Facebook Post: 2020-02-27T22:24:38

I finished reading this book today, which collects the first 6 issues of a new series I was completely unaware of, “Shade The Changing Girl.” It is, roughly, 1/3 of a new Shade series that only ran for about 18 issues. The fact that this series came out four years ago, ran it’s entire course, and is now cancelled before I even found any of it, is very telling of where I am in the world of comics these days. But, regardless, when I discovered this was even a thing, I was immediately curious. The fact I found one on the cheap at Powell’s only sealed the deal.

In High School, there were two comics that I loved: Green Lantern, the legacy comic that was my intro to the medium, and Shade The Changing Man, which was a revival of a very controversial 70s comic written by Steve Ditko. (During one of his temporary DC stints.) The 90s comic was one of the titles that was first rolled into Vertigo when that first launched.

For me, it was my Zap meets Hate, but with a superhero tinge. The ’90’s comic was a sprawling exploration of post-teenage identity, and I was perfectly primed as someone who was already mentally checked out of High School, to receive it as some sort of wisdom that revealed more to me than was probably actually on the page. But it introduced me to Peter Milligan, opened the door to more experimental artists and writers, and led me away from superheroes and toward Love & Rockets and stuff like that.

So I have a lot of thoughts on this new iteration, initially: how the hell did this happen?

The original Shade was a counter-culture diatribe by an Ayn Randy artist / author, and was canceled during the big DC Implosion of the 70’s, after only eight issues. It was never really popular. The 90’s version, while also never very popular, hung on for 70 issues, mostly because DC needed it in the Vertigo roster. (Fortunately, Milligan’s storytelling kept re-inventing itself every six issues or so, offering him plenty of room to move.) There was even a run in that series where Shade was a woman… for a while.

So the idea of having an entire comic, reimagining the premise from a different — and female — point of view, felt interesting and very modern. And framing Shade as a “Young Adult” book makes total sense; Shade is a book about what happens when people catch madness, and you are probably at your most mad in High School, where this new book is set. And, personally, imagining a teenager picking up this book like I did when I first picked up the 90’s book — In High School — just really feels right.

I have thoughts, but I just finished it. So for now, I’m gonna percolate.

And enjoy the fact that I got to read comics, and I loved it.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-25T18:01:44

Probably a Bourne Movie
Certainly a Marvel Movie
That one you worked really hard on.
My friends made one I really enjoy.
The one about Marla & Me.
Wizard of Oz
The one I haven’t finished yet.
That movie we worked on together.
The one you made and were nervous to show me.
Not watching movies.
The one you only just finished.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-25T17:45:42

For the first time since I’ve been sending things by mail, I got notice that something I sent did not arrive. I’m sure this has happened before; there are too many variables at work, and certainly, some people have probably not mentioned anything, or forgot, or something.

So, please, let me be clear: let me know about the quality of the item you ordered, and if it even arrived. I often use tracking numbers on my shipments, and I can replace something that doesn’t work or never arrived.

I really want people to have these things, so if something doesn’t get to you, let me know! I was able to post a replacement for the person who didn’t receive a zine, and got it in the mail pretty quickly. But if I don’t know something didn’t arrive, I can’t do anything about it.

Was I supposed to send you something? Let me know what it was, and I’ll get on it.

Thank you.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-24T15:17:27

This Wednesday, on the program: it’s our conversation with Jeremy Hight, discussing his new book, THE GHOST IN YOU. You can hear the conversation live, on KLFM.org at 3 PM PST (Midnight, local Croatia time). Or, enjoy the podcast, which will be available at that time, too. Find out about the book that you need to read. All on Wednesday, at 3 PM, sharp!

Facebook Post: 2020-02-23T12:01:36

One thing I admired about punks in the old days was their distrust of almost everything. They really did have skepticism baked into their ideology. We should distrust the systems that exploit and manipulate us, and when we can, build our own DIY versions.

So, flash forward to now, and the idea of systemic distrust is fairly mainstream. So much of our culture is presented in a form where the real heroes are people who don’t trust “the system” in some form.

Why is it, then, that there seems to be a tendency among my friends who identify as part of a subculture to also believe conspiracy theories in all of their most bizarre forms? Certainly, these beliefs were often held by people on the fringes. But I often see kids who appear to identify as punk or anarchist, who seem to have lost that impulse for skepticism.

I certainly don’t want to suggest a kind of post-modern, there is no truth, fake news sort of skepticism. We should at least agree on objective reality. But being skeptical of all systems that control our environment is the key to remaining critical and analytical.

I’m glad healthy skepticism is mainstream. But if we want to make real progress, Make Punk Skeptical Again.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-23T10:43:53

There’s a quiet audio channel in the back of my head that just plays Nomeansno constantly, all day long.

“I’ve got to stop talking, I can’t stop talking
There is no stopping a brain that keeps talking
I know it’s not healthy, I know it’s not true
I don’t even know who I’m talking to
But I can’t stop talking, I’ve got to stop talking
All night and all day I have something to say
I drone on and on, though I know it’s not true
I’ve got to stop talking, I’m not talking to you.”

Facebook Post: 2020-02-20T21:47:51

I am hooked on Disney live action movies, pre-1980. I cannot stop watching them, they all contain the same 10 cast members and corny story beats, all the children are orphans, somehow I have internalized all the music, and if I could, I would mainline that Disney garbage all day long.

If I could Candleshoe while escaping from Witch Mountain with The Cat From Outer Space, I would drive that love bug all day long.

This is my worst quality as a person, certainly.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-20T09:01:51

What does it mean to be a part of a community?

tl;dr: Ruminations while running errands while feeling hopelessly nostalgic.

* * * * * *

Growing up, I never felt like I was really a part of any community, outside my family. We weren’t churchey, we didn’t participate in community organizations. My parents both worked and raised their kids, and with little time left over, they spent time with those kids. 

We moved a lot. We often didn’t have time to put down roots or make friends locally. This tendency to be on-the-go didn’t really settle down until I had moved to Cottage Grove. (And really, moving to CG was a binary; I could stay in Oakridge, or move to CG. There were no other options.) That was the first move that was my choice, and every place I lived AFTER that was somewhere I was trying to integrate into.

I never really fit into Cottage Grove, in spite of trying. I had some friends and my family certainly tried to make a home for ourselves, but the timing was all wrong. It was the height of the OCA and my mother was out; 30 years later, queer culture and people from elsewhere are not as scary in CG. But when I was in High School, this meant you were violently threatened over the phone, and beaten up at school regularly, just to make the point that you are not welcome.

When I moved to Eugene in the mid-90’s, I finally found a place where I really felt like I was part of the community. If I was in a band, we could play shows locally. It wasn’t hard to find an apartment. Lots of people, all fairly like-minded, going to shows and reading counterculture and throwing parties, because going out to drink was expensive. I got a job at a bookstore, made connections with locals, established a fairly reputable party house, and before long, I was just another Eugene hipster, wearing sweaters at John Henry’s shows and having conversations that were later re-printed in my zine, as I talked about it all on my radio show on KWVA. How much more a part of a community can you be?

Moving to Portland was hard. Not only was it costly, but it wasn’t something I could just do, willy nilly. And breaking away from Eugene was difficult, too. But when you’re in your mid-20’s, and you’ve never traveled, there is something about the big city that seems… exciting. It seems important. It seems… like a place you can get lost.

I spent almost 15 years in Portland. Found my radio voice. Started writing. Unsuccessfully tried dating. I went to a lot of shows and I established social groups. But I always felt so small in that town. Unlike living in Eugene, even the sub-cultures in Portland were massive. It’s hard to make a name for yourself, or even get noticed at all. It was a good place to loose yourself in a college degree, and certainly it became easy to hole up and write for years.

But I’m not sure I ever felt like I was a part of Portland. What I certainly felt was that Portland had absorbed me. I could be myself and no one noticed. It was easy to figure out what I wanted to be, because there was no place I particularly fit in. Living in Portland helped me figure out my radio voice, offered me a chance to try my hand at a number of different writing styles, learn how to book shows and engineer sound… and all the while, didn’t manage to find a place where I really felt like I belonged. 

Part of this had to do with competition. I was never really that competitive as a younger man, and when there’s so many other people willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want, it’s hard to find a place to fit in. There’s 100 other people willing to fight a lot harder for what little space there is. In 15 years, I made a lot of attempts at finding new places that I could belong. And usually I was let in for a while, and then when people found there wasn’t much they could get from me, I was usually forgotten and ignored.

What I found, on the other side of all of it, was that I’d made a handful of important friends, picked up some new skills I could take with me, but wasn’t really any closer to feeling like I was a part of the city in any way that I wanted. Costs kept pushing me away from my friends and the places I cared about, and after having retreated to St. John’s with Marla thinking we’d found somewhere, the final gauntlet was thrown: rents jumped three times in two years. It just wasn’t tenable to stay anymore, emotionally OR financially.

At first, moving to Salem felt like a defeat. I didn’t know anyone in Salem. I had no music, radio, or writing contacts in town. And, not knowing how to drive at the time, it felt like I was locked in this city, where I didn’t know anyone, fifty miles away from anyone I knew in any direction. And the first few jobs I landed while in Salem were very much awful office scenarios with heartless and terrible people. I went from having a radio show and a zine in a community with friends to living in isolation, and finding only my very narrowly enjoyed podcast to be my only outlet to the outside world. It felt like I’d gone 60-to-zero in so many ways, and it was a bit much to process.

New town. New job. New marriage. Turning 40. All at the same time that I lost contact with all the people I saw on a regular basis, and had to push the hard-reset button on all of my creative endeavors.

Sometimes, it was hard to stop drinking. There were some dark, dark days for a while.

The rest of the story is a little boring, but we pick up yesterday, when I’m… driving around in my own car… here in Salem? How did that happen… in only a handful of years, even? I used to never drive before. But now I work at a Salem institution, a place locals are proud to support. I meet friends at local coffee shops. I have several local music acts I’m proud of, that play around town, and I’m on the radio here, too. I’ve established friends, and my writing has taken another good turn. Marla and I are entering a new phase of our lives, as we plan for the future, here. I’m picking up people I know from the airport, and feeding their cats and dogs while they’re out of town. And in some experimental music circles, I’m not known as “the Salem guy.” Now where can I get some of that weird paper, locally? I should cruise by the bookstore later and pick up a new comic. And maybe a sandwich, somewhere downtown? Don’t forget: gotta pop into the Space tonight, to chat with Stan…

What does it mean to be part of a community?

It’s a difficult question, both to answer, and to ask. If someone had asked me, when I first got here, how to find your way into the Salem community, I would have been completely lost, sitting at my state office job. And was there a direct route? Certainly not. Getting a radio show wasn’t essential, or even the first step. But it was a part of the equation. Meeting certain specific people weren’t the only key to the community, but it certainly helped. There was no road map to get from that shitty cubical that I used to cry in, and to the concessions stand at the theater. And any map that I knew to follow wasn’t exactly able to get me there, anyway. 

Like everything in this world, there were plenty of missteps. Jobs I took and decisions I made that were impulsive and stupid. I don’t regret much; like all of life, we learn from the mistakes, too, even the ones I manage to repeat. I hope I’ve been a good person. I hope I’ve presented myself well. But I also hope I look like who I am, and not some sort of weird, constructed version that, “plays well with others,” just so I can fit into the, “scene.”

It felt pretty good yesterday, driving around Salem, and thinking to myself, “yeah, I live here, now.” Maybe that’s all it takes. 

Maybe that’s all anyone needs.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-13T08:34:13

(Even yet still more) WATCHMEN Thoughts. 

tl;dr: I love Looking Glass.


If any real criticism could be levied against the WATCHMEN TV show, it’s that there are certain elements of the show that are rehashing, or reimagining, some of the themes and elements from the original comic. When it happened in the most recent “Star Wars” trilogy, many fans cried foul, not because they were bad movies — they were fine, really. The issue seemed to be that there were just “remixes” of the elements and themes of the original. So when WATCHMEN started to echo some of these visual and thematic moments from the comic source text, and then mangle them in ways that I did not anticipate, I could already sense the concern from hardcore fans who were already warming up the laptops to cry outrage online, where nothing short of the original comic in an uncollected form will ever do, cannon-wise.

And, let’s be honest, there are a few moments in the show that do come off as a little “pandering,” especially for something that, in the words of the creator, “is not a cover band or a remix.” Moments stolen directly from the original comic appear throughout the first episode of the TV show, and when we are presented with Looking Glass, a near spitting image of Rorschach who seems to even act like him to an extent, it is hard not to immediately read Looking Glass as anything BUT a Rorschach analog while watching this show.

This is certainly intentional; the writers are not only aware that viewers will be over-analyzing every second of the show, but that we will be bringing the most memorably images from the original as a lens through which to consider what’s happening on TV. So, if they are TRYING to evoke this image in our minds, to establish some sort of parallel between the two, then it must be intended to further the primary storyline: to explore issues of race and justice, and how it contributes to generational trauma.

The latter seems to be fairly obvious, in many ways. Wade became Looking Glass in the aftermath of the events of “11/2,” an event that concludes the original comic, and is the directly result of the actions of the other characters, Adrian specifically. Having Looking Glass’ story begin at the previous narrative’s conclusion literalizes the generational trauma he’s experienced; he is nearly killed, psychically devastated, and set on his life path, all because of 11/2.

His upbringing, attitude and diet “mirrors” that of Rorschach, and Looking Glass shares the Right-leaning perspectives of his predecessor, as well the physical build (though, one would probably characterize Looking Glass as politically “Center-Right,” where as Rorschach would be characterized as Far Right. Aside from Looking Glass being a part of the police force, and having physical relationships with partners infrequently, The Show gives us every indication that we should consider Walter and Wade to be “related.” The trauma Rorschach experienced growing up, and attempting to heal the world from Adrian’s plan, has directly led to Looking Glass wanting to seek justice.

However, the similarities wear off after a couple of episodes, when we really get to know Wade a little more intimately, with his mask “off.” What begins as a duplication becomes a funhouse mirror reflection as the show reveals itself to us, and as Wade does the same. Looking Glass is a 100% southern gentleman, without parents; Rorschach is a New York reared single immigrant mother’s son, who is a sex worker on the side. Looking Glass is either bisexual or closeted with former beards, where Rorschach is portrayed to have no sexuality, or even interest in it when the opportunity arrises. And while Rorschach is convinced that his Right Wing philosophy will benefit everyone in the end, Looking Glass has drifted further to the center as he discovers more about what he wants, and believes that finding the truth, and presenting honesty at whatever cost, is the only valuable trait that his predecessor might have embodied.

As we see several times in The Show, it is his dedication to finding the truth that is easily manipulated, which begs the question of how his “powers” are portrayed. Yes, people can get him to do what they want, indirectly, while never actually lying directly to him. The show intentionally leaves the question of his truth-divining to interpretation. Clearly, he’s never shown to be wrong; he can spot a lie very easily and consistently, and if this is a lucky guess or something else is never made explicit. It could actually be a power, a result of the psychic blast he was hit with as a teen, manifest because of his fear that he was being lied to in the funhouse. It could also be a result of Wade being very adept at reading people. It could very well be both ways and the results of the story are essentially the same.

The implication, however subtle is that Looking Glass has developed this truth-detection “power,” — however he got it. But the burden of knowing the truth, in his case, nightmares he must live with, and the general sense of paranoia that he is constantly trying to combat throughout the day.

It is here that we realize that, unlike Rorschach, Looking Glass has quite a bit in common with Dr. Manhattan, in more subtle ways. Looking Glass wants to do right, but he is left to observe people from a distance, only able to behave in the way he believes is “right,” and not because of friendships or other outside influences. He must remain detached — like Dr. Manhattan — or his own predispositions might influence his perspective. Looking Glass cannot choose anything else BUT to turn Angela in, not because he wants to, but because it is pre-destined because it is “right,” in spite of it affecting him emotionally in a different way. So much of Wade’s life is pre-determined by his tramua, as if he’s going through the motions, much like Dr. Manhattan’s image on Mars. Even when he is forcibly exposed to the truth — that he doesn’t need his EDS Warning system because all of it is a hoax perpetrated by Adrian — Looking Glass cannot stop from behaving as he would have normally, even when he tries to change himself for a moment. By choice or through circumstance, Looking Glass cannot change his actions any more than someone who’s life is pre-determined, and he rails against this throughout any given day.

Looking Glass’s main function in the show (at first) is to root out the Seventh Cavalry members, and determine which ones are racist, and part of the larger conspiracy. But in many ways, he is unwittingly used as a pawn of the Seventh Cavalry, because he is set against them. As a police officer, this is again addressing a central theme of the show; the racism inherent in the system is reinforced by people who think they are doing “right.” Wade wants to uncover lies and deceit, but instead he’s tasked with finding who is “racist,” a job that has little to do with determining who is telling the “truth.” In fact, his power is ill-suited to the task; racists do believe they are “right.” And yet everyone behaves as if Wade can determine these other elements of the criminal mind, in spite of the reality that even he, his tests, and the entire system seeking to find racism is, in fact, racist. This is a direct and specific critique of the police force in the US; he’s supposed to find racists, and instead, is complicit in arresting Sister Night, only because she’s “related” to the “criminal.”

Like Doctor Manhattan, Wade helps wrap everything up in the end by helping stop both Lady Trieu (and then, Adrian). And, like Rorschach, he is motivated by the desire to get at the truth, and find out who is responsible. In the end, the suggestion is that, maybe, some justice might finally come to those who caused the trauma Wade has experienced.

But Looking Glass can never really relieve himself from his hyper-vigilance. He might have found out what happened to him originally, and that the “squidfalls” are a hoax, but that doesn’t undo the trauma he still feels as a result of Adrian’s actions. Wade might be able to occasionally chat up a pretty lady at a bar, but his own disfunction with relationships will mostly likely keep him closeted — and, behind a mask, even at home — in spite of the fact that a healthy relationship with another man is probably what he would need to help him get past his own insecurities. 

One of the cases that WATCHMEN is making, both with Sister Night and with Looking Glass, is that this kind of trauma that is inflicted from generation to generation not only comes to define you, but informs your behavior and actions for the rest of your life.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-12T17:24:27

I’m hearing more and more Bandcamp horror stories, with artists who suddenly find their stuff deleted / gone suddenly, without any notice.

All my stuff is backed up, so I’m not worried about loosing anything. But I do use Bandcamp, and I’m worried about sticking with something that might just forget that they owe me money. Or what if they decided that they don’t want to feature experimental music one day? I could be completely locked out. It has happened to others, for sure.

I’m wondering what alternatives might exist for selling your work digitally, for a DIY artist? I could probably build a page that has a “send me PayPal money” and I could probably send people a secret link, but I get the feeling that would be INCREDIBLY time consuming, and I already feel weird about all of this.

Does anyone out there have an alternative that they love?

T-Shirts Are Now Available For A Limited Time Only!

T-Shirts Are Now Available For A Limited Time Only!

Mini-Mutations Shirts

(Limited Quantities! S, M, L, XL or 3XL Still Available!)

The Olsen Twins Ghostlight Ensemble Shirts

(Limited Quantities! S, M, L, XL, 2XL or 3XL Still Available!)

100% Cotton. $20 Each. Until they are gone.

* * * * * *

In the 27 Years that I’ve been making ’zines and playing in bands, there have been painfully few t-shirts that were ever available to the public. So, it is with no small amount of fanfare that we are offering, for a limited time, a selection of copy- and trademark infringing shirts by Mini-Mutations and The Olsen Twins Ghostlight Ensemble, for the low-low price of $20 apiece. ($25 shipped.)

When these are sold out, there won’t be anymore. If we make more shirts in the future, they will not look like this. And who knows if that will happen again, to be honest? I’ve never sold shirts, so this is a bit of a gamble. And, there’s a limited quantity, too, to add another wrinkle to this puzzle.

These shirts are screen printed by hand, by our lovely friend Sarah Kindl, on 100% Cotton black shirts, in a fetching monochromatic arrangement that looks good on anyone, and shows your support for the kind of music you would like to discuss at parties. (And, in the case of the Twins shirts, will ensure a long conversation about the reference that will be lost on many in this day and age; the perfect gift for the aging hipster with a strange sense of humor!)

These will be available to buy at the end of February / Beginning of March. HOWEVER, for fans who cannot live without, you can pre-order these NOW, to ensure that you will have the shirt you want. 

I’ll be straight up: these shirts look great, I think you are gonna like them too, but there aren’t that many. If this is a success, then there might be more in the future… but not like these. Right now, this is a test. I believe in these. I think they are in the spirit of both projects, and I want these to get into the hands of people who like that stuff I do, like these designs, and: like t-shirts. 

Considering all of those factors, I am recommending you should reserve your shirt today. It’ll secure your shirt when they arrive, and it’ll help me weigh the possibilities of doing this again at some point in the future.

To make a reservation: e-mail austinrich@gmail.com with the subject line, “RESERVE MY T-SHIRT.” In the body of your e-mail, please specify the shirt you want; which project, and which size.

ACRONYM, Inc. T-Shirts, Now Available. 

Until They Are Gone.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-11T20:18:05

Marla found this today for insanely cheap. I’m thinking of putting it in the car. I mean, for a mono device, it only takes four C-Sized batteries to play continuously for 20 minutes. That was portable in 1982.

The bonus 1/8” jacks for monitor and microphone, and the built-in microphone, can only mean one thing: I should probably master a future Mini-Mutations record on it.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-11T06:53:32

Thought Experiment: let’s say, hypothetically, that a very small quantity of t-shirts happen to become available — again, in this possible way — for a somewhat limited time. Let’s imagine one each for two of my current projects, for the purposes of this thought experiment.

In this imaginary, alternate universe, where these fetching, hand-made, white-on-black shirts were actually a reality, how many of you, by a show of hands, might be interested?

Let’s suppose. Theoretically.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-08T18:13:11

I loved him in The Twilight Zone, Innerspace and Being John Malkovich, but I think I fell in love with him as Bilbo Baggins in the animated Hobbit movie first. He managed to live quite a while, but holy cats, what a tragedy. I’ll be thinking about that Hobbit record I used to have, for sure.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-08T15:45:27

Loudest Sounds I’ve Ever Heard:

Actual Gunfire
Metallica in The ’90’s
Dinosaur Jr. in The ’90’s
Every Melvins Show I’ve Ever Attended
Dinosaur Jr. in The ’00’s
that First Fantômas show at The WOW Hall before the album was even out
Colin Hix when he first got his Marshall Stack
NOMEANSNO. Just in general. They were epic in a way that was louder than anything I can think of.
Double Leopards at that weird fest KPSU was at in PDX, around 2007?

Facebook Post: 2020-02-05T16:52:53

I’m thinking of holding an Experimental / Noise Caucus. Where artists call in their “results” from their “regions.”

I’m fairly serious about this. If anyone has my number they could leave me a voice mail; It’ll get used. Call in, say who you are and where you’re reporting from, and then leave your “results.” I’ll collect them and play them on the radio.

All the politics I’ve been absorbing the last couple days has got me thinking about all of this…

Facebook Post: 2020-02-05T16:36:34

So, strangely, I was watching “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,” the other day, where Kirk Douglas sort of plays the Rickles archetype against James Mason’s dead-serious Nemo. And all the while, I kept thinking, “well, I like him better when he’s mugging like that, but he’s more sinister… like in ‘Out of The Past.'” And then, of course, he passes…

I’m sort of surprised you can’t really find this one streaming easily anywhere, but it is one hell of a flick. Kirk’s second film, Mitchum in a monster of a role, and as these two dance around each other in a flashback-soaked noir, it really packs a punch, especially when it gets to the end. This is a movie about the way men feel obligated to each other, and how the past always informs the present, even when we try and force ourselves to avoid it. It looks like you can enjoy this film in two parts if you follow the links…

Certainly, Mitchum gets more screen time. But Douglas’ performance is absolutely beautiful, funny, scary… and perfect.

Facebook Post: 2020-02-04T17:17:38

We have a very cool show for you this week, at The Space Concert Club, so you know you wanna pop in for dinner this Thursday, so the meme that’s going around remains accurate. Four Bands! We are hosting two electronic music acts, touring from Washington: Fischkopf Sinfoniker, who has a new album now, and Brad Anderson. Mini-Mutations is on the bill for local support, and we also have Oreiad & Dryad from Eugene, an electronic / spoken word act that I think you’re going to enjoy. All Ages, Free Experimental Show on a Thursday Night! The touring acts are dependent on your dollars to get back home, so come on down and support local music in your community!

Facebook Post: 2020-02-04T09:56:05

As some of you may know, there have been some scheduling changes for my radio programs. Here’s a little information about how, and when, you can hear them.

tl;dr: We are on KLFM.org at 3 PM PST (12 AM CET) every week, starting tomorrow! There will be a new episode of Mid-Valley Mutations tomorrow! Next week, same time, WTBC Radio In Beautiful Anywhere, Anywhen will be on, where you can hear my conversation with Scot Jenerik about creating art, and process. Week after: more MVM, and the week after that, my conversation with Jeremy Hight. And on and on and on.

There’s podcasting lowdown, live stream notes info, etc. Hopefully this all makes sense. Here’s to radio in 2020!

Programming And Listening Changes For Our Radio Show.

(You can always get the current listening information for our programs on their respective websites: Mid-Valley Mutations and WTBC Radio In Beautiful Anywhere, Anywhen!)


1. That Was Then.

When I first started in radio in 1998, there were often scheduling changes that you just couldn’t announce to anyone short of calling them directly, or through putting up a flier. I used to advertise scheduling changes in my zine back then, and often, listeners didn’t really notice the change. The way radio works — both then and now — is that the LISTENER is choosing to turn on the radio when THEY want to listen. If I happen to be on the air, then that’s a lucky break for me. I’ll have to let the listener decide how they feel about the matter on their own. 

I relentlessly taped my show, on cassettes, and I offered edited copies of the show in my zine. I never sold one. When I got the technology to transfer tapes to CD, I digitized my shows, and offered them on CD. Again, never sold one. It wasn’t until the technology existed to post full radio recordings online — certainly a 2004 and later innovation for me — that there was any demand for my show in a form other than the original broadcast, and while I’m glad I recorded my shows for the sake of keeping an archive, in a lot of ways, those recordings are for me alone. 

Anymore, what people seem to want from my show are two separate and different things by two different groups of people:

The first group, they want a live, real-time radio-listening experience, that they can either tune in for or stream as it is happening. And this group of people is usually different than the group that wants a timely podcast episode to appear in a dependable (and regular) podcast feed. This change was almost immediate; I began to hear from two different kinds of listeners after I launched the podcast feed for my show in 2004, thanks to KPSU having adopted the technology for all their programs back then. And, for the most part, the live show and the podcast are the same; the latter is a recording of the former. I’m really just producing one show, and it’s being distributed in two different ways. It’s sort of like old school syndication, but I don’t have to deal with mailing CDs out to anyone. They can just subscribe digitally and enjoy.

All of that is a long way of saying that, since 1998, the distribution model for my radio show has changed so many times that I can’t even keep track of everything, save for the spare announcements I make about it on old episodes of my program. So announcing changes are nothing new, and, in fact, can help bring the show to new people at a time new listeners would appreciate jumping on. 

With all of that in mind, let me introduce you to the NEW broadcasting schedule that we will be working with, for the foreseeable future, and give you a small glimpse into what the next for radio broadcasts will contain.

2. This Is Now

Here’s when you can hear the show, now, primarily:

We are happy to return to the airwaves of KLFM.org in beautiful Split, Croatia! We have been syndicated on KLFM before, and we love working with them. So, beginning TOMORROW, you can hear our show on their station again. 

WEDNESDAYS: 3 PM – 5 PM PST (12 AM – 3 AM CET): You can listen to our show live!

This is an interesting time of day, as it is the end of the work day for people who work in offices on the West Coast, it is an early evening listen on the US East Coast, and is late night fare in Europe. (It’s EARLY morning fair for half of Asia, and wake-up / breakfast listening for the rest.) So, hopefully, people who enjoy experimental radio in those parts of the world will enjoy this program, humbly coming to you from Salem Oregon, by way of Croatia. 

As to not spoil those who want to tune in live and hear something new, the podcast will not drop until 3 PM PST. So, if you are the kind of person who listens to podcasts as they are released, you’ll hear it in tandem with the Live Listeners on KLFM. Or, you can enjoy it at your leisure, whenever. 

There is, however, a need for me to set aside a time to produce the show. And, as some people have become interested in this element of the show, there will be a special time, set aside, for true believers to enjoy the program before anyone else does, via a live streams on social media. We’re still in the beginning phases of testing this, and making sure that we can do this in a sustainable and manageable way. But I will be recording the shows at a scheduled time anyway, so I might as well right? Join me at:

SUNDAY MORNING, 8 AM to 10 AM PST on Social Media for a live streaming version of the show.

Since these streams are not for everyone, and require a certain amount of dedication to enjoy, they will be for those who want to really be a part of the show. I’m hoping to get interactive phone and Skype boxes added to the studio, so that people can get in on the old “Audience Participation” element of how I used to do radio. (Seldom used, but often mentioned when I was live.) However, that will require getting some new gear, which may take a while, so don’t be surprised if the show sounds a little “canned” for a while. Until we can get the new gear, we’ll do our best to deliver a low-tech version of the show that you can interact with in real-time, and someday, we’ll try to deliver a higher quality version.

Another point of order on scheduling: We will be producing a radio show every week, but if you tune in every week, you will hear two different programs: “Mid-Valley Mutations” on one week, and “WTBC Radio” on the other week. Both shows will be heard on KLFM.org during the aforementioned time-slot, but will be available in their own podcast feeds.

This gets at a problem that I’ve mentioned before: I love doing more than one radio show, and I have many ideas for many kinds of radio shows I want to do. But doing two weekly shows is a bit much for one person to handle, especially for someone who doesn’t get paid to do any of this. So, by changing the release schedule, and doing the “every other week” dance like this, I’m able to produce both shows, at a rate I can manage, and keep the quality at the same level it’s been at previously, which is important to me. So hopefully you don’t notice the shows dropping in quality, only in how often they come out. 

One final concern: KMUZ. I started “Mid-Valley Mutations” on KMUZ, in spite of the program having roots that go back to 1998. The new direction and name for my 20 year old show was a sort of a re-christening, as I attempted to pursue a vision that felt important to me. Out of the show that I grew at KMUZ, I developed Mini-Mutations, my musical act that has become another creative outlet that I value, and KMZU became a place where I could try and find my voice in a radio world that has many who say very little. KMUZ never censored the program, and never told me to change anything. They encouraged me to make the show I wanted. KMUZ made “Mid-Valley Mutations” possible, and as “Mid-Valley Mutations” moves on to continue finding itself, this is not because of any problem or issue with the place that helped grow us. In fact, I am developing a new program with them right now, which should be announced very soon. But recently I realized that “Mid-Valley Mutations” needed to grow a little more in order to become what it has always wanted to be, and that might need a place where I can go long or short if I need to , a place where the language restrictions might not be as tight, and a place where I can REALLY get experimental without fear of alienating the listener base that KMUZ has so carefully grown. So, this isn’t a parting of ways with animosity, or any negativity at all. I’m excited to find out how my new KMUZ show goes over. But “Mid-Valley Mutations” has gotten some wanderlust, and it needs to roam free in a way that KLFM is only happy to allow. I think, if I was to try and pursue these changes at KMUZ, it would really ruin the mood for everyone.

3. And What About Then?

With all of that said, here’s a tentative calendar of upcoming shows, for the listener who might want to get the feel for the every-other-week low-down, and who might be curious about the next couple of guests on WTBC. It’s exciting to not only have a schedule, but to have carved out blocks of time where I can get my radio done, and not feel like it’s always a rush.

Questions? Suggestions? You know who to call…

05 February: MVM #180
12 February: WTBC: Scot Jenerik
19 February: MVM #181
26 February: WTBC: Jeremy Hight
04 March: MVM #182
11 March: WTBC
18 March: MVM #183
25 March: WTBC

And so on…

Facebook Post: 2020-02-03T12:22:45

Woah! Someone just bought the ENTIRE digital discography I have available over at my Bandcamp Page! (wtbc.bandcamp.com) This includes 31 albums, with stuff including live performances, albums, split releases, compilations… even a collection of tunes by my 90s punk band.

This is incredibly generous, and puts a nice chunk of cash in my account, which I sorely need right now. Even if you don’t go the “Complete Discography” route like this person did, there’s a lot of cool stuff to choose from in our store, with material recorded a couple weeks ago, and material over 20 years old. There’s a lot to dig into, and we appreciate all the digging. Enjoy!