Friday, August 11, 2023

Self Help Radio 081023: Quicksand

(original image here)

We survived! The entire show fell into quicksand & we thought we would be completely submerged but instead we sort of floated there until we were rescued by the following program! No more dangerous themes for us!

Oh I know, we did say on the program that quicksand wasn't deadly - you can't drown in it, though if you're trapped, you may die of exposure or thirst or some animal that will see you as easy prey. But knowing that doesn't help when you're panicking in quicksand!

Still lots of things happened while we were stuck there - it felt like days but it was just two hours - we had lots of songs about quicksand & we talked to folks & it was a pleasant way to pass the time even if we were sure we were going to drown.

Listen to the peril we experienced at the Self Help Radio website. Remember you'll need a username & password, that's SHR & selfhelp. Every song that was played & all the people we talked to are mentioned below.

Be careful out there!

Self Help Radio Quicksand Show
"Quicksand" Guitar Slim _You're Gonna Miss Me: The Complete Singles Collection As & Bs 1951-1958_
"Quicksand" Maymie Watts _Quicksand: The Groove Records Story 1954-1956_
"Quicksand" Hank Thompson _Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys_

introduction & definitions

"Quicksand Love" Macy Skipper _Good Rockin' Tonight: Red Hot Rockabilly_
"Quicksand" Don Schroeder _Teen Town U.S.A. Volume 10_
"Quicksand" Kell Osborne _The Northern Soul Of L.A. Volume 2_
"Quicksand (Second Pressing - Alternate Mix)" Martha & The Vandellas _The Complete Motown Singles 1963_
"Love's Like Quicksand" Sandy Wynns _The Northern Soul Story 1_

interview with realtor Fran Innes

"Quicksand" The Youngbloods _Elephant Mountain_
"Quicksand" Tim Buckley _Sefronia_
"Quicksand Around My Mind" George Jackson _Leavin' Your Homework Undone: In The Studio With George Jackson 1968-1971_
"Quicksand" Bobby Womack & Peace _Across 110th Street_
"Quicksand" David Bowie _Hunky Dory_

interview with adventurer Foster Iverson

"Quicksand Lovers" Cristina _Sleep It Off_
"Quicksand" Reinheitsgebot _The Complete R.S.C. Recordings - Volume 1: December 1984_
"Quicksand" Hellfire Sermons _Hymns, Ancient & Modern (1988-1993)_
"Quick Sand" Carlene Davis _The 15 Classics Of Carlene Davis_
"Quicksand" Albert Collins _Don't Lose Your Cool_

interview with PR guy Felix Isodore

"Quicksand" September Girls _Age Of Indignation_
"Quicksand" Belly _Dove_
"Quicksand" Holly Golightly _Do The Get Along_
"Shipwrecked Boat On Quicksand" Franny London _Cold Water_
"Quicksand" George Carlin _More Napalm & Silly Putty_
"Quicksand" Persil _Duotone_

conclusion & goodbye

"Quicksand" Adrian Belew _Side Two_
"Quicksand" John Mulaney _New In Town_
"Quicksand" Siberia _Harm's Way_
"Quicksand Castle" Dirty Ghosts _Let It Pretend_
"Quicksand" Blackbird _Blackbird_

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Whither Quicksand?

(image from the Wikipedia)

It begins, like so many things in my life, with David Bowie. Specifically, the Divine Symmetry box set that came out last year. As I discussed yesterday, I found the song "Quicksand" puzzling back when the album was new to me, some forty years ago. Listening to Bowie sing the song into a cassette deck in San Francisco was a little too intimate for me. & at some point, it caused a cascade.

"How many songs about quicksand can there be?" I wondered. Turns out, more than enough for a two-hour radio show.

Was it triggering for me? Wasn't I one of those kids who grew up with the media telling us how dangerous quicksand was? Here's something startling - according to this article, in the 1960s, "nearly 3 percent of the films in that era - one in 35 - showed someone sinking in mud or sand or oozing clay." Today? Not so much.

We will be experiencing the wonders & perils of quicksand on today's episode of Self Help Radio, which will air from noon to 2pm on Freeform Portland. Listen in town at 90.3+98.3fm & online at Freeform Portland dot org. & please - be careful!

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Preface To Quicksand: That David Bowie Song

Bowie's album Hunky Dory became my friend I think in the eleventh grade. Before I acquired it, I probably listened to Ziggy Stardust & Scary Monsters more. I don't think I had begun listening to Diamond Dogs or Low at this point. I think I bought it at a chain store (like Sound Warehouse) at "the Nice Price" around the same time I bought Aladdin Sane. I was not as enamored with that album as much as with Hunky Dory.

With the exception of "Changes," which I had heard way too often at that point, & which I think I was tired of by the time it was included in The Breakfast Club, I would generally listen to the album all the way through, starting on side A with "Oh You Pretty Things." I have memories of listening to it while the night came on, my room getting increasingly dark, & me refusing to turn the light on as I rose from bed to flip the record over. While I was never as enamored of the song as I was - & am - of "The Bewlay Brothers," I found "Quicksand" fascinating.

Back then, I imagined songs had some essence of truth that needed to be teased out, like explicating a poem. I had no idea how Bowie wrote songs - the two other musicians I paid the most attention to at the time were Elvis Costello & John Lennon. Lennon's penchant for absurdity was difficult to fit into that paradigm - yes, "One & one & one is three," but did that mean something? Despite his vitriol, Elvis Costello was a bit more fun - he liked to pun & write lines like, "You lack lust, you're so lackluster." But "I'm living in a silent film/Portraying Himmler's sacred realm of dream reality"? Himmler? The Nazi?!?

Most depressing for a sixteen year old person is the repeated lines (I guess it's the chorus):

Don't believe in yourself
Don't deceive with belief
Knowledge comes with death's release

Good grief. How could that possibly be true? Even then I didn't believe in anything happening to me after death. What were you supposed to know after "death's release"? You couldn't really know anything. Was that the truth?

Now I wonder if I ever spoke to anyone about these questions I had. Probably not. They probably just took up residence within me in the darkened room of my teenage years. The song, like the album, lives inside me still, having taken hold about forty years ago. & it is somewhat responsible for this week's theme.

Which I'll talk about tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Dogwalk 2020

In a Zoom conversation tonight with old friends from KVRX, the phrase "now that covid is over" was used more than once. It doesn't feel over to me. Two of my radio pals have had covid (one of them twice!) & they both said it was mild. I guess when you get it, if you're vaccinated, it's mild? I dunno. I never got it.

The picture above was taken on a dog walk three years ago. We wore masks on walks - I still wear a mask when I go shop & when I'm inside any place with a lot of people - but we don't wear masks on walks anymore. Oh by the way that's me & my wife. I'm the one on the right. If that isn't obvious.

Covid doesn't feel over. & it's obviously not over with people who have long covid. & I really believe I will still get it at some point. Which is why I don't drop my guard. Except I have dropped my guard somewhat. Which is why I'll probably get it.

Have I been traumatized by the past three years? You bet. Will I ever entirely get over it? I dunno. Do I want to get over it? Yes! Will I spend the rest of this post asking myself yes/no questions? I think so. Is this the last one? No. Will there ever be a last one? Yes.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Sir Archibald Von Poesy Redux

This is something I never do so I thought I'd do it so I couldn't say I never do it instead I can say I rarely do it. Which is this: share the dumb poetry I write & "perform" as Sir Archibald Von Poesy.

Poesy is a dumb character with a fake English accent that occasionally shares his verse with Self Help Radio. His work inevitably has the rhyme scheme AAAAAAA - however long the poem is - basically every line rhymes. It's very stupid & shabbily performed & it's something that I have great fun writing.

So without further ado - this is the poem "Tongue" which appeared on last week's show:

A bee alit upon my tongue
It seemed so pretty & so young
Interrupting the song I sung
As to a nearby branch I clung
Yes from a tree it's true I hung
Like from a ladder with one rung
From the ground I up there sprung
From branch to branch I swung & swung
From each moment of life I wrung
Experience inhaled into my lungs
My thoughts expansive & far-flung
My world an instrument to be strung
But in the middle of this song I song
A bee landed quietly on my tongue
& now my tongue, it is beestung.

This is how I wrote it - I sometimes change it slightly when reading. But you get the idea.

Ought I share more of Poesy's verse? No, I ought not.