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Evan Greer plays live on “Banned in Boston”

27 Jun

Evan Greer joined us in the studio on June 20, 2013 for an episode of “Banned in Boston” Imageand a good time was had by all. We had some interesting conversation about things that matter, and got a few questions answered, but mostly we just sat back and enjoyed a private mini-concert just for us and our listeners. If you want to hear the goodness, please click here.



“Banned in Boston,” a weekly radio show that delivers radicalism with a local accent, is broadcast live every Thursday night, 8 pm on UNregular Radio and as repeats on Metacomet Radio. John Stephen Dwyer, author of this blog, is one of the hosts.


Respect authority. Just kidding.

8 Jun
John Ford, Nelson Terry, Rene Perez, Marisa Egerstrom and Marisa Egerstrom

John Ford, Nelson Terry, Rene Perez, Marisa Egerstrom and Rob Potylo in the UNregular Radio studio with Jackie Soriano as technical producer.  Photo by John Stephen Dwyer.

A superior episode of “Banned in Boston” went out June 6, 2013 on UNregular Radio. Musician and comedian Rob Potylo was back on the panel to entertain and tell us why he’s been banned from so many other radio stations. We discussed the release of Cameron D’Ambrosio, aka Cammy Dee, the Massachusetts teen arrested and charged with “communicating terroristic threats,” and then remark on how the Obama administration has been collecting millions of telephone records from Verizon customers under a secret court order. After a break in which we enjoyed some of Rob Potylo’s new music, Marisa Egerstrom of the Protest Chaplains interviewed Derin Korman, a friend from Turkey who helped us understand the violence in Istanbul this month. The show was tech produced by Jackie Soriano with co-hosts John Ford, Rene Perez, Nelson Terry and me, John Stephen Dwyer, in the studio. I hope you like it. Click here to listen.

It was Christmas Eve, babe, in the drunk tank…

24 Dec

“Hard to believe Shane outlived her” my high school friend said to me today.  He was talking about Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan, the singers on the Pogues’ 1987 Christmas song, “Fairytale of New York.”  The song’s about Irish people being melancholy, and arguing, and doing heroin.  It’s one of my favorite holiday tunes.

Kirsty MacColl, daughter of folk singer Ewan MacColl, was born in South London in 1959.  She had her first hit song in 1981.  It was called “There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis.”  Her interesting career included vocals for the Smiths, but she’s probably best remembered for “Fairytale of New York”  and those especially memorable lines “you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot, happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it’s our last.”  Kirsty MacColl was killed in a boating incident in Mexico in late December 2000.  A boathand was found guilty of culpable homicide.  She was 41.

Shane MacGowan was born on Christmas 1957.  That makes him only 55 years old tomorrow, but he’s a notoriously hard drinker and even as a young man there were many who thought he was destined to live fast and die young.  He looks more ravaged and sounds less intelligible than ever, but he’s still around.  In 2009, he and Victoria Mary Clarke had a gardening reality show on Irish television called “Victoria and Shane Grow Their Own.”

Kirsty and Shane’s duet, “Fairytale of New York,” takes its title from a novel by Irish-American author J. P. Donleavy.  In the video, Max Dillon plays the cop who arrests a drunken MacGowan.  But there’s no “NYPD Choir,” despite the song’s refrain.  The video shows the NYPD Pipes and Drums.

As popular as it is in the US and Canada, “Fairytale of New York” is even more popular in the UK and Ireland.  It’s made the Top 20 on nine separate occasions, indicating a Christmas song about Irish people arguing and doing heroin might have become a holiday classic.  I think this is an easy song to love, at any rate.  What do you think?