WXYC Chapel Hill, NC 89.3FM – Monday 3:00-6:00pm ET – www.wxyc.org

[wxyc] ẄXŸC: Önë Lïstënër’s Hïstörïcäl Përspëctïvë

Due to positive feedback, I have decided to post an email I sent to our (WXYC’s) internal listserv (where all sorts of WXYC business and discourse takes place).  I *did* take the liberty to correct a couple of my typos, so no, it’s not exactly what went to the listserv, and yes, perhaps I could be more diligent in proofreading before I post to the listserv, but whatever, bite me, etc.

A thread had developed in which some of our younger djs were wondering why WXYC has so little black/death/speed/etc. metal in its library.  One of our former music directors had just suggested one tiny but quality source for metal was “Fenriz Presents…The Best of Old-School Black Metal” and somehow this fired my writing relays…

Here it is, typos removed, but content unchanged:


Firstly, that “Fenriz Presents…” comp is a *great* shortcut to inject a show with a RESPECT!ful dose of… Mässivë Mëtäl (™ Dredge Slug? {shudder}) (could *not* resist the cryptic, inside Massive Metal joke, sorry).

I agree our library is anemic when it comes to things like Burzum.

Now that we’re in the 21st century, it seems we might include more inverted blasphemy, you know, for the sake of diversity and all, but since I’ve been listening to WXYC—apparently longer, now, than some of our djs have been alive—I can give a listener’s historical perspective on that. (For anyone who doesn’t know, I became a dj in January 2001; I have listened to WXYC, almost exclusively, since 1985.)

Musically, first came the popular, which begat the rock’n’roll and the rhythm&blues, and soon the rock, and it was good.

The rock was fertile, and begat mightily: first the psychedelia and later, the heavy metal. (Perhaps controversial, but I say the heavy metal was born c. 1970, and I name Deep Purple and Black Sabbath as the first of that offspring. Blue Cheer is still kinda psychedelic, really. IMO.) The rock joined also with the rhythm&blues, and soon begat the funk.

Meanwhile, the popular somehow delivered the peri-menopausal abortion, disco, which as the evil mutant it was, survived and began to plot world domination. Lovers of naturally composed and produced music saw its horrible face, and they were sore afraid. All of rock’s offspring, too, recognized the vile serpent, and in all their efforts to rid the world of the disco affliction, they knew that they must also be fruitful, so they went forth and multiplied.

Somehow during the scary disco period, a rift occurred between offspring of heavy metal and all the other descendents of rock. By 1982 the followers of punk, New Wave, and various avant garde families would only associate—and begrudgingly so—with those who were followers of descendents of bands such as Judas Priest, in their joint(!) war against disco, which had been, already, almost completely rendered and dispersed.

While the “art fags” danced ironically with the punks, who slammed & pogo’d, and the metal kids banged their heads—all in unison at the demise of disco—there was an unspoken rule that ne’er the twain should meet.

During this era, WXYC was the radio station of choice for art fags and punks. (Since I, myself, proudly and happily own the “art fag” label, I feel entitled to use it, for those politically correct sparring for a fight. fyi.) Across RTP, WKNC erected their imposing metal banner with unwavering domination, STRENGTH BEYOND STRENGTH!

By now, I have a generational understanding of (WXYC’s/any other seemingly paradoxical) disdain for metal, but pretty much everyone knows if I can find Cannibal Corpse, if you really want to hear Marduk, you make the request when I’m doing a show.

What’s more amazing, however, is that I *will* play Iron Maiden (still, only if it’s requested!)(*but* I won’t bitch about it or otherwise haggle with the requester).

If you’d asked me in 1988, “Hey, if you were a dj, and you had the choice, would you play Iron Maiden?”  my response would have been:  “You have got to be fucking kidding me?   Fuck you!  Go listen to KNC.  Fuck you.  God.  What the fuck is wrong with you?  Go away!”

Somehow, for me, it was artists on the Amphetamine Reptile label that bridged the gap between punkish-art faggy-hardcore and metal. Once the bridge was built, it was widened repeatedly, and by now I guess I’ve used the cracked, defiled vinyl; the knotted-up, crushed recording tape; and all the rest of the concomittant polyester and paraphernalia of disco to fill that gap and grade and pave and landscape, because what once was a vast crevass between two peaks is now a single, broad, level pavillion, in which all the various rock genres freely intermingle and move about.

My personal analysis of the global rift between art fags and punks vs. headbangers is, the art fags had some kind of heady art-school/humanities sensibility, the hardcore punks had a political motivation, so the two could meet via some type of (pseudo-)intellectual posturing.
Headbangers, on the other hand… have you ever seen Beavis and Butthead?

And that is why, in this listener’s opinion, WXYC’s library is slightly anemic when it comes to anything truly, in a post-1978 sense, metal.

Hail the Necrowizard!








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