Music Director of the Month – Angus Johnson – KXLU – Gussies Dream Corner

Planetary Group recently took some time to get to know Angus Johnson, the music director of KXLU and host of the eclectic ‘Gussies Dream Corner’ on KXLU, on Wednesdays 4-6 p.m. PST from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles:.


Planetary Group: Can you fill us in on your Wednesday show ‘Gussies Dream Corner’ on KXLU – you call it ‘genre-less’: So, what is it about a song that draws you to play it? Is it a feeling, a lyric, or a sound??

Angus: It really depends on my mood, the trajectory of my set, and, ultimately, the sound. If something sounds good, I’m going to play it, even if it’s a little off-base from what I usually work with. I try to make it clear to my listeners that I like to go with the flow, and often don’t know what I’m going to play until the song before it. Sometimes I’ll have a plan, but I usually end up throwing it away; I get antsy and love a bit of tonal whiplash.


PG: Do you have a favorite artist or album you never get tired of listening to?

Angus: This could be the hardest question of all time. Depending on how I’m feeling (or who’s asking), I think my big three is:
– Armchair Boogie by Michael Hurley
– Stankonia by Outkast
– 13 Songs by Fugazi


PG: Is there a kind of music or particular artist you’d NEVER play on your show?

Angus:  I think I’ve finally matured to the point where I can appreciate at least some aspects of most genres. That being said, there’s a good amount of stuff in my catalog that I don’t think the FCC would be too stoked on.


PG: Do you have a past musical decade or era that you romanticize? Why?

Angus: I think it’s got to be the first wave of Punk in Los Angeles/ the West Coast in the late 70s- early 80s. So many powerhouse bands formed by kids who did it on a whim, and a really great ethos at the beginning.


PG: Do you have a favorite lyric or quote to live by?

Angus: A quote from Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: “I just want to live my life and be a good boy and have a nice time.” What more could you need?


PG: If you had the power to change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?

Angus: Really biting my tongue here, but I’ve had plenty of run-ins with A&Rs, managers, even artists that are more focused on numbers, strategy, and a quick buck than the actual spirit of what they’re doing. I hope that doesn’t sound snobby, because I’ve met way more people in the opposite camp. Sometimes you can tell when an artist is seen as a product and little else, and I think the streaming/ social media era has worsened this.

PG: What event or person in your life would you say has shaped you the most as a person? A music curator?

Angus: My parents have always loved music and made sure that I was surrounded by it in all forms as I was growing up, so there’s always been an innate desire to explore and discover new sounds. This is going to sound strange, but the poor young man who had a crush on my older sister in middle school really knew how to cook up a mix-tape and is definitely pivotal in the musical path I went down as a young man. Alex, if you’re out there: Thank you, and I’m sorry things didn’t work out.

PG: Do you have a favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or bar in Westchester / LA that you recommend people try?

Angus: I haven’t been in a while, but Sachi.LA in Culver City has a splendid vibe and a really fun record shop attached. Is it bad if I say the LAX In-n-Out? I’m a college student so it doesn’t get better than that. I’ve been known to enjoy a whiskey sour at 4100 in Silverlake on the weekends 🙂

PG: Do you have any favorite TV shows, movies, or books you’re enjoying you’d currently recommend?

Angus:   Another nearly impossible question, so I’ll stick to some of my recent/ evergreen favorites.

1. TV:

HBO’s High Maintenance: A beautiful look at the lives of New Yorker’s through their mutual pot dealer, whose cycling playlists have influenced many of my sets. 

HBO’s Succession: Not an underground hit by any means, but popular for very good reason.

2. Movies:

Phil Tippett’s Mad God: A plotless, surreal stop-motion film 45 years in the making, from the mind of Special FX legend Phil Tippett.

Robert Hiltzik’s Sleepaway Camp: A must-watch for fans of 80s slashers, or anyone really. My favorite movie to watch people watch.

3. Books:

Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and the Germs by Brendan Mullen with Don Bolles and Adam Parfrey. A recent read, and an incredible look at the confusing, tumultuous life of Darby Crash as a closeted gay man and figurehead of an increasingly homophobic scene. A tangible story told entirely through primary sources.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I loved All the Pretty Horses in high school and have been making an effort to get through his catalog. This is a pretty depressing airport read, if I’m being honest.

PG: Finally, with the summer coming, do you have any post-semester plans to share with us? Any concerts?

Angus: I’m graduating in May so I suppose the answer is: my real adult life, unfortunately. My best friend/ bandmate from back home in Portland is moving down to live with me as we speak, so I will hopefully be playing as many shows as I can get my hands on. Keep an eye out for The Orcas in a few weeks time! I’m also DJing two legs of the same festival (Cosmico!) in California and Baja California in May, which is a tremendous opportunity and spectacular grad-trip vacation rolled into one. Other than that, I’m setting my career goalposts on Music Supervision. I’m sure my path won’t be as straightforward as I’m expecting, but I’m very excited to find ways to blend my film and music backgrounds.


Vinyl or Digital? I’m a sucker for Analog, but I think the CD is the best thing to ever happen to music distribution.

Dog or Cat? Dog.

Booze or Caffeine? Yes please!

Morning or Night? When I can actually manage it, nothing beats an early morning.

City or Country? A walkable city over everything.

Beach or Mountains? Beach!

TV or Book? I wish I could say book, but I’d be lying

TikTok or IG? IG 

LA or NYC? Unfortunately for me, New York City.

Sunny or Rainy? I love a nice drizzle, but gotta go with a nice sunny day.