Thursday, March 01, 2018

Self Help Radio 022818: Towers

(Original image here.)

Hoo boy.  Now we've gone & done it.  Tower purists everywhere are up in arms.  They're quoting the Wikipedia at me, saying, "Although not correctly called towers many modern skyscraper are often called towers (whereas they are classified as 'buildings')."  They point out that "towers are specifically distinguished from 'buildings' in that they are not built to be habitable but to serve other functions."

Why then, they ask, do you have songs about "high rise towers"?  You can't live in a tower! they scream.  & I can only plead ignorance.  It wasn't until I sat down & did some research on the show (i.e., when I read the same Wikipedia article they were quoting to me) that I realized that things I had called towers, like tall apartment buildings in big cities, weren't actually towers.  The World Trade Center, the "Twin Towers"?  Not towers at all!

Now I have to do forty-three hours of community service for tower purists which means standing outside large buildings which may be called towers & explaining to passers-by that they're not towers at all, just buildings, & also do you want to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?  You might not know this, but most tower purists are also Girl Scouts.

Luckily most of the towers on this week's show fit the definition & I won't have to spend too much time in the Girl Scout Tower, which is a kind of prison.  You can see the songs I played (plus the interviews I conducted) below, & you can listen to the show at Self Help Radio's website.  Two hours, two segments, use "SHR" as a username & "selfhelp" as a password & you'll be fine.

& check out the view!

(part one)

"Manhattan Tower Part 1: Magical Tower" Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Chorus _New York, New York: A Vintage Portrait_
"You Don't Have To Be A Tower Of Strength" Gloria Lynne _Birth Of Soul, Volume 1_
"The Tower" Austin Lounge Lizards _The Drugs I Need_

"All Along The Watchtower" Bob Dylan _John Wesley Harding_
"Ivory Tower" The Rosaries _Forever_
"Broadcasting Waves" Math & Physics Club _Lived Here Before_
"High Rise Towers In Medium Size Towns" Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern _Pram Town_

interview with tower salesperson Lorenzo Schwab

"Ivory Tower" Otis Williams & The Charms _Doo Wop: The R&B Vocal Group Sound (1950-1960)_
"Alton Towers" The Fall _Imperial Wax Solvent_
"The Clock Tower" The Caribbean _Discontinued Perfume_
"Firestation Towers" The Close Lobsters _Forever, Until Victory! The Singles Collection_
"Towers Of London" XTC _Black Sea_

"Tower Of Song" Leonard Cohen _I'm Your Man_

(part two)

"The Clown On The Eiffel Tower" Les Baxter _Ultra-Lounge Volume Ten: A Bachelor In Paris_
"Sexy Eiffel Towers" Bow Wow Wow _Girl Bites Dog - Your Compact Disc Pet_
"Eiffel Tower High" Hüsker Dü _Candy Apple Grey_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"New World Towers" Blur _The Magic Whip_
"Ghosts Of Princes In Towers" Rich Kids _No Thanks! The 1970s Punk Rebellion_
"Kilburn Towers" Another Sunny Day _Genetic Engineering_
"The Tower (Afternoon Delight)" Yak Brigade _What You've Missed So Far_

interview with anti-tower activist David Fruchter

"Tower Song" Townes Van Zandt _Anthology 1968-1979_
"Towers" Amy Millan _Masters Of The Burial_
"Tower Of Thought" Devon Williams _Euphoria_
"To The Tower" The Lemon Drops _Crystal Pure!_

"Tower Of Fools" The Anyways _Older Than Yesterday_
"Towers" Headlights _Some Racing, Some Stopping_

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Whither Towers?

Yesterday I mentioned that I liked the new Math & Physics Club record a lot & wanted to play a song from it on the show, so I basically made a theme for the song.  That's today's theme.

Does that sort of thing happen a lot?  It does, sure.  Since every episode of Self Help Radio is based on a theme, I can't just play something I want to play just because I want to play it.  The arbitrary rules I've set for the show don't allow me to just play random stuff.  Every show needs a theme.  Every damn one.

Of course, there are other theme-based shows, & of course they give themselves freeform times.  One of my favorite radio shows in town, Night Skool, will often take a break between themes.  & a show on KOOP, Excavation Nation, was started as a chance to explore a different artist per show, but its host would often just play his collection of 45s, or just random music, when the spirit hit.  Like most instances, it's all me.  I am the one who said to myself, no, I will never "take a day off" from themes.  & it's been like sixteen years almost.  If I started to do it now, it would just be weird.

So, yeah, sometimes if I like a record, & especially if I like a song, I'll make a radio show from that tiny musical seed.  I found lots of great tunes about towers so I think you'll like tonight's episode.

It's on from 9-11pm eastern, 8-10pm central on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & everywhere at LCR Online.

Yes, you can hear it even if you're nowhere near a radio tower.  No, I will not come down from my ivory tower tonight.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Preface To Towers: Broadcasting Waves

Normally I save this sort of this for tomorrow's blog post, where I discuss why I picked a particular theme (if there's in fact a reason).  But really, I was just digging the Math & Physics Club's new record, & liked this song in particular, which is about a radio tower:

You'll hear it tomorrow, too, & it's pretty much the reason why I did the show (which is a spoiler for what I'll write tomorrow, maybe).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Tumblr Blog I Like # 3

Is this a Tumblr blog?  Maybe not - but it's reblogged on Tumblr all the time.  It's called Toothpaste For Dinner & it's dark & funny.  & I like it.  Here's today's, by the way:

Right up my alley.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Finally, Thank Yous

(Image found here.)

Last week, seeing the Winter KNON Pledge Drive come to its end, I wanted to thank the nice folks who pledged movie to me on the air doing the Tuesday Morning Blend.  My first two Tuesday shows were Pledge Drive shows, & I feared the worst.  However, I did all right, thanks to the nice people who pledged, whose named I will list now:

Al, Allen, Andres, Annie, Audrey, Bobby, Bonnie, Connie, David, Janet, Jenny, Jerry, John, Josh, Kara, Leora, Margot, Paul, & my wife, who knows who she is.

Of the pledgers, I knew six personally - two were family members - & I swear I didn't beg them or anything!  It's nice to know that they cared enough to help support my very unprofitable hobby.  The rest were kind people who liked what I was playing &/or the gifts we had for donating.

My damaged self-esteem is well established, but I'm not so broken I can't feel a little happy that so many people - nineteen of them! - wanted to keep KNON on the air & showed it with their hard-earned cash.  I can't thank all of you enough.  You're my heroes.