'The Funkhouse Show'
The Funkhouse Show
Words by Julie Seger
Eric Wright and Eric Spencer, also known as Iggy Whistletooth and Mo Staxx, co-host the Funkhouse Show on 105.9 FM The Radiator. I met up with the men behind the Funkhouse to see what their show is all about.
Spencer, who hails from Philadelphia, moved to Vermont to finish up school and got "sucked in" to the greatness of the place. As for Wright, moving from Chicago to Vermont was a random shot in the dark that luckily stuck.
After meeting at work nearly ten years ago, Eric and Eric bounced ideas for a TV show around. Then the duo decided to take their chemistry to the airwaves. Their show embodies what funk is all about; quality tunes and having a good time. Both look forward to their Saturday 6-8 PM slots as a chance to impress each other with songs, discuss the events of the week, and whatever else is on their minds.
For Spencer this week, it's the omnipresence of Stevie Wonder covers he's heard downtown where he spends his days working. For better or worse, Wonder seems to have become the bread and butter of various Church Street performers. During their show Spencer takes a moment "to cleanse my soul, and the soul of Burlington," then turns up Wonder's Golden Woman.
Each Eric brings his own character and tastes to the show while entertaining listeners with casual dialogue and spur of the moment commentary. Wright jokes, "Some people think we're crass, but we think we're just hilarious."
Wright's "gone digital," and brings his iPod to choose songs, while Spencer totes a bag of assorted CDs. Each switches off playing what they're feeling at that moment. They're here to amuse themselves, and hopefully their listeners too. In picking songs, they usually stick to what Wright calls "the big three," James Brown, George Clinton, and Sly and the Family Stone. Spencer, a huge jazz fan and self-professed lifelong "radionerd," throws in some of his influences too, including Frank Zappa and Jerry Garcia. Wright also admittedly takes some fashion cues from his Temple University graduation speaker, Bill Cosby.
The differences between Wright and Spencer keep the show fresh. Spencer's a deadhead, while Wright refuses to convert. Music isn't the only topic of contention; "Come football time, it's all over." Despite each man's love for the Bears or the Eagles, Spencer says, "we're both just proud of where we came from, but we're here now and we love it." It's obvious how much these guys enjoy doing the show.
The Funkhouse show is all about two happy dudes sharing the radio waves and keeping Burlington funky. Look for them at Penny Cluse or Sneakers, or checking out shows at Nectars, Radiobean and Parima. Future plans include a total takeover of downtown Burlington, complete with their faces on buses. But really, the Funkhouse is making moves on Saturday night slots for the Radiator. A friend of the Funkhouse, Bart, will soon start up a turntable show after their program and keep the good times coming. Be sure to check out that and the Funkhouse Saturday nights from 6-8 on 105.9 the Radiator.