Category Archives: Music

Support Sophistication!

Photo credit: Jeff Moore Every Friday afternoon from 3pm-6pm EST on WFMU, I am given the opportunity to curate three hours of girl-pop from all periods and postcodes, to spread the word on new female artists, to follow Jayne Mansfield with Twisted Sister, and to be a part of this rare radio community where DJs are cheered for playing 40 different versions of “Eleanor Rigby” in a single show (as Surface Noise host Joe McGasko did on October 30, 2014). But running a radio station that allows for such freedom and flexibility is a very costly affair. WFMU is one of the rare stations that is free of the three big Cs—commercials, corporations, and colleges. And thus for two weeks of the year we host the Fundraising Marathon, during which we solicit donations from WFMU’s lovely listeners to help keep us alive and thriving.  If you enjoy Sophisticated Boom Boom or any of the other fabulous programming on WFMU, can I ask that you make a donation? Your support is vital to our survival. You can donate directly to Sophisticated Boom Boom by clicking on the link below: http://pledge.wfmu.org/donate/CF A pledge of … Read more

Sophisticated Boom Boom: Turkish female folk-rock, pop + psychedelia from the 60s + 70s with guest DJ Kornelia Binicewicz

On this Friday’s episode of Sophisticated Boom Boom, I’ve got the world’s most passionate + dedicated collector of 60s + 70s Turkish female artists—Kornelia Binicewicz, who followed her love of Turkish femme sounds from Krakow to Istanbul in the hot pursuit of the original 45s and LPs. She has since become an expert on these forgotten women, and runs a web project called Ladies On Records—60s and 70s Female Music in order to spread the word on these rare records, songs + artists. We’ll be playing a mix of Turkish female folk-rock, pop + psychedelia that Kornelia made exclusively for Sophisticated Boom Boom, and chat with her about how and why she fell so hard for this overlooked part of Turkey’s musical history.  Please tune into WFMU from 3pm – 6pm EST this Friday March 3rd, 2017 for this very exciting Turkish special! After Sophisticated Boom Boom, I’ll be making a dash from WFMU HQ to the Warsaw in Brooklyn, for NY Night Train’s Soul Clap & Dance-Off 10th Anniversary Live Review. The unbelievable line-up includes Irma Thomas, Maxine Brown, Baby Washington, Archie Bell, and so many more fantastic soul legends. It looks like the show is … Read more

Through the Winter

Long time no see! I’m just beginning to emerge from these turbulent, trying winter months, where project deadlines, the flu, and moving house all seemed to hit me at once. And in the midst of all the chaos, Trump issues his Muslim travel ban, and I discover that I, a greencard holder born in Iran, am included in this ban. I was warned that if I leave the US—my home since my family fled Iran in 1979—there would be no guarantee that I’d be able to return. Your first thought is “Meeeeee?!!!! A threat???!!!!” And then your fury + fear evolves into tears + self-pity and then ultimately to a more personal understanding of the millions of innocent people throughout history who have been targeted for their race, religion, sexual preference, etc, with no regard for who they are as individuals. And that famous Martin Niemoller quote that’s being tossed around quite a lot these days all of a sudden becomes more relevant to you than ever….. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and … Read more

October Sh-Boom + WFMU Silent Fundraiser

Hello gang! I’m currently knee-deep in writing the liner notes for an enormous 60s girl-pop project, and have thus sworn off most DJ gigs + nightlife for October / November, but I’ve got two gigs coming up this week that I wanted to tell you about.  This Thursday October 20th from 7pm-10pm, Frangry + Michele of WFMU’s Shut Up Weirdo will be throwing a meet-up party at the beautiful mid-century-inspired cocktail bar, El Cortez, 17 Ingraham Street, Brooklyn. I’ll be spinning 45s along with WFMU DJs Gaylord Fields and Duane Harriot. Check out the flyer below and the facebook event is here.   And the following evening, Friday October 21st from 10pm – 4am, I’ll be hosting my regular sexy ’60s rock n’ roll party Sh-Boom! and my guest will be the ever-classy rock n’ roll DJ Matt Clarke (of The Above, Quitty and the Don’ts + WFMU’s What’s Happening!?!? with Matt M.). Plus the razzling dazzling go-go star Anna C Cabanna, projections of vintage erotica to keep you hot n’ bothered and soul, garage, girl-pop R&B 45s spinning all night long. 10pm – 4am + free! Here’s the Facebook invite. Also, WFMU just lost its regular 6am-9am morning programming, JM in the AM, which means a sizeable chunk of our … Read more

European DJ Tour Recap!

I spent the final night of my 2-week European tour DJing with Coconut Jim at Brass Monkey, a beautiful low-lit, bamboo-covered tiki bar in Copenhagen. And I remember this specific moment—when Coconut Jim played Ted Taylor’s “Somebody’s Always Trying” and a gang of us danced together in the tight spaces between the tables and chairs. I thought, this is a record I’ve heard in New York, Helsinki, London, Boston, Baltimore, LA, and now Copenhagen. This lil’ soul record from 1964! Unknown to the majority of the world, yet cherished and adored by a select few music lovers and record collectors, and played at soul parties across the globe. And that really summed up the magic of spending two weeks traversing the European continent, meeting folks in London, Helsinki, Budva (Montenegro), Copenhagen, and Paris, who, like me, love digging up old records and sharing them with the people. DJ Coconut Jim sorting his 45s at Brass Monkey, Copenhagen Joining me on that final night of my tour was Mick Patrick and Phil Chapman (who had flown over from London), my fellow Danish girl group lovers Peter Andreasen + Per Frederkisen, Sofie Jekel, who used … Read more

August Sh-Boom + European Tour!

Hello gang! I’m heading off on my first European DJ tour on Saturday, but not before hitting it hard this Friday August 12th, with three hours of Sophisticated Boom Boom on WFMU from 3pm – 6pm EST, followed by my 60s go-go party, SH-BOOM in Brooklyn from 10pm – 4am.  The supremely talented + magical Swedish songstress El Perro Del Mar stopped by WFMU last week to record a live session + to chat about her new album, Kokoro. I will be airing it this Friday August 12th. She wrote a very touching piece about how she approached this new album, which really speaks to her depth as an artist. “The heart cannot be protected,” she writes. “Not from pain, not from happiness. Not from love, not from corruption.” It made me love her even more. WFMU’s SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM Last week I found myself in a radio rut—I couldn’t find anything new that sounded good enough to play, I felt I had maxed out my best 60s girl-pop 45s, and was just feeling uninspired and blah. Then I stumbled upon this quote by DH Lawrence—“The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread”—and thought, “That’s it! I’m going to do … Read more

Sh-Boom + European DJ Tour!

Hello friends:  I’ve made numerous attempts to write this entry, wanting to address the many tragedies we’ve been witnessing over the past few weeks. But everywhere I turn there is outrage, fury, blaming, shaming, and endless opinions on how we can fix the world. History shows us that change is incredibly slow, that the pendulum swings between tolerance and open societies to intolerance and closed societies, that the ugliest traits of humankind are as much a part of us as our most wonderful traits. But there is always light and beauty and wonder and kindness, even in the darkest of days. This concept is so beautifully illustrated in Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search For Meaning,” where he writes about his ability to find joy and love in the bleakest of circumstances—as an inmate at the Auschwitz concentration camp. “Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”  —Viktor Frankl I hope that in these dark times we can each find the light and love and make them bigger.  WFMU’s SOPHISTICATED BOOM … Read more

Summer Is In Season!

As a fanzine-writing teen, I remember the joy of meeting up with fellow ‘zinesters around the country and comparing notes on music, printing nightmares, and penpals. We would refer to each other by our ‘zine names—I was Sheila Plume. There was Mike Caught In Flux, Lisa Die Right Now, Jen Tease, Gail Chickfactor. It’s been years since I’ve felt that cozy community spirit that was so abundant in the 90s ‘zine world, but a few weekends ago, when I hosted a crew of record collectors + DJs at my monthly party, Sh-Boom, I looked around Our Wicked Lady and realized that that community spirit was very much alive and well in that room—packed with WFMU DJs and friends who, like me, spend much of their lives championing old records. It was such a treat to get to spend proper time with my fellow DJ co-hosts Jason + Stacy Thornton (a dream record-collecting couple who met over one of the sweetest soul records ever made—Doris & Kelley’s “You Don’t Have To Worry.” Too much!!!), Rob Macy (who runs the hugely popular Save Your Soul party in Baltimore), Ty Jesso (host of the … Read more

Sh-Boom All-Star DJ Spectacular + Beverly Live on Sophisticated Boom Boom

Hello gang! Next weekend I’ll be hosting the closest thing I’ve come to a 60s weekender. I’ve got 9 DJs spinning at my monthly party SH-BOOM on Friday May 20th. They are Claire Kalvis (Intoxica, London), Rob Macy (Save Your Soul, Baltimore), Jason Thornton (Boston), Josh Styles (Rebel Rouser), One Mint Julep (Soul Night, Brooklyn), Ty Jesso (Providence / Boston), Stacy Thornton (Boston), Todd-O-Phonic Todd, and myself. And then the next night, Saturday May 21st Todd-O-Phonic Todd and I have put together an 8-hour party called Youth Beware! at Berlin (Under 2A) in NYC, with live bands Jacques Le Coque, Crazy and the Brain, and the Von Mons, followed by a rock n’ soul dance party with DJs Rob Macy (Save Your Soul, Baltimore), Jason Thornton (Boston), Ty Jesso (Providence / Boston), Stacy Thornton (Boston), Todd-O-Phonic Todd, and myself. Sh-Boom! FRIDAY MAY 20th, 2016 10PM – 4AM OUR WICKED LADY 153 Morgan Avenue Bushwick, Brooklyn Sh-Boom FB event page Youth Beware! SATURDAY MAY 21st, 2016 8PM – 4AM BERLIN (UNDER 2A) 25 Avenue A New York City Youth Beware! FB event page I hope you’ll join us for a weekend of records, bands, booze, and zero sleep!  Last … Read more

Sh-Boom! Friday April 15th

Hello gang! It has been a mighty fine few days. This past Saturday night I DJ’d for a packed house at the Half Moon in Hudson, New York. It’s a beautiful bar with wood-paneled walls, a stage draped in red, and the atmosphere of an old Twin Peaks haunt (Julee Cruise was born to perform here) . But as the dancefloor started heating up, all the stomping and thrashing about caused immense record-skipping. So the more enthusiastic the crowd, the more my needle jumped the grooves. There was one rather big-boned boy in combat boots who was practically moshing to the music, and thus the main culprit in the record-skipping quandary. And I must thank Marty Shane for helping me hold down the turntables during my most stomping 45s (and for kindly asking big-stomping boy to stomp less, which unfortunately resulted even harder stomping….ARGGGHHH!). But it was a joy to spin for such a wild crowd on the best sound system I’ve heard in years. And today I just got home from a full day of mastering reel-to-reel tapes for a new project I’ve just started working on, so I … Read more