Friday, October 14, 2016

Self Help Radio Anniversary Extra!

The elephants are waiting in a line for this.  (Image from here.)

When I was gathering music for this show, I faced a bit of a conundrum: there were lots of elephant songs that were instrumentals.  I have nothing against instrumentals, but I generally only use them on Self Help Radio to talk over during airbreaks.  Perhaps if the show were longer...  But as it is, I like the songs on the show to be about whatever the theme is.  Sometimes an instrumental feels a little like a cheat.

But seeing as it's the show's anniversary week, & seeing as I usually give out a gift for the show's anniversary, I figured I needed to do something, even if it that something were a little cheap.  This year, I give you an extra mix of songs about elephants, all of which happen to be instrumentals.  There's an hour of them, which means I could totally have filled an entire sixty more minutes with elephant songs.  Oh well.  Maybe in a different radio world...

The mix has been placed on the Self Help Radio Extra page.  I used to make extra mixes like this many moons ago, but stopped when I was doing so many fills at RFL.  Does that mean I may start doing them again?  Maybe.  But maybe not.  Don't hassle me!

Here's the tracklisting.  Hope you dig!

"Pink Elephants" Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang _Wild Cats_
"Jive Elephant" Rahsaan Roland Kirk _The Complete Mercury Recordings Of Roland Kirk_
"Elephant Trail" Les Baxter _African Jazz_
"Elephant Soul" Baja Marimba Band _For Animals Only_
"Elephant Stomp" The Dragons _Troll_
"Wild Elephants" James Clarke _Ready, Steady Boogaloo!_
"Elephant" The Philly Four _The Sound Of Philadelphia: Philadelphia Roots Vol. 2_
"Mama Elephant" E. Cap _The Sound Gallery, Vol. 2_
"Pink Elephants" Mick Harvey _Pink Elephants_
"A Great Visitation Of Elephants" The Jazz Butcher _Illuminate_
"March Of The Triumphant Elephants" Eggs _Exploder_
"Disruptive Elephant" Isan _Salle D'Isan_
"Elephant Ride" State Of Bengal _South.Asian.Summer_
"Elephant Man" Eat Static _Decadance_
"Elephant Generators" Solvent _New Ways_
"Elephant Takeover" Me & You _Floating Heavy_

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Self Help Radio 101216: Elephants - The 14th Anniversary Show!

(Original image here.)

Fourteen years later, here's what Self Help Radio has come to.  A show about elephants.  Elephants!  Still trying to prove its coolness by hanging around impossibly cool people & things.  What's next?  A fifteenth anniversary show about the Fonz?  Pathetic.

Actually, no.  Self Help Radio is happy to be fourteen years old & who cares if no one likes the themes.  It likes its theme fine.  It was fun to do a show about elephants twelve years ago but if was way more fun to do one this past week.  Because even though the show is going through puberty, & its face is way too spotty, & its voice cracks in awkward moments, it is in fact older, & feels a little smarter, & hopes it can one day muster up the courage to talk to radio shows of the opposite sex.

Meanwhile, elephantophiles can enjoy the show now & whenever at the Self Help Radio website.  You know about the username & password, right?  They're on the front page.  The elephant songs I played are below.  The interviews are not, so you have to listen to know who's being interviews.

Here's to fourteen more years!

(part one)

"Oliphant The Elephant" Tiny Tim _For All My Little Friends_
"Ellie The Elegant Elephant" Dick "Two Ton" Baker _I Like Stinky Cheese_
"Elephant Talk" King Crimson _Discipline_

"The Elephant & The Ass" Morry Goodson & Sonny Vale _Songs For Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs & The American Left 1935-1954 - Charter Records 1946-1949_
"The Mighty Mighty Elephant" Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine _Robbert Bobbert & The Bubble Machine_
"Elephantoplasty" Monty Python _Matching Tie & Handkerchief_
"The Elephant's Graveyard" The Boomtown Rats _Mondo Bongo_
"Elephantine" Kitchens Of Distinction _Elephantine E.P._

"Elephant Stone" The Stone Roses _The Stone Roses_
"Elephant King" Yellow Ostrich _Strange Land_
"Pink Elephants On Parade" Circus Contraption _The Half-Wit's Descent_
"Pink Elephants" Phil Harris & His Orchestra _The Uncollected Phil Harris & His Orchestra - 1933_

"The Elephant Song" Marty Feldman _The Crazy World Of Marty Feldman_
"The Elephant" The Virgin-Whore Complex _Stay Away From My Mother_

(part two)

"White Elephant" Volcano Suns _All Night Lotus Party_
"Elephant Germs" Digital Dinosaurs _Messthetics Greatest Hiss_
"Nellie The Elephant" Toy Dolls _Cheerio & Toodlepip! (The Complete Singles)_

"The Monkey & The Elephant" Bobby Bare & The Family _Singing In The Kitchen_
"When I See An Elephant Fly" Robbie Fulks _O Mickey, Where Art Thou?_
"An Elephant Never Forgets" Henry Hall & The BBC Dance Orchestra _It's Five Fifteen & Time For Henry Hall & The BBC Dance Orchestra_
"Elephant Memory" Smack Dab _Majestic Root_

"Zousan (Little Elephant)" Elizabeth Mitchell _You Are My Little Bird_
"Effervescing Elephant" Syd Barrett _Wouldn't You Miss Me: The Best Of Syd Barrett_
"Elegant Elephant" Broadcast _Mother Is The Milky Way_
"Elephant Candy" The Fun & Games _Elephant Candy_
"Elephant Game (Part I)" Renfro & Jackson _Elephant Game_

"No Elephants" Lisa Germano _No Elephants_
"Zólty Ston" Novi Singers _Bossa Nova_

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Whither Elephants?

(Image from here.)

Why a radio show about elephants?  Why not a radio show about elephants?  Why has it taken me so long to do a radio show about elephants?  (Since, you know, the first time I did a radio show about elephants, it wasn't really on the radio.)

This begs the question: if Self Help Radio hasn't done a show about elephants, what animals has Self Help Radio spent time with?  Let me look: Lionstigers.  Cats & dogs.  Spiders & snakes.  Dolphins & whales.  Rabbits, mice & rats.  Frogs, turtles, alligators & crocodiles.  Ants, bees, & worms.  & a whole menagerie of birds:  Crows, chickens, ducks, owls, & swans.  & yet, no elephants.

How could this be?  It doesn't matter; we rectify this situation today!  The Self Help Radio show about elephants airs from 9-11pm Eastern, 8-10pm Central, on 93.9 fm WLXU in the city of Lexington, & everywhere at Lexington Community Radio dot org.  So many songs about elephants plus interviews with elephant experts & the like.

Look, I know I'm not capable of making a show as majestic as these creatures, but I trust they'd forgive me, as they are not egotistical in any way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Preface To Elephants: A Show That Wasn't

Look!  It's another damn playlist!

Above is the playlist reflecting the first time Self Help Radio did a show about elephants.  You see, eight years ago, when the show was six years old, I said to myself, "Since I'm in this for the long haul, & since I have made a promise to myself to never revisit themes, maybe I can make an excuse, & revisit themes that I've done on my anniversary shows."  & so it has been the case.

But!  If you look at the header for the playlist above, it says, "Imaginary Radio Show."  What's up with that?

You can one day sit with me in a bar & drink beer & I'll tell you the long version, but since we're on the computer together, & I'm all out of beer, I will tell you the short version here:

The radio station which aired Self Help Radio, KOOP Austin, was a very political place, with camps competing for control of its meager resources & especially its airwaves.  To get a sense, here is a web page describing a struggle that happened at the station at the end of the last century, before I came aboard.  The people whose fight is detailed in that web page, alas, lost.

At some point during my first few years at KOOP, I became involved in the more political aspects of the station, although I was at first skeptical that dirty tricks could be played on me, the goofy guy who did a silly show.  I was elected to the Community Council, the body that chose the Board of Directors.  The opposition won that election, but it was pretty obvious there were shenanigans.  I spoke about them, asked questions about them, & became a political enemy of the opposition.

My own penchant for being a big dork & saying stupid things backfired on me, & was used by them to take my show away from me.  I came back from a visit to New York to discover I was suspended "indefinitely."  I continued to volunteer - I felt obligated to do so as an elected representative of the station, but, missing my show, during that summer of 2004, I continued to make an episode of Self Help Radio a week, sharing mp3s with friends.  I made playlists of the songs I gathered & noted the show on the website as "imaginary."

The suspension didn't last for more than a couple of months, & the people who suspended me made even more egregious mistakes (not the least of which was not paying attention to the station's by-laws) & were out by the end of the year.  That's a pretty interesting tale in itself.  But - not enough beer!

Maybe the fact that they suspended me on petty grounds helped the station recognize the need for more transparency & democracy (later on, the by-laws were changed to allow direct election of Board members by the station membership, for example), & if so, it was worth it to sit out two months of radio, even if it was & has always been the thing I love to do the most.  But how would I know such things?  In the middle of it, it was pretty awful.

Now, though, the elephant show can be actual instead of imaginary.  & it's happening tomorrow night!

(By the way - on the show tomorrow, I will play only seven or eight of the songs I "played" on that first show - which is a reason to revisit themes - new stuff is always out there!)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fourteen Years Ago

There it is, the first playlist from the first Self Help Radio, which aired at 2pm Central on October 9, 2002 (a Wednesday) on 91.7 fm KOOP in Austin.  There are some things to note about that show.

1) There appears to be a Self Help Radio show before the first Self Help Radio.  It's not.  At that time period there was a show called "The Pilot Show" which I, as a member of the Training Committee, oversaw.  That particular day, the trainee either flaked or there wasn't a trainee scheduled - so it was up to me to fill the hour.  Most probably I knew there was no one scheduled for that time, which is why I had a theme prepared.

2) Technically, I had done a couple of theme-based shows previous to this one, on a Friday morning slot that I had to give up.  (I sort of told the story here, but suffice it to say, I could do either slot, but the fellow who had the Wednesday show would have preferred Friday, & I said cool.)  I don't count those because I didn't have a name for the show nor an intro.  This show felt like the beginning to me.

3) There is a misspelling of a band on the very first playlist there that I have corrected (on the html; I haven't uploaded it to the server yet) that has been there as long as I've had playlists on my website.  My apologies to the band.  & how embarrassing for me!

4) So eager was I to show off how many songs I had for a particular theme that I couldn't fit into an hour-long show that, for the first few playlists, I noted a few of those leftover songs.  That's what that "more war not broadcast" line means.  I soon realized that was dumb, & stopped doing it.

5) You might be curious why my first show would be about war.  Well, at the time, we had a President who desperately wanted to go to war with a country called Iraq, & was frantically looking for (& not finding, so fabricating) evidence to go to war.  Everyone knows that the United States invaded Iraq in March of the next year, but war was in the air already in October.  My friends & I really, really hoped the warmongering would lead to Bush losing in Congress, but also in the air was the spirit of 9/11.  So, darn.

That may be all to note.  I have the show on cassette somewhere, & that cassette is still in Lexington, or maybe I'd digitize it & share it.  Maybe next year!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Fourteen Years

Here are some things that may happen to you once you're fourteen years old:

According to this,

"By age 14, it's common for teens to:

show signs of puberty:
in boys, testicular enlargement is followed by penile lengthening & the growth of pubic hair; most boys start puberty between 9 & 15 years of age;
girls continue breast development, grow pubic hair, & possibly begin menstruation. The first menstrual period usually occurs by age 13, but can come as late as age 15;
both have oily skin &/or acne;
both yearn for peer acceptance, independence, & time to be alone;
both focus on personal appearance & behavior (because they think all eyes are on them)"

There's more here.

It's very hard to think of Self Help Radio going through puberty because I don't want to have to deal with that again.

Or do radio shows age differently than human beings?  & if so, how?