Saturday, December 19, 2020

It Goes Over The Nose?

When it's all said & done, & we've properly mourned the hundreds of thousands of deaths, most of which might have been prevented with strong leadership & a trust in science & medicine, we can look back with some humor at the dumbshits who endangered so many lives by not just refusing to wear a mask, but who wore one albeit incorrectly.

My own collection of stories will probably include the fellow inexplicably allowed into the Costco with a visor attached to the front of his baseball cap.  You heard me correctly.  He just stuck a plastic sheet to the front of his cap - the rim of it, you understand - & some Costco employee was like, yeah, that's cool.  Had I stood next to the guy, I could have turned & started coughing & my spittle would have covered his face were he staring ahead.  No protection on the sides.  It wasn't a real face shield.  It was obviously no mask.

There are more, they enrage me each time.  The family of five walking in the park, no masks.  The iconoclasts who wear their masks at the entrance of the store but take them off once inside.  The perennial favorite, the mask under the nose.  There will be time for these stories & more.

Thousands die each day, even as the promise of vaccines has arrived.  There'll be a time when we look back & wonder how we did lived through it when so many did not.  & we'll hopefully then have turned as much of our disgust into mild amusement as possible.  Oh!  What a grand time it will be.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Photographs Of Places I've Lived # 15: Fairfield Ln

(image from Google Maps)

This was the first place I moved into with someone, as a "couple."  Previously a girlfriend had lived with me, or I had moved in with her, but the woman I had met in 2001 at a bus stop & who had moved in with me in 2002 decided we needed a bigger place to live* & when my lease ran out at the end of 2002, we relocated to here.  It was a duplex, we lived on the right side, the one with the porch (the other side got a carport; he parked my girlfriend's car in the front).  We lived here from early 2003 I believe till around November 2005 - so a good deal of time.

The move was fraught with some radio-related drama.  I had gotten a show on KOOP in October of 2002.  Unbeknownst to me, the person who owned the duplex - who lived next door - was someone who had been forced out of the station & effectively banned from it.  He was proud of his association with KOOP but it was an unhappiness for him.  When we were looking at the place, & mentioned his time on the radio there, my girlfriend blurted out, "Gary has a show on that station!"  I thought it might cost us the place, but it didn't.  He never trusted nor liked me very much, however.**

When we moved in, it was just me & her & her dog George & my cats Buster & Beatrice.  We had a futon we used as a sofa (& guests could sleep on it) & in the summer of 2004, we adopted a second beagle named Ringo.  The four animals would congregate so often on the futon I started calling it "the love sofa."  Here's photographic proof:


None of those animals are with us any longer, sadly.  It was a long time ago, it seems.  We lost Buster in 2008, George in 2012, & Ringo & Beatrice in 2018.

But it was a happy time, despite the shit I went through at KOOP - which I may have discussed her but which I'm not going into now.  I loved the porch, I was a smoker then & I loved sitting on the porch & smoking.  We had cool neighbors, it was close to campus, it was a lovely neighborhood.

& though I didn't know - seriously, I thought she would leave me at any minute - the relationship that would end in marriage became a real thing here at this house.  I can still walk through it in my mind - it wasn't that big - I can still see myself opening the back door to let the dogs out - our backyard neighbor actually had squirrel traps & we thought he might be eating them - I remember the parties we threw which were shared on some app so dozens of people we didn't know would show up - & eventually someone would call the police.  I remember where my computer was, where the television was, the big window in the kitchen that looked out into the front yard where the telephone - still a landline - was.

We bought a house in 2005 (spoiler alert) & broke our lease to do so & though our landlord initially agreed to it, it secretly enraged him, as we soon discovered..  Before the last month we paid for ran out, he changed the locks - so we came to get our final things & to clean & found we couldn't get into the house.  He had also thrown away everything that was on the porch.  I had planned to invite him & his partner - who was a very nice person, we liked her ten times more than we liked him - to our new house but never did.  & I never saw him again.

* As was usually the case, I wasn't really consulted, & in fact since this time I've never had much of a say about choosing the places I've lived.
** The feeling was mostly mutual.  I felt sorry for what had happened to him at the station, though.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Self Help Radio 121520: Gary's Favorite Releases 2020

(Most every image obtained from Discogs.)

& here it is!  Three hours of my favorite releases of 2020.  Is it complete?  Of course not!  Will I change my mind over time?  Who knows!  Is this supposed to be some kind of "best of 2020"?  Nope!  What is the "best of 2020" then?  It's whatever you liked best!  Hey!  Stop asking questions & if you wanna share with people what you liked in 2020, get your own damn radio show!

That was a lot of question marks & exclamation points, which is a pretty good way to describe 2020.

You can listen to the show now & whenever at the Self Help Radio website.  Remember the username is SHR & the password is selfhelp.  It was a very long show & luckily I didn't interrupt much.  The songs I played in the order I played them are below.  Please enjoy.

Self Help Radio Favorites Of 2020 Show
"Bird Free" Close Lobsters _Post Neo Anti (Arte Povera In The Forest Of Symbols)_
"Debbie Take Control Of The Stereo" Helen Love _Power On_
"Milltown Girls" The Cleaners From Venus _Dolly Birds & Spies_

"Let Me Roll It" Tanya Donelly & The Parkington Sisters _Tanya Donelly & The Parkington Sisters_
"As You Were" The Bats _Foothills_
"Stronger" Even As We Speak _Adelphi_
"Couldn't Have Been Anybody But You" Sleuth _Gold_
"Burn" Hinds _The Prettiest Curse_

"Young Americans" Durand Jones & The Indications _Young Americans_
"Immediate Girl" The Exbats _Kicks, Hits, & Fits_
"Summer's Failing" Nah... _Nah..._
"Safety Crash" Tapeworms _Funtastic_
"Tread Lightly/Rock Gently" Boat _Tread Lightly_

"Before I Ask" Negativland _The World Will Decide_
"Henry" Galore _Galore_
"No Flag" Elvis Costello _Hey Clockface_
"Follow Me" Shopping _All Or Nothing_
"I Am You Now" Protomartyr _Ultimate Success Today_

"Say Goodbye" Riff Doctors _Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground (1983-1987)_
"I Don't Want To Join A Cult" Steve Piccolo _Domestic Exile_
"My Stupid Boyfriend" The Magnetic Fields _Quickies_
"Try Again" Andy Shauf _The Neon Skyline_
"Kyoto" Phoebe Bridgers _Punisher_

"Harbor Me" The Mountain Goats _Getting Into Knives_
"The One I Loathe The Least" The Just Joans _The Private Memoirs & Confessions Of The Just Joans_
"Don't Believe" The Psychedelic Furs _Made Of Rain_
"Worthless" Jetstream Pony _Jetstream Pony_
"Boys Who Don't Want To Be Boys" Seth Bogart _Men On The Verge Of Nothing_

"Goddess Of Chill" Dead Famous People _Harry_
"Cyrano deBerger's Back" X _Alphabetland_
"Mars, The God Of War" The Beths _Jump Rope Gazers_
"Right On The Edge" Cloud Nothings _The Black Hole Understands_
"Men" Mourn _Self Worth_

"Told You" Lady Di _I Know You Know I'm Perfect_
"Prime" Mega Emotion _Move, Motherfucker_
"Be My Guest" Working Men's Club _Working Men's Club_
"Give/Take" Porridge Radio _Every Bad_
"What's Wrong" A Certain Ratio _ACR Loco_

"Sleeping Through The Weekend" Thick _5 Years Behind_
"I'm A Lonely Night Driver" The Gonks _Five Things You Didn't Know About_
"Prospect Heights" Worthitpurchase _Dizzy Age_
"Gary Of The Academy" Lunchbox _After School Special_
"Take It Back" The Luxembourg Signal _The Long Now_

"Aries" Gorillaz _Song Machine Season One_
"Wherever You Go (feat. Jamie XX, Neneh Cherry & Clypso)" The Avalanches _We Will Always Love You_

Monday, December 14, 2020

Whither Gary's Favorite Releases 2020?

(Perfect for your tree.  Available here.)

Damn I listen to a lot of music.  Much of it is for radio shows, it's true.  But I do always seem to have music going on around me.  Here's the thing: I don't know if I listen to enough music.  Like, I used to listen to a lot more electronica than I do now.  & though I occasionally find myself making deep dives in African music or hip hop or Americana, I don't usually spend as much time with those genres as I want to or as I feel like I should - I find myself singing along to clever indie pop, to punky indie rock, to gloomy postpunk.  If you dissected me, that's what you'd find most of.

Which is my way of saying that's mostly what you're going to hear tonight if you tune in to Self Help Radio from midnight to 3am on KBOO.  Three hours!  That's so much music.  You'd think there'd be quite a diverse selection of music but - no, it's going to be indie pop, indie rock, postpunk.  The first three songs I'm going to play I think about by Close Lobsters, Helen Love, & Cleaners From Venus - bands I've loved forever who happened to release new records this year.  So it's probably going to be familiar to you if you've listened to me do these end-of-the-year lists before.

Also, it'll be in no apparent order.  Wow, can you imagine having your shit together to not only gather your favorite songs of the year but also rank them?  I can only dream of having such an ordered mind!

Midnight to 3am, 90.7 fm KBOO Portland, kboo.fm.  No interviews, not a lot of me talking.  That's the end-of-the-year Self Help Radio promise!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Preface To Gary's Favorite Releases Of 2020:

It's that time of year again!  The time for me to get angry at the hubris of "best of" lists.  But not this year!

Hasn't 2020 been enough of a shitshow?  I don't even want to repost my old screed about why best of lists are disingenuous at best, arrogant & annoying at worst.  So I'm not going to.  The show this week is a chance for me to share in one place the stuff I've been listening to most this year.  I know many folks won't consider it "the best."  Heck, most people won't even like it.

What I have been missing is all the live music I could've seen.  I hope that comes back.  I have tickets to a concert in August 2021!  If the venue is still there, I mean.

See?  Shitshow!  Let's celebrate the music instead of grumbling.