Thursday, June 15, 2017

Self Help Radio 061417: Visions

(The original is here.  Apologies for defacing a classic.)

Here you go.  Two hours of music & talk about visions.  All kinds of visions, from the strictly supernatural to the selfishly personal.  I think I learned something.  Is that rare?

In addition to all the music - which, as you can see below, ran the gamut from 60s psych to 80s synthpop, with stuff in-between & outside around - I had the chance to chat with a true visionary, with our friend Allen who is a pesky know-it-all, & to my spiritual mentor who has had more visions, I'll bet, than I've had hot meals.  Sure, there was some silliness here & there, but when is there not?  I must ask you, sir or ma'am, when is there not?  That's what I thought.

Perhaps this is enough to entice.  You may find the show now at the Self Help Radio website.  As always, pay attention to username/password information that's on the page.  The show is in two parts, each roughly or tenderly an hour long.  The songs I play in the parts are listed below.  Should I also list when the interviews happen?  I may start doing that.  It might be helpful.

The show is not responsible for any visions it may induced while listening.  Standard disclaimer.

(part one)

"Visions" The Looking Glasses _30 Seconds Before The Calico Wall_
"Visions" Letting Up Despite Great Faults _Untogether_
"Visions" Soko _My Dreams Dictate My Reality_

"Visions Pt. 1" Skyway Man _Seen Comin' From A Mighty Eye_
"Vision Of '61" The Embarrassment _God Help Us_
"Vision Board" Maria Bamford _Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome_
"Visions Of China" Japan _Tin Drum_
"Visions Of Domino" T.Rex _Dandy In The Underworld_

"Blind Vision" Blancmange _Mange Tout_
"You Are In My Vision" Tubeway Army _Replicas_
"Distance Equals Rate Times Time" The Pixies _Trompe Le Monde_
"Visions/Revisions" Adult Books _Running From The Blows_

"Visions Of Blue" Ultravox _Quartet_

(part two)

"Vision In Rags" Young Knives _Ornaments From The Silver Arcade_
"Some Grand Vision Of Motives & Irony" The Loud Family _Plants & Birds & Rocks & Things_
"Double Visions" Mini Mansions _The Great Pretender_

"Visions Of Sugarplums" John Davidson _Goin' Places_
"(Vision) In A Plaster Sky" Basil _Magic Cube_
"Thoughts & Visions" The Liberty Bell _Revolution! Teen Time In Corpus Christi (1965-1970)_
"Visions Of Johanna" Bob Dylan _Blonde On Blonde_

"The Vision Of Peregrine Worsthorne" McCarthy _I Am A Wallet_
"A Vision" Seapony _A Vision_
"Visions Of Old Machinery" Hood _Singles Compiled_
"Nightvision" Ornaments _Nightvision_

"A Powerful Vision" Legowelt _Amiga Railroad Adventures_

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Whither Visions?

(Image from here.)

Yesterday on this blog, I made the comment that I believed that visions & hallucinations are basically the same thing, & I had an anecdote to back up why I think that.  Today I was looking around, in preparation for tonight's show, & found this article about the difference between visions & hallucinations.  More looking around found this page, Basic Information About Voices & Visions, both of which have tempered my views somewhat.

Not that I now think that there's much of a difference, but that the way they're perceived makes all the difference.  In other words, they're of the same substance, but in general people who have visions tend to believe they're different than hallucinations.  The second website, with is called "hearing-voices dot org," has a comments section which is full of people who claim to hear things they know are not there.  The site asserts that between three to ten percent of the population hear things that others don't.  Visions are far less likely, but even if it's one in a hundred that seems like a hell of a lot.

Perhaps we'll get into this on the show.  It's a fascinating subject, & also it makes me a little sad - I kinda wish I heard voices at least some of the time, & would've loved a vision or two.  Instead, I have had audial & visual hallucinations only on drugs, or when unwell, like with a fever.  I comfort myself with the Shriekback line, "My dreams are visions."  I guess I can live with that.

Tonight's show airs from 9-11pm eastern, 8-10pm central on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & online at Lexington Community Radio online.  Lots of music, lots of guests, lots of visions!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Preface To Visions: The Ugly Truth

Despite what I might say on my show tomorrow - & who knows what I will say? - I don't really believe people have visions.

Wait.  I need to qualify.  I believe people have visions.  I believe that they believe that they see things that aren't there which tell them things that they believe.  This is one of the definitions of vision: "The mystical experience of seeing something that is not in fact present to the eye or is supernatural."*

As I've probably said before, I don't have any supernatural beliefs.  But I do believe that people can hallucinate - I've done so myself - & yet, I don't believe there is much difference between a hallucination & a vision.  Ultimately, a vision is a hallucination one believes is real.

This is anecdotal & so has no real scientific backup, but I'll tell this story about the first time I did acid:

Before one takes acid, if one consults with people who've done acid, one gets an abundance of information.  How one will feel, what one will see, the things one will experience, etc.  One of my friends, a colleague at work named Eric, told me that the first time he tripped, he felt connected to everything through "the divine."  Eric was raised as a Christian & abandoned his religiousness in his teen years for a kind of hippie-like sense of a god of love surrounding & comforting all.

But you see, I was raised with no religion at all.  At an early age, I came to the conclusion that religions in general weren't much different from one another, so it seemed quite odd to me that one might pick one over another - the stories of the Greek myths, in my mind, seemed much more satisfying than the heroics of the Old Testament, but it didn't mean one was more true than another.

Indeed, as a child of the 1970s, the mystical coolness of The Force in the Star Wars movies seemed much more preferable than anything being espoused by adults or kids around me.  (I am glad that Grand Master Lucas chose to ruin it with midichlorians when I was an adult & couldn't give a fuck.)

The point is, without any religious indoctrination, my brain was free to explore the things that made up my belief system, & so my first acid trip was (unsurprisingly) untainted by anything supernatural.  I knew that everything happening to me was biological, chemical, & that there wasn't an "unseen world" that acid would lead me to explore.  & by the way, this was supported by future trips.  In all my experiences with acid, I never saw god, angels, devils, demons, or any of those things.  I think this was because I didn't believe they existed.

Does this mean the show about "visions" will be some kind of skeptic killjoy?  Nah.  That wouldn't be any fun, now, would it?

* Definition from the Free Dictionary.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Do you have a favorite equation?  I don't think I do.  But that sentence popped into my head today & I started thinking: I bet mathematicians & physicists & chemists have favorite equations.  Why wouldn't they?

This site has thirteen favorites.  Everyone is probably partial to E=MC squared because it's usually the only one anyone has heard of.  Plus, it's a pretty bitchin' Big Audio Dynamite tune.

But I think I like this one (image from the site linked above):

It's the equation for the Standard Model & I think it's kinda hot.

Heck, I might even try to memorize it.  But not tonight.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Decision Has Been Made

(Though it isn't currently reflected on the website.  Okay.  Now it is.)

The past few weeks - because, I can be honest about this, I plan my shows weeks in advance - I have been wondering if the show should be about "vision" - which is to say "the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight" - definition courtesy of - or about visions - the plural version of this definition: "an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency" - (also thanks to

Well.  A decision has been made.

The show this week will be about the second definition.

Truth be told, I wanted it to be about the second definition.  But I wasn't sure I'd have enough songs to fill a two-hour show with.  But I think I will.

& if not?  I'll describe my own visions to you.  What?  You think I'm kidding?  You do not know what you are trifling with, friend.  You do not know.