Category Archives: Sophisticated Boom Boom


My attempt to use “Sophisticated Boom Boom” as a way to purge myself of last week’s blues worked! The WFMU radio cure consisted of 1) venting my sadness + frustration on the airwaves, 2) setting it aflame with Megadeth’s “Set the World Afire,” 3) self-soothing with Linda Scott’s “I’ve Told Every Little Star” 4) sharing my 2nd grade dirty magazine story, 5) returning to a joyful and balanced state thanks to records both new—Jane Weaver, Tame Impala, Khruangbin, the Duke Spirit—and old—Kirsty MacColl’s “Fifteen Minutes” (the record I was most excited to play!), the Monkees “As We Go Along,” the Donnas, Nicole Atkins, the Bad Habits “Night Owl” (thanks to the two New Orleans DJs who played this at the Ponderosa Stomp + BLEW MY MIND!), and MORE MORE MORE! Listen to the “Evil Gal Blues” episode of “Sophisticated Boom Boom” here: xo-Sheila


The Nicky: The Talking Cat record I found at the Record Parlour in Los Angeles was clearly the star of last week’s “Follow that Blonde!” episode of “Sophisticated Boom Boom.” Some of the other 51 records I played were “Zold Borostyán” by Hungarian psych-rock heroine, Sarolta Zalatnay (pictured above in all her gorgeous poutiness), Charlie XCX’s spunky “SuperLove,” the Gayletts’ Jamaican take on “Son of a Preacher Man,” Miriam’s new LP Down Today, Sisters Love “Ha Ha Ha” (thank you to Max in New Orleans for introducing me to this one!) and the record I was most excited to play, Brazilian mystery gal Vania Ferreria’s “De Amor Eu Morrerei.” I discovered the Vania record from this exceptional jazz n’ bossa mix put together by my Finnish friend Sampsa Vilhunen. Have a listen to it here: And here’s the Follow that Blonde episode of “Sophisticated Boom Boom”: Thank you to all my friends, family, and listeners who so generously opened your wallets to WFMU during this time. I am SO grateful to you all! “Sophisticated Boom Boom” is back on the airwaves this Friday October 16th from 3pm – 6pm (EST) on / 91.1 FM. … Read more

A lil’ help for my radio station WFMU

My dear readers! As most of you know, I recently joined WFMU as a DJ and was given my very own show, Sophisticated Boom Boom which has brought me ENORMOUS joy! After doing the graveyard shift for only two months, I was given a top-notch, first-class slot every Friday from 3-6pm. WFMU is one of the rare independent, freeform (meaning there are no rules, I can play + say whatever I please!), non-corporate radio stations in the country, and thus they rely on listener donations to stay afloat. Funds are verrrrrry short at the moment, so each DJ is running a campaign to try and raise money to keep WFMU on the air! So I come to you all to ask if you would donate a lil’ something to WFMU, however big or small. I promise to give you a shout out on my show! And there is a selection of WFMU swag you can choose from as a thanks for your donation. Here’s the direct link to donate specifically to my show: BIG thanks in advance for whatever you are able to give! xo-Sheila

WFMU’s Sophisticated Boom Boom #16: I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair

On this week’s episode of “Sophisticated Boom Boom with Sheila B.” on WFMU, I played records by Goldie & the Gingerbreads, HALCALI, Las Mosquitas, Martha & the Vandellas’ storming “Easily Persuaded,” Dusty Springfield’s version of the oft-covered “Easy Evil,” a dark and moody new track by Scottish group the School, Ride’s “Drive Blind,” a brilliant but very rough and unfinished demo by Brenda Holloway (how did Motown NOT release this?!!!), Hedy Sontag’s “He Never Came Back” (for Gaylord Fields), and the #1 bubblegum song of the 21st century according to me! Listen here: WFMU’s Kurt Gottschalk will be filling in for my show this week, as I’ll be in New Orleans for the Ponderosa Stomp, watching Irma Thomas, Brenda Holloway, Betty Harris, Barbara Lynn, PF Sloan, Miriam, and more. Hurray! “Sophisticated Boom Boom” will be back on October 9, 2015. xo-Sheila

WFMU’s Sophisticated Boom Boom #15: Cha Cha Charming

On this week’s episode of “Sophisticated Boom Boom with Sheila B.” on WFMU, I played records by Tammi Terrell, Patti’s Groove, Gloria Becker, Helen Kane, the Bird & the Bee (“Doctor” is a glorious piece of Hall & Oates-inspired pop), Ellie Greenwich’s first record as Ellie Gaye (“Cha Cha Charming!”), Dorothy’s “Softness,” Ognir & the Nite People (thanks Sampsa!), Holly Golightly, Yo La Tengo’s delicate cover of Darlene McCrea’s “My Heart’s Not In It,” and soooooo much more. Listen here: xo-Sheila

Sophisticated Boom Boom on WFMU

Remember in a recent post I mentioned being invited to audition for a spot on the radio? And how I was waiting to hear back? Well, I got the gig! HURRAY! I now have my very own weekly show on, called “Sophisticated Boom Boom with Sheila B.” (thanks for helping me find the perfect name, Marcos Prado!). It is an attempt to cover the vastness of the girl-pop spectrum with a lil’ bit of leg-room for the occasional man. Every Tuesday morning I rise at 4am and haul 3 hours worth of records to the WFMU Studios, where from 6am – 9am I play whatever my heart desires! Last week I played the Bermudas, Sharon Tandy, Shonen Knife, my recent Margie Mills discovery (“Goodbye Boys, Goodbye”), and two UNBELIEVABLY GORGEOUS records written by the late Eiichi Ohtaki in the ’80s—“Ame No Wednesday” and Yakushimaru Hiroko’s “Tantei Monogatari.”  I had never even considered the prospect of radio, which now seems most odd considering how friggin’ thrilling it is to play my records for the world and then to talk about how much and why I love them so. I’m … Read more