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Instrumental Invasion, 11/23/22 November 24, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Blu-ray, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV.
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The November 23, Thanksgiving Eve Instrumental Invasion on WCWP took a while to develop, as Kenny Mayne would say. The playlist was created on September 27, annotations began on October 4 and weren’t completed until the 10th while in Staatsburg, the talk break script was drafted on the 12th followed by recording of the first hour, and the second hour and pickups were recorded a week later on October 19. I was going to record on the 13th, but my time mismanagement skills reared their ugly head, and I had a breakdown while rushing to complete errands. Thank goodness WCWP station manager Pete Bellotti talked me down. Per his advice, I suspended production on this show until after Homecoming Weekend, and production was completed on videos of two Saturday shows (Bernie Bernard; Mike Riccio and Bobby G.).

I usually have a wealth of inside information about this reference or that reference, but I’ve wasted enough time. So, click here to download the scoped aircheck or listen below:

Since writing the above text on October 19, I’ve published posts about Homecoming Weekend and what I now call the Dutchess County trip. Listening to “Far Away” by Robben Ford took me back to how far away I felt at times in the AirBNB on Connelly Drive. Watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on 4K Blu-ray on Tuesday (November 22), I realized I forgot to acknowledge Chuck Bennett’s trombone was also the “voice” of the adult Charlie Brown spoke to on the phone.

Happy Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping you get the long end of the wishbone like Woodstock (the bird, not the town half an hour northwest of Rhinebeck/Staatsburg).

Instrumental Invasion, 11/16/22 November 17, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The November 16 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded from October 4 to 6: one segment on the 4th, two on the 5th, and the last three on the 6th. Pickups were recorded on the 6th, 7th, and 10th.

The playlist was created on September 27, and annotated from the 28th to the 30th. Work on next week’s show and the backup Homecoming Weekend prerecord kept me from drafting the talk break script. By October 4, I was desperate to start recording. An opportunity to record opened up at my secondary location – the home of that heavily noise reduced audio due to the central air conditioning indoor unit running next to my desk (that probably won’t be an issue again until May). So, I attempted to record the first segment unscripted based on the annotations, but before I could record the second talk break, the opportunity disappeared. I scripted the first segment on the way home and recorded once I was home. The rest of the script was drafted on October 5 before recording the next two segments. Of course, the live HCW show (also with “Billy’s Bop” and “Forecast“) was unscripted, and I ultimately went that route for the show two weeks from now.

I needed a song to fill the gap in the fourth segment and I chose “Silver Street” by Chris “Big Dog” Davis. I didn’t know I had already played it last February 10 until cataloging on October 7 before the weekend excursion to Dutchess County. I drafted much of this blog post on my laptop at the AirBNB.

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

An automation error kept underwriting and a legal ID from running at the top of each hour. Thankfully, I only missed the first two seconds of the show open.

Postscript: Today, November 17, is my 41st birthday. My age is the same as the uniform number worn by my idol, New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver (1944-2020), who was also born on the 17th. The photos below were in a Tumblr post.

Instrumental Invasion, 11/9/22 November 10, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The November 9 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on September 26 (two segments) and 27 (four segments). Pickups were recorded on the 27th, 28th, and October 10.

The playlist was created on September 20, annotations were written between the 20th and 23rd, and the talk break script was drafted on the 23rd and 24th.

The 18:05 segment benchmark experiment is over. Next week’s playlist will have 18:10 segments in mind. It makes more sense to achieve a total of 1:49:00 than 1:48:30. I opted against remixing this show and the last two. I worked hard enough getting all the segment puzzle pieces to fit, and wasn’t about to work extra.

To make this week’s pieces fit, some ancillary information was edited out of talk breaks. The key omissions were disclaimers coming in and out of “La Fiesta” by Maynard Ferguson (cover). I suggested the listener lower their volume because of Maynard’s intense trumpeting – “you might want to lower the volume; it gets intense” – then told them afterward it was safe to raise the volume – “okay, you can turn the volume back up.” So, I apologize for any unanticipated discomfort.

For the second week in a row, the last song of hour 1 was by Beegie Adair and the last of the show was by Yellowjackets.

Kiss and Make Up” by George Benson was the latest CD 101.9 staple to air on Instrumental Invasion. (I know the station was resurrected on HD Radio and the internet, but it’s not the same.)

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

Instrumental Invasion, 11/2/22 November 3, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Film, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Politics, Radio, Sci-Fi, TV, Video.
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I replaced my thumbnail/show banner photo with a selfie taken with my new camera. You can read all about that tomorrow. (11/10 UPDATE: Read here.)

The November 2 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded and mixed entirely on September 19, the first one-day record/mix since June 27 when I worked on all of the August 17 show and the first segment of August 24. I made a timing error when remixing the third segment, which I didn’t notice until September 20. An extra liner and a pickup were required to add five seconds so that “+:13” on the playlist below was true. Additional pickups were recorded on October 10 (after returning from Dutchess County) to correct a factual error about bassist Harvie S‘s “Pyramid” composition, and then to react to a shorter replacement liner.

The playlist was created on September 10 (a day after last week’s show) and annotated on the 14th (after completing last week’s annotations). The talk break script draft began on the 16th, but didn’t resume until the 18th once production was completed on the prior show.

Incumbent Waltz” is the seventh Vince Guaraldi-composed music cue for a Peanuts special that I’ve played, and a timely one with the midterm elections next Tuesday. Here’s where you can buy those Glenn Cronkhite Custom Cases I referenced in the backsell.

Two songs that aired previously are listed below with the first air date (in parentheses) and the reason for playing again:

I originally had the 2011 version of “Altair and Vega” by Bob James and Keiko Matsui in mind last July 14, but a different timing error – miscalculating the song’s duration – required a replacement. I made up for that this week, complete with the story of Tanabata/Hoshimatsuri, a festival centered around the two titular stars. You can read the Wikipedia entry in the previous sentence, but I also recommend this short video by GTV Japan:

Coincidentally, the show last July had a Star Trek reference leading into the first song. This week’s first song, complete with my paraphrase of the opening spiel, was Maynard Ferguson’s cover of the “Theme from Star Trek.” I had no idea Larry King adopted it as his radio show theme.

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

Photos from Dutchess County trip, drive back home October 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Aviation, Baseball, Biking, Comedy, Film, Fire, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Politics, Radio, Running, Sci-Fi, Sports, Technology, Travel, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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In two of my Homecoming Weekend posts (live show, main post), I referenced a family trip to Dutchess County the prior weekend. This post is about that trip.

Back in the spring, my mom sprung the trip on me: a few of my relatives were going to run a race – The Fall Foliage Half Marathon and 5K – in Rhinebeck on the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend and we would all be put up in a nearby AirBNB. I initially panicked, worried that it would conflict with Homecoming Weekend (henceforth, HCW), but one of my alumni friends assured me the LIU Sharks‘ Homecoming football game would likely be the following weekend. And in recent years, it has been held on the third Saturday of October. My conscience was clear and I was prepared for the trip.

I assumed the AirBNB would be in Rhinebeck and my parents, sister, and I would leave for there on the morning of Friday, October 7. Instead, we were to leave in the mid-afternoon and the house was in Staatsburg. I had an extra day to prepare since I decided not to go to New York Comic Con this year, or ever again, due to my disenchantment with the event and a need to save money for paying off my PC build. (And then, a week later, I went and bought a new camera and related equipment, which I’m still trying to get the hang of.)

I have a mixed record when it comes to time management. More often than not, I mismanage my time, and that’s what I did prior to departure on Friday afternoon. In the days leading up to the weekend, I tried to get as many radio shows recorded as possible to allow for a sizable buffer of weeks ahead. I only managed to produce and record the HCW prerecord and one regular show (November 16). I finished creating the playlist for the live HCW show with only an hour to spare before leaving the house.

Annotations for the live show and next regular show (November 23) were done from my laptop during downtime at the AirBNB. It was not an easy task with constant action at breakfast time or with babies occasionally crying indefinitely, all amplified by the hardwood floors on the main floor. Most of the regular show annotations were done on Sunday evening when I had the house to myself and then in my bedroom with white noise blaring in my earbuds.

Don’t chalk this up to disdain for the experience that weekend. Overall, I had a great time seeing the sights and catching up with relatives.

My parents and I left at 3:15 Friday afternoon and drove five minutes east to pick up my sister at her apartment. Four hours of traffic and spotty cell service later, we arrived at the AirBNB on Connelly Drive in Staatsburg.

For privacy’s sake, I won’t include photos of the house’s interior or of my family, but here are two exterior shots I took Saturday afternoon:

The rest of the post is dedicated to scenery photos taken from Saturday, October 8, to the ride home on Monday, October 10.

First, two more negatives:

  • The Mets completed their unraveling by losing their National League Wild Card Series to the Padres. I found out about their game 1 loss Saturday morning, game 2 win Sunday morning, and game 3 loss seconds after it happened Sunday night. It was extremely demoralizing. I spent five months of my life believing this was the year the Mets would win their third World Series, allowing me not to care if they’d win a fourth in my lifetime. Five months of my life were wasted for nothing, including hours spent editing photos from the two games I attended. Obviously, I won’t make a slideshow of photos from that second game, which turned out to be the apex of the Mets’ season; all downhill from there. I hadn’t thrown away so many months expecting an outcome that didn’t happen since the 2012 presidential election. And I was away from home that night, too, at a family friend’s house in Rockville Centre, waiting for power to be restored back at my Wantagh home. (It was the next afternoon.) (11/1 UPDATE: Whoops, forgot to note power was lost during Sandy. I wrote about my experience here.) Incidentally, that family friend now lives an hour north of where we were and she met up with us Sunday in downtown(village) Rhinebeck.
  • In another case of time mismanagement, I hurriedly and anxiously shaved my face and neck on Saturday and Sunday, making everyone wait before we could drive to wherever we were going. I cut myself in multiple places, and contemplated going back to an electric razor after nearly 20 years of a manual razor with five-blade cartridges. My dad generously bought one for me as an early birthday present on Monday morning. As of publication, I’m still mastering it. Most of my face is easy to shave, but I can’t get all the hairs off my neck, above my chin, or below my sideburns.

Now for the photos. Saturday morning, October 8, included a trip to the Kesicke Farm Fall Festival (more alliteration) in Rhinebeck. One day after warm and slightly humid conditions, conditions were sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 50s. I brought a winter hat and light gloves on the trip, but only needed the gloves.

Returning to the AirBNB:

Sunday, October 9, brought us back to Rhinebeck. I packed my camcorder and tripod on Friday because I thought we’d be watching the end of the races Sunday. I thought wrong. I did use the camcorder Saturday afternoon to record soccer practice with my sister and our cousin. We did, however, walk up and down Market Street in Rhinebeck. That made me think of a song bearing that name by Yellowjackets from the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home soundtrack. Of course, the film was based in San Francisco, not Rhinebeck, but Rhinebeck was the location of Spyro Gyra‘s last album of original music to date, The Rhinebeck Sessions.

Another pair of road signs on the way back to Staatsburg:

While I was walking through Rhinebeck, my dad biked to and from the Ashokan Reservoir via the Ashokan Rail Trail. Those are the first two photos below. He took the third Sunday evening while everyone but me traveled to the Walkway Over the Hudson. (I stayed in Staatsburg.)

Monday morning, October 10, I spotted three wild turkeys walking through the AirBNB’s backyard. I went outside to take photos with my phone, and ended up following them several yards into the woods.

Trembling from excitement and anxiety (I wanted to go home), I shot this shaky video:

We left for Wantagh at around 10:30 AM. These photos were taken on the way to the Taconic State Parkway:

On the parkway:

I-84:

I-684 (briefly in Connecticut):

I-287:

The Hutchinson River Parkway/I-678 (supplementing my photos from May 1):

The Cross Island Parkway:

And finally, the Grand Central Parkway/Northern State Parkway:

It took less than 2 1/2 hours to drive from Staatsburg to Wantagh. After a short treadmill run to compensate for Friday’s shortened run, I tried my best to unwind. I edited Saturday’s and Sunday’s photos at the AirBNB, but took care of Monday’s photos at my remote location on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 11 and 12). After uploading the scenery photos (and selfie) to WordPress and making a rough draft of this post with only the photos, I shifted my focus to HCW (Homecoming Weekend, if you forgot) and finally wrote a recap on the 24th, publishing today, the 28th. Thank you for reading it all and I hope you liked the photos.

Instrumental Invasion, 10/26/22 October 27, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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The October 26 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded in sequence on September 17 (four segments) and 18 (two segments).

The playlist was created on September 9, following a production hiatus while assembling and setting up my new computer and drafting the subsequent blog post.

As noted in the October 5 post, going forward, annotations are made in a separate Microsoft Word document, from which the talk break script is drafted in its usual document. I never share the script, but since annotations are an extension of the playlist, I will share those. This week’s annotations were made on September 13 and 14 with the script drafted on the 15th.

This is also the first week with 18:05 segments in mind, and a desired total duration of 1:48:30. Segment 1 of hour 2 was exactly 18:05, the first exact duration since segment 2 of hour 2 on October 5.

I used the phrase “leadoff hitter” to describe the first song – “There’s No One Else” by Robben Ford – in honor of the World Series, which starts tomorrow night. I wish the Mets were the National League representative, but I’m proud of all their other accomplishments this season. (I wrote that presumptuously on September 20. On October 26, I’m writing that I’m glad the Phillies eliminated the Braves in the NLDS and Padres in the NLCS. The Mets blew the NL East lead to the Braves and lost their NL Wild Card Series to the Padres.)

The inclusion of “Spring High” by Ramsey Lewis preceded his death on September 12, but that was acknowledged in the annotations and script. With “After Chicago” by Ronnie Foster coincidentally included, I called back to Ramsey’s Cabrini-Green upbringing.

In all the years I’ve heard “Schmooze” by Eric Marienthal, I’m reminded of longtime WFAN host Steve Somers, a.k.a. The Schmoozer, a.k.a. Captain Midnight (a la the radio serial). I dialed down my impression of Steve, limiting it to his name and removing his phraseology at the start of the talk-up (i.e. “Eric Marienthal on a Wednesday night on WCWP Brookville”). This was the WCWP-FAN jingle hybrid I made:

I made sure to fade out ASAP, lest listeners think FAN is simulcasting on 88.1, even though it’s from a retired jingle package.

Then, there’s Fourplay‘s “Little Foxes,” evoking Festrunk Brothers lingo (the “foxes” part). It helped that most of the backing vocalists were women, hence my “adult foxes” tangent. Here is one such Festrunk Brothers Saturday Night Live sketch:

Air date: April 22, 1978 (source)

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

Instrumental Invasion, 10/19/22 October 20, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Weather.
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The October 19 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded (and mixed) non-sequentially on August 31 (segments 1, 5, 6) and September 1 (segments 2 through 4). Pickups were recorded on September 2.

The playlist was created right after finishing last week‘s playlist on August 25, annotated on the 27th, and the talk break script was drafted on the 30th. I was able to break even this week with a total duration of exactly one hour and 48 minutes. Starting next week, I will go to 18:10 segments, a total of 30 more seconds. This should limit the amount of dead air before automation’s fill song kicks in.

I did not expect the story of “St. Thomas” to be so involved. The Sonny Rollins interview (from April 5, 2007) where he shared the origin story is accessible via this link, but the media player disappears from sight after you start it. So, I downloaded it to share here:

He definitely wrote “Airegin,” though.

Regarding my talk-up after “Hello Tomorrow” by Larry Carlton, Lloyd Lindsay Young‘s “hello…!” bit had been circling in my head ever since a recent George Carlin documentary showed his introduction at the start of George’s 1988 special, What Am I Doing In New Jersey? I’ve said it before, but only on Instrumental Invasion can you get references like that. That goes for the MythBusters reference I made at the end of my “St. Thomas” origin story. On that series, if a myth in a given episode couldn’t be replicated, it was given a “busted” rating.

Speaking of Larry Carlton, I acknowledged that he was Fourplay‘s second guitarist, Lee Ritenour was their first, and Chuck Loeb was the third. Kirk Whalum played tenor sax on “Hello Tomorrow,” and I neglected to mention that he was the fourth member of Fourplay whenever there wasn’t a guitarist.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 10/16/22, 6AM (Homecoming Weekend) October 16, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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The second Instrumental Invasion of this year’s Homecoming Weekend block on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on October 2 (at home) and 3 (at my second location). I considered it a backup that might air, but found out last Saturday that it would air at 6AM Sunday. (Click here for a recap of Friday’s live 2PM show.)

Rather than make another theme show, I recycled the 60-year musical journey playlist from last Wednesday’s show, but with new talk breaks, rearranged liners, additional liners, and two extra songs to accommodate the weekend’s non-segmented format. The extra songs were:

Since I deleted the original Word document for Wednesday’s show, the playlist was created from scratch on September 29. Annotations were transcribed and newly made on September 30 with a revised talk break script drafted on October 1.

Time constraints in the second hour meant a few talk break lines had to be cut, including “I’ll drink to that…with a soft drink” for Jeff Golub‘s cover of “Cold Duck Time.” The first hour had the opposite problem, which meant padding it out with an extra liner and not starting some songs as music beds.

Like last year, I screencapped the complete Adobe Audition session:

Click here to download the scoped aircheck or listen below:

I left in the end of ELO Forever with Wilbury Steve (Steven Acevedo).

The unscoped aircheck is available for download on Google Drive.

Instrumental Invasion, 10/14/22, 2PM (Homecoming Weekend) (Live!) October 16, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel, Video.
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Friday’s live WCWP Homecoming Weekend show was my first live radio show in three years and the first live show of the 61-hour block (starting at 11AM, not noon)!

The playlist was created only one week before air, on October 7, shortly before a weekend excursion to Staatsburg in Dutchess County with relatives. They were in the area for a half marathon and 5K in Rhinebeck. One of my cousins ran the half marathon while my uncle and another cousin ran the 5K. I drafted this and two other blog posts, along with annotations, on my laptop at the AirBNB we stayed at. I did not draft a talk break script; a live show calls for spontaneity, albeit with annotations to work from. I ended up referencing the trip during the show.

I feel like I wasn’t my best without a script, but all that matters is what listeners thought, and they liked it. Naturally, it started with a technical glitch. Automation didn’t switch off, allowing me to go live from studio 2. I relayed the problem to station manager Pete Bellotti and he had me start the show even though the first minute or so (54 seconds) would go unaired.

I took photos in studio 2 during the latter portion of the show:

Then, I had Pete take photos of me at the controls:

He also took photos for the WCWP Alumni Association Facebook group’s communal photo album:

And I took a self-timed selfie:

Maybe I should have moved the paper in the foreground.

Continuing my another of my Homecoming show traditions, dating back to 2007, I simultaneously shot video to sync with the aircheck scope (and unaired portion). Watch below (in 4K!):

The regular scoped aircheck MP3 (also with the unaired portion) can be downloaded here or listened to below:

The unscoped aircheck (unaired portion, too) is available for download on Google Drive.

Click here to read about the pre-recorded show that aired Sunday morning. The rest of the weekend will have its own blog post on Friday Saturday. 10/27 UPDATE: Here is that post.

Instrumental Invasion, 10/12/22: Pre-Homecoming Weekend Edition October 13, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video.
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The October 12 pre-Homecoming Weekend edition Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was made in two parts. The talk breaks were recorded all at once on August 29 and the segments were mixed on the 30th. Most pickups were recorded during mixing on August 30, except for one each on September 2 and 15.

Not expecting a secondary slot this weekend, I applied its 50/40-year musical journey format to this week’s Wednesday night show. As you heard, I opted for a 60-week musical journey so I could play songs by The Jazz Crusaders in 1962 and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in ’67.

After production wrapped, I was asked if I’d be interested in a secondary slot, after all; of course, I accepted. It is slated to air at 6AM Sunday, but may air at other times since there aren’t any time-specific references. Out of laziness, I opted not to redo talk breaks to acknowledge the extra show this weekend. Surprise!

Sunday’s show will have the same music, but with new talk breaks, additional liners, and two extra songs. (10/20 UPDATE: Here’s the recap of that show and of the live Friday show.)

The playlist was created – after a week and a half production hiatus (due in part to the LI Retro recap) – on August 24 and 25 immediately followed by next week’s playlist. Annotations were written on the 26th and the talk break script was drafted on the 28th. Doing the math, you’ll notice that I went four seconds over. So be it. I’m willing to go a minute or two over my desired total duration of one hour and 48 minutes.

Many shows were on my playlist wish list for weeks and I finally got around to them here. The only retread was “Q’s Motif” by David Benoit, previously heard on June 24, 2020. “Q’s Motif” was preceded by Darren Rahn‘s “Wave of the Future,” which made me think of this Saturday Night Live sketch from October 18, 1986:

I first discovered “One More Mission” on SNL‘s “The Best of Jon Lovitz” DVD. It was also on “The Best of Phil Hartman“; it’s that good.

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

On to Homecoming Weekend!