Friday, June 01, 2018

Self Help Radio 060118: Hollywood

(Original image here.)

My gosh!  It's opening night!  & aren't you dressed fancy!  Strange that one should go to such trouble for a silly radio program.  But it's a show about Hollywood!  & everyone knows Hollywood loves a party.

But isn't Hollywood in trouble now?  Sexual harassment, gender inequalities, stars & producers discovered as rapists - who wants to throw a party in that atmosphere?

Self Help Radio is here, not to party, to turn a cold, sober eye on the dream factory known as "tinsel town."  & when it says eye, it means mainly lots of music plus a couple of interviews & maybe one segment which features a Bob Seger song.  Will Hollywood recover from such scrutiny?  Will Hollywood even notice?

Of course not, & you probably won't either.  But if you'd like to descend in the Hollywood Babylon that is this week's Self Help Radio, you can listen whenever you'd like at the Self Help Radio website.  Use the username "SHR" & pass the password "selfhelp" to get the same access celebrities do.  The show's about two hours long - like the length of a movie - & you'll see some credits below.

Believe me, you got the makings of a star!

"Hooray For Hollywood" Johnnie Davis & Frances Langford _American Songbook Series: Johnny Mercer_
"Hollywood Or Bust" Dean Martin _Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis At The Movies_
"Welcome To Hollywood" Asylum Choir _Look Inside The Asylum Choir_


"Green Tennis Visor" Luxuriator _Green Tennis Visor 7"_
"Big Sister In Hollywood" The Lil' Hospital _Heavy Metal_
"The Hollywood Golden Guild Awards" Superego _Superego Season 4, Episode 5_
"Hollywood Squares" Seth Bogart _Seth Bogart_
"Hollywoods Decision" Bitter Springs _Best Bakers On The Island_

interview with Hollywood agent David Fruchter

"Hollywood Swinging" Kool & The Gang _Wild & Peaceful_
"Holly Wants To Go To California" Funkadelic _Uncle Jam Wants You_
"When Hollywood Goes Black & Tan" Cleo Brown _Here Comes Cleo_
"Hollywood Tailswinging" Dr. Octagon _Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation_
"Burn Hollywood Burn" Public Enemy _Fear Of A Black Planet_
"Grouch & Chico, Hollywood Agents" The Marx Brothers _3 Hours 59 Minutes 51 Seconds with The Marx Bros_

classic replay of Mark "High Over Hollywood™" Miller interview

"High Over Hollywood" Idha _Melody Inn_
"Hollywood" Codeine Velvet Club _Codeine Velvet Club_
"Hollywood, We Did It All Wrong" Bleached _Welcome The Worms_
"Tinsel Town Rebellion" Frank Zappa _Have I Offended Someone?_

Dramatic Readings Of Classic Rock Songs: "Hollywood Nights"

"Madame Hollywood (featuring Miss Kitten)" Felix Da Housecat _Lektroluv (Mix'd By Dr Lektroluv)_
"Hollywood" Secret Rooms _Solution Disillusion_
"Theme From Hollywood" Megapuss _Surfing_
"When I Get To Hollywood" The Monochrome Set _Spaces Everywhere_
"Hollywood Affair" The Honest Johns _Meteor 1986-1990_


"Somewhere In Hollywood" 10cc _Sheet Music_

post mortem

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Whither Hollywood?

(Image from Wikipedia.)

Oh crap, I was in my trailer all day - these location shoots are tough - & I didn't get to write about this week's show (which will "drop" {as the kids say} tomorrow) but it's kind of crazy because this week's show is about Hollywood!

& where am I?  I'm in Death Valley, California wrapping up four grueling weeks of shooting for the newest project, which is of course Self Help Radio: The Movie.  Except it's been going through rewrites & now may be entitled Self Help Radio: The Podcast: The Movie.  In any event, it's got everything that you love about Self Help Radio without all that Self Help Radio.

They've hired me on as a script consultant but after I did some consulting they gave me a Co-Associate-Producer title & made me sit in a trailer playing video games all day.  Did I mention the cast?  Clooney! Streep!  Hanks!  Bumstead!  Schicklgruber!  It's amazing.  Not that I've met them.  They put my trailer about two miles from the actual site, & as far as I know, it's not technically about Self Help Radio anymore.  But wow, what an experience!  I hope they can get my air conditioner working again, it gets hot in here.

Anyway, I'll be back in time tomorrow for a show about Hollywood which should be great because I am now a movie veteran.  Noon tomorrow at Self Help Radio dot Net.  I'll have stories!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Preface To Hollywood: Have I Ever Been To Hollywood?

Have I?  I've been to Los Angeles, but have I ever been to Hollywood?

Looking online, I'm pretty sure I have.  I haven't seen the Hollywood Walk Of Fame or other landmarks, but I've driven in the area.  Did I know it was Hollywood?  Nope.  Did I care?  Not really.

At some point in my youth, I thought I wanted to act.  In ninth grade, I auditioned for two of my high school plays & took a semester of "theatre arts."  I felt like if I could memorize stuff - & I could - I would be a good, if not great, actor.

Heck, I even got to go to another high school to do improv!  But I did terribly.

& then, when I got a small part in the second play, I was unable to come to rehearsals because the teacher/director couldn't keep to the schedule.  I probably wrote about this here.  In frustration, I quit the play.

In twelfth grade, my friend Terri encouraged me to audition for a production of The Crucible.  I don't know what I expected - I'm sure many of the best parts went to people who had been involved actively in the Thespian Society for their entire high school careers.  & who were, of course, much better actors than I was!  They did give me a part with a few lines, & I declined.  I was too old to relive my ninth grade experience.

But still I thought I might be good at "acting."  I daydreamed about doing it, but never really followed through - at best, when I discovered radio, I found I could sometimes over-emote or ham it up for comedic effect.  Once I even "emceed" a friend's performance art show, in which I guess I played a role.  But time went by, I never actively pursued any type of performance except on the radio - no stand-up, no improv, no plays.

In my first or second year in Lexington, one of the deejays I knew at WRFL took me aside & said, "Hey, we're making a movie, & we think you'd be great in the role of the main character's father."

Oh yeah, I thought.  I'm old enough to be playing fathers now.

The part had only a few lines, but it took a long time to shoot them.  I had to continually eat slices of tomato & it made me a little ill.  But I thought it was fun.  Until.

Though the movie was never released, the kids making it did show it, & put it online (protected) for us to see.  It was a very long movie & I confess I didn't make it all the way through it.  But I did see my part.  & man, was I bad.

Not adequate, not mediocre.  Downright bad.  & I realized then I had no chance of being a good actor.  Not now, of course, but also not then.  I didn't want it enough, I didn't try.  I let inconvenience deter me.  I thought myself better than small parts.  & I don't even know if I would've enjoyed the life.  But I didn't try.  So I would never know.

But I'm not sad about it!  I never really had much of an interest in being in Hollywood.  Everything's fine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Should I Share?

There's a story I have to tell but I have to be careful about how I tell it because I don't want to betray confidences & I don't technically have permission to share private emails.  But I think I can be vague enough that it won't be obvious whom I am talking about.

The chance of Self Help Radio airing in Dallas pretty close to zero.  There are simply no outlets & there's not any space opening on KNON any time soon.  So someone I know suggested someplace else.

This would not be "syndication."  The station would operate much like WLXU, I would send prerecorded shows, the same thing.  Why would I do that if I left WLXU, you wonder?  Well, the WLXU decision had to do with the timing of the show in relation to my Tuesday show here in town.  I didn't feel comfortable with the idea that I, as a non-community member of a community station, could demand a different timeslot.  & I think I mentioned that it had been increasingly uncomfortable to me that I didn't live in Lexington anymore.

The station in question is internet-only & had people (a couple of whom I know) who do shows there who live in different parts of the country.  One of these people recommended me, actually.  It was a very kind thing to do.

& yep, I got the response today.  The show was rejected.  Oh I wish I could quote the entire email, it's a magnificent rejection letter, with the compliments at the beginning, & the blade coming down at the end.  The person in charge told me the reason for the rejection was (& this is the key phrase) "too consistently unthrilling [musical] choices."

Wow, I feel like someone just threw a ball at my head & made a big cartoon bump grow comedically!  But I confess I won't take this opinion too much to heart because the person also wrote, "I'm sure you are a well-loved radio person. I can HEAR that you are a well-loved radio person."

For the record, I've barely been a "well-liked" radio person in my many years stinking up the airwaves.  I can't imagine what would make someone think I was "well-loved"!  The person's judgment is therefore faulty & it makes sense that I shouldn't take this rejection too personally.

As if!  I will be unable to sleep tonight because of this!  But I'll be fine.  I hope!

Rejection just isn't any fun.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sinking In

This is a good John Mulaney joke:

"I was a very nervous kid, I was anxious all the time when I was younger, but what's nice is that some of the things I was anxious about don't bother me at all anymore.  Like I always thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be. Because if you watch cartoons, quicksand is like the third biggest thing you have to worry about in adult life behind real sticks of dynamite & giant anvils falling on you from the sky.  I used to sit around and think about what to do about quicksand!  I never thought about how to handle real problems in adult life, I was never like 'Oh, what's it gonna be like when relatives ask to borrow money?'

"Now that I've gotten older, not only have I never stepped in quicksand, I've never even heard about it!  No one's ever been like, 'Hey if you're coming to visit, take I-90 'cause I-95 has a little quicksand in the middle. Looks like regular sand, but then you're gonna start to sink into it.'"

Where I found that, by the way, was not on John Mulaney's web site (you, when a comedian would normally have transcripts of his jokes, sheesh), & I didn't transcribe it from the track on YouTube.  Nope, I found it on a song lyrics site.

That's weird, isn't it?  I can understand wanting to understand the lyrics of songs.  I am listening to Before & After Science as I write this & I never know the entire lyrics of "King's Lead Hat" no matter how many thousands of times I've heard it.  & hey, lyrics sites!  If Eno has never published his lyrics, then let's agree that the line "draw bananas on the bathroom walls" is nowhere near as great as the line "draw my manners on the bathroom walls," which also makes more sense in a sense.

Anyway, I've noticed this one site, Genius dot com, not only has transcriptions of comedians' routines (like the John Mulaney bit I quoted above) but also entire books.

You wanna read one of my favorite books, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson?  It's there.  You have to look for separate chapters, but hey!  Someone you don't know nor trust has annotated it!

Is the book already in the public domain?  & why hasn't someone awesome made it into an awesome movie yet?  Life is such a disappointment, & I'm saying that having not seen Solo yet!

Here's a last confession: I contribute to a lyrics site.  I've commented on songs & I've added lyrics, often transcribing them from the songs like I'm in tenth grade trying to desperately figure out Elvis Costello lyrics ("Is he saying Alka Seltzer the occasional?!?!?").  I've actually thought I knew all the lyrics to a song & had to give up.  I won't tell you which one though.  No one really likes my comments on the songs.  One guy even insulted me!  It's the internet!

These are the things I think about while preparing my Tuesday morning show.  I really should go back to listening to music though.