Saturday, January 25, 2020

Preface To A Lean Show: Lean Or Lean? (Definitely Not Lien)

This is the truth: I had hoped to find lots of songs in which the subject of the songs was, explicitly, someone described as "lean."  But you know what happened?

Yes, there were far more songs about the verb "to lean."  Including, incredibly, over half a dozen songs called "Lean On Me" that were not covers of the Bill Withers tune.  What to do, what to do.

What is "a lean show," anyway?  Am I supposed to be trimming the fat off the show?  But that's me!  I am the fat of the show!  Without me, the show would be quite lean indeed.  How could I do that?

This will take some thinking.  Some deliberation.  Some puzzling over.  I'll have to get back to you.

What, you wanted more than four paragraphs today?  So sorry.  I will share with you the most famous use of the word lean in the English language.  You know this, right?

Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
But, together both
They licked the platter clean.

What was Jack Sprat's wife's name?  Dolores.  Dolores Keen.  She kept her maiden name.  Very progressive for a Mother Goose character, I know.  In fact, the poem was less famously told this way:

Dolores Keen could eat no lean
Her husband could have no fat
But they shared their every meal
& ate it all, & that is that.

Friday, January 24, 2020


That's a nice word, isn't it?  I was thinking if someone asked me what my reaction to Picard was, I'd say, "I swooned."

It seems like a word I'd use a lot, but I actually have only used it twice before on this blog.

The first time was when I found out Leonard Cohen died.  It was in a memory about seeing Leonard Cohen live in concert, & how my girlfriend at the time reacted to the women there who were much older than we were obviously lovestruck by LC.  I wrote, Lauren remarked about how strange it was that there were all these women her mother's age who were swooning like teenagers over the Beatles.

That was in 2016.  It's hard to believe he's been gone that long.  But for me - not to be disrespectful to Leonard Cohen - I am surprised that it took me that long to use the word swoon.

Besides today, the only other time I've used the word "swoon" was when I played a song on a show with the theme the color green by Prefab Sprout from their album entitled Swoon.

Really, Gary?  That few "swoons"?  I gotta do better than that.

Or maybe I don't swoon as much as I think I do?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Missing A Milestone

This past week I was so caught up remembering my sixteenth year I didn't even notice we passed 3300 posts on this blog.  Every time this happens, I want to go back & see what I was writing about way back when, but Blogger doesn't number the posts, so it's nearly impossible to see what I was writing about 30, 300, 3000 posts ago.  Or am I overthinking it?

This post here purports to be my three thousandth scribble on the blog.  It was written in November of 2018, when I couldn't have imagined I'd be living in Portland a year later.

My three hundredth post - which I did not identify as such - was written over a decade earlier.  It's called "First Podcast" because I did an episode of Self Help Radio despite KOOP having been shuttered briefly due to arson.  It mentions that I was questioned by fire department investigators.  That was true.  It was a surreal experience.

The thirtieth post was written in 2006, right before a Halloween show.  It just goes to show that I've been trying to explain why I explore the themes I do from the very beginning, although there is rarely any good reason.

Anyway, I am terrible at anniversaries & other milestones, so it's only natural that I forgot this one.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch Picard now.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Self Help Radio 012020: 1984

(All record covers found on Discogs.)

Wow, it's just after noon & I'm exhausted.  Is this what being 52 is like?  I did wake up a little early to strategize - how could I fit three hours of music I love from 1984 into two hours of radio?  I stole a couple minutes from the deejay before me - DJ Otto - & I kept the airbreaks to a minimum.  & there still wasn't enough time.

Do you know, I could do a radio show called "The 1984 Show" & it would takes months to exhaust all the great music that came out that year.  It's extraordinary.  It seems to me, anyway.  Not that I need another radio show right now.  But if you want to do that show, I will totally help you.

The 1984 show - it's almost all music, very little me - can be listened to now & whenever at Self Help Radio dot net.  Please remember you'll need a username - SHR - & a password - selfhelp - to listen.  The songs I played are listed below.  The songs I didn't play will one day make it on The 1984 Show.  Seriously, so much music.

Also, I won the victory over myself.  I loved Big Brother.

Self Help Radio 1984 Show
"Kangaroo" This Mortal Coil _It'll End In Tears_
"Withered & Died" Elvis Costello _Goodbye Cruel World_
"Lions" Tones On Tail _Pop_

"Reel Around The Fountain" The Smiths _The Smiths_
"From Her To Eternity" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds _From Her To Eternity_
"The Killing Moon" Echo & The Bunnymen _Ocean Rain_
"Church Not Made With Hands" The Waterboys _A Pagan Place_

"Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)" Eurythmics _1984 (For The Love Of Big Brother)_
"Partyline" Shriekback _Jam Science_
"Uncorrected Personality Traits" Robyn Hitchcock _I Often Dream Of Trains_
"A New England" Kirsty MacColl _A New England_
"Dark Streets Of London" The Pogues _Red Roses For Me_

"Upside Down" The Jesus & Mary Chain _Upside Down_
"2 X 4" The Fall _The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004_
"Love Gets Dangerous" Billy Bragg _Brewing Up With Billy Bragg_
"Bachelor Kisses" The Go-Betweens _Spring Hill Fair_
"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" The Smiths _Hatful Of Hollow_

"The Unforgettable Fire" U2 _The Unforgettable Fire_
"Wonderland" Big Country _Wonderland_
"Nobody Told Me" John Lennon _Milk & Honey_
"The Law" Leonard Cohen _Various Positions_
"What A Day That Was" Talking Heads _Stop Making Sense_

"Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops" Cocteau Twins _The Spangle Maker_
"The Caterpillar" The Cure _The Top_
"Perfect Skin" Lloyd Cole & The Commotions _Rattlesnakes_
"Heaven" The Psychedelic Furs _Mirror Moves_
"I Guess I'm Just A Little Too Sensitive" Orange Juice _The Orange Juice (The Third Album)_

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Whither 1984?

(Image from here.)

Wait!  No!  The show this week isn't about the book (& film) 1984, it's my favorite music from the year 1984.  Although...  I suppose I could just play Bowie's Diamond Dogs & the Eurythmics album 1984 (For The Love Of Big Brother) all the way through...  No!

Tomorrow is my birthday & every year on my birthday I explore my favorite music from a year of my life.  The first time I did this, I started the year I was born, 1968, & now, yikes! I'm up to 1984.

It's important to know that I wasn't so hip that I was actually listening to all the music you'll hear on this show.  It would be a couple of years before I discovered what we now call "post-punk," for example.  So it's safe to say that much of what you'll hear tomorrow on the show is much that happens to have been released in 1984 which I discovered sometime later - although much sooner than the music I loved in 1968.  During my first year on this planet, I didn't get a chance to go record shopping much.

It's tomorrow!  On Freeform Portland, 90.3 + 98.3 fm in the city, everywhere!  You have to listen because it's my birthday!