Saturday, April 21, 2012

Preface To Miracles: You Sexy Thing

Self Help Radio labors forever in obscurity, & kinda deserves it, but on the radio on Mondays the deejay will often say, "If you have ideas for themes, or if you want to request a song for the show next week, you can always email me at Gary at Self Help Radio dot net."  Needless to say, the "email-bag" is hardly ever filled by listener requests - in fact, it's usually just full of desperate African potentates & information about penis enlargement &/or engorgement.

However, this week, the show about "miracles," having been duly announced on the previous Monday, encouraged not one but two Lexingtonians to write in & request a song.  That song?  "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate.  The song is so well known that it has its own Wikipedia page.  The reason for the request, of course, is the continually repeated lyric, "I believe in miracles."  (You can read the full lyrics here.)  Indeed, if you search for the song, there's a good chance that, in this day & age of mis-identified songs, you'll find it entitled "I Believe In Miracles."  One of the correspondents called it that in the request email!

You can watch a lip-synched version by the band (who were British - did you know that?) on Youtube here.  & you can expect to hear it on Self Help Radio on Monday.  Unless!  Might there be a funky version of it somewhere?

Is it disrespectful to play covers of songs people request, especially if the song is as popular & well known as "You Sexy Thing"?

Friday, April 20, 2012


Wikipedia uses the phrase "cannabis culture" & that amuses me.

Here's an anecdote that will demonstrate to you how square I am & always have been. When I was the Program Manager for KVRX in the 90s, I made it a point to tape & listen to everyone's show at least twice during the semester. The most difficult were always the late-night shows - since I was taping the shows with cassettes, I'd have to drag myself out of bed to turn the tape on, &, since most shows were two hours long, I'd have to wake again an hour later, & turn the tape over (hooray for 120 minute tapes!). Why I didn't just stay awake & listen to the show I don't know. It made sense at the time.

One new deejay at the station, in both shows of hers that I listened to, would come on the mic at (of course) 4:20 am & say, "It's four-twenty." She would interrupt a song while doing that. When talking to her about her show, I told her, "You can wait until a regular airbreak to tell people the time." She rolled her eyes & said, "You mean you don't know?" & I was schooled about 4:20. By the way, this same woman told me that "4-20" referred to the police code for possession, a common urban legend. & hilariously, she once came up to me & told me, "I've given up drugs!" & I said, "Wow, you're not smoking pot any more?" She said, "Pot isn't a drug! It's natural!"

I guess it's better than celebrating April 20 as Hitler's birthday!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fragments Of A Haunted Song

"The fire, it almost starts itself
Looks like water comes from somewhere else
& I could use a thing or two today"

I threw these lyrics, which are from the song "Gone Tomorrow" by Lambchop, on their new record, at a few people younger than I am, people I barely know, as an example of how songs could haunt me. The collective response was disinterest as best, dismissal at worst. "I guess the water comes from somewhere else," one person said, looking around as people do when they've told a joke but wait to see if anyone else recognizes it as such before they admit it was actually a joke.

But the words act in my brain - as many lyrics often do - as the closest I'll thing I'll ever be able to understand or accept as a koan, which is, as one online dictionary defines it, "a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating."

More often than not such fragments - & usually the entire song - just fills me up with emotions that I want to experience rather than understand.

I am a bad fake Buddhist.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Windows Airs

As the weather has gotten nicer, Self Help Radio, which spends a lot of time staring out of windows, has now felt comfortable opening the windows, & it's really about time, too, because it's kinda smelly in here. Opening the windows led to thinking about songs about windows, & thinking about songs inevitably leads to a show about the songs themselves. So one window opens while a show about windows airs!

The show is available on all operating systems, not just ones that are the namesake of this show's theme. It's available at the Self Help Radio website. Hey! If you're impatient & want to download the show directly, you can do so by clicking the following links: part one | part two. What's in each part is below.

Oh no! Bugs are coming in the window!

(part one)

"Window" The Microphones _Window_
"The Window" Acrylics _Lives & Treasure_
"Out The Window" Violent Femmes _Why Do Birds Sing?_

"Get Away From That Window" The Pickard Family _The History Of Country & Western Music Vol. 1 (1927-1928)_
"Love Jumped Through My Window" Arthur Lee & Band Aid _Vindicator_
"The Other Window" Wire _154_
"Stained-Glass Windows In The Sky" Felt _Poem Of The River_
"Voyeurism Is The New Tattoo" Luxuriator _Voyeurism Is The New Tattoo_
"Windows Of The World" Scott Walker _Scott 2_

"Take A Look Out Your Window" Pataphysics _Take A Look Out Your Window_
"My Little Window" Jack Scott _Great Scott!_
"Storm Windows" John Prine _Storm Windows_

(part two)

"The Window Song" The Mountain Goats _Protein Source Of The Future... Now!_

"My Window" Help Stamp Out Loneliness _Help Stamp Out Loneliness_
"Open A New Window" The Arbors _The Very Best Of The Arbors_
"She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" Joe Cocker _Happy_
"Life From A Window" The Jam _This Is The Modern World_
"Last Of The Window Cleaners" Momus _The Ultraconformist_

"Cleaning Windows" Van Morrison _Beautiful Vision_
"The Window (live)" Leonard Cohen _Field Commander Cohen: Tour Of 79_
"From My Bedroom Window" Dear Nora _We'll Have A Time_
"Cleaning The Windows" Kentucky Friend Chicken Training _Kentucky Fried CD_

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Whither Windows?

Today was a day where windows were handy. Tomorrow will be a day of celebration for windows.

Self Help Radio will be heard through all open & (in cars) rolled down windows all over Lexington tomorrow morning from 7:30 to 9am. You can listen online at the WRFL web page or you can simply go to the audio stream.

If you can't get your windows open, or if your day is prematurely thrown out the window, you can listen to the episode later on at your convenience at the Self Help Radio website.

Seriously, crack a window. It smells awful in here.