Saturday, July 02, 2016

One Last Chance To Take It Easy

When first thinking about the idea of Self Help Radio - well, what I was going to say was just not true.  I wasn't thinking much about "the idea of Self Help Radio" back in 2002 when I started this show.  I was thinking about doing a radio show again after not having a regular gig since I left KVRX in 1999, & I had to come up with a kind of gimmick to justify my existence on KOOP.  This is true - most of the things that make up the average Self Help Radio episode - with the exception of songs adhering to a theme - weren't there in the first episodes.  Maybe not in the first year!

Anyway, later on, I would ask folks who were musicians (& usually friends of mine) if they would like to contribute to the show in some way - mostly, of course, by contributing a song for a particular theme.  The big question is of course "Why?"  Why would anyone want to contribute anything to this unimportant radio show?  Luckily, some people did - for reasons I can't imagine - & just this week it happened again!

Jenny of Owlsey County recorded a lovely, slyly transformative version of a song I have issues with.  I am so very grateful she took the time to do it, & am very flattered it appeared on this week's show.  Here it is, please enjoy:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Self Help Radio 062816: Take It Easy

(Original image here.)

This was a fun show for me to do.  I had a great time finding songs - there were so many I left out! - which mentioned "take it easy" - seriously, I had a bevy of them from the 1930s to the present.  Plus, my collaborators - you know, the funny people on the show - were totally on point.  & best of all, local musician Jenny A from Owlsey County performed for the show a lovely cover of an Eagles song that I am now going to stop complaining about.

The irony, of course, is that so much work went into a show about taking it easy.  I hope it showed.  I felt pretty good after this one, which was a weird feeling for me.  I thought I might have food poisoning or strep throat or something.  I almost went straight to the emergency room.

But anyway, here it is, this week's show about taking it easy.  That's a link to the show's website.  Pay attention to password info, available in the paragraph above the show's playlist.  Meanwhile, the songs I played are listed below.

The rest of the day, I think I'll just take it easy.

(part one)

"Take It Easy" Fats Waller & His Rhythm _1935, Volume I_
"Take It Easy" Speckled Red _Complete Recorded Works 1929-1938_
"Take It Easy" Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians _The Sweetest Music This Side Of Heaven_

"Take It Easy, Greasy" Lil Johnson _Complete Works In Chronological Order, Vol. 1 (1929-1936)_
"I'm Gonna Take It Easy" Gabriel Brown _Roll & Tumble Blues: A History Of Slide Guitar_
"Taking It Easy" The Weavers _Goodnight Irene, 1949-1953_
"Relax & Take It Easy" Tommy Duncan With The Ranger Trio _Atomic Platters_

"Take It Easy, Greasy" Bobby Charles _The Chess Story, 1947-1975_
"Take It Easy Baby" Rufus Beacham _Soldier Boy: The Scepter Records Story 1961-1962_
"Take It Easy" The Animals _Animal Tracks_
"Take It Easy" Hopeton Lewis _The Story Of Jamaican Music: Forward March 1958-1967_

"Take It Easy" Jenny _Take It Easy_
"Take It Easy" Mint Royale _Pop Is_

(part two)

"Take It Easy My Brother Charles" Jorge Ben _Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution In Sound_
"Take It Easy Baby" Ty Karim _The Complete Ty Karim: Los Angeles' Soul Goddess_
"Take It Easy" Manuela & Drafi _Die Grossen Hits_

"Takin' It Easy" Johnny Tillotson _Here I Am_
"Gotta Take It Easy" The Cherry Slush _Day Don't Come_
"Takin' It Easy" Jack Wild _Everything's Coming Up Roses_
"Take It Easy (In Your Mind)" Jerry Reed _Smell The Flowers_
"Take It Easy Rider (feat. Guy Clark & Larry Jon Wilson)" David Allan Coe _I've Got Something To Say_

"Take It Easy" Gary Young _Naked In The Afternoon: A Tribute To Jandek_
"Take It Easy" Bourbon Family _Happy Bourbon Party_
"Take It Easy" Stanley Brinks & Freschard _Pizza Espresso_
"Take It Easy" Ghinzu _Mirror Mirror_

"Take It Easy" Surfer Blood _Astro Coast_
"Take It Easy" Willie Rodriguez & The International Stars _A Bunch Of Bongos_

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Whither Take It Easy?

(This is from here.)

Before I forget: there's a story I've been meaning to mention.  Last week I was on my way to a meeting, a meeting I hope I can tell you about one day soon, & I noticed a big black ant in my car.  These ants occasionally find their way into my house, I'm always swatting them away in the kitchen.

Now, even though I am a vegan, I am ambivalent about insects.  I don't feel much closeness to them, except maybe bees, & besides I'm scared of scary insects, & have stomped them out of fear without remorse.  & so, in general, I am not as sad about a dead ant as I might be about a chipmunk which my dog Pauline (my beautiful murderer!) has killed in the backyard.

& yet, as I was driving to this meeting, just me & this ant, I started to feel very, very sad about her.  She was very far away from her anthill (or whatever social ant situation she lived in), & it seemed to me that, even if the ant stayed in the car until I got home, she might not be able to find her way back.  In fact, when I pulled in to the place where I had the meeting, the ant had disappeared into a vent on the dashboard.

Truth is, I had forgotten all about the little thing by the time the meeting was over, & I had to go run some errands.  The windows were open & I was singing along to something when the little ant crawled out onto the door right next to me, took a wrong turn, & flew out the window into the warm summer day.

She probably didn't die - insects are awful sturdy - but she was now impossibly far from home.  & that made me sad.  It was a feeling that I couldn't shake for the rest of the day.  I don't feel any real emotion when I step on a bug, but something about the little ant finding itself so very far from home got to me.  What's up with that?

What does this have to do with today's theme, which is "take it easy"?  Oh who knows.  Just be aware, it's on from 4-6 pm today on 88.1 fm WRFL & online at wrfl dot fm.  Like usual.  I hope you'll listen.

Special note to ants: stay out of the car!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Preface To Take It Easy: Well, I Haven't

This is perhaps a thing: I don't really know how to take it easy.  I wouldn't even know how.  I mean, what does that even entail?

Look at this link.  "Taking it easy" is framed as a kind of battle between you & stress.  Is that it?  When one "takes it easy," is one combatting stress?  Or are we vilifying stress?

Before anyone attempts to answer that, it must be said that Self Help Radio & its subsidiaries (should it have any) do not in any way support or promote stress.  It is commonly & correctly understood that 
stress is a bad thing.  But is it?

This is not a question I am asking nor an argument I am wanting to have.  It isn't even a subject I am (to be frank) interested in.  However, I had a stupid argument tonight with my wife about something completely dumb involving leaving doors open that cats who aren't allowed outside are able to use to get outside which leads to cats being lost or whatever & then whose fault is it?  The person who opened the door or the person who left the door open?  Anyway it's lucky Boone came back isn't it?  ISN'T IT?

Ahem.  It remains to assure you as a valued listener that even if the host of Self Help Radio ("Gary") finds it difficult if not impossible to "take it easy," this does not mean (we hope) there will be any loss of quality for a show with such a theme.  We hope.  Did we already say "we hope"?  Well, there you have it.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Apropos "Take It Easy"

That's this week's theme, "Take It Easy."  I understand there's a famous song, called "Take It Easy," performed by one of the most extinction-worthy dinosaur rock bands out there, the Eaglets.  (I think that's the name.)  I've heard that song - which was released in 1972, when I was four - most of my life, & so have you.  I can close my eyes & run the song through my head.  This is not to say I enjoy it.  I don't.  I find it stupidly masculine & embarrassingly misogynistic.  But it's been on the radio since around the time I learned to read, & therefore it's in my brain, probably replacing a happy childhood memory or two.

None of this means I won't play some version of the song on my show this week.

It was with a small amount of sadness that I learned that the song was written by Jackson Browne, whom I don't hold in terribly high regard but I certainly don't think of him in the same sad sense as the Eagleys (is that thename?).  This is what Jackson Browne looked like in 1972, when he wrote the song with recently dead Eagerly, Glen Frey:

(Image from this web site in a foreign language.)

Somehow I don't associate Jackson Browne with the sort of bullshit cowboy machismo of the dreadful Eagrets.  I have always - perhaps unfairly - lumped him in with the more sensitive singer-songwriters of the 1970s, not as wimpy as James Taylor but certainly not as sincerely brilliant as, say, Cat Stevens.  I will confess to liking one or two Jackson Browne songs.

But not this one.  In an email recently I referred to the audacity of Browne, whom I called a "wimpy little pre-emo shit," cursing the world with such awful lines as "driving down the road trying to loosen my load" & "I'm looking for a lover who won't blow my cover."  Pretty boys lead such complicated lives!

What is there to do with the problem of this problematic tune?  I believe I've found an elegant solution, but you'll have to wait till Tuesday to hear it.