Friday, June 09, 2023

Self Help Radio 060823: Perfume

(Original image here.)

What started out as something kinda stinky this week got a whole lot worse. I mean, perfumes can smell nice & all but too much perfume soaks your head in scents & it can be a headache. So, you know, that's kinda like this show.

Lots of songs about perfume & some silly guests & there's nothing else I can say about it except if you wanna listen, you need to do so at the show's website, where the username SHR & the password selfhelp will be very useful. As I point out on the show, listening won't make you smell better. But there might be some songs you like.

As one of our guests says, "Smell you later!"

Self Help Radio Perfume Show
"At A Perfume Counter (Bob Eberle, vocals)" Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra _Forgotten Gems_
"Red Silk Stockings & Green Perfume" Roy Hogsed _Cocaine Blues_
"Spanish Perfume" Jimmy Rice _The Red Bird Sound, Vol. 4: Dressed In Black_

introduction & definitions

"Lança Perfume" Rita Lee _Lança Perfume_
"Ed's Perfume" The Frantics _Frantic Times_
"In A Perfumed Garden" Television Personalities _They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles_
"Perfume Garden" The Chameleons _What Does Anything Mean? Basically_

interview with archaeologist Norman Shed

"Perfume-V" Pavement _Slanted & Enchanted_
"The Night It Rained Perfume" Feverfew _Something Of Nothing_
"Old Perfume" Amy Millan _Masters Of The Burial_
"Perfume" Sparks _Hello Young Lovers_

interview with perfume r&d specialist Jennilee Lee

"Discontinued Perfume" The Caribbean _Discontinued Perfume_
"The Perfumed Garden Of Gulliver Smith" Marc Bolan _Love + Death_
"What's That Perfume You Wear?" Jens Lekman _Life Will See You Now_
"Strange Perfumes" Laurie Anderson _Homeland_

interview with serial entrepreneur Saul Thompson

"Perfume" Guerilla Toss _Eraser Stargazer_
"Perfume" The Coathangers _Nosebleed Weekend_
"Whiskey Or Perfume" John Mulaney _New In Town_
"Of Purgatory & Perfume" David J _Missive To An Angel From The Halls Of Infamy & Allure_

interview with anti-perfume activist Claude Cotton
conclusion & goodbye

"Monsoon Of Perfume" Dengue Fever _Venus On Earth_
"Garden Of Perfume" Temple Of Sound & Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali _People's Colony No 1_
"Perfume Well" Box & The Twins _Everywhere I Go Is Silence_
"A Strange Perfume" The Membranes _What Nature Gives... Nature Takes Away_

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Whither Perfume?

(my home's most common fragrance - image from here)

My earliest memories of a perfume involve either the ridiculous atomizers that appeared in cartoons - which would pump out noxious pink smoke - or my mother's favorite perfume, which I noticed people would buy her for her birthday or Christmas - which was Charlie. I don't recall my mother ever wearing it, mind you - I don't really know if I ever noticed the way my mother smelled in the 1970s - but boy do I remember those commercials!

Flash forward to years later when I might be dating women who wore perfume - & generally speaking, they didn't. I can only think of one woman I knew who did wear a particular scent & I didn't really like it, though I never felt it was my place to tell her so. After all, she liked it. Wasn't that all that mattered?

Yes, there has been a Self Help Radio about smells. But there were no songs about perfumes on that show. It seemed appropriate to return to one of the senses this week. This is a bit more specific & yet there'll still be discussions of an olfactory nature. & because it's radio you won't know how smelly I truly am,

The show is on from noon to 2pm Portland time on Freeform Portland - which is on the air in town at 90.3+98.3fm & online at Freeform Portland dot org. This one time the show might make scents!

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Preface To Perfume: Have I Seen This Movie?

(image from the IMDb)

It will probably not surprise you if, during the course of tomorrow's episode of Self Help Radio, there are samples from the movie "Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer," from 2006, directed by Tom Tykwer & starring Dustin Hoffman. It is about perfume after all.

There were a couple of great quotes from the movie that I found. But while I was watching (re-watching?) the film to get the quotes, I had the sensation that I had actually never seen the movie before. But I know I had. I have a memory of talking to someone about it at work after I watched it - maybe she even recommended it to me. Even though I no longer get DVDs from Netflix (& they don't send them anymore), I kept a copy of the films I rented from them & I have a record of getting the film in the summer of 2007.

But except for a couple of things, possibly sparked by searching for suitable quotes, I have absolutely no memory of the movie. That's a fascinating thing, isn't it? To have spent two hours with a movie & discussed it with someone & have nothing you can recall.

Now I know I've had thousands of conversation with people I will never remember (the conversations I mean, but certainly in many cases the people), but it seems like movies, in their easy-to-digest two-hour packages, are designed to be at least a little memorable. I think I enjoyed the movie. Apparently I didn't enjoy it enough for it to have a place in my brain.

Which come to think of it probably how most people think of Self Help Radio.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

A Brief History Of Awkward Exits

The image above is almost certainly not a place I've ever been. But this is a story about a place much like that one, in Garland, Texas, which I visited more than once when I was in high school & afterwards.

For some reason, my high school American History teacher took a liking to me. Well. Maybe not a liking. I think he saw something in me he hoped to cultivate but unlike others in my class whom he more successfully influenced, I was an anomaly. He was conservative & quite Christian. I was not. He saw through a lot of my insecurities but chose to confront me with them in a more direct & stern way than was probably diplomatic - it just made me defensive. I was flattered that he, an adult, might be interested in me, but I left his home more than once absolutely baffled by the interactions I had.

The very last time I visited him, I was in my third year of college. I can't remember if I were invited or if I cold-called him. I believe it was in the fall, perhaps in September when I would come home for my mother's birthday. It had to be the weekend - he was still teaching so it would be a day off.

There are few things I remember about the encounter, but the weirdest one was that at some point, he just disappeared. I don't know if I missed some cues or he wasn't clear about what he was doing, but I was left in his patio area for a long period of time with no one interacting with me. His wife showed up as if out of nowhere & seemed surprised I was still there. We had a brief exchange & she asked me - as if she had listened to our conversation - if I were "a liberal." I said I guess I was. & that was all she said to me.

Eventually my old teacher reemerged, & I realized he had taken a nap. How long I had sat there I didn't know, but realizing how awkward it was, I said my goodbyes & left. The whole experience was so difficult & unpleasant I never spoke to him again. &, it must be noted, he never reached out to me either.

The internet in its limited knowledge tells me he's still alive. I'm certain he hasn't given me a thought in the intervening years - over thirty-five years it's been. I was one of a few students whom he tried to guide, none of whom I am in contact with, although I am certain they are still in contact with him. What little I know about their lives suggests they more happily fulfilled his ideas of what they should be than I did.

It wasn't my last awkward exit. It was almost certainly not my first. But the strange moments I spent sitting alone in that patio, wondering what was happening, unable to talk to anyone, not sure what I should do - that memory haunts me. That man attempted to influence my life in some way, but he did more by somehow not communicating to me effectively that he was going to take a nap & I should probably go than any lesson he might have shared from high school.

Truly since then in weird social situations I focus deep attention on the moments when I need to fucking leave.

Monday, June 05, 2023

Tree Overshadows House

Is that what I called this picture? Was I attempting a pun?

Tonight is my show Corporate Standardized Programming on KBOO. It's the first week in a long time that a major musician hasn't died - at least one I deeply admire. I have been afraid the show would become the "Gary pays tribute to dead artist" program & I don't want it to be that. I do want to have the time & space to do that - but not every week.

Tonight it's mainly music, bands coming to town, birthdays, & some jazz. Placed happily in the middle of the night where it can't bother anyone & no one is awake to hear it.

Seriously though, imaging living in that house & knowing your house cannot compete with that tree!