Friday, February 01, 2008

13 Shows To Go!

Ach! Thirteen shows on KOOP radio left! That means it's roughly three months. I am sad. But I know what can cheer me up! Beatboxing!

One of the great things about Self Help Radio today is that NOT ONLY will you get to hear the great old & new beatboxers (DOug E Fresh to Rahzel), & NOT ONLY will you hear some songs that cleverly incorporate beatboxing, but AS AN ADDED BONUS AT NO COST TO YOU you'll get to hear my visit with MC Beat Daddy, where he teaches me the basics of beatboxing AND THAT'S NOT ALL I'll also be giving away beatboxing CD collections. Wow! Hey! Super! Freaky! Mommy!

So while it's sad for me to wind down my time on KOOP, it's glad for me to be able to have as much fun as I am planning to have for the next three months. Don't miss it! Today at 4:30 pm Texas time, live on the 91.7 frequency, & on the web at!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Eh Speak Up Sonny

Were I the more dynamic of the Self Help Radio sisters, I'd be announcing something new every day on this blog. I already try to follow something like a formula (not a baby formula) which not only helps me think of dumb stuff to write here, but also helps me organize my brain & remind me what day it is. Do you know the formula? Or would you rather play a game where you have to name television theme songs?

The formula, then:

MONDAY: Remind everyone that my show from Friday is available to be downloaded on the Self Help Radio website.
TUESDAY: Write something ridiculous as a "preface" to my next post "explaining" my theme.
WEDNESDAY: "Explain" my theme of the week.
FRIDAY: Countdown the shows left until I leave KOOP.

THURSDAY has no real purpose. I can maybe mention something like adding a new mix to the Self Help Radio Extra page, or link to something, but in general, this is Thursday: me saying not much.

Why can't I be the more dynamic of the Self Help Radio sisters? All the boys like her better, too. & if she did a radio show - well, you'd like it more. & Thursday would be "how to please your man in bed" day. I bet she has more then 52 ways to please her man. I should say "her men." She's a slut!

Instead, all I can say is I met MC Beat Daddy from Plano, Texas, & he taught me to beatbox. Results on the show tomorrow. Also I ate bad hummus last night. Oh, & I got three Enrico Caruso CDs on a whim. It's so fucking Thursday in here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Whither Beatboxing?

Beatboxing! How ridiculous is that?

Not so ridiculous, my friend. There's a webpage out there which has been, it says, "representing & promoting the worldwide beatbox community since 1998." Beatboxers make records & people who make neat noises with their mouths star in "Police Academy" movies, if they're still being made & WHY AREN'T THEY STILL BEING MADE? Shouldn't someone be monitoring the whereabouts of Michael Winslow? Christ! Do I have to do everything myself?

I know, beatboxing is at best a fringe element of the hiphop community & at worst an annoying novelty, but my fascination with it resurfaced at some point last year - maybe I heard some beatboxing on a cut, or I was simply transported back to a time of childlike wonder at things like a fellow making simultaneous sounds with his mouth. & by the way, I am totally not being sexist here - I have no come across any female beatboxers. There are of course jazz women (like Ella Fitzgerald) who can scat, & scat is an obvious precursor to beatboxing, but I'm not doing a show about scat. I have only ninety minutes! I can't go back that far!

In any event, I decided someone should be paying attention to beatboxing. So I began to delve into the beatboxing world. Someone had to do it, & I have discovered that, because you're so damn lazy, I have to do everything myself.

I am not necessarily going to have only songs with prominent beatboxing, but also some beatboxing-related musics. Initially, I thought I might have to cut corners & play songs like Big Audio Dynamite's "C'mon Every Beatbox," to fill up space (& I love that song), but I have more than enough beatboxing to fill two hours if I had to. You know it.

Beatboxing! How awesome is that?!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Preface To Beatboxing: Hip Hop Dreams

I used to be more quick tongued than I currently am - I am older, obviously - much of my brain has been slowed by time & probably whiskey (mmm, whiskey) - but I remember when I was a teenager, as my little brother became an aficionado of the new "rap" scene (as he called it), I could make fun of MCs with dumb lyrics & even tried basic beatboxing. It was easy enough for me to "rap" stupid for enough time that my friend Russ told me I was a closet MC. That became my fake hiphop moniker: Closet MC.

I couldn't do it now. Tongue-twister lyrics that I sing to myself in the shower are hopelessly garbled. I find myself singing certain songs more slowly so I can wrap my teeth around them. I am a decrepit old bastard.

My little brother actually wanted to be an MC, though. To me, at the time, especially as I was starting to get into postpunk like Joy Division & the Smiths, hiphop seemed alien & dumb. All that bragging, all the overt sexuality, it was so unseemly, especially when Morrissey was being so humbly self-deprecating & the most songs I liked were about begging for a kiss you could never get, not dancing, sweating & having sex. What a naif I was!

I teased my brother about his ambitions, which is the nice way of saying I gave him a lot of shit. It didn't matter - we weren't very close by that point, & didn't want to be. He was out of high school & his posse was a bunch of neighborhood kids barely out of ninth grade. I once found a lyric sheet he had written - boy I wish I could remember his rap alias! - & it was boilerplate self-aggrandizement. I do wish he had recorded something. Maybe he did. But I never heard it.

I did record stuff, although it's mostly lost now, in a "band" which was my friend Russell on guitar (he'd add other instruments alone, later) & whomever we could shanghai into hanging out with us. All the lyrics I yelped were made up on the spot, usually to crack up Russell. He would sometimes suggest titles, & we'd go from there. One suggestion of his was a mocking bluesy tune called "Battering Ram" in which I, of course still a virgin, sang about my carnal prowess. If I remember the chorus right, it went something like:

I'm a battering ram,
I'm a battering ram,
I turn girls into spam,
Cause I'm a battering ram
I'm a battering ram,
I'm a battering ram,
I wonder who the hell I think I am

My favorite part was when, at the end, Russell interjected "His bedroom is an obstacle course," & I sang,

Watch it jump through the hoops
Do loop-de-loops
Battering, battering ram

In addition to a very insulting cover of "Sharp Dressed Man" & a shabby cover of "I Will Follow" (which I somehow made as creepy as possible by adding, "I'll follow you to your house - to your grandmother's house - I'll sneak in the bathroom"), we had songs with lovely titles like "Vandal With Me," "Officer Burrell Has Some Documents For You To Sign" & "Teenage Zombie."

None of this really has anything to do with hiphop of course. But what if I *had* pursued my hiphop dreams? Where were my friends who could beatbox? Alas, not in white Garland Texas in the mid-80s!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Arsonist Is Caught!

In case you haven't heard, a former KOOP volunteer & programmer has been caught & confessed to starting the fire. I must admit, I am surprised it was that particular person, although his name was tossed around as a suspect.

The penalty for destroying what was the work of dozens of dedicated volunteers - him among them! - may be as little as two years in prison. I suppose I am admitting I am a bad person, but I wish he'd get the maximum - twenty years. He knew what he was doing when he set fire to KOOP - he knew he was spitting in the face of the sweat & toil of people with whom he was friends & colleagues. He knew he was destroying work that *none of them* got paid for. It seems like that should be taken into account when they sentence him.

I also hope he is not a little angry that his work was for naught - KOOP is still here, & a stronger station without him.

Enough of this! There are three things you can do to enjoy Gary's KOOP! All are available as we speak at

1) Listen to my subbing of Justin's excellent show The House Call. I hope I did it justice.

2) Listen to my subbing of Ear Candy, featuring a special guest appearance by a spaz named Leah.

3) Listen to last week's Self Help Radio, which was all about my anger about the person who started the fire... & look how much that show accomplished!

That's four hours of Gary. Please consult with your physician before listening to more than one show at a time.