Saturday, October 10, 2020

Preface To Traps: Kind Of Apologies

When I left KOOP in 2008, I left without needing to take a break or a sabbatical or really ever relinquishing the many tasks I volunteered for.  I remember proudly saying to someone, "I never burned out."  Which is true.  There are people who needed to recharge after being so involved, & there were people who left & never came back.  Technically, I left & never came back, but I was moving away, so I couldn't come back, not without great expense.

Just the other day, in reference to my current work, someone told me they didn't want me to burn out.  "I don't burn out," I said.

No, I guess I don't.  I just get tired.  There are so many things I could be doing to help out that I have to say no to because I am programming three radio shows a week.  I was doing this earlier in the year, of course, but there is something different about going to a station to do a show.  Even when I am doing a show from home, I'm working on it till the last possible minute.  Frankly I think broadcasting from home brings out my worst procrastinating tendencies.

Which is a kind of long-winded way of saying I opted out of the bells & whistles for this week's Self Help Radio.  I usually put a good deal of work into the show - interviews & what-not - although recording it adds more time - but I just didn't have the energy this week.  The show's in the can, it'll be on the air on Monday morning - you'll understand what I mean when you hear it.

What I could have done was take a week off - although it probably wouldn't have resulted in me catching up in any meaningful way - but instead I just simply made a radio show a bit like Self Help Radio used to be - although without a lot of research.

In sum, I owe you an apology.  Even if you don't listen, I owe you an apology.  Even if you don't think I owe you an apology, I owe you an apology.  I owe myself an apology too.  That's the trouble with setting a standard for one's radio show.  It just feels ugly to not meet it.  & Self Help Radio has such low standards to begin with!

So - sorry.  Sorry for this week's half-assed show.  I am hoping my Thursday morning gig will be done soon, & I'll have more time to spend on other things - including Self Help Radio.

Related question: am I burnt out?  Is being tired all the time burnt out?

Friday, October 09, 2020

Need I Remind You

Soon enough I'll be done subbing so many shows on KBOO (I hope) because they've recently sent out a call for show proposals, but nowabouts is a good time to remind you that even though I don't archive my KBOO shows - subs shows & the Dickenbock Report - on the Self Help Radio website, I do link to where they are archived, which is on the KBOO website.

These shows are done live by remote, which is fraught with all sorts of technical issues, which might make for challenging listening, but should you want to, you can go to the following pages to hear episodes of programs I currently do on KBOO:

The Dickenbock Report is a lot like Self Help Radio, the Sub Show is a lot like my freeform shows, except I mainly play new releases.

That's all.  Nothing much to see here.  Move along.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 6: Cranford Drive

(image from Google Maps)

This is the place I lived in for most of the time I was in high school.  I returned to stay here for the summer of 1987, after my first year of college.  & I returned here again after my second year of college, although my mother was soon to be moving out of it.  That's a long story.  It is, for all intents & purposes, the last place I lived in in Garland.  Although that's a little arguable.

It was built I believe in 1982, & we were the first family to occupy apartment # 1.  I had to share a room again with my little brother, but he spent a great deal of time at our oldest sister's place, so often I was by myself.  I had my first kiss in this house, with a girl named Heather on the floor after we watched a movie - I think it might have been St. Elmo's Fire.  I also had long conversations on the phone with friends & strangers in this house, & I embarrassed myself more times than I can remember.  I was deeply into both comics & records in this house - I bought my first stereo, from money I earned at a summer job, when I lived here, & I had a decent record collection by the time I went to college in August 1986.

It was just a block away from the convenience store owned by my mother's boyfriend, who (not coincidentally) moved into apartment # 5, across the little driveway from our front door.  I'm sure he helped my mother pay the deposit & also probably paid a portion of the rent - my mother kind of had him wrapped around her finger.  As I mentioned last week, we had been living with him until his drinking drove my mother away.

We didn't move from that house to this apartment, though.  We spent a few weeks - I'm not sure how many - sleeping on the floor at my sister Pat's house.  I am not entirely sure where it was.  I don't have an address & none of the places I looked at on Google Maps looked familiar - it's been over thirty-five years after all.  I turned 15 in my sister's house, & at the time she was very pregnant - she gave birth to my nephew Josh while we were living there.  Once he was brought home, we had to go.

It's worth noting that we returned to the area where I lived from basically the age of four to the age of nine.  & Little Brook Apartments was also on Cranford, just a couple hundred feet to the west.  So by 1986 I had lived a quarter or so of my life on Cranford Drive.

Since my mother has gone, I have no reason to visit Garland anymore, but when I used to - mainly when I visited from Austin or from Kentucky - I would sometimes drive down Cranford Drive.  It's a little rougher neighborhood than when I lived there - or so I've read.  I have walked, ridden my bike, & driven up & down that street more times than I could count.  & yet I can't feel terribly sentimental about this place.  Maybe I did before, & repeated pilgrimages back have diminished its power somewhat.  Or maybe I am just not as sentimental as I used to be.

There's one story about this place - I don't know if I mentioned it before - I was downstairs one night & heard a crash from upstairs.  I rushed up & went into my mother's bedroom.  Her ceiling fan seemed to be going crazy, & her dog Kalijah was a bit freaked out.  It turns out one of the blades had broken off & flew across the room.  I turned the fan off & made sure she was all right - she had slept through the commotion.  It could have hurt her, maybe even hurt her badly.  It could have gone through her window - that's the one that faced front on the second floor in the picture above.  She barely acknowledged me & went back to sleep, although I'm sure we talked about it the next day - she had to get a new ceiling fan.  Or did she ever get a new ceiling fan?

Years later I asked her about this, & she had no memory of it.  She may have thought I was making it up.  But nope!

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Self Help Radio 100520: Lions Revisited (The 18th Anniversary Show)

(Original image here.)

Eighteen years is a long time.  I should know!  I waited eighteen years before I got a kiss.  & Self Help Radio has waited eighteen years for someone to actually like it!  I suppose if I could wait that long for a kiss, the show can wait a little longer to find a listener.

Still, it was a pleasant anniversary show.  Almost everyone stopped by to wish happy thoughts!  There was even a surprise phone call.  What there wasn't was cold hard cash.  We could've used the cash.  This whiskey does not buy itself.  I suppose I should also say something about lions.  We had plenty of songs about lions.  No lion actually came on the show, however.  They were all "busy."  "Self-quarantining," they explained.  Dudes, the virus doesn't affect lions!  Just say you didn't want to come on the show!  My feelings are always hurt, you don't have to spare them!

Listen to the anniversary festivities at the Self Help Radio website.  Please remember SHR & selfhelp - those are the username & password respectively.  There were exactly two hours' worth of lions, & they went like it says below.

Eighteen years!  The show better register to vote!

Self Help Radio Lions Revisited Show
"Lions" Poptone _Poptone_
"Lions" Tristen _Sneaker Waves_
"Lions" Jamaican Jazz Orchestra _Encounters_

introduction + a blast from the past

"Sign Of The Lion" Tony Joe White _The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings_
"Le Lion Est Mort Ce Soir" Nancy Holloway _Portrait 1961-1974_
"Don't Go In The Lion's Cage Tonight" Homer & Jethro _Ooh, That's Corny_
"A Lion's Heart" The Tallest Man On Earth _The Wild Hunt_
"The Lion & The Teacup" Bishop Allen _Grrr..._

interview with ex-lion tamer Birdy Southworth

"Lion Tamer" Clinic _Bubblegum_
"Lion's Den" The Lower 48 _The Lower 48_
"Snarling Mama Lion" Judd _The Fantastic Story Of Mark Wirtz & The Teenage Opera_
"Mr Lion" Marmalade _Reflections Of The Marmalade (The Anthology)_
"It Comes In Like A Lion" Julia Lee & Her Boy Friends _Kansas City Blues 1944-1949_

interview with the Rev Dr Howard Gently

"Joe The Lion" Momus _Turpsycore_
"Last Lion Of Albion" Neko Case _Hell-On_
"The Lion For Real" Allen Ginsberg _The Lion For Real_
"Throw Me To The Lions" The Pernice Brothers _Spread The Feeling_
"Hear The Lions Roar" Half Japanese _Hear The Lions Roar_

an eighteenth anniversary surprise! Alyssa & Jason call

"Don't Wake The Lion" The Itals _Early Recordings 1971-1979_
"The Lion" Duke Mitchell _Gimme Dat Harp Boy! (Roots Of The Captain)_
"The Lion & Albert" Stanley Holloway _The Best Of Stanley Holloway_
"He Roars Like A Lion" Merline Johnson _The Yas Yas Girl 1937-1947_
"Fed To The Lions" The Luyas _Human Voicing_

conclusion & goodbye

"Watch Out For Lions" The Terrible Twos _Jerzy The Giant_
"I Can Tame Lions" Beatnik Filmstars _Boss Disque_
"I'm A Very Friendly Lion Called Parsley" Luke Haines _Adventures In Dementia - A Micro Opera_
"Jungle Lion" Lee Perry & The Upsetters _Funky Kingston (Reggae Dance Floor Grooves 1968-74)_

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Whither Lions Revisited?

(Image from here.)

Self Help Radio began, more or less officially, on Wednesday, October 9, 2002, on 91.7 fm KOOP Austin.  I've probably told this story before but I'm too lazy to look it up, so I'll tell it again.  Initially I was given a show at 9am on Friday mornings.  I kinda preferred the time.  It let me get into work a little late but I could also stay late.  I did a few shows on Friday morning - maybe two? - & in fact they did have themes - one of them was weekends, which I later also did as a theme on Self Help Radio - but then one afternoon I got a call from someone at KOOP named Danny who told me his story of woe.

Danny had recently gotten a show on Wednesdays at 2pm.  The thing is, he was taking vacation time from work to do the show, & it would eventually run out.  He only worked half days on Friday (he told me), so Friday mornings would be better for him.  I knew I could easily skip out of work in the middle of the day (I already cleared it with my boss) so it was no big deal, & far be it for me to be selfish about something as silly as a timeslot.  We switched times - though we had to go to a Programming Committee meeting to sell it.  To sweeten the deal, I also volunteered to oversee the show before mine, from 1-2pm, which would be an hour for new deejays to demonstrate what kind of show they wanted to do.  (In the early days, when we were just starting, there would often not be a new deejay, so I would do two hours.  In fact, my first show that Wednesday was a sub show - it was songs which said hello.  I don't count that as Self Help Radio's first episode, however.)

It seems like I was on Wednesdays forever, but I think I had moved to Fridays by 2006, so for less than four years.  I kind of wish I had been moved to Wednesday afternoons instead of Fridays, but I thought I would enjoy an end-of-the-week show.  Eventually Danny moved to Sunday nights.  Both of us left Austin, maybe even around the same time, & I think he's still doing radio where he ended up.  As am I.  I'll bet he wouldn't recognize me if he saw me again, though.  I'm pretty forgettable.

Always a sentimental sort, I started doing these anniversary shows in 2008.  The show was barely four years old!  It seemed a nice way to commemorate the project.  By then I suppose I figured I'd be doing the show for a while, but in the first two years, I wasn't sure I'd be doing Self Help Radio for any great length of time.  It was like a new relationship - who the hell knows how long it'll last?  Two dates?  A year?  But it seems I'm stuck with this show.  Which is fine.  We sometimes don't like each other, but we know each other tolerably well.

For some reason I felt like I had more to say about this anniversary stuff.  I don't, actually.  I am revisiting a theme that I first explored in March of 2005.  As usual, I won't play any of the stuff from the first show - although there'll be covers of songs previously played.  I actually have a recording of the original show, & I listened to some of it, & it didn't make me sad.  Maybe because there's a part of me that doesn't think the show sounds like me.  If that makes any sense.

Tomorrow - Monday morning - 8 to 10am - Freeform Portland - - listen & celebrate eighteen years of this foolish pastime of mine.  I really never thought it would last as long as it has.