Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The best of Radio Free California 2020

 So over the course of this stupid, stupid year I put out a new stream nearly every week of almost entirely new music (and I have to admit, a couple of songs I only discovered in 2020 that came out in 2019). Thousands of songs. It's only in looking back now that I see that this was a pretty good year for new music and new artists.

Yeah, it sucked that we couldn't see anyone live. We lost a few greats, including a couple who are actually on this list. Toots Mayall. John Prine. A few people put out songs directly influenced by the Pandemic, like Ben Folds, Sparks, OK Go, Drive-By Truckers, and even me under the name Chris Reed and the Anime Raiders.

Some musicians took this time to remake other people's songs. Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Billie Joe Armstrong, Scary Pockets, Dave Alvin, and Molly Tuttle among them. Some bands we didn't expect to hear from put out new music, like Blue Oyster Cult, AC/DC, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney. Midnight Oil! Cherry Curie!

Danny Elfman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A couple of artists just did as much as they could - no one more than Cory Wong, who put out 7 solo albums and two more with Vulfpeck and John Baptiste. And one more with his side-band, The Fearless Flyers.

And then there's simply all the new stuff. Brand new stuff. This year was so different from all prior years that a lot of artists you probably would have never noticed otherwise rose up. From a list that took me a year to curate, from Phil Broikos' concept album meant to start the year at the first minute, all the way to discovering at the end that Yacht Rocker Randy Godrum had put out a new album and so many stops along the way. I took those thousands of songs and narrowed it down to 453. Alas no, I'm not including "Prisencolinensinainciusol" even though like many of you I only discovered the song this year. 

Stylistically this list is all over the map, although I will admit there is almost no rap or country. I'm really not qualified to tell apart good from bad in either category so I tend to stay away. There are a couple of exceptions but as a general rule those styles just aren't my thing. There is some jazz on here though - I love good jazz and a couple of artists I really enjoy put out new material this year.

I discovered new artists this year. Cody Fry. Charles Jones. Kacey Johansing. beabadoobee. Drew Citron. El Ten Eleven. Lady A. Infinity Song.

Anyway, we all want 2021 to be much better than 2020 was. I want that to be true for music too, and musically this was a pretty good year. Here is my curated list, almost 30 hours of music. 

I recommend playing it in random order. Enjoy!

Here are a few of videos I enjoyed this year. They're all on the list above.


Be safe out there. May 2021 be better for all of us.

Friday, December 25, 2020

I hate Christmas Music. So I came up with an alternative.

Several Years ago I created the Radio Free California Xmas mix, because I HATE Christmas Music.

I have created a Spotify version of the same list, but alas have lost several songs because they're not available on Spotify. I created the original before Spotify even existed, and a couple of the songs were grabbed from bad recordings of TV performances. Anyway - here's the Spotify version. Feel free to leave in the comments below any suggested additions. Traditional music will not be accepted.

Yes, the last song isn't a Christmas song, but I couldn't resist putting a New Year's song on at the end. Finally, you can click on the link below if you like to download the original version, put together like a podcast.

The Original Radio Free Xmas

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Radio Free California Episode 2050


Although it's traditional in the music business to hold back new music at year's end because of all the Christmas programming we do have new music this week, including a couple of heavyweights! Taylor Swift, Ringo Starr at his best, Paul McCartney, Meg Myers and much more. Enjoy!

Next week will most likely be my year in review for 2020. But in the meantime because I love you, here is the video for the Ringo Starr song, so that you can see just how many people contributed to it:

Monday, December 14, 2020

Radio Free California Episode 2048 - Oh, and Biden won.


New music, including a final track from the late John Prine, and a surprisingly eclectic selection even with established artists like The Pretenders, Guided By Voices, Ben Folds, OK Go, Eddie Vedder, plus experiments by The Ooh Sees, Boyo, Fish, and much more. Enjoy!


I am reminded today that when the Electoral Collaege met in 2016, 2 of the votes were faithless, meaning that instead of 306, this year's loser actually only got 304 Electoral Votes.

There were no faithless votes this time. So Biden wins again.

And because I love you, here's how to make Hot Buttered Rum:

Sunday, December 6, 2020

How I wound up on the Doctor Demento show, plus Radio Free California 2048

This is going to be a long post, but the story is worth it, I promise you.

Ever do something so audacious that even you don't believe it? Well let me tell you the story of how I wound up writing a song with Bill Griffith, the creator and comic artist/genius behind the great Zippy the Pinhead.

I have been a fan of Zippy since the 1980s, when the strip ran in the UCLA student newspaper. I had read a couple of long-form works featuring him before but it was the daily strips that I fell in love with. The absurdity of the humor, the skewed social commentary, the homages to old cartoons and television. I liked that a comic strip knew all the same Marx Brothers quotes that I did.

For a very long time Bill Griffith was notoriously anti-internet technology. He had no website, didn't use e-mail, and made fun of how fast social media was climbing in his strip. The only times you would run into his work on the internet was his syndicated strip and weird sites - like the one I ran into that generated random Zippy quotes.

This site was great. I began to realize that this random Zippy quote generator was like watching David Bowie write lyrics, then jumble them up. So I picked a few at random and turned them into a song.

And that should have been the end of it.

I never considered even recording it. How would I get permission? He has had issues with people stealing his work and taking credit for things he wrote before too, so no way in hell was I going to do this without permission. The line "Are we having fun yet?" is HIS.

And then appeared, complete with a store and contact information. So what the hell!

The following is some of the e-mail conversation we had over the course of a couple of months:



Thanks for asking---sounds intriguing .I have no problem in principle with  you quoting lines from my strips, as long as credit is given. But before you go ahead, how about this---send me the lyrics, as text in an email. And an MP3 of the song, if you have one. Then I'll read/listen and consider permission then---- 

-Bill Griffith 


Mr. Griffith: 

Thank you for replying so quickly. You replied so fast in fact that I  wasn't ready for you. I have the lyrics assembled below, but the song is only a  very rough mix. I haven't recorded the vocals because I wanted your permission  first - because if you said no I would have to write something else. As a  general rule I prefer to write my own lyrics, but this idea (using your words)  just fit and every once and a while someone who does what I do needs to remind  themselves that we got into this line of work because it was fun. You can listen  to the song itself by going to:  - it should play automatically once the web page loads. If not please let me  know.  (This link no longer works, but the song is in the video above)

I have no idea if you will like the music, and I'm actually guessing it's  not your taste based upon the occasional musical references in the strip. If I  could sing like a member of the Manhattan Transfer I would be doing that, but  I'm not quite that talented (vocally). That said, I'm not one to confuse your  characters with you yourself so I'm retaining some optimism. The lyrics will be  sung in complete earnest (no funny voices - although there may be some musical  grimacing) over the rock chords, while the sections that sound like The Ventures  having a nightmare will be left instrumental. In other words, no chorus. I am  also planning an instrumental introduction that I haven't written in yet to be a  prelude to the song itself. 

I may cut the line referencing Phil Silvers - It's kind of forced coming  from me as I was always more of a Grouch Marx fan (hail, hail Freedonia). I  haven't yet decided. Anyway, the lyrics: 

A shapely Catholic Schoolgirl is fidgeting inside my costume... 

My pants just went to high school in the Carlsbad Caverns!!! 

The Highway is made out of Lime Jello and my Honda is a barbequeued Oyster!  

I always have fun because I'm out of my mind!! 

They collapsed... like nuns on the street... they had no teen appeal!  

Jesus is my Postmaster General... 

I want another re-write on my Caesar Salad!! 

I'd like my data-base Julienned and stir-fried! 

A can of asparagus, 73 pigeons, some live ammo, and a frozen daiquiri!!!  

Hold the Mayo & pass the cosmic awareness... 

I'm going home to write the "I Hate Rubik's Cube Handbook for Dead Cat  Lovers"... 

I wish I was on a Cincinnati street corner holding a clean dog! 


I hope something good came in the mail today so I have a Reason to live!!  

I'd love some Junk Food... and then I want to be alone... 

Look into my eyes and try to forget that you have a Macy's charge card!  

Uh-oh!! I'm having too much fun!! 

I request a weekend in Havana with Phil Silvers! 

-Lyrics by Bill Griffith and Zippy,  Used with permission of Bill Griffith, © 2008



Lyrics look good--I have no problem with you using them, as long as you give credit to me and Zippy (and include a "Used with permission of Bill Griffith, © 2008") somewhere on anything you create (CD, DVD, case for either, etc.). 

Send me a finished product! 

-Bill Griffith 



Mr. Griffith: 

The album will be coming out on September 23. It will be available in  electronic form from a number of sources (itunes, amazon, rhapsody). I want to  be sure you get a copy, so I want to send you a certificate for a free download  of the entire album. How would you like to receive it? 

<<here is a paragraph about royalties and how they will be accounted for. I'm not sharing that part but I assure you that Bill gets his fair share>>

Finally, to be sure that your fans have exposure to the song, is there any  format for free listening/downloading that you prefer? Any restrictions? I am  not going to promote the song at all without your permission, but at the same  time, other persons who have written songs about Zippy or featuring your words  have links from your site and I'd love to give the same exposure. So is there  any way you would prefer this to happen? 


-Chris Reed 



I'll leave the technical stuff up to you---but if you send me an MP3 file  of the song, I'll be able to listen to it and post it on the Zippy website, if  you like.

-Bill G.


The album was released, and then I sent him a download link for a free copy of the whole album. The following two e-mails came back to back:



Thanks--can you remind me which song on the album includes the Zippy lyrics? I just downloaded it... 

-Bill Griffith 


Yes, I figured it out (and I read the liner notes)---thanks---great stuff. I played it so loud, the space-time continuum was temporarliy reversed. I hope that was OK. 



For a while the song was on his website, then the site was redesigned and it disappeared from the site. I've never received so much as a dime for the song, but there is one more part of the story...

Dr. Demento: 

We released an album last year that features a song with lyrics by Bill  Griffith, creator of Zippy the Pinhead. The song, called "Throwing Three  Rocks", is actually a random series of quoted lines from the comic strip  itself, which Mr. Griffith himself signed off on. 

Would you be interested in hearing it? 

I feel like a bit of a idiot - I've listened to your show since the early  1980s but it wasn't until my son brought it up that I even thought about submitting the song to your show. I guess I just don't consider myself all that funny. 

I've always concentrated on my more serious music, but perhaps this song  would make the cut on your show. The album is commercially available at all of the usual websites, but I'll send you a copy directly. 


-Chris Reed 


 Chris - I'd be very happy to check that out. You can send a CD to me at (address redacted) and/or send an mp3 of that song to this address. I'll watch for it! 

Best - Dr Demento 


And that's how one of my songs wound up on the Dr. Demento show. Dr. D is my Postmaster General.


As for the song itself, it was a lot of fun to do, with crazy sound effects, a pretty wicked guitar solo and keyboard solo, and those instrumental parts that sound like The Ventures having a nightmare.

Oh and by the way, here is Radio Free California Episode 2048. An eclectic mix this week from stalwarts like Steve Lukather and Todd Rundgren to new music from Band-Maid, Half Japanese, Greta Van Fleet, Bleachers (with Bruce Springsteen), the live album Deafhaven had planned before the Pandemic, a couple of trips into the sounds of the 80's and more! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The roll-out

I imagine that most of you aren't old enough to remember what it took to wipe out Polio, Measles and Mumps. What you know of the world is that there are vaccinations for these diseases, and until recently everyone took them when they were young, creating herd immunity for the diseases. When the anti-vax movement came along we lost that, and all three diseases have made small comebacks.

But what most of you probably don't realize is the astronomical effort and time it took to get everyone to get these varied vaccines. There were two vaccines for Polio, one oral and one given as a shot. A lot of people in my age group that I know got the shot, usually in the first grade at school. That shot was developed in 1951, and it left a distinctive scar.

I don't have that scar. I got the oral version of the vaccine, developed in 1961. I was born in 1964. I got the vaccine in 1972. I was in the third grade. It simply took that long to get distributed to the rural areas, where I lived in those days.

The measles vaccine was first developed in 1963, and improved in 1968. The mumps vaccine was developed in 1971. I got the measles vaccine in 1976. I got the Mumps (MMR) vaccine in 1978. I had to get them from my doctor, as they way I was forced to get them is that they were requirements for me to enter Middle School and High School respectively.

I've never had the Chicken Pox vaccine. I had Chicken Pox instead. So yeah, I stand a 30% chance of getting shingles. I was 31 years of age when the Chicken Pox vaccine was distributed, 23 years after I had already had the disease.

The point I'm getting to is that in each of these cases it took years to fully roll out the vaccine, and they were eventually easy to make and get. The vaccine that has been developed to deal with COVID-19 has some pretty horrific side effects, requires two shots, and must be refrigerated; none of the other vaccines I've mentioned need any of that. Not only do we need a solid distribution system, but we need a brand new infrastructure to cope with the distribution, storage, and eventual treatment of people who get the shots.

And by the way, you need to get both shots, and each shot has side effects so powerful that experts say that you will need a day to recover. From each shot.

This is going to be a very difficult road. It needs to be paved and maintained, planned out, and a staff of thousands just to handle the logistics. Don't look for that to start until Biden takes the reigns of government, and I expect the road to be on fire. I expect Loser's followers to keep setting fires, because he's asking - ordering them to.

And then there are the anti-vaxers as well. We live at present in a country full of people who think that those shots and treatments that wiped out disease in this country will kill their children or give them autism (it won't), and even many who think as they wheeze their last breath that COVID19 doesn't even exist.

There are millions of us who want the country to burn, simply because they didn't get their way. Because they don't want to be told what to do, even if it will save their life. You know, MORONS.

Incapable of learning a truth staring them right in the face.

So you need to understand that simply having a vaccine isn't going to save us. We have to want to be saved. We have to spend a bloody fortune to build the infrastructure quickly, we need to make it available FREE to everyone, so that many more people actually get it. We have to CONTINUE wearing masks AND social distancing AND washing our hands AND avoiding crowds AND working from home if possible for MONTHS AND MONTHS after we get our shots.

But there is one more thing we don't know, and it could be a game changer. All of the other vaccines we all (mostly) get have a permanent effect. We maintain the anti-bodies, which is why we don't get these diseases as adults. Thing is, it hasn't yet been proven how long anti-bodies are maintained for COVID-19. The best known cases are a few months. 5 to 8 months.

So this vaccine isn't like the others I've discussed. It's more like a flu shot. The flu shot is also a vaccine, but it wears off. That's why you get one once a year - which gives you a vaccination for the various types of flu that are anticipated for the upcoming year. It could very well be that the COVID-19 vaccine will be like this. We simply don't know. Herd immunity only works if the antibodies are Permanent. It's why there is no such thing as herd immunity for the flu.

There is a reason that it takes years to develop these things. It's not just about the efficacy of the medication, although that is paramount. It is about how long it lasts, and there simply hasn't been enough time or study for it to be possible to know where we stand with this disease. There hasn't been enough time to explore other avenues. The measles vaccine was improved upon after five years, and I got that vaccination another 8 years later.

Believe it or not, we've been going through the COVID-19 nightmare for less than 1 year. I myself went into quarantine on March 12th and I locked down before almost everyone I know. It's been a nightmare of a year, crawling along one dead body at a time, but still it hasn't been a full year yet.

Remember when Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed all those ages ago? That was THIS YEAR,

It feels like an eon has passed but that's only because we're Americans. as diseases like this go, it hasn't been all that long. Even if everything goes perfectly and I honestly hope it does, it's going to be another year minimum before we start to feel anything that resembles a recovery. And remember the place that we used to use to manufacture these things in bulk?

That was Puerto Rico. We abandoned Puerto Rico.

I want to be optimistic. I do. I've lost a friend to this fucking disease. But I have yet to see reason to be.

The craziest part of all of this is that it didn't have to be this way. The government had all of the tools necessary to create the infrastructure that we need to get everything done. It could have been planned for, executed long before we had a treatment of any kind, so that all we had to do to implement everything is just say yes. All of the puzzle piece could have already been in place. The plan existed. 

But it was the Obama administration that came up with it, and because the man who lost the election in 2020 couldn't stomach keeping anything the black kid did he threw it all out. Because the country elected a racist motherfucker in 2016 we doomed ourselves to be where we are now, even though a number of the people who did the grunt work of coming up with the plan are still in government. Like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

America is the worst advanced nation on Earth to live in, and that's who we are as this rolls out. This will take a while.

UPDATE (December 7, 2020): The New York Times is now reporting that Pfizer offered more vaccines than the outgoing administration wanted to buy. As a result, they didn't buy enough and Pfizer, being a business in a firmly autocratic capitalistic country made commitments to sell vaccines to other countries instead. So now if we need more, and we do, we have to wait until June 2021.

In other words, the outgoing administration has created a shortage that will occur once Biden comes into office.

These motherfuckers.

Update (December 11, 2020): Turns out that the Pfizer vaccine can cause an anaphylactic reaction, so people who have had issues with that in the past shouldn't take it. That subset of humanity would include ME.

Also, Australia has abandoned their version of the same vaccine after people who had taken it started reporting false positives for HIV.

And there were some votes against approving the vaccine in the US, because the test group didn't include enough minors and the FDA wants to approve it for people over 16 instead of 18. Of the 22 votes on the advisory board it was 17 yes, 4 no, 1 abstain.

We have a long way to go.

Cheap shots (Wednesday is Rum Day!):

I think not, but Bill Barr joins the resistance?

This is why you don't leave your trash in the desert. A thread.

Major Biden breaks his silence.

Signorile's Law. You have google, look it up.

The Oscars disagree.

I cracked the code. Mnuchin is a cunt.

#Loser will defund the US Military if twitter doesn't stop being mean to him. He said so on twitter.

Elliot. He/Him.

Brian Williams for the win.

By the same token, I sometimes think that most TV reporters do what they do because they're not good enough to be in print. Face it, a great deal of them are terrible at this.

And because I love you, the lovely Chuck Mangione piano ballad you didn't know you you needed in your life:

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Radio Free California Episode 2047

 New music! Featuring the synth-pop version of Smashing Pumpkins, singles from Heather Porcaro, Pixies, and Perry Farrell, New albums from Kelley Stoltz, The High Water Marks, a triumphant return by Urlaub in Polen, Deep Sea Diver, a great live album from Dream Theater and much more. Enjoy!

And for the one song from the 1970s, there's a video. It's as bizarre as the song, which features only one chord, and is 100% nonsense, meant to sound like it's in American English by Italians:

Saturday, November 28, 2020

An acceptance speech

It figures that with my luck the first time I get to give one of these speeches that I can't have a live audience to give it to. That said, this does give me the opportunity to go over the time limit you usually get at ceremonies and I'm going to take the opportunity given me to pontificate on a couple of things.

First of all, I'd like to thank the Radio Music Awards. It's been a crazy year and my crazy little song about a stalker in the age of COVID-19 who gets caught has it's fans. I've been an independent artist for most of my career, going back 3 decades and getting an acknowledgement of my efforts after all this time is lovely. I've been informed that the trophy is in the mail, so thank you. I'm looking forward to bragging about it for decades.

I'd like to thank Tony Guerro for dreaming up the album that this song was a part of, as well as all of the other great artists who contributed. I'd also like to give a special thanks to a long-time friend of mine, a music teacher named Jill DeWeese for spreading the word about the project in the first place, which is how I got involved.

I'd like to thank for all of their work during these horrific times, helping the Nurses who have given their all and sometimes paid with their lives in the cause of saving us all.

I'd like to thank the Guyzos in the band for letting me use the band name even though I played all the instruments and sang the vocals. I'd like to thank MARS for letting me use her studio for the vocals when the amplifier for my microphone gear glitched out.

I'd like to thank the old gang, the ASK INQ people for all their years of support, especially Kevin and Ed and my former partner in crime, Dave. He's got a family now and the statute of limitations has long expired.

I have to thank Billy Joel, of all people. If he hadn't written "Sleeping with the Television On" way back in the way back when I probably wouldn't have come up with this song. Until I came up with lyrics, I used to use the first line of it as a place holder in my song to get the timing right.

I'd like to thank my mom, who took me to my first rock concert, my first jazz concert. and my first classical concert. She helped expand my horizons and was always the voice of encouragement in my corner, from the very first day in 6th grade when I picked up a sax she couldn't afford to get me. Love ya mom!

I'd like to thank my brother Alex, for making me understand the strict work involved in the loosest of music, and for kicking my ass at the exact moment I needed it to start my solo career. Love ya bro!

I'd like to thank the rest of my extended family, Reeds, Storys, Rubins, Veales and more. Especially my Grandmother - a woman who taught me that fear is nothing to be stopped by, and my Grandfather - the first musician in the family who only gave me one piece of advice and it was the most important one I ever got: "Why are you in such a hurry to reach the end of the song?"

I'd even like to thank my long departed dad, who wasn't much in my life but made it one of his life's goals to be the barrier between me and the members of my family (and others) who wanted me to be a Doctor/Politician. He's also the person who made me appreciate that some music needs to be LOUD.

And of course I MUST thank my wife of all these years Catherine, and my daughters Diana and Isobel. I imagine it can't be easy living with a lunatic such as myself and yet they've always been my biggest supporters, fans and critics. I love you, my family. You make me better than I ever thought I could be.

And finally, to my fans who have stuck with me through the years and have been patiently (and impatiently) waiting for my next album, thank you for rallying to the new song. I promise to give you more - much more - very soon.I will put out a lot more music in 2021 than I did in 2020. I wish you nothing but love and happiness.

Whether or not we wish it were so, art doesn't exist in a vacuum. We've been through a horrible year with horrible leadership and that takes a toll on people. I think we as a nation are going to suffer a bit of PTSD while we try to make sense of it all. As for me I was already feeling negative about the country of my birth - you can even see it reflected in a song called "Priorities" from my 2008  album "11/11".

I admit I've had a difficult time putting a new album together. I gained and then lost a new publisher: Gained when my last big single was nominated for this same award, and lost when the power couple running the company fell into a nasty divorce. Have you ever been the PROPERTY in someone's divorce? Ugh.

I wrote and planned out a new album. I debuted a couple of new songs that I've never formally released at POPKOMM. Then an unexpectedly happy thing happened: Obama changed the rules, and gays were allowed to serve openly in the military. I fully support the decision, but it made what was to be the centerpiece of my album irrelevant - a song about a man discharged from the military under Don't Ask Don't Tell and one of the best and most cinematic pieces of music I've ever written.

For the country this was great - for me as an artist it was a setback. Understand that I don't write just songs; I write albums. I now had to re-think and re-do what the album was to be about. That took longer than I would like.

I've done it twice now. What should have been three albums will turn out to only be one.I re-wrote a song because my hand slipped and played a chord one fret off, and it sounded BETTER. I've cut songs, added songs, recorded and abandoned songs. I turned one song about an abusive partner into a song about suicide after a friend of a friend took his own life. I rediscovered my love for an old song by Sniff N' The Tears and wrote a song in tribute. A riff I've had in my head for 30 years finally became a song. I finally read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and a song came out of that. I wrote a song in 35.


I was in an accident in which I broke both arms and damaged a nerve in my leg, the effects I feel to this day. On different occasions I have broken both knees. I fell asleep while driving and lost my driver's license as a result (not because of alcohol, but a sleep disorder previously undiagnosed). I've barely left my home in months, and have had 4 people I know catch COVID-19. One of them died. Larry, thank you for being my friend. I wish I could have been there for you.

I marched in a Black Lives Matter protest, even with my bad knees. I didn't make it to the end I'm afraid. I have protested against this joke of an administration, loudly, and I got my driver's license back.

And I've lived with pain, both physical and mental. It has shaped me for the past several years, and I am still adjusting to that.

We are living through the worst health crisis in our lifetimes, with over 75 million neighbors who want those of us who don't want to get sick and/or die to suck it up and get sick with them. If hate were people I'd be China.

In the meantime I've been writing music, recording music, and discovering music. I've been publishing playlists every week on Spotify of new music under the banner of "Radio Free California". If you follow Chris Reed and the Anime Raiders you'll get new Playlists every week.

In the context of all of this, I've been working on that album.

"Omar", that song Obama made irrelevant, has survived the cut. The song about huckster preachers and played at POPKOMM did not.The Beach Boys inspired song did not. The instrumental I recorded with my daughter on bass did not. A couple of piano pieces I wrote long ago did not make the cut. The deranged surfer instrumental didn't either. I've played the first track for a few people and they all agree it's the most rock and roll thing I've ever written.

I never started recording the Colin Kaepernick song that my friend Kevin wrote lyrics for, the song about the Orlando massacre, or the Irish drinking song I was going to premiere before COVID-19 struck. Life is what happens while you're trying to make plans.

I have lived through the good and the terrible. We all have. It's the moments like this one that make the rest tolerable, so I am of course grateful, thankful, and humbled for being acknowledged with the Radio Music Awards 2020 Award for Best Alternative Song.

And of course I must leave you with my usual thoughts, emblazoned on each of my albums:

Fight the good fight
Practice safe sex
Never be afraid to sweat

And because I love you, here's the song that didn't win the same category 11 years ago:

Monday, November 23, 2020

Radio Free California Episode 2046

 Man, this week starts with ALL the feels, with Wolfgang Van Halen's tribute to his father. New music from The Dirty Knobs, Cabaret Voltaire, The Cribs, Neil Diamond showing he's still got it, Dave Alvin adding his touch to a rock classic, a great new album from Kacey Johansing, and much more! Enjoy!

New streaming music every week, so subscribe and enjoy!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

I kinda hate people right now...

 So here is my complete 16-tweet rant:

So many people are going to be either sick or dead and alone by Christmas. You know, #Republicans.

You anti-maskers and people traveling right now are the CAUSE of the next lockdown. I mean, the first lockdown.

And the reason you'll never win a national election again.


Masks AND distancing AND wash hands AND stay home AND avoid crowds AND avoid travel AND cover your cough/sneeze AND don't touch your face AND clean surfaces AND....

Do ALL of them you stupid fucks!



The UK gets 10% the number of cases of #COVID19 in pure numbers the US does, and they're so concerned that they're preparing to test EVERYONE IN THE COMMONWEALTH, EVERY WEEK.


#Canada gets 2.5% the number of cases of #COVID19 in pure numbers the US does, and they've locked the country down and have been giving relief packages worth CAD$2,000 every month to everyone.


#Australia gets 0.00217% the number of cases of #COVID19 in pure numbers the US does, and they locked the country down the harshest that it's ever been done, all because 1 person lied about how he was exposed.


#India has been getting 1/4 the number of #COVID19 infections that the US has been getting, and they have 4 times the number of people. In other words, their infection rate is 12.5% the rate of ours.

note: I got the math wrong on this tweet. India's infection rate is 6.25% of ours. Don't do math mad.


I could keep going with all these tweets (sorry it's not a thread) but the point is that it turns out that the most powerful nation on earth is actually a third-world country. We're supposed to be better than this, but we're not. 

More than 70M of you should fuck off.


There is no herd immunity coming. Every disease we've had herd immunity for needed two things: A Cure and people taking Vaccines. We used to have it for Polio, Mumps and Measles. We no longer do because Americans are STUPID. You think we can possibly get Herd Immunity for #COVID?


The outgoing administration is CRIMINALLY LIABLE for all of this. Put these fuckers on trial. Imprison those found guilty. No fucking mercy, no pardons.


Am I angry? Fucking right I am. Our country has handled this like Weyland-Yutani trying to ship the xenomorph home. It always backfires. Always. (How's that for a simile?)

Pretty much every American knows someone who has caught this. 1 out of every 27 Americans.


I know 5 people who have caught #COVID19. One of them died.

Am I angry? I'm fucking homicidal. Fortunately for everyone, I'm also staying away from people. I kinda hate people in general right now. I'm incredibly lucky to have people in my life who put up with my shit.


You know how many people I want to die? ZERO. That would be an ideal number. But I see these fucking #COVIDIOTS on TV and the internet and my mind goes very dark. "You want to die so badly? You own a gun."


Imagine getting punched in the throat at the rate IP Man punches for two months straight. Imagine standing on tip-toes underwater in a pool with your mouth at the surface for 2 months. That's #COVID19. I wish that on no one. That would be awful.


We're not trying to take your freedom. Be free. We're trying to keep you ALIVE. You aren't advocating freedom, you're advocating SUICIDE. Get professional help. Stop watching Fox, OAN, and any news produced by Sinclair Media.

Get healthy first. Then you can bitch about freedoms.


To all of you people, you 70,000,000+ people who are in denial about what this is really about, I worry about your mental health. I worry about your ability to reason. I worry that while you were defending your freedoms you didn't notice that you were brainwashed.


And I worry about my mental health as well. I'm not really fond of being this angry. I didn't used to be so angry all the time.

I also used to believe in America AND Americans.


And because I love you and because you might need a good cry, here is Mammoth WVH:

I am @animeraider on twitter.

Monday, November 16, 2020

I got nominated for an award, and also Radio Free California Episode 2045


For this song:

Released in May of this year. All proceeds go to help Nurse's charities. 

And let's not forget this week's new music:

New music! Lots of AC/DC to unpack here, plus some reissues and never released tracks, but mostly people got out of AC/DC's way this week. So it's a bit eclectic with new music from The Bats, Little Mix, Nels Cline, Pentatonix, Stats, George Benson (live!), and much more. Enjoy!

And yes, I threw in my own song because, you know, the nomination.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Cheap Shots - The First Monday after the First Tuesday AFTER the First Monday in November, 2020

Imbibe with the libation of your choice. By the way, I will no longer be using #45's name in print. Substitutions will be used instead. I will be drinking a Dark And Stormy:

You know, there aren't a whole lot of Black Republicans to begin with - how many more is Loser going to try to kill?

Did someone not get the memo?

The winner of a hotly contested election says not so much this time.

"You're Fired!" gets recursive.

Piling it on, raising concerns.

At long last, the science begins.

Stephen King pens another missive.

An extra sip in honor of the second oldest person on Jeopardy. He will be missed.

I think that maybe that weird claymation doll from that one Tool video wants to go home.

By the way, although Loser and Vice-Loser are trying to claim credit for this, they had nothing to do with it. It wasn't part of their efforts

Maybe he was a non-virgin bride.

Can you even remember what it was like not to think about that Loser?

Not many openings left on that Bingo Card.

Yeesh! At this rate there isn't going to be anyone left!

Well, Bye.

Et tu, fox-e? Et tu?

And because I love you, let's have the Ozzies play us out:

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Radio Free California Episode 2044


New music this week from Danny Elfman (!), Ariana Grande,  Orianthi, The Silence, reissues from Pylon and Love Tractor, new live music from Dream Theater and Niel Young with Crazy Horse, Kylie Minogue, Sam Smith, lovelytheband, Yellowjackets and much more! It's an eclectic week, so enjoy!

Also, if you haven't yet seen the video for the new Danny Elfman song, check it out!

Onward to Georgia! So much work left undone these past two years. Here's a sampling.

So it looks like we've taken back the White House. It looks like we've kept the House of Representatives. So now it all falls down to do we take the Senate. We MUST take the Senate. The reason is simple, although lengthy. Here is a list of all of the Bills that passed the House, often with bi-partisan support, that Mitch McConnell's Senate hasn't even bother to take a look at. This is a small sampling - there are actually more than 400 bills:

Election Security

S.2238/H.R.2722, Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, legislation to help safeguard elections from foreign interference, which passed the House with bipartisan supportVIDEO

S.2242, Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections Act, bipartisan legislation to require presidential candidates to report contact from foreign state actors to the FBI. VIDEO

S.1247, Duty to Report Act, legislation to require candidates to report offers of assistance from foreign state actors to the FBI and FEC. VIDEO

S.1540, Election Security Act, legislation to require paper ballots and provide election security grants. VIDEO

S.2669, SHIELD Act, legislation to prevent foreign interference in elections. VIDEO

S.1060, DETER Act, legislation to combat foreign interference in our elections. VIDEO

S.1356, Honest Ads Act, bipartisan legislation to apply the existing rules on disclosures in political ads on TV to those on social media platforms. VIDEO

S.949, For the People Act, a sweeping package of pro-democracy reforms that aims to make it easier, not harder, to vote; end the dominance of big money in politics; and ensure that public officials work for the public interest. VIDEO

S.890, Senate Cybersecurity Protection Actbipartisan legislation to provide cybersecurity assistance to the Senate. VIDEO

S.1834, Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Protection Act, legislation to stop practices designed to prevent Americans from voting. VIDEO

Health Care

S.1556, No Junk Plans Act, legislation to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk health insurance plans. VIDEO

H.R.986, Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, which passed the House with bipartisan supportVIDEO

S.Res.18, a resolution authorizing the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in the federal court case that would undermine protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. VIDEO

S.Res.94, a resolution asking the Department of Justice to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. VIDEO

S.Res.134, a resolution asking the Department of Justice to defend the Affordable Care Act. VIDEO

S.1905, ENROLL Act, legislation to help Americans find a quality health care plan.

S.455, MORE Health Education Act, legislation to improve outreach on health care plan enrollment options.

S.916, MOMMA’s Act, legislation to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate.

S.1573, Veterans Preventive Health Coverage Fairness Act, legislation to provide veterans with coverage for preventive medication. VIDEO

S.Res.420, a resolution encouraging the President to expand the list of medical conditions associated with exposure to Agent Orange. VIDEO

Supporting and Protecting American Workers

H.R.7, Paycheck Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation to empower women to challenge pay discrimination in the workplace, which passed the House with bipartisan supportVIDEO

S.2254, Butch Lewis Act, legislation to protect workers’ and retirees’ pensions. VIDEO

S.3104, Federal Employee Parental Leave Technical Correction Act, legislation to make a technical fix so that over 100,000 federal employees—including at FAA and TSA—can receive the same paid family leave benefits being provided to all other federal employees. VIDEO

Climate Change

S.1743, International Climate Accountability Actbipartisan legislation to direct the president to develop a plan for the US to meet its contributions under the Paris Agreement.

S.J.Res.9, bipartisan legislation calling on the United States and Congress to take immediate action on climate change.

S.Res.97, legislation to establish a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Other Critical Issues

H.R.8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, bipartisan legislation to enact the common sense, widely-supported expansion of background checks for gun purchases, which passed the House with bipartisan supportVIDEO

S.2843, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.

H.R.1644, Save the Internet Act, legislation to restore net neutrality, which passed the House with bipartisan supportVIDEO

H.J.Res.77, bipartisan resolution opposing President Trump’s removal of US troops from northern Syria, which passed the House with bipartisan supportVIDEO

S.2755, legislation to require a report on the administration’s plan to defeat ISIS. VIDEO

S.2625, Syrian Allies Protection Act, legislation to make special immigrant visas available to Syrian Kurds that fought U.S. forces in the fight against ISIS.

S.Con.Res.32, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that attacks on cultural sites are war crimes.

H.R.549, Venezuela TPS Act, bipartisan legislation to protect Venezuelans from deportation, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

S.2603, RELIEF Act, legislation to eliminate the green card backlog.

S.Res.408, a resolution that recognizes the duty of Congress, the Executive Branch, and the President to protect whistleblowers who stand up for the Constitution. VIDEO

Health Care

H.R.3, Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, legislation to lower prescription drug prices, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.986, Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.987, Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, legislation to counteract the Trump administration’s efforts to sabotage the healthcare system, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.4704, Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act, bipartisan legislation to improve research into suicide prevention, which passed the House with bipartisan support.


H.R.8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, bipartisan legislation to enact the common sense, widely-supported expansion of background checks for gun purchases, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.1112, Enhanced Background Checks Act, bipartisan legislation to close the “Charleston Loophole” for gun purchases, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

Election Security and Voting Rights

H.R.1, For the People Act, a sweeping package of pro-democracy reforms that aims to make it easier, not harder, to vote; end the dominance of big money in politics; and ensure that public officials work for the public interest.

H.R.2722, Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, legislation to help safeguard elections from foreign interference, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.4617, SHIELD Act, legislation to prevent foreign interference in elections.

H.R.4, Voting Rights Advancement Act, legislation to combat voter discrimination by restoring the strength of the Voting Rights Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

Supporting and Protecting American Workers

H.R.582, Raise the Wage Act, legislation to increase the federal minimum wage, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.7, Paycheck Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation to empower women to challenge pay discrimination in the workplace, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.397, Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, bipartisan legislation to protect workers’ and retirees’ pensions, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.1500, Consumers First Act, legislation to strengthen the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including clarifying the Bureau’s duties and authorities over fair lending and student loans..

H.R.3621, Comprehensive CREDIT Act, legislation to enhance consumers’ credit reporting rights and create more transparency over the consumer reporting and credit scoring process.

H.R.1423, Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act, legislation to eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.1230, Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Actbipartisan legislation to protect older workers against age discrimination, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.2474, Protecting the Right to Organize Actbipartisan legislation to protect the right to bargain collectively, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

National Security

H.J.Res.77, bipartisan resolution opposing President Trump’s removal of US troops from northern Syria, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.4695, Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act, bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Turkey for its military invasion of northern Syria, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.2513, Corporate Transparency Act, bipartisan legislation to crack down on money laundering by Russian oligarchs, which passed the House with bipartisan support.


H.R.6, American Dream and Promise Act, legislation to protect Dreamers and those with Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure by ensuring they have a path to citizenship, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.549, Venezuela TPS Act, bipartisan legislation to protect Venezuelans from deportation, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.3239, Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, legislation to establish basic standards of care for the children and families in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.2203, Homeland Security Improvement Act, legislation to establish an ombudsman for border and immigration related concerns.

H.R.3525, U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act, legislation to ensure that migrant children and families receive basic medical screenings, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.2615, United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Actbipartisan legislation to promote greater security and economic opportunity in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, which passed the House on a bipartisan voice vote.

H.R.5038, Farm Workforce Modernization Actbipartisan legislation to improve the H-2A guestworker program, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

Climate and Public Lands

H.R.9, Climate Action Now Act, legislation to hold the administration to the United States’ commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.1146, Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.1941, Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to ban offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.205, Protecting and Securing Florida’s Coastline Act, Republican-sponsored legislation to ban offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.1373, Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, legislation to prevent new uranium mining claims near the Grand Canyon, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.2181, Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to prevent future mineral leasing on near Chaco Canyon, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.823, Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, legislation to designate wilderness areas in Colorado, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

Other Critical Issues

H.R.1644, Save the Internet Act, legislation to restore net neutrality, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.840, Veterans' Access to Child Care Act, legislation to provide child care assistance to veterans receiving medical services from the VA, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.3224, Deborah Sampson Act, bipartisan legislation to improve women veterans’ care, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.1585, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation that passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.5, Equality Act, bipartisan legislation to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ community, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.2534, Insider Trading Prohibition Act, legislation to establish a statutory prohibition on insider trading that draws on and clarifies years of case law. It passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.J.Res.76, legislation to overturn the Trump administration’s rule undermining protections for student loan borrowers, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

H.R.5687, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act, legislation help Puerto Rico recover from the recent earthquakes, which passed the House with bipartisan support.

And because I love you, my tribute to Bones Hillman, the bassist for Midnight Oil who died this week. He's on this album, and one more that the band hasn't released: