the Ryan Report, noise programming,
sine waves, yoga music, lucid dreaming, heavy breathing, phone callers
trying to get us to tune into WCSB, and dadaistic sampling. Plus, for
the first time in radio, we introduced the new concept of illegally
playing netcasts from other radio stations over the air! (note: many
times in the past we've done this with internet radio but we heavily
processed them. This is the first time we played them clean...even announced
what we were doing.) The idea here isn't to get off on the fact that
this is illegal...but to show why it shouldn't be, since we were obviously
not using these radio programs as substitutes for our own, but as complements.
Episode 261: Weezer Sucks (Recycled Rainbow 3.0 Sessions Volume 3) (07/08/2002): (Full Staffed) This was easily the most surreal show we've had so far this year. Our very first caller went on the air before our show's intro, asking us to play a local band named "Brother Phoenix." We didn't hear her very well, and assumed she was asking us to play her "brother's penis." She had a sense of humor, but alas, not a regular listener. She described them as a band that would blend in well with typical classic rock bands which wouldn't fit any show within a 6 hour block before or after our show. It was a highly amusing conversation, to say the least. When then went on bring you what was supposed to be the third and final playback show of the performances held at Recycled Rainbow 3.0 described in episode 259. We played back performances in sequential order from Hetmana, Workshoppe Radio Phonik, and Silence Syndrome (Varian Shepherd.) Hetmana's track is composed of multiple layers of found sound (emphasizing natural sound) into a somewhat rhythmic trance....the structure is so incredibly subtle it's nearly impossible to notice, but it's indeed there. It does get invaded my spoken word samples every so often, but gives off the feeling of sitting out in the middle of nowhere in the early morning with your eyes closed, with birds chirping, trains passing, and the earth trembling below you. Hetmana admits that this piece was purely inspired by the fact that her performance at a previous Recycled Rainbow gathering manipulated my dreams....so she decided to make a piece purely directed towards dream manipulation. To change things up a bit, I played both of her versions of this piece at the same time (she did two different live performances at RR3.) The end result was....environmental sound meets ambient trance? Throughout this hour, a couple people kept calling and hanging up, obviously expecting us to answer with "hello?" I recognized one of the voices as our first caller, in the background, saying "what the fuck is going on?" Before the hour ended, we played some highlights from the WRP setup session. Lots of busy chatter, sound effects, and dadaistic statements coming from Being Generic (previously Beating Eric), Mark Gunderson of the ECC, and Quahogs. The second hour contained about 50 minutes worth of WRP's set, which was cut about ten minutes short due to an unprecedented non-stop onslaught of callers who became a show by themselves. One caller alerted us to a "moaning contest" that WCSB (Cleveland State University's college station) was holding (the winner got free tickets to see Weezer.) So we called and heckled them, and they played along, knowing full well they were being broadcast. Eventually we tried getting WJCU (John Carol's college station) into the mix, but they wouldn't play along (though we still broadcast the conversation.) Needless to say, Weezer took quite a bashing from the callers, not to mention ourselves. What could be heard of WRP's set was a mix of freestyle rapping, bootlegs, real electric guitar being played by Matt the PM, drum beats, family radios, and oodles of fantastic noise, blending perfectly with the callers. To make things more bizarre, approximately every third caller was David Wills from Negativland. This brought us into our most surreal hour ever, the one belonging to Varian Shepherd. First 15 minutes entertained us with Varian's setup session, overlaid by freestyle rapping done by Pimpdaddysupreme, Quahogs, and Being Generic. Varian's set went into full force 10 minutes into the hour, with an extremely psychedelic blend of ambient drone, voices, and radio static. The callers followed suit, getting weirder, progressively more spacey, and most certainly more drunk and high (you could tell.) All three phone lines would constantly light up, and then we'd clear them all (tech term for "hung up on them"), and then they'd light up again immediately. Even David Wills stayed with us throughout the third hour. An adjective like "surreal" does little justice in describing this program. We don't know exactly what it was about Hetmana, WRP, or Varian that brought about this madness...but we truly feel it can be traced to one common source...the statement "Weezer Sucks!"
Episode 260: Recycled Rainbow 3.0 Sessions Volume 2 (07/01/2002): (Full Staffed) This is the second of three playback shows we're doing of the performances held at Recycled Rainbow 3.0 described in episode 259. We played back performances in sequential order from Richard Holland, Animals Within Animals, and Quahogs. This show was pretty caller heavy around the second hour, which somewhat trampled the performance from Animals Within Animals...but that was okay, since one of the most involved participants was stAllio who is actually in the band. To quote stAllio: "You cannot ruin that which is already ruined." In the third hour, callers and psychobabbling layered the DJ set from Quahogs, and eventually, so did the final 15 minutes of the AWIA set...as we attempted to play them both together, wondering if doing so would result in an atomic explosion. It didn't, but our heads were in great pain (great meaning really good.) The Richard Holland set was a mix of spoken word, heavy beats, and song samples. It was quite rhythmic, accessible to the ears of the "noise haters", yet attractive to the lovers of found sound audio art. The spoken word samples were longish, as his intentions weren't recontextualization...rather they seemed to beg the question "what if these oddball words were layered on top of this totally irrelevant music?" It seemed to work all the time, but only Richard Holland himself would ever think to put such sounds together in such a seamless and creative way. The AWIA set was outright noise...not in the way Merzbow (or a machine factory) would be....let's put it this way: You know when you're driving on the highway and one radio station starts fading out, and another one starts fading in, and sometimes you hear pure static and white noise? Imagine 10 radios doing that at once (but they all are tuning in different sets of two stations), and imagine the volume being 10 times as loud...that's a VERY close representation to this hour of pure cacaphonic bliss, which also utilized stereo panning to some extents. Though they weren't meant to be THE headlining band, they really stole the show in my opinion. We cannot fall back on "louder is better" as a formula for success, so I won't...but I will say the mix was extremely diverse, creative, and verbally entertaining. Their intro saluted everyone at the gathering with spoken word samples cut up to read the desired text, and their entire mix was a blend of random noise and NOT-SO random spoken word samples...the contents of which were hysterically funny at times, so it's quite obvious they meant to include them in their set eventually. These qualities kept you interested, no matter what your favorite flavor of found sound sampling was. I guess you could say they had a little bit of everything for everybody? The Quahogs set was an eclectic mix of Drum&Bass songs, and was on very early in the day. It's one of those sets that can be interesting on two levels...using it as background music or using it as a point of focus (as is the case with a really good DJ.) It's something that worked better visually, he was really fun to watch, but that's the case for all three of these performances. I hate to give the "you had to be there" line, since I strongly feel all these performances stood on their own musically, but obviously they were enhanced when experienced in person. Keep in mind, if you buy this program, you'll be getting some chatter on top of the sets that wasn't included in the originals, from ourselves and callers...and some of the sets were slightly pitched down or pitched up to make them blend better with whatever layer we were mixing them with (especially the AWIA track.) I wouldn't rank this show any better or worse than last week's, though the audio fidelity of our recording was 56 kps stereo mp3 since out main recording gear failed this week. The mp3 has one advantage, it was recorded from the studio signal (not the air signal.) It's still good, but we had to be honest with you...it's not the best fidelity we can offer.
Episode 259: Recycled Rainbow 3.0 Sessions Volume 1 (06/24/2002): (Full Staffed) A playback show of the performances held at Recycled Rainbow 3.0 (a party we had last weekend which focused its theme on the peak of the salon era.) This week's show highlighted performance from that gathering, specifically those from The Evolution Control Committee + Beating Eric (or Being Generic), King Wilson + Billy Catfish, and Chris Richards + Hetmana. The ECC segment was particularly strange, though stuck to the salon era as much as it could....and included a theremin, ancient record players, and genuine 78's from the 1920's. Mark Gunderson rarely spoke, but played the theremin for all it was worth, constantly changing his method of playing, his melodies, and processed effects. His partner, Beating Eric, played old 78's on a couple old school turntables (not using "old school" in the slang sense...they literally came from old schools.) From time to time, Beating Eric would get on the microphone and read excepts of dadaistic statements he brought with him. A few times in the mix, recordings of conversations held earlier on in the evening were heard. The performance featuring King Wilson and Billy Catfish was outright unique, as they featured a man playing a guitar (Billy) combined with another man using sound making software on his laptop (King.) Noisy at times, but mostly melodic with a good deal of digital drumming which constantly changed its frequency, pitch, and structure. Chris Richards finished off this program with his extremely psychedelic and progressive guitar licks, not to mention his usage of over $1,000 worth of effects pedals. Though this time around, he had a partner, Hetmana, who combined her violin with Chris's guitar to add to the improvisational yet colorful sounds. To make things even more dense, we mixed Chris's performance from Recycled Rainbow 2.0 a few decibels underneath this one. It was impossible to tell you there were two different shows going on at once, but your mind would definitely bend 90 degrees hearing an already psychedelic performance layered on top of another one. It sounded like a band of 4 or 5 guitar players going their own directions, yet at the same time, carefully harmonizing with one another. As usual, as if this needed to be said, people who called the show were immediately put on the air on top of the mix. Consider this a variety show of sorts...each hour was 100% different from the next.
Episode 258: Clams Never Neglect Workshoppe Radio (06/17/2002): (Full Staffed + WRP, Quahogs, Connie, and Recycled Crayon (fomerly known as Recycled Crayon)) Special guests from the weekend's avant garde salon explorations with a bit of quadraphenia (or is that quadrophenia?) mixed in. A 'sound telethon' of sorts was held...possibly against the will of the average WRUW listener (but then again what is an average listener, right?) DTMF tones abound, Matt the PM and Pimpdaddysupreme mixed it up with a bit of soundraising campaigns whilst Quahogs spun random blasts from the past. Connie manned the landlines, taking the calls...as flooded as they were. This was by far the most active PTB in terms of telephone calls. Dr. Asbestos and Paul Ryan were in the house...spouting words of wisdom. EM insisted on sampling and holding Matt the PM....which Matt actually liked... The end of the program ended up in a chorus line, all parties singing the phrase, 'He is a smart assssss....he is a smart asssssssss...'. every man ended up threatening to mute PDS's ass near the end for clipping issues (apparently, PDS shaved a bit too close). Matt the PM left his handtruck at the WRUW studios...and he is wondering if it is still in service....? Alas, a fun time in Cleveland.....yes, yes...yes...YES?!? There's no one on your line.... Naw, I'm expecting a call......
Episode 257: every man is Talking (06/10/2002): (Full Staffed) Virtually no collage this week, so we can thankfully lay that overused word to rest. Instead, since our show kicked off the 2002 WRUW telethon, we included a lot of relatively straight spoken word content. This might have bothered some people, particularly those who told our telethon answering service to "shut the fuck up and play some audio collage." Oh well, we meant to make this program somewhat minimalist for the sake of variety, in addition to contrasting last week's and next week's program. Mixed within our mandatory telethon talk breaks, we played samples of an extremely high every man discussing the history of Press The Button in great detail, and how he and Paul Ryan met for the first time. (We emphasize that these samples came from "recordings" of every man. He was not in the studio getting high, as WRUW bans DJ's for that sort of thing.) Mixed within the mix within THAT mix were samples of Paul Ryan reading from the revised Button Manifesto, which at the time of this writing is still a work in progress. Near the end of the show, when every man started discussing the snuggles mailing list, we played some tracks from the snuggles Dictionaraoke webpage, and some of our favorite 'bootleg" tracks from various snuggles artists. No callers. It's policy that all incoming calls during telethon week get picked up by the telethon answering personnel. Good show to buy if you're interested in how this whole program got started, and if you don't mind slightly reverberated voices panning left and right all over your head for three hours.
Episode 256: Charlie Parker, Pray For Us (06/03/2002): (every man & Dr. Asbestos) Nearly 150 minutes of new music made from Charlie Parker fragments. Charlie Parker is often viewed as one of the most inspirational and innovative jazz musicians of all time, particularly to the dadaists/surrealists, like Jackson Pollock (who often listened to Parker while painting his most abstract works.) Some parts were new songs with new rhythms, some were new melodies, often backwards, some were a variety of loops layered and compounded into nearly unbearable harmonies, and other sections resembled modern electronica in its repetitious trance-like nature. We had some stunningly creative callers, including those from the Evolution Control Committee, Matt the Prodman, and Pimpdaddysupreme. ECC found some samples from movies which made mention of Charlie Parker, and Matt and PDS coincidentally called at the same time to play instruments at us over the phone, not to mention their rather surrealistic conversations with a random person who walked into our studio...an odd man with an obnoxiously loud voice. The recording is nearly a half hour short of three hours because we edited out all the WRUW telethon promotional chatter.
255: Art Techniques: Painting & Drawing (05/27/2002): (every man & Paul Ryan & Recycled Crayon) Despite that we were all
suffering from colds and food poisoning (I'm not joking, 6 hours before
the show we could barely move), we decided to show up anyway to bring
you this audio collage of artists creating visual works of art, specifically
drawings and paintings, layered with relevant documentaries and instructional
videos. (We felt a bit better once the meds kicked in, and figured they
could provide unexpected artistic results.) Surprisingly, this show
was caller heavy, including calls from Negativland's
David Wills and the Evolution
Control Committee with his friend Irene Moon. The sound scapes were
often unusually quiet, with only the sounds of our scribbling pencils,
swirling brushes, squeaky erasers, rustling papers, canvas adjustments,
and stirring water jars (of course, some of these were processed, panned,
layered, sampled, recycled, and even pitch bent.) In the third hour,
Paul Ryan and every man took callers (mostly internet listeners) to
discuss how the visual arts could be compared to the audio arts, the
legitimacy of "random art" or "accidental art",
and whether art which is not displayed or shown is truly art. Though
less dense than our usual style, it was quite inspirational for the
visually creative among us. Don't take our word for it, see for yourself:
Episode 254: The Jedi Bastards (05/20/2002): (every man & Dr. Asbestos) A reflection of society's frequently rekindled obsession with George Lucas's Star Wars films, a legacy which has now been heavily in our faces for over a quarter century; making a radio show theme concerning this topic completely inevitable. We offered an abundance of media coverage from past and present, several songs made from the movie's dialogue and music, a multitude of parodies, interviews with the cast, their appearance on Sesame Street in the 1970's, audio from amateur films dedicated to Star Wars, a vast number of related audio books, instructions as to how to build your own R2D2 unit, a special audio bootleg copy of Episode II: Attack of The Clones, relevant Saturday Night Live routines with the original cast, snippets of the Star Wars movies translated to various foreign languages, cutup and layers from the actual films themselves, original movie trailers, tons of sound effects, space cruisers zooming around your head, bad Star Wars jokes, lots of profanity, and perverted heavy-breathing phone callers. Never a dull moment. Special thanks to Peter Lopez for providing a lot of the more rare source material.
Episode 253: When in Rome... (05/13/2002): (every man & Dr. Asbestos) A rather not so serious attempt to cover reasonably serious subject matters: the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, tourism of modern Rome, operas/plays that took place in Rome, and just about anything that played a role in shaping Rome's modern culture. Some highlights involve snippets from a hysterical old video tour guide of Rome that we recently acquired, and an equally amusing instructional tape for instructors who wish to teach the Shakespearean play "Julias Caesar" to their students (the narrator pauses every 4 words, regardless of whether the pause actually belongs there. If this guy truly is an instructor, he certainly doesn't teach "Public Speaking.") We had some new female caller on with us for the entire first hour and a half, and were surprisingly treated to calls from fellow friends like The Evolution Control Committee and Ball200. We also received a few Dictionaraoke calls, which we strongly suspect came from the Workshoppe Radio Phonic guys. We got side tracked from the theme several times, but usually in a good way. Despite being particularly noisy at times, the content was rarely dense, as we tried hard to leave the listener a lot of breathing room. Often we'd get on the microphone and get extremely silly with the callers, asking people to talk to us in Latin, taking our pants off in the studio, asking for real Romans to call in, giving ourselves rim shots to statements that weren't even jokes. Due to a few other elements like that in the mix, we strongly felt the content was a little reminiscent of our good shows in 1998-99. It even had our signature overly delayed and heavily distorted departure of noise. APODICTIC!
Episode 252: Wain 1346 (05/06/2002): (Full Staffed + Recycled Crayon) In the first hour, each of us recited recycled and rearranged text...some of it we email this week to an internet mailing list called "snuggles," whose members kindly bombarded us with more of the same. These emails were cut and pasted together into a nice 8 page document which we later rearranged a little bit more, added it to our existing text, and incorporated it into our program this week. Underneath the spoken word text was ambient landscapes created by Dr. Asbestos, and phone calls from who we think was Pimpdaddysupreme, who helped out a great deal in reading us technical manuals, cutting up digital recordings on the fly, and cross fading between two turntables which blared awful children's records. In the second hour, Dr. Asbestos began reading selected phrases within several newspaper clippings, our voices began to change, and every man took charge of supplying the transcending landscapes beneath the sometimes nearly whispering words, which were often distorted and inaudible. At one point, it became more about the "sound" of the spoken word, and the meaning became "meaningless" so the clarity was intentionally removed. To help emphasize the "lack of meaning" Dr. Asbestos got more complex with the spoken word context editing formulas, as every man became more minimalist and repetitive, hoping to get you to ride the sound and only the sound. If you made it this far, the extremely psychedelic final hour made your head spin. Words were going backwards and forwards, pitches were bending up and down, channels were panning left and right, bags were ruffling, newspapers were crinkling, cans were opening, throats were gurgling, people were singing, and Paul Ryan was playing...yes, Paul Ryan composed at least half of the third hour's soundtrack, as the other half was composed by our special guest performer "Recycled Crayon," who composed actual music from visual art! No, not "for" but from...she actually had sounds coming from visual works based on their textures, colors, patterns, densities, levels of shading, and sizes. Was this entire show Dadaist audio art by definition? Perhaps. Or, perhaps this was our most juvenile and "pointless beyond pointlessness" program to date. Nevertheless, it's one of our personal favorites.
Episode 251: Sine Language (04/29/2002): (Full Staffed) Your present dimension is left uncertain, as sine waves replace oceans, and your concept of direction is completely dictated by what side of your head they flow...bells are eventually replaced by slowly moving random tones, which are eventually replaced by the never ending organ dirge, which is ultimately filled in by the looped, panned, and reverberated half of a piano chord, which bends itself slowly upwards for an entire hour. The callers begin to abstractly scream their dismay in a surrealistic fashion at the never ending harmonics of the hour, when it suddenly ends without their awareness...and is replaced by a looped test tone signifying the next radio show has begun. The announcer declares you WERE listening to Press The button, but are now hearing something else. They still don't get it, and despite having been on the phone for the past half hour, they continue spewing out their bizarre rhetoric. For your listening pleasure, we tapped on the few key moments of the next show into this recording so you too can enjoy the experience. Both minimalist and trippy, this one is certain to appeal to the hardcore Ambient music fan.
Episode 250: Parking Cars in the Collage (04/22/2002): (Full Staffed) The sound of a car's engine spins around your head from left to right...and then from the opposite lane a new car drives from the right back to the left. In depth documentaries get mixed together teaching you all there is to know historically (in fragments) about over 20 types of cars, from the Nissan Z-Type to the earliest Model-T Ford. For a solid three hours, in classic "buttonizing" style, the three recycling amigos consistently cutup, sliced, crushed, shuffled, and dealt out the automotive sonic cards in a newer and far more interesting presentation than if these old documentaries were left alone. We get to hear classic car commercials, classic corporate jingles, and helpful tips on buying your own car. Near the end of the third hour, the Button trio goes into some sort of musical trance, combining musical fragments of car commercials with Dr. Asbestos's electronic synth and drum beats. Humorously, rather notorious local phone caller named "No Money Mark" called several times asking us "are you finally going to tell me what this is you're playing? Hello, can you hear me?" Other than "Vroom Vroom," he never got an answer. A narrator declares, matter-of-factly, "Cars were everywhere."
Episode 249: Poetic Remnants (04/15/2002): (every man & Dr. Asbestos) Leftovers from a lost generation of sound, partly the old beats, partly the old hipsters, but namely last week's radio show. With so much work having gone into it, we couldn't possibly use it all...and we had many more ideas leftover that just wouldn't have properly fit the theme; such as uninterrupted poems from some not so famous beat poets (sorry: no Burroughs, Cage, Ginsberg, Kerouac this week.) With deconstructed sounds and music rushing underneath their voices like the thawing top layer of ice on a creak in the spring, the beat poets stand knee deep within it as they speak their inspired words without any cutups or interruptions from us. If you are looking for cutups, we got that too! In at least an hour of the show, we feature the background music of Charlie Parker being fragmented, looped, constantly panned, and pitch shifted to the point of almost resembling modern electronica trance. It took about 5 hours to put that together, as it was composed of 2 completed hours of cutup music, carefully put together in layers. The show finished with a caller telling us how much influence we've had on his dreams, as he wakes up and falls asleep on a regular basis while listening, never knowing which state of reality is the real one. So we put this question forward...what defines reality?
Episode 248: Detritus (04/08/2002): (every man & Dr. Asbestos) Detritus primarily refers to loose fragments or grains that have been worn away from rock. It can also refer to accumulated material or debris. In this case, we made a show from a great deal of the latter definition, though only in fragments, which suits the former definition. We took them all and created three unique hours of "reconstructed" (none of it was left in its original form) works of music, gathered from the era of the "musique concrete", Dadaism, and the age of the hipster. Many excerpts were taken from audio art made by visual artists. They key here is that it was all "reconstructed" into something newer, and in some cases it's quite possible we made them better. With over 40 hours of production going into this program and over 400 hours of source material to choose from, this was extremely involved from a technical standpoint, and has become our most ambitious effort to date. The sounds of coughing, crying, and laughing swim around your head while deconstructed violin strings dance below them, snippets of words coming from John Cage get dispersed over Germans chanting "dada doy dada doy", and complete works of classical music get cut (using syntax cuts) into over 600 pieces only to be randomly "reconstructed" into a completely new composition that some may call "detritus" and other may call "music."
Episode 247: Railroad Radio (04/01/2002): (every man & Dr. Asbestos + Workshoppe Radio Phonic + Your Girlfriend (via the internet) A wild, somewhat informative, and often noisy trip from the newly developed railways of the past to the most recently developed locomotive railroad stations. First two hours were thick with informative "train" content, sampling from various documentaries, featuring callers who played songs about trains, and to top it all off Dr. Asbestos threw in various train sound effects and heavily processed samples. Third hour's focus was on toy trains, model trains, and a history lesson for youngsters. Throughout the show we had WRP with us over the internet, constantly providing entertaining "train" content, particularly stories about various train wrecks. Primarily, Matt the PM spoke while Pimpdaddysupreme mixed in samples. Show ended with one of the CD players in "stutter" mode, playing a particularly interesting musical tone. While we creatively manipulated that sound for a good 5 minutes, we blended into the next program for at least another ten...a little bit of that got recorded. The entire program had an appealing soundscape, as trains drove from the left ear to the right ear, and bells often rang in the opposite directions. Often soothing, sometimes disturbing, but always entertaining.
Episode 246: 20th Century Boys (03/25/2002): (every man & Dr. Asbestos + Workshoppe Radio Phonic + Your Girlfriend (via the internet) An exploration of the most memorable and significant moments of the past 100 years using the collage method...the ONLY method that makes it possible to summarize 30 hours of source material in under 180 minutes. This program also introduced a neat new way for listeners to participate without having to use the phone...they can NETCAST to us! That's what our good friends from Tennessee did this week. Matt the Prodman and Pimpdaddysupreme setup a netcasting server on their home PC using a cable modem which we connected to using basic internet streaming software...and throughout the first coupe hours of the program they were there with us (with a minor delay) sounding as though they were in the studio with us. The quality was fantastic....way better than the telephone. At one point they started asking "Your Girlfriend" everything she remembered about the 1980's, as long forgotten (as they should be) 1980's TV sitcom theme songs played in the background. Richard Holland, the brains behind Turntable Trainwreck, called in and read the lyrics to T. Rex's "20th Century Boy." Our famous trippy burnout hippy girl called in and cursed at us for an hour, and we made a song out of it: "Penis, Vagina, Poopy" which eventually turned into a perverted version of Kraftwerk's "We are the Robots." Um...yes, so when we DID focus on the theme, we briefly visited every decade of the 1900's throughout the show, and learned that the 1990's possessed the most "celebrity focused" culture of them all...even Peter Jennings agreed with us on that point.
Episode 245: Excerpts from Recycled Rainbow 2.0 (03/18/2002): (Full Staffed + Hetmana) A three hour recap of the recent 12 hour event named "Recycled Rainbow" (the second of such gatherings.) Performances by Chris Richards, Jim Altieri (with dancer Mandoline Whittlesey), Animals Within Animals, Workshoppe Radio Phonic, The Button, and Hetmana were squished together to give the listeners a decent idea of what took place last weekend. Callers chimed in, playing samples at us which blended nicely with the mix. As usual, one of the frequent callers was Negativland's David Wills, who kept telling us we were "really crazy *this* time." All within a couple hours, you hear remixes of Beatles songs, psychedelic guitar loops, short wave radio noises, insanely loud drum beats, field recordings, spoken word samples, and meditative trance. In the show's last few minutes, Hetmana performed one of her new ambient songs live, following the Animals Within Animals set. Surprisingly, the two blended quite well together. Recycled Rainbow, held in Lakewood, Ohio, can be best described as a salon; a gathering of artists, intellectuals, philosophers, musicians, and various counter-cultural types. Together, they perform for one another, exhibit artistic displays, and discuss various issues of modern culture that impact their preferred medium of art. Althought not entirely coherent, pieces of those conversations could be heard in various parts of the three hour mix.
Episode 244: Workshoppe Radio Chaotik (03/11/2002): (Full Staffed + Workshoppe Radio Phonic, David Dixon, and the Recycled Crayon) After the math of Recycled Rainbow 2.0, everybody who hadn't left yet; Matt the PM, Pimpdaddysupreme, Dr. David Dixon, Recycled Crayon, and the usual Press the Button crew [yes, Paul Ryan managed to show up this time.] descended upon the station to recreate some of the RR that didn't get recorded when the recording computer went blooey the second time. Everybody got set up, using a total of 8 mixers, a new record, and the show began. . . but only in the left channel. Somehow, the connection between Studio B and Studio C had broken down, so we needed to run separate cables between the studios ourselves, except that the necessary adapters to make that connection were being used to connect studio A, where WRP and Dr. Dixon were, to studio B. Ultimately a different set of connecting cables were used to connect A to B, so B could connect to C and the offending B to C connection could be bypassed, with it attendant mixer. So far, we were 28 minutes into the program, as this process was being described colorfully by all. And as that wasn't enough, when the offending connection were bypassed, it rendered several microphones dead, so during the rest of that hour, new mic's were added to the cubic feet of cable snarl. So what was the show like, you ask? Well, Dr. Dave mic-in-tracked like a train, WRP air-raided, family radio style, the new, more powerful airwaves, [this is our first program at 15,000 watts of transmitting power. It reaches everywhere except Lakewood, where local residents have erected a gigantic anti-EM umbrella] Dirt Goddess took her oral exams, and the Buttoneers were very, very noisy. The Weatherman called, as did Hetmana, who violated our "no hello" rule, but that's OK, she has too many hubcaps, and can't seem to get rid of them. As Dr. Asbestos attacked his keyboard with more wild abandon than usual and Paul Ryan hallucinated cats until they turned the lights back on, everything reached such a huge crescendo that everyone climaxed early except every man, blew right past us into the next program. Not a dull listen by any stretch of the imagination.
Episode 243: Internal Dream Logic (03/04/2002): (Full Staffed) Paul Ryan spends the entire three hours picking our brains with mind mending and brain teasing head games and riddles. If you love mysteries and detective stories, this is the show for you! Dr. Asbestos was the primary recipient of Paul's twisted teasers, but the sleuth callers in our listening audience quickly came to his rescue offering hints, clues, and their own logical processes of elimination. However, anyone listening couldn't deny something "out of order" within the overall presentation. It "represented" auditory hallucinations, but didn't actually create them. This was nothing like the "In C" show, where we were actually trying to create such a hallucination, or any of our other hallucinogenic programs. This was a "fake" radio program. We made it seem to the listener that they were having auditory hallucinations. Words were connected in ways they wouldn't ordinarily. Every so often, there was a seeming gap in the stream of the conversation, and it seemed like a point was suddenly rehashed (when in reality it wasn't.) Finally, that point never finishes....and it goes on somewhere else. The end result: A mixture of consciously aware mathematical principles and "internal dream logic."
Episode 242: Recycled Rainbow (in three parts) Vol. I (02/25/2002): (Full Staffed) Lugnuts 72. You're killing me! "What the Fuck is this Shit?" - Pump. Pump. - Glad you asked. We asked our own Paul Ryan this question, and here is his report: "Well - Pump. Pump. -This was a recording of the Recycled Rainbow art party that was held in January. I had the job of listening through the 7 hours of recordings, condensing it down to fit a 3 hour show. Not something I'd want to do every week. But, there were Wesley Willis samples, Star Wars, shovelfuls of Napster Nuggets, something I thought was tunrtablism of Mark Gunderson's, the guy from the Evolution Control Committee, >David Dixon interrupts, "No, I played that from my laptop. The track is "A Little Dog Named Snuggles" by Jacknife Lee."< Oh! - Pump. Pump. - and a couple of rants about the people of Smyrna, TN, and some kind of Soviet Robot Dance Party. The calls flew in... probably in record numbers. We had Matt the PM, Pimpdaddysupreme, some very horny girl ['is that a mirror in your pocket? because I seem myself in your pants.'], who was also extremely high, Negativland's David "The Weatherman" Wills, Quahogs, our recurring saxophonist, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, somebody else's rant about the overpopulation of S's in place names [i.e. 'I'm going to Krogers'] and we did finally determine that Scotchguard, if it doesn't actually have ether in it, produces the same effects as ether would if huffed. Easily, the most profane PTB episode, ever, perhaps the most profane program in the history of radio. Oh yes, and David Wills wants you to know 'Pump Gag.'"
Episode 241: What is this? Know The Answer. (02/18/2002): (Full Staffed) As we spent the entire week working very hard on finishing two album projects, we hoped to play it light this week and decided to finally answer that forever nagging question, "Who is Varian Shepherd?" He's been on our show once already, and we've planned to collaborate many more times in the future. His music could be described as a cross between The Orb and Spectrum with heavy emphasis on creative uses with found sound sampling. Some call it "spacey," some say "psychedelic," and others "comforting." Regardless of what people say, we left it up to you as we mixed album on top of album of his music in ways he probably never intended anyone to hear it. Callers were particularly synchronized with the show this week, as they called in for 10 to 20 minutes at a time playing their own instruments along with Varian's music. We've heard saxaphones, clarinets, accordians, and electronica played at us over the phone, all of which mixed perfectly to Mr. Shepherd's melodies. King Wilson also called in several times from Chicago, IL adding a hysterical perspective of ambient sound, including Cookie Monster, the Fraggle Rock theme song, and samples from the TV show "Freaks & Geeks." What seemed like what was going to be a potentially light and easy going show turned out to be reasonably dense and highly interactive. "What is This?" you might have asked during certain points of the show. This mix of beautiful and most unusual sounds was a tribute to one of the most underrated audio collage artists in the midwest, Varian Shepherd. We hoped this helped you "know the answer."
Episode 240: Automobile Safety Tips (02/11/2002): (Full Staffed) An interactive mix with the phone callers about the safety precautions and concerns of driving an automobile for the first time (to prevent that from being a fatal last time.) High school driver's education videos, Chrysler sponsored news footage about car accidents, and Christian right-winged short film pieces about drunk driving are also included. Incidentally, this was the first show we've had in weeks with just the three of us doing a theme together, and our anxious attitudes permeated throughout the entire three hours, making this one of the most dense found sound collage programs we've ever done (in the past three weeks, we gathered about twenty hours of source material for this topic.) Additionally, many impressive "forced coincidences" happened during our sample communication sections of the program, more than usual (and usually, we have a lot!) Lots of stereophonic sound effects were added to the mix, as we got to hear cars driving from one ear of the listening spectrum to the other. However, you must keep in mind that this program was less focused on sound effects, and more on driver's ed. It was less focused on cars, more focused on driving them. Drive safe, drive sane, drive sober, and most importantly...drive sandwiches.
Episode 239: Music in Three Parts (02/04/2002): (Full Staffed + Oberlin College students David Levin and Jeff Allen) By the most curious of coincidences, good friend to the show David Levin, of Oberlin College fame, brought himself and fellow music student Jeff Allen to the show to rock out in three parts. Each hour was different from the other. First, we had sedatives, telephones ringing off the hook without being picked up, and a thick, slightly mushy, slightly ambient feel. Robots pretending to be John Cage played the piano, and Shaun got rhythm. I almost forgot...we used genuine Dungeons & Dragons dice for added sound effects throughout the hour, and sparsely during rest of the show. Hour two was a little more rhythmic, and much more sampled, thanks to Jeff's vintage reel-to-reel, the show looping unto itself like a giant audio mobius strip, turning inside out again and again until we said the magic word: "fucko". [which is not the same as saying "Fu, Kew".] We got the chickens, we got the bread, we put the dish machine in the dish machine while "John Washington" from the Thunderbunnies got remixed so much that Mark Falk and Barry McAndrew both got turned into Mr. T. Finally, David broke out the guitar for the third hour, along with BOTH of every man's vintage Casio synthesizers, and BOTH SK-1's, and BOTH Akai S-2000's, and BOTH Alesis Midiverbs, and BOTH laptops, and BOTH Alesis Microverbs, and BOTH Zoom's [well, you get the idea. . . ] There was a definite sea change, and David launched into determined noodling which developed a slightly frisky, slightly disturbing quality like "Teddy bear Picnic". We heard from Pimpdaddysupreme and were all sent scrambling, looking for the Weatherman's [yes, he really called, and he called last week, too] cigarette case. Then "Sexaphones, Sexaphones, Sexaphones, Sexaphones. . ." and if you can identify the late-19th century Classical composer who contributed to the last hour of the show in heavily modified form, you'll receive a free copy of this show. Send all answers to email@example.com
Episode 238: The Ratt Pack (01/28/2002): (Full Staffed + Oberlin College students Jim Altieri & Sam Withrow) The next long awaited chapter of our collaboration with musicians from Oberlin College. We performed a three hour improvisational music piece with two students from Oberlin College, including Jim Altieri who has made several other appearances on our show in the past. Had a nice ambient and lush introduction which turned extraordinarily psychedelic as the hour passed by. Sam Withrow played mostly the guitar via a live mic'd amplifier, while Jim often used a laptop and his mixing board. every man played two heavily processed 20 year old synthesizers, while Paul Ryan played every possible kitchen utility one could possibly own...not to mention a fan, a car buffer (we presume), and a drill. Dr. Asbestos had an impressive archive of pornographic sounds on a laptop (and an effects pedal) which added nicely to various parts of the ambient mix. We were significantly interrupted half way through the show by the host of WRUW's "Female of the Species" show, who kept demanding we stop our program and sign her and a friend up to get free rickets to see the heavy metal band Ratt. Pimpdadysupreme called in the show at that point, and had "Your Girlfriend" on the line. "Your Girlfriend" got into a fight with the host from "Female of the Species," which in turn forced her to stubbornly hang up on us. After a short breather from the odd events that ensued, we continued the performance until the show's finale, where every man put a giant metal salad bowl on his head, inserted a microphone by his left ear, and allowed Paul Ryan to drum on top of it with a giant plastic spoon. Doing so gave every man serious flashbacks, causing him to play the flute.
Episode 237: Rubber Cocks and Dognut Shops (01/21/2002): (every man, Dr. Asbestos, Varian Shepherd, and Workeshoppe Radio Phonik) This is the first time in a long while tha we literally filled all three production studios with audio gear! After a great party at Recycled Rainbow that weekend, featuring Mark Gunderson, Stark Effect, Workeshoppe Radio Phonik, Varian Shepherd, The Button, and various Snuggly people, this episode seemed like an afterparty to a long noisy 3 day Rave. This episode is filled with dognuts, Bush-smokers, impromptu news/weather reports and Angry/Confused/Inebriated callers. Varian Shepherd laid down the ambient landscape to which Pimpdaddysupreme, Matt the PM, Dr. Asbestos, and every man digitally wanked over. After giving shout-outs to party goers, "Cleaning the House" and then burning it down, Pimpdaddysupreme showed what a dickhead he could be and stormed out of the studio with a two way radio and a rubber lesbian prosthetic strapped to his face. every man kept the odds of potential police arrest so people could gamble at home while Dr. Asbestos played the doorman. PDS was chased by the cops (sometimes chased them back), took off his pants in front of the Thwing Center and assaulted a group of Case Western students. The students followed him to the radio station whereupon they proceeded to play stupid children's games. After the students left, Varian Shepherd took over the last half hour of the show, improvising a collage of ambient meditative sounscapes through tons of audio gear used only by himself during the show. Dr. Asbestos layered a great deal of porn sounds into this half hour as well, experimenting with odd soundscapes that he hoped to use in future weeks. The whole show was utterly fantastic, even during the 5 minutes we spent on the air making fun of Paul Ryan for sleeping through his alarm and not making it to this show!
Episode 236: Experimental Music (01/14/2002): (Full Staffed) Well. . . it was, 50 years ago. When all the squares were listening to Dean and the songs from "Oklahoma!" [there's a reason they called the music from musicals "pop music"] A bunch of poor folks from the south and a Cleveland DJ started a trickle of "race music" that turned into the gushing torrent of rock-and-roll, which, by the way, was a euphemism for fucking. Back then, it was pretty out there, about as out there as audio collage. Truly representing the phenomenon backwards, we started with a torrent of sound, Actual Alan Freed recordings, and a few re-creations using Jay Leno, plus Billy Lee Riley, Howlin' Wolf and Sam Phillips explaining that "Mr. God would have trouble" as a studio owner trying to re-create the rock-and-roll phenomenon, interspersed with virtually every old rock song we could get our hands on. By the third hour, some square music got played, which calmed things down a little, while it was explained to us that after RCA makes their metal master, a mother matrix has to be created from it to make the stamper. [the stamper!] Sorry, probably too inside of a joke there. Anyway, a bunch of session players complained about Sam Phillips' mismanagement, but it all got worked out in the end, as we rode off to the hop and hear "Great Balls of Fire".
Episode 235: New Year's Resolution (01/07/2002): (Full Staffed) To start off the new year in an entirely new way, we did what we almost never do...we DJ'd! That's right, we played songs, almost all of them in their entirety, completely unaltered in any way that I can recall. However, these are FUN songs...some have been sent to us and others we've found ourselves over the past five years. We've always been meaning to play some of these, but the opportunity never presented itself. From the Thunderbunnies and Alien Journalism, to Phineas Narco and Wobbly, each and every single one of these tracks were made by artists who specialize in deconstruction of found sound, recontextualization of speech, and challenging the U.S. Copyright Law; and as you know, all these properties are ones that we, Press The Button, have taken as our own personal idioms in life. Make no mistake, we STILL took live callers on the air over the mix, but outside of that we vowed to not alter the sound of the actual recordings. The callers called during tracks that were more ambient than dense, so it all worked out quite well. This turned out to be one very entertaining program, and since the artists we DJ'd during the show were all independent of record labels or distributors, we can legally sell it to you!