Saturday, January 09, 2016

The Gary Files # 16: Garry Shandling

(This image is from his Wikipedia page.)

An explanation: Since the name Gary is going extinct, I thought it incumbent upon me to celebrate more notable Garys than myself.  This is the sixteenth of a series!

Garry Shandling is one of America's treasures, a comedian, writer, actor, director, superstar.  If you've never seen The Larry Sanders Show, you've missed out on true brilliance in television comedy.

When did you first become aware of him?  His show on Fox/Showtime in the 1980s, It's Garry Shandling's Show.  It was fun to have a television theme song with my name in it.  It's here..

Wait a second.  What?

He spells his name with two rs.  So?  It's pronounced the same.

It just doesn't seem fair.  If I were named John, & I was mentioning famous Johns, couldn't I use Jon Stewart or Jon Hamm?

It just seems to me that it's kind of cheating.  You remind me of women I used to know whose name was a variation of a regular name - like my sister's name is Karin, while the standard spelling is Karen - so they wouldn't enjoy a song with their name on it unless it was spelled the way they spelled it.  Even though the song itself was singing the name exactly as they pronounced it.  It made it exhausting to play songs for them.

So you don't mind?  Hey, I could do much worse than be lumped in with Garry Fucking Shandling.

Do you think he's a genius?  I think I do.

Was his name really Garry?  It says Garry Emmanuel Shandling on his Wikipedia page.

But there was maybe a difference why he was named Garry, since it's spelled differently?  He had an older brother named Barry, so maybe his parents named him Garry to rhyme.  & to have the same last four letters.  But I have no way of knowing.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Self Help Radio 010516: Hats

(Original picture here.)

Hats!  Hats off!  Hat in hand!  Hat's down!  Wait, that's not a thing.  Hat's down?  Are you thinking "hand's down"?  Like, I won hand's down?  You can't say I won hat's down.  That doesn't make any sense.  What would "hat's down" mean, anyway?  Let's not create new idioms here.  Especially when we have a hard enough time with the ones we know.

Hat's down.  For fuck's sake.

The first Self Help Radio of the new year was about hats.  Hats & divorce.  But mainly hats.  There were so many songs about hats.  (They are listed below.)  The Rev. Dr. Howard Gently talked about the spiritual significance of hats.  The Hat Maven told us of his love of hats.  A couple of creative Texans wrote a song for the show!  & just so many hats.  There was nary a covered head in the house.

Get it?  That was a kind of hat play on the phrase "nary a dry eye in the house"!  Clever, no?  No?  Oh.

The show is the show is at the show's website which is Self Help Radio's website.  Username (SHR) + password (selfhelp) required.  It's in two parts.  I think it's as delightful as can be, under the circumstances.

Don't keep it under your hat!

(part one)

"Hats" People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz _The Keystone Cut Ups_
"Dream Hat" The 6ths _Wasps' Nests_
"Home Under My Hat" The Five Wings _Doo-Wop Coast To Coast, Vol. 3_

"Mexican Hat Dance" Allan Sherman _My Son The Box_
"Mexican Hat Rock" Dave Appell & The Applejacks _Mexican Hat Rock_
"My Hat's On The Side Of My Head" The Four Blazes _Mary Jo_
"Hats" Eddie Lawrence _Is That What's Bothering You, Bunkie?_
"Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat" Bob Dylan _Blonde On Blonde_

"Some Questions About Hats" Slapp Happy _Desperate Straights_
"There's A Hat For Every Occasion" Mister Ed _Straight From The Horse's Mouth_
"Hat Song" Kevin Ayers _Rainbow Takeaway_
"Sunbonnet Blue (& A Little Straw Hat)" Billie Holiday _The Quintessential Billie Holiday: Vol. 1, 1933 - 1935_
"Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat" Sparks _Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat_

"Under Hats" Rahim Quazi & Tania Rivas _Under Hats_
"Raspberry Beret" Butcher The Bar _Dressing Up: ePop Covers_

(part two)

"A New Ten Gallon Hat" Sheriff Tom Owens & His Cowboys _Mercury Nashville Gold: Catalog Sampler Volume III_
"White Hat" Big Harp _White Hat_
"King's Lead Hat" Brian Eno _Before & After Science_

"Catblack (The Wizard's Hat)" Tyrannosaurus Rex _Unicorn_
"She's Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina" The Kinks _Arthur (Or The Decline & Fall Of The British Empire)_
"King Hat" Paul F. Tompkins _Laboring Under Delusions_
"Kookie Hat" Freddie Cannon _Okefenokee_

"Call Of The Wighat" The Cramps _Smell Of Female_
"Hats On Wrong" Birthday Party _Hee Haw_
"(They Must Have Made It With Their) Hats" Chrysanthemums _Little Flecks Of Foam Around Barking_
"No Te Pongas El Sombrero" Juniper Moon _El Resto De Mi Vid_

"Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" Marvin Gaye _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969_
"Cowboy Hat" That Dog _Retreat From The Sun_
"Hats Off To Larry" Me First & The Gimme Gimmes _Shannon_

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Whither Hats?

(It's a Kentucky thing.  I think.)

There are a lots of different kinds of hats.  Just look!  I guess it's not hard to believe that human beings have created so many different kinds of hats.  It follows that there must be a lot of songs about hats.

Maybe you'd like to see a list of hat-related world records?  Like, how many hats have been worn at once (61)?  Or the largest group of people wearing jellyfish hats at once (210)?  (Jellyfish hat?)  How about the most hats worn at once in a Prius (25)?  (Some records seem to be reaching a bit.)

While you're at it, why not look at the clickbait list of the world's worst hats?  Does it include the Douchebag Golf Hat?  Oh it most certainly does!

So many hats, so little time.  Time?  Why, it's on from 4-6pm today on 88.1 fm in Lexington, online simultaneously at wrfl dot fm.  The nice thing is that it'll keep your head warm if you listen to the show while wearing a hat.  You might need it.  It's cold out there!

Hats off to Self Help Radio!  No, wait.  Hats on to Self Help Radio!

Monday, January 04, 2016

Preface To Hats: A History Of Hats

There are three hats I remember wearing regularly in my life.

My friend Joe, I think, had what one might call a "Gilligan hat" but which I now know is called a "bucket hat."  It looked like this:

(You can buy it here!

Probably I took it from his house or his room when we were in the twelfth grade.  I was a homely kid with terrible hair that I didn't know what to do with.  I would grow it out, it was thick & brown & curly, until someone told me I needed to get it cut, then I went to a barber that was one step above a Supercuts, who basically just gave me a bowl cut.  The hat was kind of a security blanket for me.  If I could've worn it in school, I would have.  I took it to college with me, & lost it (probably left it somewhere) sometime in my first year.  It was for the best.

At some point, when my hair was so damn long (because, you know, no one was telling me that I had to get it cut), I dreaded washing it.  When I did, it took forever to dry.  When I went through a terrible break-up with a girl, I stole a baseball cap out of her car, which I had the keys to.  Yes, it was very stalker-y, but at least I didn't leave a bloody clump of my hair there or something.  It was this one:

(You can get this one here.

That's not exactly the cap I had - but you get it, a sportsball team cap for the Oakland Raiders.  It was 1992 & the cap was made famous by hip hop folks, I think specifically someone from NWA.  My ex's little brother had given it to her as a joke, because she was the opposite of gangsta.

That cap was worn all through Germany & Belgium when I was there in May 1992.  Mainly because I didn't want to have to wash my hair all the time.  I was probably pretty stinky - but so were the Europeans!  I stopped wearing the hat when I finally cut my hair that summer.  I don't know where it ended up.  & for the record, I only wore it because it belonged to my ex-girlfriend.  I knew nothing about the team & only knew vaguely about its hip hop connections.  Of the three hats I mention here, it was the one that meant the least to me.

The last hat I have worn was what my wife tells me is called a "pageboy hat."

(& you can buy one here!)

Though I don't remember where it came from, my wife remembers that she bought it for me at the thrift store.  I wore it all the time around 2004 or so.  In fact, one of my fellow deejays at KOOP radio hated that hat, always telling me to get rid of it, & perhaps was ultimately responsible for its disappearance.  I'm pretty sure I left it behind at some KOOP meeting or other.

One time, when I had the hat on making a presentation for a small class about the benefits of wikis, one woman asked me if I wore the hat because I was balding.  I was proud to lift it up to reveal more hair than she was expecting.

Though I do wear a couple of hats when it's cold out, because otherwise my ears would freeze, I don't have a regular hat I wear any more.  I don't know why.  Perhaps there hasn't been another hat that has spoken to me like these three did in their day.

So if I tell you I'm wearing a hat during tomorrow's show - I'm lying.  The only thing that'll be on my head will be headphones.  As it should be.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Cradle To Grave (Episode Six)

Sixth episode!  After a week off for Christmas, Cradle To Grave returns for the new year with happy birthdays & sad death days galore.  Boy, there's a lot of work that goes into this show!  I hope someone somewhere is appreciative.

Birthdays celebrated include blues singers Rube Lacy & Edith Johnson, the wry country stylings of Roger Miller paired with the deep funky voice of Charles Miller (no relation), & two bassists from indie rock bands.  Meanwhile, folks who met their doom on January 2 include movie star Dick Powell, rockers Randy California & Steve Connolly, & jazz pianists Eddie Heywood & AndrĂ© Persiany.  All played (well, mostly) in the order the artists were born (first hour) or died (second hour).  I tried something.  I don't know how it went.

The show can be listened to now at Self Help Radio: the website.  If you're just joining us, pay attention to username/password information, which is available on the site's front page.  (It's SHR/selfhelp in case you can't find it.)  The songs I played, in each hour, are listed below.

Please enjoy!

(part one: birthdays)

"Mississippi Jail House Groan" Rube Lacy _The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records 1928-1932, Vol. 2_
"Good Chib Blues" Edith Johnson _I Can't Be Satisfied, Vol. 2_
"Milt Meets Side" Modern Jazz Quartet _Modern Jazz Quartet_
"Everything Must Change" Arthur Prysock _Best Of Arthur Prysock: The Milestone Years_

"Dang Me" Roger Miller _The Very Best Of Roger Miller_
"Low Rider" War _Why Can't We Be Friends?_
"Come On Rock, Little Girl" Smokey Smothers _Chicago Blues From Federal Records, Vol. 1_
"Somewhere In Sydney" Skyhooks _Straight In A Gay Gay World_
"Gettin' Used To Leavin'" Christine Lavin _Beau Woes & Other Problems Of Modern Life_

"Funk'n' Roll (Dancin' In The 'Funkshine')" Quazar _Funk With A Big Foot_
"Wild-Eyed Dream" Ricky Van Shelton _Wild-Eyed Dream_
"Kennedy" The Wedding Present _Bizarro_
"Mutilated Lips" Ween _The Mollusk_
"Shortyville" Trombone Shorty _Say That to Say This_

(part two: death anniversaries)

"I Only Have Eyes For You" Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, & Chorus _Lullaby Of Broadway: The Best Of Busby Berkeley At Warner Bros._
"No Longer A Sweetheart Of Mine" Don Reno & Red Smiley _Good Old Country Ballads_
"You Got To Fix It" Speckled Red _Complete Recorded Works 1929-1938_
"Rye Wiskey" Tex Ritter _The History Of Country & Western Music Vol  4 (1931-1934)_
"Avalon" Eroll Garner _At The Piano_

"Bo Bo Ska Diddle Daddle" Wayne Walker _Whistle Bait: 25 Rockabilly Rave-Ups_
"Papa's Lawdy Lawdy Blues" Papa Charlie Jackson _The Remaining Titles (1924-1934)_
"Dizzy Miss Lizzy" Larry Williams _Here's Larry Williams_
"When I Write My Song (vocals, Bob Eberly)" Eddie Heywood _Eddie Heywood (1946-1947)_
"Before Too Long" Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls _Under The Sun_

"Day Tripper" Randy California _Kapt.Kopter & The (Fabulous) Twirly Birds_
"Runnin' Down To Memphis" Eggs Over Easy _Good 'n' Cheap Rock_
"Boogie Parisien" Mezz Mezzrow _Mezz Mezzrow (1947-1951)_
"We Do The Work" Jon Fromer _We Do The Work_

"She Cried" Jay & The Americans _The Complete United Artists Singles_
"Drum Suite" Moondog _Moondog_