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Instrumental Invasion, 8/5/20 August 8, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The August 5, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days in July.

The first segment was recorded on the 10th, the next four on the 11th, and the last two on the 12th.

The playlist was created on July 6 and annotated on the 7th with additional annotations during the recording sessions.

There was a lot of ADR (automated dialogue replacement) in the various segments, but I still forgot to acknowledge David Benoit when I was naming Rippingtons alumni in the last bit of ADR. By the time he came to me, a day had passed since submitting the show for air.

Two hours before air, my cable went out and stayed out until around 2:30 on Saturday afternoon. This means I was unable to aircheck my show as it aired on WCWP. I had to make one out of my segment files, applying the broadcast multiband compression filter in Adobe Audition.

Click here to download the “aircheck” MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 7/29/20 July 30, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Drama, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The July 29, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on the 9th.

The playlist was created on July 3 and annotated on the 4th with additional annotations while recording.

I always learn something while recording these shows. This time, I learned Kenny Loggins was the first to record “What a Fool Believes,” what a guajeo/montuno is, and the personnel on “Rise” by Herb Alpert. For “Ozark” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, I resisted the urge to reference the Netflix drama that my father enjoys.

Instead, I noted it’s the first track on side two of As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls. The title track took up all of side one.

Yes, I played versions of “Can’t Hide Love” and “Some Other Sunset” for the second week in a row.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 7/22/20 July 23, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The July 22, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 5. I would have recorded on the 4th, but various neighbors were shooting off fireworks long before dusk.

The playlist was created on July 3 and annotated on the 4th.

For some reason, while recording the second hour’s first two talk breaks, I thought Kim Waters played alto sax on “Shakedown” and Euge Groove played tenor on “Hey Boo,” but they both played soprano. As a result, I had to rerecord parts of those talk breaks.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 7/1/20 July 2, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Radio.
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***THIS IS MY 500TH BLOG POST!***

The July 1, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on May 28.

Work on the playlist began on May 20 with annotations on the 24th, 25th, and during the recording session on the 28th.

My back-sell of Chicago‘s “Elegy…” originally included an explanation of the suite’s meaning and referenced what preceded “The Approaching Storm.” I had to cut it for time, but I saved the outtake:

“Progress?” was quite jarring the first time I heard it two years ago. It’s discordant horns mixed with traffic jam sound effects and other industrial cacophony. It’s still jarring, but less so each time I listen.

I didn’t intend to have two segments of songs from one year each, but I’m proud of how it turned out.

My talk-up for “The King is Here” by Norman Brown included the line “it’s good to be the king,” which was a running gag in Mel Brooks’s History of the World, Part I. Mel uttered the line as a different historical figure in each period.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 6/24/20 June 25, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The June 24, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on the afternoon of May 26 with rerecording on June 5.

Work on the playlist began on May 19 with annotations on the 24th and during the recording session on the 26th.

I was proud to incorporate Dave Pike and Randy Waldman into the show.

I bought Dave’s Jazz for the Jet Set after listening to “Sweet ‘Tater Pie” on Spotify. I was first exposed to the song after hearing WABC-AM DJ Dan Ingram play it on his WABC-FM (later, WPLJ) show in 1967. The jazz and blues show differed greatly from the top 40 he played the AM side. The aircheck I heard can be found on the Musicradio 77 website.

As for Randy Waldman, my musician friend Nelson Rangell recommended Superheroes to me during a phone conversation the night before I bought it and Dave Pike’s album. The first song I was drawn to was the “Mighty Mouse Theme.” It made me think of a routine in Andy Kaufman’s stand-up act. As Foreign Man, he would stand next to a record player while the theme played on an LP. He would stand perfectly still until the line “here I come to save the day!,” which he would lip-sync while heroically moving his arm.

Speaking of stand-up acts, I unknowingly channeled comedian Timmie Rogers both times I said the title of Brian Hughes‘ song “Oh Yeah!” That was Rogers’s catchphrase, exemplified in this 1960s performance:

I have a feeling I’m the only DJ in North America to play Anders Enger Jensen on the radio. His music is all over YouTube – on channels like The 8-Bit Guy, Techmoan, Technology Connections, and of course, his own channel – but it needs the terrestrial treatment, and I provided it.

The end of the first hour’s second segment and all of the third had to be rerecorded on the morning of June 5. After referencing Norman Brown‘s “Something Just for You,” on the same album as “It’s a Feelin’,” my segue to the tease should have been “A Song Just for Bilbao,” but I inverted “just” and “for” and didn’t notice the mistake until a day after recording. Since it wasn’t a factual error or repeated phrase (i.e. “but first”), I initially chose not to rerecord. A week after recording, I realized I neglected to acknowledge Dave Holland, the bassist on Michael Brecker‘s cover of “Song for Bilbao.” Since there was music playing under both omissions, I had to redo the entire segment. After that, I fixed my flub at the end of the previous segment.

Unfortunately, as I feared, the redone segments were not added to automation. So, listeners heard the original “for just” and Dave Holland-less segments. The lesson here is to thoroughly check your recordings before submitting them.

Click here to download this show’s aircheck MP3, which I modified to include the corrections, or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 5/27/20 May 28, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The May 27, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was #9 overall.

The playlist was created on April 12 with annotations on the 14th, 15th, and during the recording session on the 25th.

The “woo! yeah!” excerpt I used while back-selling “Hustlin'” by Eric Marienthal is from the Wikipedia entry.

I had Pat Summerall on my mind when I said “Touchdown.”

The way I talked up Steve Cole‘s “Good News Day” was an homage to Professor Farnsworth’s “good news, everyone!” exclamation on Futurama.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 5/13/20 May 14, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Video, Video Games.
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The May 13, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the seventh show recorded. By this time, I had eschewed theme weeks in favor of five segment formats:

  • 1984 & earlier
  • 1985-1995
  • 1996-2006
  • 2007-2016
  • 2017-present

The formats can be implemented in any order and one can be used twice. In this show, and most shows going forward, that honor goes to 2017-present.

The playlist was created and annotated on April 5 and the show was recorded on the 6th. The current photo for the blog header and about page was taken after recording the first segment.

After hearing arrangements of Super Mario World music in the Splash Wave retrospective on that game and its sequel, Yoshi’s Island, I just had to seek out the game’s two-CD soundtrack album. The arranged music is on the first disc and Koji Kondo’s in-game music is on the second. My favorite arranged track is “Welcome to Mario World,” based on the title screen song, thanks to Sadao Watanabe on saxophone. Once I got my theme weeks out of the way, I found a spot for the song on Instrumental Invasion.

If you’re interested, here is the Splash Wave video:

“Welcome to Mario World” is heard during the end credits.

I like my regal talk-up for “Proclamation” by Metro at the top of the show and the risque talk-up for Spyro Gyra‘s cover of “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream. It’s also fascinating when I crack myself up as I did back-selling “Katy’s Groove” by Jay Rowe.

Click here to download the aircheck or listen below:

New header April 6, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal.
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I changed the header and about photo to reflect my current setup. Here’s the header:

Instrumental Invasion to air weekly on WCWP! March 30, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology.
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Wednesday night will mark the beginning of my first weekly stint at WCWP since the Evening Jazz era a decade ago.

Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri began life on WCWP in 2015 as a new name for my annual Homecoming Weekend show. I’ve done two shows a year: a live one on Fridays and a prerecorded show early on Sunday mornings. The name Instrumental Invasion was recycled from my WGBB-AM show in the mid 2000s.

The closure of WCWP during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a call for alumni to create original programming to run while the station was entirely automated. After receiving the blessing of WCWP Director of Broadcasting Dan Cox, I planned out six shows to record. I’ve been recording since last Wednesday and will record the last of the initial six today.

Two days ago, Dan gave me a regular slot: Wednesdays from 9PM to 11PM for at least ten weeks. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity and I thank Dan very much for it.

Make plans to listen to WCWP every Wednesday night starting April 1. If you can receive the signal, you can listen on your radio at 88.1 FM. Otherwise, go to WCWP.org or the WCWP app for iOS and Android.

In case you’re wondering, here’s my setup:

I use an Audio-Technica AT2020 XLR condenser mic with a compatible windscreen by Whisperteknik. (If that windscreen is unavailable, get one by VocalBeat instead.) The mic is connected to a Koolertron shock mount which attaches to a Neewer boom scissor arm stand. A six-foot AmazonBasics XLR male to female cable runs to a FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 USB interface. I’d been using Adobe Audition 3.0 for 12 years, but it does not take kindly to USB, regularly freezing while recording. Adobe Audition 2020 does not have that problem. I subscribed to the software early in the recording process. My shows are recorded in multi-track sessions. Airchecks are recorded and music and liners are added. The duration of an aircheck depends on how much time is left in a segment or to the next song’s post. Audition 2020 lets you record files up to 48 kHz and 32 bits, but I stick with 44.1 and 16.

Pat Contri, Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library December 2, 2019

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Basketball, Books, Education, Football, Internet, Media, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video, Video Games.
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I photographed my copy of Guide to the SNES Library shortly after completing it Sunday

Two months and one day after completing Pat Contri‘s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Librarywhich I reviewed here – my pre-order copy of the special edition of his Guide to the SNES Library arrived on my front porch.

Once again, the guide is as big as an educational textbook. Now that I think of it, this book is educational. There’s much to learn about the Super Nintendo Entertainment System within its 445 pages (plus a few pages listing Kickstarter contributors).

When I tweeted on Sunday that I finished reading, Pat wondered what my muscle gains were, considering the book’s heft. I replied thusly:

I was late in boarding the NES bandwagon, not getting a console until February 1990, over four years after its initial release in the New York Metropolitan Area. The Super NES, released on August 23, 1991, is a different story. Besides commercials, my first exposure to the console came at my friend Jessie’s house. I regularly played Super Mario World and F-Zero on her projection TV as 1991 gave way to ’92. After saving up part of the cost, my parents got a console for me and my sister Lauren in late January. In the months that followed, I spent many hours playing games, especially the aforementioned Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart (an 11th birthday present), and Mario Paint. I discovered all of Super Mario World’s exits and repeatedly watched the end credits. I would get emotional at the scene with the Yoshi eggs hatching. I successfully beat all cups in Super Mario Kart in all cc modes, and I loved the Rainbow Road theme. And as a weather buff, I had fun making radar loops with Mario Paint’s animation feature.

In nearly 28 years, I’ve amassed a collection of 46 Super Nintendo games. Reading this guide inspired me to add to that collection, at least somewhat.

Guide to the SNES Library chronicles all games released in North America and PAL territories in alphanumerical order, from 3 Ninjas Kick Back and The 7th Saga to Zool and Zoop. (Yes, those are their names.)

Pat Contri was not alone in reviewing the games. Returning from Guide to the NES Library are Asheton “Ashi” Phinney (I loved his alliteration, puns, and rhymes), Jim Evans, and Karen Niemla. The new recruits are Daniel Anderson, Daniel Greenberg, Dagan Moriarty, Kyh Yang, Alli Flanagan (who, like Pat, appeared in The Video Game Years), Pete Skerritt, and Mike Vito(12/14 UPDATE: Dagan, Kyh, and Pete also wrote reviews for the third edition of the NES guide.) Visual effects artist Yoshi Vu provided cart and hardware images, and additional cover art. The foreword was written by Jirard Khalil, a.k.a. The Completionist.

As with Guide to the NES Library, most pages in Guide to the SNES Library are devoted to two games. An image from one of the games is blurred in the background with two images from each game appearing above and below the review. The top of the page shows the games’ cartridge designs and lists their genre, release date, developer, publisher, number of players, special features, availability during the SNES’s life (from “very common” to “extremely rare”), and star rating. There are 10 ratings that range from half a star (one small star, “poor”) to 2 1/2 stars (two big stars and one small star, “average”) to 5 stars (five big stars, “classic”). Reviews can take up anywhere from a fifth of the page to a third of it, followed by the reviewers’ “reflections.” Reviewers are identified by their initials (i.e. PC, PS, AP, DG).

Eleven landmark titles with five-star ratings got full page reviews, including EarthBound, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World and its sequel, and Super Metroid. Those reviews take up more space on the page than regular half-page reviews. I only own four of the games out of those eleven, and only two that I listed here. Some five-star games only got half a page, such as Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Super Street Fighter II, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time. I have two of those, along with one that I didn’t mention. You’ll have to buy the book to find out which other five-star games were only on half a page and which got the full page treatment.

The tone of game reviews ranged from clinical to critical, but not in your face or obnoxious. I’m just glad the SNES versions of Tetris 2 and Yoshi’s Cookie weren’t treated as harshly. As I mentioned earlier, I currently have 46 SNES games, and I plan on buying some of the easier-to-obtain games in the book with ratings of 4, 4 1/2, or 5 stars to add to the collection. If they cost over $100, forget it. No Pocky & Rocky for me.

There were plenty of sports games released for the Super Nintendo that I read about. At the moment, I only have four: NBA Hangtime (which I also have on the Genesis and Nintendo 64), NBA Jam: Tournament Edition, True Golf Classics: Pebble Beach Golf Links and Super Bases Loaded. While reading about Midway games like NBA Jam, I learned who that the voice of most of those games was Tim Kitzrow. Besides NBA Jam, Tim also voiced the NFL Blitz series, which I enjoyed on the N64. He included video of an appearance on FOX Sports West on his website:

NBA Hangtime, Midway’s successor to NBA Jam, was voiced by longtime Bulls TV play-by-play announcer Neil Funk, who is retiring at the end of this season. Other TV announcers and analysts to lend their voices to sports games on the Super Nintendo are Al Michaels, Jack Buck, Pat Summerall, and of course, John Madden, to name a few.

After 400 pages of North American and PAL releases, there are chapters on special and promo cartridges, test cartridges, select games from the Japanese Super Famicom library, a look at some unreleased games (by Evan Gowan of SNES Central), and the SNES console and its accessories.

Guide to the SNES Library concludes with supplemental articles. Three of the articles were based on the authors’ YouTube videos. James Rolfe‘s “The Console Wars: SNES vs. Sega Genesis” was taken from a two-part video in 2012, which was combined into one part on the Cinemassacre Plays subchannel:

James and Pat Contri’s friendship dates back to their early days on YouTube. They’ve occasionally collaborated on videos. In fact, their latest went up on Saturday night:

Kelsey Lewin‘s supplemental article was on the Life Fitness LifeCycle Exertainment Bike, based on her video from last year:

In addition to her YouTube channel, Kelsey is the co-owner with her husband Cody of Pink Gorilla Games and co-director with Frank Cifaldi of The Video Game History Foundation. For you sports fans, Kelsey’s father is play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin. You may know him from his stints with the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers on TV, and the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Chargers, and UCLA Bruins football and men’s basketball on radio. Those and other credits can be found here.

And speaking of sports, the third article based on a video was Norman Caruso‘s Gaming Historian 2016 episode on Nintendo‘s ownership of the Seattle Mariners, which he posted as Nintendo was selling most of their shares. The episode had periodic quote readings by YouTubers, and Pat read a quote – in a sinister tone – from Fay Vincent, commissioner of Major League Baseball at the time of Nintendo’s purchase. Unfortunately, MLB forced the removal of the video, so I can’t embed it here.

As for the rest of the supplemental articles, Chris Kohler’s entry on the SNES CD-ROM originally appeared on Kotaku last September. Roger Barr, Andre Meadows, and Karen Niemla supplied original articles. It’s worth reading each article, especially the ones based on videos so you can see differences in text.

It took 19 days to read 445 pages of Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Once again, I kept a journal of how many pages I read per day. Dividing 445 by 19, I averaged about 24 pages a day. I mostly imagined my own voice in my head as I read the reviews, but I occasionally thought of certain public figures narrating them. I had Pat’s voice in mind when I read his reviews.

Guide to the SNES Library was another great read! Thanks to Pat Contri and his fellow reviewers Ashi Phinney, Daniel Anderson, Daniel Greenberg, Kyh Yang, Karen Niemla, Alli Flanagan, Jim Evans, Dagan Moriarty, Pete Skerritt, and Mike Vito.

For those that grew up with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, are collecting for it, or just want to learn about it, this book is a must. There are eight versions available for purchase ranging from $59.99 to $99.99, or $29.99 for just the digital download. I have the $79.99 special edition, but I recommend the physical/digital combo at $99.99. I should have bought that in the first place, but I didn’t mind paying an extra $10 yesterday for the digital download and paying the same price to download the NES guide. Having the books physically and digitally is the ultimate experience.

There will eventually be an Ultimate SNES Game Guide Collecting app for iOS and Android. I will update this post when it’s available.