Schickele Mix, RIP
July 22, 2007 5:14 AM   Subscribe

After 15 years, Schickele Mix is no more - "Dedicated to the proposition that all musics are created equal" - That's the tag line of Schickele Mix, the best, broadest, funniest, and most interesting music education program ever heard. Created and hosted by Peter Schickele (best known for his other entertaining music education creation - P.D.Q. Bach - a fictional composer son of Johannes) Schickele Mix juxtaposed Bach with the Beatles, Elgar with Duke Ellington and the Everly Brothers, Tuvan throat singing with twanging Texas Swing, or Schubert with Spike Jones in "suites" demonstrating the universality of musical techniques and themes. Checkout the playlists and you'll see what I mean. After 15 years of broadcasts and re-broadcasts, Schickele Mix is no more. This is a shame, since three and a half years of educational weekly programs could be repeated for new audiences, if not continuously, then with a gap of a couple years until something better comes along. These programs have such rich content, it's a shame future audiences can't be created. I've got to wonder whether it's not just the 5 cycles of repeated playings (which, by the way, I've never gotten tired of) that's the whole reason for its disappearance from the airways. The program depends on a wide range of recorded music. Perhaps the new proposed performance royalties, or even merely their threat, have managed to claim Schickele Mix as a victim. As Peter Schickele said at the end of each program, "It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that certain je ne sais quoi. And with the apparent demise of Schickele Mix, we've lost a serious source of that important "je ne sais quoi."
posted by fpatrick (34 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Peter Schickele is one of my culture heroes. Love his silly PDQ Bach and his abundant joie de vivre. Am going to keep an eye on his upcoming performances for when they return to NYC.

The ending of Peter Schickele's show comes in a month when Emperor Bush tried to delete PBS.

The House voted Wednesday evening to reject President Bush's plan to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

72 lawmakers sided with the president.
posted by nickyskye at 6:32 AM on July 22, 2007

One demerit for not including the actual link on Schickele's website that nickyskye has in his comment. None of your links actually mention the end of the distribution of the show.

So, if I read THAT link correctly, Schickele Mix actually went out of production about 15 years ago and PRI is finally out of funding to continue redistributing the show. That doesn't have anything to do with the net radio royalty situation as far as I can see, nor even the continued Republican efforts to defund NPR.

I have always enjoyed listening to Schickele Mix and will miss it, but you could have done a better job on this post.
posted by briank at 6:52 AM on July 22, 2007

One demerit for not including the actual link on Schickele's website that nickyskye has in his comment. None of your links actually mention the end of the distribution of the show.

Y'know, except his first link which contains the text, "It became necessary for PRI to stop distributing the program in June of 2007 after 169 different programs, 12 listener support specials, and 810 weekly broadcasts." Except for that.
posted by ChrisTN at 7:11 AM on July 22, 2007

One thing I loved about Schickele was that he most certainly never ignored the modern greats: Glass, Reich, Adams, Riley, Young, Oliveros, etc. Most other classical music shows which aren't necessarily specifically geared towards the modern just never address ultra-modern composers.
posted by lonemantis at 7:12 AM on July 22, 2007

I guess everything is good music but country. I'll take Hank Williams over Vaughn Williams, any day, thank you.
posted by spitbull at 7:14 AM on July 22, 2007

The Schickele Website ist so 1988 Dude ...
posted by homodigitalis at 7:30 AM on July 22, 2007

Darn, I'm only just hearing about this show. Too bad there's no archive on the site.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:30 AM on July 22, 2007

he most certainly never ignored the modern greats

Nor John Coltrane, Elton John, Earl Taylor & His Stoney Mountain Boys, nor even Snuff Garrett's Texas Opera Company.

Among others
posted by IndigoJones at 7:44 AM on July 22, 2007

Behold the Wonders of the Intranets: Schickele Torrent (at least two shows).
posted by homodigitalis at 7:49 AM on July 22, 2007

Thanks homodigitalis, but I saw those in a search I did earlier and they don't appear to be the Schickele Mix show, but rather some P.D.Q. Bach stuff he did on the radio (as opposed to a program exploring other people's music).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:03 AM on July 22, 2007

@Lentrohamsanin: Well at least ... something. I never heard about the show before - so I was curious. But I am sure they turn up sooner or later.
posted by homodigitalis at 8:12 AM on July 22, 2007

. for one of the best programs previously on public radio
posted by datacenter refugee at 8:19 AM on July 22, 2007

This is a loss. His show was one of a small handful that would entertain and educate the listener. He was overly goofy at times, but his dissections of the pieces were insightful.
posted by Busithoth at 8:33 AM on July 22, 2007

Schickele Mix wasn't the bulk of my musical education, but i certainly was the most enjoyable part.
posted by lekvar at 8:50 AM on July 22, 2007

The local Public Radio station CEO has said repeatedly that it has been offered to host Peter to do his show from their studio and their support.
posted by MrLint at 10:00 AM on July 22, 2007

Shit - I'm not familiar with this show at all, and now I want to hear it. PDQ Bach seemed a little too nerdy for my punk and garage rock sensibilities growing up, but I meant to come back one day try it again. And Schickele Mix seems more like what I was hoping for. It figures,
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:01 AM on July 22, 2007

It was for the best that your younger, punk self was cautios, Slack-a-gogo. Schickele Mix is a gateway drug. When I started listening I was a punk rocker. When I finished I was playing jazz bass.
posted by lekvar at 10:21 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Okay, wow. Looking at the playlists, I very badly want to listen to some of these episodes. I can haz torrent plz?
posted by roll truck roll at 10:32 AM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

hmm, lekvar, I too played punk bass and found his show alluring. I successfully stunted myself, and still play punk bass, though.

I remember hearing some shows and thinking that he was successfully explaining and elaborating how to listen to different elements in classical music, which had been a contentious conversation between myself and my girlfriend.

getting her to wake up at 8:15am on a sunday morning to hear it was another matter, though.
posted by Busithoth at 10:46 AM on July 22, 2007

I listened to Schickele Mix on WNYC for many years. I didn't always love the show, but I was very glad it existed. IT's harder and harder for a wide-ranging show playing unusual and little-heard music to make a go of it.
posted by Miko at 11:43 AM on July 22, 2007

Hank Williams over Vaughn Williams

I love Say hey, Good Lookin' for foot stomping kitsch goodness and Lark Ascending for sublime endorphin bliss peaks.
posted by nickyskye at 12:17 PM on July 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Look jerkface, next time you feel the need to wax rhapsodic about some awesome radio program, can you do it before it's cancelled? Jeez.

That said, great post, I'm sure I would have loved this program (especially the Tuvan throatsinging).

This is a call to all those on Metafilter: love something? Then share it with everybody before it's too late. Remember, saying that you love someone/something after they're dead is the worst movie cliche ever.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:50 PM on July 22, 2007

Finally, some recognition!
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 7:12 PM on July 22, 2007

"Look jerkface, next time you feel the need to wax rhapsodic about some awesome radio program, can you do it before it's cancelled?"


I don't think I've ever made a front page post about Over The Edge and Puzzling Evidence cuz I figure those who know already know and those who don't may not wanna. I doubt either will ever be cancelled, but some of the guys behind it are getting up in years. The day one of those shows does go away though? Unless someone beats me to it, I plan to do a FPP commemorating the event.

You're saying I should make one NOW? Isn't that premature? I never seem to know when it's a good time to make a FPP.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:26 PM on July 22, 2007

Wow , this sounds fascinating. No luck finding torrents but I did find this. Go nuts.
posted by storybored at 7:46 PM on July 22, 2007

um so if one were to do it, how do you record an internet radio broadcast?
posted by storybored at 7:53 PM on July 22, 2007

I'm a little disappointed. The Schickele Mix sounds right up my alley. Also, count me in as a big PDQ fan!

Busithoth, what elements/methods of listening did Schickele explain in the show? I'd be interested to hear what he had to say on it.
posted by invitapriore at 6:43 AM on July 23, 2007

That Radiotime site claims to have a program for recording internet radio shows. That would be hardcore if it works. Has anyone tried it?
posted by roll truck roll at 8:41 AM on July 23, 2007

Heya roll-truck, i didn't notice it, thanks for the tip. I just downloaded it (it's called Redbutton) and set it up to record Schickele Mix for tonite!

I'll report on how it turns out.
posted by storybored at 11:25 AM on July 23, 2007

Harumph, the radio_time schedule is obsolete, so Schickele did not air.
posted by storybored at 6:11 PM on July 23, 2007

My public radio station moved the show to a bad time, but when it was on Saturday morning, it was a treat. Schickele is big fun, with a big love of music.
posted by theora55 at 5:59 AM on July 24, 2007

storyboard - to record internet radio, I use Audio Hijack, which is essentially like a programmable VCR, launching an iTunes radio plist, or a web-based link at the appointed time, and saving the source to an mp3 or aac file. (Mac-based).
posted by fpatrick at 4:24 AM on August 5, 2007

Two large torrents of the show just showed up in the usual places.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:49 AM on August 5, 2007

Hmmm, the seeder seems to be MIA.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:23 AM on August 5, 2007

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