Friday, December 21, 2018

Self Help Radio 122118: A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2018

(Original image here.)

It's Christmas!  Hurrah!  Hooray!  Oh wait.  It's not Christmas yet.  Well, shoot.

But!  It's the weekend before Christmas, & all through your computer, you can listen to two hours of holiday music peppered with my usual ridiculousness (as well as contributions from my radio besties) in the regular fashion.  Seriously, it's the same way I've done it for years.  But you like regularity, right?  It's like Christmas!  New presents though!  The songs are the presents!

& boy there are lots of songs.  I think sixteen of them - more than half of the songs on the show - are from 2018.  That may not excite you.  Don't worry!  Someone's playing Elvis Presley singing Christmas tunes somewhere on the radio right now.  But you'd have more fun with this Christmas show.

It's now at Self Help Radio Christmas Central.  You'll have to "unwrap" it with a username & a password - "SHR" & "selfhelp" respectively, without the quotation marks - it's two hours long & all the stuff that happens on the show is listed below.

Happy Christmas!  This is my present to you.  You can't return it.  It's homemade.  Once size fits all.  Don't be a scrooge!  Listen!

A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2018

"Drink My Way Through Christmas" Karen Kilgariff _Live At The Bootleg_
"Merry XMas Blues" Celibate Rifles _Platters Du Jour_
"Christmas Tree (Burn Burn Burn)" The Catenary Wires _Stars_

introduction & checking on the "War On Christmas"

"It's Christmas (Let's Be Happy)" Jenny Adkins _It's Christmas (Let's Be Happy)_
"The Friendly Beasts" Slumber Party _Xmass_
"My Christmas Memory" Patton Oswalt _222_
"TV Christmas" Frode Fivel _TV Christmas_
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" The Beths _Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"A Ghost Story for Christmas" Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert _Ghost Stories For Christmas_
"Santa Baby" Me First & The Gimme Gimmes _Santa Baby_
"The Evil Santa" Bill Murray & Gilda Radner _The Best Of The National Lampoon Radio Hour_
"Lego Blocks" Ramoms _Merry Xmas_
"Xmas With Simon" The Fall _Shift Work_

point/counterpoint with David Fruchter

"A Winter Song" Remington Super 60 _A Winter Song_
"Xmas Song" School Damage _A To X_
"Santa's Race" D.L. Hughley _Clear_
"Xmas Rap (Un-Censored)" Treacherous Three _The Sugar Hill Records Story_
"Santa's Coming Down The Chimney" Confidence Man _Santa's Coming Down The Chimney_

interview with the Holiday Spirit

"New Year" The Darling Buds _New Year_
"What Would Santa Do" The Monkees _Christmas Party_
"Icelandic" The Proctors _Icelandic_
"Poem At Year's End" Sofia Talvik _Poem At Year's End_
"Xmas On The Isthmus" Shinyribs _The Kringle Tingle_

conclusion & goodbye

"Santa Claus Is Pagan Too!" Emerald Rose _Unearthed_
"Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)" Old 97's _Love The Holidays_
"I Want Christmas" El Camino _The Western Star Rockabilly Christmas Party_
"Christmas Every Day" Rosie Flores _Christmasville

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Whither A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2018?

(I found this on Tumblr last year, I don't remember where.)

That's right, it's Christmas time again!  I have been avoiding the radio & I don't really shop except for food so I've not been bombarded with holiday music at this point, which keeps me sane as I prepare one more Self Help Radio Christmas show.

This show will be fun.  Our friend Jenny has written a Christmas song for the show.  It's the closest thing to a Christmas tradition I have!  Well, except the Christmas show.  Also, the gang's all here with goofy interviews.  & oh yeah!  For the first time ever I can play songs with bad words in them for Christmas!  It won't be too bad.  But I've been wanting to play a couple of tunes without editing them & by golly I don't have to now.

So maybe this won't be a show for the whole family but no one really listens to the Christmas shows on Christmas.  I used to daydream that they did.  But they don't.  Of course not!  The show will be ready for hanging on a tree or something like that tomorrow at noon over at the Self Help Radio website.  I think I save all the other Christmas shows too?  Maybe I'll mention it Monday.

Also I'll be playing Christmas songs on the Tuesday Morning Blend on Christmas morning.  But I'll mention that later.  What I am looking forward to is the Christmas morning drive to Dallas.  I hope the highways are practically deserted.  That will be amazing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Preface To A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2018: Christmas Music Amiright?

Oh god Christmas music.

Just type "I hate Christmas music" in your search engine of choice & see what you get.

Scientific proof it's a natural thing to do.

Other attempts to explain the distaste.

A screed in Good Housekeeping for fuck's sake.

& of course the inevitable Reddit conversation.

It's my belief that people despise Christmas music - & I think many more people do than will even admit it - for two main reasons: a) its ubiquitousness & b) its superfluity.

Christmas music starts getting played as early as October, & yet it's the same songs over & over, from "White Christmas" to "Do They Know It's Christmas?"  I'm sure it's lucrative - most every pop star has a Christmas record, & also some indie acts.  Even 87-year-old men whose status as a cultural icon will never be in doubt find time to record a Christmas album.  (It's pretty awful, by the way, & not good-awful.  At least I thought so.)  But it takes something special for a Christmas song to break through these days - in general, I'd bet (though I don't know this for a fact) that the best way to score a Christmas hit in popcommercialland would be to do a cover.  Lots of pop star Christmas records have covers of familiar songs.

But you know what else?  There's simply too much of it out there.  Trust me, I do a Christmas show every year & I like to play new stuff & newly discovered stuff.  It is not that it's a vein that's been overmined - no, excellent takes on Christmas music like Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert's new record show there's so much more that could be done with Christmas music - it's just that people are content to, you know, cover "White Christmas."  Over & over.

Seriously, there are these records by acapella groups & harmony groups that are only Christmas records, with no new songs on them at all.  Dozens of them.  Somehow they can sustain themselves with this.

& yet, chances are the next time you're in a supermarket, you'll be subjected to Springsteen singing "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."  & - oh no - damnation! - are you singing along?

For the record, I don't hate Christmas music.  I get a little sick of it.  Which is why I only do one Christmas show a year.  Except.  Oh shit.  The Tuesday Morning Blend is on Christmas this year.  Well fuck.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Scary Caller Pt 2

This morning on the Tuesday Morning Blend on KNON, the same weird caller (I think) as last week called me again.

It's as if he's involved in a long conversation & at some point near the middle of it, he picks up the phone, calls the station, & when I say, "Good morning, KNON," he continues as though there's been no interruption & we're all on the same page.

"I'm on the run but I done no crime," he said this morning, & then he laughed.  "That's a freestyle.  I'm on the run but I done no crime.  I'm on the run but I done no crime.  I am freestylin'!"

Not knowing if I were supposed to know who this person was, or if I've spoken him on the phone previously, I simply replied, "Okay."

"I'm on the run but I done no crime," he repeated, & I began to think he either doesn't know what a freestyle is, or he's more deliberate than the average freestyler, & is editing as he goes.  "Shout out to all the KNON crew!"

"Thank you," was all I could say.

This was toward the end of the show, & the next deejay was coming in, so as he kept talking - he began to name different KNON shows he wanted to give shout outs to - I told him I had to go.  He left willingly - after all, the conversation was definitely going to continue long after he was off the phone.

Or maybe he calls other radio stations?  Television stations?  Friends from high school?

Monday, December 17, 2018

Simba's Story

This fellow is named Simba.  It's not his given name, if he ever had an owner.  It's what my wife has been calling him.  Our neighbors brought him over - coaxed him over, really - on Saturday, hoping we could hold on to him & maybe take him to get looked at by a vet.  He had an obvious gash on his forehead, something under his eye, & something behind his ear.  One of his ears was injured at some other time in his life, & looks like it "cauliflowered" over.  He's a very loud fellow but took food - my guess is he's a good hunter & a better beggar - despite a tendency to hiss when you approach him, even as he's hoping for a pet.  Food got him into our garage, where he's stayed since.

We scrambled to find some organization that might help with low-cost help - I'm not cheap but the wife is - & maybe a place for him when he recovers.  One person, from a group called Panther City Feral Cats Coalition, called us on Sunday, & let us know about an arrangement the group has with a local vet.  Little Simba - he's not that little, & he's somewhat stout - spent two days in the garage before a neighbor & I took him to the vet this afternoon.

My wife thinks I'm a sentimental fool & she's right - I could never volunteer at a shelter because I'd want to adopt all the animals, especially the ones no one wanted.  Simba was taken away, to be treated & neutered if he wasn't already, & I was told they'd need to keep him overnight.

Not so!  The folks at University Animal Hospital fixed him right up, & we were told that the Panther City folks would cover it, but at a discount rate it was reasonable so we footed the bill.  Simba was groggy & quiet on the ride home, but perked up & is back in the garage right now, & let us hold him to apply ointment to his wounds.  He no longer has his manhood but he's had a good run - the vet says he may be eight or nine years old!  I had thought he was picked on, but nope.  He's a tough guy who's probably dispatched many a rival tom.  We think he might have found his way here because another stray we're trying to catch is in heat.

It's too easy for me to fall in love with cats & I had already thought about adopting him, but I don't think at his age he'll take to domesticity too well, so the plan is, in a week, after the wounds have healed, to let him loose.  The vet thinks his home range will shrink without his testicles telling him what to do, & we'll continue to feed him if he's around.

He is so lovely & sweet.  "All hiss & no bite," is how a neighbor described him.  I feel a little bad about his confinement - I'm glad it's not hot out! - he sits at the door & meows at the other strays around him - but I don't want him to die from a stupid infection - not when he's survived for so long against all odds.  Tough critter.