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Brad Pfirrman listens to the radio.
The gravel-voiced Pfirrman, better known to a loyal chunk of listeners in Tempe and Phoenix as Beef Vegan, host of KWSS 106.7's The Morning Infidelity, is on the road en route to his day job, and he's turned down the radio to answer my call. He's not listening to his station, mind you — he's scanning the pop stations to see what's up. And he doesn't like what he's hearing.
"I just heard one of the stupidest songs I've heard in a long time," Pfirrman gripes. "Have you heard Pitbull's 'International Love?' The thing that bugs me — it makes me insane — is that the chorus goes, 'Put it down in New York City / Wild like Los Angeles / Hot tub in Miami / It's international love.' But which of those three fucking cities is international? Say Paris or something! Make it international . . . those are all national."
Pfirrman's own tastes run more on the alternative side, and since taking over The Morning Infidelity in 2009, he's pushed local music from bands such as Mergence, The Love Me Nots, Kongos, and many more, all scheduled to appear at his second annual Phochella Event at the Sail Inn in Tempe. The date, April 20, marks the anniversary of Beef and his sidekicks, Shorty and Buddah, and, as you might have guessed, is something of a stoner holiday.
"Honestly, it's the stoner's bookmark," Pfirrman says, laughing. "April was when I was going to take over, and starting on 4/20 just made sense. I did my first 4/20 show, which was terrible, and the rest is history, I guess."
It also will be the second year that Pfirrman hosts a live radio broadcast, from noon to 4 p.m., that will feature dozens of TMI/KWSS favorites, each playing one song live, making for a continuous stream of music. "It's essentially taking our radio program and making every aspect of it live," he says. "It's not bands putting on mini-sets or anything else; it's bands playing one song, live on the radio."
Organizing bands to trade off on songs and broadcasting live is a challenge, but Pfirrman says that's what makes it a blast.
"When you do something live, there's no such thing as a mistake," he says. "You don't get a second take; you just go with it. That's always been the most intriguing aspect of doing it. When I do the show in the morning, if I fuck up a word or mumble something, or just get something wrong . . . the rush of being able to catch yourself when you fall is amazing."
Doing original things in radio is hard, Pfirrman says, and the "radio music festival" is something no one else is doing.
Pfirrman wants to see the event get even bigger — dismissing the term "better" with a laugh. "We'll take it one step at a time," he says, "but things are going real good this year."
Good enough for him to kick back, relax, maybe "partake," and watch bands after finishing the live broadcast?
"Yeah, I'll relax," Pfirrman says. "On Saturday morning."