Thursday, August 03, 2017

Self Help Radio 080217: Seventeen

(Make a dumb magazine cover for your radio show here.)

An apology may be in order, as I've just discovered that this show is not about element number 17, chlorine.  Many aficionados of the Periodic Table of the Elements are huge fans of that delightful yellow-green gas which remains the second-lightest of the halogens.  They love it for its disinfectant charm (you're welcome, it says to you after you get out of the pool) & its role in the creation of plastics.  So beloved is chlorine that its role in chemical warfare in the early twentieth century is often downplayed as "youthful mistakes" & "gases will be gases."

Naturally, most people would think a show about "seventeen" would be about chlorine.  I most certainly thought that, & had to deal with angry fluorine & bromine fans who wanted to know when their gas would get the Self Help Radio treatment.  Alas, when I turned on the show, I was disheartened to know it was about that abject little number, 17, as well as that depressing age, 17 years.  Not a single song about chlorine!  As one caller asked me, "Are we living in Communist Alabama?!?"

Please forgive this show's blatant disregard of propriety & custom & force yourself to listen to this week's show.  My guess is there are some charms, although none chlorine-related.  The show is at the Self Help Radio website, & can be accessed if you know a username ("SHR") & a password ("selfhelp").  It's in two parts, & what's in each part is noted below.

Understandably, a future radio show about the rare earth elements has become even more vital.

(part one)

"Seventeen" The Ames Brothers _Sweet Seventeen_
"Seventeen" The Sex Pistols _Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols_
"Seventeen" The Sugargliders _Seventeen_
"17" Loose Change _Shreds, Vol. 2: American Underground '94_

"Seventeen" Love Spit Love _Love Spit Love_
"Seventeen" The Lovelies _The Tuff Of The Tracks_
"Sonnet 17: Who Will Believe My Verse In Time To Come" David Tennant _The Best Of The Sonnets_
"17" Stephen Duffy _I Love My Friends_
"Seventeen" A Giant Dog _Pile_

interview with father of three seventeen-year-olds CJ Buchanan

"Seventeen" Dealership _TV Highway To The Stars_
"Seventeen" Ladytron _Seventeen_
"Seventeen" Youth Lagoon _The Year Of Hibernation_

special dramatic reading of a classic rock song: "edge of seventeen"

"17 Summer" The Guild League _Speak Up_
"Channel # 17" Plus-Tech Squeezebox _Messer Für Frau Müller_

(part two)

"17 Berlin" My Favorite _Love At Absolute Zero_
"All Of Seventeen" The Eames Era _The Second EP_
"Only Seventeen" Beatle-ettes _Girls With Guitars_

interview with alleged seventeen-year-old Allen Shariaty

"It's Two-Thousand Seventeen" Jenny Adkins _It's Two-Thousand Seventeen_
"Just About Seventeen" Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers _It's Time For_
"(He's) Seventeen" The Supremes _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 2: 1962_
"She's Sexy & 17" Stray Cats _Rant N' Rave With The Stray Cats_
"Club Seventeen" The Trade Winds _New York's A Lonely Town_

interview with the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently

"No. 17" New Bloods _The Secret Life_
"Seventeen Wives" The Limeliters _The Complete RCA Singles Collection_
"Seventeen Seconds" The Cure _Seventeen Seconds_
"Seventeen" Drug Boyfriend _Drug Boyfriend_

"At Seventeen" Janis Ian _Super Hits Of The '70s: Have A Nice Day, Vol. 15_
"The Year I'm 17" Soda Fountain Rag _Sometimes I Wonder If You Have A Heart_
"Passage # 17" The Glass Family _Electric Band_

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Whither Seventeen?

(Found this image here.)

When I first thought about doing a show about the number seventeen, I imagined I would have a diverse & oddball pick of songs about seventeen things: seventeen birds, seventeen raindrops, seventeen goodbyes.  I have in fact begun writing those songs in my head - "Seventeen Good-byes" will be a funny & sad tune - but there's no way I will ever have them finished by tonight's show.

Anyway, what I was getting at is this: it turns out that the vast majority of songs I could find were about being seventeen, the age, the years old.  At some point during the show tonight maybe you & I can have an epiphany, figuring out why that's such an important age.  Because right now I'm a little confused about that.

The show airs tonight from 9 to 11 pm eastern, 8 to 10 pm central on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington, & online everywhere at LCR online (please choose WLXU).  It would've been fun if I had planned something like only playing seventeen songs, or anything seventeen-based.  But it'll be mainly the same old thing.

Hope you'll listen!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Preface To Seventeen: When I Was Seventeen

(At the top of this page I was going to post a picture of myself at the age of seventeen from my high school yearbook but the yearbooks are in a big box under lots of big boxes in the back of a big closet where spiders also live.  So, maybe next time.)

As a rule, I don't think anyone enjoys their seventeenth year, but I don't remember enjoying my seventeenth year terribly much.  I turned seventeen on January 20, 1985, when I was in eleventh grade - a pretty bleak time for me in a pretty bleak high school experience - & was that age until the middle of my twelfth grade year.

& there were surely lots of dumb adventures I could recount, which I will save (memory willing) for when I recount my life for my 1985 birthday show, which is just in four (!) years.  But there is one thing I want to talk about which I think about now, more than thirty years after I was seventeen.  Which is friendship.

Recently I stumbled onto a Facebook page for the thirtieth reunion of my high school class.  I never cared to go to any of the other reunions, but what was most interesting was the fact that Facebook had a list of folks invited or interested - & I knew virtually none of them.  What a strange realization - that I knew almost nobody in my class at high school!  I mean, at least three or four of the people I liked a lot weren't on the list - I wasn't on the list! - but still, shouldn't I at least recognize three-fourths or two-thirds of the names?  Nope.  I did not.  They were strangers, as they probably were in high school.

From eleventh grade, I have managed to keep two friends in my life, both of whom I talk to regularly even now.  One of them I went to high school with, the other I met outside of my high school in a comic book club.

What is common among both is that I pursued the friendship.  If you were to go back in time & count the number of times I called them versus the number of times they called me (if you were keeping count), you'd find I called them to talk to them many more times than they ever thought to communicate with me.  One of them even told me, probably in my seventeenth year, that I wore them down, I keep calling, after school, & eventually he relented, acquiescing to be my friend.

By the way, both of these people were male.  I had virtually no contact with girls at this age.  What would I talk about?  Why would they talk to me?

The truth is, one of these two has stayed my friend only on the flimsiest of connections.  It pains me in my sad middle age to note this, but he was only my friend as long as I liked the same things he did, agreed with his attitudes about the world, refused to challenge any of his ridiculous ideas.  Once I did, he distanced himself from me.  & what's worse, he rationalized a tremendous betrayal of our friendship by his utter disdain for me at some point in the future.  Not to be a tease, but really, that's another story.

Why do I even talk to this person?  I think it's because I sometimes think I should be a better person than I am.  He & I have very little in common these days, & in fact, he's kind of afraid of me - when we talk, if I disagree with him - something I didn't really do in those early days - he often seems a little fearful, a little timid, as if he's still clinging to a time when he had a sycophant & not a friend.  The number of substantial conversations we've had in the last ten years is so small I am forced to wonder if we ever had any real conversations, if, in fact, when we were young, I just wanted so badly to have a friend that I endured his self-important baloney despite my misgivings.  Because I did love him, & love forgives.  He didn't love me so much as disdain me.  But!  Like me, he had very few friends.  & until he did find friends independently (he often became friends with my friends), he kept me around.

Why in the would do I still talk to him?  That is a good question.  Luckily, we don't talk too much.  & probably, as time goes on, we will talk very little.

By the way, the other friend with whom I was close in my seventeenth years continues to be a friend & appears as often as possible on Self Help Radio as my spiritual mentor the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently.  We've had our rough patches but we're doing all right.  & I am so fucking grateful that we're still friends & he gives so much to my dumb radio show!

Monday, July 31, 2017

One Tired Dude

Why do we need to sleep seven to eight hours a night?  & how can I get a bit of this action?

Seems like these days I am always exhausted, & I know one of the reasons: dog walks.

You're like, "What?  It's exhausting walking the dogs?"

No, it's exhausting because it gets too hot in Texas to walk the dogs during the day when there's a heavy-handed sun in the sky, so one must wake in the mornings when it's as cool as it's going to be that day (usually around 80 degrees, often paired quite sadistically with 90% humidity) to walk them.  Waiting isn't an option.  It's the number one tip on this website, but we intuited it.  If it's coolest just before the sun rises, walk the damn dogs then.

So we're up around 6am each day to walk.  & I like napping but for some reason the post-dog-walk nap doesn't do it for me.  Today I napped through lunch.  I mean, I had lunch later, but that seems a weird thing for me.  Who naps when there could be eating?

This means I'm going to go to sleep now.  I have much work to do on this week's show but it would be nice to get eight hours of sleep tonight.  I don't think I've done that in many, many years.

You know what?  I probably slept a lot more when I was seventeen.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

One Of Those Legendary "No Content" Days

Here's something I found online:

It's a bear eating from a hummingbird feeder!  The image was entitled "hummingbear.jpg"!

Honestly, I can't do better than that today.