John Hodgman, Radio Consuelo

John Hodgman
John Hodgman

John Hodgman’s

Radio Consuelo


Originally Broadcast on WMFO-Medford, MA, 1988-1989

TAPE 1: “MFO” air date 10/88:


End of Tom Waits’s “Putnam County;” 17 year old Hodgman starts talking. Sounds as though a lump of phlegm is stuck in his throat. Note first use of meaningless phrase “gimcrack radio for the plaid continent” and self-produced cart drop-in stolen from an album of old radio serials.


Captain Midnight drop-in, then Hodgman, sounding like Pauly Shore via Truman Capote, criticizing the studio for being untidy. What a rock and roll character is this Hodgman. Threatens to actually play more Tom Waits.


“Popsicle Pete” the strangest old radio drop-in ever. Plus, a seamless segue into a song by the Lounge Lizards, during the brief period that Hodgman was almost cool. He later manages to pronounce the word “lounge” with nine syllables. What a boob he is.


Old radio drop-in: “THE ELECTRO HYPNO MENTALOPHONE” (!!!) The one saving grace of this evil recording.

David Byrne song ends, thus confirming Hodgman’s absolutely typical and unsurprising phony-hip “taste.” Then an old radio drop in about Nazi spies before he starts talking again. Here he discusses everything he played as if anyone is listening, mentions a Robert Wilson production at the ART as though he had seen it, then plays Eddie Cochran, that strange song of material dreams achieved: “Something Else.” Otherwise, this whole show is composed of very typical late-eighties NYC downtown music: Laurie Anderson, Waits, Byrne, John Lurie, and on and onÉ Please make him stop talking… It is only later, after more fucking Tom Waits, Hodgman begins the proccess of shutting up.

TAPE 2: “Radio Consuelo 18 August 1989″:
Some time later and a little bit smarter. One of H’s last regular shows, and well into “the jazz period of the program,” a term that is meaningless to all but him.

After spacey jazz music, Charlie Christian music starts (hi-hat cymbal), and Hodgman does his intro by commenting on the weather. This is a time-honored radio convention that has never failed. “This is my second to last show.”

After World Saxophone Quartet, Hodgman talks more. Historical curiosity: note “our relatively new CD player.” Hodgman, with peerless foresight, announces that these newfangled CDs will never catch on. Then some maudlin talk again about how the last program is next week. Then Carmen McRae singing “We’re Having A Heat Wave.” I wish we could conclude that Hodgman has matured as a deejay, that he has begun outlining some sort of a proto-lounge esthetic. But the fact is, at 18 years old, Hodgman has the taste of a 40 year old from the 1960s. It has only gotten worse.


Found at the end of the tape by an anonymous Transom staff member. We are ever so curious to know why it didn’t make Mr. Hodgman’s list of recommended cuts.

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