“Istanbul (not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants

Hooray!! It’s National Falafel Day! Nearly every Turkish restaurant (outside of Türkiye) offers this delicious fried chic-pea dish. Conversely, people living in Türkiye do not frequently consume the dish. It’s not really a Turkish food. Unlike in The Middle East, Falafel is not served as street food in The Republic.

The City of Istanbul was once called Constantinople. Türkiye was formerly known as Turkey. Now it’s Türkiye not Turkey. Why did Turkey get the works?

The version by They Might Be Giants appeared on the album Flood which was released in 1990. It also appeared in an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures.

The song was first made famous in 1953 by The Four Lads.

The most recognizable landmark in The City of Istanbul would be the Haga Sofia. Below is a photo I found from “7 Interesting Facts About Haga Sofia“. First it was a Church then a Mosque. Then it became a Museum and then a Mosque again. They switch things up a lot.

Hagia Sophia domes and minarets in the old town of Istanbul, Turkey, on sunset

What food do you eat that has been wrongly lumped in with a certain culture’s cuisine? Tell us about it in the comments.

-Wacky Alex

“Cheese Roll Call” by Pinky & The Brain

Celebrate National Cheese Day with this classic cartoon and song from Pinky & The Brain. Pinky points out that there are so many different kinds of cheeses in the world that it’s actually quite bizarre. The song itself is sung to the tune of “Semper Fidelis”, the official march of the United States Marine Corps.

Do you hanker for a hunk of cheese? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.

-Wacky Alex

“Picnic In The Summertime” by Deee-Lite

June 1st is considered the first day of meteorological summer in North America. I think we could all use a picnic with a chill vibe right now. With DJ Towa switched out for ANI, we have a sequenced track in the style of 1970s classic soul.

The music and the video are as innocent as it gets. Let’s have a peaceful summer this year.

Picnic In The Summertime was released as a single and I have the CD version. If you wan’t a sealed copy on vinyl, it’s $60 and up on ebay.

What is your favorite unique thing to bring to a picnic? Let us know in the comments.

-Wacky Alex

“Theme from Star Trek” by Nichelle Nichols, Recorded in The Early 90s

What makes this track interesting is the production value. It firmly locks the sound into the early 1990s. Clearly the backing track was created on budget synthesizers. You can hear the influence of 1980s new wave, but now it’s a midi sequence. It has a general-midi video game music vibe.

What is your favorite song by Nichols? Do you have a favorite song that mentions Star Trek? Let us know in the comments!

-Wacky Alex

NOTE: The image above is a screen shot for Star Trek The Original Series.

That Time I Got To Meet Lady Miss Kier From Deee-Lite At Duluth Pride

I was in high school when I first heard “Grove is in the Heart” on the radio in Detroit. I remember hanging out with my best friend when the song came on. We both got really excited. For some reason one of us thought the song was actually produced by a local radio station as a promotion or something. I soon discovered otherwise. Indeed the track was by this groovy band called Deee-Lite with some help from Bootsy Collins. Deee-lightful!

First I bought the cassette single. As soon as the full album, World Clique, was released, I bought the CD and I still have it. It plays perfectly even though it’s 25 years old and has been played a thousands times.

My friends and I couldn’t wait for the next album, Infinity Within. I bought it the day it come out. It’s still in the original “Eco-Pack” low-plastic packaging. I loved that album too. At that point, I had to write them a fan letter. I never wrote fan mail before. I never thought I would be inspired to do that but there I was being a total fanboy.

Lady Miss Kier was so kind to answer my mail. First she sent a postcard. Then she had her publicist enroll me in the fan-club for the band for FREE. I received back issues of their fan-zine, press photos, fliers and stickers. I continued to get cool stuff from the fan club for the next two years.

This is a press photo I received in 1993. Kier signed it for me in 2007.

At some point in 1993 I landed a DJ job at my college radio station, WDMB Impact 89FM. I loved this job. It really helped me with my self esteem and communication skills. I needed both badly. I am still very thankful that they even gave me a chance.

While I as doing the DJ thing, I got a press card in the mail explaining about the forthcoming release, Dewdrops in The Garden. I called the given phone number and left a message. Two Weeks later my college station received the new CD. The band also sent us the 12inch remix EP of “Party Happening People” on white vinyl. Somebody on Etsy is selling this for over $70.

The station manager let me keep the remix record but he also scolded me for talking to the record company without going through the music director. WHOOPS!

Sadly, the band broke up shortly after. Several post breakup products were released such as a greatest hits album and remixes. DJ Towa went on to release a number of “solo” albums as well.

Fast forward to 2007. I found out that Lady Miss Kier was going to be performing at Duluth Pride. I just had to go see her. I rounded up some friends and we made the trek north. When I got there, I found Miss Kier’s trailer was on the grounds, roped off by security.

I walked up to the ropes and yelled out, “LOVE YOU LADY MISS KIER!”. Shortly after that, I was invited to meet her! All you need is love!

She was very kind to me in person. She signed a lot of the stuff I brought with, saved from the fan club. She even kissed a photo of the band with lipstick.

The Dee-lovely Lady then invited my group to dance on stage when “Groove is in The Heart” came on. I was too starstruck to do it but I took the cool photo at the top of this article.

Thank you Lady Miss Kier, and people who worked on the Deee-Lite records. They made the world a better place.

-Wacky Alex

“Man With A Tan” by Wally Pleasant

Wally Pleasant was a student at Michigan State University when he first started making up songs with his guitar. This is one of the originals and it’s perfect for the start of summer. It’s on the summer playlist here as well.

I got a chance to play his music on WDBM when I was a student DJ there. Then I saw him play live, solo, in front of the cafes in East Lansing. One day I ran into him at Office Max. He’s a funny dude.

Here’s an image of a Tan guy in Israel from Huck Magazine.

Do you sunbathe? Do you use sunscreen or enhancers? Let us know in the comments.

-Wacky Alex

“Just The Two Of Us” by Mike Myers as Dr Evil

Happy Birthday to Mike Myers, one of our favorite funny guys. Myers turns 59 today, assuming they use the same calendar up in Canada. (just kidding)

The second Austin Powers movie is considered by most to be the best of the three that have been released so far. The Spy Who Shagged Me arrived in 1999.

Look at how young Seth Green was in the video clip. Who knew he would go on to be such a bastard. (Just kidding, Robot Chicken rocks by the way.) Sadly, “Mini-Me” Verne Troyer has since died, RIP.

The movie and the soundtrack album both feature this parody on Will Smith’s take of “Just The Two Of Us”. The album was re-released on vinyl for record store day 2020. We have the original CD version here at the station but the cover art looks better on the LP shown.

The song was first made famous by The Great Bill Withers.

Do you like Mike? Let us know what you think of him in the comments.

-Wacky Alex

“Somebody Farted” by Bobby Jimmy and The Critters (pissed all over MC Hammer)

Have you ever walked into someone’s bedroom and became immediately aware that they had been farting all night and they are badly in need of ventilation? That’s happened to me this morning.

Or maybe you got stuck in an elevator full of strangers and someone let a ripe stink bomb rip like chemical warfare. Perhaps you got stuck waiting in a long line and you really could not run away or risk embarrassing the random funky person. Or maybe you were like me and quietly rolled out a stench grenade while handing money to a poor cashier.

If you’ve had any experience with third party flatulence, you will find this track relatable. I remember hearing this on morning-drive radio while heading to high school back in 1990. It’s actually a quazi-parody of MC Hammer’s “Let’s Get It Started”. Compare for yourself!

“Somebody Farted” was released both on a 12″ EP and on a full length album. I happen to own the EP. Here’s a photo. The lead single was actually “Hair or Weave”. In my opinion “Somebody Farted” is a lot funner.

-Wacky Alex