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BROWSING THE CHRISTMAS CATALOG
November 25, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
BROWSING THE CHRISTMAS CATALOG
PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS-- IN NOVEMBER-- but the encroaching horror of Christmas and the ubiquity of widely distributed catalogs prompts a turn of the pages of one of the worst offenders. "Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers. Little we see in Nature that is ours." A solo effort, and this, the bile and vinegar of solitude, prompts these bitter musings. With the usual prophecy, poetry and pedantry. The show on December 2nd must perforce be a re-run, since Dr. H. Owll will be at Patricia's Green in Hayes Valley, helping out the cat-worshiping cult of Holofelinity at showtime next week. On stage with a bevy of cat-costumed chorus girls, he will host the Cat Priestess Fashion Show after doing something of his usual act. There will be a DJ. The Cat-o-lith statues of David Normal, now installed, will be welcomed to the locus by a ribbon-cutting ceremony as a chorine with an oversized pair of ceremonial scissors will make the fateful snip. Learn about pre-human cat-centered civilizations and their downfall. Lectures will describe the extraterrestrial feline influence; KrOB will present a visual trip through the Cat Universe. Dawn Jian will bring the Rocker of Abundance. A Marching band, Mission Delirium will play. This event is open to all comers and FREE. Sponsored by Burning Man and the Hayes Valley Merchants' Association. It is in the open air, and COVID contamination unlikely. Nearby stores and restaurants will be open. Starting at 6:00, it'll run up to and probably past 10 PM. So, back here at the Studio, a re-run will be playing.

SAILING TO BYZANTIUM
November 18, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
SAILING TO BYZANTIUM
AND ADVERTISING upcoming events... a solo show. No guests, and a battle contra the eternal throb of amplified music from the by-Our-Lady Make-Out Room (directly) next door... par for the course, as we say. Listen to the beginning to hear of a veritable cavalcade (and that's the best kind) of bold and brave Art Events coming up with terrifying speed. See us at these-- see the fabled Fashion Show, featuring the fantastic, fervent, fanatical, flouncing, farthingale-free, felicitous, flesh-flashing, flirtatious, flock of fascinating Feline femmes-- the Cat Priestesses of Pussyopolis. Yes, really. Also we'll recite some Cat-related poems. There will be a Marching band... find out how to get there by checking out Cathenge, on Facebook-- or by just listening to the beginning of this show. Then, since you will be there, listen to it all-- the whole three hours, after we set the whole megilla into magnum motion. You will, subsequently, know what to do. As for this current episode, we then feature an interpretive performance of two of Clark Ashton Smith's poems, "Desire of Vastness" and, later, "The Star-Treader." If this sort of thing pleases you, plan to watch our TV-type show on Zoom (via Twitch) on December 11th. Go to: https://gonzotronics.net/adh/ and watch our last one-- watch ALL of them, by Yogg-Sothoth! What about Friday, December 2nd? Well, there will BE no show-- we will have a re-run installed while we're off pussyfooting with the Piquant, Puissant and Pneumatic Priestesses of Pussyopolis. You might as well come to this lewd, live lovely and FREE public event, if you tend to turn up your shapely, snobby snoot at a re-run. At the end we go out with Keats's "Ode to the Nightingale..."

THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN
November 11, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN
STRIKES! And this is all BEFORE we get started. KrOB comes in and we chew the fat (down to the gristle) on any number of topics. Der Rattenfänger von Hameln, also known as the Pan Piper or the Rat-Catcher of Hamelin, is the title character of a legend from the town of Hamelin, in Lower Saxony, Germany. This story comes from the Middle Ages, July 22nd, 1376. It is the earliest references describing a piper, dressed in multicolored ("pied") clothing, a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure vermin away to their doom with his magically compelling pipe. When the Mayor and the Town Corporation refused to pay for this service as promised, however, the strange Piper retaliated by using his instrument next on their children, leading them away, as he had the rats. This version of the story spread as folklore, and has appeared in the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Brothers Grimm, and notably Robert Browning. The phrase "pied piper" has become a metaphor for a person who attracts a following through charisma or false promises. The behavior of the town officials, though, seems to echo the current treachery of the contemporary Republican Party in the United States in year 2022. As for the strange story, there are many contradictory theories about the Pied Piper. Some suggest he was a symbol of hope to the people of Hamelin, which had been attacked by plague; he drove the rats away, saving the people from the epidemic, caused by the fleas of the rodents who passed the Bubonic Plague. In San Francisco one might view the 1909 Maxfield Parrish mural, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" at the Palace Hotel. Good luck trying to see it.

The earliest known record of the story is depicted in a stained-glass window created for the church of Hamelin, around 1300. Although this church was destroyed in 1660, written accounts of the tale survived. Browning's poem suggests that the ensorcelled children eventually climbed out of a subterranean region in Transylvania, where their descendants still live. When I was a little shaver I read a story, I think in the Saturday Evening Post, called The Martian Cathedral. In it, space explorers find a medieval cathedral on the Red Planet constructed by the now-gone Hamelin children. The rat figured prominently in the cathedral's elaborate carvings. Don't miss my next show online on Zoom and Twitch-- this visual performance is Sunday November 13th for those who go to: https://gonzotronics.net/adh/

I TIPTOED SHY IN THE GOOSEBERRY WOOD--
November 4, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
I TIPTOED SHY IN THE GOOSEBERRY WOOD--
THE RUDE OWL CRIED like a tell-tale tit. So scripsit Dylan Thomas, and so we have done again. But we also here focus on the (uncomfortably imminent) forthcoming Future. Especial Guest KrOB adds needed herbs and spices to the cauldron. Initially the future of Reloadio, an actual planning session is featured, Reloadio? The late Pete Goldie, expelled from this institution and cast into outer darkness, as when Satan was defeated by the Archangel Michael ("THIS greeting on thy impious crest receive!") in dubious battle on the plains of Heaven and flung headlong, flaming, from th'ethereal sky, with hideous ruin and combustion down... When this happened Pete built an actual radio station of his own in his attic. Well, sir, Pete, you know, is gathered to his fathers, but we fellow travelers have been, as many are following, appearing there for some time-- and now, by Jupiter! --we're consolidating, rebuilding-- creating a whole new studio... We discuss that. But then we shift into dismal speculation about the perilous state of the country and the national disaffection. KrOB n' me, we talk it all out, ranging over film, literature and personal matters (in the grand tradition of Roommate Radio). The extended kaffee-free klatch ends up lasting an extra hour. Soundscapes by KrOB exalt the final hour. We speak with pleasure of the incoming rain. November begins.

THE BESTIARY, VOLUME II
October 28, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
THE BESTIARY, VOLUME II
IS FEATURED, detailing the history, biology and habitat of more Fabulous species, with disquisitions on their legendary lore-- as well as a nod to Capital in its rawest floundering form, with advertising messages promoting Megalo-Mart, our new Sponsor. Megalo-Mart! The Biggest thing anywhere! (Formerly the State of Iowa.) Yes, in this episode we do cast our Church robes on the bare ribs of the Conspiracy. You may also hear in its entirety my address at the Starwood Festival in 2018 (pre-Pandemic) entitled, "Deflecting the Conspiracy." The divine music of Loop! Station-- Robin Coomer and Sam Bass. Tennyson's poetry, and that of Clark Ashton Smith. Who's that familiar voice, ranting and singing? Only Zacherly-- yes, him. After all, Halloween is... creeping up on us...

BEASTS OF AN ALTERNATE CREATION
October 21, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
BEASTS OF AN ALTERNATE CREATION
OR, A MYTHOLOGICAL MENAGERIE, though by no means a comprehensive one. The biology and habits of the Griffin (Falco leonis serpentis), Aramaspians, Monopods, Hippogriffs, Physeters, Scolopendrae, Satyrs, Centaurs, Fauns, Sirens, Lamiae, Wood Nymphs and Naiads (with insights derived from recent personal experiences with these latter beings in which Fate seemed to cast me in the role of Silenus)-- all may be found here. Works of ancient Naturalists and other authors. How saintly was St. George? (Not very.) In addition to Pedantry, Poetry-- from Clark Ashton Smith, Tolkien, Thomas Hardy and others. We take a call from a Listener. Il Penseroso performed in its entirety. The Great Sea Serpent, with local and personal connections. The world's largest free-roaming arthropod and its habit of pushing the tops off trash cans to feed on the contents (it's big). Ball's Pyramid Island in the Tasman Sea, and the giant Phasmid insects, thought extinct, found there by explorers. Their reintroduction on nearby Lord Howe Island. Archival Material liberally also featured-- the live Ask Dr. Hal! Show of yore. Not a dialogue, but necessarily a monologue. We have plenty more where all this comes from. Three hours.

KOSMIC KAFFEEKLATCH WITH KrOB
October 14, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
KOSMIC KAFFEEKLATCH WITH KrOB
HASHES OUT the State of the Show. October is a month of transition here on the program. We look forward to upcoming Halloween and speak of seasonal matters. Other things emerge, such as a loving reminiscence about the deep universe of candy and all forms of confectioner's sugar. Later, Dr. H. Owll performs John Milton's poem L'Allegro. The two similar and contrasting poems, L'Allegro and Il Penseroso, explore in generic terms the ideal pleasures appropriate to contrasting philosophical approaches. In particular, L'Allegro celebrates the spirit of Mirth and Levity, Euphrosyne, through the traditional Theocritan model. Old hat, you say? Well, maybe now, sure, but in the Seventeenth Century a very fresh development of the Pastoral ideal. The poem is playful, actually, and is set within a rural, countrified scene that allows the main character, Milton the poet, to connect with folk stories and fairy tales in addition to various comedic plays and performances. There is a sort of progression from the pleasures found in L'Allegro with the pleasures found within Il Penseroso. Besides being set in a traditional form, there is no poetic antecedent for Milton's pairing. It's difficult when reciting this work not to veer unconsciously into its twin-- to slip from L'Allegro into Il Penseroso without intending to... But I got through it without doing that. The poem invokes "heart-easing" Mirth and other allegorical figures of joy and merriment, and extols the active and cheerful life, while depicting a day in the countryside according to this philosophy. Mirth, as one of the Graces, is connected with poetry within Renaissance literature, and the poem, in its form and content, is similar to dithyrambs to Bacchus or hymns to lovely Venus. (Never insult that Goddess.) However, the pleasure that Mirth brings is moderated, and there is a delicate balance between the influence of Venus or Bacchus achieved by relying on their daughter, presented in a strangely quasi-sexual context. So watch out, because in some show coming up, you will hear the entirety of Il Penseroso, which is even longer. Some fun, eh? 180 minutes.

SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTRAL SHOWS
October 7, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTRAL SHOWS
BEGIN THE SEASON. First the poetry of Yeats, then this solo presentation also featuring short stories from Clark Ashton Smith (A Rendezvous in Averoigne) and Richard Matheson (Drink My Blood), read by Dr. H. Owll. A rendezvous where, now? The medieval province of Averoigne was located in the Southern half of France, the Northern half of that territory dominated by the walled city of Vyones, site of an impressive cathedral. In the Southern half could be found the town of Ximes; the main road of Averoigne ran between Ximes and Vyones in those days, straight through the thick, dark forest that blanketed the province. A river called Isoile still flows from the mountains in the northern part of the province to feed into a swamp in the south. Other towns and villages located in Averoigne include: Moulins, Les Hiboux, La Frenâie, Touraine, Sainte Zenobie, and Périgon. In the forest can be found haunted ruins, such as the Château of Fausseflammes (visited during the show) and the stronghold of Ylourgne. As for the Matheson story, it tells of one "Jules Dracula" and his quest for transcendence. All seasonal, all likely to be repeated. 3 hours pat-- Dr. H. Owll had to get up early (for him) the next day and go abroad by daylight, fortunately on an afternoon when clouds obscured the destructive solar force.

LOVE, POETRY AND BANANA JUICE
September 23, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
LOVE, POETRY AND BANANA JUICE
...WITH KrOB. Poetry of Keats and Blake. Music of Robin Coomer and Sam Bass as Loop! Station. Dylan Thomas. Some of the now-discontinued Hour of Slack with Reverend Ivan Stang and co-conspirator Lonesome Cowboy Dave. Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren. "Psychedelic" Radio commercials and announcements. Entrance of KrOB. Identity of entity on Peach Soda can. Possible medical complications of frequent Banana Juice imbibing. The Coca-Cola company and its internationally known logo. Will the RV Page ever return with its key to podcast episodes? The probable future of "Reloadio." Cruella de Vil's sense of Style. Psychology of the Giant Desert Centipede of the Southwestern Desert. Excerpt from Coleridge's "Dejection: an Ode." Concession stands at Arizona Drive-in theaters of the past. The Castro Theater's downhill progress. "Rock 'n Roll Dude" infestation? COVID and its terrors. The story of the Fisherman and the Genie, from the Thousand Nights and a Night, retold. Gorilla Suit Movies. Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue. The career of gorilla-suit actor Charles Gemora in Old Hollywood. Stuart Gordon's version of THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM. The new underwater AVATAR viewed with alarm from afar. And more!

RUMINATIONS ON RETURNING...
September 16, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
RUMINATIONS ON RETURNING...
...WITH ADDITIONAL KrOB KOMMENTARY later on. Also with the usual Poetry, Pedantry and Platters Profligately Put into Play. No re-run this time, but the genuine article. Clark Ashton Smith kicks the proceedings into starting. I offer one of mine next... With the voices of Pete Goldie, Philo Drummond, Michael Peppe-- it might as well be the Good Old Days of this stuff (pre-Pandemic). By the time we get to the end, KrOB, entering the Studio at the height of next door's thumpa-thumpa, and I are discussing the coming plan by Radio Valencia brass to... install a surveillance camera in the studio, fixed on Yours Truly. Pretty coercive, eh? Not Innocent until Proven Guilty, but the Code Napoleon: Guilty until (perhaps) proven Innocent. Isn't this supposed to be some kind of Pirate Radio? How about that Bohemian freedom and defiance of Authority? Oh, it's a free, mad life. Why, I oughta... Seriously, folks, this ain't a positive development. And in the final hour (hour 5), we discuss the possibility that the place may already be "bugged" (by Cimex lectularius). To itch his own.

RETURN FROM THE DESERT--
September 9, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
RETURN FROM THE DESERT--
A RERUN from 2019. Too much exhaustion from this year's return prompted this show's placement. From September 2019. We try to keep going. (Emperor Norton photo credit)

ALGAL BLOOM COUNTY
September 2, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
ALGAL BLOOM COUNTY
OR, BIO-TRAGEDY at Lake Merritt... This episode doesn't start until about 13-15 minutes in. Before that there is... nothing. No music, no content, but absolute Blankness, out of whose oblivion is born this succedaneum show about a real local biological crisis. Substitute Host Jett appears and then truly soars with a documentation of, and interview about the tragic loss of aquatic life in Oakland's Lake Merritt. Special Guest Damon Tighe, naturalist with focus on Lake Merritt, appears on the program for the first time. His level of awareness of lifeforms is astonishing: plants, fungi and animals-- and not just whatever beings are in the Lake Merritt area.

By now you may've heard about the devastating algal bloom/red tide that caused massive life die-off in the lake and many other areas of the Bay, affecting at least 80 miles of shoreline. Jett walks at the lake nearly every day, even if only walking along its shore on his way elsewhere, and quite some time ago truly fell into love with that local environ; he finds the tragedy deeply affecting. Sunday, the 29th, at first astounded by the sight of dozens of Bat Rays - the first he'd seen even one - swimming along the margin of the upper part the western shore, he then realized they were not just aggregating for food. None of them were doing any feeding, in fact, despite the presence of thousands of small fish swimming around them. Their gills were visibly agitated, hyper-active and clearly gasping for oxygen. Starting Saturday night, the bloom, which had been seen to be present in the lake for several weeks, has simply expanded-- and continues to consume oxygen. The 'bottom' end of the lake, by the channel that ferries the tide to and from the bay, became covered with thousands of small, dead fish of several species.

By Monday, all of the Bat Rays were dead. Thousands of striped bass, another fish Jett had not witnessed there before that day, lay dead on the bottom. Tens of thousands of dead small fish were noted. He watched bivalves perishing, wading birds picking up and spitting out dead bodies: a Horror show. Walking the lake, working to grasp the hugeness of the tragedy, Jett spoke with many people clearly in shock and wondering what had happened.
Fertilizer run-off from farms in the Central Valley increased due to lack of rainwater, various waste-waters from Alameda County, the recently warmed Pacific Ocean (the Lake communicates with the salt-water Bay), along with many recent hot, sunny days, cause the disaster. Essentially, climate crisis and human ignorance, which are one-and-the-same anyway, drive the problem. Special Guest Damon has spent much time observing and documenting lifeforms via iNaturalist, its website and app, and through the efforts of a few local citizen-scientist groups. Dr. H. Owll will soon be returning from the desert. He approved this (5-hour) message.



OUR LAST RV SHOW BEFORE BURNING MAN
August 19, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
OUR LAST RV SHOW BEFORE BURNING MAN
FEATURES POETRY, PEDANTRY and a musically augmented presentation of Clark Ashton Smith's incredible horror tale "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis." Among the poems heard in the episode are some by Dr. H. Owll. We also read more from Monsieur Cioran's trenchant A HISTORY OF DECAY. And so it's off to this thing in the desert for the 23rd time. You know, it says right on your ticket that You May Die if you attend this event. If so, then so be it-- which would make this podcast the last indeed of these things. We'll install reruns for the next few weeks, but if we're lucky, KrOB will accept our invitation to absorb the time with his exceptional skill. See you all on the other side!

PANEGYRIC ON STANG
August 12, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
PANEGYRIC ON STANG
WITH DISCOURSE UPON GRYPHONS, DRAGONS AND ARAMASPIANS (the latter topic causing KrOB to fall asleep)... These are found among our bullet-points tonight. We hear Stang, Onan and Rev. Fanboy. The Aramaspians, a legendary tribe of one-eyed people of northern Scythia, lived in the foothills of the Riphean Mountains, variously identified with the Ural Mountains or the Carpathians. All tales of their struggles with the gold-guarding Gryphons in the Hyperborean lands near the cave of Boreas, the North Wind (Geskleithron), had their origin in a lost work by Aristeas, reported in Herodotus. John Milton elaborates on this account in PARADISE LOST. Later, absorbing KrOBbian soundscapes take us to 3 A.M.

THE EMPIRE STRIPS BACK,
August 5, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
THE EMPIRE STRIPS BACK,
THE NOTED STAR WARS-BASED BURLESQUE SHOW, playing through October at the Great Star Theater in Chinatown, is discussed, following some moments with the late Dr. Ygrundas Quimby, Jr., Dr. H. Owll's younger brother (obit. 2002), when, unexpectedly, KrOB appears bearing delicious Banana juice, Peach soda and crunchy Coconut Buttercrunch cookies. A feast for the Inner Man supports a feast of recondite criticism. We move to an in-depth consideration of Allied Artists' THE GIANT BEHEMOTH (anyone ever hear of a small, or even medium-sized Behemoth?), 1958. Pure KrOB content brings us through an extra hour.

PASQUE DIEU!
July 29, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
PASQUE DIEU!
SAID THE "SPIDER KING..." Louis XI, whom superstitious folk claim actually had the ability to transform himself into a giant spider, said it all the time. An absurd belief, that. Pure peasant superstition, heh, heh... But what IS the true meaning of this cryptic utterance? We mention the subject, then veer into BULLDADA, the SubGenius critical method of deriving philosophical messages and praxis from old, "cheesy" Monster Movies. Aand we are immersed in this, when-- Pasque Dieu! KrOB comes in-- and the Show takes a far less unwholesome turn, running an extra hour. Coming soon: DJ Justin Credible may pay us a call. With: Clark Ashton Smith, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, E.M. Cioran, and Others.

FROM HERE TO HUCKO JOE'S
July 15, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
FROM HERE TO HUCKO JOE'S
ICE CREAM PARLOR, long gone except for the Proustian enshrinement in the halls of Memory. And Café Neutron, called in this Archivally layered "Bob"-cast "Café Neutrino," since that's the way we used to talk back in those carefree days. Beginning cut off, end cut off-- here we've a 3-hour chunk of "artfully" re-packaged Essence in the Palimpsest of Shows (our usual method). Gold and diamonds gleam for the attentive and sympathetic among the dross, some may still believe-- and we earnestly hope they do, though discouragement is a mighty and enduring edifice. The divine and compelling voice of the exquisite Robin Coomer with Loop! Station cuts the hawser and sets us adrift on this viaggio. Coming up in August: the next iteration of the Podcast show from https://gonzotronics.net/adh/ will air, our sincere hope and expectation, on the 14th of that month. Watch this space, and make sure you avoid giving your love to no one at all.. May your ghosts, and ours, be happy.

FLYING SALAMANDERS
July 8, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
FLYING SALAMANDERS
FLITTING FROM TREE TO TREE-- (Wyvern illustration shown) these get their "day in court" on the Show. Other recurring iterations of obsession naturally rise to the surface of discussion, an inevitability when there are no guests to distract the Moderator. In a phylogenetic sense, all volant beings "learned" to fly in the same way-- the only way: from the trees down. Flying reptiles exist-- the Draco volans and its kin, flying snakes and the like. Now we mention these amphibians of the airy realm. They are on the way to full mastery of the air, such as is enjoyed by such robust flyers as flying foxes and other chiropterans. 'Nuff said. With: Bob Nelson, the late Pete Goldie, KrOB, Puzzling Evidence, the late Don Joyce, Jhim Khennedy...

PLEASE REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE VERIFICATION SYSTEM
July 1, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
PLEASE REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE VERIFICATION SYSTEM
AT ONCE, or be checked eternally by Verification software. Instead, relax, kick off your shoes, get yourself a refreshing beverage and tuck in to a reminisce-heavy program with multiple recorded excerpts from the towering edifice of previous shows-- and inspirational readings from the text of E.M. Cioran, "the last worthy disciple of Nietzsche." Aand KrOB comes in and endures the extended hours. The first Podcast since Dr. H. Owll returned from the soi-dissant "Real X-Day." There will be more...

JETT PILOTS A FORMER SHOW
June 10, 2022 10:00pm

 

Ask Dr Hal
JETT PILOTS A FORMER SHOW
IN DOKTOR H.OWLL'S ABSENCE, taking calls and helming the program. With: poet/visionary Art Goodtimes, and the Spirit of many a previous iteration. Something new, and something old. Something is always required. In programming, one must "feed the Monster." He does not go hungry here. Thanks, Jett!


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