I Was On The Radio!

KTOO and KXLL Radio Station In Juneau
KTOO and KXLL Radio Station In Juneau

Last Tuesday I was invited by The Knife Ulu Mills, to join her on the radio. Ulu hosts her own two-hour radio show called Tuesday Night Slice where she gets to play some great music and do a bit of banter with her guests. The show in Juneau is on Excellent Radio KXLL 100.7.

I have never been on the radio before. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had been pretty excited about it all week. One of the things Ulu told me was I could bring in some music to play on the show. This was pretty exciting for me. For some reason songs just sound better on the radio and I could not wait to put together a set of songs to play.

Right off the bat I knew I was going to play Local H. My all time favorite band. How could I not play them? At first I didn’t know which song from their albums I was going to play ,but when it came down to it I figured this might be the only time I will ever be on the radio so I wanted to start strong. I went with Bound for the Flour by Local H.

Every song I picked after that was a painful process for me. It felt like making a mix tape for a girl you have a crush on in high school. Each song has to say the right thing and convoy the right feeling. I scrutinized way to long over the right CDs and songs to bring with me. I ended up picking 6 CD. The songs I had picked out where:

I did want to come with more than that. I didn’t want to give off an impression to people at the radio station that I was an over bearing music Nazi and this is what we have to play. I was also nervous that I didn’t pick out enough music either.

Cds
CD Library

Tuesday came and I drove over to the radio station at 7:30pm. It was an awesome day. The sun was out and it was warm. People where out and about driving in their cars. Ulu met me at the door where we said our hellos. She kept saying that I brought a lot of music with me and I kept thinking that meant I brought to much. We hadn’t even started and I already made a mistake.

CD and Vinyl Library
CD and Vinyl Library

We walked up a flight of stairs to the second floor of the building. The first room we stepped into was what I think was called the music archive. This room was stacked floor to ceiling with CDs and Vinyl records. It was very over whelming at first. Ulu let me know that I could use this library of music they had to pick out songs to play on the radio if I wanted.

Next, Ulu took me down the hall to the room we would be broadcasting from. Again this was somewhat overwhelming for me. She sat behind a long desk that was big enough for two people to sit on either side. In front of her she had four computer monitors which I believe where connected to four different computers. She also had her laptop hooked up. She showed me how we could use the computers to search for music that the radio station had digitized and how to add it to the on air play queue. I was also shown how to switch the music source, fade in an out, turn the microphones on and off, and a whole list of other stuff she went through that I have no idea how to do.

After she did her best to make me familiar with the equipment sitting in front of me, we started building a playlist for the first half hour of the show using the CD’s I brought and the music available at the station.

It all went by to quickly and before I knew it Ulu and I where on the Air. She introduced me and I said hello to the people in radio land. We chatted for about 3 or 4 minutes. She said she was excited to have me on the show and I thanked her for having me. It was a real easy back and forth we did with each other and it helped calm my nerves. Then just as quickly as we started Ulu told her audience that I had picked out the first song we would be playing that evening. I replayed with “Yup, the first song we will be playing is “Bound for the Floor” by my all time favorite band, Local H”. With that the music started up and Ulu and I where free to talk to ourselves again.

At some point early on we had the grand idea of make the show that night all about happy music. No music about losing your girlfriend or missing someone special. No, not for us and not for that night. We choose to seek out only happy music for the two hours we would be on the radio.

Making this decision meant that we had to go through our playlist and rebuild it. We quickly went through and replaced some of the not-so-happy songs with something happier. It felt like we no sooner got the playlist setup and then where back on the air. We told the people listening that we had come up with a theme for the night and we encouraged them all to call in and request some happy music. They did.

Through the rest of the night we got a hand full of call in requests as well as some on-line requests.

Ulu Mills
Ulu Mills

I was very impressed with how easy everything appears to function at the radio station. Granted, I still don’t fully understand how all the machines work but I think if I had more time with it I would figure it out easy enough.

At the end of the two-hour show Ulu and I got back on the air one last time to say good night. Ulu thanked me for coming on and said I should come back. I told her I had a great time and I would love to come back and do it again. So it looks like I will be back again on Tuesday Night Slice this Tuesday at 8pm.

Local H – The 6 Angry Records Tour

Last Friday was the Local H Concert at El Corazon in Seattle dubbed “The 6 Angry Records Tour.” I was so excited to go and see my good friend Lyle and hear some great music from my favorite band.

I packed really light for this trip. I think I took the least amount with me that I have ever taken on a trip. Just a couple of shirts, a pair of pants, a camera, and my backup PowerBook.

My dad and brother took me to the airport in Juneau and waited around till I got checked in and passed through security. I was shocked when I got through security as saw that the terminal was just packed wall to wall. I have never seen the Juneau airport so full. I don’t know if that is a result of Alaska Airline’s reduced flights in and out of Juneau or if it’s just a really busy travel time.

Eventually I got to board my plan that was running a few minutes late. As I walked up to to the plan I started to see signs stating that this plane had in flight WiFI access. Sweet! However I learned that this was a farce. The passengers of the plane where even told that yes, we would have in-flight wifi access once we got above ten thousand feet. No sooner where we in the air when they made the announcement that in-flight WiFi is not available in Alaska. WTF  Alaska Air lines? It also does not help that your flight attendants on my flight where technological morons.

The over all flight however was fine. I sat next to a baby that managed not to cry once! I was able to get a quick nap and was on the ground in Seattle before I new it. Flying over seattle was pretty neat because the city was seen through a giant sucker hole that was gone by the time Lyle and I got to our hotel.

Lyle met me at baggage clam and we took a shuttle to get the rental car. This was my first experience of renting a car and it was a good one. The Car ( a Chevrolet HHR which stands for Heritage High Roof) was a peace of shit. The whole thing is a blind spot.

We drove to downtown Seattle and checked into our hotel. From their we walked. It was a great day and perfect for walking and checking out the city. We walked for what I think was three miles to Dick’s Drive-In for dinner. Ever since I moved to Alaska I am always craving Dick’s Burgers. This trip was perfect for getting some.

After Lyle and I finished our burgers and shakes we walked to this used book store called “Twice Sold Tales”. Inside we where greeted by a happy fat cat. We did a quick scan of the books. I looked for some older Dungeons & Dragons books but struck out.

From the used book store we walked to El Corazon. Lyle was stopped by security because he has a pocket knife on him. No worries for us. We were early so we just walked back to the hotel and put his pocket knife in the room and walked back to the venue.

We went through the pat down again and got inside. We then made our way to the bar where Lyle was stopped again because he did not have a current divers license. So out side we both went so Lyle could have a smoke. We got some shit for trying to get back inside the venue. I guess once you enter your not supposed to leave?

So we are back inside the venue as the opening back for Local H is finishing up their last three songs. I snapped a couple of the pictures of the unmanned Local H merch table and people are starting to come in off the street for the main act.

Scott and Brian took to the stage. Scott was funny as he announced that he just got back from the Cinnaroma and saw Iron Man 2 which he did not like. He stated that Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau where overrated and that the only good movie Robert Downey Jr. made was “A Scanner Darkly“.

Scott also asked a little boy in the crowd how old he was and the boy said “9 years old”. Scott then said “Man, I have said “Fuck” more times then you are old. Fuck, I said it again!”

The thing about this Local H tour is it’s called “The 6 Angry Records Tour” where one person from the audience gets to draw from a hat one of the names of Local H’s last 6 albums and the band will play that album from start to finish. The album that was drawn that night was “Here Comes The Zoo“. I finally got to hear “What Would You Have Me Do?” live which is my favorite song of that album.

After they finished playing the whole album the band played a couple more of their songs. I snagged a photo of the set list before it was taken away by a fan.

After the last song was played Scott just walked off the stage to the back of the venue to his merch table and started selling shirts and CD’s and giving autographs. I got in line to buy some shirts and when I got up to Scott I showed him my plane ticket and explained I flew down that day from Alaska to see Local H play and that it was worth every penny.

With raw throats from shouting during the concert Lyle and I left the venue and headed to some all night greasy spoon restraint he knew of that made great milk shakes. They where perfect for our tired bodies, soar throats and ringing heads.

However on the way to this place we found this in the cement sidewalk. What the hell is this? It looks like Tony Stark’s Ark Reactor. Their were like 6 of them.

[Update: 6.25.2010] I met a nice couple at the show who had a something far better then a camera phone to take pictures with. I traded e-mail address with them and just got copies of the photos they took at the show. Blow you will see the new photos.

Get Psyched!

Those of you who are fans of the show “How I Met Your Mother” know about Barney’s “Get Psyched Mix”. The Get Psyched Mix is an audio CD that the character Barney on the show made with the idea that a good music mix dose not have to have highs and lows. But can be all rise! As he stated on the show, his Get Psyched Mix is nothing less then an audio journey to the white hot center of adrenalin.

This has inspired me to create my own Get Psyched Mix that is nothing less then all rise it’s self.

  1. Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name
  2. Blink 182 – Dammit
  3. Disturbed – Prayer
  4. Evans Blue – Possession
  5. Gold Finger – Mable
  6. Local H – Creature Comforted
  7. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
  8. Pearl Jam – Evenflow
  9. A Perfect Circle – Judith
  10. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  11. Rage Against The Machine – Guerrilla Radio
  12. Ok go – Get Over It
  13. Stone Temple Pilots – Days Of The Week

Converting TheHCorner.com to WordPress

In my spare time I run a fan site called The H Corner for the Chicago Illinois based band “Local H“. Not to long ago I got the itch to upgrade the site from it’s static HTML pages to use WordPress as it’s back end.

Until recently I used to maintain all of The H Corner’s updates and maintenance with the text editor, Textmate. I personally enjoy building websites with a text editor. I fell like I have a higher level of control when building the a website like that. However maintaining a website (especially one like The H Corner that should be updated frequently with new content) with a text editor I learned is not the best idea ever unless it is your only job in life.

Installing wordpress was easy using the wordpress.org install guide. It gave me step by step instructions to setup a SQL database and get everything running. Less then a year ago I switched my personal website to wordpress and have not looked back. I have been very happy with it’s performance.

Once I got wordpress setup and running I started with the task of importing all the content of the old site to the new one.

The whole process took less then a week. The hardest part might have been creating a theme that resembled more of the old h corner website. Themes are how you can quickly and easily change the look and feel of your website. You can find tons of themes on line with a simple Google search.

Check out the new H Corner at thehcorner.com and let me know what you think.

Vacation – Part 2 of 2

City ScapeOn Wednesday, June 11th, Hannah and I went to see (the best band in the universe) Local H play in Seattle at the Chop Suey Club. We met up with our friends Abe, Kenny, Eric, Lyle, Dustin, Jason, and Doug.

We all shared a couple of pizzas before the show across the street from the venue. I realized I forgot my cammera and was kicking myself about it. Luckly for me, Lyle and Jason had their iPhones handy and they both did a great job snapping photos.