Friday, July 20, 2018

Self Help Radio 072018: The Sudden Show

(Turns out there's a series of Westerns called "Sudden."  I messed with one of the paperback covers.  The original is here.)

Suddenly, there's a new episode of Self Help Radio.  Although of course it's really not all that sudden.  It's happening when it always happens, noon on Friday.  I've been talking about it all week.  In fact, it's the very opposite of sudden.  You know what?  I should've released it at random, like on Flag Day in 2021.  Or on your birthday except I don't know when your birthday is!  Suddenly, you'd have a birthday present you weren't expecting.  Well, poops.  I guess you'll just have to enjoy this entirely pre-planned show about suddenness.

Something I just noticed: I've been talking about this as "a sudden show," but on the website it's listed as "the sudden show."  All of a sudden it was slightly renamed!  That wasn't something I set out to do at all.  I'm sure you find it as delightful as I do.

Despite it not being sudden at all, the show still calls itself that & can be listened to now & whenevermore at the Self Help Radio website.  It's a couple of hours long, it's one file, there are tons of songs (4,320 lbs to be exact) & goofy interviews & at some point I am eaten by a man ray.  That last part isn't true.  I wanted to make the show seem more sudden than it actually.  Anyway, make sure you known your username (it's SHR) & your password (it's selfhelp) to listen.  & have a look at what I played & where the other stuff happens so you can plan your listen.  Or don't - heck, that'll make it all the more sudden!

Suddenly, the whole idea of this show seems quite foolish to me.  Oh well.

"Suddenly Everything Happens" California Snow Story _Close To The Ocean_
"Then Suddenly Love" Frank Sinatra _The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings_
"And Then Suddenly" The Bartlebees _Urban Folk Legends_

introduction & definitions

"And Suddenly" Terry Malts _Lost At The Party_
"Suddenly I Met Your Face" Nits _Work_
"Suddenly There's A Valley" The Drifters _The Drifters' Greatest Hits_
"Suddenly Everything Has Changed" The Flaming Lips _The Soft Bulletin_
"Suddenly Is Sooner Than You Think" Dntel _Life Is Full Of Possibilities_

interview with Police Sgt David Fruchter

"No Sudden Moves" Dengue Fever _The Deepest Lake_
"Suddenly Violently Random" Lowlife _Eternity Road: Reflections Of Lowlife 1985-1995_
"Sudden Death" John Cale _Helen Of Troy_
"Sudden Death" Slobster _A Real Cool Time Revisited: Swedish Punk, Pop, & Garage Rock 1982-1989_
"A Sudden Death" The Organ _Grab That Gun_

"Dramatic Readings Of Classic Rock Songs"

"All Of A Sudden" The Incredibles _Heart & Soul_
"(All OF The Sudden) My Heart Sings" Mel Carter _Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me: The Best Of Mel Carter_
"Sudden Smile" 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong _Baby Trash_
"Suddenly" Tender Trap _Dansette Dansette_
"Suddenly, Last Autumn" The Monochrome Set _Cosmonaut_

interview with improv artist Allen Shariaty

"And Suddenly" The Left Banke _There's Gonna Be A Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966-1969_
"Suddenly You Love Me" Cilla Black _Completely Cilla 1963-1973_
"Suddenly There Is A Tidal Wave" The Magnetic Fields _The Wayward Bus_
"Suddenly" Bishop Allen _March EP_
"Sudden Town" The Soft Boys _Nextdoorland_

conclusion & goodbye

"Sudden Lei" Drug Boyfriend + Holy Worm _Sudden Lei_
"All Of A Sudden" The Farmer's Boys _With These Hands_
"Sudden Fiction" Guided By Voices _August By Cake_
"Suddenly Gone" Shopping _The Official Body_

post mortem

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Whither A Sudden Show?

(Image from here.)

Suddenly, I had an idea for a new show.

Inexplicably, the idea was "sudden."

Understandably, everyone around me became concerned.

Soothingly, I explained that this was no different than any other show I had planned.

Maddeningly, they insisted I was ill.

Hurriedly, I fled from their ignorance.

Surreptitiously, I discovered a place to hide while they looked everywhere else.

Happily, I daydreamt about all the songs I would play.

Menacingly, a voice called from deep inside my hiding place.

Fearfully, I answered back.

Suddenly, three arms grasped me!

Ruefully, I cursed myself for the stupid theme & the trouble it caused me.

Amazingly, it was just Three-Armed Phil, the neighborhood freak.

Abashedly, he explained that this was his hiding place, & he didn't want to share.

Cheerfully, I said I understood.

Suddenly, it started storming!

Welcomingly, Three-Armed Phil took me back to his hiding place where we had tea.

Gratefully, I listened to boring stories about his time in Canadian government.

Wistfully, I waited the storm out, eager to do my show.

Magically, Three-Armed Phil read my mind & asked when the show would happen.

Excitedly, I told him: tomorrow, Friday, July 20, at noon, at Self Help Radio dot net!

Frustratingly, he then went back to his own stupid stories.

Suddenly, Three-Armed Phil asked if I wanted to go watch television.

Resignedly, I agreed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Preface To A Sudden Show: Stupid Facebook

Stupid Facebook won't let me post this video to the Self Help Radio Facebook page.  I have no idea.  It's the song "Suddenly Is Sooner Than You Think" by Dntel.  I had cleverly commented, "The Sudden Show is sooner than you think."  Then I added, "I really need to get to work on it!"

But it just froze there & wouldn't post it.  So I'll post it here I suppose:

Lately I've been sharing on Facebook some of the songs I'll play (or maybe won't play) for the week's show.  I have no idea if anyone likes it.  But that's why I wanted to post this today.  & stupid me, I kept trying, & trying, & trying, until it occurred to me, this late in the day, to put it on the Facebook page.

Here it is.  Lots of ado about basically nothing.  But like my animals, I love my rituals.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today...  I never do this sort of thing, but I have been doing this blog for this show long enough that I suppose I can re-present some things I wrote many moons ago.  So let's see what was happening on this blog ten years ago today, in the summer of 2008.

The post is titled "Whither Taxis?"  The show that week was about taxis.  I remember it well.  I asked my friends Camille (who now lives in Memphis & with whom I'm still in contact) & Justin (with whom I haven't spoken in a very long time) to come over because I had written a play about taxis that I wanted them to do parts in.  If I remember correctly, the play takes place during the airbreaks.  Please understand, I haven't listened to this show, probably, ever.  But I remember it fondly.  Certainly it was fun working with friends.

Here's what I said then about the upcoming show:

People tell me I used to be a friendlier person. Now, they say, I seem a little closed-off, & a little sad. What gives, they ask. Who pooped in your mouth & called it salad?

Don't you think I know how I feel about the world? Don't you think I know that my weird little radio show that's not on the radio isn't like some kind of taxi without a passenger? Like a bus without one of those clumsy wheelchair ramps that take forever to deploy? Like an elevator that smells like vinegar & kills the cockroaches that crawl outside it? Like an escalator with dried ice cream caked forever into its ridges, sticking to your shoes & making you self-conscious as you stare at the pretty girl in the food court? Like a broken-down rickshaw mocking you as you walk, beaten & bruised, to the big Laotian city vowing revenge on the gangsters who robbed you, raped you & left you for dead? Like a baby carriage with a fat baby in it who's gotta be at least four & who sings like Rod Stewart? Like a dolly leaning slightly on an empty soda dispensing machine which rattles when the soda dispensing machine repairperson accidentally closes the door too fast & the noises causes him to drop fourteen dollars worth of quarters on the floor, which people inadvertently start kicking all over the place? Don't you think I know myself?

People tell me that self-awareness doesn't appear to be my problem. They say, why are you so defensive? Who stuck their finger in your ass & called it macaroni?

Don't you think I know that I appear defensive around you? Don't you see that one of my coping mechanisms is to continue doing Self Help Radio no matter who listens or where it is or whatever the fuck?

People tell me that they didn't even know I was a deejay. For the record, I tell them, I've ridden in taxis less than ten times in my life. People then tell me that they've got to go. & they go.

That summer Self Help Radio was not on the radio.  It's a long story.  But this summer Self Help Radio is not on the radio.  The more things change...

If you'd like to listen to that show about taxis, I have uploaded it for your pleasure &/or irritation.  The first part is here & the second part is here.  The usual username/password issues apply.  If you do listen, against everyone's better judgment, maybe don't tell me it's not as good as I remember it.

& if you see Justin, tell him I said hey.

Monday, July 16, 2018

If Only I Had It Earlier

(Image from Discogs.)

People often talk about how great older siblings are, how they guide your through life's difficulties & give you a head start when it comes to cool stuff, like music.  But though I have five - five! - older siblings, I got very little guidance from them about life.  & what's more, the music they liked was basically what they heard on the radio, which I too could hear on the radio, & there was very little revelation in their tastes.

But what if they had been cooler?  What if they had been listening to punk, if they had liked bands like the Velvets & the Stooges, if they had gone deeper with psych or funk or prog?  What would it have looked like for one of my brothers - all of whom consider themselves music lovers - to give me a Can record & tell me to listen to it?  It never happened.

Sometimes I daydream about it, though, about one of them caring enough to not receive music passively through the radio.  I imagine one of them noticing something about me, about what I was going through, & telling me, at the age of fifteen, you know what you need?  Check out this record by the Modern Lovers.

It seems to me that I discovered Jonathan Richman by accident.  Sometime in 1992 - when I was twenty-four - I checked out the Rhino best of comp from the Fine Arts Library at UT - & while it focuses mostly on Richman's more positive, often childlike side, it does have three tunes from that first record.  Which intrigued me.

& maybe I sought it out immediately?  I don't remember.  But I do know once I got it, I thought to myself, "Holy fuck, I could've used this when I was fifteen."  I was enamored of the record that on my first radio show, back in 1994, I began every show with the song "Girlfriend."  A girlfriend, yeah, that's something that I could understand.

In many cases, I've approached things way later than anyone else.  I have friends who had cool brothers who shared music with them.  I didn't.  I had to rely on those friends, & on my own excursions to the record store, to discover music that would ultimately mean the world to me.  Even if I got there too late.