Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
Wow... there's hardly any gray in that photo! I look Father Time today compared to when this was taken.
Aging crisis aside, we're running some archival footage on Wednesday morning for New Year's Day. It's going to be basically the entire saga of Haze and The Mystery Record, in honor of Haze being included in the AMAZING Numero Group release "Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound". We're airing the anniversary show where we discovered who the band was on the unlabelled test pressing Shelley found, and then we're airing our two hour oral history of Haze. Their story is filled with lots of amazing twists and turns, as well as an undeserved amount of heartbreak. This story is one of our proudest moments on the show, and we hope you guys enjoy listening to it. The music is amazing, and you'll immediately hear why we spend five years trying to solve the mystery of the test pressing.
Have a happy and safe New Year, everyone!
So there's a part on order, and it will hopefully arrive on Tuesday (New Year's Eve). When that's installed we'll know if that was the problem or a symptom of something larger. Fingers crossed we'll be at full power by Thursday, but until then it's still the backup transmitter and the online streaming. Click on the links at kmsu.org to choose your streaming option of choice.
See you Tuesday morning for the Paul Westerberg New Year's shebang!
As of 11:00 a.m. Monday KMSU is running on its backup transmitter. Our engineer Marv is working diligently to try and figure out what is going on. Right now our signal is barely reaching St. Peter, which is only about 15 miles away from the KMSU studios. We are broadcasting online at kmsu.org, so any streaming apps that you are using should be carrying our programming. We're sorry about this situation. We want to be on the air doing our show!
When Gully spoke to us during the last pledge drive and mentioned that we might need a transmitter soon, we reeled at the thought. It was a pretty dark period when our last transmitter started crapping out. There were periods of days where we were forced to use our backup transmitter, and there were more than a few occasions where we weren't able to broadcast at all because of massive equipment failure. It was through a stroke of amazing luck that Karen got us a transmitter donated from a major radio network, and that saved our butt.
We probably won't fully know the extent of the situation until Gully gets back from vacation, and hopefully the situation won't be dire. Not being on the air is torture for us, and we hope that things are back to normal soon. Please bear with us as we try to resolve the situation, and think positive thoughts for us in the days and weeks to come. With any luck this is a hickup and our need for a new transmitter won't be that urgent.
Thanks for your patience and support!
Shyboy Tim and Shelley
The KMSU transmitter went off the air on Sunday, and as of Monday morning it is still not operational. Sadly, this means no Shuffle Function for Monday. Hopefully the situation isn't dire and we can get back to normal soon. HOPEFULLY the fix isn't out of our reach! Keep your radio fingers crossed, Music Geeks. With any luck we'll be able to do our Paul Westerberg show on Tuesday!
NOTE TO GULLY: You can never ever go on vacation again! This stuff only happens when you leave!
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Not only is Tuesday the last day of 2013, but it's also the birthday of Paul Westerberg! Our love of Westerberg runs deep, so it's all music by PW and The Replacements for the show that day. Give us a head's up if there's something you wanna hear!
These days it's hard to imagine that there was ever a time where Christmas morning wasn't defined by the unwrapping of a new gaming console. How many of you kids out there got the PS4 or Xbox One this year? Me neither. I never got one of the legendary gaming systems for Christmas, but there was always a friend that had one and I was still able to enjoy the latest in gaming technology at their house. Years later I was the kid on the block that got an Apple II+, and then the tables were turned. Oh yes... so many times I was grounded from the Apple as punishment...
All you kids out there that have only known better than life graphics and game play now have the chance to experience blocky gaming just like your forefathers did. Archive.org has just started The Console Living Room! TCLR is an online archive of emulated games for Atari 2600 and 7800, as well as the legendary Colecovision system, The Magnavox Odyssey, and The Astrocade. You just play the games right in your browser, so there's no software to install. The 2600 library is especially cool, with the "adult" games and legendary missteps like Custer's Revenge and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Get ready to kill tons of time!
BONUS TIME KILLER!
Monday, December 23, 2013
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy has been a good friend to Shuffle Function and KMSU for as long as we've been doing the show. A few years ago he was kind enough to record this special Christmas greeting for you, and he nailed it. Did it in one take, just like Ol' Blue Eyes! Hope you guys enjoy it. It's pretty great.
And don't forget! You can still send send Season's Greetings to Ledge! Here's his address:
Norman Carl Odam
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
PO Box 730742
San Jose, CA 95173
Thanks, Radio Heroes! Also, he just needs ONE MORE FAN, on the Legendary Stardust Cowboy Fan Club on Facebook and he'll have ONE THOUSAND FANS! That'd be a great gift for him! COULD YOU BE THE ONE?
Friday, December 20, 2013
Sure, the producer is in prison for murder. It's hard to get past that, we know. The thing is, this Christmas Album, produced by Phil Spector, is probably the greatest Christmas record ever created. The artists didn't do anything other than be awesome. Really, it's not Christmas without this one. LISTEN TO IT!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The more I see from this film, the more I'm dying to see it, and I was already dying to see it from the second it was announced! Here's an amazing trailer for Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel, which comes out in March of 2014.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
GOOD NEWS, LEDGE FANS! There's a brand new live album from The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and it's ready to fall into your Legendary Stardust Cowboy Christmas card writing hands! Andrew, the fella that runs Ledge's Fan Club (like 'em on Facebook!) and puts out the excellent Paralyzed 'zine, is putting this one out. It was recorded at the Stork Club this past July, and from all accounts it was a scorcher of a show. Folks that weren't already true believers in The Ledge left the show having seen the light! Now the whole world can see what the big deal was.
To order, please follow the instructions on the photo above. And after you have ordered it, write a Christmas card to The Ledge and let him know that you can't wait to hear it! He'd love to hear from you! Here's his address:
Norman Carl Odam
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
PO Box 730742
San Jose, California 95173
We spoke to him the other morning and he was in a great mood, having received some cards already from his fans in the KMSU listening area. Keep it up, you guys! Let's send all kinds of love Ledge's way so that he knows he's not alone this holiday season. Thanks!
Here's some video from that amazing night at The Stork Club!
Monday, December 16, 2013
More4 channel is the UK is having a season of Stanely Kubrick movies (jealous) and they put together a pretty spectacular ad for it. Movie geeks across the interwebs have been posting it for a few days now, so it's time it hits the ol' blog. It's amazing, and when the music stinger from The Shining plays I get the chills just like when I'm watching the actual film.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Thursday, December 05, 2013
It's that time of year, kids! IT'S LEGENDARY STARDUST COWBOY CARD SHOWER TIME! Let everybody's favorite Cowboy know how much he means to you by sending him Seasons Greetings! Fan mail means the world to Ledge, so pop a card or letter in the mail today!
Norman Carl Odam
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
PO Box 730742
San Jose, CA 95173
Also, while nosing around the interwebs I came across some footage of Ledge that I've never seen before. I'm guessing from the accents that it's from his Australian tour sometime in the 80's, but I can't be sure. Anybody know where this is from?
On MST3K 321 Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, Crow introduced us to the new holida classic entitled "Let's Have A Patrick Swayze Christmas". Holiday sing alongs around the Christmas tree haven't been the same since.
This year Reddit brings us a new version. Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
We've been waiting for the Numero Group release of Purple Snow for months now, and I just found out on their blog that the purple vinyl editions for folks that pre-order (US!) has been delayed! Not fair. For those of you that didn't pre-order, Carl at Tune Town said they have the CD version now, with the LP version expected shortly. It's gonna be a great set, plus it features HAZE, the mystery band!
Because Numero is awesome, they made this cool promo as a tribute to the Twin Cities and the culture that Purple Snow grew out of. Enjoy!
OH! Almost forgot! If you're in the Twin Cities on Thursday night, Numero is holding a release party at The Depot. Should be a gas, though I will be working my day job that supports my Numero habit.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
The other morning we discussed The Walking Dead mid-season finale, and we got pretty detailed about the events of the show. Later on Shelley posted the movie The Ninth Configuration to the Shuffle Function Facebook so that folks who were (SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GREY) mourning the death of Hershel could see Scott Wilson in a role that made Shelley a fan for life. That post wasn't prefaced by a spoiler alert warning about Hershel's demise, and a couple of folks got upset about the lack of warning. It's understandable.
We're pretty conscious of spoilers on the show, and when we discuss things we shout "SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GREY" if we think there may be spoiler heavy topics involved. The discussions on the show are pretty stream of consciousness, however, so sometimes we forget to give a head's up. It's not intentional when it happens. Anybody that listens to us knows by now that we try to be conscious of spoilers, and they also know that we ramble off into a million other unplanned tangents during our three hours of precious air time.
Obviously, spoiler alerts are preferred. I personally feel, however, that once a show has aired or a movie has been released that it's my responsibility to do what I can to keep myself in the dark about it. I avoid reviews and recaps as best I can, and I have a pretty good feel for any avenues that might deliver spoilers. Hopefully there won't be any giveaways in story headlines, but those are even harder to avoid. People like to talk about these things, though. It would be nice if they would always yell "SPOILER ALERT FOR THE GREY", but I know that it's unreasonable to expect everyone to do that.
Devin Faraci wrote a great op ed about this on the terrific entertainment website Bad Ass Digest. He says as much, but he says it in a much more eloquent fashion. It's food for thought in this spoiler heavy age.
Again, we really do try to be conscious of spoilers during the show, but sometimes during the course of our discussion stuff just comes up. Sorry if we ruin anything for you. It's not intentional.
There's an album coming out soon that brings comedians and musicians together to tell us all about history. It's called 2776, and the lineup is pretty stellar. PROOF: Yo La Tengo with Ira Glass and Eugene Mirman performing a song called Toymageddon. Get into it!
Monday, December 02, 2013
This Sunday marks the anniversary of John Lennon's death. We always do a big tribute on the show on that day, but since we aren't on the air on Sunday we're doing it THIS FRIDAY! We're playing only solo John Lennon or Lennon sung Beatles songs on this day to commemorate John's life and work. There are LOTS of rules for this day, and Shelley did a post about them all a few years ago.
For your song requesting ease, here are those rules:
There are a few rules of the road that we should address.
1) We must abide by FCC standards for radio - so that means there will be NO WORKING CLASS HERO. As much as we like the song, we like our radio license better! It has major F-Bombs, and we refuse to bleep them because that would neuter the song.
2) John Lennon's solo material is perfectly acceptable request material.
3) Beatles requests get a little tricky. We will happily play the songs that John sings out right. We will even play some that Paul shares singing duties with. WE WILL NOT PLAY SONGS FROM THE BEATLES SUNG BY ONLY PAUL, GEORGE or RINGO. That means no Long and Winding Road, no Yellow Submarine, and most importantly, NO OLD BROWN SHOE!!
Don't worry folks - as you can see by the elaborate flow chart I have built for this very day, I can help determine whether or not your request works or doesn't work.
4) If you have a Beatles request - I will ask you if you want to hear stereo or mono. Shyboy Tim will talk more about this on Friday.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Shelley saw Nebraska, the new Alexander Payne film, over the Thanksgiving holiday, and she raved about it. One of the many reasons I want to see it is Will Forte. Will Forte makes me laugh. He's not funny in Nebraska, but he's pretty damn funny otherwise. He had some of my favorite all time funny moments on Saturday Night Live, including the Potato Chip sketch. Lord knows I post that damn sketch on this blog at least once a year. I'm pretty sure this will be the second time. In any case, enjoy some awesome Will Forte!
As far as Pearl Jam is concerned, we're all pretty "meh" about them. Just not interested. Sometimes, though, they do stuff like this, and it's kind of awesome. They played in Portland recently, and for their encore they played Rockin' In The Free World. Who joined them on stage? Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and SLEATER-KINNEY. For the first time since 2006 Sleater-Kinney played together on stage. Awesome.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
His mailing address is as follows:
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Norman Carl Odam
P.O. Box 740742
San Jose, California
Thanks Shuffle Functioneers.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Seeing Andy Richter and Tony Hale in that Arrested Development documentary reminded me of ANOTHER show they were in that got cancelled way too soon. Andy Barker P.I. was a starring vehicle for Andy Richter, where his character is an accountant that inadvertently becomes a private investigator. Tony Hale plays a video store operator that gets sucked into Andy's cases and becomes his sidekick. The show lasted six whole hilarious episodes, and I think it only finished its run online when NBC dumped the remainder there. Thanks to the onlines, though, we can watch them FOREVER.
Around the holidays you hear people talking about how they will survive their family. What fresh hell will the dinner table bring this year? Good times. If only there was a show more messed up than the family they have that they could laugh at!
When it comes to dysfunctional TV families, there are few challengers to The Bluth family for top of the heap. Can you believe it has been TEN YEARS since the show premiered? Crazy. It was religious appointment television for the gang at Shuffle Function for its entire run. Did we binge watch the unexpected fourth season on Netflix? Hells yes. Arrested Development is one of the funniest shows we have ever seen. Of course it was too good to last!
I was milling around on Hulu tonight and I came across this documentary I had heard about a few years ago. It was produced years after the show was dead and buried, and it was completed just as the announcement about Netflix was made. It has the unfortunate title "The Arrested Development Documentary Project", and it features most of the cast (minus Jessica Walters and Michael Cera), as well as Mitch Hurwitz, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and even some network pinheads. If it has a major flaw it is the occasional annoying fan talking head, but the fans are a key part of the documentary, so you'll have to get used to it. But the stories about the production and the struggles of the show are pretty interesting for fans.
Can you intentionally manufacture a campy badness that makes something insanely watchable? There are several schools of thought on this, but I lean towards no. With few exceptions, manufactured badness comes off as self conscious and boring. It takes a truly special brand of good intentions to make unintended badness an exceptional thing. Sometimes that thing is so wonderfully bad that the person pulling the strings behind it wants to burn it, bury it a pit, and then dig it up and ship it off to some desert planet full of moisture farmers. As a result, it becomes legend.
Ladies and gentlemen, The Star Wars Holiday Special is that thing.
Airing once on November 17th, 1978, The Star Wars Holiday Special is a masterpiece of well intended cashing in. It cashes in on the tremendous success of Star Wars: A New Hope, plus brings all the charm of old Television Specials, and it fails on such a grand scale that George Lucas has vowed to never let it see the light of day. I remember watching it and hearing my parents comment on just how bad it was. Even as a kid I could see that, and I absorbed all things Star Wars.
Sometimes the passing years can reveal a genius that isn't detected at the time. Maybe the world wasn't ready for something like this? Could it have been produced with such far reaching vision that the world has only just now realized that this is the direction television had moving towards all along? No. It's just plain crap.
Once more: This is crap.
This is the one and only time (regrettably) that George Lucas turned control of the Star Wars universe over to some outsiders, and the lesson he learned from it is that you never let somebody else mess with your creation. That's an admirable and completely understandable position to take. You work hard and make this magical film that the world adores, and you would want to protect it, right? I get that. On the other hand, would we have ended up with Jar Jar Binks or Darth Vader yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" if Lucas would have let a few more people slap some sense into him?
The Star Wars Holiday Special revolved around Chewbacca's family and the Wookie celebration of Life Day. You get to see Chewbacca's family going about their business, and the scenes are so immersive that you don't hear anything other than Wookie spoken for the first half hour. Yep.
Gradually you get appearances by Han and Chewie and Luke, and even the very first appearance anywhere of Boba Fett. That's pretty cool. Even the coked up appearance of Carrie Fisher singing (LYRICS) the Star Wars theme is interesting, I guess. Things get next level, though, when Bea Arthur shows up as a Cantina owner and sings a song to the alien patrons, or when Harvey Korman (who is never not good) makes multiple appearances as different characters. Also, there's Art Carney. Did I mention that Jefferson Starship performs? Did I mention that Diahanne Carroll makes an appearance in some Wookie porn?
How are you not watching this yet?
People call for an official release of The Star Wars Holiday Special, but at this point I think that's the wrong thing to do. The SWHS belongs in the back alleys of Star Wars fandom. Let it be an easter egg for Star Wars obsessives.
The copy you'll be watching (soon, hopefully) was recorded off the air during the original broadcast. As a result you'll get to see all the original commercials, as well as great moments like this:
We hope you guys have a terrific Thanksgiving! Don't forget about Black Friday Record Store Day at Tune Town (or whatever your local independent record store is) and please... watch this responsibly.
The Star Wars Holiday Special by FilmGeek-TV
Monday, November 25, 2013
Oh my lord... dig this crazy track off the new deluxe edition of Velvet Underground/White Light White Heat. VU: Kicking your rock and roll butt for nearly 50 years. Thanks to Dangerous Minds for posting this track. Killer killer stuff.
Pay attention for your chance to win THIS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26th, on the Morning Show as we give away passes to RiffTrax Live: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians! It's a live satellite event that happens on Thursday, December 5th at Cinemark Theaters in the River Hills Mall. You're in for a very fun time, as Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbet riff on this terrible holiday favorite. If you've never been to a RiffTrax show then you're in for a treat.
PAY ATTENTION FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! When you hear the rooster crow be the first caller at 389-5678 or 1-800-456-7810, and you could win two passes to RiffTrax Live!
Here it comes! Black Friday Record Store Day 2013 is THIS FRIDAY! Swing by your favorite independent record store for exclusive releases that you will only be able to find there. Not only is it a good excuse to bulk up your collection, but it's a good excuse to support a valuable community asset. In Mankato your local independent store is Tune Town, located at 630 North Riverfront Drive in Mankato.
Tune Town opens at 9 a.m.! Support independent retailers this holiday season!
Here's a video where the guy that runs Bull Moose Records shows off a bunch of the titles available, but you can also click HERE for a list in convenient pixel form. See you at Tune Town!
Saturday, November 23, 2013
YES! I've been on a quest to snap up all the singles put out by The Spectors, and while nosing around for more I came across this post from fellow AMPERS station RADIO K! It's The Spectors live in the KUOM studios. I don't know when this was recorded, but I get the impression that it was around the time of their reunion show about a decade ago. Such a great freakin' band. SO FREAKIN' GREAT.
Numero Group is the coolest record label out there. They find the most amazing forgotten and undiscovered music out there and then give it the deluxe treatment it never had. Their packaging is amazing. I'm obsessed.
Dust & Grooves recently took a camera crew into the Numero headquarters, and we get a look into their world. We get a look at their environment, as well as a look at what goes into putting out a Numero release. It's everything I'd ever want to know. They have the best job.
And here's some favorite Numero moments. Friggin' love these guys.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Kids can be so incredibly funny, and sometimes they are even funnier when they don't mean to be. Other times, though, they are funniest when they try to be funny and just sort of... you know... fail at it. That joy they can have when they attempt humor is so wonderful and innocent and well meaning that I can't help but laugh.
Thursday morning we spent an absurd amount of time laughing to the point of tears at badkidsjokes.tumblr.com. The site is put together by someone that moderates kids jokes for a kid joke website. Sometimes they get submissions that make no sense or are inappropriate, or they're just plain unfunny. Luckily this person realizes the gold that lies in the rejects, and now you can spend hours laughing at these well meaning attempts at levity.
I tried to pick some favorites for this post, but after a while I realized that I had to many and had to stop. You'll just have to go through and discover for yourself.
On the show this morning we remembered that dark day in Dallas 50 years ago today. There's no shortage of coverage on tv and the interwebs right now. In fact, CBS news will be re-running continuous coverage from 1963 today (and over the next several days) on cbs.com. To save you some time, we're posting two key moments from CBS' coverage of the assasination. The first clip has Walter Cronkite breaking in during As The World Turns to announce that The President had been shot. The following clip is Cronkite announcing that President Kennedy had died. It's powerful stuff.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
The press conference just ended! Monty Python will perform live at the O2 Arena in London on July 1st, 2014. Tickets will run from 27 1/2 pounds to 95 pounds, which is excitingly reasonable, considering they could have pulled a Rolling Stones on the deal. All the guys look great and happy! We watched the conference during the show with the volume off, but the Telegraph website was live tweeting the whole shebang, and it sounds like the performance will be a mix of old and new material, and it will be filmed for eventual release.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Industrial films are typically a dull affair, filled with corporate propaganda and well meaning messages to push the company on to big performance and big money. Anybody that has seen them probably has an instant urge to roll their eyes the moment they are asked to watch them. That wouldn't be the case if all industrial films were as off the wall as the one Birds Eye produced in 1971 for a product relaunch.
Somebody somewhere in corporate must have been a fan, because the 1971 Birds Eye corporate film was written by and features Monty Python. In essence, it's an episode of their show designed to sell something. Yes, it's corporate, but more than that it's hilarious. Really and truly irreverent. One wonders how the suits at Birds Eye reacted to it back in the day, but with any luck they'd realize that they had a corker of a sales film on their hands.
If Monty Python is truly getting back together for a new project, then it stands to reason that they include Carol Cleveland, right? If anybody could honestly lay claim to the title "Seventh Python" it would be her. She's been involved in every project produced under the Python name, and let's face it: Not just anyone could hold there own in that group. Many non-Pythons made appearances on the show, but Carol Cleveland was virtually the only one that could deliver on the laughs.
PLEASE INCLUDE CAROL!
Graham Chapman lived a crazy life. He was a medical doctor and served as the on set doctor for Monty Python on the set of Life Of Brian. A raging alcoholic, he partied with Keith Moon, and then cleaned up and became a member of the Dangerous Sports Club. The Dangerous Sports Club did things like ride pianos down mountains. Silly silly silly!
Chapman's drinking made him unreliable on occasion, leaving John Cleese to do much of the heavy lifting in their writing partnership, but Cleese always credited Graham with the ability to blurt out the most perfectly absurd thing at random moments for sketches. For instance, when he and John Cleese sat in drag watching a television, Chapman suddenly screamed "BURMA!" because he panicked for some reason.
Graham Chapman died at age 48 in 1989. His absent will be notable with whatever the Pythons have up their sleeve next, but they'll surely have something irreverent in place to remember him. Something like this, when they brought Graham's ashes on stage for a Q&A:
Graham Chapman: A Very Silly Man
John Cleese is the best ranter of all the members of Monty Python. Some of his greatest moments are when he goes completely unhinged, or when he's dressed as a knight, or when he's a wizard. But mostly the unhinged part. Oh, and when he's operating a B&B. But still, the unhinged part.
He also writes one hell of a eulogy.