Friday, April 10, 2015

Self Help Radio 041015: Laundry

(Original image here.)

I brought my laundry up to WRFL this morning.  There wasn't much dirty laundry - surprisingly - but I did have a lot of stuff to iron & fold.  Then I ran out of quarters!

I had a couple of people help with the laundry.  I talked to author David Fruchter who, in his book You're Doing It Wrong!, says I've been washing my laundry wrong all these years.  & I chatted with Our Fellow In Hollywood, Mark Miller, who attempts to air some dirty laundry of his own.  & Self Help Radio's own Alexander Spincycle talks about the history of the washing machine.  All of this plus tons of great music - how much great music? - look at what I played below!

The show is of course now at the Self Help Radio website.  If you want to listen, please note the username/password information on the page.  If you don't want to listen, can you at least fold your own laundry?  Do I look like a maid?  A washerwoman? A musician with a washboard?

Thanks for listening!

(part one)

"Washboard Blues (with Paul Whiteman & His Concert Orchestra)" Hoagy Carmichael _Timeless Historical Presents (1927 - 1939)_
"Washboards Get Together" Washboard Serenaders _Sounds Of Suprise_
"I'm The Laundry Man" The Five Breezes _Blues A Dixon: The Songs Of Willie Dixon_

"Wash Machine Boogie" Bill Browning & His Echo Valley Boys _Rock-A-Billy Dynamite_
"I Got Caught In The Washing Machine (& I'm Gonna Twist All Night)" John Shur _I Got Caught In The Washing Machine (& I'm Gonna Twist All Night)_
"Leader Of The Laundromat" The Detergents _The Many Faces Of The Detergents_
"Clothes Line Saga" Bob Dylan & The Band _The Basement Tapes_

"Washerwoman" Cliff Richard _Finders Keepers_
"Washday Blues" Dolly Parton _The Hits Of Dolly Parton_
"Laundromat Blues" Martin Mull _Days Of Wine & Neuroses_
"At The Laundrymat" Broken Bow & Idabell _Broken Bow & Idabell_
"Laundromat" Rory Gallagher _Rory Gallagher_

"Batman In The Launderette" The Shapes _Wot's For Lunch Mum? EP_
"Laundramat Loverboy" Active Ingredients _Laundromat Loverboy 7"_
"This Kind Of Music" Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers _Jonathan Sings!_

(part two)

"Laundromat Monday" Joe Jackson _Mike's Murder (The Motion Picture Soundtrack)_
"Velvet Launderette" Poison Girls _Statement: The Complete Recordings_

"The Laundry" Lilac Time _& Love For All_
"Laundry" Say Hi To Your Mom _Discosadness_
"Marlon Brando's Laundromat" Pony Up! _Pony Up!_
"Dirty Laundry" Cayetana _Nervous Like Me_

"Launderette" Vivien Goldman _Girl Monster_
"Laundromat" The Haywards _Side One/One Side_
"Clean Sinks & Folded Laundry" Ghost In The Water _Tooth_
"Laundromat" Bombadil _All That The Rain Promises_

"Laundry" Tania & Juan _Laundry_
"Dirty Laundry" Bitter:Sweet _The Mating Game_

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Whither Laundry?

The show was kind of inspired by this song:

I had heard the Lilac Time had a new album coming out & so I went back to listen to stuff from when I first discovered them over twenty years ago.  The song above stood out.

Apparently there's a video for that song but unfortunately it's not available on the interwebs (sad face).

I remember getting a collection of songs from their first three albums - maybe it was a promo? - from a friend who volunteered at KUT.  This would've been in 1990 or 1991, a few years before KVRX, & when, because of school & being in my first real relationship with a woman, I wasn't paying much attention to music.  Despite the advent of "alternative radio," there weren't many new sounds out there. The fact that one of the few non-commercial stations in Austin at the time was giving away great English indiepop is indicative of how hard it was to find something if you weren't actually looking.

The Lilac Time were a band I would return to from time-to-time but I didn't always keep up with them, & I have missed a lot in the intervening years.  The general opinion does suggest those first three records, which I have since acquired, are their best.

A few weeks back, when I was re-listening to the Lilac Time, I did happen to hear two Jonathan Richman songs, almost one after the other, in which he mentioned laundry.  When that happens, I think to myself, "Okay, that means I should see if there are enough songs about the laundry to do a dumb radio show about that subject."

There are!  I will!  Tomorrow at 7am to 9am!  On 88.1 fm in Lexington, & online at wrfl dot fm!  & later at the Self Help Radio website!  After that, on the line, drying in the lovely spring breeze!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Preface To Laundry: When Moving, Laundry Is The Least Of Your Worries

For real.

To move from Lexington, Kentucky, to Los Angeles, California, is already no mean feat.  To do it with seven animals (besides the two humans involved) is almost too overwhelming.

I've been planning the four-day route.  We'll drive over two thousands miles, in two vehicles (one of these some kind of moving truck), & I figure we can probably handle eight-hour-a-day drives.  That means covering over five hundred miles a day & then stopping to find a place to close our eyes for the night & maybe even find vegan food to eat.

The last is going to be tough, when the places we'll stay are, in order, Springfield, Missouri; Amarillo, Texas; & Flagstaff, Arizona.  I wish we could just hit bigger cities - the hotels would probably be cleaner, & there'd be a better chance places like Whole Foods stores where you can get pre-packaged vegan food.

& the hotels!  I guess I'm glad to be living in a world where you can read hotel reviews online, which wasn't something I could do when I started driving around the country over twenty years ago, but the reviews are marvelously inconsistent.  & why not?  Everyone has different levels of tolerance.  Remind me one day to tell you of the fight the wife & I had when she booked a very cheap hotel in Piccadilly Circus in London.

The pets - the pets whom I love so much & without whom I couldn't live - the pets are the biggest concern.  Four cats in tiny cages in a fast car (or truck) eight hours a day is hard enough.  Two of them have health issues (as I have written about before) that concern me in my everyday world; the two of them also eat throughout the day, which they won't be able to do in a car.  How I will worry.

Traveling with pets means pet need to stay in motels.  The worst motels are usually the ones that don't mind pets.  & why not?  Everyone & everything is welcome in the worst motels on earth!

I just told a neighbor that we'll basically be on a kind of autopilot the entire way - we'll be exhausted, we'll be on edge, we'll be anxious.  But we'll also be determined.  It's a trip we hopefully only have to make one time.  At least for a while.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Dirty Laundry

One song I won't play this week on my show about laundry is the Don Henley hit "Dirty Laundry."  It's not just that it was a number one hit single for Don Henley, & I usually stay away from the hits.  I actually found a serviceable cover, by a band called Harlan, but I might not play it either.

I'm not even refusing to play it because I loathe the Eagles, a group of which (as you know) Henley was a member.  I tell people all the time part of the reason I dislike the Eagles is just that I've been overexposed to them, almost without my consent, for my entire life.  I joke that on my deathbed I'll not be able to remember the names of my best friends, the woman I've loved, or my dearest pets, but I'll be able to recite the lyrics to "Hotel California."

The truth is, in the days before I discovered the gigantic & far more satisfying world of music hidden behind what's now called classic rock radio, I quite liked Don Henley, & specifically the album Building The Perfect Beast.  ("Dirty Laundry" is off the previous record, I Can't Stand Still.)  If you were a teen in 1984, & you listened to FM radio or you watched MTV, the song "Boys Of Summer" was seared into your brain.  Just writing the name makes the song start in my head - & if you're my age, it happened to you, too.

Why, then, if I like the song, don't I play it?  I mean, besides the fact that at any given point in time, somewhere on the planet, there is at least one media outlet playing Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry"?  & by playing it, even on a station like WRFL, you can watch precious dimes & nickels flying out of needy people's pockets into Don Henley's obscenely large pile of cash?

Besides that - I have two reasons.

One, it's not really about laundry, but about "dirty laundry" as a metaphor, meaning people's private stuff, which, if "aired," might bring them shame or embarrassment.

But that's not enough.  I don't play big hits, sure, but certainly I do play songs with metaphorical riffs on my themes.  I might not have any songs otherwise!

This is the kicker:

Reason number two: I'm not sure if I like it, after all.

I haven't listened to any Don Henley since I discovered that there was a world of music outside what was being played on commercial radio.  That world of music resonated in me so completely that I pretty much left the commercial rock/pop world behind.  That's been over thirty years ago now.  While I can look back fondly at myself for liking a song like "The Sunset Grill," there's no denying that bands like the Cure, the Smiths, Joy Division, the Chameleons, on & on & on, they speak to me far more than someone writing in the classic rock idiom, like Don Henley, ever could.

I therefore have no real way of judging whether I like it.  There are songs from my childhood that I love not because I really love them, but because when I was eight I jumped around the room listening to them on the radio.  I can't communicate entirely with the me from nearly forty years ago, but I most certainly can appreciate that that's a connection we share.  Whether I like that music or not, I did like it at one time, & that's a part of me.

Listening to the song "Dirty Laundry," by Don Henley, for the first time in decades, it seemed overlong & didactic.  The synths got on my nerves.  I annoyed myself by remembering a lot of the lyrics.  It wasn't even a pleasant nostalgic experience.

Oh who knows what I'm trying to say here.  I pride myself on doing a radio show that plays music I hope most people haven't heard.  But sometimes the best songs for a theme are well-known songs.

Still, I don't think I'll play the Don Henley song - or even the cover.

I hope you appreciate how stupid conflicted I am about the whole thing.

Monday, April 06, 2015

An Announcement

I made this announcement on my show on Friday, but maybe you didn't listen, which is eminently reasonable of you.  But perhaps you'll read this - I'll do my best to get your attention & point you here.

Here's the big news: there are only five (5) more episodes of Self Help Radio that will air on WRFL.

Why so?  Because after that, I will no longer be living in Lexington.

Does this mean the end of Self Help Radio?  Of course not!  I couldn't stop doing this dumb show if I wanted to!  It's almost guaranteed that there are two things I'll do immediately once I'm in my new city: 1) I'll start looking for an unsuspecting radio station at which to program my show; & 2) I'll do the show as a podcast until such time as I've found it a new home.

It does mean the end of Self Help Radio live on the air on Friday mornings at WRFL.  I am sad about that.  The station is a wonderful place full of nerds + weirdos & they've always made me feel at home.  If you live in Lexington, you know this; & you also know that there are plenty of better shows on the station than mine so I won't be missed even slightly.

Where am I going?  West!  West, where the water isn't!

I hope you'll keep up with Self Help Radio on this here blog or (if you want) on the Facebook or the Twitter pages.  Because the show will only be gone for a couple or three weeks before it's back & more annoying than ever.

I promise!