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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”

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, 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.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

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.

Instrumental Invasion, 2/3/21 February 4, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Rock, Sports, Technology, TV.
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The February 3, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over four days. The first hour was recorded on January 7, but I could only muster one second hour segment per day from January 8 to 10.

The playlist was created on January 5. Annotations began on the 5th and completed on the 6th, followed by script drafting.

This was the first show recorded through my new Zoom LiveTrak L-8 mixer. Through the recording process, I realized I need to eschew the click/pop eliminator in Adobe Audition. While it was effective with audio from the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, it will distort audio from the L-8. I didn’t realize that until the second segment of hour 2.

If you didn’t notice, the last talk break of the first segment was speed compressed.

Every show seems to have a recurring theme. This show’s theme was namesakes. There were two Paul Jacksons, two songs titled “Barcelona,” an album with the same name as a later TV series, and musicians sharing their names with a founding father, a football player, and simultaneously a football coach and race car driver.

I know my fellow fans of The Simpsons in The Gaming Historian Discord chat server will appreciate the reference to the first scene of “Bart Sells His Soul” while talking up Joe McBride‘s cover of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

10:15 AM UPDATE: I didn’t realize that there was a percussionist on Scott Wilkie‘s cover of “Eu Vim da Bahia.” The Brasil album credits are vague, but it was likely Gibi dos Santos.

I also accidentally left the top of the hour underwriting intact in the scoped aircheck. It’s worth hearing them in full just this once.

Instrumental Invasion, 1/27/21 January 28, 2021

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Christmas, Drama, Internet, Jazz, Laserdisc, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, TV, Video.
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The January 27, 2021, Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on December 22 (between sounds of fence construction next door) and December 23, 2020. Pickups for the first segments of each hour were recorded on the 23rd (hour 1) and Christmas morning (hour 2).

The playlist was created and annotated, and the script was written on December 21.

This was the last show I recorded in 2020 before allowing myself time off for Christmas (outside of pickups) and New Year’s Day, and the last show recorded through the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I received a Zoom LiveTrak L-8 for Christmas.

As noted on air, Anders Enger Jensen‘s “DiscoVision” ode to the early days of LaserDisc, contains samples from side 1 of the 1979 instructional disc, Operating Instructions for the MCA DiscoVision PR-7820 System. Here is that video, hosted by actor J.D. Cannon:

The Don Sebesky album I referenced while back-selling “The Traveler” by Earl Klugh is called Giant Box. I gave it the “big” prefix (“big Giant Box album”) because it was originally a double album on LP in 1973. The 2011 remaster fits neatly on one CD.

I inadvertently referenced the Butch Hartman cartoon series T.U.F.F. Puppy (this episode, in fact) when I said “no, don’t duck; that’s his name” after noting Marty Duck was part of the horn section on “At Your Service” by Oli Silk.

Click here to download the show’s aircheck MP3 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, 12/2/20 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: