Saturday, June 20, 2020

Preface To Shadows: Shadow Play

According to the Wikipedia: "Shadow play, also known as shadow puppetry, is an ancient form of storytelling & entertainment which uses flat articulated cut-out figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light & a translucent screen or scrim. The cut-out shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets & the light source. A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod, & laugh."

Oh no, says the reader.  He reads Wikipedia to us on the radio, now he's reading it to us on his blog?!?!

Fear not, dear reader!  I am not going to copy anything more from the Wikipedia to-day!

Holy shit, thinks the reader.  He can hear me?!?

Of course I can!  Anyone who writes a blog can read the mind of any reader, should they choose to do so.  More popular blogs, of course, disable this feature.  But frankly, you're the first person to read this blog in - well, it's been a few weeks - so naturally I can hear your thoughts.

That's disturbing, says the reader out loud to the computer.

Maybe not talk to your computer or else people will think you're crazy.

Sorry, thinks the reader.

Not a problem.  I'm glad you're here!

Thanks, says the reader.

Can I talk to you about shadow play?

Ordinarily that would be great, says the reader.  But now isn't a good time.

It's the best time!  I have visual aids!

Speaking of time, gosh! thinks the reader, is it really this late already?

Oh come on!  You're here already!

Did you hear that? asks the reader.

Did I hear what?

Oh dear, that's my phone, says the reader.

That's not a phone!  You're lying to me!

Seriously, I have to take this, lies the reader.  Hello?

Don't stop reading the blog!  Then I can no longer hear your thoughts!


Wait, is that someone else?  Someone who wants to hear about shadow play?  I probably won't talk about it on the show this week, I won't have the time.  Is anyone there?  Hello?  Hello?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Back On The Schedule?

There was a meeting this week online for folks at Freeform helping out with the automation - I am one of those folks - & it was casually mentioned that we'll start scheduling shows - prerecorded - into their old timeslots starting - can it be true? - June 29th.  That's a Monday.  That's when Self Help Radio is scheduled to air.

Am I ready for this?  Oh no.  Will I make sure I'm ready for this?  Oh yes.

There's a complication - someone (poor soul) will need to "review" the show (listen to it) to make sure there aren't any FCC violations.  You might say, "But Gary!  You've been making radio for nearly seven hundred years, how in the world could you let a bad word slip through?"

First, it's only been six hundred years.  & second, everyone makes mistakes.  Live, you can hit the dump button.  (But what's a dump button?  Read all about it.)  Not so with prerecords.  & let me tell you, there have been a lot of bad words on many noncommercial stations during this time.  Not from me!  I hope.

What were we talking about?  Oh yeah, the review process.  To make it easy on the reviewers, shows must be submitted no later than 72 hours (three days) in advance.  Which means I need to have my show done (doing the math in my head) by Friday mornings at eight.

Am I ready for that?  Fuck no.  Will I be ready?  I guess.

Ah, but will it happen?  I am planning as though it will.  & I'm excited about it, too!

(There will be Self Help Radio on KBOO Tuesday morning at midnight as well, which is super cool, but those shows will be re-runs of a sort - done live by remote - of previously finished shows.  Still - I'm excited about that, too.)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 18, 2019

Look, I find it unseemly to revisit these old blog posts, but it seems exceedingly unseemly to repost something from one year ago.  & yet, I find myself sharing once again my ridiculous list of the entire fifty ways Paul Simon meant to share of "ways to leave your lover."  Am I proud of this?  Oh no.  Don't leave your lover in this way.  For fuck's sake.


On this past week's show, I read from a recently-unearthed lyrics sheet by Paul Simon which included all fifty ways he envisioned to "leave your lover."  Simon had intended to record a masterpiece in which he could share this musically, but his unerring pop instincts also told him if he simply included a few of the fifty ways, he could have a hit single, which is of course what happened.  There was a great deal of cocaine involved, & he never got around to going back into the studio to record the full lyrics, but, as I said, I have a copy, & I share them with you.  You can sing them out loud if you'd like.

Here are the (numbered) fifty ways that Paul Simon believed you could leave your lover.  The first five are familiar to you from the single:

01. Just slip out the back, Jack.
02. Make a new plan, Stan.
03. You don't need to be coy, Roy.
04. Hop on the bus, Gus.
05. Just drop off the key, Lee.

Here are the rest:

06. Don't go back again, Ken.
07. Try not to be a jerk, Kirk.
08. Maybe give one last kiss, Chris.
09. Leave her in your will, Bill.
10. Don't let yourself get sad, Chad.
11. Just pretend she's gone, John.
12. Act aloof & chilly, Willie
13. Make her think you're dead, Ted.
14. Relocate to Samoa, Noah.
15. Ditch her at baggage claim, James.
16. Learn the proper way to hasten, Jason.
17. Maybe use a motorcycle, Michael.
18. Or just any kind of bike, Mike.
19. Stop having so much sex, Rex.
20. Start acting Elizabethan, Ethan.
21. Replace with a cocker spaniel, Daniel.
22. Get a little fat, Matt
23. Just try to be frank, Hank.
24. Don't start a riot, Wyatt.
25. Act like a rogue knave, Dave.
26. Beg, borrow, or barter, Carter.
27. Replace her with a maiden, Jayden.
28. Don't say where you're going, Owen.
29. Make sure you're ready & willing, Dylan.
30. Be honest what you like, Ike.
31. Break all the rules, Jules.
32. Say you're brainwashed, Josh.
33. Find something else to do, Drew.
34. Just start lying, Ryan.
35. Life's not gonna wait, Nate.
36. Tell her your barren, Darren.
37. Try to stay calm, Tom.
38. Wish her the best of luck, Chuck.
39. Tell her you're a goner, Connor.
40. Explain that you're not ready, Eddie.
41. Consume too much brandy, Andy.
42. Show her that you're a snob, Bob.
43. Act like you're too sick, Nick.
44. Get thrown out like the trash, Ash.
45. Change into a madame, Adam.
46. Keep acting like a freak, Zeke.
47. Do it face-to-face, Chase.
48. Talk to a lawyer, Sawyer.
49. There's no one left to convince, Vince.
& finally:
50. Just fucking leave, Steve.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Self Help Radio 061520: Masks

(Original image here.)

Here's this week's show, about masks, which is dated June 15, but it's obviously June 16, I am increasingly unable to manage my time well, & sadly this poor show is paying the price.  In my defense, I think it's a fine show, not only because it's a great theme - suggested by Jenny, who also provided a song for the show - but because I spent a little more time on it than I might have if I had had a deadline.  Although today was the deadline & in typical fashion, I'm cutting it very, very close.

Still, if you listen, listen for Jenny's song & for the interviews - my funny friends are very, very funny on today's show.  I simply got out of their way & they were great.  Please enjoy that.

The show is at the Self Help Radio website.  Please remember there's a username (SHR) & a password (selfhelp) which you'll need to listen.  The details of the show are below.

Should you wear a mask while listening?  It's highly recommended.

Self Help Radio Masks Show
"Mask" Bauhaus _Mask_
"Mask" The Nits _Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof_
"Mask" Daniel Johnston & Beam _Beam Me Up!_

introduction & definitions

"The Mask" The Live Wires _Die Today_
"Mask" The Contrast _Perfect Disguise: Introducing The Contrast_
"Mask" Us & Us Only _Bored Crusader_
"The Mask" Fugees _The Score_
"My Mask" Jenny Adkins _My Mask_

interview with my youngest friends Alyssa & Jason

"Animal Mask" The Mountain Goats _Beat The Champ_
"Masks Of Bebko" Momus _Glyptothek_
"Zulu Death Mask" Deadbolt _Zulu Death Mask_
"Sleeping With Your Devil Mask" Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians _Globe Of Frogs_
"The Man In The Iron Mask" Billy Bragg _Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy_ (Yep Roc, 2006)

interview with masquerade musician Delbert Disguise

"Masquerade" The Fall _Levitate_
"Masquerade" The Celebration _Junkman_
"Life Is A Masquerade Party" Amuzement Park Band _All Points Bulletin_
"(I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over" Clyde McPhatter _Rhythm & Soul (1959-1965)_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"The Masked Man" Eddy Bell _Mercury Rock & Roll Party_
"I Am Gonna Unmask The Batman" Sun Ra & His Astro-Galactic Infinity Arkestra _The Singles_
"Mask Off" Al Wood & The Wanderers _My Lady Chou Coumme_
"Sleep Mask" Omni _Networker_
"Alien With A Sleep Mask On" Ratboys _Printer's Devil_

Self Help Radio craft time Elliot Kliffnerd calls

"Behind The Mask" Yellow Magic Orchestra _Solid State Survivor_
"What's Behind The Mask" The Cramps _Songs The Lord Taught Us_
"Under The Mask Of Happiness" Graham Parker _The Mona Lisa's Sister_
"Lover's Mask" Damien Youth _Festival Of Death_

conclusion & goodbye

"The Blue Mask" Lou Reed _The Blue Mask_ (RCA Records, 1998)

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Whither Masks?

(Image from here.)

At this point - at this late in the day - at the very least - should I just say that Self Help Radio has new episodes on Tuesdays?  Because I have to prepare a whole other show tomorrow - which will air live at midnight - & there ain't no way I'm going to finish this week's Self Help Radio by then.  I'm sorry.  There are many excuses & here's one of them: we walk our dogs twice daily.

That may not sound crazy to you, but our dog walks usually take between an hour & ninety minutes each.  We walk somewhere between a mile & two miles each walk, & one of our dogs, our sweet Winston, is old & quite slow.  The walks I might add are very pleasurable but that's three hours a day on dog walks.  Can't make a radio show during that time.

& by the way, you might think, "Whoa, you spend an eighth of your day walking your dogs?"  But what if I put it this way: assuming I sleep eight hours a day (which I generally don't), then I actually spend around one-fifth of my waking hours walking our dogs.  Sure, my doctor says it's kept me from turning into a high cholesterol-smelling diabetic flesh hump unable to move from my computer, but it's been terrible for radio shows.

Which I should be talking about instead of this.  Hey!  A show about masks!  That seems pretty timely, right?  Then it almost certainly wasn't my idea.  No, this was a suggestion by Jenny.  I hope she can wait till Tuesday, as I probably won't finish it tonight.

Tomorrow?  Tuesday?  Whenever?  It'll happen at Self Help Radio dot net.

Yes, of course, I love my dogs & the walks are to keep them healthy & happy.  & oh yeah I could work on the shows on days before the days that they're due.  It's truly my bad work habits that are to blame, not my beautiful pooches.  Shame on me!  Shame on me!