Friday, December 07, 2018

Self Help Radio 120718: Queen Of

The Queen of WHAT, Gary? England? Denmark? North Carolina? South Ipanema?

Let this program demonstrate to you that there are queens always among us. Hereditary issues mostly don't even factor in - one minute you're talking to someone, the next you suddenly realize she's the queen of the moon.  Why not just break into song?  You know you wanna.

That's what happens on today's show: we meet the Queen of Night, the Queen of the Underworld, & the queen of Nevada in succession, all inspiring some dopey musician to compose for them a tune. It keeps going. Plus, you know, I talk to some silly people as well. As if I weren't silly enough!

The show is now available for your regal listening at the Self Help Radio website. There is password info on the front page, don't say I didn't tell you.  Every song played is listed below, as are the interviews.  & yes, the Queen of Radio shows up.

Self Help Radio Queen Of...? Show

"Oh Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth" Jonathan Richman _Oh Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth_
"Queen Of Spades" Darwin Deez _10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart_
"Queen Of The Underworld" Jesse Malin _The Fine Art Of Self-Destruction_

introduction & definitions

"The Queen Of Ur & The King Of Um" Wire _A Bell Is A Cup... Until It Is Struck_
"The Queen Of Seville" The Clientele _God Save The Clientele_
"Mary Queen Of Scots" Monty Python _Another Monty Python Record_
"Dime Queen Of Nevada" Albert Hammond _Albert Hammond_
"Queen Of The Silver Dollar" Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show _The Best Of Shel Silverstein (His Words His Songs His Friends)_

interview with historian David Fruchter

"Queen Of The Minstrels" The Eternals _Studio One Soul_
"Little Miss Queen Of Darkness" The Kinks _Face To Face_
"Queen Of Pain" The Cramps _Big Beat From Badsville_
"Queen Of The Moon" Jerry Lynn _The 'D' Singles Collection, Vol. 1_
"Queen Of The Barley Fool" Great Lakes Myth Society _Compass Rose Bouquet_

interview with anthropologist/adventurer Cosmo Wild

"Queen Of The Savages" The Magnetic Fields _69 Love Songs, Vol. 3_
"Queen Of The Sea" Steve Miro & The Eyes _Objectivity: Object Records Singles Album_
"Queen Of The House" Mrs. Elva Miller _Wild, Cool, & Swingin': The Artist Collection - Mrs. Miller_
"Queen Of The Mopeds" Tochigi _A Crow So Large It Blocked Out The Sun_
"Mary Queen Of Arkansas" Bruce Springsteen _Greetings From Asbury Park N.J._

speed interviews with several Queens

"The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba" Swingle Singers _Swingle II Baroque_
"Queen Of Sheba" Danta _Electric Asylum, Vol. 1: Rare British Acid Freakrock_
"The Queen Of Sheba" Kathleen Jamie _Poetry Please: The Anniversary Edition_
"Queen Of Sheba" Nick Lowe _Nick The Knife_
"Leila (The Queen Of Sheba)" Dolly Dots _Leila (The Queen Of Sheba)_

conclusion & goodbyes

"Pop Queen Of The Teen Scene" Brandon Can't Dance _Graveyard Of Good Times_
"Queen Of The Rummage Sale" Bishop Allen _February EP_
"Queen Of Eyes" The Soft Boys _Underwater Moonlight_
"Queen Of Summer" Spray _Children Of A Laser God_
"Queen Of All The Tarts (Overture)" David Bowie _Reality

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Whither Queen Of?

(Oh look it's Mary Queen Of Scots! They should make a movie about her or something. This picture is from here.)

You know how this works, surely, by now.  Rather than do a show about "queens," which would allow for a greater diversity of music (perhaps) plus be able to have songs about unnamed queens (definitely) as well as other meanings of the word queen (oh yeah), I have decided to limit the scope of this week's theme to songs that are called or are about a "queen of" something.

There's precedent for this.  Many moons ago, when I was doing the show at WMUL in West Virginia, I did a show with the theme "King Fill-In-The-Blank."  I didn't simply want to do a show about kings.  My disdain for monarchs, as a child of America, doesn't allow me to be expansive in their celebration.

Was it the upcoming Saorise Ronan movie that inspired this show?  No.  I just saw movie posters for it while looking for pictures of queens.  It is the reason why I chose a picture of Mary Queen Of Scots though.  I just hope it's as good as the radio version!

What inspired this week's show?  It's funny you should ask that.  I was about to make something up that would have amused you greatly but then apparently the jet planes being manufactured by the nearby Lockheed Martin plant decided to have war games above me & I've been hiding under my desk for the past fifteen minutes with my cats.  Fear has a way of making one forget everything.

But I do remember that the new Self Help Radio with the theme "Queen Of" will happen tomorrow at noon over at Self Help Radio dot Net.  Listening will make you feel like royalty.  Or at least royalty-adjacent.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Preface To Queen Of: The Queen Of Tumblr Dethroned

This is a picture of my dog Winston.  I regularly post pictures of my pets & other things I encounter & remember to take pictures of on the show's Tumblr page.  You might not know what Tumblr is, or you might use it in a dramatically different way than I do.

Maybe you haven't heard what's going on with Tumblr but many of the people whose Tumblr blogs I like are pissed off, so maybe Tumblr is going away.  None of the pictures I take are ever anything anyone could perceive as pornographic, although I suppose the awfulness of the photos might be seen as offensive in that way, so I don't suppose I'll be leaving the site soon.

But in any event, I figured this was a good opportunity for my periodic reminder that Self Help Radio has a presence on Tumblr even though it's more like my personal Instantgram page than anything having to do with the show.

That's all.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Two Jokes

Today on the Tuesday Morning Blend, I celebrated National Sock Day with a set about (what else?) socks.

A caller rang the station up to tell me a "terrible joke" (his words) about socks.  It was this one:

Timmy went to school wearing two unmatched socks - one red, & one blue.  A teacher, trying to draw attention to his mismatched pair, said sarcastically, "Nice socks, Timmy."  Timmy said, "D'you think so?  I have another pair just like it at home."

I responded by telling the caller, "Oh man, Bob Hope from all the way in California is rolling in his grave toward the awfulness of the joke."

The caller said, "I want him to turn back around.  Can I tell another?"

"Sure," I said.

"Why did the chicken go to the seance?"


"To get to the other side," the caller said.

Bob Hope, alas, kept rolling.

Monday, December 03, 2018

The Earth Is Not Good For Queens

Because this week's show is sort of about queens - it's going to be full of songs with titles like "Queen Of _______" which yes means I'm not playing Bowie's "Queen Bitch" - I started looking around to see how many queens were still around, in charge of places.

& there are a lot of queens still around, although they're not really the rulers, just the wives of monarchs.  Nope, there's only two queens who are in charge themselves: the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, & the
Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II.  Technically, of course, they're not monarchs in the way their predecessors had been.

If I seem disappointed, it's because I am.  I was going to make my first Twitter poll in ages & ask people to pick a favorite queen.  But there are only two!  & I don't want to have to go find out, you know, if the King of Sweden has a Queen or whatever.

Look, I know that monarchies have been traditionally one of the best places to find patriarchy, but I thought in the 21st century we'd have more queens out there.  Nope!

That's the last time I look for progress in useless, anachronistic institutions!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Self Help Radio 113018: Magda's Birthday Show 2018

(Original image here.)

For today only, you get a birthday!  Unless of course, it's already you're birthday, but if it isn't, it is!  This is the day when Self Help Radio celebrates all birthdays by celebrating one person's birthday (Magda) by playing loads of songs about birthdays.  Even if it isn't your birthday today (it's not Magda's - hers is tomorrow), if you plan on having a birthday this year - or you've had one already - you qualify for today's extra birthday!  Wear a funny hat!  Eat a bunch of cake!  Put candles on things!  Go wild!

This birthday offer does not extend to beings who are infinite or who were created with the universe, since time didn't exist then & we can't be sure which "day" you were "born" on.  Beings from other dimensions & planets please check conversion tables to understand your birthday in Earth calendar terms.

Do I keep doing this because it makes Magda happy?  Nah, she barely knows I'm still doing this show.  But happy birthday, you!  Go listen to a show about your birthday!  & other birthdays!  Make someone buy you a present!  This is my present to you!

You can listen now at Self Help Radio's web page.  Username & password info is there.  The songs played & the interviews happening are listed below.

Did I say it?  Can I say it louder?  Happy birthday!!!

Self Help Radio's Birthday Show 2018

"Happy Birthday Magdalena (You're Getting Old)" The Birthday Band For Old People _Happy Birthday (You're Getting Old)_
"Birthday" David Weinstone Presents Music For Aardvarks & Other Mammals _Grumpy_
"Happy Birthday" Ada _Meine Zarten Pfoten_


"Happy Birthday" Alex The Seal _Alex In Wonderland_
"Happy Birthday Girl" The Equals _Equals At The Top_
"You Are Allowed 20 Birthday Parties" Patton Oswalt _Werewolves & Lollipops_
"Birthday Song" The Greeting Committee _This Is It_
"Happy Birthday" Art Paul Schlosser _Live At MarsCon 2007 & 2008_

interview with birthday party specialist David Fruchter

"C.O.O.L Party" Confidence Man _Confident Music For Confident People_
"Happy Birthday" The Bhundu Boys _True Jit_
"The Birthday Party" George Carlin _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_
"My Birthday" The French Goodbye _VROOM!_
"Happy Birthday" Freedy Johnston _The Way I Were: 4-Track Demos 1986-1992_

interview with Fulfill A Wish Corporation CEO Perb Rochester

"Happy Birthday" JD & The Longfellows _Happy Hour Again_
"Happy Deathday" Ron Gallo _Stardust Birthday Party_
"Birthdays" George Lopez _Right Now Right Now_
"Birthday" Raymond & Scum _Suck_
"Don't Say Happy Birthday" Christopher Dale _Songs I Know The Words To_

a statement from Magda about the show

"Happy Birthday" Eddy Howard & His Orchestra _The Best Of The Mercury Years_
"Happy, Happy Birthday" Wanda Jackson _The Complete Singles As & Bs 1954-62_
"Happy Birthday" Loretta Lynn _The Honky Tonk Girl Collection_
"Happy Birthday" The Birthday Massacre _Violet_
"Birthday" Parlor Walls _Opposites_

conclusion & goodbye

"Birthday" Hard-Ons _This Is Bad Taste, Vol. 5_
"Birthday" Here Kitty Kitty _This Is Broken_
"Birthday" Crazy & The Brains _Let Me Go_
"Birthday" Snowglobe _Snowglobe_

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Whither Magda's Birthday Show 2018?

(Image from here.)

My golly, I've been doing a birthday show for my wife since before she was my wife.  Since before I thought we would even get married even!  Does she appreciate them?  I have no idea.

Is this the part of the birthday post where I complain about how there aren't many good birthday songs?  Nope!  I won't even complain that there weren't as many birthday songs to be found this year as there were last year.  I was just more diligent in finding birthday songs this year.  & also I'm sort of going to cheat a little.  Since the show is a podcast & can play naughty words, I'm going to play a couple of comedy bits that I had to edit to play the first time.  They're funny.  I hate to repeat myself but this is worth it.

The biggest birthday song disappointment of the year is that there wasn't a demo version or another mix of the Beatles' "Birthday" on the giant White Album reissue.  Just a "take 2/instrumental backing track version" that's sort of enjoyable in its own way but won't make it on the show.

What I wish is that someone would recommend birthday songs!  Or write me birthday songs!  Because I might have to get a frickin' ukulele & start writing birthday songs myself!  & no one wants that.

The Birthday Show 2018 is tomorrow at noon.  Self Help Radio Dot Net.  If you have a birthday this year - or have had a birthday this year - or if it's your birthday - this show is for you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Preface To Magda's Birthday Show 2018: Surprise Parties

It's been a while since I've spoken to my brothers - I have four of them - at least two of them I haven't seen in over two years - one of those brothers is having a birthday soon, & his wife - with whom I also haven't spoken in years - has invited me to his surprise party.

To be clear, she didn't call me or text me to invite me.  It was a Facebook invite & I was one of dozens invited.  I doubt I was specifically chosen, but just happened to be in her address book.

Now, I don't like surprise parties, be they for birthdays or what-not.  It's not just that I don't like to be surprised, but I also don't like the deception required to pull it off, & I don't think it's a good idea to conspire with people you barely know to deceive someone you love.

& I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Read this article.

However.  I confess.  I have thrown a surprise party.  For my girlfriend, the woman who would later become my wife.  She enjoyed it.  But I had a sense she might.  She had told me as much.  But I told her in no uncertain terms that I would not.

Then she threw a surprise party for me, for my fortieth I believe.  I was miserable.  She had made special treats but I was so upset that she had done it that I didn't get to enjoy any of them.  I remember wanting everyone to leave so I could watch the episode of The Wire that I had saved to watch that night.  It took a lot for me to pretend to be happy.  It took forever for everyone to fucking go.

Now I'm thinking the world is divided into two kinds of people & two other kinds of people.  People who enjoy & don't enjoy surprise parties thrown for them, & people who enjoy & don't enjoy throwing surprise parties.  I'm sure there's some overlap, as there are sadists who are also into masochism.  & yet, on the scale of morality, those who resist throwing surprise parties, & those who find surprise parties thrown for them repellent, these people are in the right.

It's not the reason I won't go to my brother's party, of course.  I haven't technically been invited personally, & he won't care if I'm there or not.  But if I had actually been invited, I wouldn't go.  Because I don't believe in surprise parties.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Nice Phone Calls

If you call me on my radio show on KNON, especially if you're going to tell me you like my show - even if you're trying to butter me up to play a request - you're going to make me happy.  I'm going to tell you - or I'll say on the air - that I have such damaged self-esteem that such things just totally elate me.  & it's one hundred percent true.

This morning I got a lot of nice calls, but two stood out.

One was a fellow who told me his kid was going to college & was going to be involved at his college's radio station & he told me, "I want him to do a show just like the Tuesday Morning Blend!" The funny postscript is that his kid is going to the University Of Texas At Austin so the station he was going to be be deejaying at is KVRX - where I started out.  That was cool.

The other was a woman who was definitely not my target audience.  She told me she & her husband (whose name was Gary) were retired but listened to my show every week.  She asked me questions about stuff I played.  & she was convinced that the "Gary" on the air was way too busy to answer the phone himself & didn't quite believe me when I said I was that guy.

The truth is, I spent the early part of the week bummed about bad interactions with my family.  These two calls - & the others I got today - turned my mood around.  I appreciate that.

Also I got treats from a new vegan bakery in Dallas called Sugar Fang for the wife & myself after lunch.  That too was nice.  That area of Dallas - Deep Ellum - is so strangely deserted during the day, while traffic rages all around.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Three Thousand

(This image from here.)

This blog was started (maybe even created) on Tuesday, September 12, 2006, when Self Help Radio was almost four years old.  I don't know why I created it.  I have never been very good at promoting the show, & truthfully the show's never been good enough for me or anyone to want to go on & on about it.  But maybe I thought there was someone out there who wanted to read things I wrote about the show, & maybe also I thought I had something to say about the show.  The answers have turned out to be: not so much, & not so much.

You can read that first blog entry by clicking here.

Two thousand, nine hundred, & ninety-nine entries & a little over twelve years later, here we are.  Man, I have tried so many things to make this enjoyable - a random sampling of the blog posts might find me attempting to be funny, to talk about people named Gary, to write poetry or short stories - but I guess the one thing I've done most consistently is, the day before the show, I try to explain why I've chosen that particular theme.  Also I post the show.  The two things I've done most consistently.  The rest have all been failures & abandoned as such.

One thing I wanted to do for the I think two-thousandth entry was to write a two-thousand word post with the first words of each entry.  It was amazingly tedious & nearly every one of my first posts began with the first-person pronoun "I."  So, here, this would've been the beginning of that entry:

Hi this when here's but this quick I in I we why Halloween amazingly as before hey I I do oh you what normally I I I

You can see why I stopped.  Also, you may notice when I first noticed that I stopped starting lots of paragraphs with the first-person pronoun.  I try so hard not to do that!

I really do!  Fuck.  Did it again.

One thing I did notice is that I write much more in this blog now than then.  I try to write five days a week - even when I have nothing to say or it's the end of the day & I'm like, fuck, I forgot to write in the damn blog!  Especially then, as that's more common than not.  It's why I didn't reach one thousand till 2011, but I got from 2000 to 3000 is a little under four years.  I try to have structure in my life.

Self Help Radio languishes when it's not actually on the radio, but I will keep doing it until it finds a place somewhere again on the air.  Maybe by the four-thousandth blog post.  I'll probably write that one like this one, right before I feed the animals & go to bed early because I have a different radio program to go to in the morning.

Thanks for keeping up, if you do, occasionally.  I'll try like always to make this some place interesting to spend a second or two.  But man this blog is getting old.  Is 3000 eligible for like Medicare or something?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Self Help Radio 112318: Paper

(Original image here.)

Before you ask: yes, this show about paper is paperless.  Not one tree was harmed in the making of this show unless you count the trees used for the tray cards & record covers of the songs contained herein.  There's probably other incidental uses of paper for the show, but the intention of the show was paperless.  It's a paper show of paperless intentions.

& there's so much paper!  A celebration of paper!  A radio show that's like champagne confetti when it comes to paper!  & again, no paper was wasted - the show features things like paper airplanes & paper dolls & paper hats but there was no real paper in any of it.  Can songs be made out of paper?  Or can you just find them paper-thin?

You don't have to write any of this down.  Just click around the screen where I tell you.  The show is over at the Self Help Radio website.  <--- a="" amp="" any="" as="" below.="" but="" can="" computer="" down="" ell="" find="" hat="" i="" if="" incidental="" inus="" is.="" is="" it="" link="" must="" n="" nbsp="" on="" one="" ot="" other="" ou="" p="" paper="" password="" place="" punctuation.="" s="" selfhelp.="" show="" shr="" site="" that="" the="" to="" username="" ve="" well="" where="" write="" written="" you="">
Self Help Radio Paper Show

"Paper" Talking Heads _Fear Of Music_
"Paper" The Nits _Malpensa_
"Papers" Ty Segall _Ty Segall_

introductions & history

"Papier, Papier" Joe Raphael _Mir Scheint, Du Hast Geweint_
"Paper Boy" The Marvelettes _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 6: 1966_
"Put It On Paper" Mike Birbiglia _My Secret Public Journal Live_
"Like Paper" Big Red Bus _Big Red Bus_
"Paper Song" Lou Christie _Glory River: The Buddah Years 1968-1972_

interview with Dudley Warrington, paper specialist

"Paper Wraps Rock" Momus _Circus Maximus_
"Fish & Chip Paper" Elvis Costello _Trust_
"Toilet Paper" John Pinette _Making Lite Of Myself_
"Paper Tigers" The Chameleons _Script Of The Bridge_
"King Of Piss & Paper" Wolf Parade _Cry Cry Cry_

interview with Madge Tollhurst, pop culture blogger

"Paper Thin Hotel" Close Lobsters _Nature Thing_
"Paper Thin" Betty & The Werewolves _Tea Time Favourites_
"Newspaper Death Notices" George Carlin _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_
"Pen To Paper" Giant Sand _Heartbreak Pass_
"Plenty Of Paper" Eisley _Room Noises_

Ned Dry shows you how to make the perfect paper airplane

"Paper Plane" The Mad Scene _A Trip Thru Monsterland_
"Paper Planes" The Lucksmiths _Happy Secret_
"Paper Airplanes" The Glasses _Birdsongs, Beesongs: Eardrums Spring Compilation 2009_
"Paper Aeroplanes" Pocketbooks _Flight Paths_
"Paper Aeroplane" Angus & Julia Stone _Memories Of An Old Friend_

all kindsa paper idioms

"Paper Bag" The Cannanes _A Love Affair With Nature_
"Paper Hat" Ed's Redeeming Qualities _Big Grapefruit Cleanup Job_
"Paper Doll" Lisa Germano _Lullaby For Liquid Pig_
"Paper Cuts" The Boy Least Likely To _The Best Party Ever_
"Across The Paper" Math & Physics Club _In This Together_

conclusion & goodbye

"Paperhouse" Can _Tago Mago_

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Whither Paper?

(Image from here.)

According to Dictionary dot com, "paper" can mean anything from writing paper to newspaper to money to an article or essay to documents establishing your citizenship to money to rolling papers to wallpaper to - well, anything that is made from paper or looks like paper.

& how long have humans been using paper?  If you count papyrus (& why wouldn't you - it's where we get the word, after all!), then it goes all the way back to the Bronze Age - an estimate might mean since 3100 BCE.  That's like five frickin' thousand years ago!

Isn't it about time it got its own radio show?  I thought so too.  It'll happen finally tomorrow at noon at the Self Help Radio website.  See you there.

Meanwhile, hey!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Preface To Paper: Paperless

This is being written on a computer.  My fingers are tapping a keyboard.  I'm doing it in my head, I wrote nothing down before, I am thinking thoughts & typing them out.  (I expect I'll make mistakes but I can just delete them & start again.)  This is just to say that at no point in this process was paper used - not for rough drafts, not for doodling, not for anything.

Which is both sad & a little weird, because I always had paper around when I was a kid.  I loved to draw & of course in school I took notes on paper.  I didn't have a word processor or a typewriter in college so most of my papers I wrote were by hand.  (I kind of lost my ability to write cursive for that reason: my cursive became about as comprehensible as shorthand, so when I wrote essays & stuff I simply wrote the opposite of cursive, which I just now read is called "printing."  I need to qualify that because "printing" means something different when it comes to word processing.)

One of my favorite times of year when I was in school was the very last day, when people would throw their spiral notebooks into the air in glee & the hallways would be littered with half-empty notebooks & folders & scrap paper of all kinds.  I collected them & I filled them up - with diary entries, lists, drawings, etc.  I still have many of those notebooks, actually - I threw away a lot of them when we moved from Texas, but I saved lots.

& now I remember I used to write lots of letters.  By hand.  On paper.

But for the most part, since around 1995, everything I've written - like on this blog - has been electrons on a computer screen.  I have tried to save my old email - but they're in computer files, not printed out.  It's crazy & strange.

Because by all rights I should have boxes & boxes of decades of writing.  But nope.  About half my life ago, there was a fundamental shift in how humans kept records, wrote mail, even illustrated.  The only paper I have around me now is in a printer.

What do I write anymore?  I think just grocery lists.  But check this: I make a grocery list on scrap paper, then I type it into the computer & print it out.  It's neater.  It's better organized.  & I can actually read it.

Yeah, I guess I miss paper being such a central part of my life.  I do sometimes go to the stationary section of stores & daydream about buying a binder or one of those black & white composition books.  But it would never be filled up.  It would be better bought by someone who would use it.

That's not me, not anymore.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Pledge Drives

Since Self Help Radio, the live version, left the Lexington airwaves in 2016, far fewer people have listened to the show.  Since Self Help Radio, the prerecorded version on the air, left the Lexington airwaves earlier this year, the number of people who listen regularly to the show has dwindled to single digits.  I am not saying this because I care too much - or to whine - as Self Help Radio has been ignored & forgotten before (I did the show in West Virginia for fuck's sake!) - but I note it because it means that not many people find their way to this blog.  Here, for example, despite linking some of these pages on the show's Facebook page & its Twitter page, is the number of folks, according to Blogger, who saw the past five entries:

That means less than thirty people have visited the blog in the past week, & some of the visits might be from folks who come more than once.

Again, this is not an invitation to today's pity party.  I do all those alone, I don't want to share my whiskey.  No, I wanted to throw a question out to people who are involved at college, public, or community radio stations & have to do pledge drives like I have to do a pledge drive at KNON, where I do a show called the Tuesday Morning Blend.  Unlike WRFL, which was funded by student fees, KNON gets most of its operating budget from four pledge drives a year.  & if you've ever listened, you'll know: I am terrible at these.

& a thing I'd love to do is talk to people from different stations - preferably people I've never met - about their experience with pledge drives.  I had to do them at KOOP in the early 2000s, & early on discovered I had no skill with them.  Yes, I sat with other folks at the station & listened to people from successful non-commercial stations & took notes about best practices for raising money on-air - & still I got no better at it.

Before the last pledge drive in August, I read many web pages about raising funds on public & community radio stations.  I tried to tailor my pitches to strategic subjects - & I raised less money during that pledge drive than the two before.

The dilemma is this: since no one reads this blog, because no one listens to Self Help Radio, I doubt I'd get any response from anyone about their experiences with pledge drives.  But I'll go ahead & ask because I had a fucking brutal experience this morning.  I talked what felt like an hour (it wasn't) & I got one call.  One. Fucking. Call.  & maybe no one's listening.  & maybe they don't feel like supporting the show I do because they don't like it.  & maybe only a small fraction of people who listen to noncommercial radio stations actually donate to them.  & feel free to add all the other excuses that I've read & that I try to tell myself to keep my already fragile self-esteem from breaking into pieces.

Because ultimately I don't think it's fair to the station that I get to play on the radio every week & I give so little back.  The listeners don't want to support the show, obviously.  I told the Station Manager last week that if he knew he could get someone to do the Tuesday Morning Blend who could raise more money, I would gladly give the show up to her or him.  That was no lie.  I feel so shitty that I can't raise the two grand that is my required goal every pledge drive.  Most of the time I can't even raise half of that.

Anyway, enough of my out loud self-loathing, I'll just ask: if you're involved in noncommercial radio & somehow you have stumbled onto this obscure blog post for a podcast almost no one listens to, & you have experience with pledge drives you'd like to share, send me an email at & let me know what your thoughts are, how you've done, what you've learned, best practices, worst practices, stuff like that, & whether you'd be willing to chat about it.

Because before I give up or am forced out, I'd love to learn more.  I think it might be something one could get better at.  I just simply don't know how to go about it.  & the process, over time, is so damaging to me that I don't know if I want to do it for very much longer.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Spam Bait

It seems like I've always been fascinated by spam - by the weird emails telling me I've won lotteries in other countries, or someone needs my help to transfer money, or even some woman wants to communicate with me desperately - but I have to say with disappointment that it seems those days are gone.  The only spam I get these days - & yeah, I check my spam folder regularly like a weirdo - are those emails that say, "Please respond to unsubscribe!" in as many different ways as possible.

Yes, you have to confirm your unsubscription requests, that's true, but I have never received such forceful emails in regards to unsubscribing.  Furthermore, do these spammers think that everyone has signed up for so many email lists that they don't remember which ones they're in the process of leaving?  It's like the (now much-missed) spam I used to get that tells me I have a package waiting.  I would have to order things non-stop & willy-nilly to be excited about getting a package that I might have forgotten about ordering.

But these sad emails - I just got one! - they pale in comparison to the - what do you call them? - spam telephone calls I get.

Now, lots of people nowadays don't answer their phones if they don't recognize the number, but I'm not as assiduous as some people about noting people's numbers in my phone.  & I've gotten calls from people at the radio station which I'm glad I've answered.

But the spammers call me from Austin or areas around Austin, because I have the same phone number I had when I was in Austin.  & no one from Austin really calls me.  When I have answered, I got some cruise ship scam, but a couple of times they've thrown a curve ball & called from a city near to Austin but I'm not sure where it exactly it is, & I've answered, the call just drops, as if to say, Ha ha just checking to see if you're answering.

Is it wrong to long for better spam?  To want a call from a human who's trying to rip me off instead of a bland recording?  I remember I used to get emails from China asked me to buy industrial equipment.  That was good spam.  These days, I don't want to encourage them by actually clicking to unsubscribe.

If Jordan Klepper's show was still on, I'd want him to have one of his protestors in the credits to hold a sign that read "Better Spam Now!"  Or I'll make such a sign.  & wield it proudly.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Self Help Radio 111618: Sheep

(So many sheep!  Original image here.)

Sheep smell sheepy.  There were a lot of sheep in the studio this week.  I think it's not sheepist to comment on their sheeply smell.  Some people might get sheepful about it, but I've been with many more sheeping sorts & they're hardly ever offended.

In fact, they were positively ecstatic to have a show dedicated to them.  They had very few demands - keep the mutton references to a minimum, have a pasture nearby to enjoy the show in, going fifty-fifty for all the wool shorn & sold - it was, all in all, a very nice arrangement.

Though it's really hard to get rid of that "visiting sheep" smell.

The show is in the verdant pasture called Self Help Radio dot net.  Username is SHR, password in selfhelp.  It's one big ol' file, two hours long, & what's on the show is below.

Please enjoy.  Enjoy like a baby lamb in the springtime learning how to gambol!

Self Help Radio Sheep Show

"Sheep" The Living End _Sheep_
"Sheep" The Housemartins _London 0 Hull 4_
"Sheep" Zoe Lewis _Folk Playground_

introduction & explanation

"Mary Had A Little Lamb" The Three Peppers _1937-1940_
"Mary's Little Lamb" Otis Redding _The Otis Redding Story_
"Tuned Sheep" Stan Freberg _The Best Of The Stan Freberg Shows_
"Black Sheep" Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs _Pharaohization_
"Black Sheep R.I.P." The Playboys _Black Diamonds: Singles From The Festival Vault 1965-1969_

interview with urban shepherd David Fruchter

"Black Sheep" Ferlin Husky _Chronogical Classics 1958-1960_
"Black Sheep Boy" Scott Walker _Scott 2_
"Black Sheep" SRC _SRC_
"The Black Sheep's Song" Julian Cope _Black Sheep_
"Black Sheep" Mutual Interest _Better Than I Expected_

interview with Dr. Magdalena Muchlinksi

"Swingin' Shepherd Blues" Ella Fitzgerald _Jukebox Ella_
"The Shepherd" Culture _International Herb_
"The Shepherd" MomusMcClymont _Two_
"Flying Sheep" Monty Python _Monty Python's Flying Circus_
"The Lost Sheep" Adrian Munsey, His Sheep, Wind, & Orchestra _The Lost Sheep_

interview with my nephew Allen

"I Wanna Count Sheep (Till The Cows Come Home)" Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra _1931-1932_
"All The Sheep In The World" Elaine & Derek _All The Sheep In The World_
"A Tiny Sheep" Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine _Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine_
"Live Lambs" Longmont Potioncastle _The Best Of Longmont Potioncastle_
"I Prefer Sheep" Ross Beach _You Make It Look So Easy_
"Sheep May Safely Graze" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds _B-Sides & Rarities_

idioms & stuff

"Sheep Go To Heaven" Cake _Prolonging The Magic_
"The Sheep Look Up" Fad Gadget _Under The Flag_
"Sheep" Toy Love _Cuts_
"Fergus! The Sheep!" Rote Kapelle _Big Smell Dinosaur EP_
"Schaf Um Schaf" Bazooka Cain _Here Come The Days Of Bazooka Cain_

conclusion & goodbye

"Dirty Deeds Done With Sheep" AC/DC _Hell's Best_

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Whither Sheep?

(Sheep are cute sheep.  Image from here.)

Yesterday, on a dog walk, I was talking to the wife & saying something about sheep.

"Why are you talking about sheep?" she said.

"Oh," I said, "because that's what this week's show is about."

"Your show this week is about sheep?" she repeated to me but in the form of a question.  I nodded, & she added, "That's fun!"

"It is?" I said suspiciously.

"Yes!" she said.  She began to list the things she liked about sheep.  That was a bit unnerving.  I didn't know she was that fond of sheep.  Then she said, "Why did you want to do a show about sheep?"

I thought about it & said, "Hm, I don't know."

& the truth is, I don't know.  I don't know why I started gathering songs about sheep.  There are a lot of them, especially if you include songs about lambs & shepherds.  & ewes & flocks.

Maybe it makes you as excited as my wife is?  She wants to talk about sheep on this show this week. How can I stop her?  Serious replies only.

Tomorrow, noon, at the Self Help Radio website, Self Help Radio explores sheep.

There's no promise of it being any good, but an awful good chance of it being baaaaaaaaaaaaaaahd!

God I hate myself right now.  But I'm not going to bleat myself up about.  I lamb what I lamb.

This is so embarrassing.  I shear am feeling sheepish right now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Preface To Sheep: I Once Dated A Shepherd

Anyway, that was her last name.

Last names are strange things.  There was a time when most people didn't have last names.  As this website says, "Tracing the origins of surnames can help us gleam more insights into the lives of our ancestors. Early last names were often linked to occupations, geographical features, nicknames, or even a combination of their mother’s & father’s name."

My last name - which is Dickerson - according to this site - is basically the same as "Richardson."  But check this:

"This interesting surname is a patronymic form of Dick, itself a pet form of the given name Richard. Richard originated from a rare Anglo-Saxon name 'Ricehard,' meaning rule-hard. An 8th Century English Kinglet of this name died at Lucca, in Italy, on his way to Rome, & is there still venerated as St. Ricardo, but it was the Old German Ricohard that was spread by two pre-Conquest Dukes among the Normans, & brought by them to England. A Ricard is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086; but the softer French Richard prevailed, with several short forms, such as Rich, Rick, Dick, Hick, Dickie, Richie, etc.. The surname is first recorded in the mid 14th Century. One, John Dykonesson, is noted in the register of the Freemen of the City of York (1388). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Dickenson, Dickinson, Dickeson, Dickison, Dickason, etc."

Just taking a brief moment to emphasize this sentence, which I promise this is a coincidence I did not know this when I started yammering about last names:

"On November 9th 1629, Dorithy Dickerson married William Sheapheard at St. Giles Cripplegate, London."

Boom!  Connection!  It concludes:

"The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Dykounson, which was dated 1366, Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, 'The Father of the Navy,' 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to 'develop' often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling."

If you can tell any disappointment from me in any of this, well, there is.  The German word for "fat" is dick.  German has the -er ending (I suppose English took it from there) to indicate comparative adjectives, so "dicker" can mean "fatter" or "thicker."  The German word for "son" is Sohn, so I kind of assumed that - possibly because I have German relatives on my mother's side, even though my last name is my dad's name - the name had Germanic roots.  Therefore, my last name could be translated as "fat man's son."  Or even better, "fatter dude's kid."

But nope.  At some point some ancestor of mine was named Richard, possibly referred to as "Dick," & I'm descended from one of his kids.

Not coincidentally, my father, whose first name was Everett, was called Dick by everyone, including my mother.  So in a very real way, I am the son of Dick.

This has nothing to do with sheep.  Except that weird bit where a Dickerson married a Sheapheard.  It was just a rabbit hole I found myself in just now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Holy Spit! I'm About To Reach 3000 Posts!

It's kind of a milestone, yeah? Or is it a millstone?

Today I had another pledge drive show for the Tuesday Morning Blend, which was only successful because a friend made a big pledge. That was amazing. Even my wife pledged, although not much, & she later apologized for being so cheap. She was raised by a man who was wealthy because he never spent any money if he didn't have to. My wife is one of those people who will buy something for $9.99 but not for $10.00 - one is a bargain, the other is overpriced.

Still, I tried to be positive about the show & I'm not letting my self-esteem get damaged by something over which I have not very much control. I still maintain people should naturally support the things they want to, they shouldn't need to be guilted into it, or lured by gifts. But that's not the way the world works, & I'm probably never going to be good at selling anything, even something I value as much as community radio. Hell, my wife knows that I believe in community radio more than most anything & have given more of my heart & soul & time to it in four different cities & at more than six different stations, & even she was like, eh, it's not worth that much.

Speaking of the wife, she visits with her surgeon tomorrow to find out how much longer she needs to wear her hard collar (she had spinal surgery in the neck region) & what her allowed range of motion will be.  That will hopefully be a good thing. It may also take some pressure off me - she might not have been the perfect patient, but I've not been the perfect caregiver.

Tonight I'm going to drink whiskey & catch up on my comic book shows. The wife is already asleep, hooray for muscle relaxants! & I'll try & think if there's something (anything) I should do to celebrate taking the time to write three thousand of these blog posts. Probably not. Mostly they were worthless. At best they conveyed a little information. At worst - which was most of the time - I had nothing to say. & still I said it. Over & over.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Week After A Certain Theme

Is when I tend to find funny stuff about that theme.  Like this image:

It was apparently shared on Facebook four years ago.  Interestingly, I found it on the cover of a book on Amazon that came out in 2017. So I don't know where it originated. I probably just found it on a Tumblr blog many moons ago.

How nice would it have been if I had found it this time last week though?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Self Help Radio 111018: Moments

(Original image - entitled "Those Fleeting Moments" - from here.)

Finally! At long last! Much-anticipated! Much-missed! Much-what? You didn't notice the show hadn't happened yesterday? Oh. Well, it's happening today. In case you cared. You don't? That's obvious. I'm just going to go ahead &... Ah, you're gone.

Here is the show that should have dropped (as the kids say) yesterday at noon but I hadn't even picked it up by then (as the kids don't say). Isn't it ironic that a show about moments missed its moment & that there were moments when I didn't even know I'd get it done? You'd think it might be a momentous undertaking, & maybe it felt that way, but only momentarily. As it is, it's more of the same old thing. Just a bunch of moments collected in a radio show type frame.

The show is now available for you to pay attention to you for a moment or two at Self Help Radio dot net.  Pay attention to password/username information.  The songs I play & the weirdoes I talk to are noted below.

Celebrate the moments of your life, or something.

Self Help Radio Moments Show

"The Moment" Indurain _What You Get For Being Naive_
"Another Moment Follows" Cloudberry Jam _Providing The Atmosphere_
"Moments Are Moments" The Saint Valentine State _Between Two Waves: The Second Wave_


"This Moment" Lewis Black _Anticipation_
"Love The Moment" The Bartlebees _From Path Of Pain To Jewels Of Glory_
"The Moment" Boyracer _Happenstance_
"The Unguarded Moment" The Church _Of Skins & Heart_
"A Thrill A Moment" Kim Weston _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 5: 1965_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Moments In Love" The Art Of Noise _Moments In Love_
"Assertive Moments" Ronderlin _The Great Investigation_
"Moment Of Silence" George Carlin _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_
"In A Moment Of Madness" The Flower Pot Men _Let's Go To San Francisco_
"Left Of The Moment" The Blood Group _Everything Forgotten Gathers At The Ceiling_

interview with Jeffrey & Beyond

"At Any Moment" Wax Idols _American Tragic_
"After The Moment" Craft Spells _Idle Labor_
"Most Metal Moment" Adam Newman _Not For Horses_
"Magic Moments" Table Table _Messthetics # 104 (D.I.Y. '77-81 South Wales I)_
"Momentz (feat. De La Soul)" Gorillaz _Humanz_


"A Few Precious Moments" George Jackson _Leavin' Your Homework Undone: In The Studio With George Jackson 1968-1971_
"My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)" The Spinners _2nd Time Around_
"Stolen Moments" Mary Jane Hooper & Richie Matta _Eddie Bo's Funky Funky New Orleans_
"A Fearful Moment" Mekons & Robbie Fulks _Jura_
"It Only Takes A Moment" Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts _Manhattan_

conclusion & goodbye

"Hybrid Moments" PINS _Too Little Too Late_
"It Takes A Moment" Deep Sea Diver _Secrets_
"Live In The Moment" Teenage Fanclub _Here_
"Fleeting Moments" Pocketbooks _Rough Trade Shops: Indiepop 09_
"The Moment's Gone" The Arrogants _Nobody's Cool

Friday, November 09, 2018

Whither Moments?

(Image from here.)

Some thoughts about this week's (late) episode of Self Help Radio:

1) My apologies, I can't believe I needed an extra day to put it together.
2) Really, I hope I get it done tomorrow!
3) Maybe its moment has passed.
4) It's going to be one of those shows where there are just so many songs that fit the theme that I couldn't play all of them in such a short time & you're gonna be like why didn't he play that song it would've been perfect.
5) It's really why I tend to prefer more restrictive themes.
6) But someone asked me to do this theme.
7) At least it seemed like they were asking me.
8) & I didn't ask their permission to mention their name.
9) So now I'm talking about them like they're plural.
10) Which in a different context but not at this moment might be insulting.
11) So this obviously shabby show will be for them.
12) Tomorrow - Saturday - at noon.
13) At Self Help Radio dot net.
14) For many moments to come.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Give Me A Moment!

Argh, this week has utterly crushed me.

As I've explained/complained about before, the combination of working on the show for the KNON Pledge Drive + the obsession with the election + spending the day with my wife & her doctors has given me, well, today to work on this week's Self Help Radio.  A show, by the way, about moments.

There's no way, not even working twenty-four straight hours, that I could have the show done by noon tomorrow.  Maybe if I could do it live, but I don't do that that way these days, & even then, gosh would it be shabby as fuck.

Not that it won't be shabby as fuck anyway, but I can guarantee a slightly less shabby show if I take a moment to work on it rather than rushing to get it done.

Here's hoping you understand.  This week's Self Help Radio will happen Saturday at noon instead of Friday at noon.  You might say it was waiting to pick its moment.  But really, I was overwhelmed when I'm normally just plain whelmed.  I thank you for your understanding.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Preface To Moments: It Should've Been More Of A Moment

But I'm glad it's over.

The wife took muscle relaxants (she's recovering from surgery) & passed out on the sofa.  I drank beer with whiskey chasers & paced nervously about the room.  I texted with a couple of people but mainly just freaked out a little before ultimately deciding I was happy with the House change & stumbling into bed.

It wasn't a great week - my first Fall Pledge Drive show was a bust - although I did have nice people in the studio with me, that was good.  But not much money was raised.  I made a coffee cake for my helpers, & stuck around while KNON staff wandered in, & they ate some too.  In this way I distract from my appalling on-air performance.

& now, oh shit!  I have a Self Help Radio to put together!  Let's see how that turns out.  These moments of my life, are they just weird, separate parts or do they make some kind of whole?  I wonder.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Another Stressful Night

Like you, I know a bunch of people who don't vote.  They'll often quote George Carlin.  Or Morrissey, who sings this in "World Peace Is None Of Your Business": "Each time you vote you support the process."  I understand that way of thinking.  & yet...

It baffles me, ultimately.  The system is corrupt, & the "winner-take-all" attitude is maddening.  If I were a politician - & this is why I'm not - I would attempt to find out what my constituents wanted, & vote that way.  You may think this naïve, or dishonest, but when I've worked at stations to craft policy, my proposals were often voted down, & I labored ahead anyway.  But that's not how politics works in this country, & even if it were more like that at some point, it's gotten worse.

When I was twenty, I was able to vote for President for the first time.  I guess that means I've voted in eight presidential elections.  (For the record, my candidate has won just three of those times.  I didn't vote for Clinton in 1996, but I didn't vote for anyone for President that year.)  (Well, I should say, my candidate won five of those times - but the popular vote, not the electoral college.)

This morning, on the Tuesday Morning Blend, I begged for money for the station, but I also begged for people to vote.  Here's the thing: if you find it difficult to vote, then vote for people who will make it easier.  As long as one party believes that, even if they win by one vote, they can enact whatever agenda they want, there's going to be troubles voting.  Because that one party doesn't want people who don't agree with them to vote.

It wasn't a good show & there was way too much ineffectual begging for money, but you can listen to it here if you're at all bored.  I will be drinking whiskey & hoping against hope that America surprises me tonight.  I have lived too long to think the good guys will finally win.

Or at least who I think the good guys are.  The people passionately defending candidates I find reprehensible find me passionately defending my candidates reprehensible.  One of my wife's students became more politically aware this year & discovered to his shock & horror that his mother was conservative.  So it goes.


Monday, November 05, 2018

Does Nothing Stop?

Yikes!  The KNON Pledge Drive is happening as we speak!  As well, tomorrow is Election Day!  So I'll have to beg for money on the air while I am begging for folks to vote!

In honor of the day, the Tuesday Morning Blend will be a bit Self Help Radio-like & the entire show will be about elections & voting.  I hope you can listen.  Where can you listen?  When can you listen?

At 89.3 fm in Dallas & Fort Worth.  Online everywhere at

But I'd rather you voted.  Especially if the last two years have scared the shit out of you.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Self Help Radio 110218: Well I Never

(Original image over here.)

What is it, I wonder, that I never do?  Is it that I never lie?  Or I never loved you?  That I never worry, or that I never knew?  Could it be that I never want anything, or have I never wanted anything more? With a word like "never" in play, it's a wonder this show isn't filled with Cure songs!

It is what it is.  It's the nature of a show like this that the exploration of a theme may seem, at the outset, to lend itself to greater interest & insight.  & sometimes not.  Which was this show?  I know how I feel, tell me how you feel after you're listened, won't you?

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website.  You'll need a username & password to listen, as you probably know by now.  Well, I never told you this directly: the username is SHR & the password is selfhelp.  The songs I played & the silliness in-between are both listed below.

I never get tired of doing these ridiculous shows, you know.  I think I may have a problem.

Self Help Radio Well I Never Show

"I Never Happened" Comet Gain _I Never Happened 7"_
"I Never Wanted Any Of This" Best Wishes _Bella Vista + Best Wishes 7"_
"I Never Loved Anyone" Voyagers _Teen Town U.S.A., Vol. 6_

introduction & complications

"I Never Would" Seapony _Go With Me_
"I Never Tell Me Twice" Kangaroo _Kangaroo_
"I Never Knew" Roy Orbison _The Sun Years_
"I Never See Maggie Alone" Hot Lips Page _1946-1950_
"I Never Want To See You Again" Quasi _Featuring "Birds"_

interview with FBI Special Agent Charles McGruff

"I Never Found Out" Adam Green & Binki Shapiro _Adam Green & Binki Shapiro_
"I Never Get Much Sleep On Weekdays" Mikrofisch _Masters Of The Universe_
"I Never Will Marry" The Smothers Brothers _Think Ethnic_
"I Never Worry" Bob Troy _I Never Worry_
"I Never Knew" Eddie Foster _The Wigan Casino Story_

interview with birds

"I Never Said I Was Deep" Jarvis Cocker _Further Complications_
"I Never Loved You" Strawberry Story _The Man With The Stereo Hands_
"I Never Liked The Look Of You" Airport Girl _Seven Summers (International Pop Vol. 2)_
"I Never Wanted Love" Shannon & The Clams _Onion_
"I Never Needed It Now So Much" The Go! Team _Proof Of Youth_

Ned Dry interrupts

"I Never Imagined" Mighty Mighty _One Way EP_
"I Never Said That" The Brilliant Corners _What's In A Word_
"I Never Loved Your Mind" Jumprope _Holiday In Brazil_
"I Never Lied To You" Syd Barrett _Barrett_
"I Never Wanted To Be A Star" Cat Stevens _Izitso_

the unexpected fifth airbreak of the show

"I Never Loved Her" The Starfires _Pebbles, Vol. 8: Southern California 1_
"I Never Thought I'd Find" Manikins _Inner City Sound_
"I Never Thought It Would Happen" The Rubinoos _The Rubinoos_
"I Never Want An Easy Life If Me & He Were Ever To Get There" The Charlatans _Up To Our Hips_
"I Never Knew" The Fastbacks _The Question Is No_

conclusions & goodbyes

"I Never Picked Cotton" Johnny Cash _American Recordings: Unchained_
"I'm Glad I Never" Lee Hazlewood _Requiem For An Almost Lady_
"I Never Raised My Voice To You" Harvest Ministers _Orbit_
"Song I Never Sung" Tom Selleck's Moustache _Heartbreak 101

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Whither Well I Never?

(Image from here.)

At long last! Could it be? Finally? The Self Help Radio episode on indignation?!?

As the Google dictionary tells us:

Surely this must mean...!

No, sorry.  Sorry, no.  It's just another one of those phrase shows.  Every song will feature someone saying something in the form of "I Never."  I never lied.  I never wanted.  I never verb or I never verbed.  That's all.  I know it's not fun for anyone but me, but I simply can't help myself.  How many songs can I find like this?  How will they fit together?  That's what I enjoy doing.

It's cool though - you don't have to listen tomorrow at noon at Self Help Radio dot net.  I won't be outraged that you don't.  & in a couple of weeks I'm doing another animal show, maybe you like that better.

But I totally agree - a show about indignation would be awesome.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Preface To Well I Never: Happy Halloween!

Now, I'm not going to point you to all the Halloween shows I've done but I did want to take the time to find answers to questions about Halloween that I've had which I only think about on Halloween but am too busy eating candy to remember to look up after Halloween.  Here they are:

Why do fundamentalist Christians hate Halloween?  Maybe the answer is pretty obvious, but it's nice to have it laid out.  Here is a web page explaining their objections from their point of view.

Are you old enough to recall when there was a scare about people putting razor blades in Halloween candy?  Did those things really happen?  Apparently they did not.

How about all that Satan worship stuff everyone lost their shit about in the 80s & 90s.  That's all over now, right?  Um, no.  No it's really not.

This is a weird one I just discovered on Snopes: A blue bucket is said to indicate the child has autism?  This is a weird world.

We didn't buy much candy-type stuff today - actually, we bought organic fruit roll-ups types that the wife likes in case we don't give many away - but I did notice that there's something called a Treat Map on Next Door Dot Com which lets parents know who has candy.  I think that's neat.  But I
still don't think we'll get many trick or treaters.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sick Of Halloween Shows? Here's Another One!

Sorry to keep bugging you with Halloween shows, but I did another one, this time for my show on KNON, & if you want to listen, you can here, on Radio Free America.

That's all.  No more Halloween.  Till next year.

Whatever shall I do a show about then?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Halloween Shows

As promised, I have collected all the Halloween shows I've digitized (from 2005 on) on one page, & made it slightly more presentable than the half-assed page I made last year.  The link is here:

The Self Help Radio Halloween Collection

There are only two episodes I haven't collected here, & they're my earliest two shows, which may not be available anymore.  (I haven't looked.)  One was a general Halloween show, the other was about ghosts.  I may recreate that one at some point.  Who knows?

As always, I can't speak for the quality of any of these shows.  I was quite fond of the voodoo show this year, but I don't really revisit my shows, so I have no idea if they're entertaining at all.

They are, however, very helpful for doing general format Halloween shows, which I will be doing tomorrow for the Tuesday Morning Blend, that's in the morning from 7-9am.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Self Help Radio 102618: Halloween 2018 - Voodoo!

(Original image here.)

Voodoo!  What is it?  I dunno!  But it makes me think of scary things!  Like witch doctors & voodoo dolls & bubbling cauldrons & potions & tinctures!  Voodoo!  Should I have given that stranger a lock of my hair?  I'll admit I was kinda flattered!  But now it feels like I have a piercing ulcer & I get strange pains up & down my back!  Voodoo!  Oh shit is this show culturally insensitive?  But it's Halloween!  Good thing almost no one knows it exists!

Two hours worth of voodoo songs + a couple of interviews with insane people + a song written by Jenny Adkins specifically for the show.  It sounds like something you might want to play at your Halloween party - especially if you want the guest to get a move on.  It's this year's Self Help Radio Halloween show & I had a blast putting it together.  It's as fun as it is scary as it is ridiculous as it is fun.

What happens on the show is noted below.  The show is at the Self Help Radio website.  There's a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) you'll need to listen.

Does anyone know how long a voodoo doll's power lasts?  Asking for a friend.

Self Help Radio Halloween Voodoo Show

"You've Got Me Voodoo'd" Louis Armstrong _The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)_
"Voodoo Woman Blues" Jimmy Witherspoon & Jay McShann _The R&B Years 1946: Volume 2_
"Voodoo Blues" Jumpin' Joe Williams with Red Saunders & His Orchestra _The OKeh Rhythm & Blues Story 1949-1957_

introduction & explanation

"Voodoo Pappadollar" Poison Girls _Statement: The Complete Recordings_
"Voodoo Doll" The Interiors _Voodoo Doll_
"Supernatural Voodoo Woman (Part 1)" The Originals _Game Called Love_
"Oh You Voo Doo Doo Doll" Sheldon Allman _Sing Along With Drac_
"Voo Doo Woman" Smiley Smith _Horror Hop_
"Voodoo Woman" Simon Stokes & The Nightwalks _Beat It! Killer Tracks From The Roarin' 60s_

interview with voodoo opponent Father Jude O'Doole

"Voodoo Doll" Amelia _All Them Chicks At The Hop! Vol. 1_
"Voodoo" The Revillos _Rev Up_
"Voodoo Idol" The Cramps _Psychedelic Jungle_
"The Curse Of The Voodoo Doll" Joan Gerber _The Story Lady_
"Voodoo Lady" Ween _Chocolate & Cheese_
"Psychic Voodoo Doll" Deadbolt _Halloween Hootenanny_

perhaps a secret of voodoo is revealed - or is interrupted

"Mr. Voodoo" Jenny Adkins _Mr. Voodoo_
"You Do Something To Me" Johnny Mathis _Rhythms Of Broadway_
"Voodoo Plan" The Headliners _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 5: 1965_
"Voodoo Woman" Koko Taylor _I Got What It Takes_
"This Is Not Voodoo" Brother Russell _Radio Jihad_
"Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya" Dr. John _Saturday Night Fish Fry: New Orleans Funk & Soul_

interview with children's television hose Mr Spooks

"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" Angelique Kidjo _Oremi_
"Voodoo Voodoo" LaVern Baker _Great Googa Mooga_
"Voodoo" Josie & The Pussycats _Stop, Look, & Listen: The Capitol Recordings_
"Voo Doo" Rachel Sweet _Blame It On Love_
"Voodoo Hurt" The Mar-Vels _Magic Doo Wops, Vol. 1: Halloween Songs_
"The Voo Doo Walk" Sonny Richard's Panics with Cindy & Misty _These Ghoulish Things: Horror Hits For Hallowe'en_

conclusion & goodbye

"The Voodoo Man" The Del Vikings _The Swinging, Singing Del Vikings_
"Voodoo" The Ivies _Voodoo_
"It's Your Voodoo Working" Charles Sheffield _ The Real Excello R&B_
"Voodoo Woman" Curtis Knight _Voodoo Rhythm & Blues & Burlesque Grind_
"Voodoo" The Combinations _Whip! Wobble & Grind! 1962-1964_
"Voodoo Woman" Bern Elliott & The Fenmen _The Beat Years_
"Voodoo Medicine Man" Jerry & Jeff _Le Beat Bespoké 4_

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Whither Voodoo?

(Image from here.)

Every year around Halloween-time, Self Help Radio stay out all night & scares itself silly in order to create the best Halloween experience in audio.  Whether it's ghosts or vampires, zombies or werewolves, whether we're wandering around haunted houses or graveyards, whether we're contemplating death or mere nightmares, there are now few Halloween themes Self Help Radio hasn't explored.  This year it's one we've been thinking about for a while: voodoo!

& not the voodoo that's a religious practice of many, but the stylized version of voodoo we scare ourselves with as we do with the likes of monsters & graveyards.  These are perilous times, when deciding on a costume for Halloween must take into account possible offense.  So too Self Help Radio issues this caveat: it's all for fun, it's all made-up & playful.  So many people have sung about voodoo as a metaphor, the bulk of the songs this week will do that.

This week you'll hear what Self Help Radio's been keeping in its gris-gris tomorrow at noon over at the Self Help Radio website.  Every enough to plan for Halloween next week, but not too early, like the Christmas music we're starting to hear even now.  Frankly, that's more frightening.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Preface To Halloween 2018 - Voodoo!: Religious Persecution

This article on the Huffington Post seeks to dispel myths, misunderstandings, & outright lies about voodoo.  (Which apparently is supposed to be spelled 'vodou.')  It starts off like this (if you don't want to click):

Voodoo isn’t accurately portrayed in most movies, TV shows, & books. Even some documentaries & non-fiction books are misleading. Voodoo isn’t a cult, black magic, or devil worship. People who practice Voodoo are not witchdoctors, sorcerers, or occultists. Voodoo isn’t a practice intended to hurt or control others. Most Voodooists have never seen a “Voodoo doll” (unless, like you, they saw it in a movie).

Voodoo isn’t morbid or violent. Voodoo isn’t the same everywhere. Not everyone who practices Voodoo does it in exactly the same way or agrees on exactly the same things.

& you know what?  I'm cool with that.  I'm not going to do a radio show this week that attempts to clear up misconceptions about voodoo.  & you know why?  Because it's Halloween!

Self Help Radio has done shows about monsters, vampires, werewolves, & mummies.  Those things don't exist.  We've done shows about haunted houses & hell.  There's no such thing as ghosts & there's no such thing as hell.  But that didn't stop the fun!

That's the thing that makes people fear Halloween: they believe in things like demons & ghosts & monsters.  It's certainly the most childlike of holidays because when you're a child you not only fear such things but there's a part of you that really, really wants the world to be like that.  The world of Stranger Things is pretty terrifying, but those kids are having the time of their lives.

Now, I doubt anyone who practices vodou (or even voodoo) will hear or find this show of mine, but I hope they'll take it in the spirit of Halloween.  I want the shows to be more fun than scary.  & of course I want them to be a little scary.  That's part of the fun!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Halloween's A-Coming

That's right, & I had almost forgotten I created a page last year which has links to all the Halloween episodes.  I guess I need to add graphics, which I'll try to do after this week.  But if you want to have some Halloween shows for your Halloween, here's the place for that.

Black Cats! Death! Graveyards! Haunted Houses! Hell! Monsters! Mummies! Nightmares! Vampires! Werewolves! Witches! Zombies! Clowns! (Clowns?)  All kindsa scary stuff for your enjoyably frightening Halloween.

Here's that link again!  I'll clean it up a bit as the week wears on.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Eyes & Ears

Feeling uninspired, feeling tired, needing to get to bed because I have a radio show in the morning, I will forego trying to say anything interesting & instead share with you a poem chosen at random (I used random dot org & everything) which I wrote on March 17, 2000, called "Eyes & Ears."


hey it's cold, suddenly, hard to smoke in the rain, under an umbrella i
swear i'm in a club.  i hate clubs, they depress me, i feel too old, even
in an old person's clubs, they have them, it's true, i saw richard thompson
in one just this week, walkers, hearing aids, wheelchairs, heart
medication, pillows.  i promised i'd go see the frogs tonight, it's a
corporate blowjob music festival in austintown, i'd rather eat glass, i
won't go anyway, the frogs will return, if they don't, it's only right &
natural that i seek them out. think someone will cut my hair instead, see,
when i have hair, if it's not longish, it looks like i'm wearing a wig,
there's a scar on my forehead, it's how i monitor my receding hairline, me
& whisky & a razor, i'll have no hair in the morning.  i always do this
when it's cold, cut my hair, shave my face, wear a jacket & a shirt, used
to be more or less healthy, now i smoke & drink too much, bet i breathe
heavy, bet i can't run up ten flights of stairs.  wouldn't matter, one
supposes, if it weren't constantly being brought up, age i mean, it's
everywhere, youngsters with their loud dreams & crappy rock & roll, i met
some sixteen year old lesbians the other week, i'll end this on a funny
note, i met some sixteen year old lesbians, three of them, cute as hell &
wearing comfortable clothing, making me uncomfortable.  i noticed their
age, it was at the video store, i had to set up a membership & i shouldn't
have because they were too young but i was drunk, we can drink up there,
it's one of the reasons i work there, i was drunk & so i set them up, & i
said wow sixteen are you all sixteen, & they said yeah, & i said, wow
that's half my age, & one of them said, earnestly, that's too bad, but the
cutest one said, bright-eyed, but it's good for us.

That's a story I didn't remember.  Crazy.

The corporate blowjob music festival was of course SXSW.  I did go see the Frogs after all.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Self Help Radio 101918: Radiation

(Original image on Wikipedia.)

On the television show Star Trek, they treat radiation exposure with a drug called hyronalin, which was my go-to drug while I handled lots of radioactive isotopes in preparation for this show.  Imagine my surprise to find out it's fictitious, & also I have lost some hair, some white blood cells, & I can't keep food down.  These are the things I do for Self Help Radio - & for you.

Now the doctors are telling me I don't have much time, so if you'll come closer, I'll need to ask you if the ship is safe, & tell you that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, & that you have been & always will be my friend.  No, wait, don't do that.  Man, getting too much radiation makes you all goofy & shit.

Go now & listen to this week's show at the Self Help Radio website.  There's a password & a username you'll need, that information is on the page, it's also right here: username SHR, password selfhelp.  The songs I played & the people I interviewed are available below.

Say, I remember an episode of Voyager where radiation damage was cured with nanobots - what?  Fictional as well?  Fuck.

Self Help Radio Radiation Show

"Radiation (US Mix 1989)" Lesson Seven _Collection 1988-1992_
"Radiation" Evan Johns & His H-Bombs _Rollin' Through The Night_

introduction & discussion

"Radiation" Suicide _N.Y. No Wave_
"Radiation" Loli & The Chones _PS We Hate You_
"Radiation" King Tuff _Black Moon Spell_
"Radiation" Epoxies _Stop The Future_
"Radiation" Fingerprintz _Distinguishing Marks_
"The Radiation" My Favorite _The Kids Are All Wrong_

interview with staff chemist Allen Shariaty

"Transparent Radiation" Spacemen 3 _The Singles_
"This Radiation" Claire Birchall _Library Records 1998 - 2003: The 7" Single Years, 1998 - 2000_
"Cosmic Radiation" Clinic _Free Reign_
"Radiation" The Apples In Stereo _New Magnetic Wonder_
"Pink Radiation" Death Valley Girls _Glow In The Dark_

interview with physicist Dr. David Fruchter

"My Radiation Baby (My Teenage Fallout Queen)" George McKelvey _Atomic Platters_
"Radiation Squirm" The Judy's _The Wonderful World Of Appliances_
"Maximum Radiation Level" Man Or Astro-Man? _Deluxe Men In Space_
"An Alternative To Radiation" Myq Kaplan _Small, Dork, & Handsome_
"Radiation Song" The Aquabats _Myths, Legends, & Other Amazing Adventures Vol. 2_
"Radiation Man" Sara Hickman _Misfits_

Dramatic Readings Of Classic Rock Songs: "Radioactive" by the Firm

"Radiation" Stiphnoyds _The History Of Portland Punk, Vol. 1_
"Radiation Nation" Metal Mike, Alison & Julia _Surf City Or Bust_
"Radiation" The Turbo A.C.'s _Radiation_
"Radiation" Permahorn _My Blood Carries My Dreams Away_
"Chinese Radiation" Pere Ubu _The Modern Dance_

conclusion & goodbye

"Cosmic Love Radiation" Miss Kittin _Calling From The Stars_
"Radiation Dance" Asmodaeus _Lies & Logic_
"Sunshine Radiation" Anthony Mudrick _Sunshine Radiation_

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Whither Radiation?

(Yikes!  This scary image found here.)

So sorry to be writing this so late.  I've been busy working on the radiation show all day & I feel a little weak.  Actually, I decided in the interest of keeping things real, I would get an x-ray every hour on the hour today.  On the plus side, I have cool images of many things inside me.  On the minus side, I'm not doing so well.

But Gary! I hear you say. How can I hear you say my name? Am I getting powers from radiation like a 1960s Marvel superhero?  Anyway, I hear you say: There are non-lethal forms of radiation you could have exposed yourself to today like radio waves or the microwaves that apparently we use with our phones! & to that I say: now you tell me!

Look, I'm going to rest up & hope to get the show to you by noon tomorrow.  If so, it'll be at Self Help Radio online right on time.  If it's glowing a bit, don't worry.  It's not like it's enriched on anything.

Hm, I appear to be glowing myself.  Good news!  I can stop spending money on prohibitively expensive night lights!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Preface To Radiation: At Last The Radiation Show!

There was a program on the BBC in the 1960s called At Last The 1948 Show.  I am aware of that fact because I am a nerd & consequently a Monty Python fan, & that show predates Python & includes Graham Chapman & John Cleese, as well as Eric Idle as an occasional guest.

The show aired in 1967, so the title is a joke, & a very Pythonesque one, if you can call something Pythonesque before Monty Python existed.  When I titled this "At Last The Radiation Show," I of course thought of the British program, which I've never actually seen entire episodes of.  (The Wikipedia page says that it's available on Amazon Prime so I will check on that.)

In fact, the BBC erased the tapes on which the program was saved soon after airing, so it's been something of a quest to find copies of original episodes, & luckily there have been, I believe, eleven of the original thirteen discovered, of varying quality of course but better that than nothing.

Which makes me drawing attention to that show by calling this post something that reminded me of the show kind of pathetic, seeing how no one's really been waiting for the radiation show, nor will it be remembered after it's done.  But since I promised a radiation show - has it been three weeks now?  Or just two? - I'll deliver one this week.

Ooo, I can tell you're psyched about it.  Or maybe you're just glad that you now know there's more Cleese & Chapman out there to see!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Happy Global Cat Day!

Enjoy your global cat day!

On the local front, these are the feline bosses that rule my life:

They are not kind oppressors.

(PS I played a set for them this morning on the Tuesday Morning Blend.  I hope it will allow for some leniency when they take over the planet.)

Monday, October 15, 2018

This Cold & Rainy Day

There's a sense one gets living in Texas which is the same sense I imagine that folks in Southern California have, which is, the feeling that, you know, we don't really have weather.  In California, I'm sure it's mostly pleasant, but in Texas, it's not - it's just hot.  It's hot when you get in your car, it's hot when you wake up early to walk the dogs, it's hot when the sun goes down & the day's heat just radiates off the ground.  Some people are cool with it - my wife is a reptile so she loves it - but most aren't.

Yeah, okay, it does get cold.  Today it was around 41 degrees.  Yesterday it was twice that - 82 degrees.  In a couple of days it'll shoot back up into the 60s.  I used to tell folks that when the temperature started dropping in Kentucky, it was going to keep going down until Spring.  In Texas, it may be cold one week & then, in the middle of what might be called autumn or winter, weirdly it'll climb into the 90s.

& that's why we're so unprepared for it.  We think it's always hot here because it's usually hot here.  I don't have the statistics but if we consider any temperature over 80 degree Fahrenheit as "hot," there for probably like eight or nine months of the year it's hot.

What do you do on a day like today?  I'm wearing my KNON hoodie, long pants for the first time in months, & those fingerless hobo gloves I have to wear because my hands get cold despite the furious typing on the keyboard.  I walk outside & can see my breath, I tremble when a freezing wind hits me, my legs are cold.  How long has been since my legs have been cold?

Oh, & it rained all day today.  Our backyard looks as though it might be good for rice cultivation.  My poor dogs have been discussing learning how to use the facilities indoors.

What I wish I could do is enjoy it.  But after months of heat, it doesn't feel real - & in a sense, it isn't, as it'll be hot again soon enough.  This is a problem.  A problem with living in a place where the weather is the same, more of the same, it's the same, hot & hotter.

Fuck it, I'm going to go stand outside & pretend I live somewhere where the middle of October is discernibly different from the middle of September.  Or November.