My Midlife CrisisINTERNET RADIO
"My Midlife Crisis" with Neil Litt

Here is free-form radio mixing original stories with a wide range of music. Each program is on a different theme, but it is always about my "midife crisis."

The picture on the left, showing the adult "me" contemplating the child "me" amid the ruins of my family's old summer home, illustrates a recurring theme of these programs: where have I come from and how did I get here?

primary url: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/amidlifecrisis/

mirror site: http://users.pupress.princeton.edu/~neil/

Click on the animated link to the right to visit my blog! Daf Am Haaretz


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retooling

RETOOLED AND IN A NEW SPACE! New episodes of My Midlife Crisis are now located here. The shows available on the page you are now reading are all part of the first three seasons of the "crisis." Moving forward, I'm planning on posting more frequently and spending a lot more time pissing and moaning than I did on the original series of shows. Check it out!


BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! The "Superman" Edition was re-posted to the web October 23, 2005. Originally released in 2002, the music is by the Ass Ponys, Norah Jones, Warren Zevon, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Maria Muldaur, Gil Scott-Heron, Donovan, and many others. (Sorry, Tim, I couldn't get hold of the Spin Doctors's version of "Jimmy Olsen's Blues," but thanks ever so much for suggesting that I have a better physique than George Reeves.) The comedy is from an old 1969 radio play that I wrote with Robby Wolff and David Spiwack. Follow this link to my "Superman" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself! 2hr 35m.


Ticket to Rice

The "Neo-Condi" Edition was posted to the web October18, 2005. The Secretary of State came to Princeton last month, and even though she was traveling light, she still carried a lot of baggage, if you get my drift. Follow this link to my "Neo-Condi" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


Saint BillThe "In Formation Station" Edition was posted to the web May 1, 2005. As Bill Frist and the new Pope take to the airwaves, I am literally speechless, but not without other resources. This program is dedicated to "Elliot from Harvard," who presumably knew enough not to eat the brown acid. There's no magic bus, but on a clear day, you can see for miles and miles and miles and miles. Follow this link to my "In Formation" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


The "Laptop" Crisis was posted to the web April 17, 2005. This edition of "My Midlife Crisis" was recorded on an old laptop after my "good" machine got hopelessly corrupted and had to be put in the care of strangers who may treat it brutally behind closed doors, stripping it of all the individuality that endeared it to me for the past year, resurrecting it via an ancient image of itself. Oh woe is me! And this web page was revised using a French copy of FrontPage Express with pull-down menus that are labelled Fichier, Edition, Affichage, etc., which mean-- WHAT? But it does have a great mix of music, including Conor Oberst, Chumbawamba, Kaila Flexer, Gary Lucas, Chad & Jeremy (really!) and many more!

Follow this link to my "
Laptop Crisis" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


Too Much Like ChristmasThe "Too Much Like Christmas" Edition was posted to the web December 22, 2004. On this edition of "My Midlife Crisis," I worry over the Christian right's relentless assault on the unnamed co-conspirators who are taking the Christ out of Christmas. In a season where there's no breakout toy to get the young one's excited, is Jesus really the answer?
There is also a free-form mix of winter music (but no Christmas songs!), including John Hiatt, Bob Dylan, David Byrne and Robert Wilson, Willie McTell, Tom Paxton , and many more.


Follow this link to my "
Too Much Like Christmas" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


Miami MenorahThe Chanukkah Edition was posted to the web December 6, 2004. On this edition of "My Midlife Crisis," I examine the proposition that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

There is also a free-form mix of music and conversation, including new recordings by Alvin Lee, Frog Holler, REM, Leonard Cohen, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds; and old favorites by Beck, Fountains of Wayne, Simply Red, Martha Wainwright, and many more.

Follow this link to my "
Chanukkah" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


Pied PickleThe Pied Pickle Edition was posted to the web November 12, 2004. On this edition of "My Midlife Crisis," I set the record straight with the real story of how my friend Joel lost his finger. As you'll hear, his finger was an unfortunate casualty of the great Philadelphia Pickle wars of the 1950s.

There is also a free-form mix of music and conversation, including new recordings by Green Day, David Byrne, Keren Ann, John Cale, Sam Phillips, Bruce Springsteen, Eleanor McEvoy, and Dr. John; and old favorites by Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, Hem, Roseanne Cash, The Mavericks, Van Dyke Parks, Alan Price, The Itals, Rufus Harley, Ani DiFranco, and many more.

 Follow this link to my "
Pied Pickle" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


A Princeton LocustThe Day of the Locust Edition was posted to the web June 25, 2004. It is dedicated to the memory of Sidney and Joel Shupak, father and son, both men who kept a song in their hearts all the days of their lives. You hear both their voices, as well as the latest from Dave Alvin, Bush, Ani DiFranco, Patti Smith, and the locusts of Princeton, NJ. Follow this link to my "Day of the Locust" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


40 Watts from NowhereThe Powerless Loser Edition was posted to the web April 2, 2004. My guest is Sue Carpenter, author of "40 Watts From Nowhere: A Journey into Pirate Radio." Sue's Los Angeles pirate station broadcast 24 hours a day from her living room, attracting a hip audience and an FCC investigation. She has an amazing story to tell and we have a great conversation. There's also a free-form mix of music, including gospel, jazz, rock, folk . . . you name it. There's even a cut from an old Shari Lewis album featuring Lambchop and Charleyhorse. I play the track that Tim Hibbs identified as the most requested track he ever played as a disc jockey. And I include the latest installment in my series of excerpts from vintage concerts from the Bottom Line. Follow this link to my "Powerless Loser" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


Saving the Bottom LineSaving the Bottom Line was posted to the web December 16, 2003. When word spread that the Bottom Line was in trouble, a campaign took shape to "save" the Bottom Line. And I was reminded of the dozens of nights back in the 1970s and 1980s when I stayed up late and taped broadcasts from The Bottom Line-- "saving" The Bottom Line in my own way. Were those tapes as good as I remembered? Follow this link to my "Saving the Bottom Line" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


Listener NeilListener Neil was posted to the web November 2, 2003. When I heard that Vin Scelsa had mentioned my web page on "Idiot's Delight," I was thrilled . . . until I heard exactly what he had said. It isn't that he said anything bad, it's just that the message I had received led me to believe that he had actually mentioned the Lenny Bruce edition of "My Midlife Crisis." What he had done was mention that I had posted "something" about Lenny Bruce. And he called me "Listener Neil." Nothing wrong with that-- but a still, small voice inside my head asked me, "Is that all you are? Just a listener!" Finding the answer to this question is the goal of my latest "crisis." Follow this link to my "Listener Neil" page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


LennyLenny Bruce.was posted to the web July 31, 2003. There is a campaign to posthumously pardon Lenny Bruce from his 1964 obscenity conviction. Was Lenny Bruce obscene, or was he prosecuted under the obscenity statute because blasphemy is not against the law? I will talk with David Skover, co-author with Ronald Collins, of "The Trials of Lenny Bruce," which will be released in paperback in September. You'll hear excerpts from Lenny Bruce performances, as well as from performances by Belle Barth, as I compare Lenny Bruce's work to this truly obscene comic. What drives all these Jewish comics to celebrate carnality? And why was it so threatening to the repressed American mainstream? Of course, there will be lots of music. And more. Follow this link to my Lenny Bruce page, where you can learn more about this program, as well as hear it for yourself!


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Streaming PotusLife During Wartime was posted to the web on April 28, 2003--too late for the actual war. It is the longest "crisis" yet and the war seems to have ended before I finished it! In this latest "crisis" I compare my feelings about the war with Iraq to the war I protested in 1970 as American troops crossed the border into Cambodia. I talk with Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a life-long activist for peace and justice and director of The Shalom Center, and I touch base with Lew Goodman, a fellow "draft dodger" back in the day. And there's music--an anti-war mix that includes new recordings from Warren Zanes, Luka Bloom, Grand Drive, the Beastie Boys, Stephen Smith, and many more, as well as some old war horses (you should excuse the expression!) from Joni Mitchell, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Big Country, Ducks DeLux, and a bunch of others.  3hr 39min.

An Anniversary WaltzThe Anniversary Edition was posted to the web on February 18, 2003--too late for the actual anniversary; too late for Valentine's Day; too late even for the eighth anniversary of the Idiot's Delight Digest. This "crisis" turned into an extended meditation on the origins of love and many of the possible outcomes, as well. The music ranges from the overly optimistic love songs of our youth to the more nuanced musings of sadder but wiser bards. Eleni joins me for a very rich conversation on what love has to do with it (whatever "it" is) and was also instrumental in putting together the final mix. Free-form as usual, the mix ranges from Mendelssohn to Lou Reed, with stops in between for Wilco, Warren Zevon, the Roches, P.J. Harvey, Al Jolson, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Buffy Sainte Marie, Judy Collins, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Cab Calloway, and many, many more. 3 hr 31min.

A broken bag is a broken life.Radio Days was posted to the web on December 24, 2002. I blame Lew Goodman for this "crisis" because Lew sent me a tape of "The Lew Goodman Story," originally aired on WFUV on March 30, 1973, and it got me thinking about the special energy and spirit of young people on the radio. This "crisis" is all about then and now--how it was and how it is. Looking back, I resurrect one of my own oldest programs, which includes a "visit" to the Trojan factory in Trenton, NJ. In present time, I talk with fellow veterans of college radio days--Jeff Bernstein, Lew Goodman, and Alan Seltzer. Between one thing and another, I also go through a lot of music, with a free-form mix that includes Tony Bennett, Dayna Kurtz, Joe Ely, Chumbawamba, Tom Petty, Joshua Redman, Biff Rose, The Ramones, Elvis Costello, and many, many more. 3 hr.

What exactly did you say is the plural of putt?The Bar Mitzvah from Hell was posted to the web on November 20, 2002. But it wasn't the bar mitzvah that pushed me over the line, it was the country club reception that followed the service. Lord knows, if they hadn't made sure to put the "bar" back into bar mitzvah and provide vodka on demand, I wouldn't have lasted. I've got a lot to say about the decline and fall of religion, and about Rick Moody's take on Elton John, but mostly I've got a free-form mix that ranges from Vladimir Horwitz to the latest from Mark Knopfler and Rhett Miller, with stops along the way for Frank Black & the Catholics, Carl Perkins, John Hammond, the Handsome Family, and many more. 3 hr 6m.

Nazis with a laugh track?The Fat Man's First Date with His 'Ex' was posted to the web on October 10, 2002. Pay no attention to that husky Nazi--his weight problem doesn't begin to compare to mine, which I wrestle with in the first hour of this 'Crisis'. Then, for a change of pace, I revisit my first date with my ex-wife, which was originally broadcast in March 1970. On that historic occasion, I was a mad Nazi spaceman and she was the madam of an intergalactic whore house in the red-light galaxy. There's lots of music from the fat zone--ranging from Allan Sherman to Lydia Lunch, from Tommy Dorsey to Queen, as well as new songs by Jackson Browne and Steve Earle, and many more. 2 hr 30m.

When God said to sacrifice the kid--is THIS what He meant?Rosh Hashanah was posted to the web on September 6, 2002. "God said to Abraham, 'Kill me a son'. Abe said, 'Man, you must be puttin' me on'." When Abe responded to God's call, he established a model of faith that Western civilization has used to transform child sacrifice into the art of war. Every Rosh Hashanah, the story of the trial of Abraham is chanted from the Torah scroll in synagogues all over the world. This story has also been the direct inspiration for songs by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen . . . and an indirect inspiration for music by Wilco, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello, Neil Young, Television, and Natalie Merchant. Should God have given the world to the Monkees? Just in case, I include them, too. It's free-form music for a post-modern Jewish New Year--shofar blowing and kaddish on Highway 61. The d'var Torah that I delivered on the second day of Rosh Hashanah (completed after the program was recorded) can be read here. 1 hr 43m.

Microphone"Studio N" was posted to the web on August 26, 2002. It had been over a month since the last new edition of "My Midlife Crisis." In that time, I assembled a new studio and learned how to use it, and part of this midlife crisis is certainly coming to terms with the commitment of making a serious investment in continuing this series. In addition to the ongoing struggle to define the reason for my existence, this program also contains two kinds of wedding music--the songs every bride and groom should heed as they plan their nuptials and the songs they will want to choose for their first dance as husband and wife; we also return to a hot August night over twenty years ago when Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes rocked the Asbury Park Convention Center. And there is a free-form mix that includes Uri Caine, Tom Waits, Ruin, Ani di Franco, XTC, Linda Thompson, the Yankees, and Bruce Springsteen. 2 hr 17m.

Florida"A Little Travelling Music" was posted to the web on July 15, 2002. I put it together after several days driving through Florida looking up old friends and family. The music is at the heart of this show and it is a truly free-form mix that starts with Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos and ends with Ella Fitzgerald. In between, we visit with The Mekons, Van Dyke Parks, Graham Parker, Norah Jones, and many more. Plus stories of what I found out there.  1 hr 41m.

Dad . . . and Mom"It's Father's Day and everybody's wounded" was posted to the web on June 21, 2002. As a father and as a son, I have a lot of feelings about the parenting that I've done and the parenting that I've had done to me. My dad was a tough old bird and he knew how to sell anything to anybody. Here are stories about my dad and other adventures in parenting, as well as music about fathers and sons by Bruce Springsteen, Randy Newman, The Temptations, Neil Young, Steve Goodman, Lou Reed, and many more. For more background on my dad, click on The Dad Link. 1 hr 47m.

From the snake to Eve to Adam to . . ."Temptation & Other Distractions" was posted to the web on June 1, 2002. Ever since the snake offered Eve a taste of the apple, humanity hasn't needed to rely on snakes to fuel the flames of pointless and random yearnings for forbidden fruit. No, sir, just do an advanced search on Google for pages containing the words "nude" and pictures" and the exact phrase "Brittany Spears" and you'll get no fewer than 5,000 hits. So, this edition of "My Midlife Crisis" is an acknowledgement of the corrosive impact of pornography. It includes stories of wasted nights and unfulfilled fantasies, as well as Long John Nebel's attempt to do a radio commercial for a pornographic movie, and a certain infamous bit that is completely unfit for broadcast. And, I include a Talmud lesson, as well as some great music by the Pretenders, TOFOG, Charles Mingus, the Buzzcocks, and many others. And while I didn't know it when I posed the question on the program, here is a link to a link to the answer to the question, "Who is Scotty Engel?" Part 1 = 1 hr 15m. Part 2 = 47m.

Joey Ramone and Jean Shepherd"Jean and Joey" was posted to the web on May 13, 2002. What do Joey Ramone and Jean Shepherd have in common? Well, for one thing, they're both dead. But more importantly, both were able to conjure up memories of a care-free age when the world was young and horny. However, it is what set them apart that is at the center of THIS midlife crisis, and to find out exactly what that was, you'll have to tune in. The music is by Joey Ramone, The Only Ones, The Hoodoo Gurus, Maurice Chevalier, and many others. 1 hr 15m.

Neil as Superman"We Now Return to the Amazing Adventures of Superman" was posted to the web on May 1, 2002. And while that's my head on George Reeves's body, I don't actually play the role of Superman on the excerpts from the 1969 radio play that originally aired on WUSB (the radio station of SUNY at Stony Brook) that are included in this 2002 free-form mix. In fact, I play Perry White, a thug named "Lefty" and the announcer. The music is by the Ass Ponys, Norah Jones, Warren Zevon, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Maria Muldaur, Gil Scott-Heron, Donovan, and many others. (Sorry, Tim, I couldn't get hold of the Spin Doctors's version of "Jimmy Olsen's Blues," but thanks ever so much for suggesting that I have a better physique than George Reeves.) 2hr 30m.

Eleni as a girl"Her Midlife Crisis" was posted to the web on April 15, 2002. When I realized that the first two editions of "My Midlife Crisis" contained no music by women, or even performed by women, I wondered if there was something gender-specific to MY midlife crisis. So, I invited my wife to join me in listening to some of my favorite women artists and to talk about what we were hearing. The music is by Joni Mitchell, Etta James, Lucinda Williams, Aimee Mann, Linda Thompson, Sarah Vaughan, and many more. Is my husbandly deference to my wife's reactions a sign of maturity or insecurity? Whose crisis is this, anyway? 1hr 30m.

DubyaThe Democracy Edition of "My Midlife Crisis" was posted to the web on April 5, 2002. It contains music that celebrates the American way of life, including Herbie Mann's "Battle Hymn of the Republic," Leonard Cohen's "Democracy," Neil Young's "Let's Roll," and many more, as well as a grim comic fantasy in which the youth of America take over the country, a radio play that originally aired in 1970 on WUSB (the radio station of SUNY at Stony Brook). 1hr 15m.

matzohThe Passover Edition of "My Midlife Crisis" was posted to the web on March 22, 2002. It contains music for a 58th Century seder, including the Kinks, Groove Armada, Lester Young, and many more. It also contains excerpts from a very bizarre and comic rendering of the story of Passover, originally aired in 1969 on WUSB (the radio station of SUNY at Stony Brook). 1hr 7m.

A new program will be added in a few weeks.

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I am tremendously grateful to Frank for invaluable technical support during the construction of this web site and for continuing to provide generous advice and encouragement toward upgrading the sound of these programs. Frank is truly my "godfather of technology"!