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Soul Asylum-a primer

This week on the James VanOsdol show: Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum.

Soul Asylum’s the workhorse band you can’t help but root for. The implacable band simply never stops–and their live show remains absolutely fierce.

Here are a few videos to help you catch up on the band before their new album, Delayed Reaction, comes out in July.

“Somebody to Shove”-The opening guitar riff on this song is one of the best things that happened to me in the 1990s.

“Cartoon”-80s song, from Hang Time:

“Easy Street”-Soul Asylum entered the 90s with the album And the Horse They Rode In On. “Easy Street” from that album was my first exposure to the band.

“I Will Still Be Laughing”-If you saw BASEketball, you heard this song over the final credits. More significantly, it appeared on the band’s 1998 release Candy from a Stranger:

“Misery”-Soul Asylum followed up the monster release Grave Dancer’s Union with Let Your Dim Light Shine, in 1995. Among the album’s many highlights: “Misery.”

“Gravity”-First single from Delayed Reaction. There’s no band-sanctioned video for it yet, so you’ll have to check out this boot in the meantime:




Alternative Radio in Chicago

Last July, “alternative” radio station Q101 disappeared from the airwaves after the station was sold to then-new media company Merlin Media.

Since then, an impossible-to-predict series of events has come together.

For one, I decided to write a freaking book about the station.

Around the same time the station was being handed to Merlin, Q101’s name and history were purchased by a pair of entrepreneurial partners, Matt DuBiel and Mike Noonan. The pair worked to position Q101 as a digital-only property, and have spent a considerable amount of cash and energy to reinvigorate the brand and re-engage the audience. Along those lines, they’re currently trying to crowdfund a next-gen “Jamboree” event via Kickstarter.

Fast forward to last week: news broke that alternative radio was being brought back to the Chicago dial by … Merlin Media.

In another fascinating twist, Merlin has reacquired Q101’s old WKQX call letters. Robert Feder’s first report on the story appeared here. The latest update came today, and can be read here.

The big question is whether or not Merlin will make a move to buy back Q101’s name and assets, or if it will launch a station without the nineteen years of history (baggage?) that come with Q101.

With that and other questions swirling about, I asked Matt DuBiel to be my guest on next week’s show. We recorded the interview on Thursday, so by the time it hits the Steve Dahl Network on Wednesday, there will likely be a flood of new information available. Regardless of timing, the interview’s plenty interesting– maybe a little too “inside baseball,” but interesting nonetheless.


JVO: “At the time you decided, ‘we want these digital assets, we want the name Q101,’ you were aware that the station was kind of damaged goods at that point. Musically, reputation-wise, image, the station had been f***** with, prodded, tweaked, and pulled in a million different directions. You were buying a … problematic heritage.”

MD: “Yeah. And we didn’t realize as much as you know that that is true. We didn’t realize how serious that was.”

Easter music: Echo and the Bunnymen

For your Easter enjoyment, here’s a song performed by Echo and the Bunnymen:

Best Songs Ever #11: Sugar “Changes”

Here in Chicago, when it’s pushing 40 in February and the sun is out, it may as well be San Diego in August.

I cracked my windows a little as I was driving today and let this one wail. Bob Mould’s body of work has been undervalued by the world at large for decades running, and it’s the world’s loss. Sugar was a monster fucking band.