Andy MacKenzie's blog

GoldThe California Gold Rush began on January 24th, 1848, when gold was found by one James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California.  

A salute to humanity's favorite heavy metal will open this week's Whizbang.

Tuesday 1/24/12, 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.


bookAs you all know, January 16th through 22nd is International Printing Week (or maybe that was just a typo and it's International Sprinting Week).    

A salute to the vanishing joys of curling up on the couch with a dead tree in your hands will open this week's Whizbang.

Tuesday January 17th, 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.




January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day, so this week's Whizbang will begin with a short salute to the world's #1 addiction problem: electricity.

Tuesday 1/10/12, 8-10 PM.

Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.

  • Tue
    Jan 03
    9:00 pm -
    9:00 pm
  • Sat
    Jan 07
    1:00 am -
    1:00 am


EggEven though this allegedly 'new' year shows every sign of being a badly-done remake of 2008, only with even more desperately-misleading political campaigns and worse weather, the ever-optimistic Intercranial Whizbang Hour will kick off its first show of the year with songs of renewal and hope.

And hey, it's 2012.  You know what that means?  That's right - the beginning of an eight-year run of Beatles-related 50th anniversaries!  

DeccaHere's #1: Fifty years ago, on New Year's Day 1962, John, Paul, George and Pete arrived at the studios of Decca Records to record their first-ever major label audition.  Which of course they failed, then broke up and were never heard from again.  Nevertheless the best recordings from this session will be featured during the second half of the show.  (I wonder what ever became of them?)

Tuesday 1/3/12, 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.

Happy XmasOn December 6, 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono released Happy Xmas (War is Over).  

Almost exactly forty years later, on December 18, 2011, the last American troops left Iraq, ending this country's nearly nine-year military involvement there.

Coincidence?  You be the judge.  

But in any case, in light of these events it seems only fair and proper to kick off this week's installment of the Intercranial Whizbang Hour's annual Holiday Music Overdose with the original version of what has since become a Christmas standard.

And welcome home, troops.  Take off your boots and stay a while.

Tuesday Dec. 20th, 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.

SarahYou've obviously all been very naughty this year, since you're about to be subjected to two entire hours of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in pop, rock, jazz, blues, funk, electronic, foreign-language and apparently alien-artifact versions.

"Rudolph" started life as a coloring book created in 1939 by Robert L. May as a give-away for the Montgomery Ward department stores.  

Many years later, Roberts brother-in-law, Johnny Marks adapted the original story/poem into a song, which was first sung by crooner Harry Brannon on New York City radio in early November of 1949.  The first recorded version was released on November 25th of that same year by cowboy singing star Gene Autry.

You read all about it here.  Meanwhile brace yourself and tune in - it beats getting coal (or worse) in your stocking.

ZappaThroughout the history of popular (and unpopular) music there have been stellar composers and performers who have received wide recognition and many honors.  

But how many of them can say they have an extinct mollusc (Amaurotoma Zappa), a jellyfish (Phialella Zappai) a spider (Pachygnatha Zappa - because "the ventral side of the abdomen of the female of this species strikingly resembles the artist's legendary moustache"), an asteroid (3834 Zappafrank) and a bacterium that causes urinary tract infections (zapA), named for them?

Not too dang many.  Read on.

Frank Zappa's birthday is actually Dec. 21st, but that's right in the middle of the Intercranial Whizbang Hour's annual holiday-music overdose, so we're going to celebrate it this week instead, beginning with an hour or so of Zappa compositions as interpreted by other musicians and arrangers in a number of different musical genres.  These will be followed by a recently rediscovered 25-minute recording by the maestro himself from 1967 - entitled How Did That Get in Here? - which became the basis for his early masterwork Lumpy Gravy.  

If you only know FZ as the poo-poo/wee-wee jokester of "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow"  and his other novelty hits you might just want to tune in.

Tuesday 12/6/11, 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.




This Tuesday it will be exactly ten years since George Harrison (aka Hari Georgeson) graduated from this lifetime.  

And especially in the wake of the recent Living in the Material World documentary, now seems like a good time to play a few George rarities, mash-ups and cover versions.

Tuesday 11/29/11 , 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.

Frankenstein posterNo, this isn't a belated Halloween show.  But it was exactly 80 years ago, on November 21st, 1931, that the definitive film version of Frankenstein was released - and it was, shall we say, a monster.  

There had been at least two previous versions put on film.  The first, also called Frankenstein, was a fifteen-minute version made in 1910 by the Edison company and is still available for viewing here or downloading here.Frank 1910  The second, called Life Without Soul, was made in 1915 and has apparently been lost.

But the 1931 version (which was originally to have starred Bela Lugosi as the Monster, by the way) set the standard for virtually every monster movie that followed, and generally shows up on every film critic's "Best Films of All Time" lists.  The story of this film's production (and censorship) is fascinating and can be read here.

A salute to Henry Frankenstein and his bouncing baby boy to open this week's Whizbang.  Oh, all right, and some Thanksgiving songs too.

Tuesday 11/22/11, 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.

  • Tue
    Nov 15
    9:00 pm -
    9:00 pm
  • Sat
    Nov 19
    1:00 am -
    1:00 am


RecyclingClement of Alexandria (c.150-215 A.D.), theologian, vegetarian and generally cosmic dude, had this to say about recycling:

"We are not to throw away those things which can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good: they are instruments for good, in the hands of those who use them properly."

And since November 15th is America Recycles Day, this week's Whizbang will feature only songs created from 100% post-consumer recycled audio waves - in particular songs about trash and the recycling thereof.

Tuesday 11/15/11, 8-10 PM.  Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.

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