Saturday, August 06, 2016


(Downtown Fort Worth, Texas, found here.)

Hooray!  The family made it safely to Fort Worth!  Very little is unpacked, but we got internet today, so, yay!  No more reading Twitter on my phone!

Since this blog is about a radio show, it behooves me to write (very briefly, to expand upon tomorrow) my radio prospects.  They are (in no particular order):

88.7 fm KTCU Fort Worth
89.3 fm KNON Dallas
95.7 fm KFTW Fort Worth

An application has been sent to KNON.  An email has been sent to KFTW.  A meeting is planned at KTCU.  These sentences are all in the passive voice.  Who has sent an application & an email?  Who has planned a meeting?  Who fucking talks like that?

Tomorrow I'll take some time to talk about the stations & why I think Self Help Radio would be a good fit.  Or maybe not that last part.  Self Help Radio has never really fit anywhere.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Self Help Radio 080216: The Two-Hour-Long Goodbye

(Original image here.)

It is all over now, baby blue.  I did my first sub show (or "fill" as the kids at the station call it) on August 19, 2010.  Nearly six years ago.  I had been living in Huntington, West Virginia, & had been doing a show on WMUL.  But that was a town of barely 50,000 people.  Lexington was maybe six or seven times larger - & WRFL was a station with programmers on the air every hour of every day.  While WMUL valued its sports shows, most of its programming was done with automation software.  Soon enough I discovered that WRFL had a long history & fierce listenership.  It was a fun place to discover & become involved in.

Maybe one day I'll write about all the changes I helped make behind the scenes - about the wonderful, sometimes intense, arguments we had about the direction of the station, & the hard work some of us did to make the place more accessible to UK students & the Lexington community.  What always ends up being important, however, is the programming - RFL's on-air signal is, of course, the face it shows the world.  I did my best, with my obvious limitations, to make sure when I was on the air, it was at least listenable.  If I succeeded sometimes, it probably has more to do with luck than skill.  I mean, I was on the air a lot.  Please don't hold that against anyone at WRFL!

& here is the last show I'll do on this dear, dear radio station.  As I write this, I'm sitting in a house I love so much which, after tomorrow, I won't ever be in again.  My heart, so used to being broken, is still surprised after all this time that it bothers to become attached to people, places, & things.  But it also thrills to new adventures ahead - to new radio stations, a new city to explore & learn about, new friends & old in a sort-of familiar setting.  That's why I'm not too sad - I honestly never expected to be in Kentucky, to have had such an amazing experience with this radio station & its people, with this lovely city, with this part of the world.  I will miss being here, certainly, but mostly I am glad I was here at all.

Self Help Radio will go on, & I hope you find it wherever it ends up.  But if you want to hear it say goodbye, you can do so now on the show's website.  The two parts have lots of goodbye songs, which are listed below.

When next we talk, I'll be back in the state where I was born!

(part one)

"Hello & Goodbye" George Carlin _Playing With Your Head_
"Bye Bye" The Clean _Vehicle_
"Bye Bye Baby" Fats Waller _1936_

"Gotta Say Goodbye" The Fun & Games _Elephant Candy_
"Bye Bye" Pipas _Chunnel Autumnal_
"The Long Goodbye" A Girl Called Eddy _A Girl Called Eddy_
"Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" Helen Grayco _After Midnight_

"Adios" Esquivel _Other Worlds Other Sounds_
"Auf Wiederseh'n" Gus Backus _Die Singles 1959-1961_
"Adieu Adieu" Stereo Total _Musique Automatique_
"Goodbye" Psychedelic Furs _Forever Now_

"Rhymes Of Goodbye" Scott Walker _Scott 4_
"Seasons In The Sun" Black Box Recorder _England Made Me_

(part two)

"Goodbye" Elephant Parade _Bedroom Recordings_
"Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" Leonard Cohen _Songs Of Leonard Cohen_
"Hometown Farewell Kiss" The Triffids _Calenture_

"How To Say Goodbye" The Magnetic Fields _69 Love Songs_
"There's No Beautiful Way To Say Goodbye" Television Personalities _My Dark Places_
"One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell" Morrissey _Years Of Refusal_

"Bye Bye Baby" Hattie Burleson _I Can't Be Satisfied: Early American Women Blues Singers - Town & Country, Vol. 2 "Town"_
"Good-Bye" The Four Freshmen _Four Freshmen & Five Trumpets_
"Bye Bye Baby" The Popguns _Alvin Lives (In Leeds): Anti Poll Tax Trax_
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" Bob Dylan _Bringing It All Back Home_

"Goodbye, Goodbye" Billy Bragg _Tooth & Nail_
"What's The Theme, Gary?" Luxuriator _What's The Theme, Gary?_

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Whither Goodbye?

(All of my Peanuts books are in boxes, so I had to find this on Pinterest.)

Hopefully it's not coming as a shock to you that today's show is the last Self Help Radio in Lexington.  I know I didn't mention it until a few days ago, but I didn't want a repeat of last year, when I jumped the gun before plans were finalized.  I expect everyone to be skeptical, but it sunk in this weekend, as I packed many of my beloved records & CDs into boxes, that it's real.  Around this time in two days, my family of two humans, four dogs, & four cats will leave this place.  To say I'm not freaking out a little about it is a tiny lie.  I am freaking out a lot.

Today's show, then, is really goodbye.  I chose this theme, which I always imagined I would use on the very last Self Help Radio ever, mainly because I didn't want to do a radio show about Texas, Dallas, or Fort Worth.  (Although my friend Jenny did find an awesome Fort Worth song.)  Goodbye seemed simplest, sweetest, & more appropriate.  & of course my collaborators will be along to make it much more fun than if I were doing it on my own.

As always, you can follow the show on Twitter or like the show on Facebook to keep up with where the show ends up, if the show finds a radio station, if there's a podcast coming out, etc.  Or you can just read this blog.  I blather here five days a week.

In any event - the last Self Help Radio on WRFL airs today from 4-6pm on 88.1 fm in town & online at wrfl dot fm everywhere.  I hope you'll listen, & if you think of it, call in & say goodbye, or write goodbye.  I'll miss you!

Monday, August 01, 2016

Preface To Goodbye: U-Haul In The Driveway

Even though I am not very good at it, I love taking pictures.  (You can see the pictures I take on the show's Tumblr page.)  It's not something I've always done, like some people.  It's something I decided I wanted to do maybe just two or three years ago.

But there was a time - in seventh & eighth grade - when I was able to develop my own film & print my own photos.  I took photography class & was on my middle school's yearbook staff.  My pictures were mostly pedestrian, mainly because I didn't really know what I liked enough to take pictures of it.  My teacher - whose name, alas, I don't remember - even once told me I was trying too hard, like someone who had some vague notion of what "art" is but doesn't really know.  I think I once caught her laughing at some dumb picture I took, though she did try to hide it.  I was more embarrassed than offended.

The reason I am mentioning this is not to plug that page, but rather to relate that one regret (of many, I'm sure) is that I never took the time to just park my car in some parts of the city & walk around taking some pictures.  I was reminded of that today at the U-Haul place, which is near some interesting places, with delightful urban decay, anachronistic signage, & other things which I find fascinating, & should have taken the time to take some pictures of.  It was not meant to be.

Of course there will be many more places to go & many more pictures to take, but I do wish I had a lot more memories on digital film of this town.  Everything I do now I am conscious that I am doing for the last time - the last time I went to this town's Costco, the last time I went to my favorite cheap Chinese joint, etc.  It seems very unhealthy to do that, but I just can't stop.

& tomorrow - one last Self Help Radio in Lexington.  Oh jeez.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 31st

On today's dog walk, I watched children - supervised by their parents - play with sparklers.  Sparklers are a mainstay of the Fourth Of July, of course, & it's - quite literally - twenty-seven days after that.  But if there's one thing I will remember about Kentucky, it's that the residents of this state will take any opportunity to use fireworks.  New Year's Eve?  Boom boom boom!  New Year's Day?  Why the hell not?  President's Day?  First Day Of Spring? Arbor Day? Light up the goddamned sky.

Fireworks are illegal in Texas for many reasons, some of which are obvious: it's drier there than here, so, fire.  Fire!  Fire that burns for days!  That doesn't stop folks from setting fireworks off, although in the two or three neighborhoods I lived in, in Austin, police were called & fines were levied.  This was in addition to the danger of bringing fireworks into  the city - sometimes there were checkpoints.  A decidedly perilous process for potential pyromaniacs.

But not so Kentucky!  My animals have had to react to many nights of pop pop bang.  I think I will miss that.  & not just because I think fireworks are cool.  Dude, I bought fireworks this year at Costco.  They were not the military-grade explode-in-the-lower-atmosphere types you have to spend top dollar for, but hey - they made some of my friends' kids happy, & isn't that the point?

Will they be fireworks in Texas?  & if so, when?  I hope to report on this in the future.  In the meantime - holy shit! I have a lot of packing still to do!