Thursday, October 20, 2011

'propaganda' Into The Hall

On Friday, I will head back to my old stomping grounds in Cleveland to make a donation to the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame. The Hall has asked me for my archive of my old radio shows! I am wholly honored.

My radio 'career' in Cleveland was primarily at WCSB, 89.3-FM at Cleveland State University, and my longest-running show was called 'propaganda', airing from September 1989 through August 1995. It began as a music show, and later evolved into a program covering odd phenomena, conspiracy theory, and bizarre music. The 1989-90 music shows were the most valuable, as I look back at it, having interviewed Cleveland bands and played their music. I moved away from the long-from interviews at that point, and the sounds I pursued moved from punk and hardcore to grunge and then noise and math rock- bands like Halo of Flies, Helmet, Craw, Pavement, Jesus Lizard, etc.

I recorded most of the shows on cassette tapes. My big project over the last two years has been to convert the tapes to digital files, on CD, then backing up as m4a files on my hard drive. I'm giving the RnR Hall of Fame the cassettes and my original playlists for their archive, and lending them the CDs for easy transfer. The cassettes often needed pitch correction, and the cassette-to-CD unit I used has Pitch Control on it. It will be much easier for their archivists just to transfer the digital files.

I'm giving them the 'propaganda' shows on Friday. The conversions aren't finished, so the next time I visit, I will provide them with the remainder of my shows. Here's the list of my shows at WCSB:

1987-89: Blows Against The Empire, with Matt Dudas
1988-89: The B-Sides, my first solo show, graveyard shift
1989: The Grunge Match, out of the graveyard, playing Nirvana before they made it
1989-95: propaganda
1995: Laissez-Faire! Libertarian news & comment
1998: Blood & Shaving Cream, AM drive playing the 'punk & alt hits'
2000-02: Rock N Roll Radio, with Shelly Gould-Burgess
2001-02: Laissez-Faire! Libertarian news & comment

Here's a breakdown of the evolution of 'propaganda':

Sept 1989-Oct 1991: 5-hour show with long form interviews with Cle bands
Jun 1991: Added the Church of the SubGenius' "Hour of Slack". WCSB still runs it.
Oct 1991-Jan 1992: 3-hour show, no interviews, music becoming more experimental
Feb 1992-Mar 1993: Moved to Sunday nights
Apr 1993-June 1993: Burned out on music, looking to make show more adventurous
July 1993-April 1994: co-hosted with Rev. John X. Piche, hilarious freeform shows
May 1994-Feb 1995: co-hosted with Steve Wainstead, moving towards politics
Mar 1995-Aug 1995: politics had taken over, the show would be re-named Laissez-Faire! and air in the same time slot.

I really want to go to the Rock Hall with Matt Dudas to present those show tapes together. Matt was instrumental in getting me involved at WCSB. If he hadn't reached out to me, I may never have found my way.

Those were some fun days. Too bad we didn't have digital cameras then. The pics are very few and far between, and while the audio archives are fun and in some few cases valuable, to see the mayhem of those days again would be priceless.


Doug said...

That's awesome, Mike!

Punk Business Manager said...

Hi- I typed "WCSB Blows Against The Empire" into Google and up popped your site into the top of the search results. Oh man, I used to listen to Blows Against The Empire *religiously* every week between late '87 and August of '89 (I even listened when the show was on that ungodly early morning slot before you got your "classic" 3 to 5:30 Wednesday slot). You and Matt Dudas turned my impressionable, teenage brain onto so much great music through the show, and I still primarily listen to punk all these years later. You guys used to invite listeners to come to the 'CSB studio and I did one time in August of '89 which totally inspired me to have my own radio show in college and run the radio station at the school I went to. I have some old "Blows..." flyers/Cle punk flyers circa '88 or '89 which I have been meaning to post on my site for a while. I also still have some old Blows shows on cassette that I taped back in the late '80s via my boombox(!), and I have been meaning to digitize those as well for a while. Some very funny stuff on those cassettes, like the "12 Days of Christmas" show you and Matt did in December of '88. And some hilarious radio promos as well for 'CSB and local punk shows. Well, sorry that this comment has gotten very long; I was just psyched to find your site mentioning Blows. Visit my site and get in touch if you're interested in those old cassettes or whatever. Take Care.