Friday, March 07, 2008

8 Shows To Go!

In this space, as I plan for the last eight Self Help Radios I do on KOOP, I would like to respond to one of the so-called "good ideas" my so-called "fans" have been so-called "sending me" (uh, I guess they are really sending them to me, sorry) (I get a little too excited with the scare quotes).

In particular, the one person who suggested that to "celebrate" the countdown of shows, I cut off a finger or two for every day, until, on the last show, I am down to only one. Helpfully, they suggest it could be a mixture of fingers & toes. Or maybe an ear, eye or nostril (!) could be subtracted. They write that they don't want to "inconvenience" me.

It seems to me that digital (& other) mutilation is a piss-poor way to "celebrate" anything, unless it's to celebrate getting rid of that ugly motherfucking thumb that has been mocking you, mocking you, mocking you since you were a child. Therefore I utterly & completely reject your idea. I will simply count the shows down in this manner, go home, & cry into my hands.

But don't be dissuaded! You can send me your suggestions anytime!.

Speaking of sadness & woe, you guessed it, show number 8 is today, & it's my show about bands I like that are coming to South By South South next week. My taste is of course more on the radio than yours, so perhaps you'll have to tune in.

If it's on the radio, it'll be on 91.7 fm.
If it's on the computer live, it'll be at
If it's no longer March 7, it'll be at

See you there!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Subtle Frenzy

Hello, it's Thursday. I have looked through the list of bands coming to town next week until my eyes have started to feel sad. I am amazed at three things: 1) that so many bands are coming to town next week; 2) that so many of the bands coming to town next week have really awful names; & 3) that so many bands are coming to town next week that aren't very good.

I know, taste is a subjective thing (except, you know, with things like poo - no one likes the taste of poo), but still, as someone who puts his taste on the line every week (since everything I play is chosen by me & by a robot I built in the fourth grade), I have to say, wow. I am glad I don't have to fill more than a couple of hours of programming with this lot. Ouch.

I am of course just being silly, except about the names. Here is a list of some of the worst band names you can imagine in the universe I promise (I have left out most of the metal, "world" & hiphop names, because they are required to be ridiculous &/or include bad puns):

The Airborne Toxic Event (look, we got our name from a newspaper we opened at random!)
American Bang (wait. hunh?)
An Albatross (is the article required? i bet they have gotten mad at bloggers who forgot the article!)
A Thousand Knives Of Fire (rip Gary Gygax!)
Beasts and Superbeasts (they have weird zoos in Canada)
Bedroom Walls (I guess it beats "Kitchen Cupboards" - or does it?)
Between the Buried and Me (wait. what?)
Bound Stems (aw, they live near a florist!)
Carbon/Silicon (choose damnit!)
Care Bears on Fire (it's just not funny)
Cassettes Won't Listen (it's just not weird enough)
The Chocolate Horse (sounds delicious!)
Coconut Coolouts (sounds delightful!)
Collections of Colonies of Bees (sounds dangerous!)
The Crash That Took Me (since they're from Dallas, I assume they're talking about something financial)
Does It Offend You, Yeah? (does it embarrass you? no?)
Drop Dead, Gorgeous (someone should never have given them that comma)
The Dykeenies (this seems slightly offensive. & dumb)
Earthless (shoud've gone with "pantsless")
Envy On The Coast (since "landlocked shame" was taken)
Everlovely Lightningheart + Everthus the Deadbeats (okay, they're avant-garde-ish bands, but if they can't be clever enough to think up a good name, how clever do you think their music will be?)
Ex Cocaine (Post Cocaine would have been a much better name.)

& that's just the A-Es! I'd like to continue but I have to go to a meeting.

I'll end on a positive note: My favorite band name for a metal band at SXSW? Blunt Force Trauma. I am proud to say they're local!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Whither SXSW 2008?

Hello friends. I am writing this blog with something just a little like sadness, as this is probably the last time I will get to write about Austin's yearly clusterfuck called "South By South West." I will most probably not be in this city next year so I won't get to play bands that are coming to Austin in order to edutain you about my faves. & surely that is a sadness.

It reminds me of a time when I was squatting in a freebooter's flat in the port city of Port Arthur. Those were lonesome days with only the sound of the television tuned to the Game Show Network to keep me warmish. Years later, after a chilling rain, I attended the same television's funeral at a second-hand appliance store in nearby Corpus Christi & I truly remember thinking, "Thomas Worf was right, you can't go squat again." So too it shall be after this week's review.

& you shall surely see me standing outside the lovely offices of Entercom afterwards with tears streaming down my cheeks saying, "Oh God what have I done!" Then I'll be mugged by two coffee delivery boys as I am every Friday. They keep finding where I hide my money! Truly they are both mean & crafty!

But, as John Leopard Dirtypants has written in his fable "Zach & Dionne": Fuck yeah, life goes on, long after the trill & spilling is gone. So too I long for once more to trill & spill about this musical festival which nearly no one attends, & then I shall let it go, like I let go the remote of that long-ago pirate's television, dropping it in the grave prepared for it, & never thinking about it again.

Until now, you know. I had to think about it to make a point. Get it?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Preface To SXSW2008: Getting Fat On Tourist Dollars Is Fun!

In Austin, we like the tourists. They smell funny & they look funny but they seem to like this place we live in & they bring us lots of money. Mmm, money.

However, money isn't everything, & certainly that is a lesson that South By South West teaches us. Fame is also important. Also, getting people to scramble about madly from place-to-place to catch a few admittedly unsatisfying minutes of one's favorite band when they are definitely not at their best because they've been scheduled to play after a sixteen piece jam band at a venue that was a used book store recently converted to a "space" for bands only after three interns at South By South West International were dispatched to the City Codes office to offer sexual favors for anyone who could expedite the process. Yes, besides money, there's fame & desperation. Mmm, desperation.

I confess I don't spend money on "wristbands" nor do I use my considerable media muscle (ahem) to force my way into venues. But I do drink a lot of an evening & weep into my hands while no one's looking. But I also do that at other times besides South By South Ugh, so that's not important. What is important is that the city thinks you're a moderately well-off (but distant) relative & is glad you're leaving on Sunday. It completely expects you to pay for everything while you're here & that's why it doesn't mind if you throw up all over the place (like you will).

This is true for the musicians, too. I mean, come on! We're a city that doesn't even appreciate the musicians we got! So feel free to despoil our children & drink our watered-down well drinks - you're going to be racking up some debt while you're here, believe you me.

Yes, tourists reinforce Austin's self-importance, & well that should. Listen - if you didn't come twice a year now (also for the ACL thing in the fall), this damn city might actually have to get a job!

Monday, March 03, 2008

If I Were Billy Preston...

This is an embarrassing thing to discuss in what amounts to a group setting because I don't spend a whole lot of time imagining what I would do if I could be someone else or even wanting to be someone else & let's be honest here most folks who spend a lot of time imagining what they'd do if they were someone else are not really imagining what they would do but rather imagining just being that other person & doing whatever that person did because the reason you'd want to be a specific person outside of yourself is not the ineffable qualities of that person somehow applied to your condition but instead you experiencing what you have decided are amazing moments in some much famous person's life & it being you rather than the person inspiring another person like you but which isn't you which is my way of saying that since I don't really do that I probably wouldn't want to be Billy Preston as I don't really have much of a yen to reproduce much of what he did in this life except perhaps appear in the motion picture Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band if only to hang out with underrated British comedian Frankie Howerd & to also fulfill a lifelong wish to beat the living shit out of Maurice Gibb.

This doesn't mean I don't like Billy Preston or don't like the song "Will It Go Round In Circles" (I fucking love that song). Just that I wouldn't want to be him, in the same way I wouldn't want to be pretty much any musician. You're the one who brought up Billy Preston. It could easily have been Patsy Cline or Nick Cave or Holger Czukay.

Now that that's out of the way, may I remind you that you experienced a "leap day" this year, on February 29, & you won't get to do that for four more years now, but you can return to ninety delicious minutes of that day as they were celebrated on Self Help Radio simply by visiting I don't know this for a fact but I have it on good authority that if enough of us experience that show over & over we may also add an extra day to March!