It is with no small amount of fanfare and excitement that I am able to bring none other than The Weatherman of Negativland fame to Mid-Valley Mutations. If you have been a long-time listener, or know anything about the kind of radio and music that I do, you’ll probably be saying something like, “Don’t you just try to imitate them with your work anyway?” And to that I would say: yes, poorly!
To say that Negativland has influenced me is a bit of an understatement, but their impact on this show is only one reason why it is interesting that I have The Weatherman on. This year, he has taken to social media, and for the reclusive (and often counter-cultural) artist that he is, this action took the Inter-Web-A-Tron by storm. His live feeds (full of Booper jams, mixes of radio and TV with whatever is on his VCR, and other odds and sods) are incredible, fascinating, and according to various, “terms and service agreements,” entirely illegal in the same way that sampling and collage art was deemed so in the first place. So, in many ways, he has not changed a bit.
The Weatherman and I talked for quite some time, about his current performances online, his history with Negativland, CBs and Jamming Culture, the legendary U2 single and how he found himself singing those well-known copywritten words, his relationship with Richard Lyons and Don Joyce (two band members who have both passed recently), and as if that weren’t enough, he performs The Booper, LIVE and reads The Weather!
Personally, this was a dream come true. This band and their radio show have been a focal point for the kind of work I want to create, and has guided my attitudes toward culture and art for my entire adult life. To find out that, not only are the members of this group extremely friendly and approachable, but game to go along with my nonsense too, is a very cool experience, for sure.
If you listened to the live broadcast, this podcast version has about seven minutes of bonus material, available only to the podcast listeners of the show. Scan to the end; we pick up the conversation exactly where you feel like we stopped. I would also urge you to tune in on 24 November for an interview with Mark Hosler, and on 1 December for an interview with Wobbly, completing Negativland November! It’s been a pleasure to talk to them all; now, hear what they had to say.
So, open up a fresh Club Soda, tune in KMUZ with your home-brewed radio console, and enjoy this frank and enlightening conversation with one of my favorite artists: The Weatherman.
The Weather Report (#76)
Part I: One, Two, Stupid!
01.) Austin FM Theme * Paco Jones * Austin FM Theme * Self-Released (2016)
02.) Interview Part 1 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
03.) Theme From ‘A Big 10-8 Place’ * Negativland * A Big 10-8 Place * Seeland Records (1983)
Part II: “You’re scholarly!”
04.) Interview Part 2 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
- Getting into electronics and recording, White Front in Contra Costa County, tuning KPFA for the first time, digital vs. analog sound, Oregon talk, Gravity Falls, those gay bears.
Part III: “Everything that has happened has to do with Richard Lyons.”
05.) Interview Part 3 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
- Normal life, meeting Negativland, meeting Richard Lyons, processing death, Firesign Theater & The Weatherman’s post about their record cover, building The Booper, getting The Weatherman nickname, getting bullied, comics & sci-fi, The Outer Limits, The Weatherman’s post about the show, The Guests, Don’t Open ’til Doomsday, Twin Peaks.
Part IV: “It sounded like the end of the world.”
06.) Interview Part 4 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
- Eraserhead, YouTube & archive.org, Weatherman’s blog, how Negativland got started, Audience Studies Incorporated, meeting Mark, audio experiments, making that first record, The Weatherman’s radio show: Colloquy Electronic Music, Charles Amirkhanian, Professor Brookmeyer, more about the Booper, The Weatherman’s performances oline, Teletours, Negativland’s website, The Waybackmachine, Pastor Dick’s Jukebox, more about Richard Lyons home life, The Outer Limits again, The Weatherman’s mom & grandmother, No Other Possibility film, doing “the U2 song,” Mark made me do it,” Facebook as a drug, A Facebook For Radio, about Mid-Valley Mutations and KMUZ.
07.) Pure Full Stereo Rototiller * Negativland * Over the Edge Vol. 1½: The Starting Line with Dick Goodbody * Seeland Records (1995)
Part IV: “How dare you call it a band.”
08.) Interview Part 5 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
09.) Live Performance * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
- Describing the performance (this is the first time the Booper was played over Web), Software defined Radio, CBs & Jamming in San Francisco, Jamcon ‘84, “not live” broadcasts, family radio service (walkie talkies) Family Radio 2017 on Hollow Earth Radio w/ Wobbly (Hollow Earth Radio), The Weatherman’s Dumb Stupid Home Page, The Bufferin Aspirin Commercials.
Part V: “I’m not a musician, I just experiment with sound.”
10.) Interview Part 6 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
- Don gets added to the group, Night Sky Music, digitizing analog work properly, The Weatherman’s creative process, nonsense words and phrases, image 1 image 2 & image 3, the act of selection, Night Flight‘s influence.
11.) Happy The Harmonica * Negativland * Free * Seeland Records (1993)
Part VI: “This Is The Weatherman.”
12.) Interview Part 7 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
- Media memories, strange noises from the sky, voice to skull transmissions and other conspiracies, performing live online, Over The Edge, and more Firesign Theater,
Part VII: “I never leave this house, pretty much.”
13.) Interview Part 8 * The Weatherman * 2 October 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
- Even More Firesign Theater continued, the dangers of the outside world, making art now, breaking all the social media rules, wrapping up.