I had one of those early morning “special projects” at work on Sunday. They happen every once in a while, and I dread ’em with a vigorous passion, my friends. Not because of the project itself — we’ve got that shit down to a science — but because of the early morning aspect of it all. Here’s what happened this past Saturday night/Sunday morning, and it was a fairly standard turn of events:
- Went to bed at 10, feeling drowsy and confident that I might get a few hours of genuine sleep.
- Almost immediately dozed off.
- Jerked awake at 11:11 for no known reason.
- Wallowed and thrashed for the next two or three hours, in a low-grade panic, and got myself thoroughly wound-up in the sheets like Fat Tut.
- Finally fell asleep again, seemingly minutes before the alarm went off.
- Walked around all day in a bizarre haze, feeling like I was having an out-of-body experience.
- Got home, free fell into a chair, stared straight ahead and drooled like I’d been lobotomized. Until Toney ordered me upstairs for a nap, which I resisted because I’m not the napping type.
- Came downstairs four hours later, watched Beachfront Bargain Hunt, and drank several IPAs.
It’s extremely disruptive to my otherwise unproductive day. And I still don’t feel 100% today. Oh well. We’re good for three months, or so. The downside? Those three months will pass in what’ll feel like four weeks. Another part of the tradition is everybody shouting a few days in advance: “Are you serious?! Didn’t we just do that??” Ah, it’s the circle of life.
I just went out to pick up some cheesesteaks from Nickie’s Fabulous Hoagies, which is indeed fabulous. And I learned that Sirius/XM has launched a Kiss Army channel (Ch. 30). Heh. I turned it on, and they were playing some kind of alternative version of “Detroit Rock City.” It sounds like it could be a fun channel, but I suspect I won’t be able to stomach more than ten minutes at a time. I mean… the 70s stuff is not very good, but somehow enjoyable. But when they get into the 80s… yeah, it’s time to seek other musical opportunities. Holy shitfingers!
Those channels devoted to one artist are frustrating. Like the Beatles Channel, for instance. They’re always playing artists the Beatles supposedly loved (??), and deep cuts from Ringo solo albums, and things like that. It feels like actual Beatles music is only about 50% of what they play. And the Tom Petty Channel plays a shitload of live recordings. I’m sorry, but I’m not all that interested in the 6/15/86 Des Moines, Iowa version of “The Waiting.”
But Sirius/XM thoughtfully provides you with many, many channels to jump to. ‘Cause none of them, with the possible exception of Little Steven’s Underground Garage, can keep me listening for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Who’s with me on this? Can you remain on one Sirius/XM music station for extended periods?
My automatic “turn it!” prompts include, but are not limited to:
First Wave: Depeche Mode, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Classic Rewind: Pink Floyd, The Doors, U2.
Except for Underground Garage, those are the two channels I listen to the most. I’m good for about 15 minutes on each. UG is by far my favorite. It’s genuinely interesting and good, until they go off on a long blues jag. I need upbeat stuff when I’m driving, thank you very much. Not some mournful tune about how a man couldn’t hold back the charm, a lifelong curse, and ended up destroying a beautiful marriage or somesuch. Is that every blues song? Probably not.
Anyway, I’ll check out the Kiss Channel, until they take it down. They put these things up for a month or two. Like the Billy Joel Channel, or the Rod Stewart Channel. It all sounds good in theory, but in real life… not so much. I think there’s a Springsteen Channel on there, and maybe a Grateful Dead? I like Bruce, but only from the 70s. And I don’t need a lot of the live stuff. Ya know?
They should have a power pop channel. I could curate that bastard. It would be the best driving channel of them all. Give me a call, Sirius/XM. I work cheap.
We’re supposed to get hammered with snow again tomorrow. And some ice, as well. That’s awesome. But the pitchers and catchers report this week, so spring is near. On paper, anyway; the warm weather comes a little later up here. But it’s not too far away, right? My newest podcast episode ended up being a bit baseball-heavy, but not in a baseball nerd kind of way… I don’t want to discourage anyone from listening. Believe me, it’s all about my frustrations. Check it out if you’re so inclined. Right here, or wherever you get podcasts. This is the summary:
In this one I tell you about the time I almost died due to unbridled hick fury, a classic rock guessing game, the man who repeatedly mispronounced the word saga, the final chapter (hopefully) of our dishwasher adventure, a new Johnny Bench documentary I watched on Saturday, my gut-wrenching Johnny Bench Night story from 1983 that still makes me twitch and grimace, and a small sign that I might still be semi-human. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening!
And speaking of podcasts, I have another one I’d like to recommend: No Redeeming Qualities. One of the hosts edits and produces my show, and does a damn fine job of it. He and a friend host NRQ and it’s genuinely funny. I mentioned their Wheels of Justice episode recently, and would like to recommend it again. I also have a story to tell about their program, which I’ll share in the near future. In the meantime, check ’em out. They’re funny and smart.
Which podcasts are you listening to these days? In addition to NRQ, I’m still on Marc Maron, sometimes Carolla, a weekly Reds podcast called Redleg Nation, Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show, and Rhett Miller’s new program called Wheels Off. And that’s about all I have time for these days. Four or five years ago I’d rip through twice as many shows, but not anymore. Do you listen to any podcasts? Tell us about it, won’t you?
I’m off today, and it’s glorious. It’s been nothing but coffee, cheesesteak, and disgraceful shitsackery all day long. Just the way I like it. I might go upstairs now and crack open the Kindle, read a few chapters of a kickass book I’m reading. Or maybe go out for an hour or so. We’ll see how it goes. All options are on the table. It’s glorious, I tell you!
Have a great week, my friends!
I’ll see you again on Thursday.
Now playing in the bunker
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Because I’m a certified fat ass (I believe that is the medical term), and because I love cheesesteaks, I googled Nickie’s Fabulous Hoagies to check out their menu. I’m intrigued that for $5.25 they offer an “Italian” sub, but for $6.75 they will sell you an “Authentic Italian” sub. I’m curious what type of authenticity that extra $1.50 gets you. Conversely, just how inauthentic is the $5.25 option? If you have any insight please share with your loyal readers. And really, if transparency is our goal (shouldn’t it always be), shouldn’t the first option be labeled an “Inauthentic Italian.” This really is going to bother me for the rest of the evening.
If you order the authentic Italian sub something will be stolen from your parked car while your sandwich is being made.
If you order the authentic Italian sub the restaurant becomes your ally then quickly surrenders sticking you with the bill.
My great-uncle came back from WW2 with a wife he married in Italy. She spoke nary a word of English, but when she arrived in England she had a cold and sneezed a lot. The English family named her “Sneezy” and that name stuck for the rest of her life. Aunt Sneezy – I honestly don’t know her real name, she died when I was about 10.
Tempo Relentless says
I listen to one other podcast besides The Jeff Kay Show:
YOU DON’T KNOW DICK with Handsome Dick Manitoba
Besides being the lead singer of the world’s greatest band – The Dictators, he also was a long time Underground Garage DJ (or whatever they’re considered).
GOOD, GOOD STUFF !!
Joe T says
On Sirius/XM I keep Alt Nation on mostly, but I know what you mean about the others, 2 or 3 good songs, then BAM, a lousy one. I do like the Stern channels, and sports play by play.
I listen to The Tony Kornheiser show daily, Conan has a good weekly show, Carolla, and Gilbert Godfried.
I can see you never got into live show collecting. It can be a blessing and a curse.
I have no experience with Sirius/XM. But I think I would get bored right quick with a one-artist channel. I would be all over a power pop channel. Stuff along the Paramore – They Might Be Giants – Danko Jones axis.
The only podcast I listen to with any regularity is some dude named Jeff Kay. It’s somewhat stream-of-consciousness, but oddly compelling.
My car is constantly tuned to the Grateful Dead sirius channel, so yup, there is a grateful dead channel
I like the idea of podcasts, but struggle with actually listening to them. I’m commuting some now and I’m catching up with your show. I occasionally check out Sound Opinions (https://www.soundopinions.org/). Because you are Mr. Surf Report and your word is semi-gold, I will check out No Redeeming Qualities … eventually.
I don’t have Sirius/XM, but I would love to hear Little Steven’s Underground Garage. It sounds like “Nuggets” for radio, or whatever.
I listen to every episode of a few podcasts:
FiveThirtyEight Politics – (about twice a week) Data-driven views of American politics . . . enlightening . . . funny . . . educational
No Such Thing As A Fish – (weekly, British) Obscure facts about history and life on earth from four British researchers . . . funny . . . entertaining . . . occasionally brilliant
The Doug Stanhope Podcast – (weekly) Doug and his “associates” broadcast from the road or from the “Funhouse” is Bisbee, AZ. Drunk Libertarian politics, drunk social commentary, drunk shenanigans, Celebrity Death Pool, occasional on-air drinking . . . no redeeming social value . . . usually funny, occasionally hilarious
Answer Me This! – (monthly, British) A British advice show about relationships, history, obscure British culture . . . sounds boring, but is usually charming
I listen to occasional episodes of several podcasts (depending on topic or person being interviewed)
Penn’s Sunday School (weekly, sometimes more often) Libertarian politics, atheism, juggling, social history, interviews, music, a little touch of magic in the night . . . often funny, irreverent, with strong opinions about music, politics, and social mores
History Extra Podcast (weekly) The podcast of a British monthly history magazine . . . enlightening . . . educational . . . well-researched
Freakonomics Radio Show Podcast (weekly) Fun and education with social economics . . . well written . . . excellent interviews
Fresh Air Podcast (daily) Radio personalities come and go, but Terry Gross has been the best interviewer in America for most of my adult life
I listen once in a great while to a bunch of uneven but occasionally really good podcasts. A few:
WTF, Astronomy Cast, The Axe Files With David Axelrod, On Point, Gilbert Gottfried, The New Yorker Radio Hour, On the Media, Probably Science, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
John, thanks for those lists. I’ve heard of FiveThirtyEight. Based on your recommendation, I’ll give it a listen. I like Freakonomics; there’s usually something interesting.
Celebrity Death Pool reminds me of a feature on a radio show I used to listen to. They called it “(He or she) Died, You Win.” Some variation of calling in when a celebrity dies, and you win (tickets, cash, whatever).
I listen to Marc Maron, and Adam Buxton’s (too infrequent) podcasts. It’s not strictly a podcast, but I listen to the BBC Radio 4 show The Unbelievable Truth, which frequently cracks me up, and I usually learn something too.
I can often listen to each of these channels for extended periods:
XMU (yes, new music)
I use some of these as background music, even Yacht Rock Radio. I don’t listen to Underground Garage much; too many silly/weird songs. Each channel plays bands or repetitions that’ll make me switch over. And I’m not a fan of “special programming ” on these channels. I want to get what I expected when I tune in.
I got rid of satellite radio when faction became a premium channel.
Podcasts for smart people:
Shaun Thompson’s Liberty Hour https://t.co/GBFsqoztyr
Awaken with JP https://youtu.be/Tmob3OykiCY
The Peter Boyles’ show https://peterboyles.podbean.com/
Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson https://560theanswer.com/content/all/morninganswerpodcasts
Dan Bongino https://bongino.com/
Good God, these are all far right-wing podcasts, and a couple come pretty close to white supremacy. Of the 17 podcasts I recommended exactly 1 features a Democrat (The Axe Files), and he’s a middle-of-the-road guy. Two others feature pretty serious Libertarians (Stanhope and Penn) who rarely talk about politics. One is about applying data analysis to polling aggregation and doesn’t have a political lean (538). The other 13 have nothing to do with politics and cover science, history, humor, culture and music.
I think that pretty well exemplifies the difference between what the far right thinks “smart” means and what progressives think “smart” means. This is a stunning example of confirmation bias. I enjoy hearing what people who don’t agree with me think. Frequently I learn something by listening. I don’t claim to be smart, but at least I’m trying.
My links were pretty much Libertarians.
Could it be that you’re so far left that even moderate conservatives look right wing to you? When I was a kid liberal thought was open to many ideas, but today (yourself included), liberals are among the most closed-minded people I know of.
David Axelrod? JHC. That clown brought us Barack Hussein Obama. Sorry, but he is not middle of the road. Again, that just shows just how far left you are.
That reminds me, I neglected to mention The Ben Shapiro Show: https://www.dailywire.com/podcasts/show/ben-shapiro-show
And of course Jonah Goldberg: https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-remnant-with-jonah-goldberg/
As I learned in Psychology 101, the person that comments on everything is insecure.
I have no trouble listening to any of these for a few days at a time until I finally need a change of pace. And I also truly like the Beatles channel. If it was just the Beatles it would be the same-old, same-old that everyone’s been hearing for decades. All four of the guys have different and interesting solo work. The only thing that’s a little weak are the “tributes” by other artists, which are usually a crap-shoot.