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1959-2009: 50 YEARS OF WTUL
The Uncontrollable Urges Issue
A Publication of:
• Top Ten Mad Musicians • Interview with Uke of Spaces • Tom Connor deletes 101 Facebook Friends in Deleting the Social Contract
WTUL’s 2009 Special Gift Catalog
WTUL New Oreans 91.5 FM is New Orleans’ only free-form non-commercial radio station. We’ve counted on you for 50 years to make donations.
Make a Donation to WTUL. Get a gift. Your donation helps to keep WTUL going. The more you donate the more you receive. Get the total package of everything WTUL for only $150.
(donate at least $50.00 to be eligible for this gift +
Our annual local compilation - this year featuring: Clint Maedgen + 9, Good Guys, Impenus, Spickle, Good Guys, One Man Machine and more!!
WTUL Songs from the Basement,Vol. 7 Compilation CD
(Donate at least $25.00 for this gift)
This year’s Marathon t-shirt reflects 50 years of WTUL and is on an asphalt colored American Apparel t-shirt
WTUL 2009 Marathon T-shirt
(donate at least $100.00 for this gift + marathon t-shit + compilation CD) WTUL Old School Block Logo White Logo on Blue T-shirt
(donate at least $150.00 for this gift + old school block logo shirt + marathon t-shit + compilation CD) WTUL Looking Back on 50 years Coffee Table Book Photos, stories, etc. collected from alum and current WTUL staff compiled in full color 7x7 coffee table book
All orders over $50 will also receive WTUL buttons and bottle openers
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Please send to:
The Vox WTUL New Orleans 91.5 FM Tulane University Box 5069 New Orleans, LA 70118
Or Donate online @ wtulneworleans.com
Letter from the General Manager
Dear Vox Readers – WTUL is a slow moving beast of a machine. It’s always lumbering on, but not always at the right speed. This year however WTUL will be lumbering right into some of your favorite venues and partnering with other projects around the city to bring you more of the progressive radio you crave. We presented …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead at the Republic, we’ll be working with One Eyed Jacks to bring you such shows as Telefon Tel Aviv, and Japandriods. We’re also bringing Wavves for your listening pleasure! If there is a concert or festival in town, we want to be there right along side of you. If you love WTUL, than come out to these shows! Maybe you’ll finally meet that elusive Hunter who does the surf show, or you have desperately wanted to drop off your cd. This is your chance! Come be a part of your local community radio station. This year, we’ll be coming out before Marathon. So watch out. Patrick Townsend General Manager WTUL New Orleans 91.5fm
Andrew Bizer, Attorney at Law Fresco New Orleans 8th Annual Book Fair The Mushroom SLAP
Stacey Balkun Tom Connor Deborah Dixon DJ Babybat
Letter from the Editor
Ray “Moose” Jackson
Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Tumblr…all forms of communication at your fingertips. This is the way of the future so called “media experts” tell us. But I find there is nothing like going for a cup of good coffee at your local coffee shop and stumbling across an interesting publication that can’t be done anywhere else. This is why I still do the VOX in print rather than shut down our print publication and open up a blog account – I want the individual reader to come across the VOX’s interesting individual voices that are unlikely to be heard anywhere else. Although the production of the VOX is often a painful and frustrating process, the feeling I get when I get to the printer and pull the first copy off a stack is immeasurable. So as
you sit there and drink your coffee, or eat you lunch, or watch your wife/husband shop please realize that holding this singular issue of the VOX in your hand is a moment you won’t ever have back. Thanks for picking us up. Oh, and if you would like to meet the VOX editorial staff in person. Assistant editor Mynra L. Enamorado’s books will be on display at the Babylon Lexicon show at Yuki on November 7th and I will be manning the WTUL table, and selling the WTUL coffee table book, at the New Orleans 8th Annual Bookfair, November 7th (see ad page 6). - Kyle B.
Robert Kuhn Brian Zeigler
Assistant Editor Editor-in-Chief
Myrna L. Enamorado
In the Summer issue of the VOX the “Rat Hair” artwork on the cover was the work of Otto Splotch, not Myrna Enamorado as it was credited.
WTUL New Orleans, 91.5 FM Tulane University New Orleans, LA 70118-5555
Office: (504) 865-5885 Studio: (504) 865-5887 www.wtulneworleans.com email@example.com
Tells us what you think. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Cover Design by Myrna Enamorado from her book Awaken by the Light of the Morning.)
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Table of Contents
10 - MyBestMixCD
by DJ BabyBat
3 - Letters from the General Manager and Editor - List of Contributors 5 - Top 10 Mad Musicians
by Myrna L. Enamorado
11 - What’s that Smell?
by Kyle Barnett
14 - Becoming a Traitor
by Stacy Balkun
6 - “Lead Us Not Into Temptation...”
by Deborah Dixon
Neurosis at its Finest
by Robert Kuhn
7 - Interview with Uke of Spaces
by Myrna L. Enamorado
15 - Bitter Ink (cartoon) Local Artwork
9 - Deleting the Social Contract
by Tom Connor
by Ray “Moose” Jackson & Brian Zeigler
TOP TEN MAD MUSICIANS
10. Townes Van Zandt (b. 3/7/44- d. 1/1/97) – Manic Depressive. Underwent insulin shock therapy which erased his long term memory. He abused heroin and alcohol. Sometimes on stage he was so drunk, he forgot the words to his songs. Besides shooting up heroin, he also shot up cocaine and rum and coke. He heard voices. Played beautifully mellow music. 9. Wesley Willis (b. 5/31/63- d. 8/21/03) —Schizophrenic artist and musician. Greeted people with a head butt. Tried to stay out of prison by “not hitting people in the streets with bricks.” Played extremely bizarre songs about popular culture. 8. Daniel Johnston (b. 1/22/61) (pictured to the left) – Bipolar Artist and Musician. Once convinced a woman to let him into her apartment and pushed her out of her window. Plays innocently childlike songs about Satan and unrequited love.
by Myrna L. Enamorado
3. Phil Spector (b. 12/26/39) — Bipolar producer and recording artist. Once threatened Leonard Cohen with a crossbow. Also held up the Ramones with a gun so they wouldn’t leave his home. Convicted of killing a woman in his home and is currently in jail for that. Produced many girl groups in the 60s including the Ronettes. 2.. Keith Moon (b. 8/23/46- d. 9/7/78) — a.k.a. Moon the Loon. Was called “Retarded artistically. Idiotic in other respects,” by an early teacher. His wife married his roommate, Ian from the Faces one month after he died. Destroyed so many hotels he was banned from many of them around the world including Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Hilton Hotels, and The Waldorf Astoria. Also destroyed his friends homes and threw his own furniture out of high windows. Most notorious for flushing explosives down the toilet total costs estimating $500,000. Played with one of the best rock and roll bands of all time, The Who.
1. GG Allin (b. 8/29/56- d. 6/28/93) (pictured to the right)— Borderline Personality Disorder and bipolar. Known for extreme antics 7. Brian Wilson on stage where he (b. 6/20/42)—Cocaine defecated and rolled user. Diagnosed as Schizoaffective. Detached in his feces. Also ate excrement and from people. He underwent therapy that secluded injured himself while performing. him from his family and his therapist went on to lose her license. Plays beautifully lush wall of sound compositions, and uses his voice as the most Once raped and beautiful instrument in the Beach Boys and in a solo career. His daughters tortured a female acquaintance. He also play beautiful music with gifted voices as Wilson-Phillips. cut her, burned her, and drank her blood. 6. Axl Rose (b. 2/6/62) —Abused as a child. Once bit a hotel security Played crazy punk rock. guard’s leg in Stockholm and broke a lobby mirror while drunk. Incited several riots during his performances. Plays angst ridden loud rock and In her book, Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic epic ballads with Guns and Roses. Temperament, Kay Redfield Jamison describes the link between insan5. Roky Erikson (b. 7/15/47) —Schizophrenic who pleaded insanity when ity and art by doing in depth character sketches of composers, authors, and artists who suffered from manic depression, most of whom are now caught with a joint and consequently endured electroshock treatment. He spent hours poring over junk mail and wrote to solicitors and dead celebri- dead artists including Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Vincent ties. He also picked up his neighbor’s mail and taped it to the walls of his Van Gogh. There have been many retrospectives of great artists who had mental diagnoses in museums around the world including the American room leading to a charge of mail theft. Plays great quirky music with the Folk Art Museums who featured the works of Henry Darger and Martin 13th Floor Elevators and has an extensive solo career. Ramirez. It seems that in some cases the crazier you are the more famous 4. Syd Barrett (b. 1/6/46- d. 7/7/06) —Schizophrenic abstract painter and you become. After all a tragic story lends itself to the stuff of legend. In this short list, you learned about the wildness that comes with a musician’s former member of Pink Floyd who also had a solo career. Once kept his lifestyle and the crazy things creative people are sometimes known to do. girlfriend under lock and key for 3 days and fed her biscuits under the These are extreme cases and it is not to say that all artists are crazy, only door. Beat another girlfriend with a mandolin. Spent his final years as a recluse in his Cambridge home. Played epic stoner rock in Pink Floyd and some of my favorite ones. I hope it will challenge the stigma that mental disorders carry in society by recalling the names of these musical geniusechoey amazingly written songs in his solo career. es.
“Lead Us Not Into Temptation...”
Another Journey Into the Alarmingly Random Mind of Deborah “Lady Iyann” Dixon
I think I know a little about temptation. I’ve been tempted far more times than I care to admit, being a fairly devout Christian. The difference being, I am a very odd person, and so have very odd obsessions. Interested? Read on, dear reader; venture with me into my den of iniquity. Sugar. My boss once hypothesized that if sugar had just been discovered today, it would be a controlled substance. I’m sure several of my fellow DJs have seen me walking around with a bag of Skittles or Fruit Gummies. Ah, sugar, you underappreciated, marvelous muse, representing all that is good and worthy in this world! Unfortunately, dear reader, my days of Skittle hoarding are over. My doctors have placed me on a strict hypoglycemic diet. No pure sugars; no foods with high glycemic indexes- white bread, french fries, and Cheerios, to name a few. (Another former addiction: those Honey Nut Os of joy.) Jealousy gleams in my eyes as I watch my friends down Butterfingers and Cokes with such youthful abandon, while I pick at yet another bowl of Kashi sticks ‘n’ stones and a glass of unsweetened iced tea (which really, really ticks off my British sensibilities). What else? I am also extremely, woefully, and irreversibly obsessed with the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff. (Yes, I am a Classical dork; you knew this.) Also on my list of obsessions are John Coltrane, Hugh Jackman, Keri Hilson, a duck named Lewis, getting mail, bodies of water, stuffed animals, fuzzy things, purple things, and fuzzy and purple things. But why are you frowning, dear reader? (I can see you.) Oh, you wanted to read something juicier? I guess I’m just not that exciting a person- I have no stories of criminal mastery or sexual audacity to tell. Though I will admit that there is a DJ at the station whose voice sends chills up my spine and makes me think naughty things. But that is neither here nor anywhere else. I suppose I should make some sort of speech about how resisting temptation helps me lead a healthier, less stressful life. Well, the truth is, I am healthier, but life without sugar sucks. Life without a certain person is going to suck. Which is why I’m hanging on to Rachmaninoff and my other harmless addictions like I’ll never have them again. What is a guilty pleasure, anyway? Should I feel guilty for constantly playing Rachmaninoff pieces on Morning Mood, even if I (and my listeners) gain happiness from it? Now, I am NOT saying you need to jump in bed (or wherever you like it) with the girl or guy of your dreams and have wild and passionate unprotected sex with her or him, like my upstairs neighbors are apparently doing. What I am saying is that there is a fine line that everyone should define. On one side are the acceptable things, like gloriously fuzzy stuffed hippos. On the other are the harmful ones. Whether they are worth the risk is up to you. Personally, I don’t feel like going into an insulin-induced coma, so while I will continue to lust after those blissful Cheerios, I’ll make do with those offbrand shredded oats. If I concentrate hard enough, they almost taste like my cherished honeyed Os. Almost.
Hi Amy, Hi Dan,
Uke Of Spaces
by Myrna L. Enamorado
hosted potlucks every Friday, and people would bring stringed instruments and take turns teaching everyone else their songs. My mom used to write songs on the dulcimer, with lyrics about her life and family. She recorded two full-length cassettes in ’79 and ’81. So I would say playing and singing folk music comes naturally, but I do think of the kinds of punk and noise music we play as folk music. We’ve learned to play from our friends and family and from experimentation. Our bands, no matter how noisy, have all had plenty of singing, with lyrics about our experiences and perceptions. 4. What genre do you feel best represents your musical background and the feelings you try to convey? DB- Gutter Country, or I suppose now more appropriately, Septic Country, or Watershed Country. Maybe Neo-Pagan Martian Folk, or even Now-Pregnant Folk! 5. Do you feel like your sound has changed since you moved from New Orleans to Maine? DB- Yes, I suppose it has. Since moving away from New Orleans 3 years ago we have played 100 some shows, and recorded 3 albums. So things have changed just because of that. Also, I think sound wise we’ve stretched out a bit. The songs are longer and there is more room for things to open up. AMOS- We have made more time and space to focus on our voices. We have been getting better at writing and singing vocal harmonies. So maybe our sound is becoming more harmonious. 6. You recently got married and are expecting your first child. Congratulations! Did you fall in love after playing music together for some time or did the romance come first?
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview for the Vox. I really love your music, and I remember the first time I ever saw you play at Nowe Miasto and I thought Amy had the most beautiful voice I had ever heard. Then, my friend Cassandra interviewed you two on her radio show and you sang Let’s Go, so I feel like your music has really been represented in this city and definitely on WTUL. DB: Dan Beckman AMOS: Amy Moon O-S 1. Do you ever feel any uncontrollable urges to do something that you cannot control? AMOS- I would say that both getting pregnant and deciding to have a natural birth at home arise from “uncontrollable urges to do things that I can not control,” DB- The urge to jump off a tall rock into crashing waves, in the winter. AMOS- I like performing unwritten songs, DB- I like the parts in playing music where things are out of control, AMOS- When you have to work through stuff immediately, no setting it aside for later. 2. What are all the names that Uke of Spaces has recorded under? DB- Uke of Phillips, Uke Off Phillips, Brother Ballads, Uke of Phillips, Full Gallop #9. AMOS- (Uke of) Spaces Corners County, Uke of Spaces Corners, UKOP, UOP? DB- That’s probably enough. 3. You both played with other groups that have a
distinctly different sound than Uke of Spaces like Impractical Cockpit and BeastHead. Is it more natural for you to go for the noise or what led you to use this folk outlet? DB- Uke of Phillips started about the same time that I.P.C.P. did, about 11 years ago. Uke has
mostly been a way for me to consistently do music, while Impractical Cockpit has always taken months or years off from playing formally as a band. Whereas I.P.C.P. was our take on punk, Uke is our take on folk music, so I’d say the noise aspects in the Uke stuff are more subtle or subdued. In music and in my life in general I prefer an element of chaos or randomness to be at play most of the time, so I’d say it is natural for me to go for the noise, whatever the creative outlet may be. Long live Eris, the goddess of discord.
AMOS- Our friendship started in New Orleans AMOS- I grew up around folk music. My parents around Halloween of 2000 through connecting
about music. We played together occasionally for half a year before we realized that we were falling in love with each other. DB- Although we individually had quite a bit of experience singing before meeting each other, I’d say we really started to find our voices singing together on Harmony Street in the Irish Channel off of Tchoupitoulas, around the fall of 2002. 7. Could you tell us why you chose to release your records with Corleone as opposed to any other labels? DB- Corleone has been very supportive of everything our band has done for the past 4 years. We have a great relationship with Brian, he’s been a great friend and collaborator. He also does a really good job of getting our music out to places that we might not be able to reach, as Corleone is distributed by Caroline. He is down with us working with other labels too. Since working with Corleone we have released records on our own label, Turned Word, as well as with Friends and Relatives, Isle of Mann, Don’t Trust the Ruin, Bring Back the Magic, and Goaty Tapes. 8. Dan, you also started the Trd Ward label that operates out of your home in Maine, what kind of music do you represent and what are some of the artists on that label? AMOS- Really our whole household runs the label. DB- Amy, Andy Neubauer, and I actually started Trd Ward Records in New Orleans in 2002. Since moving to Maine we changed the name to TURNED WORD RECORDS. We primarily release Cassettes and LP s of experimental Folk, Noise, and Plunger Punk. We’ve done 5 LP s for Impractical Cockpit, a Johnny Corndawg record, The Shep and Me LP, 3 Uke of Spaces records, the new Bone Rattle LP, 2 Flak Mask records, and a few others like County Z, Group B, and an endless stream of cassette releases including BeastHead and Sword of the Ancient. Coming out soon is an LP by Drew Ryan- C-Section 8, from New Orleans which we’re all really psyched about. We just released a new Impractical Cockpit LP called “FACILIDAD,”, which I think is one of the most interesting records Impractical Cockpit has released to date. 9. Where can your fans find your music in New Orleans?
DB- Best place to find our music in New Orleans on LP and cassette is Domino Sound Record Shack. AMOS- Domino Sound Record Shack on Bayou Road is one of the best record stores in the world.
mental health as playing music is. When I don’t draw daily, I get irritable and lose my sense of self. Making marks on paper is endlessly entertaining for me. Drawing allows me to delve unselfconsciously into my own subconscious. I am often surprised by what I find. Most of my drawings stay in books and piles in my room, but I do publish some drawings with our band’s releases and in my own little booklets. DB- Ultimately, all kinds of personal expression are extremely important. I grew up in a pretty repressed culture where people who expressed themselves creatively were mostly considered to be selfish or in need of attention and cast in a negative light because of this behavior, which I think is pretty sad. Everyone deserves to have a voice in this world and I think that art and music are great communication tools. Not to say that I always like what everyone has to say. 11. What’s coming up next for Uke of Spaces? AMOS- This week we are recording some songs with our roommates Andy Neubauer and Caethua up in my room. DB- I like to think of our next album as a long term project. We plan to record it all at home and all analog. As we get batches of 2 or 3 songs together, we’ll record them. I suppose an album will surface about this time next year, but we don’t want to rush the process at all. AMOS- Starting two weeks ago, we are taking a break from performing to write new songs, record, and to have a baby. I have no idea what this kid will be like but we are hoping to continue doing short tours soon. DB- Coming up in the next few months Domino Sound Records of New Orleans will be partnering up with Mississippi records of Portland, OR to re- release our first LP Peppermint Bird House Tea Shanty Shack in an edition of 500 records.
DB- Hear ye! 10. You both also work for Waterfall Arts Gallery in Maine. Does art play as much a role in your lives as music? DB- I like making paintings and setting them on fire! I get frustrated with “the art world.” AMOS- Making visual art is as essential for my
12. Any parting words? DB- Much love to our friends and family in New Orleans, the greatest city in the US. AMOS- I love Rose McBurney. DB- Check out her paintings, she produces incredible work! Oh yeah, check out our new CD/ LP on Corleone Records titled, “ Flowers in the Night,” we’re really happy with how it turned out.
Deleting the Social Contract: A Young Man’s Trial and Triumph when Tasked with Deleting 101 Facebook Friends
by Tom Connor
Ironically, the basis for this project came from Facebook itself when a buddy of mine pointed out that, with over 400 people on my “friends list”, there was no way I was actually “friends” with all of them. This had never occurred to me before, but it did make sense: I knew I was friends with a lot of people I don’t talk to regularly and probably even a few I don’t talk to at all, so tidying up seemed like a good idea. After all, what benefit is there in keeping someone if they aren’t an actual friend? Aside from that, there was the appeal of going against the grain and fighting what seemed to be the meaningless digital social connections I’d collected since Facebook came to Tulane in 2003. I was never into collecting baseball cards, and keeping people on my friends list whom I don’t really care about seems like it’s in the same realm, so with that in mind I sat down to see if I could get rid of 101 friends, or about 25% of the list. I approached the first round of friend removal with a plan – it seemed that the easiest thing to start out with would be to simply go through my friends list and clear out people who I really didn’t care about anyway and, with any luck, that would knock out a majority. Things went smoothly from the beginning. I found two friends who each have two profiles for some reason, so for each I picked one and got rid of it. Along with those were two guys from high school I hadn’t spoken to since 2003 and Really-HotGirl –I-Used-to-Ride-the-Bus-With (since if I was going to get a date with her it would have happened by now). Moving further down, I deleted two guys with the same name (who wants to keep track of that?) and TA-from-My-7th-Grade-EnglishClass (for no other reason than that his name is impossible to pronounce). My life was feeling simpler already! Still, I ran into a problem when I reached the end of the list: I had only deleted 16 people. It was apparent that my original estimation of the ease of this operation was not entirely realistic. I decided to start over, from the top, a decision which drastically changed the tone of what I was doing by making it a sobering exercise in acceptance. Since I had already deleted all of the obvious choices, I was left only with people that I at one time had some level of fondness for. Still, I was already into the process and couldn’t just stop. I had to choose someone, so I got back to work and focused on those whom I may have wanted to keep originally, but hadn’t spoken to in a long time. It started with several former acquaintances, including Girl-Who-Was-Cool-Until-She-Went-Off-the-Deep-Endwith-Her-Sorority, Coworker-Who-Stopped-Talking-to-Anyone-After-She-Started-Med-School, and a Rockabilly-ChickI-Ate-Lunch-With-a-Few-Times-During-Katrina. I clicked the gray X next to a few exes of friends as well, and a few girls I’d had less than platonic relationships with too: specifically, GirlI-Made-Out-With-by-a-Christmas-Tree, and Girl-Who-GotReally-Drunk-and-Wanted-All-Her-Friends-to-See-Her-Naked. Call me crazy, but I feel like once you’ve seen someone naked or had your tongue in her mouth while standing within eight feet of a nativity scene a Facebook friend request is just common courtesy, like a kind of digital chivalry, or a tip you give a waitress. Anyway, after those fine ladies I also removed FriendWho-Got-Way-Too-Far-Into-Drugs along with FrighteninglyReligious-High-School-Friend. Name after name scrolled by, and each time I saw someone I no longer had an IRL connection with I deleted them, giving me a little pang of regret. I don’t know why – I wasn’t actually losing anything appreciable in my day-to-day life, but I think that little pinprick was a result of admitting to myself that, though I may have liked a given person, the fact is that our entire relationship today exists via a Facebook database and they probably won’t notice I deleted them anyway. On some level, this is what my friend was referring to originally, and after deleting around 20 more people I was ready to admit he was right. Still, there was a bright side: the connection I had with these people was gone so I had deleted them instead of using Facebook as a conduit to re-establish that connection, or at least look at their page and see what they’ve been up to. My first reaction was to terminate the connection instead of going through the motions of re-establishing it, and I was elated to realize I had discovered the internet equivalent of pretending not to see someone in public. With about 65 people left to delete, however, things got harder still as I entered into a bizarre calculus as to who should stay or go. As I started back at the top of my list, deleting people was no longer a matter of breezing through and getting rid of those that met a certain criteria, but more like putting together a softball team consisting of people I don’t talk to that often – a group which still had a pretty strong showing on my friends list. Should I get rid of Girlfriend’s-Cousin-Whom-I’ve-NeverActually-Met, or should I keep her and get rid Awkwardly-SelfDepreciating-Girl-Who-Makes-Terrible-Life-Decisions? Maybe keep them both and nix WTUL-DJ-Who-Carried-a-BlanketAround-With-Her-All-the-Time (what the hell was that about, anyway)? Who’s worth more to me as a virtual friend? I kept the girlfriend’s cousin for relationship political reasons, but got rid of the other three. I felt like that sort of balanced things out. Tall-Guy-I-Sat-Behind-In-Physics or Blonde-Girl-Who-WasMarried-Before-College-Even-Ended? Friend’s-Ex-Girlfriend or Coworker-Who-Used-Her-Breasts-as-a-Cupholder? The decisions were tough, but soon I noticed that certain names brought up oddly visceral reactions, and after a short time I realized why. Although I’d never noticed before, there were people on my friends list I didn’t even like. The next step became clear. Ardent-Supporter-of-Proposition 8 was the first on the chopping block (screw that guy), followed shortly by Guy-WhoClaims-to-be-a-Contractor-but-is-Really-Just-Unemployed. Sarcastic-Bitch-from-my-Shakespeare-Class was gone as soon as I saw her name pop up, as was Irritating-Wino-WhoScrewed-a-Mutual-Friend-Out-of-Rent-Money. After those deletions I relished in the removal of Classmate-Whose-OnlyAmbition-in-Life-Was-to-Become-a-Housewife (who the hell goes to college for that?). Suddenly the difficulty was gone. I was really starting to wonder why the hell I was friends with some of these people. An interesting new aspect had introduced itself – the schadenfreude that came with the deletion of people that I didn’t like was delicious and any tinge of regret I had felt before surrendered to the shallow feeling of my own social power. It no longer felt as if I was breaking some ephemeral link, but rather I was deeming people unworthy of my digital company and dismissing them. By the time I reached the end of the list for the third time I was the doorman to my own awesome online party, even if that party consisted largely of me sitting quietly in front of my computer in my boxers with a smug little grin. After resting for a few days, I relapsed somewhat when I stumbled across a good friend from elementary school and sent him a friend request. I guess that sort of defeated the purpose of the whole thing: after all, I should have been deleting, not adding, but beyond that in the back of my mind laid the nagging knowledge that I would probably just end up forgetting he was on there anyway. On some level the happiness of having reconnected with someone overpowers all that. It’s what Facebook is based on: even though I haven’t spoken to this guy in years, I was genuinely happy to have found him and to see what he was up to. I still had to proceed with the removals, however, so I opened up my friends list and got started. Not many people of note left the list at first; just more former coworkers, RA-from-Freshman-Year, and Lush-Who-Enjoys-Graphically-Describing-theVivisection-of-Rats, among others. I suppose I could be melodramatic and claim that with the ego boost from the other night I had somehow numbed to the fact I was facing how many atrophied connections make up my friends list, but the truth is that the ease I found was born of a realization I had during my break: since most of these people probably wouldn’t notice I had deleted them, I could always just re-friend them later and they wouldn’t know the difference. That emboldened me, but at the same time it made me feel sort of like a drug addict trying to quit by deleting his dealer’s number from his phone even though it’s tattooed on his forehead. What I had done could easily be undone, and more than likely would be. As an aside, during this time I also noticed that a few people I swear I deleted earlier were back on my friends list, which introduced two disturbing possibilities: either I had been sleepwalking over to my laptop and re-friending people in the night or Facebook had become conscious of what I was doing and was trying to stop me for its own nefarious and disturbingly unclear reasons. I can’t be sure which, but I unplugged my modem before I went to bed, just in case. The next day I sat down to finish the deleting, having taken out a total of 83 people since the start, but I failed to see the point and simply stopped. The social connection that exists between the names on my friends list and I is elastic to the point that my public acknowledgement of its presence isn’t necessary. Even if I remove the link, the new social contract is flexible such that I can come back at any time. I can get rid of Friend’s-FormerRoomate-With-a-Really-Weird-Nose today, but if I go back and re-friend her later, the only real requirement of her accepting is that she recognizes my name. It doesn’t matter that we don’t have any commonality now, we’ll always have Facebook, and it’s not my friends list that’s trivial, it’s my denial of the way things are. And beyond that, I’ve realized I’m genuinely interested in the people left on my friends list. It really might be fun to look back on later, not just to see who has married whom and who had kids and who vacationed where, but because however trivial the connection between myself and a person is now, it was significant at some point, and my removal of that person (essentially the tacit denial that the connection existed) doesn’t change the fact it was there, and does even less to change the fact I can un-deny it at any point. My social rebellion has gone down in flames before my eyes. In the end I had to just accept Facebook for what it is – a giant, constantly updated yearbook that I might as well just enjoy. That’s not to say I trust it though, because I can’t forget those people just showing back up on my list – that shit’s just creepy.
MyBestMixCD: Growing Up At WTUL
by DJ BabyBat
WTUL has always been a part of my life. I’ve been a DJ on WTUL with my dad from the time I was born until I first had my own show in Spring 2007. This rather short Mix CD is filled with songs I first heard in the original WTUL basement studio and I’ve loved throughout my life. World Cup Fever by Air Miami – This song was released in 1994 most likely as a tribute to the World Cup held in the United States that same year. I still like it now but the repetitive “She’s got it – world cup fever” lyric drives me nuts. Song Against Sex by Neutral Milk Hotel – Released in 1996, this song is off their album “On Avery Island”. The Avery Island they’re referring to is, of course, the island in Louisiana where Tabasco is made. I love this song now because of the somewhat depressing lyrics set to upbeat music. I don’t remember why I liked it as a child but it probably had something to do with the lyric “kissing foreign fishes.”
While I’m Still Young by Death By Chocolate – The ridiculously catchy lyrics and tune of this song was the hook. I love this song now because it sounds like it belongs in the sixties but the album came out in 2002. This was one of the last songs I heard in the original basement before they started construction on it. On Parade by Electrelane – My father got a Boston Terrier named Nibbles in 2003 and when we would go to the station we’d take the dog with us. One day we noticed this particular song caused the dog to turn her head constantly with the music. At the time I loved the song for the reaction the dog had to it but now Electrelane is one of my favorite bands. Sadie by Alkaline Trio – By the time I heard this song I was old enough to read into lyrics. This was released in 2005, right after I had just ended an obsession with cults. This song is about Susan Atkins who took place in the Manson Family murders in the 1960s. This song singlehandedly turned my fascination with the Manson cult to disgust at what they had done.
Little Babies by Sleater-Kinney – I used to walk around the house singing “Rock the little babies with one two three yeah”. I liked the song then because of the chorus. The chorus is still the main appeal today.
No Children by The Mountain Goats – This was the first song I got hooked on after we moved back into the basement. I was a few years late on this one as it first came out in 2002. I like this because in many ways it mirrors much of what I saw in the relationships of adults around me as a child.
If you would like your best MixCD featured in the next issue of the VOX please send the playlist with brief descriptions of the tracks/artists in the above style to email@example.com or to: the VOX WTUL New Orleans, 91.5 FM Tulane University New Orleans, LA 70118-5555 Offfice: (504) 865-5885
The Equator by Tortoise – It still baffles me how I liked this as a child. Again, not sure what the appeal was but it was probably had something to do with my father’s obsession with the band. This reminds me of space elevator music.
You can see this issue of the VOX and past issues on our website at wtul.fm
What’s that Smell? by Kyle Barnett
In the Fall of 2007 I was trying to get my first job in New Orleans. I was nervous because it was my first real job interview following graduation. I woke up early the morning and took a long shower, scrupulously washing every part of my body. I brushed my teeth a little extra, I combed my only suit, and looked in the mirror to make sure there was not a part of my appearance that wasn’t out of place. It was raining outside, one of those early tropical Fall squalls that run through the area. When it was finally time to go, I walked out the front door and stepped straight into a rain soaked pile of dog feces. Preoccupied with thoughts of the interview, I didn’t notice my mishap until I was already in the car heading to the interview, too late to turn back. This was an important moment for me, I thought; as I wiped the dog leavings off the bottom of my dress shoes with a leftover napkin from a fast food restaurant. After getting as much of it off my shoe as possible, I walked into the boardroom, which was ringed with a panel of career journalists. I gave one of the most horrible interview appearances of my life. I didn’t get the job, and although the dog crap sticks out for me as bad omen, it was really me that lost it. You know, I really wouldn’t want to pick up the poop of an animal either. So I don’t, because I don’t have a pet (OK that’s actually only half true, I live with a pet, but it was my girlfriend’s idea so...). And the number of people who have dogs in this compact area of the city, Riverbend, is truly astounding. Late at night we are often awakened by dogs who start barking in the yard behind our apartment, inciting our other neighbor’s dogs to loudly join in. It is hard to walk out of the house without running into one of these dogs and their owners and harder still to find the ones who are letting their animals defecate as they please - I started paying attention after the interview fiasco. I am assuming that most dog owners see the poop their animal has just deposited and then look up to see if anybody else sees the poop. I am sure that they aren’t leaning over to scoop that stuff up if no one is looking and the problem is not just with one dog owner. Nearly every block has at least one piece of poop (as an aside I went to Boulogne, France about 5 years ago and our problem is nothing compared to theirs) per block, however, particularly active spots like the strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk in front of my apartment look like minefields. And then comes the rain, and then come neighborhood children to play, and then I go to another big interview, inciting yet another ugly and annoying chain reaction. So I was well aware of the problem, and was looking out for the offending owners for a confrontation, when I saw the first note as I was walking to Tulane one day. In bold block type it read “SHIT IN YOUR OWN YARD.” I was perplexed, especially so because the small image was laminated. It is one thing to write a note, but to write a note and laminate it means it is meant to withstand the elements and perhaps even be reused. After I momentarily focused on the note, one could even say relishing in it, I kept walking. I was caught in a quandary. Was this simply the work of a lone neighbor sending a message to neighborhood dog owners or a living art project? The care put into the lamination of the note was perhaps my biggest wonder. Why did the writer want to keep the note from being soiled? Weird. Anyway, over the next few weeks the notes started popping up everywhere within the neighborhood. From Carrollton to Broadway and even further up Freret. Meanwhile, I began talking to people, my girlfriend first – who had seen the notes as well, other DJs at WTUL, and law students at Loyola. At first it was always the same “SHIT IN YOUR OWN YARD”, but as time went on the messages seemed to be more exasperated. By the time I found one that said “DOG SPREADS DISEASE” I had been making sure to keep my eyes to the ground anytime I walked in the neighborhood, so as to see the notes or maybe even the person responsible for them. Eventually though, I ended up spotting more dog feces than notes resulting in the thought that I should join the cause and produce my own laminated notes. When I found the new message I felt the stakes had changed. First, this note connoted a sense of health whereas the other had focused more on propriety – of keeping in one’s own space. Additionally, it used the singular “dog” where the plural “dogs” should have been used. “Dogs spread disease” perhaps would have been more correct, however, this was not the case. The person must be a non-native English speaker I thought. Weeks later my suspicions were supported when I spotted another note “DOG IS A MENACE.” This new note also used “dog” in the singular whereas the plural ‘dogs’ would have been more appropriate and, in addition, used the unusual word ‘menace.’ My image of a menacing dog isn’t one hunched over, averting eye contact; a dog about to drop something seems pretty vulnerable to me. Perhaps it is the owner who is the menace. In my mind, the word seemed as if it had been ripped out of a pocket translator. After this came “DOG SHIT SPREADS ROUND WORM.” This was an even more health-conscious message given the specific problem cited. So it was confirmed that basic cleanliness and a fear of germs was probably this person’s angle. Over the remainder of the semester the notes came and went. I would see old ones with their laminate worn to separation, moisture-torn on the inside; and then one day I quit seeing them. In the ensuing four months, I haven’t seen anything and perhaps won’t again. Quite a mystery. The most unsettling part is that I don’t know if the messenger was successful in getting through to the dog owners. In my case, the grass strip in front of the apartment was dug up and the area dogs had to go somewhere else for a few weeks in the beginning of the summer. Although it was replaced with sod, the disruption of the dogs’ pattern must have been enough for our area to be disabused, but as I trek through other areas of the neighborhood they are just as dirty as ever. Even yesterday I went to the Rite-Aid at Broadway and St. Charles, and as I was parking my bike out front I saw a line of donut hole-sized poop nuggets nearly inside the front of the door. As the traffic on St. Charles rushed by I looked around at the various people walking by, a dog walker in the neutral ground, and then cashier through the window. I looked down again hesitantly stepped over the poop and went inside borne through with a feeling of injustice.
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Becoming a Traitor by Stacey Balkun
It’s three years now I have been living within these city walls.
Neurosis at its Finest
by Robert Kuhn
germs is the hospital. I’ve had five surgeries and I’ve had MRSA twice but no, I don’t care. I am careful about latex as I’m allergic to it. (As a side note, that makes getting condoms difficult.) A cute male nurse came in and accidently missed the “NO LATEX” sign on my door and slapped on some latex gloves to remove a foley catheter. If you don’t know what that is, Wikipedia it. He went to remove it and my skin started to swell and got itchy. I didn’t do anything about it and just blushed. He blushed. It was out and we were feeling awkward. It looked like I was mildly aroused . After explaining the case, I got some drugs injected into me and a nice painkiller. And given a valium. I never saw the nurse again. Damn shame. I carry around mints and gum. I can’t handle bad breath. If you have it, I will get you. Warm toilet seats bother me. Toilets in general bother me. I’m afraid of them. If a toilet seat is warm, I will run out of the bathroom in tears. No joke. Someone once thought there was a spider. No. It was worse. It was a warm toilet seat. My mom now warns me. “Honey, it’s warm.” Even with my five mood stabilizers, I’m a mess. My psychiatrist thinks I’m a) a lost cause and b) going to be as good as I’ll ever get. And yes, I do take five. They keep me from burning the house down because I saw a dust bunny.
I have mild OCD. I’m neurotic. I’m moody. I’m blunt. To those that know me, I’m sure this comes as a great shock. I carry around disinfecI have studied neon, brake lights glowing tant wipes with me in my man-purse and hand in the night, the damp scent of river hidden sanitizer for those moments that a sticky child beyond a wall of graffiti. may touch me or may attempt to. Between BriI want to smell the fresh paint an and I, am not sure who scrubbed the board I want to feed small birds french fries more with the wipes. We had classical and I and study their wings, delicate. was PD. Between the two of us, we had time. He took out the trash, I would dust, we would I want to find the sunrise, always hiding behind tall buildings and haloed by ambulance both scrub. Usually, we did these chores at different times. Together, we’d sound like an old, sirens bleeding into the dawn. married gay couple. (He is a dreamboat though) I dream of leaving this loud Having worked in a coffeeshop during behind, I wish to wake in a place my stay in New Orleans (ps miss you love you where good mornings are welcomed. kay?), I now ask other baristas to rinse their cups in scalding hot water. I’m not risking anyI consider escape, a break free from the sidewalk grids, but I will never forget thing. Depending on the place, I’ll even wipe the smells of recycling mornings, down the table. I will not forget my soft arms lifting bags of I don’t like bugs. I’m not a critter pertrash son. I’m also no longer allowed in the local to the curb. Starbucks as one lady had a bug on her face and I smacked her with my book. Luckily, she I remember sitting on train tracks didn’t press charges. I am, however, banned at sunset, scratching lotto tickets. I will remember to always have hope. from the establishment. A shame, really. Now someone has to drive there for me or if I want I used to dream of trains, of letters to experience a coffeeshop, I must have someoutweighing bills in the mailbox, one take me to Chattanooga, a good 30 minutes whole envelopes of words from you. away. Sorry lady. I was only looking out for our well-being. I am standing on this city wall watching the flickers of highway One place I feel like I should worry about
below, ready to go and holding open a door for anyone to join me.
The VOX is seeking contributions for the Winter issue, due out January 2010. We
publish submissions from aspiring writers and artists throughout the city, as well as frequent contributions from WTUL staff and DJs. The VOX is looking for writing interesting enough to be memorable. Although we mainly serve as a conduit for relaying the voice of WTUL, anything works: misconnexions, show reviews, interviews, album reviews. And any other views including “My Best MixCD,” photographs, feature articles, anecdotes, jokes, poems, short stories, creative non-fiction, short plays, political and cultural satire, comics, photos, art slides, etc. Really anything that can be viewed 2-D or smashed under the hood of a scanner or photocopier to make it 2-D. Anyway, when you find out what it is that you want to do send it to:
Bitter Ink by Ray “Moose” Jackson & Brian Zeigler
Bitter Ink is born of an aberrant gene shared by two cousins, both exiled from Detroit. One went to the land of good groceries in Vermont and the other to New Orleans. Mostly Brian draws the pictures, mails them to Moose and he comes up with the goofy aphorisms. Except when they’re together, downing pints and passing notes back and forth and giggling like schoolbus drivers on acid. A recent compilation of Bitter Ink has recently been released by local publisher Press Street. The book can be purchased on their website:
Adrian Price - part of “Great Tower in Flatland”; Upcoming shows: Kathy Rodriguez - “Craboculars”; Upcoming shows: 2nd Saturday in 2nd Saturday in October at Antenna October at Universal Furniture and 2nd Saturday of November at Front Gallery
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