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The Wild Man from Borneo.

2013/02/02

Here’s my Friday night (2013-02-01) Memo of the Air show on KNYO, ready to download.

It was a busy Friday night in downtown Fort Bragg (CA) because of its being the first Friday of the month, when all the little shops and restaurants and art galleries have parties and late hours, and I think they relax things so cops don’t arrest you for walking around with wine in a wine glass –I don’t know for sure about that, but people do and they’d probably stop if they were being arrested left and right. Anyway, it was the first first-Friday-of-the-month for me in the new Franklin Street KNYO office, and the tiny parking lot out back on the alley was full. I had to park in a weird place and shlep everything back and forth and start my show and go back out much later and park properly. No ticket.

I set up to do my show and discovered that my old Dell laptop computer that I’ve been using for years to play music into the mixing boards of various radio stations and theater control rooms finally broke beyond both my ability to fix it in five minutes and my inclination to ever spend another entire afternoon patching it together again. It has a big, very sharp monitor that can –or rather could– show full-length lists of folders of music files in several instances of 1by1 (music player program) open at once, and I will miss it.

My car –another old friend, but one that still works– is such a sloppy mess inside that no matter what goes wrong, wherever I am, there’s something somewhere in it to use to solve the problem, and so it was in this case. In the trunk, under tools and clothes and cables and folded mic stands was a shopping bag of some of my CDs from years ago, from the early days of my old show on KMFB. And so I played a lens cleaner disk in the CD decks and just played music from them and it went fine. I missed being able to play what I brought on my keychain drive, music special to this particular show –which included songs from Bluzar and Hedge’s show at Headlands Coffeehouse the night before, but I can play all that stuff another time. I’ll keep an eye out for a decent old portable computer in the $50-$100 range, and if the right one doesn’t appear this week I’ll just play CDs again next Friday.

About the Bluzar and Hedge Headlands Coffeehouse show (Thursday night): I recited from memory the Biff Rose version of Leviathan and the Bob Gibson version of Shel Silverstein’s poem The Perfect High, turned the stage over to the band, and recorded the whole thing on video. The highlight, for me, of the Bluzar and Hedge show was when they played Kinky Friedman’s song The Wild Man from Borneo. I had never heard that song before. It’s so sad and sweet, and now it’s totally stuck in my head, including Thomas Spearance’s (Hedge’s) musical saw accompaniment. Thomas is the 2003 Musical Saw Champion of the World –I’m not making that up; he really is. He can twist the saw in a special way, and bow it in just the right places, to play two notes at once, a chord, and then bend the chord. I had heard this before in recordings of musical saw, but I thought it was an artifact of a digital recording’s low sampling rate. Turns out it’s real.

After my Memo of the Air show, when I was packing my things out into my car I heard gunshots from north, up the alley. Three quick shots, like from a pistol, then one masculine boom like from a shotgun. I went back inside and looked around to find the phone and called 9-1-1 and reported it. The operator said the Fort Bragg police appeared to be busy (!) and they’d call me back if they needed to know anything. Was there anything else that I thought they might need to know? No, no, just I heard guns. Okay, thanks for calling. You’re quite welcome.

It interested me because on my show I had just read several articles about why white people increasingly use guns to express their frustration and inner angst with being all disenfranchised and yadda yadda, and something about weltschmertz (say VELT-shmairts), nearly my favorite word ever.

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