Friday, June 20, 2014

Self Help Radio 062014: Racing

I may not ever have won any sort of race, nor even seen a horse or automobile race live, but I know a thing or two about racing.  Like everything else I know, it's what I've absorbed from songs.  This show is the sum of my knowledge.

Also!  I interview Nick Ramirez, horseracing's biggest fan, & the Reverend David Fruchter of the Church of NASCAR, & Tania calls & sings a song for me.  & you, too!

You want to listen?  No?  If you change your mind, the show is over at the Self Help Radio website, or through direct links: part I & part II.  Vroom vroom!  The songs I played are below!

Buckle up for safety!

(part one)
"A Day At The Races" The Art Of Noise _In No Sense? Nonsense!_
"The Race" Christopher _Piccadilly Sunshine, Vol. 1: British Pop Psych & Other Flavours 1968-1970_
"It's A Race" The Enemy _Streets In The Sky_

"Hot Rod Race" Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan _Juke Box Boogie_
"Race With The Devil" Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps _Loud, Fast & Out Of Control: The Wild Sounds Of 50s Rock_
"Drag Race" Don Pearly _Drag Race_
"Cat Racing Track" Bob & Ray _1975_
"Hot Rod Lincoln" All _Allroy's Revenge_

"Camptown Races" Abner Jay _The Backbone Of America Is A Mule & Cotton_
"Race-Track Blues" Johnny Moore's Three Blazers _Charles Brown 1946_
"A Race Between A Ford & A Chevrolet" Oscar Ford _Folk Music In America, Vol. 10: Songs Of War & History_
"The Race Is On" George Jones _The Essential George Jones_
"Bicycle Race" Be Your Own Pet _Killer Queen: A Tribute To Queen_

"Arms Race" The Attractions _Mad About The Wrong Boy_
"Space Race" Mi-Sex Mi-Sex _'79 - '85_

(part two)

"Wild Goose Race" Brigadier Jerry _129 Beat Street: Ja-Man Special 1975-1978_
"Rat Race" The Specials _The Singles Colection_
"The Submarine Races" Jan & Dean _Ride The Wild Surf_

"Racing With The Moon" Vaughn Monroe _The Great Ones_
"Super Racearound II" Firesign Theatre _Boom Dot Bust_
"Formula One Racing Girls" Helen Love _Radio Hits 1_
"Speed Racer" Two Nice Girls _Like A Version_

"Boy Racers A Go Go" The Haywains _Get Happy With The Haywains_
"Boyracer" The Brunettes _Boyracer EP_
"The Boy Racer" Morrissey _Southpaw Grammar_
"Raceway" Comateens _Comateens_

"The Race Is Over" Phillip Boa & The Voodoo Club _Diamonds Fall_
"The Race Is On Again" Yo La Tengo _I Am Not Afraid Of You & I Will Beat Your Ass_

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Whither Racing?

a racing flag

I used to have a friend, he came out to me in 1987, he was the first (semi-) openly gay person I knew (although not, it turned out, the first gay person I knew, since later a couple of people I knew in high school came out).  He has nothing to do with racing, which is the theme of thing week's Self Help Radio, but as I thought about racing just now, having to write this blog entry, I thought about racing flags, like the one pictured above, & I remembered how this friend once told me & my buddy Joe (who also knew he was gay), he told us this:

"I don't like the word flag.  I don't know why."

My friend Joe started laughing & said, "It's because it sounds like fag!  You don't like being called fag!"

My gay friend said thoughtfully bit his lower lip, "No, that's not it."

But try as he might, he couldn't put his finger on his aversion to that word.

People become friends because they have something in common, & I did have a lot in common with my friend, & one of those things - which, even though I haven't spoken to him in years, I would bet is true - is that we both never attended any sort of race.  Not any track & field-type competition, not a car race, not even a horse race.

What!?  I live in Lexington, Kentucky, & I haven't gone to a horse race?!?  It's true.  Something about the "sport" makes me uncomfortable.  Actually, a lot of things.  I've spoken with people who work in the field & they assure me that (they always say "in their experience") the horses are treated with respect & love, but then there are articles like this one: "The Ugly Truth About Horse Racing," which have a journalistic objectivity that those invested in the horse racing world can't really have.

It makes it hard for me to actually motivate to go see a race - even if I could probably walk to the nearest track from my house.  I became vegetarian because I didn't want animals to have to die for my survival; I'd hate to enjoy the brutal treatment of animals for entertainment.

Nevertheless - without celebrating or going into specifics - Self Help Radio tomorrow morning will be about racing in general.  It's on from 7 to 9am on the 88.1 fm frequency if you're in Lexington, & online at wrfl dot fm.  (& you don't have to race to a radio or computer to hear it if it's on too early - I'll put it up on my website later in the day, promise!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Preface To Racing: No, Not Songs About Race

It's not that hard to find songs about racing but it's also not hard to find songs about race, & I didn't want to do a show about race.

I read a recent tweet somewhere that said (paraphrase) "In ten years marijuana & gay marriage will be legal but people will still hate black folk."

One time I was sitting around the dinner table at my sister's & someone said, "I don't know why they want us to learn about the Civil War.  It was so long ago, what's it got to do with today?"

I got to bust out my historical knowledge & say, "Everything about the Civil War is still around in our culture today!"

Which is my way of saying, yeah, that tweet is probably right.  If we haven't mended centuries of racial oppression in a hundred & fifty years, it'll probably not be fixed in a decade.

I am pessimistic about a whole swath of things, so feel free to ignore me.

But the songs will be about vroom vroom racing & stuff this week, not races & racism & that sort of thing.

Here's another negative tweet I read recently, this one by Brandon Baskin: "You're about 500 years, 7 colonized continents, and countless atrocities too late for the whole 'we're all one race' stuff."

Again, not about race, but racing.  That's my point.  That's all I meant to say.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Something I Like (Maybe You Will Like Too)

I like this person, Sarah Andersen.  Well, I know next-to-nothing about her - but I like her comics, especially what she calls "Sarah's Scribbles."  Maybe I wouldn't really like her if I knew her but there's something about her comics that makes me think I'd like her.  I've been reading comics, comic books, comic strips, etc., for a long time.  I think the people whose work I like best are people I'd like.

I could be wrong.  I met Dave Sim once.  I don't think I liked him all that much.  (He didn't like me very much, either.)

In any event, you can look at Sarah Andersen's comics here:  I recommend them.  Maybe you will like them as much as I do.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Woke Up Early One Morning Blues, Episode Five

Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport

I've just put the fifth episode of my blues show, Woke Up Early One Morning Blues, up on the Self Help Radio website.  This episode is a lot of early piano blues.  Boogie woogie starts here.

Here's what I played:

"Barrel House Man" Will Ezell _Will Ezell (1927-1931)_
"Honky Tonk Train Blue" Meade Lux Lewis _The Boogie Woogie Boys_
"Alabama Strut (Ivy Smith, vocals)" Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport _Before The Blues, Vol. 3: The Early American Black Music Scene_

"Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" Clarence "Pine Top" Smith _Jazz In The Charts, Vol. 8: Ain't Misbehavin' 1928-1929_
"Walking Blues" Raymond Barrow _Really The Blues? A Blues History, 1893-1959, Vol. 1_
"Raised In The Alley Blues" Freddie Brown _Rare Paramount Blues (1926-1929)_
"Weary Heart Blues" James Wiggins _Classic Blues Accompanists_
"Broke Down Engine" Lonnie Clark _Down in Black Bottom: Lowdown Barrelhouse Piano_

"44 Blues" Roosevelt Sykes _1929-1941_
"On The Wall" Louise Johnson _Charley Patton: Essential Blues Friends_
"The Right String, But The Wrong Yo-Yo" Speckled Red _Complete Recorded Works 1929-1938_
"Ashes In My Whiskey" Walter Davis _Please Remember Me: 1930-1947_
"If You Haven't Any Hay Get Down The Road" Skip James _Hard Time Killin' Floor_

"Fat Mama Blues" Jabo Williams _Boogie Woogie & Barrelhouse Piano, Vol. 1 (1928-1932)_
"Midnight Hour Blues" Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell _Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4 (1932-1934)_
"61 Highway" The Sparks Brothers _The Sparks Brothers 1932-1935_