Friday, April 03, 2015

Self Help Radio 040315: The Same Old Thing

(Original image from this awesome site.)

Yes, the same old thing.  I'm unapologetic.  One tries so hard, week in, week out, to make an exciting radio show that sometimes - naturally - one must decide to take the week off & give the listener "the same old thing."  Does the listener care?  Probably not - after all, what is the listener listening to?  Self Help Radio!  That shows a lack of discernment.

But I think the show, for all its numbing familiarity, went well.  I interview radio personality Dr. David Fruchter, a staunch advocate for the same old thing.  I talked to Mark Miller in Hollywood, who has spoken out against the same old thing in that industry.  I got to talk to the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently, who had some wisdom about the same old thing to impart.  Tania & Juan wrote a song for the show.  & there's so much more - it's listed below.  Oddly enough, music about the same old thing doesn't all sound the same.  That's a head scratcher.

I am falling asleep as I write this.  So I'd better tell you that the show is now at the Self Help Radio website.  It's in two parts, & the songs in each part are specified below.  Pay attention to password stuff.  & if you can stomach it, listen to the last airbreak - I make an announcement there I won't make here till next week.

As always, thanks so much for listening!

(part one)

"Same Old Thing" The Olympics _Northern Soul Originals: 70s All Nighter Hits_
"The Same Old Things Keep Happening" Piano Red _The Doctor's In_
"Same Old Thing" Tania & Juan _Same Old Thing_

"Same Old Thing (Live)" The Wipers _History Of Portland Punk, Vol. 1_
"Same Old Thing" The Meters _Struttin'_
"Same Ol' Thing" Del The Funkee Homosapien _I Wish My Brother George Was Here_
"Same Old Thing" The Streets _Original Pirate Material_

"Same Old Story" Mickey McCullers _The Complete Motown Singles: 1962_
"It's The Same Old Song" Red Shirt Brigade _Shoopdeedoop_
"Same Ole Beat" Freddy Scott & The Four Steps _Las Vegas Grind, Vol. 6_
"Same Old Songs" Suzi Jane Hokom _Lee Hazlewood Industries: There's A Dream I've Been Saving 1966-1971_
"Same Old Scene" Roxy Music _Flesh + Blood_

"Same Old Grind" The Spacemen _Highs In The Mid Sixties Volume 15: Wisconsin Part 2_
"Same Old Song" Psychic Ills _Hazed Dream_

(part two)

"Same Old Flame" Orange Glass _Permafrost Records Presents "Self Portrait"_
"Same Old Story" The White Wires _WWIII_
"That Same Old Feeling" Pickettywitch _Jackie: The Album_

"The Same Old Merry Go-Round" Michael Loring _Songs For Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs & The American Left 1935-1954: Campaign Songs 1944-1949_
"Weary Of The Same Ol' Stuff" Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys _San Antonio Rose_
"Same Old Boogie" Martha Davis _Martha Davis: 1946-1951_
"That Same Old Train" Snooks Eaglin _The Legacy Of The Blues, Vol. 2_

"The Same Old Thrill" Terry Timmons _Rhythm & Blues: Fine Brown Sugar, Vol. 3_
"You're Up To Your Same Old Tricks Again" Bettye Swann _Bettye Swann_
"Same Old Man" Karen Dalton _In My Own Time_
"The Same Old Tears" A Girl Called Eddy _Tears All Over Town_

"Same Old, Say Mold" Sentridoh _A Collection Of Previously Released Songs_
"Same Old Innocence" Architecture In Helsinki _Places Like This_
"Same Old Madness" Ministry _Twelve Inch Singles_

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Whither The Same Old Thing?

Sometimes it feels like you've just been doing the same old thing for a long, long time.  Why not celebrate it with a radio show?

It's storming in Lexington right now.  Is that the same old weather we have every same old spring?  I don't recall.

I'll be subbing a show from 5 to 7 tomorrow morning as well, but Self Help Radio will be on the air of course from 7 to 9am & you already know the dumb theme.  All my buddies are contributing, including a nice new song by Tania & Juan, so it should be at the very least entertaining.  & I should know from the very least.

Listen!  88.1 fm in Lexington!  WRFL dot fm!  & later I'll do the same old thing I always do, I'll put it on my website at Self Help Radio Same Old Dot Net.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Preface To Same Old Thing II: Dead Pet Rock Guy

Here's a bonus blog entry for you today.

The fellow who invented the "pet rock" died today.  Unfortunately his name was Gary.  Also unfortunately, he wasn't pummeled to death by the very rocks he made a fortune selling to people.

If I seem bitter, it's because I was hoodwinked by a "pet rock" when I was a kid.  I wanted a dog or a cat so badly.  I talked about it all the time.  I was just a child so of course the responsibility for taking care of the animal would go to my mother or my sister Karin, who was still living with us.  My mother never punished us for anything, & barely made us (at least the boys) do our chores, so of course we wouldn't be held responsible for taking care of a tiny life, as better parents do, to help their children grow.  As well, we lived in apartments, & we were poor, so there were pet deposits that my mother could scarcely afford.

Would anyone tell this to me at the age of eight or nine or ten?  Would anyone try to explain to a child why me having a puppy was a terrible idea?  Nah.  They chose instead to fuck with me.

As Christmas approached - this had to be 1977 or maybe 1978 - I was told I would be getting a pet.  This was hyped up.  I got so fucking excited.  A dog or cat!  I would dream about it at night.  & my family - mainly my older sister Pat - kept telling me over & over I was getting a pet.  Lost to the ravages of time somewhere is a piece of paper where I wrote several dozen names I would give it - to be narrowed down when I knew whether it was a girl or a boy.

On Christmas Eve, which was when my family opened presents, I was given a little box.  I immediately had that sense you get when you know something is wrong.  But I soldiered on - & opened it.  Inside was a "pet rock."  It was smooth, it smelled like women's perfume.  I'm sure everyone in my family had a big laugh, but I was just hurt.  I was stunned, my little brain couldn't quite make sense of the event.  It seemed cruel to me.  It seemed like I had been deliberately fucked with.  At some point, I think someone realized how crestfallen I was & tried to polish this turd, by telling me that everyone had one, that it was cool, whatever utter rubbish they could spout, but I knew it was no puppy, no kitty, not something that I could be the owner of.  I loved Peanuts cartoons, I wanted a dog like Snoopy.  But like Charlie Brown on Halloween, all I got was a rock.

I know many of the folks who bought the pet rock were stoners who thought it was "cute."  But for all the kids who were given this novelty piece of shit because their parents & older siblings & other relatives thought it was funny, I say a hearty "fuck you" to Gary Fucking Dahl & his bullshit invention.

What an asshole.

Preface To Same Old Thing

This blog entry today is just the same old thing!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Child-Care Facility Cat-Calls

Behind my house, & to the left.

Can a grown man* be cat-called?  Or wolf-whistled?

Can a child do any of those things anyway?

I might have mentioned, I live catercorner to a church that has a daycare (see picture above).  Or child-care facility.  Whatever they call it.  Child hostel.  Juvenile detention center (just kidding).

This is entirely hearsay** - or idle gossip - but someone told me the church isn't doing so great in terms of congregants, that it's been hemorrhaging members for some time, but that it more than makes any of the money it needs by being a low-cost place for working parents to drop off their kids.***

The kids range in age from toddlers to probably fourth- & fifth-graders; it seems like it's mainly the five-year-old & older kids who are allowed to play near the fence which my property shares with their property.  Their toys - mainly bouncy balls - are often inadvertently tossed over that fence, & I've had to call the people who work for the church/daycare**** to tell them not to let the children climb the fence to retrieve the balls & toys because, you know, lawsuits.  As much as it pains me to deny children a childhood in this day & age.*****

Recently, since the weather's been nice, & they've been allowed to come outside, they've been yelling at me the oddest things.  First of all, they call me "sir," which will always freak me out.  Who are people that enjoy being old enough to be called "sir"?  When I came outside with the dogs today, I heard one of them say, "The man is back!"  I am officially the man.******

Usually, they say things like, "We like your dogs!"  But today & yesterday I've been asked, "Can we order a pizza?"  Or "Did you want a pizza?"  Or something shrieked that seemed to have the word "pizza" in it.

It's interesting to imagine playing pizza parlor.  I didn't usually play food service when I was a kid - I favored comic book stuff.

I don't engage them, for several reasons.  One, I think it's a little creepy, old dude chatting with kids over the fence.  Two, when they all gather at the fence & start talking, it's an amazingly unpleasant sound.  & three, I kind of refuse to because I wish the "teachers" would pay more attention to them.  The "teachers" usually are closer to the church, probably because they can smoke over there, & rarely venture out as far as the back fence.

They're inside now.  So many of my spring/summer days have the soundtrack of children screaming.  Because they don't really talk.  They scream.  & apparently, sometimes at me.


* I'm referring to myself here, so I use the term loosely.
** When writing this, because I'm talking about a church, I first wrote "heresy" instead of "hearsay."
*** Whether this is true or not, the house the pastor lives in, which is next to the church, is kind of a dump.  At least from the outside.
**** Apparently they're called "teachers," although it appears their main job is like an attendant keeping throngs of wild children in line.
***** Yes, I toss the balls back over.  I'm not John McCain!
****** It disturbs me that I am the subject of conversation for children.
******* This comment doesn't have a corresponding sentence above.  It's just too many asterisks.  It might be funny to add one or two footnotes, but this was ridiculous.  I'm sorry.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Vs. Spring

I guess spring has come to Kentucky?  I end the sentence with a question mark because I was walking the dogs last week & it snowed on me.  It was too warm for the snow to stick to the ground.  But there were fat snowflakes in the air, hitting me in the face.  It was surreal.

I grew up in Texas, where spring was short & sweet.  Texas is a summer state, & it's always impatient to get the long, hot summer started goddammit!  In Austin, where I spent most of my adult life (so far), some time around the middle of March, we'd have two or (hopefully) three weeks of the most gloriously springlike weather in the universe.  Windows open.  Lying in the grass, reading or sleeping.  Walking home as the night turned a little chilly.  That, & the moment when the summer breaks & autumn begins, is a great reason to live in Austin.

Of course, the same is true here: people in Lexington love the summer because the winter can be so horrible.  When the temperature gets above eighty degrees, Lexingtonians luxuriate in it because they remember when the temperature was eight degrees.  & there was a foot of snow on the ground.  & they were planning a murder as the only cure to their cabin fever.

It's like the seasons are constantly fucking with us.

The high tomorrow (it says) will be 70.  The low Friday will be 39.  & this will be the range of temperatures for several weeks.  Last year I don't believe the summer began until maybe June.  Which is how it's supposed to be, right?  In Austin I used to play this game called "Can I Make It To May Without Turning On The Air Conditioner?"  There were some sweaty moments.  & usually I lost.

What would it be like in a place without seasons, like southern California?  I hear people from there complain about it all the time, how they need to travel to the Northeast (sometime that's where they grew up) to be reminded of leaves changing color & dangerous wind chills.  Austin would have some bitterly cold days but winter would be over in late February most of the time.  Here, in late February, we got a foot & a half of snow.

Maybe I'm skeptical.  The trees here have been hesitating with their sprouting of new leaves.  Like me, they've been tricked too many times before.

However, I do predict, with the utmost ignorant confidence, that it will be a glorious spring.  & I'll probably not notice until it's well underway.