Maybe I'm Wrong

It's hard to believe that, as of November 11, 2020, this show will have been on the air for 5 years!  It's gone through a lot of changes in that time.

I'm Ian Downey, and I was one of the first people on WAYO.  As a matter of fact, years before WAYO started, the founder of WAYO, Mike Yates, had a show immediately after mine on the local college radio station, WITR.  Kate Stathis (host of "Keep Dreaming/Wake Up", Kameron Ackerman ("Kryptic Pop Thrills"), Arthur Bond ("WAYO Adventure Hour") were also good friends - we used to perform together on "Left of Center Stage" at The Flying Squirrel, and we'd worked together on many projects over the years, like Santanalia.  When they and Mike told me that they were going to try to start a radio station, I was excited to be a part of it.  My show was one of the initial shows that streamed online for a few months before we started broadcasting over the radio waves.

At first, it was just a music show.  I described it at the time as "Punk, post-punk, experimental, noise, weirdo jams, kook-rock, destructo-rock, colostomy-rock, post-noise, post-silence, pre-silence, between silences, inside silences, sounds within other sounds, fart noises, baby dinosaurs, I can't feel my legs, fever dream of a broken island.... Music on this show includes bands/artists like: Discharge, Black Flag, the Germs, the Ex, MX-80 Sound, Chrome, Suicide, James Chance and the Contortions, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, DNA, the Au Pairs, the Gang of Four, Delta 5, Wolf Eyes, Boredoms, Melt Banana, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Black Dice, Hella, Lightning Bolt, OOIOO, KK Null, Zeni Geva, the Frogs, Conflict, Harry Partch, Vladimir Ussachevky, John Zorn, Polvo, Slint, the Residents, the Electric Eels, Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu, Sonic Youth, the Cramps, Captain Beefheart, Blixa Bargeld, Theodor Adorno, Disclose, Man is the Bastard, God is my Co-Pilot, CRASS, Wire, Fear, AMM, Swans, Diamanda Galas, the No Neck Blues Band, the Nihilist Spasm Band, etc., etc., etc."

But right from the beginning, when I proposed my show to Mike and the rest of WAYO folks, I said I was planning to transition into doing more of a talk show.  I had fun talking during breaks between songs, doing funny voices and saying silly stuff.  A lot of the show has been spontaneous, stream-of-consciousness talking... some of it funny, some of it disturbing, some of it political, some of it fantastical or surreal.  Really I just let myself say whatever comes to mind, with very little filter.

Along the way, I sometimes did shows together with my buddy Will Carroll, who hosts TeenSet Radio, and when he couldn't do his show, I sometimes filled in for him.  It also became something of a tradition that we co-host a segment every New Year's Eve at the WAYO party.

Over the years, I've also had guests that I've interviewed, like Ted Forsyth, one of the organizers behind Enough is Enough, the movement that has been working for years to get a Police Accountability Board to prevent police brutality in Rochester, or the famous anarchist theorist Bob Black, or the leftist activist, author and editor C. Derrick Varn of Zero Books, or local activist Emily Good, with whom I had a great conversation about the famous Rochester anarchist, Emma Goldman around her 150th birthday.

So, sometimes it's a poltical talk show, from something like a left-anarchist position.  One of my proudest periods of Maybe I'm Wrong was a several episode long stretch in which I first discussed the history of the Situationist International and then started going through Society of the Spectacle, almost line by line.  I hope people enjoyed that - I sure did.

After I had been doing the show for a couple years, I encouraged my father, Ed Downey to get a show, to play some of his enormous and fantastic collection of jazz records and 20th century compositional music.  After a lot of cajoling, he finally did, and at first he had a show, called Decades, after midnight (I was, and still am, broadcasting Tuesday afternoons).  But after some people left the station and the broadcasting schedule shifted around a little, Kate Stathis came up with the bright idea of moving my slot to 5 pm Tuesdays and putting my Dad immediately before me.  In practice, our shows started to overlap, we started having conversations on air, and something just clicked.

Then coronavirus hit.  The station studio closed down, and so we had to submit pre-recorded shows over the internet.  My Dad decided to combine our shows and make one, 3-hour-long show every week, which we record over Zoom.  So that's what the show has been for the past 5 months.  Two guys, father and son, talking about all kinds of stuff, and playing some of our favorite music.  Sometimes he talks about the old days in the 60s in Detroit when he hung out in jazz clubs and played music with the MC5, or sometimes he talks about his interest in phenomenology.  More often, we just talk about whatever.  I think this has been some of the best stuff in the show so far. 

 

Past Episodes