Monday, December 7, 2009

Play (photo)


Play, originally uploaded by Julia Skobeleva.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ten More Movie Viewings Under My Belt

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • Thunderball (1965)
  • You Only Live Twice (1967)
  • A Cock and Bull Story (Tristram Shandy) (2005)
  • The Mikado (1982)
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
  • Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
  • Karakter (1997)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

  • Two scenes from Karakter (Dutch 1997)
































    Publicity shot for Manhattan Melodrama (1934):

























    This last batch resulted in an update to my Vintage Shorts Index.

    Vintage Shorts (Medieval Underwear)

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Liberace and Edward R. Murrow

    Tacit defense of gay marriage, notice how very deftly Liberace chooses his words:

    Edward R. Murrow:
    Have you given much thought to getting married and eventually settling down?
    Liberace:
    Well, actually I have. Ed. I've given a lot of thought to marriage, but I don't believe in getting married just for the sake of getting married. I want to someday find the perfect mate and settle down to what I hope will be a marriage that will be blessed by faith and will be a lasting union. In fact, I was reading about lovely young Princess Margaret, and she's looking for her dream man, too. I hope she finds him some day.

    Liberace on Edward R. Murrow's television show
    Person to Person January 6, 1956


    Later in the interview Liberace makes some flirty comments about the young, pretty, and single Princess Margaret, implying that he might want to marry her. Royal glam and glitter enough to make him switch teams?



















    This DVD set is a remarkable 3-disc collection of historic 1950s material. Although staged and somewhat contrived, the conversations are at times remarkably intimate. Murrow interviews them in their own homes and introduces us to spouses and children. I was particularly moved by Oscar Hammerstein's heartfelt thoughts on the dangers of parents teaching hatred to their children. Murrow's approach is very dry and unintrusive, letting the guests talk about whatever's on their mind.

    Meera, not as familiar with the celebrities of the era, took delight in supplementing the experience by consulting Wikipedia, finding juicy details along the way about the future fates of these people, their careers and marriages.


    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Ten Movies I've Seen Since the Last List













    Sandy Dennis, Cher, and Karen Black in Robert Altman's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

    And for good measure, a book I actually finished reading...

    Sams Teach Yourself Visual Basic 2008 in 24 Hours, James Foxall

    Very useful.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Local 9-Year Old Performs with Green Day

    Wow, when Julian told me his best friend JJ (Jason) got to meet Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, I thought that was pretty cool. But what I didn't know was that JJ actually got invited up on stage with Green Day and led the crowd in a synchronized wave! And it's on YouTube! Check it out.




    Green Day - HP Pavilion San Jose, CA 18/08/2009

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    10 films recently viddied by me

  • The Thin Man (1934)
  • Diary of a Lost Girl (Tagebuch einer Verlorenen) (1929, silent)
  • About Schmidt (2002)
  • Venus (2006)
  • The Terminator (1984)
  • Withnail and I (1987)
  • Mata Hari (1931)
  • Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
  • What's Up, Doc? (1972)
  • The Night of the Iguana (1964)

























  • Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    250 mercer (photo)


    250 mercer, originally uploaded by kelco.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    Ten Movies I Watched Recently

    A scene from Jacques Tati's amazing Play Time (1967)

    Jules Dassin's remarkable "Du Rififi chez les hommes" (1955)

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    the edge of the abyss


    the edge of the abyss, originally uploaded by lemurdillo.

    lemurdillo writes:

    There's a finger of the monterey submarine canyon that sticks into Carmel Bay, and you can reach it on a shore dive .... but I never had until yesterday.

    B & I swam out to the "edge of the finger of kelp" like we did a few months ago, but I had neglected to take into account that the kelp had probably grown a bit since then. I was expecting to drop down into about 50' of water, but when we got to around 60' with no bottom in sight, I realized we were probably a bit too far out...

    We swam back to towards end of the kelp bed and hit the empty sand at about 75' deep. To one side, the kelp forest towering above us... to the other, a gentle slope of sand which then suddenly dropped off, maybe 50 feet away from us. "Dude! it's the trench!!!" B signaled that we really ought to go over and take a look over the side. So we did :) We even went about 30' down over the edge, to 110' or so. We had about 60-70' of visibility at this point, and we couldn't see any sort of leveling off. It's a long ways down, folks.

    This shot was taken as we approached the edge of the trench, natural light, white-balanced on the sand (which is actually slightly yellower than what this photo shows). An attempt to photograph the unphotographable, really, but hopefully it gives a little bit of an idea of what it looked like...

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Onion Faces (A Flickr Group)

    Group Description: Slices and cross-sections of onions that resemble faces. Only minimal image manipulation please. Manipulated onions are just fine.

    How's that for an esoteric topic?

    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Auto


    Auto
    Originally uploaded by Inferis
    home movie minimalism

    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Musica della sera ─ BWV Boogie

    The latest Musica della sera show is now up on the Internet to enjoy on demand; see below for locating the link. This program will be available until Thursday, June 18, 2009 (Get it while it lasts!)

    It was an (almost) all-Bach program, as sometimes happens. I start with Bach, and then just can't pull myself away. Must be those sunglasses.

    J.S. Bach in shades, artist unknown.

    Bach did not specify the instrumentation for the Art of the Fugue. The show begins with an arrangement for harpsichord, four hands, Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot sharing the bench. The last of the four selections is the famous unfinished fugue, played as it often is,in its uncompleted form, the voices dropping out one by one, until the last one stops in the middle...eerie. Evidently Bach became too ill to finish it and died some months later. It was the only piece where he used the musical letters of his name as a theme. (In German notation, B-flat A C B-natural is rendered as B A C H)

    This tidbit from wikipedia:
    The autograph carries a note in the handwriting of Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach saying “Über dieser Fuge, wo der Nahme B A C H im Contrasubject angebracht worden, ist der Verfasser gestorben.” (“At the point where the composer introduces the name BACH in the countersubject to this fugue, the composer died.”) However, modern scholarship disputes this version, in particular because the musical notes are indisputably in Bach's own hand, written in a time before his deteriorating vision led to erratic handwriting, probably 1748–1749
    Continuing our series, we heard No.3 of the 4 Orchestral Suites as arranged and performed by the Brazilian Guitar Quartet. Listen for the famous air on a G string. Next week Meera will feature the fourth and final orchestral suite in this marvelous transcription.

    Next we heard a suite for recorder and harpsichord, Heiko ter Schegget and Zvi Meniker performing, followed by three organ chorales performed by Michael Murray at two historic baroque organs of the Netherlands, the Schnitger at St. Michael's, Zwolle, and the organ at St. Bavo's Church, Haarlem. (On the show I think I may have mistakenly referred to them as German instruments.)

    Zwolle - Grote Kerk, Schnitger organ (1721) Photo by pietbron.

    J.S. Bach featured the trumpet in many of his cantatas, often in jubilant settings punctuated with timpani, but he wrote no concertos for the instrument. As a lover of Bach and the baroque trumpet concerto, Alison Balsom's album Bach Music for Trumpet, was an instant hit with me. None of the music was originally scored for trumpet, but all sound like they could have been.

    Alison Balsom, classical trumpeter

    I brought Ton Koopman back, this time at the organ, with a bench all to himself, for the Trio Sonata in C, a lively contrast to the somber organ chorales heard earlier on the show.

    Two jubilant choral works bookended the trio sonata, the Grand Motet, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing to the Lord a New Song) and Bach's mighty Magnificat, Diego Fasolis conducting Solisti e Coro della Radio Svizzera, Lugano; Ensemble Vanitas, in a magnificent live performance.

    Sandro Botticelli's Madonna of the Magnificat (Madonna del Magnificat) - 1480-1481

    I ended the show with one more from trumpeter Alison Balsom, from her albumCaprice. Not a work by J.S. Bach, this time. Instead, I chose as my bridge to the jazz show a nocturne from a trumpet concerto by Henri Tomasi (1901-1971), a French composer of Corsican ancestry.

    * * *

    You can see exactly what was played and who performed it by referring to the playlist (originally broadcast 6/11/2009).

    My wife, Meera Collier-Mitchell, and I take turns hosting the classical radio program Musica della sera on Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 (PT). This week I hosted. Listen at your convenience:

    KUSP's brand new web feature: The KUSP Music Show Player, Classical, Jazz, Global, Eclectic, and Late Late, listen on demand, check it out, peruse the list and click the one for Musica della sera to hear our show.

    Each broadcast is available for download until it is replaced by the subsequent week's program.

    You can also stream KUSP live of course.

    Sunday, June 7, 2009

    Musical Migrations─Music of India, priceless gems from KUSP's LP archives

    My friend and colleague Gypsy Flores asked me to fill in for her on Saturday to do her world music radio show Musical Migrations, KUSP FM, Santa Cruz. Gypsy is leaving the area, and we wish her well. She and her great show will be greatly missed.

    The playlist for Saturday's show is here, and can currently be heard on demand via The KUSP Music Show Player in the Global category. It will only be available till next Saturday (June 13, 2009).

    I started with a duet between Ry Cooder, playing bottleneck guitar, and V.M. Bhatt on vina, a plucked string instrument of India, from an album called A Meeting by the River.

    This led me to mine KUSP's dusty LP archives in search of my old classical Indian favorites from when I hosted the world music shows, Ringing True and Sound in Time in the early 80s.

    Hariprasad Chaurasia, classical bamboo flute master

    In fact, Hariprasad Chaurasia's performance of "Raga Madhuvanti" was something of an epiphany for me. It was playing on the radio (KUSP, of course) once while I was sleeping and the serene heavenly sounds entered my dreams: that was the beginning of my deep appreciation of non-Western music.

    I followed Raga Madhuvanti with an ethereal duet by vocalists Lakshmi Shankar and Nirmala Devi.

    Lakshmi Shankar and Nirmala Devi
    I found a teeny-tiny image
    of their album on Odeon
    titled "Sawan Beeta Jaye"


    A few minutes into the song, a persistent mondegreen in the Hindi text takes shape in my brain as "I've got a gold chain." Listen for it!

    More Indian flute follows, this time played by Himangshu Biswas, in duet (jugalbandhi) with Dulal Roy playing jaltrang, literally "waves of water", an instrument comprised of tuned water bowls hit with wooden sticks.

    Milind Tulankar demonstrates the Jaltrang

    I wanted to present Indian music on a wide variety of instruments, and I soon realized I could easily fill the whole two hours this way. My next selection was another jugalbandhi, this time for violin, played by Professor V.G. Jog, and shehnai, played by its foremost exponent, Bismillah Khan. The shehnai is a reed instrument with a sound very similar to the renaissance shawm.

    Next, Pandit Kamalesh Maitra performs Raag Deen Todi on the tabla tarang, several tuned drums arranged in a circle like the jaltarang.

    Pandit Kamalesh Maitra playing tabla tarang,
    tuned and arranged in a rag scale.

    Himangshu Biswas, whom we heard earlier playing the bamboo flute, performs an untitled dhun on the santoor, distant ancestor of the hammered dulcimer, produces a shimmering sound.

    Santoor players, with stand or without

    Next, South Indian saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath delivers a vigorous rendtion of "Anathudanu Ganu─Raga─Singla".

    I ended the show with a few vocal selections from the 4-disc An Anthology of South Indian Classical Music, including to brief invocations to Lord Ganesha and the Goddess Saraswati.

    LP's sporting the Odeon label and the Nipper the Dog logo of His Master's Voice provided much of the material for the show . Bulky and dusty, it is sad to see vinyl treasures suffer neglect and destruction these days, so kudos to KUSP to hanging on to much of its LP collection. There are many rewards for those who take the time to dig through them.

    After 1945, Direct EMI—His Master's Voice exports to the USA,
    where the HMV label was owned by RCA Victor Records,
    bore pasted-over Odeon stickers.

    His Master's Voice is a famous trademark in the music business,
    and for many years was the name of a large record label.
    The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting
    of the dog Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone.
    In the original painting, the dog was listening to a cylinder phonograph.

    I hope you enjoy the show!

    Saturday, May 30, 2009

    Musica della sera ─ 2 Pachelbels and 3 Bachs

    The latest Musica della sera show is now up on the Internet to enjoy on demand; see below for locating the link. This program will be available until Thursday, June 4, 2009 (Get it while it lasts!)

    Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

    The program focused on the music of Johann Pachelbel, beginning with a delicate clavichord performance by E. Power Biggs of the chorale partita: “Werde Munter, Mein Gemüte” (00:00 on the KUSP Music Player counter).

    Next, a vibrant recording of J.S. Bach's first orchestral suite, arranged for four guitars and performed by Quarteto Brasileiro de Violões (09:00), a name I did not try to pronounce on the air, going instead with Brazilian Guitar Quartet, as it was billed on the CD. I'll feature the other three suites on future shows.

    Quarteto Brasileiro de Violões (Brazilian Guitar Quartet)
    Their arrangement of Bach's Orchestral Suites is fantastic.
    Find it on Delos.

    I returned to Pachelbel with several organ compositions (32:55), played on various organs by various keyboard artists: Wolfgang Rübsam, Gustav Leonhardt, and E. Power Biggs.

    Wolfgang Rübsam, German keyboardist,
    who has an excellent series of Pachelbel organ recordings,
    not to mention creative facial hair.

    It was at this point that I learned that Johann Pachelbel had a composer son, Charles Theodore Pachelbel (baptised Carl Theodorus). The Anglicized given names reflect the fact that he was one of the first European composers to take up residence in the American colonies*, and was the most famous musical figure in early Charleston, South Carolina.

    The only C.T. Pachelbel work at hand was his festive Magnificat, originally for double choir, but heard here in a performance of the Canadian Brass (60:18), followed by a brass arrangement of Johann Pachelbel's only real hit, the Canon in D (68:00).

    Special thanks to the producers of Pachelbel Greatest Hits and Pachelbel: Organ Works Vol.1 without which the 2 Pachelbels portion of the show would not have been possible.

    Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)

    Comprising the latter half of the show,a charming sinfonia by Portuguese composer Carlos Seixas (80:10), a cantata, Nun Danket alle Gott (Now thank we all our God) (111:10), by J.S. Bach's idol, Danish composer Dietrich Buxtehude, and two concertos by Bach's sons, Johann Christian's Harpsichord Concerto in B Flat Major (91:55) and a particularly vigorous performance by Peter Bruns, cello and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin of Carl Philipp Emanuel's Concerto for Violoncello, Strings, and Basso Continuo in A Minor (125:00).

    Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
    sitting for a portrait with a portrait of his rarely performed father, J.S. Bach (1685-1750)

    *I have been unable to confirm rumors that Carl Theodorus Pachelbel fled Germany to escape his father's infamous Canon in D.

    * * *

    You can see exactly what was played and who performed it by referring to the playlist (originally broadcast 5/28/2009).

    My wife, Meera Collier-Mitchell, and I take turns hosting the classical radio program Musica della sera on Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 (PT). This week I hosted. Listen at your convenience:

    KUSP's brand new web feature: The KUSP Music Show Player, Classical, Jazz, Global, Eclectic, and Late Late, listen on demand, check it out, peruse the list and click the one for Musica della sera to hear our show.

    Each broadcast is available for download until it is replaced by the subsequent week's program.

    You can also stream KUSP live of course.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    Musica della sera ─ Early English Composers

    The latest Musica della sera show is now up on the Internet to enjoy on demand; see below for locating the link. This program will be available until Thursday, May 21, 2009 (Get it while it lasts!)

    In my mother's day they called the kind of music I play on the show "funeral music". Well, in this case, it's literally true. A good chunk of the program was devoted to, quoting the liner notes:

    The complete music for Queen Mary's funeral, newly assembled and edited, and performed in Westminster Abbey by the Abbey Choir for the first time since 1695.


    Comprised of compositions by Henry Purcell, Thomas Tollet, John Paisible, Thomas Morley, Purcell's contribution is best known; his funeral march provided the theme, in a synthesized treatment by Wendy Carlos, for Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. I'm also very fond of the trumpet canzona he wrote for the occasion. Alas, Purcell himself was to die the year following the queen's funeral. Though he was only 36, his contribution to music was great.

    William Byrd and Thomas Tallis also made great contributions to music. They had considerably more time to work on it, living to the ripe old ages of 86 and 80, respectively. Judging from these portraits they look as if maybe they were one and the same person.

    I also played two lute pieces by Anonymous, though no one can be sure if they were one and the same Anonymous. I could find no definitive portrait of either one. Notable is the piece "My Lady Carey's Dompe", so charming I could not resist playing it twice, to bookend the lute set. The lutenist, Paul O'Dette, and I highly recommend this particular album of his, The Royal Lewters

    The program ends with Thomas Tallis' sublime Lamentations of Jeremiah in a tight vocal arrangement sung by six choral scholars who go by the name The King's Singers.

    * * *


    You can see exactly what was played and who performed it by referring to the playlist (originally broadcast 5/14/2009).

    My wife, Meera Collier-Mitchell, and I take turns hosting the classical radio program Musica della sera on Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 (PT). This week I hosted. Listen at your convenience:

    KUSP's brand new web feature: The KUSP Music Show Player, Classical, Jazz, Global, Eclectic, and Late Late, listen on demand, check it out, peruse the list and click the one for Musica della sera to hear our show.

    Each broadcast is available for download until it is replaced by the subsequent week's program.

    You can also stream KUSP live of course.

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    Ten more movies under my belt...

    Also, a rare event, I finished reading two whole books...
    Both books I highly recommend for entirely different reasons.

    Ron Suskind, by describing the lives of various people, offers a positive approach to solving the world's most daunting and difficult problems associated with the so-called "War on Terror", and basically, his conclusion, with guarded optimism, comes down to humanity and understanding.

    Stephen Fry writes with candor and wit about his early life and education, when he grappled with sexuality, infatuation, and obsession, and fell into misadventures of petty theft that led to felonious credit card fraud.

    As for the movies, Norma Shearer in The Divorcée is an utter delight, part of the Forbidden Hollywood DVD series from Turner Classic Movies, highlighting some of the best films made after the silent era ended in the late 1920s and the censorship of the Hays Code began to be strictly enforced in 1934.

    I never thought much of the James Bond films, but I found the 2006 Casino Royale to be utterly compelling, engaging, exciting, enjoyable.

    I had never see The Front before, either. Well worth seeing.

    Nausicaa
    is also wonderful. I hadn't realized it was such an old movie...pre-Totoro. The brilliant imagination and vivid animation of Miyazaki is breathtaking.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Musica Della Sera: Gurdjieff, Sibelius, Pärt

    The latest Musica della sera show is now up on the Internet to enjoy on demand; see below for locating the link. This program will be available until Thursday, May 7, 2009 (Get it while it lasts!)

    After creating a baroque diversion with two keyboard works by Bach (played on 20th Century pianos), the show took a distinctly modern turn, beginning with the tuneful Starry Night for flute, harp, and xylophone, by Alan Hovhaness.

    Next, a performance by Tashi and friends of Toru Takemitsu's Water-Ways, a captivating atonal combination of timbral textures scored for clarinet, two harps, piano, violin and two vibraphones.



    Next, the Sibelius String Quartet in D Minor, Op.56, completed in 1909 and subtitled by him "Voces Intimae", a wonderful new discovery for me...my thought was, hey, why didn't anyone tell me Sibelius wrote a wonderful string quartet? He wrote much chamber music in youth, but most of it was never published. This is the only string quartet he deemed worthy to share with the world, which makes me wonder what gems he may have deprived us of.



    There then followed several short piano works composed by Greek-Armenian mystic, spiritual teacher, and author of Meetings with Remarkable Men and Beelzebub's Tales to Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson. These pieces were written in the 1920s in collaboration with Russian composer Thomas de Hartmann, and reflect the religious hymns of Central Asia and Russian liturgical music.



    This led nicely, I thought, to "Cecilia, vergine romana" (2002), by Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer also strongly influenced by Slavonic liturgical traditions.

    The harp made its third appearance on the show in Debussy's "Danses sacree et profane pour harpe et orchestre", composed in 1904.

    I concluded the show with a string trio dating from 1959 by Rudolf Escher (1912-1980), a Dutch composer much influenced by Debussy and Ravel.

    * * *

    You can see exactly what was played and who performed it by referring to the playlist (originally broadcast 4/30/2009).

    My wife, Meera Collier-Mitchell, and I take turns hosting the classical radio program Musica della sera on Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 (PT). This week I hosted. Listen at your convenience:

    KUSP's brand new web feature: The KUSP Music Show Player, Classical, Jazz, Global, Eclectic, and Late Late, listen on demand, check it out, peruse the list and click the one for Musica della sera to hear our show.

    Each broadcast is available for download until it is replaced by the subsequent week's program.

    You can also stream KUSP live of course.

    Monday, May 4, 2009

    Bruce Springsteen's Tribute on Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday

    Celebrating Pete Seeger on Democracy Now! Amy Goodman devoted today's show (May 4, 2009) to Pete Seeger and the 90th birthday tribute at Madison Square Gardens yesterday. Bruce Springsteen's opening comments were eloquent and moving. This is the transcript, but you can watch the video by clicking the link above.



    BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: As Pete and I traveled to Washington for President Obama’s inaugural celebration, he told me the—he told me the entire story of “We Shall Overcome,” how it moved from a labor movement song and, with Pete’s inspiration, had been adopted by the civil rights movement.

    And that day, as we sang “This Land Is Your Land,” I looked at Pete. The first black president of the United States was seated to his right. And I thought of—I thought of the incredible journey that Pete had taken. You know, my own growing up in the ’60s, a town scarred by race rioting, made that moment nearly unbelievable. And Pete had thirty extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt. He was so happy that day. It was like, Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man. You just outlasted them. It was so nice. It was so nice.



    At rehearsals the day before, it was freezing. It was like fifteen degrees. And Pete was there, he had his flannel shirt on. I said, “Man, you better wear something besides that flannel shirt!” He says, “Yeah, I’ve got my long johns on under this thing.” I said—and I asked him, I said, “How do you want to approach ‘This Land Is Your Land’?” as it’d be near the end of the show. And all he said was, “Well, I know I want to sing all the verses. You know, I want to sing all the ones that Woody wrote, especially the two that get left out, you know, about private property and the relief office.” And I thought, of course, you know, that’s what Pete’s done his whole life: he sings all the verses all the time, especially the ones that we’d like to leave out of our history as a people, you know?



    At some point—at some point, Pete Seeger decided he’d be a walking, singing reminder of all of America’s history. He’d be living archive of America’s music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends. He would have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people.

    Now, despite Pete’s somewhat benign grandfatherly appearance, you know, he is a creature of a stubborn, defiant and nasty optimism. He carries—inside him, he carries a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly facade, and it won’t let him take a step back from the things he believes in.



    At ninety, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country’s illusions about itself. Pete Seeger still sings all the verses all the time, and he reminds us of our immense failures, as well as shining a light towards our better angels in the horizon, where the country we’ve imagined and hold dear, we hope, awaits us. And on top of it, he never wears it on his sleeve. He’s become comfortable and casual in this immense role. He’s funny and very eccentric.

    The song that—I’m going to bring Tommy out. And the song Tommy Morello and I are about to sing, I wrote it in the mid-’90s, and it started as a conversation I was having with myself. It was an attempt to regain my own moorings. And its last verse is the beautiful speech that Tom Joad whispers to his mother at the end of The Grapes of Wrath. It says, “Wherever there’s a cop beating a guy, wherever a hungry newborn baby cries, wherever there’s a fight against the blood and the hatred in the air, look for me, Mom. I’ll be there.” Well, Pete has always been there.

    In his interview with Amy Goodman in 2004, Pete Seeger provided a compelling image to describe the long-term change that can be brought about by the collective grassroots efforts we all can make.
    PETE SEEGER: I honestly believe that the future is going to be millions of little things saving us. I imagine a big seesaw, and at one end of this seesaw is on the ground with a basket half-full of big rocks in it. The other end of the seesaw is up in the air. It’s got a basket one-quarter full of sand. And some of us got teaspoons, and we’re trying to fill up sand. A lot of people are laughing at us, and they say, “Ah, people like you have been trying to do that for thousands of years, and it’s leaking out as fast as you’re putting it in.” But we’re saying, “We’re getting more people with teaspoons all the time.” And we think, “One of these years, you’ll see that whole seesaw go zooop in the other direction.” And people will say, “Gee, how did it happen so suddenly?” Us and all our little teaspoons. Now granted, we’ve got to keep putting it in, because if we don’t keep putting teaspoons in, it will leak out, and the rocks will go back again. Who knows?
    The election of Obama four years later seems to me to be just such a zooop.

    Also on the program, sharing their thoughts about Pete Seeger, were Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams, Billy Bragg, Tim Robbins, Hip-hop artist Michael Franti, Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Vintage Shorts Updated

    The Vintage Shorts Index on this blog gets updated occasionally. I just added a bunch of entries from the wonderful box set: Astaire and Rogers: The Complete Film Collection, an invaluable addition to any DVD collection, full of extra features, numerous documentaries, a music CD, posters, etc., but the pure multifaceted artistry and genius of these two entertainers is priceless. I didn't pay much attention to musicals when growing up, so these classics are new to me. I'm truly awestruck, and I fall in love with Ginger Rogers every time.

    Oh, and the vintage shorts are fun, too. Unique and quirky at times, they give a fascinating glimpse of the times.

    Vintage Shorts (Medieval Underwear)

    Sunday, April 19, 2009

    Musica della sera...Meera's Christmas Show

    (These are program notes for an old show...I'm updating my playlist page to include links, but this one, posted on Facebook, never made it to my blog site.)

    My wife, Meera Collier-Mitchell, and I take turns hosting the classical radio program Musica della sera on Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 (PT). This week Meera hosted.

    KUSP Radio is now offering On Demand downloads of its music programs. Check out the calendar listing, with audio links, of The Shows Available. Click the one for Musica della sera Thursday night to hear our show.

    Each broadcast is available for download until it is replaced by the subsequent week's program.



    This being the last show for Meera before Christmas, she presents a wide range of holiday music, medieval to modern. Local artists Barry Phillips and Lars Johannesson are featured, from their album Colonial Christmas. Check out the playlist (originally broadcast 12/18/2008).

    You can also stream the station live of course.

    Next week's show is on Christmas night, and I look forward to playing some of my very favorite music for Christmas, including a recent performance of Giselle Wyer's setting of "Ave Maria". Thank you for listening!

    Musica della sera...Xmas Night (radio show)

    (These are program notes for an old show...I'm updating my playlist page to include links, but this one, posted on Facebook, never made it to my blog site.)

    The show is now up on the Internet to listen to on demand; see below for locating the link.

    This was my chance to play some of my favorite Christmas music. I'm very pleased with the show, but there are some spectacular technical snafus* in the first ten minutes of the program...listen for them, it's fun! (suspenseful dead air, colliding medieval choirs, oh my! not to mention the host's tryptophanically torpid tongue...I had just come from Christmas dinner at my folks' house.)

    ATTN: friends of Giselle Wyers, you can hear two of her compositions, "Ave Maria" and "Come, Come, Whoever You Are", about 1 hour and 36 minutes into the stream.

    Listen to the show while there's still some residual Christmas in the air!

    You can see what was played by referring to the playlist (originally broadcast 12/25/2008).



    My wife, Meera Collier-Mitchell, and I take turns hosting the classical radio program Musica della sera on Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 (PT). This week I hosted.

    KUSP Radio is now offering On Demand downloads of its music programs. Peruse the calendar listing, with audio links, of The Shows Available. Click the one for Musica della sera Thursday night to hear our show.

    Each broadcast is available for download until it is replaced by the subsequent week's program.

    You can also stream KUSP live of course.

    *a pox on the runagate knave who, prior to my show, switched off one of the CD player controls on the board! Such a dirty trick, on a day of peace and goodwill!

    Musica della sera...James Joyce and Music

    (These are program notes for an old show...I'm updating my playlist page to include links, but this one, posted on Facebook, never made it to my blog site.)

    On New Year's Night it was Meera's turn to do the show, and it's now on-line and ready for your ears! (See below for how to link to it.)

    She played the Double Violin Concerto of Mark O'Connor, a lively piece, as the movement markings indicate: Swing, Midnight on the Dance Room Floor, and Dixieland.

    My favorite offering was Vladimir Godár's piece "Ecce Puer" (1997), a setting of James Joyce's poem, starting about an hour and 19 minutes into the audio stream, and we'd like to dedicate this to Christopher Vandendriessche, Sarah, and the birth of their son Leo, a name James Joyce would certainly have approved of. Congratulations!

    Ecce Puer

    Of the dark past
    A child is born;
    With joy and grief
    My heart is torn.

    Calm in his cradle
    The living lies.
    May love and mercy
    Unclose his eyes!

    Young life is breathed
    On the glass;
    The world that was not
    Comes to pass.

    A child is sleeping:
    An old man gone.
    O, father forsaken,
    Forgive your son!

    You can see what was played by referring to the playlist (originally broadcast 1/1/2009).



    My wife, Meera Collier-Mitchell, and I take turns hosting the classical radio program Musica della sera on Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 (PT). This week Meera hosted.

    KUSP Radio is now offering On Demand downloads of its music programs. Peruse the calendar listing, with audio links, of The Shows Available. Click the one for Musica della sera Thursday night to hear our show.

    Each broadcast is available for download until it is replaced by the subsequent week's program.

    You can also stream KUSP live of course.