Friday, September 12, 2014

Self Help Radio 091214: Magazines

Stop the presses!  A radio show about magazines?!?  This will take a special double issue!

Actually, it's mainly the same old thing - lots of songs about magazines, me talking too much, but also interviews with a Harvard professor & a special announcement from my spiritual advisor, the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently.  It's too much!  You'll need a subscription!

Please listen now at the Self Help Radio website.  Pay attention to username/password stuff.  What I played is below.

PS This is the 1900th posting on this dumb blog.  No big deal.

Thanks for listening!

(part one)

"Magazines" Teresa Brewer _The Ultimate Collection_
"Movie Magazines" The Four Cal-Quettes _Movie Magazines_
"Little Girl In A Magazine" Jerry Channing _Little Girl In A Magazine_

"Magazine Woman" Gary Walker & The Rain _Magazine Woman_
"Magazine Lady" Spider John Koerner & Willie Murphy _Forever Changing: The Golden Age Of Elektra Records 1963-1973_
"Letters To Magazines" Paul F. Tompkins _Impersonal_
"Girl In A Magazine" The Brains _The Brains_

"Cover Of The Rolling Stone" R. Stevie Moore _Great Test Hits_
"Dream Magazine" Svensk _Piccadilly Sunshine # 1: British Pop Psych & Other Flavours 1965-1970_
"Grit Magazine" Thee American Revolution _Buddha Electrostorm_
"People Who Read People Magazine" Kinky Friedman _Under The Double Ego_

"Centerfold" J. Geils Band _Freeze Frame_
"Skingloss Magazine" Superego _Superego, Volume 3, Episode 12_
"Magazines" Tania & Juan _Magazine_

(part two)

"Letter To A Fanzine" Great Plains _Length Of Growth 1981-1989_
"Teen Magazines" Kyle Hall _Feelin' Weird_
"Magazine Theory" Darren Hanlon _Early Days_

"Girl In A Magazine" J Church _Camels, Spilled Corona, & The Sound Of Mariachi Bands_
"Star Magazine" Gigantaur _Gigantaur E.P._
"Resolve (The Complete New Testament In The Form Of A Teen Magazine)" Eugene Mirman _En Garde, Society!_

"Surfing Magazines" The Go-Betweens _The Friends Of Rachel Worth_
"Dirty Magazines" Jonas Crenshaw _Colossal Failure_
"Magazines" The Hold Steady _Stay Positive_
"Magazine" The Proper Ornaments _Wooden Head_

"Magazine" Yeh Deadlies _Magazine 7"_
"Autograph Magazine" Todd Barry _Falling Off The Bone_
"I Dreamed You In Magazines" Fred Thomas _Kuma_

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Whither Magazines?

This was a hard show to put together - there aren't really all that many songs about magazines!  I am glad at this point that I spend a little bit of time listening to new stuff that people put on their Bandcamp pages.  I'm happy to preview their stuff & support them & am glad it's so easy there.

(By the way, isn't it amazing how much simpler those guys made it vs. how hard it used to be to listen to stuff on Myspace?  No wonder the latter place is a ghost town.)

I should have enough music to fill the show plus I have a couple of interviews.  It's always fun to be challenged for a show - two hours is sometimes a lot of time to fill for a particular theme!

The show will be on tomorrow morning from 7 to 9 am on 88.1 fm in Lexington.  You can listen to the show & follow along at the WRFL web site & also I have gotten into the habit of live tweeting what I'm playing on my Twitter page.

Later that day, I'll put the show up in its entirety on the Self Help Radio web site.

I hope you listen!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Preface To Magazines: Unsubscribe

I don't subscribe to many magazines anymore.  Just one, actually.  My wife has a subscription to a gossip-style magazine, but it was a gift from a friend, who hoped it would help her catch up on popular culture.  It doesn't.  She looks at the pictures & then asks me, "Who is this?  Why is this person in this magazine?"

I used to subscribe to a particular music magazine - it's probably the best one out there, although I don't know anymore - it's been a few years, since I left Austin in fact - & I enjoyed reading it, but it was weird - every feature article extolled the featured artist in such a way that I felt, if I didn't like the artist, that something was wrong with me.  Also, every third issue had a Beatle or the Beatles on the cover.  That was like saying to me, "You're old.  That's why you get this magazine."

I also used to subscribe to a left-wing/progressive news magazine.  I felt very guilty unsubscribing, because I think they do good work.  I just couldn't read it anymore.  Every story was a story of corruption & defeat.  Every truth unearthed just showed that the bad people had all the money, controlled everything, & were going to destroy the world, their comfort existing at the expense of everyone else.  The people who run the magazine however maintain a crazy optimism, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that it doesn't fucking matter - the bad people are winning.  Again, I admire their work, their courage, their spirit - it just got to be too much for me to read the depressing stories of defeat, with that little paragraph of hope at the end.  Poor, tortured hope.

The magazine I currently subscribe to is a little more cynical, but I still don't read most of it anymore.  I can't exactly say why.  I like the magazine.  It's just piling up on the table by the front door, though.

I always wanted to make my own magazine - or any kind of zine, really - but as I get older, I find I have less & less to say.  This blog, of course, is evidence of that.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A Song From Under The Floorboards

One of my silly rules about my show is that the theme can't be reflected by the name of the band or the album a song is from - so that means that my show this week, about magazines, won't feature any songs by Magazine, who unwisely chose not to write a song about magazines.  (Maybe their name is in reference to a different kind of magazine?)  But that doesn't stop me from playing them on this blog - here's one of their best songs performed live:

Monday, September 08, 2014


I need to make a list of important lessons one stumbles upon in life that end up making life better.  The funny thing about lessons - teaching, really - is that if you're not interested in what's being taught, or you're not interested in whoever's trying to teach you, you're probably not going to learn.

I'm sure this is rudimentary pedagogy, but I am thinking also that if one comes from an environment where learning isn't valued - where the value is instead on some sense or kind of authority - that also hurts the process of learning.

& I'm not necessarily talking about facts here, although sometimes one's attitude can affect how one absorbs facts.  One of my relatives, for example, once said, "Why are they always talking about the Civil War? It happened a long time ago. It doesn't have anything to do with us now."  Believing that, obviously, makes one less inclined to learn about the Civil War.

What I'm talking about is this: I remember, it must've been early in my college career, this moment when I found out how powerful it was to say, "I don't know."

Admitting that I didn't know something wasn't a mark of weakness; it instead seemed a sign of confidence & self-knowledge.

& it did have something to do with the people - I was around people who were different from my family.

My family, in general, knows a lot of stuff.  As much as your average family that knows stuff.  But my family believes it knows more stuff than it actually knows.  What's more, it has developed a kind of behavioral mechanism - related, somewhat, to stubbornness, also a family trait - which will assert with terrifying confidence that what any member of the family says, even though you know it's wrong, is in fact right.

Here's an example.  Once I was at my sister's house, listening to the band Squeeze.  (This was a long time ago.)  She said, "I like this song, but I like the original."  I told her it was the original.  She said it wasn't.  I showed her the album, which listed the band members, & then the LP, which listed the writing credits.  She shrugged.  She said, "Someone else did a version of this, & it's better."

This was pretty soon after the album had been released.  But no amount of evidence could convince her that what she knew was right was incorrect.

It didn't just have to happen in arguments.  It could just be a reaction.  My little brother might say to me, "You didn't know that!" & I would respond, almost reflexively, "I did so!"

Yes, I developed that mechanism, too.  It came in handy, many times - there are times when, with sheer force of will, you can convince someone they're wrong.  Or at the very least throw what they believe into doubt.  I remember a long argument about evolution where I completely misunderstood the basics & yet a smarter friend, who was studying biology, couldn't convince me.  I'm not sure she left the argument as firmly convinced as she began it.  (Later on, I apologized for being so stupid about the whole deal.)

But at some point, I remember the pressure being off in regard to subjects & things about which I honestly had no knowledge, just by saying, "No, I don't know that."  It will let the person have the pleasure of discussing something they do in fact know many things about, or it will reveal that they didn't really know much either.

& what follows that lesson is this one: you don't have to have an opinion about everything.

Oh god!  What a liberating concept!