Saturday, December 28, 2019

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 61: Will This Be Weird

Something I don't presume to know is whether or not anyone is listening to this dumb show I do.  (I'm not even going to talk about the two other dumb shows I do.)  But wait...

Listen, I just updated my Twitter profile & there's simply not enough room to list these things:

Self Help Radio 6-8am Mondays KFFP
Sugar Substitute 2-4am Tuesdays KXRY
The Dickenbock Report 3-5:30am alternating Thursdays KBOO

What I had to leave out was the call letters.  It makes it seem like I just do internet only radio, right?

Anyway, that's now what I wanted to talk about it.  I wanted to mention something I probably mentioned in August.  Did I?  Not really.  It's this:

The show just started in Portland.  But this week's show will be the sixty-first installment of the Indiepop A To Z series.  Will that be weird & confusing?  Will I need to keep explaining it?

Or is no one listening?  & therefore the fretting utterly useless?

You will tell me it's the latter - & I suspect it is - but ultimately with me fretting is a means unto itself.  So for the next two days, before the show - I'll fret away!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Twice (So Far) In Portland

This is dumb.  But I want to mention this.

If you've never heard me on the radio, there is something you need to know: I talk.  I talk a lot.

It's not just rambling.  In general, I have things to talk about.  On Self Help Radio, it's the theme.  On other shows, I'm usually talking about the music I just played, or perhaps the music under my voice.  Sometimes I talk to set up the next set.  But the point is, I talk.

Many moons ago, when I went away for the first time & left SHR in the hands of other programmers, whom I asked to do the show, I was a little amazed when I saw their playlists which has so many more songs than I normally played.  That's because they simply back-announced, & then went to the next set.  No embellishment, no expounding on the show's theme.  I just don't do that.

Twice in Portland this has affected me badly.  Well, thrice.

When I first started subbing at KBOO, the one available slot was for the folk block (or "strip" as they prefer to call it) in the mornings.  I like to celebrate birthdays, so I found some folk & blues artists who had birthdays on the days I was deejaying.  I discussed their lives & play some of their songs.

The KBOO folk block has long-time listeners.  They did not like how much I talked.  One of them called me after I had started a song & unfortunately said, "Get off the air!"  I pointed out that a song was playing, & after a bit of sputtering, they hung up.

The first time I ignored it.  The second time, the listeners doubled down.  Two people called to tell me not to talk so much.  I was affable & thought I could weather it.

But it did affect me badly.  I was not wedded to the folk/country/Americana/blues format, & I didn't want to be a thorn in the side of cranky regular listeners, so I haven't subbed a KBOO folk show since.  I was told by people at KBOO to ignore these curmudgeons, but for me it doesn't seem to be worth it.

This past Wednesday I subbed an XRAY afternoon show & got a text - you can get texts at XRAY! - which basically said, "Less talk please."  I remember Weird Al's response to Space Ghost on the Cartoon Network show when told to shut up: "I don't know how!"  I sent a text back that said, "I'll do my best."

There's a part of me that doesn't want to irk regular listeners but - there's a part of me that wonders, who are these people listening to radio who don't know that part of the charm of radio is listening to the person playing the music?

Therefore I will continue in my unpopular manner, yammering in-between sets of music.  What else can I do?  I'm not an iPod, I'm not a Spotsify, I'm not your personal satellite radio.  Please feel free to go elsewhere - most people have!  But I want to have fun.  This is how I have fun.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

But Who's Counting?

Oh shit, I guess I am.

It's that time of the year when you take time to reflect on what happened in your life because an arbitrary, human-made demarcation (like a year) ends while another arbitrary thing begins.  It makes sense (at least on Earth) to age oneself by years, since you do complete another trip around the sun, but the end of December & the beginning of January happen at what appears to be completely random times.  I would, for example, start a new year at the solstice.  But I was not consulted at the time.

Anyway, what I wanted to point out is how dire my radio prospects seemed at the very beginning of this year - yes, I had a show on KNON in Dallas, but it was not Self Help Radio.  & yes, I continued to do Self Help Radio, as a "podcast" I guess, but it wasn't being aired - & I want to do that show most of all.  The chances of Self Help Radio happening in Dallas if I stayed there were goose egg.

Then strangely, suddenly, we moved to Portland, Oregon, in May, & by June I was subbing on KBOO.  By July, on Freeform Portland.  By August, on XRAY.

Self Help Radio premiered on Freeform on September 2.  Sugar Substitute on XRAY on October 1.  & inexplicably, surprisingly, a show called The Dickenbock Report premiered just last week on KBOO.  If I could travel back to January 2019 & tell that Gary that this was his future, he'd scream & try to kill me because he's read too many science fiction books about shapeshifting aliens that want to eliminate you & take your place.

So here's the skinny.  I count 94 radio shows this year (so far - I'm doing two tomorrow).  Of those 94, I am including 27 episodes of Self Help Radio that were never on the air.  So if you want to be technical, it's only 67 radio shows I've done this year - but that's still more than one a week!

The tally:

Self Help Radio*: 44**
KNON Morning Blend: 13
Sugar Substitute: 12***
The Dickenbock Report: 1
Sub Shows: 24****

That adds up to 94.  The sub breakdown, by the way, is this:

Freeform: 13
XRAY:  4

If I don't get sick, get hurt, or die, in the next few days, the total for the year will be 98.  (71 if you don't want to count the podcasts, you hurtful person you.)

Furthermore, assuming I do all of my radio shows next year - not a safe bet, but, you know, I just might - that will mean:

52 Self Help Radios
52 Sugar Substitutes
26 Dickenbock Reports

That's 130 radio shows.  Not counting subs/fills/ whatever you want to call them.

However you look at it, I will probably be doing lots more radio in 2020.  Apologies in advance.

* Including "podcasts"
** They're be one more next week; I suppose I took seven weeks off this year, especially while we were moving.
*** My last radio show on 2019 will be Sugar Substitute next Tuesday.
**** I'll sub two more shows this year, both tomorrow.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Self Help Radio 122319: A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2019

(Original cover found on Discogs.)

Ho ho ho!  It's a Christmas show!  Plus some Hanukkah songs!  & a Kwanzaa song thrown in for good measure!  Ho ho ho!  Yes, Santa's here, as well as all kinds of reindeer, the Grinch, & even those lovable misfits from The Gift Of The Magi!  Why, the only thing missing from this Christmas show is you!  Where the heck were you?  These presents aren't going to unwrap themselves!

Please enjoy some holiday nonsense now & whenever at the Self Help Radio website.  Please pay attention to username & password information on the site.  What happens on the show is listed with the playlist below.

Have a wonderful holiday!  Hope I didn't ruin it for you or anything.

A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2019
"Income Tax" Dub Adams _The History Of Country & Western Music, Vol. 14 (1947-1948)_
"Captain Santa Claus (& His Reindeer Space Patrol)" Bobby Helms _Christmas Party_
"Old Fashioned Christmas" Charlie Marie _Old Fashioned Christmas_


"You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" Cliff Beach & The MB's _You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch_
"White Christmas" Jeremy & the Harlequins _A Chinese Restaurant/White Christmas_
"Twelve Days Of Analysis" The Therapy Sisters _Codependent Christmas_
"Christmas Lights" The Magic Theatre _A Christmas Gift For You From Elefant Records_
"Christmas, Christmas" The Minders _Christmas, Christmas_

interview with Kentucky writer Carl Lebanon

"The Needles" The Lilac Time _Return To Us_
"Cardboard Street" Fischer-Z _Swimming In Thunderstorms_
"Holiday Movie" The Small Calamities _Designer Heartache_
"Case Study: Audio Book Classics" Superego _Superego Season 2, Episode 9_
"Kwanzaa's Here Again" Barnes & Barnes _Holidaze In Lumania_

Ned Dry interrupts!

"Hanukkah O Hanukkah (A Miracle Of Lights)" Herman D√ľne _Santa Cruz Gold_
"The Hanukkah Scoot" Bunnygrunt _Blue Christmas_
"(I'm Spending) Hanukkah In Santa Monica" Tom Lehrer _The Remains Of Tom Lehrer_
"Chanukah" Lewis Black _Anticipation_
"Dreidels Of Fire" Adam Green _Hanukkah+_

interview with Millennial Experts Alyssa & Jason

"The Pig Went Out To Dig" Jean Ritchie _Carols For All Seasons_
"Deck Five" Saturday's Children _Saturday's Children_
"The Merry Old Philosopher" Eddie Lawrence _The Kingdom Of Eddie Lawrence_
"Merry Christmas" Blake Xolton & The Martians _Experiments In Destiny_
"Just Another Christmas Wish" Tan LeRacoon _Just Another Christmas Wish_

interview with Lorenzo Schwab

"Christmas Kisses" The Bookends _Christmas Kisses_
"Lem, The Orphan Reindeer" Kathy Garver _Lem, The Orphan Reindeer_
"I Was A Teenage Reindeer (with Daws Butler)" Jim Backus _I Was A Teenage Reindeer_
"Double-O Santa" Seks Bomba _50,000,000 Elves Fans Can't Be Wrong_
"Santa Claus" Marvin Pontiac _Marvin Pontiac: The Asylum Tapes_

conclusion & goodbye

"The Christians & The Pagans" Dar Williams _Mortal City_
"Christmas Everyday" Mariya May _Mariya May_
"Banjo Cheer" Tony Trischka _Glory Shone Around: A Christmas Collection_

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Whither A Very Self Help Radio Christmas 2019?

(This is from an old RCA Christmas record I found on Discogs.)

It's that time of the year again.  Christmas.  Yule.  Noel.  Christmastide.  Yuletide.  Noeltide?

As certain as Santa's gonna need extra insulin on Christmas Eve is that there'll be a Very Self Help Radio Christmas.  There's been one ever since the beginning of the show, in 2002.  Except for 2010.  I went to Australia that year, & they celebrate Christmas in the summer.  Their summer.  Which is also in December.  But I was there & not in the States, so I didn't do a Christmas show.  But there wasn't anything Grinch-y about it.  Who wants to hear a Christmas show two weeks before or one week after Christmas?  No one!

Luckily it's just two days before Christmas, so it's Goldilocks just right time for a Christmas show.  & only one.  In fact, I am not sure anyone else is doing a Christmas show this year except me.  Yep!  I just checked!  It's only me this year.  In the whole United States.  Wait!  North America?  Wow, the pressure is on!

Please listen to this year's Very Self Help Radio Christmas Show tomorrow (Monday) morning from 6 to 8 am on 90.3/98.3fm Freeform Portland!  I repeat, there will be no other Christmas show anywhere else in the country this year except this one.  If you expect to get anything from Santa this year, you should listen!