Remembering Trish Keenan

A lot of talk about death this week of course, as we saw people who touched a lot a lot of other people in some meaningful way pass away suddenly. In terms of the passing of someone I didn’t know personally, losing Trish Keenan five years ago today unequivocally affected me the most. I couldn’t think straight that day. It wasn’t fair. She was only 42. Broadcast created deeply magical music – vivid and imaginative while also presenting a form of some misremember past. Perhaps the world deserved only a taste of this art.

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So I commemorate the date every year by blasting Broadcast loud and proud. Two years ago, January 14th fell on a Tuesday, when I would usually do an evening DJ shift, my show Radio Spectre, on the community radio station WXOX. I dedicated the night to Broadcast. I dug deep into my collection of rareties, deep cuts, and bootlegs, including a still-unnamed and unreleased 6-minute opus that closed out the show I saw in Columbus in 2009. My friend Patrick Smith happened to tape the entire show on a handheld cassette recorder, and I did my best to clean up the sound with readily available audio software. The ticket stub for that show still hangs above my computer at my desk, and you can read my full show recap at The Decibel Tolls. A lot of the photos there disappeared over time, so I reposted them in the gallery below after searching a few hard drives. This was before I had my Nikon SLR, and definitely before Apple was churning out 12 megapixel cameras on the iPhone, so these were shot on a pretty ineffective point-and-shoot. Considering that, the photos still manage to capture the kaleidoscopic, haunting visual spectacle Broadcast could masterfully cultivate.

Back to the Broadcast broadcast though, the show also featured some interview and sound clips, a swath of related artists who often collaborated with Broadcast via the Ghost Box label, and some newer artists who carry the torch. Interestingly, while I was actually DJing the program, I was in high spirits and had the monitors as loud as they’d pump. Today as I revisit though, I feel almost overwhelmed. It’s just been a sad week, so that certainly plays a part. Joyous, wondrous music from a pure soul that was taken too soon – it’s a bittersweet two hours, but I do trust you’ll enjoy it, and there should be at least a few tracks to surprise even the most completist Broadcast fan.

Playlist
Broadcast – “Locusts”
Broadcast – “Distant Call / Drums on Fire (Live at ATP 2001)”
Lubos Fiser – “Magic Yard (Theme from Valerie and Her Week of Wonders)”
Clip: Broadcast Interview on KCRW, 2006
Catharsis – “Masq”
Emerald Web – “Flight of the Raven”
Broadcast – “Tower of Our Tuning”
Clip: Trish Keenan reads Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwock
Broadcast and The Focus Group – “What I Saw”
Broadcast – “Message From Home / Magnetic Tales”

Broadcast – “[unknown] (Live at Wexner Center, Columbus, Oct. 2009)”
The Focus Group feat. Trish Keenan – “Inside Out [Ghost Box Study Series]”
Belbury Poly – “Scarlet Ceremony”

The Advisory Circle – “As the Crow Flies”
Broadcast – “In Here the World Begins”
Mark Charron and The Network – “The Boys and the Girls”
Mandy More – “If Not By Fire”
Tages – “You’re Too Incomprehensible”
Broadcast and The Focus Group – “The Be Colony”

Death & Vanilla – “Library Goblin”
Pigeons – “Chances”
Kevin Ayers – “The Clarietta Rag”
The Liminans – “My Black Sabbath”
July – “Hallo to Me”
Broadcast – “Papercuts”

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