Saturday, June 26, 2021

Movie Mania

(image from the IMDb)

This week's Self Help Radio was a show about mania (you can of course listen at the Self Help Radio web page or at the show's KBOO page) & our resident cinephile Chuck appeared with another installment of Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner, this time focusing on films about delusion (which can be a symptom or manifestation of mania) & on films featuring maniacs.  These are the links you can follow should you want to see his recommendations.

This is his Twitter feed, where he keeps you apprised of what he's watching: @robotmonkeycat

He made two Youtube playlists this week: one for delusion, one for maniacs.
Here are the reviews he wrote on Letterboxd for this week's films.

Always something of value here - take advantage of Chuck's expertise & enjoy some time at the movies!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Africa O-Yé 062421: Ghana Selection

(Image from here.*)

Given the chance to sit in on KBOO's show Africa O-Yé this week, I chose to play some of my favorite music from Ghana.  I wish I knew enough about the country & its music to have curated it in some discernably interesting way but I don't so you'll have to settle for a mix of music that I like put in the order that came naturally to me.

This show will be archived on the Self Help Radio website next week, but it's already available for you on the KBOO website.  In case you'd like to listen.  What I played is there & also below.

Africa O-Yé 062421: Ghana Selection
"God Bless Our Homeland Ghana (National Anthem Of Ghana)" The National Anthems Orchestra _Football World Cup 2010: 32 National Anthems_
"I Go Die For You" Kyeremateng Atwede & The Kyeremateng Stars _Ghana Special (Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-81)_

"Gyae Corruption (Stop Corruption)" Aaron Bebe Sukura & The Local Dimension Palm Wine Band _N'Yong Acoustic Ghanaian Highlife_
"Wanyame Som Mponi" Dr Paa Bobo _Osobro Kyee: The Greatest Mix Of Dr. Paa Bobo_
"I Walk Alone" Marijata _This Is Marijata_
"Heaven" Ebo Taylor _Life Stories (Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980)_

"Wiase" King Onyina's Guitar Highlife _King Onyina_
"Deingo Sanga" Atongo Zimba _Barefoot In The Sand_
"W'ama Aboroso" City Boys International Band _Kwae Anoma_
"Okpe See" Pagadeja _Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves - Ghana & Togo 1972-1979_

"Aye Yi" Thomas Frempong _Aye Yi_
"Nyame Waye Awie" Roadmaster & Agyemang _The Old Highlife_
"Tigantabame" Bola _Volume 7_
"Seprewa Kasa (Seprewa Speaks Guitar Answers!)" Seprewa Kasa _Seprewa Kasa_

"Maria" Okukuseku International Band Of Ghana _Yebre Ama Owou_
"Tua Na Woho Nkom" K.K.'s No. 2 _Heavy Mama_
"Moko Baba" Salaam & His Cultural Imani Group _The Guitar & The Gun (Highlife Music From Ghana)_

"Je Caime Larsey" Lady Talata _Mekunu Hoye Fe Paa Hi-Life_
"We-Nyeme" SK Kakraba Lobi _Gandayina: Xylophone Music Of Ghana_

*"Independence Arch - Accra, Ghana" by George Appiah is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Self Help Radio 062221: Mania

(Original image here.*)

Would you describe Self Help Radio as manic?  I think it's a pretty sedate show myself.  Possibly even reflective?  Maybe just sleepy.  In any event, we thought we possessed enough of a reserved quality to take a thoughtful look this week at mania.  Not just mania - manias.  Like pyromania.  Or manic things.  We even felt comfortable enough to have a look at maniacs.  Maybe comfortable is not the right word.  We were in fact too lazy to turn away.

But in addition to lots of manic songs about mania & maniacs, we talked to a writer about his own experiences with mania, with a neuroscientist about the mechanics of mania, & our friend Chuck talked about films dealing with aspects of mania.  It was I hope a good time.  Maybe even informative.  Possibly entertaining?

You can listen to the show any time you want, it's at both Self Help Radio dot net & KBOO dot fm.  All the songs that were played are listed below as are the things that happened between the songs.  Most of them, anyway.

Self Help Radio Mania Show
"Mania" Throwing Muses _Hunkpapa_
"Mania" Tiger High _Inside The Acid Coven_
"Mania" Port Juvee _Crimewave_

introduction & definitions

"Kafe Mania!" Deerhoof _The Magic_
"Monomania" Deerhunter _Monomania_
"Erotomania" Big Hat _Shimmer_
"Dromomania" Helvetia _Dromomania_
"Cinémania" Stereo Total _Do The Bambi_

interview with writer Carlton Priest

"Manic" Racquel Jones _IgnoRANT_
"My Manic & I" Laura Marling _Alas, I Cannot Swim_
"Manic Monday" Slumber Party _Covers Up_
"Manic Depression" The Jimi Hendrix Experience _BBC Sessions_
"Megamanic" Bob Mould _The Last Dog & Pony Show_

interview with neuroscientist Dr. Amanda Dragg

"Pyromaniac" The Verlaines _Getting Older 1981-1991_
"Junior Pyromaniacs" Hypnolovewheel _Space Mountain_
"Pyromaniacs Anonymous" Kingmaker _Sleepwalking_
"Solar Pyromaniac" Spud Cannon _Next Time Read The Fine Print_
"Pyromaniac" Oh Land _Wish Bone_

another installment of Chuck's Happily Unsophisticated Cinema Korner

"Maniac" Cinerama _Va Va Voom_
"Maniac" John Maus _Songs_
"Maniac" The Beat _Public Confidential_
"The Gospel Maniacs" Steve Martin _The Steve Martin Brothers_
"Dance Like A Maniac" The Dollyrots _Whiplash Splash_

a quick round of "Stump Ned Dry!"

"Egomaniac's Kiss" DNA _No New York_
"Ego Maniac" Chris Mars _Horseshoes & Hand Grenades_
"Egomaniac" The Human League _Credo_
"Maniacs In A Living Hell" Coyle & Sharpe _Audio Visionaries: Street Pranks & Put-Ons_
"Megalomaniac" Frank Tovey _Snakes & Ladders_
"Megalomania Blues" Outrageous Cherry _The Digital Age_

an impromptu performance of Michael Sembello's "Maniac" by Major Captain McCheese

"A Million Manias" Marc & The Mambas _Torment & Toreros_
"Circles Of Mania" Coil _Horse Rotorvator_
"Sex Maniac" The Countdowns _The Essential Pebbles Collection - Volume Three_
"Sex Maniac" Bobby Nunn _Private Party_
"Sax Maniac" James Chance & The Contortions _Lost Chance_

conclusion & goodbye

"Merengue Mania" Johnny Conquet, His Piano & Orchestra _Raisins & Almonds: Cha Cha Cha & Merengues_
"Mambo Mania" Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra _That Latin Feeling..._
"Boogaloo Mania" Charlie Palmieri _The Rough Guide To Boogaloo_
"Sitar Mania" Ashwin Batish _Sitar Power # 2_

* "Series Mania - 06Apr10, Paris (France)" by °]° is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Whither Mania?

(That's a cool image.  It's from here.)

The word "mania" can mean two different things.  I know, you're like, whoa Gary a word in English having more than one meaning what the fuck?  Hey!  I don't need your snark right now, okay?  I got shit to do today.

Anyway, the two meanings of mania - one an actual mental condition, an affliction which can encompass euphoria, delusion, obsessiveness, & hyperactivity - the other a synonym for a fad or a craze or just a lot of enthusiasm - these two meanings are sort of hard to integrate into a show.  A song about manic disorder followed by a song about Beatlemania can perhaps seem clumsy at best & insulting at worst.

Not to mention the "manias" like pyromania, megalomania, even egomania that are sometimes the subjects of songs.  Gathering materials for this week's show I felt like I had to walk a tightrope of sorts - I didn't want to be disrespectful to people who have to deal with what their brain does to them but I also had lots of songs about maniacs.  What to do, what to do.

Find out tonight from midnight to 3am on 90.7fm KBOO here in Portland, online everywhere at  Lots of songs, some guests, even a "live" "musical" "performance."  It might even be informative & fun!

Hope you come along.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Preface To Mania: Brain Stuff

(Image from here.)

Among the heartbreaking things one is completely unprepared for as a child that I've discovered happens with sad regularity in adulthood is the way your mind can betray you.  Memory fails, unfounded beliefs harden, curiosity wanes, &, in the worst cases, your brain chemistry changes in a way that can quite severely alter your life.

& which is you?  Let's say you discover you're a schizophrenic at the age of 25.  Are you the you you're supposed to be or has that changed?  Was 24-year-old you the real you & you get to spend the rest of your life a shadow of who you used to be, with medication trying its damnedest to get you as close to that as possible?

My mother had late-onset Alzheimer's in her last few years &, like many, many others have with their loved ones, I watched her fade.  Some aspects of her dimmed while some just disappeared.  It's not just hallucinations, or delusions, or memory loss - she spent less time on the phone with me, she seemed to have less to say, or to have lost all patience for conversation.  Her mind closing up shop as it were.

Maybe I won't talk much about this on this week's show but it's something I think about a lot.  About how much of me will be left as I near the end (assuming I die in my elder years & not sooner).  About whether or not I will notice.  But the topic of "mania" - as a condition, not in the sense of a "craze" - makes me think about my brain.  I wonder what it's got planned for me.