Thursday, October 12, 2017

Self Help Radio 101117: Memories Revisited (The Fifteenth Anniversary Show)

(Original image here.)

Ah, what a memorable night!  The fifteenth anniversary of Self Help Radio!  The wine flowed!  The music played!  There was laughter, joy, merriment!  I sure wish I could remember any of it.

You see, while everyone was celebrating, I was busy playing the songs & conducting the interviews, & making sure everything went smoothly so we could have fifteen more years of the show.  (Which means I'll be almost sixty-five when that happens - I think we can all agree it might be better to have died in World War III instead of that.)

Still, one hopes everyone had a nice time, & if you are one who did not, because you couldn't attend, you're in luck!  Because the show was captured for posterity & now is available for your listening pleasure at your listening leisure.

It's at the Self Help Radio website & you can access it if you know the username (SHR) & the password (selfhelp) that is also available on the website.  It's in two almost-equal parts (roughly an hour each) & what's in the parts - including the interviews - is noted below.

But I'm glad these anniversaries only happen once a year.  They are sure exhausting.  What?  That's the definition of an anniversary?  Oh.  Well.  You don't have to be so snotty about it.  Sheesh.

(part one)

"Memories" The Free Design _Heaven/Earth_
"Precious Memories" Sister Rosetta Tharpe _The Original Soul Sister (1946-48)_
"Cherished Memories" Eddie Cochran _Somethin' Else: The Fine Lookin' Hits Of Eddie Cochran_

"Mountain Of Memories" David Ruffin _David - The Unreleased Album_
"Memories" Slick Rick _The Art Of Storytelling_
"I've Left Memories Behind" Jay & Sam Clarkson _Stroke: Songs For Chris Knox_
"Memories Of Love" Future Bible Heroes _Memories Of Love_

interview with the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently

"Memories Can't Wait" Talking Heads _Fear Of Music_
"Memories" Clinic _Do It_
"Losing Memories" Bedhead _Beheaded_
"Memories On Memorex" Viktor Fiction _Memories On Memorex_

interview with former Self Help Radio apprentice Allen Shariaty

"Memories Of You" Lonnie Johnson & Elmer Snowden _Blues & Ballads_

(part two)

"Memories Are Made Of This" Dean Martin _That's Amore: The Best Of Dean Martin_
"House Of Memories" Merle Haggard _Down Every Road 1962-1994_
"Black Memories" The Growlers _Chinese Fountain_

interview with Radio Schools Of America founder & teacher CJ Buchanan

"Come & Get Your Memories" Martha & The Vandellas _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 3: 1963_
"Forest Of Memories" The Lovely Eggs _This Is Our Nowhere_
"Memories" Liechtenstein _Fast Forward_
"Memories" Noel Ellis _Jamaica To Toronto: Soul Funk & Reggae, 1967-1974_

interview with famous radio host David Fruchter

"Bad Memories" Ed's Redeeming Qualities _Big Grapefruit Clean-Up Job_
"Memories Fade" Bart & Friends _Make You Blush_
"Sell Your Memories" Fonda _The Strange & The Familiar_
"Memories Cabernet" Drug Boyfriend _Memories Cabernet_

"Memories" Leonard Cohen _Death Of A Ladies' Man_
"You Bring Back Memories" The Supremes _Meet The Supremes_

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Whither Memories?

(Original image here.)

5,478 days of Self Help Radio?  That sounds like a horror story!

Luckily, it's been far, far fewer than that.  Even if there had been a Self Help Radio every week since 2002 (there hasn't), it would still mean a maximum of 780 days of shows, which, if they were all two hours long (they weren't), would be 1,560 hours of Self Help Radio.  That's roughly sixty-five days, or a little over two months, of Self Help Radio, which, I agree, is still worrying, but is nowhere near as catastrophic an idea as fifteen years.  But it's entirely understandable if you think that's way too much Self Help Radio.

There are so many people in so many radio stations to blame for this!

But instead of finding fault, let's just smile sweetly & congratulate this pitiful show on its longevity, as if that's a matter of rare achievement & not a lot of luck & not a little entropy.  & you can indeed celebrate by listening tonight, when we revisit a theme from the distant past, 2004, when we first did a show about memory.  Tonight it's all about memories (plural) & there will also be plenty of memories for me about the show & my life.

That's from (fingers crossed) 8-10pm central, 9-11pm eastern, on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & online at LCR Online.  I hope you'll join in on the celebration!  Also, BYOB.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Preface To Memories (The Fifteenth Anniversary Show): Fifteen Years Of This?

Oy it's been a long day.  I had to put the show together & sent it off to WLXU.  Plus I am doing a show tomorrow (the Wednesday Morning Blend) so I spent the other half of the day listening to music to prepare for that.

Did you know I am a serial procrastinator?  I will literally wait until the last minute to do something that I could easily have done a few days early without any pressure.  Like, for example, I do this Arts Calendar for KFTW here in town.  I could knock out a month's worth in a couple of hours - it's not like there's an opera suddenly schedule with a week's notice.  But they're due on Thursday so I finish them on Wednesday.  I can't help it.

& you know what?  I long for the day when I can't get something that was supposed to be done at a certain time on time.  I want it to be something I promised that simply cannot be late.  & when I fuck up I want pretty much everyone mad at me.  I want to be so scarred by it that I do everything early for the rest of my miserable life.

It's amazing that that hasn't happened.  It will happen.  I hope it's soon.  But for fifty years (almost) I've gotten away with it.  & today, though I barely got four hours of sleep last night, well, I'm done with Self Help Radio & I think I'm prepared for the Morning Blend.

Oh, about Self Help Radio - I promised I'd tell you how I plan to organize the show for this week - I am narrowing the theme to simply songs about "memories."  It cut the number of songs I had to listen to in half!  It was amazing.

But I don't get to play the Mountain Goats' "You Or Your Memory."  & that makes me sad.

Monday, October 09, 2017


You've been warned.

By now you're aware that I like to put barriers in my way, roadblocks, rules, restrictions.  I like to make things harder for me - at least as far as Self Help Radio is concerned.  I think it might've happened around the time Bob Dylan did his "Theme Time Radio Shows."  Not that I ever felt I was in competition with him - ha ha ha, no - but I think out of some personal sense of spite, I was like, "Oh if he's going to do a show about hair*, then I'm going to narrow my focus."

& yeah, I don't always do that - my upcoming show about faces could have thousands of songs - but I did feel like I needed to distinguish the show from all the other theme shows that exist & that pop up all the time every day.  (Do they?)

In 2008 I thought of revisiting an old theme - it's amazing that the show was only six years old at the time - when I celebrated an anniversary.  But by "revisiting," I didn't mean playing the same old show.  I didn't want to do that.  I wanted to play music I might have discovered in the intervening years.  So, for example, when I revisited my 1968 show, I didn't play anything that I played on the original show.

This week's show will probably play a few songs - maybe three - from the show about memory thirteen years ago.  But there will be a very distinct, annoying, Gary touch to it.

Which I will explain tomorrow.

Coming back to Dylan, though, I have to say: I'm skeptical that he picked all the music himself.  I mean, look at that playlist for the hair show.  Can you tell me with a straight face that you believe Bob Dylan listens to They Might Be Giants?

* Which he did in January 2007, while I covered a similar theme - & played at least one of the same songs - six months earlier.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Fifteenth Anninversary

(original image here.)

On October 9, 2002, Self Help Radio premiered on 91.7fm KOOP Austin, Texas.  It was 2pm.  The very first theme was "War," because at that time, one year after 9/11, the Republican administration was sending signals it really, really wanted to go to war with Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.  It was a confusing, sad time, & I am sad to report it remains the same.

Self Help Radio, though, has changed, & not just its location.  One thing is that I very soon began resisting "easy" themes like "war."  Maybe not within the first couple of years - I really didn't imagine that the show would last all that long - but when I realized I wanted to do the show for a while, I figured, what the hell, let's plan a little better & explore some really interesting themes.

Here's something else that's different: I would put the show together the night before.  I had so much confidence I could come up with a theme that I didn't really think about the show except less than twenty-four hours before it aired.  That meant I never knew what a theme would be at the end of the previous week's show - one time I remember thinking I'd do a cool theme where every song would be a song about another band, only to be told by a friend that another show on another station had done that just a couple days before.  How embarrassing it would be to seem a copycat or a plagiarist!

Another time I did do that, & the theme was "devils," I think (that would make it in 2003), & someone called & said another show the day before had done a show about devils.  I said it was purely coincidence - I didn't listen to that show - but the caller was convinced this meant something diabolical was happening in Austin.  I didn't know how to reassure him.

Anyway, the traditional gift for the fifteenth anniversary is crystal.  So please send your presents of crystal meth to the Self Help Radio offices in Fort Worth, Texas, by the time of the show.  Please note that the packages contain "timepieces."  That's a modern twist on the fifteenth anniversary present.  No one will be fooled.

Seriously, though.  Crystal meth.  I mean it.