It’s hard to pick a favorite show on the mighty WMSE 91.7, but The Tom Wanderer Radio Experience (Thursdays, 3-6 p.m.) would certainly make our top five. Hosted by the titular Tom Wanderer, the show covers a lot of stylistic ground—rock, folk, punk, experimental, new, old, etc.—while still following a psych-tinged through line. “I work the show song to song, using my ears instead of my brain,” Wanderer says on the WMSE site.
And so it goes with Wanderer’s own musical pursuits. There’s his long-running group Red Stuff, and his new pandemic-era solo album Private Revolution. “In March of 2020 I had an idea for a recording experiment,” Wanderer explains. “I set up an 8 track cassette recorder and plugged in an old drum machine and a digital shruti box. The loose idea was to make a simple electronic backing band that I could play along with. The result was unexpectedly energizing. I started pulling out long forgotten instruments and homemade musical devices. Weeks passed and the songs kept coming. When the dust settled, I had inadvertently made this album.”
That inadvertent album is a delightfully druggy head trip filled with feedback, sitars, and backwards guitar solos. Opener “In My Head/Good Morning Om” pulls listeners into Wanderer’s own noggin with drone-y guitars and intimate vocals. “Eyeliner Of Horus” offers up a tie-dyed swirl of noise and lyrics that rhyme “Horus” with “’87 Ford Taurus.” “Juliana Says” channels classic Lou Reed/Velvet Underground character sketches while name-checking celebrities like Claire Danes and Andy Summers. “Everything’s Turning To White,” meanwhile, suggests a perfect way to enjoy the entire record: “Take two tabs on Friday night.”
Put on some headphones, indulge in the mind-altering substances of your choice (or not!), and enjoy.
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