Friday, August 26, 2016

Self Help Radio 082616: Indiepop A To Z # 51`

(Images of some of the records heard on today's show, taken from

Ha ha!  A show on time!  I might get the hang of this, eventually (although yes I am still courting radio stations these things take time!).  This week's show continues the Indiepop A To Z series, from within the letter L: Lin to Lou.

One thing that should be said about this process is that it takes a lot of time & I listen to far more records than make it onto the series.  I probably forget a bunch as well, but I shouldn't say that.  Let's forget I said that.

Artists from the UK, the US, Sweden, France, Norway, New Zealand, & more appear on today's show.  As such, it's the equivalent of a small vacation in your head.  I hope you enjoy it.

The show is available now at Self Help Radio website page & the instructions for downloading (you need a password & username) are in the text at the top of the page.  The songs I play - although not what I say about the songs I play - are listed below.

(part one)

"Nerve Pylon" The Lines _Scared To Get Happy: The Story Of Indie Pop 1980-1989_
"Supercheri" Lina _Redevenir Modeste_
"Happy New Year" Lasse Lindh _The Sound Of Young Sweden, Vol. 2_

"When I Get To California" Linus Of Hollywood _Your Favorite Record_
"This Scene Is Happening" Liquid Faeries _La-Di-Da...  So Far..._
"Team Player" Liquorice _Listening Cap_
"The English Softhearts" Literature _Chorus_
"Happiest Times" Little Big Adventure _The Hateful Eye EP_

"Ruining Things Like Everything" Little My _Little My's Sixth_
"Nobody Loves You" Little Name _How To Swim & Live_
"Happy" Little Red Schoolhouse _When I Find You_
"In The Morning" Lizard Kisses _In The Morning_
"Something Nice" Robert Lloyd & The New Four Seasons _Something Nice_

"Busman's Holiday" The Loch Ness Mouse _Busman's Holiday_
"Kicking Sand" The Lodger _Grown-Ups_

(part two)

"Up The Hill & Down The Slope" The Loft _Creation Soup, Vol. 2_
"Press Play & Record" Lois _Press Play & Record_
"Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl" Loney, Dear _Citadel Band_

"Small Talk" Claudine Longet _Love Is Blue_
"Cactus Cat" Look Blue Go Purple _LBGPEP2_
"Mirror Man" The Looking Glass _Dreamworld, 1985-1987_
"Never Understand" Loons _Dim Movies_
"On The Flipside" Looper _The Geometrid_

"Stop What You're Doing" Lorelei _Why Popstars Can't Dance_
"Brooklyn Bound" The Lorimer Sound _Green Streets_
"Why Can't You Be Yourself For A Change?" The Losers _Dalmatian Generation_
"Dock Ellis" Lotion _Full Isaac_
"German Girl" Lotus Eaters _No Sense Of Sin_

"Falling" Lotus Eaters _Falling_
"Inverness" The Loud Family _Plants & Birds & Rocks & Things

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 51?

Ho ho, I bet you didn't think I could finish this week's show on time, but I have n't.  But that's because it's not time!  I have until noon tomorrow!  & I'll be finished with it then!  I hope.

No one's really ever asked me about my fascination with indiepop, & where it began, & why I would want to do a never-ending series about it.  I'm not sure if I could answer satisfactorily if someone did.  Certainly my obsession with alphabetization & with order have something to do with it, but I could easily have done a "postpunk a to z" or a "garage a to z."  Why indiepop?

It probably had something to do with a show on KOOP radio called "Ear Candy."  It began when I was at KVRX under a person named Tina whom I met only once or twice, but when the two Jennifers took over, it was, for many years, the best thing on a station full of great radio shows.  When I became involved at KOOP, I would often sub the show, doing a shabby job no doubt, but generally being nice enough to the women in charge that they let me help out from time-to-time.

But before I knew what "indiepop" was, I did like a lot of twee, na├»ve music, especially Jonathan Richman.  Friends who knew me for years as a fan of the Smiths, Joy Division, Leonard Cohen, etc., thought I had gone crazy when I fell for Jonathan Richman.  Because every angsty teen appreciates the first Modern Lovers record, but not too many people can stomach the eight-minute-long version of "Ice Cream Man."

Indiepop was a world with beautiful melodies but often rather dark lyrics.  A sprightly song might have some depressing undertones.  One friend of mine, who doesn't care much for lyrics, thinks the music is too happy.  He once asked me, "Is that all you listen to now, upbeat music?"  & trying to explain that to someone who can't hear what I hear is like trying to describe color to the blind.

What strikes me most about this experiment is how good the music is.  I'm sure there are some terrible indiepop bands - I mean, if I reject a band for the series, I must not think they're very good - but the ones that make the cut have an excellence that belies their overtly simple trappings.  I hope tomorrow's show demonstrates that.  I hope all the shows in the series do!

Another entity to give thanks to is Napster.  For the few years (or was it months?) that it existed, it enabled me to sample other people's music libraries, including tunes unavailable - or expensive & rare - in the United States.  Indiepop is an international phenomenon, but its roots are in the UK.  People shared stuff way out of print, & I gobbled it up greedily.  Though ethically dubious, it was a grand time for people like me who otherwise wouldn't have known so much existed.

Well, the two Jennifers knew.  & I took notes when I listened to their show.  & some of those notes, I hope, are what I'm reading off of when I do the Indiepop A To Z show, although one time one of those Jennifers, when I was doing the show with her on Ear Candy, said, "Ugh! This will never end!"

She was right, but, like Edwyn Collins said, just like the Four Tops, I can't help myself.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 51: Who's Counting?

I'm so embarrassed, I didn't remember which number of the Indiepop A To Z series I was on when I mentioned it on the show last week.  I remembered the letter L.  But I said it was like number 53 or something; the last show I did in the series was the eventful number fifty!  I should remember such things.

But unfortunately, I don't.  People who are being politely curious about the show will often ask me, once I've told them it's theme-based, "Oh?  What was your last show about?"  & I can't remember.  Standing there like a fool, I will wrack my brains, I will mentally try to walk back through time, even try to recall where I stood or what I was doing to bring songs to mind, but it's useless.  My brain dumps that information very soon after the show, because it knows there's another show I need to start working in.  It's one of the reasons I need the check if I've covered a theme before - I will never remember if I have.

This is so incredibly self-indulgent.  I'm so deeply uninterested with myself, which makes me feel bad as the son of a narcissist.  Speaking of dear old Mom: she lives less than an hour away now, & I have to adjust my memories of returning to Dallas from Austin.  We visited her Sunday & I was shocked when we got to the I-30/35 interchange (from a different direction, but you know what I mean) & so little driving time had passed.  I had purchased two newish stand-up albums, one each by Emily Heller &  Hari Kondabolu - & both are excellent - but the ride to Dallas was longer than the albums.

There's another reason for this: we need to update our GPS.  The highways around here have changed so much - mainly because there are so many toll roads up here - hooray for the Libertarian spirit of Texas! - that we can be driving along & suddenly our GPS will shout "Route recalculation!"  At times like that, the wife would turn the CD off - or worse, turn it down - usually during a punchline - to figure out where the hell we were supposed to go.

Seriously, though, toll roads.  Beautiful new toll roads.  Named after presidents named Bush, who were against, you know, taxes & shit.  Lots of toll roads.  & if you use them, they'll mail you the bills.  Best to avoid them until I understand exactly what that's all about.  Texans are funny.  They'll accept being taxed to death in dribs & drabs but suggest a state income tax & they go all Yosemite Sam on you.

I have nothing else to say right now.  But those two comedy CDs are aces.  Emily Heller &  Hari Kondabolu.  Awesome stuff.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fort Worth Stories No. 1

(Image from Google Maps.)

Honestly I have no idea if anyone who reads this blog cares about where the host of Self Help Radio lives or what he does or anything about his life - hell, even about the show! - but in case someone does, here's the first of some stories about living in the city known as "Cowtown" & also "Dallas' Sullen Younger Brother."

My family is living in a small house in a cool section of town that, I discovered as movers were carrying boxes of our things into the house the evening we arrived, is near a massive railyard.  It is in fact the Union Pacific Davidson Yard, & it's just south of us.  You can see it on the map above, where an inch is about a thousand feet (once you click on the image).  Not only that!  Look!  Someone filmed it for YouTube!

While you can hear a lot of noises in that video - including air on the microphone, train bells, & someone making a farty sound - one thing you can't hear is the one sound I hear all the damn time.  It is the sound of trains braking.  It's a constant sound - I can hear it in the quiet of this house as I am typing this - a constant, eerie noise that would give Brian Eno an erection & would make John Carpenter incorporate it into one of his soundtracks.

Everyone tells me that, living here, one learns to ignore it - it becomes the background to one's life here - but every new train braking - would someone give them some oil or something to maybe make their stoppings smoother? - is like a new slow scratch down the chalkboard of this environment.  It's not in itself unpleasant - it's just a more drawn-out sound than the shorter, more immediate sound of a car screeching to a halt - but it is uncommonly creepy in its unpredictable length, in the volume one whine differs from another.  Were Franz Kafka renting a room around here, he would have written a story that began, "Josef K woke that morning, as usual, to the sound of trains slowing on their tracks with a ghostlike cry.  But today was the day he truly listened to it."

In the right conditions, that uncanny scraping sound could be the background music to an unsettling David Lynch scene.  & oh shit!  It's the sort of thing that sets off the presumed normal Stephen King character!  Eventually no one hears it - but the protagonist.  Does it turn her into a killer, or is it affecting everyone else subconsciously?  I don't know!

We've lived here almost three weeks now & that noise sings slow, monotonous lullabies to me as I fall asleep, & that noise occasionally wakes me in the middle of the night.  Worse, that noise follows me into my dreams - recently I dreamt there was a person learning how to play a weird pipe-like instrument, & the noise coming out was...  Trains squealing to a halt just a few hundred yards away from me.

But don't worry!  I am not tortured by it.  I am just aware of the possibility of being tortured by it.  I am sufficiently convinced that I'm not trapped in a Stephen King story or a David Lynch film.  & we are looking for homes in other neighborhoods than this.

However.  The longer I live here...  Who knows when I will start hearing voices in that ubiquitous disquiet?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bringing Weather Along

At some point, she thought, the weather was all they had in common.

So, because she loved him, she began bringing it along.  Little cloudy days stuffed into small notebooks, or a rainbow in the sunshine fancily placed in a little box as a surprise present.  That one cold day in September, when it's not supposed to be too cold, saved like a postcard in a memory book, or that strange warm day in the middle of the winter, that would melt snow if there were snow, scribbled like an afterthought on a scrap of note paper.

Eventually she began leaving the weather at his place.  It began absent-mindedly, a small drawing of a crisp autumn dusk forgotten on the coffee table, & an envelope of spring rain that fell behind the sofa when the cat jostled it, walking by.

At some point, she began to wonder where all the weather went.

Her mother, in the weekly phone call, found it impertinent that she couldn't talk about such a simple subject.  Yet she would look around helplessly when asked, "What's the weather like there, dear?."  I was like someone had misplaced her perceptions.

Once she was with him, it was, of course, all they talked about, & their discussions began to take on giant proportions: a night comparing a century of hurricanes that was the closest to passion they'd had in years; an evening drinking hot beverages & slowly trudging through Ice Ages.  His eyes flashed like lightning & she thought he was falling in love with her again.

At home, looking out of her bedroom window, the world looked empty & dull.  She knew, this was not what he was seeing.  When she looked out his window, it was like she was looking at a meteorologist's map, it's lines, arrows, & numbers a magnificent language she felt fluent in.

Surely she had to get the weather back!  But how?

He noticed parts of it missing as soon as she started to steal bits of it away.  Truthfully, she wasn't subtle at all - the first thing she fled home with were those two perfect weeks of spring that anyone would miss.  So he told her to stop taking his weather, or visit him no more.  In his mind, the weather had always been his; he had no idea how much of it she had brought, over the course of the past year, to a home mostly filled with beer commercials & sports on the television.

She tried to explain to him that no-one owned the weather, & then promised sweetly to return all that she had taken some day.  She simply wanted to check some of it out, like library books.  His covetousness, his jealous anger, frightened her.  He roared like thunder at her, & the only thing she managed to leave with, that last day, was a fog she found herself in.

But she was right: no-one owned the weather.  & one morning a stray raindrop found its way into her eye & acted like a kind of prism to break up her weatherless world with desultory storm clouds & a furtive sun peeping behind them.  She began to feel the wind again.  She couldn't believe she had forgotten things as simple as humidity or hail.  She greedily took even the hottest days, the gloomiest nights of rain, until she had filled her house like a hoarder with all types of weather.

& she missed him no more.  But she wondered, was there enough weather for everyone?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Self Help Radio 082016: A Distant Show

(Original image here.)

Oh man.  What an almost-complete disaster this show has been!  Not only was it ill-timed - I was nowhere near ready enough to put a show together after just being a new town for two weeks! - but I promised to have it done at noon Friday & as I write this it is after 2pm Saturday.  During the recording of the airbreaks - which I did after listening to each set of songs, simulating the radio experience - I forgot to save a couple of them, which means I had to re-record them, so the show will probably sound even more out of joint.  & then!  As I was putting the show onto my website, I noticed: I've already done a show about distance.  It's been six years, but I do play a lot of the same songs.  It's a bit embarrassing.

Because I know my memory will fail me more & more as older I grow.  I do.  I created that page, in fact, to help me make sure I don't duplicate themes. But what good is a resource like that if I don't check it now & again?  Good grief.

But hey!  Here's the first Self Help Radio from Fort Worth, Texas.  Available now & anytime at the Self Help Radio web site.  Remember this: username = SHR | password = selfhelp .  & though there's a list of songs below, there's also interviews with a writer named David Fruchter & with my spiritual advisor the Reverend Dr. Howard Gently, & a report on podcast rules in Fort Worth by Marge Most.  & two distinct airbreaks completely out of joint!

Still, I hope you listen.

(part one)

"Distance" The Kit Kats _Distance_
"Distance" Acid Drops _Messthetics # 101_
"Distance" Beach Fossils _Face It + Distance EP_

"Distant Drums" Roy Orbison _The Monument Singles Collection (1960-1964)_
"The Distant Man" All Cats Are Grey _Chance_
"Distant Creatures" The Daysleepers _Drowned In A Sea Of Sound_
"Distant Thunder" Heidi Berry _Heidi Berry_

"Respectable Distance Away" R. Dean Taylor _Motown Unreleased 1963_
"Lurking With A Distance" The Embassy _Tacking_
"Glutton For Distance" The Worriers _Imaginary Life_
"No Distance Left To Run" Blur _13_

"Distant Stations" The Mountain Goats _All Hail West Texas_
"Distant Station" Mixel Pixel _Let's Be Friends_

(part two)

"Distance" Editors _The Back Room_
"Distance" Makthaverskan _II_
"Distance" Glowfriends _A Farewell To Fair-Weather_

"Comfortable Distance" Casino Ashtrays _Just Like Me E.P._
"In A Distant Place" Poprace _Hanggliding At Sea_
"Long Distance" Go Sailor _Go Sailor_
"The Loneliness Of A Middle-Distance Runner" Belle & Sebastian _Jonathan David_
"Longitude & Latitude" Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans _Space Songs_

"Almost In Walking Distance" Shoc Corridor _Holding Treasure_
"Those Distant Lights" The One AM Radio _A Name Writ In Water_
"The Distance Between Us" Arrogants _Nobody's Cool_
"Shimmering Distant Love" Robyn Hitchcock _Eye_

"Long Distance Dedication # 1 (live)" Negativland _These Guys Are From England & Who Gives A Shit

Friday, August 19, 2016

Whither A Distant Show?

Yes, yes, finally!  Tomorrow there'll be a new Self Help Radio!  & since I've traveled some distance to get from there (which was in Kentucky) to here (which is in Texas), I thought a show about distance - whether it be miles or personal space - would be appropriate.

We're always some distance away from each other, you & I, when I do these shows, & maybe now we're even further away.  I am in fact only relatively close to my cats at the moment.  They're awful close to me.  I think perhaps I should ask them to keep their distance.  They're annoying!

Anyhow, it behooves me to get to work!  A show must be prepared before noon tomorrow.  That's another distance: time.  Sometimes I wish I could slow down the rate at which I travel that distance.  Especially if it means more sleep.  I could always use more sleep.

Yes, yes, all right.  Tomorrow.  A new Self Help Radio podcast.  This time for real.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Don't Say I Didn't Tell You So

Sigh.  I don't have my shit properly together.  (In fact, most of my CDs are still in boxes.) So I won't have a new Self Help Radio for you by noon tomorrow.  I'm sorry.  I'll definitely have it ready by noon Saturday.  I hope it remains relevant.

But!  I hope to always have new podcasts by Friday noon!  That's my weird promise to me, & by extension, you!  Tonight, though: I unload boxes & boxes of CDs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Preface To A Distant Show: What's Going On With Your Radio Search, Gary?

(Image from Google Maps.)

First of all, I want to say that I am extremely unprepared for this week's Self Help Radio.  I haven't spent nearly enough time on it & my wife has scheduled me to take the car in for a check-up on Friday at 1pm so if I have the first new podcast up by noon that day (which is my plan) it will be because I scrambled at the last minute to get it done.  Therefore you have been notified of its almost inevitable shabbiness.

Second of all: I've met with nice people at KTCU & KFTW this week.  Here are my brief reports:

KTCU is the most immaculate college radio station I've ever been to.  (Remember, at WRFL, even guests feel obliged to leave their mark on the walls.)  The Station Manager is not a student, but a faculty member, & while I feel like we had a nice meeting, after chatting with me for an hour or so, he asked me if I had any references.  Well, I did!  I sent them to him the next day.  I liked the place & hope there might be a home there for Self Help Radio but if not I hope I can help out some.  College radio is in my blood.

The charming couple who run KFTW met me today at a local coffee jernt where I had a delicious soy latte & thrilled to hear the voice of a deejay from my youth.  The founder of the station is a giant in Metroplex radio, & it was a joy to listen to him talk.  I hope both of them liked me, but, as I suspected, since they feature one-hundred percent local music, it would be difficult to do SHR there - although the suggestion was made to "re-tool" it for the station, so not impossible - but I think I have a lot to offer anyway.  They had lots of cool ideas which we'll be exploring I hope in the weeks to come.

Interestingly, we had already sort of "met" the night before, when we passed in the neighborhood while they were walking their dog & the wife & I were walking our four.  The two girls - Pauline the beagle & Yoko the chihuahua - barked at them, for different reasons: Pauline wants to be friends, Yoko wants to be mean.  That's one of the reasons I feel Fort Worth is a small town masquerading as a big city.

As for KNON - no response yet.  But I've decided to go visit them sometime next week, like I did with KTCU, just drop in, see if there's any volunteering I can do, put an ugly face to my application.  & then, on the way home, get take-out Ethiopian from my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in the Dallas area.

There!  That's what's going on.  Are you glad I'm keeping you in the loop?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

These Are Weird Things About House Hunting/House Owning

Here is a weird thing about owning a house: owning trees.  If the lot on which the house you own has trees, you are the de facto owner of the trees.  I have owned three houses now (not simultaneously) & all three have had trees.  I was the owner of trees.  Still am, I guess, since I still own a house in Lexington which is currently on the market.

Not only was am I an owner of trees, I watched a tree die.  In Austin, one of our trees died.  It died.  Trees have lifespans.  A tree I owned died.  In Lexington, a tree we owned was too close to the house, its roots possibly damaging the house's foundation, so we killed it.  Well, we didn't kill it.  We hired someone to do it.  Someone killed our tree for us.

Isn't that strange?  A human being can own a tree.  A human being can watch a tree he or she owns die helplessly.  A human being can murder a tree he or she owns.  Isn't that sad & weird & strange?

We're looking for a house to buy in Fort Worth now, & here's a weird thing about looking for a house: you get to go into houses where people still live & look around.

For example, a house we looked at yesterday had literature by the bedside from Al-Anon.  Here's what that organization does.  That seemed an awfully personal thing to discover about a stranger.  Not only that, but my wife, myself, & our realtor stayed in the house, where they had something cooking in a crock pot, for almost an hour talking about the house, sometimes saying unflattering things.  Imagine!  People coming into your home, noticing extremely intimate things from which they might draw any number of conclusions, & then being critical about it while still in your home.

That seems like a very strange way to do things.

Today we went to a house (which my wife liked very much) & asked the realtor about the previous owners, who we knew had recently died.  She quickly said to us, "They didn't die in the house!"

Neither my wife nor I are superstitious, & of course everyone has to die at some point, but it seemed something of an indignity that a deceased person must suffer (even though, of course, they can't be offended, since they're dead) if they had the bad fortune to not only die, but to die in their own home.

& if they did, the realtor's probably going to lie about anyway.

Not only that, but if the person died & there's stuff in the house, whoever's responsible for the estate - their children, or grandchildren, or bankers, or whoever - they've got to either sell or throw away that stuff.  So you're looking at all the stuff from a person's life that they quite literally couldn't take with them.

Oh, listen, I understand, there's often circumstances that make it impossible to empty a house before it's put on the market - & it's equally weird to go into those houses that are "staged" with cheap furniture & the inevitable tables with glass fruit on them - but even if the owners are still alive, I feel like I'm going into a house after a murder.  I should be carrying scientific equipment with me.

These are weird things about looking to buy a house.  I always feel so ill-prepared for this adulthood I entered decades ago; but even if they had taught this in school, I would've thought they were blowing it out of proportion.  Like gerunds.  A whole section on gerunds?  Really?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Oops I'm Doing It Again

(I took that image from here.)

FIRST.  I need to apologize.  This doesn't matter to you, but it does to me, so let me apologize & you can roll your eyes all you want when my back is turned, but the last post I published, last week, wasn't the - what was it? - 2400th post.  Y'see, if you start a post on Blogger, then you get distracted by, say, a page about a monkey on a horse, then forget you started a post, then start another one, the "draft" (as it is called) counts as a post.  So I just noticed that I had two "drafts" in my collection of posts, which means this is the 2399th post, & so the previous post was 2398.  No big deal for anyone but me, as I've said, but full disclosure is the name of the game.

Or is it?

SECOND.  I am still shopping around for a radio station here, but because I can't help myself, I am going to start doing Self Help Radio as a podcast, & there'll be a new episode this Friday.

That's right!  A new Self Help Radio this Friday!  Hooray!  Huzzah!  At noon Texas time!  Huzzay!  Hoorah!

Now.  I suppose I should start working on it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Two Four Zero Zero

Holy stockyards, this is the two thousand four hundredth post on this site.  Who knew I had so many uninteresting words in me?  I should be giving advice on Pinterest!

As a public service, here are samples of things you'd find if you were desperate enough for reading material that you looked into past entries on this blog (chosen at random thanks to Random Dot Org).


March 2, 2010:

I'll be here if you need zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

June 17, 2015:

This is something else I am sort of annoyed by: the stock question that cashiers ask when you get to check-out: "Did you find everything okay?"  I want to say, "Whether I did or not, this is exactly the wrong place to ask me.  If I didn't, we would hold up the line for everyone else because I wasn't smart enough to find any number of the clearly-marked employees around the store to ask for help.  In fact, you should probably say, 'If you haven't found everything you came for at this point, you're a moron & you don't deserve my help.'"

March 9, 2007:

Today's show will be some sounds from bands that are coming to Austin next week for a little-known musical festival called "Over By Over-Rated." If you happen to be coming to town, please come visit KOOP. If you happen to be coming to town & you're going to visit KOOP, & it's a Friday afternoon, come visit me. I'll put you on the air & we'll cry about our lost youth.

January 2, 2008:

I am reminded of the great parable of
the footstools in one forgotten religion
(or another) which you may remember
from your religious youth

December 22, 2011:

I promise I won't scream into the microphone like I've been doing lately.

September 10, 2012:

Anyway, I didn't find any songs about expectorating, so it's fine.

May 12, 2010:

So how do you successfully rescue a cat in this day & age? Pay attention to the flyers! Pay attention to strays! Be more like my wife, not like me - don't just say hello to neighborhood cats, but look them in the eye & say, "Didn't I see your picture on a telephone pole?"


So much godawful prose!  & it's all here, for the intrepid explorer!  Did I say intrepid?  I meant...  Oh, never mind.

Here's to 2400 more oh please god no!

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Whither No Show At All This Week?

Aaggh!  I would just be driving home from Self Help Radio right now if I were doing the show in Lexington!  But I'm not - I'm somewhere that's 20 degrees warmer than it is there.

What's worse, I'm impatient.  I know I could be doing fun things with another radio station - I don't even need to be on the air, just involved - but they are slow to getting back at me.  I will need to schedule a visit with them to follow-up on my emails & phone calls.  Maybe that will seem pushy or presumptuous - but I feel the need to show them my enthusiasm.

What I'll end up doing is making another episode of Self Help Radio, starting next week, & just sharing them on the website until there's a radio home for them.  I half-expected to do this anyway - look at the dates for upcoming shows on the website.  But there is part of me that thought I could actually be on the radio sooner than later.

So!  The show will return next Friday, the 19th.  I will start working on it now.  It may never make it to the airwaves, but it will exist, a sign of my weird need to make radio shows even when they're not on the radio.  Something's wrong with me, I know.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Preface To Not Having A Show This Week: What The Hell Will I Do With Myself

Actually, all of my music is still in boxes, so it's a good thing there won't be a Self Help Radio this week.

& frankly, I'm going to get impatient with the hoops I'll doubtless have to jump through before I can get back on the air.

(Honestly, I'm not complaining: it's good to learn the rules of a new organization, & bad to suppose they'll be like previous ones.  Each station interprets FCC regulations to fit its own understanding & has its own policies & procedures to be familiar with.)

Having said all that, I miss doing the show, so, barring any magical change of fortune, I intend to start doing Self Help Radio next week.  I'll put shows out at noon on Fridays like I did the last time I podcasted.

If that's okay with you.  Well, even if it's not okay with you.  My radio itch needs to be scratched, even if there's no radio in sight.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Prospects, Part II

(Three logos, taken from their respective websites.)

If Self Help Radio is going to return to the air in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, it has its best chance(s) to do so on one of these three stations.  They are all non-commercial, as I can't really imagine my show anywhere else.

Here's what I think:

KFTW: The Southside Pirate, on the air at 97.5 fm in Fort Worth, is a newish Low Power FM station which, according to its Facebook page, is "dedicated to local musicians in general, in Fort Worth, Texas in particular, & the great Southside community," featuring "100% LOCAL Music & Programming, playing music from DFW in Fort Worth Texas."

What are the chances the show finds a home here?  I can't say.  The only way to communicate with the station - they don't appear to have a storefront - is by messaging them on Facebook, which I did as soon as I got internet in our house yesterday.  Facebook says the message was seen soon after I sent it, but there's been no response as of this writing.

Qualms: I know very little about Fort Worth music, so I doubt a show like Self Help Radio could thrive on KFTW.  However, it depends on what one means by "local programming."  I am a local, I would be programming a show locally.

The chances of Self Help Radio finding a home at KFTW are the unlucky toss of a coin.

KTCU is the student radio station at TCU.  They're on 88.7 fm in Fort Worth, & I've been listening to them for the most part while I've been driving around town the past couple of days.  College radio is when I began, & WRFL is obviously a college radio station, so I am very comfortable in that milieu.  In addition to what I call "freeform" programming, KTCU has a slew of "specialty" or "block" shows, especially on the weekends.  I've been entertained.

What are the chances the show finds a home here?  I am more hopeful about this station.  I called them a month ago to ask if they allowed non-students to deejay, & was told with enthusiasm that they did & that I should come by.  I told the caller than I wasn't moving to Fort Worth until August, & he helpfully gave me names to contact once I was here.  I will call those people tomorrow.

Qualms: Oh, I am so full of self-doubt that I am worried that Self Help Radio won't "fit" on their station.  One thing I notice is that the programmers don't do a lot of airbreaks.  I do.  I'm a chatty dude.  & I worry someone will have a problem with the show's fake interviews.  I worry, is what I am trying to say.  I worry without any reason to worry at this early moment.  There'll be more to report later.  & doubtless more to worry about.

Still, I think the chances of Self Help Radio find a home at KTCU are pretty good.

KNON is Dallas' community radio station, a station I listened to back in high school, a station I think is as good as KOOP down in Austin.  They're on at 89.3 fm in Dallas, & their diversity is incredible.  I can't tune them in from here, but I listen to them when I'm in Dallas, & I can here them all over the suburbs.

What are the chances the show finds a home here?  The station's website asks that you send in a volunteer application/show proposal, which I did yesterday.  They obviously don't program new shows unless an old show ends or is otherwise removed from the schedule.  One clear issue is that they're in Dallas & I'm in Fort Worth.  Even without a lot of traffic, it'd take me almost an hour to get there for each show, not to mention volunteering, which I will want to do.

So, the chances of Self Help Radio finding a home at KNON are probably very small.

& yet - who knows what the future will bring?


(Downtown Fort Worth, Texas, found here.)

Hooray!  The family made it safely to Fort Worth!  Very little is unpacked, but we got internet today, so, yay!  No more reading Twitter on my phone!

Since this blog is about a radio show, it behooves me to write (very briefly, to expand upon tomorrow) my radio prospects.  They are (in no particular order):

88.7 fm KTCU Fort Worth
89.3 fm KNON Dallas
95.7 fm KFTW Fort Worth

An application has been sent to KNON.  An email has been sent to KFTW.  A meeting is planned at KTCU.  These sentences are all in the passive voice.  Who has sent an application & an email?  Who has planned a meeting?  Who fucking talks like that?

Tomorrow I'll take some time to talk about the stations & why I think Self Help Radio would be a good fit.  Or maybe not that last part.  Self Help Radio has never really fit anywhere.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Self Help Radio 080216: The Two-Hour-Long Goodbye

(Original image here.)

It is all over now, baby blue.  I did my first sub show (or "fill" as the kids at the station call it) on August 19, 2010.  Nearly six years ago.  I had been living in Huntington, West Virginia, & had been doing a show on WMUL.  But that was a town of barely 50,000 people.  Lexington was maybe six or seven times larger - & WRFL was a station with programmers on the air every hour of every day.  While WMUL valued its sports shows, most of its programming was done with automation software.  Soon enough I discovered that WRFL had a long history & fierce listenership.  It was a fun place to discover & become involved in.

Maybe one day I'll write about all the changes I helped make behind the scenes - about the wonderful, sometimes intense, arguments we had about the direction of the station, & the hard work some of us did to make the place more accessible to UK students & the Lexington community.  What always ends up being important, however, is the programming - RFL's on-air signal is, of course, the face it shows the world.  I did my best, with my obvious limitations, to make sure when I was on the air, it was at least listenable.  If I succeeded sometimes, it probably has more to do with luck than skill.  I mean, I was on the air a lot.  Please don't hold that against anyone at WRFL!

& here is the last show I'll do on this dear, dear radio station.  As I write this, I'm sitting in a house I love so much which, after tomorrow, I won't ever be in again.  My heart, so used to being broken, is still surprised after all this time that it bothers to become attached to people, places, & things.  But it also thrills to new adventures ahead - to new radio stations, a new city to explore & learn about, new friends & old in a sort-of familiar setting.  That's why I'm not too sad - I honestly never expected to be in Kentucky, to have had such an amazing experience with this radio station & its people, with this lovely city, with this part of the world.  I will miss being here, certainly, but mostly I am glad I was here at all.

Self Help Radio will go on, & I hope you find it wherever it ends up.  But if you want to hear it say goodbye, you can do so now on the show's website.  The two parts have lots of goodbye songs, which are listed below.

When next we talk, I'll be back in the state where I was born!

(part one)

"Hello & Goodbye" George Carlin _Playing With Your Head_
"Bye Bye" The Clean _Vehicle_
"Bye Bye Baby" Fats Waller _1936_

"Gotta Say Goodbye" The Fun & Games _Elephant Candy_
"Bye Bye" Pipas _Chunnel Autumnal_
"The Long Goodbye" A Girl Called Eddy _A Girl Called Eddy_
"Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" Helen Grayco _After Midnight_

"Adios" Esquivel _Other Worlds Other Sounds_
"Auf Wiederseh'n" Gus Backus _Die Singles 1959-1961_
"Adieu Adieu" Stereo Total _Musique Automatique_
"Goodbye" Psychedelic Furs _Forever Now_

"Rhymes Of Goodbye" Scott Walker _Scott 4_
"Seasons In The Sun" Black Box Recorder _England Made Me_

(part two)

"Goodbye" Elephant Parade _Bedroom Recordings_
"Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" Leonard Cohen _Songs Of Leonard Cohen_
"Hometown Farewell Kiss" The Triffids _Calenture_

"How To Say Goodbye" The Magnetic Fields _69 Love Songs_
"There's No Beautiful Way To Say Goodbye" Television Personalities _My Dark Places_
"One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" Morrissey _Years Of Refusal_

"Bye Bye Baby" Hattie Burleson _I Can't Be Satisfied: Early American Women Blues Singers - Town & Country, Vol. 2 "Town"_
"Good-Bye" The Four Freshmen _Four Freshmen & Five Trumpets_
"Bye Bye Baby" The Popguns _Alvin Lives (In Leeds): Anti Poll Tax Trax_
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" Bob Dylan _Bringing It All Back Home_

"Goodbye, Goodbye" Billy Bragg _Tooth & Nail_
"What's The Theme, Gary?" Luxuriator _What's The Theme, Gary?_