Friday, March 27, 2009

SPK Interview from 1982 ....

Here is an interview with British Industrial group - SPK from 1982, conducted by a former Wizard. Not sure who? I think this was a phone interview and the text was transcribed from that conversation. I'm not sure which member is representing SPK either.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

An Email from Scott Marshall (Burden of Friendship)

An Email from Scott Marshall, reproduced with permission:

Hi Arvo, nice to see that people remember fondly those wild whacked days at the Wonderful Wizard. Also glad to see that someone remembers that the Voidwatch thing was my idea. Bill Meehan, Doug Brown, Bob St. Clair, and Mark Giangrande had all known each other for years at that point dating back to their days at LeMere Vipere, Chicago's first punk club c.1976-77. But I had only just met all of them the year before we started to doing the live on-air jamming (summer of '84) at my suggestion. Saturday afternoons were my first regular on-air slot, and one of those guys followed me, I think it was Doug. Doug just passed away like a week or so ago, he was only 55. Nowadays I really only exchange e-mail with Mark once in a great while, I've been living in NYC for the last ten years.

At this point Scott goes on to say that he doesn't have access to any audio or video from that time, just memories


Like the jams we used to have at the Unarco rolled steel factory in Evanston (1985). Prior to its demolishing, a friend of ours had the night watchman job at the whole facility. I know that Mark G. has video tape of that. THAT was incredible, using this huge old steel factory as one giant instrument, enormous decrepit steel tanks, all kinds of lengths of pipe, etc. The smell of the place was incredible. The highlight of the video from this one night (we went there to jam a few times) is when the overhead crane caught fire from over-usage by us, and then, miraculously, put itself out.

Or the all-night jam/party we did on WNUR with Andy Jacobsen, fueled by like a half ounce of coke that we all chipped in and purchased. I was designated steward of the blow, so I kept it hidden in the station and then made rounds on the half-hour spooning up doses to all the 10 or so noses while their owners were in various stages of on-air noisemaking.

Or the one Voidwatch that utilized live fireworks inside the station, along with pushing over filing cabinets and other general destruction (busted linoleum flooring, holes in the ceiling). I think the destruction was due to using some steel samples we had brought back from the Unarco factory.

Or, stupidly, me climbing the radio antenna on top of the Northeastern library building in order to bleed the transmitter cable system of air and fill it with nitrogen (I think, some kinda fucking gas in a tank attached to the transmitter cable), while Bill Meehan kept watch on me from the rooftop in case I fell to my death. That year I was the Program Director (85-86). We had just paid to have a new antenna installed along with our power upgrade to 100 watts. It was Friday, and the antenna riggers didn't finish the whole gasline installation thing, so, stupidly, I offered to finish it for them so we could get back on the air as soon as possible. So after I climbed back down off the roof, Bill and I went and turned on the new transmitter... and the new transmitter immediately blew up because the antenna guys hadn't correctly installed the radiating elements on the transmitter tower. We were off the air all summer while the University sorted it out and
used the whole escapade as an excuse to finally get rid of all us non-student DJs once and for all. So once the antenna company had made it all right a few months later, and a new transmitter was purchased, we were all on the air again for like two weeks before the University officially banned all of us, me in particular thank you very fucking much, as reward for all the work that we put into the station. I was the last non-student program director of WZRD.

Or the three most memorable ZRD-sponsored shows that B.O.F. ever played: At the Noise Factory on Lake St. (first B.O.F. show, included me getting lit flourescent light bulbs smashed over my back); opening for Algebra Suicide to a packed room and having Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth come up and introduce himself to me onstage after the set, saying that Steve Albini told him to come down and see us; and the big WZRD benefit concert at Cabaret Metro (1986) that featured a Who's Who of Chicago hardcore and punk groups, headlined by Naked Raygun who played a whole amazing set of cover tunes, it was a sold-out show and I was also the onstage M.C., I was so nervous in front of 1000 screaming punks that I had to take five Valiums chased be a couple of Long Island Ice Teas just to keep cool, and then I gashed my hand open during B.O.F.'s 5-minute onstage set, a nice touch. We raised something like $3500 for the station (in 1986 dollars), and then the following
month the University kicked us all out.


From the WZRD cassette catalog, posted by Fatty Jubbo on WFMU

WZRD Commercial


Burden of Friendship

This is taken from the Death Factory Biography. These recordings are taken from a tape called "Now Blood, Now Water", sound collages culled from sessions at WZRD that Mike Krause kindly shared from his collection.

Ok, here's the story . I used to listen to alot of radio in the early 80's. This was mostly of the commercial Rock variety. Well, one summer night in 1984 I was flipping through the stations on my boom box and went all the way to the left of the fm dial . I heard weird cacophony, noise , tribal sounds , Punk Rock, Hardcore , odd Jazz, and all the other types of music and programming you didn't hear anywhere else.

I thought "what the hell is going on here", and "these can't be legitimate radio stations"! It had to be a pirate station I thought or whatever, (I was only 13 then). It was college radio- WZRD and WNUR! I could not believe these were real radio stations! But I listened to those type of stations all through out the 80's and occasionally still do. It literally opened a whole other world to me. I discovered alternative news, political views,artists, became more aware of 'real' culture in general( not crass commercialism and not the same old mainstream clap-trap shit) .

Burden of Friendship, Summer of '84 Part I

Anyway, of all the new forms of music I discovered ,experimental music, noise, and the sound collages of the local Chicago group -Burden of Friendship, was the most fascinating thing I had ever heard up to that point. Various members of that band had radio slots on WZRD. Mainly on Saturdays, roughly from about 1pm until late in the evening /early morning they ruled from about '84-'87. On certain days instead of playing their ecclectic style of music(s) They would turn the studio into one giant noise collage freakout. Those shows were the infamous "Voidwatches ".

Burden of Friendship, Summer of '84 Part II

I think they were started by one of the members -Scott Marshall. Instruments and mics were set up throughtout the whole place. Guitars, tapes, synths, various metals,( like pipes, sheets, ect..) , spoken word readings( effected or not with devices) and who knows what else was utilized for these 'Noise fests. ' I used to have these taped (unedited)from off the air, but i lost them! Damn!! It was all mixed through the main board and out through the airwaves. The guy operating the main board had the option of cutting into or out off whatever section of the studio he wanted to bring up it the mix. I think that's the way it worked .

Find a more thorough description of the band by Scott Marshall and other members, as well as Mp3s at Staklo Foundation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

DJ Demchuk began at WZRD in 2001 and quickly fell in love with their collection of over 30,000 albums on vinyl and disc digging for new music. Demchuk served as Promotions Director, organizing on and off-campus events such as the 29th and 30th anniversary shows held at Subterranean and The Abbey Pub, respectively. Demchuk managed on-air promotion for local concerts and events across Chicago and is responsable for hundreds of ticket giveaways including Lollapalooza since its resurgence.

As Producer of Thursday Night Live, WZRD's weekly showcase of underground and international artists performing live at their studio, DJ Demchuk brought in such acts as Future Rock, Vitamin D & Jah Safe, Sweet Cobra, Carpet of Sexy, and Princess, among countless others. Many of these recordings are found in The Wizard's extensive CD collection.

DJ Demchuk also served as Program Director during his final year at WZRD, training, supporting, and organizing DJ culture within Northeaster Illinois Universities' campus population. Organizing promotional tables and teaching on-air operation, as well as scheduling and monitoring DJs, Demchuk was responsible for staffing over 50% of its student-run body.

Listen to DJ Demchuk's mix of Brazilian Funk, recorded LIVE on WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM

Part 1

Part 2

Chicago, IL - DJ Demchuk is a FreeForm DJ whose music selection runs the genre gamut, grabbing Brazilian Funk, Baltimore Booty Beats, classic Soul breaks, and Electro cuts to create the perfect party atmosphere wherever he performs.

DJ Demchuk is resident DJ every Tuesday at Liar's Club, located at 1665 W Fullerton Ave, and every Thursday at Uptown Lounge, 1136 W Lawrence Ave.

DJ Demchuk also hosts the monthly End Of The World Dance Party happening the third Thursday of every month at Sonotheque, 1444 W Chicago Ave. featuring Live music and upper echelon DJs.

Visit for more information.

The Art of Circuit Bending has been taught by DJ Demchuk throughout the US and featured in The Chicago Reader and Chicago Magazine. He has conducted workshops at universities and galleries such as The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Contemporary Arts Center in Columbus, OH, and The In Gallery, Minneapolis, MN.

He has recently been conducting Master Classes at Sam Ash Music store throughout the greater Chicagoland area and is currently booking dates for Circuit Bending 101 workshops. If you would like to know more, contact via email at or visit his myspace page.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm probably pretty high in the rankings, if not at the very top, on the list of people who have guested on WZRD the most times. I simply enjoy the atmosphere of the dank, dusty, basement cubby hole that is the WZRD studio, and its writhing aura of reckless abandon; Lined with Graffiti and posters from bands long forgotten, caked with rotting, old records and tapes since 1974. So although I'm not a student there, and have never been an official DJ there, I felt it necessary to start a blog for specific WZRD posterity, where it doesn't get buried with playlists on their myspace page .

So to kick things off, I will share with you what I have available for now and some stuff I just found. I will be digging through more old radio shows I've done and have requested the same of others, past and present.