Skip navigation

Category Archives: downstate Illinois


DJ Reggaetone and I attempt to fit 3/4 waves of ska into two hours, replete with factoids, banter, and technical glitches. Dreaming of a black and white Christmas. We field requests via telephone, facebook, and cell, and wander into the treacherous cul-de-sacs of bands we’ve never heard but which have funny names, one of the features of third-wave ska. Listen and skank.


We have uploaded some new and old radio shows for your enjoyment.

John Martyn (with guest scholar Philip Graham) (16 August 2011) (Note: this MP3 has some volume problems at the beginning due to the complex nature of community radio stations. Skip ahead.)
Rolling Stones (with guest scholar Honcho) (5 September 2011)
The Upper Register (with guest scholar John Gehner) (12 September 2011)
Re-uploaded by special request:
Songs About Champaign (with guest scholar John Steinbacher) (1 November 2010)

On November 1, John Steinbacher of Smile Politely Radio joined us, expertly mastering the WWII-era WEFT mixing board, and hosting a show of songs by national artists that mention “Champaign” (Illinois), and then, to fill the remaining hour and 45 minutes, songs by national artists that mention other downstate Illinois communities, songs by downstate Illinois bands that mention Champaign, songs with “Champaign” in the title that are about something else, and bands that have the word “Champaign” in their name. At no point was REO Speedwagon played. Nor, apparently, does anybody have anything to say about “Urbana.” Listen to our world.

Thanks again to our entire facebook rock geek advisory panel for the assistance identifying songs that refer to other bands. This show worked out well. Scott liked it much better than he did songs that refer to their own bands.

For Valentine’s Day Cristy and I are going to dedicate a show to songs named after women, especially songs named after Judy or Caroline, as we have found enough songs about these two ladies to make a collage. We’ll be getting caught up with the Myshkins requests with “Mimi LaValley.” We’ll finally get around to Phil Ochs with “Celia.” We will not play “Cecilia.” And we will play some things by bands other than Material Issue.

We even recorded a short promo so you can try before you download.

As we hope to organize these songs in alphabetic order, we are in dire need of songs named after women whose names begin with Q, X, and Z. Rock geek scrabble, anyone?

Flawedcasts of those two shows are downloadable here: A-MN-Z

Next Saturday we are going to devote an hour to newly-released music. Last year saw a new album by some band called Radiohead, and this week saw me finally get my pre-ordered LP of Goodnight, Oslo, by Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3. Future Clouds and Radar, a Texas band that sounds British, completed a concept album about Peoria, Illinois, for reasons that remain obscure. And Ben Folds titled his latest after Normal, Illinois, and wrote a song about Effingham, even if he got the name wrong. Downstate Illinois is the new Tobacco Road, apparently.

Were there any new records last year (or this) that struck your fancy? As music snobs stuck in the 1990s and 1980s, respectively, Cristy and I will rely on your suggestions.

Tune in to Rock Geek F.M. Saturday mornings from 8-9 a.m. CST on Or at a more reasonable hour in the Nordic countries. Or, if you’re reading this now, listen to the MP3 on the wayback machine.