Quick Update

Yes, the new Freakshow! blog is finally working. No, it’s not finished, hence why the entire thing is filled with old, outdated articles that should probably be deleted, not to mention I need to do some work on the design and content side. Come back in a couple days.

-John

The Shape of Freakshow! to Come – Return of the Loving Dead

Dancing with the bones of the Elephant Man!

No, there's no clever pun in my use of this album cover as the header. I just really like this cover.

Oh hi guys, I didn’t see you there.

Maybe you remember me.  In case you don’t, let me refresh your memory.  My name is John.  You can call me “Freakman John.”  I do a little show on Boston University’s radio station called “Freakshow!”  It’s a garage, punk and psychedelic rock show.  It’s pretty cool if I say so myself.

Did you know I’ve been back on the air for about three weeks now?  No?  Well I have.  And boy did WTBU fuck me over this time by putting me on at 8 in the morning which was cutting my show short.  It’s not been very good, honestly.  In fact, I don’t blame you for not knowing that this happened.  I did a pretty good job of not telling people I was back while spiting WTBU and trolling them on air and playing curse-laden Ice Cube songs for a half-hour straight.  I am proud of myself for that.

This blog entry totally has a point; just bear with me here, folks.

Now that we’ve gotten that all out of the way, I have a few announcements to make.  First of all, starting Monday, February 7, we are rebooting Freakshow! To put it another way, we have changed time slots and we are calling a do-over on this season and doing right by it.  Freakshow! now airs every Monday morning from 8 – 10 AM on WTBU, and you should listen to it live because it’s awesome.  But if you suck and can’t do that, we have you covered: every episode is going to be recorded and uploaded to the Freakshow! blog. I think I’ve figured out how to get around WTBU’s usual tactic of not having their shit work, so this shouldn’t be a problem anymore as it has been in the past (and by the past I mean two weeks ago, where my first show is stuck in one of the station computers.  Seriously!)

But the most important announcement of all is that the Freakshow! blog is moving to an actual for-realsies domain.  Sometime next week, you will now find us at http://freakshow-radio.com, where we will have the same goofy content as well as some other fun stuff I have planned.

Lastly, like the good abandoning father to you all that I am, I’m showing up after my long period of absence with gifts.  At the bottom of this post you will find every single Freakshow! episode I have recorded and saved on my computer. Bear in mind, some of them are going to be rough as I haven’t done clean-up on them (including the most recent episode, which I am literally just burning over from the CD and putting up here).  Also, I have some more episodes floating around somewhere that I will be sure to upload once I get the chance, so keep checking during this weekend for more fun!

This season’s been a bit rough-going so far, but it’s going to get better and it’s going to be awesome.  Mark my words and keep tuned in, because we love you more than you could ever know.

-”Freakman” John Maxwell

Freakshow! – 1/14/10
Freakshow! – 4/1/10: Pax Freakout – A Retrospective
Freakshow! – 4/15/10
Freakshow! – 4/22/10: Can Music Save the World? An Audio Essay

Freakshow! – 2/3/11

The Shape of Freakshow! to Come: Into the Unknown

God I love the Blue Van

With any luck, this entry won't leave you blue...

Before you say it: yes, I know.  I have been neglecting the blog.  I have done a bunch of episodes that I keep saying I will upload, but I haven’t in spite of the fact that I’ve even finished editing a couple of these episodes.  Yes, I still intend on uploading them when I get the chance, and yes, I intend to do better next season (if there is a next season, but we’ll get to that), just like I did better with the blog this season.  Until then, however, here is an entry in which I am going to vent and give you a bit more “inside baseball” into this show and how much it means to me.

I was going to save this for my last Freakshow!, the epic Season 3 finale, but unfortunately it just isn’t going to happen.  I just don’t have the time or the energy to put together one last show, and considering this show is my lifeblood, you KNOW I must be in dire straights for this to happen.  But I’ve been thinking a lot about what the future holds for the show.  And the simple answer is: I don’t know.  To say the least, though I will still be getting a BU diploma, I’m not sure if I will be finishing my academic career on BU grounds.  Honestly, I can deal with that, and I would probably be happier at a community college or whatever.  But that would mean no Freakshow!… and that scenario petrifies me more than almost anything I have ever dealt with in my life.

Some of you may remember the way I ended Season Two (and as an aside: I fully intend on uploading that and some of the other Season Two episodes I have lying around at a later date).  For those who don’t remember, or blocked it out as I have tried to, I, on the verge of tears, asked my audience of what I supposed to be no one: “why do I even bother?  Why do I care so much about this show when I’m the only one who does?”  And the reason I came up with is because I am Freakshow! This show only works because I put every single piece of who I am into it.  Every single song I’m into, emotion I’m feeling, terrible thing that has happened to me, news story that bothers me, nerdy interest I have that most people would not like to indulge or statement I feel needs to be said; they all go into Freakshow! and become these sets that I spend so much of my time carefully crafting.  That, truly, is where the “harmonious dissonance” comes from, and how I feel I’m able to do this show the way I do.  It would be one thing if I knew my time was up, that I had no other choice than to move on and start thinking of what comes next.  But I don’t.  I don’t know if my time on WTBU is done or if I’ll even be allowed back on the air if I’m back here in the fall.  And this fact frightens me beyond belief.

So Peisin, or Sarah, or anyone else on the E-board: if you’re reading this, yeah I know my application was a bit late, but I’d really love my show again if you can find it in your heart of hearts to forgive me for forgetting that it was due Wednesday and not today.  Just saying.  But I digress.

Whatever the future holds, though, I know one thing for certain: Freakshow! will be back.  I don’t know where and I don’t know when, but this show cannot and will not die.  Even if I have to pay to create my own internet radio station that only two people can listen to at a time, I will make sure Freakshow! has a home somewhere.  You know why?  Because this show is everything to me, and I couldn’t let it go silently into the night even if I tried.  So will we be back in the fall?  I can’t say.  But keep checking this blog during the coming summer months, because I have some content very much in tune with the show planned aside from uploading these missing episodes (a site relaunch may even be in the cards… but more on that later).  But until then, let me just say this: it’s been both my pleasure and my honor to do this show for three amazing semesters, and my only hope is that it never has to end.  And if I’m lucky, I can stave off that horrifying possibility for another four beautiful months.

Much love.

-”Freakman” John Gawarecki-Maxwell

Freakshow! – 4/22/10 – Can Music Save the World?: An Audio Essay

If my life was a fish...

In Fish Story, one of our favorite films of the past couple years here at Freakshow!, the titular song by an unknown Japanese punk band that predated the Sex Pistols, saves the world from its imminent destruction at the hands of a meteor. It sounds ridiculous (and it is, and the film is more than happy to play into that ridiculousness, but that’s beside the point) but it speaks to an optimistic belief in the importance of music in our society, perhaps fueled by music’s importance to us. We want to believe in the transformative power of music to change our world for the better in its own way. When we look at the history of protest music and music as counterculture in American society, we want to see the through-line connecting songs like CSNY’s “Ohio” and the turning of the tide against Vietnam. As Graham Nash sings in “Chicago,” his song about the 1968 Democratic National Convention: “We can change the world;” it’s hard to not want our music to be a integral part of that.

But is that a realistic hope? Obviously popular music has the power to cut through the barriers that separate us, but is the idea that real change could come about through a popular song a naïve pipe dream? In this episode of Freakshow!, “Freakman” John Maxwell explores the history of rock-&-roll music against the ever-changing perspectives of Western society to come to his own conclusion about what place music really holds in our society. And since this is Freakshow!, it’s mostly an excuse to play a lot of really awesome songs and make goofy jokes, but would you really want it any other way?

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Freakshow! – 4/1/10

Freakman John talks about the issues with the Batman; hilarity ensues.From March 26-28, the first ever East Coast version of the Penny Arcade Expo – a love-in for video game nerds, D&D fanboys, Magic Card affectionados, board game heroes and other “geeks” – was held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay… and we were there!  But an event of such magnitude could not possibly be contained to one weekend, so this week’s Freakshow! celebrates the wonder of PAX and our video game obsession that inspired us to be there with a special show that contains both the best video game tunes under the sun and enlightening, edifying and downright funny interviews conducted by Freakman John on the show floor.  And it’s all brought together through the magic of harmonious dissonance™, proving that no matter how much you try and change the formula, you can always expect Freakshow! to provide an amazing auditory experience!

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The Shape of Freakshow! to Come: April is Awesome Month

New Day RisingIt’s a “new day rising” for Freakshow!

As we enter the final stretch for this season, we’ve decided that instead of us keeping up what we’ve been doing – giving you the best in garage and punk interspersed with as much madness and mayhem as we can muster – we’re going to mix things up for this ultimate month.  We’ve been teasing doing some special shows since the end of February, but now the time has come, and we’re ready to reveal the first two of this unique series of shows we have planned:

APRIL 1: PAX Freakout: A Retrospective – the first ever PAX East convention – a love-in for gamers and geeks of all walks of life – was held at Hynes Convention Center last weekend, and we were there!  In honor of this, the entire show is dedicated to the best music to ever come from a video game, as well as interviews from the show floor with people such as John Davison (Editorial Director of Gamepro), Michael Wilford (CEO of independent game developer Twisted Pixel), Jeff Gerstmann (co-creator of Giant Bomb) and random con-goers.

APRIL 8: Can Music Save the World?: An Audio Essay – inspired by the 2009 film Fish Story, in which a punk song saves the world from ultimate destruction, we attempt to analyze popular music’s ability to affect and reflect on social issues and the subsets of society they speak to and determine music’s place on the world stage, the political forefront, and in our hearts and minds.

Suffice to say, these two episodes are unlike anything we’ve ever done before.  But just like any of our bizarre sets that shouldn’t work on paper yet somehow come together to form a brilliant blend of harmonious dissonance™, we’ve got a great feeling about these and the other shows we have planned.  Unfortunately, the stuff we have planned for the other shows isn’t quite set in stone yet, so we’re going to hold those close for a little while longer.  So keep checking this space because we’ll be letting you know soon enough.

And if that is not reason enough to keep checking the Freakshow! blog, what if we were to tell you that we now have the WTBU studio recordings for the majority of episodes from the last month-and-a-half and we will be uploading them, as well as the missing set lists, throughout the week?  Because we do!  Don’t say we never did anything nice for you!

Importance Message 2: Electric Boogaloo

Dearest denizens of Freakshow! Nation,

recently, a comment was posted by show superfan Mike Lau about how I have been neglecting the blog again.  And the truth is, he’s right – I have.  But I have a semi-good reason for it, which I will now share with you, because I believe in being up-front with you people and that is how I roll.

There have been two Freakshow!s since the last update: one on February 25 and one on March 4.  You may notice that neither of these shows have been jotted down for the site.  The reason why is pretty simple, actually.  For the February 25 show, I simply don’t remember what I played.  My laptop crashed the night before the show, and I have since lost every setlist for every single episode of Freakshow! from this season.  Thankfully, all but one has been backed up thanks to this blog; but the only way to get that one back, simply, is to go to the WTBU log computer, hope that there’s a recording of this episode, and listen to the entire thing.  And since I need to do that anyway, I’ve decided to sit on posting the set for the March 4 episode until I can get the recordings for both those episodes (and the two other missing recordings) onto my now fixed laptop.

So no, I have not forgotten that this blog exists; I’ve just had to deal with all sorts of things getting in the way of this season of Freakshow! being the best it can be.  But I will soldier on and provide you with the best I can give you, because that’s what I do.

Freakshow! – 2/18/10

Freakshow! will not be airing this week for reasons beyond our control.  Tune in next week for a brand new episode!

Freakshow! – 2/11/10

After the last week’s incredibly pessimistic and bitter episode, we needed to cheer ourselves up with some awesome music.  And so we did!  With an eclectic mix of classic punk, Japanese hip-hop and some of the greatest guitarists of all time, bookended by Freakman John’s exalting of Nine Black Alps, ballet talk, fun science projects to do at your local bar and dreams of a Sarah Palin future, this is nothing less than a Freakshow! for the ages.  Not to mention one that features one of the most unique (and best) sets we’ve ever done.  It’s a brave new world, folks!

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Freakshow! – 2/04/10

Delicious!Man, this curry sure looks delicious, doesn’t it?

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