Friday, March 15, 2024

Self Help Radio 031424: Howard Gently Year Two Continued

On this week's show, I share eleven recorded bits - all but ten improvised - with my friend Russell appearing as the Rev Dr Howard Gently. Each segment appeared on an episode of Self Help Radio when it aired in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2015 & 2016. I try to contextualize them on the program. I play a song from that program that I thought or knew Russell would like. My friend Russell died unexpectedly last year.

You can listen to the show at the Self Help Radio website. You can listen to previous installments as linked on the table of contents page. You'll need a username & a password, I suggest SHR & selfhelp. I list the songs I played & the segments that follow below. I began with an original by Russell.

One last thing: I announced on the show that this was my last Self Help Radio on Freeform Portland for the time being. Self Help Radio returns to KBOO on Tuesday, March 26. That is reflected on the website now. I'll miss Freeform Portland but I needed to cut down the number of shows I do. Its placement in the middle of the week was a factor.

Self Help Radio Howard Gently Year Two Continued
"Lebanon" Russell Miles _Archaeology_

"I'm So Happy You Failed" Laptop _Opening Credits_
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Failure"
"Ambitious" Wire _The Ideal Copy_
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Ambition"
"People Don't Get What They Deserve" Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings _Give The People What They Want_
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Deserve"

"Roller Coaster By The Sea" Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers _Rock 'N' Roll With The Modern Lovers_ (Beserkley, 1977)
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the show's 13th Anniversary
"Clown Strike" Elvis Costello _Brutal Youth_ (Warner Bros, 1994)
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Clowns"
"Poet" Sly & The Family Stone _There's A Riot Goin' On_ (Epic, 1971)
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Poetry"</i>

"Perfume Garden" The Chameleons _What Does Anything Mean? Basically_ (Virgin, 1985)
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Gardens"
"People On Their Birthdays (Live)" Rod McKuen _At Carnegie Hall_ (Warner Bros/Seven Arts, 1969)
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Birthdays"
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on Christmas 2015</i>

"King's Lead Hat" Brian Eno _Before & After Science_ (Island, 1977)
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Hats"
"Mesopotamia" The B-52's _Mesopotamia_ (Warner Bros, 1982)
The Rev Dr Howard Gently on the theme "Pyramids"</i>

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Whither Howard Gently Year Two Continued?

When I lost my friend Russell last year, I thought I'd try to celebrate him on the radio by playing all the improvised interviews we aired from start to finish. This is the fourth episode, which will get us near the end of the second year he played my spiritual mentor The Rev. Dr. Howard Gently.

It's always been strange to me that fans of Russell's work as Melba Jackson (you can listen to his recordings here) haven't found a similar appreciation of his equally subversive work as Dr. Gently. I guess it could be that they're not prank calls, or maybe it's that they were hidden in the middle of my dumb radio shows. They are waiting to be found, at any rate. Maybe one day I'll isolate them & put them on my website. There are dozens of them though. I have many more Dr Gently radio shows ahead.

Listen today from noon to 2pm on Freeform Portland - 90.3+98.3fm & freeform portland dot org. They are among my most favorite things in the world & I am flattered they happened on this goofy radio show I do. I could never repay Russell for his time & generosity - or his brilliance.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Preface To Howard Gently Year Two (Continued): Looking At Pictures Of Places You Once Lived

(image from Gurgle Murps)

This week on the show I will play more bits created for the show with my friend Russell, whom we lost last year. That sad story is here. He pretended to be my spiritual mentor the Rev. Dr. Howard Gently & we improvised ridiculous segments based on the show's themes. I am playing them in the order they aired (which is also the order in which they were recorded) out of love & respect for him. He was so very creative & funny. I wish more people celebrated that about him when he was alive.

A few years back we were looking at a computer together - I don't remember the context - & we looked at the house he lived in when we met. I can't entirely be sure but I think it's the picture above. This place in Garland was where I think he lived from the ages of maybe three or four until he moved out of his parents' house in the early 1990s. They sold the house & moved to Sulphur Springs, Texas. Russell did not possess the weird sentimentality I do & never was curious about what happened to that house. When I am in Garland, if I have time, I haunt most of the places I lived &/or frequented.

He mentioned to me changes in the house's facade & some trees that had been removed, we were looking at a picture of a place he had not seen in two decades or more. When we were young, I didn't visit his house frequently but I did visit a few times. When I was in twelfth grade & he was in junior college I went over at least three times to make "music" - it was me yelping into a microphone while he played guitar - those sessions were improvised, too - & I remember going over to his house at some point after we were reacquainted - after he had left his born-again faith behind - & watching him practice with his friends Garry & Tania as they were hoping to form a band.

It's interesting that music is what I think about when I think of Russell's house. The first time I went there was to see Russell & his neighbor Dwight put on a concert as the band Black Locust. It was a hot summer day & it happened in his backyard. My little brother came along & the rest of the "audience" was neighborhood kids. I remember only one Black Locust song, called "The Fireman," which had the memorable line:

The fireman starts the fires.

Listening to Russell's bits today, editing them from old shows, I miss him very much. I miss talking about music with him. & I regret that, around a year ago today, I was in Dallas but didn't get to see him. He was not doing so well mentally & I did not want to pressure him into uncomfortable situations. Now I wish I had been more pushy. Now I wish I had just stopped by.

That may not even be the house he spent his boyhood & teen years in! I am a ridiculous & maudlin dope.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

A Short History Of Big Announcements

(image from here)

Big announcements are weird. They assume a sense of importance that nothing I do or say ever ever has. There are so few people who listen to what I do on the radio that there's nearly nothing I could do or say that would affect anyone in any way. I could die tomorrow & virtually no one's lives would be affected - & this is not me being self-piteous, it's me stating a fact. There are some people (maybe) who've liked my radio shows but when they've stop listening, either because I moved away or they lost interest, they hardly ever thought about them again. This has been even more true in Portland.

It hasn't dissuaded me from making radio shows - I enjoy doing that & would do it, maybe, if I were the last person on the planet. I'd probably still give out a phone number. & abide by FCC rules. What the hell is wrong with me? Anyway, the point is, I'm about to make some changes & I have in the past reported those changes as "big announcements" & it always rubbed me the wrong way when I do that. So this time around I'm not going to make a big announcement. I'm just going to do it.

Actually, I might mention it on the radio, but probably as a fait accompli. Not that it isn't already - the decision has been made. Or, less passively, I have made the decision. My desire to make a big announcement, to pretend this thing I do is at all important in any way, or at least in a way that deserves a big announcement, I have confined to this blog post about big announcements.

What is the big announcement? It really isn't a big announcement, honestly. But I'll say it on the air on this week's show.

What isn't the big announcement? Here's what it isn't.
- I'm not pregnant.
- I don't have an incurable disease (that I know of).
- I'm not quitting radio (sorry everyone).
- It's not anything important.
- I'm not deliberately wasting your time.

It can be said, however, that mostly I waste your time. But it's not a deliberate act on my part!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Alphabet Films

(image from the IMDb)

This past week's episode of Self Help Radio had the theme "the alphabet" & our resident cinephile Chuck stopped by to chat about a few films in which the alphabet played a part - like the one whose movie poster is show above. You can listen to that show at the Self Help Radio website!

It seems however that the list of links Chuck has provided this time around relate to Sesame Street. As Chuck explains, "There weren't enough Alphabet related movies to make a list, but I felt compelled to make a list for the show." Here therefore are those links:

Here is the Letterboxd list of movies. Chuck adds, "I put the links to available videos in the notes for the films plus where they are available to stream for free."

Here is the YouTube playlists of films & trailers.

Here is the IMDb list of films available to stream for free elsewhere. Chuck adds, "There is duplication with of some on YT but quality is usually better, & their availability may be for limited time."

Chuck posts about the films on his social media sites: Twitter,  Bluesky, & Substack. If you follow him, he'll almost certainly follow back.

What about the films Chuck talked about on the show? Put them in alphabetical order & look them up yourself!