Saturday, June 13, 2020

Preface To Masks: Outlaws All

Yee haw.  I'm an outlaw.  I'm a bandit.  Mainly in my own head.  But now?  I get to wear a mask wherever I go!

Not like a Halloween mask, you understand.  Not a Spider-Man mask or Batman cowl.  Nope, the sort of mask that outlaws in Westerns wear, or that bank robbers wear when they step into the bank ready to rob it.  Although some of them do enjoy wearing full-head masks, especially those of presidents for some reason.  That's not the kind of mask I'm wearing!

& you know it's not just me!  It's a lot of folks.  Some folks aren't, of course, because they have some point to prove.  Maybe it makes them feel like outlaws too?  "When masks are required, only outlaws don't wear masks."  I think somebody famous said that.

So we're all feeling like outlaws!  Those of us who just feel like it because we're wearing masks, & those others who are kind of awful & selfish who think they're protesting some injustice done to them.

How can we all be outlaws?  Maybe masks don't make someone an outlaw.  But outlaws wear masks!  Without the mask, I'm just someone who's more likely to not only catch a deadly virus but also spread it to someone else if I've got it but am asymptomatic.

Also, my wife bought me a mask with a neat kind of design on it, which is attractive but of course if I were a real outlaw it would be used to identify me to the law.

Honestly, I feel less & less like an outlaw now.  Dang it!  Why do I think things through?  Nothing good ever comes of it.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Dickenbock Report (Episode 14)

Tonight, I put the playlist & a link to a recording of the show I did a week or two ago, The Dickenbock Report, on the Self Help Radio website.  It feels like I've been doing this forever but in fact it was only the fourteenth episode.  The show happened on International Sex Workers Day & so has many, many songs about that business, focusing primarily on prostitution.  A fun time guaranteed for all.

This was a show I did - the first actually - live from my little computer at home.  & as such it begins awkwardly.  Unfamiliar with the program (called Mixxx, which makes it seem like it's related to porn) I promptly accidentally slowed down the backing track during my first airbreak.  But wait, it gets better.  If you choose to listen to the first part of the show, you'll find that first airbreak a bit awkward.  That's because Mixxx for some reason delays its broadcast of my voice by a fraction of a second, so when I am listening to myself during the airbreaks - a standard radio model - it's on a delay, & I slow my vocals down to compensate.  It's very, very annoying.

Since it was my first live show, it took me a while to figure everything out.  But otherwise it went without a hitch.  I think.  I was very, very nervous.

In any event.  I think I learned something.  I learned I liked broadcasting live from my home.  I would rather be in the studio, sure.  But absent that - live is the way to go.

Also I learned not to listen to myself during airbreaks.  At least not from home.  That delay just totally fucks me up.

The show is at the Self Help Radio website, right under this past week's SHR.  Listen to it if you must, but, please, be kind.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

June 11, 2015

In early summer 2015, I did a Self Help Radio show with the theme "fight."  As someone who hasn't been in an actual physical fight in decades - & was barely in any before that - I was not an expert on at least that aspect of the theme.  Here's what I wrote in that blog about a recent non-confrontation.  I confess, five years later, I have no memory of the incident - just a memory of reading the memory now.

Preface To Fight: Non-Confrontational Guy

One imagines that I could take an assertive class if I wanted to.  One also imagines that I might not pass it.  Because I just hate confrontation.

It's absurd - because it causes me all kinds of personal anguish - but I generally expect people to act as decently as I would.  I know.

I've learned to accept that drivers will cut me off; that people who imagine their time more valuable than everyone else's will cut in line; that in general the average person will default to rude for whatever reason.  But the great disappointment is when you're part of some community - it might be a job, it might be a volunteer organization like, oh, let's say, a non-commercial radio station - & someone there is inexplicably rude & douche-y.  It shouldn't happen - but of course the same people who are aggressive asswipes or thoughtless fuckwads in the rest of the world inhabit those places too.

I'm thinking about something that happened recently.  I subbed a show while a person at the radio station was working on the new studio.  I understood he had to be there - he was essential to the operation of the station, troubleshooting everything so we could broadcast without problems where we'll be for a couple of years plus.

This person boasted to me that he'd been working in radio for nearly three decades.  & I had no problem with him wandering around, using a drill & other instruments, picking things up, putting them down, while I was playing music.  But - listen - if you're ever in a deejay booth & the sound disappears & the deejay is about to go on the mic, you will stand very quietly, if you have any experience in a radio station, while the deejay talks.  You know any noise you make might go out over the air.

If you have any experience in a radio station.  Well, not this guy.  With nearly three decades in radio.  He proceeded to wander around the deejay booth, including several times walking behind me, occasionally bumping me, whenever I went on the air.

But did I say anything?  Of course not!  What good would it have done?  What if I my tone of voice somehow offended him?  I just suffered through those two hours while he puttered around & did his job, making my job a lot more difficult.

Maybe I should take one of those assertive classes after all.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Self Help Radio 060820: Cups

(One of the last of the old Self Help Radio coffee cups, sitting lonesome on a high shelf.)

At last!  Here it is!  The Self Help Radio show about cups!  I said I'd have it done on Tuesday & even though it's late on a Tuesday it's still Tuesday damn it!

The truth is, I had a lot of fun making the show, & because there wasn't a deadline per se, I kinda spent too long on editing & choosing music & - well, if you listen, you'll hear.  I made it a mission to find interesting audio snippets about cups to put throughout the show.  I didn't even get to use them all, that's how much time I wasted on that pursuit.

One day soon Freeform will air SHR at a specific time & I'll have to get my act together & make a show for a deadline but for now - sorry it's late!  Maybe you'll enjoy it!  I think I would, if I ever, you know, went back & listened to my shows.  Which oh gods!  I could never.

But you can.  Now at Self Help Radio dot net.  It's a bit over two hours long, the details are below, & remember the password is SHR & the username is selfhelp.  Honestly if you don't know it by now, I can't do more but say it over & over.

What I was going to say is "I raise my cup to you" but I'm drinking out of a can right now so...  Oh well.

Self Help Radio Cups Show
"Morning Cup" Cranebuilders _You're Song_
"My Cup Is Full" Disciples Of Shaftesbury _Never Ever Land (83 Texan Nuggets From International Artists Records 1965-1970)_
"Cup To The Wall" Satisfact _Project: Echo_

introduction & definitions

"Cup" Bilders _Pyx (1985-1988)_
"Cup 'O Bang Bang" Dressy Bessy _Kingsized_
"Diamonds In Cups" Wire _Silver/Lead_
"Cup" Distractor _This Time I Got It Figured Out_
"Loving Cup" The Fortunes _The Singles_


"One Cup Of Happiness (& One Peace Of Mind)" Dean Martin _Dino: The Golden Years_
"Measuring Cups" Andrew Bird _Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs_
"Paper Cup" The 5th Dimension _The Essential 5th Dimension_
"Brother, My Cup Is Empty" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds _Henry's Dream_
"That's My Cup Blues" Katie Crippen _The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Vol. 1: 1917-1927_

interview with cup collector Runneth Over

"Coffee Cup" Langhorne Slim & The Law _The Way We Move_
"The Mixed Up Cup" Clyde McPhatter _Please Give Me One More Chance: His Last Recordings 1968-1970_
"Serve Yourself A Cup Of Happiness" The Monitors _Say You! The Motown Anthology 1963-1968_
"Little Cup" Mirah _Sundial_
"Paper Cup" Louise Burns _Mellow Drama_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"An Empty Cup" Roy Orbison & The Teen Kings _Orbison 1955-1965_
"Gold Cup" Dudley Duncan _Don't Do It: The Smash Records Story_
"Loving Cup" The Rolling Stones _Exile On Main St._
"My Cup Runneth Over" Billy Eckstine _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969_
"Cupful Of Change" Nikki Sudden & The Jacobites _Dead Men Tell No Tales_

conclusion & goodbye

"Paper Cup Exit" Sonic Youth _Sonic Nurse_
"Nature's Cup" Free Time _Free Time_
"Tears In Your Cup" Cats On Fire _Our Temperance Movement_
"Sidney In A Cup" Mouse On Mars _Dimensional People_
"Paper Cup" Real Estate _The Main Thing_

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Whither Cups?

(Image from here.)

Let me, a person with a radio show, present you with a broken record: there probably won't be a new Self Help Radio tomorrow.  Other things - including the horrible shit going down in this country & the reactions to it, which have been in many cases inspiring & uplifting - have made it hard to concentrate.  I will have the show done sometime Tuesday for sure, but there's the slimmest of chances it'll be done tomorrow so I'm writing about this today.

Someone did ask me, "Why a show about cups?"  Someone else said to me that they liked that The Dickenbock Report is generally about a theme because it's that theme's day, or because it's someone's birthday, or because it refers to an event that happened that day.  Self Help Radio, they noted, is not like that.  The themes don't really have anything to do with anything other than the fact that they're that week's theme.  & that person was right.  It's sometimes hard to explore a theme if it has to have a real-word analog.  I would probably be constantly re-doing themes if that were the case.  Although I am certain there's a "national cup day" some time.

But back to what that first person asked: "Why a show about cups?"  This is a dumb reason, but above me, in my little room where I have my records, CDs, computer, & other crap, there's a built-in shelf.  On that shelf either I or my wife decided to store my old radio coffee cups there.  I have one from KTSB days, one from RFL, a Kurt Vonnegut cup someone gave me, two old Self Help Radio mugs, & a KNON pint glass.  When I am leaning back in my chair, I sometimes glance up & see them.  & I think, "Cups."

That's the kind of subliminal inspiration I get for Self Help Radio shows.

So - maybe a new episode tomorrow?  But get this: if there is a new episode Tuesday, it will be preceded by two old episodes.  That's right!  From midnight to 3am on KBOO, I'll present two previously unaired Self Help Radio shows (edited to ninety minutes each) in the space where The Dickenbock Report airs on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays.  That's the KBOO premiere of Self Help Radio!  I'm working on editing those shows as we speak, which gets in the way of making the new show, which should be a priority, but I'm excited because I get to do Self Help Radio live Tuesday morning, from my room of course.  The room with the cups.

The episode will happen on Self Help Radio dot net sooner than later.  I promise.  The KBOO episodes will definitely happen sooner.  It's too exciting for me, & it feels weird since the world is going you know to hell.