Saturday, December 24, 2011

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 34: Why Talk About This On Christmas Eve?

It was a lovely day in Lexington. I spent the morning preparing the Christmas show I'm playing tomorrow morning from 6 to 9 am on WRFL. Then I continued listening to bands & musicians whose alphabetically important name starts with "g" since I will be continuing the indiepop a to z this Monday. Might I even finish the Gs? I don't know!

Then I walked the dogs. It was sunny & not that cold & doesn't feel much like Christmas - the clerk at the "co-op" in town (it's not a co-op, but they call themselves one) didn't even wish me a happy holiday - but it did get nippy as the sun sank toward the horizon.

I am thinking about what to make for dinner while listening to stuff for Monday's show. You might hear my multitasking brain while I am typing - "Is Guadalcanal Diary indiepop?" it just thought, before answering itself, "No" - as I sort through the list. This is both the easiest & most time-consuming show I do. I might even finish the Gs!

You're not reading this right now, if ever, but if you are someone who celebrates the Christmas Eve & then the Christmas Day, let me say on behalf of everyone at Self Help Radio (it's basically just me & three dogs & three cats & whatever birds & squirrels are hanging around the bird feeder) that we hope you have a safe & happy holiday. You deserve it!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Self Help 101: Surviving The Holidays With Families

Do you have a family? You may think yourself lucky. There are, as we are solemnly aware in this season of credit card debt, many people who've lost other people, or who never had them in the first place. & if you think that's a bummer, you may know be coming to this realization: holy crap in a blanket, I'm going to have to spend the next few days with my family!

Family, as it probably says in the Bible or something, is like a tumor: most are benign. But no one really wants to get a tumor, not even as a conversation starter or a reason to take the day off for elective surgery & the biopsy party that night. (There are, as Oscar Wilde once noted, better reasons to have a party.)

Yet we must ask ourselves in this season of homophobic Salvation Army bell ringers: what if our family is malignant? Who's going to tell Mom? Does it have to be me? Below is a list, gathered from the sages of ages & some Family Circus cartoons, of ways to survive the time with the family at least until there are better prescription pills.

1) Choose to hear the most common offensive remarks (racist, misogynistic, jingoistic, etc.) in the context of an anthropologist visiting from the future. Perhaps write a few of them down.

2) Give useless advice to one family member & then say another family member told you to tell them that.

3) One is often told to stay away from touchy subjects like religion & politics. However, you do not have to avoid them; instead, brush up before the holidays on obscure ancient religions & the politics of dead civilizations.

4) Respond to most queries with a smile & a wink.

5) In situations where a drunken or old (or both) family member is about to tell the same story they've told every year, pay attention like you've never done before, often exclaiming things like, "Ooo, I know this one! It's a good 'un!"

6) Don't be so rude by listening to music on your mp3 player or texting all the time on your phone. Be so rude by pretending to fall asleep while sitting at a table.

7) Have short poems from amateur internet "poetry" sites printed on pieces of paper. Give them to family members & say, "This made me think of you." Or, if the poem is exceptionally bad, say, "Can you tell me what this means?"

8) Weather permitting, position yourself always just out of earshot.

9) Hug family members quickly, often muttering words of consolation, then pretend to be distracted by something else & move on.

10) Continue that search for those better prescription pills.

Happy holidays & stuff from Self Help Radio!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Have Yourself A Gary Little Christmas

What, did you think this year's A Very Self Help Radio Christmas was the end? Oh no. Despite the fact that I don't really celebrate Christmas, & will in fact be mostly drunk throughout the holidays, I am actually going to be doing shows on Christmas Eve & Christmas Morning. What? No way!

You can catch me from 6 to 8pm on Saturday night & from 6 to 9am on Sunday morning. Basically, I'm bookending Santa's flight.

Might I remind you that you can also hear a Christmas show I did two years ago in a different state on a different radio station here? I don't repeat myself often, if at all, on Self Help Radio, but when I'm doing other shows, repeats are allowed.

I promise I won't scream into the microphone like I've been doing lately.

UPDATE: I won't be doing Christmas Eve after all. Oh well. More drinking for me!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2011

Happy holidays from Self Help Radio! Here's a selection of holiday tunes that range from the goofy to the schmaltzy.

The show is in two almost equal parts at the Self Help Radio website. Part one is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Part two is donning now its gay apparel. What's in each part is below.

The best wishes for you & yours during this festive season! As always, thanks for listening!

(part one)

"The Kinds Of Christmas" Ken Nordine & Chorus _Merry Christmas From Line Material 1958_
"Santa Santa" Rocky Fellers _Look At Killer Joe Go!_

"Christmas Ferret" The Amoeba People _Incomprehensible Communications_
"Disco Claus" Bionic I _Disco Claus_
"Christmas Bop" T. Rex _T. Rex Wax Co. Singles, Vol. 2 (1975-1978)_
"Sleigh Ride" Lio, Helena Noguerra, & Marie France _Ze Xmas Record Reloaded_
"Twelve Days Of Christmas" Mike Sammes Singers _White Christmas_

"The Chord Cracker" Hugo Kant _I Don't Want To Be An Emperor_
"Do You Hear Rainbows I Hear (Apollo Zero Reconstruct)" Apollo Zero _Santastic III In 3-D_
"To Make A Christmas Cake That Will Keep Until Easter" Alan Maitland (Fireside Al) _Fireside Al's Treasury Of Christmas Stories_

(part two)

"It's Christmas Baby (Why You Wearin' Black)" Aquavelvets _Fuzz, Acid & Mistletoe: Christmas In The Garage_
"Christmas Here On Mars" Bubble _Xmas EP_
"White Christmas" Doug & The Slugs _Slugcology 101_

"On A Christmas Day" Leadbelly _Leadbelly_
"Christmas Sing-Along/Deck The Halls" Sesame Street Gang _Sesame Street Christmas Sing-Along_
"Santa Got Lost In Texas" Michael Landon _Bonanza Original TV Cast: Christmas On The Ponderosa_
"Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" The Ralph Hunter Choir _Christmas Surprises_
"Jingle Bells" Balla Tounkara & Balla Kouyate _Malifoly_

"Merry Something To You" Devo _Merry Something To You_
"Christmas In The Center Of The Earth" Wow _Business Deal Band Lotto 2_
"For Christmas I Got Pityriasis Rosea" The Research _Rhubarb Bomb Xmas EP 2007_
"Christmas Is Cancelled" The Long Blondes _Christmas Is Cancelled_
"X-Mas Song" Fireflies _Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Moon_

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Whither A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2011?

'Twas the night before the Self Help Radio Christmas show,
& all through the house -
Well, I can't see all through the house -
All the hounds & cats were on the sofa with the wife
Watching the season finale of "Homeland"

What, you can't write a "free verse" version of a Christmas classic?
It would be a hard thing to have to rhyme
At a time like this
See, I can't even manage it in that manner
I guess it really is kind of lame

It actually reminds me of a chick I used to know
Who wrote me emails that were like this
It made the emails seem to be "poetic"
& added bulk to them
When the content was really just
Barely a paragraph

Oh well, let's go back to talking about Christmas
One show! A show a year! One Christmas show!
If only that made it all go away
Instead, it's just another year
Will you listen & not be like
the hounds & the cats & the wife on the sofa

They always sleep through my show

Listen! Listen! All through your house & car or whatever!
From 7:30 to 9am on the 88.1 frequency
That's in Lexington
Or online at wrfl dot fm
(Archived later at the Self Help Radio website)

Fa la la la la la la la falafel!