Music Reviews
Live on Third Rail Radio

Live on Third Rail Radio Md.

Various Artists Presented by WMUC-FM College Park


College radio is still the last hope of any contract-less singer, songwriter, or DIY performer. Hang out on the local campus, buy the student DJ a beer, and with a little charm you’re featured on the “local live” show. For some reason, if the talent pool is weak, the show is on Wednesdays; if the talent pool is deep, it makes a weekend prime time party slot. WMUC, who has been at this for goodness knows how many years, pulled together this tight compilation of local area musicians.

The range of material is wide, with folksy Currituck Country singing the gentle song “Henry,” somnambulant The One AM Radio crooning “Fever Dream” and a good sampling of harder stuff, such as overdriven Pocket Rockets’ “Blood Rage.” Band names are always amusing: Bald Rapunzel whips out the LA punk simulation “Trespassers” and Prisoner’s Dilemma hammers “Justin Patrick’s Categorical Imperative,” a musical wall of noise that goes on quite a bit longer than it ought.

The highlight of the album is Gorg Songmaster, with the hysterical “NAMBLA.” I’ve never decided if NAMBLA is a real organization, or just the figment of the talk radio industry generated for ratings. (If you know, please don’t tell me. In this case, ignorance IS bliss.) Still, the tune has a solid hook: “NAMBLA/We’re not murders/we just love ‘em till they bleed.” Wonderfully tasteless, just lake any college radio program ought to be.

Are any of these artists going to make the big time? I kind of doubt it. I’m not aware of anyone making it really big from this sort of base, but the disc is highly entertaining, and profits (if there are any) go to support one of the last truly free media channels left in this country: free-form radio. Buy it if you care.

WMUC Radio:

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