My Tunes: DeeJay Schmeejay

The antidote to mainstream music

While we've all spent plenty of time spinning the dial through the radio stations in San Francisco and finding nothing but the lethargic murmuring of Britney, KUSF often provides an antidote with music that's new, unusual, esoteric, and obscure.

Deejay Schmeejay is one of the station's music directors, and hosts a show called Radiodrome, which airs Tuesday mornings from 9 to noon. He proved an exceptionally willing participant when it came to dishing on the best of 2007 — after all, he's been keeping an eye on his top five all year long. “This time last year, my top five looked quite a bit different,” he says. “It was mostly abstract, experimental, improv stuff. My list for 2007 is full of lovesick, hopeful, and joyous songs. If you don't own these records, I wish you did. They are lifejackets that fit over your ears.”

In short order, here are his favorites:

Richard Youngs, Autumn Response

Youngs is back with a follow-up to 2005's perfect Naive Shaman with a record that's just as beautiful and challenging.

Panda Bear, Person Pitch

By all rights, I should be so sick of this record by the Animal Collectivist. But I keep right on listening to it. And I'm singing along, too.

The Whitest Boy Alive, Dreams

What a surprise this one is. Erlend Oye, from Kings of Convenience's little side project, is a little Robert Wyatt and a little Level 42. Completely sublime.

Caetano Veloso,

This is stunning. Fuzzed out and driving. Is this guy really in his 60s?

Robert Wyatt, Comicopera

The voice. The songs. The arrangements. Just listen to “Just as You Are” and tell me he's not what I say he is: genius.

For more top tens from Margaret Cho, Vanilla Ice, Scarface, and some other random B-listers go to All Shook Down

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