Saturday, April 25, 2020

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 62: Information Please

After a day spent working on this week's Self Help Radio & also editing some audio files for Freeform (not to mention watching "Extraction" starring Thor who weirdly didn't use his godlike powers at all during the film), I just looked at a news site & it was like drinking a giant cup of sadness right before bedtime.

So I went to re-watch last Sunday's Last Week Tonight, which I embed below:

There's real genius in that show - something you don't get in general, let along with comedic news programs.  I used to think that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was the best thing possible, but damn, has John Oliver lapped that program & then some.

Both John Oliver & Sam Bee has found their voice again without an audience, something that has eluded Bill Maher, who continues to do his monologue to laugh tracks.  Which is fine, I suppose - he can't berate them for not laughing at his jokes because he believes the audience is too sensitive.  I admire his confidence that he won't accept they just might not be funny.

But he still occasionally makes an amazing point, & this week he was as brave & truthful as he imagines himself to be when he's making jokes about sexless marriages or the trouble with vaccines:

He's absolutely right in this piece.  I have nothing to add, only that it was undercut somewhat by an embarrassing interview with Jay Leno right before it, with Leno rattling off unfunny topical "jokes" & Maher laughing appreciatively like Ed McMahon.  Excruciating.

Anyway, good night!  939,000 cases in the United States!  Over 53,000 dead!  Good night!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Long Day's Drive Into Otherwise

Two things:

One, I asked Twitter if I should continue growing my stupid quarantine beard - I haven't trimmed it in about two months - & the poll so far - it's just been five votes, but - suggests I keep growing it.  My wife can only vote once, so I know it's not just her.  (I'm totally going to trim it this weekend.)

Two, I keep working on radio shows but have been repurposing old Self Help Radio episodes - like I did last month at KBOO - into one-hour segments.  Is that something I should share on my web page?  Of course I am looking for & adding new songs to the mix, but my airbreaks are perfunctory & not at all fun or funny.  (As if they ever are.)  (But at least I try to make them so.) (Not in these short remakes.)  I ask again: should I share these on the web page?

That's all.  Working on the next indiepop a to z episode as we speak.  Hope it's fun.  Hope that in the near future Freeform is able to air programs when they are scheduled to be aired - like KBOO does with the Dickenbock Report - & so I have a more regular schedule.

I said, that's all!  Sheesh.  I'm not important!  I don't have to write things that matter on this dumb blog!  Damn you!  Damn you all to hell!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

So Tired

Is it weird to be exhausted during a pandemic?  I can't speak to those who have actual jobs; that is one thing I don't have.  My wife, who teaches at a medical school, conducts lectures in one of our rooms & it's charming to listen to her - I've never actually seen her teach.  In fact:

There was a time, when she was teaches a huge class of nurses at the University of Kentucky that I thought about crashing one of her classes - she had like 250 students - & if there were ever a moment where she asked for questions, I'd raise my hands & say, "Professor - do you date your students?"

Today she showed me a slide from her recent (online) lecture which her students shared in some med school forum.  She said, "It's good to become a meme."

Memewhile, I am making radio shows that may or may not be aired.  I am gathering things for upcoming shows.  I am trying to help out at the stations where I volunteer.  & I am so, so tired.

Here's the thing: when I nap, I wake utterly confused.  I don't know where I am, I am not sure what time of day it is, I am even baffled by the same alarm I've been using for years.

It's a metaphor for our times.  But.  I'm still so tired.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Self Help Radio 042020: Thunder

(Isn't this a lovely image of thunder?  No?  That's right!  It's an image of lightning! Because you can't take a picture of thunder! It's a sound! Damn it! Original image here.)

Finally!  The thunder show!  Was it worth the wait?  Absolutely not!

But think of it this way: the farther away the lightning strike, the longer it takes the thunder to reach you.  So imagine this show about thunder originated in a lightning strike two days ago but it was very far away, so the sound of the strike - the thunder - is just arriving now.  Now, knowing the speed of sound - isn't it 770 miles per hour? - & assuming 48 hours (why not?) - that means the lightning struck around 37,000 miles away.  Which is about one & a half times around the world.  That thunder must have stories to tell!

Well - it's got two hours' worth, anyway.  The thunder show is now available at the Self Help Radio website.  Please remember, you'll need a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) to listen.  What happened on the show is below.

Trigger warning: astraphobes may not want to download.  Otherwise, go to town.

Self Help Radio Thunder Show
"It's Thunder" Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players _Just Landed_
"God Of Thunder" M83 _America_
"Thunder" Mekons _Me_

introduction & definitions

"Who's Afraid Of Thunder" Dorothy Collins _Experiment Songs (From Ballads For The Age Of Science)_
"Thunderstorm" Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts _Manhattan_
"Blue Thunder" Galaxie 500 _On Fire_
"Voice Like Thunder" The Babies _The Babies_
"Thunder & Lightning" Chi Coltrane _Super Hits Of The '70s: Have A Nice Day, Vol. 9_

interview with clinical psychologist Eustace Teagarden

"Thunder" Wayne County & The Electric Chairs _These People Are Nuts!_
"Thunder" Huon _Knowing We Was Right From Da Start_
"Thunderous Silence" Alan Watts _Out Of Your Mind_
"Hug Of Thunder" Broken Social Scene _Hug Of Thunder_
"Thunderstorm" Pierce Turner _The Compilation_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"The Ballad Of Thunder Road" Robert Mitchum _That Man_
"Thunder Road" Bruce Springsteen _Born To Run_
"The Thunder, Perfect Mind" Willis Barnstone, Marvin Meyer, & Nancy Lesniewksi _The Gnostic Bible_
"The Thunderclown" Momus & John Henriksson _The Thunderclown_
"Thunderstruck" Antarctica Takes It! _Constellations_

Gary shows how to make thunder at home
Ned Dry interrupts!

"Thunder & Rain" Graham Parker & The Rumour _Stick To Me_
"Thunder In The Sky" The Dirtbombs _Dangerous Magical Noise_
"Thundertunes" Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls _Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls_
"Thunder Of Hearts" Buzzcocks _Modern_

conclusion & goodbye

"Thunderstorm Blues" Maggie Jones _Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, Vol. 1 (August 1923 To April 1925)_
"Thunderbird" The Casual-Aires _Las Vegas Grind!_
"The Case Of The Thundering Dunderhead" Thee Headcoats _Beach Bums Must Die_

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Whither Thunder?

(There is no thunder without lightning.  Here, lightning photobombs a picture of thunder.  Image from here.)

Hey!  I know I've been terrible at that "getting Self Help Radio done on time" thing.  There are several reasons for it, the most convincing of which is have you seen the world lately?

But that's not really an excuse.  The main excuse I believe is lack of a deadline.  I spent the past couple of days working on Tuesday morning's Dickenbock Report, which has to be turned in twenty-four hours before it airs so it can be properly placed on the automation.  I'm certain if that were the case with Self Help Radio, I'd have it done at that time, too.  It's just not really scheduled - I even have no idea if the last two episodes, placed on the station's automation, have aired at all.

That being said: I think I thought about doing a show about thunder when I was talking to my family in Dallas & there were thunderstorm warnings.  I realized we don't really get a lot of thunder up here in Cascadia.  & sometimes my ruminations lead me in the direction of "are there enough songs about thunder to make a radio show about thunder?"

So!  I will have a new Self Help Radio tomorrow some time, earlier if possible, but definitely sometime on a Monday.  It will of course happen at Self Help Radio dot net & I'll let you know here.  & on Facebook.  & Twitter.  I might text you.  I might also call.  If I show up at your house, I'll just yell from the curb.