Show Spotlight: Strange Feeling

Brion Rushton, host of Strange Feeling on Mondays Noon - 3pm

Even for those of us who happen to be in the Radio Boise station during Brion Rushton’s weekly “Strange Feeling” program, he and the show remain a bit of an enigma thanks to the pitch black studio from which Brion’s choice of dreamy, eclectic sounds emanate.

There in the dark, Brion shares curated sets of music that most people would never know about, making each show a revelation. Here Brion pulls back the curtain and lets us in on what informs his aesthetic and fuels his fire…

What can you not stop listening to these days?

These records control me:
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (2016)
Blood Incantation – Starspawn (2016)
Endless Melancholy – Her Name in a Language of Stars (2015)
Lurker of Chalice – Lurker of Chalice (2005)
Koopsta Knicca – Da Devil’s Playground (1999)

What is going on in the Treasure Valley that you’re excited about?

I think the upcoming production of Hedwig & The Angry Inch at Boise Contemporary Theater is cause for excitement. It features musical direction from Thomas Paul, who in addition to co-hosting the venerable V3, is the top local musician in this year’s Best of Boise issue of the Boise Weekly. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve known he’s been the best local musician for the last ten years.)

Do you have a ritual surrounding your show? You know, a ritual meal or a certain artist you have to play?

Hm, I like the idea of a ritual meal. Though it makes me feel like it should involve tannis root — the poisonous herb that the geriatric satan worshippers feed Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I recently watched Rosemary’s Baby. In any event, no, I don’t have a ritual meal.

But as far as regular ritual goes, well, I suppose Strange Feeling wouldn’t be right unless I lowered the lights in the booth and began each show with an aqueous, instrumental rendition of “This is Romance” by Hal Kemp & His Orchestra. Without that, I’d have the strangest feeling of all.

How long have you been doing Strange Feeling? What drew you to take on this show?

Since September of 2011. My friend DJ Steph Coyle of Mother’s Ruin first coaxed, then cajoled, then borderline harangued me to get a show. She held a strong belief I could bring an invaluable perspective to this dynamic station. I’m not sure if she still feels that way, but I’m indebted to her encouragement nonetheless.

For those who may not be familiar with your show, how would you describe Strange Feeling’s sound?

There’s this liminal space between consciousness and unconsciousness which occurs as you fall asleep and I’d like to think Strange Feeling is the audio equivalent of that.

How did you discover Radio Boise?

I became aware of Radio Boise around 2007 or 2008, back in its webcast days. My friend StephaniePC (of the erstwhile Plimsoll Line) co-hosted a show called Amalgamated Coup with Kathy O and I loved listening to their consummate selections. It amazed me that Boise finally had a landing place for intriguing music and the people who wanted to share it.

What other shows do you listen to?

If you blindfolded me and had me throw a dart at a board listing all the station’s programming, I’d be happy with whichever show it landed on.

What other kinds of things do you do in your life?

I’m a bit of a recluse so I’m usually home reading a book or out on a solitary run in the foothills. I do play guitar in the band Aelter, but as a group we are also reclusive and only perform intermittently. And even then it’s always under a shroud of fog and dim lighting. If you need a posterboy for someone who doesn’t like to appear on posters, I’m your guy.

Why do you believe volunteering for community radio is important?

The Treasure Valley deserves a radio station whose mission is serving the interests and needs of its listenership, not the interests and needs of advertisers and shareholders. KRBX is genuine in its ambitions and volunteering is a way of affirming those values.

What sounds do you find yourself inexplicably drawn to?

When I was a little kid I would sometimes stay the night at my grandparents. Their house was perched on the edge of the Snake River Canyon. Right outside the bedroom window was a wind chime that rung out the notes of a minor chord. 500 feet below, the river ran insistently over Auger Falls, creating an echoey white noise effect. The combination of those sounds enchanted me, forever leaving an indelible imprint on my mind. I think a part of me is always trying to capture a little bit of that enchantment when I host Strange Feeling.

You can check out “Strange Feeling” every Monday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. or listen to an archived show anytime

1 Comment

  1. Dave Kerber

    October 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I heard Tim Buckley today. Man, he was and still is really something. When in the “Mood” there was nothing like him.
    Fred Neil, Leonard Cohen, Dylan, Country Joe, Butterfield, they were all good.

    Thanks for the “Nostalgia Trip!”

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