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Instrumental Invasion, 9/28/22 September 29, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Media, Personal, Radio, Internet, Music, Baseball, Airchecks, Video, Audio, Rap.
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The September 28 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded in sequence (for a change) over three days in August: three segments (hour 1) on the 6th, one on the 7th, and two on the 8th. Pickups were recorded on the 8th and 9th.

The playlist was created on August 1, along with next week’s show, and annotated on the 2nd. The talk break script was drafted on the 3rd and 4th.

I anticipated the last talk break would run long, so I made sure to accumulate extra seconds by making the first five segments shorter than 18 minutes. The second segment ran over eight seconds, but the other four were a combined 56 seconds under. Despite having 48 extra seconds to work with in the last segment, I was short! The first and last songs went from starting as beds to starting cold, and I still had to add a liner going into the last talk break. I made up the remaining two seconds by extending the second segment.

This week’s show marked the long overdue debut of Beegie Adair and began with the Def Jazz arrangement of “Hey Young World” by Slick Rick. I know Jay Mirabile appreciated the latter.

“From Beegie to Bernie,” I couldn’t have imagined last month that playing “Just Because” by Bernie Williams would tie into his former team’s successes on consecutive nights. Tuesday night, the Yankees clinched the American League East division title, and last night, Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the season, tying Roger Maris for the AL home run record. Referencing the now-Miami Marlins tied in with another local event last night: the Mets’ come-from-behind win against the Marlins.

The first song of the last segment was the album version of “Dance Beat” by Jessy J. This means I have now played every song from Blue. Following “Dance Beat” was “One Day” by Yellowjackets and the WDR Big Band, originally heard last January 6 (I know, a bright spot on a dark day). Both songs have music videos. The “Dance Beat” video is set to its radio edit:

I thought about recording myself dancing for this video, but chickened out.

…and the “One Day” video coincided with the Jackets XL recording session:

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

Instrumental Invasion, 9/21/22 September 22, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Film, Game Shows, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Western.
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The September 21 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 24 (third and first segments) and 25 (all the rest) with a pickup on the 26th.

The playlist was created simultaneously with last week’s show on July 17. Annotations followed on the 19th and the talk break script was drafted on the 22nd. I didn’t realize I had put so many blank-and/n-blank songs in the playlist until drafting the script.

I made another cartoon reference this week – to Freakazoid! – while talking up “Primal Scream” by Maynard Ferguson. The “Candle Jack” segment of episode 2 starts with Joe Leahy announcing that the cartoon would be “presented in SCREAM-O-VISION.” The excerpt leading into “Primal Scream” had Jeff Bennett as the prompter – “scream” in deadpan – and Tress MacNeille as the screamer. The day after I recorded that segment, I learned that David Warner, voice of The Lobe, had died of cancer. Paul Rugg – writer, producer, creator, and voice of Freakazoid – reminded his social media followers of The Lobe’s musical turn in episode 14, “Dexter’s Date.” In the spirit of “Hello, Dolly!,” Lobe, Freakazoid (as Louis Armstrong), and ancillary characters (including Jeff Bennett) sang “Bonjour, Lobey“:

Regarding the Dancing with the Stars tangent I went on in the third segment, a premiere date for season 31 hadn’t been announced when this week’s show was recorded. That date ended up being earlier this week – Monday, September 19. It’s their first season on Disney+, and that platform’s first live show. As noted last night, there are two hosts again, but the dynamic has shifted. Tyra Banks remains in the lead host role originally held by Tom Bergeron with Alfonso Ribeiro (season 19 champion) in the secondary role last held by Erin Andrews. Jessy J had a tenor sax solo during one of the dances!

In a similar vein, playing “Treasure Hunt” by Dan Siegel allowed me to refer to the two iterations of the game show Treasure Hunt. The New Treasure Hunt had a great closing theme: a jazzy rendition of Elmer Bernstein‘s “Main Title” piece for True Grit.

For the second week in a row, songs made their return appearance:

In between the two songs, I played “Don’t Stop” by Paul Brown, leading to my early Mike Chimeri Show anecdote. Go to the 2:13 mark in “anecdote” for my “wouldn’t you know it, they stopped” quip. Jay Mirabile also brought it up at the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony in June.

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

For airchecking, I scheduled timer records in Audacity on my computer and the one in the guest room. The loopback recording on my computer was flawless, so I deleted the alternate guest room recording, loaded what I kept into Adobe Audition, and went through the usual post-production process.

Instrumental Invasion, 9/14/22 September 15, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Computer, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, TV.
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The September 14 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded from July 22 to 24. The fourth segment was recorded on the 22nd because I rightly anticipated it would be the longest. That was followed on the 23rd by all but the last segment, which was recorded on the 24th along with pickups. I started recorded next week’s show later that day.

An additional pickup was recorded on August 26, the day after the untimely death of organist Joey DeFrancesco, who appeared on Lee Ritenour‘s “78th and 3rd” with drummer (and future collaborator) Byron “Wookie” Landham.

The playlist was created simultaneously with next week’s show on July 17 with annotations on the 18th and 19th. The talk break script was drafted on the 20th and 21st.

Three songs made their second appearance, one of which I’ll elaborate on in the next paragraph (two weeks in a row with a false memory):

I played “Angela” in order to correct my January 19 mistake, a mistake I also made in my pre-recorded 2019 Homecoming Weekend show. Listening to Jimmy Burrows‘s memoir on Audible, Directed by James Burrows, set me straight about the “Blind Date” episode of Taxi, featuring the titular character Angela Matusa (Suzanne Kent). (Oh, Suzanne was an original member The Groundlings! No wonder she did Pee-wee’s Playhouse!) Angela wasn’t literally blind; just gruff and cynical, the opposite of her answering service persona. I don’t know where the false memory originated, but I regret the twice-told error.

Nowhere else will you get a reference to SpongeBob SquarePants after playing “Secret Sauce” by Paul Brown (adjacent to the Krabby Patty secret formula that Plankton tries to steal) or to Phineas and Ferb after playing “Candice Dance” by Richard Elliot and a song featuring guitar solos by Perry Hughes (hence, the Perry the Playtpus reference). As noted on the air, Candace Flynn spelled her name differently.

After recording last week’s aircheck on my new PC, I noticed that audio levels were bumped up when certain songs faded out or on vocal pauses in liners and talk breaks. Those bump-ups were replaced with audio from an alternate aircheck on the Dell PC in the guest room. I chalked it up to an audio enhancement setting and thought to have that enhancement off this week. Sadly, the problem was still there this week. I wasted nearly three hours figuring out how to stop that from happening. I now assume it’s related to the motherboard’s “Audio Boost 5” feature.

Finally, at around 2:45 this morning, I came across this webpage. The solution was option 2:

Don’t have a Stereo Mix option? No problem. Audacity has a useful feature that can record the audio coming out of your computer – even without Stereo Mix. In fact, Audacity’s feature may be even better than Stereo Mix, assuming you’re willing to use Audacity to record the audio. This method takes advantage of a feature that Microsoft added in Windows Vista named the Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI) [link added by me]. The feature also functions in Windows 7, 8, and 10, and helps make up for the lack of a Stereo Mix option on modern Windows PCs.

In Audacity, choose the “Windows WASAPI” audio host, and then choose an appropriate loopback device, such as “Speakers (loopback)” or “Headphones (loopback).”

Click the Record button to start recording the audio in Audacity, and then click Stop when you’re done. Because you’re using Audacity, you can easily trim and edit the sound file when you’re done.

How to Record the Sound Coming From Your PC (Even Without Stereo Mix)

It’s ironic that the solution came via free software while a program I paid for years ago – Easy MP3 Recorder 2.0 – and one I pay for monthly – Adobe Audition – are no longer useful on the new build for recording system audio.

The angst caused by the problem is the reason this post wasn’t published until afternoon. I still needed to add these paragraphs and then scope the aircheck.

Click here to download that scoped aircheck or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 9/7/22: Dan Ingram Tribute September 8, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Game Shows, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Pop, Radio, Rock, TV.
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The September 7 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was a tribute to the late New York radio personality Dan Ingram on what would have been his 88th birthday. The tribute came 18 years after I played my re-creation of his closing theme edit of “Tri-Fi Drums” by Billy May and His Orchestra (from Wild Stereo Drums) to close The Instrumental Invasion that aired on Dan’s 70th. This tribute covered most of the show. The theme was songs that start with a letter in any of the call letters of stations Dan worked for. Talk breaks were supplemented by edits of jingles, led by my mashup of a WCWP jingle with the bell at the end of the WABC Chime Time jingle:

As I said on the air, thanks to Allan Sniffen and Jon Wolfert for their inspiration. I absorbed Big Dan’s lore from repeatedly listening to archives of The Life and Times of Dan Ingram: In His Own Words that Allan produced for Rewound Radio, and Jon’s The History of Musicradio WABC Jingles, also for Rewound Radio.

The show playlist was created on July 5 and annotated on the 6th, followed by the talk break script draft that carried into the 7th.

Unlike previous weeks, the show was mostly recorded sequentially, two segments per day from July 8 to 10. I recorded the last segment before recording the fifth because I anticipated going over or cutting it close. Instead, I was 14 seconds short, increasing my surplus to 22 seconds. The fifth segment dropped the surplus to 12 seconds. In the process of recording pickups on the 10th, with 12 seconds left to make up, I remixed the second and fourth segments that I painstakingly tweaked to run exactly 18 minutes during initial recording. The third talk break of the second segment was originally speed compressed and I cut my quip about most Love Connection contestants going home solo (a false memory, as the linked entry reminds me) – playing off the name of Julian Vaughn‘s album with “Love Connection” on it. I redid the entire talk break at regular speed with the quip included. Thus, that segment went 8 seconds over and the fourth went 4 over, completing the 18-minute average I strive for.

Speaking of “love,” “jeg elsker deg” (pronounced “yale skaday”) means “I love you” in Norwegian and the “I love you” vocal in Nick Colionne‘s cover of “Hurry Up This Way Again” (on Arrival) allowed me to reference Dan Ingram’s on-air affirmation while married to Norway native Anita Strand.

Enough talk. Click here to download the (tele)scoped aircheck MP3 or listen below:

This was my first aircheck (mostly) recorded from a new computer. More about that in an upcoming post.

Bonus material:

Instrumental Invasion, 8/31/22 September 1, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel.
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The August 31 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days: two segments on July 2, three on the 3rd, and one on the 4th before intermittent daytime fireworks began. Pickups were recorded on the 4th and 5th.

The playlist was created on the morning of June 27 before the marathon recording session of the August 17 show and last week’s first segment. Annotations began on June 28, but were delayed until July 1. First, on the 28th, an opportunity arose to record the second hour of last week’s show. I was preoccupied with ripping and editing tracks from two Maynard Ferguson CD album bundles on the 29th. (The bundles contained releases between 1974 and ’79.) On the 30th, new Bluetooth reference monitors arrived and initially worked, but interference led to incessant stuttering. Plus, without a wired connection, I couldn’t record computer audio from “stereo mix.” Installing a virtual cable worked temporarily, but didn’t last. I exchanged the Bluetooth monitors for their cheaper wired equivalent, even though the ones I replaced also had wired connections. Then, I got a 6-foot male-to-male Y-splitter to run from the computer to the input jacks on the left monitor. The computer end is 1/8-inch TRS and the monitor end is dual 1/4-inch TS.

The talk break script was drafted on July 1 and 2.

I recorded the segments wildly out of sequence because I knew that the last talk break would be really long, though not three minutes long! Even by removing ancillary sentences and speed compression, the segment still ended up 57 seconds over! With that in mind, the remaining segments were recorded in order of what I presumed to be shortest. Most anecdotes and callbacks were scrapped from the script, but among those left in were the Penn State allusions: about returning from my sister’s graduation in 2005 and about the legendary 1994 season of Nittany Lions football. Their 2022 football season starts tonight (Thursday night) at Purdue!

As the playlist shows, the other segment recorded July 2 was the fifth segment, making up 13 seconds. On July 3, I worked on the third segment (adding back six seconds), fourth segment (making up 15 seconds), and second segment (making up 21). I was left with a net overage of 14 seconds, but I removed one further anecdote from the last talk break, and that allowed me to break even. All that remained was a tight 18 minutes on the 4th, which I accomplished. Hallelujah. Incidental to that first segment, Fred Wesley, the trombonist on “Theme from Good King Bad” by George Benson, was born on the Fourth of July!

For the third week in a row, I swapped out the second 2017-present segment, this time opting for a second 1985-95.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 8/24/22 August 25, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The August 24 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded in two days: one segment on June 27 (after all of last week’s show) and the other five on June 28, plus a pickup on the 29th. I haven’t recorded two shows in two days since the first two Wednesday night shows ever, back in April 2020 (April 1, April 8), and that was a stretch of six shows recorded in six days. (The talk breaks for the first and fourth show were recorded before producing multitrack segments for each segment.)

The playlist was created on June 22 and annotated on the 23rd (after finishing last week’s annotations) and 24th. The talk break script was drafted on the 26th (a day after last week’s script).

I recorded all the talk breaks for the last two segments before making their multitrack sessions, after doing the same for the first segment of hour two. I did not anticipate running short in the last segment, which required me to retroactively add 25 seconds to the first segment of the show. Thankfully, I didn’t have to record pickups.

For the second week in a row, I swapped out one of the 2017-present segments since I didn’t have much music to play from new albums. I moved the one that remained to the middle of hour 2 and added a 1996-2006 segment. To that end, this was also the second week in a row with a song from Larry Carlton‘s Fingerprints album and second show in the last three with a song from Ken Navarro‘s The Grace of Summer Light. And as it happens, I’d gone exactly 26 months between playing songs from Dan Siegel‘s The Hot Shot and 52 weeks between songs from Nelson Rangell‘s Always.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 8/17/22 August 18, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
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The August 17 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on June 27, along with the first segment of next week’s show, the most segments I’ve recorded in one day. Coincidentally, this came five days after the previous show recorded in one day aired. June 22’s show was recorded entirely on April 18, but whereas that was the last show produced before the Smooth Jazz for Scholars hiatus, this was the first show after the WCWP Hall of Fame hiatus.

The playlist was created on June 21 while I was in the early stages of what turned out to be an ear infection. COVID-19 was ruled out by two negative home tests (that day and on the 23rd), and a doctor trip on the 24th showed it was an ear infection rather than my fallback assumption of a cold. Since my voice was compromised, albeit slightly, I chose to start working on next week’s show, annotating and talk break script drafting simultaneously with the intent to record them both once I was better. (I still sounded nasal while recording.) This week’s show was annotated on the 23rd with the first two segments of the next show, and the talk break script was drafted on the 25th.

I continued the new habit of recording segments out of sequence to determine which to shorten, accommodating for ones that run long.

It was the second week in a row with only two songs in the middle segments of each hour. The “Shim Wha” gag came to mind while listening to The Dave Brubeck Quartet‘s Time Changes album on the way back from the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Marlins at Citi Field on June 18. I combined all the photos I took at that game in a slideshow that’s part of this blog post. I hope to have the slideshow of photos from last Wednesday’s game finished before October.

The “Cahla” gag for “Carla” by Peter Horvath had been in mind since watching every episode of Cheers on Netflix over a few weeks in March 2017.

Speaking of 2017, with a lack of music to play from new releases, I replaced the first 2017-present segment with another 1984 and earlier segment.

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

The aircheck includes a new promo I recorded on Tuesday.

9:10 AM UPDATE: It’s been a while since I made a mistake that went unnoticed until after airing, but I made one here. Jay Beckenstein did play soprano sax on “Captain Karma” by Spyro Gyra, but his solo was on alto.

Instrumental Invasion, 8/10/22 August 11, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Aviation, Baseball, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel.
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The August 10 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP took a week to record. While the first hour was done entirely on June 10, WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony post-production left me little time to record the second hour: one segment per day on June 13, 15, and 16.

The playlist was created alongside last week’s show on June 5 and 6. I worked on each show’s first hour and middle of their second hour on the 5th, and the 2017-present segments on the 6th. Annotations for this week’s show were written on the 7th, and each show’s talk break script was drafted on the 8th.

Once again, I recorded under 18 minutes in a given segment to allow for more time in any that run long. The first hour was recorded out of sequence, with the third segment done first so I knew how short to make the first and second. That third segment was initially 18:33, so I allowed myself to go 25 seconds under in the first and 8 in the second. When I finally mixed down the third segment, I took off a second, meaning I was still one total second under. The total increased to 13 seconds as hour 2’s middle segment was 12 short. The last talk break only had to be shortened slightly to accommodate the extra 13 for the last segment.

As I said in Sunday’s post about the Mets game I went to on June 18, I was back at Citi Field yesterday with my dad and sister. On our way home after the game, while on the Belt Parkway, I saw an Iberia plane on its final approach to JFK Airport. Then, I remembered I played “Iberia” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in this week’s second segment. It was the second of only two songs in that segment; the other was “The Epic,” a very long Pat Metheny Group tune.

In hour 2, I played Anders Enger Jensen‘s “Yamaha Reface DX and Roland CR-1000 Song.” This is the 8-Bit Keys video he wrote it for:

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 8/3/22 August 4, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The August 3 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over two days: four segments on June 8 and two on June 9. Pickups were recorded on June 12 and 15.

The playlist was created alongside next week’s show on June 5 and 6. I worked on each show’s first hour and middle of their second hour on the 5th, and the 2017-present segments on the 6th. Annotations for this week’s show began on the 6th and carried into the 7th. Each show’s talk break script was drafted on the 8th. I hoped to start recording that day, but was preoccupied with setting up my new iPhone 13 Pro.

I tried to get as many segments as possible recorded before the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony on June 11 because I knew I’d be busy with post-production afterward. I was right. While I recorded nine segments combined in two days, it took four days to record next week’s second hour.

Picking up on an idea from last week, I purposely allowed myself to go under 18 minutes in a given segment to allow for more time in one that runs long. I only had three seconds of extra time going into the last segment, but they came in handy.

The “you latched onto Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri” line coming out of the Dan Ingram liner referenced the gasser promo for WABC in 1964. (More WABC promos can be heard here.) Be sure to listen on September 7 as I pay tribute to Big Dan by playing songs that start with letters in his radio station call letters.

The quip coming out of “Take That” by Julian Vaughn – “where do you want me to take it?” – was a nod to Mark Evanier‘s great line for Binky the Clown in the “Binky Goes Bad” episode of Garfield and Friends:

Judge: Take the stand.

(Binky takes a chair and presents it)

Binky: Where do you want me to take it, huh?

Early in the show, I noted that “The Jive Samba” by The Cannonball Adderley Sextet (on Jazz Workshop Revisited) incorporated the Minsky Pickup, one of many things I’ve learned from TV Tropes.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 7/27/22 July 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Boating, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The July 27 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the fourth show in the last five with the 1-3-2 recording configuration: one segment on May 30, three on May 31, and two on June 1. Pickups were recorded on June 3, 5, and 9.

The playlist was created on May 28 and annotated on the 29th. The talk break script was drafted before recording on the 30th. I made a timing error in the last segment of the show, requiring a condensed script for the last talk break and ten extra seconds, the first time I went over 18 minutes since May 11.

Speaking of that last talk break, a week after referencing John McLaughlin‘s The McLaughlin Group sign-off, my sign-off this week referenced Chet Huntley‘s at the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report. And speaking of the first, this imperfect Google translation is what led me to assume “Dinorah, Dinorah” by Ivan Lins (covered on the show by George Benson) was about a love affair with a teacher. I listened to the original for reference and to confirm the pronunciation:

And here’s a mellower 2017 duet in a lower key:

Despite obsessive listening, I said “gene-orah” instead of “gin-orah” in the initial first segment recording before going on a boat ride with my family. I redid any references to the song when I got home. I didn’t have a boat ride in mind when I added “Boat Ride” by Jay Rowe to the third segment, but it helped that I did (recap here) because it gave me talk break-padding material. I did away with some of that padding on June 9, shaving off four seconds, to make up for going over in the last segment.

A running gag established while recording – that I missed while drafting the script – was “thing/things” and all the songs written for someone. “Our Thing” by Jazz Funk Soul has made me think of the Mafia ever since More Serious Business arrived at my door 6 1/2 years ago. (Yes, the link goes to the MP3 version.) I sincerely believe the title of Jeff Lorber‘s composition is coincidental, and that’s why I always get a kick out of it.

The June 3 pickups were recorded after learning that my friend Pete Bellotti was named WCWP’s new director of broadcasting. I came out of Earl Klugh‘s cover of “If I Fell” with a liner that Pete recorded in 2020 while only working for CBS Sports Radio. Pete is still with CBS Sports Radio, but it didn’t feel right using a liner where he only identifies from there. I replaced the liner with one Game Dave recorded, giving new significance to my Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection reference. I said the low viewership was a humbling experience, but Game Dave reminded us of the big picture last July:

I clipped the relevant portion.

Playing off what Game Dave said, I performed in front of between 43 and 190 people, depending on the Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection video (as of June 3).

The expanded talk break meant I had to move the Bernie Bernard liner up one segment and put John Commins’s liner in her place.

Just this week, Dave posted a video chronicling his month-long weight loss journey with the help of exercise video games:

The June 5 pickup was recorded after learning new information from this interview Brian Pace conducted with Ivan Lins during his 2016 Blue Note engagement:

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