Saturday, May 01, 2021


When I began to carry a digital camera around with me to take pictures of stuff, I didn't know I was also creating a kind of diary for myself.  I took this picture four years ago, on May 1, 2017.  It's called "Oakland" because it was taken in Oakland.  We were in town to visit my wife's mother as well as to see the Magnetic Fields perform.  It was a lovely night & a lovely show & it was only ruined by returning to our rental car & finding the windows smashed in.  I learned that's a hazard in Oakland, San Francisco, & Berkeley.  We had to drive to the rental place to report it - the cops told us they wouldn't be able to come & get a statement for four hours* - & we got a car, which we turned in the next day because that's when we were leaving.

Hm, I thought I had written about this on the blog before but I guess I had not.  Anyway, that has turned out to be one of the nice things about taking pictures.  If you'd asked me this morning when I last visited California, or when I had gone to see the Magnetic Fields there, I couldn't have told you.  Now I know!

Not that I'll remember after this.

* Still no word if they've solved the crime.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Aren't These Lovely

That image above is from this website, which tells us:

Illustrations by Kawakami Shiro ( 川上四郎 絵) for the legendary illustrated magazine Kodomo no kuni ("Children's Land"), c1920s & 30s. "Together with Takeo Takei & Shigeru Hatsuyama, Kawakami is considered one of Japan’s pioneering illustrators for children’s books."

There are more at that link, which is officially

Go have a look.  They are quite lovely.  I hope I can find some of those books one day, maybe even in translation?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Self Help Radio 042721: Indiepop A To Z # 65

(almost all images found at Discogs.)

As I said several times during this week's show, the Indiepop A To Z series was started many years ago - in 2005! - & a couple thousand miles away - in Austin, Texas.  I didn't imagine I would ever really finish it - I had no idea I'd be doing a show called Self Help Radio for as long as I have been.  I haven't been rushing to finish it because I think this is more about the journey than the destination: a chance to explore (albeit with the odd touch of alphabetization) lots of bands I might otherwise not play because the songs might not fit into a theme I might be covering.  At least two of the songs I played tonight are two of my most favorite songs in the world - & one of them I did play a lot on KVRX when it was released, but otherwise I haven't played it on the radio since 2005!

This remains one of the most fun things I do on Self Help Radio - for me.  One listener told me (through text) he took the show shopping with him as it aired.  That was a first!

Listen to the show now either at the KBOO website or at Self Help Radio's website.  It was almost all music, although I did spend some time talking - it being KBOO's Spring Membership Drive - about how you can support the station.  Anyway, what happened it below.  I hope you enjoy!

Self Help Radio Indiepop A To Z # 65
"Red Bus Goes Through Our Days" Pastelshot _Hush, Little Baby_
"I Believe It's Love" Pastis 51 _I Believe It's Love_
"Sydney" The Pastry Heros _Horn Rim Fury EP_

"The Message" Patric _The Message_
"Mi Vida Va Bien" Patrullero Mancuso _Bodegon Musical_
"Kyss Mig Igen" Pats _Nevadaflickan_
"Secrets" Andy Pawlak _Shoebox Full Of Secrets_
"Doo Wah Diddy" Peach Kelli Pop _Peach Kelli Pop_

"Can't Take You Anywhere" Pearl Harbor _Puro Instinct EP_
"Everybody Knows It's A Dream" The Pearlfishers _Ave Marina: Ten Years Of Marina Records_
"Fly" The Pearly Gatecrashers _New Fluffy Delicious_
"Earl Grey Tea" Peatmos _Earl Grey Tea_
"Turn Key One" Pee _I Win Me Over_

"Bathroom Floor" Pee Shy _Don't Get Too Comfortable_
"Smile" Pencil Tin _A Gentle Hand To Guide You Along_
"Zoom" Penelope Trip _Usted Morirá En Su Nave Espacial_
"Nail You Into My Heart" The Penelopes _6661: Beikoku-Ongaku # 13_
"Potboiler" Penelope's Web _Potboiler_

"Bicycle Thief" Penny Arcade _A Girl From Penny Arcade_
"Taj Mahal" Penny Candles _Taj Mahal_
"Time Flies" Peppelkade 14 _Time Flies EP_
"Whatever Happened To Pop Songs" Peppermint Parlour _Whatever Happened To Pop Songs_
"Will You Be Staying After Sunday" Peppermint Rainbow _Will You Be Staying After Sunday_

"Siempre Es Primavera" La Pequeña Suiza _Simpático_
"Desire" Perfect _The Sound Of Leamington Spa Volume 5_
"Don't Let Me Down" The Perfect Circles _Suburban Overtones_
"Bluebell" The Perfect Disaster _Bluebell_
"Amelia" The Perfect Garden _A Place Not Far From Here_

"Blue Year" Perhapst _Perhapst_
"Sunday Matinee" Perils Of Pauline _LemonLime, Vol. 2_
"Sequin In Your Dress" Permafrost _In Harm's Way_
"Charlotte" Permer _Labrador 100: A Complete History Of Popular Music_
"It's All Good" El Perro Del Mar _El Perro Del Mar_
"Always All" Persian Rugs _Always All_

"Agony Aunt" Persil _Duotone_
"The Same Old Situation" Personal Column _The Same Old Situation_
"Her New Candy" The Persuaders _First Date 3P_
"Driving" Peru _Across Blue Skies_
"Tony Hadley" The Peruvian Hipsters _The Sound Of Leamington Spa Volume 8_
"We Surely Become Happy (Demo Version)" Pervenche _6661: Beikoku-Ongaku # 13_

"Too Skinny" Pest 5000 _(In-ter/a-bang/)_
"My Name Is Moto X" Pet Squad _Nice To Beat Home_
"Peine Perdue" Peter Parker Experience _LP, EP's & Bonus_

Monday, April 26, 2021

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 65?

(The Perfect Disaster, one of the bands you'll hear tonight.
Image from here.)

My computer's still being rescued, I'm still stuck with a tiny laptop, so I'll keep this brief:

Tonight we're continuing the Indiepop A To Z series.  We started the letter P last time, we'll continue with the letter P this time.

The series gets visited every four months, it was time.  I am fortunate I was able to put the show together with only a crappy laptop!  I hope it sounds all right.

Tonight on KBOO, 90.7fm + from midnight to 3am.  I'm quite partial to the genre, so I think it'll sound great!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 65: This Is Taking Forever

There's a picture of my dog Winston, relaxing in the afternoon.  He had a lovely day.  I did not.  Holy hell in a hired hansom my day sucked.  Not in any way that matters or makes any sense outside of, you know, what most people experience.  I spent the day editing this week's Self Help Radio on a tiny little laptop.  I feel very grateful that I can actually record audio & I am grateful I have access to my external hard drives - one at a time, naturally - but my laptop has no USB port & my USB plug-in doesn't have enough power to support a CD drive.  So ripping CDs?  Forget it.

Mostly it's just the editing.  It's a slog.  It's not my favorite thing - & as I've said before, if it weren't for the pandemic, I could just go up & do a show & it wouldn't be a big deal.  But I can't.  & I don't have my wonderful desktop computer.  The one that has accompanied me from Kentucky to Texas to Oregon.  On the trip here - two years ago now - I would carry it out of the car every night & I would use it to write about the journey.  Now my fat fingers can barely pound out a sentence with few errors.  It sucks.

Wah wah.  Hopefully the show will get done.  But the future is uncertain.  If I can't get my computer back & have to buy a new one, it's weeks more of this.  & that would be horrible.

Sleep well, little Winnie.  How smart of you not to have dumb problems like mine.  For fuck's sake.