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Instrumental Invasion, 4/14/21 April 15, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The April 14, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was painstakingly recorded over four days. The first hour was recorded in the early morning and mid-afternoon of March 9. The second hour took three days with the first segment recorded on March 10 on my laptop through an Apogee MiC 96k, and the last two segments back at home on the 11th and 12th. Pickups were required for a talk break in the third segment of hour 1 and one talk break in each segment of hour 2.

The playlist was created and annotated on March 7, and the script was drafted on the 8th. For the second week in a row, I made a timing error. Worse yet, two timing errors. In the last segment of hour 1, I put in a 4:32 song rather than 5:32. The replacement song faded out incredibly early, which still left me with too much time in the talk break that followed. I had to vamp. I made the opposite mistake in hour 2, inserting a 4:55 song in the second segment when I needed 3:55. The irony is the first segment was mainly comprised of songs that I had to cut from the last two shows, one due to timing and the other because of a wordy talk break. (9:35 AM UPDATE: I forgot to account for the replacement, which was from 2011. That meant listeners heard me refer in the vamp to a 2010 song that they wouldn’t hear until a week later.)

The inclusion of “Outside Solaris” by Clifford Marshall Van Buren is another of my loving tributes to the heyday of local forecast music on The Weather Channel. You can find an example of its usage on Matt Marron’s TWC Classics tribute site. I don’t always do this, but I prefaced the description of Solaris with “according to Wikipedia” to acknowledge my lack of knowledge. You learn something new every day.

The “fun fact” preface to the Dan Ingram tidbit was an homage to a catchphrase on the Technology Connections YouTube channel.

Picking up on what I said coming out of “Whispered Confessions” by Lisa Hilton, here is a side-by-side comparison of the song’s melody and what’s played between levels in the NES port of Pac-Man:

That remains a pleasant coincidence seven years after hearing the song for the first time at Carnegie Hall.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 3/10/21 March 11, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
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The March 10, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days: one on February 3, three on the 4th, and two on the 5th, which is when I added the first segment pickup “ready, and appear!” Like last week, the first segment of hour 2 was remixed on the 16th after Patrick Bradley e-mailed his liner.

It was my mother Lisa’s 65th birthday, but I superstitiously didn’t acknowledge that. To celebrate, she, my father Bill, sister Lauren, and I went out to dinner at Vittorio’s in Amityville. It was my first time at a restaurant since Mom’s 64th birthday. (The next day, the country began to shut down.) I was only required to wear my mask when not seated at the table, so I adapted quickly.

The playlist for this show was created and annotated on February 1 as a snowstorm raged outside. I added annotations for “Snapshot” by Richard Elliot on the 2nd after my copy of Authentic Life arrived in the mail. The script was drafted on the 3rd.

I was inspired to play “Nautilus” by Bob James after watching this video the night before creating the playlist:

I had wanted to play a John Philip Sousa march for a while, and chose this show to incorporate my appreciation for his marches and for Monty Python by playing “The Liberty Bell,” which was the theme to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In the talk-up, referencing the show’s intro, I quoted John Cleese‘s BBC continuity announcer character and imitated Michael Palin‘s “It’s” Man.

I paid homage to another favorite series of mine, Rocky & Bullwinkle, while talking up “Why Not” by Fowler and Branca. One episode of the Banana Formula story arc found Boris and Natasha stealing the tape recorder they used to capture Bullwinkle hiccuping said formula back from Fearless Leader after he was knocked out by a spring in the machine:

NATASHA: Now what, Boris?
BORIS: What else? We run like rabbits.
NATASHA: Good idea!
BORIS: On second thought, we take secret formula (on the recorder) with us.
NATASHA: You mean steal it?
BORIS: Why not?
(pause)
NATASHA: Funny, I can’t think of a reason.

The aforementioned snowstorm inspired me to play Nelson Rangell‘s cover of “Sweetest Somebody I Know” by Stevie Wonder. One of the first times I listened to it was on the back end of a 2015 winter storm, also in early February. That storm began as snow, changed to sleet and freezing rain, then changed to rain, after which I shoveled, and changed back to snow, which led to more shoveling because it was accumulating.

I said “album” a lot!, but I don’t care.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 2/17/21 February 18, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, Video.
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The February 17, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on January 19 and 20. I recorded the second hour shortly after waking up. You could hear it in my voice.

The playlist was created and annotated on January 16. The playlist scan is not in color because the scanner I used yielded bleed-through unless I switched to black and white.

I planned on drafting the script and recording the first hour on the 17th, then recording the second hour on the 18th. Unfortunately, I was couldn’t get any sleep the night of the 16th. After a successful night of sleep on the 17th, I drafted the script on the 18th. As noted at the top, recording occurred on the 19th and 20th.

One week after swapping it out for time, I successfully played “Starlight” by Lee Ritenour.

The last segment of hour 1 and first of hour 2 ran short, which required padding out talk breaks – particularly, the talk-up for “Big Turtle River” by Earl Klugh. On the other hand, each hour’s middle segment ran long due to wordy talk breaks. I had to fade out songs early, edit out pauses in speech, start songs under liners, and in one case, cut out a tidbit. I really wanted to share how All Night Nippon adopted a Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass song as their theme: “Bittersweet Samba” from Whipped Cream & Other Delights. Here’s the outtake:

I learned the tidbit in a video on the GTV Japan YouTube channel. Here is that video:

I think Sunplaza Nakano-kun looks like Paul Shaffer.

The man behind GTV – K.J. McClain, a.k.a. Gaijillionaire (derived from the word “gaijin“) – will be speaking at UPLINK by LI Retro this Saturday at 8AM (10PM for him).

I referred to another YouTube video in the last talk break of the show, this one on the 8-Bit Keys YouTube channel:

The last segment of the show was remixed on February 2 after receiving a liner from guitarist Nick Colionne. This new liner replaced one I had repurposed from The Mike Chimeri Show. A similar remix was made for next week’s show.

As for the February 17 Instrumental Invasion, click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 2/10/21 February 11, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Country, Film, Jazz, Media, Military, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The February 10, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on January 14 (first hour, first talk break of hour 2) and 15 (the rest of the show).

The playlist was created on January 12 with annotations starting that day and completing on the 13th, after which the script was drafted.

In the early months of Instrumental Invasion, I avoided dated references, but now, I’m mindful of when shows air. Valentine’s Day is on Sunday, so I worked that in and played relevant songs. Drummer Eric Valentine’s presence in “Sunday Strut” by Blake Aaron was coincidental.

As long as I’ve had Boney James and Rick Braun‘s Shake It Up, I’ve thought of the main theme for The Magnificent Seven while listening to “Love’s Like That,” their collaboration with Fourplay. So, I had to mention that after I played it. Unfortunately, the explanation and side-by-side comparison led me to pick a shorter Lee Ritenour song from his Dreamcatcher album. “Starlight” was out, “Storyteller” was in. That also meant I needed to share more information about “Song for Barry” after the Airmen of Note‘s cover of the Brecker Brothers song on Return of the Brecker Brothers.

The recurring theme in this show was travel: by airplane, car, and train.

I finally got to use the Game Dave liner coming out of a David Benoit song, and from the same album, so I could say “that was Gamer David Benoit.”

Now, the bad news: I was unable to aircheck the show. It’s the third time that’s happened. On August 5, it was because my cable went out two hours before air (and stayed out until the 8th). On November 4, the FM stream was down for maintenance. I was asleep at the time, but I can only assume this third blunder was due to an automatic Windows update that made the computer restart. Microsoft Edge was still open on restart and Easy MP3 Recorder apparently still conducted its timed recording even though the stream wasn’t active. Ergo, two hours of silence.

So, click here to download the “aircheck” MP3, culled from the original segment files (plus the underwriting and Legal ID from last week’s aircheck), or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 12/30/20 December 31, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel, TV.
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The December 30, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first segment was recorded on November 25, the next two on the 26th (Thanksgiving), and the second hour on the 27th (Black Friday). A pickup for the first segment of hour 2 was recorded on the 29th and the segment was re-edited. All segments were truncated from 18:45 to 18:40 on December 10.

The playlist was created and annotated on November 23.

The show was a scaled-down version of the 40-year musical journey special I had in mind for Homecoming Weekend, had there been one. Obviously, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Homecoming itself was canceled, along with the LIU Sharks football season, if not merely postponed to spring. There were plans to have an abbreviated virtual Homecoming programming block, but those were scrapped in September. (Click here to wistfully read about the 2019 Homecoming Weekend.)

Had the weekend gone on and my proposed special aired, the playlist would have looked like this. As you can see, most of what I had in mind ended up in the December 30 show. “Snake Eyes” by Grover Washington, Jr. was put in the November 11 show, and I played “Born to Be Bad” by Joe Sample on December 2. Like “Snake Eyes,” “Message to Michael” by Earl Klugh and “Strikes Twice” by Larry Carlton were included to make up for an unaired segment in the April 8 show. The inclusion of “Silverbird” by Jeff Jarvis and “Cruisin’ Down Ocean Drive” by The Rippingtons made up for the July 8 show‘s unaired segment.

My talk-up for “Going All the Way” by Nelson Rangell was inspired by Chris Berman‘s catchphrase “(and) he could…go…all…the…way!,” which he used when narrating NFL highlights on ESPN.

“That ending sneaks up on you,” my line coming out of “Aniversário” by Fourplay, was recycled from my live 2016 Homecoming show.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

I’m happy and thankful for the opportunity I was given in 2020 with Instrumental Invasion. Here’s hoping 2021 is happier and healthier for all of us.

Instrumental Invasion, 12/9/20 December 10, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The December 9, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 11 and 12.

The playlist was created on November 9 with annotations on the 9th and 10th.

I swapped out the 1984 and earlier segment in favor of a third 2017 to present segment.

While recording the second segment on the 11th, I was informed of a change to the segment length standard, from an even 19 minutes to 18:45. I tweaked the first segment accordingly and scaled down my talk breaks for the rest of the show. To that end, some of the annotations seen in the playlist were omitted. Among them, Paul Brown‘s arrangement of “Grazing in the Grass” was #1 for Boney James and Rick Braun on their Shake It Up album in 2000. That’s why Paul’s album is called Ones Upon a Time: it’s new recordings of songs he arranged for other musicians throughout his career.

Nonetheless, the end of the show was cut off again. It was only eight seconds this time, but I’m still scaling segments back to 18:40 from now on.

Last week, I dubbed tenor sax as the “MVP” of the show since it was in so many songs. This week, it was the Hammond B-3 organ.

If you still don’t think Rio.com, the name of Alex Bugnon‘s song, is a real website, here’s proof.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 11/4/20 November 5, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The November 4, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over four days:

  • September 25: Hour 1, Segment 1
  • September 26: Hour 1, Segments 2 and 3
  • September 27: Hour 2, Segment 1
  • September 28: Hour 2, Segments 2 and 3

The playlist was created and annotated on September 22.

I made up for last week by successfully including “Beyond the Seventh Galaxy” by Return to Forever.

I had to script out all talk breaks in the first segment, but only two others after that.

I was interested to learn about Larriland Farm after including Ken Navarro’s tribute to them. In addition to their website, this video neatly explains them:

The stream was down, so I couldn’t aircheck the show, but I was assured that the station was still broadcasting over the air. To make up for that, just as I did three months ago, I combined the segment files into one big file in Adobe Audition, applying the broadcast multiband compression filter to each segment.

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

11:05 AM UPDATE: I was wrong to refer to TLC as a band when talking up Steve Cole‘s cover of “Waterfalls.” Bands play instruments; they just sang. They were a group.

Instrumental Invasion, 10/21/20 October 22, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The October 21, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over four days. The first hour was recorded one segment per day from September 8 to 10; the second hour was recorded entirely on the 11th. Two talk breaks in the second hour were re-recorded on the 24th. The first talk break of the hour had to be redone to acknowledge Chuck Loeb‘s association with Stan Getz, which led to his cover of “The Girl from Ipanema,” the song that closed hour 1. (10/26 UPDATE: Unfortunately, I didn’t say his last name. “Chuck’s”? Chuck who?) The second was to note at the end of the hour’s second segment that Côte d’Azur is another name for the French Riviera.

The playlist was created and annotated on September 6, along with last week’s show.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Attending the 2020 U.S. Open in spirit; how I got through the COVID-19 lockdown September 22, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Dogs, Golf, Health, Internet, Media, Music, New Age, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Tennis, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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2020 would have been the third year in a row I attended a PGA Tour major championship held in the New York metropolitan area and fourth year in the last five. In 2016, I traveled to Baltusrol Golf Club for the second round of the PGA Championship. In 2018, I was briefly at Shinnecock Hills for the third round of the U.S. Open. And last year, I witnessed the final round of the PGA at Bethpage Black Golf Course, the third time a major had been held there.

This year, the U.S. Open was to return to New York in June, as usual, to be held at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck. As my dad and I had done in 2002 and 2018, we opted to attend the third round so that he could watch at home on Father’s Day. We attended the final round the last time the championship was at Winged Foot in 2006. We were on the periphery of Phil Mickelson‘s collapse on the final hole. So many people stood by the 18th green that we could only hear the undoing. It was a depressing walk to the bus terminal and ride back to general parking at Orchard Beach in the Bronx.

Shortly after Dad bought the 2020 third round tickets in December, I bought a polo shirt that I would proudly don as I walked Winged Foot’s West Course. I had visions of aerial shots of the course along and ground level views of flags flying in the breeze while Brian Tyler‘s epic theme for Fox SportsUSGA coverage – “Triumph of the Spirit” – danced through my head.

Meanwhile, an insidious disease was spreading its way around the world. By March, Coronavirus Disease 2019 – also known as COVID-19 and the coronavirus – had reached the United States. State and local governments put residents on lockdown. Events were canceled or postponed left and right. Sports were put on hold indefinitely.

It was a sudden, sharp, and scary change that was very hard for me to bear. I was so scared and paranoid that I avoided watching or reading the news. It was torture passing by the den as my parents watched New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings. His voice was the last thing I wanted to hear as it served as a harsh reality check. Social media wasn’t any better. Every day, another public figure became a casualty. Some of my friends lost their friends. My dad lost two of his friends.

From March to June, I kept busy at home. I retouched photo scans, removing dust and scratches, and adjusting contrast and color. While I worked, I listened to music or to interview podcasts that didn’t reference the news. Once I landed a weekly radio show at WCWP, recording and producing the shows became another preoccupation. In my downtime, I watched videos on the various YouTube channels I subscribe to, learning about technology and video games. I also watched traditional TV programming: sitcoms like Last Man Standing and Man with a Plan, and the documentary miniseries The Last Dance, about the Chicago Bulls championship dynasty in the 1990s. I worked out religiously and watched what I ate. I bought groceries and other necessities online.

On social media, I limited my Facebook posts to treadmill running milestones, post-radio show blog posts, and photos from the past on Throwback Thursday (#TBT), Flashback Friday (#FBF) or #MemoryMonday. Instagram had some of those photos from the past, but I also began the Cocoa Photo Series, with new entries posted every two to three days. It’s photos of my late Chocolate Labrador from his puppy days in 1998 through Christmas 2006. Here’s an example:

As states and localities were phased back to somewhat normal, I left my house more often, disposable mask in hand when walking through the neighborhood and covering my face when necessary, especially when shopping. I still buy some things online, though.

For a few months now, I’ve begun to follow various dog accounts on Instagram, mostly for Labrador Retrievers. Watching dogs grow up is just what I need in these difficult times.

This concludes the COVID-19 portion of the post.

In April, I learned that three of the four PGA Tour majors were rescheduled for later in the year, with the [British] Open Championship being canceled outright. The U.S. Open was rescheduled for September 17 to 20, the first time the event was in September since 1913. (This meant it would occur a week after the conclusion of the tennis US Open, sans periods, held south of Winged Foot within the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. For the record, Naomi Osaka won the women’s singles title for the second time in three years while Dominic Thiem won for the men, his first grand slam title.)

Assuming spectators would be allowed, I would be attending the third round of the U.S. Open on September 19. I put the date in my iPhone calendar and hoped that fans got the okay to attend. On July 29, access was denied. I felt like I had wasted my money on a shirt for an event I couldn’t even see in person. At least Dad got refunded for the tickets.

Indeed, to date, I’ve only worn it once after the above Instagram post. That one time was on September 10, a week before the first round. It was for a photo project that would put myself at Winged Foot in spirit.

I connected my Nikon D5500 to a tripod, attached a remote, and photographed myself in front of a blank spot on my bedroom wall, clad in what I would have worn to the third round:

The hat is from 2006 and the ticket holder is from 2018.

Then, I applied an effect to make it seem like I was outside in the sun:

The third step was to combine the image with a shot of Winged Foot I found on Google:

I used the magic wand tool to highlight the wall so I could delete it, leaving only myself. Then, I copied and pasted what was left over the Winged Foot image. After initially placing myself in the center of the image, I cropped it down and re-centered myself. This is the end result:

For publicity’s sake, I made sure to note it was a “fake photo.” I posted to Facebook upon completion on the 10th and to Instagram on the morning of the 19th:

Fall conditions were in effect in the area, which meant I’d have a jacket on if I was truly in person, as I did last year at the PGA:

I watched all four rounds of the U.S. Open on TV like everyone else, but not on FS1 and Fox. The rescheduling put Fox in a bind as they were committed to college football on Saturday and the NFL on Sunday. The only solution was to relinquish their USGA rights back to NBC Sports, which they did on June 29. Starting this year, Thursdays and Fridays would be seen on Golf Channel with weekend coverage on NBC. This also meant the previous U.S. Open theme, “In Celebration of Man” by Yanni (pardon the audio quality), made its return. (A bagpipe-infused version was made for Open Championship coverage, as heard in 2016.)

At the end of 72 holes, Bryson DeChambeau was the 120th United States Open champion. He was the only player to shoot under par in the final round and the only player under par for the championship. Bryson joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods among players to win an NCAA individual title, the U.S. Amateur, and the U.S. Open. It was his first career major victory and I was very glad for him.

The end result motivated me to include the polo shirt in my regular rotation, just as I do with shirts for most of the other tournaments I’ve attended.

The next major to be held in the New York metropolitan area comes in May 2022 when the PGA Championship is held at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. I hope the world is post-pandemic by then so I can be there in person. (Other future sites can be found here.)

1/11/21 UPDATE: The 2022 PGA has been pulled from Trump National Bedminster due to the storming of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday by some of the outgoing president’s supporters. An alternate venue has not been chosen yet. I hope it’s one in the New York metro area as Bedminster would have been.

2/4/21 UPDATE: The PGA announced their replacement last week, which I didn’t find out until this morning. It’s far removed from the New York metro area: Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were originally scheduled to host the PGA in 2030, which means a new venue will have to be picked for then. The next major in the New York metro area will be the 2026 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

I’ll leave you with video and additional articles related to the final round of the 120th U.S. Open.

VIDEO:
John Pak finishes as low amateur
Final round top shots
Final round extended highlights
Bryson DeChambeau, every televised shot
2020 U.S. Open top shots
Every televised shot from DeChambeau’s victory (all rounds)
Trophy presentation
Press conference
Bryson with Todd Lewis on Live from the U.S. Open
Bryson with Todd Lewis on Morning Drive

ARTICLES:
Will Gray, Golf Channel: Bryson DeChambeau cruises to U.S. Open win for first major title
Michael Bamberger, Golf.com: Victory & Validation: Bryson DeChambeau won the U.S. Open on his own terms
Mike Dougherty, Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Bryson DeChambeau vindicated after dominant finish at Winged Foot
Bill Pennington, The New York Times: Bryson DeChambeau wins U.S. Open his way: in commanding fashion
Mark Cannizaro, New York Post: Bryson DeChambeau runs away with U.S. Open for first major title
Greg Logan, Newsday: Bryson DeChambeau powers his way to his first major at Winged Foot

Instrumental Invasion, 8/26/20 August 27, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, Travel, Video, Video Games.
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The August 26, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 31.

The playlist was created on July 29 with annotations on the 30th and during the recording session on the 31st.

I was able to include “Bright Sky” by the Jeff Lorber Fusion after replacing it during the recording session for last week’s show.

As noted during the show, “Morning Dew” by Anders Enger Jensen is the theme song for videos by The 8-Bit Guy, who I was fortunate to meet at the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo in 2017 and 2018, attending his panel at the latter. (I also watched his panel at UPLINK earlier this month.)

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

POSTSCRIPT: During the height of the pandemic, WCWP hosts were asked to record messages to include in PSAs (public service announcements). Here was my contribution, recorded May 1, which may or may not have been used:

8/28 UPDATE: Upon listening to the aircheck, I realized missed an opportunity to segue from Bob Mamet‘s Day Into Night to Nelson Rangell‘s Turning Night Into Day. Instead, I got hung up on the saxophone aspect of the show before the spot break and blindly referred to “the sunrise directive” in the talk-up after.