Saturday, December 04, 2021

Birthday Books

(all images from Goodreads)

On this past week's episode of Self Help Radio, which was a birthday show full of birthday songs - it's something I do annually for my wife, whose birthday was this week, but she doesn't mind sharing it with anyone who has had or will have a birthday this year - we had a visit from our librarian friend Carole, who shared with us three birthday books.  Here's what they were & how to find them:

She talked about Lulu & The Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst.

& she talked about Keep An Eye On Ivy by Barroux.

& she talked about Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party by Mélanie Watt.

What did she say about these books?  Well, friend, you're just going to have to listen.  You'll find the show at both the Self Help Radio website & also at its page on the KBOO website.  Hers is the first interview.  Go listen!  & then read a book or two!

Friday, December 03, 2021

Just A Post About Popcorn

(image from here.)

Currently I have two radio shows, one which this blog is ostensibly about, & the other is a very similar show called "The Dickenbock Report," which is on Freeform Portland.  This week's show was about popcorn because it was on a "national day" called The Business Of Popping Corn Day.  This almost certainly is not really a thing, since there are only a couple of places online that mention it, & the hashtag was not readily available on Twitter.  But since I had previously done an episode about popcorn on Self Help Radio, I figured I could recycle some of the content & make it easy on myself.

(The playlist for the earlier show is here.  That show aired in 2007 on KOOP.  I haven't posted this week's show on the Self Help Radio website but you can see the playlist at the Dickenbock Report link above.  There are lots of similarities.  But I did play some different tunes.)

One of the things I did was subject the poor listener to many different versions of the song "Popcorn" made famous by the band Hot Butter in 1972 & written by Gershon Kingsley.  Once you hear the song it sticks in your head for the rest of the day.  It's been in my head for seven days now.  I had about a dozen versions of it & did not try to find any more.  But the song has its own website,  It's made me think there's enough space on the world wide web for websites about every song.  Not that I have the time to make such web pages.  But visit the site, you'll dig its "oh yeah web pages used to look like that" vibe.  & marvel at all the different versions of the song.  I hope it made Gershon Kingsley very rich.

This was a case (in my opinion) where I think I liked re-making a show, although I have never actually listened to the 2007 show.  & I don't really want to.  But I record the Dickenbock shows on the weekend & listen to them on Thursdays so I can live tweet them & I think I enjoyed my popcorn mix (not so much my airbreaks) more than I've enjoyed some of my recent shows.  & to be fair, I don't really enjoy my shows.  I like making them more than listening to them.  If that makes any sense.

It's probably perverse to talk about the show before I have put it on my website.  I'll do it next week.  I just had popcorn on my mind tonight.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Self Help Radio 113021: Magda's Birthday Show 2021

(Original image here.*)

Well.  Here it is.  The eighteenth (18th) birthday show I have made for the woman I love.  We've been together for twenty years - & married for thirteen (!) of those - & somehow I've managed to find enough birthday songs - recordings I have not previously played - to fill many hours of radio.  Every year it seems like I just won't be able to do it - writing birthday songs is not an industry like Christmas songs - but this year was not my Waterloo.  I will live to have another birthday show.

That being said, except for the awful in-studio version of the Beatles' "Birthday," I think it went all right.  I will remind you that it's the End Of The Year Membership Drive at KBOO so your support would be greatly appreciated - donate here!  But my wife would rather you get her a birthday present.  I will not however share her outrageous wish list with you.  No one needs that many fancy ladders.

You can listen to the show now, or on your birthday, or on anyone's birthday, at both the KBOO website or at the Self Help Radio website.  Should you choose the latter, make sure you remember the username (SHR) & the password (selfhelp) or you won't be able to listen.  So much happens during the show!  What is played & what happens is detailed below.

Happy Birthday!

Self Help Radio Magda's Birthday Show 2021
"Opening Presents" Rosemary Rice _Songs & Games For A Happy Birthday Party_
"Happy Happy Birthday Baby (Acappella)" The Derbys _Music City Vocal Groups (Greasy Love Songs Of Teenage Romance, Regret, Hope, & Despair)_
"Birthday Morning" The Association _Birthday_

introduction & explanations

"Surprise Birthday Party" Vernon Oxford _Keeper Of The Flame_
"Last Night I Dreamed My Birthday" Luke Winslow-King _Everlasting Arms_
"Pin The Tail On The Donkey" Rosemary Rice _Songs & Games For A Happy Birthday Party_
"Birthday Cake" Green Hands _Random Things, Purple Rings_
"Birthday" Ben & Amy _Science_

our librarian friend Carole stops by to talk about birthday books

"The Birthday Present II" Loudon Wainwright III _Little Ship_
"Birthday Card" Kate Sikora _Just Enough Space_
"The Gossip Game" Rosemary Rice _Songs & Games For A Happy Birthday Party_
"Birthday Night" Black _Wonderful Life_
"Everybody's Birthday" Hana Vu _Public Storage_

interview with columnist Hank Doherty about his favorite birthday party

"My Birthday" The Cucumbers _Total Vegitility_
"The Birthday Game" The Centimeters _The Lifetime Achievement Awards_
"Ice Cream & Cake" Rosemary Rice _Songs & Games For A Happy Birthday Party_
"Birthday" The Chloes _Vanish_
"Birthday" Nectar _Knocking At The Door_

interview with Jim Scott, author of A Birthday Every Day Of The Year

"Birthday @ The Mall" Snog _Lullabies For The Lithium Age_
"Best Friend's Birthday" Wolfgang Flür _Eloquence: The Complete Works_
"Cat & Mouse" Rosemary Rice _Songs & Games For A Happy Birthday Party_
"Happy Birthday, Baby" Elbow Bones & The Racketeers _New York At Dawn_
"Birthdays" MF Robots _Break The Wall_

Captain McCheese & Ned Dry perform "Birthday" live in the studio

"Happy Birthday" The Rebeatles Project _Get Back_
"Birthday Song" Prabir Trio _Haanji_
"Birthday" Luby Sparks _Birthday_
"Simon Says" Rosemary Rice _Songs & Games For A Happy Birthday Party_
"Birthday" Pom Poko _Birthday_
"Birthday" Deaf Wish _Lithium Zion_

A few words about Giving Tuesday & the End Of The Year Membership Drive

"Birthday" Kay There House Builder _Insanely Ugly & Incredibly Untalented_
"Birthday Cake" Slothrust _The Pact_
"Birthday" Violent Mae _Kid_
"My Day" Rosemary Rice _Songs & Games For A Happy Birthday Party_
"Birthday Card" Mini Golf _I Need This To Make Sense_
"Birthday" My Idea _That's My Idea_

conclusion & goodbye

"21st Birthday" The Von Bondies _We Are Kamikazes Aiming Straight For Your Heart_
"19 Birthdays" Quinn Walker _Lion Land_
"Birthdays" Sarah Tolley _3 AM On The Bathroom Floor_
"Birthdays" Yani Martinelli _Astral_

*"Teddy-Bear-Birthday-Cake-Severed-Head" by eevblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Monday, November 29, 2021

Whither Magda's Birthday Show 2021?

(image found on this blog)

Here's the deal: every year around December 1, which is my wife's birthday, I make a radio show in which I play birthday songs & talk to guests about birthday matters.  One time she picked all the songs, but I realized that if I let her do that every year, she'd pick the same songs.  So I strive to find new birthday songs because, although I will play different versions of a song (like the Beatles' "Birthday"), I will only play particular recordings once.  This has made it increasingly difficult to find birthday tunes.

Also I won't play birthday songs I don't like.  As I've mentioned before, it would be far easier to program these shows if I just played songs about the theme that were easiest to find.  There are almost as many birthday songs as there are Christmas songs.  But just as I don't like most Christmas songs, I have rejected many Christmas songs.  When you get a radio show, you can play the music you like.  I have a radio show so I can play the music I like.

What happens next?  Listen to KBOO tonight from midnight to 3am!  Three hours of birthday songs, three interviews, a possible in-studio performance, & maybe more?  It'll be on 90.7 fm & online at!  & as I always say & will doubtless say this evening:

This show is for you if it's your birthday, if you had a birthday this year, or if you will have a birthday this year.  & if you know someone who's had a birthday or will have a birthday this year - or if today's their birthday! - let them know!  There's a radio show for their birthday tonight!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Preface To Magda's Birthday Show 2021: What Haven't I Already Said About Birthdays?

Me & the Birthday Girl, Nine Years Ago

For almost as long as I've done Self Help Radio, I've dedicated a birthday show to the love of my life around the time of her birthday.  This will be my seventeenth installment.  Every year I complain about how it's becoming increasingly hard to find new birthday songs.  It's still true, but I won't complain this year.  I mean, usually I have like two hours; for the first show, it was one hour, & for a few years, it was ninety minutes.  But this year, like last year, I have three freakin' hours.  That's just awful!

Ahem.  Sorry.  There'll be enough songs.  She acts as if she's not really incredibly pleased by it all.  Hours & hours of birthday songs, just for her?

I mean, I'll still need to get her something else.  But despite how unbelievably hard it gets to find birthday songs I like every damn year, it's still fun to do.  & probably works in my favor in our lopsided relationship.