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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Altrok Radio Music & Schedule Update #148

Firstly, the important stuff:

You can start listening to Altrok Radio by clicking the CLICK2LISTEN link on this page...

Please remember to tune in whenever you can - every hour you listen turns into more visibility for the station; we show up higher in search listings, and such like that.

And if you'd like to help us keep the station running, check out the advertisers on this page if they appeal to you; your interest actually helps fund us.

When you tune in, here's what you can expect:


When we're not doing something turns out we're always doing something special. We're cycling through the outstanding Altrok Radio music mix that got us an Editor's Pick nod at Live365 and at It's what put us on the map in the first place, and we do it well. No need to hesitate - chances are we're playing something that'll challenge you in all the right ways, right now.


11:30am Eastern: Ferris O'Brien

Ferris O'Brien hops aboard the Altrok Radio signal to give you a taste of his approach to the world of alternativity. He's bringing you the overflow from his own SpyRadio showcase at Rock 100.5 The KATT in Oklahoma City, itself the lingering legacy of 105.3 The Spy, a legendary indie station in its own right that disappeared one night. No reason to quit just 'cause the station's gone, right?

1:30pm Eastern: The Altrok Radio FM Showcase

Sean Carolan (often referred to editorially here at Altrok as "me" or, occasionally, "we") showcases the new music we've added this week on the Altrok Radio FM Showcase. New stuff, classic stuff, and Jeff Raspe with his Altrok Radio Underground Pick Of The Week...

9:30pm Eastern: Ferris O'Brien

An encore for your listening convenience.

11:00pm Eastern: The Altrok Radio FM Showcase

An additional encore for your listening convenience.


All Day: Altrok's Eighties Friday

Altrok's Eighties Friday features music from the eighties that mattered then AND now. An eight hour playlist that features some of the best that decade had to offer, drawing from all the music that was available at the time (yes, even from the seventies.)

11:30am Eastern: DJ Shred

It's New York's own DJ Shred and her hand-picked set filled with classics from the darker and more challenging corners of the Eighties. You'll be able to join her in March as she creates another next Altrok set live:

DJ Shred with Mister X and Dr. Lorenz
at Moomia
Friday, March 23rd
10pm til late (free admission 'til 11pm)
157 Lafayette St., between Grand St. and Howard St.
New York City

9:00pm Eastern: DJ Shred

If you didn't hear it in the middle of the day, it'll be new to you...


Altrok's melody:Culture

(Hmm...what do you suppose it would sound like if we picked music today like we did for the Melody Bar in the late Eighties? Hmmmmm...)

But for now - we've got songs to let you know about. Here's this week's featured tracks...

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:
  • Xerox Teens
  • The Apples In Stereo
  • The Broken West
  • The View
  • Good Shoes
  • New Young Pony Club
Plus we've got newly-added music:
  • The Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running
  • Blonde Redhead - 23
  • Cold War Kids - Tell Me In The Morning
  • Jill Cuniff - Lazy Girls
  • Director - Reconnect
  • Feist - My Man My Moon
  • Foals - Hummer
  • Jigs Giglio - The Melody
  • Harrisons - Wishing Well
  • Letters & Colours - Where Cynics Prosper
  • Los Campesinos! - We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives
  • Maximo Park - Our Velocity
  • Noisettes - IWE
  • Tokyo Police Club - Cheer It On
  • Keller Williams - Play This
Our Featured Classics:
  • Big Audio Dynamite - Medicine Show
  • The Church - When You Were Mine
  • House Of Love - Christine
  • The Jam - See-Saw
  • New Order - Sunrise
  • The Pixies - Alec Eiffel
  • Pop Will Eat Itself - Let's Get Ugly
  • The Ramones - Do You Wanna Dance
  • Siouxsie And The Banshees - Dear Prudence
  • The The - This Is The Day (Extended 12'' Mix)

As always, thanks for listening!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Classic Melody Reunion: The Tracklisting

Now that it's all just a warm, fuzzy memory (or is that the muffins) here, for your discerning perusal, are the tracks we broadcast from the 2007 Classic Melody Bar Reunion...

Ministry - Work For Love [Excerpt] - With Sympathy
The Psychedelic Furs - Pretty In Pink - Talk Talk Talk
The Cure - Just Like Heaven - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Depeche Mode - Master And Servant - Construction Time Again
The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drums - The Stone Roses
Definition Of Sound - Wear Your Love Like Heaven - Love and Life; A Journey With the Chameleons
Pop Will Eat Itself - Let's Get Ugly - Box Frenzy
Dramarama - Anything, Anything (I'll Give You) - Cinema Verite
The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death - Birth, School, Work, Death
The Hoodoo Gurus - Like Wow-Wipeout - Mars Needs Guitars
New Order - Blue Monday - 12'' Single
Nitzer Ebb - Murderous - 12'' Single
Front 242 - Headhunter - 12'' Single
The Wonder Stuff - Circlesquare - 12'' Single
The Wonder Stuff - A Wish Away - The Eight-Legged Groove Machine
Depeche Mode - Route 66 (Remixed by The Beatmasters) - 12'' Single
Dominatrix - The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight - 12'' Single
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Cities In Dust (Extended Version) - Tinderbox
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary - 12'' Single
The Smiths - How Soon Is Now - 12'' Single
The Smiths - Bigmouth Strikes Again - 12'' Single
Happy Mondays - Step On - Pills, Thrills And Bellyaches
The Wolfgang Press - Shut That Door - Bird Wood Cage
Nine Inch Nails - Sin - Pretty Hate Machine
Time Zone - World Destruction - 12'' Single
Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence - Violator
Blancmange - Living On The Ceiling - Happy Families
APB - Shoot You Down - Something To Believe In
Ministry - I Wanted To Tell Her - With Sympathy
Visage - Fade To Grey - Visage
The Sisters Of Mercy - Walk Away - First And Last And Always
Bauhaus - Kick In The Eye - Mask
Jigs Giglio - The Melody - CD Single
ABC - The Look Of Love - The Lexicon Of Love
Morrissey - Suedehead - Viva Hate
Peter Schilling - Major Tom (Coming Home) - Error In The System
Tin Tin - Kiss Me - 12'' Single
Yazoo - Nobody's Diary - You And Me Both
The Chameleons - Swamp Thing - Strange Times
Deee-lite - Groove Is In the Heart - World Clique
Sunscreem - Love U More - O3
Electronic - Get The Message - Electronic
The Doves - I Wouldn't Know You From The Rest - Affinity
The 25th Of May - What's Going On - The 25th Of May
The Shamen - Move Any Mountain (Progen '91) - En-tact
James - Laid - Laid
Uncut - Make Out Club - Perfect Teeth
Jesus Jones - Rigt Here Right Now - Doubt
Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Grey Cell Green - God Fodder
Dandelion Fire - Bulb - Dandelion Fire [EP]
Ride - Vapour Trail - Nowhere
Times Two - Sweet Jane's Revenge - Danger Is My Business
Pop Will Eat Itself - Wise Up Sucker - 12'' Single
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls - Please
Divinyls - I Touch Myself - Divinyls
The KLF - 3AM Eternal - The White Room
Pop Will Eat Itself - Def Con One - Box Frenzy
Buzzcocks - What Do I Get - Singles Going Steady
Gang Of Four - I Found That Essence Rare - Entertainment
The Cure - In Between Days - The Head On The Door
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart - Substance
Everlast - F--- Everyone - Forever Everlasting
R.E.M. - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - Document
Northside - Take 5 - Chicken Rhythms
Soup Dragons - Divine Thing - Hotwired
Happy Mondays - Step On - Pills, Thrills And Bellyaches
The Charlatans UK - Weirdo - Between 10th And 11th
Stereo MCs - Connected - Connected
Love & Rockets - Ball Of Confusion - Express
Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough - Singles, '81-'95
Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) - 12'' Single
The Clash - Rock The Casbah (Mustapha Dance Mix) - 12'' Single
Big Country - In A Big Country - 12'' Single
New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle [Excerpt] - 12'' Single

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Altrok Saturday: Your Last Chance To Hear The Melody Reunion

Here's the schedule for your Saturday on Altrok Radio (and if you're listening in mono on Altrok Radio SD, read on for a little present):

Until 5:00pm Eastern: A fresh update of the award-winning Altrok Radio mix, featuring our Grinders (the songs we want to make sure you hear) plus classic tracks that stay relevant and new tracks that live up to our classic standards.

At 5:00pm Eastern: Your first of two final chances to hear the five hours of live club mayhem straight outta the critical '85-'92 period as The 2007 Classic Melody Bar Reunion Replay holds center stage! Playing back the way it did last Saturday at the highly successful Brigadoon-like reappearance of the legendary nightclub's spirit, just as it happened at Passaic NJ's Loop Lounge. (With the occasional identifier thrown in just so's ya know who you're listening to.) Your DJs: Ed Wong, Pete Santiago, Lisa Uber, Andrew Prescott, Del, Bruce Ciccone and Pat Pierson.

(Plus, the slideshow Stiffy Biceptz put together for the event is right here, too! Ain't technology wunnerful?)

10:00pm Eastern: It's The 2007 Classic Melody Bar Reunion Replay all over again - one last time! (The time's approximate; it'll start as soon as the previous one finishes.)

Where's all this at? You're soaking in it - just click the Click2Listen link over there...

And be prepared for Monday, when all the new tracks we featured on our FM Showcase fall into our playlist, our Grinders get updated, and all becomes right with the world. (A bit, anyway.)

Incidentally, folks listening on Altrok Radio SD (in mono for slower connections) keep getting the short end of the stick, so to make it up to you, the Melody Reunion Replay is running all day, until tomorrow morning. (You're welcome.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not a bad night, huh?

It was a pleasure to see all those who attended our Melody Bar reunion event at the Loop Lounge last Saturday. The feedback I have received on behalf of all those who helped make the night so great has been nothing short of glowing. I think we all had a pretty good time.

I was certainly thrilled with the response to the slide show, and for awhile I was worried whether anyone was going to actually start dancing-for the first hour or so everyone just stood and watched themselves from 18 years ago. And as promised, here's the link to the entire slide show which I have dumped into photobucket. The link is Sorry for the delay, I've been very busy this week and the uploading took much longer than expected. Fortunately everyone got in gear and by 8 pm the place was rocking just like the Mel would at around midnight on any given Friday in 1990.

It felt so good to go off to 5 hours of favorites from back in the day. It was great to see that everyone still has the energy they had back then, and I have to say the most amazing thing to me was how no one has aged. Perhaps staying up late four nights a week for a decade and being soaked in cigarette smoke is actually GOOD for our health. The evidence from Saturday night seems to support that theory. I'm sure I'll get a nice call from Phillip Morris shortly...

Big thanks to Ed Wong, Lisa Uber, Pete Santiago and Andy Prescott for handling the music all night. I know for sure they had as much fun spinning as we did dancing.

Top thanks go to Bruce, the owner of the Loop for having our event at his place. Seeing the crowd at the bar convinced me that he got his just reward at the cash register.

Many people asked me when the next event will be. I was thrilled to hear so many people are potentially up for making this an annual celebration. While I am certainly in the camp that would like to repeat the magic of last Saturday, my only concern is how frequently we could do this without losing the magic. I figure once a year would be the most logical, but it might work better if it were run every other year or so. Send me your thoughts on this, and we can work with the flow. Hell, I'm up for going out dancing just about once a week, but it might not work for everyone. Let's enjoy the glow from this reunion for awhile before thinking too much about the next one. I'd want everyone to be good and hungry for it like they were on Saturday.

So enjoy the slide show, and I've set up a place to dump all the reunion photos to. Just go to and log in with the username melodyreunion and use the password reunion. Upload all your photos to the site and pass along the account info for all to use. I look forward to seeing all of them.

Thanks again to everyone, I assure you it was my pleasure to help make this happen. I hope you all noticed I haven't lost a step...

Melody Reunion: A Roaring Success. Now What?

The Melody Reunion is now as much a part of history as The Melody Bar itself...but I've gotten more than one message from folks looking out for something like that to happen again.

Which is as it should be. Ziegfeld supposedly said you should always leave 'em screaming for more.

Ziegfeld always had another show up his sleeve when he said that, though...and I think it's reasonable to start making that happen.

How, you ask? Well, this is going to sound like a pitch, but I assure you it's cause and effect...

Listen to Altrok Radio, as often as you can. (If you're on dial-up, try the "slower connection" link.)


Well, when you listen, it gets precisely counted in our favor. (That's as opposed to regular radio, where "ratings" are by and large a fantasy.) The better our listenership, the more visible we are, and the more people find us.

The better we do with listeners, the more clout we have when approaching a club owner and say "we'd like to do a Melody reunion"...or even better, "we'd like to do what the Melody did, but include new music that The Melody would have played."

Know whud I mean?

The nice part is, if you've retreated into the solace of your iPod, we play a lot of new music that you might find actually belongs there. (And we're always measuring that new music up against the high standard set by FM106.3, WRSU and The Melody when I was among their staff, instead of against what "alternative" stations are now playing...because what they're playing isn't alternative.)

And those tracks we're constantly measuring this new stuff against? They're there, too. Every few songs on most days, and all day on Eighties Friday.

I'm trying to make this station appeal to people who (to quote Pinfield) love this stuff so much, they'd stab for it. But in order to stab for it, they've gotta know it exists, and that why when you do know about it, you've gotta listen. (Clicking on the occasional ad on one of the pages when something interests you helps, too - we get a few pennies when you do that.)

So please, don't make Altrok Radio another one of those things that it's always nice to know is there, until it's in danger of not being there anymore.

Every day, every hour of the day, you have a chance to help keep it alive, simply by tuning in and by asking like-minded friends to do the same.

Please do.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More On The Melody Reunion From Tony Fletcher

Tony Fletcher, a far better writer than I, provides a wrap-up of the night. Once again, unfortunately, I wound up being missed beneath the coats piled in the DJ booth again...

(Probably should have let him know I'd brought a copy of "When I Was Dead"...)

SXSW BitTorrent Now Up...

For the uninitiated, BitTorrent is a file sharing service that, unlike the Web, actually makes it so that the more popular a download is, the faster it is. If there's someone out on the net that wants you to have something of theirs, it's the fastest way to get it to you - assuming enough people want it. All ya gotta do is:

- Get the BitTorrent software
- Find a torrent you'd like to grab
- Possibly fiddle with your firewall if things are going slowly.

One interesting thing is that it's not very good for downloading pirated stuff - everyone who's sharing can see the Internet address of everyone who's downloading, so if one of those is a lawyer who wants to bust people for copyright infringement,'re busted. That's why it's becoming so popular for legal downloads.

And for the third year in a row, the South-By-Southwest Festival has put up a legal torrent of its featured bands. (Look under the headline "Torrent - 2007 Showcasing Artists MP3s".) 739 bands in the first pass, 3.1 gigabytes of new music.

Got a spare bit of hard disc space? Go for it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Altrok Radio Music & Schedule Update #147

Please remember to tune in whenever you can - every hour you listen turns into more visibility for the station; we show up higher in search listings, and such like that. And if you'd like to help us keep the stream running, check out the advertisers if they appeal to you; your interest actually helps fund us.

Altrok Radio Schedule
(All times Eastern US Standard Time)


11:30 am: Ferris O'Brien
Ferris O'Brien hops aboard the Altrok Radio signal to give you a taste of his approach to the world of alternativity. He's bringing you the overflow from his own SpyRadio showcase at Rock 100.5 The KATT in Oklahoma City, itself the lingering legacy of 105.3 The Spy, a legendary indie station in its own right that disappeared one night. No reason to quit just 'cause the station's gone, right?

1:30pm: The Altrok Radio FM Showcase
...where Sean Carolan (often referred to on this page as "I", "me" or "we" if he's feeling particularly organizational) showcases all the new music we've added this week. New stuff, classic stuff, and Jeff Raspe with his Altrok Radio Underground Pick Of The Week...

9:00pm: Ferris O'Brien
(Encore from earlier.)

11:00pm: The Altrok Radio FM Showcase
(Encore from earlier.)


Most of the day: Altrok's Eighties Friday
Eighties Friday features music from the eighties that mattered then AND now. An eight hour playlist that features some of the best that decade had to offer, drawing from all the music that was available at the time (yes, even from the seventies.)

11:30am: DJ Shred
New York's own
DJ Shred with her hand-picked set filled with classics from the darker and more challenging corners of the Eighties.

9:00pm: DJ Shred
(Encore from earlier.)

All Other Times
(...and all times on Altrok Radio SD, our low-bandwidth station)

Whenever you tune in, you'll hear our award-winning Altrok Radio playlist mix, featuring our new adds and Grinders, and a selection of new and classic music from our library of the best fringe alternative tracks of the past thirty-odd years.

And keep your eyes on this page for details on the impending rebroadcast of Saturday's spectacularly successful Melody Reunion...

Now...we've got songs to let you know about.

Music Update

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:
  • The Sunshine Underground
  • The Chiara L's
  • Jack Penate
  • Kristin Hersh
  • Bloc Party
  • Malcom Middleton
Plus we've got newly-added music:
  • APB - Love By The Seasons (Kev Gunn Remix)
  • The Arcade Fire - Intervention
  • Bon Savants - I Am The Atom Bomb
  • Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
  • Dinosaur Jr. - Been There All The Time
  • Good Shoes - The Photos On My Wall
  • New Young Pony Club - The Bomb
  • Shiny Toy Guns - You Are The One
  • Sloan - Who Taught You To Live Like That
  • The Video Nasties - I Wanna
  • The View - Same Jeans
  • Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good
  • Patrick Wolf - Accident And Emergency
  • Xerox Teens - Onkawara
  • Zen Boy & Karma Girl - Yeah Yeah
Our Newly-Added Classics:
  • Ben Folds Five - Underground
  • Buffalo Tom - Sodajerk
  • Buzzcocks - Everybody's Happy Nowadays
  • Elvis Costello - Getting Mighty Crowded
  • The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death
  • Let's Active - Every Word Means No
  • Midnight Oil - Dreamworld
  • Nirvana - Sliver
  • R.E.M. - Sitting Still
  • The Teardrop Explodes - Passionate Friend

As always, thanks for listening!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Overcoming Adversity, One Hairball At A Time

Some folks at the Melody Reunion heard this, but it hasn't gotten old yet...

Short form: We almost didn't capture the Melody Reunion for air on Altrok Radio, because of a one-in-a-million shot taken by one of my cats, or more specifically, by one of my cats' wayward digestive tracts.

Long form: I spent the morning Saturday putting together a bunch of just-in-case discs to bring to the party. ("Gah! What if everybody thinks everyone else will bring a copy of 'How Soon Is Now' and nobody actually does?! Gottaburngottaburngottaburn...")

Throughout, the laptop I planned to bring along hummed away happily in the kitchen, all loaded up with the software I needed to capture the event's audio. In fact, the laptop's been in the kitchen for a couple of years, ready for anyone who needed a quick hit at the weather or at Google to have at it. And honestly, it gets a lot of use - I may have been among the earliest people for whom it made sense that the right place for a computer was in the kitchen where, for most homes, most of the information necessary for the existence of life is stored (albeit in a low-tech but nonetheless complex matrix of paper and magnets on the side of the refrigerator.)

But on this particular day, literally seconds before I planned to pack it up and leave for the reunion, one of our cats decided they needed to get sick, they needed to do it on my laptop, and they needed to do it right then. Gross, sure, but even better was the mark they chose: right over the laptop's internal fan, ensuring that a finely sprayed mixture of partly digested fur, cat food and stomach acid was evenly distributed over my laptop's mother board. The screen went black, and the laptop hasn't contemplated responding to the power button since.

(Bereft of life, it rests in peace; this is an ex-laptop.)

I was already late, and I had to quickly assemble another solution. I yanked out the laptop's mouse, grabbed a keyboard and a flat panel screen from the basement, loaded up a desktop PC from elsewhere in the house with recording software, unplugged it, reassembled the whole shebang in the kitchen (but away from the cats) to be sure it'd work in its new setup, and slapped it in the car...and that's the screen you saw behind the DJ booth with the happily twitching on-screen meters.

Result: I showed a bit late, but I got the meat of the Reunion's music from about 5:30pm through about 10:30pm, and by cracky, it's going on the air starting this weekend.

Incidentally, this is a great chance for me to remind you that backups are your friend; though the dearly departed laptop was the place where I kept the music library that feeds Altrok Radio, I keep a usable spare handy - outside of a couple of hours this morning, there hasn't been an interruption of the station, and we're all set to go forth and conquer.

Unless kitty has an upset tummy again...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Where I Was...

Hello everyone-I just wanted to let you all know how sorry i was that I didn't make it to the Loop saturday. I had been in L.A. for a week first to work on a Grammy pre-show, then for a week of meetings. Due to the unforunate circumstance of being stuck for hours friday night in the Burbank Airport trying to get home, my flight took off 5 hours late. And then we were diverted from Kennedy on Jet Blue due to ice on the runway-so i arrived home early the next morning instead of 10 pm the night before-when i was scheduled to land.

I even spoke to the Loop's owner Bruce a couple of hours before my car was to pick me up saturday night-but due to absolute exhaustion-my half hour nap turned into 4 hours of dead to the world sleep and when i woke up, i was horrified to see it was 8:49 pm, my car service had left hours earlier, and I was stuck without a ride. Nonetheless, I was sad and dissapointed because I was so excited to see everyone.

I called Frank but by that time everyone was leaving. So accept my apology for not making it, and I promise to make the next one. At least I was there in spirit through the music and Frank Gibson's amazing slide show!

The Melody lives on forever.

A Round Of Thanks, From All, To All

It's not an exaggeration to say I had a grin plastered on my face from ear to ear for pretty much the entire duration of the Pre-92 Melody bar Reunion yesterday. (Ask anyone.)

As a proof of concept, as an attempt to reconnect lost connections, and as a damn fun evening, it succeeded, with power to spare.

So thanks to everyone that made it what it was - because when it comes down to it, nobody made it what it was but you.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What Th'--? Doll's Place Booting Mongo?

If you're in the New Brunswick, NJ area (and I suspect a lot of you are) read on.

I visited Drew (Mongo) at his Friday night gig at A Doll's Place a couple of weeks back, and saw a crowd that was building - though there were a lot of 'home at midnight'-ers, there were also enough die-hards that it was sure to snowball (and in the weeks since, that appeared to be the case.)

Go there. Tonight. Drew may be spinning - if he is, stay for the duration. If he's not, make a great and visible show of your displeasure.

This sort of thing's worth fighting for. You in?

(And if you're one of the ones who's been complaining there's no under-35 Melody Bar reunion, here's why - you shouldn't be trying to reunite a scene so much as you should be trying to create one. Here's your chance to make something happen. So do it.)

But Meanwhile...It's Eighties Friday!

There will be much time to celebrate the momentary rebirth of The Melody come, however, let's revel in the fact that it's Eighties Friday, and our own DJ Shred will hold court for two hours beginning at 11:30am Eastern (repeating at 9:00pm)

She'll also be holding court at her newly adopted home...for the textually oriented among you, here's the data:

DJ Shred with DJ Mister X and Dr. Lorenz
10:00pm Saturday, February 17, 2007 (FREE before 11:00pm!)
at the East Village Lounge
186 East 2nd St., between Ave. A & B, NYC
Info: 212-387-9400

...and here's the poster:

Shall We Dance, One More Time?

Tomorrow is the day. Many people have emailed me saying how much they are looking forward to this. So am I. I hope everyone has a great time reconnecting with some long lost friends and some long lost music. I plan on spending the majority of my time hanging around the dance floor as I always did.

I have decided not to hand out copies of the slide show, as this would have been a big pain. I will have the entire slide show dumped onto, so anyone can view it and download any pictures they like. That's the easiest way to handle that.

And we will have a place on for anyone to upload their pictures from the event, for the same reasons. All hail the internet.

It has been my pleasure to help organize this event, but by no means can I take credit for it all coming together. Thanks must go out first and foremost to Mr. Matt Pinfield who suggested we do this in the first place. Without him, none of this would have happened, and the Melody would not have been what it was, or worth reuniting over.

Thanks also to Bruce at the Loop for hosting our event, please remember to buy a drink or two to show your appreciation.

Thanks also to Ed Wong, Pat Pierson, and Sean Carolan for everything they have done and will be doing tomorrow.

Finally, thanks to everyone who is so fired up for this event, it is ultimately all of you who made the scene back in the day so special and who are going to make tomorrow so much fun.

Shall we dance one more time? I think we should.

Now where are those boots??

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pierson Blog: The Melody Reunion & Life Itself

(Side note: if ya wanna read about The Melody reunion at The Loop Lounge, scroll down to the bottom half)


There's a lotta shit to write about and I've been Mr. Neglect.

Can't say that there's a lot of music to gabba gabba about. The Police played "Roxanne" at The Grammys and I shut my T.V. off.

SNOW ("and other sentimental crap...")

The big deal is all the snow they got up north of Syracuse, New York these past two weeks. Over 100 inches. Kinda nuts. It reminds me of my one and only trek up to that neck of the woods during such treacherous times in the winter of 1981. My friend Mike Lively picked me up at the Watertown bus station. It was one of the most insane personal mindfuks of all-time: Eight-plus hours on a Greyhound taking me back to a very familiar and beloved place, BUT finally with all the SNOW god could deliver. When we got out to Mike's house on the banks of Chaumont Bay ('twas mid-February) there was probably 4 feet of snow on the ground along with these thin walkways shoveled out as pathways towards the house... Wild shit...

That whole week I spent up there was one of those trademark growing up experiences. Mike was/is three years older than I, and we were both in the midst of the post-punk (& power pop) luvfest that held the disconnected UNDERGROUND together. We had no idea. I really thought everyone was tuning in to "Hollywood Heartbeat," "Rock World" and HBO's "Video Jukebox" and discarding the metal.

For the trip, I brought up a Beatles BBC bootleg ("Beatles Broadcasts") with "Soldier Of Love" ('cause The Flashcubes had covered it) and Phil Seymour's solo debut. At Mike's I taped a lot of Ramones and Supremes along with some other choice goodies: Raspberries, Dwight Twilley Band, Bay City Rollers, Artful Dodger, Records, XTC, Split Enz, Only Ones, The Police, and Vapors.

Feb '07: New Jersey finally got a smattering of ice and snow, but my guts are yearning to seek out the mountaineasque snowbanks of upstate New York. I dug out the old Maxell cassettes to keep the car warm. Mike Lively's cat's still skipped "Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio" (walking on top of the turntable!) while Dwight Twilley's "You Were So Warm" knocked me out all over again. The Cars' "Panorama" is still an odd record.

"I believe in life and I believe in love but the world in which I live in keeps trying to prove me wrong..."

Late January got me started on the old tape excavation deal 'cause I still have a functioning tape deck in the car and Paul Weller was playing NYC. Spirited idea was to throw the old cut-tape in en route to the city. Which I did, once I got approval from compadre Fran Azzarto. (One should always ask permission before playing said artist amongst company with only hours before set time; it could sour someone's zen.)

In our case it was a fun tale. Fran waxed on about his earliest "band" days when trying to learn most of The Jam's "Sound Affects." Both of us were still as excited about what "Sound Affects" is, as we were when it changed our lives. Sadly, Paul Weller seems to have let that part of his life go to the wayside, while he plunders an MOR-ish path of sturdy blue-eyed soul. We caught the last night of Weller's three-night stand at Irving Plaza. The first night (which was "bandied about" as a Jam-only night) only saw PW do nine tunes from the catalog whilst the rest was scattershot. Our night was snoresville with only three Jam tunes in the count; granted they were good ones: "Butterfly Collector," "Thick As Thieves" and "Town Called Malice." Still, I got more of a rush during our pre-show pints at the pub around the corner where a room packed full of aging mods/Jam fans buzzed with "My Ever Changing Moods" blasting as Fran and I made our way to the bar fresh from air-drumming "Set The House Ablaze." Switch.


Between the new work schedule, a radio-less Radio Boy, and trying to get 10cc's "Sacro Iliac" out of my head, I've been eschew with thoughts and the like.

I watched TCM's prime time pick for Valentine's Day, "Breakfast At Tiffany's" (I still hate the fact that they overdubbed Buddy Ebsen's lines) and promptly fell asleep only to awake three hours later, still trying to figure a way to tell everyone about what's going on at The Loop Lounge this Saturday Night.

Another run out in the freezing frigid leftover mess of our storm to get some Ben & Jerry's and some fresh coffee did the trick, lighting the needed fire to connect these dots and send this damn blog on its way.


I don't know all the specifics about The Melody besides the fact that it shut down the first week of April in 2001. It was during that April I was scheduled to finally DJ there for the first time; overdue as it seemed.

Jim Dunlap had kept the old fires lit with his Tuesday night "Save The Wave" gig stretching from the 20th into the 21st century without flinching. The ghost of Matt Pinfield was still there whenever certain tunes fell into place and the dance floor appeased. Still, I (we) all missed Matt and the glory days of "The Mel" circa 1990. For us realists, fate was certain. We knew we couldn't kiss it for the first time ever again. But we always wanted to go back. And we all have some amazing memories of the place.


I first met Matt while I was still in high school. Pinfield was the star attraction on WRSU and I tuned in religiously. I forget when I finally decided to call-in and say hey. I'm sure it was motivated by my attempts to get my friends Screen Test heard by hip people.

Somewhere in 1982, Pinfield invited me down to Patrix to check out his "band" Opium Vala. My 50-minute virgin-pilgrimage to New Brunswick, almost saw my 17-year-old ass turned away at the door until this balding chap said who he was and got me in.

The set was a blistering set of punk classics mixed with amazing '60s pop and other obscurities. I completely remember them tearing "Do Anything You Wanna Do" apart and, of course, the nearly half-a-dozen Buzzcocks songs that made their rep. They also nailed Hot Chocolate's "Everyone's A Winner" which they had demo'd along with a bunch of gems like Grass Roots' "Wait A Million Years," Hello's "Game's Up," 1910 Fruitgum Co.'s "Indian Giver" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade Of Winter."

I haven't seen Matt this century. He was working as an A&R guy (Sony) but was let go recently only to end up back on TV on VH1. He's also kept his profile on radio via Sirius. Last time we were in the same place was at The Budapest in New Brunswick for The Wonder Stuff's Miles Hunt and Malc Treece's acoustic set in 1998 (I think).


Certain things never dull with time and some people grow sharper with age, as do the best memories. The Melody is definitely one of those places where magic in a bottle was captured. A scene. For those who were there, it was an amazing time to be alive.

The people made it, obviously. But truth be told, it wasn't the place where I made such deep everlasting bonds. I just remember it as the best dance club that ever existed. (There were other notable clubs: The Roxy, Aldo's and of course, The Loop Lounge.)

What made it amazing was the fact that such an Anglo-centric scene was profitable in central Jersey from 1986 to 1992. On paper, those years really seem like the worst years for music where nary a decent band with guitars existed (or at least sold a lot of records). The bands who made up the crux of The Melody's musical oeuvre (or at least Pinfield's world) were what a lot of people would label "synth-pop" bands, but for those of us who know better, it wasn't so easily categorized.

Bands like New Order, The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Echo & The Bunnymen, B.A.D., and Siouxsie & The Banshees (to name a few) had a lot more depth beyond remixes and make-up. And these days, they heavily outweigh what is deemed '80s music; especially the crap MTV played during those years.

The Melody never played any of the crappy hits from MTV; it was as if their playlist had exclusive radar against junk like Real Life, Re-Flex, Information Society, Corey Hart, Falco, Billy Idol, and bad Duran Duran. Pinfield did play a good amount of goth and industrial but never let it take over in any way. It was done right. 'Tis the secret of Matt and why The Melody ruled.


(...and here's the bit about the Melody Reunion at The Loop Lounge.)

It's been a long time coming and thank god Frank Gibson (Stiffy Biceptz) stayed in touch with so many people and has kept tabs on Sir Pinfield.

When Frank asked me about a good place to stage this party, I thought of a couple of places, AND obviously having it closer to New Brunswick would've been nice. But reality is reality. And I KNEW the Loop Lounge was the best natural place to have this party. I'm glad he took the advice. I'm glad Loop owner, Bruce Ciccone, was cool with it.

The Loop Lounge is the only remaining club in New Jersey that has kept the aesthetic which it originally set in place 20 years ago along with The Melody, The Roxy, and Aldo's. Of course, each club had/has it's own identity, but the idea of an alternative dance club was brought into existence by these places. Without them all you'd have is sports bars and lame discos.

The party starts at 5pm on Saturday, February 17th and goes until 11pm when The Loop's "regular" Saturday night takes over. It's a marriage made in heaven. Saturday night is Ted Wrigley's night at The Loop which is really the only night in NJ that does the memory of such '80s music justice.

Matt will be spinning most of the party along with a bunch of old Melody DJs. I will be doing the DJ honors from approximately 10:45pm-11:30. Passing the torch, so to speak. It's an honor I ain't taking lightly. See ya there.

"I could go on for hours and I probably will... But I'd sooner put some joy back into this town (world) called malice."

-Pat Pierson (2.15.07)

DJ Pat Pierson schedule
  • Thursday, Feb 15th: THE LOOP LOUNGE (front bar w/ Ike, no cover, $2 PBRs) 10pm
  • Friday, Feb 16th: THE LOOP LOUNGE (front bar w/ live music in back room: The Milwaukees) 10pm
  • Saturday, Feb 17th: THE LOOP LOUNGE "Melody Reunion" party 5pm-11pm (my set follows the party approx: 10:45pm-11:30pm)
for more info check:

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I Don't Know About You Guys, But I'm Excited...

We're only a few days from the Pre-92 Melody Reunion, and I've just gotten off the phone with Stiffy Biceptz yet again - and it appears things are moving along swimmingly. So swimmingly, in fact, that with the concurrence of Bruce at the Loop Lounge, we'll likely be webcasting the entire shindig's musical component via Altrok Radio. At this point, it's safest to do it as a tape-delayed sort of thing a few days after the fact, but if we can work out the connectivity to do it live, we may just. We'll see.

Aside from the rumored appearance of a certain bald-headed impresario, it appears WRSU's Ed Wong will be among the folks doing the spinning, and I believe it'll be Pat Pierson running the decks after the event proper and on into the night - corrections are welcome, of course.

All I'm planning on having is a good afternoon - and if it gets better than that, bonus. What's not to like about bonuses?

And here's that info again: it's the Pre-'92 Melody Bar Reunion, 5PM on February 17, 2007, at the Loop Lounge in Passaic NJ. Ages 35-and-over only, please, or we'll have to yell at you to get off our lawn.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Melody Bar Reunion Party Update for 2/9/07

Well it's just about week before the event. We have now found crazy Tommy, and word is Cal will make it. I hope Steve does too. Folks are coming in from all over the country. Apparently Danna Day is now living in Florida, and needs airfare and a hotel to stay in if she is going to make it. Contact us if you feel like paying to get Danna here for the event. The last few names I can think of are Mort Darouti, Morris, and Joanna Camaranopolis, and Arlene and Marylin Merz.

It looks like we are going to have a few hundred for our party, so get there early and enjoy the fun, because it will go by fast. Remember it starts at five. There will be a slide show, and some cool giveaways that will remain a surprise. Along with Matt there will be half dozen or so other Mel DJ's from our time eager to jump in and give Matt some schmooze time.

Please make sure to thank Bruce, the owner of the Loop for his willingness to let us have our event in his club. The best way to do that will be to buy a couple of drinks. It doesn't have to be alcoholic. He has really been about as cool as can be.

A few have asked me what they should wear. The dress code is Melody garb. If you wore a leather jacket, then wear that. Just come as your former self. As many a Melody invite would say, attend to enjoy.

A few of you have asked about spouses. Let me reiterate, ALL SPOUSES ARE WELCOME, NO MATTER HOW OLD.

One more thing. If we get a blizzard, the event will be on the following Saturday, the 24th.

Now let me address the issue about the age restriction. I apologize to those who were under the impression that this was an all ages event. I admit that although it has clearly been stated from the begining to be a private party for the 80's gang, the specific age cutoff of 35 should have been stated earlier. I did not forsee the impact that instant communication was going to have. I know a few of you were disappointed, and I'm sorry for that. But none the less, the restriction will be enforced, and it is a private party. Now please keep reading.

It is clear that the concept of a Melody reunion party has triggered a strong response in a lot of people. When those of us responsible for the idea floated it to the old timers, they all went nuts. We knew we had touched a nerve and that many would be interested in this. So we set up a private event for our Melody 80's "class" and with single phone call, the event was set.

Since this is apparently such a great idea, the solution is for someone from the nineties scene to simply arrange your own Melody reunion event. Think about it for a moment. We have no monopoly on the Melody. Anyone could have done this previously, and can do it now and every weekend if they like. So do exactly what we did. Find a place in New Brunswick, and run it by the owner. Given the energy this has generated, any club owner would be a fool not to host your event.

And you might want to ask Bruce from the Loop, maybe he'd be interested in doing another event for the younger scene. All it took was one phone call.

If you weren't part of the original Mel crowd, you are not going to miss anything, trust me. Just do your own event, and I promise, none of us forty somethings will be the slightest bit upset if you say no one over 35.

I completely understand those of you from the Melody 90's "class" have the similar emotional connection to the place. For most of the old timers, it damn near approaches a religous experience. Now that might sound a bit silly, but trust me, many of us wouldn't be uncomfortable with that description.

So do your thing in your own way, and try to understand why us oldsters just want to have our own crowd and our own music for a few hours. The club opens to the public at 11 or so, so you can come see us then, if we haven't already gone home to sleep by then.

DJ Shred - Right Inna Middle Of Eighties Friday...

Be sure to check out DJ Shred today and every Friday on Altrok Radio at 11:30am and 9pm - she always pulls out a great Eighties Friday-oriented selection of the familiar and the obscure - and the familiarly obscure, of course.

And if you're not heading to the Pre-92 Melody Reunion (which, as of this writing, will be recorded for air on Altrok Radio, barring technical difficulties like having the hard drive get congested with cognac) do plan to check out her next Altrok Radio set - details below...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Altrok Radio Music Update #146

Firstly, the important stuff:

Please remember to tune in to Altrok Radio whenever you can - every hour you listen turns into more visibility for the station; we show up higher in search listings, and such like that. And if you'd like to help us keep the stream running, check out the advertisers if they appeal to you; your interest actually helps fund us.

Now then, in addition to the outstanding Altrok Radio music mix that got us an Editor's Pick nod at Live365 and at, we've added features we know you'll like...

Thursdays at 11:30am Eastern (and repeated at 9:00pm), Ferris O'Brien hops aboard the Altrok Radio signal to give you a taste of his approach to the world of alternativity. He's bringing you the overflow from his own SpyRadio showcase at Rock 100.5 The KATT in Oklahoma City, itself the lingering legacy of 105.3 The Spy, a legendary indie station in its own right that disappeared one night. No reason to quit just 'cause the station's gone, right?

Then at 1:30pm Eastern Thursday (repeated at 11:00pm Eastern) you get to hear me showcase the new music we've added this week on the Altrok Radio FM Showcase. New stuff, classic stuff, and Jeff Raspe with his Altrok Radio Underground Pick Of The Week...

And on Friday, it's Altrok's Eighties Friday: music from the eighties that mattered then AND now. An eight hour playlist that features some of the best that decade had to offer, drawing from all the music that was available at the time (yes, even from the seventies.)

As if that weren't enough, Fridays at 11:30am Eastern (and repeated at 9:00pm) you'll find New York's own DJ Shred and her hand-picked set filled with classics from the darker and more challenging corners of the Eighties. You'll be able to join her next Saturday as she creates her next Altrok set live:

DJ Shred with Mister X and Dr. Lorenz
at The East Village Lounge
Saturday, February 17th
10pm til late (free admission 'til 11pm)
186 East 2nd St., between Av. A & B
East Village, NYC

But for now - we've got songs to let you know about.

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:
  • Bloc Party
  • !!!
  • The Video Nasties
  • Teddybears
  • Locksley
  • Modest Mouse
Plus we've got newly-added music:
  • Blood Red Shoes - Try Harder
  • Elephants - Special Thing
  • The Fall - Blindness
  • Good Shoes - Ice Age
  • Kristin Hersh - Peggy Lee
  • Klaxons - Atlantis To Interzone
  • My Teenage Stride - Terror Bends
  • The Sunshine Underground - Borders
  • Vanessa And The O's - Bagatelle
  • The View - Superstar Tradesman
  • Virago - She's All That!
  • Wicked Automatic - Easy
  • Xerox Teens - Darlin'
Our Featured Classics:
  • Bauhaus - Dark Entries
  • Blur - There's No Other Way
  • The Clash - Spanish Bombs
  • The Cure - The Blood
  • Depeche Mode - Leave in Silence
  • Thomas Dolby - Dissidents
  • The Maisonettes - Heartache Avenue
  • The The - I've Been Waitin' for Tomorrow (All of My Life)
  • Violent Femmes - Nightmares
  • XTC - Punch And Judy
As always, thanks for listening!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

And For Everyone Else...

DJ Shred, of Altrok Radio fame (such as it is, specifically on Fridays at 11:30am and 9pm) has snagged a plum gig in the East Village the night of the Melody Reunion...but for those better connected to the MTA than to NJ Transit, she's got a fine repertoire to share. Here's the data...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Dear God, What Have I Started?

Ok Melody reunion people, this event has now reached critical mass. The number of people attending is rising to an amazing level. I just heard from motorcycle man, John Ryan, and he is likely to be there. He will be celebrity bouncing at the door, to keep out (or in?) the riff raff. Irene Bogner will be flying in from Baton Rouge, and DJ Shaggy is coming for the event from Oregon. For the sake of all these great folks coming all this way for our event I want everyone to pray their asses off we don't get a blizzard! Come on global warming...

I have been contacted by someone who has video shot in the Melody from back in the day. This is the holy grail I have been searching for. He is going to put it on DVD and we might be able to have it playing at our party, and I'm sure copies can be made available.

As for the slide show, time is running out on getting me any photos you might like shown. Any good shots of the crowd or the insides of the club are perfect. Just send me a jpeg version.

We are still searching for direct contact information on Cal and Steve. They should be made aware of this and hopefully show up, since they are the ones who opened the club. Without their vision, none of those great times would have occurred.

If you have any leads, pass them on to me.

As for the crowd, we will likely be enforcing an age restriction at the door. No one under the age of 35 will be admitted, since this event is solely for the original scenesters who attended from the beginning up to 1992. Make sure you don't invite or bring along any twenty somethings, as they will not get in before 10:30. Remember, this is a private event. Spouses are of course welcome.

We are still searching for Dani Day, and if anyone can contact James Gandolfini...He allegedly spun at the Mel circa 1984, but I wouldn't know about that. Make sure the guys from A Real Rain, Spiral Jetty and Dramarama know about this too. And let's get in contact with as many Slaves of New Brunswicker's as possible.

That's it for now, check back here daily for more updates.

DJ Shred's 80's (and neo-80's) Picks - Today, 11:30am and 9pm Eastern

You know you're gonna have to tune in to check it out, right?

New Order? Certainly.

Siouxsie? Sure, but why not include her collaboration with Basement Jaxx?

And heck, LCD Soundsystem's good no matter which decade you're focusing on...

Hit that link and connect up to Altrok Radio...besides, it's Eighties Friday all day long, and when has that ever done anyone a disservice?

And remember: Eighties Friday happens every Friday, as does Ms. Shred's showcase, so mark it accordingly. (After all, we're only doing all this for you, y'know.)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

This Commercial Message Brought To You By Mark E. Smith And Matt Johnson

The Fall had a rather nice record out last year called "Fall Heads Roll", and "Blindness" was one of the more outstanding tracks on it. And now it's being used to sell Mitsubishi Outlanders.

And, not to be outdone, the folks at M&M have a new commercial featuring "This Is The Day" from The The's very fine album "Soul Mining".

And I am quite okay with all of this.

DJ Shred Tonite in NYC, With Bands In Tow!

For those looking to fill their Thursday evening with the comforting sounds of analog synths, DJ Shred proudly offers her services; here's the details:

A night of synthpop/new wave/electro
266 West 47th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue; 212-354-2950)
$8 admission for 21+ w/ID
For further info:

Bands Performing:
8pm The Violets
9pm Ganymede
10pm Xavier J.
11pm Don Guillermo

Before and after, DJ Shred will ply her audible charms on wheels of steel and shafts of coherent light. (That's turntables and CD players for the non-poetic among you.)

Of course, all this is a warmup for her Altrok Radio shift Friday at 11:30am and 9:00pm Eastern, y' if you actually needed me to remind you...

And speaking of Altrok Radio: Today (Thursday) at 11:30am and 9:00pm Eastern, remember to catch our showcases - Ferris O'Brien first up for two hours, and than our own Altrok Radio FM Showcase (the next of which airs Friday at 10pm on 90.5 The Night. Busy? Us?)
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