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In a cozy house in Denton this particular Tuesday night, conversation runs the gamut from pig's blood in the Trinity River to being attacked by a nest of water moccasins to religion. Sarah Alexander and Nevada Hill play a snippet of a poem by music writer Byron Coley, which includes several refrains about "Dick Cheney's dick." There's also Iranian singer Googoosh, Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog," some new material Alexander is working on and a droning metal demo by a band called Weeping.
"I like metal demos," Hill says. "They're always a little bit off."
That sort of explains the allure of Tiger Dick, the Tuesday night show Alexander and Hill, two longtime Denton musicians, have been putting on for roughly the last year and a half. The two have great chemistry, and besides the strange, wonderful sonic gems they unearth every week, their asides and dialogue are often just as interesting. You never know when it might go off the rails, but that's the thrill of the Dick. Oh, you want to know about the name, don't you?
"Tiger Dick came from when I worked in a cubicle farm and I would say, 'That's so tiger dick' or 'That needs more tiger dick,'" Hill says. "I just liked the way it sounded."
And that explains the mission of the show, which is broadcast via Real Waves, a community station streaming live from Denton: Play what sounds good. The appeal is similar to that of Jersey's free-form radio beacon WFMU, in that you'll probably hear local and national music you've never heard before and be challenged in some way. Previous shows have included frank discussions about lesbian sex and call-ins from people channeling different gods. It's sort of like a two-hour sketch, and there's a certain cable-access charm to it.
"It's a fun little performance just for us," Alexander says.
"In my mind nobody listens, so it feels good when someone says they have," Hill adds. "WFMU just sort of reaffirmed what we were doing. I didn't feel that horrible about fucking up so badly on the radio."
Those fuck-ups, however, often lead to some great moments. They sometimes have theme shows — death, depression and sex have been a few — and the religion show was particularly memorable, with Alexander channeling an angel fetus and Hill playing the entire Jonestown massacre recording. Oh, and there was a celebration of the L. Ron Hubbard soundtrack for Battlefield Earth. Sometimes the two will just play tracks on top of each other, creating a sound completely divergent from what was originally intended.
"Then we're just using the station as an instrument," Hill says. "We both come from performing art backgrounds. We both like to read stuff. I think of it as having a place for all my weird tastes. I've had a lot of friends say they've tried to listen and it's too much. Which, you know, I'm kind of proud of. That's what we're trying to do, push people a bit."
"But three point five people definitely like it," Alexander says.