Thursday, April 19, 2018

Self Help Radio 041818: Markets

(Original image here.)

Hooray!  It's market day!  Make sure you have cash!  Get those reusable bags!  Don't make a list - we'll just buy whatever catches our eye!  Do you wanna bike there?  Drive?  Are you crazy?  To the market?  Well, you can drive but I'm gonna bike!  Or walk!  Let's take the dogs!  Let's take the neighbor's dogs!  Let's take the neighbors!  It's motherfucking market day!

& so it went on this week's Self Help Radio, a show about markets of all kinds but let's face it it's mainly about supermarkets & the like.  People just don't write songs about market forces or stock markets or even marketing come to think of it.  But supermarkets, oh yeah.  We're in those fuckers all the time.  Do you remember that episode of Happy Days where the Fonz taught Richie how easy it was to pick up women in the supermarket?  & he accidentally hit on Richie's mother?  That was funny.  Where was I?  I don't really remember.

The show is now at the Self Help Radio website.  It's free to download but look for the username & password (which are on the front page there) or you won't get to listen.  There are lots of songs & also guests in both parts & what's in each part is listed below.

Does this seem organic?  It doesn't look organic to me.

"At The Market" Remington Super 60 _Indie Pop For Kids, Vol. 1_
"Open Air Market" Petrikis _Open Air Market_
"Market Place" Etta James _Etta James R & B Dynamite_

"Market Day" The Brotherhood Of Lizards _Lizardland_
"Down To The Market" The Kooks _Konk_
"A Supermarket In California" Allen Ginsberg _Howls, Raps, & Roars: Recordings From The San Francisco Poetry Renaissance_
"Supermarket Blues" Eugene McDaniels _Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse_
"Let's Loot The Supermarket Again Like We Did Last Summer" Mick Farren _The Stiff Records Box Set_

interview with "the Market Guy" Lorenzo Schwab

"Lost In The Supermarket" The Clash _London Calling_
"Fairytale In The Supermarket" The Raincoats _The Raincoats_
"Supermarket" Iggy Pop _Skull Ring_
"Shoplifters Of The World Unite" The Smiths _Louder Than Bombs_
"Shoplifters Market" Firesign Theater _Eat Or Be Eaten_

"Queen Of The Supermarket" Bruce Springsteen _Working On A Dream_
"Supermarket" Earl Sinks _The Man With 1000 Names_
"Supermarket Full Of Cans" The Eyes Of Blue _The Mod Scene_
"I'm In The Market For You (Don Howard, vocals)" Ben Selvin & His Orchestra _The Very Best Of Ben Selvin_

interview with Paul Krugman Karl Proogman

"Go Shoppin' (feat. Eek-A-Mouse)" Bran Van 3000 _Discosis_
"The Market Of Farms" Artichoke _Etchy Sketchy Skies_
"Matt Neffer: At The Supermarket" Bob & Ray _Classic: Volume 3_
"Abominable Snowman In The Market" Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers _Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers_
"Supermarket Scene" Icecream Hands _You Can Ride My Bike: The Best Of Icecream Hands_

interview with grocer David Fruchter

"Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here" Bob Dorough _Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock_
"Stone Cold Dead In The Market (He Had It Coming) (with Ella Fitzgerald)" Louis Jordan _Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five, Vol. 3: 1944-1946_
"Le Supermarché" Les Calamités _Les Calamités_
"Shopaholic" Bis _Social Dancing_
"Electronique Supermarket" Skanfrom _Cashier Escape Route_

"Supermarket Casanova" Hyperbubble _Candy Apple Daydreams_
"Touching Boys (In Supermarkets)" Alice & The Enemies _Alice & The Enemies_

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Whither Markets?

That picture above is one I took of the Fort Worth Public Market, an urban ruin which once, the Wikipedia says, "housed various businesses such as grocers, bakers, & butchers."  It continues, "At its peak, the Public Market had space for 145 farmer & vendor stalls & 30 permanent retail shops."  Most interesting to me is that the space had a weekly radio show on WBAP during its life!

It is no longer at its peak.  There's more information here, but fascinatingly, it was built in 1930 but succumbed to the effects of the Great Depression & closed as a market in 1941.  That's not terribly long.  It housed various businesses but hasn't had a tenant since 2004.  The area around it, however, is being gentrified, so there's always the chance that it'll experience another rebirth at some point.  But probably not as a market.

The picture was taken earlier this year, before I even knew I'd be doing a show about markets.  I just happened to run across it today, as I was mulling over what sort of nonsense I'd write about tonight's episode.  The city is full of abandoned buildings like this.  All around the metroplex, especially in the expansive suburbs, cheap apartment complexes are being built, along highways, on the former prairies that used to circle the cities.  Meanwhile inside the cities places like this are left to rot.  It's a wonder they leave the edifices up.

(Well, they have to in this case - it was designated a Texas Historical Landmark in 1980.  I think that's what's prevented the wrecking ball from obliterating it entirely.)

Though I probably won't mention this market on tonight's show, there are many other markets to note, so have a listen, if you'd like, from 9-11pm eastern at 93.9 fm in Lexington & online at Lexington community radio dot org.  This markets has plenty of things you'll want & they're all free!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Preface To Markets: This Little Piggy

There used to be - there still is? - a flea market in Garland where I would buy CDs very cheap & someone said to me when I was walking away from the stall - I had just bought Joy Division's Still for two bucks - the person said to me, "All his shit is stolen, man."

For the longest time - it seemed like years but was probably just a few months months - on Sunday mornings, the wife & I would leash up the dogs & we'd walk to the Farmer's Market in Lexington on Southland Drive.  I hated navigating the hounds through all the people - who wanted to pet them, & from whom they wanted to steal food - so I'd sit across the street, outside this German restaurant, closed Sundays, & call my mother or my sister, & pass the time with talk.  I was thinking we stopped going because my wife got bored of it, but actually we stopped going when I started to cook more - before we planned meals, my wife would buy things & decide what dinners to make with them - but I prefer to lay out the week in advance, & if I couldn't find, say, eggplants at the Farmer's Market, it would screw up my schedule.  I began to buy my food supplies at a place I knew would have what I needed.  The Farmer's Market then because superfluous.

In 1992, I went to Mexico City.  I was in love with a girl who had been studying abroad there & we arranged to meet after she was done in Cuernavaca.  I was struck by how every street was lined with people selling things - an entire city that was a market - & felt strange after a while that I wasn't buying anything.  Like a kid in a convenience store who's just passing the time, I glanced at everyone like they might kick me out for not being a paying customer.  & once of two, I'd feel a strange sensation up against my butt, a pickpocket attempting to steal a wallet I didn't carry.  I'd turn & look at the pilferer & feel a little sorry I had nothing to steal.

When I was a kid I loved to go to this place called Treasure City, which seemed large beyond measure, which was in reality about the size of an average K-Mart.  But unlike a K-Mart, you would walk in & the front area was full of little children's rides, like horses & tiny carousels.  & if you dropped me into that place again today I would know exactly where the toy section was, & it was a mess.  There would always been lots of children there & board games would be opened & books strewn about & toys being played with.  It's a wonder they were able to stay in business, &, of course, they didn't.

Gosh, I must have been in either early middle school or late elementary school when a new Minyard's supermarket opened in the shopping center next to the apartments I lived in.  I remember the opening day because I, who had no money, managed to be one of the first hundred or so people who entered &, because of that, I got a little plant, some kind of succulent, as an opening day gift.  I wandered the aisles but was happy to find, in the back corner, two things: the magazine section, which had comic books, & the water fountain, which was right next to the magazine section.  I took the plant home & set it on my window sill & promptly forgot about it.  I'm sure my mother tossed it out eventually.

The Wikipedia article on markets - meaning marketplaces - says the first Persian markets appeared around 3000 BCE.  Five millennia of humans going to places to buy things - food, clothing, toys, housewares, anything, everything.  Isn't it crazy that when you go to the outlet mall you're basically doing the same thing the first people did when they went to the bazaar?

It's a shame, in its way, so many people do it from their computer these days.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Judge Harry

Harry Anderson was a funny guy but he wasn't the funniest guy on his own television show.  That didn't seem to bother him one bit.  It let him slowly move into the role as the show's moral center, which I'm sure pleased him.  But most certainly he had that sense of self that some comedians have that says, "The important thing is the laughs, & it doesn't matter whether I'm the one getting them or not."  He wasn't quite the straight man, but he could be, & he had an amazing cast to react to.

It's hard to believe that Night Court started in 1984 because I remember watching it in college, but there it was, on the air during my (probably) formative years.  I was sixteen when it started & twenty-four when it ended.  & I think I tried to catch it in the spring of 1992 on Wednesday nights, before or after Seinfeld, when it had just started.  I've watched the first couple of seasons since, but most of the show is not available on DVD.  Maybe that'll change, or it'll come to Netflix or something.

As you probably know, Harry Anderson died today.  He made me laugh so much when I was younger, him & his show, & I'm sure he'll do it again.  That's the sort of magic he really practiced.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bump On The Knee

Oh no!  There's a bump on my knee!  Better get to Web MD!

First I have to check my symptoms.

It's asking me my age & gender.  That's easy!

Main symptom?  All right!  "Lump on knee."

Medications?  Oh, they won't let me put "whiskey."  Oh well.

"Conditions that match your symptoms:

"Baker's cyst

Oh no!  Oh no!

My wife: "You fell down & hit your knee the other day, moron.  It's a swelling.  Do you see the bruise?"

Okay, adding "bruising."  The same results!

My wife: "I'm going to take the internet away from you if you keep this shit up."

Oh all right.  Sigh.

My wife: "& stop touching it!"