Thursday, June 08, 2017

Self Help Radio 060717: Rising

(Original image here.)

This is it, the Self Help Radio show with the theme "rising."  But why, Gary? I hear you ask, maybe even more than you actually ask.  Why a show about rising?  & what's next?  Stumbling?  Leaning?  Ambling?

Those are all excellent ideas & we'll get to work on them.  But for now, please enjoy this week's offering about rising, featuring not only an interesting mix of songs (how many shows have both Red Lorry Yellow Lorry & Johnny Cash on them?) but also interesting guests: my spiritual mentor the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently, SuperPAC CFO David Fruchter, & architect CJ Buchanan.  Add to that the fact that Houston duo Tania + Holy Worm wrote an excellent tune for the show & I can't imagine why you'd let something like a ridiculous theme stop you from listening.

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website.  If you've never listened before, please note that you'll be asked for a username & a password; these are available in the words at the top at the page, under the logo.  The show is in two parts, each about an hour in length.  What songs are played in each part is below.

It strikes me that if the show had had the theme "falling," no one would think it so weird.  That's all.

(part one)

"Rise" The Sisters Love _Give Me Your Love_
"Rise" The Perfect Disaster _Heaven Scent_
"Rise" 14 Iced Bears _Let The Breeze Open Our Hearts_

"My Bones Gonna Rise Again" Dave & Howard _Black & White Hillbilly Music: Early Harmonica Recordings 1920-30s_
"We Will Rise" The Shaky Hands _The Shaky Hands_
"Sandman's On The Rise Again" Felt _Rain Of Crystal Spires_
"Rise" Public Image Ltd _Compact Disc_

"Rising High Water Blues" Blind Lemon Jefferson _The Rough Guide To Blind Lemon Jefferson_
"Five Feet High & Rising" Johnny Cash _Five Feet High & Rising/A Cash Country Collection_
"Rising Sea" The Strange Death Of Liberal England _Drown Your Heart Again_
"Everything That Rises Must Converge" Shriekback _Oil & Gold_

"Rising" Tania + Holy Worm _Rising_

(part two)

"Scum, Rise!" Protomartyr _Under Color Of Official Right_
"Rise Up" The Commodores _Funk Drops: Breaks, Nuggets, & Rarities_
"Rise Up" Foxygen _Hang_

"Rise To The Groove" The Rose Of Avalanche _The Rose Of Avalanche_
"A Darkness Rises Up" Broken Records _Let Me Come Home_
"Early Riser" Plus-Tech Squeeze Box _Fakevox_
"Early To Rise" Nice & Smooth _Nice & Smooth_

"High Rise" Girlpool _Powerplant_
"Highrise" Tall Dwarfs _3 EPs_
"High Rise" The Cherry Orchard _Grimsby Fishmarket 4 Norrkoeping 0_
"Rise (I Hope One Day)" Neon Judgement _Mafu Cage_

"The Rise" Red Lorry Yellow Lorry _Nothing Wrong_
"Rise & Fall" Madness _The Rise & Fall_
"The Rise & Fall" The Thought _The Thought_

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Whither Rising?

(Too much rising! From here.)

You wouldn't think that one could find two hours of music about bread rising, & in fact that's true.  There will not be two hours of songs about bread rising on Self Help Radio tonight.  Which I think is a shame.  Hey musicians!  More songs about bread, please.  It's an important part of the diet of humans who haven't convinced themselves they're gluten-intolerant!  In fact, I would argue that people enjoy bread much more often than things like love or sex.  But not that creepy unleavened stuff - we need bread that rises!

You'll have to make do with other things rising.  Which will happen tonight on WLXU 93.9 fm in Lexington from 9-11pm Lexingtime + online everywhere at Lexington Community Radio dot org.  You have to adjust for the difference in time zone if you're not in Lexington, though.  For example, in Fort Worth, Texas, it's on from 8-10pm.  You see.  I bet you can figure out.

Meanwhile.  Let's get more songs about bread, bread rising, baking bread, that sort of thing.  Start thinking of that.  I'll be here when you're done.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Preface To Rising: Turning Points

Whatever reason the show has the theme this week, I approached it with a kind of dread.  Rising?  What the fuck sort of theme is rising?

Add to that the fact that I had already done a show, three years ago, about sunrise.  Wouldn't that hamstring a show about rising?  What else rises, but the sun, & maybe bread?

But over the course of the few days I took gathering material for the show, something happened.  Something always happens.  Maybe it's just that there's a giant library of music that I have access to (my record & CD & digital music collection).  Maybe it's that I have a goofy process for looking for songs online.  Maybe it's that, despite doing this for years, I generally imagine I'm always going to fall short of the necessary two hours of music required for doing a proper show.  Despite/because of all that I steel myself for disappointment & instead find myself with too much!  There were too many songs about rising!  It's making the show hard to put together!

This probably sounds like a minor problem, but like with a fever - how long has it been since you've had a fever?  Do you remember, the last time you had a fever, that moment when the fever broke?  It's almost like an epiphany when a fever breaks.  If I am asleep, & the fever breaks, I will wake, & I will feel a calm that I assume is like when an acolyte finds herself in meditation for the first, & she is able to clear her mind completely.  It's that good.

In fact, it's a wonder I don't try to give myself horrible colds so I can experience more fevers.

A similar sort of thing happens when I realize that the show has come together.  I will stop what I am doing & take a breath.  Sometimes I don't even know I've done such a thing until after the fact.  I'll say, Oh yeah, when I listened to that song, I knew it would be all right.

Which is my way of saying that happened just today.  I realized that - whether it's actually going to be a good show or not - this week's Self Help Radio would pass my own test for a decent mix of music.

This is not a thing I expect, even after all this time.  It still surprises me.  It surprised me today.

That's a good thing, right?

Monday, June 05, 2017

It's The Every Things I Regret

Someone wrote me an email late last night - I know who, I'm just not telling you - with this line:

My new boyfriend is a poet.

It might seem interesting that my friend is dating a poet.  For some.  For me, there's nothing inherently interesting about anyone dating a poet - I guess I don't see a poet as an 'other,' an unusual character in our society.  I know at least three people who make some part of their living as "poets," & many more with whom I've shared my own poems with as they've shared theirs with me.  I don't think of myself as a poet, but I think most everyone has a touch of the poet in them.  As Robert Heinlein once said, "A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits."

The thing that interests me is the first part of the sentence - the subject & its modifiers.  My new boyfriend.  I am charmed by that half of the sentence.  As someone who's married, & has been with the same person - happily, I add, with only a few quibbles - since 2001, & who - perhaps mistakenly, but honestly so - doesn't imagine being with someone else for at least the rest of this life, I think wistfully about the phrase my new boyfriend.

When did I ever use that phrase (with its gender corrected for my own predilections)?  Was it in 2001, when I was introducing my Magda to people.  Would I say, "This is my new girlfriend, Magda"?  That would be strange, wouldn't it?  But surely I must've thought about it.  Or I must've thought, in lonely times, "When will I ever have a new girlfriend?"

Because I often felt like I had to ask a woman whether, after dating for a time, we were actually boyfriend/girlfriend & not, in the 1990s parlance, just "hanging out."  In one particularly disastrous case, I remember taking aside a very lovely girl, with whom I was in fact "hanging out," & asking her if she wanted to be my girlfriend.  She didn't answer, exactly - she didn't talk much at all - but I understood that she was telling me "no."'

That may be why I haven't really had all that many girlfriends.  Proper girlfriends, who agreed to the terms.  I "hung out" with a bunch of women.  Then we stopped "hanging out."  We never "broke up."

Actually, it's unusual perhaps for someone to say "my new boyfriend."  It's more likely for someone to say "your new boyfriend."  You know it's new, but you don't usually put it that way.  So what is my friend up to?  Have I not been paying attention?  Do boyfriends get replaced with such rapidity that every new one needs to be stamped as such?  Would it be rude to ask?

Reading that sentence - just its first half, actually - last night I felt a little sad I would never have a "new girlfriend" ever again.  But it's just as well, because, it turns out, I've only been able to say such a thing a very few times in my life.  & even then, I didn't.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

State Park Report

The closest State Park to where I currently live* is Cedar Hill State Park.  It's in Cedar Hill, Texas, & according to Google maps, it's 31 miles away.  According the camp's website, linked above, "Argentine ants, an invasive species, are in some campsites at this park."

Holy shit!  Argentine ants!  What the fuck?  The ones that look like this (image from their Wikipedia page:

I hope that's not actual size!

The website continues: "The ants do not sting."

Oh.  Oh.  Okay.  Well.  Why should I care, then?  (Cue Wikipedia.)

"The ants are ranked among the world's 100 worst animal invaders. In its introduced range, the Argentine ant often displaces most or all native ants. This can, in turn, imperil other species in the ecosystem, such as native plants that depend on native ants for seed dispersal, or lizards that depend on native ants for food. For example, the recent severe decline in coastal horned lizards in southern California is closely tied to Argentine ants displacing native ant species on which the lizards feed."

So not only are they assholes, but also there are lizards who are like, "Have you tasted Argentine ants?  No thank you!  I'd rather let my species severely decline, thank you too damn much."

Still, they let dogs on their trails - some Texas parks don't do that - so it might be a nice place to go to take the dogs for a walk.  Something to think about, anyway.

"Please be prepared to treat around your vehicle & camping equipment."  Fucking Argentine ants!

* You remember I don't live in Kentucky anymore, right?