Saturday, October 09, 2021

Our Fort Worth House

Here are pictures of the house we purchased about five years ago this month in Fort Worth, Texas, before we moved in but after my wife had it gutted:

If you want more information about the place, you can read what I wrote about it here.  I don't have my wife's vision but by this time I trusted her.  It was a good house with good neighbors that was unfortunately in Fort Worth, Texas.  & if it's not entirely clear, I took these pictures five years ago, on October 9, 2016.  That's why I'm sharing them now.

Friday, October 08, 2021

RIP Jazz Butcher

(image from Discogs)

It was sad to hear earlier this week of the death of Pat Fish, the jangle pop mastermind behind the Jazz Butcher records.  He was a very witty man who wrote insanely catchy tunes & I lamented on Facebook that, since he wasn't more conventionally successful, he'd probably be ignored by the sort of press who would write about musicians who at least had a hit or two.  Outside of the UK indie charts, I don't imagine the Jazz Butcher made much of a dent in the regular musical world.

My first memory, weirdly enough, of the Jazz Butcher, involved three people younger than I was who were also more in the know about (what wasn't then called) indie music.  They were named Carla, Stephanie, & Clark.  Stephanie was in my grade in high school, a tall, thin brunette of unquestionable beauty who was kind to me despite me being a dumb, fat, know-it-all dork.  Carla was maybe her best friend, not as pretty as Stephanie, but certainly striking; she could easily have been the lead in a John Hughes film.  Clark was cute I guess - I never know these things about boys - he seemed even dorkier than I was but with obviously more confidence.  Clark was younger than Stephanie but they were dating.  Oh yeah & Clark was a musician.

Stephanie was in Austin when I was in college, but a friend of mine had a crush on her, & reacted very badly whenever I talked about spending time with her, so I kind of backed off.  This friend was of course an asshole & I regret being considerate of his feelings, but anyway, I never really became friends with Stephanie but I'm sure Stephanie is fine.  I lost track of Carla & Clark but I remember a conversation when one of the two - Stephanie or Clark - was making fun of Carla & one of them said, "She likes the Jazz Butcher."

Indeed I sussed it out that it was a musician/band but didn't discover much until I found, used, a couple years later, the Creation Records Doin' It For The Kids compilation.  It was one of those rare compilations in which I loved every damn song on it, & the Jazz Butcher song in particular made me search out the band's work.  I found the album above, & play it till it skipped.

As is usually the case, as I sat to write this, I found that someone else has said what I meant to say better than I could.  On the Jazz Butcher web site, the Memoriam page, I found this article from a fan which contains much of what I wanted to say here.  He does mention a live show him in New York, & I am sad I never got a chance to see him.  But maybe I just didn't try hard enough.

Pat Fish was just 64 & that's too young to die.  It just is.  I wish I had played him more on the radio, I wish I had had a chance to see him, I wish I had spent more money on his records.  But I am so glad I heard his music & I am so glad he made it.  & I hope at some point you get to hear it too.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Self Help Radio 100521: Sunlight (The 19th Anniversary Show)

On Self Help Radio's anniversaries, we revisit an old theme.  Nearly nineteen years ago, on October 9, 2002, Self Help Radio premiered on KBOO.  It was two in the afternoon.  Maybe it was a sunny day.  The theme we revisited this week however happened in 2005, on June 25 of that year, on an exceptionally sunny day in Austin.  It was "sunlight," & to me it never felt like I put enough time into it.  Maybe because I stupidly forgot the Lloyd Cole song "So You'd Like To Save The World."  I mean, c'mon!  He sings "sunlight" like a dozen times!

That mistake has been corrected while doubtless other have cropped up.  Many guests appear (you can see who & when below) & I even share with you some audio from that 2005 show.  I share quite a bit of it, actually.  It was a strange thing to listen to.  I have probably not heard it before - & I certainly have no memory of the actual show.  Though it did make me a bit nostalgic for that filthy old studio on the third floor of the tenement at 5th & San Jacinto in Austin.  I am lucky I never got tetanus there, but I miss it all the same.

Listen to the show at the KBOO website or at the Self Help Radio website.  If you use the latter, pay attention to password information on the site.  Unlike actual sunlight, this show will neither make you tan nor light your way.  It's just audio & stuff.

Self Help Radio Sunlight/19th Anniversary Show
"Sunlight" The Youngbloods _Elephant Mountain_
"Sunlight" Partly Cloudy _Excess Verbiage_
"Sunlight" Eric's Trip _Love Tara_

introduction & definitions

"Sunlight" Maggie Reilly _Midnight Sun_
"Sunlight" Butch Helemano _Still In The Hood_
"Sunlight" The Arthurs _Walking In The Sunlight_
"Sunlight" Me 3 _The Thin King_
"Sunlight" Harlem Shakes _Technicolor Health_

interview with sunlight composer Wolfgang Schroeder

"Sunlight" The One AM Radio _Heaven Is Attached By A Slender Thread_
"Sunlight" Seapony _Falling_
"Sunlight" The Brand New Heavies _Forward_
"Sunlight" Herbie Hancock _Sunlight_

interview with sunlight therapist Dr. Simon French

"Sunlight" Labryyynth _Labryyynth_
"Sunlight" John Doe _The Westerner_
"Sunlight" My Favourite Things _Fly I Will, Because I Can_
"Sunlight" Candace _New Ruins_
"Sunlight Satin" The Proctors _Summer Lane 1993-1997_

interview with sunlight opponent Dr. Edgar Sweet

"Walking In The Sunlight" Dixie Sacred Singers _Uncle Dave Macon: Classic Sides 1924-1938_
"Silent Sunlight" Cat Stevens _Catch Bull At Four_
"Sweet Sunlight" Shelagh McDonald _Stargazer_
"Sunlight In A Jar" The Lucksmiths _Warmer Corners_
"So You'd Like To Save The World" Lloyd Cole _Bad Vibes_

interview with LA comedian Denver Smith

"Tell Me In The Sunlight" Margie Day _Girls Go Zonk_
"Livin' In The Sunlight, Lovin' In The Moonlight" Tiny Tim _God Bless Tiny Tim_
"Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow" Felt _The Strange Idols Pattern & Other Short Stories_
"Working Girls (Sunlight Shines)" Pernice Brothers _The World Won't End_
"Hail To Whatever You Found In The Sunlight" Rilo Kiley _The Execution Of All Things_
"No Sunlight" Death Cab For Cutie _Narrow Stairs_

Gary shares a voicemail from his grandparents

"A Little Bit Of Sunlight" The Majority _The Decca Years 1965-68_
"Under The Sunlight" The Hard Times _Blew Mind_
"Have You Seen The Sunlight?" Ronnie Davis _The Incredible Ronnie Davis Sings For You & I_
"Sunlight Bathes Our Home" Clinic _Walking With Thee_
"Sunlight Yellow" Clams _Sakura River_

conclusion & goodbye

"Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid" Elefant _Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid_
"Mrs. Sunlight" Nits _Doing The Dishes_

Monday, October 04, 2021

Whither Sunlight?

(I wish I could remember where I found this!)

Tonight's Self Help Radio has kind of two themes - one of them, sunlight, is a theme I first explored over sixteen years ago, in 2005.  (You can look at the playlist here.)  But since this is the show's anniversary week (the first Self Help Radio aired in Austin on October 9, 2002), I am revisiting an old theme, & that's the one I've chosen for this anniversary.  But!  I have discovered an old, moldy recording of that show & so I'll be playing some choice, embarrassing airbreaks from sixteen years ago as well.

Plus!  I'll talk to a composer who performs sunlight symphonies!  & a doctor who has developed sunlight therapy!  & another doctor who warns of the perils of sunlight!  & my friend Denver, who may or may not have been there at the beginning, will stop by to chat.  It's quite the show, befitting the nineteenth anniversary status!

Listen from midnight to 3am on 90.7 fm KBOO Portland or online at  The first time I did a show about sunlight, the sun was shining.  Might it also happen tonight?!?!

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Preface To Sunlight: Nineteen Years

(Image from here.)

October 9, 2002, was a Wednesday.  This is a story I've told before, on this blog, too, but I'll tell it again.  I finally got a show on KOOP, after two years of volunteering.  It had been a long wait, & although I got to sub several shows, I missed doing a regular show.  I hadn't had a regular radio show since 1999.

The first slot was Fridays at 9am.  I loved it - I could come do the show, I could go to work, & I stayed late at work some days anyway.  I cleared it with my boss.  I was excited, I did a couple of shows at that slot (sadly, during a Pledge Drive, & I got zero bucks), but I felt like it was a warm-up - I hadn't even thought of a name yet!

But then I got a phone call from a KOOP programmer named Danny.  He had been given a slot, on a Wednesday afternoon, but to do the show, he was taking vacation time from work.  Apparently he too could go in late on Fridays, but he couldn't get off Wednesday afternoons.  I wasn't sure I could, but I thought I'd check - the boss didn't mind me leaving in the middle of the day to do the show if I came back & stayed late.  It was nice I could do that.

There was a Programming Committee meeting when this arrangement was decided & I attended & it turned out there was a stray hour before or after my show.  I guess it was my suggestion - I'm not sure - it was decided the hour before my show would be what we called a "pilot show" for people who had just been trained to have an hour to show us what sort of show they would do.  Ever the helpful person, I agreed to oversee it, although I was to coordinate with another programmer for Spanish-language shows.  This caused some KOOP people to refer to the hour that I helped oversee as the "Anglo" Pilot Show, which I'm sure made programmers who weren't white - we had Asian- & African-Americans come to do shows as well - feel a bit weird.  But that was KOOP.

My first show - on that Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - I didn't have time schedule someone for the 2-3pm hour, the Pilot Show.  So I did it.  I played songs of greeting, I called it "the hello show."  It was technically Self Help Radio's first theme - although of course, it wasn't Self Help Radio.  Yeah, I had come up with that name by now.

Self Help Radio aired at 3pm & the first official theme was "war."  A year after 9/11/2001, the Republicans in power were looking for ways to invade Iraq, & had already begun to invent reasons to do so.  War was on my mind like everyone else.  I think I have a recording of the show, on cassette, but it hasn't been digitized, so I haven't listened to it - probably ever.

One thing I did do was save a CD of all the songs I played & I bought a little CD booklet in which to save my shows.  I really didn't expect I'd be doing the show for long.  I don't know why I thought that, but I felt I'd do something else at some point.  Maybe I wish I'd saved records of my shows at KVRX.  I don't know.  I certainly didn't think I'd be doing Self Help Radio nineteen years later!  & two thousand miles away!