Saturday, June 19, 2010

Preface To Begging: What Shall I Put On My Sign Today?

A while back, the wife & I were driving through rural Ohio & we noticed some mildly creative - mostly groanworthy - church marquee signs. She said, "I think I should take some pictures & start collecting them!" One quick web search later, & we discovered (of course) that there was already such a site.

As I was thinking about beggars & begging - this week's theme - I thought about the crazy signs that people begging for money would have in Austin (not so many beggars in Huntington) & I thought, "I should have taken pictures!"

But of course someone already has. & also someone else. & probably more.

At least there's a place where I can get an idea if ever I am reduced to begging on the street. I like this one:

Friday, June 18, 2010

What's Coming Next

I am saying my goodbyes to WMUL this week, & have done my last show there, but of course Self Help Radio will continue as it has, with or without a radio station, heck! with or without listeners! I will have new shows every Tuesday but I'm loathe to abandon the other shows that I've also been doing, Dickenbock Electronics & Sugar Substitute.

Thus & therefore I'll continue to do them, but will do them now on Saturdays, & I'll add a couple of shows to satisfy my restless musical wanderings; one will be a jazz show, the other will be an old-time scratchy record country & blues show. I haven't come up with names yet. Do you want to help me name them?

The shows will alternate so they're basically monthly. Self Help Radio weekly, the other shows monthly. Self Help Radio on Tuesdays, the other shows on Saturday. More material for me to share. More material for you to ignore!

What's coming next is really not so different from what is, but I thought I should tell you anyway. Y'know?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Told you!

I told you I could do an entire show with songs entitled "Tell Me"! Didn't I tell you? Don't tell me I didn't! I remember telling you I could do an entire show of different songs with a single title. You said, "Tell me the title." I said, "That's it!"

The show is available for your wonder & concern at

I'm telling you, it's true!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Shouldn't Twitter

No. No, I shouldn't. No matter what Roger Ebert says.

What I am going to do is do Self Help Radio tonight (the theme is "tell me") on WMUL which is at 88.1 on the fm dial. It starts at 9pm, with a new episode of Sugar Substitute on at 10:30pm. Both shows will be archived later, of course, at

Stop me before I start to tweet!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Whither Tell Me?

I'm very excited by this show. I believe that, for the very first time ever (for me), every song I play on Self Help Radio will have the same title. Yes, there will be nothing but songs entitled "Tell Me" on this week's show. I think that's frickin' awesome.

Also, in case you've been wanting to hear some of the best music that's come out in the last couple of months, you can listen to June's Self Help Radio Extra, which is available at self help radio dot net slash extra dot html. It has twenty-two songs & last seventy five minutes. & best of all, there's not any of that annoying guy who does Self Help Radio talking anywhere on it. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Preface To Tell Me: You Don't Have To Tell Me After All

I never really did understand iambic pentameter. I think people believe that playwrights in the olden days that used iambic pentameter didn't deliberately set out to use iambic pentameter but instead just thought about the world in iambic pentameter. I myself think that's untrue, although I'm probably wrong. Just because I am lazy & don't think a lot about my "writing style" or even proper grammar, punctuation, & spelling doesn't mean that others don't. It seems a very human thing to ascribe one's own weaknesses onto others, probably as a way to self-justify. Ambition, discipline, skill - when one lacks those things (like I do), one chooses instead to ascribe popularity, fame, success, etc., to something like luck rather than genuine hard work & talent. So forget what I said. People who write in iambic pentameter probably mean to do so, following what to them is a serious poetic tradition, & they don't labor with it like I used to in high school, counting the syllables on my fingers. They have trained themselves to think in that form, to better let the words flow naturally & beautifully.

I am always slightly sad that I'll never have the same kind of success (due to my own lack of ambition, discipline & most of all skill) as others, but two things about my fate give me a little comfort. One is that luck can & does play a big part. I know, some people make their own luck, but sometimes that can backfire. The other is that more & more people are successful in smaller & smaller circles. Our society is becoming larger but more compartmentalized, with tiny subsubcultures now freely able to communicate & gather, ignoring or otherwise unaware of the attempts by the corporate world to create & sustain a monoculture with their own stars, musicians, & authorities. Therefore your average "success," though he, she or they can become wealthy, will not likely attain the level of success of a "star" even a decade ago. Everything is more diffuse.

In a way, it's becoming more like it used to be. Before film & music recording, & although word did reach smaller communities about famous actors & musicians, the "stars" of one's life were more than likely the talented people in one's vicinity.

Or maybe not. I'm just thinking out loud on a Sunday morning.