Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cradle To Grave, Episode Twenty-One

From Duke Ellington to Jerry Seinfeld, from a blues great who died young to a synthesizer freak who lived a long life.  That's this week's Cradle, & that's this week's Grave.

Perhaps I should say something about Mick Ronson.  Of all the folks whom I played this week, he's probably the one I've listened to - really listened to - the longest.  My friend Russell made me a Bowie tape when I was thirteen, & even though I don't think "Moonage Daydream" was on it, there were definitely tracks from four of the five albums Ronson played guitar on for Bowie.  So even though I know Ronson had a solo career, & worked with many others (including Dylan), I can't separate him from the life-altering guitar work he did with Bowie.

Why do I feel the need to explain my choices?  I don't know.  But though I think the flow of this show is a bit clunky, I like the music I played.  I hope you like it too.

The show sits, sighs, & waits for you at the Self Help Radio website.  The births are in the first hour, the deaths in the second hour.  The songs played on the show are below.


"Tourist Point Of View" Duke Ellington & His Orchestra _Duke Ellington's Far East Suite_
"Do It Again" April Stevens _Ultra Lounge, Vol. 6: Rhapsodesia_
"Autrefois" Pink Martini _Hang On Little Tomato_
"Baby Don'tcha Worry" Tammi Terrell _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol 6: 1966_

"K&H Boogie" Big Jay McNeely _The Hoy Hoy Collection: Rock Before Elvis_
"I Can't Quit You Baby" Otis Rush _The Essential Otis Rush: The Classic Cobra Recordings 1956-1958_
"Lost John" Lonnie Donegan _The Collection_
"A New Way To Cry" Willie Nelson _Willie Nelson 1961_
"Punchy Wunchy Wickey Wackey Woo" Hasil Adkins _The Wild Man_

"Crimson & Clover" Tommy James & The Shondells _The Complete Singles Collection_
"Dizzy Dizzy" Can _Anthology - 25 Years_
"A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)" Romeo Void _Instincts_
"The King Of Joy" Bill Drummond _Creation Soup Volume Four_
"Men & Women" Jerry Seinfeld _I'm Telling You For The Last Time_

(death anniversaries)

"When The Sun Goes Down" Leroy Carr _When The Sun Goes Down, Vol. 3: That's Chicago's South Side_
"Mississippi Road" J.B. Lenoir _Folk Music In America, Vol. 7: Songs Of Complaint & Protest_
"Choo Choo Ch'boogie" Kenny Roberts _Rockabilly & Hillbilly Hell Raisers_
"Pastures Of Plenty" Cisco Houston _Cisco Houston Sings The Songs Of Woody Guthrie_
"The Home Of The Blues" Sammy Lawhorn _Rockin' Rhythm & Blues From Memphis_

"You Took Advantage Of Me" Miff Mole & His Little Molers _Echoes Of The 20s & 30s_
"Muddy Miss" Jimmy Jones Big Eight _Jimmy Jones 1946-1947_
"The Strut" James Moody _Wail Moody, Wail_
"Yellow Dog Blues" Cat Anderson _Plays W.C Handy_

"Dune Buggy" The Surfaris _Fun City, U.S.A._
"Penny Lane" The Beatles _1967 - 1970_
"Love Heals" Colours _Love Heals_
"Moonage Daydream" David Bowie _The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars_

"Relay Circuit" The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit _Plugged In Pop_

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Self Help Radio 042616: Indiepop A To Z # 50

(I got all the album/single cover images from

Here's a confession about this show, my fiftieth (!) entry in my indiepop a to z series: I fucked up twice.  In my first airbreak, a WRFL member just came sauntering into the deejay room - even though the "on air" light was bright red outside - as if it were the most natural thing in the world - & did whatever she was doing in there.  Then she left.  It totally threw me off my game.  I lost my train of thought, I got irate, & I just went straight to reading a PSA.  That is preserved in the airbreak of the show.  Sigh.

What isn't preserved is the end of the next-to-the-last airbreak wherein I forget which CD was in which player, & accidentally didn't play the Lightning Seeds song that was supposed to be next.  I very clumsily stopped the song I played instead, & stumbled on-air trying to figure out where the errant CD was, & got lucky on the second try.  But you know what?  I edited that out of the show now on the website.  Because I can do that!

Because sounding terribly unprofessional is something I should really only do once a show, especially since I sound awful unprofessional most of the rest of the time.

In any event - here it is, the second episode of indiepop L, now at the Self Help Radio website, in two delicious parts, in for real alphabetical order.  You know about the password, right?  It's on the front page.  You know what songs I played, right?  Well, they're right below this.

Be twee.

(part one)

"Love & Understanding" Legendary Hearts _In A World Like This..._
"Bigfoot" The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group _Sniff_
"Nothing To Be Done" The Legends _Up Against The Legends_

"Maple Leaves (7" Version)" Jens Lekman _Maple Leaves_
"Nemo's Land" Lemon Curd _Nemo's Land EP_
"I Wonder If I'll Ever See You Again" The Leopards _I Wonder If I'll Ever See You Again_
"Any Day Now" Leslies _Moshi Moshi (Pop International Style)_
"Pop Love" Let's Be Honeys _Popsongs For My Poor Self_

"Three Limbs" Let's Go Naked _Three Limbs_
"All Happy Endings" Let's Whisper _The Shortest Days_
"We Are The Men You'll Grow To Love Soon" Let's Wrestle _In The Court Of The Wrestling Let's_
"Rotten Love" Levy _Rotten Love_
"Kitchen At Parties" Jona Lewie _On The Other Hand There's A Fist_

"Don't React" Liberty Ship _The Matinée Summer Splash!_
"Kind" The Liddles _Welcome To The Wetherbeat Scene 1988 - 1991_

(part two)

"Postcard" Liechtenstein _Survival Strategies In A Modern World_
"Inside Out" Life Studies _Homeward 7"_
"The Leanover" Life Without Buildings _Any Other City_

"Yard Sale" Lifestyle _At The Risk Of Sounding Pretentious_
"Big Shoe Boy" Ligament Blub Brothers _Big Shoe Boy 7"_
"Yuri's Hair Salon" The Legendary Len Liggins _Yuri's Hair Salon_
"Springtime" The Lighthouse Keepers _The Exploding Lighthouse Keepers_
"Everyone I Know" Lightning Love _November Birthday_

"Pure" The Lightning Seeds _Cloudcuckooland_
"He's Not A Boy" The Like _Release Me_
"New York" Like Honey _Leaves_
"Office Rock" The Lil' Hospital _Heavy Metal_
"I Went To The Dance" The Lilac Time _& Love For All_

"My Heart Bleeds" Lilac Trumpets _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Vol. 6_
"Any Place I've Lived" Lilys _A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns_

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 50?

Holy springtime, there will soon be fifty of these?  & we're still in the letter L?  By that calculation, I'll finally be done when...  let me see...  carry the seven...  pie are square...  ah!  When there are no more radios & global warming will have changed us all into happy blob creatures living in nutrient-rich saunas.  So - 2032?

Yes, it's the continuation today of the ridiculous indiepop a to z series.  We started the letter L last time, & will begin with the Scottish band Legendary Hearts.  Where will it end?  You'll have to listen to find out.  Fans of lists, alphabetization, & indiepop may enjoy themselves.

Today, from 4-6pm, on 88.1 fm WRFL, & simultaneously online at wrfl dot fm.  Lots of great music from musicians you may have never heard before.  That's one of the things radio is good for!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 50: Show Math

Here's something I was thinking about when it hit me that I have done almost fifty episodes of this weird "indiepop a to z" series: what percentage of the total shows I have done are these episodes?

At one time I tried to keep a count of the number of Self Help Radio shows I've done.  That was something I was usually too lazy to update, but once I added a "table of contents" (really, a list of the shows) to my website, it became easier for me.  Using a line counting function in BBEdit, I have a rough number: 716 shows.

Please understand, these are not 716 different themes - I have repeated themes, like Christmas & Halloween shows, & I re-visit a theme on the show's anniversary.  But it does mean around 716 different episodes of Self Help Radio.

Is that number correct?  Probably not, but it's a decent ballpark estimate.  In the thirteen & half years I've done Self Help Radio, it makes sense that I would've done around 700 shows.  I imagine I've done around forty-eight shows a year, counting time off.  Some years more, some less.  Sometimes I've had to take breaks because I've changed stations or cities.  That happens.

The math gets easier, then: fifty indiepop a to z shows out of seven hundred shows equals about seven percent of Self Help Radio shows.  Probably less, but it's a nice number.

Should I do more?  Maybe every three months instead of four?  Because, you know, at this rate, I'll never finish.

Heck, tomorrow I won't finish the letter L!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Who Here Knows The Best Way To Get Illegal Drugs In This Town?

Once upon a time, there was a dealer.  The dealer was not only a distributor of illegal drugs, he was also a user of same.  This dealer however just sold marijuana, in a state where the drug was illegal.  He was a nice enough sort, easygoing in the clichéd manner that people imagine potheads are.  In fact, when they thought about it, most of his customers would swear they had never seen him angry.

But a select few of his clientele had seen him angry.  In fact, those few, after witnessing his blow-ups, realized that his constant, uninterrupted use of marijuana probably had an unintended purpose: yes, it was getting & keeping him really high, but it also appeared to keep a magnificent lid on a terrifying anger problem.

Why did the dealer get mad with only these few of his customers?  It was because of one word.

Notice that he was referred to in the first paragraph above as a "distributor of illegal drugs."  He would not refer to himself in that way.  It's because he did not think of marijuana as a drug.

But if marijuana were not a drug, what was it?  He had a ready answer for that: "It's natural," he would say.  "It's found in nature."

If you were to casually refer to him as a "drug dealer," the drug dealer would flip out. "It's not a drug!" he would scream.

Most folks - because they wanted their drug in the form of the marijuana being sold - would simply recoil, unaware they'd made a faux pas, though used to the legendary sensitivity of drug dealers, & say, "Sorry, man, I didn't mean it!"

But one time, a younger man, a new customer, perhaps, one who had actually grown up with an older brother with a bad temper, & the mother he inherited it from, this person didn't react in the same way.  He saw it for what it was: a weird, irrational, defensive freak-out.  After the dealer had screamed his piece, his eyes bulging out, his mouth open, his face an unusual shade of red, this customer calmly took out his phone, punched something into it, & then read out loud, "The marijuana plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is a drug."

The dealer, unused to being gainsaid or challenged in any way, said, "That - that doesn't make it a drug, a chemical name."

The customer punched some more things into his phone & said, "Drug, noun.  A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body."

The dealer just stood there, looking quite confused.

The customer turned to go.

"Wh-where are you going?" the dealer said.

"I know what you're going to say," the customer said.  "I grew up with people who fly off the handle.  You're just going to tell me to get the fuck out."

"But," said the dealer somewhat plaintively, "don't you want your pot?"