Local indie music juggernaut Burger Records has teamed up with OC Rock Radio and KSBR this semester to form “Burger Records Radio”, which aims to bring their quirky brand of rock music to students here at Saddleback College and listeners all around the world every Tuesday night.
Burger, which was founded in 2007 by high school friends Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard, is based on the idea of never growing up, and having an open-minded view toward music. Accordingly, Burger Records Radio plays a wide variety of music, from country to electronic, mostly catering toward college-age students or anyone who does not want to grow up yet. Burger sees KSBR’s studios as the perfect way to deliver this message.
“I used to have a radio show when I was in college,” Bohrman said, “So it brings back good memories for me.”
Rickard also echoed this sentiment, saying that the Burger spirit is to “keep things teenage. We haven’t grown up on the inside, so we want to keep that spirit going through the music we play.” The radio show itself is chaotic; Rickard frantically changes records to keep pace with the show, while Bohrman times him and studio engineer Frank Rumbletone works the boards, with most of the setlist being improvised.
“We don’t know what we’re going to play 10 minutes from now. We just let it all flow.” But for Burger, that’s all part of the fun. The show is designed to be fun and exciting, and partially stems from Bohrman and Rickard’s love for showing people new music.
“I’ll listen to a record and then say ‘I gotta show my friends this’, and hopefully they show their friends and et cetera,” Rickard said.
The fast-paced setlist is punctuated by phone calls for requests, and Bohrman and Rickard’s own wacked-out commentary, which ranges from informative to onomatopoeia without skipping a beat. Meanwhile, engineer and producer Rumbletone is there to control the madness and keep everything in order.
“I’ve been doing radio shows for 20 years now, bringing in my own huge collection, so now it’s great to have them bring in their records and for me to play them,” Rumbletone said.
Part of Burger’s huge collection was a compilation of artists covering the Velvet Underground’s groundbreaking album “White Light/White Heat”, all of them featured on the Burger Records Label. Intentional or not, the album’s release comes shortly after the death of Lou Reed – the Velvet Underground’s famous frontman.
“I felt like we lost a huge visionary the day he died,” Rickard said.
But the album’s release was not entirely somber. Each Burger artist’s cover juxtaposes the old with the new, a hallmark of the Burger Brand. The premier ended with a massive, 17-minute cover of “Sister Ray” by local Burger band Gap Dream, bringing the Velvet Underground and Burger Record connection full circle.
Nearing the end of their two-hour timeslot, the Burger guys packed up and got ready to leave, but not before the topic of food came up. Unsurprisingly, the question of what kind of burger Burger Records enjoys came up. The answer was simple, delicious and as satisfying as the music they had played just a few minutes ago; “Homemade, with good buns.”
Story by Stefan Stenroos | Lariat