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Catamount Community Radio - October 26, 2008

I pushed the volume up to almost ten today so that Jim Dandy could hear my words without crouching down next to the speakers. I think it worked. Today's themes? Oh, some Halloween music, some music about walking. If I'm not mistaken (and I often am, the Rastafari religion prioritizes modes of transport, and guess what?, walking is number one; bicycles number two, and as they get more complex and more dependent on motors, they get lower and lower on the pole. So I played some tunes about walking, and borrowed some text from Bruce Chatwin's "It's a Nomad Nomad World":

"In one of his gloomier moments, Pascal said that all man’s unhappiness stemed from a single cause, his inability to remain quietly in a single room. 'Notre nature”, he wrote, “est dans le mouvement… La seule chose qui nos console de nos misères est le divertissement.' Diversion. Distraction. Fantasy. Change of fashion, food, love and landscape. We need them as the air we breathe. Without change our brains and bodies rot. The man who sits quietly in a shatered room is likely to be mad, tortured by hallucinations and introspection.

"Some American brain specialists took encephalograh readings of travellers. They found that changes of scenery and awareness of the passage of seasons trough the year stimulated the rhythms of the brain, contributing to a sense of well-being and an active purpose in life. Monotonous surroundings and tedious regular activities wove patterns wich produce fatigue, nervous disorders, apathy, self-disgust and violent reactions. Hardly surprising, then, than a generation cushioned from the cold by central heating, from the heat by air-conditioning, carted in aseptic transports from one identical house or hotel to the another, should feel the need for journeys of mind and body, for pep pills or tranquillisers, or for the cathartic journeys of sex, music and dance. We spend far too much time in shuttered rooms."

"We all have adrenalin. We cannot drain it from our systems or pray it will evaporate. Deprived of danger we invent artificial enemies, psychosomatic illnesses, tax-collectors, and, worst of all, ourselves, if we are left alone in the single room. Adrenalin is our travel allowance. We might just as well use it up in a harmless way. Air travel is livening up in this respect but as a species we are terrestrial. Man walked and swam long before he rode or flew. Our human possibilities are best fulfilled on land or sea. Poor Icarus crashed.

"The best thing is to walk. We should follow the chinese poet Li Po in 'the hardships of travel and the many branchings of the way.' For life is a journey trough wilderness. This concept, universal to the point of banality, could not have survived unless it was biologically true. None of our revolutionary heroes is worth a thing until he has been on a good walk. Che Guevara spoke of the 'nomadic phase' of the Cuban Revolution. Look what the Long March did for Mao Tse-Tung, or Exodus for Moses."

Today's playlist:

1. Kronos Quartet – Dracula, Film Score for String Quartet 1
2. Mel Tormé – Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives
3. Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
4. Charles Mingus – Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
5. Henri's Notions – From Galway to Graceland
6. Scientist – Plague of the Zombies
7. Oscar Peterson – Gal in Calico
8. The Corporation – Walking Thru Jerusalem
9. Willie Bobo – Night Walk
10. Ted Nash – Walk This Way
11. Gayle House Records – Evil Creatures
12. Bobby "Boris" Pickett – Monster Mash
13. Hank Snow – The Wreck of Old 97
14. Baguette Quartette – En douce
15. Kronos Quartet – Dracula, Film Score for String Quartet 2
16. Robert Johnson – Malted Milk
17. Hank Williams – Settin' the Woods on Fire
18. Charlie Louvin – See the Big Man Cry
19. Merle Haggard – Big City
20. Tom Waits – Walking Spanish
21. Bird & Diz – An oscar for Treadwell
22. Caetano Veloso – Cucurrucu paloma
23. Prince – Satisfied
24. Lee Dorsey – Yes We Can
25. Arch Oboler – I'm Hungry
26. Sean Kingston – Beautiful Girls*
27. Jamie Lidell – Little Bit of Feel Good
28. Charles Mingus – Mood Indigo
29. Como Mamas (featuring Mary Moore) – Trouble in my Way
30. Bebo Valdés – Con poco coco


Warren Zevon


Charles Mingus
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