Friday, March 23, 2007

A Friday Caper

Friends, in less than two hours there will be a show on the radio so magnificient, so incredible, so embarrassingly good that you'll believe that radio is a transformative medium. You'll believe radio can change lives, as your life will be changed. You will never be able to think or feel in the same way again.

Unfortunately, I don't know which station that show's on. I'll place good odds it's not on in Austin - I mean, have you heard the radio in this town? Embarassing, that's what it is. Anyway, if you can find it, give me a call. But if you can't, & you've got nothing better to do, tune in to Self Help Radio today at 4:30pm either on your FM dial at 91.7 fm or on your computer dial (what?) over at The show today's all about Michigan. It'll be for more than just Yoopers & Trolls.

Tune in! I'll be making tea!

Here's a funny "Song Of The Day" by the Smothers Brothers, from their record Think Ethic. It's called I Never Will Marry - click on it to listen. It's here till April 5, 2007.

Do tune in today!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Your Letters Are Stinky! (But I Answer Them Anyway)

LB asks me:

Gary, How was SXSW? Did you see good bands?

Thank you for asking, LB. & no, I still don't want to be your myspace friend. Your page is creepy.

I went to the KOOP Indiepop Hootenanny so I could see Tullycraft for free, then I went to see Mark Burgess since he's a fucking legend, but other than that, nah, I didn't do much. I did hang out some at KOOP, where we were playing lots of live bands in the studio, but didn't help or anything. That's all. Mainly my girlfriend & I planned to completely redecorate our backyard. Buffalo grass, anyone?

Oh god! What a boring blog post this is! Let's start again.

During South By South Wets I hung out with [super famous dude] who scored drugs from [someone who works for the Onion], & we were totally [tripping/zoning/rolling/vomiting] until we managed to sneak backstage at [some place that it's hard to sneak into] & caught [the band you wanted to see but couldn't because douchebags from the Chronicle filled the place up] & they were [disappointing/awesome/as fucked up as I was/dead]! Then someone put [whatever I haven't yet taken] into my drink, & I found myself with [Andy Dick] in a hottub in the back of [dull Hollywood type who's moved to Austin in the past few years]'s limo doing [things I'd later regret]. How I got home I'll never know. & dude, that was just WEDNESDAY!

Thursday, Friday & Saturday I spent in intensive care.

Write me an email! I'll answer it here!

Here's a sad little "Song Of The Day" by so-called "anti-folk" musician Jeffrey Lewis from his first record, The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane & Other Favorites. It's a sad little ditty about Leonard Cohen, meeting people on the street & trying desperately to stay upbeat in spite of everything. It's called The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song & you can click to hear it. I'll leave it here for two weeks - until April 5 - & then it'll go away.

Tomorrow at 4:30 pm Austin time - yowsa! A show about Michigan!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Whither Michigan?

I mentioned before I've never been to Michigan. I'll mention it again. I'll mention again that I've never been to Michigan. There. I mentioned it again. I'll mention it unknowingly at some point during the next few minutes as well. There's hardly any self-consciousness between me & my travels. Either I've been some place or I haven't. I've never been to the moon, for example, but also I've never been an astronaut. Nor is my name "Buzz." It's Gary. In case you haven't noticed.

Sometime last February, in-between Bush Administration Fuck-Ups, I was sitting at the bus stop, minding my own business, wondering, as I sometimes do, how I got there (it was four in the morning) & who had signed my nipples. Since it was dark, & I was looking down at my nipples, I couldn't read the text (it was upside down), but later I discovered that a professional Ray Davies impersonator signed my nipples at a karaoke bar when I was pretending to be a police detective & would simply walk up to people with a megaphone, flash what looked like a badge but what was really my iPod, & scream "AMBER ALERT!" Strangely enough, the Ray Davies impersonator decided to sign my nipples "Paul Harvey." It was a good night, & I thank whoever it was who told me that cough syrup & permanent markers were a foot in the door of madness. I lost my shoe in that door that night.

Anyway, while I was sitting at the bus stop, trying to read my nipples, I became aware of a man sleeping on the ground behind the bench. He was muttering something to himself in his sleep. Naturally, him being asleep, I didn't expect him to be saying anything that would make sense, & I was right. He would shudder occasionally & his words were at turns inaudible & almost yelled out. I remember a few snatches of his dream babble:

He's got me!... I never loved Annie... What's love got to do, got to do with it?... Five'll get you ten he won't be able to find his underwear tomorrow... Buy refuse, sell trash... What's love but a second-hand emotion?... Indeed, this particular theorum stumped even the Pythogorians!... There's no way to find suspicious files in your mailboxes... Seriously - who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?... Annie! Annie!

I listened to his soliloquy for some time until I realized that the bus doesn't come at 4am. Also, my nipples (I discovered) are allergic to magic markers, so I began to experience some uncomfortable burning sensations in my man-breasts. So I began to raise myself & find my way home, when the sleeping man grabbed my leg. I couldn't make out his face, but he was bellowing at me something I couldn't understand. So I said, "Let me go!" He didn't let me go. I screamed, "I'll call the cops!' Nothing. I tried to get free while pleading to the night, "Please dear lord don't let me die at the hands of a man who dreams in Tina Turner songs!" He seemed to clutch me tighter. A cloud went behind the moon. A streetlight went out & a car down the street burst into flames (although it could have been a lingering cough syrup hallucination). I fell to the ground, skinning my knees & my palms, & I said, "No, no, no! I've never even been to Michigan!"

I didn't know that "Michigan" was the safe word of Annie, the strange old man's S&M partner. He let me go & offered to buy me breakfast. We ate that morning by the dumpsters outside IHOP & became fast friends. I dedicate this week's show - & the inspiration for it - to him.

By the way, that man was none other than GERALD MCRANEY. As if you didn't know.

Quick! A "Song Of The Day"! By Rodd Keith! From the collection Ecstasy To Frenzy! The song my girlfriend wants to dance to at our wedding: Little Rug Bug! Click to listen! Listen until April 4, 2007! Find out more about Song-Poems!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Preface To Michigan: What's So Great About Your Lakes?

I've never been to Michigan. Never even drove through. The closest I've been is Chicago. So why do a show about Michigan? Oh, wait. I'll answer that tomorrow.

Here's some fun facts about Michigan:

* It's the one state in the United States that didn't finish high school, but skipped a grade in elementary school.
* Michigan's name comes from a foreign word meaning something appropriate to the state.
* 1 in 4 people in Michigan have appeared (whether they like it or not) in a Michael Moore film.
* Super stuntman Elvis Knelvis once tried to jump Michigan in a motor boat. He sped west from Lake Huron into Saginaw Bay & tore up a three-mile-long ramp southwesterly, hoping to land in Lake Michigan outside Holland. Instead, his boat capsized & he was eaten by an electric eel.
* The Michigan-Ohio border is heavily fortified, but no one really knows why. Some blame it on Motown.
* No American president has ever come from Michigan. Gerald Ford claimed to be from Michigan, but, as his untimely death revealed earlier this year, he was an imaginary president.
* People from Michigan are called Michiganians, Michiganders, Michigeese, Michiganites, Michigolliwogs, or Jeff.
* Porcupine Mountains State Park is a totally cool place to hook up with your squeeze & to score some killer local weed. Go to the Park Ranger Station & ask for Canada Joe. If possible, bring a trinket. He collects commemorative spoons. He'll totally set you up.
* Michigan has more lighthouses that any other state, except perhaps Utah. Just think about it, it makes sense.
* There is a place called Podunk, Michigan. My brother said I was making it up but I wasn't. I also wasn't making up Timbuktu so stop being a baby & come look at this map. Mom!

Did you want to hear a "Song Of The Day"? Here's one that has almost nothing to do with Michigan, except that it's about a popular pasttime in Dearborn. It's from a compilation called Dirtnap Across The Northwest, which is a rock/indie rock/punk/garage kind of comp. "Dirtnap" is an anagram of "Dr. Paint." I just noticed that. Anyway, the song is by the Exploding Hearts & it's called Sniffin' Glue. Click to sniff. Do it before April 3, 2007. Then it goes away.

Tomorrow: why sniffing glue is an epidemic in Michigan, & how that led an intrepid deejay to focus on it on a special Self Help Radio profile!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Two Times The Monday Wrap-Ups At Four Times The Price

Well, another "Sowf By Sowf Vest" has gone by & what have we learned? That's a rhetorical question. I spent most of the weekend doing yard work.

Since I missed two weeks of wrap-ups, let's go ahead & share two whole weeks of haikus & limericks.

First: my "SXSW" show. Haiku winners, from fourth to first place:

Here is the lost man
He can’t find the Austin bar
He’s playing tonight

You feel unwanted?
Remember: you did not get
An invitation.

Watch the grand monkey
He’s overstimulated
There’s too much to do!

A heart left behind
No lights capture drunken sleep
Bed of my own filth

& a limerick:

It’s said that the best of the best
Come here during South By Southwest
    But once you’ve attended
    & cash you have spended
You’ll see they’re as bad as the rest.


Last week was a tribute to Molly Ivins. Here are the winning haikus:

Never met, now gone
Strange an emptiness appears
Missing someone's words

Rules are gonna change
If there's no beer in heaven
She'll brew the first batch

Like the best ideas
Both familiar & new, she
Made me laugh & think

Molly Molly I
Made me laugh & made me cry
Good Molly goodbye

What? Another limerick? Sure:

If life's all about survivin'
Cheatin', backstabbin', connivin',
    How sad that our poor sphere
    Has less to fight with here
Losing dear old Molly Ivins.

& lo & behold: the "Song Of The Day" returns. I was feeling electronical today & was listening to The Black Dog - specifically the record Silenced. I thought you might like to hear some too. This is the first track, called Trojan Horus (Part 1) & you can click on it to hear it. It'll be up for two weeks, until April 2 2007.

This week: I learned how to speak Michiganese to explain to you why my show this week is about Michigan!