Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday/Christmas music schedule

Yes, NeverEndingWonder Radio plays Christmas & other Winter holiday music! I love it! There is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice music from every time period and every style- it's truly freeform! Naturally on NeverEndingWonder Radio we run the gamut! Here's our holiday schedule, along with notes about a few albums I've added recently:

ODD NUMBERED DAYS: Joining our regularly irregular mix of music will be non-traditional type holiday music. A freeform mix of comedy Christmas tunes, punk, swing, alternative, rock, reggae, electronic, jazz, blues, anti-Christmas, Hanukkah & Solstice music.
EVEN NUMBERED DAYS: Joining our regularly irregular mix of music will be traditional sounding Christmas music- acoustic, folk and international, Hanukkah, classical, Solstice, winter themed songs, as well as favorites by Judy Garland, Bing, Frank and others.

6AM-6PM PACIFIC TIME: Non-traditional type holiday music. A freeform mix of comedy Christmas tunes, punk, swing, alternative, rock, reggae, electronic, anti-Christmas, Hanukkah & Solstice music.
6PM-6AM: Traditional sounding Christmas music- acoustic, folk and international, Hanukkah, classical, Solstice, winter themed songs, as well as favorites by Judy Garland, Bing, Frank and others.

Here are some recent additions to NeverEndingWonder Radio:

Jeff St Pierre and Phillip Antoniades - A Rubber Band Christmas
Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like - Christmas songs played on rubber bands.

The Fab Four - A Fab Four Christmas: The Ultimate Tribute
Beatles tribute band The Fab Four record Christmas songs in the vein of The Beatles. Makes you wish The Beatles had done it!

The Fab Four - Have Yourself a Fabulous Little Christmas
More of the same, and just as great!

Dark Side of the Christmas
Punk and anti-Christmas songs from The Jethros, The Space Negros and Magic Mose And His Royal Rockers featuring 'Blind Sam.' Includes maybe the funnies Christmas comedy bit I've ever heard, by Erik Lindgren.

Monster Christmas Mash
Some of our most beloved monster friends sing Christmas themed songs.

Tim Neumark - Christmas Solo Piano
Beautiful solo piano renditions of Christmas Favorites

Rubber Band - XMas The Beatmas
Not to be confused with A Rubber Band Christmas, this offering is by ANOTHER Beatles tribute band- The Rubber Band. More Christmas Carols as if the Beatles had sung them!

And it can all be heard on NeverendingWonder Radio

Uncle Ozma's Sangria Sublime Recipe

If you've ever had Sangria, you probably don't think much of it. Sangria is a wine punch originally intended to be made using the cheapest wine you could get, combined with a bit of some kind of liquor and cheap fruit- whatever was on hand, and often was old and about to go bad, and some sweetener to make it all palatable. It was intended to get you drunk as cheaply as possible. It was intended as a party drink, to be made at home with whatever was on hand. Sangria sold in bars is often just wine mixed with lemonade and some citrus soft drink. Pretty gross. However, in this day and age Sangria has taken on a sophistication it was never meant to have and interesting recipes abound.

Last year I was going to a Thanksgiving party and I hit upon the idea of making Sangria. I researched about 50 recipes on the Internet and then came up with my own variation. Surprisingly, it was a hit! A fluke, I thought. Beginners luck! This year I went to the same party and thought I would try to make the same recipe again. It worked! It tastes wonderful and will get you plenty drunk. With many more holiday parties looming I thought I would share the recipe with those who might be interested.

1.5 litre bottle of a good Merlot. I like using Merlot because of its full body. Find one that's fairly mellow- not too acidic. High alcohol content helps- 13-17%.

1 bottle Mr. Boston Cherry Flavored Brandy

1 cup sugar

1 bottle sparkling water- I use a flavored water, cherry or strawberry.

3-4 tangerines or mandarin oranges- get them fresh, not canned

1 pound strawberries- I use the kind that come frozen in a carton. If you use fresh strawberries, use more than a pound.

1 package (10-12 ounces) frozen raspberries.

Ice cubes.


Pour about 1/3 of the bottle of Merlot in a big punch bowl. Slowly add the sugar and mix with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Poor in the rest of the Merlot and Brandy. Mix with the wooden spoon. Peel and section the mandarins/tangerines and throw them in the bowl. Add the strawberries & raspberries. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and let chill for several hours. At least two. The longer the better, so the fruit can infuse with the alcohol.

When you're ready to serve- after dinner or with desert is a perfect time- remove the bowl from the fridge. Using the wooden spoon, take some of the fruit from the bowl and put it in the bottom of each glass (use clear glasses- this drink is beautiful to look at). Put a couple ice cubes in each glass. Using a ladle or spare glass pour some of the Sangria into each glass- 3/4 to 4/5 full. Top off each glass with some of the sparkling water. Serve & ENJOY! Make sure you eat the fruit at the end- it tastes great!

I guarantee it will be a hit. If you do try out this recipe, give a little credit to the ol' Uncle Ozma!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Mixed Bag!

We have a really variety in new items added to NeverEndingWonder Radio this time around. Would you expect anything different? We start off with a pair of outstanding independent releases:

Wat Cronin - The Gousters
This is the second album in a row Walt Cronin released titled "The Gousters." Last album was a collaboration. This one is a solo effort. The couple of years in between releases has found Cronin polishing his sound yet maintaining the depth of emotion in his lyrics. It's a worthy successor to his debut release. Top of the line Americana.
The Gousters

Rebecca Oswald - October Wind
Solo piano pieces by Oregon pianist and composer Rebecca Oswald. I get an awful lot of solo piano releases, which makes me think there's a lot of piano players out there with talent that have no regular outlet for their work. That's a shame because there's a reason the piano has remained a popular instrument for so many years. The depth of emotion and the variety of its tonal qualities are equalled by no other instrument. Rebecca Oswald know how to coax these emotions from the piano and this release is worth your attention.
Rebecca Oswald

A Thurl Ravenscroft Festival
If you know the name Thurl Ravenscroft at all it's most likely either as the voice of Tony the Tiger or that glorious deep bass that sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" in the original Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Thurl, however, was one of Hollywood's busiest voice artists, acting and singing in many movies, including a lot of Disney fare. As if that wasn't enough, Ravenscroft was also a busy recording artist, as backup singer for a lot of popular artists in the 50s and even recording in several groups. Here were present Thurl in many of his guises- as a member of The Mellomen, The Sky Boys, his own group Big John and the Buzzards, singing a variety of ad spots, and backing up such singers as The Andrews Sisters, Georgia Gibbs, Rosemary Clooney, Betty Blake and some rare solo recordings.

Rhino Brothers Present The World's Worst Records
Well, no they aren't, really. They're just damn odd. A lot of classic stuff here- Edith Massey (the infamous Egg Lady from John Waters movies) with her cover of Big Girls Don't Cry, Ogden Edsl's Kinko the Clown, Jimmy Cross with I Want My Baby Back, and more wonderfully twisted songs.

Flip Wilson - You Devil You
More great comedy bits from the criminally overlooked Flip Wilson.

Khazad Doom - Encore
CD reissue of rare recordings by Khazad Doom a great lost progressive band from the 70s. Includes naterial they recorded as The Laymen, selections from their album 6 1/2 and their never released second album. It's a shame the latter material had to wait thirty years to see the light of day because it's very fine music, as I'm sure you'll agree.

Lemon Pipers - Green Tambourine and

Lemon Pipes - Jungle Marmalade
The story of The Lemon Pipers is tragically typical of the 60s music scene- label scouts spot a band they think shows promise, sign them to a contract and force them to record music completely different than the music that attracted the label in the first place. Their hit "Green Tambourine" penned by songwriters Paul Leka and Shelley Pinz was a Number One Hit, and creditted by some as the first top bubblegum hit. The band didn't care for it. They considered themselves a hard edged blues and psychedelic outfit. So there is where you get complaints from consumers of albums that "only have one good song on them" when they buy an album expecting to hear more of what they heard on the radio. I'm not going to call Green Tambourine a bad song- I love it. It's just not what the band was about. Listen to their nine minute "Through With You" or the eleven and a half minute "Dead End Street/Half Light." They had a lot more in them than Green Tambourine.

Kinks - Lola vs. Powerman and The Moneygoround
This may be the Kinks greatest album. A cynical concept album about the vagaries of the music biz predates Tom Petty's similar "Last DJ" by thirty years. The album spawned two top 40 hits- Lola and Apeman. Ray Dsvies is at his satirical best and there's not a bad song on the album.

Miss Bette Davis
Bette Davis Rerecords some songs from earlier in her career, such as I've Written a Letter to Daddy from "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" and They're Either Too Young or Too Old, as well as some whistful numbers about love and lonliness. She's not a singer but she's one hell of an actress and knows just how to deliver the material.

Oscar Brand - Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads Vol. 3
Oscar Brand has recorded hundreds of songs over the decades and most of them are dirty. Most of them can not be found anywhere else, either, because Brand records music that is TRUE folk music- songs handed down through oral tradition over the decades and mostly not even written down anywhere. Songs like Seven Old Ladies Locked in a Lavatory and Three Prominant Bastards. Silly, satirical, scurrilous, clever, witty- we're very fortunate there's someone like Oscar Brand who had the foresight to record these gems before they were lost.

Nervous Norvus - Stoneage Woo
I saved the best for last. Nervous Norvus was the stage name of Jimmy Drake- a demo singer from California. Aspiring songwriters would send Drake their lyrics and for a modest fee he would set them to music and record a demo version which the songwriter then could send out to prospective recording artists. Fortunately for us, Drake had another side- the cracked persona of Nervous Norvus whose appropriately shaky vocals made a hit out of Tranfusion, Ape Call, Dig and a few others. They're all included here, as well as a raft of other crazy songs and even some of Drake's demo work. Not to be missed!

You can hear all this on... where else but:

NeverEndingWonder Radio

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thanks for Tuning In & Back to Regularly Irregular Programming!

It was another successful Halloween Season on NeverEndingWonder Halloween Radio. We didn't quite equal last year's numbers, but with huge stations like Pandora, 1fm & getting into the Halloween act, we held our own. Thanks to everyone who tuned into the three stations of The NeverEndingWonder Halloween Radio Empire during October, 2008! I made many new friends and had a wonderful time chatting with Halloween fanatics in the temporary NeverEndingWonder Chat Room. Our new feature "The Voices of Halloween was also a great hit, and I hope next year I can add many voices. Looking forward to next year already! And BTW, Halloween fans- Welcome to Weirdsville will remain on the air for a couple more months- so tune in here:

Welcome to Weirdsville

And, now that Halloween is over, and we've returned to our regularly irregular programming, the droves of listeners have disappeared! Who'd have guessed it! Don't worry though, faithful listeners, there's plenty of NEW CONTENT on NeverEndingWonder Radio to surprise & amaze you! I was looking through my archives for something rocking and upbeat, because I was thinking the mix was becoming a bit staid. However, I came across a couple albums by two of the best finger picking guitarists to ever live, and I thought- I really can't pass this up, and it's Fall... Winter coming soon... people will be settling down to long hours inside... a more contemplative mood will prevail... so I said WTH- I'll add these gems by Leo Kottke and John Fahey:

Leo Kottke - My Feet are Smiling

Leo Kottke - Circle Round the Sun

John Fahey - The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death

John Fahey - Voice of the Turtle
These four albums together are some of the best work by two of the best finger picking guitarists to ever record music. Both were iconoclastic artists who cared little for public recognition or popular taste. They both epitomise pure artistry. I'm glad to share them with you.

More recent additions:

The Matthew Show - February
This new offering from The Matthew Show is my favorite from them. Combining recordings of five individuals musing on their lives with songs, The Matthew Show creates a theme album with an ambitious premise and pulls it off with great insight, humor and poignancy. The music lives up to the promise as well.
The Matthew Show Website

Les Fradkin - Reality: A Rock Opera
Synth-guitar virtuoso Les Fradkin tries his hand at crafting an album full of social importance.
Les Fradkin Website

Lucibel Crater - The Family Album
Americana with depth and variety. One track features Lou Reed!
Lucibel Crater Website

Life in a Blender - The Heart is a Small Balloon &

Life in a Blender - Tell Me I'm Pretty
This band sent me a song- Dead Get Down- they thought might make a great Halloween song. It did. I asked liked their music so much I asked them to send me a CD. They sent two. You're lucky they did! Combining unusual instrumentation - violin, cello, marimba, Hammond B3, trumpet and trombone- with a quirky enthusiasm for music, the result is an off-beat sensibility that's complex and catchy.
Life in a Blender Website

The Collectors
Originally known as The Classics, CFUN Classics or The Canadian Classics, this 60s Canadian psychedelic band is a great example of a long gone era.

The Copulation Compilation
More diry songs! Some familiar names here- Kip Adotta's "Wet Dream" and a song by Red Peters, but there's plenty of obscure bits of filthy songwriting as well. You can't go wrong with ... well... you know...

Tony Schwartz - The New York Taxi Driver
There was a time in the 40s-60s when home tape recorders were becoming popular, that field recordings were quite the rage. All manner of musical offerings were recorded in the field, leading to the discobery of such gems as Moondog and Joseph Spence. Music wasn't the only thing recorded in the field, however, EVERYTHING was. Industrial factory noise, city street noises, barnyard animals, bird songs and PEOPLE. Peopl talking. Pepl talking about anything. The bet remembered of these was Tony Schwartz's The New York Taxi Driver - recordings of conversations he had with cabbies as he rode in their taxis.

Lorie Line - Storyline
New Age piantist's second album rounds out our contemplative, reflective offerings this round.

Of course, we never rest, here at NeverEndingWonder Radio! I just got four CDs in the mail today. Please leave your comments and tune in here:

NeverEndingWonder Radio

P.S,- This post took three hours longer than it would have, but Blogger managed to wipe out most of my work not once, but TWICE.