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Category Archives: Rolling Stones

For our final scheduled show, Cristy and William explore the discontinuous topic of great closing tracks on great albums. Except for “Hang Loose,” which we forgot, which Cristy is still mad about, even though she wouldn’t even let William consider including any They Might Be Giants songs. So we’re burying the hatchet right between your ears.

Download Closing Tracks or listen below

Into the sunset, radio on.

Into the sunset, radio on.

26 songs, signifying A-Z, in one hour, from the Muppets to hardcore punk. Join us in this race against time. Download or listen below.




Never did I expect this day would come, nor did I anticipate grieving with such sweet sorrow. You can bet that tonight I’m going to dim the lights and play Memory Motel. “She drove a pick-up truck/painted green and blue…” So true…

More on this story...




Cristy! I knew that was you calling as soon as I heard the gloomy dissonance of Scott Walker!

Here are some original plagiarized* ringtones, created by William for his personal use. You either get it or you don’t. Download! Enjoy!

* “Sampled.” Fair use?


Songs about monkeys. With Cristy, William, and Ba. Our second show in a row with a legitimate listener calling in a legitimate request—this time it was a two-year-old. Peel a banana, sit back on your favorite branch, and enjoy.

Keith Richards. Image courtesy of, who probably stole it from somewhere else.

Keith Richards. Image courtesy of, who probably stole it from somewhere else.

stones poster

“I just want to have a good life,” I tell Cristy, almost pleading.

“I just want good friends, good music, good food, and some peace of mind. A job, a family. Is that so exorbitant? I just want things to be nice. And there’s no place in that for septuagenarian junkies, pedophiles, and dilettantes.”

I am beside myself, having awoken with a hangover. We were up too late, playing Scrabble and taking turns choosing record sides. This all started harmlessly enough. But things went downhill. And as the evening wore on, it got outright ugly. Some Girls, side 1. Emotional Rescue, side 2. As the game grew more vicious and competitive, entertainment had become psychological warfare, which had become pushing on the bruise, feeding an addiction that could no longer be satisfied.

But today is going to be different. I don’t need the live albums, the greatest hits. I’m going to sell that poster with the star-spangled lips, the gross black and white poster where it looks like Charlie Watts is staring at a shirtless Jagger’s junk, and even the 1974 tour flag.


Repeated efforts to unload this artifact on Ebay were unrewarding—some dude in France finally bought it for low double digits and I ate the postage.


Next thing you know, it’s 1 a.m. on a work night again. There we are watching YouTube, snickering at Mick Jagger’s striped socks in the video for “She’s so Cold.” In ecstasy over Mick’s performing the talking part of”Miss You” inches from the camera lens (“Whassa matta wit you boy?”) The ridiculous Richard-Simmons-inspired workout garb in the video for “Mixed Emotions” off their critically un-acclaimed non-breakthough not-masterpiece Steel Wheels. All of it like caramel corn you can’t stop gorging no matter how bad it sticks to your teeth, or how many unpopped kernels you have to extract from your mouth and secrete somewhere.

Jaggerholism/Richards Addiction are a terrible disease. It starts out as harmless R&B fun, becomes the greatest rock in the world, and then, slowly, year by year, it just stops working.

Oh sure, there were plenty of warning signs. For us and for them. For me it should have been Dirty Work. I bought that record the day it was released, a naive teenager, and then, astonished at how bad it was, I sold it back the next week—and even sold back the previous effort Undercover just to be on the safe side. Nothing prepared me for this. This was a major label release by a major label act. Don’t the rules of the market mean you must put out a quality product? Weren’t the Stones one of the greatest bands in the world? Didn’t they have all the resources at their disposal to create a masterpiece—including, if necessary, hiring a better band to write and record it for them? And if for some reason, you are obliged to release an album that clearly has no value, doesn’t a basic respect for humanity stipulate that you include a warning or disclaimer? They did that for profanity back then—why not for total crap? It’s not like the proceeds went to charity.

I learned my lesson. A hard lesson: Not every highly hyped major label album is any good. This was hard for a teenager to comprehend. Some very credible music totally sucked ass. Something was amiss in the industry. How widespread was the problem? Had my gut been trying to send me a message the whole time about John Cougar Mellencamp, Asia, The Steve Miller Band?

But now, I have learned not to blame myself. For Dirty Work. And Steel Wheels. I don’t even fully blame the label.

I blame the Rolling Stones.


  1. When you get inspired to write a sincere rock and roll song about rock and roll, and how cool rock and roll is, and how rock and roll kicks ass. These songs are all embarrassing, from Huey Lewis to Bob Seger to Billy Joel. The decent ones I can list on the fingers of one hand, and they are mostly by David Bowie (who is a lot of wonderful things, but “sincere” is not one of them). In 1974, the Stones released two rock songs about rock on a single album. Mick Taylor immediately quit the band in disgust.
  2. When having cool socks becomes important. Look at the yellow numbers on Charlie Watts on the cover of Dirty Work (no sign of dirty work on those clean socks). Look at the striped pair of designer socks Mick Jagger sports in the video for “She’s So Cold.”
  3. Song titles with words like “Dance” or “Part 1” (“Dance (Pt. 1)”, 1978). Especially troubling when there is no Part 2—a gesture toward pretentiousness without the actual substance of pretentiousness. *
  4. Breaking bones because you tried to climb a palm tree to get a coconut is nature’s little way of telling you that you are a drug-addled seventy-year-old.
  5. When 80% of the band does not die of drug overdoses, through no fault of their own.
  6. When you find yourself clumsily imitating trends instead of creating them (although we should acknowledge that the Stones were doing this as early as 1967, even if it did not become conspicuous until 1978).
  7. Trying to shore up your tough guy image with bad-ass-sounding song titles (see all of Undercover). Note that at an age when Mick and Keith could have held their own in a fist fight, they were releasing songs like “Lady Jane,” “She’s a Rainbow,” and “Dandelion.”
  8. Talking parts (“Miss You,” “Emotional Rescue,” “Too Much Blood,” “Fool to Cry”—basically every record after 1973)
  9. In a three-year span you release a song called “She Was Hot” and another called “She’s So Cold.” Time to outsource the writing?

* I would later discover that there is a “Dance (pt. 2)”—the only original song on the unfortunately, accurately entitled greatest hits Sucking in the 70s. NOT that, mind you, PART ONE HAD LEFT ME IN ANY SUSPENSE.

I could use a pair of fresh socks, innit.

I could use a pair of fresh socks, innit.

As Rock Genre Directors at WEFT 90.1 FM, once a month we would set about opening our mail, criticizing the type treatment used by the mostly micro-label CDs we received, and digging for buried musical treasure. All on the air, with envelopes ripping and bubble wrap popping. And lots of playing songs that were new to us, even if they might be stale to others.

Send your CD to Rock Geek Enterprises, P.O.Box 91, Urbana IL 61803.

28 February 2009: Vampire Weekend, Davis Schneiderman, Robyn Hitchcock, &c.

20 June 2009: Martin Newell, The Bird and the Bee, Robyn Hitchcock, &c.

1 August 2009: Common Loon, Paul Kotheimer, &c.

19 September 2009: Phoenix, Electric Tickle Machine, Apples in Stereo, Vivian Girls, &c.

15 January 2010: Surprises both fresh and rancid.

12 April 2010: Broken Bells, Gorillaz, MC Frontalot, &c.

14 June 2010: Dead Weather, Seth Augustus, Karen Elson, &c.

19 July 2010: Wolf Parade, Hot Hot Heat, Black Keys, Sadies, Dark Night of the Soul, &c.

16 August 2010: An attempt to work through the entire alphabet: new releases by bands starting with letters A—Z…

30 August 2010: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Wavves, Aloe Blacc, &c.

20 September 2010: Of Montreal, Philip Selway, &c.

18 October 2010: Janelle Monae! (Followed by a live performance by Community College on the WEFT Sessions)

15 November 2010: Decemberists, and what else do you need, really?

13 December 2010: John Steinbacher joins William while Cristy takes a holiday

17 January 2011: with Todd Hunter

7 March 2011: Chain and the Gang, Bare Wires, &c. Wow.

18 April 2011: Dopestylevsky, Mammals of Zod, Paul Kotheimer, Gary Heidt, Shipbuilding Company, Deerhoof, &c.

6 June 2011: Raphael Saadiq, Chad VanGaalen, &c.

20 June 2011: Fist of Kindness, Five-Eight, Wombats, the Head, Hammer No More the Fingers, &c.

18 July 2011: Bloc Party, Mike Watt, &c.

22 August 2o11: Rome, Material Issue, &c.

12 December 2011: We were late and called in to ask a baby boomer to start our show, with predictable results. Thanks, Mick.

 23 January 2012: They Might Be Giants, The Asteroid Galaxy Tour, &c.


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)



MC Willy G PhD ABD
MC Willy G PhD ABD

1. I was born in a cross-fire hurricane.

2. If I were a swan, I’d be gone.

3. I wish I were a Kellogg’s cornflake. I’d rather be a hammer than a nail.

4. I need a dumptruck to unload my head.

5. Superman or Green Lantern ain’t got nothing on me.

6. I’m gonna fly my freak flag high.

7. I’m a snow-covered mountain in an empty room.

8. I should pour through the keyhole or evaporate completely.

9. I have tried marijuana. I get nervous every time: There will come a knocking at the door.

10. I am a man who will fight for your honor.

11. I’d like to be under the sea.

12. When I was an astronaut, an asteroid ht the earth and prematurely ended my career.

13. My tissue is rotting where the rats chew my bones. My eye socket’s empty. I’m a space invader, I’ll be a rock-and-rolling bitch for you. This film is a saddening bore, because I wrote it ten times or more. I’d like to be a gallery and put you all inside my show.

14. I live above a grocer’s store owned by an Austrian. He often calls me down for tea. He jokes about his broken English, tries to be a friend to me. But for all my years of reading conversation, I stand without a word to say.

15. My death waits there among the leaves.

16. I’ve got an electric guitar and half a bottle of warm beer. I’ve got some funny ideas about what sounds good.

17. I may be hungry but I sure ain’t weird.

18. Eight miles out of Memphis and I got no spare.

19. I’ve got a crystal ball, a divining rod, a magnifying glass and a pack of dogs.

20. The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south.

21. Memories of it still keep calling and calling, but forget it all, I know I will.

22. My wheels never touched the road.

23. It’s awfully considerate of you to think of me here, and I’m much obliged to you for making it clear that I’m not here. I’ve been looking all over the place for a place for me, but it ain’t anywhere. It just ain’t anywhere.

24. I’m a Citizens for Boysenberry Jam fan.

25. If I were a better man, I’d understand the spaces between friends.