Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tracking Down Some Old Reliables

I got a little nostalgic this week for the old WXAV days, back when I was a DJ for the smallest FM radio station in Chicago. Those early days of my career in the entertainment industry were tumultuous. The station manager was a milquetoast with the personality roughly equivalent to that of spore mold. I suspect that he'd easily be the first human to fail the Turing test. The program director, aside from being a fairly intelligent and talented broadcaster, was a vindictive prick who ridiculed Jim for making a bad segue and then fired him for arguing over it.

That's not to say that there weren't good times. My brother, Mike, and our mutal friend Tim showed me the tricks of the radio DJ trade and constantly encouraged me. Soon I had my own show with my own little on air posse consisting of Marty and Bob. And throughout it all, there was the music. Some of it made such a lasting impression that I've spent a considerable amount of time tracking down specific tracks.

The last few years has seen me trying to complete the last vestiges of my collection. Most of what I have been looking for recently are releases from indie bands or small labels issued around 1991. Earlier this week, I was able to locate the following:

  • "Let Me Like A Feather Fall" by The Hannibals off of their album Monkeysuit. The Hannibals hailed from East Lansing, Michigan and were a favorite of WXAV's program director at the time. 
  • "Rita" by Jak Makral off of their album Lithium Head. Jak Makral were a Chicago area band that I often featured on my local music showcase. 
I purchased Lithium Head through Val's Halla Records via the vendor program. Being located in Oak Park, IL, they had the album out to me in just a few days, and, as I write this, I'm listening to it and "Rita" is just as catchy now as it was back when I played it ad nauseum. The good folks at Val's Halla added a commemorative postcard as an extra gesture of coolness. So a heartfelt thanks goes out to them for helping me with my musical quest.

Monkeysuit is in transit from another vendor. It's a cassette rather than a CD, so we'll see how that turns out. Meanwhile, I am still trying to track down a cassette EP from a band called the Karma Farmers that was issued somewhere between 1991 and 1993 and an album called Love by a band called Crickle.

Wish me luck.


  1. Hi, I used to play in the hannibals. Was googling the name as we're preparing for a reunion show this July 30th in Detroit. it's been since 1994 or so. thanks for keepin the music alive.

    Chris Johnston

  2. I used to run sound for the Karma Farmers and still have that cassette.
    the singer is or was still around singing and I think the gtr players are in other bands as well.
    the Hannibals were awesome, they played a few shows with bands I ran sound for back in the day, Shelterhouse, The Waiting that both became the Lilybandits.