It’s that time of year once again where Resonance FM hopes everyone will do their duty and enter into it’s much needed annual fundraising drive with gusto. There’s plenty of ways to get involved, be it simply making a donation to help keep the station on air, by bidding for a series of highly covetable items in our forthcoming marathon auction or perhaps attending the official Resonance benefit gig in Stockwell this coming Friday (details below) or even buying airtime. And let me tell you, in these recession-blasted, debt-riddled times, the most amazing radio station on earth needs your help more than ever. There was even talk recently of having to take on advertising to make our increasingly expensive ends meet, which is a pretty harrowing thought given the low-rent patronising horses**t that seem to pass muster on UK commercial radio these days. Last week I was trapped in a station cafe for half an hour with Heart Radio blaring from the speakers, and by the time that advert about the new Renault Megane came round again I was ready to embark on a killing spree. Thank God my train arrived before the Emma Bunton show did…
Anyway, I’m drifting. The main thing that I want to impart is that Resonance is a wondrous thing, a unique broadcasting experiment now more than a decade old and still making dazzling and amazing original radio of a depth and scope that you simply don’t hear anywhere else (plus Graham Penthouse – but you can’t win ’em all) and it’s important we keep it that way, because the arrival of advertising or corporate sponsorship would surely be the beginning of the end and an interminable sink into commercial radio hell. On the other hand running and maintaining a radio station isn’t cheap and money doesn’t grow on trees. The solution is either to fund reasearch into ways of making it do so, or -much simpler – to help us raise some money. And here’s a few of the ways you can help us do just that.
Firstly, Dexter Bentley’s Hello Goodbye Show show are once again auctioning off their show at the rate of £10 per minute. In other words £10 will get you sixty seconds of prime Saturday-afternoon Resonance airtime on this jewel in the Resonance crown, which you can use however you please: promote your album, read from your memoirs or you could just count to sixty. Or for £20 you could count to a hundred and twenty. It’s up to you. A few minutes still remain, so send your donations and material by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s also the aformentioned benefit concert hosted by legendary promoters and stalwart Resonance supporters Club Integral will take place this Friday 15th February at The Grosvenor, London SW9. Doors open at 20.30 and tickets are a mere £5 (or £3 concessions), with all proceeds going to help keep the station afloat for another twelve months. Top of the bill is be a live set by Resonance’s very own Hauntological Orchestra, ‘the UK’s foremost explorers of the art of audio hauntology – sparkier than a bri-nylon spacesuit, cooler than Jacques Derrida’s old fridge-freezer. By turns painfully hip and mind-bogglingly kitsch, the Orchestra exists at the point where the funky but fashionable faux pas gives way to a vintage electronic vibe to die for’. Have you got all that? It’s basically a loose collective of singers, musicians, electronic noodlers (plus the frankly incomparable Lepke B and his plunderphonic pop), that’s been known to swell to close to twenty members on occasion. On Friday they will be performing an extended showcase of haunted covers, originals and radiophonic improvisations, supported by DJ sets from Robin The Fog (that fellow again) and Jules Webbcore, with visuals by Rucksack Cinema. Really a marvellous evening’s entertainment for a fiver even before you remember the good cause the proceeds are going to.
For my part, aside from spinning some tunes for Club Integral, I shall also be presenting a special fund-raising special edition of The OST Show, 16.30 on Saturday 16th February in regular host Jonny Trunk’s stead. Aalongside the usual programme of film and TV soundtracks, library recordings and moderate lapses of taste and judgement, we’ll be attempting to auction off as many desirable and delightful items as possible in the space of two hours. Full details of Resonance’s catalogue of biddable delights will be up very soon, but there’s a few items I can reveal here straightaway. Let’s begin with a contribution from my co-host Hannah Brown, Resonance stalwart and celebrated Lomographer who’s bringing in a very special camera to show off – a Diana Mini 35mm with flash normally worth at least a cool hundred quid. Thanks to our chums at lomographyuk.com for this one and if you’re unfamiliar with what it is that makes these cameras so special, check out Hannah’s photos on her Modern Day Magpie blog – then win the item and immediately start pretending you’re in Boards of Canada!
Next up, Play OST For Me, the chance to win your very, very own personal edition of the greatest soundtrack radio show of all time, presented by your good self and Jonny Trunk (if permitted) with all of your own hand-picked favourite soundtracks of all time, plus Jonny promising to be at his most servile, pander to your every whim and to generally treat you like a princess. This was a big hit last year – you may remember it was won by the lovely Diane from Cape Canaveral in Florida, who flew all the way to London just to take the helm, which resulted in one of the finest OST shows in recent memory. You may also recall that she was accompanied by her mother, who clearly found the whole OST experience so delightful that she quite forgot about the arm she’d broken on the way to the studio and refused all suggestions of medical attention until after the show was over. If only all our listeners were as dedicated as this wonderful mother-daughter combo. Shame on the rest of you!
There’s the chance to win the ENTIRE Trunk Records Digital catalogue. This includes all Trunk releases on mp3, plus all the digital albums issued in the last two years – the catalogue runs to over 150 releases, including rare radiophonics, awesome exotica, superb spoken word, rare vocal jazz, rare jazz, rare all sort of things: singles, albums, oddities, and out-of-print gems by artists such as Eden Ahbez, Jim Fasset (a personal foggy favourite), Les Baxter, Ken Nordine, Bernard Herrmann, Yuri Gagarin and even those ‘Fornicating Female Freaks’ which you might remember from my Mucky Mixxxtape of some time ago (I doubt you’ll need to listen to it twice). Countless others too – It’s a seriously huge amount of music and would cost you several hundred pounds to purchase individually and several thousand pounds to track down each original album. Salivate over some of the long, long list of titles here. And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s a separate chance to win an original copy of recent Trunk favourite, outsider funk classic ‘It’s Broken!’ by Bob Chance. NOT the Trunk reissue – an original SEALED copy from 1980. Seriously rare and seriously odd. And speaking of seriously rare, there’s also a copy or two of the pink vinyl edition of Jeff Keen’s ‘Noise Art’, a frightening limited recent Trunk issue already fetching large sums online. Gosh, I might need a lie down…
Moving on, our next lot is an original, bespoke painting by legendary Monsterist Pete Fowler!
For those of you unfamiliar with the man’s impossibly groovy oeuvre, Pete’s art roams in the fields of music, illustration, toy design, print making, painting and more recently cross stitch embroidery. Some of his most recognisable images have been for the Super Furry Animals’ albums, videos, merchandise and giant inflatable bears. His various Monsterism creations have spanned toy figures, apparel, and two very fine CD compilations of appropriately oddball music, which we’ll certainly be dipping into on the show), stationary and more, gaining a world wide fan base. As well as digital artwork he exhibits his original artwork in various galleries and recent projects have included designing 2 one off synthesisers for XL records, a Christmas campaign for O2 and a toy figure with the legendary British comic 2000AD. Aside from his artwork Pete is one half go the cosmic smooth rock/deckshoe gaze music duo Seahawks, releasing music prolifically since 2010 and continuing to plot a similar course in 2013 with various remixes, records and CDs alongside DJing. Amazing he had time to make a painting just for us, but he has and ‘Hirsuit Synther’, shown below, is acrylic on canvas and measures 30cm x 21cm, signed, titled and dated on the reverse. This jpg arrived in my inbox earlier and I’ve been grinning ever since. Resonance salutes you, Sir Fowler!
the chance to have your portrait painted by Team Beswick and Pye. A perennial favourite this is the third year running that the wonderful Harry Pye and the equally super Gordon Beswick have agreed to combine once again to paint the highest bidder’s image in their own style which is the very definition of ‘inimitable’. A hugely generous offer from them, a shot in the arm for Resonance and a piece of outstanding original artwork for some lucky bidder. Sensational!
And finally for the moment, a very rare and very exclusive ‘Ghosts Of Bush’ Test-Pressing. You remember, that album I was banging on about quite a bit last year. Got a **** review in Record Collector (that’s FOUR STARS, not a swear word), the first (black) pressing sold out in about five minutes, and for a time were fetching silly money on the internet. Well, these ‘testies’ (I do so love suggestive industry jargon!) are even rarer. There are five of these in existence. I think we can all agree that’s quite limited edition. At the moment nobody else has one and after this auction nobody else will either. Oh, apart from me and Hannah. But I think she might have lost hers…
Well, that’s enough to get started with for now. Of course if you have something special that you’d like to donate to the cause yourself and help us raise some much-needed cash, do please get in touch, either by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of the most successful items in the past have included rare records, out-of-print books, dinner in exclusive restaurants, a tour of Brockwell Park Sewers and (my personal favourite) an orignal ‘quad’ poster for that cinematic classic ‘The Sex Adventures Of The Three Musketeers’ with it’s memorable tagline ‘Free for all and all for free!’. It currently hangs in my kitchen except when I have sensitive relatives over to visit. In the meantime, details of how to place a bid along with an exhaustive list of everything else up for grabs will be posted on the Resonance site in the next few days.
As a little reminder of just where your generous donations are going, here’s a behind-the-scenes piece I made a while back for Monocle Radio that attempts to explain just what makes this station so special. Or you could just visit the Resonance website right now and click ‘listen’. Or tune to 104.4FM if you’re in London. Either way, enjoy!