Friday, December 07, 2007

21 Shows To Go!

Eep! Time is running short! Someone needs to get me a banjo & a sentient sports car or else we'll all die!!

Yes, today is (counting down, you know) show number 21. There are only 20 shows after this. If I live that long. You never know what my enemies may be putting in my sag paneer when I'm at an Indian food buffet. All I can say is that I can't eat as much as I used to, & that may be my saving grace. Damn my foes! Can't they wait their turn?

Today's show will be my favorite electronica from the past year. As always, I will neglect to make sure that everyone knows I couldn't possibly have listened to every record put out by every electronical artist (or by every human artist making electronical music) this year. Just most of them.

Actually, I do avoid a lot of stuff. I filter. I don't listen to much that's house-y (although if they made music based on television's House, you can bet I'd listen to that) & I don't listen to a lot of techno ravey dance music. Nor ambient, although it's a fine line sometimes. I mean, what's the real difference between glitch & drill n bass? Or did I make those genres up? I can't tell any more.

Oh, you listen & decide what I like. It'll all be live today on KOOP (& online too) from 4:30 to 6pm Texas time. & then later (probably around Sunday) at & still later, repeated over & over in your head when you get to hell. Three great chances to hear!

& be sad as show 21 passes by... & my departure from the KOOP airwaves gets ever nearer...

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Last week one of my childhood heroes died. I hadn't really paid any attention to him at all in thirty years, but when I heard he was gone, I felt very, very sad.

His name was Evel but the name wasn't meant to evoke diabolical intent, just coolness. For a little fat kid in Garland, Texas, who loved comic books & science fiction, this guy sure seemed like a super hero. I wish I still had the toys I owned - the action figure on the motor cycle, the action van, the ramps - but the reason I don't is not because I outgrew them. I just played the shit out of them.

He of course wasn't a super hero. Listen to this:

Performing stunts hundreds of times, Mr. Knievel repeatedly shattered bones as well as his bikes. When he was forced to retire in 1980, he told reporters that he was “nothing but scar tissue and surgical steel.”

By his own account, he underwent as many as 15 major operations to relieve severe trauma and repair broken bones — skull, pelvis, ribs, collarbone, shoulders and hips...

He had a titanium hip and aluminum plates in his arms and a great many pins holding other bones and joints together. He was in so many accidents that he occasionally broke some of his metal parts, too.

I'm trying to remember specific moments I watched Evel Knievel jump something - like, did I see the Las Vegas jump, or the Snake River Canyon jump, live on TV? - but I don't think I ever saw anything but "best of" shots. For me, he wasn't someone you tuned into television to watch. He was captured on film doing what came natural to him, like you imagine a stray camera catches Superman flying overhead. He was someone my friends & I talked about, lied about, made up new legends about.

He was such an amazing thing to have as a kid. The New York Times obituary says he retired in 1980, which seems awful late, but by that time I was ass-deep in puberty & not really going to pay attention.

Aw, who am I kidding. Even now, if I had heard he was going to jump the Washington Monument on a Vespa, I'd have wanted to at the very least hear about it. Insert some dumb comment about his motorcycle leaping the river Styx here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Whither Gary's Favorite Electronica 2007?

Whither not?

I was going to have that be my entire entry but thought, nah. I'm not that cliched. I also thought I'd be explaining it & then have the sentence stop in the

But even that's dumb, & it makes it look like I'm writing poetry or something. Hey! I haven't thought about this in a while.

Do you have a friend
Who writes
e - m a i l
like they think
they are

That used to annoy me more than it does now. It was far more annoying in the days when people wrote real letters. You'd get a gigantic letter from someone you liked & there'd be like six words per page. If I hadn't been so damned lonely I wouldn't have written back. Where was texting when I really needed it?

An aside: Back in those days, I used to steal a lot of ideas for letters from comic books. None of my friends ever read comic books - to this day, most people still think they're for kids or something - morons - so I could write letters with weird formatting & strange ideas & nobody I knew would ever know. They'd think I was creative!

That's harder with blogs. Someone could be googling a comic book, get my blog, & the next thing you know, Warren Ellis is coming up to KOOP to kick my ass. Not that that wouldn't be cool.

Speaking of cool - when will electronic music ever get really cool? Every time it seems about to break through, some douche like Moby or those French Daft Fucks come along - or even worse, Radiohead listens to an Aphex Twin record & thinks "Duh we could do this!" - & the commercial result is icky, half-assed, lowest common denominator commercial cookie-cutter shit. Ah well. Some great folks continue to make music regardless.

& that's
my favorite electronica 2007.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Preface To Gary's Favorite Electronica 2007: My Circuit Bored

I want to publicly give thanks to electronics for enhancing my previously only chemically-enhanced lifestyle. In particular I'd like to thank electronics for high-definition school lunches. & satellite channel-changers. & my Tony Stark-flavored CPU. & instruments, like keyboards & kazoos, that can be made electric. Thanks electronics! Have some cheese on me.

I am writing this on what the gurus like to call a "computer." The electrons bouncing off its monitor into my eyes mock me, but I am used to the constant humiliation of "online gaming," so nothing burns me any more. Except the virtual fire of my hate. But that's not important right now. What's important is that eventually, when everything we predicted in romantic comedies comes true, it'll be we who are the machines, & not the machines. Nor vice versa.

For example, it was common in the 80s & before & after to forgo the risk & nuisance of having an actual drummer to use a "beat generator" or "drum machine." Famous bands like the Decaffienated Jellies & the Jean Lenin Sisters preferred the tinny, vaguely programmed sound to actual programmed tin drummers. The result? Legend! Why? Electronics! Hunh? I said Electronics! Turn up your hearing aid!

However, in recent years, the analog has made a slight comeback, also known as, it never really left but we've just noticed it again. "Analog is the new non-digital recording" has appeared on at least one bumper sticker, if that. Dance floors everywhere are a-titter, or possible a-quiver, especially when everyone pays a-ttention. When instead they dance, well, that's where electronics, & electronically-apathetic dance music heroes, shine. Literally. They shine. They have crystals & LEDs & even lightbulbs, although hopefully with a small ecological footprint or a small ecological booty so they don't track mud all over the place.

Let's hear it for electronics! Notice I didn' say "Let's see it for electronics!" That's because I do a radio show, which few people see (don't ask me how many people feel my show). I thank electronics for not only my livelihood but also for helping me make a living. Three cheers for electronics! Please push the "cheer" button three times. Then watch the screen.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Buy Lo! Sell Hi!

The robots this morning were unforgiving, or was it the cats? If I had my trusty pocket calculator, I'd be able to enumerate the humiliations & daily offenses I endure to exist to make this blog that I make to help me make my radio show. I don't do it out of "music love" or "computer love," that's for sure! I'd sooner spend time in a shop window with the other showroom dummies. But I'm no model - I don't want to spend all my time in some electric cafe being exposed to unhealthy radioactivity. It's more fun to do radio than to compute!

Anyway, leaving the man/machine behind, I do want to point out that not one but TWO of the most recent Self Help Radios are available for your listening pleasure over there at The last two shows I did in November are there, in fact. Please go listen to them & compare them to every Kraftwerk song you know.

Or did your antenna fall off when the spacelab fell on the Trans-Europe Express?

You have no excuse!