There's more ads down here, and they help support us so, y'know, check 'em out...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shy Child, "Drop The Phone"

Two guys and a whole lotta propulsion definitely make you move. A synth, a drumkit, and the personnel necessary to play them (and yowl urgent vocals on top that are, actually, kinda funny, too.)

Now then, apparently, this got a bit of play on MTV2 about eight months ago - missed it. But they're seeing UK release (and touring now, too) so the more reliable UK radio outlets are on this like wet rice on a spoon...and so should you be. (He said awkwardly.)

Keep Altrok Radio Alive: Tune In! (There's Halloween Music In It For You...)

Folks,

[Lots of Halloween songs today, starting at 11:30am; about one song in every three. That's in addition to our standard playlist, so it's about 11 hours long. Now back to the point of this post...]

Firstly, thanks. You've proven Altrok Radio's not just bleating in the wilderness. You're definitely out there, and you think it's worth helping Altrok do what it can to stay alive and thrive. (At least, we hope so...right?)

So, a short term goal: over the past few days, we've managed to get our listenership consistently over 100 hours per day. That's good, but to get more visible (and to prove that "alternative" ought to mean a lot more than it seems to on regular radio) we need more hours. It ranks us higher at Live365, and more people see us, for a bit of a snowball effect.

To start with, 200 listener hours per day would be a good place to get to.

That's actually not much; 20 people listening for 10 hours would do it. Or 40 for 5. Or 100 for 2.

Or every friend I've got here on MySpace - at least those who check their profiles occasionally - for about 15 minutes each, every day.

So, doable? Sure. And what's in it for you? Great new tracks and classics in the punky-new-wave-modern-rock-indie-alternative tradition. That's all we ever promise, but the truth is, we do deliver.

Outsider pop. That's us. And, we're pretty sure, that's you too.

So come on and help out. Find other people to help out, too. I'll keep you posted on how we're doing. Let's blow the doors off this party.

And then (for those in the New Brunswick, NJ area, anyway) let's celebrate on November 8 at Running W/Scissors at The Court Tavern, and blow the doors off that party, too.

Tune in:

http://www.altrokradio.com


-Sean

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Way To Keep Us Running...

You're going to begin to see links that are highlighted like this here at the site, and that's because we signed up for Amazon's context ad beta. It may take us a bit of time to get things tweaked, but if you happen to see anything highlighted like this, hover over it to see what Amazon linked to it...and if you happen to want it, go ahead and buy it.

And yes, the Powerpuff Girls stuff you see under my name is actually by me. It's a hobby...and kind of a cool one at that.

That's in addition to the Google ads you'll find at the top and bottom of the page, and of course your actual listenership to our station. All these things are important - keep 'em up!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Altrok Radio Music Update #179

Firstly, the important stuff:

Altrok Radio is at http://www.altrokradio.com

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.

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

Thursdays at 11:30am Eastern (and repeated at 9:00pm), you get to hear Sean Carolan (often referred to in these dispatches as "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.)

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

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:

- Le Loup
- Eulogies
- Moving Units
- The Diggs
- British Sea Power
- Screaming For Emily

Plus we've got newly-added music:

- Bombay Bicycle Club - The Hill
- The Charlatans UK - You Cross My Path
- Editors - The Racing Rats
- The Go! Team - The Wrath Of Marcie
- Gruv Projekt - Life
- Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong - Lucio Starts Fires
- Mexico 70 - Hello Hello
- Ministry - Roadhouse Blues
- Plastiscines - Pop in, Pop Out
- Radiohead - 15 Step
- Shocking Pinks - I Want U Back
- Shy Child - Drop The Phone
- Joe Whyte - Let Me Down

Our Featured Classics:

- Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
- Bollock Brothers - Horror Movies
- The Fall - There's A Ghost In My House
- John Wesley Harding - If You Have Ghosts
- Heaven 17 - Don't Fear The Reaper
- Ministry - Everyday Is Halloween
- Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party
- She Wants Revenge - Kidnap The Sandy Claws
- Siouxsie And The Banshees - Halloween


- Sean Carolan
Altrok Radio
On your computer now at http://www.altrokradio.com

On the radio Fridays at 10pm, at 90.5 The Night

Friday, October 26, 2007

Video: Undercut, "Hot In That"

Wherein a Hiltonian ingenue encounters punk with all the trimmings, personified by Undercut, posing in a number of pivotal album covers, single covers, and posters. The video's great, and the song ain't half bad, either.

video

Altrok Radio might go away.

We built Altrok Radio to be the alternative station that's as good as you remember alternative radio was. The key thing to remember here is that there always seems to "have been" a good alternative station...in the past tense. But how many are there, really?

Furthermore, if they were so good, why did they go away?

The answer's simple. Good intentions and dedication to craft can only motivate for so long. Ultimately, those good intentions and dedication to craft have to be supported. Financially, spiritually, with the occasional "attaboy" or the fling of a coin in the tip bucket, somehow, something has to happen that actually justifies those good intentions.

And for Altrok Radio right now, it ain't happening.

A lot of time and effort go into it. And a lot of people have said "Hey, that's nice - glad to have something like that around." Newspaper articles have been written, awards have been bestowed.

We've honestly done some pretty cool things. Dramarama's John Easdale performed live on our station, as did Spiraling, and Seedling, Rubicks, Miss World, Pocket Gods and Persil have done original sessions for it. We're nominated for three Asbury Music Awards this year. We've been mentioned several times at BBC Radio 1.

It seems that people like that we're around. But that's not enough.

What can you do? Tune in. Check out our advertisers if they interest you. Tell us what's wrong with it, or what's right.

Be there for us. We really do need you; without you, we don't exist. Literally.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Birthday For Upstage This Friday...



Good lineup, good price - and you can listen to Altrok Radio on your car radio at 90.5 FM on the way there (if you're running late to the gig...)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Saturday: Celluloid Horrors Expected In Asbury

(As opposed to cellulite horrors, but let's not go there.)

So there's a costume contest, and a coupla nasty-looking (but in a good way) flicks happening at The Paramount in Asbury. And, I might hasten to add, three levels of DJs. So this just went from a "that's interesting" to a "must be there".

The press release continues thusly:


RETURN OF THE MIDNIGHT MOVIES

“HORROR HAPPENINGS” DOUBLE FEATURE & HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST IN ASBURY PARK

Asbury Park, NJ - Mondo Grindo Productions announces a fright night double feature of classic horror/gore films, and a Halloween costume contest, on the world famous Boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ.

The "HORROR HAPPENINGS" movie double feature will take place at 10:00 pm on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at the PARAMOUNT THEATRE of the Asbury Park Convention Center, Ocean Avenue between Fifth and Sunset Avenues, Asbury Park, NJ.

On the bill are two films designed to put a chill in your spine and curl in your blood. Opening the late night event will be the 1962 cult film, “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die”, directed by Joseph Green, that tells the story of a doctor who keeps his fiancée’s head alive after she’s decapitated in a car crash, then goes hunting for a new body. The main midnight feature will be director Ted V. Mikels’ 1972 black comedy, “The Corpse Grinders”, offering the gory business strategy of a cat food company which visits the local grave yard to solve its financial woes. Their feline customers soon develop an exclusive taste for their new food and go hunting for fresh meat all over town. These films are for mature audiences only and patrons must be age 18 and over to be admitted, age 21 to purchase alcohol. Proof of age will be required. A cash prize for the best costume will be awarded at intermission, and the lobby on each of the theatre’s three levels will feature a deejay and Halloween specialty drinks at the cash bars.

Admission is $12. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at www.mondogrindo.com. Doors open at 9:00 pm. Information can be found at www.mondogrindo.com.
And there ya have it. Go forth.

XFM London Offers New Charlatans UK Track - Free Download

The Charlatans UK (yeah, I know, I hate adding the "UK" too, but it won't collate into my collection properly if I don't use it) have released a new track through XFM London. My suspicion is that the idea of new tracks are a loss leader for their live shows which, I further suspect, are quite worthy indeed.

And so, the link. Go ahead - it's free, and it's Charlatans UK. What's not to like?

Altrok Radio Music Update #178

Firstly, the important stuff:

Altrok Radio is at http://www.altrokradio.com

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.

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

Thursdays at 11:30am Eastern (and repeated at 9:00pm), you get to hear Sean Carolan (often referred to in these dispatches as "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.)

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

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:

- The Big Sleep
- Operator Please
- Babyshambles
- Grammatics
- Late of the Pier
- KMFDM

Plus we've got newly-added music:

- American Babies - Invite Your Friends
- Blisstique - The Inconspicuous Observer
- Cut Off Your Hands - You And I
- Fiery Furnaces - My Egyptian Grammar
- The Glad Hearts - Autumn Left
- kaputt - Water Makes The Blades Blunt
- Moving Units - Pink Thoughts
- Nada Surf - See These Bones
- Radiohead - Bodysnatchers
- The Redwalls - Summer Romance
- Screaming For Emily - The Sea
- Trash Yourself & The Toxic Avenger - Song 2
- Tullycraft - The Punks Are Writing Love Songs

Our Newly-Added Classics:

- Elvis Costello, - High Fidelity
- Echo & The Bunnymen - Rescue
- The Fountains Of Wayne - Denise
- The Human League - The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
- Joy Division - Digital
- LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
- Modern English - Life in the Gladhouse (12'')
- Morrissey - Suedehead
- The Waterboys - Don't Bang The Drum

As always, thanks for listening!

- Sean Carolan
Altrok Radio
On your computer right now at http://www.altrokradio.com

On the radio Fridays at 10pm, at 90.5 The Night

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Paul Raven, Killing Joke & Ministry Bassist, 47

Paul Raven, bassist for Killing Joke's arguably most recognizable periods (most notably the "Night Time" era that gave us "Eighties" and "Love Like Blood") and for the final incarnation of Ministry, has died of an apparent heart attack at 47.

A shock, and a shame, but a legacy has been left. Here's "Eighties".

Friday, October 19, 2007

Eighties Friday Video: Altered Images' "Dead Pop Stars"

I keep kinda thinking about dead pop stars lately, so I suppose I might as well take that to its logical extreme...

Altered Images - Dead Pop Stars



Add to My Profile | More Videos

Enjoy...

Altrok's Eighties Friday; The Big List Of Bands

Yes, the decade that just keeps on giving gives even more...another eight hours of quality seminal-ness chosen from all the music we have in our possession now that we had in our possession then, in 64K MP3Pro yet! (That's CD quality for those with the decoder - here it is for WinAmp - though if you don't have the decoder, it's still pretty durn good.)

Want specifics? How about:




A Flock of Seagulls, APB, Adam and the Ants, The Alarm, Alphaville

The B-52's, B-Movie, Bad Brains, Ballistic Kisses, Bauhaus, Big Audio Dynamite, Big Black, Big Country, Blondie, The Bongos, Bow Wow Wow, David Bowie, The Buggles, Buzzcocks

Camouflage, The Church, The Clash, The Comsat Angels, Julian Cope, Elvis Costello, Josie Cotton, The Cure

The Damned, The Danse Society, The Dead Milkmen, Department S, Depeche Mode, Devo, The Dickies, Dolby's Cube, Thomas Dolby, Dramarama, Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy

Easterhouse, Echo & The Bunnymen, The English Beat

The Fall, Fishbone, John Foxx, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Freur, Fun Boy Three

Gang Of Four, The Godfathers, The Gun Club

Haircut One Hundred, Heaven 17, The House Of Love

Icehouse, Intro

Joe Jackson, The Jam, Japan, JoBoxers, Joy Division

Liquid Liquid, Love & Rockets, Lene Lovich

Madness, Meat Beat Manifesto, Mi-Sex, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Ministry, Mission Of Burma, Peter Murphy

New Musik, New Order, The New York Dolls, Nine Inch Nails, Nitzer Ebb, Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper, Gary Numan

OMD, Oingo Boingo, Orbital, Our Daughter's Wedding

The Plimsouls, Polecats, Polyrock, The Psychedelic Furs, Public Image Ltd.

R.E.M., The Ramones, Red Box, Red Rockers

The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Secession, Seona Dancing, Shriekback, Simple Minds, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Smiths, Soft Cell, Spandau Ballet, Sparks, The Specials, Split Enz, Squeeze, The Stranglers, Strawberry Switchblade, Sugarcubes

Talk Talk, Talking Heads, Tears For Fears, That Petrol Emotion, The The, They Might Be Giants, Tones On Tail, Frank Tovey, Translator, Tuff Darts

U2, Ultravox, The Untouchables

Violent Femmes, Visage

Was (Not Was), Wire

X, XTC

Yello




You know what to do...tune in!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Redd Kross Embedded In Podcast

It appears I've got a power pop fever, and the only cure is more Redd Kross. (Apologies.)

The gist of the blurb I stumbled across at Rock Sellout is that Redd Kross has been running a podcast on their site, and on the latest, there's a taste of some new music they've been working on.

This can't be a bad thing. Once upon a time, you heard Redd Kross with fair regularity at FM106.3, and thus, you hear them now with fair regularity at Altrok Radio. And so, I'll duly point you to the band's site to sign up for whatever it is you need to sign up for, and go and enjoy.

"Help" Is On The Way...

The other day, as I procrastinated wildly while facing the looming deadlines that the John Peel Day project imposed (it was wildly successful, by the way) I found myself thinking about the days when Peel first came on the scene. He was in the US, specifically in Texas, and managed to parlay the simple fact that he was British into an on-air gig as a Beatles specialist (because, of course, it was easy to convince an American back then that anyone sporting a British accent just had to know The Beatles intimately.) That led me to muse about The Beatles' two films, and the fact that very few musicians, certainly extremely few rock/indie bands, could pull off the kind of on-sceen presence The Beatles appeared to have in excess. The Beatles, surrounded by a well-oiled British film creation machine that ran on all pistons, just managed to look absolutely right in their films. (With The Magical Mystery Tour, it became clear that it was possible for them to not look so good on screen, but they still managed the trick for two sterling movies.)

And what should fall into my inbox after that bout of musing but the announcement that their second film, "Help", will be heading onto store shelves on November 6. Looks like fun, however politically incorrect (though I think the only people who should be offended are those that are actually in death cults.)

At any rate, there's a trailer for the release, but remember - it's November 6, not October 30 as the trailer would have you believe...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bruce Springsteen Covered The Arcade Fire...

...with Win and Regina from Arcade Fire in attendance (and joining Springsteen for this and "State Trooper". Lucky for them that the E Street Band's another band that travels with accordions...)

Pitchfork covers it here.

And here's the video Trendwhore captured to begin with...

Altrok Radio Music Update #177

Firstly, the important stuff:

Altrok Radio is at http://www.altrokradio.com

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.

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

Thursdays at 11:30am Eastern (and repeated at 9:00pm), you get to hear Sean Carolan (often referred to in these dispatches as "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.)

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

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:

- Faded Paper Figures
- Moving Units
- A Place To Bury Strangers
- VHS Or Beta
- Weller, Paul & Graham Coxon
- Young Knives, The

Plus we've got newly-added music:

- Babyshambles - Delivery - Shotter's Nation
- Bambinos, The - She Don't Care - MP3 Demo
- Big Sleep, The - Murder (Edit) - CD Single
- British Sea Power - Atom - Krankenhaus [EP]
- Diggs, The - Careen - ctrl-alt-del
- Five O'Clock Heroes, The - Head Games - Bend To The Breaks
- Foreign Born - In The Shape - On The Wing Now
- Go! Team, The - Titanic Vandalism - Proof Of Youth
- kaputt - Family Tree - MP3 Demo
- Mekons - Dickie, Chalkie, and Nobby - Natural
- Pollock, Emma - Adrenaline - Watch The Fireworks
- Prinzhorn Dance School - Realer, Pretender - Prinzhorn Dance School
- Venus Bogardus - Birds - Motorman
- Weakerthans, The - Tournament Of Hearts - Reunion Tour
- Ween - Your Party - La Cucaracha
- {satellite-state} - One Small Step - MP3 Demo

Our Featured Classics:

- Black, Frank - Black Letter Day - Black Letter Days
- Dr. & The Medics - Spirit In The Sky - Laughing At The Pieces
- Fugazi - Waiting Room - Fugazi [EP]
- Ministry - Cold Life - 12'' Single
- My Bloody Valentine - Never Say Goodbye - Ecstasy And Wine
- Pretenders, The - Message of Love - Pretenders II
- R.E.M. - Strange - Document
- Siouxsie And The Banshees - Peek-A-Boo - Peek-A-Boo
- Sportique - Tips For Artists Who Want To Sell Records - Commuque No. 9
- Tears For Fears - Pale Shelter - The Hurting

As always, thanks for listening!

- Sean Carolan
Altrok Radio
On your computer right now at http://www.altrokradio.com

On the radio Fridays at 10pm, at 90.5 The Night

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Altrok Sunday: Falling Leaves Ain't Got Nothin' On Us

Every day, Altrok Radio puts on a newly picked batch of great new music and relevantly-salvaged classics in the kind of punky-new-wave-modern-rock-alterna-indie vein that your local alternative rock station forgot existed.

Want specifics? The bands for today (10/14/2007) are:


1990s A Place To Bury Strangers, About, Adam and the Ants, The Adored, Air Traffic, The Alphabetical Order, Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut Chris Barron, Beangrowers, Beck, Beep Beep, Bloc Party, Blur, Bow Wow Wow, David Bowie Cajun Dance Party, The Chemical Brothers, Cloud Cult, The Comsat Angels, Amy Cooper, Elvis Costello, Josie Cotton, The Cribs, The Cure, Cursive The Danse Society, The Delgados, The Descendents, Devo, David Dondero, Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy The English Beat, The Envy Corps The Faint, The Fall, The Fiery Furnaces The Glass, The Goodnight Loving, Grammatics, Grinderman Glen Hansard, Calvin Harris, Debbie Harry, The Hot Toddies, The Hours, The Housemartins IO Perry, Isa And The Filthy Tongues Joe Jackson, The Jam, The Joggers Tommy Keene, Kings Of Leon, The Koreans, Kraftwerk Late Of The Pier, Los Campesinos! Maps, John Moore, The Most Serene Republic, The Moths, Moving Units, Mr Derry, Mr. Fogg The Needles, New Order, New Young Pony Club Operator Please Graham Parker, Jack Penate, Persil, The Pigeon Detectives, The Plimsouls, Plus-Minus, Polyrock The Ramones, The Rapture, The Replacements, Reverend And The Makers, Josh Ritter, Rogue Wave, The Rumble Strips Saturna, Seedling, The She Beats, The Shins, Shut Your Eyes And You'll Burst Into Flames, The Singles, Christine Smith, Bruce Springsteen, St. Vincent, Stuck In The Sound, The Style Council Talking Heads, Tears For Fears, Test-Icicles, The The, They Might Be Giants, Those Dancing Days, Tiny Masters Of Today U2 Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, The Vals, VHS or Beta We Are Scientists, The Weakerthans, Paul Weller & Graham Coxon, Paul Westerberg, Amy Winehouse Yello, The Young Knives {satellite-state}

Friday, October 12, 2007

Redemption Song: The Biography of Joe Strummer

The story of the Clash is fairly well known. Young squatter scruffs from England get excited about the exploding punk scene, form a band and become punks' most enduring symbol, all the while conquering the world, in just about five years time. Then the band implodes at it's peak of glory, and the remnants go on to do other things, such as B.A.D. (Mick Jones), drugs, (Topper Headon), art, (Paul Simonon) and...other things (Joe Strummer).

Last month I finished reading Redemption Song, a well written biography of Joe Strummer, who was the heart and soul of the Clash. As the main lyricist, he was the man who wrote the songs, which were then crafted into music largely by Mick Jones. The two formed a nearly perfect team with a strong dynamic tension that produced what I believe is one of the greatest albums of all time, London Calling. Predictably, that same tension eventually broke the band apart, not dissimilar to the way the McCartney/Lennon conflict killed the Beatles. All that pressure and heat sure does produce the diamonds though, thank goodness.

The book carefully details Joe's childhood and family life, which is necessary in any biography to be able to understand what world the subject came from. I often have to remind myself that famous personalities are rarely born into fame--that they were normal, unremarkable human beings before they became who we know them to be. Joe Strummer, who's real name is John Mellor is no exception. He was a regular kid, went to school, and was unremarkable. One day, while stumbling through his directionless college years, he picked up guitar. He eventually formed an ordinary local band, and had a good time drinking and chasing girls.

Then almost overnight, the punk music revolution arrived, and he and his mates got swept up in it, and the next day the Clash were being hailed as the great punk hope.

The book continues by thoroughly detailing the life of the Clash, which was essentially the life of Joe and Mick. Clash fans will enjoy reading the moment to moment details of the bands journey and likely learn a few things about the band they didn't know. I sure did.

As this is a biography about Joe Strummer, there is much more to it than just his days in the Clash. Joe wrote and performed music for nearly twenty years after the effective end of the Clash, which was when he fired Mick Jones. Ironically, it was Mick who is credited with being the founder of the band.

While Mick Jones' post-Clash life was filled with significant commercial success with the various incarnations of Big Audio Dynamite, Joe's was far less so. The book painfully details the remainder of Joe's life both onstage and off. Although he never achieved the same commercial success that he did with the Clash, or that Mick did with B.A.D, Joe's legend and gravitas as punk's most passionate and soulful poet only grew stronger as the eighties turned into the nineties.

No one seemed more surprised by this than Joe himself. He suffered mightily from a lack of confidence in his own abilities and was burdened with guilt about having fired Mick Jones and killing the Clash. But as a testament to just how cool he was, he readily admitted not long after the fact that it was his fault that the Clash broke up, and ultimately he and Mick remained close throughout the post-Clash years. In the late nineties when it seemed he had finally put to rest the ghost of the Clash and was ready to finally reclaim his mantle as punk's John Lennon, he died of a broken heart. Literally.

After reading about his life, it seems to have been the most appropriate way for him to die, although much too early. Joe Strummer in his fifties would have made the new century a far more tolerable place to live.

If you are a Clash fan, or even just a fan of the punk movement in general, this is a book you'll want to pick up.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

TODAY: Celebrate John Peel Day with Altrok Radio

John Peel Day


BBC Radio 1 have declared October 11 as John Peel Day; once again, they've asked anyone who'd like to participate to go ahead and do so - and, as you see above, made the day's logo available for anyone to use that wants to...

Responses have been fantastic, and so here's what we have lined up for you:

- A full hour of recollections and associated tracks provided by Marcelle Van Der Hoof, on a special edition of her acclaimed show, "Another Nice Mess".

- Classic Peel session tracks

- Classic tracks that Peel championed

- New tracks that, for lack of a better term, "kinda fit",

- New sessions from The Pocket Gods, Persil and Rubicks.

- And, of course, a few snippets of the voice of The Man Himself, who was once nice enough to mention Altrok Radio, a debt we'll never get tired of repaying.

Our schedule (all times Eastern US Time, and all times approximate):

11:30am-1:30pm - The Altrok Radio FM Showcase (Not specifically Peel oriented, but not bad at all, either...)
1:30pm-2:00pm - John Peel Day celebration (with session tracks from The Pocket Gods and Rubicks)
2:00pm-3:00pm - Another Nice Mess special with Marcelle Van Der Hoof
3:00pm-5:30pm - John Peel Day continues (with session tracks from Persil, Rubicks and The Pocket Gods throughout)
5:30-6:00 - Repeat of 1:30 Peel Day Show
6:00-7:00 - Repeat of Another Nice Mess
7:00-9:00 - Repeat of (much of) the 3:00pm Peel Day Show

(11:30am schedule repeats beginning at 9pm.)

We'll see you there.

The Pocket Gods on John Peel Day

The Pocket Gods, whose "Jombal Party" has already been featured on Altrok Radio, let us know they were playing a John Peel Day gig in London today, which reminded us that, yeah, we ought to be doing something for the day as well. Claire from the band agreed to sit down (virtually) with Altrok for a bit of a chat, with Annie chiming in and Mark providing the communication link...


Q: Who are you, and what are you on about?

A: We are angels sent by god to spread love and save the world. No, seriously (not too much) in a world obsessed with having things, we like to show that real joy is in the simplest of things, like a jumble sale, or eating curry. it's all about nurturing your soul to find contentment. We spend alot of time nurturing our souls. if we can spread that joy to others, make the listener smile, then we've done a good deed that day!

Q: We hear a joyful noise thrashing from my speakers when I load up your tracks and press "play".

A: Job done, then! The tunes we've made so far don't seem easy to categorise, nor fit into an existing genre. Some are a bit punky (Jombal Party), some rock 'n' rolly (VVBUD), and a few pretty melodies (Night Lights). So choose your track to fit your mood, or the mood you want to be elevated to.

Q: What triggers your desire to come up with a song?

A: We have a great time when we are all together writing songs. Generally Mark will come up with a song, then we'll work together on lyrics. We had this old song of Mark's called "new row seas" which was a very rocky number (about neurosis). I suggested we re-use the track but write new lyrics about something completely fluffy & throw away, rather that psychological problems (not so much fun). We pondered on it for some time. One Saturday we went to a jumble sale at tour local village hall. Ani & I were clinging to each other, it was really scary. We felt the need to calm ourselves at the pub on the way home, and the idea struck. We wrote 'Jombal Party' in about 5 minutes, fitting to the old riff of new row seas. It is one of my favourites.

We also write about motorway prostitutes and blow-up sex toys.

Q: John Peel was kind enough to play you, and it's our mutual fascination with the man that got us in contact. With John Peel Day 2007 coming up, what plans do you have to celebrate (beyond the session you've provided us here at Altrok Radio?)

A: We are playing a gig in Kings Cross, London that night, it is a special John Peel evening. Radio 1 are going to feature it on their website. [Confirmed; Huw Stevens even mentioned it on air last night. -Ed.]

Q: And beyond that?

A: We've been offered a place at an international music industry event for new bands, in Manchester. The event was first organised by The Late Great Tony Wilson. After that we will be doing more recording & writing new songs. We have also recorded a christmas song for Cherryade, they liked what we did last year for them, so make sure you buy a copy of 'A Very Cherry Christmas 3' this year. An ideal stocking filler.

Q: What makes you happy, anyway?

CLAIRE: So many things... alcohol, champagne, chocolates from Fortnum and Mason, being in Soho, being in love, being in a band

ANNIE: The usual; meditation, detoxing and healthy living really. HA! No; weird times, weird people and having an unusual working mind.


Many thanks, again, to The Pocket Gods for nudging Altrok Radio to jump start this roller coaster, and then hopping on for the ride.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

John Peel Day, As Observed Here At Altrok Radio

To say that Marcelle Van Der Hoof has some interesting vinyl is to say that water's wet and the sky's blue. The acquisition of quite a bit of that vinyl was often connected in some way to John Peel's guidance, and Marcelle will be sharing stories about those acquisitions (and the tracks themselves) on a special Another Nice Mess, airing tomorrow as part of our celebration of John Peel Day on Altrok Radio (http://www.altrokradio.com). (And many thanks to Marcelle for coming through on such short notice!)

And so, in addition to new session tracks from The Pocket Gods, Persil and Rubicks (and maybe a few others), Peel Session tracks, songs Peel played and (so as not to dwell completely in nostalgia) new songs that somehow fit, Marcelle will spend about an hour with us, too, on a John Peel Day observance that's shaping up rather nicely. And it should be no surprise that, at more than one point, we might play The Fall.

(Other participants are, of course, most welcome to lob something at me by this evening so that I can sequence it in. In advance, thanks!)

It all starts at about 1:30pm Eastern US Time just after the 11:30am Altrok Radio FM Showcase, with Marcelle's program starting at roughly 2pm.

Hope you can join us...in fact, do try to connect in advance, so that any bugs you encounter can be ironed out. See you there!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Altrok Scores Three Asbury Music Award Noms

Top Radio/Internet Station, Top Music Website To Support Live Original Music, and Top Radio Personality. Om Nom Nom Nom.

All seriousness aside, many thanks to the nominating folks at Asbury Music Awards for thinking of Altrok so highly. (That said, the competition's pretty fierce, so I don't think even Simon Cowell's support would save me here...)

Gotcher full details right here...

Altrok Radio Music Update #176

Firstly, the important stuff:

Altrok Radio is at http://www.altrokradio.com

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.

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

This Thursday, we're pulling together a schedule for John Peel Day, as a celebration of his years (and years!) of influence on the music that defines us as "alternative". Bands Peel featured, Peel session tracks as we collect them, and (as of press time) new sessions from bands Peel featured. All subject to the whims of technology, of course, but we'll see what we can pull together...

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.)

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

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:

- The Fiery Furnaces
- New Young Pony Club
- Shut Your Eyes And You'll Burst Into Flames
- Maps
- Mr. Fogg
- Cajun Dance Party

Plus we've got newly-added music:

- David Dondero - Rothko Chapel
- Eulogies - One Man
- Faded Paper Figures - B-Film
- The Goodnight Loving - Land Of 1000 Bars
- Late of the Pier - Bathroom Gurgle
- Le Loup - We Are Gods! We Are Wolves!
- Moving Units - Wrong Again
- Mystery Palace - Nascar Survivor
- Operator Please - Get What You Want
- Rogue Wave - Lake Michigan
- The Rumble Strips - Clouds
- Those Dancing Days - Hitten

Our Newly-Added Classics:

- The B-52's - Summer Of Love (Original Unreleased Mix)
- The Comsat Angels - Will You Stay Tonight
- King - I Kissed The Spikey Fridge
- King Crimson - Sleepless (Dance Mix)
- New Order - Ceremony
- The New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
- The Replacements - Never Mind
- The Sisters Of Mercy - Lucretia My Reflection
- The The - Slow Train To Dawn
- Yello - Bostich

As always, thanks for listening!

- Sean Carolan
Altrok Radio
On your computer right now at http://www.altrokradio.com

On the radio Fridays at 10pm, at 90.5 The Night

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Today & Tomorrow at 3PM: Melody Reunion Replay!

This weekend on Altrok Radio we'll be replaying the two Melody Reunion Replays we've collected this year:

- Saturday, October 6 at 3PM Eastern, it'll be the tracks we heard at The Loop Lounge in Passaic last February 17.

- Sunday, October 7 at 3pm Eastern, it'll be the tracks we heard at The Court Tavern in New Brunswick on September 1.

Each replay is about five hours long, and will repeat continuously through the night.

After that, we'll put the reunions away for a while...'til the next one...

(By the way, November 8 is a very nice date. One you might want to write down. No, really.)

-Sean
Altrok Radio at http://www.altrokradio.com

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Chip...Chip...Chip: Radiohead Chisels Away At Music Industry

Altrok Radio hasn't played a lot of Radiohead, and actually hasn't had to - they're so well represented in so many other forums that we'd rather devote our precious airtime to bands that need the exposure (though the fact that we still have some of their tracks in rotation means we can't see a reason not to play them, either.)

Their most recent maneuver, however, raises their profile (in our worldview, anyway) quite a lot.

In short, with the impending release of their new album, entitled "In Rainbows", they're telling us, "The music matters, but that's not all there is to us." In long form, they're telling us that, next week, we can pay what we like for their music as long as we drop by their site to collect it, and if we truly desire an heirloom-quality keepsake of this phase of their career, we can purchase it directly from them in a form (and at a price) that befits its value to us.

A few other things can be teased out of their logic:
  • If you don't want to pay for their music, they feel no reason to keep it from entertaining you.
  • They also feel no reason to make someone else rich (e.g. the music industry) just because you don't value it enough to pay for it.
  • If you want something of value that's associated with the music, they will provide it. They'll even throw in a little extra music - more as an example of what was judged as less-than-worthy of inclusion in the finished product, than a desire to keep it away from people who wouldn't appreciate it anyway.
  • If you do want the physical object, they don't particularly care how you listen to it; in fact, they'll make it easy for you to play on the player of your choice. (Unless you're an 8-Track, cassette and reel-to-reel aficionado, though if that's you, times are pretty hard all 'round.)
  • They are musicians who create music, and now they are publishers who publish physical objects. The music, however, is not a physical object and should not be treated as one.
It's a grand experiment, and it's one that I hope they'll be successful at. In the meantime, I see no reason not to support their plans fully. Well done.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Altrok Radio Music Update #175

Firstly, the important stuff:

Altrok Radio is at http://www.altrokradio.com

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.

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

Thursdays at 11:30am Eastern (and repeated at 9:00pm), you get to hear Sean Carolan (often referred to in these dispatches as "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.)

Stay tuned for further details on the Melody Replay Weekend this weekend, too...

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


This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:

  • The Alphabetical Order
  • Leeni
  • Tiny Masters Of Today
  • Moving Units
  • Siouxsie
  • Model Horror

Plus we've got newly-added music:

  • 1990s - You Made Me Like It
  • The A Sides - We're The Trees
  • Cajun Dance Party - Amylase
  • The Five O'Clock Heroes - Skin Deep
  • Grammatics - Shadow Committee
  • KMFDM - Looking For Strange
  • Maps - You Dont Know Her Name
  • The Milwaukees - Save Me
  • The Moths - Metropolis
  • Rogue Wave - Like I Needed
  • Paul Weller & Graham Coxon - This Old Town
  • The Young Knives - Terra Firma
  • {satellite-state} - Clockworks

Our Featured Classics:

  • The Chameleons - In Shreds
  • The Church - The Unguarded Moment
  • The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
  • Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive
  • Ian Dury And The Blockheads - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
  • The Jam - Strange Town
  • New Order - Everything's Gone Green
  • The Only Ones - Another Girl Another Planet
  • Radiohead - Knives Out
  • Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun

As always, thanks for listening!

 
Please Look At Our Advertisers (Or The Website Gets It)
Congratulations, you've found the hidden text.
 
Welcome to Altrok.com, also available at AltrokRadio.com and AltrockRadio.com. Here's where the remaining listeners of several fine radio stations have retreated, regrouped, and built a replacement strong enough to stand on its own. It builds on the independent legacy of New Jersey's FM106.3, New York's WPIX and WLIR, Oklahoma's 105.3 The Spy, the pre-buyout mindset of KROQ, WBCN and WHFS and of every other alternative station that was destroyed at a moment's notice - not because they weren't making money, but because there was bigger money to be found elsewhere.
 
We've stood by as truly independent alternative rock radio died. Sure, something called "alternative" took its place, but we know for sure that anything that "tests well" with soccer moms just ain't alternative. (Even if some of us happen to be soccer moms.) So we've taken matters into our own hands.
 
This really is independent alternative rock radio, visible here at Altrok.com and audible at our web radio station. It has the classic music that fired our passions back in the day - or that we maybe only heard about from our elders - but it's mostly made of the new music that does precisely the same for us now. We're paying attention to scenes all over the world, watching the energy build, and waiting to see what it creates. Wherever it happens, we'll make sure you can hear about it here. We've been slowly building all this since 2001, and now that you've noticed us, we're glad you're here.
 
Of course, it's only here because you want it to be here, and it can only stay if you help it along - especially by checking out our advertisers (they support us) and by listening (the more that listen, the more visible we are.) Please use the "feedback" link above to let us know whether it works for you, and what you want it to be as the future unfolds. (And if you need help hearing it, let us know that, too.)