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Instrumental Invasion, 5/31/23 June 1, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Baseball, City Pop, Comedy, Dogs, Film, Health, Horse Racing, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Religion, Sports, Thoroughbred, TV, Video, Western, World Music.
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The May 31 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the fifth in a row with talk breaks recorded in one day, and third in a row/fourth out of five recorded in one day. That day was April 10, 19 days after last week’s show was recorded. I got a cold a few days after that recording (March 25) and used the time to work on playlists for this show and the next two. Pickups were recorded on April 13, April 16, and May 5.

The playlist was created March 19, 22, and 26, then tweaked on April 1 to add a track from Keiko Matsui‘s Euphoria album released the day before. Annotations were written from April 3 to 5, and the talk break script was drafted April 8.

I played the lead single from Keiko’s album, “Steps on the Globe,” which prompted me to play a clip from “Moosylvania Saved,” the final Rocky and Bullwinkle story arc where the punchline was “spots on the globe.” This exchange between Fearless Leader (Bill Scott) and Boris Badenov (Paul Frees) occurred in episode one of four:

“That’s what my uncle came down with: spots on the globe.”

That talk break also had references to a pair of Mel Brooks films, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. The second segment’s second talk break referred to Ghostbusters and Steve Somers. The Schmoozer homage came when I said “The Square were schmoozing S-P-O-R-T-S,” Steve’s catchphrase at the start of some shows or hours of those shows.

There were three retreads this week:

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

See you at the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony this Saturday.


Instrumental Invasion, 5/24/23 May 25, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Astronomy, Audio, City Pop, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, TV, Video, World Music.
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The May 24 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the fourth show in a row with the talk breaks recorded in one day, and second in a row/third out of four to be recorded and mixed in one day. The recording/mixing date was March 22. Pickups were recorded on the night of the 22nd and mid-afternoon on the 24th.

The playlist was created March 18 with annotations on the 20th and the talk break script draft on the 21st.

The scoped aircheck before further details:

After immersing myself in Casiopea music for the first few weeks as a city pop aficionado and Japanophile (my post about the first eight days), I introduced The Square/T-Square into my musical diet. The jumping-off place was “Texas Kid” from their third album, Make Me a Star, thanks to a March 10 post in the Japanese city pop and fusion collectors Facebook group I belong to. The member commented on his post with a link to “Texas Kid” on T-Square’s YouTube topic channel:

The Make Me a Star cover model reminds me of someone I knew in high school.

I listened several times from March 10 to 17 before delving into the T-Square topic channel’s full catalog. As I type this paragraph on the morning March 23, I am up to New-S (1991). (I also have to contend with construction work and chatter in my neighbors’ backyard.) And as I type this before publication on May 25, I skipped from B.C. A.D. to FLY! FLY! FLY! and WISH.

My first impression of “Texas Kid” was that it sounded like an homage to The Crusaders. So, I made the first segment with them and The Square in mind. The song I ultimately chose, “Honky Tonk Struttin’,” tied in with the feel of “Texas Kid.” I extended the Texas theme into the second segment by including “An Evening in Dallas” by Joe McBride and “Houston” by David Benoit (told you he’d be back). All that was preceded by a nod to “The Eyes of Texas.”

“Houston” was recycled from last August 17, nine months and one week ago. It gave me an opportunity (during the talk break afterward) to work in a funny text-to-speech dub from the following Technology Connections video (at the 19:48 mark):

Here is the dub on its own:

The joke about not telling a wizard to “make me a star” lest he zap you to the Milky Way was a nod to a scene in episode 68b of Garfield and Friends:

ORSON (narrating for Booker and Sheldon): The wizard Bo ran a little restaurant at the edge of the forest where he made magic and sandwiches. Occasionally, he got his two skills confused.

(Bo, in wizard garb, stands behind the counter, wiping a glass. Roy walks in and takes a seat.)

ROY: Hiya, Bo. Make me a sandwich.

BO: Okay. You’re a sandwich, man. (Bo transforms Roy into a sandwich.) Oh, like, sorry, dude. I’ll, uh, change you back.

(Roy returns to normal, but with his face covered in mayonnaise. Wade, as The Ugly Duckling, walks in with a bag over his face.)

WADE: Wizard, you must help me. I… (He notices Roy.) Uh, why do you have mayonnaise all over you?

ROY (exasperated): Don’t ask.

U.S. Acres in “The Ugly Duckling” (originally aired October 19, 1991) – written/voice directed by Mark Evanier
Gregg Berger as Orson Pig, Thom Huge (“HUE-ghee”) as Roy Rooster, Frank Welker as Bo Sheep, Howard Morris as Wade Duck

This show also marked the first week with tracks from Les Sabler‘s Flying High CD – thank you, Dave Love (speaking of Joe McBride) – and the debut of world music duo Strunz & Farah via their Syncretic Strings album.

I went 75 seconds over, thanks to a lengthy talk break in the first segment and another 21 in the fourth segment, but with short talk breaks here and omitted tidbits there, I broke even by the last segment. (My “even” is 1:49:00.)

Recording and mixing a full show in one day is as exhausting as running a marathon. Flubs were plentiful and mouth clicks were everywhere. Adobe Audition‘s declicker only goes so far. On the plus side, I finally realized the need to orient the microphone at my second location vertically to match the sound at home.

Second location mic:

It’s unplugged because I was through recording.

Home mic with Kaotica Eyeball attached:

Back next week with more music.

Instrumental Invasion, 5/17/23: More Three-of-a-Kind Showcases! May 18, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, City Pop, Comedy, Game Shows, Internet, Jazz, Media, Personal, Radio, TV, Video.
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The May 17 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the sequel to February 8’s theme week, containing six more Three-of-a-Kind Showcases and more Bob Barker era Price is Right references (Fremantle’s Barker era YouTube channel). The show was recorded and mixed entirely on March 15, but I had to do pickups on the 16th.

The playlist was created on March 9 with annotations on the 11th. The talk break script was drafted up to the top of hour 2 on March 14 and completed between recording sessions on the 15th.

Let’s get the scoped aircheck out of the way before all the background info:

The line “I wouldn’t think of it” while back-selling “Unthinkable” by Casiopea referred to a scene in Futurama episode 2ACV03, “A Head in the Polls.” Here is the relevant portion from the transcript:

Morbo: Morbo demands an answer to the following question: If you saw delicious candy in the hands of a small child, would you seize and consume it?

Johnson: Unthinkable.

Jackson: I wouldn’t think of it.

Morbo: What about you, Mr. Nixon? I remind you, you are under a truth-o-scope.

[The truth-o-scope hovers over Nixon’s head and he starts to sweat.]

Nixon: Uh, well, I, uh … the question is-is vague. You don’t say what kind of candy, whether anyone is watching or, uh…

[He clears his throat.]

At any rate, I certainly wouldn’t harm the child.

[The truth-o-scope beeps.]

Maurice LaMarche as Morbo, John DiMaggio as Jack Johnson and John Jackson (same voice for each), Billy West as Richard Nixon’s Head

Aside from that, there were many Bob Barkerisms in my talk breaks, such as the way I teased the next segment, and the “Sir John, who cometh from the flock…?” shtick with announcer Johnny Olson. Examples can be found at the start of these two videos:

I channeled Johnny and Rod Roddy with the “something for every room in the house!” bit leading into the Fourplay and Ken Navarro showcases. I was going to end the show with a Marc Antoine Three-of-a-Kind Showcase, but my signed copy of Ken’s Love is Everywhere CD arrived on March 9. Thus, an opportunity arose to end on a new recording.

This time, four songs were retreads (again, listed in order of appearance):

And The Price is Right music cues I used were (italics are not in the video title):

For the first time in the show’s Wednesday night history, I went more than a week – two weeks – without a David Benoit song. That’s still only seven weeks out of 163. He will definitely be back next week.

Instrumental Invasion, 5/10/23: Songs Recorded Live May 11, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, City Pop, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The May 10 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was a two-day production. Talk breaks were recorded on March 13 with show mixing and a pickup on the 14th.

The playlist was created on March 7 and annotated on the 10th before going out to dinner for my mom’s birthday. The talk break script was drafted on the 11th and 12th.

This week and next week’s shows were conceived to make up for a lack of newly released music to play, but they were also fun to work on. This week, I expanded on the “almost live” theme from last May 25. There, only five songs were live recordings. Here, every song was a live recording, including Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band all the way back in 1943!

Get Up!” by the Bob Mintzer Big Band was first played back on April 15, 2020, another theme show (music from 1985 and 2015).

This was the sixth show without a David Benoit song, but he did appear in “Weekend in Monaco” by The Rippingtons.

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

Next week, six more Three-of-a-Kind Showcases!

Instrumental Invasion, 5/3/23 May 4, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, News, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The May 3 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on March 8, the first one-day recording since February 1 for the third anniversary show (airing March 29). Pickups were recorded on the 8th (after principal recording) and 9th, with an additional pickup on April 17 after learning Ahmad Jamal had died.

The playlist was created on March 1, except for the last segment on the 4th. Annotations followed on the 6th and the talk break script was drafted on the 7th.

My “May the Third be with you” at the top of the show was a nod to Star Wars Day the next day (today). Playing off the franchise catchphrase “may the force be with you,” the greeting on May 4 is “May the Fourth be with you.” One May 5, I joked “Cinco de Mayo be with you” on social media.

I played two Casiopea songs, one from their second album and one from their latest. To that end, language and travel came up a lot.

The language part allowed me to recite words and names in their native dialect. Whole sentences were another matter, which is why I leaned on Google Translate for my Spanish description of “Del Corazón.” (I wrote this paragraph on March 9, a month before I started learning Japanese, as noted in last week’s post.)

The travel part was highlighted by “I Love New York” (from Casiopea’s Super Flight [transliterated Sūpāfuraito, per my talk break]), “Tappan Zee” (from Bob James‘s BJ4), and “Chattahoochee Field Day” (from Patrick O’Hearn‘s Eldorado).

Speaking of John Patitucci and his Brooklyn project evoked memories of visiting my great-grandparents in Midwood. Here is a photo from one such trip:

I forget if the allowance I’m proudly holding was from Grandma BeBe or Aunt Tessy.

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

8:35 AM UPDATE: Oh, I forgot I made a Don Sebesky reference. He died on Saturday.

Instrumental Invasion, 4/26/23 April 27, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Anime, Audio, City Pop, Education, History, Idol, Internet, Japanese, Jazz, Language, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, VTuber.
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The April 26 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP went on the air at the end of the station dinner for students and alumni. The dinner was held at The View Grill, located off Long Island Sound in Glen Cove. I listened to much of the first hour during a ride home from my parents. Mom took a photo of Dad’s infotainment system while tuned to 88.1 FM:

3:47 PM UPDATE: Here’s a photo I took with my camera:

I caught the rest at home.

I have a lot to say, so I’ll get the scoped aircheck out of the way here:

The show’s playlist was created on February 24, annotated on the 27th and 28th, scripted on the 28th and March 1.

For the first time since December 7, I recorded out of sequence. Segments 6, 1, and 3 were recorded on March 2, followed by segments 2, 4, and 5 on March 3. I wanted to get the last segment out of the way because of the mammoth talk break that expounded on my city pop discovery, including excerpts of “4:00 A.M.” by Taeko Onuki and of the Caitlin Myers English version. My hunch was right, but I only managed to go 69 seconds over, plus another three seconds in the first segment where I first discussed city pop vis-à-vis Casiopea. I had little trouble compensating, completely making up for the overage over the last four segments without remixing.

After recording a quick pickup for the second segment on March 4, I redid the entire last talk break on the 5th. Taeko noted in a 2017 interview that Stuff drummer Chris Parker played on Sunshower, her precursor to Mignonne. Eric Gale was in Stuff. Maybe it was him. I bought a 2008 CD reissue of Mignonne on Amazon, planning on scanning the presumably Japanese liner notes once it arrived on March 6 and translating the text in the scan. Hedging my bets, the full talk break record said the soloist was Eric. Then, I did an alternate tack-on where I said it wasn’t. I played part of the solo in each.

Served me right for not noticing Discogs’ entry for Mignonne‘s 1989 CD reissue with its English credits. Nope, not Eric. It was Tsunehide Matsuki. I canceled the Amazon CD order, cited the Discogs ’89 CD credit, tacked that onto the earlier redos, and called it a night. I did one more pickup for this redo on March 7 because I was unsure of whether or not Caitlin Myers had more city pop adaptations in the pipeline. I did a separate pickup for the first segment on the 7th, with the precise Japanese transliteration of Casiopea, and a pickup for the top of hour 2.

For posterity, here was the original last talk break with all my nervous energy:

The redo where it was Eric Gale (and the Caitlin YouTube channel plug):

Not routinely, Mike.

The redo tack-on where it wasn’t Eric:

Read about my early city pop journey in this blog post.

I’ll still include the relevant city pop videos, starting with the original “4:00 A.M.” by Taeko Onuki (or Ohnuki):

Referred by this video

As Lou Monte would say (in “Lazy Mary”), the “British” version by Caitlin Myers (from the U.S.):

And T2norway‘s video about Casiopea:

Again, I’ll excuse the mispronunciations of Harvey Mason and Lee Ritenour.

[Removed on 5/3]

April 15 portion joined in progress:
Caitlin’s anime dubbing background inspired me to sign up with CrunchyRoll and watch select anime series. I started with the second season of Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, featuring Caitlin as the introverted Shioriko Mifune, who slowly comes out of her shell as the season progresses. At first, I wondered “why the hell am I watching this?,” but by the third episode, I was hooked. So, now I can add idol/virtual idol to my diverse musical interests. (What I play on Instrumental Invasion remains my primary interest.) Incidentally, the English dub does not account for songs, meaning episodic numbers and the opening and closing themes are sung by the original seiyuu (Japanese voice actors).

On March 28, YouTube recommended a Ruri Ohama video, which led to a recommendation of a compilation video by JapanesePod101.com. After watching several of those compilations, I took the plunge by subscribing to the site itself and taking various courses. JapanesePod101.com is a division of the Franklin Square-based Innovative Language Learning. I always feel a sense of pride when I come across a Long Island-based company, past or present. Concurrently, I subscribed to Mochi real Japanese (Mochi Sensei) to learn Japanese from her videos. The teaching styles differ, but that’s okay.

[Removed on 5/3]

Back to what I wrote on March 3:

Ever since I watched Cronkite Remembers on DVD in the 2000s, I’ve had the introductory narration to Walter Cronkite‘s You Are There in my head. “We Were There” by Jazz Funk Soul always jogs my memory, but I never thought to play it on Instrumental Invasion until this show. The way I did the talk-up is how I’ve said the title to myself.

Knee Deep in Rio” by Maynard Ferguson and Big Bop Nouveau was the song I moved from last week after realizing I wrongly placed it in the 1985-97 segment.

Robben Ford‘s “Magic Sam” was originally played on October 19 before I knew of the eponymous blues musician. Back then, I assumed it was about a magician, and I said that he “disappeared” as Jay Mirabile’s liner played on the fade out.

Tomorrow, I travel to Milford, Connecticut, to attend and photograph Smooth Jazz for Scholars. Wish me luck.

6:11 PM UPDATE: [Removed on 5/3]

Instrumental Invasion, 4/19/23 April 20, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sports.
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The April 19 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was another 4-2 recording with four segments recorded on February 25 and two (plus pickups) the next day, on the 26th.

The playlist was created on February 11, but tweaked on the 13th when I inadvertently put a 1998 song in the first 1985-97 segment. That song will be part of next week’s show. Annotations started on February 14, but weren’t completed until the 22nd. The talk break script was drafted on the 21st and 24th.

There were three retreads, all from 2020:

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

And why not post the Unified jingle?

Instrumental Invasion, 4/12/23 April 13, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Astronomy, Audio, City Pop, Computer, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sci-Fi, Technology, Video, Video Games.
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The April 12 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on February 22, the day after my city pop journey began.

The playlist was created February 8, except for the last segment on the 10th. Annotations started on February 14 and finished on the 15th. The talk break script was drafted on the 21st.

This is the third week in a row with two Chick Corea songs, and second where the first song was followed by an Earl Klugh song.

I expanded my Maynard Ferguson collection with three of his latest albums, debuting this week. Maynard and Will Donato covered different songs with the same title: “I’ll Be Around.” One was the Alec Wilder standard, the other by The Spinners. Of course, last week, I played two versions of the same song: “Sunrise” by Chet Atkins.

Fourplay‘s “Aniversario” was originally played on December 30, 2020, and Najee‘s “Bounce” was first heard on August 10, 2022.

I had the opposite problem of last week, ending up two minutes and 30 seconds under after five segments! Thus, I filled the void with an extra song and reworked the final talk break. That song was David Murray’s 8-Bit Keys arrangement of “The Unknown Planet” by John Keating (or Johnny Keating), as adapted by Rob Hubbard for the video game Warhawk. In my haste, I forgot I played a Cedar Walton song (“The Early Generation”) in the first segment that featured Freddie Hubbard, so I didn’t emphasize Rob’s first name. Here is the accompanying 8-Bit Keys video:

The plan worked too well and I had to give back five seconds in the fourth segment. Either way, the last segment was the longest I’ve ever produced: 20 minutes and 45 seconds, breaking the old record set on January 4.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 4/5/23 April 6, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The April 5 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on February 19 (four segments) and 20 (two segments). Pickups were recorded on the 20th and 22nd.

The playlist was created hour by hour on February 3 and 4. Annotations didn’t come until February 14 and the talk break script was drafted on the 18th. I made two one-minute timing errors that escaped my eye until recording, a combined two minutes over. As the playlist PDF shows, I was able to break even after much maneuvering.

Sign of the Times” by Bob James was first played on June 2, 2021, and “Drive Time” by David Benoit was recycled from the second Wednesday night show – April 8, 2020, 156 weeks ago.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 3/29/23: Third Anniversary March 30, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Weather.
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The March 29 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP marked three years since my Wednesday night premiere! The show was recorded entirely on February 1. Pickups were recorded on the 1st, 2nd, and 9th (after learning Burt Bacharach had died). Thus, I’d recorded three shows in four days, my fastest output since recording the first six shows on consecutive days in March 2020.

The playlist was created on January 21, a day after the two prior shows (March 15, March 22), and annotated on January 25 and 26. The talk break script was drafted January 28.

I padded out the last talk break of the show with more information regarding the midnight sun while back-selling the Ahmad Jamal version ofMidnight Sun.” With 33 seconds left to fill, I redid the third segment’s talk breaks at a slower pace and swapped the short Jeff Kroll liner in the first segment for the longer “smile, Mike!” liner. I reinstated the short liner a week later to compensate for the Burt Bacharach acknowledgment.

Following in the tradition of anniversary shows past (first, second), the hour 1 format was 1984 and earlier – with songs from 1967 to ’83 – and hour 2’s format was ’85 to ’97 – with songs running the gamut, just like last year.

The underlying theme was songs with April in the title, seeing how the Wednesday night premiere aired April 1, 2020. It was the second week in a row with a version of “April Fools” by John Favicchia.

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

8:35 AM UPDATE: Whoops! I left in an error. April 1 is Saturday, not Friday.