Friday, September 14, 2018

Self Help Radio 091418: Fascination

(Original image - from a website designed to help you "find your fascination" - here.)

Here's this week's show, a (hopefully) fascinating collection of songs about fascination.

Apologies again for its lateness.  I was in Dallas doing radio this morning, & although it doesn't appear that way, I do spend a bit of time putting finishing touches on the program, so the two hours I was on the air (& the time commuting, in morning drive time traffic) really did cut into the amount of tender loving carelessness I put into each episode of SHR.  I was super hungry when I got home & also I took an hour nap.  So I could be writing this earlier, but I really needed the nap.  Even though an hour nap in general is useless, like a sip of water to someone dying of thirst.  Not to be melodramatic about it.  I know naps help other people.  It's just for me, it's gotta be two hours or else I'm not going to get any benefit from it in any way.

Sorry.  I got carried away there.  I hope you dig the show.  There's plenty of music I enjoy (so maybe you will too) as well as interviews with a perfume maker (whose new scent is called, of course, Fascination) & with a traveling writer, whose "Fascinating Travel" series I discovered when I read his book Fascinating Kentucky.  Hey!  I'm trying to fascinate you here!

Listen now at Self Help Radio dot net.  Remember there's a password & a username, that's on the website, in the big block of text at the top, I think I even bolded it to make it easier for you.  The songs I play are below.  Plus the interviews.  I hope you find it fascinating.

Self Help Radio Fascination Show

"Fascination" Julie London _The Magic Of Julie London_
"You Fascinate Me So" Blossom Dearie _My Gentleman Friend_
"Fascinating Man" Eartha Kitt _Thursday's Child_
"Fascinating Baby" Sherree Scott _Hot Boppin' Girls Vol. 2_

introductions & definitions

"Fascination" David Bowie _Young Americans_
"Fascination" Everything But The Girl _Eden_
"Fascination" The Fleshtones _The Groups Of Wrath: Songs Of The Naked City_
"Fascination" The Fred Banana Combo _The Fred Banana Combo_
"Fascination" Diplomats Of Solid Sound _What Goes Around Comes Around_

interview with travel writer Percival Smythe

"Just Fascination (7" Version)" Cabaret Voltaire _The Crackdown_
"Keep Feeling (Fascination)" Baxendale _Reproductions: Songs Of The Human League_
"Fascination (The Droyds' Ghetto Mix)" Proper Filthy Naughty _Larry Tee Presents Electroclash, Vol. 2_
"Fascination" Confidence Man _Confident Music For Confident People_

interview with perfumer David Fruchter

"Your Fascination (7" Version)" Gary Numan _New Dreams For Old: 84-99_
"A Kind Of Fascination (Live)" Shriekback _Jam Science_
"Fascination Street" The Cure _Disintegration_
"The Self Fascination Ritual For Increased Power" Louise Huebner _Seduction Through Witchcraft_
"Deep Fascination" The Feelies _Only Life_

Ned Dry interviews the most fascinating person in the world

"Fascinating, Devastating Man" Eleanore Mills _This Is Eleanore Mills_
"Rage & Fascination" Cristina _Sleep It Off_
"My Fascination" Buck _Buck_
"Fascinated" The Fresh & Onlys _Play It Strange_
"Wild Fascination" Capsula _In The Land Of Silver Souls_

conclusion & goodbyes

"Fascinating Melody" Chet Atkins _Mr. Guitar: The Complete Recordings 1955-1960_
"That Fascinating Thing" Squirrel Nut Zippers _Perennial Favorites_
"Fascinating Rhythm" Fred & Adele Astaire _American Musical Theater: Shows, Songs, & Stars, Vol. 1_

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Whither Fascination?

(Apparently fascination is a cruise ship.  Image from here.)

It's very easy to tell you why I'm doing a show about fascination.  I've been digging the new Confidence Man record & I like the song "Fascination" on the album & thought it would make a good theme.  Easy peasy!

But hey I wanted to talk to you about something.  I've been asked to sub the Friday Morning Blend on KNON in the morning, which means I'll be getting back home a little late which means that the show might not be ready exactly at noon as it usually is.  I'm going to try, but I can't promise exactitude with the time.  I know it doesn't matter to you, because you'll probably not listen, but I wanted you to know because it matters to me.

At this point I want to say "It'll be on the Self Help Radio website at noon but there's a chance it might be a teensy bit late.  Just an fyi.

Hey!  Sometimes fascination is worth waiting for!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Preface To Fascination: Spock Saying "Fascinating"

So was I thinking about the internet this morning & I was like, "You know what?  I bet someone has made an edit of every time the character of Mr. Spock has said the word 'fascinating' on Star Trek."  & so I go to Youtube & type in "Spock fascinating" & viola!

You can't help thinking that this is what the internet was invented for, not making people crazy.  But oh well.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


This morning, on my KNON show, I didn't mention 9/11 once.  & I guess it was on purpose, I think I was afraid of saying something that might seem disrespectful or insensitive.

Do you know how people talk about hearing about Kennedy's assassination?  That's how I feel about 9/11.  I have very distinct memories of that day.  It was a Tuesday, I dragged my ass out of bed later than usual for some reason (I don't remember what I did the night before) & checked my email like I always did.  There was a note that said something like "the University of Texas (where I worked) will remain open despite the attacks in New York."  That seemed puzzling to me, but I went & showered anyway.

But something stuck in my head.  "Attacks in New York"?  That seemed a weird sentence.  What could it mean?  I found out soon enough what it meant - I turned the television on just in time to see the second tower fall.

In those days, I listened to music on my ride to work on a Walkman which had a radio, & for the very first time I tuned in - to NPR I think - & I listened intently while observing that nothing seemed too out-of-place - the dude driving the UT bus was listening to his top forty radio station, no one was too over-concerned, no one appeared as stricken as I was.

Maybe they didn't know.  At work, everyone was glued to the television.  It soon became clear no work was going to be done that day.  & I kept thinking about everyone who died.  Everyone who, like me, got up reluctantly on a Tuesday morning to go to their job & they just died.  Some assholes flew planes into their buildings & they died.  It was fucked up.

Over time, though, the people who should have been working toward honoring the memory of those people, they abused it.  They went to war with people who didn't have anything to do with the attacks.  They put these shitty yellow ribbons on their SUVs without any irony & would use the words "9/11" to justify anything.  Lower taxes?  9/11!  Constant surveillance?  9/11!  Less freedom?  9/11!

It quickly became apparent that that tragedy was something to be used to manipulate people, to make a profit from, to use in whatever cynical way possible to do whatever the fuck you want.  & there's me, thinking about myself in the late morning of September 11, 2001, at my computer, & all I could see as I wept to myself was the people who died.  We didn't know how many.  They didn't want to die.  They didn't want to be used as excuse to kill people in another country.  They didn't want to be used to help anyone's political careers.  They just wanted to live.

So yeah, I have mixed emotions about commemorating the date.  I thought about perhaps playing a set of songs for New York City or something like that, but decided not to go anywhere near there.

& now - if you cared - you know why.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Let's Look At Jack Kirby Splash Pages

Like this one:

Which I found on this Tumblr blog.

As someone wrote, "Jack Kirby was on some next level shit."

Now excuse me, I'm going to read some OMAC comics as I fall asleep.