J’adore DJ Erin Eyesore

How long have you been DJing?
I got into radio as a teenager… so, a long time. I have definitely done way more radio DJing than event DJing, but it’s so fun to do events, especially one presented by the legendary Sean Carnage—the ultimate honor!

Uh, I’m blushing. How would you describe your style?
The core of what I do is very intentionally niche. Unearthing 1980s tracks, and I am particularly interested in rare, underground music from that era, especially international groups and artists. It may have been called new wave or post-punk or synth-pop, or even disco at the time, but I look for music in these genres that has something a bit different in it—something in the sound that is avant-garde, for example, or maybe it’s noisy or freaked out, or very aloof and abstract, or surprisingly funky… just something that sets it apart.

I have a deep knowledge in particular of femme, transgender, and gender non-conforming artists in these genres, and part of my practice aims to showcase their genius and their important contributions to music during this era. I also just love introducing people to music they haven’t heard. Like this track from Zazie Und Ihre Freunde– Rap Zazie (Germany, 1982), it’s such a wonderful DIY hip-hop track, largely unknown, by a trans actress from Germany named Zazie de Paris. Or my favorite Euro spy track– Virna Lindt’s Attention Stockholm (Sweden, 1982), who has the most unique style of “diseuse” talk-singing.

How did you get into radio?
I started at a hybrid college-community radio station in Santa Barbara when I was 18. It was how I found my community at a time when I had no idea who I was, other than an obsessive music researcher pre-social media. Coincidentally, after stints at other independent  radio stations, I am back programming where I started: at KCSB 91.9-FM. It is an amazing, non-commercial, historically very political radio station that has been around since the ‘60s. My show there is called Ribbon Around a Bomb; listeners can find it on the schedule at KCSB.org.

What’s the origin of your DJ name?
My punk/DJ/artist name of Erin Eyesore goes back to my earliest days in radio, when I was programming alone at the station from 2am-4am (which I loved), but I would receive phone calls from strange people.

Sometimes they were magical, like the time Patti Smith’s guitarist Lenny Kay called me to tell me that I blew his mind by playing Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s experimental 1979 duet with Smith. But other calls were sinister— creepers who would try to talk to me while I was DJing. The scary part was that they knew exactly where I was and when I finished my shift. Once a guy called and asked me what I looked like. I just said “an eyesore” and hung up. I then started introducing myself on-air this way. So it started as this protective thing and over time,”Eyesore” has transformed in meaning. It was a sort of hypnotic metamorphosis and reclaiming, the result of saying the same word on the radio again and again.

Now, so many years later, I feel that Eyesore is a moniker I have grown with and it intertwined with my sense of self; I decontextualized and recontextualized the word to embody my sensibilities. “Eyesore” for me now is an independent, surrealist, and femme spirit.

Laptop or vinyl—which one is the best for you?
Vinyl! But I do have a massive digital collection, and sometimes I really want to play something that is impossible to find on vinyl. So having the ability to do both is ideal.

What are your biggest musical and artistic inspirations?
Spies. Betty Davis. Vivienne Westwood. Neue Deutsche Welle. Bryan Ferry. La Belle et la Bête (1946). Reality TV gossip. No Wave. Botanical gardens. Twin Peaks. Italian Mannerism. Chaki.  Elsa Schiaparelli. Contemporary Arab media art. Linder Sterling. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973). Mike Watt. The misery of modern life in the United States. Dogs. Ana Mendieta. Palm Springs. Diamanda Galás. Blue eyeshadow (irl and in cinema.)

What are your favorite songs to play right now?<
Some of my favorites of late, I chose these because not enough people talk about these bands/artists!

Vocoder- What Happens Now (Spain, 1984)
Mizutama Shobodan- Travel Pack Vacuum (Japan, 1981)
Sheila Chandra- Out on My Own (UK, 1984)
Grÿlurnar- Mao Gling (Iceland, 1981)
Chrisma- Black Silk Stocking (Italy, 1977)
C.U.B.S.- Pink Zone (Advanced Listeners Version) (Germany, 1984)

What’s a song or track that always gets people grooving at the club?
Patrick Cowley and Sylvester – Do You Wanna Funk (USA, 1982) is always such a mood. Two incredible artists and collaborators who the world tragically lost too soon to AIDS.

What’s your favorite place to hang out in Los Angeles and why?
During the day, I love to walk my dog at the La Brea Tar Pits, check out my friends’ gallery These Days in DTLA, or go record/vintage shopping on Melrose.  At night, you’re just as likely to find me with a glass of champagne at the bar at Musso and Frank’s as you are catching a show at Permanent Records Roadhouse.

What’s your holy grail record?
Way too many, therefore, I will interpret this question as: best record store find. When I was in Zürich a couple years ago, I was staying down the block from this amazing record store called 16Tons. I found so many rare and fun and cheap 45s here, but one that only cost $4, which I return to again and again is this cover of Teach Me Tiger by Portuguese artist Mafalda Sofia (Portugal, 1966). Even the album artwork alone makes me happy.

What can folks expect from your set at Oracle Tavern this Friday?
I’m leaning into the darker sounds in new wave, synth-pop and ‘80s electro. Get ready for French coldwave, Yugoslav goth, German industrial, and downtown NYC no wave. The bands who are playing the show at Oracle Tavern are the real draw though! I am so excited to see Dildox and everyone else playing

Is there a place online where folks can follow your DJ adventures?

Absolutely. I am on Instagram at @erineyesore and my radio show is on @ribbon.around.a.bomb.

Join us every 2nd Friday at Oracle Tavern

Sean Carnage Friday Nights at Oracle Tavern April 14 2023 Two Crones Dildox Acidtrain DJ Erin Eyesore Chaki Funk Wizard

Design: Godtease

Fri 4.14.23 – Two Crones, Dildox, ACIDTRAIN, DJ Erin Eyesore / co-presented with Chaki

8pm / $10 / 21+

1640 N. Spring, Los Angeles 90012

Follow me on IG for updates

Sean Carnage Fridays are back!

Jam out with Dildox on Loveshine Records

All aboard the ACIDTRAIN

This Friday in L.A.: It takes Two Crones to tango

Get the lowdown on the genius of Chaki

Pitch me bands & performers

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