Saturday, May 26, 2012

Preface To Seeing Double: Adventures With Foreigner

Foreigner is one of those "classic rock" bands that you cannot escape on modern commercial radio.  & you couldn't escape them back then, either.  When I was a sprog in the late 70s, they were hugely popular.  My brain, thanks to constant exposure to those radio stations, still knows the words to songs like "Feels Like The First Time," "Cold As Ice," "Hot Blooded," &, of course, "Double Vision."

Will anyone request "Double Vision," seeing as how this week's theme is "seeing double"?

The guitarist for Foreigner is named Mick Jones, & he's British, but he's not the same person as my idol Mick Jones of the Clash - but wouldn't it be hilarious if he was & I never knew?  (Mick Jones is apparently the only original member of the band, which still exists.)

That's how little I knew about the band Foreigner - you could have mentioned the names of any of their members over the years & I would have drawn a blank.  But reciting the lyrics to "Hot Blooded"?  Hey, check it & see, I got a fever of a hundred & three, come on baby you can do more than dance!  I just wrote all those out without consulting a lyrics site because my brain has them stored up.  Memories of my childhood shoved away so I could remember mediocre "classic rock" songs.

That being said, I can't say I "hate" Foreigner.  They're probably still making lots of cash from constant airplay & I'm sure there are people my age & older who go to see them in moderately large venues - tonight they're playing a casino in Indiana & earlier they played amphitheaters in Michigan.  But I have never never nerver met anyone who will say anything like "Foreigner were the consummate rock band of the 70's" or "Foreigner changed the rock & roll landscape."  There's not a Foreigner album anyone's ever said I have to listen to.  No one cites Foreigner as an influence - well, no one good, anyway, & certainly not anyone I would be listening to, or that would be making any sort of mark .  There are some seriously overrated bands that people utterly worship who are as successful as Foreigner that otherwise right-thinking people consider to be great.

Having said that, a friend of mine who pretty much only listens to classic rock radio once got mad at me for quoting the lyrics to "Cold As Ice" to her.  She said, "Don't sing Foreigner to me!  They ruined rock & roll!"  I don't think she understood that many of the bands she loved had already destroyed rock & roll at that point - & that Foreigner was something arbitrary she picked out to focus her self-loathing.  The rest of us, of course, allowed ourselves to be rescued by punk rock.

Please don't request "Double Vision" on my show.  I could sing it to you over the phone but I won't play it, especially since the classic rock station further up the dial is probably playing it anyway - hurry!  Or you'll miss the guitar solo!

PS I just discovered that Brave Combo do a cover of "Double Vision" on their record "The Process."  I don't own it so I can't play it.  But I can't imagine it's any good.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Season

Suddenly it's hot in Kentucky.  & humid.  It reminds me of home.  & being sweaty all the time.  I apologize, Austin.  I realize now I was sweaty all the time.

I live with a woman who watches too many documentaries who doesn't want to turn on the air conditioner despite the fact that it is 80 degrees in the house because (she says) it will kill the planet.  The documentaries tell her that.  & I am the creature with the second-least amount of fur.  Also, my computer emits tremendous amounts of heat.

I know it's nothing like Austin.  Or is it?  Outside it's 79 degrees in Lexington.  It's 81 degrees in Austin.  Thanks Weather Underground!  It's mostly the same temperature where I am & where Austin are.

Except Austin has (I believe this is the scientific term) a shit-ton more vegetarian restaurants.  Most of these seemed to open after I left.  How many?  Have a look at this web site.  If you are a vegetarian or vegan in Lexington, this should make you sad.

I have to go now.  I am going to see how hot it is in our house.  81 degrees!  It's the same temperature in our house as in Austin.  At nine o'clock at night!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hours Later

I can't remember when I came up with a theme called "hours."  I think I've already done a show about clocks, & then later, a show called "what o'clock is it?" which mentioned specific times (ie, five o'clock).  I don't remember an epiphany, a moment when the ghost of Dead Pop Star came to me & said, "This would be a great idea for a show."  It wasn't such a great theme, after all.  Do you think my cats are fucking with me?

In any event, here's the show in all its glory.  To be fair, I read some neat information from The Discoverers by Daniel J Boorstin, which is a cool book.  The songs I played are below & the show is where it art to be at Self Help Radio dot Net.  In two parts: part one & part two.

Yes, it's a show about hours in ninety minutes.  Time is more malleable that you ever dreamed.

(part one)

"An Hour Is Sixty Minutes Too Long" Imitation Electric Piano _Trinity Neon_
"A Few Hours After This" The Cure _Join The Dots_

"Blinder By The Hour" The Triffids _Calenture_
"Hours N Hours" Boat People _Chandeliers_
"First Few Desperate Hours" The Mountain Goats _Tallahassee_
"Favourite Hour (Church Studios Version)" Elvis Costello _Brutal Youth_
"After Hours" The Velvet Underground _The Velvet Underground_

"Sweet Tasting Hours" The Go-Betweens _Spring Hill Fair_
"Dead Hour" The Guild League _Speak Up_

(part two)

"Happy Hour" The Housemartins _London 0, Hull 4_
"My Finest Hour" The Sundays _Reading, Writing & Arithmetic_
"My Finest Hour" The Lodger _Life Is Sweet_

"In The Midnight Hour" Wilson Pickett _This Is The Modern World_
"After Hours" A Tribe Called Quest _People's Instinctive Travels & The Paths Of Rhythm_
"Hourglass" Squeeze _Babylon & On_
"Hourglass" Twig _Hourglass 7"_
"Golden Hours" Brian Eno _Another Green World_

"First Hour Of The Day" The Band Of Holy Joy _The Big Ship Sails_
"None But Shining Hours" The Books _Lost & Safe_
"Sleepless Hours" Originals _Las Vegas Grind Vol. 3_
"Amateur Hour" Sparks _Kimono My House_

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Whither Hours?

Can I confess something to you?  I thought this would be a more interesting theme than it's turned out to be.  Because there are a LOT OF SONGS having to do with "hours."  Apologies in advance for what might turn out to be a dull show.

Come to think of it, I should always preface my shows that way.

It will be a show about hours that only lasts ninety minutes & it will air tomorrow morning (Monday the 21st) on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington.  You can listen live online at wrfl dot fm.  You can live recorded later at self help radio dot net.  You can try to travel into space faster than light, catch up to the stray radio waves, & listen to it as you return to Earth.  It's up to you!