Audio Assassinatrix

We Interrupt This Empire

SugarDiva, the Gynoid with Digital DNA demands your presence at a ball in honor of the acquisition of Her newest toy; the Planet Earth. Genetically Engineered Life Forms as well as Earthlings are invited to attend the festivities. Upon your arrival, it is customary to present a tribute to compliment our Tyrant’s vulgar curiosity for the subversive and sublime. Offenders with tributes that fail to impress will promptly be escorted by sandmen to Carousel for Renewal. A captured band will provide an audio feed of popular art forms from Earth’s doomed civilization. The band shall be tortured into playing various forms of Earth music, such as ebm, g-funk and speedpolka. This event will be broadcast Live on various frequencies in Machine Code, Esperanto and NumberWang. Catering to all voyeuristic intentions, artifical constructs will administer high dosages of torment while violating your tympanic membrane. Damage over time guaranteed! Sample the delights of Earth before they are wiped from the Universe forever. Spend a night reliving the future the way it used to be!

And Machine saw everything She had made and said: BEHOLD©
And on the seventh day, Machine pressed [ STOP ]

Station To Station

Her voice left a flavor of honey and gunpowder on the air

Retro Remix

Playlist Warning:  Explicit Content

Come nanobots, come gather…

Let’s travel back to another spacetime, back to a florescent neon lit Los Angeles. Yes, back to the halcyon decade when the behemoth KROQ was obscure, eclectic, and actually alternative. Situated on the right end of the radio frequency spectrum, KROQ’s influence resonated across the Nation. These were the days when the left end of the dial was anchored by the rock gods of heavy metal blasting through stations like KLOS and KMET. Audio archaeologists are still searching for frequencies from the gooey fulcrum of the dial.

The ROQ was responsible for infecting Gen-X’ers with punk, ska, new wave, new romantic, industrial and other goth genres that have all but faded into oblivion.  While most will remember radio personalities like Dusty Street, Freddy Snakeskin, Swedish Egil, Jed the Fish, Richard Blade, Elvira the Mistress of the Dark, Raechel Donahue, the Poorman and (to his chagrin, his nemesis) Dr. Drew.  A smaller audience may be pressed to remember the Young Marquis and Stanley or the New Year’s Eve tradition of the year’s Top 106.7 songs (yes, there was actually a .7 song).

To all accounts, the patron saint of the ROQ was Rodney Bingenheimer.  He was instrumental in ushering the second wave of the British Invasion.  I tend to think of him as the Forrest Gump of all things musical.  No where is this more evident than in the documentary the Mayor of Sunset Strip, where you bear witness of his capricious Midas touch.

So, what was the demise to Pasadena’s station that could do no wrong?  In a word: grunge.  In my not so humble opinion, it is an unpopular truth.  Grunge became the money maker as it entered the mainstream.  Even rock goddess Lita Ford lamented over the legacy of rock music being diverted by the grunge scene.  The station itself made overnight strides to follow the trend from up North.  The day I realized that the new line of of djs weren’t native listeners, was when Kevin and Bean gabbed about their first concert being Reo Speedwagon.  What?!  I’m not knocking the band, but that was played on the other end of the dial.

As much as I would have preferred that Kroq’s playlist continued on with imports of electronica, holding its stance of being a maverick of new music, it is understandable that the station needed to stay current and on trend to make revenue.  And the beat du jour, was rock based.  But, it’s a little sad when current djs seem to almost apologize for playing new wave music when doing an All Time Countdown playlist.  Instead of acknowledging the music that was once considered alternative, the djs play music from the 80 and 90s that were never played on KROQ at the time.  

Sadly, after over 40 years of Rodney on the Roq, the godhead has moved onto SiriusXM.

However, not all is lost.  Music evolves, as it always does.  And the beat goes on, with a surname change.  The synthesizers and electronic drums loops carried forward in acid, ambient, drum ‘n bass, dubstep, ebm, grime, goa, gabber, hi nrg, minimal, psytrance, techno, trance, and triphop.  A music revolution that thrives on synths over guitars.

Quite similar is Bowie and Eno shared excitement over “I Feel Love”
“One day in Berlin, Eno came running in and said, “I have heard the sound of the future.” … he puts on “I Feel Love,” by Donna Summer. He said, “This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.”  “Which was more or less right.”

What they composed thereafter was nothing near Summer’s hit, but the influence is unmistakable.  KROQ propelled us into the future, and might have pulled the ejection cord.  But still, there is no dispute that the station catapulted musicians into the limelight, often by showcasing acts that would otherwise be dismissed as one-hit-wonders.  What we had was the opportunity to witness the last of the great vinyl age.  CDs and downloadable tracks aside, now the soundtrack of our youth is digitialized.   K-ROQ²  is just a click away via the interwebz, that should offer some solace.  If not, then by all means, go listen to dj Rick Dees’ Disco Duck.

Rebooting a decade of decadence with a medley of mayhem...