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Instrumental Invasion, 9/21/22 September 22, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Film, Game Shows, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Western.
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The September 21 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 24 (third and first segments) and 25 (all the rest) with a pickup on the 26th.

The playlist was created simultaneously with last week’s show on July 17. Annotations followed on the 19th and the talk break script was drafted on the 22nd. I didn’t realize I had put so many blank-and/n-blank songs in the playlist until drafting the script.

I made another cartoon reference this week – to Freakazoid! – while talking up “Primal Scream” by Maynard Ferguson. The “Candle Jack” segment of episode 2 starts with Joe Leahy announcing that the cartoon would be “presented in SCREAM-O-VISION.” The excerpt leading into “Primal Scream” had Jeff Bennett as the prompter – “scream” in deadpan – and Tress MacNeille as the screamer. The day after I recorded that segment, I learned that David Warner, voice of The Lobe, had died of cancer. Paul Rugg – writer, producer, creator, and voice of Freakazoid – reminded his social media followers of The Lobe’s musical turn in episode 14, “Dexter’s Date.” In the spirit of “Hello, Dolly!,” Lobe, Freakazoid (as Louis Armstrong), and ancillary characters (including Jeff Bennett) sang “Bonjour, Lobey“:

Regarding the Dancing with the Stars tangent I went on in the third segment, a premiere date for season 31 hadn’t been announced when this week’s show was recorded. That date ended up being earlier this week – Monday, September 19. It’s their first season on Disney+, and that platform’s first live show. As noted last night, there are two hosts again, but the dynamic has shifted. Tyra Banks remains in the lead host role originally held by Tom Bergeron with Alfonso Ribeiro (season 19 champion) in the secondary role last held by Erin Andrews. Jessy J had a tenor sax solo during one of the dances!

In a similar vein, playing “Treasure Hunt” by Dan Siegel allowed me to refer to the two iterations of the game show Treasure Hunt. The New Treasure Hunt had a great closing theme: a jazzy rendition of Elmer Bernstein‘s “Main Title” piece for True Grit.

For the second week in a row, songs made their return appearance:

In between the two songs, I played “Don’t Stop” by Paul Brown, leading to my early Mike Chimeri Show anecdote. Go to the 2:13 mark in “anecdote” for my “wouldn’t you know it, they stopped” quip. Jay Mirabile also brought it up at the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony in June.

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

For airchecking, I scheduled timer records in Audacity on my computer and the one in the guest room. The loopback recording on my computer was flawless, so I deleted the alternate guest room recording, loaded what I kept into Adobe Audition, and went through the usual post-production process.

Instrumental Invasion, 9/14/22 September 15, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Computer, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, TV.
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The September 14 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded from July 22 to 24. The fourth segment was recorded on the 22nd because I rightly anticipated it would be the longest. That was followed on the 23rd by all but the last segment, which was recorded on the 24th along with pickups. I started recorded next week’s show later that day.

An additional pickup was recorded on August 26, the day after the untimely death of organist Joey DeFrancesco, who appeared on Lee Ritenour‘s “78th and 3rd” with drummer (and future collaborator) Byron “Wookie” Landham.

The playlist was created simultaneously with next week’s show on July 17 with annotations on the 18th and 19th. The talk break script was drafted on the 20th and 21st.

Three songs made their second appearance, one of which I’ll elaborate on in the next paragraph (two weeks in a row with a false memory):

I played “Angela” in order to correct my January 19 mistake, a mistake I also made in my pre-recorded 2019 Homecoming Weekend show. Listening to Jimmy Burrows‘s memoir on Audible, Directed by James Burrows, set me straight about the “Blind Date” episode of Taxi, featuring the titular character Angela Matusa (Suzanne Kent). (Oh, Suzanne was an original member The Groundlings! No wonder she did Pee-wee’s Playhouse!) Angela wasn’t literally blind; just gruff and cynical, the opposite of her answering service persona. I don’t know where the false memory originated, but I regret the twice-told error.

Nowhere else will you get a reference to SpongeBob SquarePants after playing “Secret Sauce” by Paul Brown (adjacent to the Krabby Patty secret formula that Plankton tries to steal) or to Phineas and Ferb after playing “Candice Dance” by Richard Elliot and a song featuring guitar solos by Perry Hughes (hence, the Perry the Playtpus reference). As noted on the air, Candace Flynn spelled her name differently.

After recording last week’s aircheck on my new PC, I noticed that audio levels were bumped up when certain songs faded out or on vocal pauses in liners and talk breaks. Those bump-ups were replaced with audio from an alternate aircheck on the Dell PC in the guest room. I chalked it up to an audio enhancement setting and thought to have that enhancement off this week. Sadly, the problem was still there this week. I wasted nearly three hours figuring out how to stop that from happening. I now assume it’s related to the motherboard’s “Audio Boost 5” feature.

Finally, at around 2:45 this morning, I came across this webpage. The solution was option 2:

Don’t have a Stereo Mix option? No problem. Audacity has a useful feature that can record the audio coming out of your computer – even without Stereo Mix. In fact, Audacity’s feature may be even better than Stereo Mix, assuming you’re willing to use Audacity to record the audio. This method takes advantage of a feature that Microsoft added in Windows Vista named the Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI) [link added by me]. The feature also functions in Windows 7, 8, and 10, and helps make up for the lack of a Stereo Mix option on modern Windows PCs.

In Audacity, choose the “Windows WASAPI” audio host, and then choose an appropriate loopback device, such as “Speakers (loopback)” or “Headphones (loopback).”

Click the Record button to start recording the audio in Audacity, and then click Stop when you’re done. Because you’re using Audacity, you can easily trim and edit the sound file when you’re done.

How to Record the Sound Coming From Your PC (Even Without Stereo Mix)

It’s ironic that the solution came via free software while a program I paid for years ago – Easy MP3 Recorder 2.0 – and one I pay for monthly – Adobe Audition – are no longer useful on the new build for recording system audio.

The angst caused by the problem is the reason this post wasn’t published until afternoon. I still needed to add these paragraphs and then scope the aircheck.

Click here to download that scoped aircheck or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 9/7/22: Dan Ingram Tribute September 8, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Game Shows, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Pop, Radio, Rock, TV.
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The September 7 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was a tribute to the late New York radio personality Dan Ingram on what would have been his 88th birthday. The tribute came 18 years after I played my re-creation of his closing theme edit of “Tri-Fi Drums” by Billy May and His Orchestra (from Wild Stereo Drums) to close The Instrumental Invasion that aired on Dan’s 70th. This tribute covered most of the show. The theme was songs that start with a letter in any of the call letters of stations Dan worked for. Talk breaks were supplemented by edits of jingles, led by my mashup of a WCWP jingle with the bell at the end of the WABC Chime Time jingle:

As I said on the air, thanks to Allan Sniffen and Jon Wolfert for their inspiration. I absorbed Big Dan’s lore from repeatedly listening to archives of The Life and Times of Dan Ingram: In His Own Words that Allan produced for Rewound Radio, and Jon’s The History of Musicradio WABC Jingles, also for Rewound Radio.

The show playlist was created on July 5 and annotated on the 6th, followed by the talk break script draft that carried into the 7th.

Unlike previous weeks, the show was mostly recorded sequentially, two segments per day from July 8 to 10. I recorded the last segment before recording the fifth because I anticipated going over or cutting it close. Instead, I was 14 seconds short, increasing my surplus to 22 seconds. The fifth segment dropped the surplus to 12 seconds. In the process of recording pickups on the 10th, with 12 seconds left to make up, I remixed the second and fourth segments that I painstakingly tweaked to run exactly 18 minutes during initial recording. The third talk break of the second segment was originally speed compressed and I cut my quip about most Love Connection contestants going home solo (a false memory, as the linked entry reminds me) – playing off the name of Julian Vaughn‘s album with “Love Connection” on it. I redid the entire talk break at regular speed with the quip included. Thus, that segment went 8 seconds over and the fourth went 4 over, completing the 18-minute average I strive for.

Speaking of “love,” “jeg elsker deg” (pronounced “yale skaday”) means “I love you” in Norwegian and the “I love you” vocal in Nick Colionne‘s cover of “Hurry Up This Way Again” (on Arrival) allowed me to reference Dan Ingram’s on-air affirmation while married to Norway native Anita Strand.

Enough talk. Click here to download the (tele)scoped aircheck MP3 or listen below:

This was my first aircheck (mostly) recorded from a new computer. More about that in an upcoming post.

Bonus material:

2022 Long Island Retro Gaming Expo recap August 21, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Aviation, Books, Education, History, Internet, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Podcast, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Previous LI Retro recaps: 2017 (Sunday), 2018, 2019
Spinoff recaps: UPLINK (2020), Festival of Games (2021)

Part 1: Introduction

The Long Island Retro Gaming Expo‘s long-awaited return came on Friday, August 12, after a three-year COVID-caused absence. Yes, the expo was expanded to three days starting this year, running from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. The venue was the same as always: the Cradle of Aviation Museum, situated along Museum Row in East Garden City on the former site of Mitchel Air Force Base.

The purported 2020 edition of LI Retro was announced in February of that year. I immediately bought a weekend pass (still just two days). Little did anyone know that the faraway disease then referred to as the Coronavirus would reach the United States a few weeks later. As COVID-19 spread and a pandemic grew, venues shut down and events were either canceled or postponed. LI Retro’s postponement came that May. 2020 tickets would be honored in ’21. UPLINK, a virtual expo, was scheduled in its place on August 8 and 9. Of course, I attended and wrote a recap.

Even as vaccines were rolled out going into 2021, the organizers felt it was too soon to resume. Thus, they postponed again to ’22; and again, tickets for the postponed years would be honored. Another edition of UPLINK was held virtually in February. I attended, but was overwhelmed by the amount of transcribing and note-taking I’d have to do for the panels I planned on watching. So, I abandoned the recap in favor of continued radio show production.

Last December, LI Retro held its first annual one-day Festival of Games. I was in and out within two hours after a photographic walking tour (similar to the one you’ll see later in this post), arcade game sampling, and buying games from vendors. There was a recap for that.

As August drew closer, a third day of LI Retro was introduced. I considered attending, but opted to stick to the weekend.

With a week to go, I feared I’d compulsively take too many photos, a habit that’s gotten out of hand (i.e. Memorial Day boat ride, June 18 Mets game). I only took 353 photos at another Mets game on August 10, but sure enough, I went overboard at LI Retro. To that end, this is the first post with photo galleries.

The bulk of my photos were shot with my DSLR, but I took supplemental photos with my iPhone.

I arrived at the Cradle of Aviation Museum at 10:06 AM on Saturday:

Within 15 minutes, I was inside. I walked to the box office and handed my ticket to the attendant in exchange for a badge. “Finally,” I told her, “after 2 1/2 years, I get to use this [ticket].” She handed me my badge and my adventure began.

Part 2: Panels

My first panel – after meeting and greeting, and photographing the vendor rooms, was by Brett Weiss. “I Survived the Video Game Crash of 1983” began at 11AM in Panel Room 2. I joined it in progress, grabbing a front row seat, but oddly holding back on photos.

Brett talked about his experiences with arcade games and home video game consoles from the second generation into the third, and how the rise of home computers played a role in the 1983 crash.

During the Q&A session at the end, I relayed (but didn’t ask, so I apologized) my video game experience growing up. I was a home (and school) computer guy, fluent with Apple II, and my sister and I received an NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in February 1990, as the third home video game console generation gave way to the fourth.

The book in the last photo is the one I bought from Brett afterward.

After snacking on a protein bar, I entered the Main Theatre for Pat Contri and Ian Ferguson’s 12:30 PM panel. I spoke to Pat and Ian during my meet and greet session two hours earlier, reminding them that I met them in 2019 and immersed myself in content from Pat’s YouTube channel after buying (at their merchandise table) the four DVD sets of Pat the NES Punk and the book Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library. I subsequently bought the SNES guide. I wrote reviews of each – NES, SNES. (And you can buy the DVDs and books here.) This year, I bought two stickers and a CU Podcast (Completely Unnecessary Podcast) t-shirt. It was the last large size they had. I said I’d probably get along swimmingly with Frank, Pat’s older friend from New Jersey who settled in San Diego before Pat and Ian made their respective moves there.

Pat and Ian’s panel was a live portion of their next episode of the CU Podcast. Before it started, and while I settled into my front row seat, the volunteer assigned to the theater asked them to “say something into the microphone” as a mic check. Ian jokingly parroted the request: “say something into the microphone.” I amusingly replied, “I knew you were gonna say that.”

Continuing from prior episodes, Pat and Ian criticzed Tommy Tallarico and his vaporware console that would have been (or could still be?) the Intellivision Amico. On display above them was the console’s leaked “fact book.” There will be audio and video, but first, the photos:

You can hear the panel-turned-podcast-episode here. My portion of the Q&A starts at 1:57:08, but I’ve clipped it here:

The word I used to describe Frank was “luddite.” Yes, I stumbled on the title Ancient Aliens, coming out as “ancient alenins.”

And this is a video excerpt from the panel – shot with the iPhone on the table – that was posted to Pat’s YouTube channel:

I was the voice at 16:44 saying that Sean Astin narrated a video game documentary. I was thinking of Video Games: The Movie, but a comment to the video said the fact sheet was referencing the later docuseries called Playing with Power: The Nintendo Story.

I liked Ian’s quaint pronunciation of wanton, “wonton” instead of “wantin’.”

Video of the Q&A portion:

My questions start at 18:26, “Tommy” starts at 25:13.

Theater guests had to exit on the third floor, so I bode my time by taking photos of the few console freeplay tables there. Then, I snapped pics for most of the second floor exhibits prior to the Axinn Air and Space Museum Hall entrance. I saved that for after the 2PM panel back in the theater.

In that 2PM panel, John Blue Riggs performed a live ROM hack of Super Mario Bros. for the NES, the first game I played in February 1990 via the Duck Hunt combo cart. With the right software, John imported tiles from whatever NES game ROMs the audience requested, and he altered the SMB code to altered the colors and text. Let the editing begin!

I spoke to John during the meet and greet, letting him know that like his son, I am on the autism spectrum, specifically with what used to be called Asperger Syndrome. While at his table, I bought a Sega Genesis ROM hack that put Scott Pilgrim from his titular video game in Streets of Rage 2. We posed for a photo, but when I got home, I was dismayed to find that my DSLR’s lens didn’t focus on us when his tablemate Dave took our photo. They graciously allowed a do-over with my iPhone Sunday morning.

Here is John’s aforementioned vlog of his LI Retro experience:

I’m in the vlog at 13:30, going through my DSLR camera roll before John’s panel. At 19:56, he and Dave ate at Friendly’s in nearby East Meadow. I ate there with my girlfriend Kelly during her visit in April.

After the panel, I photographed what I believed to be nearly every other nook and cranny of the freeplay and tournament areas. John saw much more than I did.

The last item on my Saturday agenda was to buy games from vendors. (See the end of part 4.)

The combination of excitement from earlier in the day and a loud block party somewhere south of my house kept me from relaxing and easing into sleep. I probably slept two to four hours, at best.

I arrived at day three of the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo at around 10:30 AM. I met Justin, Marshall, and Kieran from Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media (and bought Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie), got the second chance photo with Riggs, and hung out at Leonard Herman‘s table. I’ve known Lenny (to his friends and family) since meeting him at the 2018 LI Retro and then reviewing his video game history book, Phoenix IV. In 2019, I met his associate Jeff, and this year, I was honored to meet Patrick Wong and Mark W. Baer, the middle child of Dena and Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of videogames (one word). They’re all nice and friendly, and it was my pleasure buying Ralph’s book Videogames in the Beginning, and Kate Hannigan‘s biographical children’s book, Blips on a Screen. I will definitely read that to Leo F. Giblyn School students next March, another annual tradition of mine.

Lenny and Mark’s panel was at 11:30 AM in Panel Room 2. Again, I sat in the front row. Lenny grew to be like a surrogate son to Ralph, and the brotherly love between he and Mark was on display throughout the panel, especially in the first two pics.

I linked to it in the gallery, but here again is Ralph and Bill Harrison’s 1969 Brown Box demo:

Part 3: Meet and greet photos

Lenny Herman and Mark Baer:

Patrick Wong:

Jeff, in his Pac-Man suit:

Brett Weiss:

Pat Contri and Ian Ferguson:

John Riggs:

The Cinemassacre/Screenwave Media crew, Justin and Marshall:

…and I met Kieran while browsing a vendor’s games:

You’ll see merchandise and games in the pickups portion of this recap.

Part 4: Touring the expo

Musical performance: 88bit (a.k.a. Rob Kovacs):

88bit was featured in John Riggs’s vlog.

The other performers were ConSoul, Retro & Chill, and Super Thrash Bros. (also in John’s vlog).

The line ahead of the cosplay contest, held Saturday at 3:30 PM in the Main Theatre:

High score challenges:

Galaga:

Just Dance 4 (to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley):

Tournaments:

Game Boy Selfie Station with the Game Boy Camera and Printer:

Console freeplay:

Indie and homebrew games:

Arcade freeplay:

PC freeplay:

Before I left for home on Sunday, I tried out some console and arcade freeplay games, but not PC games. Maybe next year. The console games I played were Joust (Atari 7800), Sonic CD (Sega CD), Donkey Kong Country (Super Nintendo), and Virtua Tennis (Sega Dreamcast). The arcade games I attempted were Space Invaders, Arkanoid, NARC, VS. Hogan’s Alley, Ms. Pac-Man, and Mortal Kombat.

I even gave LJN Video Art a try. It was just as finicky as The Angry Video Game Nerd (James Rolfe) made it out to be.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a TV running the WeatherStar 4000 simulator, a tribute to The Weather Channel local forecasts/Local on the 8s in the 1990s (check TWC Classics for examples):

Vendor Room:

Vendor Room annex (“More Vendors”), also home to meet and greets (and the food court):

When I was finished taking photos on Saturday, I began making the rounds in the vendor room to pickup video games. I vowed not to spend more than $25 on a game, and with one exception, I honored my vow. I successfully haggled when necessary, paying $15 for $17 worth of games, $20 for $23 worth, and $30 for $33 worth. Otherwise, one vendor discounted $7 from my $132 total and another had a two for $10 deal if you bought two $6 games. The only game I bought priced above $25 was the Xbox port of The Simpsons: Hit & Run, which was $35. It was my last purchase before leaving on Saturday. My last two purchases on Sunday were Legacy of the Wizard and Rolling Thunder, both for NES.

I was satisfied with my pickups, which brings us to…

Part 5: Pickups

Saturday pickups:

Merchandise:

Non-merchandise in the photo: Leonard Herman and Brett Weiss business cards, Schiffer Publishing and Classic Home Video Games bookmarks

NES (Nintendo Entertainment System):

Sega Master System:

Super NES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System):

Nintendo 64:

Nintendo GameCube:

Microsoft Xbox:

Nintendo Wii:

I’d wanted The Simpsons: Hit & Run ever since it was lauded in the Game Sack video on Simpsons games. (Click here to start at the relevant portion.) Epic Mickey was on my mind after seeing it on Friday in a 2017 Cygnus Destroyer video on his Top 10 Disney Games. I didn’t think to check the condition of the discs before buying, and was disappointed to see their scuffed appearance on Saturday night. You’ll see below that Epic Mickey 2 was one of my Sunday pickups from a vendor that also had the original game. All discs at his booth were in pristine condition. I lamented my mistake from the day before, chalking it up to a lesson learned. This Nintendo link taught me a positive lesson on Sunday night: how to clean discs. Monday night, I took dampened part of a washcloth and wiped Epic Mickey from left to right, line by line, then did the same with a dry part of the washcloth. The game played flawlessly in my Wii U. Tuesday morning, I did the same to Hit & Run and had the same positive result in my Xbox 360. Hit & Run was more fun and intuitive to play than Epic Mickey.

Sunday pickups:

Merchandise:

Non-merchandise in the photo: signed copy of The Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe (Nintendo Switch) signed by Justin (brought from home after seeing their booth on Saturday), Ralph Baer commemorative coins (one shown from the front, one from the back), my Game Boy Camera print from the Selfie Station, my weekend badge with Jovia lanyard

I watched the AVGN movie in 2019 on Amazon Prime Video, but it was later delisted. Now, I own a Blu-ray copy. They can’t take that away from me.

NES:

Xbox:

Wii:

It may be a while before I get a Super Scope, but the Saturday after LI Retro, I bought a Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit U, and a Wii Fit U Fit Meter. Now, I can play all the Wii Fit games and track my steps.

Just as AVGN made Ikari Warriors infamous (outtakes), Wii Music’s bad reputation stems from the crazy demo at E3 2008. I almost bought still another infamous NES game, Deadly Towers, on the Saturday of the expo, but relented.

Part 6: Conclusion

All good things must come to an end, and my time at the 2022 Long Island Retro Gaming Expo ended at 2:05 PM on Sunday, August 14. I took two parting shots with my iPhone before riding home:

Thank you for making it to the end of my recap. I know there was a lot to process, and it was a labor of love to draft the post. Patience was required often as WordPress struggled to display the text I typed, presumably because of all the photos and captions.

Thank you to all the guests I met and reacquainted with, to the vendors I bought from, and my fellow attendees, like budding game designer Brandon.

Special thanks to the LI Retro organizers and volunteers, especially Ryan Shapiro. You were all friendly and highly accommodating. I greatly appreciate that.

Until next year, so long.

Instrumental Invasion, 8/17/22 August 18, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
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The August 17 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on June 27, along with the first segment of next week’s show, the most segments I’ve recorded in one day. Coincidentally, this came five days after the previous show recorded in one day aired. June 22’s show was recorded entirely on April 18, but whereas that was the last show produced before the Smooth Jazz for Scholars hiatus, this was the first show after the WCWP Hall of Fame hiatus.

The playlist was created on June 21 while I was in the early stages of what turned out to be an ear infection. COVID-19 was ruled out by two negative home tests (that day and on the 23rd), and a doctor trip on the 24th showed it was an ear infection rather than my fallback assumption of a cold. Since my voice was compromised, albeit slightly, I chose to start working on next week’s show, annotating and talk break script drafting simultaneously with the intent to record them both once I was better. (I still sounded nasal while recording.) This week’s show was annotated on the 23rd with the first two segments of the next show, and the talk break script was drafted on the 25th.

I continued the new habit of recording segments out of sequence to determine which to shorten, accommodating for ones that run long.

It was the second week in a row with only two songs in the middle segments of each hour. The “Shim Wha” gag came to mind while listening to The Dave Brubeck Quartet‘s Time Changes album on the way back from the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Marlins at Citi Field on June 18. I combined all the photos I took at that game in a slideshow that’s part of this blog post. I hope to have the slideshow of photos from last Wednesday’s game finished before October.

The “Cahla” gag for “Carla” by Peter Horvath had been in mind since watching every episode of Cheers on Netflix over a few weeks in March 2017.

Speaking of 2017, with a lack of music to play from new releases, I replaced the first 2017-present segment with another 1984 and earlier segment.

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

The aircheck includes a new promo I recorded on Tuesday.

9:10 AM UPDATE: It’s been a while since I made a mistake that went unnoticed until after airing, but I made one here. Jay Beckenstein did play soprano sax on “Captain Karma” by Spyro Gyra, but his solo was on alto.

Instrumental Invasion, 8/3/22 August 4, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The August 3 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over two days: four segments on June 8 and two on June 9. Pickups were recorded on June 12 and 15.

The playlist was created alongside next week’s show on June 5 and 6. I worked on each show’s first hour and middle of their second hour on the 5th, and the 2017-present segments on the 6th. Annotations for this week’s show began on the 6th and carried into the 7th. Each show’s talk break script was drafted on the 8th. I hoped to start recording that day, but was preoccupied with setting up my new iPhone 13 Pro.

I tried to get as many segments as possible recorded before the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony on June 11 because I knew I’d be busy with post-production afterward. I was right. While I recorded nine segments combined in two days, it took four days to record next week’s second hour.

Picking up on an idea from last week, I purposely allowed myself to go under 18 minutes in a given segment to allow for more time in one that runs long. I only had three seconds of extra time going into the last segment, but they came in handy.

The “you latched onto Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri” line coming out of the Dan Ingram liner referenced the gasser promo for WABC in 1964. (More WABC promos can be heard here.) Be sure to listen on September 7 as I pay tribute to Big Dan by playing songs that start with letters in his radio station call letters.

The quip coming out of “Take That” by Julian Vaughn – “where do you want me to take it?” – was a nod to Mark Evanier‘s great line for Binky the Clown in the “Binky Goes Bad” episode of Garfield and Friends:

Judge: Take the stand.

(Binky takes a chair and presents it)

Binky: Where do you want me to take it, huh?

Early in the show, I noted that “The Jive Samba” by The Cannonball Adderley Sextet (on Jazz Workshop Revisited) incorporated the Minsky Pickup, one of many things I’ve learned from TV Tropes.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 7/27/22 July 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Boating, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The July 27 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the fourth show in the last five with the 1-3-2 recording configuration: one segment on May 30, three on May 31, and two on June 1. Pickups were recorded on June 3, 5, and 9.

The playlist was created on May 28 and annotated on the 29th. The talk break script was drafted before recording on the 30th. I made a timing error in the last segment of the show, requiring a condensed script for the last talk break and ten extra seconds, the first time I went over 18 minutes since May 11.

Speaking of that last talk break, a week after referencing John McLaughlin‘s The McLaughlin Group sign-off, my sign-off this week referenced Chet Huntley‘s at the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report. And speaking of the first, this imperfect Google translation is what led me to assume “Dinorah, Dinorah” by Ivan Lins (covered on the show by George Benson) was about a love affair with a teacher. I listened to the original for reference and to confirm the pronunciation:

And here’s a mellower 2017 duet in a lower key:

Despite obsessive listening, I said “gene-orah” instead of “gin-orah” in the initial first segment recording before going on a boat ride with my family. I redid any references to the song when I got home. I didn’t have a boat ride in mind when I added “Boat Ride” by Jay Rowe to the third segment, but it helped that I did (recap here) because it gave me talk break-padding material. I did away with some of that padding on June 9, shaving off four seconds, to make up for going over in the last segment.

A running gag established while recording – that I missed while drafting the script – was “thing/things” and all the songs written for someone. “Our Thing” by Jazz Funk Soul has made me think of the Mafia ever since More Serious Business arrived at my door 6 1/2 years ago. (Yes, the link goes to the MP3 version.) I sincerely believe the title of Jeff Lorber‘s composition is coincidental, and that’s why I always get a kick out of it.

The June 3 pickups were recorded after learning that my friend Pete Bellotti was named WCWP’s new director of broadcasting. I came out of Earl Klugh‘s cover of “If I Fell” with a liner that Pete recorded in 2020 while only working for CBS Sports Radio. Pete is still with CBS Sports Radio, but it didn’t feel right using a liner where he only identifies from there. I replaced the liner with one Game Dave recorded, giving new significance to my Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection reference. I said the low viewership was a humbling experience, but Game Dave reminded us of the big picture last July:

I clipped the relevant portion.

Playing off what Game Dave said, I performed in front of between 43 and 190 people, depending on the Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection video (as of June 3).

The expanded talk break meant I had to move the Bernie Bernard liner up one segment and put John Commins’s liner in her place.

Just this week, Dave posted a video chronicling his month-long weight loss journey with the help of exercise video games:

The June 5 pickup was recorded after learning new information from this interview Brian Pace conducted with Ivan Lins during his 2016 Blue Note engagement:

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

Instrumental Invasion, 7/20/22 July 21, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Aviation, Internet, Jazz, Media, Military, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, TV, Video.
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The July 20 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP (120 on 7/20) was recorded from May 25 to 27: two segments on the 25th, three on the 26th, and one on the 27th.

The playlist was created on May 23 after completing production of the previous two shows, with annotations on the 24th and 25th, followed by the script draft.

I had to cut portions of the first and last talk breaks of the second hour to keep them from going over 18 minutes.

Incidentally, while recording the third segment of the first hour, which ends with “In the Sky Today” by Ken Navarro, the Navy Blue Angels were rehearsing for the upcoming weekend’s Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach. They were too high up to see from my bedroom window as the skies clouded up, but I saw one plane flying low and slow as I walking back from a supermarket trip:

My friend Karl Schmidt informed this plane was the Blue Angels’ C-130 Hercules, a.k.a. (or hey, hey, hey) Fat Albert.

If I had my DSLR camera, the resolution would be higher, but my phone only has a 2x optical zoom and that’s all I had on me.

I did take DSLR photos during the Sunday air show:

Further incidentally, I played “In the Sky Today” 52 weeks after playing the title track to Ken Navarro’s All the Way album and “The Test of Time” by Shilts three months after playing the title track to his 2012 release, All Grown Up. It didn’t occur to me until annotating the playlist that Shilts and Bill Steinway incorporated Big Ben‘s “Westminster Quarters” into their composition.

My “bye-bye” after repeating the title of Gerald Albright‘s song – “By My Side” – was an homage to political commentator John McLaughlin‘s The McLaughlin Group sign-off. Here is a compilation I found of 18 bye-byes between 2007 and 2015:

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 7/13/22 July 14, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video.
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The July 13 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the third straight show with the 1-3-2 recording configuration: one segment on May 20, three on the 21st, and two (and a pickup) on the 22nd.

The playlist took three days to create: May 15 (the segments with singles), 17, and 18 followed by annotations. The talk break script was drafted entirely on the 20th before recording the first segment.

The show led off with “Is It James or Charlie?”, a cue from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving found on the second Lost Cues CD. Until reading the linked Wikipedia entry earlier this year, I naively thought most incorrect track listings were correct. This is the page I referenced on the air, cited in the entry.

Five songs made their second appearance, two of them singles on the smooth jazz radio charts at the time of recording, which is why I worked on those segments first. In order of appearance, the songs are:

If that wasn’t enough, I played both of Nelson Rangell‘s studio recordings of “Sonora” by Hampton Hawes in honor of his latest live whistling and piccolo rendition at Smooth Jazz for Scholars in April. Watch the performance here:

Marion Meadows also performed “Marcosinho” that night.

This was the first show with instances where the second song of the set will start, and is faded down for a liner before going back to full volume. I did that at the start of “Fantasy in D” and “Throw Yo’ Hands (In the Air)” by Gerald Albright.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 7/6/22 July 7, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The July 6 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the second consecutive show with the 1-3-2 recording configuration: one segment on May 17, three on the 18th, and two on the 19th.

The playlist was created on May 15 and annotated on the 16th. I drafted the talk break script for the first segment before recording on the morning of the 17th and completed the draft in the afternoon.

For the first time, I recorded segments out of sequence as I was eager to get the last segment out of the way. The talk-up for “Hello Beautiful” by Blair Bryant included this moment from The Simpsons episode “The Principal and the Pauper“:

I initially used the audio from this video, but didn’t like the skip on “we’ll see about that,” so I replaced it with audio recorded from my ninth season DVD set.

My voice was comprised on May 18, though less so on the 19th, after screaming in a moment of frustration about two hours after the one segment on the 17th. I was satisfied with the two segments I recorded on the afternoon of the 18th, but redid two of the last segment’s talk breaks on the morning of the 23rd. (A pickup was required on the 29th.) My pacing was better, which meant I could play the Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster arrangement of “The Red Wings” in its entirety rather than fade down early. All talk breaks in the fourth segment (first of hour 2) had to be speed compressed, 95% of original speed.

I didn’t have time to mention, but GTV Japan has a great video on Final Fantasy IV, posted around the time of its 30th anniversary a year ago next week:

And while working on this show, StrafeFox posted a Splash Wave video on the Wonder Boy and Monster World games:

I’d occasionally thought about playing “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group, and finally committed to it this week.

I eventually learned that Gerald Albright wrote “G-Wiggle” (from G-Stream 2) for his grandson Gavin’s blueberry dance, but adding that fun fact to the talk break would make the segment go over a few seconds.

This year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars once again influenced the playlist as the third segment included two songs from the first night and one from the second. One first night song was “Treasures” by Marion Meadows:

Amore” by Julian Vaughn was first heard last May 26, replayed as one of four current singles, three that were charting at the time of production. This time, I played up the references to “That’s Amore” and Dean Martin (“pally”). I had two more singles I wanted to include, but couldn’t, so I got a head start on next week’s playlist.

Before then, click here to download this week’s aircheck MP3 or listen below:

A community calendar spot I voiced runs at the 8:14 mark.