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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.

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Instrumental Invasion, 6/23/21 June 24, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Drama, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The June 23 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded between May 18 and 21. One segment was recorded per day on the 18th, 19th, and 21st (during construction next door), with three segments on the 20th. Pickups were recorded on May 23 and 24.

The playlist was created on May 17, with annotations and the script draft on the 18th.

Four of the six segments ran short, which required me to pad them out with additional liners and dialogue, shorten the talk-up – “Just So” by Boney James – or eliminate it – “Keepin’ the Faith” by Steve Laury and “Chi-Town” by Nick Colionne.

“Chi-Town” and Weather Report‘s “Birdland” were recycled from previous shows. I first played “Birdland” last July 8 and “Chi-Town” exactly 52 weeks ago.

I tried my best with instrument and musician pronunciations on Bob James and the Angels of Shanghai‘s cover of “Onara,” the theme from Dae Jang Geum. I’m proud of my talk-up for the preceding song, “Rainbow Gold” by Jessy J.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

11:43 AM UPDATE: In reference to guitarist Wayne Bruce, I said his alter ego was not Manbat, since Bruce Wayne is Batman. It slipped my mind that there is a Man-Bat supervillain whose real name is Dr. Kirk Langstrom. I had seen Man-Bat in Batman: The Animated Series when I watched the series over a few weeks in the fall of 2019. I regret the error, but I still get a chuckle out of my quip.

Instrumental Invasion, 5/26/21 May 27, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Country, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The May 26 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first hour was completed on April 20 with a pickup on the 21st, while the second hour and additional pickups were done on the 22nd.

The playlist was created on April 18 with annotations and the script draft on the 19th.

It was a Brown namesake extravaganza with songs by Norman (guitar/vocals), Alison (banjo), Paul (guitar/vocals), and Dean (guitar), plus songs by Lisa Addeo – making her Instrumental Invasion debut – and Julian Vaughn that featured Mel Brown on bass. I’d love to see the five of them perform together someday.

For the first time in six shows, I had to replace a song because time was running short in a segment; in this case, the first segment of hour 2. “Through the Years” by Brian Culbertson was replaced with “Northern Lights.”

As I type this sentence, I have not played any version of Space Harrier, but through watching videos on YouTube, I’ve developed an appreciation for it. Thus, “Get Ready” by Jazmin Ghent (making her debut on the show) makes me think of the opening line in the game: “Welcome to the fantasy zone. Get ready!”

This video dares to compare every version of Space Harrier:

I also made reference to The Golden Girls. “Picture it!,” I exclaimed as Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) while acknowledging Nick Petrillo on keyboards.

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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.

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Audiobooking 6 April 4, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Audio, Audiobooks, Baseball, Comedy, Commentary, Film, History, Media, Personal, Politics, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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It’s been just over a year since the previous post. Instrumental Invasion has taken up most of my time, providing a necessary escape from the tumultuous reality.

I continue to listen to audiobooks on days where I workout and run, or even while editing photos. My source remains Audible, now as a paid member. When I’m billed at the end of each month, I use my credit on the next audiobook to listen to. As I type, I have three-book backlog.

Here’s what I’ve been listened to since Andrea Barber’s memoir:

  • All in All: An Actor’s Life On and Off the Stage by Stacy Keach (foreword by Alec Baldwin, read by voice actress whose name, again, I missed) – Only political in the ’60s and early ’70s – blessed relief after enduring Mike Reiss
  • Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld (chapter titles read by British voice actress) – Jerry’s jokes by decade, prefaced by synopses of his life in each decade
  • Never Look at the Empty Seats: A Memoir by Charlie Daniels (1936-2020) – Nearly the opposite of Ken Levine and Mike Reiss politically – pleasant to my center-right ears – nice to learn about his full career besides “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey – Except for acknowledging 2020 events at the end, enjoyable to listen to – “NOTE TO SELF! …”
  • Under the Black Hat: My Life in the WWE and Beyond by Jim Ross with Paul O’Brien (read by JR) – Focuses on JR’s WWF/WWE career, beginning at Wrestlemania XV in 1999 (six years after his initial debut) – for a wider life story, I’ll need to check out Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling

There, all caught up.

Until next year’s “Audiobooking” post, happy listening.

Instrumental Invasion, 3/24/21 March 25, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, TV, Weather.
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The March 24, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was yet another show recorded over three days. The first hour was taken care of on February 18 (while snow and sleet pelted my window), the first segment of hour 2 was recorded on the 19th (after an hour of fixing my computer’s audio), and the last two segments were recorded on the 20th.

The playlist was created and annotated on February 15 and the scripted was drafted on the 16th.

Next week’s show will mark one year since Instrumental Invasion went weekly. The first show was limited to music from the 1970s, so I’ll be paying homage in a similar vein: music from 1995 and earlier. Ahead of that, I opted this week for music between 1996 and 2021.

There were three animated series references in the show:

  • Talking up “Funkology by Matt Marshak: “And pay attention; there’ll be a test at the end,” one of Garfield’s title sequence tags on Garfield and Friends
  • Back-selling “She’s Got the Way-O” by Steve Oliver: “Did you (I) say 3-D?” was a fourth wall-breaking question in a movie at the start of “Timmy’s 2-D House of Horror,” an episode of The Fairly OddParents
  • A second Garfield and Friends reference came while talking up “Mystic Vibration” by Ragan Whiteside: in “Mind Over Matter,” a crooked fortune teller begins his act by “sending out for brain waves” and “psychic vibrations”

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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.

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Instrumental Invasion, 3/3/21 March 4, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comics, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, TV, Video.
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The February 24, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on January 28 and 29, a day earlier than planned.

The playlist was created on January 27 with annotations carrying into the 28th. Talk breaks were scripted as segments were recorded.

In the predawn hours on the 26th, I began reaching out to musicians to record liners – or drops, as I learned from Gerald Albright – for the show. Bob James contributed his within an hour of contacting him. Tom Schuman recorded his later in the day. Armed with those liners, I worked in their songs. More liners came afterward, which played a role in remixing a segment each of the last two weeks.

One pickup line was recorded on the 30th for the first segment of hour 2 because I didn’t realize I referenced Cindy Bradley in Paula Atherton‘s song and Patrick Bradley before that. That segment was remixed on February 16 after Patrick e-mailed his liner. Meanwhile, I learned there really is a Funkulator. It wasn’t a nonsense word for the sake of Paula’s song. It’s a bass pedal.

Another pickup line was recorded on the 31st when I noticed Eric Gale did play guitar on Stanley Turrentine‘s cover of “Don’t Mess with Mister T.,” and not just on the faster-paced demo. That cover is one of many discoveries I’ve had listening to SiriusXM‘s jazz channels. In this case, I heard it on Real Jazz last January. Within days, I had that album and Chet Baker‘s She Was Too Good to Me, which I discovered earlier that January after Real Jazz played “It’s You or No One.” Bob James’s presence on both albums was key to my interest and subsequent purchases.

A week before recording this show, I watched A Charlie Brown Valentine, a 2002 TV special adapted from various Peanuts comic strips, including this one. I chose “Morning, Noon & Night” as my Bob James song just so I could reference that strip. A Charlie Brown Valentine was the first Peanuts special to premiere on TV since You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown eight years earlier, which I watched on VHS (via my digitized AVI file) days before recording this show.

“Pinky’s Groove” by Dan Reynolds allowed me to reference Pinky and the Brain, a show that ran while I was in high school and I love to this day. I wasn’t acquainted with Animaniacs, the show it spun off from, until 2013, but I grew to love that, as well. Heck, I love many 1990s Warner Bros. animated series. When I have time to devote to Hulu, I’ll watch the Animaniacs revival.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 2/24/21 February 25, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Audiobooks, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, TV, Video Games.
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The February 24, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first hour was recorded on January 22, the first two segments of the second hour on the 23rd, and the last segment on the 24th.

The playlist was created on January 21 while chasing lost opportunities to buy a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X from GameStop, and then Walmart. I annotated the playlist on the morning of the 22nd and drafted the script for each segment of the first hour as I recorded. I scripted the second hour’s talk breaks on the 23rd while digitizing a book on tape: How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communication by Larry King with Bill Gilbert. Larry, who was one of my broadcasting heroes, succumbed to COVID-19 that morning and I wanted to revisit the audiobook that got me through the latter half of 11th grade.

For the second week in a row, I had to pad out the last talk break of hour 1, then did it for both talk breaks in the last segment of the show.

I played “Serious Business” by Jazz Funk Soul in an effort to give airplay to their first two albums: Jazz Funk Soul and More Serious Business. I had previously only played tracks from their latest, Life and Times.

As with the last segment of last week’s show, the first segment of hour 2 this week was remixed to incorporate a new liner from guitarist Nick Colionne. The talk break coming out of his song, “Nite Train,” was rerecorded to compliment a vintage WCWP liner, and the end of that break was rerecorded following news of Chick Corea’s passing.

I ended the show with “Revelation” by Yellowjackets and WDR Big Band to make up for the last ten seconds getting cut off back on December 9.

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As a bonus, here’s a blooper from the first segment:

February 7 snowstorm February 8, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Football, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, TV, Weather.
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Hours before Super Bowl LV, a fast-moving snowstorm gave us 5 inches of wet snow.

The forecast called for snow to start before dawn, but it hadn’t started when I first looked out the window at 7:07 AM:

By the time I returned to my room at 10:13 after running on the treadmill, snow had begun:

12:02 PM:

The heaviest snow was in progress at 1:18:

2:49:

4:07:

My dad Bill took these backyard photos from the back door at 4:54 while the snow was winding down:

And this one on the front porch a few minutes later:

I took these:

By 5:07, snow blowing had commenced:

Along the way, the clouds broke:

Then, the two of us shoveled. I was finished by 5:40 and took these photos:

Meanwhile, Dad walked through the backyard for this batch of photos:

Dinner and Super Bowl LV awaited. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 31-9. (Links: NFL, ESPN, Tampa Bay Times)

I took one more photo outside my bedroom window at 10:38, as CBS‘s post-game show was wrapping up:

The next round of snow is a quick inch or two on Tuesday, followed by a storm that could last as long as last week’s, albeit with less accumulation. We’ll see.