Doubleplusgood: Every Tues., 3-6pm. 103.3 WPRB-FM. www.wprb.com
"I have a long history of liking and collecting robots," 26-year-old South Jersey native Liz Walsh says. Her DJ name is Lizbot, and she even did a robot-themed set last December that included Looper, Kraftwerk, Devo, Kool Keith and Gary Numan. "I find them simultaneously fun and menacing," she says.
Striking a similar balance is Walsh's show's name, Doubleplusgood, which comes from the novel 1984. "It's happy and duplicitous at the same time," says Walsh, who studied literature at Bryn Mawr and linguistics at Penn. "I think it reflects the bipolar nature of the show, from manic pop and post-punk to dissonant no wave."
The show has featured live sets by Chicago jazz mainstay Robert Mazurek and Lesser Birds of Paradise. Walsh is also scheduled to do an April 27 DJ night at Silk City called Girl Gone Feral.
Until then, she picked out five records she keeps coming back to.
Sparks, Kimono My House (Island, 1974)
"I love the Sparks. They have all the elements of my favorite pop music. It's basically melodic power-pop. A lot of stuff like that doesn't have the intelligent lyrics the Sparks do. This album also had the best backing band-they went through a lot of backing bands. Morrissey wrote an article obsessing about this record in NME before his career started."
Orange Juice, You Can't Hide Your Love Forever (Polydor, 1982)
"Again, these are really joyful, fey vocals that have a background of funk. It's white-boy funk, but it's surprisingly great. I like the term 'fop-pop' for it. 'Consolation Prize' is my favorite. They're another influence of Morrissey's."
Momus, 20 Vodka Jellies (Le Grand Magistery, 1996)
"Okay, I love Momus. He's just one of the best contemporary songwriters, hands down. He does a Buzzcocks cover here, and there are songs he wrote for Kahimi Karie. 'I Am a Kitten' is great, but my favorite is 'Radiant Night.' It's sort of haughty and completely silly at the time."
Felt, The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories (Cherry Red, 1984)
"I'm at a loss to describe Felt except that it's lush and lovely and reverb-y. This album's got great pop songs like 'Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow,' but also these gorgeous instrumental tracks. It's sort of their South American- and Spanish-influenced album."
Laurie Anderson, Big Science (Warner Bros., 1982)
"I love very well-done storytelling, and this is a really perfect combination of storytelling and song. This is her first album, and I still think it's the best. After I first heard it, I found out that there are modern women composers who make electronic music. Laurie Anderson kind of opened the door for that."
Do You Remember the Times
Fri., March 18, 10pm. $10. With DJ Jazzy Joe, Toney B, Mike O + Grand V. North by Northwest, 7165 Germantown Ave. 215.248.1000. www.nxnwphl.com
DJ Gary O's career began as many illustrious ones do-by accident. In 1978 he and a friend DJed a house party with one turntable, a component set and his mother's record collection. Gary O's subsequent DJ career has seen the best days of R&B, soul, funk, club, house and hip-hop. Although he's spun at every major club in the city and enjoys playing a variety of music, the hits of the '80s hold a special place in his heart. "The party days were back years ago-the good party days when people would go out just to have a good time. The time I came through was the greatest time," he says. Gary O's new monthly gig at NXNW adheres to a strictly old-school policy with the goal of maintaining that laid-back vibe. If you miss the block-party days of yore, witnessing the King of Philly DJs spin alongside the talent he mentored will give you hope that they can hold it down for the next generation. (Emily Brochin)
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