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coverpic flag Mare Smythii - Full Moon 105 - 04/24/05

Where'd You Find That?

When I was a teenager, I listened to a lot of music. First, my hippie-farmer uncles John and Joel turned me on to stuff like Yes and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Later my older stoney cousin Danny set me off into Gabriel Bondage and Uriah Heep, while my little punk cousin Kent exposed me to Fabulous Poodles and Athletico Spizz.

On my own I was buying Rush and Townes Van Zandt records. I'm proud to say I bought Patti Smith's Horses in 1976 as an eighth-grader with saved silver dollars. I thank SNL and a Newsweek article for helping inform that life changing choice.

In high school I listened to Radio Free Madison, WIBA FM and kept a spiral notebook next to the stereo to write down titles as I heard them. There were pages and pages of stuff, and once my mother found it. She just shook her head, saying she wished that I paid that much attention to my schoolwork.

Now? Whew. That's a whole nother thing, isn't it? I check in with friends now more than family. Sam and Jared in Minneapolis. Dilip in St. Louis. Here in San Francisco KUSF keeps me informed of a lot of things that'd fall through the cracks for me, really. Rubber O'Cement. Hidden Cameras. Same thing can be said about Aquarius records and their incredibly informative and entertaining website. I read insound.com and pitchfork.com frequently. Then go to Limewire and check out more before buying the record. They're just too damn expensive to buy on a whim and single.

Before John Peel died I was listening to BBC1 quite a bit. He was brilliant. I miss his ideas.

More and more labels are building websites with scads of audio and video clips to check out. I love finding a label I like and using that as a launching pad, too.

Right mow, it's the Sublime Frequencies label that I'm riffing on. Founded by Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls, this label is like Smithsonian Folkways on really good acid. I want them all.

I read some magazines, but not so many as I might've once. Don't like them much. Read Rolling Stone when I was a kid. When it was a newspaper with poetry in it. It's crap, now. Indie zines can be cool. Last Plane to Jakarta is the best of them, I think. I forget what the others are.

We all just need to find the little satellites that speak to us. The internet can help tremendously, but radio and my circle of friends are still my favorite sources of recordbuyinginspiration.

Copyright © 2005 Alice Kenner e-mail address

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