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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, 12/2/20 December 3, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The December 2, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 5 and 6.

The playlist was created on November 2 and annotated on the 3rd.

It was the last of the three shows where segments had to be edited from 19 minutes down to 18:45.

I felt like I’d hit my stride with scripting talk breaks and reading from that script, ad libbing when necessary. I liked all the callbacks, too. (Those are references to earlier in the show.)

I originally had a Game Dave liner coming out of “ReJoyce” by David Benoit, which led to a funny moment at the start of the talk break. Unfortunately, that had to be edited out a week after recording when the segment length standard was trimmed from an even 19 minutes to 18:45. Here is how that talk break originally sounded:

I worked in Lindsey Stirling‘s rendition of “Let It Snow” (or rather, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!“) because it was the best song I could find with the time remaining in that segment. That was good as I got to segue from her to Jessy J since Lindsey was runner-up in season 25 of Dancing with the Stars and Jessy is part of Ray Chew Live, the show’s house band. I neglected to acknowledge the Hungarian Studio Orchestra playing on “Let It Snow” or the “Theme from New York, New York” motif at the end.

I was eager for the release of Elevate, Will Donato‘s new album, so I could play songs from it. “The High Road” is a great start.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

And here is an unfiltered scope of the original 19-minute segment cut, including the aforementioned funny moment and the original transition from “Portal Love” by Anders Enger Jensen to “Speak Love!” by Najee:

Instrumental Invasion, 11/25/20 November 26, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video.
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The Thanksgiving Eve (November 25, 2020) Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days. The first hour was recorded on October 29, the first segment of the second hour on October 30, and the last two segments on Halloween (October 31). On November 11, the show was re-edited to 18:45 and a pickup was recorded. Despite this, the second spot break of hour 1 ran twice as long as normal, which led the last segment of the show to be cut off with 1:36 remaining.

The playlist was created and annotated on October 26.

Like two weeks ago, I played a song from an unaired segment: “I Told You So” by George Cables, which would have been heard on April 8.

There wasn’t enough time to acknowledge that prior to Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!, David Benoit recorded “Linus and Lucy” along with other cues for episode 6 of This is America, Charlie Brown, “The Great Inventors.” It was interesting hearing David’s work playing underneath dialogue by voice actors Frank Welker and Gregg Berger. I watched This is America, Charlie Brown on DVD back in August while my cable was out following Tropical Storm Isaias. (The outage meant I couldn’t aircheck the August 5 show.)

I made a rare (at the time) dated reference (in the original cut) – in this case, Thanksgiving being the next day – when I quipped that “tomorrow,” “The Chicken” would be known as “The Turkey.”

The end of the October 31 session was prolonged by needing to tweak the last talk break. David Mann is credited for the horn arrangements on “Musaic” by Alexander Zonjic, but I didn’t hear horns. So, that credit was removed and I had to redo two sentences at a slower pace to fill the gap. I had to reprise the faster pace when re-redoing the talk break, not that it mattered since the last 1:36 of the segment went unheard.

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

Like last week, I’m also including an unfiltered scope of the original 19-minute segment cut:

Instrumental Invasion, 11/11/20 November 12, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The November 11, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over two days: the first hour on October 15 and the second hour on the 16th.

The playlist was created on October 12. The first hour was annotated that same day and the second hour the next day.

For this show only, segments are 19 minutes long, expanding from 18 minutes in the first 31 shows. Next week and beyond, segments will be 18:45 a piece.

Most talk breaks were scripted as I had no faith in my ability to ad-lib.

Four songs were included to make up for unaired segments. “Off Broadway” (not to be confused with “On Broadway”) by George Benson and “Snake Eyes” by Grover Washington, Jr. were part of two segments that didn’t air in the second show on April 8. “Mr. Rodriguez’s Opus” by David Benoit and “Something About You” by Jeff Kashiwa were part of the unaired July 8 segment.

My reading of “percussion…by Henry Gibson” while back-selling “Michelle” by Ramsey Lewis was an homage to the actor of the same name. Henry Gibson was a player on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, a show that I watched from start to finish on Amazon Prime Video over 58 days in 2018. One of Henry’s characters was The Poet, a southern man who recited poetry while holding a giant flower. Here’s an example (along with a Dick Martin elevator sketch):

Sadly, both Henry Gibsons passed away in the 2000s.

I had to redo the line later because I forgot to write flugelhorn player Arthur Hoyle’s name while annotating. Art passed back in June.

I was glad to debut Nelson Rangell‘s new liner after playing “Nana’s Song,” and I’m equally proud of the grandma synonyms riff I went on afterward.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 9/30/20 October 1, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Broadway, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The September 30, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on August 28. It was intended to air on September 23, but due to a programming error, the previous week’s show ran again. The error revealed the danger in recording shows so far in advance and immediately submitting them to a shared Google Drive folder. Other hosts record the week their show is to air and then submit it. Last Thursday, I was instructed that going forward, I am to submit the following Wednesday’s show the day after each show airs. That’s what I will do for the October 7 show and so on.

The playlist was created on the afternoon of August 25 with annotations beginning that evening and continuing into the recording session. As you can tell in the PDF, Acoustic Alchemy‘s “Allemande” duet was not my first choice to wrap up hour 2’s first segment, but I’m glad I went with it.

This show was the first to include a liner that Game Dave graciously recorded for me:

Considering his friend and former Digitally Distracted co-host Gerald, it’s an odd coincidence that the liner is followed in alphabetical order by Gerald Albright (a repurposed Mike Chimeri Show liner).

This was also the first time I got to use my friend Ryan Grabow‘s liner, which debuted a few weeks ago, coming out of a Rippingtons song:

“A Ripping good time,” indeed.

Musicians recurred more than usual in this show, but I might have overplayed my hand with recurring instruments.

As I back-sold “Juicy” by Brian Simpson, my mouth randomly salivated. I acknowledged that in my talk break, but opted to cut it out as it could be misconstrued as lascivious. Here’s what you would have heard:

I used the correct title on the air, but the track listing for Herb Alpert‘s Come Fly with Me adds “got” to “A Lot of Livin’ to Do.” That led whoever compiled composer credits to confuse it with the unrelated Elvis Presley song, “Got a Lot o’ Livin’ to Do!” Ironically, the song in Bye Bye Birdie is performed by Conrad Birdie, a character inspired by Elvis. (Sounds Like… called it “Gotta Lotta Livin’ to Do,” but correctly credited Lee Adams and Charles Strouse as composers.)

I am truly baffled as to what the voice sample says in “Category A” by Cindy Bradley. To quote Professor Farnsworth, crazy gibberish.

Finally, the aircheck you’ve been waiting for. Click here to download the 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.

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, 9/16/20 September 17, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The September 16, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP is the 25th show overall. It was recorded over two days: the first hour on August 21 and the second on the 22nd.

The playlist was created on August 18 and annotated on the 19th, with additional annotations during each recording session.

I finished recording in the nick of time. After the last talk break, the landscaping crew for the two houses directly behind my bedroom began running their leaf blowers.

I had to work in “Working Girl March” by Dave Grusin from the Tootsie soundtrack, which I bought immediately after watching the film on Netflix a week before recording. The version on the soundtrack is not the cue used in the film.

The show intro was one of three talk breaks I scripted out in Notepad. Each had a lot of information to share and I didn’t want to get stuck.

The ends of the talk-ups for “Cruisin'” by Larry Carlton and “Hacienda” by the Jeff Lorber Fusion had to be remixed and precisely spliced over the original mixes. The first talk-up had a glitch between “not” and “Grusin.” The second required me to raise the gain on “this time” because it was too low to hear as I raised the music levels.

I didn’t mention it on the air, but the notes at the end of Larry’s solo on “Cruisin'” always remind me of the pause sound in Konami games for the NES:

Now, here’s the pause sound mixed with the end of the solo:

I noted that Jean-Luc Ponty performed “Tender Memories” on David Sanborn‘s Night Music around the time Storytelling was released. Here is that performance:

Click here to download the show 25 aircheck MP3 or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 8/19/20 August 20, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The August 19, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 24 (hour 1) and 25 (hour 2).

The playlist was created, modified, and annotated between July 21 and 23.

To accommodate my chatty second talk break of hour 1’s second segment, I had to replace the Jeff Lorber Fusion song I had in mind. Instead of “Bright Sky” off Galaxian, I went with “Lava Lands” from Wizard Island. It was a fitting choice, having watched the Oregon episode of Smithsonian Channel’s Aerial America on their YouTube channel a few days before recording. The Fusion’s album is a reference to various landmarks in Oregon, including Lava Lands Visitor Center and, of course, Wizard Island, which is located within Crater Lake.

I had to rerecord the second and third talk breaks of the above segment on the morning of the 25th, shortly after waking up. That’s why my voice sounded the way it did. I realized that morning I’d mistakenly left out Will Lee on bass while talking about “Some Down Time” by Steve Khan, and wanted to correct that immediately. I had to script the talk breaks so I wouldn’t get flustered or forget what to say.

As I did in my 2018 and ’19 Homecoming Weekend shows, I dedicated the Keiko Matsui song I played – in this case, “Marlin Club Blues” – to Game Dave, citing a video where he suggested you listen to her music rather than in-game music:

I neglected to mention that Randy Waldman played keyboards and Hammond B-3 organ on “Marlin Club Blues.” Keiko was only on piano.

And speaking of YouTube, here is the music video for “Living Out Loud” by Joyce Cooling that I recommended:

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

8/22 UPDATE: While watching the Houston portion of The 8-Bit Guy‘s second Tech from Texas video, it occurred to me that David Benoit‘s song “El Camino Real” was not about the road in California, but the trail in Texas. It should have been obvious since a song called “Houston” precedes it on his Inner Motion album. As a California native, I assumed David had the California road in mind when I annotated the playlist. Clearly, I was wrong.

Instrumental Invasion, 7/29/20 July 30, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Drama, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The July 29, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on the 9th.

The playlist was created on July 3 and annotated on the 4th with additional annotations while recording.

I always learn something while recording these shows. This time, I learned Kenny Loggins was the first to record “What a Fool Believes,” what a guajeo/montuno is, and the personnel on “Rise” by Herb Alpert. For “Ozark” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, I resisted the urge to reference the Netflix drama that my father enjoys.

Instead, I noted it’s the first track on side two of As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls. The title track took up all of side one.

Yes, I played versions of “Can’t Hide Love” and “Some Other Sunset” for the second week in a row.

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

Instrumental Invasion, 6/24/20 June 25, 2020

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, TV.
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The June 24, 2020, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on the afternoon of May 26 with rerecording on June 5.

Work on the playlist began on May 19 with annotations on the 24th and during the recording session on the 26th.

I was proud to incorporate Dave Pike and Randy Waldman into the show.

I bought Dave’s Jazz for the Jet Set after listening to “Sweet ‘Tater Pie” on Spotify. I was first exposed to the song after hearing WABC-AM DJ Dan Ingram play it on his WABC-FM (later, WPLJ) show in 1967. The jazz and blues show differed greatly from the top 40 he played the AM side. The aircheck I heard can be found on the Musicradio 77 website.

As for Randy Waldman, my musician friend Nelson Rangell recommended Superheroes to me during a phone conversation the night before I bought it and Dave Pike’s album. The first song I was drawn to was the “Mighty Mouse Theme.” It made me think of a routine in Andy Kaufman’s stand-up act. As Foreign Man, he would stand next to a record player while the theme played on an LP. He would stand perfectly still until the line “here I come to save the day!,” which he would lip-sync while heroically moving his arm.

Speaking of stand-up acts, I unknowingly channeled comedian Timmie Rogers both times I said the title of Brian Hughes‘ song “Oh Yeah!” That was Rogers’s catchphrase, exemplified in this 1960s performance:

I have a feeling I’m the only DJ in North America to play Anders Enger Jensen on the radio. His music is all over YouTube – on channels like The 8-Bit Guy, Techmoan, Technology Connections, and of course, his own channel – but it needs the terrestrial treatment, and I provided it.

The end of the first hour’s second segment and all of the third had to be rerecorded on the morning of June 5. After referencing Norman Brown‘s “Something Just for You,” on the same album as “It’s a Feelin’,” my segue to the tease should have been “A Song Just for Bilbao,” but I inverted “just” and “for” and didn’t notice the mistake until a day after recording. Since it wasn’t a factual error or repeated phrase (i.e. “but first”), I initially chose not to rerecord. A week after recording, I realized I neglected to acknowledge Dave Holland, the bassist on Michael Brecker‘s cover of “Song for Bilbao.” Since there was music playing under both omissions, I had to redo the entire segment. After that, I fixed my flub at the end of the previous segment.

Unfortunately, as I feared, the redone segments were not added to automation. So, listeners heard the original “for just” and Dave Holland-less segments. The lesson here is to thoroughly check your recordings before submitting them.

Click here to download this show’s aircheck MP3, which I modified to include the corrections, or listen below: