Friday, October 25, 2013

Whither Hell?

Happy Halloween a week early!  Tonight's show examines HELL!

Might it be like this?  Only Jack Chick knows for sure!  & he'll tell you.  Over & over.  Beat you over the head with it, really.

People often say to me things like, "Self Help Radio can go to hell."  Tonight it does!  Two hours of musical theology as we explore hell in song.  Also, I'll do my best to guarantee I'll go to hell by saying blasphemous things on the air.  Win/win!

Ten pm to midnight on 88.1 fm WRFL in Lexington & online at  Listen as if your soul depended on it!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Preface To Hell: Halloween Accounting

I've been doing Self Help Radio for like eleven years now.  Halloween is one of those holidays I like to celebrate with a different theme each year related to it.  I could do one of those "general" shows like I do during Christmas, especially since I'm running out of themes.  Look:

2003 - "Halloween"
2004 - no Halloween show
2005 - "Vampires"
2006 - "Monsters"
2007 - "Zombies"
2008 - "Witches"
2009 - "Werewolves"
2010 - "Haunted Houses"
2011 - "Graveyards"
2012 - "Nightmares"

This week is about "Hell."  But aren't I running out of Halloween themes?  Here are a few future idears:

- Mummies
- Voodoo
- Japanese Monsters

If you have any others, I'd be glad to hear them.  While I don't know if I'm going to be doing the show for three more years - you never know! - I'd like to have a bunch of ideas to fall back on.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Everything Oldie Is New Again

There's a radio shift - five to seven a.m. - on Thursday mornings on WRFL that the student who took it in September decided not to ever show up for.  It has caused the station's Program Director a great deal of grief.  A couple of weeks ago, I told him, "I can sub it until you find someone."  The autumn had been generally mild, & I didn't see the harm in waking up early just to play on the radio for a couple of hours.  Then a cold front swept through...

It'll be in the 30s (Fahrenheit) tomorrow morning.  Brrr.  But I am a little glad that I am temporarily holding down this spot - my first radio show, on KVRX, in Austin, was from five to seven in the morning, starting in August 1994.

Which means I've been doing this for almost twenty years.

At the time, KVRX was a few years old, but had never broadcast on air in Austin.  Those were the days of "cable fm."  In fact, KVRX had just changed its call letters from KTSB in anticipation of getting an fm license (there was - is? - a KTSB elsewhere).  When I went to KVRX in the summer of 1994, I had no desire to be a disc jockey - I had just wanted to volunteer & help out, maybe review some CDs.  I didn't know I'd be starting a lifelong love affair.  Someone should have warned me!

In those days. two long decades ago, I didn't have a car, so I'd wake at 3:30 am, shower, & walk to the station.  I lived near 45th street & Red River in Austin, so the walk would take about 45 minutes.  It was Texas, so there was rarely, if ever, terrible weather with which to contend.  I don't remember, for example, having to walk in extreme cold or rain.  I must have - but I walked everywhere in those days, or bussed.

Now I get up, let the dogs out, brush my teeth, & drive to the station in the cold.  I bet that WRFL is closer to me now than KVRX was.  But I don't trust weather reports - it might be below freezing tomorrow morning.

Before WRFL got rid of three-hour blocks, I separated the three hours I spent on the radio into two shows, Self Help Radio & a freeform show I called "Sugar Substitute," after the wonderful Luxuriator song.  I even archived those shows.

But I'm not calling this little two hour block Sugar Substitute because it ain't my show.  It's just me helping out, making sure someone else doesn't have to schlep up to the station at a godawful time of the morning to drowsily spin tunes.  Except it isn't godawful.  No one's on the road.  It's strangely peaceful.

Except, you know, that one person who's driving like he (it's usually a he) really fucking needs to be somewhere twelve minutes ago even though there's no one but me on the road with him.  If he could honk & curse at me for taking my sweet time he would.

This little detour on the radio has reminded me how much I liked the world when it's mostly asleep.  Part of my misanthropy, perhaps, or memories of staying up late & wandering around Garland, Texas, at a young adult trying to figure out life.

Now, though, I kind of wish I had been able to spend that time on the radio.  The closest community radio station to where I lived was (& still is) KNON in Dallas.  I can't even imagine how far of a walk that would have been.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Self Help Radio 101813: Sam's Show

Hi, I'm Sam.  Gary made a show for me.  Then he said I had to talk about it.  I said, I don't want to.  He said, tough, I made a show for you now you've got to say something about it.  I said, I didn't ask for any show.  What sort of weirdo makes a radio show full of songs about someone named Sam & then springs it on him?  He said, you've never loved me!  I said, I barely know you!

Anyway, the show is now on the Self Help Radio website.  If you don't want to go there - I sure don't - but your name is Sam & you're curious, the show is in two parts, & there are quick links here: for part one & for part two.  I think Gary puts a list of songs below.

Oh man, he made one of those graphics.  This is too much.  I'm going to get a restraining order.


(part one)

"Everybody's Talking About Sammy" Sam Morgan's Jazz Band _Jazz The World Forgot_
"Chizzlin' Sam (feat. Eva Taylor)" Clarence Williams' Jug Band _Clarence Williams & His Orchestra, Vol. 1: 1933-1934_
"Sam The Hot Dog Man" Lil Johnson _Raunchy Business: Hot Nuts & Lollypops_

"One Eyed Sam" Eldon Baker & His Brown County Revellers _Roots n' Blues - The Retrospective_
"Three Ball Sam (The Pawn Shop Man)" Pearl Traylor with Chuck Thomas & His All Stars _The OKeh Rhythm & Blues Story 1949-1957_
"Flat Foot Sam Met Jim Dandy" TV Slim _Chess Rhythm & Roll_
"Switch Blade Sam" Jeff Daniels _Rockin' Bones: 1950's Punk & Rockabilly_
"Who Shot Sam" Wanda Jackson _Rockin' With Wanda!_

"Uncle Sam's Blues" Hot Lips Page _The Savoy Story_
"Uncle Sam Says" Josh White _Songs For Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs & The American Left 1935-1954, Vol 2 - Theatre & Cabaret Performers 1936-1941_
"Uncle Sam Come & Get Him" Wee Bea Booze _The Ladies In Blues_
"Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam)" The Valadiers _The Complete Motown Singles 1959-1961_
"Please Uncle Sam (Send Back My Man)" The Charmels _Does Anybody Know I'm Here?: Vietnam Through The Eyes Of Black America 1962-1972_

"Sam's Song" Sammy Davis Jr. & Dean Martin _The Sammy Davis Jr. Show With Special Guests Stars_
"Sam" The Castaways _The Big Hits Of Mid-America: The Soma Records Story 1963 - 1967_

(part two)

"Remember Sam" The Easybeats _Gonna Have A Good Time: The Complete US & UK Singles Collection_
"Mohair Sam" Mouse & The Traps _The Fraternity Years_
"Sammy" The Montanas _Ripples, Volume 2: Dreamtime (British Sunshine Pop)_
"Sammy" Ernie Smith _The Best Of Ernie Smith_

"Damn Sam The Miracle Man" Damn Sam The Miracle Man & The Soul Congregation _Damn Sam The Miracle Man & The Soul Congregation_
"Sam" Hurricane Smith _Don't Let It Die_
"Sam The Samba Man" Rah Band _Sam The Samba Man_
"Sam Loves You" Severed Heads _Come Visit The Big Bigot_
"Telegram Sam" Bauhaus _Swing The Heartache: The BBC Sessions_

"Sam" Meat Puppets _Forbidden Places_
"Lucifer Sam" True West _Hollywood Holiday_
"Sam" Boss Hog _Boss Hog_
"Sam Hall" Richard Thompson _1000 Years Of Popular Music_
"Sam & Molly Are In Love" Little Name _How To Swim & Live_

"Goodbye Sam Hello Samantha" Cliff Richard _Jackie The Album_
"Samantha Secret Agent" All Girl Summer Fun Band _2_
"Samantha" The Mantles _The Mantles_