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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, 10/13/21 October 14, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sci-Fi.
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The October 13 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was another 3-2-1 recording. The first hour was recorded on August 26, two second hour segments on the 27th, and the last on the 28th. Pickups were recorded on August 28 and 29, and September 1.

The playlist was created on August 25 and annotated on the 26th. The script was drafted before recording the first hour and then before the first two of the second hour.

There were no references to Homecoming Weekend because it was unknown at the time if it would even happen. The release of the weekend’s schedule on September 1 allayed my fears. For the first time since 2014, I only have an overnight pre-recorded show. The theme will be music from musicians’ latest albums.

The Hall of Fame ceremony, which would have coincided with Homecoming Weekend, was moved back to its traditional month of April.

10/20 UPDATE: Here is my recap of the weekend, culminating in WCWP’s 60th anniversary broadcast.

Getting back to the 80th Instrumental Invasion, after playing “Ballad of the Whale” by Yellowjackets, I finally got to reference the scene in Star Trek IV that there was no time for back on June 2. I almost met William Shatner last Thursday at New York Comic Con and saw a livestream of George Takei‘s panel the day after I attended. You can read about my experience here.

Ironically, in a later segment, I had to cut an anecdote about my cousins in the Pacific Northwest – I’ve only seen them when they visit the East Coast – and an assumption about The RippingtonsBuilt to Last album that entries on Wikipedia and Discogs disproved.

“Sunset Passion Juice” by Special EFX had been a single for a while leading up to recording, but the mellow sound made me reluctant to play it…until this show.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

For the second week in a row, the aircheck includes my show promo.

Instrumental Invasion, 8/11/21 August 12, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sci-Fi, Technology, Video.
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The August 11 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first hour was completed on July 1 with two second hour segments recorded on the 2nd and the last on the 3rd. Pickups were recorded on the 3rd and 4th (in the morning, before intermittent fireworks began).

The playlist was created and annotated, and the script drafted, entirely on June 30.

Since I was eager to play the McCoy Tyner Big Band version of “Fly with the Wind,” I swapped out the 1984 and earlier segment for a second 1985 to ’95 segment.

Some segments ran short, others were a little too long. In the last talk break, I forgot to acknowledge Trevor Neumann in the horn section of “Wayman” by Steve Cole.

I had the talk-up for “I’ll Love You Later” by Jay Rowe in mind ever since he played a solo piano version last year during one of his Facebook Live streams. For the sake of example, here’s his stream from May 25 of this year:

There’s a reason I played “Godzilla” by Nelson Rangell. While I have never seen a Godzilla film, not even the latest, I appreciate the franchise. I owe my appreciation to James Rolfe‘s explanatory 2019 Cinemassacre video, “Godzilla for Beginners”:

His spoiler-free review of Godzilla vs. Kong on March 31 set me up for if I ever watch it:

One more thing: Last Friday, James posted a behind-the-scenes video regarding his recent Angry Video Game Nerd episodes. That included outtakes from Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown, the first episode of 2021. The outtakes inspired me to clip them and add “Floaters” from the YouTube audio library, which is heard at the end of Technology Connections videos, to play underneath. For fans of that channel, “Floaters” has become synonymous with “le bloops,” bloopers from a given video. It came out this way, complete with Technology Connections-inspired captions:

As for this week’s show, click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 7/14/21 July 15, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sci-Fi, TV.
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The July 14 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on June 3. It was the first show recorded in one day since January 6, which was recorded four weeks earlier on December 9.

The playlist was created and annotated, and the script was drafted, on June 2, one day before recording.

In all, I worked on three shows in 12 days, between May 23 and June 3, recording them in a 10-day span, between May 25 and June 3.

Pickups were recorded from June 9 to 11, and on the 26th.

A few segments in this show ran long, but I didn’t have to cut much out to compensate.

I made a timing error for the second straight show, this time in the second segment of hour 2. That meant I had to replace “Altair and Vega” by Bob James and Keiko Matsui with “Au Naturale” by Chieli Minucci and Special EFX. The script for the talk break coming out of that song had to be revised, along with the tease at the end of the previous segment.

I called “Vulcan Worlds” by Return to Forever a “fascinating” song because Spock (Star Trek) was half-Vulcan and fond of the phrase “fascinating.”

I came up with “Wummers of Summer” two summers ago when I heard Steve Oliver‘s “Wings of Spring” on SiriusXM’s Watercolors. I’m glad to finally say that publicly.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 6/2/21 June 3, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sci-Fi, Video.
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The June 2 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over the last four days of April: two segments on April 27, one on the 28th, two on the 29th, and one on the 30th. One pickup was recorded on May 3 and another on the 15th.

The playlist was created on April 25 with annotations and the script draft on the 26th. I wrote too much to say in the time allotted on the playlist, which led some things unsaid. You can find the personnel I didn’t have time to credit at the following links:

I didn’t have to cut much from the rest of the script, but still had to fade songs down early in several cases. In the case of “Better Days Ahead” by Gerald Albright, I let the talk break overshoot what I had in mind as the post. (That refers to “hitting the post,” ending just as the main melody or vocals begin.)

One script cut was so good, I’d like to share it below. It’s in reference to “Market Street” by Yellowjackets from the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home soundtrack:

That fourth film is set in San Francisco. I have yet to see it or any of the Star Trek films, outside of clips, and the clip I’ve seen of the fourth is Spock using his Vulcan pinch on a rowdy punk blasting music on a bus.

Here is that scene (the video):

5/26/22 UPDATE: The video was taken down, so break out your Star Trek IV optical disc (DVD, Blu-ray) or pull it up on Paramount+.

Incidentally, Leonard Nimoy directed Star Trek IV.

Midway through annotating the playlist, I received a call from Pete Bellotti informing me I would be inducted into the WCWP Hall of Fame as part of their 2021 class. Pete is chairman of the WCWP Hall of Fame Committee and a 2019 inductee. I couldn’t say anything publicly until the announcement on May 11. I had been dreaming of this honor for a few years and was thrilled the dream came true. I just hope the ceremony happens as scheduled.

Click here to download the June 2 aircheck MP3 or listen below:

The last spot break began with my latest promo, which I recorded on May 1: