Saturday, November 09, 2019

Preface To Weirdos: Seeing A Legend

Tonight I got to see Robert Forster of the Go-Betweens here in Portland.  This is one of five cities he's doing shows at in the United States - & tonight he told us this is the first time he's sold out a show in America.  That's super cool.

Anyway, he's playing the west coast, stopping in Chicago & in Canada, & then playing the east coast.  He would never have made it down to Texas.  I feel incredibly fortunate I got the chance to see him.

There were moments of transcendence.  It was just him & a guitar, but something about seeing the person & hearing that voice live felt - well, you know how it feels.  It's the reason to go see live music.

As we were going in, the wife & I were not carded.  The woman at the door asked, "Were you born before 1998?"  I said, "Yes, thirty years before."  & the wife lamented getting old.

For me, I'm just glad I got to see him.  The Go-Betweens broke up before I discovered them, & the reunited Go-Betweens in the early 2000s did not visit Austin.  In fact, their reunion record, The Friends Of Rachel Worth, was recorded in Portland.  Forster sang all of his songs from that record.

My mind goes back to Self Help Radio & fundraising now, but I am very grateful for the opportunity to have seen him.  He was in excellent form & seemed glad to be performing to an audience that appreciated him.

When he did "Head Full Of Steam," I almost fainted.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Fun Draising

This week I wrote an email to close friends & family asking them to help during the Freeform Portland Fall Fundraiser.  I pointed out that no one gets paid by the station - there's no accountant, no Station Manager, no one who gets a regular salary.  We're all volunteers.

Also I pointed out we have a surprisingly small budget.  It's amazing we're on the air, frankly.  I remember lean times at KVRX & KOOP in Austin, & Freeform has half the budget of those stations at the time, which was like the late 1990s & early 2000s respectively.  It's a tribute to the dedication of the station's volunteers that so much time & money has come from those involved to keep this wonderful, anarchic radio experience on the air.

Of the ten people I wrote the email to, four people donated to the station.  It was incredibly fucking kind of them.  One person called to tell me they couldn't donate, which was sweet.  I felt awful writing the email.  I've never asked anyone to give money to the stations I've been involved with.

Someone about Freeform Portland is different.  It is young, it has more possibilities, it just seems closer to my ideal of what independent radio should be.  It has issues, to be sure, & there are many challenges it needs to overcome.  But that's what this Fall Fundraiser is about - making sure we're there to confront the challenges.

Nobody reads this blog but if you're reading this & you want the crazy freedom-of-expression & crazy music lover's dream that is Freeform Portland to survive, maybe throw a few bucks our way at this place on the web.  There are many ways to throw your money away.  This is not one of them.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

All The Musicians I Want To See Live Are Dead

That's not true but that's clever & compelling, isn't it?  Why are we drawn to such dumb pronouncements?  People do it all the time, saying something is better than another thing & this one this is the best of all.  Why do we feel the need to frame things in that way?  Why not just say, "I like this"?

It puzzles me.  & as we get to the (sigh) Best Of 2019 season, it'll irk me no end.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Self Help Radio 110419: In The Dark

(The lamp in the picture comes from here.)

It gets darker earlier in Portland than in Texas, where last I lived.  In fact, as the days shorten, it does I believe stay darker longer - maybe by as much as two hours! - than in Texas.  That's amazing.

When I found this out, I thought, "By November, I'll be able to do an entire show in the dark."  & while it may be true that that will happen before the solstice, I was wrong about November - sunrise was at around seven, half way through the show.  (Though there was a light fog turning the world grey, which I appreciated.)  This means that only half of the "in the dark" show was in the dark.  The rest of it was, I suppose, your host's regular condition of being in the dark about most things.

It was also the first Self Help Radio during Freeform Portland's Fall Fundraiser.  Because of the bare-bones nature of the place, I (with the help of deejay Kevrock) talked a lot on the air & begged for financial support but have no idea if anyone did donate any money.  My suspicion is they did not.  But I have no way to know.  If you love the freedom of noncommercial radio, there simply isn't a better investment than Freeform Portland - I urge you to donate what you can to this feisty radio station - & if you mention Self Help Radio sent you, I'll be pleased.

As for this week's show: it's now at Self Help Radio dot net for you to listen to should you be so inclined.  There aren't a lot of bells & whistles although friends of the show found a way to help out, you'll hear.  Remember the username you'll use is SHR & the password you'll pass on is selfhelp.  I hope you choose to help Freeform out.  I owe them a debt of gratitude for hosting Self Help Radio.

Self Help Radio In The Dark Show

"In The Dark" Nina Simone _Nina Simone Sings The Blues_
"In The Dark" The James Hunter Six _Hold On!_
"In The Dark" Magazine _Magic, Murder, & The Weather_

"I Like It In The Dark" Crocodiles _Crimes Of Passion_
"Blues In The Dark" The Soft Boys _Invisible Hits_
"Keep Me In Dark" The Fiery Furnaces _I'm Going Away_

"Whistling In The Dark" Dolly Mixture _Demonstration Tapes_
"Whistling In The Dark" Easterhouse _Contenders_
"Whistling In The Dark" Grass Widow _Internal Logic_

"Romance In The Dark" Billie Holiday _All Of Me (The Columbia Singles 1940-1941)_
"Kissing In The Dark" Memphis Minnie _The Complete Post-War Recordings In Chronological Order, Vol. 3_
"Walking In The Dark" Throwing Muses _House Tornado_

"Talking In The Dark" Elvis Costello _Armed Forces_
"Drifter In The Dark" Ween _Chocolate & Cheese_
"Needle In The Dark" Passenger _Wicked Man's Rest_

"Dancing In The Dark" The Snuggle Ups _Bridging The Distance: A Portland OR Cover Compilation_
"Here In The Dark" Flesh World _The Wild Animals In My Life_
"My Radio Sounds Different In The Dark" The Would Bes _Silly Songs For Cynical People_

"Footsteps In The Dark" Jo Broadbery & The Standouts _Jo Broadbery & The Standouts_
"Faces In The Dark" Generationals _Con Law_
"Winter In The Dark" Jeanines _Jeanines_

"You Light Me Up In The Dark" The Hounds Below _You Light Me Up In The Dark_

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Whither In The Dark?

(Image from here.)

Are you in the dark about why this week's Self Help Radio has the theme "in the dark"?  Hey!  Me too!  Let's go over some possibilities:

1) The ideas was conceived in the dark.
2) It had something to do with this Robin Fulton McPherson poem.
3) It was too light.  Too damn light.  & all we could think about was sitting peacefully in the dark.
4) The struggle to resist binary interpretations of the world fails.  We are forced to choose between a life in the light & a life in the dark.  You know which one we chose.
5) We wished all cats were grey.  & then we realized the time when they were.
6) We wondered where you had gone.  You were developing film in the darkroom.  But when we called to you, asking where you were, all we heard was, "In the dark!"
7) Because we used to listen to radio in the dark, under the covers, well into the night.
8) All these reasons & more.
9) None of these reasons & more.
10) & more.

The show happens tomorrow at six a.m. on 90.3 + 98.3 fm Freeform Portland.  Click the link to listen online.  & be prepared - it's our first show of the station's fall fundraising event, so there'll be some begging.  Maybe lots of begging.

In the dark on Self Help Radio on Freeform Portland Monday, November 4, 2019.  Now.  Lights off.