Saturday, January 19, 2013


If you pay any attention to anything I do in relation to Self Help Radio (which you don't - why would you?), you might be aware I have little rules I follow which are at best idiosyncratic or at worst a little stupid.  For example, I don't play songs by bands if their only relation to the week's theme is their name, like I didn't play the Flaming Lips on my "lips" show.  If the Flaming Lips had a song about lips, I would...  But they didn't (or didn't have a good one, I don't recall).

This blog also follows some dumb rules.  Here are a couple of them, but they're not exclusively the rules of this blog - I probably have more than I can conjure up right now.

One: I write in this blog five times a week.

Why?  Who knows?  When I check the one thing that I use to monitor tracking, Google Analytics, it tells me that no more than five people a day ever visit this blog, & usually one of them is me, since I re-read my posts after I've "published" them to double-check for spelling or whatever.

On several days in the last month, not a single person visited my blog, or just one person did - & that would be me!

I just do it because I decided to do it, & I scheduled the blog entries around my show.

Two: this is sort of how a week's worth of posts would go (my rules tell me), assuming that my show happens on day five.

First post: whatever I want to write about
Second post: whatever I want to write about
Third post: "Preface to" the theme - but still whatever I want to write about
Fourth post: "Whither" the theme?  Mostly to let folks know when the show's airing.
Fifth post: Links to website & show plus playlist.

Because my show's been on Mondays, I would write Thursday through Monday, taking Tuesday & Wednesday off.

I have to change that now.

Except.  I am doing a show this Monday - not Self Help Radio - but the season finale of Sugar Substitute.  What to do?

It looks like, with my show moving to Monday, my days will shift to accommodate that - I'll write Tuesdays through Saturdays.  But I can't this week.  Since I will briefly be on the air one last time on Monday.

I don't get two days off this week.  I have to write every damn day.

This is all mostly stuff for my head to think about while I ignore important things, but it is somewhat pressing.  & if I think of moving the days I write down to four - or even three - I imagine that I will have let myself down very much.  I certainly don't want to do that!

Why not?  Who knows!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Day Without Stains

I had my teeth cleaned yesterday.  I don't want to say where, except that it was in fact at a dentist.  I can't say who cleaned my teeth - I don't remember my hygienist's name - I barely know what she looks like, since she has to wear a mask or she'll catch horrible diseases from me (&/or vice versa).  She tsk tsked a lot.  She didn't believe that I flossed regularly.  Why should she?  My teeth are a mess.

I don't want to tell you where I go because what if - as that gripping documentary Marathon Man suggested - dentists are spiteful & psychotic?  (Also, Nazis!)  It seems to be a profession to which folks with a mild case of sadism might flock.  "I spend my day with my hands in strangers' mouths & I make a ton of money!"  Lots of people go to dental school.  Perhaps there are interesting psychological profiles online.

My mother, who has none of her original teeth, & hasn't for decades, doesn't trust dentists.  She thinks they're a racket - that they deliberately put in bad fillings so you'll have to replace them in a few years.  I'm sure she also believes they plant bacteria in one's mouth so it'll grow & cause problems the next time you visit.  Every six months!  Genius!  Neither of these, by the way, would qualify as "weird" beliefs of hers.  These seem downright sensible compared to some of the way-out nonsense she thinks happens in the world.

It took two hours for my teeth to be cleaned, although somewhere between thirty-five & fifty minutes was the duration of the actual cleaning.  The place just doesn't really appear to give a shit - unless it's for surgical or orthodontic procedures.  They suggested some for me.  Gave me pamphlets.  I got the distinct impression my dentist wanted to call her colleagues & tell them she'd hooked another one!

As I was waiting to find out if something in my x-rays raised any alarms, I sat across from a woman who appeared to be as frustrated with the wait as I was.  She was fidgeting & looking around (as if her dentist or hygienist might be wandering the halls purposefully) & clucking at the clock on the wall (which read 9:45 am).  When a masked, gowned woman emerged to call her in, she said, "I'm so sorry, Mrs. [Whatever Her Name Was], we're just running a little behind."

The woman said, very matter-of-factly, "A little early to be running behind, isn't it?"

That almost made the morning worth it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Change Comes

It's true, if change were a body part, change is afoot with Self Help Radio.  Obviously, one thing that won't change are my dreadful attempts at puns.  So bad, it's punishing.  But I digress.

This Monday there won't be a Self Help Radio.  That's a change, since there's been a Self Help Radio every Monday since early October, & many of the Mondays of the year before then.  Not only won't there be a Self Help Radio this Monday, there won't be any Self Help Radios on Mondays for the foreseeable future.

This Monday, from 8am on, is Democracy Now's coverage of the Inauguration.

I don't know who'll be on Mondays from 6 to 9 am after Self Help Radio goes, but certainly you should take some solace that after Democracy Now on Mondays on WRFL will still be Allen & the Number One Super Hour.  I do!

Self Help Radio is planning to relocate to Fridays from 4 to 6 pm.  I know what you're thinking - wasn't that your last timeslot back in Austin?

What?  You weren't thinking that?  Oh.

But here's the saddest thing, even sadder than the people who might accidentally stumble onto my show during the drive home on Friday afternoon, the saddest thing is, since I'm going down to two hours, I have to let go of the freeform indiepop show I started over two years ago: Sugar Substitute.

Named after a song by my favorite Austin band (& using that song in its intro), the radio show called Sugar Substitute was my attempt to play new releases & older things I'd forgotten, & had escaped its indiepop focus in recent years.

I will miss it - I am toying with the idea of keeping it alive perhaps in podcast form - but the last version to be aired on WRFL will be a two-hour season finale - not a series finale! - on Monday morning.

So: no Self Help Radio this Monday.  Two hour Sugar Substitute, the last of it for a while.  Then, inauguration report on Democracy Now on WRFL from 8am till I think 1pm.

Self Help Radio on Fridays, again?  Really?  Jeez.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

George's Show

This was a hard show to do, & it's been harder putting it up on the Self Help Radio website.  I wanted to pay tribute in my own stupid way to a friend whose absence, more than a month after his death, still feels giant & empty inside me.  I maybe thought - & feared - that putting the show up, finishing it, would me I was trying to close a door, to "get past" his death.  Just looking at the picture above proves me to me that it isn't the case.  I am as broken-hearted now as I was the night he left us.

Anyway, here's the show.  It's in two parts, which are listed below.  Part one is here & part two is here.  I mentioned during the show that George would have been terribly bored by sitting & listening to songs about Georges other than himself.  He would've preferred to go on a walk, or have lots of food to eat, or (best of all) sleep on the sofa next to his mother - in-between walks & meals.

He was a remarkable person, was George the beagle, & I can't believe in the end how much I loved him.  I certainly wish I could have made a better tribute to him, & maybe one day I will.

(part one)

"George" Yo La Tengo _They Shoot, We Score_
"Silent George" Lucky Millinder & Myra Johnson _Risque Rhythms_
"Georgie" Pussycat _Mississippi_
"Gorgeous George" Edwyn Collins _Gorgeous George_

"Macho Beagle" Bunnygrunt _Standing Hampton 7"_
"Ole Lonesome George The Bassett" Tom T Hall _Songs Of Fox Hollow_
"George (& The North Woods)" Dave Dudley _George & The North Woods_
"George Says He Has Lost His Way in This World" The Clientele _That Night, A Forest Grew_
"Collie George" Frankie Jones _Jammys From The Roots (1977-1985)_

"Georgy Girl" The Seekers _Come The Day_
"Georgette Plays A Goth" Tullycraft _Every Scene Needs a Center_
"Madame George" Van Morrison _T. B. Sheets_
"George" The Wet Spots _Hello Kinky_

"John, Paul, George, & Ringo" The Bulldogs _Beatlemaniacs!!! The World Of Beatles Novelty Records_
"Janus, Jeanie, & George Harrision" Redd Kross _Neurotica_

(part two)

"George Of The Jungle" Weird Al Yankovic _Dare To Be Stupid_
"George Hamilton's Dead" Golden Dawn _Temple Cloud_
"George Orwell" Georgia _Ten;Ten_
"A Talk With George" Jonathan Coulton _JoCo Looks Back_

"Georgie Porgie" Jo-Ann Jackson & The Dreams _Groovin' At The Go-Go_
"Dance With Me Georgie" The Bobbettes _The Ultimate Collection_
"Shorty George" Lead Belly _Where Did You Sleep Last Night: Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 1_
"Cadillac George" The Travel Agency _The Travel Agency_
"My Friend George" Lou Reed _New Sensations_

"George" Antietam _Burgoo_
"George Had A Hat" Pere Ubu _The Tenement Year_
"Cowboy George" The Fall _Your Future Our Clutter_

"At Midnight I Will Kill George Lucas With A Shovel" Patton Oswalt _Werewolves & Lollipops_
"George Romero" Sprites _Modern Gameplay_

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Whither 1977?

It has been a long day.  Possibly longer than all of 1977.

I will cover all the music I love from 1977 in two hours tomorrow from 7 to 9am.  I may also talk about what a horrible nine-year-old I was.  You know how horrible I am now?  I was 1/5 as horrible then - which is pretty godawful.

It's happening from 7 to 9am on 88.1 fm in Lexington & online at the WRFL page.  Maybe later at the Self Help Radio page maybe?  I'll believe it when I see it.

I don't think I was terribly self-aware in 1977, because if I were, damn! the music was great.