Saturday, April 24, 2021

Dead Computer Blues

(image from here.)

My computer died on Tuesday morning.  It appeared to be working fine as I did Self Help Radio on Tuesday night.  But when I booted it up - I shut down my computer at night - it took a bit longer than it usually does, & it gave me an unusual screen, which asked me if I wanted to reinstall my system, erase my system, run diagnostics, or (I can't really remember) maybe panic like my world was falling apart.  I tried to run diagnostics & I tried to reinstall the system.  I tried to erase it.  Nothing worked.

It's very much in my nature to fall into deep depressions at the slightest sign of unhappiness.  This happened to me, & I was unpleasant to my lovely wife during our morning dogwalk.  But I did a little research & found a place to drop it off - I felt very nervous about doing so because my entire life is on that computer - but I did, & waited, & waited, & waited for their diagnosis.

Before I went to sleep after Self Help Radio, I recorded my airbreaks for the Dickenbock Report.  These were saved by a backup, & I was able to edit them on a very small laptop - something I am not used to working with, & something I am using right now.  Still not familiar, still not happy.  It enabled me to put the show together for Thursday.  But I stayed up late working on it & I hate hate hate having to do this on a laptop.

Because I called the place as soon as they opened on Wednesday I discovered they couldn't help.  It appeared to be my hard drive.  Is it strange that in almost thirty years of using Macs my hard drive has never failed like that?  They could order a new one.  It would arrive Monday.  I could have my computer back on Wednesday.

Could I record Self Help Radio on the shitty little laptop?  Would I have to preempt the show?

The answer is, yes.  I tried it today.  It should be fine, more or less.  I don't have access to my CD library - the CD drive doesn't run on the laptop, not enough power.  I am grateful my computer backed up before it died so I have access to the old computer & to external drives.  But it's damn slow-going.

Have I already said how much I hate that my life is wrapped up in this stupid device?  If there weren't a pandemic, I could still very easily go to a radio station & do a radio show.  But I am at home.

Some other sadnesses have happened in my life that make this seem utterly, completely inconsequential.  Those are stories for another time.  But I sit here tonight, working on Self Help Radio, lamenting the loss of the big ol' computer that's helped me put the show together for seven years.  I wish the dumb bastard had been able to say something before it died.  I hope it can be resurrected effectively with some new hard drive.

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Films Of Paris

(image from the IMDb)

This week's Self Help Radio was about Paris, & had lots of interviews with experts on Paris, & if there had been time, it would have also contained another installment of Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner in which the show's resident cinephile explored some films tagged both "Paris" along with "psychotronic"*.  Alas, there wasn't enough time, but Chuck watched lots of movies anyway, so it's only fair to show his work.

Here's a list of movies on the IMDb tagged with "Paris" & psychotronic.
Here's a list of movies & television shows tagged with Paris as a location.
Here is Chuck's YouTube playlist of Paris movies.
Here are his Letterboxd reviews of the Paris films.

Chuck detailed the Paris things he watched on his Twitter account.  That takes you to the start of his Parisian adventures.  To see what he's going to watch next, keep an eye on his Twitter feed.

Thankfully he's not too sore about not being on the show - he's going to watch the films anyway!

*If you need a definition of 'psychotronic,' try this link: toward a definition of psychotronic film. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Self Help Radio 042021: Paris

(Me in front of the Eiffel Tower, January 2007)

Self Help Radio visited Paris earlier today but at some point in the morning my computer died, so I am posting this on a tiny MacBook that's no fun to use so I'll keep it brief.  Lots of songs about Paris! Lovely people who know Paris talked to me! I butchered the French language with what seemed like malice aforethought! All in all, I think it went pretty well.

Find the show at Self Help Radio's web site as well as on the KBOO website.  If you listen to it on the Self Help Radio website, you'll need a username & a password, which are SHR & selfhelp.  Why is that?  I explained it long ago.  In any event, it's three hours of Paris, & some nice interviews, & if you love the city, or have wanted to visit, or you love French music, I think you'll find lots to like.

As the French say, enjoy!  They say it if they speak English, I mean.

Self Help Radio Paris Show
"I Love Paris" Wild Billy Childish & The Blackhands _Play: Capt'n Calypso's Hoodoo Party_
"Oh Paris!" Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele _The Good Feeling Music Of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele_
"Give Paris One More Chance" Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers _Jonathan Sings!_


"Les Prenoms De Paris" Jacques Brel _N° 5_
"Sous La Ciel De Paris" Edith Piaf _Éternelle_
"Rive Gauche" Alain Souchon _Au Ras Des Pâquerettes_
"Paris Au Mois D'Août" Charles Aznavour _Collected_
"Moi Mon Paris" Renée Lebas _Best Of Boris Vian_

interview with Parisian Lydie Francart (part one)

"Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S'Éveille" Jacques Dutronc _En Vogue_
"J'ai Deux Amours (Mon Pays Et Paris)" Josephine Baker _J'ai Deux Amours_
"La Seine (avec -M-)" Vanessa Paradis _Best Of_
"J'Veux Un Mec" Adrienne Pauly _Adrienne Pauly_
"La Belle Vie" Sacha Distel _Best Of Sacha Distel_

interview with Parisian Lydie Francart (part two)

"April In Paris" Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong _Ella & Louis_
"Under The Bridges Of Paris" Eartha Kitt _That Bad Eartha_
"En Flânant Dans Paris" Les Double Six _Les Double Six_
"Made In Paris" Trini Lopez _The Look Of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection_
"Paris Blues" Tony Middleton _The Wigan Casino Story Volume Three (The Final Chapter)_

interview with American in Paris Rachel Rhodes (part one)

"Mission À Paris" Gruppo Sportivo _10 Mistakes_
"Paris Tokyo" Mathématiques Modernes _Les Visiteurs Du Soir_
"Let's Tango In Paris" The Stranglers _Feline_
"Paris, France" Tom Lucy _D-I-Y Do It Yourself_
"Chez Moi A Paris" Marie France _39° De Fièvre_

interview with American in Paris Rachel Rhodes (part two)

"Deux" Rachel Rhodes _Bisou_
"I've Seen That Face Before" Grace Jones _Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions_
"Je Vous Emmerde" Philippe Katerine _Les Creatures_
"Le Petit Voisin" Jeanne Cherhal _Douze Fois Par An_
"The Seed (Edit)" Tony Allen & Jeff Mills _Tomorrow Comes The Harvest_

interview with Belgian Paris expert Annelies De Waele (part one)

"I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" Morrissey _Years Of Refusal_
"Paris" The Bloody Marys _Sixteen Hail Marys: The Best Of The Bloody Marys 1985-2004_
"Paris" Acid House Kings _Advantage Acid House Kings_
"Paris C'est Toi" The Shebrews _Off With Their Hearts_
"The New Parisienne Pop & Soul" Baxendale _The Revenge Has Just Begun: The Story So Far_

interview with Belgian Paris expert Annelies De Waele (part two)
plus conclusion & goodbye

"Paris 1919" John Cale _Paris 1919_
"Crimes Of Paris" Elvis Costello _Blood & Chocolate_
"Paris" Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside _Untamed Beast_
"Paris To Sleep" Violent Femmes _Hotel Last Resort_

Monday, April 19, 2021

Whither Paris?

Yes, that is a picture of me kissing Oscar Wilde's grave in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.  No, I didn't have lipstick on at the time.  & no, I didn't get hepatitis from pressing my lips where so many had before.

It was in January of 2007 that I visited Paris for the first (& so far only) time in my life.  But tonight on Self Help Radio, we'll not only visit Paris for three hours, we'll talk to a real Parisian, to a friend (I guess you'd call her an expatriate) who lives in Paris, & to a friend in Belgium who loves Paris.  In addition to my usual clumsy musical choices, my guests picked songs which made them think of Paris.  It should be a lovely experience.

Oh I almost forgot!  The idea for the show came from a listener.  The show has a text line (it's 971-319-4847) & I was chatting with someone a month or so ago, & he said I should do a show about Paris.  & so I shall.

It's on tonight from midnight to 3am on 90.7 fm KBOO in Portland, everywhere.  (That's around 9am to noon Paris time.)

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Preface To Paris: The Name Of The City

(Paris was a jerk.  From here.)

There wasn't a lot of research done for this week's show because it's mainly interviews - good interviews but long interviews, two with people in Paris (one of whom is French), & one with a friend in Belgium - but I did discover that the city was not named after the dumbfuck up there whose coveting started the Trojan War.

Oh yeah I sided with the Greeks.  I mean, I guess Homer hated him too - he portrays him as a coward & a rapist & a kidnapper.  & he lets him kill Achilles, who was like a superhero.  Except for his knee or something?*

No, Paris is named after the Gallic tribe that settled there.  That maybe Julius Caesar wiped out?  Maybe he just mentioned them.  Mentioned wiping them out?  But isn't it a little weird that the city Paris & the mythological character Paris have basically the same name.  & that Greek mythology was basically the religion of the part of the world where Paris was founded?  Has anyone made the case that the name stuck because people were like, "Okay, the Parasites lived here" (or whatever they were called) "but it's so much like that really terrible person who caused that ten-year war & he also murdered Achilles.  It's be easy to remember."

Maybe not.  But all my life I thought the city was named after the mythological dingleberry.  You learn something new every day!  Although you forget three old things every day as well.  So the chance you might be re-learning something is quite high.  But you'll never really know.

*I stole that joke in a sense from a very fun tweet from a while back that said something like "My lack of knowledge of Greek mythology is my real Achilles' horse."