Friday, September 12, 2014

A Rant of Our Own

    KFAI has been around for 36 years through struggles and challenges from the beginning.  Listeners and support have grown steadily over the years... until now. The digital age, content on demand, the economy, and old ways of tracking the audience, has all but gutted KFAI’s listener support. To be blunt, fewer listeners equal less support, from every sector. 
    KFAI cannot sustain this trend, nor can it grow into the awesome resource it has the potential to become. That's why we need YOU more than ever, NOW. By becoming a member you have a vote for the shows and content you value. Going forward, shows that have no listener support will have to step aside in favor of shows that can add value to KFAI. "Live From Studio 5!" knows we have support in the moral sense, but it has not translated into revenue for KFAI. We would not like to see our show fade from the scene. It would be a loss to the community and the musicverse we love. Your support through likes and comments, as well as financial, can help right the ship and chart a course forward. Become a booster and share KFAI wherever you can. Get involved, volunteer, get on the boards and share your skills to keep a 36 year champion of the underserved voices in our community going strong. KFAI can continue and grow into ever-expanding resources for media and culture that no one else will serve. We must have your input, your feedback, your ongoing support.
    We were advised that we should "keep it positive, keep it optimistic" but that's how we've done it for years, and frankly, I'm sick of it and demoralized after every Pledge Drive.  Speaking for "Live From Studio 5!", we pitch and plead and beg and maybe we get three or four pledges per show.  That's from being positive.  Let me make this ABSOLUTELY CLEAR: KFAI is in trouble, BIG trouble.  We set a Pledge goal of $70,000 which is pitifully low, the lowest we've set in a long time.  If we don't reach that then we face deficits and since we aren't a "person" or government entity, that's NOT an option.  We'll have only a month or two after that before the dreaded BANKRUPTCY.  And the plug could get pulled. Cold and bold: Pledge up or say goodbye. Sorry to be such a downer but reality is a bitch. Show us how you feel by getting a jump on this Pledge Drive. Right now, go to https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXDONATE/AddDonor.asp?cguid=9941309F-4E3B-4FA6-9CB2-7631936E80C7&sid=A86BABD9-763E-4EFF-A3B9-9B9C4152BBF0  BIxhpNlCAAA27Bm
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Steven Hobert & Friends

Steven Hobert & Friends

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Collaboration was the order of the day as Steven Hobert filled Studio 5 with a diverse group to help celebrate and announce the release of his new album entitled "Ocean Eyes".
15022354390_2a3be93760_zFrom his bio I borrowed what I thought you all might like to know:  Steven Hobert has wandered through musical landscapes as varied as the dazzling corral to the barren arctic, as a composer and soloist as well as with many other groups.  He leads the group FireFly Forest and also plays accordion in Lulu's Playground with the unique combination of trumpet, cello, and guitar.  He recently completed a year tour through Japan, Canada and the United States with the world famous Glen Miller Orchestra.  He has performed with a number of symphony orchestras including Calgary, Detroit, and Buffalo, conducted the band for vocal group 5-by-Design on several tours, played on cruise ships in the Caribbean, and in production shows at Dorney Amusement Park in Allentown, PA.  Steven holds a Bachelor of Music Liberal Arts and minor in Piano Pedagogy from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  He resides in Minneapolis and is a free-lance musician and teacher playing piano, accordion, woodwinds, singing and making people smile.
All of those elements and more were exhibited on  "Live From Studio 5!"
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Steven Hobert on keyboards, Accordion, and Vocals
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Vocalists were Barb McAffe, Lynn O'Brian & Felicia Hobert.  Lynn also played the ukelele



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Sarah Lawson played, as Doug said the whatchamacallit drum thingy.
15022249879_d914b155fd_zRounding out the group was Jeff Schraw on Drums,






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Tony Axtell on an amazing Godin hollow body acoustic / electric bass.
And just when we thought things could not be  mellow enough,

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Corry Grossman melted us with his Cello.
So dear readers, find Steven here: http://stevenhobert.wordpress.com 

And here: https://www.facebook.com/stevenhobertmusic
And Ocean Eyes here: http://stevenhobert.bandcamp.com/releases
While you are there, ask him to post links so you can check out and fan all the rest of this collaboration.
Check out the Flickr pix of this, hosted by Cher Dial:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kfai-fm/sets/72157647433010476/
The video of the latest performance will soon be posted here:https://www.youtube.com/user/KFAIRocks
While your about it consider sustaining KFAI  by signing up for an auto club membership and tell 'em "Live From Studio 5!" sent you.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Turn Back Now - Where Music and Art Collide

turn back nowwwww
red balloon tbn    Turn Back Now returned to "Live From Studio 5!" with new music and a new addition of the comic that follows the story of a "what if" scenario when we manage to destroy it all.  These guys are out there working the streets to promote the band like no one I have seen in a while.  They dub themselves as "apocalyptic lounge music".
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Lead Singer Claude Culotta,

Nathan Shroud - guitar & bass 

Justin Johnson - bass guitar

    I believe they are rooted in blues rock and I find them engaging.  When Turn Back now began an unsolicited from-the-heart rant about independent radio, we were bolstered.  "Live From Studio 5!" works hard to give new, emerging, and under served groups and artists a voice.  With pledge drive coming in less than two weeks, we are proud to know that those we support, support us as passionately.  You will be hearing more about that in the upcoming weeks.
   Turn Back Now has thrown down the gauntlet, now it’s up to you.  Any amount is a vote for "Live From Studio 5!"  Go to http://kfai.org/about/support-kfai and click the link that works for you or your business.
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Rachael Guertin

Turn Back Now is still emerging and the saga continues so look for them to add more music and more art.  The new comic is available and can be found at several places throughout the metro.  Best way to start is to go to their Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/turnbacknowmusic, or http://turnbacknowmusic.com/  An October tour is in the offing, and if I can twist their arm, I hope an ongoing blog about the comic art and the tour.

The Drummer is Matt Jarvi, aka Yeah You.

Turn Back Now is:
Claude Culotta – Lead Vocals 
Justin Johnson - bass guitar
Nathan Shroud - guitar & bass
Rachael Guertin - guitar & vocals
Matthew Jarvi (Yeah You)– drums 
colby<<<===Colby Swanson - visual art
Colby, by the way, is included as a band member even though he does not play or sing.  Maybe in the future we can talk him into the tambourine or backup vocals.
Here is the “Live From Studio 5!” show in our FOREVER archives which was originally broadcast on September 3, 2014: https://archive.org/details/219TurnBackNow
This show was hosted by Cher Dial and Casey Moo.
Here are the Flickr pix: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kfai-fm/sets/72157646812618149/
The video of the latest performance will soon be posted here:https://www.youtube.com/user/KFAIRocks
Spend some time and like and share your favorite videos from past shows.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Carbon Handshake On "Live From Studio 5!"

Celebrating the Carbon Unit

By Dewglass
It amazes me to find a band that has been working the craft for ten years and they are in their 20s.
I am sooooo jealous and astonished at the songwriting, versatility and harmonies of Carbon Handshake.
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As a human being with 99% of the mass of the human body made up of just six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus, we are carbon units who definitely had our hands shook.
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Due to the versatility of the musicians, there were a lot of instrument changes going on, which made for a very unique sound.  I found myself greedily anticipating the next song.






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Carbon Handshake is: Joe McNeill, Mack Scott, Andy Dean, Eric Cafferty, Andy Hanna and Clancy Brady


14877636769_367cbe58f2_zThese folks have landed upon a form that fuses Indy rock with folk, jazz and probably more that was too subtle for me to grasp.
The instrumentation consisted of Keyboards, Guitars, both electric and acoustic, glockenspiel, and pocket a piano.
Their versatility brings a full rich sound to their performance.
Being as young as they are, I only see an expansion of their form.

As they pass the artistry around the group to evolve their sound, look for them to forge a path to new and unexpected places.  The bottom line is did you enjoy the music, the story, the feeling?  For me, the answer was an emphatic yes.
To start your journey to the Carbonsphere go to: https://www.facebook.com/CarbonHandshake
Check out the Flickr pix of the show featuring Carbon Handshake which was originally broadcast on August 27, 2014. This show was hosted by Cher Dial and Casey Moo:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kfai-fm/sets/72157646948558721/
The video of the performance will be posted here: https://www.youtube.com/user/KFAIRocks
If you missed the live show, don’t worry, you can hear it anytime from anywhere in the world on our FOREVER archives here:https://archive.org/details/218CarbonHandshake
On a personal note, "Live From Studio 5!" and KFAI in general is struggling.  All shows on the station are under pressure to show their worth and value to both the community and the station.  It is now more important than ever to step up and support KFAI and "Live From Studio 5!"  Your support of any amount adds to the numbers that are important to keep KFAI, serving the community.  Just click here NOW to lend your vote via your wallet to keep KFAI, and "Live From Studio 5!" on the air.  http://kfai.org/support-us
A massive infusion of support is needed to sustain and grow this needed resource and frankly to KEEP US ON THE AIR.
Thanks in advance, and thanks for reading.

I FEEL A BLOG COMING ON!



I saw the Moody Blues last Tuesday night.  As usual I got higher than a giraffe’s ass and had an incredible time.  After seeing them for 37 times, each new time I wonder if they are gonna still have it or just go thru the motions.  Well, that night they were still incredible.
  We at least had the foresight to leave early for the show because when we got the U it was PACKED! Six different events and students coming back for fall classes.  As slow as I am, I could have walked faster than the car.  When we got to Northrop, the ramp was full so my wonderful concert friends let me off there and I sat out on the plaza and had plenty of time to “prepare” myself for the show and think about all the times I've seen them and met them.
Me and my good friend John Lodge.

Me and my good friend Justin Hayward

Me and my good friend Graeme Edge.

Me and my good friend Patrick Moraz.

Me and my good friend Ray Thomas.

The Original Moody Blues

It was as good as a concert can get.  Each year, like everyone else, the Moodies age a little bit more and one by one they drop out.  No more Ray Thomas, the flautist with the deep basso profundo voice.  They had a female flautist who was every bit as good as Ray but without the voice.  Her name is Norda and she is a very talented flautist. So although she won't sing and is not a substitute for Ray, she enables them to continue playing their songs as they did when Ray was there instead of replacing it with organ sound. So, in a way, it's kind of keeping Ray as a part of their sound, as a part of their stage presence. And I think that's nice.   And no more Mike Pinder, who I always thought of as the heart and soul of the Moodies.  He used to carry every album with his mellotron.  In fact, some call it the Pindertron.  Last night they had a great keyboardist but he only put out the actual mellotron sound on one song, all the others were electronic keyboard sounds with the same melody but a different flavor.  I thought it was quite good.  They also had two drummers.  Graham Edge pretty much kept time for the whole evening except for one great drum solo.  He also sang the two numbers he’s most known for, Higher and Higher and Late Lament.  And he did a short stand-up comedy routine which I didn’t understand one word of.  Others might have since there was a lot of laughter.  But what I did understand was when at the end, he said the Moodies were celebrating an anniversary this year.  FIFTY FREAKING YEARS!  OH MY GAWD!  Can it really be??   
Not only that but the Moodies are touring MACHINES.  This year they are doing 24 concerts in 30 days this fall and this spring they performed 26 concerts in a 36 day stretch.  In 2013, they did 54 concerts, in 2012 it was 55 concerts.  They have consistently toured that way for 48 of the 50 years.  They slowed down a bit in 1995-96 playing successive dates in casinos except for a three day run in South Africa at the Super Bowl and one at the Hollywood Bowl.  They didn’t do any concerts in 1982 and 1985 but other than that they have been going strong since 1964. TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN concerts, but who’s counting?
As I was saying, the second drummer carried the heavy load for the show.  Incidentally the three Moodies were brightly lit but the second drummer and others were pretty much in the dark.  I could see the drummer, who stood for a lot of the numbers doing an adagio dance gracefully striking the cymbals. 
I stood in the side aisle for most of the show since I can’t do my twerking sitting down.  During the intermission I thought I’d go down in front just to check out the perspective up close and there I saw a woman sitting in the front row right in the center so I had to axt her how she got that seat.  She told me she was a big fan and bought a package with those seats as well as a back stage pass and an assortment of merchandise for $300 dollars.  Three hundred dollars?!  Back in the day, I woulda done that in a minute.  So I thought I’d try to impress her and say I was a fan too and had seen them about 37 times. Then I axted her, "How many times have YOU seen them?" and she instantly rattled off, “This is my 371st concert but I’ve only been going since 1991.”  Good grief, that really put me in my place! 
The second half as one bash after another and for the encore I just had to rush the stage.  For the last three songs, I was right up against the stage, drinking it all in, up close and personal.  I always feel a little sad when they play the last song of the evening, it’s always the same, Ride My Seesaw, and I think, DAMN it’s almost over for another year.  But it always leaves me singing for about 24 hours!
The Moody Blues!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orchyd Returns to Live From Studio 5!

By Dewglass
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Orchyd brought in their full arsenal of musical delights with the clear haunting vocals of Shanna Carl, backed up by Tom Zempel on guitar, Charlie Milkey playing the SEVEN STRING bass and Geoff Carl on drums.
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Count 'em , folks, seven strings.
Mostly Kansas transplants, Orchyd showed us we were not in Kansas anymore.  Charley Milkey amazed us with his 7 string base with an amazing mellow range.  Their genre: Abstract Post Downtempo Drone Rock Quartet, good a label as any, I just call 'em Orchyd.
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I enjoy the fact that this band takes you on a sensory journey.  These are innovators worth following.  Who knows what musical meld they will weave together for our next encounter?  I am no musicologist, but I know what sounds good, and this sound is great!  For the more nitty gritty, on these guys, follow them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/orchyd.band
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There is a nice press piece in the City Pages here:  http://blogs.citypages.com/gimmenoise/2014/04/orchyd_interview.php
Check out the Flickr pix of the show featuring the return engagement of Orchyd which was originally broadcast on August 20, 2014. This show was hosted by Cher Dial and Max Nelson:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kfai-fm/sets/72157646683267721/
The video of the performance is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R-5RlzNSIc&list=UUMeJC71i9gFjLQ8jjM2DHWA
If you missed the live show, don’t worry, you can hear it anytime from anywhere in the world on our FOREVER archives here: https://archive.org/details/217OrchydReturns
The video from their first appearance on "Live From Studio 5!" on July 10, 2013 can be seen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CWHOaPIAh4&list=UUMeJC71i9gFjLQ8jjM2DHWA 
This is the video where Tom played his guitar with a drumstick. Amazing! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

On a Recruitment Mission for The Show


Not the usual “Live From Studio 5!” blog but I was “on assignment” with Georgia Cady to recruit The Oddfathers for our show.  I’ll relate in chronological order starting with a perfect evening.  Headed out at 10:30, top down, 77 degrees, no traffic.  Pulled in to a parking spot right across the street from The Cabooze.  I entered during the last half of the performance by Platypus, really rockin’ it out, they sounded great!  My first observation was, “I must be getting really old, these guys don’t look even old enough to play in a bar.”  When I mentioned that to a bartender he said they were THIRTEEN YEARS OLD.     They were playing like seasoned professionals, some originals, some covers, I was very impressed.  Then they got out the acoustic guitars and continued to amaze me.  They played ‘em HARD like they would electric guitars.  The music was unbelievable!  I saw a couple of friends there, yakked with Wain McFarlane and got a hug from Stella Blue.
OK, break time, time to go out to my car for some cannabis therapy.  I have told all of my doctors about that and all but one agrees totally with me.  For the last couple of years the depression has been relentless.  Tried three different anti-depressants and nothing worked so I gave up on that approach.  I told the doctor I’ve never been depressed a day in my life until recently, just get me well and I’ll be happy as a lark again.  So now, maybe once a week I take five or so tiny hits off my pipe just before an event and that keeps me buzzing for four hours.  The next day I’m happy and cheerful all day.  When I was younger, it was a routine daily thing.
I had never heard The Oddfathers or even knew their style of music but if Georgia said they were great, that was good enough for me!  I Googled them and it said their music was “new classic rock”.  They write all their music to sound like the greatest classic rock.   

The back of the stage was lined with classic floor model radios from the 40’s and 50’s which disguised modern speakers.  The entire show was not just a band playing their music, but a PERFORMANCE that you’d expect from any arena show.  Random rock music starts playing as the lights went down low and continued for some minutes.  Then the music became static-y and fuzzy so a stage hand came out and adjusted the dial on one of the big radios to “tune it in better”.  Then it played just fine for one more tune, I can’t remember if it was Elvis or Jerry Lee but some big classic two and a half minute hit and then The Oddfathers took the stage to quite an elaborate whiz-bang intro and from there it was non-stop for the rest of the evening.


The lead singer, Brynn Arens, who looked like one of the Three Stooges came across in kind of a Mick Jagger style, all over the stage, strutting, vamping, interacting with the other players non-stop.   

The lead guitarist, Casey Gooby gave the greatest performance I had ever seen, and believe me I have seen them ALL starting with The Doors.  When I go to a concert, I’m up against the stage the whole night, moving from musician to musician so I get the intense effect of a command performance.   From three feet away Casey’s fingers were a blur.  Take the fastest plucker you have ever heard and double or even triple the speed of the fingerwork and that was Casey.  


 The bass player, Krys Barrato, was also solid.   

Tom Cook rounded out the foursome on the most basic drum set imaginable but it’s all he needed.  The performance was a non-stop blast and I will say, for the record this was the greatest bar performance of a band I have ever experienced.  I think these guys are on to something!
During the show Arens was well aware of my presence and played to it.  At one point he pointed his finger directly at me and walked right up to me and unzipped his fly!

 A FANTASTIC night was had by all!
My date for the night, Georgia "Sonic Pleasure" Cady









Here’s the final chapter of this blog:  I’m heading home feeling on top of the world.  I don’t like driving under those circumstances but all I have to do is CONCENTRATE on one thing: driving.  Normally I’m kind of a lousy driver anyway but in these circumstances I’m like an airline pilot with total concentration and control.  Set the cruise control and maintain all else.  Last night with the top down it was a tiny bit chilly so I reached for my hoodie and slipped it on backwards just to cover my arms.  I knew enough not to struggle with putting it on completely while driving.  BUT in just doing that I must have drifted slightly over the lane once on one side and then the other.  Certainly not crazy weaving but on a Sunday morning at 2am with cops on high alert I just happened to do it in front of a cop.  As soon as the dreaded light show went off, I freaked out.  Talk about a rude awakening!  I immediately put on my right signal to tell the cop I was complying but I took my damn sweet time to pull over and come to a complete stop.  Mind racing I came to the conclusion that I had no choice but to dig deep and find the OFF switch to end my trip.  I took a deep breath RELAX and by the time he walked up to me I said “What’s the problem, officer?”
“Did you know you were weaving?”
“Oh, I guess I was trying to put on my sweater.”
“Have you been drinking tonight?”
“No sir, not a drop, I don’t drink.”
“What is that in your cup holder.”
“Just a coke, from the bar.”
“I’m gonna ask you to get out of your car and check some things out.”
(YIKES!  This can’t end well.)
He explained to me about balancing on one foot and then walking a straight line heel to toe, heel to toe and I told him straight out, “Officer I can’t do this due to my condition” which was true, I have major balance problems which I don’t completely understand myself so rather than try to explain what I don’t understand I just said “I have early onset of Parkinsons disease.”  It was a spontaneous Hail Mary pass, I don’t even know if there is such a thing but it worked!  He sent me on my way with a warning ticket.  WHEW!!  Final parting words, “Here ya go, Doug drive carefully, do you have any questions for me?”  “Yes, what’s the capitol of South Dakota?”  It’s my response anytime anyone axts me that question.
He got it right!