Thursday, November 23, 2017

Self Help Radio 112217: Cosmic Radio

(Original image here.)

The show went cosmic this week.  Loosed of its terrestrial concerns, it was free to wander the cosmos, & it remembered to bring a snack, so it wouldn't get too hungry in-between stars.  There's a lot of space in-between the stars.  Like, I wish I had downloaded more podcasts to listen to, it took for-fuckin'-ever to get from one star to another.  & we only had two hours!

Still, there were plenty of cosmic vibrations, not a bit of cosmic radiation, lots of cosmic energy, & a smattering of cosmic misery.  You'll be able to do the cosmic slide like an expert cosmic dancer if you feel the cosmic force from the cosmic rays as you sail the cosmic sea.  When should experience the cosmic show?  Cosmic now, man.

Also, I talk to my spiritual advisor about cosmic matters, I speak to the "ambassador to psychedelics" David Cosmic Charlie Fruchter, & in outer space I stumble upon lost cosmic funk master Schleppy Wapps.  Also, there's plenty of cosmic tunes, of course.  You knew that.  Did you?

The show can be listened to anywhere in the galaxy at Self Help Radio dot net.  There's a username & a password, but it's no cosmic mystery: it's on the page there.  The show is in two parts, roughly an hour each.  What's in each part is below.

& please have a happy Thanksgiving!  I thank you too much for listening!

(part one)

"Cosmic Ballad" Perrey-Kingsley _Brain In A Box: The Science Fiction Collection_
"Cosmic Now" The Babe Rainbow _The Babe Rainbow_
"Cosmic Thing" The B-52's _Cosmic Thing_

"Cosmic Cars" Cybotron _Cosmic Cars_
"Cosmic Radiation" Clinic _Free Reign_
"Cosmic Sea" The Mystic Moods _What It Is! Funky Soul & Rare Grooves (1967-1977)_
"Cosmic Assassins" DJ Q-Bert _Wave Twisters_

interview with the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently

"Cosmic Supernatural" Kid Loco _A Grand Love Story_
"Cosmic Dancer (Work In Progress)" T. Rex _Electric Warrior_
"Cosmic Wheels" Donovan _Cosmic Wheels_
"Cosmik Debris" Frank Zappa _Apostrophe (')_

(part two)

interview with David "Cosmic Charlie" Fruchter

"Cosmic Charlie" The Grateful Dead _Aoxomoxoa_
"Cosmic Rays" Helium _The Magic City_
"Cosmic Misery" Martha _Courting Strong_
"Cosmic Flowers" Levitation Room _Ethos_
"Cosmic Vibrations" Foxygen _...And Star Power_

interview with funk musician Schleppy Wapps

"Cosmic Slop" Funkadelic _Cosmic Slop_
"Cosmic Energy" Kool & The Gang _Love & Understanding_
"Cosmic Glide" Captain Rock _Cosmic Glide_
"Cosmic Force" Dennis Brown _Cosmic Force_

"Cosmically Aligned" Widowspeak _All Yours_
"Cosmic Radio Bitches" Drug Boyfriend _Cosmic Radio Bitches_

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Whither Cosmic Radio?

(Cosmic Steve Ditko, found here.)

This show is, quite simply, a chance for me to play songs with the word "cosmic" in the title or song. That's it.  Quite ordinary for Self Help Radio.  Nothing cosmic about it.

There's a part of me that wanted to lie & say it had something to do with the two recent "cosmic" comic book movies, Thor: Ragnarok & Justice League, both of which I saw in the theaters, but nope!  I started planning this show long before that.  Most of my shows gestate for a while until I think they're ready.

You wouldn't believe the folder on my computer with show ideas in them.  Some of them I'll never do.  Some of them have languished for years.  At least once I had the same idea independently over the course of a few months & didn't notice because the folders had slightly different names.  It's a mess.

One thing I did want to say is that my idea of "cosmic" is very much tied up with comic books, & as beautiful as outer space is, I think there's a part of me that is a little sad it's not as crowded & busy as Jack Kirby drew it or as trippy as Steve Ditko drew it.  Those are powerful images that take up a lot of my mind.

Anyway, there's a new Self Help Radio tonight.  Cosmic music, silly interviews, occasional interruptions by me to check in.  From 9-11pm eastern on 93.9fm WLXU in Lexington & online at

Begin your holiday weekend cosmically!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Preface To Cosmic Radio: The Power Cosmic

As a complete nerd when it comes to comics, especially ones I read when I was young, & into my twenties, & some which I still occasionally read now, when I can afford them, I have to say that the word "cosmic" immediately brings to mind the phrase "the power cosmic."

What does that mean?  According to the Marvel Database, "The Power Cosmic is the name of a vast source of limitless godly cosmic energy & power primarily wielded by the god-like cosmic entity Galactus. The Power Cosmic allows Galactus to employ the available absorbed cosmic energies within him to produce nearly any effect he desires, including size-alteration, the molecular restructuring & transmutation of matter, the teleportation of objects—even entire galaxies—across space & time, the creation of force fields, the creation of interdimensional portals, telepathy, telekinesis, & cosmic awareness on a universal scale. Galactus has even been shown as capable of creating sentient life, resurrecting the dead, manipulating mortal souls & remaking dead worlds—including their populations—in every detail."

The first appearance of "the power cosmic" was in Fantastic Four # 46, during Stan Lee & Jack Kirby's incredible run on that title, & the phrase is pure Stan Lee (even though Jack Kirby had the power cosmic to draw an incredibly powerful cosmos).  Why just say "cosmic power" when you can invert the words & make it sound pretentious?  That's the Stan Lee way!  Excelsior!

Here's an image from a Silver Surfer comic written by Lee & drawn by John Buscema:

It's from here.  Galactus gave the Surfer the power cosmic, see.  & the tree of evil... ever carries the seed... of its own destruction!

Man, I used to love that prose when I was a kid.  Anyway.  Where was I?

Oh yeah.  That's what I think about when I see the word "cosmic."  "The power cosmic."  When I was a kid, I would've loved a little of the power cosmic.  Nowadays, I'd probably just use to afford to buy more comics.  They're expensive!

Monday, November 20, 2017

You May Not Notice It But

There's going to be something slightly different about Self Help Radio this week.

If you want to try to guess what it is, send an email (after the show, of course) to gary at self help radio dot net & I'll give a prize.  If you guess correctly.  If you want a prize.

It's nothing major.  But it's something different.  & after years of same, isn't it time for something different?

Sunday, November 19, 2017


It's time to say goodbye to another friend.  My mother-in-law's dog Rufus (whose brother Rowlf I wrote about here) has died, probably at the age of seventeen or eighteen, which is a very great age for a basset hound in particular, & for dogs in general.

He was a very lucky dog.  He was found in northern California wandering in a field & taken to what we call "the pound."  Around the time of his discovery, my wife's mother had had a heart attack, & my wife had gone to see her, to help with her recovery.  My wife was missing her own dog, & wanted a dog to walk, & her mother suggested they visit the city pound, & there, my wife's mother found Rufus.

She learned his history.  She saw, according to a note on his cage, that he might be (would be?) put down (ie, killed) the very next day.  My wife's mother had a thing for bassets, & that affected her.  They moved on, they saw other dogs, but something about Rufus stayed with her.

& someone at the city pound noticed.  They took her back to Rufus, they let her go outside with him, they encouraged her to spend time with him.  I didn't know or meet Rufus when he was so young, but I bet he was a charmer.  I couldn't resist him in old age; how could my wife's mother resist him in his youth?

Rufus was adopted.  He found his "forever home."  What a good home it was!  He was the king.  Even when, later, he found out he had a brother from another mother named Rowlf, he was magnanimous in his power.  He established his walking schedule, he enjoyed his meals, he reveled in  his time with my wife's mother.

As for me, I only got to know Rufus late in his life.  When I meet dogs, I spend as much time with them as I do the humans around them.  (The dogs are usually the more interesting.)  I visited with him the past couple of years & enjoyed walking him - we both had somewhat easygoing, some would say slow, styles.  Earlier this years, in a visit to a nearby park, we took the time to enjoy the sun.  Here's Rufus:

He didn't know he had less than a year left on the planet (me either!).  He didn't know his constant companion would no longer be with him in a few weeks.  He was living in the moment, as all animals except humans do, enjoying a beautiful day, knowing his mother & sibling were near, happy to make a friend or be reacquainted with one, accepting of the vagaries of life.

I can still see his face before me, feel his basset jowls as I petted his face, see his big, sad eyes as I told him how much I liked him, hoping he might too like me.

The world is less than because he is not here, but it is more than because he existed.

Good bye, Rufus.  You were a good thing.  I am so so happy I knew you.