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Jul. 13th, 2016


Michigan / North Carolina

On a whim I decided to take a "Test Your Knowledge of Michigan Slang" test on the internet. Even though I guessed on one question, I still scored a 100%.

Here's the thing, though: I lived more-or-less the first half of my life in Michigan; let's say 1962 to 1988 (26 years). The second half of my life, 1989 to the present (2016) I have lived in North Carolina. (27 years). The figures are rounded off, and I would bet that if one really studied my history and did the math, it would be be very close to 50/50, as I was born in December of 1962 and moved here in the fall of 1988. I'm too lazy to do the math right now.

The strange thing is is that, rather than feeling at home in both states, I feel like a stranger in each. My ear is no longer accustomed to the Michigan accent; in fact, when I went to my 25th high school reunion a few years ago, I couldn't help but reflect on how odd my former classmates sounded. But here, when I open my mouth people know that I'm not "native."

In the South, especially in the country, you just wave "hey" to people, even if you don't know them: it's a formality, a socially prescribed norm. To do otherwise would be to be perceived as rude. I kinda like it. So I'm in Northern Michigan, in my hometown, and I've been sledding with my daughter and my dog, and we are getting back into the car, when a pick-up truck rolls by. Instinctively, I wave, and surprisingly, the driver stops, because he wants to know if something is wrong or if I need help. How do I explain to him that I was just waving because I'm from down south and that is what we do?

At the same time I feel like I can never be a true southerner. I can't even explain why. I talk funny, I don't like sweet tea. I don't care about barbecue. (I didn't even know what it was as a Michigander). I don't give a shit about the Atlanta Braves or Alabama football. This reasoning is obviously superficial, but it is a start.

Then up in Mancelona, MI, my hometown, I start noticing confederate flags. WTF? I guess it's a symptom of alienation, and anger, based on economic issues beyond peoples' control. People are not flying it as a racist statement; they're flying it as a mere act of defiance.

I make a decent living; I have a good job. Maybe my questions of identity are frivolous in the grand scheme of things.

Jul. 10th, 2016


Catamount Community Radio - July 10, 2016

I don't know if it is narcissism or if I do it in a genuine spirit of self-evaluation, but I normally tape half or so of the radio show on cassette and listen back to it later. Well, today I forgot the boom box at home (I usually keep it at my office) and didn't tape the show. Which is OK.

Then I record another radio show right over the top of the cassette a month later: I just can't keep buying cassettes.

When I die, I will definitely leave behind an archive or radio shows, but it will be by no means be a complete set. I like to imagine some great grandchild discovering the tapes, figuring out how to play them, and getting a little kick out of it.

1. Ulf Wakenius – Believe, Beleft, Below
2. John Coltrane – I Love You
3. Eleni Mandell – Magic Summertime
4. Sun Ra – Bassism
5. Gal Costa – Aquele frere axé
6. Bob Dylan – Spirit on the Water
7. Jewels & Binoculars – Spirit of the Water
8. Randy Newman – Jolly Coppers on Parade
9. Christian McBride & Roy Hargrove
10. Cedar Walton – Seven Minds
11. Bing Crosby – In the Cool, Cool of the Evening
12. Dan the Automator – Steeeplechase Avnue (Sittin’ on 22’s)
13. The Jewels – This is my Story
14. Ted Nash – Something for Nash
15. Oscar Peterson – The Shiek of Araby
16. King Tubby – Book of Numbers Dub
17. Bunny Wailer – Bide Up
18. Peter Beets – Nigerian Marketplace
19. Hugh Masakela – Grazing in the Grass
20. Marc Ribot – Fat Man Blues
21. The Coasters – Zing! Went the Strings of my Heart
22. Henry Mancini – Something for Cat
23. Michael Blake Trio – Careless Love
24. Peter Blegvad – Crumb de la Crumb
25. Maceo Parker – Simply Tooley
26. Omer Avital – New Song

Jul. 3rd, 2016


Catamount Community Radio - July 3, 2016

1. Ted Nash – Lujon
2. Duke Elliington – The Feeling of Jazz
3. Diana Krall – Simple Twist of Fate
4. Clifford Jordan – Glass Bead Games
5. Brad Mehldau – Dreamsvillle
6. Kaki King – Carmine King
7. Dave Alvin – Surfer Girl
8. Hamton Hawes – You and the Night and the Music
9. Billie Holiday – What’s New
10. Duke Ellington – Harlem Air Shaft
11. Marc Ribot – Pensando
12. The Five Stairsteps – OOH Child
13. Fanga – Knoni (fragment)
14. Ben Allison – Goin’ Back
15. Willie Nelson – American Tune
16. John Coltrane – My Ideal
17. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – This Land is Your Land
18. George Benson – Benson’s Rider
19. Wynton Marsalis – Big Butter and Egg Man
20. The Martinis – Bullseye
21. Simon & Garfunkel – America
22. Chuck Berry – Promised Land
23. Marvin Hamlish – Solace (Scott Joplin)
24. Professor Longhair – Big Chief
25. Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Sugar Plum
26. James Brown – America is my Home
27. Sonny Rollins Blues n’ Boogie
28. Lyte Funkie Ones – Summer Girls

Jun. 28th, 2016


A Confederacy of Dunces (4)

Last in the series.

I mentioned the uptown neighborhood where Ignatius lives with his mom earlier. We'll just add that "there were no shrubs. There was no grass. And no birds sang."

Ignatius, entering the garage where the carts are kept, preparing to vend some weenies: "...the protruding hairs in his nostrils analyzing, cataloging, categorizing and classifying the distinct odors of hot dog, mustard, and lubricant."

Myrna Minkoff and Ignatius: "We were left alone, all cold coffee and hot words."

Myrna and Ignatius, "attacking one another with conversation."

Pearls of wisdom from Ignatius:

• "deodorants and other perversions"

• Irene Riley reads "Father Keller and Billy Graham in the paper everyday." Ignatius: "Oh my God, no wonder you are so lost."

• Ignatius just trying to scribble his genius out onto the Big Chief tablets in his room, says to his mother, "Don't you have a bottle of moscatel baking in the oven?"

• "Psychiatry is worse than communism."


synecdoche: the part is substituted for the whole, or the whole for the part.

metonymy: "one word is substituted for another with which it stands in close relationship in common language"

"ignatius had bought a large, elegant limited edition of the English translation and all fifteen dollars of its price hit Patrolman Manusco in the with the force of a dictionary."

"He paused to light a Benson & Hedges and cleared some of the phlegm of English history from his throat."

"At last ... a white smock billowed off the trolley and whipped into the garage."

JONES: "Ooo-wee ... The green cap mother. In person. Live."
OMNISCIENT THIRD-PERSON NARRATOR: "... the green cap mother said to Lana Lee."

"bandage plastered over his headache."

Jun. 26th, 2016


Catamount Community Radio? - June 26, 2016

Special show today: free form radio with my pal Tyler. His idea was to do characters, and for me to play the straight man. The first character, who gave us fodder for two fifteen-minute mic breaks, was washed-up British rock star Nigel Chillingsworth. Then in the second hour he played Mr. Irving Snideman, the station supervisor, who was at the station to do my annual performance evaluation. It was totally silly, totally fun (if not funny), and totally free form. We will do it again.

Since the station is not streaming, Jeff and Donna sat in their van and listened! Love that.

CCR, 10-12 Sunday mornings at 90.5

1. John Coltrane – The Night has a Thousand Eyes
2. Sam Cooke – Nothing Can Change this Love
3. Hilton Ruíz – Home Cooking
4. Roy Hargrove & Christian McBride – Baubles, Bangles and Beads
5. Aaron Neville – Tell it Like it is
6. Joshua Redman –You’ve Got a Friend in Me
7. Bill Charlap – Tiny’s Tempo
8. Coleman Hawkins – Big Head
9. Irvin Mayfield – James Booker
10. Sarah Vaughan – Mean to Me
11. Oscar Peterson – C Jam Blues
12. Cannonball Adderley – Bohemia After Dark
13. Dinah Washington – I Sold My Heart to the Junkman
14. Nat Adderley – Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
15. John Scofield – A Go Go
16. The Neville Brothers – Voo Doo
17. Marisa Monte – Vilarejo
18. Jason Moran – Arizona Landscape

Jun. 25th, 2016


A Confederacy of Dunces (3)

Part of the genius of the novel is its plotting. Only with repeated readings do you realize how Kennedy Toole sets things up that will be resolved hundreds of pages later.

When Ignatius works at Levy Pants, he first seems to Mr. Levy to be a good employee, for Mr. Levy wants nothing so much as to ignore his business, and is unaware of Ignatius's firing off offensive missives to clients, emptying the files into the garbage, and inciting revolt in the factory. At one point, however, Ignatius tells Mr. Levy, "I will change your mind about this firm, sir. Mark my word." We just read on, assuming that Ignatius's stay at Levy at Levy pants will be nothing but a disaster. But as it turns out, at the end of the novel, Mr. Levy does decide to engage himself once again with his business.

Speaking of the Levys, here's the description of their house:

"A permanently 75-degree womb connected to the year-round air-conditioning that silently filled the rooms with filtered and reconstituted Gulf of Mexico breezes and exhaled the Levys' carbon dioxide and cigarette smoke and ennui."

The brilliance of the sentence is rhetorical: carbon dioxide (concrete), cigarette smoke (concrete) and ennui (abstract). I love this.


The workers in the factory at Levy Pants are all black. Ignatius lives on society's margin, as do African Americans, which leads Ignatius to ponder:

"Perhaps I should have been a negro. I suspect that I would have been a rather large and terrifying one, continually pressing my ample thigh against the withered thighs of old white ladies, in public conveyances and eliciting more than one shriek of panic."

Jun. 24th, 2016


A Confederacy of Dunces (2)

I took notes on this book last December while in Michigan, but having recently visited New Orleans, I'm compelled to share a few more observations on this, my favorite novel.

A description of the uptown neighborhood where the 30-year old Ignatius lives with his mom:

"It was a neighborhood that had deteriorated from Victorian to nothing in particular, a block that had moved into the twentieth century carelessly and uncaringly - and with very limited funds."

Ignatius's mom, Irene Riley, and a few other characters are what I guess are called Yat speakers, from "Where y'at?" meaning, where are you in life; how are you doing?

"My nerves is shot." (Ignatius: "my nerves are nearing total decay.")
"My heart's broke."
"Nobody else got a valve but you. I ain't got no valve."
"Ignatius, get a holt of yourself."
"You gonna go try somewheres t'morrow."
"They's bread in the icebox."
"Listen, Santa, why you called, sugar?"
"They all crazy from the wine if you ast me."
"I'll ast over by the beer parlor." "I bought it by Lennie's" ("by" for "at")
"she got her a headache."
"who they got laid out in there?" "They waking Old Lady Lopez."
"It seem like every night she & him was putting on a regular hootenanny."

oyster = erster
children = chirren
hi-fi = hi fly
rinse = wrench
electric = letrit
sink = zink

Ignatius and his valve. Theme for a thesis some other day.

As I probably said before somewhere, one of the charms of the book is the way that it captures different dialects or registers of New Orleans speech. This is perhaps something that O'Toole got from Mark Twain, who writes in the introduction to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

“In this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary “Pike County” dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a haphazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech. I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding”

Whatever may be the secret debts that Kennedy Toole owed to Mark Twain, a running joke in the novel is Ignatius's disdain for the creator of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn:

"Mark Twain preferred to lie supinely in bed while composing those rather dated and boring efforts which contemporary scholars try to prove meaningful. Veneration of Mark Twain is one of the roots of our current intellectual stalemate."

"Does she think I'm one of those perverse Mark Twain characters?"

"that dreary fraud, Mark Twain"

Jun. 19th, 2016


Catamount Community Radio - June 19, 2016

It was good to be back on the air after a week off. Despite the fact that it was a family vacation, with all the attendant bickering, I really enjoyed New Orleans. Food, music, architecture, the street cars. I plan to return one day. Some pics on Mondo Marco.

When I got a new work computer, iTunes was updated keeping all the songs I bought and downloaded, but not of those I had imported from discs. My library on that Mac was astronomical, maybe 15,000 songs. Little by little I'll be adding tunes back that I lost ... believe me, I have all the CDs, plus the library is right next door.

No word on the internet stream, alas.

1. Harry Nilsson – Turn on your Radio
2. Allen Toussaint – Tipitina and Me
3. Freddie Keppard – Willie the Weeper
4. Charlie Hunter – Fine Corinthian Leather
5. George Cables – Tasshi’s Night Out
6. Larry Goldings – All my Born Days
7. Eddie Bo – The Hook and the Sling
8. Benny Green – Sheik of Araby
9. Herbie Hancock & Tina Turner – Edith and the Kingpin
10. Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Mark Whitfield – Driftin’
11. Gene Ammons – Canadian Sunset
12. Bob Dylan – Workingman’s Blues #2
13. Dave Douglas – I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry
14. Marcus Miller – Boogie On, Reggae Woman
15. Ellis & Branford Marsalis – Lulu’s Back in Town
16. Aretha Franklin – Mockingbird
17. Earl Hines – Grand Terrace Shuffle
18. Jay McShann – Sepian Bounce (feat. Charlie Parker)
19. Abdullah Ibrahim – Blue Bolero
20. Brian Bromberg – Shining Star
21. Brad Mehldau – Still Crazy After all these Years
22. John Eddie – Same Old Brand-New Me
23. Dirty Dozen Brass Band – Don’t Drive Drunk
24. Gonzalo Rubalcava – Hip Side
25. Chuck Berry – Primised Land
26. Branford Marsalis – Mo Better Blues

Ellis Marsalis

Jun. 5th, 2016


Catamount Community Radio - June 5, 2016

If there ever was a day when the screeching tires were more a propos, I can't remember it. I spent a little too much time on my morning ablutions, looked at the flip phone, and damn if it wasn't 9:40. I'm supposed to be on the air at 10:00 and I haven't even jumped into the shower yet to rinse off yesterday's dried sweat and broken dreams. I'll tell you what, brothers and sisters, I was on the air by 10:01.

No show next week. I'll be in the Big Easy with my daughter and wife, the Crescent City, thinking about music and food, and trying not to think too much about the heat and humidity.

Used previously burned CDs again today. My external DVD/CD player has not arrived yet. Not how I like to do radio, but adjust, brother.

Getting started on year two with no internet stream. Really?

1. Brad Mehldau – The Nearness of You
2. Fats Waller – I Can’t Give You Anything but Love
3. C. McBride, N. Payton, M. Whitfield – Chameleon
4. Hadda Brooks – That’s my Desire
5. Branford Marsalis 4tet – Mo’ Better Blues
6. Orrin Evans – The Sound of Philadelphia
7. Madeleine Peyroux – Dance Me to the End of Love
8. Fred Hersch – In Walked Bud
9. Solomon Burke – He’ll Have to Go
10. Duke Ellington – The Star-Crossed Lovers
11. Muhammed Ali – Will the Real Sonny Liston Please Fall Down
12. John Hiatt – Let’s Give this Love a Try
13. Nick Lowe – I Read a Lot
14. Bob Dylan – Early Morning Rain
15. Matt Wilson – Feel the Sway
16. Randy Newman – Louisiana 1927
17. Sonny Rollins – Rock-a-bye Baby with a Dixie Melody
18. Rufus Thomas – Memphis Train
19. Rufus Thomas – Walking the Dog
20. Bob Marley – Babylon System
21. Benny Green – Way ‘cross Town
22. Charles Lloyd & Jason Moran – Pretty Girl
23. Leon Russell – Tight Wire
24. Teddy Wilson – I Wanna be Happy
25. Dianne Reeves – Too Close for Comfort
26. Duke Ellington – Jubilesta
27. Andrew Hill – Diddy Wah
28. John Patitucci – Jesus on the Main Line

Rufus Thomas

May. 29th, 2016


Catamount Community Radio - May 29, 2016

Yesterday was the weirdest show in memory. As I said last week, I cannot burn CDs with the new computer that has been assigned to me, so until my DVD drive arrives, I'm using CDs I burned for previous shows. I just take a stack 30 or so in one of those containers in which you can stack them up. And then I have the pile of playlists, which match the CDs, and usually in the same order. But I apparently took the wrong playlists, so I had to put the CDs in and listen to them to determine what was on each one, using the "cue" function. Fortunately there are three CD players, so I can have one playing over the air, while listening to another one. I made it somehow, but had very little time to talk. When I got back to my office I realize that I did have the right playlists, it just that they were somehow all out of order. So I put them all in order and then back on the shelf.

1. Brad Mehldau – Still Crazy After All these Years
2. Solomon Burke – Got to Get You off my Mind
3. Larry Goldings – I Think it’s Going to Rain Today
4. James Carr – The Dark End of the Street
5. Joshua Redman – The Best is yet to Come
6. Aretha Franklin – Walk on By
7. Joe Henderson – Recorda me
8. Dámaso Pérez Prado – Martinica
9. Lee Fields – Good Foot
10. Aaron Goldberg – One’s a Crowd
11. Eliane Elias – You and the Night and the Music
12. Spanish Harlem Orchestra (w/ Rubén Blades) – You and the Night and the Music
13. Hall & Oates – Had I Known You Better Then
14. Doctor Rockit – Male James Bonding
15. Joshua Redman – The Second Time Around
16. Nat Cole – No Moon at All
17. Sketch Show – Theme from a Summer Place
18. Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – Boy Meets Horn
19. Sam Rivers – Fuchsia Swing Song
20. Carmen McRae & Sammy Davis, Jr. – Two Sleepy People
21. John Zorn – Miller’s Crake
22. Eddie Higgins – You and the Night and the Music
23. Tony Allen – Gbedu
24. John Scofield – Georgia on my Mind
25. Adriana Calconhotto – Cantada (Depois de ter voce)
26. Aaron Parks – Roadside Distraction
27. Joel Fraham – Away from Home
28. Piero Umiliana – My Man Duke
29. Bobby McFerrin – Jesus Makes it Good

Dámaso Pérez Prado

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