Thursday, June 22, 2017

Self Help Radio 062117: Venus

(Original image here.)

We went to Venus & back this week!  We took a goddess with us!  It was intense!

& also quite silly.  I won't lie.  There was silly astronomy & silly mythology.  & this was just in the interviews!  The songs were probably also somewhat silly as well.  Frankly I don't know how you put up with it.  Oh, you just don't listen?  Fair enough.

The show is now available for interplanetary listening at the Self Help Radio website.  Pay attention - you'll need a username & password to listen, & those are on the site's first page.  It's divided into two more or less equal parts - each around sixty minutes each - & the songs played in those parts are below.

Wear something loose & comfortable - it's hot on Venus!

(part one)

"Life On Venus" The Tornados _Ridin' The Wind: The Anthology_
"Transmissions From Venus '94" Man Or Astroman? _Astro Launch_
"Destination Venus" The Rezillos _Can't Stand The Rezillos: The (Almost) Complete Rezillos_

"Venus" Sam Cooke _Hits Of The 50s_
"Venus In Blue Jeans" Jimmy Clanton _Venus In Blue Jeans_
"Love Hymn To Aphrodite" The Mountain Goats _Hot Garden Stomp_
"Venus In Furs" The Velvet Underground _The Velvet Underground & Nico_

"The Song From Venus" Stephin Merritt _Obscurities_
"Girl From Venus" Perrey & Kingsley _In Sound From Way Out_
"Killer Robots From Venus" The Arrogant Worms _Russell's Shorts_
"Big Eyed Beans From Venus" Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band _Clear Spot_

"Venus" Television _Marquee Moon_

(part two)

"Venus" Nervus Rex _Nervus Rex_
"Mars Loves Venus" The Brunettes _Mars Loves Venus_
"One Touch Of Venus" Greta Keller _American Songbook Series: Kurt Weill_

"Venus Loon" T.Rex _Zinc Alloy & The Hidden Riders Of Tomorrow_
"Jet Silver & The Dolls Of Venus" Be-Bop Deluxe _Singles A's & B's_
"Venusian Star" Licorice Roots _Strangers In Marshmallow Boots_
"Ultra-Powerful Short Wave Radio Picks Up Music From Venus" Yo La Tengo _Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo_

"Venus Eccentric" Neon Hearts _Short Sharp Shock_
"Venus" X-Teens _Big Boy's Dream_
"Shapes Of Venus" Clone Defects _Shapes Of Venus_
"Venus" The Wedding Present _Saturnalia_
"Sunray Venus" Throwing Muses _Purgatory/Paradise_

"53 Miles West Of Venus" The B-52s _Wild Planet_
"Nightflight To Venus" Boney M. _Nightflight To Venus_

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Whither Venus?

(Nice map of Venus, in case you get lost on the planet, from here.)

Trying to remember when I first thought of doing a show about Venus...  I can't.  But I know I was thinking about the planet, not the goddess.  I'm an astronomy nerd.  I was very excited, for example, when the first images of Pluto were appearing a couple of years ago.  It makes me a little sad that our lives are consumed by the small section of the universe we occupy, that many of us don't look up at the sky & think about the immensity in which we live.

But at some point I realized I should be thinking about the goddess, a goddess of love, who shares her name - well, who gave her name, in a sense - to the planet.  Initially, I thought to myself, "Shouldn't I save it maybe for a Valentine's Day show?"  (I am still regretting wasting Cupid on a non-Valentine's Day show
.)  But as I gathered songs - & jeez there are a lot of songs about Venus - I realized that it would be best to share the show with planet & goddess songs as the planet & the goddess share the name.  Plus four people voted for that!
So, you know, I feel obligated.

The show about Venus is on tonight from 8-10pm central, 9-11pm eastern, on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington, & online everywhere at the Lexington Community Radio web site (choose WLXU).  Lots of songs, lots of guests, less & less of me - just like you like it!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Preface To Venus: THAT SONG

(image from here.)

People have told me the classic song about Venus is this one, Frankie Avalon's Venus</รข>. Written by Ed Marshall & Peter DeAngelis, the song was Avalon's first number one hit, & probably is most familiar to people my age & younger from its use in the TV show Dexter, as one season's serial killer's theme song.  I'm sure that's something Avalon hoped for when he recorded the tune in the late 1950s.

But for me, & people like me, who grew up in the 1980s, it's the Bananarama song that is most familiar.  This song was on MTV every hour of every day for what seemed like years.  It didn't hurt that the women in the band were super cute.  I might have watched the video for that very reason.  But it was a little freaky when, because I was barely out of my teens, I discovered the song was a cover of a song from the 1960s.  In the 1980s there were loads of covers.  Each one seemed to surprise me anew.

For someone doing a radio show, situations like this find one at a crossroads.  Play the original?  Play the famous cover?  Ignore?  Redefine?  Abort!

Maybe you don't feel this.  Certainly for some this is an easy solution.  Not this radio show!  In the collection of the person responsible for this mess (me), there are five or more covers of this song.  What to do?  What to do?

Luckily there are so many songs about both the goddess & the planet Venus that this will end up being no big deal.  But still - there's always more to agonize about, you know?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Poll Results! Something Else!

Recently I put up a poll up on Twitter asking if this week's show, which has the theme "Venus," should be about the planet, the goddess, or both?

Actually, the poll is still active - you can vote if you want on Twitter - but as of now, with a whopping
four votes, "both" leads at 75%!  So I guess that's what I'll do, then.  Don't say I never listen to you!

Here's something else: I'll be subbing the Tuesday Morning Blend on KNON in Dallas tomorrow morning from 7-9am central time.  It's basically a freeform show so there won't be a theme or anything, but if you'd like to hear me on the radio, & you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, it's on the air at 89.3 fm, & if you're anywhere else, or in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in front of a computer, it's at KNON dot org.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Staring At NASA Photos All Father's Day Long

(Like this one, from here.)

Hey, if you haven't spent any time just wandering around the NASA image of the day page, you're missing out on some lovely pictures of places & things humans don't think too much about.

It's funny, I often wonder what it would be like to see the earth from space, but now that I think about it, it would be much, much more interesting to see space from space.

Anyway, in preparation for this week's show, which is about the second planet from our sun, it might be good to brush up with basic facts about Venus.  I know I have been!

By the way, happy father's day to the appropriate folk.  I never really knew my father, & he's no longer with us, so the holiday in general hasn't meant that much to me.  & frankly, my children - four dogs & four cats - are total assholes & didn't get me one gift this year.  Ingrates.  Even now, at least four of them are curling up on the sofa with their mother!