Strange Summit

Thanks to photographer Stuart (Little City in Space) Mathews, here’s the 2004 meeting during Winona’s Strange Phenomena conference when Illinois Mutual UFO Network investigator Susan Murawski met The Modjeskis at their home (Jerry A. Modjeski, Susan, (Mrs.) Barbara & Jerry M. Modjeski).

Photo: Stuart Mathews

Jerry M. Modjeski (1935-2017)

Dad at the Grill

Dad at the Grill

Here’s a tribute to the man behind some of Scorchedear’s talents, Jerry M. Modjeski, lifelong resident of Winona, Minnesota, who passed away recently. (Obit)

I shared several important passions with Dad, including love of classic country-western music. He tape recorded himself at home playing instrumental guitar-harmonica on simplified arrangements of old favorites and standards. (Listen)fullsizerender

 

 

 

 

Dad was also keenly interested in UFOs, bigfoot and all things paranormal.

skm_284e17022812370_0001

For me, the Christmas gift of a yellow transistor radio encouraged my lifelong passion, along with noting my Dad’s late-night listening habits: clear-channel KDKA-Pittsburgh; Jim Bohannon; long-time fan of inquistive, acerbic Art Bell; back in the ’70s, WIND-Chicago’s Eddie Schwartz kept tabs on locals like ghost-hunter Richard Crowe, and from the Center for UFO Studies, Dr. J. Allen Hynek.img_0001

Dad, cartoon by Wayne Modjeski

Dad, cartoon by Wayne Modjeski

Freddie “Schnickelfritz” Fisher Tribute

img001Years before Spike Jones and his City Slickers combined funny music with rude noises and zany, choreographed shows, Freddie Fisher (b. 1904 Lourdes, Iowa) showcased his own brand of Dixieland jazz & hayseed havoc in the mid-1930s. Fisher was expanding upon the sound of then-successful corn-fed cut-ups, The Hoosier Hot Shots. Fisher’s “Schnickelfritz” band antics included punctuating a musical note with the opening outhouse door on stage that revealed a bare-assed occupant; mimicking a locomotive to the tune of “The Wreck of the Old ’97” and peppering their lyrics with double-entendre. img003

Fisher’s Schnickelfritzers initially gained a devoted following playing at the Sugar Loaf Tavern in Winona, Minnesota, then moved to bigger venues in St. Paul-Minneapolis. The band impressed visiting entertainer Rudy Vallee who brought them to Hollywood. Fisher_37Freddie recorded dozens of sides for Decca Records and opened his own nightclub in L.A. Later he made Aspen, Colorado his home and continued to play until his death in 1967.

Dave Michael

Dave Michael

Nels Laakso

Nels Laakso

In honor of Freddie Fisher’s 100th birthday, Jerry with Dave Michael, drummer of the Southside Aces paid tribute on KFAI radio’s Musical Transportation Spree with a two-hour special. Listen: https://archive.org/details/Schnickelfest Internet Archive logo

UFO Update: Minot, North Dakota 1968

Capt. Brad Runyon's Drawing MUFON investigator Bill McNeff‘s UFO casebook: The U.S. Air Force near Minot, North Dakota encounters a mysterious, giant unknown craft (see above: witness illustration). With host Jerry Modjeski. Listen: https://archive.org/details/ufoupdate_minot1968Internet Archive logo

More documentation of this case with additional military witness testimony at historian Tom Tulien’s awesome website.

Ambient background by La Sonorite Juane. Thanks to Chris Waterbury; and creative inspiration from far-out alien blogs by fashionablylazyloungelizard.

The Return of UFO Update

img001New for 2016! Recent cases with frequent UFO Update contributor Bill McNeff from the Minnesota Mutual UFO Network back again to report findings to Jerry Modjeski.
Ambient sounds by La Sonorite Jaune. Art by Al Feldstein.

Listen: https://archive.org/details/TheReturnofUFOUpdateInternet Archive logo

Musical Transportation Spree 7-27-91

img003From the dusty orange crate of tapes comes this 45 minute aircheck excerpt of the second show of The Musical Transportation Spree (KFAI, Minneapolis-St. Paul, 1991-2006). Independent cassette culture spotlight during the Now That’s Interesting portion features Plastic Eye Miracle, a dream from The Rudy Schwartz Project (from Don Campau‘s Dreamscape compilation), Rev. Billy C. Wirtz (ad), with an extended music set of The Tesla Ensemble from Michigan. Hosts Chris Waterbury, Bernard Olson with Jerry; show intro by Patti Walsh. Listen: https://archive.org/details/MTS_07211991Internet Archive logo

Bernard, Chris

Bernard, Chris

 

ZXQ Universe: The Hair Show (Re-Do)

Here are highlights from the imaginative ZXQ Universe radio show, spun around the theme of “hair.” FloydsTonic_AdWe’ve transplanted “hair” from ZXQ shows #2 and #3 into a trim, half-hour head piece with commercials for Floyd’s Tonic; Grace Jones Under Pressure; Hairy Palm Itchell; Digital Ernie’s Techno-Hut; TV Guise; Professor Noodle; wiggy songs include Big Hair (Nick Lowe), While Growing My Hair (Egg), Hair Pie (Captain Beefheart). Also an excerpt from The Mooney Honeycutt Show with Jerry Modjeski. Internet Archive logoGuest engineering by Greg (Technological Retreat) Carr. ZXQ Universe was produced by Mark Masyga, Brian Anderson & Chuck Isle.
Originally aired January 10 & 17, 1990 on KFAI (Minneapolis-St. Paul). Listen: https://archive.org/details/TheHairShow

 

Plastic Eye Miracle Interview

Plastic+eye+MiracleOne of the most creative teams to independently release original music was Ohio’s Plastic Eye Miracle. PEM’s Michael Gonzales and Doug Wofsey prolifically recorded numerous cassette tapes for sale and distribution.PEM1 Jerry & Chris Waterbury, assisted by Greg Mathieson and Bernard Olson interviewed Plastic Eye Miracle for KFAI radio’s Musical Transportation Spree‘s show-within-a-show Now That’s Interesting in 1992. Listen: https://archive.org/details/PlasticEyeMiracleInterviewSKM_284e15120614180_0001

Mechanical Spider Christmas

Santa_spiderTurn back the crock exactly thirty years to KFAI-FM’s digest of silly satire, The Mechanical Spider Clinic, featuring holiday-themed advertising, Consumer Survival Biscuit, Lazlo Morbid, TV Guise, and a satire about the over-commercialization of Christmas (inspired by Jerry’s idol, the late Stan Freberg’s Green Chri$tma$).

Stan Freberg (from Jerry's 1977 sketchbook)

Stan Freberg (from Jerry’s 1977 sketchbook)

Bonus: The Elvis After-Xmas, After-Life Sale at Chez Bob’s Detail Recount Store, also Consumer Survival Biscuit and TV Guise tributes to the King from January 3, 1986. Bat Lenny and The Toy Lovers team up for a sound composition Gangbusters Christmas.

Featuring the talents of Mark Masyga, Chuck Isle, Rob Shapiro, Diana Swan, Bob Rynkiewicz, Leigh Bowser, Andy Schultz. MSC Theme by Bat Lenny.  Listen: https://archive.org/details/mechanicalspiderclinicchristmas

Thanks to Mark Masyga, Wayne Modjeski & Chris Waterbury for assistance on this post.

Internet Archive logo

ZXQ Universe

ZXQ_Universe_Guys-ed (1)Chuck Isle, Mark Masyga & Brian Anderson (pictured) hosted ZXQ Universe, a KFAI show that substituted for Little City in Space (in temporary hiatus for several months). On radio in 1990 there was nothing like ZXQ: these excerpts from their maiden voyage include hilarious monologues by a parade of original characters (Alabama Neptune, Professor Noodle, “Wildman” Slim, Rev. Mild Astonishment), and hypnagogic sound compositions with guest-engineer Greg Carr (Technological Retreat). Special features: TV Guise sponsored by Mrs. Leatherneck Syrup /  News of the Possibly True / Beyond the Unknown / Hillbillies fer Buddha / Commercials for The Kitchen Mohican; Chez Bob’s Detail Recount Store / The Church of the SubGenius Minute of Slack / ZXQ Studios: The Big Dive / records by Buddy Emmons (1937-2015), Johnny Gunn, Les Brown & Vic Schoen. Brian created original music fanfares & ambiance for ZXQ. Listen to ZXQ #1: https://archive.org/details/ZXQ010390

Abridged ZXQ Universe #3 with Chuck intro, Jerry Modjeski guest-engineer, co-controlling horizontal & vertigo with Brian & Mark for TV Guise. Internet Archive logoOther vivisected highlights: News of the Possibly True / Level 99 (commercial) / Professor Noodle / special guest appearance by Peter (Little City in Space) Stenshoel /Gil Goose commentary (“Video Games”) / SubGenius Minute of Slack. Listen: https://archive.org/details/ZXQ011790

Thanks to Stu Mathews, Chuck Isle & Peter Stenshoel for assistance on this post. Hear more ZXQ Universe at Brian Anderson’s website.

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