This just in: Miles Davis Still Cool

Friday September 28th marked the third edition of The Toast of London, and, as it was the 21st anniversary of the passing of one of America’s great geniuses, Miles Davis, I decided to do an all-Miles program. The biggest challenge of filling three hours with nothing but the music of Miles Davis was how much I had to leave OUT. Miles made his first recordings with Charlie Parker in the mid-1940s and continued right up until his death in 1991, and, even accounting for the five years he was “retired” in the mid-70s, few artists were as prolific as Miles, and virtually NO other artist produced such consistently excellent work. Even some of the really out-there electric work that left a lot of people cold at the time, now sounds simply ahead of its time. I also read some excerpts from his biography, stepping carefully around the curse words that punctuate Miles’ nearly every sentence like commas and semi-colons.

And get this: a listener actually called in to say how much he liked the show. His name is Chris and he didn’t sound mentally ill or anything. Chris works as a chef on campus on the late-night shift. Thanks for calling, Chris! So now I have at least one confirmed listener.

This week I’ll be returning to our normal anything-goes format. I’ll be combing the extensive WCBN library for interesting combinations of flavors, much like those guys on that chef show have to prepare a meal using only oregano, bok chou, safflower oil and an old shoe. We get a ton of new releases each week, and I want to be sure to expose you to as much new music as I can–The Toast of London is not an oldies show, although we reserve the right to play anything that feels right at the time, regardless of when it was recorded.

I promise to have podcasts of my shows linked to this blog THIS WEEK. All except Show Number Two, which, in my humble opinion, was an unmitigated disaster–a veritable symphony of missed cues, dead microphones and amateurish, droning announcing, which I wouldn’t force my worst enemy to listen to more than once. If you were listening that night, God bless you. If you weren’t, God did indeed bless you. But look for shows 1 and 3 soon. I mean soon. Like tomorrow. Seriously.





Yes, we have live traffic and weather now!

Dear Londoners and other world citizens:


This morning (September 21st) marked the second edition of the program. For the second consecutive week I managed not to shut down the transmitter. In addition, I figured out how to do live London weather and traffic reports, so my UK listeners were well-informed and ready to deal with London’s sometimes troublesome morning commute. 

There was some music: the Mothers, Leonard Cohen, the Stones (no, I’m not going to play the bloody Rolling Stones every bloody week), me new favorite band, the Heavy (again)–wait, let’s stop there. I tried to give away FREE TICKETS to see this EXCELLENT band, and NOBODY CALLED! That means no one was listening. Not a single dope fiend. Not one down-and-out prostitute between tricks. Not one ER nurse on break. Nobody. Humph.

Some other things you missed–Nick Danger, Third Eye; Tom Waits; Pink Floyd; Nona Hendryx; new weirdo avant-garde spoken word/noise music; a tribute to Jaco Pastorius; 4 songs from the new Grizzly Bear album; Deerhoof; Bloc Party; The Burning of Rome (really); and Animal Collective.

Next week’s program will be a tribute to Miles Davis on the 21st anniversary of his passing. I hope to have podcasts of the program linked to this blog soon for my non-vampire American listeners. Til then, cheerio!

Hello world!

Good morning, London! And Ann Arbor. And Stuttgart. And Cleveland. And Moscow. And Jerusalem.

I’m Mark, the host of the weekly freeform radio program, The Toast of London, airing Fridays from 3-6 a.m (Eastern Time), 8-11 a.m. (GST).

The show debuted Friday, September 14th, to no acclaim whatsoever! Some of what our listeners didn’t hear: The Rolling Stones, The Heavy, The Adicts, The Liminanas, Allen Ginsberg, Joseph Jarman, John Coltrane, The Orwells, Gary Primich, Johnny Adams, Al Collins, the Spy from Cairo, and some other stuff that I can’t remember at the moment.

There was much hilarity and weirdness. There were occasional chair squeaks. There were no London traffic and weather reports, but there will be. We can’t have our London listeners caught in a downpour, stuck behind an overturned lorry on the M1, can we?