Thursday, July 27, 2017

Self Help Radio 072617: The Crooked Show

(Original image here.)

My apologies if this show is a little more ramshackle than most - I was incredibly sleep-deprived when I made it, having had to emergency sub at KNON in Dallas two days in a row.  But it makes a little sense that my brain felt a little crooked while I was doing a crooked show, yes?

Personally I think it all came together quite nicely, & I didn't have to resort to crooked means to make the show work.  But much of it I believe was helped by the nice people who agreed to talk to me: famous author of "The Crooked Man" detective novels, Sir David Fruchter; quite possibly crooked philanthropists Leo & Cassandra Di Crew; & my utterly straight-laced spiritual mentor the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently.  When you make a show with dependable guests as well as good music, it doesn't matter if it's a bit crooked.  In my stupid opinion.

The show can be listened to in any fashion, crooked or no, at the Self Help Radio website.  You will need this info: username SHR, password selfhelp.  Trust me.  The show is in two parts, the songs I played as well as the interviews are noted below.

Now straighten up & fly right!

(part one)

"Crooked Little House" Jimmie Rodgers _At Home With Jimmie Rodgers - An Evening Of Folk Songs_
"The Crooked Line" Elvis Costello _Secret, Profane, & Sugarcane_
"Two Crooked Hearts" Langhorne Slim & The Law _The Way We Move_

"Your Picture's Hanging Crooked On The Wall" Anita O'Day _The Complete Anita O'Day Verve/Clef Sessions_
"Crooked Piece Of Time" John Prine _Bruised Orange_
"Crooked Mile" Minisnap _Bounce Around_
"Crooked" Kristin Hersh _Crooked_

interview with mystery writer Sir David Fruchter

"My Crooked Crown" Her Space Holiday _XOXO Panda & The New Kid Revival_
"Crooked Mile" Peter Case _Full Service No Waiting_
"The Crooked Place" Glass Eye _Hello Young Lovers_
"Crooked Dreams" Masha Qrella _Analogies_

"The Crooked Beat" The Clash _Sandinista!_

(part two)

"Crooked Woman Blues" Barbecue Bob _Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1: 1927-1928_
"Crooked Woman" Edd Henry _Eccentric Soul: The Big Mack Label_
"Crooked Cigarette" The Reverend Horton Heat _It's Martini Time_

interview with philanthropists Leo & Cassandra Di Crew

"Crooked Lines" The Go-Betweens _Bright Orange Bright Yellow_
"My Crooked Arms" Math & Physics Club _Our Hearts Beat Out Loud_
"The Crooked Man" Joan Gerber _The Story Lady_
"Crooked Paper Clip" Cats On Fire _Dealing In Antiques_
"Crooked Street" Neil Diamond _The Complete Bang Recordings_

interview with the Reverend Doctor Howard Gently

"The Crooked Trail To Holbrook" Slim Critchlow _Cowboy Songs_
"Crooked Dice" Leo Ogletree _Rock & Roll - Original Masters_
"Crooked-Eyed Engineer" Michael J. Sheehy _With These Hands: The Rise & Fall Of Francis Delaney_
"Crooked Road & The Briar" Calexico _Aerocalexico_
"Crooked Man" Eleni Mandell _I Can See The Future_

"Crooked Composure" Tania & Juan _Crooked Composure_
"Kid With Crooked Face" Bob Mould _Beauty & Ruin_

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Whither The Crooked Show?

(From a blog about crooked house, here.)

Last night I was on the radio on a different station in a different town from the station on which Self Help Radio airs.  Before the show, I was telling someone at the station about Self Help Radio & its different themes, & she asked, "What do you mean, themes?"  When I explained, she asked for examples.  As usual, my mind drew a blank - once I've done a show, it seems like my brain does a core dump & I can't remember the most recent themes explored.  It's frustrating, but it's understandable - once a show is done, I need to concentrate on the next.  But I did know what this week's show is about, so I said, "This week's show is called the crooked show."

At which point he said, "Like crooked Hillary?"

Oh no! I thought.  Is that the reason the word "crooked" found its way into my brain, making me want to do a radio show about crooked things?

By the way, she said it with a smile - she wasn't supporting the current president or anything - but the power of repetition is striking - when looking for images of crooked things, like the one above, I typed "crooked" into Google image search, & one of the first images was of course Hillary Clinton.  (To be fair, a couple rows down there were pictures of Trump, which might not be what he wanted when he said that word so many times.)

Frankly I can't really say.  I certainly hope not.  But the reasons for each theme are not always so clear.  They never have been.  Something strikes me, I let it germinate, eventually there's either a show or there isn't.  The crooked show made it.  I don't think I'll mention the election or unfounded allegations tonight, but it just might be what got me thinking in the first place.

Anyway, if you want to hear Self Help Radio be more crooked than it's ever been, the show is on tonight from 9-11pm eastern, 8-10pm central, on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & online at the Lexington Community Radio web site, especially if you choose WLXU.  Anyway, I am not a crooked!  Or something like that.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Preface To The Broken Show: On Other Radio

This has been an exhausting few days, radio-wise.

First I was asked to sub a show on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.  That would be tonight.  It's a jazz show.  I was asked last Thursday.  I started gathering the jazz.

Then I was told it was promised to someone else.  I put away the jazz.

Then the Station Manager of KNON told me he wanted me to do one of the nights; the other sub would do the other.  I dragged the jazz out & listened to jazz almost all weekend long.

Last night as I was falling asleep, I got a call from the Station Manager and the fellow who normally does the show.  The other sub didn't show up!  Could I do it?  I drove the forty-five minutes to Dallas in the middle of the night & jazzed for two hours.  It was not an inspiring set.

This morning I got two calls from the Station Manager.  The first said yes, I should also do the show tonight.  I was ready to marshal all the jazz.  Then another call came & said the other sub misunderstood instructions & wanted to do the show.  I was all right with that - better to find that out now than drive to Dallas & discover it that way!

Meanwhile, yesterday, I was asked if I wanted to sub the show before the jazz show I was then subbing on Wednesday morning.  Six hours on the radio?  Why the hell not?  So I said yes.

Which means I am still subbing a show on a Tuesday evening.  That's tonight, from ten to midnight central time.  So I'd best leave for Dallas now!

But man am I a little confused & a lot sleep-deprived!

Also, I have a lot of jazz that I will have to wait to use at some point later.

Monday, July 24, 2017


(Rowlf & Rufus walk to the car to go to the park, April 2017)

Today I lost a friend.  We weren't close friends, we actually barely knew each other, but as I love every animal I meet, I loved him instantly.  He was my wife's mother's dog, he was a poodle mix named Rowlf, & I guess he was kind of like a brother-in-law.

My wife advised her mother, since she was getting older, that she should get a dog, that it would encourage her to exercise, & on a visit, she accompanied her mother to the shelter to adopt Rufus, the large basset hound up there.  (He's sixteen in that picture.)

My mother-in-law would take Rufus to the dog park, & one day, when it was a little rainy, Rowlf was there, & he & Rufus played.  She didn't see any other people around, & figured that Rowlf was a stray.  Rowlf decided to jump into the car with his newfound friend when it was time them to leave.  You can say quite correctly that Rowlf saved himself.

He was a lovable dog, beset by infirmity from day one: cataracts caused him to go blind when he was still young, & old age robbed him of his hearing.  When I visited last year, he eagerly wanted to play, & would reward my moving around by trying to hump my arm.  Already at that point he had tumors growing on & in him.  Veterinarians advised to keep him happy, he wasn't showing any signs of discomfort.  (Dogs are usually good about not showing signs of discomfort.  They think they're doing us a favor by being brave.)

Some time in the past year, he had a stroke, doctors believed.  He was more puppyish, playing with long-forgotten toys, & prone to wandering, confused about where he was.  When I visited in April, there was no humping, though he was sweet as ever.  & he loved walks.  We took him & Rufus on lots of walks.

Rowlf died today, he was probably fifteen years old, & thanks to the kindness in the heart of my mother-in-law, he doubtless lived a lot longer than fate had in store for the poor-sighted poodle that was probably abandoned at a dog park.  He never told us his story, of course, & he never wanted to, because he had found a home full of love, where he lived a life every dog should be allowed to live.

Myself, I'm just so grateful & glad that I got to know him.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Things About Myself That Somehow Changed & About Which I Am Glad # 2: Cooking

It would be very nice if somehow it was on the record that I always wanted to be a cook.  I loved to eat, it made sense I would love to cook.  I remember as a child having access to one of those 1960s Betty Crocker cookbooks of simple meals & daydreaming about being able to make them.  Alas, my mother was most definitely not a cook - she could make scrambled eggs, stews, & things from packages, & also fry meats, but that was about it.  If a recipe needed a teaspoon, well, there was no teaspoon to be found anywhere in the house.

In eighth grade, I took a Home Economics class, & I liked the chemistry of cooking - I liked following the instructions of a recipe - & although most of what I remember of the class was sitting behind the "popular" boys as they ogled the "popular" girls, I might have found a calling somewhere if my home life had given me opportunities to actually make food.

But we were poor.  Food was either pre-packaged or easy to make.  Macaroni & cheese, hamburger helper, rice-a-roni.  My mother was working much of my childhood, & my older siblings doubtless subsisted on fast food, so many meals came from cans.  Or, when a pizza place opened in the neighborhood, were ordered in.

It wasn't really until college that I had to fend for myself & even then, it was meager & dumb.  I became a vegetarian in the second month of college, & probably was the lamest vegetarian for several years after that.  Macaroni & cheese played a huge part in my life, as did potato chips, & I ate a lot of Ranch Style Beans until, a year later, I discovered there was lard in the beans.  Those are the pitfalls one must accept if one is to live in a meated society.  Yeah, I coined a word!  We live in a supergross meated society.  You carnivorous fucks.

& though I toyed with veganism once or twice or thrice throughout the years, I didn't fully commit until a few years ago*.  The wife & I found ourselves in a very inhospitable place (West Virginia) & deciding to commit to veganism (which I believe is a natural development of those who become vegetarian for ethical reasons), & I realized we would starve to death (or eat some pretty mediocre meals) if I didn't start cooking.

Now, I had cooked before.  It had been novel, girlfriends had said, wow, I didn't know you could cook, etc.  But most of the time I ate out: falafels, tofu, pizza, whatever.  Learning to cook was a heavy thing.

The wife (as the girlfriend) had only a few recipes up her sleeve, & I started small: nachos, a black bean casserole, sweet potato burritos.  But as time went on, I upped my game.  I found recipes online & I bought cookbooks.  I began to enjoy the process.

& never let it be said that I am a great chef.  Here's how I consider myself: like someone in a cover band, who knows he or she will never be a great musician, learning how to play the songs someone else wrote**.  I follow a lot of recipes, I sometimes vary, I sometimes add, but I have never made a recipe from scratch.  I just don't have it in me, nor do I find it something that I want to do.  If that makes any sense.

Did my eighteen year old self think my nearly fifty year old self would take a great of pleasure in cooking?  I don't think so.  Nor did my twenty-eight or thirty-eight year old self.  By the way, when I am alone, I don't take much pleasure in cooking.  Tonight the wife returned from a trip, I cooked for her, & I believe I enjoyed it more than I should've because she was there to enjoy it.

Maybe one day I can cook for you.  That would be fun.

* I should mention that, though I became a vegetarian in September of 1986 as an unloved, barely kissed nerd of 18, nearly everyone since then imagines that the only reason I am a vegan or vegetarian is because of the woman I am dating at the time.  It keeps happening - my wife tells me her colleagues believe I am vegan because she is.

** No disrespect to cover bands.