Sunday, December 3, 2023

Tasmanian Devils and Stardust - - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Taro"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, leaned more towards the psych side which is probably going to be the theme for the next few episodes. Like many people, I sometimes find myself gravitating towards certain musical genres for a given period of time before I get sick of it. Lately I've been checking out a lot of late 60s and early 70s fuzzed out stuff rather so these next few episodes will definitely be reflecting that.

Anywho, towards the beginning of the show you heard the buzzy little tune Baby by a band from West Palm Beach, Florida named The Tasmanians. The original release is fairly rare but you can find the track on a bunch of different compilations, some better than others. The version you heard came from Sixties Archives Vol. 4 Florida & New Mexico Punk and if you are ever interested in getting some compilations for your collection, you can't go wrong with the Sixties Archives!

As is the case with a lot of psych and garage bands, one of the best sources for information on the group is on Garage Hangover. However, on the show I focused more on the strange dog sized marsupial which shares a similar namesake with the band, the Tasmanian Devil. The Tasmanian Devil's breeding behavior is what initially caught my attention due to the fact that they often give birth to 20-30 pups with only around 40% surviving to maturity. They have relatively short lifespans with the oldest known Tasmanian Devil being Coolah, who was born and raised in the Children's Zoo in Fort Wayne, IN and died at age seven

Tasmanian Devils remind me of Master Splinter

Currently, the animals are facing extinction due to a fatal disease (Devil Facial Tumour Disease) which causes facial tumors and is one of the very few known forms of cancer which spreads in a contagious fashion. Conservation efforts are being led by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania and if you would like to learn more about these unusual creatures and possibly donate to their causes, head on over to their official website.

Towards the halfway point of the show, you heard The Stardusters play their cover of Ray Charles' What'd I Say. The group was made up of young teens from the sparsely populated Willisville and Cutler area of Illinois and according to a local newspaper article, the band was known for performing 3 times a week. The recording is a little rough around the edges which contributes to its charm with vocals provided by a young woman named Miss Darla Dean. There are a few other groups that share the Stardusters name including a latin rock band from the greater Houston area whose most popular single is Forever and a vocal group from the 1930s that was known for their appearances on The Vitalis Show, featuring George Jessel and his Celebrated Guests

While listening to The Stardusters I was reminded of a film I watched way back in 2007, and had long since forgotten, named Stardust. What I remember most about the film is its unusual tone which was a mix between campiness and self-seriousness with the unusual casting choices of Robert De Niro as a pirate with a secret love for dressing in women's clothing and Michelle Pfeiffer in the role of an ugly witch. The movie is based off a 1999 novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman who is probably best known for his comic book series Sandman which was later made into a critically acclaimed series on Netflix. While I can't say I'd really recommend Stardust because, frankly because I can't remember too much about it, but I would highly recommend Sandman for anyone that's slightly interested in Gaiman's work.

And finally, towards the end of the show I played a song by Maximus named A Better Mind and I mentioned that the group was headed by Jack Ross, who was an active session musician in Nashville. Ross was also married to a country music singer named Jeris Ross who gained some success with her version of the Gary Paxton song Pictures On Paper which features some unusual lyrics such as:

So what if he flirts a little with the girls where he works, as long as he's true to you, you better give that man a little slack.

Funny enough, there's another version of the song by Ronnie Dove which seems more sympathetic to the woman's perspective. On air I compared Pictures On Paper to Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man which caused some controversy during its debut for containing lyrics which feminists felt were misogynistic. 

If you happen to like vintage country western music my buddy Jed McDaniel has a show on Spotify named When Cringin' Leads to Cryin' which highlights music from the early days of country until around the 1970s. We used to talk a lot about old country records so I can attest for his taste. Back in the day Jed used to host a show on KUCR named Cryin' Time, so he's got a history with our humble station.

Well folks, that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

Check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, November 4, 2023

Calling It Quits! Deap Vally Kicks Off Their Final Tour - Deap Vally Interview - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show

For the past 12 years the Southern California rock n roll duo Deap Vally has been performing fuzzy and hypnotic music for audiences around the world. Over that time, they’ve released 3 full length albums, several singles and EPs, and opened for artists such as: Marilyn Manson, Wolfmother, Blondie, and Garbage. Now Deap Vally kicks off their final tour as they also self-release their latest album SISTRIONIX 2.0, a re-recorded version of their first full length album which is currently out of print.

On November 2nd, the group stopped by KUCR to promote their previously unreleased cover of The Rolling Stones’ Ventilator Blues and newly re-recorded Baby I Call Hell. Below you will find my full interview with the band followed by a playlist of the songs which aired during the episode. The playlist includes recordings by L.A. Witch and Death Valley Girls who will both accompany Deap Vally on their Live for the Last Time Farewell Tour


If you'd like to catch the band during their final tour, the shows closest to Riverside will take place on November 11th at The Casbah in San Diego, November 12th at The Observatory in Santa Ana, and March 9th at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles.  

Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In



Saturday, October 28, 2023

Halloween Radio Special 4! - 50s-70s Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, and Novelty Songs

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, featured spooky, creepy, and macabre songs from around the world. That must mean it was... the 4th annual Halloween Special! If your musical sweet tooth is craving more horrifying tunes, you can check out the last few Halloween playlists here, here, and here. If you missed the episode as it originally aired, you can catch it on the KUCR Archive, however, it'll only be online for a few weeks so listen while you can!

This year's flyer was based on the poster for Child's Play 2

Towards the beginning of the show you heard the Danish group Rocking Ghosts play a fun surf track named Ghost Walk. During the show I mentioned that one of the band's singles featured a cover with the band in regalia that looked similar to those worn by the KKK. In reality, the band was probably just donning ghostly imagery based on the hooded penitents as seen during the Spanish holiday Semena Santa or flagellants who often mutilate their own bodies as a form of penance. There's not many things creepier than whipping yourself to please god. Yikes.

Next up, you heard Los Crazy Birds play their creepy tune La Bruja. The band was headed by Luis Vivi Hernandez who was known for his work with Los Luises, Los Crazy Boys, and Los Electronicos. According to the website Ven a mi mundo, Hernandez is considered by many to be the Mexican Elvis. Does that mean he also liked peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches? Also, I'd also like to point out that during this time Elvis wasn't well received in Mexico due to rumors of him making racist statements about Mexicans which was later revealed to be untrue.

As an aside, if you are interested in brujas (witches) in Mexican cinema, there's a great guest lecture by Valeria Villegas Lindval about witches in gothic horror through a feminist lens.

Finally, towards the end of the show I spoke about an unusual album by Robbie Robison named Robbie The Werewolf At The Waleback. The album is a live recording of an acoustic performance at the Wale Back in Santa Monica, CA where Robison adopted the persona of a hippie werewolf. The album is rude and crude with an eerie twist. Robbie The Werewolf sings about doing drugs, getting sick, and other unusual topics in front of a captivated audience that appears to be inebriated. You can't help but imagine yourself sitting in the crowd wondering how you ended up in a dingy dive bar on a Wednesday night. Robison later went on to perform with The Brain Train (who you may have heard on the episode named Kiwi and Oca) and Clear Light, which was a re-branding of The Brain Train after signing to Elektra. Interestingly enough, Robison's wife Barbara also provided vocals for the psych band The Peanut Butter Conspiracy. 

The album was recorded by Reice Hamel who was known for developing recording techniques that resulted in amazing live recordings of various jazz musicians. Hamel was also known for his mobile recording studios which at one point took the shape of a customized Type 2 Volkswagen

That it for this episode's terrifying rundown! Stay safe this Halloween and please remember to brush and floss! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Monday, October 23, 2023

Zine Making Templates, Zine Making Advice, and How We Made Our First Comic Zine "Soup Rocks!"

For the past month, some friends and I have been secretly working on a comic/zine project named Soup Rocks which we brought with us to the Packing House Zine Fest in Claremont, CA. Soup Rocks is about a man that discovers rocks in a can of soup and his journey to find out how they got in there and more importantly, why. The comic features illustrations by Danni.Artspace with backgrounds and shading by yours truly

Photo by Danni.Artspace

During the process of making the zine, I learned a few things which I would like to pass on to anyone that would also like to make a zine, whether it’s a comic or not. While Soup Rocks isn’t the first time I’ve dabbled with zine making, it is the first time I have done so in a completely digital space at the typical half page scale. Usually, in the past, when I’ve worked on zines it has been in the more traditional cut and paste style, which is a pretty awesome way of making art, however, it’s not what I’ll be covering today. Maybe some other day.

Half Page Zine Template

For this project we used the standard 8.5 x 11-inch letter sized paper, folded in half, which I’ve seen called the “half zine” or “digest sized” format. For the most part, this is the most common and simplest format for zine making. Most online resources suggest using a quarter inch border around your pages and although that may seem large, especially when you consider the limited amount of space of a half sheet of paper, I found it to be a perfect margin. You’ll have enough room to trim any excess and your content won’t disappear towards the page folds. 

Unfolded Half Page Zine Template

At first, Danni and I followed a random template I found online, but as we got closer to printing the zine, I discovered that the template was slightly off and each page would either feature too heavy of a margin, would not line up when folded in half, or would be stretched in an unusual way when fit to page. Eventually, I created a new template using Gimp. Sure, you could figure out a more elegant way of setting up your page to feature margins, but the way in which Danni and I were bouncing around between various software, sending artwork back and forth via email, and scaling comic panels, following a simple template was easiest.

One of the most important things to consider while making your zine is your page count. In our case, we knew that we wanted 16 pages for the story, a full color cover and back, a page for advertising our upcoming visual novel and a page for advertising my radio show. When you create your zine you must keep in mind that your page count must be divisible by 4 or else you’ll have blank pages.

For economical and aesthetic reasons, most zines are black and white. If you want to add a splash of color, I suggest printing the cover in color while leaving the inside black and white. In the past, I have also added color by printing the cover on construction paper or colored printer paper. If you do print on colored paper, I suggest using a lighter or brighter paper because darker paper tend to make your photocopies more difficult to see. Because we only used double-sided color prints for our cover, back and inside covers, we made sure to place our visual novel ad on the back inside cover. This maximizes its importance and takes advantage of what little color our zine had.  

When you are formatting your page order (pagination) for printing, things can get a little confusing. While trying to format our comic’s pages, I followed the advice of others online and tried to use Scribus, an open-source desktop publishing software which helps you determine how to format and print your pages in the correct order. While setting up Scribus I felt like I was using a sledgehammer to drive a nail while building a birdhouse. In other words, because our zine only needed 6 sheets of paper, totaling 24 pages of content, using Scribus felt like overkill. Instead, I folded 6 sheets of blank paper in half, labeled each page with a pen and then unfolded the paper. Now I knew how to format each page for printing. Later, I found some word templates on Anatomic Air Press’ website which could also be helpful, even if you don’t print from Microsoft Word. You can just follow the page order. There’s also a handy picture on Aisling D’Art's website.

The printer we used could print double-sided pages, however, if your printer doesn’t, you can simply print out your pages, flip them over, and print the other side. Just keep your page’s orientation in mind. Sometimes, even if your printer can print double-sided, it’s faster to run a whole group of pages and flip them manually. Before running prints of your whole zine it’s worth taking the time to print a test run. Even if you think everything is perfect, you might’ve missed something and any mistakes can cost you time, money, or goof up your presentation. Might as well catch mistakes while stakes are low.

One thing that was somewhat unfortunate, is the printer we used couldn’t print edge to edge, or print with zero margins. That meant that our cover pages had a slight white border. Earlier I mentioned that you should use a quarter inch margin and, in our case, that margin came in handy as we trimmed off the white boarder from our cover. 

You should always try to trim your zine after you’ve folded and stapled it. Using a bone folder to crease your page folds helps minimize how much your paper will need to be trimmed. Trimming your zine makes it look more professional because aligning your pages perfectly while folding is more difficult than trimming them to a uniform size. If you don’t feel like trimming at all, try making a cover that doesn’t have an image extend to the edges, in a similar fashion to your inside pages.

Speaking of trimming, oh boy, was that the most annoying aspect of this project. I naively thought that finding a guillotine style paper cutter would be no problem. I tried hitting up local libraries but none were willing to let me use their cutters. A local copy shop said I could use their paper trimmer but it was in very poor condition and the cutter I had at home was dull and could hardly handle more than one paper at a time. Eventually I settled on clamping each zine under a straight edge and trimming everything with a razor. It was time consuming and didn’t look as good as I would like, but it was better than nothing. I read a random forum post that said cutting aluminum foil could help sharped the edge of your cutter and after trying it out, I’d say it did seem to work. Too bad I tried this technique after I cut out all the zines with a razor. Ugh.

Would I suggest you go out and buy a guillotine cutter just to make a zine or two? Probably not, unless I found one for a decent price on the used market. However, if you are planning on making a bunch of zines it’d probably be worth buying a decent one. In fact, even if you just plan on doing a lot of paper trimming in general, I feel like a guillotine paper cutter is one of the best ways to go.

My cheap long arm stapler and butter knife bone folder

For our project I bought a long arm stapler and I suggest you buy or borrow one as well. In the past they were prohibitively expensive and many of us resorted to folding our pages to reach the center or making a diy long arm stapler by hacking up a standard stapler. Neither option provided nice results. Currently there are plenty of cheap long arm staplers available through the typical online shops and although they aren’t perfect, they work a lot better than most hacks you could come up with.

Now I’d like to go over the creative process we used while making Soup Rocks. This isn’t necessarily the “right way” to go about making a comic but it was how we did it.

First, me and Danni brainstormed ideas and came up with a general plot. I created an outline of the events that occurred in the story and decided on a page count that I thought was obtainable with respect to our self-imposed deadline. Then I broke down the outline to the page count. For example, our protagonist shops for soup, buys a can, drives home, opens the can, and discovers rocks inside his soup as he begins cooking. I’ll admit, being that this was my first comic I was afraid that the pacing would be off, however, I felt that the aforementioned section of the plot could be summed up in two comic pages using 12 panels. I continued breaking down the plot to our page count and guessed what would feel like a good pace.

Next, I drew a series of squares and rectangles which represented the panels for the comic. In each square I described what I thought each image should look like with a generalized version of each speech bubble. After I finished drawing the rough panels I sent them over to Danni, who began sketching out the comic’s artwork. For drawing the comic’s panels, I used an open-source vector program named Inkscape. 

Danni then sent me her interpretations of my panel descriptions. She illustrated her images in Photoshop, but if you are looking for a free raster drawing program, I suggest using Krita which punches well above its weight.

From there, I copied the panels into Inkscape, used the “Trace Bitmap” function and cleaned up the vectors whenever necessary. The reason I converted Danni’s art from raster to a vector is because I like rescaling artwork without worrying about any loss in quality. It’s also easier to make a more consistent color palette and I’m more comfortable editing vector points than redrawing artwork in a raster program.

Next, I exported the vectorized panels into Gimp, where I used gradients and the “Newspaper” extension to create the shading effects. Because I knew we were going to print in black and white, I colored in each panel with grey hues, added dithering every now and then, and paid close attention to how light or dark certain objects were. The exported panels served as my guidelines for the shading and coloring and remained near the top of my layers in Gimp. 

I really liked the idea of using 3D/CGI backgrounds and props which could interact with Danni’s drawings in a cut and paste/collage/photocopied fashion. To achieve this effect, I looked at Danni’s illustrations and chose elements which could translate into 3D space. I then exported each panel as a reference to be used in the 3D modeling program Blender. In Blender I scaled the project’s camera to match the comic’s various panel sizes. I then modeled each element and exported my files from Blender, making sure I kept each background transparent. I then merged the 3D images with Danni’s artwork in Gimp. Most of the 3D images were stylized with dithering and the “Newspaper” effect. A similar technique is often used in manga; however, steps are typically taken to make the 3D images look like illustrations. In our case, I wanted to make sure our 3D renders look more like photocopied photographs.

Eventually, we settled on a more concrete script, plugged in some dialogue, and buttoned up our panel borders. There was a lot of back and forth between everyone but Danni and I understood our aesthetic/narrative goals and the pressure of meeting our deadline helped lead us to the finish line. 

Making the comic was a ton of fun and I’d love to make more comic zines in the future. Maybe next time we’ll print a proper comic in full color using some sort of print company but for now I like our Lo-Fi black and white approach. Perhaps, one day, we can make a long form compilation in a manga/graphic novel format. Who knows!

We plan on eventually selling some copies of the zine online and when we do, I’ll be sure to update this page. As for now, you can check out a demo of our visual novel, which is based around a story by Danni with music and backgrounds by me and programming by Justin!

Shout out to all the people at the Zine Fest who traded zines, comics, and art with us. It was fun and we hope to see you at other art/zine events in the future!

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Young and Old Monkey Men, Redbone, and Pete Mac, Jr.! - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Cloudberry"

Unlike most of my recent shows, this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, featured a lot less psych music and a lot more garage rock with some moodier tunes towards the end. Check out this episode's breakdown below.

Monkey Men as seen in Thomas Landseer's Monkeyana or Men in Miniature

Towards the beginning of the night, you heard "I Believed You" by The Young Monkey Men which is one of my favorite garage rock band names because it's so silly and fitting for a group that was made up of kids in their early teens. For their age, the group was definitely punching above their weight and it's a shame we didn't get more music from them beyond their few singles. Because of their similar name, The Young Monkey Men have often been confused with another band named The Monkey Men who also happen to be from New Jersey. Unlike the younger monkeys, The Monkey Men had a wild streak and were known for riding motorcycles into venues and setting off diy pyrotechnics. 

The Satellite Lounge evolution via Google Maps

The Monkey Men were a house band at a famous venue in Cookstown, New Jersey known as The Satellite Lounge, which was destroyed in a fire back in 2013. There's an interesting article on Weird NJ which features some history on the venue, as well as, photos of the long-abandoned club just a year before it was burned down. You'll surely hear The Monkey Men's music on a future episode; however, I should note that although they performed live as The Monkey Men, they recorded under the name The Luv Bandits due to their label's fear that they might be sued by The Monkees.

After The Young Monkey Men, you heard a twangy instrumental track by Pat and The Wildcats named "Green Tomatoes." Were The Wildcats a real band or a purely studio ensemble? Who knows? But what we do know is that the song's writing credits include Pat and Lolly Vegas of Redbone fame. On the show I mentioned that Redbone is known for their most popular hit "Come and Get Your Love" which younger listeners might recognize from the amazing FX show Reservation Dogs. Older listeners probably just recognize the song from, well, being older. 

About halfway through the show, you heard another instrumental track by Calvin Cool and The Surf Knobs named "El Tecolote" which is one of the Spanish words for "owl." Calvin Cool was a pseudonym for the American jazz artist Shorty Rogers, who was an prominent figure in West Coast Jazz which is considered a subset of the wider genre Cool Jazz. The Surf Knobs have one LP under their name and a handful of singles which appear to be tracks pulled straight from the LP, most likely as a way of squeezing out as much money as they could from the recording session. Back in the day, singles, such as those made by The Surf Knobs, appeared in pharmacies and department stores as budget releases. 

During my youth, we also had bargain/generic releases, however, they weren't nearly as cool as the surf rock instrumentals of the 60s but were rather nature field recordings, piano ballads, and various new age schlock produced by companies such as: Gentle Persuasion, Nature Quest, and Lifescapes. What I remember more than the actual releases themselves is the listening kiosks that would often accompany the CDs and tapes. It was always fun mashing the crinkly buttons to hear 30 second clips from each album. I'm sure the sales team at Target loved hearing us kids abruptly switch from the sounds of rain to pan flutes and then to piano covers of adult contemporary hits. 

And finally, I'll mention Japanese GS band The Mummies who played their song "Boogaloo - No.1." At least, I believe their name is The Mummies. Some websites also translated their name as The Mommies and The Mammys. Regardless, the group featured the vocals of Pete Mac, Jr., a singer and actor of both American and Japanese descent. Some of Pete Mac, Jr.'s work includes: acting in the 1972 film Escape where he also provided vocals for the theme, singing the theme for the 1973 drama Suikoden which was later released on the BBC as The Water Margin, and also singing the vocal version of the theme song for the anime Lupin The Third. As for the Lupin theme, Yuji Ohno, the theme's composer, has gone on record stating that the song was too difficult for anyone to sing along with and that he originally had no lyrics in mind when composing the song. Despite this, Ohno believes Mac, Jr. did an acceptable job at singing the theme.

And that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Sunday, September 24, 2023

David Lynch Inspired Lego Art and Tony Ronald Asks For Help! - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Goji Berry"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, featured a lot of garage rock that was more on the poppy side, followed by some moodier psych tracks towards the end. Sometimes it's fun to rock out to a whirlwind of emotions!

We kicked off this episode with a fun little ditty by Debbie Williams and The Unwritten Law named "Love Seems So Hard To Find." The song's intro is reminiscent of The Doors' "The End" or maybe even The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" before it quickly transitions into a thumping garage rock anthem. In addition to the dark introduction, you have a 14-year-old Debbie Williams singing lines such as: "Today, today he shot me down because I was tripping hard" with her country twang and higher pitched voice along with a somewhat intense fuzzed out guitar solo which adds to the song's uniqueness. The flip-side of the record, "Ask Me" is a little more straightforward, but highlights the strength of Williams' voice which makes me think of a younger and less gravely Wanda Jackson. 

From what I can find, it appears that Williams never recorded any other songs, which is a shame because I can only assume she would have gotten better with age. As for The Unwritten Law, they recorded at least one more single featuring the songs "This Whole World Is Blind" and "Actions Speak Louder." I'm somewhat surprised that The Unwritten Law didn't go on to record more, being that they seemed to have had the potential to write popular songs, but that's how things worked out for a lot of garage rock bands. You can find more info on the group from this article on Garage Hangover.

As the show went on you heard a Spanish and Dutch band known as Los Zooms perform their song "Give Me More." The band's international heritage comes from the fact that they were formed through singer/musician/producer Tony Ronald who was born in the Netherlands but settled in Spain. Ronald's musical career began after he formed a group known as Kroner's Duo with José Luis Bolívar. At the time, Spanish duo groups were gaining popularity due to the success of Dúo Dinámico, a pop group that frequently appeared in the Spanish charts. Unfortunately for Ronald and Bolívar, Kroner's Duo didn't find similar success. 

Tony Ronald's October 29th, 1971 appearance on Hits à gogo. Any info on that wild car?

However, Tony Ronald eventually stuck music gold with his international hit song "Help (Get me some Help)." Ronald recorded versions in Spanish and English while other artists recorded versions in French, Portuguese, Swedish, German, and Italian. The song is a fairly standard 70s pop song but for some reason it stood out to listeners around the world in ways that many of it's contemporaneous songs didn't.

Towards the halfway point of the show Paupers performed their song "Searching For Someone" and I talked a little bit about the history of their hometown Leavenworth, Kansas. Not only was Leavenworth the first city in Kansas, it also has a unique history as being a place that was initially established by members of the pro-slavery movement before quickly becoming an important part of abolitionism

Naomi Watts, as seen in this video.

Later on, you heard me talk about The Cutaways' hometown of Bellaire, Ohio but rather than delve into the town's past, I talked about the Bellaire Toy and Plastic Brick Museum which is supposedly one of the world's largest unofficial Lego sculpture museums. From the photographs and videos that I've seen, it appears that the museum is in a former school or government building and the exhibits range in scale and subject matter. Funny enough, if you watch Youtuber Daze with Jordan the Lion's video about his trip to the museum, you can spot a portrait of Naomi Watts based on her appearance in David Lynch's film Mulholland Drive. Now I desperately want to see some Lego artwork based on Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, or Eraserhead. Imagine that!

Anywho, that's everything from this episode! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, August 19, 2023

Hall, Oats, and Rapid-Fire Rockabilly - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Cowpea"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, I kept the talking to small rapid-fire tidbits rather than my normal rambling. Because of that, this post will just stick to the bullet points. But before we get into all that, I'd like to remind y'all that you can check out the latest episodes on the KUCR Archive page. All you have to do is click that little drop down menu and click on "Hippie Love Turbo." Intuitive, ain't it? Unfortunately, the episodes won't be there for long so listen while you can!

 Anywho, here's this episode's breakdown:

  • After hearing Lee Cole's "Cool Baby" I mentioned that I found the song on the compilation Cool And The Crazy which was released in Germany in 1993. I questioned why rockabilly, or psychobilly for that matter, is popular in Germany. Check out this older Vice article that touches on the subject. What do you think?
  • Later on, you heard The Devils play "The Devil Dance." The Devils eventually changed their name to The Bentleys and released one more single, "Now It's Gone." You can read a little more about the band here.
  • Speaking of The Devils, the group was originally from Stroudsburg, PA, which happens to be the city where guitarist G. E. Smith grew up. Smith worked a ton with Hall & Oats and was featured on 5 of the band's top hits. However, if you're like me, you probably recognize him as the long-haired bandleader on Saturday Night Live, a position Smith left in 1995. There's a pretty extensive interview with Smith on The Television Academy's website where he goes over his career including his time with SNL. 
  • Funny enough, I found another connection to Hall & Oats through The Loot. You heard their song "She's A Winner" which featured the guitar work of Caleb Quaye who, much like G.E. Smith, worked with Hall & Oats. It seems like Quaye and Smith might have worked together through Hall & Oats in 1979 but that's probably it. Besides Hall & Oats, Quaye is probably best known for his work with Elton John and their song "Thank You For All Your Loving"  which was written in the late '60s but remained unreleased until it appeared in the 2019 film Rocketman.
  • As the show continued, I played The 'N Betweens' "Little Nightingale" and you heard me talk a bit about the band's history, most of which I found on a website named Brum Beat. The website covers various bands from the West Midlands and is worth poking around because it features fairly comprehensive biographies on some obscure groups, as well as, a few more popular artists.

And that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Sunday, August 13, 2023

Getting Off Sonia's Cloud! - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Ackee"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, was filled with a wide range of garage and psych tunes, toe tappers, and head-shakers. If you happened to miss this episode you can listen to it on the KUCR Archive where it'll be up for a couple weeks before it gets replaced by newer shows. Listen while you can and, of course, you can always catch the playlist down below!

This promo features a model of a vintage cart machine that's still in use at KUCR!

The first song you heard on this episode was a cover of The Rolling Stones' song "Get Off Of My Cloud" by Spanish ye-yé singer Sonia. There's not much info about Sonia beyond her work in the 60s but there's a nice summary of her career on the blog Cuadernos de Rock en Español (Rock Notes In Spanish). Over the years, Sonia performed Spanish covers of a few English songs including: "Do Wah Diddy", which was made popular at the time by Manfred Mann, as well as, Cliff Richard's "Lucky Lips", and Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas' "Bad To Me", which can both be heard on her Ouki-Kouki EP. If you like "Bad To Me" you may be interested to know that it was written by Lennon–McCartney and that there are various demo version bootlegs floating around.

As for "Get Off My Cloud", I had mentioned on the show that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote the song as a response to the constant attention they received during their newfound fame. The band wasn't completely satisfied with the final result and chose not to perform the song for many years but ultimately it was one of their biggest hits in the US. You can read more about the song's history on American Songwriter.

Later in the show you heard The Fire's song "Father's Name Is Dad" and I mentioned a research article about early child development and how babies often remember words that have repeating sounds. This repetition may influence the ways language is developed and explain why certain words, such as mama, are often the first words children say. You can read more about the studies here and here.

And finally, towards the middle of the show, I played The Warlords "Real Fine Lady" and I talked a little about their hometown Bloomington-Normal, IL. In particular, I talked about David Davis' Mansion and how he was a friend of and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln, in addition to a senator and Supreme Court justice.

As for The Warlords, their career was fairly short and their sole release supposedly had a low run of 100 pressings. It seems that the collector's market reflects the single's rarity as I've seen copies listed for sale in the thousands. For a more complete summary of the band, head over to the blog Downstate Sounds which also appears to be a radio show!

And that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Sunday, July 9, 2023

Tripping Out With Matchstick Men - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Quinoa"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, leaned heavily on psych music, in particular stuff from across the pond. If you happened to miss this episode you can listen to it on the KUCR Archive. It'll be up for a couple weeks before it gets replaced by newer shows. Listen while you can!

We kicked off this episode with a popular psych song by Status Quo named "Pictures of Matchstick Men" and according to Francis Rossi, the band's singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter, Status Quo wasn't much of a psychedelic band before the song's release and he considered the group more akin to his mod contemporaries. In his 2004 book XS All Areas: The Status Quo Autobiography Rossi states:

Musically, the success of Matchstick Men sent us on a whole new path. Because it was looked on as this very sort of psychedelic, hippy-dippy type of song, we were now looked on by the people who had bought it as a full-on psychedelic group, which of course we weren't at all. I didn't even know how to spell 'psychedelic' back then.

Additionally, Rossi explains how he began writing the song while locked in his bathroom, where he often hid from his first wife during their tumultuous marriage. In an interview with Carl Wiser for SongFacts, Rossi cites Jimi Hendrix's version of "Hey Joe" as inspiration for the song's structure and states that the song is about his ex-wife and how he regretted marrying her early into their relationship. I have found countless articles mentioning that the song was written about L. S. Lowry's paintings but I haven't been able to locate any particular interview where Rossi makes such a claim. It seems that the song's ties to Lowry come from the fact that his works were often described as having "matchstalk" or "matchstick" men due to the unusually stiff subjects in Lowry's paintings. 

During the show, I mentioned that I read someone's interpretation of the song which argued that it's about a man that's haunted by Lowry's unusual paintings. However, there isn't much merit behind such a claim, being that the imagery Rossi alludes to doesn't match the descriptions of Lowry's paintings and that Rossi has clearly stated that the song is about his ex-wife. While Rossi might be referencing Lowry's "matchstick" men in the song, I would say it would be wrong to claim that the song is "about" Lowry's work. Of course, there is a sense of eeriness in Lowry's work and with Lowry himself, being that he was an unusual man with a mysterious aura, so it does make sense that someone would write a song inspired by his paintings or eccentricities.

As the show went on, you heard The Montanas' "Difference of Opinion" and I spoke about the band's industrial hometown of Wolverhampton, England which, like the settings of Lowry's paintings, was at one time known for being dingy. When Queen Victoria was 13, she had visited Wolverhampton and wrote in her diary that it was "a large and dirty town" with grass that was "blasted and black". As time passed, so did most of the industry, with large swaths of factories closing in the 20th and 21st century. 

As for The Montanas, they mostly had a sparkling clean sunshine pop-ish sound with their most popular song being "You've Got To Be Loved". The song was successful here in the states but didn't really catch on in the UK. At first, The Montanas played with a straight forward beat sound but as time went on, they began to add more strings, bounce, oohhs and awwws which led to the pop sound they are most famous for.

And that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, July 1, 2023

The Youngers, Jazz Cafes and The Riverside Plaza - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Dandelion Greens"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, was split halfway between garage rock bangers and psyched out dreamers with a sprinkling of Rhythm and Blues. For some reason most of the songs from this episode weren't on Spotify, so if you came to the website to find a particular tune be sure to peep the playlist at the bottom!

Towards the beginning of the show you heard a Japanese band The Youngers (ザ・ヤンガーズ ) perform their super fuzzy and bass thumping song I Don't Want To Let You Go. Although there's a bunch of information readily available on the web in Japanese, it appears that the group hasn't received too much coverage in English. Through the modern technical wizardry that is Google Translate, I have found that the band was similar to what we consider a modern boy band or at least something similar to a pop rock group such as The Monkees. Rather than forming naturally, the band was scouted by a "Jazz Cafe" or "Music Cafe" in Shinjuku City named La Seine. At the time there were several venues in and around Tokyo that served as hangout spots where you could eat and drink while listening to live "GS" (garage sound) bands that played beat, garage, and psych standards, as well as, western influenced originals. 

Ichiro Tominaga on Comedy Manga Dojo Digest

The Youngers was composed of 6 lads from around Japan, with the youngest member, vocalist Yoichi Suzuki (17) acting as a songwriter for their debut song My Love, My Love. Multiple sources claim that the group had an active fan club that was 2,000 members strong before they had even released their first single. Supposedly, their fan group was managed by Ichiro Tominaga (富永一朗), who was an early manga artist and well-known television personality.

As expected, The Youngers' most active fan base were among middle and high school aged girls and according to a poll conducted by the Tokyo radio station Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, the group was ranked the 8th most popular GS band. Like most other pop rock groups, the band eventually lost popularity as they got older and after briefly changing their sound to a more mature pop/adult contemporary sound, they called it quits. Various members continued to play music, however, they never seemed to achieve the same popularity as The Youngers.

If you happen to follow KUCR on Instagram, which you definitely should, then you probably saw a post featuring a CGI rendering of the Hippie Love mascot along with a Googie style KUCR sign. Well, I based that model off an old sign that used to sit in the parking lot of the Riverside Plaza during the 1960s. There's not much to add besides that but I thought it'd be fun to make a higher resolution version of the Instagram post available. Enjoy!

Well folks, that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. If you can't catch the show live there's now a convenient way to listen via the KUCR archive.  Unfortunately, due to copyright laws, each episode can only stay online for a few weeks, so you have a limited time to listen before they're gone. Better than nothing, I say! Just follow the link and search for Hippie Love Turbo or click on the "All Shows" drop-down menu.

You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In.

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, June 10, 2023

Charlie Booth, Larry Williams, and A New Way To Listen To The Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Golden Lotus Banana"

Before we dive into this episode's summary, I'd like to tell y'all about a new feature on KUCR's website where you can listen to certain programs on demand. If you aren't able to tune into Hippie Love Turbo live then checking out the online archive is pretty much the only legal way to listen to the show. It's really simple and convenient! Just click the "All shows" drop-down menu and find "Hippie Love Turbo" or use the search function and you'll find some of the latest episodes that were played on air. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues, the episodes can only stay online for a limited time so be sure to listen while you can! 

Anyway, for this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, we bounced around genres a bit more than usual with songs ranging from rockabilly to psych. It was a ton of fun finding music for this episode and sometimes it feels good to mix things up!

The first song you heard on this episode was a single by Charlie Booth and The Blue Velvets named Gonna Find Some Lovin'. The flipside of the record, Fishin' Fits, is definitely the weaker track of the two but it still has some charm. Gonna Find Some Lovin' is one of the few Charlie Booth tracks that's easy to find due to its availability on compilations. For the most part, Booth's music is somewhat difficult to find and while Booth didn't release a lot of tracks using his own name, he did run a label named Golden Eagle which put out some rock, blues, and soul records from '62 to '68. Collectables, a reissue label from Pennsylvania, released a compilation featuring Golden Eagle artists, however, it focuses on the label's blue releases and skips some of Golden Eagle's rock releases such as Vance Charles and The Sonics, Thomas Hammond, Reed Williams, and The El Campo Jades. Hopefully, one day someone will get the rights to release Golden Eagle's complete discography.

Next up you heard Larry Williams perform Short Fat Fannie and I mentioned how Williams was an influence on many beat bands including The Beatles who recorded covers of Williams' tracks Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Slow Down, and Bad Boy. Williams is often compared to Little Richard due to their close friendship and how Williams saw a boost in promotion after Little Richard stepped away from music in the late 50s to begin preaching. Around this time Specialty Records began to polish Williams' image in hopes of generating the same success they had with Little Richard and in some ways, they achieved their goal. All Music has a general biography on Williams which dives into some of his problems with addiction and his struggles to stay relevant over the years. Towards the end of his life, Williams released a funk/disco album titled That Larry Williams that didn't quite live up to the hype of his earlier releases and featured a reworked version of his song Bony Maronie

Speaking of reworked songs, I also mentioned that the final artist on this episode, Big Maybelle, released a cover of Question Mark and the Mysterians' 96 Tears that successfully transitions the song into a soul banger. I'll definitely be adding it to a future episode, so keep a look out for that!

And that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Tasmanian Devils and Stardust - - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Taro"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo , on KUCR 88.3 FM, leaned more towards the psych side which is probably going to be the theme for the nex...