Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Indiepop A To Z # 39!

Self Help Radio 121231: Indiepop A To Z # 39

Yes yes yes.  The alphabetizing continues!  Hen to Hit today!  The end is nowhere in sight.

I can't go on, I must go on.  See?  This is an existential radio show.

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website &/or you can access the files in an individual manner: here's part one & here's part two.  What's in both parts is listed below.

The last show of 2012 is a list show.

As always, thanks for listening!

(part one)

"Get Yourself Together" Henry's Dress _Bust 'Em Green_
"Nobody Loves Me" The Hepburns _How The Fallen Are Mighty_
"Ultra-Crush" Her Tears _A Gift From Sing-Sing_

"Idlewild" Here's Johnny _Idlewild_
"No Milk Today" Herman's Hermits _There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)_
"Surfin' Vietnam" The Hermit Crabs _Let's Try Another Ideal Guest House_
"So Blue" The Hermit Crabs _Time Relentless EP_
"Slumber" Herostratos _EardrumsPop 100_

"Me & My Charms" Kristin Hersh _Hips & Makers_
"Two Mothers" Herzfeld _Two Mothers_
"Enclosed" Hewas _Invited To Dinner_
"Haystack" Kevin Hewick & New Order _From Brussels With Love_
"Belle & Julian" Hey Hey My My _Too Much Space EP_

"I Really Do Love Penelope" Hey Paulette _The Sound Of Leamington Spa Volume 1_

(part two)

"Blue Hat For A Blue Day" Nick Heyward _North Of A Miracle_
"It Only Works Because You’re Here" MJ Hibbett _Indietracks 2009 - An Indiepop Compilation_
"Fee Fie" The Hidden Cameras _Awoo_
"Box Set Go" The High _Somewhere Soon_

"Addicted To A TV" The High Fidelity _Demonstration_
"Flowers Bloom" High Highs _High Highs_
"Giddy & Gay" The High Llamas _Gideon Gaye_
"Finding Clovers" The High Water Marks _Polar_
"There Is A Town" The Higher Elevations _Always The Same_

"Conspiracy" The Higsons _Conspiracy_
"Nowhere Train" Hill Bandits _Nowhere Train_
"Long Brown Eyes" Hip Young Things _The Noise & The Melodies - The Pearl-Compilation_
"Psycho" Hipslingers _Young Blood_
"Baby Fish Mouth" His Name Is Alive _Mouth By Mouth_
"You Didn't Love Me Then" The Hit Parade _CD86: 48 Tracks From The Birth Of Indie Pop_

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 39?

We'll start with HEN or so.  We may get as far as HOL.  Interestingly, I was once called a Hen's Hole in high school.  I shook the fellow who was insulting me's hand.

It's tomorrow morning on the very last day of 2012, from 7am to 9am.  I don't know about you, but this was not an easy year for me.  You can listen on the 88.1 fm frequency in Lexington, or and you can listen online at  I am hoping that 2013 goes a little easier.  I will try to get the show online at the Self Help Radio website but it probably won't happen until the new year.  But perhaps I will be better about such things then.

Happy new year!  I hope yours is fun & you'll be safe & stuff!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Grammar Fascist

I like the AllMusic web site, I think it's a nice resource, but I have always felt - I have friends who think this, too - that it would benefit from having the sort of user comments that the Internet Movie Database has.  I don't necessarily need to read what everyone thinks about my favorite records, but when you have only a small group of people review stuff, you're bound to have some reviews that slip by with little or no editing.

Case in point: this review of the George Harrison song "Think For Yourself":

I have screen-captured it, & circled the two things that annoy me, &, in my opinion, invalidate the review.  One, the dude doesn't know the difference between "its" & "it's."  Can you imagine someone with a real writing gig making that mistake?  It's Grammar 101!

The second thing is that he misquotes the lyrics.  Never once does George Harrison sing "you gotta think for yourself" in the song.

I guess you can think that the song is "dated" but I'm not going to pay attention to your opinions when you can't even properly quote the song.  It's not like there aren't hundreds of lyrics sites out there.

If you were allowed to comment on this, you could call this dumbass out & perhaps encourage him to correct his errors.

Interestingly, the AllMusic Guide doesn't let you search for writers, so I can't see what other nonsense the reviewer - "Thomas Ward" - has written.

Some might think that I am making a big deal about nothing, but this little review is a microcosm of the biggest problem with the site.  It has an insularity that makes it far from the important resource it could be.  That's too bad.

Also, that's a pretty great George Harrison song.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Green Wing

Have you seen this?  Dude, it's on Netflix!  You know, the streaming part.  Where you can watch it on your computer.

Not that I'm a paid employee of anyone, because I am'nt.  I'm just watching every episode of Green Wing in order until my brain starts to swoon.

Should I be doing something else?

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2012!

Santa made me put this up before he started work tonight!

Two hours of Christmas music!  I talk about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, & Boxing Day!  & Captain Kangaroo seems to enjoy talking about burning Christmas trees & melting snowmen!

Listen to it now at the Self Help Radio web site.  Listen to the two parts at one click: part one | part two.  Unwrap the list below to see what's in each present!

Happy holidays everyone!  Thanks for listening!

(part one)

"Season's Freaklings" Bunnygrunt _Blue Christmas_
"I Want An Alien For Christmas" Hillary & The Democrats _Christmastime, Approximately_
"Twimmin' De Cwis'mas Twee" Duncan Sisters _Twimmin' De Cwis'mas Twee_
"Here Comes Christmas" Remington Super 60 _Go System Go!_

"Santa Claus Is Skaing To Town" The Granville Williams Orchestra _Trojan Christmas Box Set_
"The Christmas Song" The Raveonettes _Heartbreak Stroll EP_
"Kung Fu Xmas" Pearly Gatecrashers _Spectacular_
"Santa Claus Is Sometimes Brown" El Vez _Merry MeX-mas_
"Santa Claus Is A Black Man" Akim & The Teddy Vann Production Company _A John Waters Christmas_

"I'm Not Really In The Christmas Mood This Year" Foxtails Brigade _Time Is Passed_
"A Feast" Lisa Germano _A Feast_
"I've Had A Very Merry Christmas" Jerry Lewis _Jerry Lewis: Capitol Collector's Series_
"Christmas" Red Sleeping Beauty _Pop Sounds_
"Gettin' Ready For Christmas Day" Rev. J.M. Gates With His Congregation _Goodbye, Babylon_

"Santa Je T'Aime" The Superions _Destination... Christmas!_

(part two)

"Last Christmas" Palast Orchester feat. Max Raabe _Party Time!_
"Disco Christmas" The Universal Robot Band _Disco Christmas_
"Do They Know It's Christmas" Richard Cheese _Silent Nightclub_
"Do You Hear What I Hear?" The Children Of The University Of Michigan Children's Psychiatric Hospital _Christmas At C.P.H._

"The Littlest Snowman" Captain Kangaroo _First Christmas Record For Children_
"Here Comes The Rhythm Band" The Peppermint Kandy Kids _Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer_
"Little Twinka-Den" Twinka-Den _Little Twinka-Den_
"The Twelve Days Of Christmas" Sharon, Lois & Bram _Candles, Snow & Mistletoe_
"I Won't Let You Lick My Candy Bar" Susan Kay _Christmas On The Moon With Tim Dinkins_

"Stone Soul Christmas" Binky Griptite _Santa's Funk & Soul Christmas Party_
"Christmas Love (feat. Rotary Connection)" Minnie Riperton _Her Chess Years_
"Goin' To Bethlehem" Countryside Unitarian Fellowship _Hey Jesus Christ Welcome To This World_
"Merry, Merry Christmas" Bill Elliott _Merry, Merry Christmas_

"Christmas Tyme" Yard Trauma _Fuzz, Acid & Mistletoe: Christmas In The Garage_
"Snowflakes!" The Happiest Guys In The World _The Tarquin Records All Star Holiday Extravaganza_
"Teenage Christmas" Jacobites _God Save Us Poor Sinners_

PS Last year's show is available for listening too if you're a glutton for punishment.  Ho ho ho!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Whither A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2012?

Tomorrow morning, 7 to 9am.  88.1 fm in Lexington.  wrfl dot fm online.  self help radio dot net later.  Oh yeah.  SANTA'S GOING DOWN.

(That was dumb, sorry.)

Also: this is post number 1500.  I didn't want to make a big deal about it.  But.  Wow.

Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Preface To A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2012: Nipping At Your Nose

I have no idea why I like Christmas music so much.  I don't celebrate the holiday (except on the radio). I was thinking the other day that I missed giving folks presents - though I never really got anyone anything they really wanted & I very rarely got anything I wanted.  Even when I was specific.

One Christmas, back when my family "drew names," one of my brothers drew my name & asked what I wanted.  I knew what I wanted.  I wanted a Sisters of Mercy bootleg they had at a local record store in Garland.  (It moved at some point - I wonder if it's still there.  I can't remember its name!)  The bootleg probably cost around twenty bucks, which might have been a little too much for my perennially-low-wage-earning brother, but hey, it was Christmas.

The night of Christmas - I was a poor college student then, you know, & didn't buy anything for anyone - I was looking forward to at least getting to go home that night & listen to a bootleg by a band that I loved whose entire recorded output at that time I was already quite familiar with.  A bootleg might mean covers I've never heard!  Or different lyrics!  More passion!  More subtlety!

(There was a great Sisters boot that I loved around that time - I wish I could remember its name - damn! it's too bad we don't live in a time when there might be some kind of computer resource listing all known Sisters Of Mercy bootlegs.  Oh well.)

There was an album-sized package with my name on it that Christmas, but when I opened it, it was the album The Gift by the Andrew Eldritch side project "The Sisterhood."

My brother, you see, had "talked to" the fellow behind the counter at the store, who assured him that that record (which cost less ten dollars less than the bootleg, since it was just an EP, which might have been my brother's motivation) was a rarity.  My brother did seem proud he had discovered it.  But of course, I already owned it.  The reason I had asked for the bootleg was, of course, what I said above: I had already heard all that was commercially available by the Sisters.  I suppose I am lucky he didn't buy me a Mission UK album.

Was my brother really trying to one-up me, or was he just cheap?  I smiled & said thank you.  What else could I do?  & I gave the duplicate EP to someone.  I can't remember who.

That's a big reason why the wife & I don't try to surprise each other with gifts - we know each other well enough to know that we'd ask for anything we wanted if we wanted when we wanted.

I still love Christmas music, however.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Curse Of The Curse Word Curator

This is weird - the great linguist Hugh Rawson doesn't have a Wikipedia entry.  He does have a page on the Huffington Post but that seems too rinky-dink for the great writer of Wicked Words, which, sadly, is no longer in print.

Though the book is written more as a resource (when you absolutely, positively need to know why "codswallop" is a bad word) than a narrative non-fiction book, I have found I can - & have - read it cover to cover & it's just as enjoyable.

For example, here's what he says about "codswallop":

"Nonsense, British-style.  Thus, when Sir Fred Hoyle, an astronomer, dared challenge the authenticity of a famous bird fossil, paleontologists rose up to defend their turf: '"It's rubbish," Dr. Cyril A. Walker, a paleontologist at the [British] museum, said of Sir Fred's contention. "Codswallop," echoed Dr. Alan J. Charig, a curator at the museum' (New York Times, 5/7/85). The word sounds as though it should be an old one, but the OED's earliest example comes only from 1963.  The OED says 'Origin unknown,' but it seems significant that cod is an old word for the scrotum and that codswallop is used derisively in the same way as the exclamatory Balls!"

(To be fair, the Wiktionary has a different etymology, but it seems more speculative.  I'd trust my friend Hugh here.)

(To be more fair, the folks at - another favorite site of mine! - split the difference.)

I gave money to Wikipedia this year & one of the things it asked when I shelled out the big bucks was something like "Would you like to learn how to edit a Wikipedia page?"  I said no - I mean, someone gave me a Metafilter membership once & I almost never visit that site anymore - but now I wish I had said yes - so I could create a Hugh Rawson page!

I'd probably also create a Self Help Radio page, so it's best I don't know how.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End Of The World!

Human beings have a terrible track record with predicting the end of the world.  Take a look.

Is it wrong that I like the phrase "heat death of the universe"?

I remember having a discussion with some kids at KVRX many moons ago about the Mayan prophecies (which of course have passed without any apocalyptic event, except perhaps frightening children) & making the comment that you've doubtless heard a billion times by now, which is this: "Why should we trust the prophecies of a civilization that didn't seem to be able to predict their own destruction?"

Does it matter that the descendants of the Maya call horse hockey on the predictions?

It doesn't!  People believe what they want to believe!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Almost 1500

A special blog post on a non-blog-posting day to say: hooray!  I've almost reached 1500 posts on this silly blog!

If you'll recall, I have had a habit of trying to count my blog posts, & I've failed more or less miserably. Probably because I am a little dumb.  Also!  I didn't just take advantage of the fact that the Blogger Corporation (formerly Borders Books) allows me to select a page with one hundred posts on it, &, if I just go back to the first one, I can discover that:

I began on 9/12/06, & on 3/1/07, I had reached post # 100.  (There's no sign that I knew it was my 100th post.)

My 200th post actually came on 8/8/07.  My counting was off, & I celebrated my 200th post on my 204th post.  It gets worse.

My 300th post was on 01/07/08.  My 400th on 5/28/08.

My 500th was on 10/14/08 & I got it right!  I celebrate writing five hundred meaningless things by telling my third grade teacher to suck it.  Like one should.

I hit 600 on 3/25/09 (though I celebrate the day before).  I hit 700 on 9/28/09 - & did the same.  I hit 800 on 2/22/10, & was still celebrating the day before.  I hit 900 on 7/24/10, & you know how I screwed it up.

The 1000th post - which should have been a big deal - was celebrated when it was really the 998th post.  The 1000th post actually happened on 12/31/10 - which would have been something if I had really been paying attention.

Here's the ledger for the last four:

1100 - 5/23/11 (got it wrong)
1200 - 10/17/11 (sigh)
1300 - 3/5/12 (seriously, what is wrong with me)
1400 - 7/26/12 (celebrated on 7/21)

But this time I know I'm right!  This is the one thousand four hundred ninety-sixth post.  I am certain of it.  I know it'll be the superduper 1500th post in just four days!  I'm sure!

Somewhat sure.  But.  What if I've made another mistake?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Here's What's Favorites

Do I have to stress that this is not a "best of"?  I'm apparently not in tune with the world of musical criticism, & as such don't know what the "best of" 2012 was.  None of the songs I played are on this list.  Nothing I played is on the Washington Post's 'best pop music of 2012'.  Even the place I might be most likely to have some crossover - England - has only one artist that graces a huge list of critics' lists - the Magnetic Fields - at the Guardian's website.

KVRX had a slogan in the late 1990's - "We're not popular!" - & I feel pretty unpopular right now.

In any event, here's what I listened to & liked best this year.  The show is at the Self Help Radio website.  Or hey!  Directly here: part one | part two.  The track listing is below.

Let me know what you liked best this year!  & thanks for listening!

(part one)

"Every Boy In NY" Woodpecker _Thanks Anyway_
"Tiffany Lou" Daughn Gibson _All Hell_

"The Right To Complain" Louis CK _Word: Live At Carnegie Hall_
"Psychotic Episode" Royal Headache _Royal Headache_
"Bo Diddley" Evans The Death _Evans The Death_
"The Perp Walk" Peace _The World Is Too Much With Us_
"The Girl From The DDR" The Wedding Present _Valentina_

"Computers" Eddie Izzard _Live At Madison Square Garden_
"Andrew In Drag" The Magnetic Fields _Love At The Bottom Of The Sea_
"Some Dandruff On Your Shoulder" Jens Lekman _I Know What Love Isn't_
"Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1" The Mountain Goats _Transcendental Youth_
"Bibliotek" Momus _Bibliotek_

"Capricornia" Allo Darlin' _Europe_

(part two)

"Typing, Texting" The Smittens _Believe Me_
"Friends Of Friends" Hospitality _Hospitality_
"So Easy" Lightning Love _Blonde Album_
"Allergies" The Lovely Eggs _Wildlife_

"Wack Writing" Hannibal Buress _Animal Furnace_
"Photographs Of Naked Ladies" Toy Love _Live At The Gluepot 1980_
"Spaghetti" The Wave Pictures _Long Black Cars_
"The Sun" Go-Kart Mozart _On The Hot Dog Streets_
"Heliopolis" Sunbutler _Sunbutler_

"The Trouble With Candyhands" Deerhoof _Breakup Song_
"Cover" Talk Normal _Sunshine_
"Alphabet" Martin Creed _Love To You_
"Let's Set Ourselves On Fire" Hospital Bombers _At Budokan_
"Hot Travel Tips" Todd Barry _Super Crazy_
"Bluebirds" The Barbaras _2006-2008_
"Slow Walkin'" The Babies _Our House On The Hill_

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Whither Gary's Favorite Music 2012

The year-end lists are starting!  The end of the year is at hand!

Here's a list from the New York Times!  None of these records will be played on my show tomorrow.

Here's a list of the highest rated records by Pitchfork this year.  Nope, none of them made my top twenty-five.

(I won't do the show in top ten style.  It's hard enough to pick the song I liked best from the record I listened to most.)

It's funny, I am completely baffled by what people consider great.  I have probably shared my theory with you that people who review records for big publications end up reviewing stuff from major labels primarily because those labels can afford to send critics stuff for free.  Imagine a music critic going out to buy a record!  It's like a movie critic paying to see a movie!

I'm not a critic, I'm just a guy who knows what he likes.  I play the stuff I like & the stuff that got played the most is obviously the stuff I liked the most & that's the stuff I'll highlight tomorrow.

Hey!  You should listen!  It's tomorrow morning from 7 to 9am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington.  Listen online simultaneously at  Listen later at

Make your own best of!  Make your own podcasts!  Start your own radio station!  Invite me on it!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Preface To Gary's Favorite Music 2012: At Last! The Show About Lips Posted!

Sorry this show has been posted so late!  What?  No one noticed?  Oh well.

Here's last Monday's show about lips.  No kissing or smacking noises to be found.  You can see the songs below.  You can listen to the show at the Self Help Radio website, or directly - part one is here & part two is here.

Enjoy the show!  Thanks for listening!

(part one)

"Kiss Your Lips" Allo Darlin' _Allo Darlin'_
"I Want A Lip" April Stevens _Ultra Lounge Vol. 18: Bottoms Up!_

"And Then I Kissed Your Lips" Gary Wilson _You Think You Really Know Me_
"I Bit My Lip" The Housemartins _Raise The Flag_
"His Lips Get In The Way" The Shirelles _Dedicated To You_
"Don't Give Me No Lip Child" Dave Berry _This Strange Effect_
"Purple Lips" Nico _The Aura Anthology_
"Stiff Upper Lip" Ella Fitzgerald _Ella Fitzgerald Sings Gershwin_

"Scottish Lips" Momus _Oskar Tennis Champion_
"Lipsmacker Kiss" All Girl Summer Fun Band _Summer Of '98_
"Lip-Smacking Good" Todd Barry _Super Crazy_
"Lip Service" R. Stevie Moore _Games & Groceries_
"Lips Like Sugar" Echo & The Bunnymen _Echo & The Bunnymen_
"Lippy" Sarandon _Kill Twee Pop!_

"Lipstick" The Buzzcocks _Complete Singles Anthology_
"Lipstick On Your Collar" The Saints _Wild About You_

(part two)

"Lippenstift Am Jacket" Conny Froboess _Rock & Roll Party - 1957-62 In Deutsch_
"Lipstick Traces On A Cigarette" The O'Jays _Beg, Scream, Shout: The Big Ol' Box Of 60s Soul_
"Lipstick Vogue" Elvis Costello _This Year's Model_
"Lipstick" Dressy Bessy _Little Music_

"Our Lips Are Sealed" Nouvelle Vague _3_
"Pucker Your Lips" The Bluenotes _The Best Of Red Top Records Vol. 2_
"Your Lips + My Lips" Spring Boutique _It's A Sweet Thing!_
"Lip Crud" George Carlin _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_
"The Lip" Louis Prima & Keely Smith _Just A Gigolo_
"Lips That Are Not Mine" Po! _Ducks & Drakes_
"Lips Are Redder On You" Bobby Ross _The Joe Meek Collection - Hidden Gems Vol. 1_

"Sugar Lips" Dub Dickerson _Boppin' In The Dark_
"Pale Thin Lips" The Wave Pictures _Beer In The Breakers_
"Molly's Lips" The Vaselines _The Way Of The Vaselines - A Complete History_
"Mutilated Lips" Ween _The Mollusk_
"Lucky Lips" Ruth Brown _Atlantic Rhythm & Blues (1947-74)_
"Lollipop Lips" Connie Francis _Rockin' Connie_
"Bite My Lips" Boat _Dress Like Your Idols_

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What A Week This Was

Hey, I just checked my probably-not-reliable Google Analytics, which tells me the number of times I visit my own blog (&, if there are others, how many others) & it says recently a handful of people have found their way here, & maybe it's even to listen to my recent shows, to see that I've posted them over on the Self Help Radio website, because they're interested I can imagine almost, or because they want to see what I played.

(Right now I am listening to Scott Walker's new record & it's all I can do to hold on to my sanity as I write this.)

For reasons that will be covered in a later show (at the first of the year), I've had a terrible week & while I've managed to edit half my show for the web, I am not done yet - & I probably won't be until Saturday.  So I am sorry!  I am sorry!

I hope this doesn't inconvenience you.  It has certainly inconvenienced me.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Whither Lips?

Are you a fan of kissing?  I should hope so!  Kissing is generally performed with the lips.  This much is true.  In fact, Wikipedia (to whom I gave money recently) admits, quite frankly that kissing is "the act of pressing one's lips against the lips or other body parts of another person or of an object."

There are obviously different kinds of kisses, which made my brain say, "You kiss your mother with that mouth?"  But that's neither here nor there, brain.  Why you gotta interrupt me like that?

Of the different kinds of kisses, many authorities without lip sores rank the "romantical kiss" as the best of all.  That's a kiss between lovers, the sort of kiss that kinda grosses you out if you're not in on it, or if you're not watching pretty people do it in a romantic comedy.

I might have also said something about pornography, but I don't think they're allowed to kiss in pornography, are they?

Here's something that's chilling if you (a) have lips & (b) enjoy kissing (of the primarily romantical nature): if you get married, & if that marriage is of the traditional monogamous variety, you probably won't get to kiss anyone besides the person you marry for the rest of your life.

For example, I have not kissed another person in the romantical sense since I started dating the woman I married.  That means it's been like eleven years!  That's amazing!

Now, for most people, since they are making the commitment to be married, they understand that, & it's cool.  I haven't met anyone in the last decade with whom I wanted to kiss more than my spouse.  I still enjoy kissing her, although I think she could make it through the day without kissing me.  She tries, anyway.

I am always there with my lips puckered to foil her antiromantical plans!

The show will be on the air tomorrow from 7 till 9am on the 88.1 fm frequency in Lexington, Kentucky, streaming simultaneously from the WRFL website.  It'll be lip-smacking good!

All right, probably not.  But whether it's good or not, I'll try to have it on the Self Help Radio website in a timely manner.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Preface To Lips: Read Mine

I have been reading, lately, (at the advice of the the Word Detective) Hugh Rawson's Dictionary Of Euphemisms & Other Doubletalk
, & I was hoping there'd be some interesting euphemisms for "lip" or "lips" that I could share on this week's show.  Alas, there's not an entry for "lips."  But there is, in the entry for the word "bushwa," this entry:
Bushwa, also bushwah, booshwa, booshwa, boushwa, or boushwah: they all up to the same thing: bullshit.

Okay, that's unhelpful.  Let's move on to this:

Similar to "bushwa" is "bushlips," a nonce term but redolent with history, alluding to President George Bush's emphatic "Read my lips" promise (later broken) not to raise taxes.  This was typically encountered, ca. 1990, in such phrases as "Don't give me any of that bushlips" or "I know pure, unadulterated bushlips when I hear it."

Oh, to have existed in a simpler time - twenty years ago!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Where To Put The Quote.

Quote quoted at me from (possibly genius but scary in perverted Lolita manner) Nabokov (the book called I think Pale Fire) a poem which goes or went:

It missed the gist of the whole thing; it missed
What mostly interests the preterist;
For we die every day; oblivion thrives
Not on dry thighbones but on blood-ripe lives,
And our best yesterdays are now foul piles
Of crumpled names, phone numbers & foxed files.
I'm ready to become a floweret
Or a fat fly, but never, to forget.
& I'll turn down eternity unless
The melancholy & the tenderness
Of mortal life; the passion & the pain;
The claret taillight of that dwindling plane
Off Hesperus; your gesture of dismay
On running out of cigarettes; the way
You smile at dogs; the trail of silver slime
Snails leave on flagstones; this good ink, this rhyme,
This index card, this slender rubber band
Which always forms, when dropped, an ampersand,
Are found in Heaven by the newlydead
Stored in its strongholds through the years.

& I liked it!

But then Nabokov was all like:
& I didn't say I liked it out loud all that much though I did.  Really I did.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Useless Explanations

(Noises of things being shuffled around in an attempt to delay or if possible postpone.)


No one's here so it's as good a time as any to make an apology.

I am lucky there's no mirror here because it's me I am apologizing to.

From the almost-earliest days of Self Help Radio (meaning in the show's third year), I started doing an end-of-the-year "best of" show (quickly retitled "favorites") because that's what radio shows do & because I listen to a lot of records during the year & want to support many of them (especially if they don't have songs that fit into my chosen themes).

Well.  I was also listening to a lot of electronica at that time, so it seemed - I started this a year or two later - I could also do a "favorite electronica" show.

& I did.  From 2005 to 2011.

You might have noticed I am not going to do one this year.  Was there no good electronica?

Actually, I'm not sure.  I kind of lost interest.

Not entirely.  But not enough to fill an entire radio show.

I think a lot of my favorite electronica artists have decided they want to be more poppy.  Or make their music with acoustic instruments, to "prove" their musicians.  & then there's dubstep, which became ubiquitous, & which is mostly not all that good these days.  At some point I drifted away.

So, I apologize.  I wish I kept up.  I wish I had the energy to keep up.  There was a lot of great music this year.  A lot.  The favorites show will be hard to do.

But no electronica.

Sorry about that.

(Looking around, sounds of crickets, the lights dim.)

Monday, December 03, 2012

Worry Not!

Don't worry, be happy I didn't play that song on my show about worry.

Otherwise, worry.  There's every reason to.  Perhaps Self Help Radio's show can help ease your worries.

The show is worrying itself at Self Help Radio Dot Net.  As usual, it's in two parts, or, as I worry someone will call them, "chunks."  Part one is here & part two is here, with a track listing of each part below.

As always, thanks for listening!

(part one)

"I'm So Worried" Monty Python _Monty Python Sings_
"Ease My Worried Mind" Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee _Hometown Blues_
"I Don't Worry Myself" Johnny Adams _Action Speaks Louder Than Words: The Best Of SSS International_

"Isch Ka Bibble (I Should Worry)" Kay Kyser _The Best Of Kay Kyser & His Orchestra_
"Worryin' Kind" Regents _Quagmire, Vol. 5_
"Something Is Worrying Me" Otis Redding _The Otis Redding Story_
"Don't Worry This Isn't About You" The Cat's Miaow _Songs For Girls To Sing_
"Baby Don'tcha Worry" Tammi Terrell _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 6: 1966_
"God's Getting Worried" Virginia Dandies _Goodbye, Babylon_

"Your Time To Worry" Blind Willie McTell _Complete Recorded Works, Vol.3 (1933-35)_
"Don't Worry Baby" Bryan Ferry _These Foolish Things_
"Sometimes I Worry About You" The Razorcuts _Sometimes I Worry About You_
"Why I Worry About You" House Of Commons _History Of Michigan Garage, Vol. 1: The Wheels 4 Label Story_
"Don't Worry" Pere Ubu _Raygun Suitcase_

"Worried Blues" Bob Dylan _The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare & Unreleased, 1961-1991_

(part two)

"Don't Worry About The Government" Talking Heads _The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads_
"Why Worry" Israel Vibration _The Same Song_
"Worri" Majesty Crush _Fan_

"Worry Worry" The Fiery Furnaces _Gallowsbird's Bark_
"Worry" The Splinters _Kick_
"Do I Worry?" The Ink Spots _The Singing Detective_
"Don't You Worry Little One" Adventures In Stereo _Adventures In Stereo_
"Worried Man Blues" The Carter Family _Wildwood Flower_
"Worryhead" Summer Twins _Summer Twins_

"Worried Life Blues" Big Maceo _When The Sun Goes Down, Vol. 4: That's All Right_
"The Worryin' Song" Guided By Voices _Demons & Painkillers_
"Don't Worry" The Moss Poles _Shorn_
"Nothin' In The World Can Stop Me Worryin' Bout That Girl" The Kinks _Kinda Kinks_
"Do Your Best & Don't Worry" Morrissey _Southpaw Grammar_

"New Worried Mind" Bob Wills _San Antonio Rose_
"Worried Blues" Gladys Bentley _Roots N' Blues: The Retrospective (1925-1950)_

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Whither Worry?

Please hurry, hurry, hurry!
We've got no time for worry!
Because your eyes get blurry
when you worry, worry, worry!

At dinner we'll have curry
& afterwards we'll worry!
We'll scowl like Fred McMurray
& we'll worry, worry, worry!

If you've lost your fringe-topped surrey
It's probably time to worry!
Don't scamper & don't scurry
While you worry, worry, worry!

Find a friend who's face is furry
To join in on the worry!
In the middle of a flurry
We will worry, worry, worry!

You're looking Raymond Burr-y
Just Perry Mason worries!
Like a ship's deck covered in gurry
All our worry, worry, worry!

You can simper like Peter Lorre
When you worry worry worry!
Or you can dance like Arthur Murray
When you worry worry worry!

More bad poetry tomorrow on Self Help Radio - from 7 to 9am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington & online at wrfl dot fm!

Archived later at self help radio dot net!

No worries!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Preface To Worry: It Takes A Worried Person

Thirteen years ago - it was another century - I happened into a men's room in an unfamiliar building at the University of Texas at Austin.  I was walking across campus &, you know, had to use the facilities, like you do, & wandered into the nearest building.

It was a nice old restroom, dating - like the building - from the early 1960s.  The building was mostly deserted - it was afternoon, it was summer, there were no classes - so I had the place to myself, which is how I prefer it anyway.

I used to carry a notebook with me to write stuff down, thoughts & ideas, impressions, even (god help me) poetry & prose.  But I wasn't going to be composing on the crapper - I just needed to "do my business" & get out of there.

I am glad I had the notebook, though, because there was a sort-of haiku on the wall, & commentary, which delighted me so that I had to write it down.

Someone wrote:

"No matter how beautiful she is
 Someone, somewhere
 Is sick of her shit."

Underneath, a different person wrote:

"We should have such worries, you and i."

That building - & therefore that little bit of bathroom poesy - no longer exists.  There's another building in its place, & I remember thinking about the graffiti when I watched workers tear the building down a few years later.

Over time workers built something new there, & I walked past it often as I walked around campus, but for the life of me I can't think of what that new edifice looks like.

But I can see the scrawled words of wisdom - & the pithy response - on the back of a men's room's stall's door as clear as day.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Gag Writer

Did anyone call for a gag writer?  There's a gag writer at the door.

He's a nervous chap, with a crooked smile, & he's holding a small box which appears to contain a lot of differently colored index cards.

He speaks so softly!  Bernie said he had a kind of feminine giggle.

You wouldn't think it - this is an old neighborhood, there are so many retirees here - but he says that, yes, he often gets calls from folks who want a joke here & there.  Many jokes, he says, are started by the person who requests him, but they can't think of a punchline.

Tanya asks him if he sings, & he blushes & says, Oh no.

It's not hard, he says, to think of funny things.  What's hard is that people find different things funny.  We make him a cup of tea & he sits down, keeping the box of index cards on his lap.

He's very polite, Bernie notes, & though he appears ill at ease, he smiles & listens intently to our comments, & answers all of our questions.

He realizes he got the address wrong - we're a road & he was looking for an avenue - & he is apologetic, hoping he did not put us out in any way.

He gives me his card, & I can't help thinking that if he had a hat - well, not only would it cover his bald spot - but he'd tip it as he left.  He seems like that kind of guy.

He gets into his beat-up Ford Fiesta, backs into our driveway to turn around, & chugs off down the street.

It's funny, Tanya says.  We had a gag writer here & never even asked him to tell us a joke.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gasp! First Ever Blog Post Written On My Phone!

It comes as no surprise that I am somewhat behind in technological advances - I still don't know what Instagram is - so as I was sitting here in a boring meeting, it occurred to me I could write in my dumb blog instead of paying attention.

I wonder, will it say "posted from my iPhone"?

That always annoys me.

I don't think it's something I'll do regularly. It's hard to type on the phone, especially since I didn't grow up with texting. Also, I have fingers like sausages.

Still, it's neat. Now if I could just learn how to send pictures with my texts...

Content? What content!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Birthday Down The Drain

Hey people!  Do you have a person with whom you're madly in love?  Also, do you have a radio show?  If so, one way to celebrate that person's life is to make a radio show every year around the time of his or her birthday & play a lot of birthday songs!  You will average a 41% rise in goodwill which will make your next year very happy!

What?  You don't have a radio show?  You can use mine!  Just go to Self Help Radio's website & listen to this week's show, which is about birthdays!  (You can see the song list below.)

Hey!  I know what you're thinking!  This is about someone named "Magda."  (See picture above.)  Sure, but the songs aren't all about her.  & anyway, for a short time, you can still listen to last year's birthday show for her.  All those songs!  About birthdays!  41% I said!

(For this year's show, you can listen to each part by clicking here: part one | part two.)

Happy birthday to Magda!  Again!

& thank you for listening!

(part one)

"Peter's Birthday (Black & White Rainbows)" World Of Oz _Muffin Man_
"A Cat Had A Birthday" Sesame Street _Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs_
"Happy Birthday" So Many Wizards _Warm Nothing_

"Happy Birthday Lisa" Jens Lekman _Live From Stora Teatern_
"Born" Beloved Binge _Pockets_
"Happy Hippie Birthday" SoKo _I Thought I Was An Alien_
"Happy Happy Birthday Baby" Sandy Posey _Sandy Posey: Born to Be Hurt - The Anthology (1966-1982)_
"All The Birthdays" The Apartments _The Evening Visits... & Stays Forever_

"Jest's Birthday" Kimya Dawson _Knock-Knock Who?_
"Birthday Reminder" The Smittens _Believe Me_
"Envelope" The Phantom Six _Plastic Rain_
"Happy Birthday To Me!" Luv Clowns _Love Clowns!_
"The Happy Birthday Song" Andrew Bird _Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs_

(part two)

"Magdalena" Alan Vega _Jukebox Babe/Collision Drive_
"Romance In Durango" Bob Dylan _Desire_
"Oh Magdalena" George Baker Selection _The Complete Collection_
"Magdalen Sky" Mark Gardener _These Beautiful Ghosts_
"Birthdays" Max Bollinger _Easy Russian For English Speakers, Vol. 1 & 2_

"Keep Your Hands Off Of It (Birthday Cake)" Jerry Lee Lewis _Jerry Rocks_
"Happy Birthday To You" O.B. Jackson _Hollerin'_
"Birthday" The Sensational Alex Harvey Band _Considering The Situation: Anthology_
"Happy Birthday, Mr. President (James Hardway Remix)" Marilyn Monroe _Greatest Hits Remixed_

"Happy Birthday" Bernadette Carroll _Touch The Wall Of Sound, Vol. 3_
"Special Birthday Person" Space Ghost _Yeah, Whatever..._
"Happy Happy Birthday To Me" Colin Clary _One Hundred Decembers_
"The Birthday" Hospitality _Hospitality_
"Can You Keep A Secret?" Lotus Eaters _No Sense Of Sin_

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Whither Magda's Birthday 2012?

Let's get the important stuff out of the way: there is a woman named Magda, whom I married (although it might be more appropriate to say she allowed me to marry her) & with whom I fell madly in love with over a decade ago.  Such is my clumsy attempt at showing my love to her that I do a birthday show for her every year.  I play songs about birthdays.  If I played songs about her, I might get in a little trouble.  I play it safe by celebrating all birthdays by virtue of the fact that it's the birthday of the love of my life.

That's all well & good. Here's what I want to say: it's getting harder & harder to find good birthday songs.

I'm serious.

Well, I hear someone who doesn't know me very well say, why not just play the best birthday songs every year?

I know that's the modus operandi of your average radio show.  Tune in on Halloween, they play "Monster Mash."  Most radio listeners want to hear things they find familiar, which is why there's a lot of money in classic rock & "jammin' oldies."

I believe that one of the main reasons that not too many people listen to my show is because I don't play the same stuff over & over.  That used to bother me.  It doesn't really any more.  Without listeners, I am free to play what I like.  & what I like is not to play the same stuff over & over.

If that's the case, & if I am to continue to celebrate my love's birthday every year with wonderful birthday songs, can I please ask the musicians of the world: can you make more & better birthday songs in 2013?  If every band I loved just made one really great birthday song, I'd be set through 2020.  & let's be honest - by 2020, she's probably going to realize she made a mistake by marrying me & I can celebrate the divorce date with songs about broken hearts.

There's a lot of those.

Hey!  Come celebrate Magda's birthday with me tomorrow morning from 7 to 9am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington &/or online at!

I'll archive it as a birthday present for her - & you! - at the Self Help Radio website before her birthday.  Promise!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Preface To... Wait A Minute! Did I Make A Scheduling Error?

Oh no!

Every year for a long time - since 2004, when the show was barely two years old - I've been celebrating my beloved's birthday with songs about birthdays.  Her birthday is on December 1st, but for some reason this year I scheduled her birthday show on December 3rd.

(My show will obviously not fall on her birthday, since it'll be a Saturday.)

Here's the problem: like with holidays, if you can't celebrate them on the day, it's much much better to celebrate them before than after.  Who the hell wants to open up Christmas presents on December 28th?

I made a ridiculous mistake by scheduling my sweetheart's birthday show two days after her birthday.  So I will do a birthday show for her this Monday.

The list of upcoming shows has been officially swapped out on the official website, which I suppose makes it official.

The worry show will happen next week, don't worry!

Friday, November 23, 2012

But This Is What I Have To Say About Airports

I am a little depressed that I've reached an age where I go to airports instead of bus stations.  From the age of 18 until 25, when (at the time) you could legally rent a car, I rode buses back & forth all across Texas.  Mostly these bus rides were uninteresting, but I did have some minor adventures.  I met a sad divorcee running from her husband on a bus ride from Laredo to Austin, who might have wanted to kiss me if I had shown any interest.  I watched a crazy person get kicked off a bus somewhere near Temple - after the bus driver took pity on the person, who was hitchhiking, & let him get on the bus for free.  (The bus driver didn't know he was also welcoming this oaf's bottle of cheap hooch.)   Outside the big bus terminal in Dallas, I was either mistaken for a narc - or almost set up for an arrest - by a fellow who dropped a bag of pot in front of me as I passed.  Needless to say, I did not pick up the bag on the ground.  I started to say something like, "Hey! You dropped something!" but quickly realized the situation was hinky & walked on.

Airports used to be fun.  It was fun to meet a loved one at the gate.  I knew some people who'd go to airports after hours to shoot dumb drunk movies.   Airports lost their shit over ten years ago but I remember going to the bar to sit & wait for someone.  Now it's all baggage claim.  Everyone gathered at baggage claim.  Often at the bottom of an escalator.  It's stupid & unromantic.

More than that, I just don't like airports.  I am more comfortable with vending machines than I am with franchise restaurants.  I like that you can survey an entire bus terminal (well, at least in the South) with a glance; an airport occupies huge acreage.  & let's face it - you feel safer in a bus terminal.  Except for that one movie - jeez, was Denzel Washington in it? what is the name of that film? - no one's really thinking about blowing up buses.  No one.

(I just did a google search.  It's a Don Cheadle film, actually, called "Traitor."  It's not bad.  Sorry for the mix-up.)

Planes are somewhat more convenient than buses, it's true.  A trip from Lexington to Dallas takes 19 hours (!) & costs nearly two hundred bucks.  The same trip costs twice as much - & has an annoying connection in some random city, often in the opposite direction where you're heading - but takes six or seven hours.  That wins!

Even if it means spending downtime in airports.  Which are some of the saddest, loneliest places on the planet.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I don't believe in anything supernatural to whom I could "give thanks" but I can say a brief "thank you" to anyone who has taken the time to sit & listen to my ridiculous little radio show.  I very much appreciate it, & wish I could somehow make it better, since you probably deserve better.

So thank YOU today.  I'm a little worried that you do listen - but I am glad you do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Table For You

Yeah, I did a show about tables.  Is there anything else to say about that?

I didn't think so.

You can listen to it now at the the Self Help Radio website.  It's in two parts - like one of those tables you can add a middle part to to make it longer.  Part one is over on this side & part two is over on that side.  There is an invisible table below which says what's in each part.

As always, thanks for listening!

(part one)

"The Table" The Beautiful South _Quench_
"Table" Fuck _Those Are Not My Bongos_
"The Table" Sonny James _Young Love: The Complete Recordings 1952-62_

"You Turned The Tables On Me" Billie Holiday _Solitude_
"Tables Are Turning" Brenda Lee _Little Miss Dynamite_
"Turn The Table" Kleenex/Liliput _Kleenex/LiLiPUT 1978-1983_
"Tables Turning" Modern English _After The Snow_

"Coffee Table Song" Edwyn Collins _Hope & Despair_
"Diplomatic Dining Tables" Gloria Cycles _Campsite Discotheque_
"Card Table" Holly Golightly _Singles Round-Up_
"The Periodic Table" Death By Chocolate _Bric-a-Brac_
"Under The Table With Her" Sparks _Indiscreet_

(part two)

"Crumbs From The Table" Young Disciples _Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples_
"Crumbs Off The Table" The Glass House _Inside The Glass House_
"Fight At The Table" Chris Bell _I Am The Cosmos_
"Knives On The Table" California Oranges _Souvenirs_
"You Take The Table" Miki & Griff _A Little Bitty Tear: The Pye Anthology_

"One Table Away" Toussaint McCall _Nothing Takes The Place Of You_
"Table For One (Live)" Darren Hayman & The Wave Pictures _Madrid_
"On The Table" A.C. Newman _The Slow Wonder_
"That Girl Who Waits On Tables" Ronnie Milsap _The Essential Ronnie Milsap_
"Hands Across The Table" Fats Domino _The Original Rock & Roll Classics_

"Knights Of The Round Table" Monty Python _Monty Python Sings_
"Tables & Chairs" Nits _Work_
"Table Top Joe" Tom Waits _Alice_
"Get To The Table On Time" M. Ward _Transfiguration Of Vincent_

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Whither Tables?

My wife is a notorious cheapskate.  A skinflint.  A tightwad.  A penny pincher.  (She once called herself a spendthrift, thinking it was synonymous with "thrifty," but she's actually the opposite of that.)  Her cheapness is astonishing, & I have a lot of fun teasing her by pretending to want to buy expensive, ridiculous things, which - because she's miserly & that overpowers her sense of humor - tends to make her quite upset.  Just saying things like, "It's only five hundred dollars" causes her to break into spasms of fear & anger.

Unless - of course - it's something that she wants.  Like our house.  It was "worth the price."  I can sometimes agree with her on things like that.  Except.

Except our dining room table.

It cost a lot.  It cost a little too much.  We don't eat off it, except when we have guests.  We have guests maybe every other month.  I put things on it that I can't put on my desk.  I think it annoys my wife.  But what can she do?  We're not otherwise using the table.

I dedicate tomorrow's show, about tables, to my wife's expensive table.  The show is on from 7 to 9 am tomorrow morning, Monday, on 88.1 fm in Lexington, & online at WRFL dot fm.

When I come home, I put the recording of the show on that table.  Sometimes it gets buried under stuff. I'll put it on the Self Help Radio website as soon as possible - otherwise it may get buried!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Like everyone else, I've dreamt of losing my teeth, though not anywhere near as horrifying as Charlie just pulling his teeth out quizzically in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.  I at least feel justified in worrying about my teeth just falling out because I have terrible teeth.  I have managed to salvage most of mine (I have only had to have one pulled) which is so incredibly fortunate since I'm pretty sure I didn't see a dentist before I was twenty-two years old.  (My mother had other priorities.)

It's hard to find data about people dreaming of losing their teeth but it's not hard to find out what that's supposed to mean.  Humans really need to have their dreams mean something, which is part & parcel of the hubris of our species, & the web insists that losing teeth means either "embarrassment" or "losing faith."  Not only are those two things completely unrelated, I should think it's not at all embarrassing to "lose faith."

(The Devil's Dictionary defines faith as "belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.")

It's far more easy to find figures about how many people no longer have teeth, & it's a little frightening: one quarter of adults in the United States over the age of 65 have lost all their teeth.  That's more terrifying to me than dreams of teeth falling out or, worse, being loose in my mouth, because it seems far more likely to happen to me.  Two decades is a long time to neglect one's teeth.

Luckily I am not a patient at the hella sarcastic Doon South Dental in Kitchener, Ontario, which has this hilarious article entitled How To Get Rid Of Your Teeth on their website.  It's a scream.

I won't sleep well tonight.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another Recommendation? For reals?

I can't recommend this - I haven't heard it yet - but look what I have espied:
Toy Love!  Live At The Gluepot 1980!  Info here!

Holy jumpin jeebus on a rhinoceros horn!  That's the best news I've heard all week!

Monday, November 12, 2012

An Invisible Show

I bet you didn't see this show coming.  I personally couldn't see the point.  Still, the show listed some things you can't see & some super-heroes who can turn invisible.  Also, an invisibility spell!  Really!  Plus many songs about being invisible - literally or metaphorically.

The show can be seen at the highly visible Self Help Radio website.  If you'd rather not be seen there, you can download the show (it's in two parts) by clicking here for part one & here for part two.  Can't see what's in both parts?  That's because it's at the end of this blog post!

Thanks for listening!

(part one)

"Invisible" Lenny Miles _The Best Doo-Wop Of Scepter Records_
"Invisible" Poprace _Clear EP_
"Invisible" The Forever People _Invisible_

"Invisible Man" Holger Czukay _Good Morning Story_
"Invisible Man" Breeders _Last Splash_
"The Invisible Man" Elvis Costello _Punch The Clock_
"An Invisible Man" Nick Todd _Pat Boone's Little Brother - Rockin' Classics_
"The Invisible Man" Milky _Travels With A Donkey_

"The Invisible Man & The Unforgettable Girl" Bill Nelson _Blue Moons & Laughing Guitars_
"Invisible Girl" The King Khan & BBQ Show _Invisible Girl_
"The Invisible Girl" Fonda _Moshi-Moshi: Pop International Style_
"The Invisible Dog" Electrelane _Rock It To The Moon_

(part two)

"To Be Invisible" Curtis Mayfield _Sweet Exorcist_
"Spell One - The Invisibility Cloak" Plusquam Workshop _Workshop - Teen Witch_
"My Invisible Friend" The Bartlebees _What Is It All About?_
"Invisible People" Hamilton Streetcar _Highs In The Mid-Sixties, Vol. 3: L.A. '67, Mondo Hollywood À Go-Go_
"Dodging Invisible Rays" Guided By Voices _Demons & Painkillers_

"Invisible Tears" Ned Miller _From A Jack To A King_
"Invisible One" Tanya Donelly _This Hungry Life_
"She's Invisible Now" Eurthymics _In The Garden_
"Invisible Sun" The Police _Ghost In The Machine_

"Uptown Invisible" Moose _Uptown_
"Invisible Ink" Sweet William _Ambiguous_
"Invisible State" Bill Pritchard _3 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days_

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Whither The Invisible Show?

You might enjoy this fellow, John Lloyd, as he does a TED talk on inventorying the invisible.  It will get you in the mood for tomorrow's show.

Tomorrow's show will be invisible, as all radio shows are, but you can hear it - it's noisy as hell - by listening in Lexington at the 88.1 fm frequency.  It will also find its way into the internets & you can listen online at the WRFL web page.  Why, it will probably even end up eventually on the Self Help Radio web site, which is visible to the untrained eye.

I sometimes believe I am only visible when I'm on the radio - you know, when no one can see me.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Preface To The Invisible Show: Did I Recommend A Record This Week Of Did It Disappear?

Last week - here, in fact - I responded to someone who had asked me, "If you have a blog about your radio show, why don't you talk about records - reviews, etc. - on it?"

My answer is mainly this: I don't talk about anything on the blog!

But I thought I might make tentative steps toward such a thing - as if anything I say could really matter - by just telling about something I heard & liked & have been listening to during the week.

This week it's this:

It's a record by an English fellow (who was raised in Scotland) who's known primarily as an artist - he won the Turner Prize!  It's quirky indiepop - something I like a lot.

There!  Have a recommendation!

Friday, November 09, 2012


I thought I'd get off on the wrong foot in November with a show about feet.  Though I risked alienating the more unstable sort of podiatrist, I went ahead & asked (also I answered) difficult questions like: is it important to have a good-fitting shoe? what is wrong with foot fetishists? what are the major ailment of the foot?  I thought I stumbled, but the show stood on its own two feet.

The show is at the Self Help Radio website letting the grass grow under its feet.  You can listen to it in two parts (which are detailed below): right foot & left foot.  I think the left foot is longer than the right.  Hey!  Sometimes that happens.

Thanks for knocking me off my feet again!

(foot one)

"You Need Feet" Bernard Bresslaw _Classic British Comedy_
"Happy Feet" Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra _The History Of Pop Radio (1930-1932)_
"My Pal Foot Foot" The Shaggs _The Shaggs_

"Get On The Good Foot" James Brown _Star Time_
"Foot Stompin'" The Underbeats _The Soma Records Story_
"Cold Feet" Ronnie Whitehead _Eccentric Soul: Mighty Mike Lenaburg_
"Feet Start Walking" Doris Duke _I'm A Loser_
"Knocks Me Off My Feet" Stevie Wonder _Songs In The Key Of Life_

"The Flat Feet Floogie" Slim & Slam _Slim Gaillard 1937 - 1938_
"Henry's Got Flat Feet (Can't Dance No More)" Hank Ballard _Sexy Ways: The Best Of Hank Ballard_
"Reggae Feet" Lloyd Williams _Studio One Funk_
"Foot Apple" Coyle & Sharpe _On The Loose_
"Two Left Feet" Richard Thompson _Watching The Dark: The History Of Richard Thompson_

(foot two)

"Barefoot Baby" Janis Martin _Western Dance, Vol. 1_
"Barefootin'" Robert Parker _Beg, Scream, Shout: The Big Ol' Box Of 60's Soul_
"Dancing Barefoot" Patti Smith Group _Outside Society_
"Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet" Woody Guthrie _Some Folk_
"Bigfoot" The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group _Sniff_

"Cushion Foot Stomp" Clarence Williams' Washboard Band _Clarence Williams 1927_
"Don't Let The Rhythm Go To Your Head (Let The Rhythm Go To Your Feet)" Fletcher Henderson _Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra_
"Your Feet's Too Big" Fats Waller _Ain't Misbehavin'_
"Tap Your Feet (& Go Bo-De-Do-De-Do)" New Vaudeville Band _Winchester Cathedral_
"Happy Feet" 8 1/2 Souveniers _Martini Musique_

"Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann" Round Robin _Hearing Is Believing: The Jack Nitzsche Story 1962-1979_
"Throw Your Foot" The Cure _Join The Dots_
"Eyes Grow Feet" Hummingbirds _Va Va Voom_
"Falling Off Of My Feet Again" Siddeleys _Slum Clearance_

Thursday, November 08, 2012

I Know, I Know

I haven't put up this week's show on the website.  I guess the week just walked away from me.  Get it? The show was about feet?  It walked away?


Anyway, I am putting it on the list of things I need to do tomorrow.  I will do it tomorrow.  I wish that someone actually wanted to hear the show after it aired, because then I'd feel a bit of pressure to actually take the time to put it up on the website.  But since no one does, since it's about my own obsessive desire to follow rules I put in place for myself years ago, it's easy to shirk when other things - less important things (if you can believe that) to be sure - take up my time.  Like spending all night Tuesday watching election returns until 2am.  Stuff like that.

I need to get my life in order.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Whither Feet?

Feets don't fail me now!

I just realized there are too many foot-related idioms to really even begin to talk about tomorrow on Self Help Radio.  I may just have to talk about foot ailments instead.

I better go write some things down.

Listen!  Tomorrow morning from 7 to 9 am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington - online at WRFL dot fm - & hopefully I'll put the show online later that day at the Self Help Radio website.

I hope to put my best foot forward tomorrow!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Preface To Feet: The Importance Of Good Shoes/Foot Fetishists

I can't decide what I want to talk about most on Self Help Radio this week: the importance of good shoes, or foot fetishists.

This article says "it's important to wear good shoes, as the foot along has more than 25 percent of the body's collected bone mass."  (My wife, who is an anatomist, says that's bullshit, by the way.)

But!  The Wikipedia's article on foot fetishism says "it is the most common form of sexual fetishism for otherwise non-sexual objects or body parts."

That's pretty amazing.

I'm torn.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Constant Struggle To Get One's Act Together

I can't understand how everyone has time to check their social media - their Facebookers, Twitters, Instant Gram, Bloggering, Tumblering - & I have more time than most!

Occasionally when I am wandering around & have my cell phone with me, I check my Twitter feed.  Usually, I am entertained, but I never really have anything to add, & so it's something of a passive medium for me.  I don't keep up the Self Help Radio Tumblr blog, & I feel bad about that.  I have fallen behind on Facebook.  & I try to write in this blog, even if - as per usual - I have nothing to say.  But where does the time go!

For me, there's a great satisfaction - even if it has affected my girth - in cooking.  It keeps Mrs. Self Help Radio happy, which should be pleasure enough, but I find joy in trying new things out - especially if they turn out all right.

Fuck you baking!

The wife was a passable cook, but she had a tendency, like a satellite's orbit decays, to make the meals just a little more sloppily each time.  I want to be able to either make the same recipe as great as it was the best time, or better.  I think that, since I'm never going to be a musician, or an actor, my cooking is a little like learning an instrument or memorizing lines.

It doesn't explain why I can't regularly update my life on Twitter, but it's the start of an excuse, anyway.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Is It Time To Start Recommending Records?

Someone asked me the other day why, since I have a blog for my radio show, I don't do what other people do who have one of those, which is talk about/review records here.  After all, I play new music on my show & I'm not terribly genre specific, so doubtless I listen to a lot of music - why not hype it up on this website?

The answer is in two parts.  One, I'm not a writer & even though I "review" records for WRFL, I'm not writing anything that I expect to publish.  Honestly, I'm surprised when my scribblings make any sense.

Two, I kind of think that the music I play on my is the best way to tell you what I like.  There are artists - a lot of them - which you'll never hear on Self Help Radio, & that's because I don't think they're any good.  It's sometimes heartbreaking to tell that to someone who suggests a song for one of my themes, but it's true - I don't have to play music I don't like, so I don't.

I'm not above saying what's making me happy at the moment, though, so perhaps I'll do that on Thursdays for a little while.  Maybe over time I'll be comfortable enough to write something that will resemble a review or at least some discussion of why I like what I like.

So today I recommend the new album by Talk Normal, which is called "Sunshine."  I think it's a record with super powers.  If you know how to get them to Lexington, that would be amazing.  The record looks like this:

I like it a lot.  Might you?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Don't Go To Sleep!

Here's this year's Halloween show, about nightmares, wherein I play lots of nightmare songs & also talk about why we have bad dreams.  After you listen to this show, though, you should sleep like a baby.

The show is in two parts, naturally, described below.  Part one is here & part two is here.  The entire show is at the Self Help Radio website.  Heck!  You can even listen to last year's Halloween show for a little while longer (it's about graveyards).

I hope it's sufficiently spooky.  Please enjoy.

(part one)

"Nightmare" Boris Karloff _Tales Of The Frightened, Vol. 2_
"The Nightmare" Cab Calloway _1930-1931_
"Nightmare" The Sinners _Bomp In The Night_

"Nightmare" Scottie Stuart _Monster Bop_ there i was in a strange & distant land
"Psycho Nightmare" Daniel Johnston _Fun_
"Nightmare On My Street" DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper_
"Lullaby To Nightmares" They Might Be Giants _Long Tall Weekend_
"Like A Nightmare" The Andantes _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 4: 1964_

"Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song" Todd Rundgren _Todd_
"Nightmare Mash" Billy Lee Riley _These Ghoulish Things: Horror Hits For Halloween_
"Another Velvet Nightmare" Frank Black _Honeycomb_
"Nightmare" The Rebel Set _Garage Monsters - The Best Of The GaragePunk Hideout, Vol. 9_
"Nightmares In Red" The Brain _Rubble Vol. 2_

"Happy Nightmare Baby" Opal _Happy Nightmare Baby_

(part two)

"Nightmare" Chuck Armstrong _Shackin' Up_ i woke up this morning from a deep sleep
"Lulu's Nightmare" The Jazz Butcher _Illuminate_
"Let It Be A Nightmare" The Bran Flakes _I Remember When I Break Down_
"Nightmares" Jay Reatard _Blood Visions_

"Nightmare" Moving Parts _Wrong Conclusion_
"I Got Nightmares" Q65 _Revolution_
"Nightmare" The*Rock*A*Teens _Cry_
"Nightmares" Creation _Our Music Is Red With Purple Flashes_
"Nightmare" Jack Turner _Haunted Halloween, Vol. 1_
"Nightmare" Kimberley Rew _The Bible Of Bop_

"Wet Nightmare" The Cramps _Big Beat From Badsville_
"Nightmares" Violent Femmes _3_
"Johnny Nightmare" The Secret History _The World That Never Was_
"The Nightmare Goes On" Piano Magic _Ovations_

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whither Nightmares?

It's becoming increasing difficult to make Halloween shows.  There are only a few Halloween themes, & I waste some of them like I did a couple of weeks ago & do a show about spiders too far ahead of Halloween to count.

What themes have I covered?

In 2003, it was just "Halloween."
In 2004, I didn't do a Halloween show.
In 2005, the show was about vampires.
In 2006, the show was about monsters.
In 2007, the show was about zombies.
In 2008, the show was about witches.
In 2009, the show was about werewolves.
In 2010, the show was about haunted houses.
In 2011, the show was about graveyards.

I am getting more abstract as time goes by, it seems.

Some nice person suggested a show about "creepy crawlies," which seems eminently do-able.  More problematic is a show about "Japanese monsters."  I think next year I'll do a show about voodoo!

You can wake up screaming tomorrow morning at 7am on 88.1 fm in Lexington - or online at the WRFL website, or you can wait until later when I put it up at Self Help Radio Dot Net.  Just in time for Halloween!  I promise!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preface To Nightmares: On The Way Back From Atlanta

I will be home tonight & will hopefully have time to work on my show but mainly I'll want to cuddle with all my animals at home.

The drive from Lexington to Atlanta is a straight shot down I-75 & if you're somewhere near the Tennessee/Kentucky border around thereabouts - you're driving over some of the Appalachians I believe - the trees this time of year look scrumptious.  I can't share any pictures because I was driving & that would be unsafe, taking pictures from a moving car with all those unsafe Kentucky drivers around!  Do you think I have a death wish or something?

(Don't answer that.)

I had the chance today, when someone said, "It goes without saying," to interrupt & say, "Then don't say it!"

I've always wanted to do that.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Still In Atlanta

It's true, I am still in Atlanta & despite rumors that I am trying to start, I am not attempting to buy vast areas of prime Atlanta real estate & turn it into a Self Help Radio "fun park."  What I am doing here is too dull to mention.

I will mention that I had lunch at this place & it was awesome.  Yes, it's a "vegan butcher."  & they say we vegans have no sense of humor!

I like this city!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Atlanta

I might be terse or not even writing anything since I'll be in Atlanta for a few days.  Why?  It's not for any plastic surgery, that's for sure.  Have you seen how much that costs?

I hope I get to go to Soul Vegetarian, though!

Apologies for not scribbling things you'll never read on this blog for a couple of days.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A You & I Show For You & Me

A radio show for me you & me!  Called "you & I"!  In which we discover that pronouns are no longer parts of speech!  Do you & I care?  Nope.

A lot of you & I songs below.  (A few you & me songs too.)  The show for you & me about you & I (it sounds awkward I know) is at the Self Help Radio website.  It's in two parts, not two you & I parts, but close: part one & part two.  I wish you & I could enjoy it together!

Thanks for listening!

(part one)

"You & I" Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra _The Popular Frank Sinatra Vol. 2_
"You & I" Betty Davis _Nasty Gal_
"You & I" Stevie Wonder _Talking Book_

"You & I" Silver Apples _Contact_
"You & I" The Onlookers _This Is Mod, Vol. 4: Modities_
"You & I" The Monkees _Instant Replay_
"You & I" The Paddingtons _No Mundane Options_
"You & I" I Start Counting _Catalogue_

"You & I" Rick James _Old School Funk Jams_
"You & I" Yoko Ono _Yes I'm A Witch_
"You & I" Graham Coxon _Love Travels At Illegal Speeds_
"You & I" The Cribs _The Cribs_
"You & I" SPY _Review III (Marsh-Marigold)_

(part two)

"You & I" Albert Hammond _When I Need You_
"You & I" Pete Shelley _XL1_
"Only You & I" Psychedelic Furs _Forever Now_
"Mommy Daddy You & I" Talking Heads _Naked_

"You & I (When We Were Young)" The Strawbs _Ghosts_
"I Think You & I" Skip Spence _Oar_
"If You & I Could Be Sweethearts" The Varieteers _Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970_
"If You & I Could Be As Two" Them _The Story Of Them_
"You & I Were One" Dennis Driscoll _A House Full Of Friends_
"You & I Misbehaving" Tilly & The Wall _Wild Like Children_
"You & I Have Seizures" His Name Is Alive _Livonia_

"You & Me" Penny & The Quarters _Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label_
"You & Me" John Cale _The Island Years_
"You & Me" R. Stevie Moore _Lo Fi High Fives…..A Kind Of Best Of_

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Whither You & I?

The depths of my nerdiness - coupled with my obsessive-compulsive leanings (undiagnosed) & the fact that I was raised by a narcissistic mother - are not something I am eager to plumb.  But what if?  What if you did an entire show with songs simply titled "You & I"?  Is it at all possible?

Maybe.  (Not really.)  (Hush!)  Though I really did do a show a couple of years ago wherein every song was entitled "Tell Me".  So why not "You & I"?

Also, what the hell does a person who usually talks about his show's theme talk about when the show is about "you & I"?  I don't know much about you, & I fear I know even less about myself.

There's not much to hope for.  But you (& I) can listen tomorrow morning from 7 to 9am on 88.1 fm in Lexington & online at WRFL dot FM.  I'll put it on the Self Help Radio website later in the day, but I'll only do it for you & me.  No one else!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seriously, Does Anyone Read This Blog?

I mean, really.  I write stuff about my silly radio show, but it's probably not terribly interesting. & while I sometimes try to be clever, I often fail.

Still, if you are one of the undaunted few who happen upon this in the month of October, 2012, & you'd like to get a Self Help Radio 10th Anniversary Mug - made from real ceramics! - then send an email to this email address - which is - & I can get a mug to you.  My treat!

But who in the world would be reading this?  Seriously, this blog seems more something *I* am required to pay attention to, not you.

Monday, October 15, 2012

There's Spiders In My Anniversary!

Whew!  Ten years is a long time.  Not so long, perhaps, for a tarantula, which might live for twenty years, but for your average spider, that ten times their normal lifespan.

Which is my way of saying, if a spider did Self Help Radio, the show would have ended after a year.

A celebration of spiders on a celebration of longevity.  The show is at the Self Help Radio website, in its web there.  You can listen to it directly in two parts: part one & part two.  But be careful!  The web is sticky!

Thanks for listening, & if you've listened to Self Help Radio for ten years - what's wrong with you?

Here's what I played in each part of the show:

(part one)

"Spiders" Bruce Haack _The Electronic Record For Children_
"A Good Year For Spiders" Ken Nordine _Transparent Mask_
"Inky Dinky Spider (The Spider Song)" Kids Next Door _Hey! Look What I Found Vol. 7_

"Boris The Spider" The Kords _Mindrocker: Anthology Of 60's US-Punk Garage Psych, Vol. 3_
"Spiders & Snakes" World Famous Blue Jays _Star Power!_
"Spiderman" Wreckage _A Pop Sampler_
"Spider & I" The Hope Blister _Smile's OK_

"Spider & The Fly" Barbecue Bob _Chocolate To The Bone_
"The Spider & The Fly" Fats Waller _The Definitive Fats Waller_
"The Spider & The Fly" Von Ruden _Pebbles, Vol. 7: Chicago 2_
"The Spider & The Fly" Monocles _Box Of Trash: Pebbles Box_
"The Spider & The Fly" John Zacherle _Monster Mash/Scary Tales_

"Crawlin' Black Spider" John Lee Hooker _Blues In Transition 1955 - 1959_
"Black Widow Spider" Big Bill Broonzy _Greatest Blues Licks_

(part two)

"Black Widow Spider Woman" Jack Hammer _Horror Hop_
"Ole! Tarantula" Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus Three _Ole! Tarantula_
"Tarantula" This Mortal Coil _Filigree & Shadow_

"Spidereggs" Elf Power _Elf Power_
"Spider" Ed's Redeeming Qualities _At The Fish & Game Club_
"Spiders" Editors _An End Has A Start_
"Spider" K.G. Young _Piccadilly Sunshine # 2_

"Spider" They Might Be Giants _Apollo 18_
"The Man, The King, The Girl & The Spider" Deerhoof _Halfbird_
"Spider" Pants Yell! _Received Pronunciation_
"You Spider" The Jessica Fletchers _You Spider_
"Spider" Swan Lake _Enemy Mine_

"Ziggy Stardust" David Bowie _ The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars_
"Spider" The Merrymen _Pebbles, Vol. 20: The Continent Lashes Back - Sweden_
"Does 'Things Could Be Worse' Mean I Should Be Happy" Beloved Binge _Pockets_

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Whither Spiders? Whither A Tenth Anniversary Show?

It occurs to me that, if I am allowed to continue to do Self Help Radio into the future, I might revisit a theme (since I have decided that I should revisit themes on my anniversary shows) about which I have written once before on this blog.  That shouldn't happen any time soon - I've only maintained this blog for the past six years, or 6/10ths of the life of the show.  There are many more shows to revisit that aired before then.  (I'm surprised I didn't celebrate the sixth anniversary of my blog.  But now that I think about it, the reason I don't celebrate many anniversaries is because I never can remember when they are.)

Tomorrow, though, it's all about spiders.  (Even, as I keep getting suggested, spiders from Mars.)  I will be giving away special tenth anniversary Self Help Radio swag on the air & later on my Facebook page.  So please listen!

That's 7 to 9 am tomorrow (Monday) (the 15th of October) on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington & online at WRFL dot FM.  You won't want to miss it, but if you do - & I hope it's not because of a spider bite - you can hear it again & again at the Self Help Radio website.

Happy tenth anniversary, show!  You're still quite juvenile.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Preface To Spiders: Didn't You Do A Spider Show Already?

Yeah, but as I explained around the time of my ninth anniversary, I use the anniversary as a chance to revisit an old theme.  In this case, it is me revisiting a show from March 31, 2004, which I hastily put together that week because I had been bitten by a brown recluse spider.

Oh, yeah.  This guy.

It was a fun show, because people called to tell me all their spiderbite stories.  One person even offered to send me pictures of their necrotized skin.  I said thank you but no.

Looking back, I didn't have time (or try very hard) to find good spider songs.  This time around, I am more prepared.  I might not even play the songs I played the first time around!

(I didn't put mp3s of my shows up then, so I don't have the individual shows linked as I do now, so if you want to see the playlist, it's in the 2004 playlist section.  March 31.  You can just search for "spider.")

Friday, October 12, 2012


I did.  & the tenth anniversary is the diamond anniversary.  Here's a tenth anniversary graphic:

Graphic for what? you may ask.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Did Anyone Miss Self Help Radio?

I kinda missed doing Self Help Radio this week.  I'll tell you a secret: I was in town.  But I was asleep, having arrived the night before from St. Louis, where I saw Louis CK live at a lovely place called the Fox Theatre.  But I didn't have time to prepare a show, & someone named Allie did the show instead, which I haven't listened to, because what if she's much better at doing my show than I am?  What will I do with my life then?

This is an especially tender time because this week is the Self Help Radio's 10th Anniversary!  It's true!  Sometime around ten years ago, the first Self Help Radio aired on a Wednesday afternoon on KOOP radio, 91.7 fm, in Austin.  If I have time this weekend (& why wouldn't I? I don't really do anything) I'll see if I can come up with "ten years of Self Help Radio" facts & figures.  How many shows, how many themes, all the wasted minutes.

Ten years is a lot of time, isn't it?  I don't think I've done any one activity for ten years.  Except this one, I mean.  It's almost like admitting that I've grown old.  It's nearly a quarter of my life I've spent on this radio show!  & it doesn't even like me!

I was glad for the week off.  I think I'd like to do it more often, if only I could do it without missing my show.  I remember a dude at KOOP would make a show for when he was absent & then just give the recording to someone to play - just sit behind the board & play it - & in the recording he would say, "I'm not really in the studio, so don't call!"

All right, so I guess I'll just show up for Self Help Radio every day for the rest of my life, then.