Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

Is a song by Burt Bacharach & Hal David.  The first time I heard the song was by Elvis Costello, from his "sort of punk" years:

In those days - I was still in high school - I was pretty earnest about my Elvis Costello studies, so I recall being particularly moved by the lines:

Like a summer rose
Needs the sun & rain
I need your sweet love
To beat all the pain

It was my first experience with the brilliance of Hal David's lyrics.

Later on, of course, I heard the version lots of folks think is definitive, which is Dusty Springfield's:

Although there are those who prefer Dionne Warwick's:

Maybe because it was produced by Bacharach himself?

Is it weird I still prefer Elvis Costello's?  & no, I can't listen to the White Stripes version.  Nope.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Self Help Radio 062116: Torture

(Poor old bear!  Original here.)

Does a show about torture constitute torture?  Is it a form of self-torture to be tortured by that question?  Are these real questions or are they rhetorical so one need not torture oneself to discover the answers?

The answers won't surprise you: no, no, they're rhetorical.  Boom!  All done.  Everyone can go home now.

Of if you didn't hear the show, you can listen to it now as if you're chained to a wall & have nothing better to do with your time at the Self Help Radio website, which can be pretty torturous if you don't know there's a username & password & that that username & password combo is on the front page.  The songs are listed below.

Oddly enough, no one gave me any of the information I wanted during the course of the show.  Dad gum it, torture doesn't work after all!

(part one)

"Torture" Del Shannon _Home & Away: The Complete Recordings 1960-1970_
"Torture" A-440 _Mindrocker: Anthology Of 60s US-Punk Garage Psych, Vol. 4_
"Torture" The Everly Brothers _Gone, Gone, Gone_

"Torture" The Cure _Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me_
"Torture" The Psychedelic Furs _Midnight To Midnight_
"Torture" King Khan & The Shrines _The Supreme Genius Of King Khan & The Shrines_
"Ye Tortures" Spike Milligan _Muses With Milligan_
"Torture" The Virgin-Whore Complex _Stay Away From My Mother_

"Two Years Of Torture" Percy Mayfield _The Swingtime Records Story_
"My Tortured Mind" Amos Milburn _The Complete Aladdin Recordings_
"It's Torture" Maxine Brown _Oh No, Not My Baby: The Best Of Maxine Brown_
"Torture" Hairy Diamond _Beikoku-Ongaku Magazine # 19 - Fall 2001_

"Torture Day" The Notwist _12_

(part two)

"Methods Of Torture" Negativland _Escape From Noise_
"It's Torture" Jean Shepard _The Melody Ranch Girl_
"Water Torture" Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel _Hole_

"Tortured Soul" The Fauves _Tortured Soul_
"The Torturers" Po! _Little Stones_
"Sweet Torture" How Many Beans Make Five _One Last Look_
"The Spanish Inquisition" Monty Python _The Final Rip-Off_
"Life Is A Tortured Love Affair" Coke Escovedo _Coke_

"Tender Torture" Islands _Vapours_
"You Torture Me" Art Kubin _The Hit Sound Of Art Kubin_
"Torture Me" Harlem _Hippies_
"Torture Me" Peter Himmelman _The Musings Of Someone_

"Torture" The Wolfhounds _Lost But Happy: The Wolfhounds 1986-1990_

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Whither Torture?

(This is from here.)

May I give you a little backstory?  When I first started doing this blog, I conceived of a weekly entry - always to begin with the pretentious word Whither? - detailing how I came up with those darn themes every week.  Over time, this task - which I have continued to do nonetheless, for almost ten years now - revealed itself as something mostly mundane.  There were never any great revelations about why I had decided to do a theme.  In fact, they mostly came down to a few reasons:

1) It's a time of year (Halloween, Christmas, etc.)
2) I was listening to a song or lots of songs & the theme was in the song(s).
3) Someone suggested it.
4) I can't really remember.

This is not scientific - I'm not going to go back & read ten years of posts to check - but I wouldn't be surprised if reason number four is the most common explanation I've used.  Actually, it might not be, not because it isn't true, but because out of embarrassment for reason number four, I often come up with this:

5) Make something up.

It's not that I have a great imagination or anything, I just get tired of saying "I don't remember why I thought of that theme."  I'm certainly not intending to deceive.  These are no Donald Trump-level lies - in fact, the only thing they have in common with Trump's lies are their obviousness.*  No, I am making shit up because I don't want to have to write "Who knows where this theme came from?" over & over, week after week.

Having said all that: I don't know why I thought about doing a show about torture.  It might have been from listening to Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me a couple of months ago.  I don't know!

But no matter.  The Self Help Radio show about torture is on today from 4-6pm on 88.1 fm in Lexington & online at wrfl dot fm.  If you resist, we have ways of making you listen.

Get it?  I threatened to torture you if you didn't listen!  Humor, it's fun.**

* Sorry, sudden political content.
** I'm also on from 2-4pm today subbing Tyler's show.  I'm sorry this isn't a proper footnote, but I couldn't think of where to say this anywhere up there.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Preface To Torture: Being Provocative On The Radio

(I found this here.)

In general, Self Help Radio isn't a political show.  In general, it can hardly be considered "entertaining."  But when I told some folks the show this week would be about torture, they reacted like I was becoming the next - well - whoever's a popular talking head on radio these days.  I have no idea.

Here's the thing: my topics are basically just outlines to be filled by the music available that comes somewhat close to being about whatever the theme is.  & I promise you, there aren't a whole lot of songs that talk about torture in the sense of Abu Ghraib.  Mostly it's a hyperbolic description of how someone - usually an object of love - has made you feel.

In fact, most of my themes - the ones that aren't goofy phrases or words that don't intrinsically give themselves over to thematic radio shows - veer toward the metaphorical rather than the actual.  My show about chickens from so very long ago was not always about chickens - you know, because "chicks" can mean something other than baby chickens.

While I can't promise I won't utter the phrase "enhanced interrogation," I can promise you that most of the torture on the show will not involve implements from the Inquisition.

Most.  But maybe some.

In any event.  I hope I have set your mind at ease.  In case, you know, you're a fan of torture.  Or something.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Cradle To Grave, Episode Twenty-Five

Here it is, the last episode of Cradle To Grave!  It was a bittersweet affair, starting late (I was outside the studio chatting with someone), & beset by technical difficulties (user error), which I corrected in post (ie, removed from the recording because embarrassment).  Oh my god, did I say "corrected in post"?  I don't deserve a radio show!

One nice thing is there's a song that's a tribute to my cat Beatrice.  If I had done the show longer - & paid more attention - I would've tried to incorporate people I know (since most of the people I know are cats) in some way.  I didn't do it, but I promised I'd make a list of the birthdays of the sorts of folks (you know, indie musicians) (as well as my friends) who don't make it onto "on this day in music history" type lists.

Ah well.  Water under the bridge.  Lessons to be taken to heart when/if Cradle To Grave comes back.

Meanwhile, you can listen to this last show by visiting the Self Help Radio web page.  The deaths & births I talk about are listed below, although sometimes it's a sideperson whose life is the subject, so you gotta listen to find out who!  Whom?  To find out whom!

& thanks to anyone who might've listened to this show & the twenty-four that preceded it!


"Tennessee Saturday Night" Red Foley _The History Of Country & Western Music, Vol. 14 (1947-1948)_
"Barnyard Banjo Pickin'" David Stringbean Akeman _Old Time Banjo: Vintage String Sound_
"The Cry Of The Wild Goose" Terry Gilkyson _Troubadours: Folk & The Roots Of American Music, Part 1_
"Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well" Sing Miller _Old Times With Sing Miller_
"Hogan's Heroes March" Hogan's Heroes Cast _Hogan's Heroes Sing The Best Of World War II_

"Pussy Cat" Twink _The Broken Record_
"Be-Bop-A-Lula" Gene Vincent _Classic Rockabilly: Swing Bop Boogie_
"Pogo Dancing" Chris Spedding & The Vibrators _Pogo Dancing_
"Television Screen" The Radiators From Space _The Chiswick Story: Adventures Of An Independent Record Label 1975-1982_
"Kill The Poor" Dead Kennedys _Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables_
"Living In Vain" Snakefinger _Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1979-1987_
"I Write The Songs" Me First & The Gimme Gimmes _Barry 7"_

"Early In The Morning" Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five _Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five, Vol. 4: 1947-1949_
"Wail Of The Scromph" Gene Sedric & Al Casey _The World Of Swing_
"Where Are We Going?" Donald Byrd _Black Byrd_

(death anniversaries)

"Oriental Strut" Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five _Hot Fives & Sevens_
"The Moon Song" Kate Smith _Hollywood Sings! The Girls_
"My Ship" Jackie Paris _Jackie Paris Sings The Lyrics Of Ira Gershwin_
"The More I See You" Jeff Chandler _Jeff Chandler Sings To You_
"Tristeza De Nós Dois" Wanda Sá & Durval Ferreira _Um Cantinho, Um Violão E Bossa Nova_

"Rock Around The Clock" Bill Haley & His Comets _Loud, Fast & Out Of Control: The Wild Sounds Of '50s Rock_
"A Little Loving" The Fourmost _The British Invasion_
"Open Up Your Door" Richard & The Young Lions _Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era, Vol. 4_
"Thread The Needle" Clarence & Calvin _The Fame Studios Story 1961-1973_
"Just Friends" Chris & Peter Allen _The Get Easy! Sunshine Pop Collection_

"We're Looking For A Piano" Original Cast _Salad Days (Original London Cast Recording)_
"Space Oddity (Live)" Flying Pickets _The Best Of Flying Pickets_

"Infinity" Eon _Void Dweller_