Thursday, October 11, 2018

Whither Mirrors?/Whither Sixteen Years Of Self Help Radio?

As you probably already know, this week marks sixteen long years of Self Help Radio.  The show began in Austin in 2002 & has found itself here & now.  To mark the show'a anniversary, I like to revisit an old theme - this year, it's "mirrors," first explored in 2004.  There are many, many songs about mirrors, & the number of songs about mirrors written since that show is a large one.  I might focus on songs that I couldn't have played during the first show since they hadn't been written yet.  Or I might not.

It has been an interesting experience.  This show is, I imagine, not the easiest program to listen to regularly.  If you don't like the host, it's going to suck - I talk a lot.  If you don't share my sense of humor, ditto.  But if you're just someone who likes music, it can probably be frustrating, too.  I am a contrarian by nature & I am mostly unlikely to play popular songs or the first song you'd think of when you heard a theme.  For example:

In January of 2008, there was a fire at the radio station at which I originated Self Help Radio.  That was KOOP in Austin.  Soon after we discovered the fire was arson, which led to an actual criminal investigation.  When we returned to the air, several programmers played the songs "Burning Down The House" & "I'm On Fire" (& so on) to great acclaim.  These shows were much, much more popular than mine, & people would stop me & say to me, "Did you hear when so & so played 'Burning Down The House'? That was great!  You should do that!"

My response was to do a show about anger instead.  It was generally not well-received.  Some even considered it counterproductive.  But something in me just couldn't play "Burning Down The House."  Even if I would've shared in the collective appreciation of that obvious response to the situation.

Yet the show somehow persists, traveling from station to station, stranded now on a website in a "podcast" mode.  I guess I can't help doing it.  I'm grateful if anyone listens, & I'm grateful for the talented people whom I've shanghaied to help me with making it more fun.  But I'd do it anyway.  & I should probably seek professional help sooner than later.

Hear me celebrate sixteen years of this eminently forgettable nonsense tomorrow at noon at the Self Help Radio website.  It'll be much more like now than the previous show, when I hadn't found my bearings yet.  But I'll do my best to make it a good experience.  You might learn something!  You might even laugh!

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