Last week, we had the honor and pleasure of hosting the ever-RAD Dave P in our studios to help him celebrate FIFTEEN YEARS of legendary Making Time parties. Our station actually goes way back with Dave, as he made his FIRST EVER RADio appearance on WKDU to promote the VERY FIRST Making Time in 2000.
Category Archives: Interviews
Everyday is Record Store Day for a lot of us, including RJD2 and Aaron Livingston, who recorded a brilliant album together in 2011 as Icebird. I had the privilege to sit down with them in our studio last week to chat and play some records ahead of the Record Store Day vinyl release of their album The Abandoned Lullaby.
“I feel weird saying I have a lot of records when I’m sitting next to RJ. I have a few records,” said Aaron.
RJ responded, “But I don’t have a lot of records, I don’t have records like Rich Medina. I have a modest record collection when I consider the heavy duty record collectors. I don’t have a storage unit -there’s a defining line and I’m a non-storage unit guy.”
by Maxwell Stetson
In this National Geographic article, neuroscientist Valorie Salimpoor looks for answers about her personal, euphoric reaction to the Johannes Brhams’s song, “Hungarian Dance No. 5”. She wondered how and why this music moved her and the processes it took within her brain. These questions led her to Thalia Wheatley, a Dartmouth psychologist, who offered an explanation.
Thalia found “[that] every time you listen to music, you constantly activate [musical] templates that you’ve [created] that predict the reward you’ll feel from a given piece.”
In her opinion, “new music is presumably rewarding, not only because it fits implicitly learned patterns, but because it deviates from those patterns, however slightly.” I believe this constant template reformation and pattern shifting is an aspect to be loved, especially when it occurs organically. When this occurs, it can progress your tastes and emotions into a new and unknown fields, allowing you to think and feel differently.
I begin with this to highlight a similar joy I felt when listening to the pioneering artist we’re featuring today.
When I first heard the culturally shattering sounds of Natalia Zamilska, my musical template was completely rearranged in wonder. Her creation of raw and heavy techno, noise, electronica and modern world music was new, artistic and incredibly exciting to me.
“Duel 35” was the first track of Zamilska’s that made me a huge fan. It consists of the toughest booming techno sound, both danceable and sexy. The tribal chants and noisy pops later in the song add to its power. The sound, combined with an incredibly artistic and creative video, made me feel like Zamilska was creating art, not just music.
Natalia admitted she didn’t expect much to happen after releasing “Quarrel,” a 2014 single, yet the feedback was so affirmative that she felt like she had to finish an album as soon as possible. “Untune” was then created during live shows, as she used the audience members as her collaborators, testing various musical creations on them. Since then, her recognition has been accumulating worldwide. The Quietus, an art/culture online magazine out of London, rated “Untune” as one of the best tracks of 2014, while Vevo ranked “Duel 35” as #15 out of the top 100 songs from their “Other Side of Music” for 2014. She’s since accumulated 7,200 Facebook likes and 1,700 Soundcloud followers and was featured on Dior’s Toyko Fashion Show, 2015.
It’s an honor and a pleasure to share this amazing interview with you! Here’s Booty Shakers’ exclusive interview with the incredible talent that is Natalia Zamilska! Continue reading
Dan Savage talks sex-positivity, his love of musical theater, and round two of his HUMP! tour (coming to Philly 2/21)
By Victoria Powell
I had the chance to speak with Dan Savage: activist, love & sex columnist extraordinaire, and host of America’s “best and dirtiest” amateur porn film festival, Hump! Dan will be bringing the film festival to Philly on Saturday, February 21st, with the first showing starting at 6:00 pm, followed by showings at 8:15 pm and 10:30 pm. It is an 18+ event and tickets are still available. We’ll also be giving away tickets on air during Raha World and The Stardust Revue.
Victoria: What was your college major?
Savage: I went to University of Illinois in Champagne Urbana and I majored in Theater.
Victoria: How did you realize you wanted to be a love advice columnist? And how did you come up with the idea for Hump!?
Savage: Well, I sort of accidentally became a sex advice columnist. I met someone who was starting a newspaper and he was telling me about it, and I said oh you should have an advice column because everybody reads those. You see that Q & A format – you can’t not read it. And he said “that’s good advice… why don’t you write the advice column?”
Even when I started writing the advice column I wasn’t really an advice columnist yet, at first the whole thing was just a joke. I was a gay guy writing an advice column for straight people about straight sex – the idea was I would jokingly treat straight sex and straight relationships with the same contempt and revulsion that straight advice columnists had always treated gay sex and gay relationships. And so for the first six months to a year I was just horsing around and I started getting so many letters and it kind of, without my ever really asking, turned into a real advice column against my will! That’s how I got to be a relationship columnist, by accident.
Hump! was an idea of a friend of mine who started The Stranger where my column originated; a friend of mine and I – we just started joking that we should put an ad in the paper that we’re doing a call for submissions for an amateur porn festival, to see what we’d get in the mail, or whether we’d get anything. It took a long time to convince the publisher to let us do this because he didn’t think it would work. And we got tons of really great and funny and weird submissions and really humane submissions, like really good, humanizing porn. And then we had to go through with it and have the festival so we announced we were having a porn film festival. The question then became: would people come and sit in a dark movie theater next to strangers and watch porn the way their grandparents did? The answer was yes! Tons of people came to the theaters. Hump! has never been people masturbating in their seats sort of a porn screening. More of a celebratory, diversity sex, “we’re all in this together” festival. People came and loved it and a lot of people who were out there this year made films for the next year and Hump! just kept growing and getting bigger. We took it to Portland and started doing it simultaneously in Portland and Seattle and people in other cities kept saying they wanted it to come to them. And so for the first time last year we took Hump! out on the road and this year will be the second time.
Two of Philadelphia’s electronic music veterans, Starkey and Dev79, came to the WKDU studio and spun a killer guest mix last Thursday. We recorded the mix and the guys posted it up for you to listen back. In between turns mixing, I got a chance to chat with the DJ/producers/label bosses about their history in Philadelphia’s electronic music scene.
by Wil Schade // @wilschade
World Café Live will be the place to be tomorrow night when some of the east coast’s funkiest acts come together to put on a Thanksgiving Eve performance for charity. The show will be in support of Will Funk For Food, an organization that works in conjunction with Philabundance to benefit those less fortunate facing hunger especially during this holiday season. Food donations will be accepted at the show, so bring a canned item! The lineup features some great music so here’s some info on the incredible talent that will be present:
Based in New York City, Brother Joscephus was formed in 2007 on a cruise ship by David Mendelsohn (aka Brother Joscephus) along with keyboardist and music director, the Right Reverend Dean Dawg. The band started out playing in NYC and eventually bought a van and made the pilgrimage to New Orleans, where they get much of their influence. They describe themselves as a combination of funk, jazz, and secular gospel.
“Brother Joscephus is a little bit of a music collective,” says Brother Joscephus, “We perform with a lot of different vocal artists from all over the country whenever we travel. We are a ten-piece band, almost like an orchestra. We like to get very over the top with our arrangements.” When asked about their creative process, he replied, “The music is very intricate and highly arranged. It becomes quite a process, but I think the end result is worth it.”
Over the years, their music has evolved to include more epic, nuanced, and grand-scale compositions. They released their third album “Revolution of Love” last year which highlighted their secular gospel side, which contains messages of acceptance and a broader, more inclusive message of gospel music.
“It’s going to be a really special night of music, all three bands are going to work great together, and it’s for a great cause.”
Swift Technique is a group of Philly funksters that we’ve recently had here in the WKDU studios for a live session which can be heard here. Formed in 2007, they started out as a live hip-hop group. As they progressed (and the emcee left the band), they began to evolve into a funk powerhouse in the tradition of James Brown. Bassist, Jake Leschinsky, plays in Swift Technique and Brother Joscephus.
“Swift Tech is more of a straight-up funk band, and BroJo is a group that draws more from New Orleans jazz and funk influences, but the two groups together really complement each other well. I wouldn’t call them the same genre, but it’s the same spirit and creative energy that should make for a really compelling evening for people who want to dance and let loose,” says Leschinsky. They are a band that focuses on delivering high-energy live performances to get audiences on their feet.
“Songwriting has always been a pretty organic process. We never really try to force anything.” Leschinksy elaborates, “We really make a point of collaborating in the rehearsal setting on the material. Being a predominantly instrumental group it gives us a bit of a creative license to have some unusual arrangements that are really unique to Swift Technique.”
The group is about to release EP of a mix of various recordings over the past year recorded in Philly, New Hampshire, and live recordings from the Ardmore Music Hall.
Tickets for the show can be purchased here.
NOTE: Non-perishable food items will be collected on behalf of Will Funk For Food and Philabundance the night of the show!
by Chris Burrell // @Chri5B_
Max Ochester, Mt. Airy native and owner of Brewerytown Beats, lived all over before coming back to Philly and setting up shop at 29th and Girard in Brewerytown. This month marks the one-year anniversary of his shop being open, so I sat down with him at Sarah’s Place for a beer to talk about his love of vinyl, selling records to Q-Tip at age 14 and why moving sucks when you’re a vinyl fiend. His one-hour ALL VINYL set from the EMM is rad and gives you a glimpse into some of the electro funky goodness that he carries in his store.
CB: Did you have record stores before?
Max: No, this is the first record store that I’ve done. When I moved back to Philly, I handled art for four years and worked odd jobs. Then, it got to the point where I had enough records and said, “I’m just gonna do it and see what happens.” I started looking on Craigslist. There was one guy in West Philly who worked for a record label for about 15 years and had amassed this huge collection of stuff. He had really good taste and was selling it all because his wife got a job in upstate New York. I went over to his house about four times and eventually, bought everything that he had. He was giving me a great deal and I probably bought 600-1000 records each time. By the end of it, my basement had about 10,000 records and that was enough to fill the crates in the store and open up.
CB: Some people move around with their collections. Any vinyl head knows that moving with records is an absolute pain. Was your collection always in one central location?
Max: No, it definitely wasn’t in just one spot. I brought around 500 records to the Caribbean and left about 100 there. From the Caribbean, I moved to Seattle and started collecting heavily. Then, I moved from Seattle to New Orleans and spent about $500 shipping on media mail to move 12-15 crates down there. When I moved back to Philly, I had about 1000 pieces and drove down in a van and picked them all up. Moving is the biggest pain in the ass when you have records. God forbid you live on the third floor and have a shit ton of records. I’m looking to move to a new place where I can build out a record room and it has to be on the first floor; that’s one of my requirements for a new house.
CB: What were the regional fluctuations in what you were finding?
Max: Down in New Orleans, you’ll see Meters records that aren’t as scarce as they are up here – supply and demand, basically. I witnessed Questlove in a crazy bargaining process at a record show I put on in Philly that was like that. The record was a really funky Herbie Hancock offshoot and Questlove was trying to talk the guy down from like $400 to $200. He finally got him down to $250 and bought it. Six months later, I visited my friend in Seattle and saw the same exact record on the wall in a store for $20. It was just more popular out there and I guess there were more copies of it. So yeah, there are definitely regional differences in what you see.
CB: I was talking with one of the guys we had on the marathon who’s an old house head and bought at Funk-o-Mart, 611, etc. What have you seen over the years in Philly as stores have come and gone?
Max: All those were thriving at one point. It was Armand’s, 611, Funk-o-Mart and Sound of Market (they just closed I believe). Those were big time spots for DJs to go. Since I left, it seems like everybody’s kinda gone down the tubes. My personal opinion is that people don’t know how to do stuff online. That’s the only way I’m making it now. I’ve got Discogs and eBay accounts (both named “BrewerytownBeats”). There’s a whole philosophy to them both. On eBay you put out your premium shit, start out at low prices and wherever it goes, it goes. You kinda just gotta give up on caring if you make so much money. Discogs is a whole different game. You put out cheap stuff, you put out good quality stuff and people will buy it. I got guys down in Brazil right now that are buying 30 records at a time, but it’s like $2-5 records. Just today, I got Peanut Butter Wolf buying something and a couple weeks ago I sold to Onra from France. I looked on Wolf’s want list and he has like 30 to 40 things, all amazing shit. It’s cool to recognize that those people are looking at your stuff.
CB: What were your music tastes growing up?
At first, I listened to more of the hair metal stuff: Def Leppard, Poison and all that bullshit. I remember in 8th grade, everybody in my school was like, “What the fuck are you listening to that for?” Eventually, I got into De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and all that. At that same time, I had a neighbor growing up who was a record dealer and sold to the hip hop guys in New York. When I was 14, he asked me to come and help him move records. I walked into a show in New York and literally every hip hop idol that I ever looked up to was buying records from him. I was selling records to Q-Tip, Kid Capri, Diamond D and Pete Rock. The guy that I worked for, David Ozenbaugh AKA Ozy, knew that these guys were serious because they’d spend a lot of money, but he had no idea who they were. I started hipping him to the fact that, “Hey, this is Q-Tip,” and he got really into it and knew all the samples he sold. Ozy knows what other people don’t know – I’ve watched him pick up a dollar record from somebody’s crate then walk four tables down and sell it for $300. That’s when I started listening to the samples in music I liked.
CB: Do you ever see demand spike for a sample after a track blows up?
Max: The “Bound” sample – I had two copies of the 45. I put one online for $12 and it was bought immediately and I was like, why? Then I heard the Kanye song and I put the next one up for $40. I appreciate the knowledge of knowing where people get their samples from. I also enjoy the hunt of finding the sample because some things you’ll find very easily and some things will take you forever to find or hit you hard in the wallet. You’ll see it pop up on eBay and you’re like, “Ugh I could spend $60 or I could take my girl to dinner.” Most record dudes will spend $60 on it.
CB: What’s the most special record you have in your collection?
That would have to be the Windows album by Jack Wilkins. Jack Wilkins was a jazz guitarist who had a couple albums, but this one album was his super funky soulful jazz album. In the early 90s, I watched Q-Tip buy the album from Ozy, later sampling it for “Sucka N—-” off Midnight Marauders. I looked for the album forever. Everywhere I went, I would always make a point of asking for that album, but they never had it. About 3 years ago, my whole family got together for Christmas and did our presents. Then, my aunt came up to me at the end of it and handed me a box and is like, “Here, this is for you.” She and my girlfriend had gotten together and bought it for me – fifteen years later, I finally had it. I didn’t even listen to it when I got home. I left it on the shelf and didn’t touch it until I got interviewed by some other guys. I told them it was my favorite album and put it on to listen, not even knowing if it skipped, but it played perfect.
If you’re a record collector you MUST make a trip out to Brewerytown Beats at 1207 N. 29th St.
Brewerytown Beats was one of the many local businesses that supported the 2014 Electronic Music Marathon.
All the sets from the EMM are being posted over at our Soundcloud – thanks for your support!