Friday, August 30, 2019

Self Help Radio 083019: Indiepop A To Z # 60

(Most, if not all, of the images came from Discogs.)

Here it is, the latest indiepop a to z installment (we're at the letter N now).  It's also the last pre-recorded Self Help Radio for a time, as Self Help Radio goes live on the air on Monday at 6am on Freeform Portland.  It's exciting!

This show is full of twee & jangle & is a delight from start to finish.  I can say that, because I was there.  You can listen now & whenever at the Self Help Radio web site.  Use the username SHR & pass the password selfhelp to listen.  It's a bit over two hours long & look at the songs I played below!


Self Help Radio Indiepop A To Z # 60
"Head Over Heels" My Raining Stars _From St. Saviour To Quickwell_
"To Live & Die In The Airport Lounge" My Teenage Stride _Ears Like Golden Bats_
"Sure, Bert" Mystic Chords Of Memory _Mystic Chords Of Memory_

"20.000 Veces" Nadadora _Dinámico Y Estático_
"Heh Someone" Names For Pebbles _Something Cool_
"1000 Tears" Mark Narkowicz _Library Records 1998 - 2003: Disc One, The 7" Single Years, 1998 - 2000_
"Love House" Nautical William _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Vol. 4_
"Ghost" Neats _Neats_

"Get Away Sometimes" Neighborhood Dilemma _Shreds, Vol. 2: American Underground '94_
"So Long" Neil Armstrong _You Thought It Was The End Of The World When The Rain Ruined Your Hair_
"Plastic Sky" Nelories _Mellow Yellow Fellow Nelories_
"Hanging On The Telephone" The Nerves _One Way Ticket_
"Touch Wood" Nervous Curve _You Can't Be Loved Forever, Vol. 3_

"Don't Look" Nervus Rex _Singles: The Great New York Singles Scene_
"Make Believe" Netorare Fan Club _Make Believe_
"Holland, 1945" Neutral Milk Hotel _In The Aeroplane Over The Sea_
"Coconut Shampoo" Neverever _Angelic Swells_
"Turnaround" Neverland _Sometimes_

"Josh Has A Crush On A Femme From Reed" New Bad Things _Freewheel!_
"Age Of Consent" New Order _Power, Corruption & Lies_
"Trash" New York Dolls _New York Dolls_
"ExpoFacto15" New York School Poets _This Is Stereophonic Sunshine_
"Come Back To Edinburgh" The Newcolours _Be Serious!_

"The Jangling Man" Martin Newell _The Greatest Living Englishman_
"Holding On My Hand" The Newpolitans _Holding On My Hand/Ducktown 7"_
"An Englishman" Newsflash _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Vol. 2_
"Feeling So Real" Next Time Passions _You Make Me Smile_
"Did I Do Wrong?" Nice System _Impractical Guide To The Opposite Sex_

"Hold On" Nightblooms _24 Days At Catastrofe Café_
"Acid In Your Face" The Nightjars _Acid In Your Face_
"Eddie Lopez Lives In Slough" Nine Steps To Ugly _The Sound Of Leamington Spa, Vol. 5_
"Bring On The Dancing Horses" Ninety Nine _Pretty In Pop_

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 60?

Wow, sixty?  Really?  & what letter are we on?  Finishing M?  Starting N?

It's actually really fortuitous that this is the last show before Self Help Radio debuts on Portland radio, because if I had started the show early, I would not be doing an indiepop a to z.  I would not have made something like this series my first or second or third show.  I would've waited until December.

It just occurred to me that the very last Self Help Radio I did in Texas was an indiepop a to z episode. So it's been four months since then.  I've missed a few weeks here & there, haven't I?  That will not be an option for me going forward!

Anyway, I do this every four months.  Until I die.  I suspect the letter N will not take as many shows as the letter M.  Just from what I've gathered for tomorrow's show.

& then, omigosh!  It's another Self Help Radio in three days!

PS This is the 3,200th post on this blog.  I wonder if anyone even reads these?  Like, what did I write here six years ago?  Shall I look?  It's here.

August 29, 2013, was a Thursday, the day before an episode of Self Help Radio, & I was going to be doing Indiepop A To Z # 41.  I was moving to Friday nights at ten.  I forget why.  No one really listened then.  I think I worked better in the mornings.  & guess what?  I'm going back there Monday!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Preface To This Week's Show: The Power Of No

There's something about me that you may not know: I'm a coward.

It was probably instilled in me - if it isn't something deep in my DNA - by my mother, the architect of much of what I am.  She made me afraid of being hurt, which probably led to my fear of confrontation (which often leads to physical violence), which resulted in me being basically afraid of, you know, anything that might lead me to being beaten up, attacked, whatever.

That's not necessarily a bad thing - who wants to be a punching bag?  But of course we as a culture admire the person that stands up & fights back.  That's really not me.

The thing is, I often encounter folks who assert things - & usually they're in positions of authority - which I know are wrong.  I will say to these people, "I don't think that's true."  They will double down on their assertions.  Tonight I came across that.  I asked if there were evidence of the assertion, which was this: "It's been my experience in every place this came up."

If it seems I'm being vague, just understand it has to do with noncommercial radio & be thankful you're not bored by the details.

This has happened to me a lot recently.  I am so tentative in my slight incursions into the different radio environments here in Portland that I make a simple suggestion & I recoil when met with a definitive no.  The thing is - I am giving the power to that no.  Most people will confidently say things  as if speaking for an entire without really knowing what that group thinks.  & I keep coming across that, again & again.

Do you know, I first became involved in radio about twenty-five years ago this month?  It's true!  & for that entire time I wish I could've just been this guy who did a show, didn't get too involved, helped out when he could, was a team player.  But it's not me.  I wanted to somehow make it easier for more people to get involved, for the station itself to thrive, for everyone to have the same experience I did.

This led to some problems but I think it's been more positive than not.

The reason to mention this is that I was at a meeting tonight where I was confronted with more "no" than "yes."  I have decided I won't let this stop me anymore.  I'm going to carefully ignore the "no" & focus on the "yes."

Might it be too early to do so?  Probably.  Will it be difficult?  Oh sure.

Is it absolutely necessary for me?  Oh yes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


The other day I saw some graffiti on a doorway while driving home.  There's lots of graffiti here in Portland.  Most of it is just tags, you know, as it says in the Urban Dictionary, "a personal signature, usually vandalism with spraypaint, but can be any graffiti."  I don't have any real opinion about the legality of graffiti, perhaps because I don't really believe in personal property; or rather, I feel there's tremendous truth in the anarchist slogan "property is theft."  I of course judge it according to whether I like it.  From my point of view, as someone with mostly nothing, I find the ways people deal with graffiti fascinating, & of course I find beautiful graffiti stunning.

Anyway, I saw this tag which was simply someone's name, mostly recognizable, written over & over, like a child might do in a workbook learning cursive, only, you know, this was on a doorway.  & the name was the same of the name of a friend, so I took a picture (I was waiting at a light, & wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been - the doorway was sunken into the wall of the side of a building) & sent it to him.  I asked, "Is this your tag?  It seems sad."

I continued, "Not sad in execution, sad in feeling it is meant to convey."  I guess I didn't want to offend him.

He hadn't responded, so I just wrote, "Sad tagger."

& then, "Griefitti."

This friend usually hates puns, says they're the lowest form of humor, but he acknowledged it was a nice word I had (possibly?) coined.

Last night a friend from an old radio station wrote to me about how he wasn't dealing very well with David Berman's death.  I wrote what powerless words of consolation I could.  As we get older, we carry more & more death behind us.

I should've encouraged him to get some spraypaint & work on his tag.  He's an artist of sorts, I'm sure he'd make a good one (if he hasn't already).  Mine would be simple & pretty sad in execution.  Also, I'd get caught right away, possibly because I'd do something dumb like tag someplace nearby & write my name in very simple script.

& it would be my own name.  Recently, in getting involved at Freeform Portland, I was asked what my "deejay name" was.  I've never had a deejay name.  I've always been just Gary.  Now, of course, I'm referred to as "DJ Gary" in emails.

This began somewhere & ended somewhere else.  Such is my mind these days.

Monday, August 26, 2019

In One Week

In one week, Self Help Radio makes its Portland debut.  I'm sure you've heard.  It's weird, it seems so far away & yet I know it's simply seven (really six) days away.

Listen: time has been weird to me here.  We arrived here about three & a half months ago but I could swear I've lived here longer.  In a way, I long for the continual gloom & rain I have heard so much about, the summer has been mostly dry, & bright, & clement.

Am I doing anything special for the show?  Sort of, but not really.  I actually haven't even started working on it, since I have the Indiepop A To Z show to do this week.  That is probably a bad sign.

There is one thing I will not miss: recording my own airbreaks.  Oh jumpin' jeebus on a jet place that takes so much time.  I prefer to do them live & by gum I will be doing them live.  I think it might also let me focus on the music more, since I'll have time to do so - a lot of my calculus about putting together a podcast naturally takes into account the time to record & edit.  But no more!

This is all a bit too navel-gazey for me but I did look up from my life tonight & realize next Monday will be something different for me.  As my dad used to say to me: Don't fuck it up, boy!

He had a way with words.