Year: 1990
Original Format: cassette

In its original format this mix had a subtitle and explanatory liner notes, reproduced below. (This was 30 years ago and I was smoking a lot of weed, so I trust you will be generous in your judgement.)

RADIO VENUS

The Oakland Mind Control Laboratories routinely monitor radio transmissions from deep space as part of the ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence designated Operation MOFO. Since 1967, these transmissions have uniformly consisted of nothing but random white noise and gibberish.

On May 23, 1990, at precisely 5:23 AM Greenwich mean time, the Laboratories received and recorded a transmission — or, more properly, two transmissions of 45 minutes each, separated by a short pause — of clearly intelligible words and music. These transmissions were later determined to have travelled from roughly the direction of the planet Venus. They are here made audible to the public for the first time.

Playlist:

Configured for the TV Mission Control
During the period I was buying a lot of old vinyl at thrift shops, and the moon landing record was one of them. This particular clip is a shout-out to my friend TV, for whom this tape was originally made.

She’s on Drugs The Jazz Butcher
“Back in 2007/8 I messaged Pat [Fish, a/k/a the Jazz Butcher], asking if he’d consider playing at our wedding. Pat being the good sport he is acquiesced, and an agreement was arrived at, and Pat did indeed play a wonderful and well-thought-out set, for which I’m eternally grateful. For various nefarious reasons we’d failed to get it together to dance to our ‘first dance’ number. Entirely unrelatedly during Pat’s set on a whim I asked Jules to dance. What, to this? She asked, thinking of Mum and Dad and drugs. Yes, to this I grinned, so we did.” —“Chris in Lancaster” (via Jazzbutcher.com)

Fortunately Gone The Breeders
What a great song, and over so soon.

Now I Am Dead Nelson Olmsted
From Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” as narrated on an album called Tales of Terror — another thrift shop acquisition.

Imitation Pearls David J
This is a young man’s pledge not to sell out, but David has mostly stuck to it — jamming econo, putting out records on tiny labels, playing shows in people’s living rooms. This year he’s making some bank by touring with Bauhaus, and more power to him.

Someday Voice Farm
“This album pulls off the difficult feat of perfectly balancing accessibility with subversiveness and sarcasm with sincerity.” —Allmusic.com

Like a Rolling Stone The Jimi Hendrix Experience
“Many artists have covered ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ including David Bowie (with Mick Ronson), the Four Seasons, Sixto Rodriguez, The Young Rascals, Cher, The Creation, David Gilmour, The Surfaris,[107] Al Stewart, John Mellencamp, The Wailers, Sebastian Cabot, and the Rolling Stones. Guitarist Jimi Hendrix, performing with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, recorded a live version at the Monterey Pop Festival. Hendrix was an avid fan of Bob Dylan, and especially liked ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ ‘It made me feel that I wasn’t the only one who’d ever felt so low …” Hendrix said.[119] Hendrix skipped the third verse…. Music critic Greil Marcus described the atmosphere of the Hendrix recording thus: ‘Huge chords ride over the beginning of each verse like rain clouds; the tune is taken very slowly, with Hendrix’s thick, street-talk drawl sounding nothing at all like Dylan’s Midwestern dust storm.’” —Wikipedia

Scandal at the Jungle Hiltons William S. Burroughs
“With special guest Allen Ginsburg as the piranha food.”

I’m Straight The Modern Lovers
“Warner Brothers then engaged Kim Fowley to work with the band, but by this time Richman refused to perform some of his most popular earlier songs live. The band were also affected by the death during the sessions of their friend Gram Parsons: on the day before Parsons’ death, he and Richman had played miniature golf and discussed recording together. The sessions with Fowley were aborted, although two tracks, ‘I’m Straight’ and the original recording of ‘Government Center,’ and possibly others, were later issued on CD versions of The Modern Lovers.” —Wikipedia

I’m Cramped The Cramps
“At times throughout his career, it could seem like [Alex] Chilton was making a game of how little he was trying. Once in the late ’70s, while producing music for the rockabilly punk band the Cramps, Chilton mixed most of the tracks with his socked feet instead of his hands, just because he felt like it. And yet, opined Ork Records cofounder Charles Ball, who was with him during those sessions: ‘Just to watch him use his toes there was amazing. He was masterful in the studio.’” —The Ringer

Very Clearly Visible Neil Armstrong
I’m Beginning to See the Light Velvet Underground
Back in the day I was inordinately proud of this segue. Maybe I still am. Both things from 1969, by the way. And has anyone ever written a better couplet than “There are problems in these times/but whoo!, none of them are mine”?

Sensitize That Petrol Emotion
TPE was a textbook case of They Shoulda Been Huge. All the elements were there: terrific songs, stellar players, a singer with a voice like butta. But somehow they could never break through. They still made five great albums, but if they’d gotten paid a little, they might have made more.

Long Neck Bottles Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band
In which the Captain does straight-up boogie with a double-entendre lyric Bon Scott might have written. It’s not a bad combination at all.

A Lazy Good-for-Nothing
I can’t remember the provenance of this clip — it sounds like Cinderella, but I think it might be from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. In any case, there’s some serious evil stepmother energy going on here.

Lightning Frightening David Bowie
“’Lightning Frightening’ was first officially released as a bonus track on Ryko’s CD reissue of The Man Who Sold The World, which noted the track was from that LP’s sessions. However, a consensus has formed over the past decade that ‘Lightning Frightening’ was recorded a bit later, anywhere from very late 1970 to (best guess) the Arnold Corns sessions of March-April 1971. That’s because in part the ever-reliable Nicholas Pegg notes that ‘Lightning’ is pretty much a blatant rip-off of Crazy Horse’s ‘Dirty Dirty,’ from [their self-titled LP released in February 1971.” —Chris O’Leary

Quiet Lives Max Eider
“Eider met Pat Fish in Oxford at the end of the 70s. They played in a couple of bands together: The Institution (which also featured Rolo McGinty, who went on to found The Woodentops, on bass) and The Tonix, along with drummer Owen Jones, who later joined Pat and Max in The Jazz Butcher. After leaving Oxford, Fish made a rough demo on a cassette recorder which attracted the attention of David E (‘Elvis’) Barker, who ran a little label called Glass Records. Eider was invited to join in on guitar and The Jazz Butcher was born. ‘In the early days we were contenders,’ Max claims. ‘With the possible exception of Mark E Smith, we came across no one who was more single-mindedly focused on getting pissed.’’’ —MaxEider.com

Turn the Record Over The Count, Big Bird & Grover
Ah, those halcyon days before Elmo came along and ruined everything.

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