Friday, July 27, 2018

Self Help Radio 072718: Seeds

(Original image here.)

Some time last week, I planted a seed.  A seed of a radio program.  It was a funny-looking seed.  Perhaps a bit beaten up.  Maybe it had been rattled one too many times.  Maybe some annoying bird tried to eat it, but gave up, its hull a little to hard on the beak.  Maybe it just simply couldn't find the right place to, as they say, put down roots.

No, I did not get the seed in trade for a cow.  I don't own a cow.  I also don't live with my mother.  I found the seed fair & square.

Anyway, the seed was planted.  There were doubts about it from the beginning.  It won't grow, people said.  It's dead, they said.  What are you watering it with? they asked me.

Music, I said.  Music & silly interviews.

They of course rolled their eyes & went on their condescending ways.

But look here!  The seed has grown into an actual radio show.  About seeds!  All the little seed needed was someone who wanted to make a radio show about seeds & by golly that was Self Help Radio!

Now, the show is a little funny-looking, so be kind, all right?

Listen & wonder at the Self Help Radio Garden.  You'll need a password & username to get past the gate.  That's SHR & selfhelp.  Do not disturb the rabbits who are fucking up the carrot patch.  We like it when rabbits are happy.  Details about this amazing show are below.  Please enjoy.

"Seeds, An Introduction" Marc Vietor _Thor Hanson: The Triumph Of Seeds_
"How Do The Seeds Of Plants Travel?" Marais & Miranda _Nature Songs (From Ballads For The Age Of Science)_
"My Little Seed" Woody Guthrie _Selections From The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection_

introduction & definitions

"Dandelion Seeds" July _July_
"Dandelion Seed" The Primitives _Spin-O-Rama_
"Dandelion Seed" Jens Lekman _Life Will See You Now_
"Sesame Seeds" Mitch Hedberg _Mitch All Together_
"Sesame Seed" Prince Rupert's Drops _Climbing Light_

interview with the urban gardener, Jamie Shettlinbaum

"Sow Good Seeds" Lil McClintock _Atlanta Blues: Big City Blues From The Heartland_
"Sow The Seed Of Love" Wild Honey _There's No Stopping Us Now_
"Sowing Seeds" The Jesus & Mary Chain _Psychocandy_
"Johnny Appleseed" Joan Gerber _The Story Lady_
"Appleseed John" The New Christy Minstrels _Land Of Giants_
"Appleseed Alley" The Magic Whispers _Carousels & Music Boxes_

interview with geneticist Dr David Fruchter

"The Seeds" The Men _New Moon_
"I Need Seed" Thee Oh Sees _Castlemania_
"Three Seeds" Elf Power _Creatures_
"Planting The Seeds Of Insecurity" Sarah Silverman _We Are Miracles_
"The Seed" Damien Youth _Festival Of Death_
"The Seed That Always Died" Jona Lewie _Heart Skips Beat_

a whole mess o'idioms

"Bad Seeds" Beat Happening _Look Around_
"Bad Seed (You're A Bad Seed)" Circus _Gravel, Vol. 1_
"Bad Seed" Chris Clark _The Motown Collection_
"Bad Seed" Glen Campbell _By The Time I Get To Phoenix_
"My Bitter Seed" Jimmy Reed _The Vee-Jay Years (1953-1965)_

conclusion & goodbye

"Seeds Of Life" Harlem River Drive _What It Is! Funky Soul & Rare Grooves 1967-1977_
"Seedpods" Brian Eno & Rick Holland _Drums Between The Bells_
"A Seed" Lisa Germano _In The Maybe World_
"Seed Song" The Mountain Goats _Protein Source Of The Future... Now!_
"Oh Little Seeds" Steve Fisk _448 Deathless Days_

post mortem

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Whither Seeds?

(Image from here.)

Why a show about seeds?  Dude, do you know how important seeds are?  As Thor Hanson says in his book The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom & Shaped Human History: "We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff & staff of life, supporting diets, economies, & civilizations around the globe."

In fact, it was "reading" that book (well, listening to someone read it to me) (I still say "books on tape" even though they're on mp3 now) that gave me the idea for this show.  Are there many songs about seeds?  Let's find out!

& you can find out tomorrow on this week's Self Help Radio, which will "drop" (as the kids say) at noon at Self Help Radio dot net.  I assume once the show has been planted, it'll grow up beautiful & strong.  & then you can eat it.  Wow, that metaphor got weird fast.  Holy shit.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Preface To Seeds: Nothing Grows But Trouble

Has anyone ever said that before?  "Nothing grows but trouble."

Very few people, it turns out.  Some dude on Facebook (whose account I can't access) named William Cadmus apparently said this: "I've got a garden full of Dragon's teeth & nothing grows but trouble."

Also there is an article from the Kingsport Times, Jun 22, 1941, which reads that "Errol Flynn as Jeb Stuart finds that nothing grows but trouble..." (the rest is unavailable for some unknown reason).  This is doubtless a reference to the film Santa Fe Trail.  The phrase appears to be part of the promotional material for the show, for the Google finds it referenced in regard to the film.

One last reference is from (this is according to Le Google) something called BladeStorm Fantasy Miniatures Wargame 3.

The quote quoted - inaccessible by the link, which tells me there's a database error - is "Bare, windswept plains & a rocky parched earth dominate the tortured landscape of Marl, where it is said, 'nothing grows but trouble.'"

It is said?  By whom?  By me, of course.  I just said it!  "Nothing grows but trouble."

Copyright, trademark, patent pending, all rights reserved, void where prohibited by law.

& yeah, suck it, Errol Flynn!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

I Am Here To Report

A daikon radish is a stinky vegetable.

That is all.

No, it's not.  What does "daikon" mean anyway?

According to the Wikipedia, daikon (which literally means "big root") is "a mild-flavored winter radish (Raphanus sativus variety (cultivar) 'Longipinnatus') usually characterized by fast-growing leaves & a long, white, napiform root. Originally native to Southeast or continental East Asia, daikon is harvested & consumed throughout the region, as well as in South Asia."

Not a word about its stinkiness!  Big daikon strikes again.

The Wikipedia entry note as well that the daikon is "also known by many other names depending on context."  Here are its other names: white radish, winter radish, Oriental radish, long white radish,, Japanese radish, Chinese white radish, lobak or lo pak, chai tow or chai tau, icicle radish (!), white carrot, oilseed radish, forage radish, fodder radish, & tillage radish.

Nowhere in these names is it made clear how smelly daikon is.  I wonder why that is.  I shall investigate more.

No, on second thought, I won't.  I'll just make this frickin' daikon/carrot slaw & hope the oil & tamari mask the smell a bit.  It's really good!

Monday, July 23, 2018

So Hot

It has been brutal in Texas the past couple of weeks.  The wife & I usually wake up early - six o'clock - to walk the dogs, since it would be cruel & stupid to do it at noon when the Fahrenheit says 110 & the heat index says "the inside of your average functioning microwave."  This morning it was 85 degrees.  If you are mostly familiar with Celsius, that translates to "way too fucking hot for six o'clock in the fucking morning."

Over on Facebook I see some old timers are talking about the heat wave of 1980.  There's a tee shirt at that link that I used to see: "I survived the Texas heat wave of 1980," it read.  But it wasn't easy to survive.

We live in apartments then, my family, called Villa Cordoba.  At some point, I remember, in the middle of the summer, the air conditioning went out.  It's funny I remember the a/c was out but not the power.  Anyway.  Almost everyone in the complex would go to the pool at night to cool off.  (I wasn't allowed, though I was 12 at the time, & could technically swim without adults around.  It was just too late at night, way past my bedtime.)

My mother opened all the windows, hoping to admit a stifling breeze or two, but that just invited the giant cockroaches that crawled the apartment walls into our rooms.  I have a vivid memory of seeing them on the walls across the way - our apartment backed into the manager's office.  I always felt those so-called tree roaches were hateful fucks.  They had it in for me.

We would also put fans in the window, plus, & this is the least effective cooling system ever, we would put bowls of ice under the fans to I guess cool the air coming out of them.  We would have had better results putting the ice down our pants.

Thinking back, it's strange that we had power but not a/c.  We woke this past Sunday morning (in 2018) to no power, but it appears that it was just the power company taking advantage of the relatively cooler morning to maintain the grid.

But back to 1980 for a second: I must've snuck out of the apartment to grab a glance at the pool one night, because I have a memory of so many people crammed into a mid-sized apartment pool that it couldn't possibly have cooled anyone off.  & despite the signs, there was drinking - lots of drinking - lots of noise, too.  It seemed like so much fun.  But I know I didn't get in.  I probably slinked back home ruefully.

& yeah, I survived the 1980 heat wave.  Gimme a tee shirt.