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Firing the Surgeon General.


    Here’s this last Friday night’s (2013-02-08) seven-hour Memo Of The Air show on KNYO, ready to download for free. And here’s the same show in even lower sound quality so requiring only ten minutes to download instead of twenty, in case you’re in a giant bloody hurry. (You’ll be getting files from now on via Dropbox. If you’d rather get them the old way, via MediaFire, click above on Links to Recorded Audio. They’ll also be there. For awhile.

    The theme of the show is Grrls. I hope you like it. I put extra time into getting ready and, because of not being able to use my computer to play music the previous show, I brought a vast amount of music to choose from for the musical interludes. I ended up playing all the blind guys –Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willy What’s-His-Name, etc., and Leola Manning (not a guy but blind), and Big Mama Thornton (also not a guy). But the song that’s stuck in my head from this show is Firing the Surgeon General by Roy Zimmerman (of The Foremen). You’ll recall that Jocelyn Elders (neither a guy nor blind nor a honking bluesmaster) was fired from her position as the nation’s doctor for suggesting that it might be a good idea for sex education classes to include actual information, so it occurred to Roy Zimmerman to think of Firing the Surgeon General as being like Choking the Chicken or Punishing the Pope, like that. It’s a bouncy, wild-eyed thing with an insistent rhythm, quite catchy.

    Last week Juanita and I went to a memorial show for musician and harp maker Chris Caswell, who died of cancer. He was Juanita’s friend and also a good friend of hundreds of other talented people, some of whom he’d been playing music with for like forty years. Well, every one of them showed up and everybody played and sang. One man played a flute that when fully assembled was ten feet tall; it had a numinous, ethereal sound. A woman named Pamela Swann sang a song in Gaelic, with the audience singing along– a song I, not knowing Gaelic, have always thought of as Heemia Morphinum. (Something-something hoh na, heemia morphinum.) You can sing Johnny’s So Long At the Fair to the tune of it. You know the one I’m talking about.

    The show was at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. I’d heard a lot about F&S, but I’d never been there. It’s a wonderful music venue. Great acoustics and a phenomenal futuristic sound system. And something happened: Juanita and I have been together for 26 years, and I think this was the first time we’ve ever gone to the city to see or do anything and managed to be not only on time for whatever it was but comfortably early and get good seats and not have to be frantic about anything. Let’s do it that way next time someone dies. I mean, we’ve just demonstrated that we can do it, so why not?

    Freight and Salvage. And there’s a parking garage right next door. You know who’ll be at Freight and Salvage this month? David Bromberg. And you know who else? Christine Lavin.

    Enough. Here are some links to interesting things to see and do without leaving your chair, and I’ll talk to you at the end of the week on Friday night:

Admit it. Whenever they say it cannot hit the Earth you’re always a little disappointed.

“Two shockwaves form as a result of the skin ripping away…”

Now we know the Zeppelin knot, the one especially useful for mooring Zeppelins.

Vi Hart. “Sometimes cutting through infinitely folded spacetime requires the use of power tools.”

Pachelbel’s Canon for four punch-tape music boxes. Arranged by Vi Hart.

And a spoon.

William S. Burroughs. /The Cat Inside./

Lots of people have done this sort of thing before, but this little girl and her father did it particularly well.

It’s imposible to become bored of Vi Hart.

“Your son has been sculpting again.”

The face of Jesus on the ISS. (When the first nail went in.)


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