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Instrumental Invasion, 12/30/20 December 31, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV.
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The December 30, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first segment was recorded on November 25, the next two on the 26th (Thanksgiving), and the second hour on the 27th (Black Friday). A pickup for the first segment of hour 2 was recorded on the 29th and the segment was re-edited. All segments were truncated from 18:45 to 18:40 on December 10.

The playlist was created and annotated on November 23.

The show was a scaled-down version of the 40-year musical journey special I had in mind for Homecoming Weekend, had there been one. Obviously, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Homecoming itself was canceled, along with the LIU Sharks football season, if not merely postponed to spring. There were plans to have an abbreviated virtual Homecoming programming block, but those were scrapped in September. (Click here to wistfully read about the 2019 Homecoming Weekend.)

Had the weekend gone on and my proposed special aired, the playlist would have looked like this. As you can see, most of what I had in mind ended up in the December 30 show. “Snake Eyes” by Grover Washington, Jr. was put in the November 11 show, and I played “Born to Be Bad” by Joe Sample on December 2. Like “Snake Eyes,” “Message to Michael” by Earl Klugh and “Strikes Twice” by Larry Carlton were included to make up for an unaired segment in the April 8 show. The inclusion of “Silverbird” by Jeff Jarvis and “Cruisin’ Down Ocean Drive” by The Rippingtons made up for the July 8 show‘s unaired segment.

My talk-up for “Going All the Way” by Nelson Rangell was inspired by Chris Berman‘s catchphrase “(and) he could…go…all…the…way!,” which he used when narrating NFL highlights on ESPN.

“That ending sneaks up on you,” my line coming out of “Aniversário” by Fourplay, was recycled from my live 2016 Homecoming show.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

I’m happy and thankful for the opportunity I was given in 2020 with Instrumental Invasion. Here’s hoping 2021 is happier and healthier for all of us.

Instrumental Invasion, 12/23/20: Christmas December 24, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Christmas, Country, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, Personal, Radio, Technology, Video.
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The December 23, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 20 and 21. Pickups were recorded on the 22nd after remembering Steve Rodby was also an alumnus of Pat Metheny Group. Originally, I only acknowledged Danny Gottlieb and Mark Egan. Another pickup was recorded on the 30th after learning that Jay Rowe recorded a newer, faster version of his arrangement of “Jingle Bells” for Jessy J, which I played in the third segment:

The first and third segments were kept at their original 18:45 length. The rest were cut down to 18:40.

The playlist was created on November 17 (my 39th birthday), then refined and annotated on the 18th.

As I’ve said in the past, I absolutely love instrumental Christmas music, dating back to its use in local forecasts on The Weather Channel in the first 25 days of December. I have a vast playlist in iTunes that I play at parties (in a normal year) and at home ahead of, and on, the special day. The 27 songs on this show were just a taste of the day’s worth of songs in that playlist.

The first song of the show, “Carol of the Toy Keyboards” by David Murray, a.k.a. The 8-Bit Guy (YouTube, website), premiered on David’s sister channel, 8-Bit Keys, on December 1, 2015:

And Lindsey Stirling has a video for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” (with over 20 million views!!!):

The name of the vocalist and percussionist on “We Three Kings” by Marion Meadows was Arto Tunçboyacıyan. I consulted this page for the pronunciation. Since recording the talk break, it now rolls off the tongue, like Krzyzewski. The name of the stringed instrument Brian Keane used was a bağlama.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

And as a bonus, here’s a liner that will be heard on WCWP today and tomorrow:

Merry Christmas!

December 16-17 winter storm December 19, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Weather.
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It had been nearly three years since I last encountered a major winter storm in the winter, and less than that since a major storm that hit in early spring. I didn’t have to shovel snow in the winters of 2018-19 or 2019-20, and the snow blower that my dad Bill bought after the January 2018 blizzard remained in the garage. As winter 2020-21 approached, that blower would finally be put to use. While checking the weather on my Weather Underground app on December 12, I saw that up to a foot of snow was forecast for the 16th. Forecasts are variable, especially days in advance, but I prepared myself for shoveling and blowing.

We ended up with a mix of snow, sleet, and wet snow between mid-afternoon Wednesday (the 16th) through early afternoon Thursday (the 17th), leaving about six inches of accumulation.

Here is a photographic timeline starting at 3:41 Wednesday:

5:05 PM:

7:36 PM:

I tried to go to sleep around 8:00, sleeping intermittently overnight.

I was up at 2:20 AM Thursday, shortly after checking the aircheck of the 9PM Instrumental Invasion, relieved that the end wasn’t cut off in automation. Here was the view from my window at that time:

After another 2 1/2 hours of sleep, I was up at 5:40 AM to take this shot:

7:55 AM:

I kept the window closed for backyard shots starting here:

9:35 AM:

The sun peaked out at 9:54:

11:08 AM, before shoveling and snow blowing:

The view from the kitchen window:

Front door:

While I shoveled, Dad ran the snow blower:

He asked if I wanted to try, but I declined.

Unfortunately, snow continued to fall as I shoveled and Dad used the snow blower. After a shower, I noticed the skies had cleared, so I attempted to shovel again after the next few photos at 12:16 PM:

The window is open again:

The snow was too dense for me to shovel entirely, so I gave up after about 20 minutes. I felt defeated, and said as much on Facebook, but was reassured by my friends and Dad. These photos were taken at 12:44 PM:

I took what I thought would be the last photo at 1:03 after Dad left for his office (he cleared off his car before he left):

When I noticed melting at 2:45, I decided to take more photos:

This is as far as I could shovel:

I took still another photo at 4:48 PM after Dad came home and my mom Lisa cleared off her car:

I’m hoping that the next winter storms are all snow and easier to shovel. I have no doubt in mind that there will be storms this winter, and my dad and I will be ready for them.

Instrumental Invasion, 12/16/20 December 17, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Video.
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The December 16, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. I did the first two segments on my 39th birthday, November 17, the third segment on the 18th, and the last three on the 19th.

The playlist was created and annotated on November 15. It was the first with 18:45 segments in mind, but also the first that I edited down to 18:40 after another instance last week where the end of a show got cut off.

During the original recording session, I cut an anecdote about my 2006 interview with Bob James from the second talk break of the show, but clipped it as an outtake:

The last talk break was the hardest to record due to Gordon Goodwin’s shout at the beginning of “T.O.P. Adjacent” by his Big Phat Band.

The inclusion of “Friday” by Dan Siegel was another make-up for the unaired segments on April 8.

I chuckled while back-selling “Castles” from David Benoit‘s Shadows album because I originally quipped “castles have shadows.” That was a victim of the 18:40 edit.

The way I said Dave Yaden‘s name was an homage to Jerry Lewis.

In case you’re wondering, here’s how my backwards talk sounded backwards:

The compact cassette iteration of the 2-XL toy robot had tapes with a right side and a wrong side. The wrong side is where I would routinely listen to backwards speech. Even the buttons worked backwards. If you had to press 1 forward, you could press 4 backward and hear the same thing. Once I had a Talkboy recorder, I experimented in the same way I did on this show. Of course, it’s much easier to experiment these days with audio editing software’s reverse option.

The WDR Big Band posted a video for “Downtown” from their Jackets XL recording session with Yellowjackets:

There’s also a CD release video:

And a five-minute sit-down interview with the Jackets:

Click here to download this show’s aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 12/9/20 December 10, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The December 9, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 11 and 12.

The playlist was created on November 9 with annotations on the 9th and 10th.

I swapped out the 1984 and earlier segment in favor of a third 2017 to present segment.

While recording the second segment on the 11th, I was informed of a change to the segment length standard, from an even 19 minutes to 18:45. I tweaked the first segment accordingly and scaled down my talk breaks for the rest of the show. To that end, some of the annotations seen in the playlist were omitted. Among them, Paul Brown‘s arrangement of “Grazing in the Grass” was #1 for Boney James and Rick Braun on their Shake It Up album in 2000. That’s why Paul’s album is called Ones Upon a Time: it’s new recordings of songs he arranged for other musicians throughout his career.

Nonetheless, the end of the show was cut off again. It was only eight seconds this time, but I’m still scaling segments back to 18:40 from now on.

Last week, I dubbed tenor sax as the “MVP” of the show since it was in so many songs. This week, it was the Hammond B-3 organ.

If you still don’t think Rio.com, the name of Alex Bugnon‘s song, is a real website, here’s proof.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 12/2/20 December 3, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The December 2, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 5 and 6.

The playlist was created on November 2 and annotated on the 3rd.

It was the last of the three shows where segments had to be edited from 19 minutes down to 18:45.

I felt like I’d hit my stride with scripting talk breaks and reading from that script, ad libbing when necessary. I liked all the callbacks, too. (Those are references to earlier in the show.)

I originally had a Game Dave liner coming out of “ReJoyce” by David Benoit, which led to a funny moment at the start of the talk break. Unfortunately, that had to be edited out a week after recording when the segment length standard was trimmed from an even 19 minutes to 18:45. Here is how that talk break originally sounded:

I worked in Lindsey Stirling‘s rendition of “Let It Snow” (or rather, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!“) because it was the best song I could find with the time remaining in that segment. That was good as I got to segue from her to Jessy J since Lindsey was runner-up in season 25 of Dancing with the Stars and Jessy is part of Ray Chew Live, the show’s house band. I neglected to acknowledge the Hungarian Studio Orchestra playing on “Let It Snow” or the “Theme from New York, New York” motif at the end.

I was eager for the release of Elevate, Will Donato‘s new album, so I could play songs from it. “The High Road” is a great start.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

And here is an unfiltered scope of the original 19-minute segment cut, including the aforementioned funny moment and the original transition from “Portal Love” by Anders Enger Jensen to “Speak Love!” by Najee: