I might have mentioned this before at SB, but it’s something I’ve never been able to stop thinking about. When I was in high school, the local college radio station had a “strange music” show that started at midnight on Saturdays (or maybe it was Sundays). I stayed up to listen to it whenever I remembered.
This wasn’t like things you’d hear on the Dr. Demento show (which I also listened to regularly). The songs that I remember from it had lyrics that you might call surrealist. They weren’t random nonsense or comedy but maybe more along the lines of some They Might Be Giants songs, only less playful and more serious-sounding. I don’t remember any mention of musician names, titles, or sources.
These are the two examples I can remember most clearly:
- A song from the perspective of someone working in a mine. The song is repetitive, representing the work, and the miner keeps mentioning how tired he is between verses. He sounds more exhausted as the song goes on. There might be mining equipment sounds as well.
- A married couple alternating verses and singing about what it’s like to live on a farm. One is intense, describing difficult work and at one point mentioning the barn burning down. Ending with “This is what it means to be a farmer.” The other is quiet and ethereal, saying things such as “My other car is a tractor” and something about watching the moon at night. Later, verses start to mix up earlier elements. For example, “My other car is the moon.”
I think it was always the same DJ, and he’d say things such as “music too weird for mass consumption.” During one show, he talked extensively about it being “rabbit month” and shared information about rabbits. For example, that you’d starve if you were on an island with nothing but rabbits to eat because you’d expend more energy than you’d get from eating them.
In later years I occasionally encountered someone who had worked at the station at some point but no one ever knew what I was talking about. I even called the station once or twice to ask whether there was any record of that show but there wasn’t.