Friday, February 09, 2007

It's Finally A Friday Again - Buy Me A Drink

Nothing to say right now except LISTEN TO SELF HELP RADIO TODAY. I'll be there from 4:30 to 6:00pm & the show's all about crushes. If you've ever had a crush - or if you want a crush - or if you currently have a crush - this is the show for you.

Since I'm here, let's have a "Song Of The Day".

This isn't really a song. This is a bit of chaos from the unbelievably great Firesign Theatre. It's a piece from a record called Pink Hotel Burns Down that collects outtakes & unfinished business. In fact, this track is the beginning of a project they never concluded, & it shows how their crazy brilliance shines even in leftovers & incompletes. It's the title track - The Pink Hotel Burns Down - & you can click on the name to get the song. I'll remove it from here on February 23, 2007.

Come visit me today on the radio, or, if you're a computer geek, listen online at koop dot org!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shall I Answer A Letter? I Shall Answer A Letter!

Just sitting here, sleepily listening to Syd Barrett, ready to go home, about to gather my show for tomorrow, hoping you'll listen because I do it for you, I reach into the mailbag & find this email:

gary, do you get lots of reguests for show themes and if so can i suggest one. one about the circus would be fun. or clowns. thanks.

Believe it or not, I don't get a lot of requests for shows (I assume the writer meant "request" - I don't know what "reguest" means - could it be like "regifting" except with radio show guests?). I think I may be a little unapproachable. Or people are happy with what I choose. Or no one really cares. Because no one is listening.

I like the idea about a show about clowns, though. I will keep it in mind. It should be fun to put together, & then I'll use it to scare children with. Also, some adults.

Since I am listening to the late, great Syd Barrett, why not share a song of his with you for the "Song Of The Day"? How about this track from his second record, Barrett called Baby Lemonade? If so, click on it to listen to it. I'll remove it February 22, 2007.

I don't know if anyone's ever counted, but a lot of bands took their names from Syd Barrett's songs. Baby Lemonade has been the name of two bands: one from Scotland (who released a single called "Secret Goldfish," which became the name of another band) & a decidedly less interesting band from Los Angeles.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Whither Crushes?

I know it sounds fey & coy & totally indiepoppy, but I've always loved the word "crush." Quite possibly because crushes were my sole romantic experience from the moment I first wanted to make out with girls until I made out with a girl when I was eighteen. (Gasp! Gary had his first kiss at eighteen! Maybe that's why he's still a virgin!) Crushes didn't go away, of course - crushes are like the first step toward falling in love, but since that step is a doozy, most of the time you don't take it. A crush is therefore usually ephemeral.

The reason I decided to do a show about crushes is twofold. One is that I usually do a special Valentine's Day show with some kind of aspect of love involved - although I am usually a little cynical (I did a "hate" show in 2005, for example, &, although it never aired because of the fire last year, I prepared a break-up show for 2006). What I had planned to do this time last year, but I jumped the gun in did last July, was a Cupid show. Why I did it then I don't know - it was a hell of a show. You should go listen to it right now.

Forced to confront my own negativity, & needing a show for Valentine's Day, I found myself desert-dry & unable to think of anything really worth doing. Then I noticed a pretty girl wandering by on one of the last autumn days when I was still a smoker, on one of those long-gone smoke breaks that I used to enjoy (sigh). I realized I was totally crushing on her, & it occured to me that, as a faithful lover to a beautiful woman for almost six years, a woman I hope to spend the rest of my life with, a woman I have no interest in betraying or otherwise hurting with a meaningless fling, it occured to me that for a person in my position, crushes were really the only safe form of infidelity around. Because crushes are ultimately harmless, & utterly forgettable. I remember, for example, having this idea - relationship dude can only have a crush - but I cannot for the life of me remember what the woman who inspired this idea looked like. In this story, in fact, I miss the cigarette most of all.

Ta-da! Crush is the theme for Self Help Radio this week, & now you know why.

Todays "Song Of The Day" is a crushworthy old-skool hip-hop song that my iPod chose to "randomly" play for me twice the last couple of days. It's by a more or less obscure 80s group called Whistle (featuring members with names like Jazzy Jazz, Kool Doobie, Kraze & DJ Silver Spinner) (at the time there was a lot of speculation that Michael McDonald was the real name of Kool Doobie) (we had a lot of time for speculation in those days) & I like the song because of the odd noises in it. The song is called (Nothing Serious) Just Buggin' & it's nothing serious, so stop buggin' & click on the name to listen to it. I'll leave it up till February 21, 2007.

Tomorrow, I answer a letter. I unlock your fetters. I pet an Irish Setter. I knit a sweater. I get to know you better. Because you're a go-getter.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Preface To Crushes: Do You Even Celebrate Valentine's Day?

I guess at some level Valentine's Day is icky. I mean, it has a grand old tradition - it happens on nearly the same date as the Lupercalia, much like Christmas & Easter find themselves on pagan dates, too. But since the mid-1950's, when basically everything in America became commodified, it's been one in another of commercial obligations - there are probably relationships out there that are ruined when a partner forgets Valentine's Day. Human beings love their arbitrary milestones.

I kinda miss being alone on Valentine's Day. It was an excuse to focus unhappiness & bitterness against not only crass Hallmarkism but also embarrassing public displays of affection & fidelity. Over on the Usenet group alt.angst, we used to call it Great Big Blowing Void day, or GBBV Day for short. Other people tediously shorten the date to its initials, VD, to show their dislike for it. (I wonder, did they give people penicillin as gifts? That would be funny.) It's an easy holiday to be negative about. I think I dislike both the negative reactions & the positive reactions to Valentine's Day.

Alas, I've been in a relationship for like six years now, so I won't be alone, although we don't really celebrate VD or GBBV Day or even Valentine's Day. We don't really celebrate Christmas either, now that I think about it. I should note, I say WE, because I do do a radio show with Christmas songs, & for a few years now, I have done shows about Valentine's Day. This year, for example, I'll focus on crushes. An aspect of relationships - or on the beginnings of relationships - or the hope for a relationship.

Why crushes? You should find out tomorrow.

I almost forgot! The "Song Of The Day"!

I've been enjoying the Rhino box set released last year called Rockin' Bones: 1950s Punk & Rockabilly, especially the more obscure stuff. I picked out this song by native Texan Tom Tall since it approximates some of the problems a deejay can have, either while spinning or while trying to impress someone you want to love on. It's called Stack-A-Records, & clicking on the name there will let you listen to the mp3. Listen now, since I'll remove it February 20, 2007. Enjoy.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mistakes Haiku Wrap-Up Plus

My girlie just had knee surgery so I believe the posts to the weblog will be a bit terse this week. My apologies. She needs me more than you do right now.

Here are the winners of the haiku contest for this week, from fourth place to first. Congrats all!


Sitting, wondering
Are haikus real poetry
Or simply mistakes?


He needed a word
To say after his mistakes
He used up “sorry”


Forgetting is sad
But to forget to age is
A mistake I’ll make


Keep count of screw ups
Frame & display them at home
Better than trophies

& the Mysterious Limerick Writer has written another limerick for Self Help Radio. It goes like this:

There once was a bearded old baker
We knew as a clumsy mistaker
He’d commonly utter
When leaving out butter
“Bet you’re glad I’m not a car maker!”

For todays "Song Of The Day", I boldly post a bootleg. This is the demo version (produced by Brian Eno & Richard Williams) of a Television tune from 1974 from a wonderful record called Double Exposure. The song is Venus De Milo, & clicking on the name lets you listen to it. I've always loved this song, especially the line "I fell into the arms of Venus De Milo" - with Verlaine's weird pronunciation of the statue's name. Sigh. This mp3 will disappear from this site on February 19, 2007. Eat it quick.

This week's show will be my annual Valentine's Day show, this one about crushes. Find out why I have a crush on you tomorrow!