Howard Aggregate’s Late Preview #8

Let the shadow play continue. Because what is radio but a play of sonic shadows, a phantasm, all in the mind? How do we know radio is real? Is it a shared illusion, a form of mass audio hypnosis?

That’s the question posed and in all likelihood answered by the Resonance philosophical round table, Radio God, later tonight. In a new departure for the show (and the station) presenter Andrey Bendwick-Hogspawm will be testing his theory of radio’s illusoriness by not broadcasting the show. Instead Andrey will think it into existence, free of the constraints of equipment, engineers, electricity. He will in fact not be turning up at the studio, and has told regular panel guests Hank and Loretta Schnorbitz that the show is being broadcasted live from the Derek Jarman Memorial Home from Home Mobile Home Home just outside Dungeness. They should be arriving about now.

You, the listener, are invited to contact Andrey during and after the show to tell him what you think of his great thought experiment. Has it worked? Are radio waves fiction or fact? Are episodes of early Resonance programming now drifting past Proxima Centauri? Is that where they came from in the first place? And if radio was a grand aural sham after all, then is telepathy a reality? And if it is, am I going to have to stop thinking about – well, am I going to have to stop thinking?

There is a drawback to contacting the show. Andrey’s doesn’t  believe the internet is real. So even if you want to, there’s not much point sending an email to bendhog@bendhog.moc. As for texting him, well, he never liked mobile phones and don’t even think about sending a letter because he won’t reveal his address in case it’s raided by the thought-bailiffs. Find out if Radio God is just dead air or not later tonight.

Truth and reality collide yet again – with reality coming off worse and lying bleeding on the road for hours before an ambulance is called – on Saturday. That’s the day when all usual Resonance programming is cast aside to make way for Phantom Raspberry Blower Day. This is a unique celebration of the character created by Spike Milligan and made mildly famous by the Two Ronnies in the mid-seventies. For those of you who don’t know, the Blower terrorised Victorian London by repeatedly raising his cape in polite society and making a rude noise. There are programmes looking at the social implications of public raspberrying in nineteenth century Britain plus a special hour long feature on capes of the V+A, particularly the blackest, swishiest and those with the shot-silk purple lining villains preferred.

There’s also Aoki Ampersand’s stunning two-hour long slow-motion recording of a raspeberry blown in 1978 by a Stockport centenarian, believed to be Britain’s oldest raspberry blower. Some might say that he was the Phantom Raspberry Blower, he certainly was old enough!

If you think along those lines be sure to catch the late night round table discussion Who Was the Phantom Raspberry Blower of Olde London Towne? This is where a collection of historical crime writers and assorted Victoriana malfeasance mongers tackle the Blower with the wild and frankly unsettling passion usually reserved for discussions of Jack the Ripper.  There’ll be contributions from Frank Fetid, bespoke blade-maker at (forward slash, forward slash, forward slash) and noted crime novelist Tabitha Tapped, author of Was Jack the Ripper Gandhi?

That discussion will probably overrun by hours, but persevere because it will be followed by Marcus Hoopla’s updating of the Blower legend to the 1950’s. Instead of foggy London, Hoopla transposes the arena of lip-flubbering, sputum-hurling dastardliness to the bloody end of French colonial rule in Algeria. He takes the 1966 Giulio Pontecorvo film, Battle of Algiers and subjects it’s soundscape of French paratroopers loud-hailering their holed-up rebel adversaries and stirring Ennio Morricone score to regular interruptions of what the OED defines as ‘a sound made with the tongue and lips expressing derision and contempt’. If you think that sounds bad, you should hear his Death in Venice.

If you think gLASSsHRIMP is bad, then all we can say to you is BLEEEUURRRGHHH!

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