Friday, December 01, 2023

Self Help Radio 113023: Magda's Birthday Show 2023

This was an actual conversation between my wife (who is the person for whom I do birthday shows this time each year) & me about this show:

Me: Did you like the show?
Her: Well... I don't really like birthday songs.
Me: But it's the thought that counts?
Her: (pause) Sure.

That's what I call true love!

Here is that show, featuring not only a lot of birthday tunes I've never played before, but also interviews with listeners who want to tell us about the most favorite birthday present they ever received, is now available to be listened to at the Self Help Radio web site. This information is helpful - username SHR, password selfhelp. The show has lots of songs & interviews & all are noted below.

Happy birthday to you!

Self Help Radio Magda's Birthday 2023 Show
"The Birthday Waltz (with the Knaves)" Mavis Rivers _The Complete Tanza Recordings 1949-1952_
"Happy Birthday, Baby" The Four Knights _Jivin' & Smoothin' Original Recordings 1951-1959_
"When’s Your Birthday, Baby?" Vince Eager _The World's Loneliest Man_


"Birthdays" Teen Angst _Barn Sour_
"Happy Birthday Syd" Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies _What's On The Inside Has To Come Out_
"Baby On My Birthday" Skating Polly _Chaos County Line_
"Edie's Birthday" Honestly Same _Hot Plate Only_

listener Marty Young talks about his favorite birthday present

"Happy Birthday" Jenn Champion _The Last Night Of Sadness_
"Lisa's Birthday" Florry _Sweet Guitar Solos_
"Birthday Cake" Teen Idle _Nonfiction_
"Birthday Song For The Dead" Josephine Foster _Domestic Sphere_

listener Montgomery Yeardley talks about his favorite birthday present

"It's Your Birthday" Vera Ellen _It's Your Birthday_
"Happy Birthday To My Girl" Gary Wilson _Tormented_
"Happy Birthday To Me" Luv Clowns _Love Clowns_
"Birthday" Middle Class Fashion _Girl Talk_

listener Matt Yankle talks about his favorite birthday present

"Birthday Girl" Tru Art _Mixed Emotions_
"Birthday Girl" Pop Levi _Juicy Diamond_
"Birthday Girl" Boo Frog _Boo Frog_
"Birthday Girl" Fortune Teller _Birthday Girl_
"Birthday Girl" Amber Smith _My Little Servant_

listener Mandy Yates talks about her favorite birthday present

"Second Birthday" Dear Nora _Three States: Rarities 1997-2007_
"Birthdays Are Sad" Girl For Sale _Seaspeak_
"Plans For My 31st Birthday" Boy Miez Girl _No More Than A Game_
"Happy Birthday" Kokomo _The Collection_

conclusion & goodbye

"Poem On His Birthday" Dylan Thomas _Reads_
"Birthday Girl" Cold Country _To Providence_
"Birthday Girl" Sparhawk _Lost Hawks: Unreleased Recordings 2006-2011_

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Whither Magda's Birthday Show 2023?

Every year around the time of her birthday, my wife gets a radio show. From me. I've been doing it for almost as long as I've known her - & almost as long as I've done Self Help Radio.

This radio show consists of songs about birthdays. "That seems dull," I imagine you saying. "The same dumb birthday songs every year." Ah, but it's not that. I have some rules. I always have some rules.

For example, I never play the same recording twice. This means, for example, you might hear the Beatles' "Birthday" - a very famous birthday song - many times, but only once have I played the famous recording from The White Album. All the rest have been covers.

Another rule is that I personally have to like the song. There are quite a few birthday songs. It turns out there are a large amount of them - the vast majority - that I simply don't enjoy. & artists don't make a lot of new birthday songs. So while I find a handful each year - subdivided by whether I actually like them - I spend a lot of time unearthing ones I've forgotten.

Does my wife appreciate it? To be honest, I don't even think she knows I do this.

& so I say this is a birthday show for you too! If it's your birthday today - or if you had a birthday this year - or if you have a birthday coming up - here are lots of birthday songs for you!

Your birthday party/radio show is happening from noon to 2pm on 90.3+98.3fm in Portland & online at Freeform Portland dot org. I made that cake up there so - oh dear. My wife has already eaten it. Well. It is her birthday show after all.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Preface To Magda's Birthday Show 2023: The Old Complaint

Every year around this time I am faced with the knowledge that there are a finite number of birthday songs I liked (as opposed to an infinite number I don't) & I need to dig deep for ones I've missed. Because I have done now like twenty of these shows for my wife & it's harder each year.

Of course I keep doing it because I love her & I think she's flattered by it. Although I did ask her what he favorite birthday presents have been & she didn't say, "The one you make for me every year on the radio." So maybe she doesn't care?

One day I'm just going to play birthday songs I don't enjoy. No I won't. I could never do that. Sigh.

Back into the stacks to find more songs!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Mirror Universe

That's a picture I took on this day five years ago. I was living at the time in Fort Worth, Texas. It might explain why the trees have so many leaves this close to winter. In Texas, the first really cold night usually happens around Halloween, but if that doesn't happen, it'll get really cold over Thanksgiving. It might warm up again in early December, but the cold weather in November will fool you every year into thinking winter has begun.

My mother left my father when I was four. He was a drunk. My mother started dating someone when I was around eight. That person was also a drunk, but my mother didn't move in with him & kept him at arm's length. My mother was a deeply superstitious person. Which is why it was so weird when he gifted her this decorative I guess you'd call it picture which was a canvas with pieces of a broken mirror on it, arranged artistically but not reassembling the mirror.

It's not something I talked to my mother about. If she has seen me break a mirror, she would've screamed as though I had swallowed a bomb. Perhaps she thought the bad luck caused by breaking so many mirrors (he had several in his apartment) resided solely in him. & he truly was someone who had had many, many misfortunes in his life.

As for the bad luck caused by broken mirrors, how did it work? Don't ask me - I don't know the mechanics of superstition. Like, does breaking the mirror alert demons? My mother thought such questions impudent. She didn't have to explain, she just knew it was true.

The mirror above wasn't broken, someone just put tape on it as though it had been broken. Fooling the demons, I suppose. But maybe it brought bad luck anyway - someone left it on their lawn. To be given away.

Or maybe it's not a mirror after all? I hadn't really looked at the picture. I don't remember the circumstances of taking the picture - it was obviously on a dogwalk but that's all I can say for certain. Maybe it wasn't artistic, the placement of the tape. After all it looks like it has a kind of vent - what mirror has a vent?

Honestly I should pay more attention. I was focused, then as now, on the reflection of the tree.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Something Something Sleep Something

Do you sleep? What's that like? Do you sleep many hours in a night?

Do you dream? Do you remember your dreams? Do you dream of places you haven't been in years?

Do you wake up in the middle of the night? Does it take you as long to get back to sleep as it did to fall asleep in the first place?

Do you nap? Do you wake up confused after every nap? Isn't it weird that you still love to nap?

Do you know how much you should sleep? Do you fear you don't sleep nearly enough? Do you refrain from keeping track because you know you're not sleeping enough?

Seriously, do you sleep? Seriously - what's that like?