Saturday, July 07, 2012

Preface To Lists: My "To Do" List

Do you keep a list of things to do?  I never used to.  I thought I had a great memory (& perhaps I did) (before age & alcohol started messing things up) & rarely did I have to write things down.  (I probably misremember all the times I forgot to do something or be somewhere.)  But late in life (within the past couple of years) I've discovered the joys & frustrations of keeping a list.

The joys, mostly, are involved with a process called "check things off."  Some people "cross things out."  Since my list is electronic, I just check things off - or sometimes I erase them entirely.  (Though I do have a master list of things I need to do every day.  It's true.  & one of the things on that list is:

Write in SHR blog. (Thursday through Monday).

Because I do sometimes forget.

These are called "to do" lists (for things you have to do) but the show this week won't have many of those.  I don't think I have a song at all that's a "to do" list.  Which is a shame, because, like I said, they are full of joy.

The frustration is when you don't finish what's on the list.  In general, my "to do" list is tasks I hope to complete every day.  I never do even half of them.  That does concern me.

But not enough to give up on the list or try harder to complete it.  Because even though my list could easily turn out to be very judgmental, it hardly ever is.

Friday, July 06, 2012

People I Know Who Are Doing Well, Part II

If you're in Dallas, you should stop by the place above - it's a bar but it's also now an art gallery - to have a drink & to look at the art of another old friend - the artist, Scott Lackey.

I met Scott over twenty years ago when he was in a class with my girlfriend at the time.  She raved about his art.  He stayed friends with me even after she dumped me, which was nice.  I needed all the friends I could get back then.

We drifted apart over time & he wandered the world in search of adventure, but thanks to the magic of Facebook, we've become friends again, & I wish I could go to this opening.  It's at least as hot here right now as it is in Dallas!

It's fun to see how excited he is by this exhibit - it means a lot to him.  I wonder if he has a web page for it?  Well, he has a Yelp page.  Good luck to him!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

People I Know Who Are Doing Well, Part I

This book - pictured above, linked over there - which I own but have not read - was written by a fellow I have known since I was six or seven years old.  His name is Dale Smith & I seem to remember considering him my best friend in first grade.

One day, after we had talked about his collection of fully posable action figures - this would have been before Star Wars, so they were probably super heroes - he invited me over to his house after school to see them.  I was quite impressed!  I remember that his mother was quite young & pretty - she might have been as young as twenty-five.  When I was seven, my mother was forty-five.  It seemed a delight to have a pretty mother.

As I walked home, I was stopped by a police car.  I had neglected to tell anyone I was going to Dale's house after school, & my mother had called the police.  I don't remember if I was punished, but I do recall being scared by the police car.  I don't think I rode in it, though.

Dale & I knew each other all through elementary & middle school, but were never quite as close.  His family moved from Garland after ninth grade was over.  In that curious way that life has of making coincidences seem portentous, we actually had lockers next to each other in that first year of high school.  He didn't come back to our school for the tenth grade year, & because we weren't really friends at the time, I didn't take much notice.

We became reacquainted in 1988 or 1989 in an English class at the University of Texas.  His family had moved to Austin, & we both happened to be English majors.  As the teacher called roll that first day, in alphabetical order, I turned around when I heard the name "Dale Smith."  He must've wondered when he heard my name.  We talked after class.  We would, again, become good friends.

Now he's an actual perfesser at a college in Canada & I just do an obscure radio show that's not really as good as most of the programs on my wonderful radio station.  I think at a different time I might have been terribly jealous, but I am just so happy he's where he is - I know that's where he wanted to be, teaching people, writing books, writing poetry.  That sort of happiness destroys even the seed of jealousy in me.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Swanning About

You might be thinking, "Is this show a reaction to those weird stories we were told as children about gods turning into swans to rape women?"  If so, you had the same reaction I did.  Maybe not as badly as the whole shower of gold thing - christ that would have hurt - but still, a swan?  Gods have a sick sense of humor, in general, but horny gods are the worst.

No, no, the show's not about that.  Nor about the time I caught the whooping cough from a whooper swan.  It turned my neck black & I was mute for a month.  All of my breaths sounded like trumpets & my throat was as dry as tundra.  But I digress.  (Ha ha, swan humor!)

The show about swans, which includes me swanning about, is now available in its own habitat at the Self Help Radio website.  It's in two parts: swanshow part I & swanshow part II.  & all the swan songs are listed below.  Please note: the show features several songs about swans but four actual swan songs, three more than is legally allowed.  My bad.

Thanks for listening!

(part one)

"You Swan, Go On" Mount Eerie _Lost Wisdom_
"The Swan" Julee Cruse _Floating Into The Night_
"The Swan (from 'Carnival Of The Animals')" Camille Saint-Saëns _Classical Comedy: Wagner's Rinse Cycle_

"Swan Blues" King Pleasure _Moody's Mood For Love_
"La Cigona (The Swan)" Honeybus _She Flies Like A Bird: The Anthology_
"Swans & Butterflies" The Green Pajamas _Seven Fathoms Down & Falling_
"Clang Of The Concrete Swans" Comet Gain _Howl Of The Lonely Crowd_

"Swan Lee (Silas Lang)" Syd Barrett _Opel_
"Ride A White Swan" T Rex _Ride A White Swan_
"Lovely Little Swan" Close Lobsters _Headache Rhetoric_

(part two)

"Badge" Cream _Goodbye_
"Swan Pond" Julie Doiron _I Woke Myself Up_
"Swans" Camera Obscura _The Blizzard EP_

"Black Swan" Nina Simone _At Carnegie Hall_
"Blue Swan" Cleaners From Venus _The Wayward Genius Of Martin Newell_
"Imagine The Swan" The Zombies _Time Of The Zombies_
"Here Come The Swans (Acoustic)" Kitchens Of Distinction _Capsule (The Best Of Kitchens Of Distinction 1988-94)_

"My Swan Song" Dave Frisberg _Honky Soul, Race Music, Hard Bop & Anachronistic Jazz_
"Swan Song" Marc Almond _Varieté_
"Sing Swan Song" Can _Ege Bamyasi_
"Swan Song" Tall Dwarfs _Stumpy_

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Whither Swans?

I was listening a few weeks back to a record by King Pleasure called Moody's Mood For Love & enjoying very much this song called "Swan Blues."  In that funny way one's brain works while one is doing something else, a note was scribbled in my head which read "you should do a show about swans."

It was only after I thought about it later, when I had begun to gather songs about swans, that I realized there aren't really any swans in King Pleasure's song.  It's just the title.  Oh well!  I'll play it anyway, since it was my inspiration.

The show is very swanny & it'll be on tomorrow morning from 7:30 to 9am on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington.  You can listen to it online too at wrfl dot fm.  & I'll archive it later at the Self Help Radio website.

No jokes about the show being an ugly duckling wishing it could be a swan!