Around 1980 I discovered that, late Thursday nights, some DJ was playing strange, alien music. My appetite was whetted by Devo, Pink Floyd and strange bands I had read about in Heavy Metal magazine (having nothing to do with the genre of music that would later take its name) and I wanted more. The discovery of KBOO’s Stranger than Fiction completely opened the door to new, exciting music for me, and I’ve never looked back. The hosts of STF – the enigmatic Mr. B and Equinox – played a combination of New Wave, skinny-tie pop, novelty music (Barnes and Barnes, Bonzo Dog Band, etc.) and lots of acts that straddled Prog and Post-Punk (Gabriel, Fripp, Hammill). Thier show was like a complete education in alternative music and it really saved me in those lost years of being a weird, alien-feeling teenager, even if it meant that my friends would never let me play my mix-tapes at parties.
Eventually, Mr. B and Equinox expanded the program to handle early and late shifts, Mr. B starting at 1:00 AM, playing mostly newly released import singles and Equinox taking over duties at 3:00, playing lots of ambient music, prog and space rock until morning. I used to go home from school on Thursdays and go right to sleep so that I could stay up all night drawing comics while the show was on. I even taped a lot of it, but the tapes sound horrid now. As the eighties gave way to rock video, STF’s programming went a little too mainstream for my tastes and I was getting into hardcore punk by then. I don’t even recall when they finally went off the air.
the tracks I chose for this mix were songs that were either played often on their show, or played once and really made an impression on me.
I dedicate this mix to all late night DJs out there, playing new, weird music for alienated kids.
- Godley & Creme – Freeze Frame
- XTC – Senses Working Overtime
- Lene Lovich – Lucky Number
- The Normal – tvod
- Robert Fripp – Disengage
- Fad Gadget – Ricky’s Hand
- Karel Fialka – The Eyes Have It
- The Fabulous Poodles – Mirror Star
- Gary Numan – I Dream Of Wires
- Robert Palmer – I Dream Of Wires
- The The – This is the Day
- Peter Hammill – Now More Than Ever
- The Silicone Teens – Memphis Tennessee
- Fred Frith – Dancing In The Street
- Hawaiian Pups – Baby Judy
- Midnight Oil – Tin Legs and Tin Mines
- Public Image Ltd. – Pied Piper
- M – Pop Muzik
- Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers
- Boomtown Rats – Whitehall 1212
- The Psychedelic Furs – Pulse
- Laurie Anderson – Sharkey`s Day
- Morgan Fisher, et. al. – Excerpt from Miniatures
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