War of the Worlds 75th Anniversary Guest DJ Set
This year is the 75th anniversary of the legendary radio broadcast, The War of the Worlds. To celebrate this landmark in radio broadcasting, Cindy Howes welcomed Tami Dixon of Bricolage Productions to the Morning Mix.
Bricolage is performing a Midnight Radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds on the eve of the anniversary. “It’s like Prairie Home Companion on Redbull. If you don’t know what Prairie Home Companion is, its like Saturday Night Live meets the Daily Show meets Pee-wees Playhouse,” Tami says. This means that it’s a bit of a variety act in the style of 1940’s radio. Vintage stories, original stories, game shows, guests, musicians, and live foley sound effects are all part of the Bricolage experience.
The first song on Tami Dixon’s playlist is The Byrds’ "Mr. Spaceman" from the 70s. “It’s a very happy style, and a lot of us look at aliens as “the other”, as something that are coming to get us. I want to think that maybe they’re going to come and visit and do something wonderful for us, teach us how to survive better.”
Next up on the set list is Sufan Stevens’ song “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois”. “I love him, I love his voice. I think his harmonies are incredible, and there’s something so lonely about his work about his sound. I think there’s also something very lonely about space, about this idea of “what is out there, what is beyond us.” I think that’s what the War of the Worlds, the original broadcast, of played on, this fear of all that.”
Tami Dixon’s last song is "2 Little Men in a Flying Saucer by Ella Fitzgerald". This tune is from the 50s, so about 15 years after the original broadcast of the War of the Worlds, but the aliens featured in this tune have a very different reaction to Earth than others in media. “It talks about these aliens coming to visit and saying, “No thanks, I don’t want to visit.” It’s a great song, and it might even have been some inspiration for the Calvin and Hobbes strip years later, where Calvin says to Hobbes, “Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”
This episode of Midnight Radio is Pittsburgh centric, where the happening occurs in and around Pittsburgh, whereas the original happened in upstate New York. “Our attack begins near Pittsburgh in McConnell’s Mills.” The show should be a fun mixing of our past and some inspiration from today. When Cindy asked if Tami thought anyone would believe we are actually being invaded, Tami says, “A part of me hopes so!”
Tami Dixon's Guest DJ Set:
The Byrds: "Mr. Spaceman"
Sufjan Steven: "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinios"
Ella Fitzgerald: "Two Little Spacemen in a Flying Saucer"