Friday, April 24, 2009


I am punning on a Julian Cope song I'll probably play tomorrow on the show. It's a show about surfing, although I am not above playing, for example, a song about couch surfing, which isn't at all dangerous unless you are friends with psychopaths, & snail surfing, which is something I just made up. I have no idea what the Julian Cope song is about, but it sounds comforting - "You don't have to be afraid, love, 'cause I'm a safe surfer, darling." & the song was written before there was much of an online world, too, so it can't be about computer viruses & modem condoms. (Okay, I just made up modem condoms too.)

Storm's a-brewin' in Austin town this afternoon, & I hope I get some wind & rain slapped in my face & (if I'm lucky) a giant magnolia blossom will knock the toupee off our governor's head. I just wanted to remind you that, no matter the weather, no matter how land-locked you are, you'll be surfing with Self Help Radio tomorrow in the afternoon. & all through the night, if you want. I'm easy like that. (& I'm not making that up.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whither's Surf's Up?

I knew this dude once who had a typical story, which surfer lore is replete with, & that story is this: some person in some career, be it bagboy or CEO, insurance agent or loan shark, finds his or her way to California or Hawaii for something like a vacation or time off, is cajoled into (or actually is interested in) surfing, & likes it so much, they give up everything to live near the beach so they can surf, surf, surf all the livelong day.

Surfing is a strange culture & it's only because I wanted to read more about it that I decided to do a show about surfing. I confess I am less interested in the twangy Dick Dale style of playing that has become known as "surf rock" (a sub-category of surf music) than in the whole attitude of people writing music about what is basically a leisure activity. There's more adrenaline, of course, which may explain why there's not such a thing as "golf music" (although a Google search turns up an Amazon page of lounge music called "golf music that swings!" implying, I guess, that famous golfers like Bing Crosby meant their music to accompany the game). There's also, of course, physically fit people in swimsuits. Craggy old men in embarrassing hats on a golf course can't compete.

Surf media, though, hasn't really interested me. I never liked the "beach blanket" movies of the 60's. As a big fan of Deadwood, I was willing to give creator David Milch's John From Cincinnati a fair shake, but it wasn't a very interesting show, although I do love me some Garret Dillahunt. It seemed to make the whole prospect of becoming a surfer a lot like becoming a junkie - you give up everything for your "fix" & live in a kind of tattooed squalor. But the songs seem to celebrate a lot more.

I'm of course just thinking out loud & certainly don't want to offend any surfers (or any junkies, for that matter), & this is just the mindset (or mind-un-set as the case may be) as I gather surf songs for Self Help Radio this week. & no, I'll probably never surf, not just because I'm afraid of jellyfishes (they sting!) but because I have a bad back & would hate to love surfing & then hurt myself so I couldn't surf again. It would be like my relationship with peanut butter cups all over again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Preface To Surf's Up: Screw The Surf, Last Week's Show Is Up

Got it? Get it? Good!

Last week's Self Help Radio, which is about enemies, is available now for your listening pleasure at Which is the same link as the link for Self Help Radio. Also, it's the same link for the word "link". Can't have too many links, that's what I say. I might even link the Self Help Radio address to a link for Google while I'm at it. Who's going to stop me? The police?

Anyway, go listen. I finally finished it. I hope you didn't become my enemy because it was late.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last Week's Self Help Radio Is On The Way!

I know, when I had to take a week off (or at least be gone the day my show was on) when Self Help Radio was on the radio, I tended to just skip the week or get someone to sub the show. But since Self Help Radio is a podcast now (but may not remain one in the future - more on that later as developing developments develop) I imagined I could come in from a long weekend, sit up & finish a new show a mere twenty-four hours late. But I couldn't. I didn't. But I will!

Yes, sir, I've been making last week's show in my head all day today & will put it together tomorrow. You heard me! Last Saturday's show will debut this Tuesday! & not only that - there'll be a new show Saturday! What do you think about that, haters? You hate it? Well, you by definition would. It seems like such an awful job title - "hater." What does that pay? Very well, you say? Good for you!

Tomorrow I'll have a Self Help Radio for you. I promise. & I hardly ever keep my promises, but this time, for you, I will. Because I don't want to disappoint the state of West Virginia. It's true.