Thursday, May 25, 2017

Self Help Radio 052417: Questions

(Original image here.)

Despite the fact that you think you know me, that you think because this week's show was about questions, I will not pepper this post-show summary with a bunch of questions.  Because although I am often obvious, & sadly predictable, I am also moderately self-aware & realize when I am being corny, hacky, & tiresome.  Not always, but sometimes, & I realize that, after a show about questions in which I often added questions to the airbreaks to emphasize that the show was about questions, doing that now is just too much.

Instead, in simple declarative sentences, I will just inform you that this week's show is now available for listening to, no questions asked, at the Self Help Radio web page, where you will be asked for a username & a password, both of which are on the page, so don't be freaked out by that.  The show is in two parts, around an hour each, & feature lots of music about questions, as well as interviews with a spiritual dude, a know-it-all, & an educator.  The songs I played are listed below.

It was a fun show to make so I hope it's fun to listen to.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Well.  That was easy!  Wasn't it.

(part one)

"Too Many Questions" The Wave Pictures _If You Leave It Alone_
"Sex & Question Marks" The Wombats _Glitterbug_
"A Question Of Temperature" The Balloon Farm _Nuggets (Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968) Vol. 3_

"Questions I Can't Answer" Dan Atello _Ya Gotta Have Moxie, Vol. 1_
"The Burning Question" Bill Nelson _The Two-Fold Aspect Of Everything_
"Hospital Questionnaire" Tig Notaro _Live_
"Hunderttausend Fragen" Vicky Leandros _Pop In Germany, Vol. 5_

"Question This" Milk Kan _The Junk Shop_
"There Are More Questions Than Answers" Johnny Nash _I Can See Clearly Now_
"(We'd Like To) Pose A Question" The L.A. Carnival _Would Like To Pose A Question_
"A Question Of Lust" Depeche Mode _Black Celebration_

"Don't Ask Me Questions" Graham Parker _Howlin' Wind_

(part two)

"Questioningly" The Just Joans _No More Of Your Fairy Stories: An Indiepop Loveletter To The Ramones_
"A Lover's Question" Clyde McPhatter _Greatest Hits_
"2 My Question" Dressy Bessy _Little Music_

"Questions I Can't Answer" Hydroplane _Darla 100_
"Question Girl All Right" Boston Spaceships _Zero To 99_
"Vet Questionnaire" Mike Birbiglia _Dog Years_
"Question Ball" The Bongos _Drums Along The Hudson_
"Ask Me No Questions" Johnny Thunders _So Alone_

"Don't Ask Me No Questions" Lord Charles & The Prophets _Quagmire, Vol. 3_
"It's Out Of The Question" The Isley Brothers _The Motown Anthology_
"I Keep Asking You Questions" Black Ivory _Shaolin Soul (Episode 2)_
"Question The Answer" Shiela Chandra _Nada Brahma_

"Who Cares What The Question Is?" A Band Of Bees _Octopus_
"Question Mark" This Poison! _Magazine 1986-1988

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Whither Questions?

(Image from here.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that I kinda stole the idea for this week's show from another radio show.

But oh I can hear you say, or is it just me, "Gary, every radio show does some kind of theme every now & then.  You're the weirdo that's been doing a show where there's a different theme each week for like fifteen years!"

It's true, I guess, but I do listen to a show - & I've mentioned it before - on the college radio station in Fort Worth called Night Skool which also organizes itself around particular themes.  Last week's show, for example, was new music from the past few years, while the week before was a "non-sequitur" show.  But a couple weeks before that, the show was a question show, which may seem familiar to anyone who is reading this that has caught on that this week's Self Help Radio is also a show about questions.

But you know I can't do anything in a straightforward manner, even copying something, so where Night Skool featured songs that asked questions - like "What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted?" or "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" - Self Help Radio is featuring songs about questions.  That means that my show isn't entirely a rip-off of the Night Skool show.  But I had to say that I was inspired by the other program to explore this week's theme.

So I guess I shouldn't have said "stole the idea."  Maybe I just wanted to be a little dramatic.  Perhaps also I thought you might be more interested in a dumb explanation of why a dumb radio show has another dumb theme if there were larceny involved.  Did it work?

Self Help Radio's playing songs about questions tonight on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & online everywhere at Lexington Community Radio dot org.  From 9-11pm eastern, 8-10pm central.  I hope you'll listen.

Wait.  Maybe I should say: I hope you'll listen?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Preface To Questions: Garrulous Vs Querulous

One day I was driving in a car with my high school American History teacher, Mr. Bridwell.  He had taken me to a bookstore - & before you say anything, I know it's weird to hang out with teachers when you're in high school, but I admired him, & he seemed to like me & it was fun going to a bookstore with him because we both loved books.  One time, I remember, when I saw him later, when I was in college, & deeply in love with The Smiths, I quoted Morrissey to him:

There's more to life than books, you know
But not much more

He laughed approvingly.

Anyway, we were in a car, & he was in a good mood, & he made a little joke to himself about me, almost as if I weren't even there, because I was yammering away about something, he said, "Garrulous Gary."  Because I did talk & talk & talk in those days, & mostly about meaningless stuff.  I did, & I do.  But he had made a funny in his head with a word & my name, & he said it out loud, & he laughed.

The weird thing is, since he wasn't talking to me, & he said it somewhat quietly, I thought he said, "Querulous Gary."  & I stopped talking because, well, I knew what that word meant.  It means complaining & whining.  & I didn't think I was doing that.  (I knew the word's meaning, actually, because it was an SAT word I had learned the previous year.)

My feelings were a little hurt, but I did my best to hide them, & probably wasn't as chatty the rest of the drive.  Luckily we were on our way home when this happened.

Why didn't I ever ask him why he said that?  It would have been a simple question!  Because, as you might have realized, I heard him later called me "Garrulous Gary" & realized I had misheard.

But just asking at the time would have saved me a lot of hurt feelings.

Monday, May 22, 2017

These Despairing Carp

No, he said at himself, that sounds too much like a Robyn Hitchcock song title.

Not an album? said the creature reading his thoughts.

Not an album, he said at himself, because the thoughts of the creature reading his thoughts sounded, in his head, like his own thoughts.

That's why, the creature now reading my thoughts said to me, I am so lonesome.

You're in luck! I told the creature reading my thoughts.  For I have made you up, & therefore I know you exist.  In fact, I continued, I even know what kind of creature you are!

What about me? said the person who was going to be the protagonist of this little tale until the creature who could read thoughts turned out to be far more interesting.

Ignore him, said the creature reading my thoughts.  Maybe write a tragedy for him?  Like an elevator falling on his shoes?

But, I said to the creature reading my thoughts, though I knew I was being overheard by the person who was previously going to be the protagonist of this story, I didn't originally think this would a tragedy.  I had hoped it would be a little funny.  Perhaps whimsical.  I mean, it's called "These Despairing Carp!"

That sounds sad, said the creature reading my thoughts.  Who wants carp to be sad?

Jeff, said the person who was, at this story's outset, its hero.

What? I said.

My name is Jeff, Jeff said.

That's fascinating, I said to Jeff.  Because I hadn't given you a name.

You had, Jeff replied.  You just hadn't written it down.

The subconscious can be fucking strange, I said admiringly.

& lonely! said the creature reading my thoughts.

Well, I said to both of them, I appear to have backed myself into a narrative corner.

How so? asked Jeff, because he thought I was only talking to him.

Not to hurt your feelings, I said, but I am no longer interested in you as the protagonist, & frankly I am finding the creature who can read our thoughts to be a little too self-pitying.

The what that can do what? said Jeff.

Great, said the creature who could read our thoughts, now I have to kill him.

What would I think such a thing? Jeff asked himself.  I am a monster! he cried, running far away.

The creature who could read my thoughts then turned to me & said, I guess I'll have to kill you now.

Honestly, I said, I am really surprised this took such a dark turn.  However, I have the perfect way to stop you from hurting me or anyone.

What is that? said the creature who could read my thoughts, skeptically.

Oh, I said, it's this:


Then I pushed "publish" on the blog & went to go eat an apple.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What Kind Of Fantastic Trees Have You Got Growing Around Here?

You live long enough, the world finds its way back to both brilliance & tragedy.  I am so happy I get to return to Twin Peaks tonight.