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Catamount Community Radio - January 31, 2010

"That internet thing just brings the devil into your home."
- X-Ray Burns

Another good night's sleep. The power was out for 26 hours, and a candle just doesn't provide enough light for reading, so why not catch up on sleep? Still, I forgot my headphones today, but I got along just fine without them.

Charlie Parker had eclectic tastes in music. When asked by friends why he dug Country and Western music, he explained that it was for the stories that the songs told. I can see what he was talking about. Take the Tom T. Hall tune we listened to today, "The Little Lady Preacher." It tells the story of a cute young preacher who eventually runs off with her guitar picker, a smoker and a drinker. At the end of the song, he wonders who converted whom.

We returned again this week to Phil RetroSpector's mash-ups: Elton John and Philip Glass on one; on another we listened to Johnny Cash say "the first time I knew what I wanted to do with my life was when I was about four years old. I was listening to an old Victrola, playing a railroad song. The song was called 'Hobo Bill's Last Ride,' and I thought that was the most wonderful, amazing thing I'd ever seen, that you could take this piece of wax and music would come out of that box."

On another, he samples somebody reading a Charles Bukowski poem: "There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out that I'm too tough for. I say stay in there, I'm not going to let anybody see you. There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I pour whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke, and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he's in there. There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out that I'm too tough for. I stay stay down, you wanna mess me up? You gonna screw up the works? You gonna blow up my book sales in Europe? There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I'm too clever. I only let him out at night sometimes when everybody's asleep. I say I know you're there, so don't be sad. Then I put him back, but he's singing in there. I haven't quite let him die. And we sleep together like that, with our secret pact. And it's nice enough to make a man weep. But I don't weep. Do you?"

Benjamin Franklin invented a musical instrument called the glass harmonica. To play it, you wet your fingers and let them slide across spinning glass cylinders. The sound is eerie, sort of like a theramin. 18th and early 19th-century musical types didn't think of it as a mere novelty, and composers composed for it. We listened to Dennis James play Mozart's Adaggio in C Major on it. Then we listened to a cover of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush by Dolly, Linda and Emmylou that used it.

I found this at Music for Maniacs. He even quotes a German musicologist who wrote: ""The armonica excessively stimulates the nerves, plunges the player into a nagging depression and hence into a dark and melancholy mood that is an apt method for slow self-annihilation. If you are suffering from any nervous disorder, you should not play it; if you are not yet ill you should not play it; if you are feeling melancholy you should not play it."

Kinda tempts you into wanting to play it, doesn't it?

We did a "jive set," culminating into a cover of the Bee Gees' "Jive Talkin'" in Chinese! Louis Jordan:

Chuck all your junk
back in your trunk
fall on your bunk

We framed the show with Johnny Hodges playing Hoagy Carmichael's "Two Sleepy People." As someboy once said, he plays the saxophone like's he's tryin' to get laid. We also listened to Fats Waller goof on the tune:

Here we are, in a cozy chair;
Pickin' on a wishbone from the frigidaire.
Two sleepy people with nothing to say,
And too much in love to break away.

Do you remember the nights we used to linger in the hall?
Your father didn't like me at all.
Do you remember the reason why we married in the fall?
("It was a shotgun wedding," Mr. Waller interjects)
To rent this little nest and get a bit of rest.

We listened to Taj Mahal sing "Cakewalk into Town":

I had the blues so bad one time it put my face in a permanent frown.
You know I'm feeling so much better, I could cakewalk into town.
I woke up this mornin' feelin' so good,
you know I laid back down again.
Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again.
My baby, my baby, I do love the way she walks.
And when my woman gets sleepy, I love the way she baby-talks.
My work is getting scarce, oh baby, my work it done got hard,
I spend my whole day stealin' chickens from the rich folks' yard.
I would love to take a picnic in the country and stay all day.
I wouldn't do nothing but while my blues away.
I had the blues so bad one time it put my face in a permanent frown.
You know I'm feelin' so much better I could cakewalk into town.

Catamount Community Radio on Power 90.5 Sunday mornings 10-12, East Coast time.

1. Johnny Hodges – Two Sleepy People
2. Futuristic Ensemble – In the Dark
3. John Scofield – Do Like Eddie
4. Pacific 231 – The Zero Hour
5. Louis Armstrong – Lovely Weather We're Having
6. Phil RetroSpector – Ellton's Glasses
7. Tom Waits – Blue Skies
8. Dennis James – Adaggio in C Major (Mozart)
9. Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris – After the Gold Rush
10. Taj Mahal – Cakewalk into Town
11. The Re-vels – False Alarm
12. Fats Waller – Two Sleepy People
13. Tom T. Hall – The Little Lady Preacher
14. Fairground Attraction – A Smile in a Whisper
15. Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis – Intermission Riff
16. Count Basie – Jive at Five
17. Louis Jordan – G.I. Jive
18. Unknown Chinese – Jive Talking
19. Ray Charles – A Fool for You
20. Oscar McLollie – The Honey Jump, pt. 1
21. Miles Davis – I Thought About You
22. Burning Spear – Getting from Bad to Worse
23. Phil RetroSpector – Naturally Feeling Blue (fragment)
24. Jimmy Wakely – One Has my Heart, the Other Has my Name
25. Phil RetroSpector – Bluebird Blackout
26. Sahib Shihab – The End of a Love Affair
27. Rocky Dawuni – Wake the Town
28. Don Byas & Slam Stewart – (Back Home in) Indiana
29. Red Sovine – Freightliner Fever
30. Hot Lips Page – I Won't Be Here Long
31. Vandermark 5 – Anywhere Else (for Sheila Major) (fragment)
32. Johnny Hodges – Two Sleepy People

Tom T. Hall

Sahib Shihab




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