Near Perfect Pitch: Podcast Pitches Music Perfection

An important read you need by Simon Reynolds.

Johnny Rotten perched nearly crow-like on the edge of a stage and muttered the now-famous quote “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” The audience didn’t realize that they had just witnessed a punk rock Waterloo on that fateful night of January 14, 1978, a date that will forever be associated with the disintegration of the Sex Pistols. A turbulent and controversial-heavy tour of the United States took a self-destructive nose dive in San Francisco at the Winterland Ballroom, and there was a declaration that not only the Pistols were permanently unloaded, but punk’s idealistic wind had been knocked out of its collective soul. Although this subject has stayed open for debate, many music scribes (especially at that time) believe that it was in the aftermath of this moment that (true) punk was “over” and “post-punk” began, splintering off into different and exciting genres. One tome in particular that illustrates this case is “Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984” authored by Simon Reynolds. Beginning with the jolt of Johnny Rotten’s disillusionment to his formation of Public Image, Ltd., Simon takes the reader on a journey that encompasses a trajectory that would serve as a blueprint for 1980s college radio: the DIY and British independent label movement; the music scenes of Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, and London; New York No Wave; the 2-Tone label and the ska revival; plus the ascension of synthpop, neo-psychedelia, mutant disco, industrial, and art punk. “Rip It Up and Start Again” is a perfectly written document and is a “must read” for music lovers of the genres mentioned. Simon Reynolds proves his worth with his knowledge and passion (as he has with his other titles), placing this book as an important anchor for the historical merits of post-punk.

While other books on the subject of post-punk have been released, podcasts have also served as testaments to the strength of the music. One in particular that stands apart in a league of its own is Near Perfect Pitch, hosted by Dara Mottahed.

Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s (over a course of 15 years), Dara hosted the weekly radio program “Two Pints Of Lager and A Packet Of Crisps”. Due to work commitments, he was forced to end that show, but had the drive to eventually return to the mic. Once his personal schedule was wrestled into control, Dara returned with Near Perfect Pitch, hosted on CKCU FM in Ottawa, Canada. Parlaying his love for classic post-punk, Dara also mixes in a rich playlist of classic and contemporary British pop, indie rock, shoegaze, new wave, C86, and alternative, creating an aural time machine. With his background in the music industry, Dara expertly produces a program that make others pale in comparison. Each week, consistent features include “Essential Wax” (an album feature), “Hattrick” (3 thematic songs in a row), “Obligatory Fall-Ah” (a track from the Fall), “T’Interweb Time” (website of interest feature), dedications, and a cover version of a classic alternative tune. The highlights of the shows (besides the excellent mix of music) are the interviews Dara conducts with his musical heroes, with the Jazz Butcher and Howard Gayle appearing as guests on his pilot episode. The program can be downloaded and streamed through iTunes, Google Play, PodBean, and Tune In (as well as CKCU FM).

The many featured guests on Near Perfect Pitch is a veritable “who’s who” of 80s and 90s college radio (and beyond):

Oasis I Suede I The Charlatans I Ride I The Fall I Pixies I Blur I Primal Scream I Lush I Catherine Wheel I Curve I My Bloody Valentine I Glasvegas I The Soup Dragons I Red House Painters I Manic Street Preachers I Chumbawamba I Richard Ashcroft I Verve I Pete MacLeod I Alias Kid I The Beautiful South I Drugstore I Swervedriver I WIllow Robinson I The Wedding Present I Teenage Fanclub I Radiohead I Echo and The Bunnymen I Kitchens of Distinction I The Lemonheads I Stereolab I Bettie Serveert I Trashcan Sinatras I Superstar I Spiritualized I Ocean Colour Scene I Chaperhouse I Menswear I Cocteau Twins I Dread Zeppelin I Hothouse Flowers I The House of Love I The Woodentops I Juliana Hatfield I The Jazz Butcher I Billy Bragg I Longpigs I Hefner I The Chills I Martin Stephenson I Turin Brakes I The Farm I Neon Waltz I Bill Pritchard I The Telescopes I Tom Hingley I The Jasmine Minks I The Flatmates I The Darling Buds I The Primitives I Hightown Pirates I Boyracer I BMX Bandits I The High I Fiat Lux I Reverieme I The Jazz Butcher I Thee Hypnotics I Edgar Jones I The G-O-D I Stella Grundy I Simon Wolstencroft I Ed Blaney I Tinsel Heart I Pete Fij I It’s Immaterial I Boz Boorer I Periscope I Merz I Dodgy I Derek Ridgers I Dean Garcia I The Chameleons

To gain access to all available links to download and/or stream the program, go to the website.

To view the playlists (as well as listen to past episodes) head over to PodBean.

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You can also follow Near Perfect Pitch on Twitter.



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Joey Camp

Joey Camp is a former podcaster that's worked with the GaragePunk Hideout and Real Punk Radio. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA and you can follow him on Twitter @JoeyCamp70

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