Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pirate Cat Radio, Week Two

A Season In Hell, on Pirate Cat Radio 87.9FM, Monday's 8-Midnight (PST) This week was too much fun. I had on as special guests, Ron Donavan and Chuck Sperry of Firehouse Custom Poster Art, in San Francisco. They brought along with them Reese, Matt and Jamie, of B.R.A.G. Art, three aspiring poster artists from across the pond: England. What ensued should have been captured on film. At least Ron couldn't put down his iPhone. They arrived around 9pm, the show having been on since 8. Ice Cream Lopez let them in, and once the beer was flowing, we got down to brass tax. I asked them to bring music, which they did. They offered to bring posters to give away over the air, which they did as well. Attempting to do an actual interview while Ron was on the prowl, proved to be a task, but one I was ready to be challenged with. One issue I have encountered at Pirate Cat Radio is the fact that the three mics are all tied into one chanell, with one mic being very "hot", and the other quite "cold". In laymen terms, that means I havee to keep my hand on the volume knob at all times. While I was interviewing the Brits, Ron kept jumping in with some rather entertaining comments and questions. You must listen to the podcast of this show to understand what I'm talking about. I'm a collector of all things concert poster since I was 14 years old, and I bought a 1st edition Lee Conklin Grateful Dead poster, from 2/27-3/2/69. That's the run of shows featured on the classic "Live Dead" release. I have quite a few Firehouse posters as well, so getting to know Ron and Chuck personally has been quite a treat. I've known Ron for about a year, and I can tell you he's your best friend. He'll go far out of his way to collaborate on the most fun activities with you. Chuck is a true friend. He's interested in what you've got to say, and he's so excited to share his ideas with you too. It's no wonder they work together. There is a ton of energy between the two of them. They made the poster for this weekend's Endless Strummer show at Bottom of the Hill, in San Francisco. The show is a tribute to the late great Clash singer/guitarist, Joe Strummer. It's also a benefit for Strummerville, The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music. The show begins at 9pm. If you're in the SF Bay Area, come on out for a great show. Pirate Cat Radio will be broadcasting the entire show as well, and I'll be the MC for the night. Tune in online here, to listen live. As for the music on this fine SF night, it's all over the map. Check out the links, and as always, support live, local music.

Finklestein Shit Kid

Up In Smoke:
Cheech and Chong
James Bond Theme:
Naked City

Almost Ready:
Dino Jr.
Blood Witch:
32 Mouths Gone Dry:
Slim Cessna
Gogol Bordelo

You’re Gonna Miss Me:
Roky Erickson
High Roller:
Cheap Trick
Cocaine: Johnny Cash

Police & Theives:
The Clash (03-08-80)
Wiggle Stick:
Rev. Horton Heat
Earthquake: Butthole Surfers


A Children’s Garden Of Grass
Diamanda Galas
Rock Fight: Cheech & Chong


Where is the Future:
Sonic Youth
Prince (7-7-07)


Marquee Moon:
The Elderberries
It’s Hard To Be Humble:
Mac Davis


Hitler’s & Jews:
Part Chimp
Earth People:
Dr. Octogon
the Sticks
I Love Livin’ In The City:
Danko Jones


Wasted Life:
Uncommon Men From Mars
Stay Free:
The Clash (09-21-79)
The Way:
Bonnie Prince Billy


Up In Smoke Reprise: Cheech & Chong

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pirate Cat Radio, Week Two

So I should have known it was too good to be true. My first show at Pirate Cat Radio ( proved to be a fine one, with many lessons. The best part was hosting the wonderful and humble Scott Beale, of Laughing Squid ( He was kind enough to post some pics from the show. Take a look here:
Yeah, that’s me. I need a haircut.

The lessons were numerous. First, get the keys. I showed up at the station an hour early, but no one was on the air. I had to drive to get the keys. I showed up with 15 minutes to spare. Secondly, get a working doorbell, or at least a cell phone that works. The ringer and vibrate on my phone don’t work, neither does the station door bell. Hmm…. Finally, don’t bring so much damn music. That one will be the hardest. I may have reached for that one. You can never bring too much music.

I asked this week’s special guests to bring music. Speaking of this week, my special guests are none other than world-renowned concert poster artists Chuck Sperry and Ron Donovan, collectively known as Firehouse.

We’ll be talking about the life of a poster artist, how they started, who they have done work for, which they like, and hopefully some trash about those they don’t. Supposedly, they’re bringing some folks who are apprenticing for them, too.

After my first show, I though about how I want the show to look after the four hours are over, week to week. The first hour will focus on new music in the indie vein. The second hour will focus on the interview. The final two hours is where you will find me stretching out. I love to take risks with music, mixing genres, and throwing caution to the wind, by disregarding music length.

I’ll take your calls, and definitely take requests (I may not play it, but you can always try). Take a risk on me, and tune in every Monday night, 8-midnight on Pirate Cat Radio, 87.9FM,

All shows are archived as well. Yippee!!!


John Hell

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Master Dick, Tell Us About The Future

Dick Cheney is truly the most remarkable guy in the world. How did he know as far back as 1994, that we would be in a quagmire if we went into Iraq? Now, someone go into the past and tell the old Dick to talk to the new Dick.

A Season In Hell #1 on Pirate Cat Radio

A Season in Hell, Episode on Pirate Cat, 08-20-07

My first show on Pirate Cat Radio, and my first radio show in four years. To say I was excited and anxious to get started is a true understatement. I prepared all day for the show.

When I arrived at the station though, the doors were locked, and no one was answering. I finally got in with fifteen minutes to prepare before I went on the air. I was a bit annoyed, and a bit frazzled to boot. On top of this, I agreed to train my friend Ice Cream Lopez on the board, which I had never used before, and I had an interview to host. Every board is similair, so once I organzied my music, I could relax.

I opened the show with the first two tracks from the Cheech & Chong "Up In Smoke" soundtrack. It'll work as my theme for a while. I'm one to change up my theme songs every few months. I close with "Up in Smoke Reprise".

the interview with Scott Beale of Laughing Squid went incredibly well. I've been friends with Scott since my early Burning Man days. My first year was 94, his was 95. He used to come and hang out with me in the Radio Free Burning Man studios. It was an air-conditioned studio. He took a ton of video, and was certainly looked at as the BM archivist for a few years. He ran their website for three years too.

We spoke about his path over the years, in terms of his interests in technology. Scott and I both have a tendancy to go off on tangents, and we did just that. Luckily, I have the experience of a veteran interviewer to bring it back around. I think I did a good job of that. You be the judge.

Scott posted pics from the show here.

As for the music, I plan on making the first hour all new music, of multiple genres, but never commercial pop. The second hour will be the interview. The final two hours will be more on the experimental/avant garde/spacey/noisy realm. I feel that late night shows have a responsibility to stretch out aurally.

Send me an email if you have any comments, questions, or even requests.

Finklestein Shit Kid: Cheech & Chong
Up In Smoke: Cheech & Chong

Complicated Life: The Kinks
Three Bobs: National Hardwood Floor Association
Shit Luck: Modest Mouse
Dazed & Chinese: Bongwater
Lickskillet: Radio Moscow

Nice, Nice, Very Nice: Ambrosia
Killer Sound Waves From Outer Space: Turn Me On Dead Man

---Scott Beale Interview---

New Resolution: Heartless Bastards
Sand: OP8

---Scott Beale Interview---

Powderfinger: Neil Young
Satisfaction: Cat Power

---Scott Beale Interview---

Waiting for my Man (live): Lou Reed
The First and Last To Love Me: Kip Hanrahan

---Scott Beale Interview---

Freedom Day: Max Roach
Collegno: Revolutionary Ensemble

---Scott Beale Interview---

Candle (live): Sonic Youth
C Visar Vagen: Dungen

---Scott Beale Interview---

Tibet: Don Cherry
I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama: John Lennon

Sweet No.1: Boris w/ Michio Kurihara
Leave Your Perch…: Wooden Wand

Creole Love Call: Roland Kirk
She Shook Me Cold: David Bowie
I Can See For Miles: Petra Haden
Way Down In The Hole (live): Tom Waits

Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan

My show is every Monday night, 8-midnight (PST). Tune in online at
If you live in San Francisco or Los Angeles you can tune in your radio
to 87.9FM

See you on the radio.

Image by Scott Beale and can be found here.