Greg Baise on WCBN tomorrow, and on shiny, white, super-skinny American Apparel mannequins everywhere

I have a friend named Greg Baise. If you’ve ever been to see a band in the metro Detroit area, chances are you’ve probably seen him. He’s probably the best connected guy I know when it comes to music, having promoted shows for over a decade, and done tons of other stuff in the industry. I don’t see too much of him these days, as I don’t leave the house unless it’s absolutely necessary, but we probably run into each other about once a year, at some obscure show somewhere. I first met Greg 17 years ago, in Atlanta. He was a friend of Linette’s in college, and he came to stay at our apartment over the weekend of a big Table of Elements show featuring the likes of Tony Conrad, Faust and the young men of Sonic Youth, where, by the way, I had the pleasure of urinating next to none other than a cane-wielding Keiji Haino.* Anyway, Baise wrote to me last night, to express his outrage, after having read the post about my aunt in Kenosha, Wisconsin getting ripped off by our new Miss America’s father. (That story, by they way, got picked up by the popular site Jezebel yesterday, resulting in about a thousand more people visiting us here than usual, and one of them even going so far as to “like” MM.com on Facebook, bringing our total number of Facebook fans to 316!) So, during our discussion, Baise mentioned that, tomorrow, he’d be hosting a daytime show on WCBN, and I thought that I’d mention it here, in hopes that some folks might tune in. (He does a regular show on WCBN, but it’s on a weeknight, at like 3:00 AM.) So, without further ado, here’s my conversation with Greg about tomorrow’s show, which will run from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and other music-related topics of interest.

MARK: So what do you have planned for the show on Friday? Anything special for Obama?

GREG: Hahah – nah, nothing special. I DID play a bunch of public service announcements that Obama made on my last show, in anticipation of his visit to Ann Arbor, though.

MARK: Are you putting any shows together these days? (Greg’s put together a ton of great shows over the past dozen years, at places like the Magic Stick and the Crowfoot.)

GREG: I’m not – my concert promoting endeavors are currently on hiatus. But I bet I’ll get back into it some time later this year, once I figure out what’s next for me.

As for the show, it’ll be freeform – I can play whatever I want, within the limits of the FCC. But, since most of the stuff I play is sung in foreign languages, everything ought to be cool. I also try not to repeat songs on my regular show, The Palace at 4 A.M., which airs from 3 A.M. to 6 A.M. on Monday nights / Tuesday mornings. But I’ll probably play some of my favorite hits that I’ve played before, like Jodie Foster’s “La Vie C’est Chouette,” which is the theme song to my other radio show, that airs Tuesdays at noon on viva-radio.com.

This is also the first week of WCBN’s 40th anniversary. And, even though I’ve been djing at WCBN since last May, this’ll be the first time I’m on the air during normal business hours. Both of these facts are big deals to me.

MARK: And what was up with that t-shirt deal a while back?

GREG: The “fuck your blog” one you asked me about before? Or the one with my face?

MARK: We can talk about both, but I’m particularly interested in how the one that they were selling in American Apparel.

GREG: The fuck your blog one was a band t-shirt for my pals Times New Viking. It just said “Fuck Your Blog,” with a peace sign in one of the Os. The band’s name doesn’t even appear on the shirt. It’s a big hit at critical mass bike rides. And yes, you’re correct – American Apparel made a t-shirt to promote my radio show, with a cartoon illustration of me on the front.

MARK: So the “fuck your blog” one wasn’t directed at me personally?

GREG: Kevin O’Neill, who does a lot of design work for Tim and Eric Awesome Show, designed it, from a photograph that Kelly Jean Caldwell took of me, singing karaoke. As for the “fuck your blog” one, I knew you’d be worried about that. I should’ve relieved your concerns earlier, but sometimes it’s fun to watch you squirm… Of course it wasn’t directed at you – your blog is great, and should serve as an inspiration to lesser bloggers.

MARK: Did they just like the image, or are they fans of your music-related endeavors?

GREG: Oh, I forgot to make the connection. Viva Radio is American Apparel’s inhouse instore radio station, and I’ve had a show there since they started. So this was what i believe is called a “product tie-in,” as people in the industry like to say.

MARK: So have you made love to Dov Charney, like the other employees of American Apparel?

GREG: I’m not gonna comment on that as I don’t want to arouse the jealousy of any of my many lovely friends at American Apparel.

MARK: So, any thoughts on the American music landscape at the moment? Given your attention as of late to foreign language stuff, should I assume that you feel everything sung in English is shit?

GREG: hahaha! Sometimes words get in the way, yes. But there’s always so much good music out there. That’s why I try not to repeat songs on my shows. Especially at WCBN, it’s a learning experience for me. Their music library is huge. Intimidating, even. I love exploring it, but it’s a challenge to dive into unknown music, when it’s easy to rely on what you already know.

MARK: How did you get in at American Apparel? I’m curious. Did Dov, or someone else hear the show, or did you suggest it to them?

GREG: A good friend of mine, Ted Shumaker, has been at Viva since the beginning, and he invited me to do a show. I like to think that the smart move to make a shirt for my show was a collaborative effort between the Viva people and American Apparel’s creative directors, but I’ve never looked into what really happened.

MARK: I wasn’t aware, until just now, that American Apparel operates their own radio station. Can it be heard online, or anywhere else, other than in their stores? And is this unique to retailers? I mean, I know that a lot of stores subscribe to services that program music, handle rights, and all of that, but I wasn’t aware that anyone operated their own station.

GREG: Yeah, they have their own station and website that anyone can check out here. Theoretically, that’s what’s supposed to be on in the stores all around the world. Lots of good shows – I especially enjoy Dan Selzer’s show, and not just because he’s on right after me. Kim Sorise’s Soundhouse turns me on to a lot of new music, too. I don’t know about other retailers that have their own in-house radio stations, but they are probably out there.

MARK: Do you get discounts on stretch velvet leggings and halter leotards?

GREG: As a matter of fact, I do.

* So, yeah, I guess I it’s not all people that I can’t pee next to.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    I trimmed this part from the end of the interview because it didn’t really fit on the front page. I thought that you might like to see it, though.


    MARK: So, I know we’ve talked about it before, but is there any chance that you might find a partner or two and open up a live music venue here in the Ann Arbor / Ypsi area? There’s definitely a need for something more than Woodruff’s. I mean, Woodruff’s is great, but it’s too small for a lot of touring bands. I think there’s a huge need for something that, no offense to the Blind Pig, could put the Bling Pig out of business.

    GREG: Yeah, I was in Ann Arbor last Friday, and one of the locals was bemoaning the lack of venue variety. alas, the next time I do something, it’s gonna be in my own neighborhood.

    MARK: Where is your neighborhood, anyway?

    GREG: North Corktown – a little less than a mile north of the vacant lot that used to be Tiger stadium.

    MARK: Yeah, I know that Detroit needs good venues. It sucked to see the Gold Dollar go. I’ve got to look out for Ypsi, though, and I think there’s huge potential here. We’ve got two universities within 20 miles, and tons of people who love to drink. If I didn’t dislike young people and musicians so much, I’d do it myself.

  2. Joe Posch
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I loved this interview. Greg is awesome. I am always astounded by the friends we have in common!

  3. Shelley
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Nice interview! by the way I actually think Woodruff’s is a pretty good size for a lot of touring bands, that’s just not really what they want to do at their bar. I think they do a great job with the bar but they are more locally focused. It’s hard to believe Woodruff’s has only been around for a little over a year. Anyway I would love to help anyone that wants to seriously open a venue in Ann Arbor or Ypsi, just to put that out there in case anyone is trying to do that…

  4. Terry Snachs
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Funny about “Fuck Your Blog.”

    “Baiser” is the French verb for “to fuck.”

    “I fuck” would be “je baise.”

    So, “Greg baise,” in Monaco, would mean “Greg fucks.”

  5. Eel
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I’d love to see this guy in an ad for American Apparel art directed by Dov. How do we make that happen?

  6. Mr. X
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Guys with Jodie Foster obsessions make me nervous, especially when the President is in town.

  7. Edward
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “An inspiration to lesser bloggers” should be your new tag line at the top of the page.

  8. Jebus H. Keeriste
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Of course Mark would wonder whether the “Fuck Your Blog” shirts refer to his own blog. Shocking.

  9. anonymous
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Jebus H. Keeriste that Mark should not make jokes. Not all of us are equipped to process them mentally.

  10. Elf
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Would pay top dollar to see Baise in either stretch velvet leggings or a halter leotard.

  11. kjc
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    have AA come around on uglies yet?

    http://gawker.com/5560215/american-apparels-new-standard-no-uglies-allowed

  12. Mark
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I need to make a shirt saying, “Fuck Your Shirt About Fucking My Blog.”

    For the Baise archivists in the audience, here’s yesterday’s playlist.

    “detroit is under attack by illegal music. get down and investigate.”

    Friday 1/27/12 9 A.M. – noon
    WCBN FM Ann Arbor

    The Hoot, If I Can’t Have You
    The Ex and Guests, If the Hat Fits the Suit, Instants, Ex Records
    Leo Cuypers, Alsdat de Olifantstand, Heavy Days Are Here Again, Atavistic / Unheard
    Banda di Avola, The King
    Roberto de Simone, La Gatta Cenerentola
    Mars, 3E, The Mars LP, No More Records
    Josef K, Radio Drill Time, Entomology, Domino

    Agent Barton, “Calling the Caped Madman”
    The Ridiculous Trio, “Down on the Street”
    The Osmonds, Crazy Horses 33 1/3
    Wolf Eyes, Black Vomit, Burned Mind, Sub Pop
    Sharades (produced by Joe Meek), Dumb Head, Let’s Go! Joe Meek Girls, RPM
    Computer Perfection, Take the Long Way Home
    Cheryl Williams, Everybody’s Happy But Me, single, Benjee
    Henry Badowski, Henry’s in Love, Life’s a Grand, I.R.S.

    Jodie Foster, La Vie C’est Chouette
    Oneness of Juju, The Connection, Space Jungle Luv, Black Fire
    Can, Aspectacle, s/t, Spoon
    Dykehouse, Ultra Taboo, Dynamic Obsolescence, Planet Mu
    White Hinterland, Moon Jam, Kairos, Dead Oceans
    Mira Cook, Glass of Water, Signs, Tears in Yr Ears
    Prince Rama of Ayodhya, Everything, Threshold Dances, Cosmos

    Ron Griffin, Your Love Is Real
    Chew Yan and the Stylers, Mimi Cat, Singapore A-Go-Go, Sublime Frequencies
    Licorice Roots, Saturn Rise, Licorice Root Orchestra, SA
    LSDudes, GHBeeatch, What’s In The Bottle, Key Key Eye Kit
    Yellow Magic Orchestra, Pure Jam, Technodelic, Restless
    Printed Circuit, Semaphore on the Dancefloor

    Marta Kubisova, Tak Dej Se K Ruman A Projdem Suet
    Golden Awesome, Astronomy
    Real Estate, All the Same, Days, Domino
    Roy Ayers Ubiquity, Love from the Sun, Virgo Red, Polydor
    The Homosexuals, Pamela, Astral Glamour, Messthetics
    Nite Jewel, Falling Far, single
    Look Blue Go Purple, Year of the Tiger, Compilation, Flying Nun
    Agincourt, Mirabella, Fly Away, Background

    Charlie McAlister, Fried Sandwich Play
    … and the Native Hipsters, Mr. Magic, There Goes Concorde Again, Mechanically Reclaimed Music
    The Vestibules, Zalgon 26 McGee, Radio Free Vestibule, Borpo
    Eddie and the Showmen, We Are the Young, Toes on the Nose, Ace
    Conjunto San Antonio Alegre, El Circo, San Antonio’s Conjuntos in the 1950s, Arhoolie
    Martin Denny, The Enchanted Sea, The Enchanted Sea, Liberty
    Public Image Limited, Radio 4, The Metal Box, Virgin

    Ophire Marching Band, Hooray for Hollywood
    Charlie Electric Guitar Band, Diamond
    Johnny Guitar, Mon Do Dow
    Lord Sitar, Have You Seen Your Mother Baby Standing in the Shadows?
    Olympic Big-Beat, Hully Gully

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