Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cradle To Grave, Episode Nineteen

Oh, the first "live" episode of Cradle To Grave was a mess.  Inside the building (which is a high school) which houses Lexington's community radio station is actually two stations: WLXL & WLXU.  WLXU just went on the air.  I misunderstood a communication with the station that I would remain on WLXL when I moved, when obviously space had opened up during the week on the new station.  So I chatted amiably with station staff until I noticed the show on WLXL was not ending - at which point, I asked - a bit too late - if I were still on the schedule.

That's why you'll hear me correct myself, saying WLXL instead of WLXU a couple of times.

Then there's the whole issue of getting used to a new station.  One radio control board looks about the same as the other, & works the same (I've used about five different ones at four different stations), but you still have to get used to how the channels are marked, where things in the deejay booth are located, all that.  For example: I usually stand when I do my shows.  The deejay booth at WLXU is designed for the deejay to sit, not to stand, in.  There's a different vibe one gets when one is sitting when one is on the air.  I've found.

At one point, while I was talking, my mind wandered, & I read the facts about one artist I was featuring incorrectly.  So embarrassing.  I complain that I was tired on the air, but the truth is, I was a little baffled.  I was nervous, confused, befuddled, & lost.  It gets a little better, I think, in the second hour - I hope, I haven't listened to the show - but it's still quite a mess.

The music is great, though!  Lots of births to celebrate & deaths to commemorate for Tax Day!  You can listen to the show (if you want to after that introduction) at the Self Help Radio website.  You can see the songs I play below.  You can hope I get used to do this show live, so it becomes actually listenable!


"St. Louis Blues" Bessie Smith _Louis Armstrong & The Blues Singers_
"Washboard Blues" Casper Reardon & His Group _The Big Broadcast, Vol. 8: Jazz & Popular Music Of The 1920s & 1930s_
"The Swing Session Is Called To Order" Mezz Mezzrow & His Orchestra _Mezz Mezzrow 1936-1939_
"The Friar & Dr. Goulding" Herb Pomeroy & His Orchestra _Band In Boston_
"Bourbon Street Parade" Young Tuxedo Brass Band _Jazz Begins_

"Gonna Make You Mine" Frank Frost _Harmonica Blues Benders_
"Winehead Baby" Little Sonny James _Mardi Gras Blues_
"Red Hot" Bob Luman _Rockin' Bones: 1950's Punk & Rockabilly_
"Twelfth Street Rag" Roy Clark _The Lightning Fingers Of Roy Clark_
"Ramona" The Blue Diamonds _ Always... The Blue Diamonds_

"Banana Boy" Eden Ahbez _Eden's Island_
"Sweet Dreams (Of You)" Mighty Sam McClain _The Amy Records Sessions (1966-1969)_
"Sweet Thing" Van Morrison _Astral Weeks_
"Medicine Man" Barclay James Harvest _Barclay James Harvest & Other Short Stories_
"Girls Talk" Dave Edmunds _The Best Of Dave Edmunds_

(death anniversaries)

"The Boogie Woogie" Cleo Brown _Boogie Woogie_
"My Blue Heaven" Kid Thomas & His Algiers Stompers _Best Of Jazz Crusade_
"Tanga (Part 1)" Machito & His Afro-Cuban Orchestra _The Roots Of Funk 1947-1962_
"Wild, Wild Young Men" Rose Maddox _Whistle Bait!_
"Just A Dream I Got On My Mind" Dewey Corley & Walter Miller _The George Mitchell Collection_

"Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" The Ramones _Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology_
"Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" John Fred & His Playboy Band _Judy In Disguise With Glasses_
"Dirty Robber" The Wailers _The Fabulous Wailers_
"My L.A." Tacey Robbins & The Vendells _Girls In The Garage, Vol. 6_
"The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack" The Nice "The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack_

"My Pal Foot Foot" The Shaggs _The Shaggs_
"Peanuts" Little Joe Cook & The Thrillers _Peanuts_
"Mellow Chick Swing" Sean Costello _Cuttin' In_
"I'm Qualified" Jimmy Hughes _The Birth Of Soul, Vol. 1_
"Woman Of The Ghetto" Phyllis Dillon _Funky Kingston: Reggae Dancefloor Grooves 1968-1974_

"The Real Sheila" Game Theory _Lolita Nation_

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Self Help Radio 041216: Laws

(Original image here.)

A funny thing.  I mentioned a couple of days ago that I saw a car speed through a red light right in front of a cop, who didn't bother to follow said car to write him a ticket.  I have had enough experiences in Lexington with the city's awful drivers to believe that that's the norm - in fact, & this is absolutely true, the only people I've met in Lexington who've been stopped by the police for traffic offenses have been people of color.  But I digress.

The radio station, WRFL, is located on campus, & to get to the station, you have to come into campus a particular way & drive down a one-way street.  Not surprisingly, I very often see people going the wrong way down that street, & have never seen a cop stop them, & have only heard of one person being ticketed for doing so.  But as I walked to the station yesterday - I was walking from the other side, so walking the other way up the one-way street - I saw a campus police officer standing at the parking lot at the end of the one-way street writing tickets for people traveling the wrong way up the street.  & to the cop's credit, the dumb person I saw getting the ticket was not a person of color.  Or rather, the color of that person was white.

Wouldn't it be a weird turn of events if Lexington was the city where the campus cops were better police than the city cops?  Or to put it in the idiom of the show, if they enforced the law better than the city cops?  Undoubtedly both get paid terribly; but surely campus cops (I have to resist calling them kampus kops) get paid less.

Oh!  I just thought of something!  At the University of Texas, parking tickets were giving out like crazy because the campus police were funded in part by the moneys brought in by parking fines.  Maybe that's the case at UK too.  Ah well.

Not a funny thing, then.  & speaking of not funny things, this week's show about laws has been place under arrest & forcibly imprisoned at the Self Help Radio Maximum Security Website.  You'll need a password to get in!  It broke so many laws this week - in fact, I list them below.

You can't visit, either.  Naturally, the show's in solitary confinement.

(part one)

"The Law" John Maus _A Collection Of Rarities & Previously Unreleased Material_
"The Law Of Things" The Bats _The Law Of Things_
"The Law" Leonard Cohen _Various Positions_

"I'm Just A Bill" Jack Sheldon _Schoolhouse Rock: America Rock_
"There Oughta Be A Law" Mickey & Sylvia _Love Is Strange_
"There Oughta Be A Law ('Bout The Stuff I Saw)" The Newbeats _Bread & Butter_
"I Am The Law" Momus _Reproductions: Songs Of The Human League_

"Advice On Arrest" Desperate Bicycles _Another Commercial Venture_
"Against The Law" Billy Bragg _'Til We Outnumber 'Em (The Songs Of Woody Guthrie)_
"I Fought The Law (live)" The Clash _On Broadway_
"All Of The Law" The Psychedelic Furs _Midnight To Midnight_

"This Side Of The Law" Johnny Cash _I Walk The Line_
"Knock Out The Lights (& Call The Law)" Jack Hart _MGM Hillbilly, Vol. 2_
"Where's The Law" Dee-Dee Gaudet _Hot Boppin' Girls, Vol. 4_

(part two)

"It Is The Law" The Envelopes _Demon_
"Breaking The Law" The Meteors _These Evil Things_
"Breakin' The Law" The Babies _The Babies_

"The Whole Of The Law" The Only Ones _The Only Ones_
"One Law For Them" The 4 Skins _The Good, The Bad, & The 4 Skins_
"Law & Order" John Mulaney _The Top Part_
"Law" Mighty Mighty _A Band From Birmingham_

"It's A Law" Natural History _Beat Beat Heartbeat_
"New Law" Gloria Cycles _Campsite Discotheque_
"Laws Of Physics" Charming Hostess _Eat_
"Law Of The Jungle" Richard Barone _Clouds Over Eden_

"Wheel Of The Law" Kendra Smith _The Guild Of Temporal Adventurers_
"Squid Law" The Fall _Seminal Live_

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Whither Laws?

(I found that image here.)

In the middle of the week, I go shopping for food for the cooking I'll do over the next seven days.  I don't go to just one place - it's usually three, maybe four.  It takes me a couple of hours, & my wife slowly found other things to do (like "work") so she doesn't have to accompany me, which is fine - she dawdles.  Plus, she doesn't know where anything is in these stores whose layouts I have mastered.  Since I'm alone, I need to find something to listen to as I drive around town, & if it's not something new I'm obsessing about, I grab a random CD from my collection that I haven't listened to in ages.

A few weeks back, I lazily grabbed a fine collection of singles by the band Mighty Mighty.  The first song I ever heard from them was from a discounted double LP of British independent singles from 1987 or so.  (It found its way to Austin, Texas, probably thanks to an enterprising employee of Waterloo Records, but, no one showing interest in it, its $21.99 mark-up was reduced to a delightful $3.99, almost as if just for me.)  The song was the lovely "Built Like A Car", which is still one of the catchiest songs ever recorded.

As I drove, I was reminded of how great a band they were, & especially I was reminded of the song that ended up on the legendary C-86 collection, "Law."  It made me wonder, as I listened to it more than once, how many songs there were out there about laws.  & not just laws that humans made for cops to enforce, but what about laws of physics, or heck, even religious laws.  That was the genesis of this show.  So, thanks Mighty Mighty!

Now you have some background as to why, from 4-6 pm today, on 88.1 fm WRFL, wrfl dot fm, there'll be a show about laws airing.  I'm not going to say it's illegal to listen, but why take the chance?  See you there!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Preface To Laws: Breaking The Law All The Time

This probably won't shock you, but everyone breaks the law all the time.  It's not just the petty shit, like running a red light, which apparently isn't even a law you can break in Lexington, since just last week I was sitting at an intersection & a n SUV zoomed through a red light right in front of a police car, & the officer inside didn't seem to notice, or to care.  No, people steal & cheat pretty much all the time.  I think it's actually part of our economy.

Not that I'm an economist or anything, & not that I have any more information than some (actually quite dated) anecdotes.  Come to think of it, all of these stories I am going to tell involve convenience stores, so maybe I should have said at the outset that everyone breaks the law all the time in convenience stores.  But I've seen it happen many times, even outside of convenience stores, & I am such a pessimist, that I'm convinced it happens pretty much all over the place, despite the industry.  Anyway, the Panama Papers seem to suggest that the very rich have made their habit of cheating into a damned art form.

So, three stories:

1) When I was a boy, my mother worked in a convenience store.  Not only would she let us (her family members) take anything they wanted for free (when the boss wasn't there) (this included junk food, comic books, candy, & sodas), which meant she was stealing from the place she worked, but she told me later that her boss, at the end of the day, would take one hundred dollars out of whatever money they made, & put it aside, & not claim it.  This basically meant he made $36,500 every year tax-free.  That's in 1970s dollars.  & sure, he pocketed it, but also maybe that helped pay for all the things his employees stole.  Because surely he knew they stole!

2) & you know what?  I have a sneaking suspicion he did know, because in 1989, I had a job at a Seven-Eleven in Austin, Texas, & I was told by the manager, whose last name was Bailey so everyone called him "Beetle" (true story), that he basically wrote off a hundred dollars a day of the store's earnings as a loss due to theft.  This wasn't about the employees - it was the company's policy to do so, just because it assumed that people were constantly stealing from the store.  I myself caught a lot of folks stealing, actually, since I worked the 11pm-7am shift.  That was when people tried to steal beer & very cheap wine.  But you've probably seen people shoplift before.  I see it at my local convenience store weekly, sometimes in front of employees, who often don't say or do anything about it.  As someone at Seven-Eleven once said, which is kind of a mantra for folks doing retail work, "They don't pay me enough to care."

3) Speaking of Seven-Eleven, Beetle also made sure I watched the Oak Farms vendors like a hawk.  Oak Farms was the dairy that supplied the store with the milk, ice cream, butter, etc.  It seemed strange to me that we were to be suspicious of a company which had a pretty exclusive relationship with our store, but I soon found out that many of these people would try to "short" the store (ie, give less than what they claimed on the orders) so they could take the leftovers to independent convenience stores & sell them for cash.  This was such a common practice that, although I never caught him cheating my store, the Oak Farms guy I worked with for my first couple of months was fired for theft abruptly during my time at the store.

Does this prove anything?  No.  Are there honest people?  Sure.  I feel less inclined to take advantage of such situations these days because I am able to afford stuff.  Recently, for example, at the self-check-out at Kroger, I missed a couple of things in my basket, & noticed them when I got to the car, & I went back inside to buy them.  (The person overseeing the self-check-out area didn't notice me leaving without paying for stuff in the basket, not did he notice me bring stuff from outside, run it through the self-check-out minutes after buying stuff, & leaving again.  Probably not paid enough to care.)  I wouldn't have done that when I was in college.  I would have felt a little guilty, but the cool feeling of naughtiness would have balanced the scales somewhat.  Also, I was poor.

But is it fair to take these personal narratives & somehow, by analogy, claim the entire country, if not the entire world, is like this?  Probably not, but as I said, I'm not an economist.  But if you, like me, have a sneaking suspicion that capitalism fundamentally depends (& encourages) on a certain level of dishonesty if not outright theft, then having these experiences in my memory banks has not suggested any more integrity-rich alternatives.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cradle To Grave, Episode Eighteen

Hey!  This one actually aired!

As I said yesterday, this will be the last prerecorded Cradle To Grave, as the show moves to a new timeslot & gets the - advantage, maybe? - of being live.  You may not believe this, but I don't really like my voice all that much, & more than that, I usually hate to hear what comes out of my mouth.  So doing the show at home was problematic for the reason that I would be tempted to edit most everything I said.  & I succumbed to that temptation a lot.  This will not be the case for this Friday's live version of Cradle To Grave, so it could be more terrible than even these prerecorded versions - so bad I'll wish I could edit it.  Honestly, if it weren't for the convenience, I'd prefer to be able to cut my ramblings down to spare the world from them.

Also, on this week's show, I celebrate the life of a producer, Martin Hannett.  I don't know if I've done this before.  I've focused on songwriters, but not the people behind the recordings.  That probably won't be a common thing, but Hannett produced a lot of my favorite music, so it would've been difficult for me to exclude him.  I promise to draw the line at "executive producers"!

The show is resting, as in a cradle or a grave, at the Self Help Radio website where else?  The show, of course, is in two parts: birthdays in the first hour, death anniversaries in the second.  You can see what songs I played in each part below.


"Franklin Street Blues" Louis Dumaine's Jazzola Eight _Breaking Out Of New Orleans_
"Look What You've Missed" Sharkey Bonano _The Good Time Jazz Story_
"Barnyard Blues" Eddie Edwards & His Original Dixieland Jazz Band _Eddie Edwards & His Original Dixieland Jazz Band with Tony Sbarbaro_
"Coolin' With Dash" Julian Dash _Chicken Shack Boogie, Vol. 4_
"Sho' Nuff Melon" Reuben Wilson _Blue Break Beats, Vol. 3_

"Water Boy" Paul Robeson _Folk Song America: A 20th Century Revival_
"Texas Blues" Mance Lipscomb _Songster_
"Matchbox" Carl Perkins _The Sun Records Collection_
"Put It On" Count Rockin' Sidney with the Dukes _Southern Funkin': Louisiana Funk & Soul 1967-1970_
"Mutual Admiration Society" Virginia Gibson & Ethel Merman _Happy Hunting (Original Broadway Cast Recording)_

"Forever & A Day" Terry Knight & The Pack _Reflections_
"The Night Chicago Died" Paper Lace _Super Hits Of The '70s: Have A Nice Day, Vol. 13_
"Tiger Feet" Mud _Jackie The Album_
"We Will All Go Together When We Go" Tom Lehrer _The Remains Of Tom Lehrer_
"Maybe You'll Appreciate Me Someday" Kay Adams _Killers Three OST_

(death anniversaries)

"At The Jazz Band Ball" The Original Dixieland Jass Band _Remastered_
"Royal Garden Blues" The Mezzrow-Ladnier Quintet _Mezz Mezzrow: 1936-1939_
"Blues Negres" Cleoma Falcon _Hot Women: Women Singers From The Torrid Regions Of The World_
"Hobo Blues" James Yank Rachell _Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1938-1941)_

"You Got Me Hummin'" Sam & Dave _The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968_
"La-La (Means I Love You)" The Delfonics _La-La Means I Love You: The Definitive Collection_
"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" Brook Benton _Home Style_
"Kulu Sé Mama" John Coltrane _Kulu Sé Mama_

"Changes (Live)" Phil Ochs _Farewells & Fantasies_
"Live Like A Lady" The Remo Four _Smile!_
"She's Lost Control" Joy Division _Unknown Pleasures_

"Negativland" Neu! _Neu!_