Saturday, March 14, 2020

Preface To Surprise: Would It Surprise You If There Were No Self Help Radio This Week?

It wouldn't surprise me.

Yesterday I wrote:

I expect - despite how fucked up the world is right now - I expect I will be in the Freeform studios for Self Help Radio come Monday.

But don't quote me on that.  Everything is in flux, everything is completely crazy. 

The folks at Freeform closed the studios this afternoon.  I mentioned they were exploring remote broadcasting options, but one station Board member said "we aren't going to remote broadcast in the short term."  I have been waiting for a confirmation email, & I have been working on Self Help Radio, but I suspect that there won't be one this week.

There hasn't been any information from KBOO about submitting shows, either.  I spent most of today wondering what the next couple of months will mean for me, radio wise.  I suspect at some point in there I may be battling a virus - as will many others.

Surprise!  A radio show about surprise is (not surprisingly?) probably not going to happen!

Friday, March 13, 2020


Today I almost subbed a show on KBOO.  It was a folky show, they found a folky sub in time.  I was almost out the door when I heard someone more - is qualified the word? sure - more qualified than I was was available.  I confess I wasn't excited about subbing the show, but now I wish I had, because at the end of the day, KBOO closed the station to everyone but staff.

Now, I don't have a show scheduled on KBOO till a week from Thursday, & I will prerecord that.  I don't like to prerecord but I understand.  The same marching orders came down from XRAY - but as you know, I am no longer doing a show there.

& my beloved Freeform?  They are exploring options for remote broadcasting.  I hope that works out, although I am not sure how that will work.  But I expect - despite how fucked up the world is right now - I expect I will be in the Freeform studios for Self Help Radio come Monday.

But don't quote me on that.  Everything is in flux, everything is completely crazy.  I think it's amazing we're protecting ourselves but I fear the uncertainty will perhaps drive us even more insane.

But what the hell do I know?  I didn't expect this yesterday, what can I say about tomorrow?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Suspending My Sugar Substitute Campaign

This is so completely unimportant but so is this blog & all the radio shows I do.  Like you, I am worried about pandemic & I can't be sure what the future holds but let me, for a moment, pretend everything is normal, & talk about the dumb radio shows I do.

Radio shows.  Do you know, a year ago, the idea of having more than one show on more than one station was unthinkable?  I did a program called the Tuesday Morning Blend on KNON, & the station manager would have "fired" me - they used that term, although of course I didn't get paid for deejaying - if I had done another show at a different noncommercial station.  "They are our competition," he would say, even if it were a low-power station in Denton whose signal never reached Dallas County limits.

Which isn't to say that I had a chance to do a show on such a station.  While I was in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, there were three low-power fm stations at which I might have done a show.  One of them only played "local" music, which was a restriction that would've made it impossible for me to do Self Help Radio, & the other two never wrote me back.  The latter two seemed to be content to have a few live deejays & the rest of the time play random music from iTunes or whatever.

Ack!  I didn't mean this to be a complaint or a whine.  I just wanted to point out that the idea of me doing three radio shows on three different stations - with no complaints by the stations! - the Program Manager at KBOO said, "Hey, we're all in this together" - that is still a bit mind-blowing for me.

Even moreso is the fact that I am doing a show on KBOO.  Of the three stations at which I'm involved, KBOO is the most storied, & probably the most respected.  Certainly it's the most recognized, which might not mean anything, but when I say I do a show on KBOO, people know what I'm talking about.

In any event, even before the pandemic ratcheted up this week, I was feeling very exhausted doing Sugar Substitute on XRAY so soon after Self Help Radio on Freeform.  When I did the show from 6-8am, there were eighteen hours between the end of one show & the beginning of another.  That changed when the show was moved to 8-10am.  I was getting very little sleep & then rushing off to do another show.  & I felt the last few Sugar Substitutes were suffering from my inability to prepare well for them.

Something has happened, though, & it's not just the coronavirus.  In April, I am going to be doing the Dickenbock Report - which now airs Thursday mornings from 3-5:30am - on Tuesday mornings from midnight to 3am.  In addition to getting an extra half-hour - gulp! - I will be much earlier, when many more people might be listening.  (To be fair, I have listeners now - this morning I got three calls, more in one setting than I've ever gotten on my XRAY show.)

But Gary!  In April, you will have only fourteen hours between Self Help Radio & the Dickenbock Report!  Won't you be tired then too?

Yes.  But the Dickenbock Report will happen every other week.  & giving up my XRAY slot frees me to work more on the other two shows.  I honestly can't believe I'm saying this.  But I think it might be better to do just two shows instead of three.

Holy shit, the me in Dallas is like, What the fuck?  Do you know what you're giving up?

Yeah, I do.  I wrote the Program Manager at XRAY today, after I got an email from the Operations Manager saying that if deejays can prerecord their shows, they should do so.  I don't want to prerecord Sugar Substitute.  I hope I can resurrect it at a different time in the future.  It was the one place I could play new music, which I love to do.  (Maybe I can do it on Freeform during sub shifts now?)

Wow this is a lot of writing.  It's my way of saying goodbye to Sugar Substitute for now.  & to prepare for the Dickenbock Report on Monday nights/Tuesday mornings in April.

Now if you don't mind I need to drink a little to insure I have a decent amount of nightmares about COVID-19 tonight.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Self Help Radio 030920: Every Day

(Okay, what's with me & the movie posters?  Original image here.)

Wow!  For the fifth time in this show's - what is it now? - nearly eighteen year history, I managed to program an entire show with only songs that have as their title the show's theme.  Never mind that there are both "Everyday" & "Every Day" songs.  They are synonymous, & anyway, are you that much of a stickler?  Really?  The truth is, I didn't start out wanting to do the show that way - it just so happened I noticed an overabundance of songs called "Every Day" (or "Everyday" - actually there are more songs with that title although they do in fact mean "Every Day").  One thing led to another.  & I do like a challenge.

In addition to that, & interviews with silly people, I went out into the field - well, it was a dog park - off leash! - & asked folks about things they loved & hated every day.  That was fun, & I hope to do more of that sort of thing, but I'm convinced people think I'm a weirdo, so I try to make sure I have my dogs nearby to prove I have a reason to be there.  One woman thought I was from a right-wing radio show!

Anywhatever, the show can be listened to every day (not recommended) or any time you want (that's probably a better plan) at Self Help Radio dot net.  There's a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) but also that information is on the page so what's the big deal?  What happened on the show, as well as the songs that were played, is listed below.

Seriously, though, I couldn't do this show every day.  I am aware of that.

Self Help Radio Every Day Show
"Everyday" Buddy Holly _Not Fade Away: The Complete Studio Recordings & More_
"Everyday" Mack Self _The Sun Country Box_
"Everyday" Johnny Rivers _Johnny Rivers_

introduction & definitions

"Everyday" The Challengers _Witchcraft In The AirL Detroit Soul 1957-1962_
"Everyday" The Moody Blues _The Singles+_
"Every Day" Sandie Shaw _Nothing Comes Easy_
"Every Day" The Outcasts _Acid Visions: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2_
"Every Day" The Golden Dawn _Power Plant_

one of Gary's favorite words!

"Every Day" Sleepy Labeef _Larger Than Life_
"Everyday" The Climax Chicago Blues Band _A Lot Of Bottle_
"Everyday" Gil Scott-Heron _Small Talk At 125th & Lenox_
"Everyday" Dead Fingers Talk _Storm The Reality Studios...  Plus_
"Everyday" Rikk Agnew _All By Myself_

interview with expert millennials Alyssa & Jason

"Everyday" The Delmontes _Carousel_
"Every Day" Go Sailor _Go Sailor_
"Everyday" Ivy _Realistic_
"Everyday" Collette Carter _The New Stroboscopic_
"Everyday" Thee Headcoats _Beached Earls_

interview with sociologist Dr. Stang Foley

"Everyday" A Drag City Super Session _Tramps, Traitors, & Little Devils_
"Every Day" Sing Sing _Madame Sing-Sing_
"Every Day" The School _Wasting Away & Wondering_
"Every Day" The Sunbathers _A Weekend Away With..._

Marge Most interviews Parson Abernathy no she doesn't

"Everyday" Indian Jewelry _Free Gold!_
"Everyday" Keeps _Brief Spirit_
"Everyday" Sacred Paws _Strike A Match_
"Everyday" Weyes Blood _Titanic Rising_

conclusion & goodbye

"Everyday" Yo La Tengo _And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out_
"Everyday" Saturday Looks Good To Me _Saturday Looks Good To Me_

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Whither Every Day?

(Original image here.)

First, to assuage your fears: this show is not an announcement that Self Help Radio will be on every day.  Yes!  I can hear your sigh of relief.  I'm on the radio enough as it is - imagine if you had to suffer through daily episodes of Self Help Radio!  Don't you have enough to worry about as it is?

Second, I know a while back I did a show with the theme "the days of the week".  You might be asking yourself, "Isn't that the same as 'every day'?"  No, & you're overthinking it.  That show featured songs which happened to mention every day of the week.  This show simply features songs where people talk about things that happen every day.  Non-specifically.  It's different.  I swear.

Third - & I can't promise this will happen - but I might be able to do on this show what I have only done four times before - & that was when I did shows with the themes heaven, tell me, everybody knows, & hold on - I might be able to play nothing but songs with the theme as the title for the entire show.

There will be one catch - there are songs called "every day" & songs called "everyday."  I plan to play nothing but songs with those titles.  But are they the same title?  It's for you to decided.  I got nothing to prove.

Tomorrow!  Monday!  From 8-10am!  On Freeform Portland!  90.3 & 98.3 fm!!  It's not every day you hear a show like this!