Friday, May 19, 2023

Self Help Radio 051823: Telegraphy

(Original image here.*)

During research for this show, I discovered that "telegraphy" means "the long-distance transmission of messages where the sender uses symbolic codes, known to the recipient, rather than a physical exchange of an object bearing the message." (Wikipedia definition.) This means things like semaphore, signal fires, drumbeats - whereas initially I had thought it just meant the telegraph. So I focused on those songs rather than other possibilities. Which now seems like a missed opportunity.

But! The show was (I think) fun nonetheless. At least I had fun putting it together & doing it. You may not feel the same way. The only way to know is to go listen to - it's now at the Self Help Radio website! Remember to use the username SHR & to pass the password selfhelp. All the songs & the interviews that happened are listed below.

& yes, "... . .-.. ..-. / .... . .-.. .--. / .-. .- -.. .. ---" is Morse code for Self Help Radio.

Self Help Radio Telegraphy Show
"Telegram" Charles Kelley _Rhythm & Blues Goes Rock 'N' Roll Volume 2_
"The Telegram" Bobby Sherman _Found In The Basement Vol. 5_
"Telegram" Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames _The Whole World’s Shaking (Complete Recordings 1963-1966)_

introduction & definitions

"Télégramme" Edith Piaf _The Complete Recordings 1946-1963_
"Un Telegrama" Eydie Gormé _I Feel So Spanish_
"Telegram Tuesday" Blossom Toes _We Are Ever So Clean_
"Telegram For Miss Marigold" The Rokes _Let's Live For Today: The Rokes In English 1966-68_

interview with telegram company operator Leaton Lee

"Hey Western Union Man (Send A Telegram)" Cliff Bennett _Into Our Lives: The EMI Years 1961-1969_
"Telegram Sam" T. Rex _The Slider_
"Telegram Of Love" The Hues Corporation _I Caught Your Act_
"Telegraph Your Love" Pointer Sisters _Break Out_

interview with author Erlene Fanning

"Telegraph Line" Jaime Aff & Christine Langner _Schoolhouse Rock_
"Telegraph" Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark _Dazzle Ships_
"Gifts & Telegrams" Patrik Fitzgerald _Gifts & Telegrams_
"A Telegram, The Telegraph" Vitesse _Chelsea 27099_

interview with telegraph museum owner Arlo Wareham

"Last Telegram (Demo)" Walking Floors _Messthetics #102: (D.I.Y. 77-81 London II)_
"Telegram" No-Song Kutkotz _Personal Anarchy_
"Heart Telegraph" Divinyls _What A Life!_
"Overseas Telegram" Mick Harvey _Intoxicated Man_

interview with Samuel Morse descendent Cody Morse

"Don't Telephone - Don't Telegraph (Tell A Woman)" Tex Williams _Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! 25 Greatest Hits_
"Grandpa Was A Telegraphist" Peter Denahy _Dyamberin_
"The Telegram" The Medallions _Speedin'_
"Telegraph" The Frampton Brothers _I Am Curious (George)_

conclusion & goodbye

"I Guess I'll Have To Telegraph My Baby" George J. Gaskin _The 1890's Vol. 1: Wipe Him Off The Land_
"Telegraph Melts" Jandek _Telegraph Melts_
"Telegramme" Telegram _Operator_

* original image is Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0). Image manipulated by me to add Morse code & SHR logo.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Whither Telegraphy?

(image from here)

This is going to seem unbelievable, but I recently discovered that the idea for this show came from a very unexpected place. A couple months back I decided to tackle The Sound & The Fury again. William Faulkner's novel begins with a daunting stream-of-consciousness narrative from a mentally challenged 31-year-old man who doesn't seem to be able to distinguish between now & then. The book also has characters who share the same name which requires you to pay very close attention to context. I re-read the first chapter after I read the next two, which are narrated (still rather confusingly) by the first narrator's brothers.

The third brother is named Jason (like his father) & he's a petty man, incredibly racist, indulgently so, who desperately wants to make money because of a lost opportunity from his youth. In some scenes he's at a telegraph office wanting to find out the latest information from the New York Stock Exchange. He has some choice words about how the telegraph is used by Eastern elites to screw the little guy in Mississippi.

& I think that's what got me thinking about the telegraph. It's almost unimportant to the narrative. But as someone who's never sent nor received a telegram I made me think about working in a telegraph office. & that led to today's show.

Which is on from noon to 2pm Portland time on 90.3+98.3fm here in town & online everywhere at Freeform Portland dot org. Lots of music & talk about telegraphy - but this is the last time probably you'll hear about The Sound & The Fury, at least from me.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Preface To Telegraphy: Telegraph Line

One thing I wonder is, when I first saw this Schoolhouse Rock video, "Telegraph Line," if I knew what a telegram was. I was eleven when it first aired, so probably. But maybe this little video not only taught me what a telegraph was, but also the nervous system too!

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A Nice Thing Happened Today

My hounds seemed very excited today about something under our shed. My wife thought it was a raccoon. It turns out it was a very handsome Siamese cat. I went out to feed it, took a picture of it, & posted it to Next Door. That turned out to be a good thing because within the hour I had received word from someone who claimed to be its human.

& she was! She came to the house & there was this wonderful moment where she talked to the cat hiding under the shed & the cat came to her. I fucking love that, I love proof that there's a connection. The cat didn't like being put into a carrier, but what cat does? It went home with its human.

The cat went missing two days ago, it lives a half mile away & crossed a very busy street & traversed nine blocks to make its way to our shed. I'm glad it did! Every missing cat poster I see makes me very sad.

The Siamese's name is Beau. This was also a poignant moment for me. Earlier this year we said goodbye to my cat Bolan, whom I often called Bo. The idea that I might rescue a cat called Beau (pronounced "Bo") stirred up in me all the feels. At least I rescued one cat called Bo this year. God damn it.

Beau is happily back with his humans & we get a win on the scoreboard that increasingly favors sadness & tragedy. & speaking of sadness & tragedy - thank you Next Door. You enable unhappy people, racists, & reactionaries, but you are good at reuniting people with their pets. Maybe you should have stopped at that?

Monday, May 15, 2023

Rita Lee

(from her Wikipedia page)

It was a sadness to hear of the passing of Rita Lee about a week ago. As a strange coincidence, my wife was recently doing research in Edinburgh & one of her collaborators was a Brazilian who asked her, when she told him I did radio, if I knew who Rita Lee was. I guess he was in the room while we were talking on the phone. I said, "Sure, from Os Mutantes." He seemed pretty impressed.

My own experience with her music was with the Mutants plus her 1970s solo records. I didn't really pay much attention to her work in the 1980s, which was when she became a superstar & earned the title of "Brazil's Queen Of Rock." It's something I'll try to remedy in the future.

For now, I will pay tribute to her with the music I do know, & will play about an hour of her work solo, with Os Mutantes, & with Tutti Frutti, tonight on KBOO on my show Corporate Standardized Programming. It'll be a poor tribute but that appears to be the only sort of tributes I am able to give.

That's midnight to 3am Portland time on 90.7fm in town & online everywhere at kboo dot fm.