Saturday, December 29, 2018

MATH I CAN GET BEHIND - Dan Harmon + Kurt Vonnegut = Sirens Of Titan TV Series


You may not recognize the man pictured above, but I bet you know his work. Rick and Morty ring a bell? The brilliant TV show Community? Maybe his Dungeons and Dragons podcast? Yacht Rock anyone? That is Dan Harmon, and even though it isn't exactly breaking news, I just read this morning that he is writing a mini-series based on Kurt Vonnegut's science fiction classic The Sirens of Titan. This makes me very happy, because a mind like Harmon's could actually pull off such a tricky feat.


This is a complex novel about space travel, interplanetary war, the search for meaning of life with a little argument of free will thrown in to boot. I am glad this will be a mini-series because it's a lot to take in and it will require lots of time that a feature length two hour movie could never pull off. In fact I was reading on Wikipedia that Vonnegut initially sold the movie rights to Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead in the early 80's. Garcia brought tapped on Tom Davis's shoulder, long time comedy partner with Al Franken, to write up the screenplay. They toyed around with it but Garcia's death brought it all to a halt. Harmon discussed the project last May in an article in GQ magazine and although there is no network connected to the project he seems hell bent on making it happen. This also is a great excuse for me to revisit the book. Lately I have been re-reading old favorites and this will go to the top of the pile. I will leave you with this early Dan Harmon highlight from Yacht Rock. With the news of Van Halen possibly touring with the original line-up, this clip is even more relevant.

Monday, December 24, 2018

SEASONS GREETINGS FROM THE LEGENDARY STARDUST COWBOY!


Merry Christmas, true believers! IT IS TIME TO WISH THE LEGENDARY STARDUST COWBOY HAPPY HOLIDAYS! The Ledge is family to us, so we ask that you include him in your season's greetings mail list. He doesn't have any family members close by, so he usually spends his holidays alone. Way back when, in the early days of Shuffle Function, we asked him if he had any plans for the holidays. He told us he'd be doing what he always did - going to a Seven-Eleven to eat a turkey sandwich, drink a slurpee, and then go home. We knew then that we had to do something, and the idea of the card shower was born. This was our chance to let him know he wasn't alone, and that he is loved all over the world.


We'll be giving out his mailing address a bunch on the radio show between now and then, but here it is for your convenience. You can decorate the envelope however you like, but he likes lots of stars and spaceships.  Here is his address:

Norman Carl Odam
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
P.O. Box 730742
San Jose, California
95173


If you're feeling adventurous, include a self addressed stamped envelope. We can't guarantee that you will hear back from The Ledge, but the odds are better if you do. If you do hear back from him, drop us an email and let us know. He has been very inventive with his replies in the past and we love hearing about it.

We can't thank you enough for making our favorite cowboy happy. He means the world to us, and we love to hear the excitement in his voice when he calls us during the morning show to let us know about all the cards he is getting. For his birthday this year he told us he got so many cards that the ladies at the post office couldn't believe it! This made him so happy, and a world with a happy Legendary Stardust Cowboy is a better world to live in. Thank you, Radio Heroes!

LEDGE WANTS YOUR RECIPES!

Ledge he said he'd like all the kiddies out there to send their favorite holiday recipes!  He's never asked for that before, so maybe he wants to assemble a fan club cookbook or something.  In any case, that sounds like a really nice touch for such a great guy.  LEDGE WANTS YOUR RECIPES, GANG!

ALSO, DO YOU NEED XMAS CARDS?

There are still copies available of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy Christmas card with his rendition of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas on a gorgeous red flexi.  They're guaranteed to make the folks on your Christmas card list feel loved and super special.  Visit vollmondflexis.bandcamp.com for details and ordering!





Wednesday, December 12, 2018

THE BEATLES XMAS RECORDS EVERY MORNING THROUGH XMAS EVE!


It's a holiday tradition around the Shuffle Function Conglomoplex to play a Beatles Fan Club Christmas records every morning through Christmas Eve, and this year we start playing them on Thursday, December 13th!  You can hear the band go from fresh faced with new found fame through disillusion and separation in just seven days!  Most of the records are pretty fun, and they're a great way to gear up for the big day.  1966 and 67 are probably the best, but they're all worth hearing.  Here's the schedule for when we'll be airing them:

Thursday the 13th - 1963
Friday the 14th - NO BEATLES, BUT LOTS OF TMBG!
Monday the 17th - 1964
Tuesday the 18th - 1965
Wednesday the 19th - 1966
Thursday the 20th - 1967
Friday the 21st - 1968
Monday the 24th - 1969

WHAT THE HECK ARE THE CHRISTMAS RECORDS?

Between 1963 and 1969 The Beatles issued special Christmas message records to their fan club members.  They were issued on Flexi-Discs, which are records pressed on a thin plastic sheet.  Less durable than a traditional vinyl record, but cheap and easy to distribute.  Here's a video by a kind of douchy guy that explains what a Flexi-Disc is:



During the holiday season we like to play all of these records on the morning show, because they're fun curiosities, but also because you can actually hear the band changing through the years.  On the first one they're happy go lucky and excited by all the success, but by 66 and 67 they were at the peak of their studio innovation, and they produced scripted skits with sound effects.  The final two years illustrate the band fracturing, though not overtly.  Each member recorded their own messages with no involvement from the others.  By 1970, the final year that they issued a Christmas record, they just put out an anthology of all the Flexi-Discs on an LP.

The original Flexi-Discs are pretty expensive to find, but you can find the 1970 album at decent prices if you aren't too picky about condition.  There are also quite a few bootlegs out there, and some of them even have outtakes from the Christmas sessions.  Finally, there's good ol' YouTube, which is where we're finding the source material for this post.  Enjoy!

Shyboy


Saturday, December 01, 2018

WINTER STORM JEAN SHEPHERD FUDGES UP MINNESOTA (ONLY I DIDN'T SAY FUDGE)


In Winter Storm Jean Shepherd We Trust...
ALL OTHERS PAY IN SHOVELING SWEAT!

FROM THE DESK OF SHYBOY TIM:

Boy, this storm has been a real pain in the butt.  Hope you all didn't have to drive in this crap.  Shelley performed in Holiday Music By People Who Are Sick Of Holiday Music at the Arts Center of Saint Peter tonight, and the drive back to Mankato was white knuckle all the way.  Honestly terrifying.  By the way, the show was A BLAST, and you should go to the second show that's on Friday, December 14th!  Doors open at 7:00, show starts at 7:30.  We'll be playing the original songs that were written for the performance on the Morning Show, and if you love them you'll have a chance to buy them at Tune Town, as well as the show on the 14th.  All proceeds to to Partners For Affordable Housing!  Good music for a good cause.


Anyway, because tonight was heavily Christmas themed, it's only right that the winter storm is named after the author of the book that was made into one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time.  WINTER STORM JEAN SHEPHERD is named after the author of "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash!", which was turned into the classic movie A Christmas Story.  Shelley, as you can see in the above photo, is dressed as Ralphie from the movie.  The picture is black and white, but she's clearly a pink nightmare.

What I love about Jean Shepherd is that his first claim to fame was as a radio personality.  Shepherd was no mere DJ.  He was a poet, a story teller, and a prankster.  His listeners were called the Night People, and they were considered non-conformists, where the Day People were the conformists.  They would often participate in pranks that he would orchestrate. One notable prank involved having his listeners go into bookstores and ask for a non-existent book called "I, Libertine".  The prank went so far that some people even claimed that it made the New York Times Bestseller list.  Shepherd eventually wrote the book and got it published.

Jean Shepherd (the bearded fellow) in the movie A Christmas Story.

Listening to Jean Shepherd's old shows is an entertaining experience.  You can find them archived on the web, and if you're a fan of adventurous radio then you should listen to them. Archive.org has a ton of them available.

I hope everyone gets dug out of their wintery prisons okay!  If you're stranded, take some time and listen to this 1972 clip of Shepherd reading the first chapter of "In Got We Trust: All Others Pay Cash".  It'll sound very familiar to fans of the movie.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

IT'S A LEGENDARY STARDUST CARD SHOWER!


If the Black Friday sales and endless Christmas decorations haven't tipped you off to what time of year it is, then this blog post surely will. IT'S TIME TO WISH THE LEGENDARY STARDUST COWBOY HAPPY HOLIDAYS! The Ledge is family to us, so we ask that you include him in your seasons greetings mail list. He doesn't have any family members close by, so he usually spends his holidays alone. Way back when, in the early days of Shuffle Function, we asked him if he had any plans for the holidays. He told us he'd be doing what he always did - going to a Seven-Eleven to eat a turkey sandwich, drink a slurpee, and then go home. We knew then that we had to do something, and the idea of the card shower was born. This was our chance to let him know he wasn't alone, and that he is loved all over the world.


We'll be giving out his mailing address a bunch on the radio show between now and then, but here it is for your convenience. You can decorate the envelope however you like, but he likes lots of stars and spaceships.  Here is his address:

Norman Carl Odam
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
P.O. Box 730742
San Jose, California
95173


If you're feeling adventurous, include a self addressed stamped envelope. We can't guarantee that you will hear back from The Ledge, but the odds are better if you do. If you do hear back from him, drop us an email and let us know. He has been very inventive with his replies in the past and we love hearing about it.

We can't thank you enough for making our favorite cowboy happy. He means the world to us, and we love to hear the excitement in his voice when he calls us during the morning show to let us know about all the cards he is getting. For his birthday this year he told us he got so many cards that the ladies at the post office couldn't believe it! This made him so happy, and a world with a happy Legendary Stardust Cowboy is a better world to live in. Thank you, Radio Heroes!

ALSO, DO YOU NEED XMAS CARDS?

There are still copies available of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy Christmas card with his rendition of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas on a gorgeous red flexi.  They're guaranteed to make the folks on your Christmas card list feel loved and super special.  Visit vollmondflexis.bandcamp.com for details and ordering!





Tuesday, November 20, 2018

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING FOR THANKSGIVING/BLACK FRIDAY!


The Holiday season is here, and with it comes music, food, presents, and days off for radio show hosts.  This Thanksgiving and Black Friday we have some special programming lines up for your holiday soundtrack!


Thanksgiving morning (6-9 a.m.)
THE LAST WALTZ

We're playing a good chunk of the Last Waltz, the farewell performance from The Band, on Thanksgiving morning because the actual performance was on Thanksgiving 42 years ago.  Three hours of live music from the show, as well as the occasional nerdy segment from the hosts.  If that doesn't cut it for you, watch this FOUR PLUS HOURS video of the actual show, warts and all, as it was performed at Winterland in San Francisco.


Thanksgiving night (6-7 p.m.)
Best of the Wishlist Show

Early on in Shuffle Function history, we used to run a show on Christmas called "The Wishlist Show", where people would tell incredible stories about music experiences that they had, whether it was seeing a band, meeting a musician, or just being in the right place at the wrong time.  After a few years we decided to run a best of show with our favorite segments, and it's packed with gems.  You'll laugh, you'll think, and you'll definitely cry.  

Black Friday morning (6-9 a.m.)
MEET OUR GUESTS!

Joe Tougas and Ann Rosenquist Fee

Dave Perron and Carl Nordmeier

A few months ago we invited some of our favorite people to join us on the show and get nerdy about music.  It seemed appropriate to rerun it on Black Friday Record Store Day (GO TO TUNE TOWN AND BUY COOL STUFF!) because our guests talk about music from their lives.  We're joined by Joe Tougas and Ann Rosenquist Fee from The Frye, and Carl Nordmeier (TUNE TOWN OWNER!) and Dave Perron from Free Form Freakout, and they tell us about the first record they bought, their favorite record of all time, and music they love now but hated as a kid.  Hope you like this show as much as we do!

Have a great Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday, Radio Heroes!

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

PAUL McCARTNEY HAS BEEN DEAD FOR 52 YEARS! HEAR THE SHOCKING TRUTH!


This Thursday, November 9th, we'll be remembering the life of Paul McCartney, who died on that day in 1966.  We'll also be celebrating the incredible sacrifice made by William Campbell, a Canadian Paul McCartney lookalike that stepped in and became McCartney as part of an elaborate international cover-up.  Why the cover-up?  Because if the world found out that the "cute" Beatles died there would be an unprecedented wave of sorrow sweeping the globe.  That sorrow would result in the potential suicides of scores of teens.

MI-6 engineered the cover-up and swore The Beatles to secrecy, but they couldn't handle the guilt over deceiving their fans.  The band decided that they would let the world know what really happened on that cold November night, but through secret messages communicated via album covers and songs.  Beatles fans started decoding the messages three years after Paul's death, and the story broke worldwide.  Finally, the world would know that Paul was dead.

Flash forward to 50 years later, and Shuffle Function did a day long expose on KMSU that revealed the facts about Paul's death.  Shyboy Tim did a series of blogposts that detailed all of the clues, allowing you, the listener, to decide for yourself if Paul was really dead.  We're publishing links to them in this post so that you can read them and come to your own conclusions about this incredible rock and roll mystery.

Tune in on Thursday, November 9th, between six and nine a.m. for the most incredible conspiracy in Rock and Roll history!

Paul is Dead:  The Introduction
Paul is Dead:  The Story
Paul is Dead:  Strawberry Fields Forever
Paul is Dead:  Sgt. Pepper
Paul is Dead:  Magical Mystery Tour
Paul is Dead:  The White Album
Paul is Dead:  Yellow Submarine
Paul is Dead:  Abbey Road
Paul is Dead:  The Solo Material Evidence