The Best Cuts Sam Houser and Robe Flax.
I still love the radio (especially local noncommercial stations like KABF and KUAR), but not all the time. Waiting for that one special show doesn’t exactly jibe with my schedule. Nor do the FCC’s puritanical regulations or program director’s restrictions usually square with my tastes.
In that spirit, here are two shows with Arkansas connections that’re just a mouse click away.
Recorded in Fayetteville, “The Best Cuts of Music”
takes a groove-oriented, mixed genre approach. You’ll hear the likes of Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, Tom Zé, Derrick May and Crystal Castles. Hosts Robe Flax and Sam Houser enter each installment with a theme or an adventure — time travel, a Russian vacation, the fair — that usually has little to do with the music, but allows them to riff, hilariously. They need a cartoon show.
“Tony Tost’s America”
comes from Tony Tost, a Walt Whitman Award-winning poet and former Arkansan, who’s writing a book about Johnny Cash while in grad school at Duke. His approach is a sort of postmodern take on Greil Marcus’ “old, weird America.” Which is to say, his purview is Americana — blues, country, folk, jazz — that takes a sharp left turn from the norm. You’ll hear the likes of Slim Galliard, jazz king of gibberish, clucking, profanely, like a rooster or gospel singer Sister Wynona Carr offering a pastiche of “Dragnet” for Jesus. If that wasn’t enough, occasionally, in a measured radio voice, Tost offers epigrams that tie everything together.