Saturday, June 19, 2021


Happy Juneteenth!  A few Juneteenths ago - five of them in fact - I was in Louisville not for Juneteenth celebrations but to see - for the very first time ever - the band Pere Ubu.  It was in a small club called Zanzabar & I forget if the only original member of the band was David Thomas, but he was in a mood.  At one point he stopped the show & took the band offstage to scold them.  It was almost like seeing the Fall although I never thought anyone was going to throw a punch.

My wife was out of town - I think out of the country, in Scotland.  We both knew she had taken a job in Fort Worth & that we would leave Kentucky by the end of the summer.  In fact, we'd leave the first week of August.  I hadn't told anyone because the previous year I had made a big deal about us leaving but she decided not to take that job.  I had lost my show because of that.

Speaking of my show - there were several folks at WRFL who I thought I'd see at the Pere Ubu show, but it was only me.  Driving home late, by myself, I wondered if I should've asked, or said something.  But I didn't.  So it was just me.

Zanzabar was in a section of Louisville I had never really explored, & I remember it was a warm, lovely night.  It was still light out when the show started - there wasn't an opening act, if I recall - & I was kind of in awe seeing the band, who were legendary at this point.  It was a fine evening - not revelatory for me or overly intense - but sometimes you just have to feel happy you get to see a band you had heretofore missed.

Remember seeing bands?  Sorry the picture is terrible.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Might I Recommend

This is something I could write but hey! I have an image:

It's a national holiday now so you best be observing!

Tomorrow from 1-7pm the Juneteenth festivities will be streaming live on KBOO.  That's the link.  It's  Seriously.

Celebrate!  What a joyous day it is!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Self Help Radio 061521: Subways Revisited

(Original image here.*)

Three hours is a long time in the subway.  Unless you just took train after train.  To be honest, I've always kinda wanted to do that.  Like going to ride after ride at random at an amusement park.  It's terrifying when you think about how similar the lines tend to be.  & maybe even the clientele!

You can listen now at the Self Help Radio web page & at the Self Help Radio section at the KBOO web site.  All the things that happened on the show are below.  Please enjoy the ride.

Self Help Radio Subways Revisited Show
"Subway" The Champs _The Early Singles_
"Subway Train" The Balladeers _Oldies But Goodies: Lost Doo Wop Songs_
"Subway" The Pointer Brothers _Signs!_

introduction & definition (from nine years ago!)

"Circle Line" Rodney Allen _Circle Line_
"Down In The Tube Station At Midnight" The Bad Shepherds _Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera!_
"Don't Sleep In The Subway" Petula Clark _Music To Watch Girls By_
"Chase Through The Subway" John Mulaney _The Top Part_
"Two Lonely Hearts (On The Subway)" Me'Shell NdegéOcello _Plantation Lullabies_

a panel discussion: should Portland build a subway system?
featuring Fiona McDougalGregor-McTavish & "Free Train Movement" Dave

"Subway Blues" Mabel Scott _The Chronological Mabel Scott 1938-1950_
"Subway Blues" Ernie Maresca _Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)_
"Subway" Yeah Yeah Yeahs _Mosquito_
"Subway" Boogie Man Smash _Boot 13_
"Subway" Mary Lou Lord _Got No Shadow_

interview with Karen

"The Metro" Berlin _The Best Of Berlin 1979-1988_
"The Subway Home" Casiotone For The Painfully Alone _Pocket Symphonies For Lonesome Subway Cars_
"Super Subway Comedian" Suicide _The Second Album + The First Rehearsal Tapes_
"Subway Train" Johnny Thunders _So Alone_
"MTA" The Kingston Trio _Folk Song America: A 20th Century Revival_

interview with Hollywood subway guy Denver Smith

"Subway Wall" Danielle Duval _Lose It_
"Man On The Tube" The Passions _Michael & Miranda_
"On The Subway" The Last Poets _The Last Poets_
"The Next Station Is: Shibuya" Torpedo Boyz _Cum On Feel The Boyz_
"Subway Joe" Joe Bataan with The Fulanos _Subway Joe_

interview with Corky Cole, who lives on a Subway train

"Subways" The Avalanches _Wildflower_
"Crying On The Subway" Hana Vu _How Many Times Have You Driven By?_
"Asleep On The Subway" Lullaby For The Working Class _Song_
"Subway Lullaby" The Naysayer _Deathwhisker_
"The Underground Train" Lord Kitchener _London Is The Place For Me: Trinidadian Calypso In London_
"Subway Harry" Poncho Sanchez _Afro-Cuban Fantasy_

the top ten subways systems in the world (as of 2012)

"Miss Subway Of 1952" Cher _Dark Lady_
"I Didn't Sing (In The New York Subway)" Blue Swede _Out Of The Blue_
"Subway Cutie" The Melody Masters _Hot Harmony Groups 1932-1951 (That's The Rhythm Volume 1)_
"Girl On The Subway" Cherry People _Cherry People_
"Subway (Smokey Pokey World)" The Tickle _Let's Go Down & Blow Our Minds: The British Psychedelic Sounds Of 1967_
"Subway Song" My Little Hum _Pioneer_

conclusion & goodbye

"This City Never Sleeps" Eurythmics _Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)_
"Meet You In The Subway" Chrome _Subterranean Modern_
"Down In The Subway" Soft Cell _This Last Night... In Sodom_
"Subway (C&W)" Swirlies _Damon Andy Rob Ron: The Yes Girls_

* "New York City Subway" by relux. is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Monday, June 14, 2021

Whither Subways Revisited?

(Image from here.)

In August of 2012, at a station over two thousand miles away, on a Monday morning I believe, Self Help Radio aired a show about subways.  In the show's nearly nineteen years of existence, it hasn't repeated a theme more than perhaps a couple dozen times, & usually it's on the show's anniversary, or because I've forgotten I've covered that theme before.  (One of the reasons I made this list of themes is because I would otherwise revisit themes accidentally more often.)  So why go back to a theme I covered nine years ago?  It's because an opportunity presented itself.

The nice & smart folks who do the show before mine asked if we could collaborate.  Their show precedes mine once a month.  Tonight, that show will feature an hour of the music of broadway composers Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez, one piece of which is from an acapella show about riding the New York subway.  It seemed a good idea to dust off the previous SHR episode, update it with more songs (I'd need twice as many, since the original subway show was only ninety minutes long!), & those folks on the show.  So they'll be on tonight as well!

It's bound to be as much fun as riding the subway.  & I love to ride the subway!

That's tonight from midnight to 3am on 90.7fm KBOO Portland.  Online at  If you don't have the proper fare, just jump the turnstile.  No one at Self Help Radio is paying attention - we're bad at our jobs!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Preface To Subways: Here We Go Again!

(My fave subway system - image from here.)

If you were a Self Help Radio listener in 2012, you would have been listening to the show on WRFL in Lexington.  I think the show was on Monday mornings from 7:30 to 9am.  I had a three hour show, but didn't think I could pull off a three-hour Self Help Radio (imagine that).  I did a freeform show from 6 to 7:30.  You can see that show's playlist here.

This was back in the day when I didn't have any interviews or any "funnies."  I hadn't thought of the former & I wasn't confident enough to do the latter, though I wanted to.

Normally I only revisit shows on my anniversaries, but something came up - an exciting opportunity - & I figured it was all right for this time.

What opportunity?  I'll tell you tomorrow!