Thursday, December 07, 2017

Self Help Radio 120617: Sidewalks

How many sidewalks have I walked in my life? Is it weird to think that if I had been born two hundred years earlier, I wouldn't have walked on any sidewalks, especially if I had been born in the same area, which was basically rural until the early 20th century?

Instead, sidewalks were everywhere when I turned up.  Sidewalks in front of the schools I attended, sidewalks along the roads I wandered when I was a kid, sidewalks in the neighborhood where I've walked my dogs.  In fact, sidewalks are so ubiquitous that it's crazy that I live in a neighborhood now without sidewalks.

Perhaps that's the reason that this week's show was about sidewalks - an attempt to have some sidewalks, even virtual, in the neighborhood.  If I knew how to made a sidewalk, & I'm not sure I really want to know that, I'd seriously consider putting a sidewalk in front of my house, passive-aggressively ending the lonesome concrete at the property line.  One person in our neighborhood has actually done that, but his or her house is at the corner, so it doesn't seem so spiteful.

Anyway, here's this week's show, now at the Self Help Radio website.  You know about the username/password situation, right?  The info's on the page.  The show is in two mostly-equal parts, each about an hour long, & what's in the parts, including the interviews, is listed below.

(part one)

"Sidewalk Blues (Take 2)" Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers _The Jelly Roll Morton Centennial: His Complete Victor Recordings_
"The Sidewalks Of New York" The Shannon Quartet (The Revelers) _New York, New York: A Vintage Portrait_
"Sidewalks" John D. Loudermilk _The Open Mind Of John D. Loudermilk_

"Sidewalking" The Jesus & Mary Chain _Barbed Wire Kisses_
"Crack In The Sidewalk" House Of Freaks _Monkey On A Chain Gang_
"Sidewalks" Ken Nordine _Wink: Ken Nordine Does Robert Shure_
"The Sidewalks Of Chicago" Merle Haggard & The Strangers _Hag_
"Sidewalk Patrol" Red Simpson _The Man Behind The Badge_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"City Sidewalks" Hardwater _Hardwater_
"Sidewalk" Birdie _Triple Echo_
"Sidewalks & Spaces" True Love Always _Clouds_
"Where The Sidewalk Ends" Edine _Between Two Waves: The Second Wave_

interview with writer David Fruchter (part one)

"Snowy Sidewalks" Aden _Aden_
"Sidewalk Birds" Saturday Looks Good To Me _Money In The Afterlife 7"_

(part two)

"The Sidewalk Song" The Bran Flakes _I Have Hands_
"Cracks In The Sidewalk" The # 1 _The Collector_
"Talk To A Sidewalk" The Shags _Every Groovy Day_

interview with writer David Fruchter (part two)

"The Sidewalks Of The Ghetto" Eternity's Children _From Us Unto You: The Original Singles_
"Sidewalk Traveller" Hopeton Lindo _Sidewalk Traveller_
"Bob & Ray Editorial: Save Old Sidewalks" Bob & Ray _Classic Bob & Ray, Volume Four: Selections From A Career: 1946-1976_
"Don't Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk" The Cramps _Psychedelic Jungle_
"Sidewalk Begging" Dicks _These People_

interview with child explorer Oliver Whitehall

"Sidewalk Surfin'" Jan & Dean _All The Hits: From Surf City To Drag City_
"The Sidewalk Surf" The Mad Lads _The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968_
"Sammy The Sidewalk Surfer" The Surfettes _Hey, Beach Girls! Female Surf 'n' Drag 1961-1966_
"Sidewalk Surfboard" Floyd Robinson _Motorcycle Man_
"Devil's Sidewalk" Graham Parker & The Rumour _The Up Escalator_

"Sidewalk" Seana Carmody _Struts & Shocks_
"Sidewalk Cracks" Sonny Vincent & Spite _Spiteful_

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Whither Sidewalks?

A show about sidewalks.  Well, I never.  How many songs could there be about sidewalks, anyway?  Surely not enough to fill a two-hour show?  I guess we'll see.

Back in the day, I wasted money I could've been using to buy records to buy British music magazines like Melody Maker & NME to read about records I couldn't afford because they'd be expensive imports by the time they reached Austin, if they ever did.  I remember when the Jesus & Mary Chain single "Sidewalking" came out, on magazine had an interview with the band, & one of the comments was about the song's title.  Apparently the interviewer was impressed they used the term "sidewalk."  He (or she) said something like, "If Morrissey had written the song, he might have used the word 'pavement' or something more British."

It made me think, do British people have a different word for sidewalk?  It turns out that, yes, they say "pavement."  I found out that Australians say "footpath."  Will there be "pavement" & "footpath" songs on tonight's show?  No spoilers!

That picture above was taken in Lexington, Kentucky, a couple of years ago (April of 2015, to be exact).  It's a sidewalk along a street called Maplewood Drive in the Southland area.  There was a neighbor of ours named Bill who, right before we left, got a job working for the city as a sidewalk inspector.  He would visit neighborhoods, walk their sidewalks, & spray-paint marks on them if, like the one above, they might pose a danger to people who walked along them.  The owner would then be obliged to fix the sidewalk or be fined.  In the six years we lived in the neighborhood, there were never any marks on that sidewalk.  But don't blame Bill!  He had just started when we moved away.

Did we tell Bill about this sidewalk?  Heck no!  We're not snitches!

This is just a long-winded way of saying oh yeah Self Help Radio is on the air tonight from 8-10pm central/9-11pm eastern on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington (where you'd better pay attention to your sidewalks) & every where at Lexington Community Radio online.

As a postscript: we now live in a neighborhood that doesn't have sidewalks.  Sigh.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Preface To Sidewalks: Where The Sidewalk Ends

(Shel, from his Wikipedia page.)

You have to be around my age to automatically think, when someone says the word "sidewalk," of a book of poems called Where The Sidewalk Ends.  I was very happy when I discovered an actual album of Silverstein reciting & singing the poems that I had loved as a child, but unhappy when I checked it recently to discover that the titular poem is not one of the album's tracks.

In lieu of me reading it to you on tomorrow's show, I'll just share it now, in case you haven't ever read it.  I found a copy of it here.

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Hooray!  No poem-reading for me tomorrow!

Monday, December 04, 2017

Don't Jinx It!

Actually, I don't believe in jinxes.  Or curses.  Or bad luck that's anything other than bad luck.  But it's been so difficult for me to find a venue for Self Help Radio in this sprawling area of over seven million people that any opportunity for me to do live radio is something that I get excited about so - here's some news.  Unsurprisingly, it has nothing to do with this sprawling area of over seven million people & few opportunities for non-commercial radio.

The radio station where I first did radio is the student radio station at the University of Texas at Austin, KVRX.  When the long winter break comes, they allow alumni to come to the station to do shows, & I have decided to mosey down to Austin to do just that.  My first "winterim" show is next Thursday, December 14th, from 8-midnight central time.

It won't be Self Help Radio, but maybe some of my collaborators - two of whom live in Austin - may show up.  Mainly it'll be me playing music in my old stomping ground.  It will be almost twenty years since I did a show there.  How crazy is that?

There'll be more reminders when the time nears, of course.  I just wanted to say something.  I'm so excited!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Good Giving, Good Grief

The Good Giving Challenge is happening right now in Lexington.  (You can click the link to see what exactly that means.)  With regards to Self Help Radio, this impact the dear radio station that airs the show, WLXU.  WLXU is a non-profit, non-commercial station that is made up mainly of volunteers - music lovers, community activists, & everything in-between.  The programmers make radio out of love, not for profit.  But money is needed to keep the station on the air, & now is the time to help out.

You can donate to the station by clicking on this link.  I have been very fortunate not to have to beg for money for the past few years, as WRFL is supported by student fees.  But that's not the case with WLXU.  So please give!

Personally, I am terrible at raising money.  I think I give off too desperate a vibe, like my self-esteem is too invested in the validation that monetary support for my worthless radio show would give me.  But I should say that, if you want to give to Lexington Community Radio, you can do so in the name of the show, where, if you click the link, you will see that... no one has done so.  & you know what?  That seems appropriate.

So you don't have to show support for Self Help Radio.  But do support Lexington Community Radio.  Please please please.  Please please please please please!