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Instrumental Invasion, 12/28/22 December 29, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Christmas, Computer, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, New Year, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The December 28 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 17, my 41st birthday, and 18, followed by pickups and remixing. An additional pickup was recorded on the 19th.

The playlist was the third of three created between November 7 and 9. I created it solely on November 9, started annotating on the 9th and finished on the 12th, with the talk break script drafted on the 15th and 16th.

For the second year in a row, I played Christmas-adjacent songs the week after the Christmas show. “December Dream” by Fourplay was originally in mind for last week, but I replaced it to allow for a longer third song in its intended segment.

For the second show in a row, I played two versions of the same song, ending each hour with “Auld Lang Syne“; first by Kenny G, then by Jessy J. Yes, I know J is technically not her last initial, but for poetic license, it was in this show.

All of the last three shows have had segment gaps filled by songs less than three minutes long. And speaking of last initials, I searched my blazers for a suitable (no pun intended) nickname to go with “Armani B” by Brian Simpson. Jos. A. Bank made the most sense; ergo, “Joseph A. Bank M.” By the way, I bought a CD copy of Closer Still just before publishing this post.

Busta Move” by Julian Vaughn was originally played on August 17.

I’m still not finished listening to my iTunes Christmas music playlist, which I’ve been listening to incrementally since early November. I got through big portions of it during a Christmas Eve party and then on Christmas Day at home, but there were over a hundred songs left. I’ll update this paragraph once I finish. 1/2/23 UPDATE: I finished this morning.

Mid-November Mike (another nickname) could not have foreseen a historic winter storm, an explosive cyclogenesis (“bomb cyclone” in media hype lingo), when he included “Black Frost” by Grover Washington, Jr. to fill out the first segment. Crazy as the storm and aftermath were here on Long Island – southwest winds ushering in cold air?! – it was much worse elsewhere, particularly in Buffalo! Here, temperatures plummeted from the mid 50s (Fahrenheit) to the single digits! That meant there was black frost ice on the roads, and patches of ice on the sidewalks, from floodwaters brought on by rain and coastal flooding. I haven’t talked to Ryan “A Ripping Good Time” Grabow since the storm, but I know from its Wikipedia entry (first link) that Central Florida – where he lives and works for the Orlando Fox affiliate – had a period of sleet and snow flurries in on Christmas morning! (Okay, enough exclamations.) Christmas also marked record cold highs for Fort Lauderdale and Miami: 49° and 50°F, respectively. Reading that took me back to similarly cold Christmastimes in 1989 and ’90 in Crystal Beach, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area; not to mention how cold it was outside LaGuardia Airport before flying to Tampa in ’90. Maybe weather conditions are cyclical.

I’m further reminded of a video I watched on YouTube five years ago that exemplified the cold Christmastime in ’89: the start of NBC Sports coverage of the Miami Dolphins’ Christmas Eve regular season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at then-Joe Robbie Stadium in not-yet-incorporated Miami Gardens. As you’ll see in the video below, the game time temperature was 39° with gusty northwest winds. No wonder it was dubbed The Miami Ice Bowl.

Yes, that was “Carol of the Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller (from A Fresh Aire Christmas); yes, that was Charles McCord announcing (“NBC Sports presents…”); and yes, John Tesh‘s “Gridiron Dreams” was the NFL on NBC theme song.

Anyway, click here to download the last scoped Instrumental Invasion aircheck of 2022, or listen below:

See you in 2023!

Smooth Jazz for Scholars 2023 (20th anniversary!) dates/lineup December 22, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Uncategorized.
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Last Wednesday, keyboardist Jay Rowe officially announced the dates, lineup, tickets for his 2023 Smooth Jazz for Scholars. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this two-night event in Jay’s hometown of Milford, Connecticut, benefits the city public schools’ music department. I’ve been on hand for all but one show since 2007.

Here was Jay’s official announcement:

JJ Sansaverino is making his debut at Scholars, but the other seven headliners have been here before. It will be Ken Navarro‘s first time back since 2011 and Kim Waters‘ first appearance since 2014’s first night.

Repeating the information about the 20th anniversary of Smooth Jazz for Scholars:

Friday, April 28
Chieli Minucci
Ken Navarro
Nelson Rangell
Marion Meadows

Saturday, April 29
Jessy J
Paul Taylor
Kim Waters
JJ Sansaverino

Location:
Veterans Memorial Auditorium in the Parsons Government Center
70 W. River St.
Milford, CT 06460

Tickets: $50 for one night, $85 for both nights

General admission tickets can be bought through Eventbrite, but reserved seating must be ordered by writing a check to:
Jay Rowe
P.O. Box 3723
Milford, CT 06460

I’ll end this post with recaps of the first night and second night in 2022.

Instrumental Invasion, 12/21/22: Christmas December 22, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Christmas, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, Personal, Radio.
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The December 21 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the third annual Christmas special. All segments were recorded on November 16, the eve of my 41st birthday, making this the first show recorded in one day since November 2 (September 19). Pickups were recorded on Thanksgiving, November 24.

This show’s playlist was the second of three between I made November 7 and 9. It was created November 7th and 8th, annotated on the 9th and 11th, and the talk break script was drafted on the 14th and 15th.

Principal recording was a pain in the sleigh bells. I struggled with every segment’s second and third talk break. It was a Christmas miracle when I reached the end. I used up the entire 58-second surplus accrued in the first hour. That meant I had to tightly edit the second hour talk breaks, run short liners, and start some songs as beds, including the last song.

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

Not included in the scope was a new community calendar I voiced and produced on Saturday (as I was getting over the flu):

The music bed is Vivaldi‘s “Winter – Concerto In F Minor, RV 297 Op.8, No.4, II. Largo” performed by violinist Gil Shaham and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. I received Shaham’s Four Seasons CD (with CD-ROM bonus material) for Hanukkah in 1995 after falling in love with excerpts throughout the year during local forecasts on The Weather Channel. I played “Winter I (Allegro non molto)” on my second Wednesday show ever, April 8, 2020.

And here is hip harpist Deborah Henson-Conant’s website, referenced after playing “We Three Kings of Orient Are.”

Merry Christmas.

Festival of Games 2022 recap December 16, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Aviation, Christmas, Game Shows, History, Internet, Media, Military, Personal, Photography, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Last year’s Festival of Games (the first)

Last Saturday, the second annual Festival of Games was held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum along Museum Row in East Garden City. The so-far one-day spinoff of Long Island Retro Gaming Expo (read about the 2022 LI Retro here) was my latest chance to walk and snap photos in as many sections as possible. Then, back to the vendor halls to add video games to my multi-console, multi-generation collection.

Thanks to my past recaps, I have made friends with the organizers, volunteers, and a week before this Festival of Games, the museum’s director of marketing and community relations, Jerelyn Zontini. I’m honored to know them and to promote special events like this.

I did not think to check the Festival of Games website for this year’s schedule, so I missed out on the panels in the main stage (planetarium) and classes in the classroom, but I saw everything else on offer, and was surprised to meet legendary collector, YouTuber, and streamer Pete Dorr at his vending table. More on that later.

To photograph the event, I brought my Canon EOS R7 with RF-S 18-150mm lens and Speedlite 430EX III-RT. When writing about my initial experience with the mirrorless camera, I did not lower the resolution on test photos. Considering the camera’s higher native max resolution (6984×4660) with the same 3:2 aspect ratio as my previous camera, it made sense while editing Saturday’s photos to increase my default blog post/social media resolution. Thus, going forward, photos will be no lower than 2000 pixels vertically, stepping up from my max horizontal resolution of 2600 pixels.

Again planning on a two-hour stay, my mother dropped me off at 12:43 PM:

Once inside (and having my bag searched), I presented my e-ticket printout to a box office attendant who stamped my left hand.

A promotional banner for the first leg in what’s now my annual triple crown: Cradle-Con:

I bought my weekend pass for Cradle-Con Monday afternoon. No more New York Comic Con for me. I was already disenchanted with them last year, but went anyway and had a good time. The uncertainty and last-minute additions this year were my tipping point, as noted in the third paragraph of my Dutchess County trip post. I’m optimistic that I’ll have a much better time at Cradle-Con.

Each section I walked through at Festival of Games has a dedicated photo gallery. We start with the vendor hall gallery:

The board game section:

In all the years I’ve been inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum, I never observed its exhibits. I rectified that after passing the board games section.

MY ANSWER: Most of them, thanks to my proximity to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The planes are either on final approach or just took off. I also see general aviation aircraft coming to or from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, which is even closer to my house.

Back to video games in the free play area:

Tournaments:

On to the second floor:

Of course, most of the arcade games were housed on the Air & Space hall sky walk:

I chose not to play any of the arcade games or free play console games. I just wanted to buy games, and where better to start than at Pete Dorr’s table? I didn’t introduce myself to him right away, but he approached me after a few minutes of rummaging. That’s when I complimented him on his work. I ended up buying five Sega Genesis games from Pete’s table, which he gave me a great discount on. Then, we posed for a photo:

An hour of vendor-hopping yielded 42 games in all, including seven imports! Four games were for the Family Computer (Famicom) and three were for the Super Famicom. Final Fantasy V was a timely get as GTV Japan posted a retrospective the day before (last Friday).

Satisfied, I proceeded to the parking lot for my mom to pick me up.

Back at home, I spent nearly two hours photographing my pickups, removing price stickers, and cataloging the games.

Now, photos of all pickups by console, starting with Family Computer (Famicom):

Super Famicom:

Nintendo Entertainment System:

Yes, I passed on Deadly Towers again.

Super Nintendo:

I didn’t notice a crack on the upper left of Tecmo Super NBA Basketball until cataloging later. I bought a better condition cart on eBay Tuesday night and put in an offer for another Looney Tunes game, Speedy Gonzales: Los Gatos Bandidos. I bought that on Wednesday when my offer was accepted.

Sega Master System:

Now, I have the original Zillion to go along with the sequel I bought last year.

Sega Genesis (Mega Drive outside North America):

And one Nintendo Wii game: The Price is Right: 2010 Edition:

That last pickup was the culmination of all the time that I spent this year watching various winning pricing games and showcases from the Bob Barker era of The Price is Right, and with my resulting renewed obsession with Barker era music cues, many of which can be found on this YouTube channel.

It was another successful and enjoyable Festival of Games. Thank you to Pete Dorr and all the vendors I bought from, to the LI Retro staff including George Portugal (who I saw on Saturday), and to Jerelyn Zontini. It was great to meet her in person after she connected with me on LinkedIn a few weeks ago.

Until Cradle-Con.

Instrumental Invasion, 12/14/22 December 15, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video.
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The December 14 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded sequentially between November 13 and 15: three segments on the 13th, one on the 14th, and the last two (plus pickups and remixing) on the 15th.

I created the playlists for this week and the following two weeks between November 7 and 9. This one was created solely on November 7, and annotated on the 9th and 10th. The first hour of the talk break script was drafted before recording on the 13th and the second half on the 14th.

Let’s Get Down Tonight” by Adam Hawley was originally played last December 8.

River Waltz” by Yellowjackets wasn’t the only song crossed off my airplay wish list. I kept hearing “Pass It On” by Jeff Golub on SiriusXM’s Watercolors channel, but neglected to remind myself to put it in a show until this week. Here is the Instagram account for River Mae the Lab that inspired me to play “River Waltz.”

As noted during the show, “My Latin Lady” was one of a few songs by After Five excerpted during local forecasts on The Weather Channel (example). Discogs confirms they were After Five, their album was Jazz Expressions, and it was a printing error that led me and the internet (and me on the internet) to think the album was Expressions and the group was After Five Jazz.

Since I referenced Dancing with the Stars, what with all the dance-themed songs, I’ll note that season 31‘s semifinals aired during production of this week’s show. The finale, airing a week later, concluded with Charli D’Amelio and her pro partner Mark Ballas winning the Mirrorball Trophy.

Click here to download the scoped aircheck of this week’s show or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 12/7/22 December 8, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Christmas, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV, Video.
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The December 7 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded out of sequence on November 5 and 6. I did segments 1, 3, 5, and 4 on the 5th, and 6 and 1 on the 6th. Pickups were recorded on the 6th and 7th.

The playlist was created on October 28 alongside the one for last week. Annotations began on October 29 and didn’t resume until November 3. I went back to a script this week, which I drafted on the 4th and 5th. I’d have done it all on the 4th, but I had errands to run, including shipping the last of my eBay items referenced in my new camera post.

Like last week, I chose to record out of sequence so I could get the presumably short segments out of the way and bank time for the ones I expected to run long. Also like last week, I was still short after principal production, having to make up 15 seconds by reinstating my “fun fact” about Lynne Scott being friends with Laraine Newman.

The Futurama reference after “Robo Bop” by Fourplay dates back to an episode of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection, my short-lived YouTube series. The excerpt I played was from this video (the title sequence for episode 4ACV17, “Spanish Fry”):

The November 7 pickups were for the second segment after missing an opportunity to link Amy Poehler and Laraine Newman as Saturday Night Live alumnae (that show has come up a lot lately) and memoir authors (Yes, Please and May You Live in Interesting Times). I met Laraine at New York Comic Con in 2019:

There were more callbacks to Homecoming Weekend this week. I returned the favor to Jett Lightning after he played the original “Blue Train” on his Sunday show, and I played two songs that were on my live Friday show. The songs are the respective artists’ current singles and previously heard on the regular Wednesday show (original air dates are in parentheses):

I was told not to play music from Lisa Hilton‘s new Paradise Cove album until after its release date last Friday. Since the title track shares its name with a favorite Russ Freeman composition, I bookended the show with each “Paradise Cove,” marking Lisa’s album’s debut on the show.

I referenced the Dutchess County trip yet again, doing so after “El Swing” by Hudson.

My “beat Army” line after acknowledging Dan LaMaestra‘s tenure with the U.S. Navy Band was coincidental. I forgot the annual Army-Navy [football] Game is this Saturday.

The Dan Ingram joke about Jack Jones stemmed from Dan’s backsell of “The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” on June 25, 1966 (heard in Rewound Radio’s The Life and Times of Dan Ingram: In His Own Words):

I slowed the clip down three percentage points to the correct speed.

I excluded the 1984 and earlier segment to allow for an extra segment of music from 2022 releases. The Hudson song filled a gap.

Excluded for only the fourth time in 140 shows was David Benoit. He will be back next week.

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 11/30/22 December 1, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Dogs, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Pets, Radio, Travel.
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The November 30 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded out of sequence between October 31 (Halloween) and November 2. Three segments were recorded on October 31 (first, fifth, third), one on November 1 (second), and two on November 2 (fourth, sixth) followed by pickups.

The playlist was created alongside next week’s show on October 28. Annotations began on the 29th and were completed before recording on the 31st. To keep up my four-week buffer, I did not write a talk break script, going by annotations instead. Ironically, that made raw recordings longer as I searched for the right words to say.

Tickle Time” by Herb Alpert makes me think of a video posted to Briar the Lab’s Instagram page: “Chomp the [imaginary] pickle. … Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle!”

This week and next, I include(d) songs that were played on my live Homecoming Weekend show (also unscripted). This week, it was “Pioneer Town” by David Benoit and “Eddie’s Groove” by Gerald Albright. Those songs were previously played on Wednesday nights – April 20 and July 27, respectively. I was unaware “November’s Child” by Special EFX was their latest single when I made the live show playlist on the afternoon of October 7. I found out via Watercolors during the car ride to Dutchess County that evening. I almost forgot to include it this week, but as you heard, it was the last song of November.

As you also heard, Bernie Bernard played “Time Out of Mind” by Steely Dan during her show after the Homecoming football game, hence its inclusion this week. I did not expect to find my description of the song’s antagonist so funny while backselling Grover Washington, Jr.’s cover, but the reaction speaks for itself. It’s funnier to call him a “pretentious, pseudo-religious” meshuggener (crazy person) than to end on the word “crank,” as Stewart Mason did in his review (per the “music and lyrics” section of the Gaucho Wikipedia entry). Next week, a nod to Jett Lightning’s inclusion of “Blue Train” in his show. (Read about the entire weekend here.)

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

Bonus: the post-“Pioneer Town” (get it, Post Pioneers?) excerpt of a Jeff Kroll touchdown call from the 2017 Homecoming football game: