Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's Number 1100

It's that time again. The appearance of meticulous accounting. Lots of figures added up in my head. Here are the "facts":

I started this blog on 9/12/06.

I reached post # 100 on 3/7/07, 176 (or so) days later.
I reached post # 200 on 8/13/07. 158 days (I counted) after post # 100.
I reached post # 300 on 1/9/08. 149 days after post # 200. No one else will count. So I must.
I reached post # 400 on 5/26/08. A mere 138 days after # 300.
I reached the somewhat impressive post # 500th on 10/14/08. That was 141 days after # 400.

I can't really remember what I wrote yesterday (or this morning!), I'm sure it would terrify me to revisit some of those old posts.


I reached post # 600 on 3/25/09. That was 162 days after # 500. & frankly a bit of a let-down.
I reached post # 700 on 9/23/09. A massive 186 days after # 600.
I reached post # 800 on 2/19/10. A more reasonable 149 days after # 700.
I reached post # 900 on 7/23/10. About a year ago more or less, & 154 days after # 800.
I reached post # 1000 - you heard me, ONE THOUSAND! - on 12/14/10.

Now it's 158 days later - 5/21/11 - it would have been sooner but I did take two weeks off at the end of the year to go to Australia, you know - & I've reached number 1100. It's mainly a milestone for mostly me, but I am open to whatever idears you might have about celebrating. I get to be on the radio tonight. That's usually enough for me.

Preface To Problems: Rapture Day! Problems Solved!

How appropriate! This week's show is about problems, & guess what? According to we can know dot com, "the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011." I am making the universal gesture of wiping my hands clean & then showing them as such, which means (okay, it may not be universal) "problem solved."

Well, problem solved if you're a Christian as narrowly defined by these Bible believers. I thought I was obsessive about Star Trek, but man, the calculations these nimrods come up with by comparing & contrasting different Bible passages & then interpreting them just right is positively nerdy. They might as well be arguing about how the new movie totally screws up Roddenberry's well-established continuity.

I don't care enough to read on to discover how they bypass Mark 13: 31-33. You know, "Heaven & earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day & that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch & pray: for ye know not when the time is." That'd be like worrying about those episodes of Voyager where they seem to be beaming people aboard while their shields were up. It hardly, you know, seems worth it.

What's more important is two things: one, I'll be on the radio FIVE HOURS tonight, first playing hip hop as I sub Revolution Radio at 10pm, & then three more hours freeform from midnight to 3am. Post-rapture radio, for the unsaved. That's on the 88.1 fm frequency if you're in Lexington, & online at wrfl dot fm. Listen if you can!

Also, the next post is post number 1100. I am write a special extra SHR blog post today to celebrate!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Countdown To The Eleven Hundredth Post!

I am about to reach the eleven hundredth post on this Self Help Radio blog. Perhaps I should do something to celebrate. Though "1100" is not exactly the most exciting number to reach. It looks, actually, like something that could possibly be an expletive in the language of a binary-based alien. If I were an artist I would draw a couple of computer-like beings acting angry at one another & one of them flipping the other off with a keyboard which saying "1100!" Would anyone understand it? Besides not thinking it was funny, I mean?

I can't remember when I started this blog, but I suppose when the time comes I'll do another irritating calculation that only makes me happy. When I was a kid, I often got frustrated with myself for not finishing anything - for example, I'd make lots of "first issues" of little comic books & was particularly proud of my "To Be Continued!" final pages. But they were never to be continued. I moved on.

I'm not sure if my adult life is as filled with abandonment in the same manner, but boy I wish I could show my depressed thirteen-year-old self that I've kept up with something as long as I have with this blog! Or even the radio show. It'll be nine years this October. Nine years & three radio stations in three different states. I think that would make my thirteen-year-old self wet his pants.

Not that it was terribly difficult to make my thirteen-year-old self wet his pants. It's just an expression.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Show About Drums

Drums. The world's oldest & most ubiquitous musical instrument. Virtually every culture that exists or has ever existed has them. Your parents wouldn't let you have any when you were kids. Hippies ruined playing them for you forever. Most drummers you meet are very sweaty, nearly all the time(*). & yet you still think they're pretty awesome. Well, so does Self Help Radio.

In fact, here's an entire show about drums, drummers & drumming. It's not a show about specific drummers. It has lots of drumming, & some different kinds of drums, but only one drum solo, & that one is done by a child at a talent show recorded in the 1980s. In short, it's done the way Self Help Radio does things, which is most probably not the right way to do things, but it's too late now. I was traumatized at an early age by hippies at a drum circle.

The show is drumming its fingers, waiting for you, at the Self Help Radio website. It's divided into two parts: part one is beating the bass drum menacingly right here; the other is tattooing the snare right over here. The songs in the two parts are listed below. Like Neal Peart, this show can play its drums upside down.

* This is actually not true. But studies have shown that seeing a group of hippies in a drum circle makes the average person wish that there were no longer any drums or patchouli in the world.

(part one)

"A Child's Introduction To Drums" Ruckus Roboticus _Playing With Scratches_
"I Hear The Drummer (Tunng Edit)" Quincy & Xen Cuts Allstars _Ninja Tune XX Vol 2_

"Drummin' Man (Anita O'Day, vocals)" Gene Krupa _Juke Joint Jive_
"The Drummer Plays For Me (Hal Blaine & The Young Cougars)" Darlene Love _So Much Love - A Darlene Love Anthology 1958-1998_
"Drums" Michael Holliday _UK Teenage Jamboree Vol. 2_
"Drums" Jon & Robin _Do It Again! The Best Of Jon & Robin_
"Drummer Man" The Brady Bunch _The Kids From The Brady Bunch_
"Drummerman" Tonight _Tonight_

"Those Conga Drums" Jonathan Richman _Jonathan Sings!_
"The Drum" Slapp Happy _Casablanca Moon_
"She Bangs The Drums" The Stone Roses _The Stone Roses_

(part two)

"Drum Solo" The Talent Show _The Talent Show_
"The Ballard Of J Drummer" The Fall _The Light User Syndrome_
"Different Drum" Me First & The Gimme Gimmes _Blow In The Wind_

"Funky Drummer" James Brown _Star Time_
"Give The Drummer Some" Ultramagnetic MC's _Critical Beatdown_
"A Different Drum" Peter Gabriel _Passion: Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ_

"Just Like A Drummer" The Wave Pictures _Instant Coffee Baby_
"Your Brother's Drums" Pearly Gatecrashers _But Wait, There's More_
"Drum Beat For Baby" Weekend _La Varieté_
"Drum Machines Will Save Mankind" Mikrofisch _Masters Of The Universe_

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Whither Drums?

I don't think I have a favorite drum solo or even a favorite drummer. I tried to learn how to play the drums once but of course didn't want to practice all the time. Practice was boring. When I see musicians play I often imagine they don't practice at all, but I know they do. The first time I realized that a band had to play a certain song sometimes dozens of time before they got the recorded version I enjoyed it kinda blew my mind. It was probably listening to those Beatles' "Let It Be" session bootlegs. Then bands play the songs over & over.

I would "jam" with a couple of friends over a decade ago - me on the drums - friends I don't see or talk to anymore. I'm not entirely sure where they ended up. One of them was married with a kid, that's more common in my life these days, but not so much then. The other apparently came out of the closet & renounced his pals & lives perhaps in California. I kinda miss them, although if there's anything Facebook has taught me, it's that missing people is mostly more fun than finding out that their lives are as uninteresting as mine.

I named the band The Blames. A friend liked the name a lot. He even suggested the title for our first album: "Share The Blames." But the summer ended & we stopped practicing. It was obvious I wasn't going to be any good. One fellow moved cities with his wife & child. When I look back it seems like we played in a dingy, hot "practice space" a lot, but I'll bet it was just two or three times. They enjoyed smoking pot. I drank beer & chain-smoked cigarettes while I "drummed." I just don't have a natural aptitude for music. & I don't want to work toward it, to overcome my natural inability.

I am sometimes impressed by a drummer on a recording, even if he or she is a session drummer, only to discover that the drummer's resume is really, really dull. For example, I think the drumming on Dylan's "Blonde On Blonde" is transcendent. But the drummer, Kenny Buttrey, mainly recorded in Nashville for middle-of-the-road country or folk artists. The Allmusic Guide calls his drumming for Dylan "perhaps his most significant work."

Tomorrow's show won't focus on particular drummers. It'll be songs about drums & drumming, & drummers in general. There might be a drum solo, but it won't be what you'd expect. Or maybe you don't expect anything. I am perhaps too presumptuous. Like I do.

New Self Help Radio! Tomorrow live at 7:30 am on 88.1 fm in Lexington, on wrfl dot fm all over the place! & of course archived later on self help radio dot net! Drums. It's a fun word to say. Drums.