The story of the RADIO SETS

(Jerry Kranitz of Aural Innovations contacted me for some information regarding the radio sets for an article he was doing on PB. It had never occurred to me that nowhere on the site had I made clear what they were. Here is the letter explaining all.)


It occurs to me now (duh!!!) that I should probably put up a page explaining what the radio sets were. Here's the skinny.

Kenny Ryman used to get Option magazine, which as you may recall had a section in the back for radio stations, indie distributors, all sorts of useful networking and contact info. We used it frequently to find places to send our early indie cassettes. At this point we were recording all our rehearsals to 4-track reels (the very same set up used to record Ticket To Trauma and Night Circus). We were also playing frequently up at KXLU. It bothered us that we weren't financially in a position to tour. So it occurred to me that if we recorded sets of music just for certain radio shows around the world, used their call letters and made announcements in between rotations, that we could kind of do a "radio tour". I thought some of the places already playing us would definitely go for it, and they did, in fact a couple of them asked for more. Most places got a half hour show, a few got an hour, depending on what they thought they could use. The sets were mixed down to cassette and then sent to the DJ for use exclusively on their show- the music was never to be used in any other way, that was part of the selling point. We thought that made it more authentic, as if we'd really gone there and played new music.

When we got ripped off by MPPA (when we were first trying to put out Ticket To Trauma ourselves), we sent around a letter asking the radio stations to trade sets, since we knew it was going to be a while before we were able to present them a new album. Most of them did it. This gave them new music and kept our names going without new product.

With everybody's permission (we had promised them exclusivity), we then put together a "best of" radio set tape called "Airwave Rituals". I currently don't have a copy of this so it's not covered properly on the site. (That should be changing soon.) We were about to start dubbing copies and sending this out when SST stepped in and signed us. So it never got much in the way of distribution.

The radio set idea was one of the things that Greg Ginn apparently liked about us, and he thought that we should continue doing that. So every time we went into the studio to record an album, we did a bunch of radio sets too. Eventually there were...36? Somewhere around there.

I think some of our radio sets are better than some of our albums, and we hope one day to start releasing these. But they were really never out there for public consumption, other than local broadcast.

Long answer, but hopefully this tells you what you wanted to know.

take care,



Thanks to the archiving skills of George Radai, I was later able to consult the Book of Bag and discover that there were actually 26 radio sets in all. Each show was also named, though the pieces played were not. Here is the complete list (title/recorded for/date, if available):

1. Magisch Theatre Meltdown / Antwerp, Belgium/ 5-31-86

2. New Trends In Milking/ KUOI, Moscow, ID

3. Requiem Fer Yer Booty/ KKUP, Cupertino, CA/ 6-13-86

4. Carpet Of Worms/ CFUV, Victoria, Canada

5. If It Ain't Country, It Ain't Music/ KGNU, Boulder, CO

6. It Is Your Head You Should Be Banging/ WZBC, Boston, MA/ 9-13-86

7. Reptile Clergy/ KZSC, Santa Cruz, CA

8. Republican Money/ WFMU, E. Orange, NJ/ 5-24-87

9. Like An Icepick Thru Your Brain!/ WBAU, Garden City, NY

10. Druid Fetish/ WFCS, New Britain, CT

11. Hot Blast Of Air/ WEOS, Geneva, NY

12. Not Blood...Sacrifice/ WUVT, Blacksburg, VA

13. Stanger Than Fiction/ KGNU, Boulder, CO

14. Rebel Exam/ KALX, Berkeley, CA

15. Grease The Geese!/ CFUV, Victoria, Canada

16. Bone Fibre Crunchy/ KSCU, Santa Clara, CA

17. In Your Face/ WBRS, Waltham, MA

18. Pain Is Your Friend/ WEFT, Champaign, IL

19. Sonic Porno/ WARC, Meadville, PA

20. Vomit, Rats & Flies/ KUOI, Moscow, ID

21. Snide Slobs/ KCSU, Fort Collins, CO

22. Pseudonyms For Fish/ WZBC, Boston, MA

23. Nuclear Drain-O/ WMCX, W. Long Branch, NJ

24. Dead People Eat Pork/ WUSF, Tampa, FL

25. Oh, Heavenly Bouffant/ KDVS, Davis, CA

26. You're Beautiful Baby, Don't Change, Let's Do Lunch/ WWUH, W. Hartford, CT

The first 7 sets were done at Humphrey's studio on 4-track reel-to-reel, with the same set-up used to record the early tapes, Ticket To Trauma, and Night Circus. The remainder were done at Spinhead studios (on 2-track DAT, if I recall correctly), during the sessions for "A Land Without Fences" and "Music To Trash".