“Because you know if you play New Kids on the Block albums backwards they sound better. ‘Oh come on, Bill, they’re the New Kids, don’t pick on them, they’re so good and they’re so clean cut and they’re such a good image for the children.’ Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children to listen to people who fucking ROCKED! I don’t care if they died in puddles of their own vomit! I want someone who plays from his fucking HEART!”
The 26th of this month marks the 15th anniversary of Bill Hicks’ death. At first I thought I could do a tribute show of some kind; my admiration for the guy certainly warrants it. Bill Hicks had a substantial effect on me; after hearing Tool use his comedy for their song “Third Eye,” I went and picked up his records and proceeded to laugh until I cried. I find very few people as funny as Bill and only a handful have the power to put me in good spirits when I feel my worst. I was struck by the double roles he played; he performed as a comedian, but was also like a reporter who had no reason to contain himself or anything he said. He would insult audience members, pick out the most controversial political topics to lambaste, lampoon popular culture, and manage to throw in his fascination with UFOs all while maintaining some strange, but cohesive narrative. Several comedians have employed his style, some have done so shamelessly, and his various rants have influenced more than a fair share of actors, writers, comedians, and musicians. Every morning I use his “Ladies and gentleman…” introduction to my own end and… I thought it’d be nice to give him and his work some attention considering I take so much from him.
And then I realized that I’d have to censor nearly everything I wanted to play of Bill’s in order to broadcast it on the air. That just didn’t make sense; it goes against the essence of virtually everything the man says. So, instead of a proper tribute, I played my show just like I do every week and threw out a couple of public service announcements of which Bill might have approved. They’re mild compared to what I would’ve liked to have said and probably sound far too preachy for that very reason. Oh well. I also incorporated a sample from one of his performances in England at the end of the show. With Lent now on the horizon, his comment about love and fear seemed completely appropriate, even if Bill did have some problems with Catholicism and the church.
I hope you enjoy the show. Please take a look at the photos I posted below; they may be blurry but I like them a lot more than the rather bland shots you typically see from concert goers.
I’ll talk to you all next week. Thank you for listening.
01. Nitzer Ebb “Murderous” from That Total Age (1987) on Geffen
02. Front 242 “Headhunter V1.0” from Front by Front (1992) on Epic
03. Skinny Puppy “Worlock” from Rabies (1989) on Nettwerk
04. Phosphorescent “I Gotta Get Drunk” from To Willie (2009) on Dead Oceans
05. Dave Aaronoff & the Protagonists “Dead to me” from Dead Bird for Dinner (2008) on Self Released
06. John Fahey “Eeels” from Sea Changes & Coelacanths (2006) on Table of The Elements — recorded in 1997
07. Melissa St. Pierre “Figure VI / VII / VIII” from Specimens (2008) on Radium
08. Hrvatski “Une Drole de Journee” from Split 7″ Div/orce Series 3 (2005) on Ache
09. Geoff Mullen “Song 6” from Thrtysxtrllnmnfstns (2006) on Entschuldigen
10. Om “Flight of the Eagle” from Conference of the Birds (2006) on Holy Mountain
11. Emeralds “Disappearing Ink” from What Happened (2009) on No Fun Productions
12. Grief “Earthworm” from Alive (2006) on Southern Lord
13. Magic Oneohtrix Point Never “Betrayed in the Octagon” from Betrayed in the Octagon (2007) on Deception Island
14. Jacob Kirkegaard “Al-Lat” from Eldfjall (2005) on Touch
15. Fennesz / Dafeldecker / Brandlmayr “Me Son (Excerpt)” from Till the Old World’s Blown Up and a New One is Created (2008) on Mosz
16. Oren Ambarchi “Bleeding Shadow” from Destinationless Desire (2008) on Touch