Thursday, August 10, 2017

Self Help Radio 080917: Control

(It's a control panel, get it?  Original image here.)

Recognize impulsive thoughts.  Place time restrictions on impulsive thoughts.  Try belly breathing.  Find a healthy distraction.  Have a go-to activity.  No, these are not rejected John Darnielle lyrics.  These are the five steps to "build self-control in the moment" from the WikiHow page on self-control & how to get it.  It seems quite helpful, plus there are pictures!

Nothing so helpful appears on this week's Self Help Radio, which if anything is more out of control than normal, which is ironic, of course, but not cool ironic but annoying ironic, which was the name of my high school new wave band, Annoying Ironic.  "Annoying ironic what?" the bass player asked repeatedly before we fired him & used a Casio instead.

There's not much to say.  Maybe the show speaks for itself.  Maybe the show shuts up for itself.  Why don't you ask the show?  It's now at the Self Help Radio website.  (Pay attention to username/password info on the front page please.)  The show is in two distinct but hardly distinctive parts.  The songs & guests in the parts are listed below.

Sadly, it turns out I am easily controlled.

(part one)

"Set The Controls" DJ Me DJ You _Rainbows & Robots_
"I Wanna Lose Control" Gary Wilson _You Think You Really Know Me_
"You're In Control" Greg Horn _Das Funk Ist Verboten_

"We R In Control" Neil Young _Trans_
"I Am Controlled By Your Love" Helene Smith _Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label_
"The People Who Control Our Lives" George Carlin _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_
"Control" Mikal Cronin _MCIII_
"Control" La Sera _Hour Of The Dawn_

Interview with the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently

"I Can't Control Myself (Live)" Buzzcocks _Spiral Scratch EP / Time's Up_
"Complete Control" The Clash _Clash On Broadway_
"Out Of Control" Wayne County & The Electric Chairs _Rock N Roll Cleopatra_
"Uncontrollable Urge" Devo _Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!_

"Arms Control Poseur" The Fall _Popcorn Double Feature_
"Control Chem Chem" Tania + Juan _Control Chem Chem_

(part two)

"Control Tower" U-Roy _Rasta Ambassador_
"Don't Lose Control" Material _One Down_
"They're Controlling Our Minds" Misty's Big Adventure _Misty's Big Adventure & Their Place In The Solar Hi-Fi System_

Ned Dry reports on inside the SHR control room.

"Totally Out Of Control" Babes _Untitled (Five Tears)_
"Out Of Control" Lush _Blind Spot_
"Remote Control" The Lucksmiths _First Tape_
"No Controles" Stereo Total _Baby Ouh!_

Interview with "Out Of Control" exercise guru CJ Buchanan

"She's Lost Control" Joy Division _Unknown Pleasures_
"Creature Out Of Control" The Dentists _If All The Flies Were One Fly: A Collection Of Rare & Unreleased Dentistry 1984-1995_
"The Dog Who Controls People's Lungs" Masters Of The Hemisphere _I Am Not A Freemdoom_
"Til I Gain Control Again" This Mortal Coil _Blood_

"Control" Ratboys _GN

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Whither Control?

(Image from here.)

Aggh!  I have no control over my life!  I meant to write this up like four hours ago to remind you/warn you that Self Help Radio's show about control is on tonight.  Now it's like less than three hours away!  How did things get so out of control?

Aggh!  I can't even control my own damn show!  Guest cancel, records get lost, I trip over something at a Costco because I'm trying to be nice & then I'm stuck in line with an overweight woman in workout clothes right in front of me who refuses to empty her basket to help the cashier so the cashier & the floater have to take the time to empty the shopping cart before they ring things up & I'm sitting there wondering who the fuck is so entitled they stand there like an overstuffed puppet while other people do something they could so very easily have done themselves & have helped those of us in line behind them get through the stupid check-out experience faster!  I'm so glad I didn't lose control there.

Aggh!  The show is on its way!  I'd best get myself under control.  It's on tonight from 9-11pm eastern, 8-10pm central on WLXU in Lexington (93.9 fm) & online at Lexington Community Radio dot org.  Silly guests, tedious airbreaks, great music - the usual.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Preface To Control: Poll Results, Radio Conundrums, & Glen Campbell

There are three things I want to talk about today, if you don't mind.

1) Last week I asked on Twitter & Facebook about which version of the Joy Division song "She's Lost Control" I should play on tomorrow's show.  One person responded on Twitter (my worst poll yet), one person on Facebook, & two of my friends weighed in personally.  The resulting song will be played on tomorrow's show.  But I kinda hope one day more of you will join in!

2) People have accused me of being fond of overly narrow themes, but there are times when I fear that my themes are too general.  For example, while looking for songs for this week's show, I found a lot of songs with the title "Out Of Control," or variations thereof.  It occurred to me that I might actually be able to separate the theme "out of control" from "control" & explore it later.  There would certainly be enough songs.  But I reined myself in.  I decided that I should simply let this one go.  There are a finite number of Self Help Radios in the future & an infinite number of themes.  Best that I recognize that.

3) It saddens me that Glen Campbell has died.  The first song that I ever requested on the radio was "Rhinestone Cowboy," a story I related here.  I will endeavor to find a way to celebrate his life on the show at some point, although I am happy I played him with Bobbie Gentry performing "Little Green Apples" on my apple show earlier this year, a show you can listen to here.

Tonight I played "Wichita Lineman" for my wife.  She probably didn't find the song as lonesome as I do, but she did like it.  It's a marvel.  I can't imagine I'll make anything as wonderful as that in my life.  I am so glad it exists.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Something I Like Also As Well On Tumblr

(This handsome fellow's name is Charlie Schuman.)

You must know I love dogs.  I love cats, too, but right now I'm talking about dogs.  I'd love to have rabbits & pigs & many other kinds of animals in my house but for the moment I am talking about dogs.  I have four dogs myself, & love them more than anything (except maybe my cats, although currently I am just talking about dogs).

There's a sweet Tumblr blog, from which the above picture comes, called The Dogist, which features photos taken by the blog's owners of dogs everywhere they go.  I am amazed at the bravery of the person who asks to take the dog's pictures, although I've been asked before if someone could take my dogs' pictures, & I was flattered, so perhaps it's easier than, say, walking up to a stranger & asking if you could take their picture.

There are also little quotes the owners say about the dogs - anyway, just go have a look if you never have.  It's a delight & sometimes, like this one, it's also a happy story.

Suddenly it occurred to me that there's no equivalent "Catist" (though I haven't really looked) because people don't take their cats around on walks.  But maybe there is, & I haven't found it yet.

Though, let's be fair, it's not like there's a dearth of cat pictures on the internet!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Things That Bother Me But Only A Little # 1: Parentheses In Song Titles

This is, I know, a very, very minor thing.  Please do not think this bothers me more than, say, a hangnail, or someone at a traffic light who, despite dozens of cars behind them, thinks their phone call is more important than actually moving when the light turns green.  But.

One thing that bothers me, but only a little, is how people treat parentheses in songs.

You see, the parentheses are thought to be optional.  So people should call the song "(I'm) Stranded" by the Saints simply "Stranded."  Or the song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which most people call "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," is supposed to just be called "Satisfaction."

Sometimes, it's true, there are songs that have extraneous parenthetical titles, most famously James Brown's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine," which no one (not even James Brown, in the single version) called "Get Up Sex Machine."

On the other hand, no postpunk connoisseur calls the Stranglers' song "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" "Grip."  They just don't.  It's stupid.

There's a reason I am thinking about this.  The theme of the show this week is "control," so I will definitely play the Joy Division song "She's Lost Control."*  But for some reason - & this is before there was a film called Control, about Joy Division - people began referring to the song as "Control."  Like, one time, I asked a trainee at KOOP who wanted to do a postpunk show what her favorite Joy Division song was, & she said, "Control."  I had never heard the song "She's Lost Control" referred to as "Control."  & that song doesn't even have parentheses!

Were we suddenly allowed to shorten songs to sound-bite length?  I know some songwriters - I'm looking at Morrissey here - that sometimes have songs with titles as long as their lyrics, but does anyone refer to "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" as "Light"?  Nope.**

So stop.  Don't encourage bullshit songwriters.  If a song has parentheses, just assume all the words are the entire song.  & don't shorten long song titles.  It's dumb & disrespectful.  You think you sound cool but you really sound like a dumbass who doesn't really know the song or the band.

Because that sort of thing bothers me, but really only a little.

* Which version?  You can vote on Twitter!
** Props to Morrissey for never using parentheses.  At least, I can't think of any example.  Wait.  I found one.  "(I'm) The End Of The Family Line."  Well, it wouldn't be Morrissey if he weren't somewhat contrary.