Saturday, June 30, 2012

Preface To Swans: These Swans, Not Those Swans

There are a few rules that I've followed from day one with Self Help Radio, & those rules are as arbitrary as the show, & they're not rules I've publicized or otherwise written out - I've just known I would do the show this way & I have.

One of them is this: the themes are about the songs, not the bands.  Or, to put it another way, I don't allow the name of the band (or any of the people in the band) to qualify for a show's theme.  For example, there was a fellow in Austin who always wanted me to do spectacularly easy themes - he once said I should do a show about "cars" - & he called in when I did a show about zombies.  "Are you going to play the Zombies?" he asked.

If the Zombies did a song about zombies, I would play them, I told him.  It seemed just too lazy to say, "Since this show is about the living dead, here's an unrelated band that happens to have the same name as today's theme, let's listen to 'She's Not There!'"

Which is my long-winded way of saying I won't be playing the band Swans during the show.  Unless they have a song about swans I don't at this moment know about.

I did one time want to do a show about songs about bands.  You know, people singing about the Beatles or what-not.  It turns out that another show the day I thought of it had just completed that show.  That was in 2002.  I am still trying to make sure there's a safe enough distance between our two shows so that it won't seem like I am copying the other show.

Oh, & I also one day will do a show about bands who have songs that are the band's name.  Like, you know, Belle & Sebastian have a song called "Belle & Sebastian."  I have hesitated because I am unsure whether I can count songs like "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream."  Can I?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Boom! goes the Boomslang

I happened to be in the WRFL offices today just in time to overhear (that's a nice way to say "eavesdrop on") a discussion about the station's annual music festival, which is called Boomslang (not this boomslang - that would be scary, but this Boomslang), & there are some exciting things happening when the event takes place in September.  Maybe I wasn't supposed to overhear  & therefore I shouldn't talk about the "unconfirmed" guests, but I can say you should keep an eye on the official Boomslang website because there might be a reason to visit in September.  I got an extra room.

If anything, one contributing factor to a visit has to be the weather.  It's been really hot (by Kentucky standards) the last few days - over 100 degrees Fahrenheit today, & I don't think it's been that hot in this region in the three years I've been here.  But I took the dogs for a walk just now & it feels fine out there.  For one, there's usually a nice breeze.  In Texas, the breezes get trapped by the dead trees, who suck the life out of them.  The boys were panty & I got a little sweaty, but 8 pm in Lexington on a late June day is different than Austin, even when the highs are the same - it's ten degrees cooler here than there at that time.  Although the humidity is the same.  So maybe it wasn't honest sweat.

But in September, ah!  There was a discussion about an outdoor event at last year's Boomslang & I recall it was decided not to have it at night because "it would be too cold."  Too cold at night!  In September.

That's a thing to like about living in the midwest.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Twitter Pimping

I just wrote this ("tweeted") on my Twitter account:

"That's it! If Canada gets reelected I'm moving to Obamacare!"

That is just the sort of hard-hitting political observational humor you'll get from me, as well as short sentences that mean not a whole lot, if you "follow" me on Twitter.  It's @SelfHelpRadio.  You can read my ridiculous twits here.

Oh!  If you go there, you'll see I have only a handful of "followers."  That is appropriate but it makes me sad.  Why don't you "follow" me?  I'm not really going anywhere, but, you know.  It's something to do.

I'm really bad at this, aren't I?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pressure Suits Me

Finally!  A searing exposé into the high-pressure world of non-commercial radio!  Listen as the deejay plays music on an empty college campus!  Overhear in the background the sound of a computer idling with disuse!  Sense the horrible regret almost forming as the deejay tells the caller ONE MORE TIME that he's pretty sure No Doubt never wrote a song about pressure!  It may break you!  It may shake you!  It may take you ninety minutes to listen to it!

The pressure-filled songs are listed below.  Hurry, before the pressure gets too great - & I'm not even talking about the peer pressure - & listen to the show over at the Self Help Radio website.  If you must have instant satisfaction - & in this high pressure high stakes world, who has time for satisfaction that takes longer than an instant - you can listen to part one here & you can listen to part two here.

I can't take this pressure!

(part one)

"Pressure's On" Red C _Flex Your Head_
"The Pressure's On" Rudi _Babylon's Burning - The Rough & Ready Rise Of Punk Rawk 1973 - 1978_
"Pressure Zone" Beat Union _Disconnected_

"Under Pressure" Xiu Xiu _Women As Lovers_
"Too Much Pressure" Selecter _Too Much Pressure_
"Pressure Drop" Toots & The Maytals _The Harder They Come_
"The Pressure" A Tribe Called Quest _Beats, Rhymes & Life_
"The Pressure Of Life (Takes The Weight Off The Body)" Fun Boy Three _Waiting_

"Inna City Pressure" Dr. Israel _Inna City Pressure_
"Inner City Pressure" Flight Of The Conchords _Flight Of The Conchords_

(part two)

"How Much Pressure (Do You Think I Can Stand)" Roscoe Robinson _The Sweet Sound Of Success_
"Get Up Offa That Thing (Release The Pressure)" James Brown _Star Time_

"Pressure Suit" Adult. _Resuscitation_
"High Blood Pressure" Bobby Marchan & The Clowns _Huey "Piano" Smith's Rock & Roll Revival_
"Can You Stand The Pressure" Bobby Freeman _Double Shot Of Soul_
"Pressure" The Kinks _Low Budget_
"Peer Pressure" The Defekts _Red Snerts_
"No Pressure" Secret Cities _Strange Hearts_

"Pressure" Neil Young _Landing On Water_
"Pressure" Bram Tchaikovsky _Pressure_
"Of Pressure" Mirah _You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This_
"The Intolerable Pressures Of Modern Life" The Otto Show _The Otto Show_

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Whither Pressure?

Do you think you know pressure?  Do you?

Today while I was working on the pressure show for tomorrow, my computer shut down.  It wasn't just my computer - the electricity in the entire house turned off.  I went outside - fearing I might not have paid a bill recently - & everyone was walking outside, asking what happened?

The power was off for six hours.  My phone was at less than 20% battery power.  I realized late into the process I could charge it in the car but I didn't want to sit in a hot garage.  Why sit in a hot garage? We have an electric garage door opener.  Oh I figured how to open the damn garage "manually."  It didn't charge the phone fast enough.  It wasn't fun, sitting in a car.  I played sudoku.  I tried to call the power company to get information about the outage.

No one answered at the power company.  I was on hold for half an hour.  I gave up.  I tried to nap.  I read an entire issue of Harper's.

I was stomping around outside, wondering if I could drive somewhere with my computer - which had my show on it, remember - & work on it in a coffee shop with free wi-fi or something.  Then the neighbors said, "Hooray!"  I looked in one of my windows.  The ceiling fans were turning again.

Six hours!  I nearly went mad.  We still don't know what happened.  Will we ever?

Think I'll talk about this on the show?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

The show is on tomorrow morning from 7:30 to 9:00 am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington.  Online it's a-streaming everywhere at WRFL dot FM.  I feel a lot of pressure to put it up later in the day at the Self Help Radio website.  It's the sort of pressure that never goes away.