Friday, February 15, 2019

Self Help Radio 021519: Steam

(Original image here.)

Steam!  It's a digital distribution platform developed by the Valve Corporation for purchasing & playing video games!  That's so uninteresting!  But wait!

Steam is also the vapor that water's converted into when heated!  That's the stuff!  You can make a radio show out of that kind of steam!

We have firsthand knowledge of steam.  It's what makes our kettles whistle when our water's hot enough.  It used to power trains & boats but for all I know it still makes a calliope go.  Some of us enjoy soaking in hot tubs & basking in the steam, & a thankfully smaller amount of us enjoy so called steam rooms in saunas & spas for reasons that are probably inexplicable at least to me.

It's hard to get steamed at a celebration of steam, is what I'm trying to say.  & luckily for me, that's what this week's Self Help Radio is about.  See details below.

Listen at Self Help Radio dot net.  Use this username: SHR.  Use this password: selfhelp.  Use your best judgment if wanting to listen around friends.  They might not understand & you may never see them again.  This is what happened with my family.

Steam!  It may be science, technology, engineering, art, & mathematics to you, but it's a fine radio show to me!

Self Help Radio Steam Show

"Steam" Caroline Day _Girls Will Be Girls, Vol. 2_
"Steam" The March Violets _The Botanic Verses_
"Steam" The Aluminum Group _Plano_

introduction & definitions

"Head Full Of Steam" The Go-Betweens _Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express_
"Dreams Of Steam" Elk City _Status_
"Steam Heat" Patti Page _The Mercury Years, Vol. 2_
"Steamroller" Merry Clayton _Merry Clayton_
"Steam Away" The Flying Lizards _Fourth Wall_

a discussion of the history of steamboats

"Steamboat Man Blues" Clara Smith _Folk Music In America, Vol. 8: Songs Of Labor & Livelihood_
"Steamboat (Keep Rockin')" Bud & Joe Billings _Singing Pals From Kansas_
"Steamboat Days" Richard Amerson _Alabama From Lullabies To Blues_
"Steamboat Whistle Blues" Roy Acuff & His Crazy Tennesseans _1936-1939: Steamboat Whistle Blues_
"Steamboat Boogie" Ricky Riddle _MGM Hillbilly, Vol. 2_

a brief interlude before another round of steamboat songs

"Steamboat" The Drifters _Let The Boogie Woogie Roll_
"Steamboat Bill" The Coffee Bar Skifflers _Skiffle Showcase_
"Collectors Item Show: Fulton's Steamboat" Bob & Ray _Bob & Ray Classic, Vol. 4_
"Steamliner" The Flames _Syde Tryps, Vol. 6_
"Rachael Built A Steamboat" The Teardrop Explodes _Wilder_
"Channel Steamer" Nikki Sudden _British Airwaves_

a discussion of the history of steam locomotives

"Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains" The Kinks _The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society_
"Columns O'Steam" The Lucksmiths _A Good Kind Of Nervous_
"The Little Steam Engine" Joan Gerber _The Story Lady_
"Steaming Train" Talulah Gosh _Steaming Train EP_
"The Man Who Thought He Was A Steam Train" Clive Product _Financial Suicide_
"Steam Of Hercules" Bob Mould _Silver Age_

a discussion of idioms involving the word "steam"

"Barnum's Steam Calliope" Sunset Four _The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Vol. 1: 1917-1927_
"The Steam Is On The Beam (vocals, Kay Thompson)" Johnny Green & His Orchestra _From Out Of Nowhere_
"Steamer" Joey Bellomo _Party Party Party (34 Raw, Ruthless, & Rugged Sixties Garage Rockers)_
"Steam Comes Off Our House" De Rosa _Ballads Of The Book_
"Smoke & Steam" Trembling Blue Stars _She Just Couldn't Say_

conclusion & goodbye

"Hamam" Transcendental _Steam - Hamam: The Turkish Bath (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)_
"Steam" Jah Wobble & Brian Eno _Spinner_
"Days Of Steam" John Cale _The Academy In Peril_

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Whither Steam?

(Image from here.)

That web page where I got the image of the kettle above reminds me, "Steam is an invisible gas. You cannot see steam. What you see when a kettle boils is actually tiny drops of water."  Well la de da!

I almost used this image to illustrate steam:

(This image from here.)

In either case, I suppose, the steam is invisible - unless you're in a comic.

Why do a radio show about steam?  Is it an obsession with steamboats?  Steam-powered trains?  Kettles?  I can't really remember.  It happened recently - I put this show together far more quickly than I usually do - but for the life of me I can't remember what started me down this path.

What I'd like to pretend is that it was an accident, that I kept hearing songs about steam when I wasn't paying attention, & that the songs were really about something else, something that vaguely rhymes with steam.  Yeah, let's say that.  It's all a mistake!  & like steam, it's immaterial!

Tomorrow at noon we'll all get steamed up.  Self Help Radio dot net.  The last of the steam-powered radio shows?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Preface To Steam: The Three States Of Matter (Forgetting Plasma)

Here's today's lesson.  Read along!

"Matter can exist in one of three main states: solid, liquid, or gas."

That's fine but wait there's more:

"In extreme environments, other states may be present, such as plasma, Bose-Einstein condensates, & neutron stars."

All right, now that we're got that out of the way what do you mean there's more:

"Further states, such as quark-gluon plasmas, are also believed to be possible."

Ha ha, let's just stay with the most common states of matter oh you have something else to add:

"Much of the atomic matter of the universe is hot plasma in the form of rarefied interstellar medium & dense stars."

Ah.  Well.  It's just that the show this week is about steam, which of course is the gaseous state of water, & we're not really going to talk about plasma you see.

Damn it.

Bose-Einstein condensates???

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Another One Down

(This is a boring "Gary-is-bad-at-Pledge-Drive" post.  Feel free to ignore or read the others I've written over again, as this will not have any new information in it.)

Boy, am I bad at Pledge Drive.  There are doubtless many reasons for this, from how most people who listen to them don't pledge to radio stations to I have not nor have ever been a good salesperson, but every time I do one of these - & I believe I've done like twelve or more of them for KNON by now - I feel like I have tried everything there's nothing else I can do.

Something we did at KOOP down in Austin - I've mentioned this before - we had someone come in whom we called a "choreographer" whose job it was to take care of the pitching - they went to special classes & also were deejays good at raising money for their own shows - while the regular deejays concentrated on making sure the show sounded good.  KNON does not do this - it's every show for itself.  & today, though I had two people helping me with phones, neither wanted to be on air, so they didn't talk.

But I will say that I was bad at Pledge Drive on KOOP too so maybe I am romanticizing the idea of the choreographer.  Or looking for someone to blame!

The whole idea of community radio, of a place where people who love music can come & do radio & it not be polluted by corporate nonsense & interference - that idea is something I love so dearly, I have given so much of my time to it for over twenty-five years now, the sad fact that I can't properly convey that love in a way that encourages people to help keep this thing I love on the air, that's the worst thing for me.

& the long drive home - I don't believe I've ever had a "walk of shame" - or else I did but didn't feel any shame, really - that drive home is one long drive of failure.

& I feel like it's troubling that I really can't do any better.  I will spend the week - I am certain I have to do another pledge drive show again next week - trying to research more fundraising techniques.  But the show won't be thematic - the last two "theme" shows failed to raise very much money - & I'm not sure I can tailor my pitches any better to the listener than I have.

All right, enough, I could go round & round in my head doing this.  The few people who pledged these two weeks - their names are Al, Justin, Carole, Valerie, Tim, Connie, Gene, Cynthia, & Natalie - I thank them deeply & am glad someone called.

The first hour today was frickin' brutal.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Schedule Change

You might have noticed - you probably didn't - but maybe you did - that the Self Help Radio web site said this week's theme would be "Radio On The Edge."  But on Saturday that changed to "Steam."  What's that all about?

It's all about my stupidity.  I've done this a couple of times before, & truly that's surprising - I've been making these theme-based radio shows for sixteen years now - but I try really hard not to repeat a theme.  I even made a page of all the themes I've covered - it's right here - mainly so I could check to see if I might have covered a theme before.

A few weeks back, when something inspired me to do a show about "edges" (it seems dumb but sure most of my themes are a little dumb), I went to that page, looked to the letter e, & found no "edge."  So I started working on the show.  I even announced it on last week's show!

But something kept bugging me.  I felt déjà vu more than once.  So I decided to look through my old playlists - maybe I did a set of "edgy" songs on the Tuesday Morning Blend or something.  But no, a deep dive into forgotten radio show playlists resulted in the discovery of a show with the theme On Edge.  Same difference.

Criminy crackers, Gary, why not just call the theme "edge"?  Why "on edge"?  Because.

It caused me to scramble, I added a theme I would've explored in a month or so, I don't know why I didn't just move next week's up a week, it just happened & I've been putting songs on the Self Help Radio Facebook page, I guess the show'll be about steam this week.

The thing is, I'm not steamed about it at all.  I'm glad I caught it.  How embarrassing if I repeated a theme!  I'm not quite senile yet!

Anyway, you didn't notice & you don't care but here was a glimpse of some behind-the-scenes nonsense.  I just hope I haven't explored "steam" yet!