Show Spotlight: The Daft Manifesto

Crank up those dusty amps for your weekly dose of fuzzy and jumping DIY Rock with the Daft Manifesto. Host DJ Pole-erd [Joe Pollard] opens the garage door to a spiraling array of underground post-punk influences from around the world.

The Daft Manifesto airs live every Tuesday from 5 – 7 PM or listen anytime on Radio Free America’s archive.

What can you not stop listening to these days?

I was recently introduced to this ten volume series of garage rock compilations on Crypt Records called ‘Back From the Grave’. Each volume is full of rare or relatively obscure garage and garage-punks songs. I’ve just barely started to dig into those records but I can already tell I’m going to be listening repeatedly to those collections for a while. The Glands put out a really cool vinyl box set that has been occupying my turntable at home for the better part of the last few months and I don’t expect that to change any time soon. I also have been feeling the need to listen to Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s ‘Primary Colours’ LP quite a bit these days.

Generally, these days [I’m drawn to] a mix of fuzzy, crunchy, raw, with reverb guitars… definitely that “garage” sound. But I’m quickly coming to realize that sound encompasses a wide swath of music over the past 60 years… it’s kind of intimidating and a bit ominous.

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

This will probably sound a bit odd, but I think the thing I’ve noticed most and that’s exciting are the collection of people, locals and recent transplants both, who currently live, work and play in the Treasure Valley. There aren’t really any specific events and there are too many artists to even begin listing, but it’s not about any one or two things for me… the growth we’ve experienced over the past 10-15 years has been pretty intense. It can be challenging to embrace it if you’ve lived here a majority of your life. So I’m just excited about the energy we have going right now when it comes to music, art and all sorts of other cultural events.

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

I don’t have any true rituals, but I’m a total geek when it comes to my playlists. I use a spreadsheet to organize the songs I’m going to play and their order. I work with data every day for my job and I guess that’s why it just seemed natural to use a spreadsheet to prepare a show each week. My system also has columns detailing any potential FCC issues, a ‘rating’ system and the song length. Every DJ has their system (I think), but I might be the only one using a spreadsheet.

How long have you been hosting the Daft Manifesto? What drew you to take on this show?

Just shy of two and a half years I think. The first Daft Manifesto show was October 2016, but I was one of the rotating cast of DJs on Explorations for a while and I fairly regularly subbed for for the Tuesday evening shows like Range Life and Still Got It with DJ JV. When DJ JV decided to take a break from Still Got It, I was offered the slot and I gratefully accepted. [I also had a show way back when Radio Boise was only streaming online.]

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

Oh boy, I always struggle to answer this question. For the most I part I would say the Daft Manifesto sound is a bit of post punk and garage rock with a solid amount of jangly guitar songs thrown in for good measure. It can sometimes be a weird mix of noisy, fuzzy guitar mayhem and super catchy guitar jangle with an odd 1970’s African Zamrock song in the middle. For some reason I’m completely drawn to all of the Australian and New Zealand stuff, old and new. And then I play stuff that I don’t really know what you call it, but it just sounds good to me. Sometimes I do worry that I’m genre jumping in strange or annoying ways… hopefully not though. I really just listen to a lot of music and play stuff that I like enough that I want to share with people… so the Daft Manifesto is my opportunity for sharing cool or interesting songs.

How did you discover Radio Boise?

Many years ago I had fly-fishing buddy who was on the board of directors at the time and he told me about it and thought it might interest me. I started showing up at a few meetings and offered to take on a few volunteer projects. One of those included building the first website since I had a bit of amateur website building experience and I offered to put something together (luckily much more talented folks took over shortly thereafter). From there it evolved into my first online show called Sounds Like Chicken before I needed to take a break from volunteering when my first son was born. After the initial chaos of being a new dad settled down a bit, I came back looking to do some volunteer work, and here I am today.

What other Radio Boise shows do you listen to?

Ha ha ha … this is hard question for me to answer.  In some ways I’m ashamed to say there isn’t a single show I listen to religiously every single week.  My schedule totally dictates what I get to listen to most of the time.

For sure, I listen to each of the morning shows at home when I wake up and also when I’m driving my boys to school and myself to work. I manage to luck out on most weekends and catch a few episodes of shows like For Good or For Awesome, High Wild and Free and Heavier Than Thou (as well as Jake and Lisa’s Guilty Pleasures). Saturday’s International block is a great introduction to all sorts of new sounds to me, and then it just stays great for the entire rest of the day (The Uncertain Ratio, Femme Fatale, Sonic Mushroom Cloud). The same goes for Sunday: I usually get to hear tidbits of the late morning and afternoon shows (Spoonful, and both Sunday Soul Party and Sunday Sound System), and I get introduced to a lot of my favorite new bands whenever I listen to Drift Correction. Plus there are a bunch of new or new-ish shows that I’m just starting to get familiar with, but so far they sound really solid and keep me engaged. I like a show where I’m enjoying what I’m hearing, but I’m also excited about what the DJ is going to play next.

What other kinds of things keep you busy outside of radio?

Even outside of the station and the show, music is a constant. Unless something actually prevents me from listening to music… I’m listening on the radio, my phone and my stereo at home.

Aside from when I’m just doing the things I have to do from day-to-day I try to throw in some fun by fly-fishing, riding a motorbike or watching some bicycle racing (which I follow somewhat obsessively via the internet and one of those sports pass subscriptions which streams most of the major cycling races on TV). I have for sure way too many other minor distractions as well, but those are the three that I seem to be most focused on these days.

Why do you believe volunteering for community radio is important?

For me, volunteering for the station is HOW I become part of the community. While there are so many different ways we all connect to the people we live and work around, the station is one of those ways which I’m most comfortable. And I think there are a lot volunteers at the station who not only feel the same way, they also know their efforts are what makes this station be part of something much bigger – you know, for Boise and Beyond.

Not only is the station itself a pretty awesome community of staff, volunteers and listeners; it’s become a really nice component to all sorts of larger communities. I just feel super lucky to be able to contribute even if it’s in a pretty small way, comparatively speaking. It’s definitely self-indulgent at times too, no doubt. I’ve always liked sharing music that excites me, no matter what the genre. Doing a show obviously gives me the opportunity to that. Probably well beyond what I’m comfortable with. Luckily I’m just daft enough that I’ve never really ever bothered to think about it on that level.

DJ Pole-erd hosts the Daft Manifesto every Tuesday from 5 – 7 PM.

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