Friday, September 07, 2018

Self Help Radio 090718: Tubes

(Original image here.)

Tubes!  Tubes of all kinds!  Tubes of all shapes & sizes!  Well, no.  Mainly they're tube shaped.  Tubes of all tube shapes & sizes!  That's better.

Are you a fan of tubes?  You & tubes?  You tubes?  That's pretty catchy, someone should do something with that.  Anyway, weirdo freak fan of tubes, guess what?  There's an entire radio show about tubes!  You betcha!

It's at the Self Help Radio web page!  All you need to listen is ears, a computer, & a username/password combo.  (It's SHR/selfhelp.)  & if you're skeptical, look at the songs & the guests below!  Holy smokes!  Tubes!!!

Self Help Radio Tube Show

"Tubes" The Intelligence _Deuteronomy_
"Down The Tube" Cheap Time _Fantastic Explanations (& Similar Situations)_
"We're Goin' Down the Tubes" Artichoke _Etchy Sketchy Skies_

intro & definitions

"Tube Song" Invisible Cities _Houses Shine Like Teeth_
"Tube Rider" Nona Reeves _Greatest Hits/Book One_
"Rundown Tube" Swell Maps _Train Out Of It_
"Dirty Tube Train" Hayman, Watkins, Trout, & Lee _Hayman, Watkins, Trout, & Lee_
"Down In The Tube Station At Midnight" The Bad Shepherds _Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera!_

interview with head of International Tube David Fruchter

"The Black Hole Tube" Negativland _Happy Heroes_
"Lumboba's Tube" Zom Zoms _Lumboba's Tube_
"Wrong Tube" Swirlies _Blonder Tongue Audio Baton_
"Lava Tube Exploration: Phosphorescent Worm Callers" Corum _Coastal Vudutronic Voyage_
"Tube Talkin'" Joan Jett & The Blackhearts _Sinner_

interview with test tube manufacturer Dodd Stillwater

"Test Tube Baby" Chronics _Test Tube Baby/Calling All Cardinals 7"_
"Test Tube Babies" Skids _Scared To Dance_
"Test Tube Baby" Zolar X _Timeless_
"Glenda & The Test Tube Baby" Toy Dolls _Dig That Groove Baby_
"Test-Tube Baby/Shoot'm Down" Morphine _Good_
"Test Tube Baby" A-Frames _A-Frames_
"Test Tube Jesus" Damien Youth _Alchemy_

a little story about some pranksters & a bar called Tube

"Red: The Tube Bar Prank Calls" Bum Bar Bastards _Tube Bar_
"The Tube" Art Bears _The Art Box_
"The Tube" Shoes _Boomerang_
"The Tube" Robert Klein _Let's Not Make Love_
"The Tube" Vivian Stanshall _Teddy Boys Don't Knit_

conclusion & goodbye

"Tubular Bells" California Guitar Trio _Echoes_
"Tubular Belgian In My Goldfield" Departure Lounge _Kid Loco: AnotherLateNight_
"Tubular Friends" Tomcats In Tokyo _Sweet Gloomy Home

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Whither Tubes?

(Image from here.)

Funny story.  I told a friend one time I was enjoying a record by the Tubes.  She mocked me.

Okay, more a sad story.  I was enjoying the Tubes.  I remember seeing them on SCTV & although I didn't like the song they played ("Sushi Girl") as much as their lone radio shit ("She's A Beauty"), I found them charming.  But I didn't listen to their records until many years later.  When mockery would be one of the responses.

You probably won't hear the Tubes on the Self Help Radio show about tubes.  I don't play bands whose names fit the theme.  But wait, you say!  Because you're a fan of the Tubes, you know: The Tubes have a couple of songs that namecheck themselves.  It's true.  "Tube Talk" & "Tubes World Tour."  I could play those, right?  Yes, I could.  I might play one of those.  I don't know yet, though.  The show is far from finished.

But it's not a show about the Tubes.  I'm not sure, actually, just why I wanted to do a show about tubes.  Maybe because tubes are ubiquitous.  Maybe because I was certain it would be difficult to find two hours of good songs about tubes.  Maybe I knew & forgot because I am old.  But I do know there will be a show about tubes & that it might feature the Tubes, even if my friend, with whom I haven't spoken in quite a while, mocks me for playing them.  She might even contact me for the first time in ages just to say something snotty.  But I'm still doing a show about tubes.  That might feature The Tubes.

Tomorrow.  Noon.  Self Help Radio dot net.  The internet is a series of tubes, you know.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Preface To Tubes: Foot Doctor

Just got back from the podiatrist.  I went there not because I hurt my foot or even because my foot is hurting but because I occasionally get heel pain & thought I should get it checked out.  I did.  I got some exercises.  I got to see the results of fifty years with flat feet.  Also, I got a big ass bone spur.  Crazy.

But what was most interesting was the waiting room.   Even though I am now fifty years old, I was the youngest patient there.  So many foot injuries!  Here are some things I observed:

1. The world's most patient nurse.  You know, that wasn't an intentional pun.  But it could be the title of a new show this Fall on CBS: The Patient Nurse.  She's the best nurse out there, but she's dying of an incurable disease.  So when she's not looking after you, she's checking herself in.  Coming September, some young actress is The Patient Nurse.

Shit, I went off on a tangent, sorry.  Let me start again.

1. The world's most patient nurse.  One patient, who brought his entire family, apparently had to get the fuck away from them, & went missing.  When he was called, his wife (maybe mother) had to call him to say "they're ready for you."  But he took like five minutes to get back.  & the whole time, the nurse stood placidly at the intake door, holding a folder, smiling & staring off into space.  She really didn't move until he showed up.  It was like watching something in slow motion.

2. Blabbermouth.  One guy, sitting across from his wife (maybe mother, but probably not) who was in a wheelchair-like contraption with her leg supported at a right angle to her body, he kept talking to her in a very thick Southern accent & she did not appear to be listening.  At one point, he just started saying, "Doop doop doop doop" to the same non-reaction.  He began to chew on his finger & she sprung into action, pulling out a nail file & taking care of his fingernail situation.  I lost track of them because of...

3. Forgetful elderly gentleman.  Also, somewhat hard of hearing.  This nice old man made repeated but slow & deliberate trips to the front desk as he was filling out paperwork.  He got the clipboard, went back to his seat, then realized he didn't have a pen, rose to get a pen, almost left the clipboard at the desk, made it back to his seat, filled it out to the best of his ability (I presume), returned it, went back to seat, was called back as he was returning to give an ID & an insurance cared, went back to give one, was called back because he forgot the other (the receptionist or nurse calling him back was very loud because he was nearly deaf, it appeared), & finally was able to sit until it was his time to see the doctor.  If you had a video of a turtle walking in circles, stopping occasionally for no discernible reason, you might get a sense of how mesmerizing this process is.

& finally:

4. Guy who read something about politics in a copy of Vogue & needed to talk to his wife about it.  Boy, was he disgusted.  I'm not sure what.  Several things.  Lots of things.

As for me, like I said, my feet are okay.  I got a big ol' bone spur & flat feet.  I hope to continue walking into my old age, so I'm glad I went.  I didn't get orthotics.  I wasn't hoping for it, but when the podiatrist said orthotics wouldn't help my feet, I was a little disappointed.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Rare Rave Review

Not really.  No reviews at all.  I do write reviews, sort of, for records for radio stations.  & lots of my reviews are raves.  I really dug, for example, the new record by Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis.  But I don't write those reviews for the public, but for deejays who might want to know what I think the band or performer sounds like, what the record's about, etc.  At some point at WRFL, the management wanted me to share my reviews on their Tumblr page or something, but, again, the reviews were for deejays.  So I didn't share them.

Reviewing CDs is how I got involved in radio, actually.  I saw a sign one day in the summer of 1994 about KVRX, & went to the station & asked if I could help.  I had no intention of deejaying.  The Music Director at the time, a nice fellow named Andrew, gave me a stack of CDs, & I've been pretty much reviewing them ever since.

The first reviews I wrote on sticky labels which were then stuck onto the CD cases.  They're mostly lost to time (unless some of them are still in the KVRX library) but after a while I wrote them in Microsoft Word files & just tapped them onto the CD.  The printed copy is probably long gone, too, but I've saved the files.  Would you like to hear one of my earliest saved reviews, from the summer of 1996?  Here's one, for the self-titled debut of a band called The Tender Idols:

"Like Austin’s Stretford, this Georgia band has a British transplant who's appeared & brought something from his country with him, in music form.  That Stretford guy likes punk & his band is pretty much The Jam in Austin; this limey brought the Stone Roses, the Charlatans, even a little bit of Blur.  He's got a whiney poppy voice, he's got jangly guitars, & if every song isn't about love or heartbreak, they sure sound like that.  So, no, this isn't a very fresh or new CD.  No, it's not a sound that's going to blow you away with its innovative quality.  Heck, it's not even (in the end) too terribly interesting.  So caveat emptor.  A transplant, a little energy, sometimes even a clever lyric or two.  But pop needs a certain ingredient, a voice or a sound that lifts it above the limitations of its genre.  This band sounds like a British pop band.  Maybe, being from Georgia, they think it's their strength.  Whatever."

Okay, I was a bit of a snot back then.  My more recent reviews have less attitude.  This one is from twenty years later, for the long-delayed release of the Robert Bensick CD:

"In the summer of 1975, a Cleveland-based musician & artist named Robert Bensick took some of the city's soon-to-be-legendary musicians (including members of Pere Ubu) into the studio to record his debut record.  It was never released – deemed too uncommercial by record company hacks of the time.  & maybe you can hear why: it’s almost an outsider classic, with hints of jazz, glam (track 11 sounds like a Sparks imitation, complete with a Mael-ist lyric like “Oriental thou art mental”), folk (track 13 sounds like a Nick Drake outtake), Broadway musical (track 11), & outright oddity (really, all of it, but for a sample, how about track 1? or the title track?).  This is a record both profoundly of its time, & amazingly outside of it.  Bensick’s arty side shows through with ridiculous metaphysics like track 9, a spoken word piece, & the Bowie-meets-Yoko-Ono hypnosis of track 14.  Mainly it’s just a fascinating, sometimes unsettling, trip, ambitious but unfocused.  & if I haven’t made it clear, utterly utterly brilliant.  It’s hard to imagine someone being unselfconscious enough to make a record like this today.  Which is why I celebrate it now!  You should too."

Oh look!  This post contained reviews after all!  & whaddaya know!  A rave review too!

Monday, September 03, 2018

This Labor Day Was Spent

...laboring to make an interesting radio show.

But what will make it more interesting I think is we'll have a guest tomorrow, a fellow named Brian who's invited me & Christian (who does the Friday Morning Blend on KNON) to share a record with the Tuesday Night Record Club.  He'll come on the show & he'll play some tunes since he's been so kind to ask me to play music for him & his club.

The Texas Theatre has a link to the event, too.  Should be exciting.

But enjoy your day off.  Just listened to the Tuesday Morning Blend tomorrow & come see us in Dallas at the Texas Theatre that evening!