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 I did not speak
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
In these worrisome times, I look for hope. And I found it in a man named Daryl Davis, an R&B and blues musician who had a serious question for America’s white supremacists—“How can you hate me if you don’t even know me?” And with that question in mind, he set about meeting white supremacists across the country and found that many of these personal interactions left some KKK members questioning their beliefs. A documentary about Daryl Davis and his engagement with the KKK called Accidental Courtesy aired on PBS this past week, and you can watch the entire film online until February 28th. Here’s the link:
WFMU’s SOPHISTICATED BOOM BOOM
In WFMU-land, we are gearing up for the yearly marathon, which begins Sunday March 5th and runs through Sunday March 18th. It takes a few million bucks to keep our beloved radio-babe in good health, so we DJs will be offering prizes + pleas throughout the marathon to help raise much-needed funds.
In the meantime, you can catch Sophisticated Boom Boom every Friday from 3pm – 6pm EST on wfmu.org.
Last summer, I did an interview for the UK’s Shindig magazine, where I chatted about WFMU, Sophisticated Boom Boom, girl-pop, + record collecting. You can read the full interview here: http://harmonicdistort.blogspot.com/2017/01/interview-with-sheila-burgel.html
If you missed any of the past seven episodes, you can catch up via the archived links below:
Melodies & Desires (February 10, 2017 / Single of the Week: Sun & the Rain Men “Speakers” 2016)
Love In the Afternoon (January 27, 2017 / Single of the Week: Kiki Hitomi: “Pink No Kimono” 2016)
Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall (January 20, 2017 / Singles of the Week include Diana Ross “Chain Reaction” 1985, Dionne Warwick “All the Love in the World” 1982 + more Bee Gees treasures!
Try A Little Tenderness (January 13, 2017 / Single of the Week: Yuyar “Muna Sawagi” 1974)
The Fairest of All Seasons (December 30, 2016 / Single of the Week: Bettye Lavette: “Talking Old Soldiers” 2007)
Holiday Action! (December 23, 2016 / Single of the Week: Christine Hunter: “Santa Bring Me Ringo” 1964)
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (December 16, 2016 / Single of the Week: Charisma.com Vs. Tempura Kidz: “Miira Killer” 2014)
For the past six months I’ve been working on a ‘60s girl-pop compilation with Real Gone Music + Sony Music / Legacy, and have had unbelievable access to Sony’s archives of labels, master tapes + photos. It’s the first project that I’ve produced from top to bottom, and I’m ridiculously excited that Honeybeat: Groovy 60s Girl-Pop is finished + will be ready for release in mid-Spring (hopefully just in time for Record Store Day!).
SH-BOOM + DJ GIGS
SH-BOOM is on hiatus at the moment, but this Saturday February 18th I’ll be back at Our Wicked Lady (153 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY) for a benefit for Planned Parenthood. DJs Mikey Post + Nydia Ines from Daptone Records, Leah Beth of PMS & the Moodswings, Drew Redmond of Midnight Offerings + I will spinning records exclusively written and performed by the ladies. And 100% of the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood. 10pm – late!
DJ gigs coming up…..
Saturday April 27: Half Moon / Hudson, NY
Thanks for reading!