Eclecticism is the hallmark of Freeform at its core. A different DJ every 2 hours, genres spanning geography, time and aesthetics and a diverse cadre of volunteer technicians and tradespeople from nonbinary gender and political affiliation ensure surprises each time listeners tune in. For six months between 2016 & 2017, local video jockey Danny Norton scoured his vinyl record crates for some of his most treasured rarities he cared to share over the airwaves.
But simply possessing the free reign to randomize selections into a playlist would not a good program make. One must possess the will to curate by omission as well as favorited selection. Cream of the crop, not iPod shuffle is the mode for fleshing out longform programming.
Due to daylight savings time, this show was reduced by 30 minutes to split the difference with the prior DJ. Here are 5 stand-out tracks with comments from VJ Norto about their meaning in his record crate.
Homer & Jethro – Roll On Deodorant
Country Hall of Fame inductees and Thinking Man’s Hillbillies Homer & Jethro met at age 16 and received their monikers when WNOX Program Director forgot their names during broadcast. They originally recorded for King Records as session musicians backing other artists, but were sought to support Chet Atkins, Spike Jones and The Cartner Family on tour. Though accomplished jazz musicians in the style of Django Reinhardt, they are best remembered for television appearances on Hee-Haw and The Johnny Cash Show.
Siouxsie & The Banshees – Catwalk, Polydor/Geffen 1988
This B-side to the 12″ single “Peek-a-Boo” is a hiccupy, upbeat instrumental production. Hard to drum up exposition on this one, but I really like it, largely because it sounds as if it could be at home on the same year’s Pixies full-length debut Surfer Rosa.
Time Zone – World Destruction (Meltdown Mix), Celluloid Records 1984
The unlikely pairing of Sex Pistols’ Johnny Lydon and Soul Sonic Force’s Afrika Bambaataa gets run through the Bill Laswell filter. Laswell’s pet concept is collision music, bringing together wildly divergent but complementary musicians. He also lent bass and drum machine programming to the original mix. Guest musicians include Bernie Worell. The track peaked at #44 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1985, but made history as an early rap-rock collaboration, predating Run DMC and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”
Temple City Kazoo Orchestra – Miss You, Rhino Records 1978
This Rolling Stones cover features no drums, bass or guitar, just voicebox vibration and wax paper. Kind-of like listening to Rolling Stones through an old factory car stereo.
Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited – Funky Planet, Dionysus Records 1998
Swiss instrumentalists Ernest Maeschi and Karen Diblitz own Spooky Sound record store in Zürich and got in on the end of the surf & space age/exotica cocktail music scene back when more people purchased physical media.To hear the complete program back-to-back, check out VJ Norto on Mixcloud Jesuit Bit My Hotdog March 12, 2017
Danny Norton founded Eye Candy VJs’ all-request mobile music video museum in 2006, an alternative to audio-only DJ fare. His library and mixology have been showcased at Project Pabst, Barfly Bus New Years, Rose City Rollers & Bridgetown Comedy afterparties, wedding receptions and was Willamette Week Best of Portland pick in 2010. See and hear his multimedia library Monday nights at Kelly’s Olympian, Wednesday nights at Firkin Tavern, and frequent guest appearances at Dig a Pony and The Know. Event schedule at http://eyecandyvjs.com