Elated, tired, happy

Holidays were great this year. But admittedly, one nice thing about December 26 is no more Christmas music til next year. Back a week ago though, holiday tunes were totally appropriate. Here's the Beef Jerky Time playlist from December 19, 2007:
  • Reb Itzik's Nign: Itzhak Perlman & Bizarre Old World
  • Jolly Old St. Nicholas: Chet Atkins
  • Toyland: Doris Day
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow!: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow!: Dean Martin
  • Winter Wonderland: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Winter Wonderland: Dean Martin
  • Petit Papa Noël: Raffi
  • We 3 Kings: Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
  • Tijuana Christmas: Tijuana Voices with Brass
  • Christmas Is Coming: Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • Verbum caro factum est (Lauda): Boston Camerata
  • Twas in the Moon of Wintertime: The Christmas Revels
  • Lux hodie... orientus partibus: Boston Camerata
  • Pe Trouz War en Douar: Le Chorale du Bout du Monde
  • Here We Come a'Wassailing: Royal College of Music
  • from The Nutcracker, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy": P.I. Tchaikovsky
  • The Christmas Song: Vince Guaraldi Trio

Never Happy

You may know people who are upset as adults because they had unhappy childhoods. But there are also people who are upset as adults because they had great childhoods. I am one of these latter complainers. I had a wonderful childhood, full of books and flowers and travel and fantasy and imagination. I thought it was important to excel at feats of strength and to know everything. I was carefully preparing myself for the incredible tests of mettle and wit that are the exciting world of adult existence.

Wrong! Actually, being an adult kind of sucks. Yes, I can eat lots of candy and I don't have homework. I stay up late and drink Jack Daniels and watch any kind of movie I want. But where are the real perks? I have to work all the time, I don't have any money (and by extension, don't have any time), and most of the things that are really fun are "bad for me" or considered frivolous or require that money/time I don't have. So I feel ripped off. Of course I'd also feel ripped off if I had a miserable or even mediocre childhood. Warning to parents: your children will blame you for whatever. It's the flip side of Philip Larkin's "This Be the Verse." "They whine and gripe, your son and daught. They do not mean to, but they do. They blame you for each fault they have, and add some extra, just for you."

I have been listening to Neil Postman's "The Disappearance of Childhood" (book on tape) and so far I'm thinking that contemporary childhood sounds messed up. I am only on Chapter 3, but I'm learning that kids are managed as a separate class that is oppressed and educated to turn them into moral and functioning adults. Part of this "education" is making sure that children don't learn "adult" things until appropriate ages, as determined by adults. Apparently this general concept can be dated back to the invention of the printing press, which begat books which begat schools which begat schoolboys. (This is all my ham-handed summary, not Postman's wording.) Anyway, it does seem useful to have a childhood of some kind and not be forced to labor in the mines or marry at age 10. I do think children could be treated as genius artists-in-residence who must be nurtured and allowed to carry out their creations, however bizarre. But they also need to know that being an adult isn't a special secret society that will be really awesome when they get there. Children shouldn't be too "shielded" from adult information because it makes adulthood seem way cooler than it really is. Of course I do try not to swear around children, so I'm already being an arbiter. I'm already presenting an expurgated world which is slightly different from the "truth" as I know it. F%$#! At least I can spread the truth that is garlic. I would never deprive a child of garlic.

I'll keep thinking about this one. I'll turn the comments on, too, in case you want to... you know.

On to the lists. Here are 2, starting with last week's Beef Jerky Time (12/12/2007), which included a tribute to my man Frank Sinatra on his birthday (12/12/1915).
  • "Moonlighting" theme
  • 59th Street: Amy Correia
  • Sugarbabe: The Youngbloods
  • Breakin' Up: Rilo Kiley
  • Janamaan: Natacha Atlas with Kalia
  • 2:1: Elastica
  • Contact: The Police
  • La Primavera/Me Gustas Tu: Manu Chao
  • What Goes Around Comes Around: Justin Timberlake
  • Christmas Jam: Bathing Beauty
  • Mistletoe & Holly: Frank Sinatra
  • Baubles, Bangles and Beads: Frank Sinatra
  • Moonlight in Vermont: Frank Sinatra
  • Luck Be a Lady: Frank Sinatra
  • Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars: Frank Sinatra
  • The Christmas Waltz: Frank Sinatra

Beef Jerky Time playlist: 12/5/07
  • Sing My Lord: Ponies in the Surf
  • It's Over: Milosh
  • Maybe, I Don't Know: The Elevator Drops
  • Choice Blanket: The Sea & Cake
  • Sporting Life: The Sea & Cake
  • Hotel Tell: The Sea & Cake
  • Searching with My Good Eye Closed: Soundgarden
  • Last Living Souls: Gorillaz
  • Digital: Joy Division
  • Beautiful World: Devo
  • Birthday: The Sugarcubes
  • Bomber Rash: Ry Cooder (Streets of Fire s/t)
  • I Wish You Would: David Bowie

Yet another noodle recipe: Chicken Ginger

The local Food Coop is known for its excellent store-made sausages. They have turkey dinner sausage that I have not tried yet. They make a lamb sausage sometimes that is excellent when fried up with a mess o' cabbage. There are hot Italian and sweet Italian sausages for your pasta or lasagne needs. My favorites are the chicken sausages--chicken parmesan and chicken-ginger-scallion. Last night I modified a vegetarian ginger noodle recipe to include the chicken-ginger-scallion sausage. I lucked out and ended up with a yummy dinner. Here's the scoop.

2+ chicken-ginger-scallion sausage (or any Asian-flavored specialty sausage)
packet of fresh Japanese noodles (a thick Chinese noodle like chow fun would probably also work)
1/2 lb+ frozen green beans (or in season, try fresh green beans or snowpeas)
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
1 T sugar
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T sesame oil
1 T minced dried garlic (or try fresh! I was in a hurry.)
1 T dried ginger (or try fresh--chop up about a thumb's-worth of ginger)
optional: as many chopped scallions as you like

1. Squeeze sausages out of casings and brown in a non-stick pan. Try to stir and smash them up so you get small pieces.
2. At the same time, boil 2 qts of water in a large pot for the noodles.
3. While things are getting hot, whisk together the tamari, vinegar, oil, garlic and ginger in a glass measuring cup.
4. When the sausages start looking done, turn them off. Set up a colander in your sink for draining the noodles.
5. When you water is boiling, throw in the beans. Wait for the water to come to a boil again, then add the noodles. Fresh noodles need a stir to separate them, but they cook fast. Check the directions--probably takes about 3 minutes.
6. Drain the cooked noodles and beans in the colander. Scrape the browned sausage into the now-empty pot that contained the noodles. Add the noodles and beans back to the pot. Stir in the sauce. You might want to throw in more tamari and sesame oil at this point, depending on your taste. If you're adding scallions, do it now. (Maybe throw in sesame seeds now too!)
7. Serve! Feeds about 3.


Happy December. Here are playlists from 2 Beef Jerky Time shows. I had a good time hosting them--hope a few others enjoyed them too.

November 21, 2007 playlist
  • What Are You Wearing? (Shinco remix): Kahimi Karie
  • Are We Ourselves: The Fixx
  • Long Way to Go: Gwen Stefani f/Andre 3000
  • I Want to Be Loved By You: Sinead O'Connor
  • All Lifestyles: Beastie Boys
  • Cherish: Madonna
  • What is Life: George Harrison
  • Du temps que j'étais jeune: The Duhks
  • Jamais: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Fantastic Cat: Takako Minekawa
  • I Sing the Body Cybernetic: Servotron
  • Reunion: Stars
  • Right Wing Pigeons: Dead Milkmen
  • All Things That Go to Make Heaven & Earth: The New Pornographers
  • Boy in the Gap: Barde

November 28, 2007 playlist

A tribute to Stan Rogers, born November 29, 1949. All songs by the late, great Stan, who put on one of his albums (From Fresh Water) this advice from Robert Heinlein: "When sampling life, take big bites, moderation is for the monks." Yarp, that's how I lived my 20s basically... All songs in this list by Stan Rogers and companions.
  • Fogarty's Cove
  • The Nancy
  • The Athens Queen
  • Dark Eyed Molly (written by Archie Fisher)
  • The House of Orange
  • Rawdon Hills
  • Flying
  • Watching the Apples Grow
  • Badger Drive
  • Bluenose
  • Fisherman's Wharf
  • The Blue Dolphin
  • 45 Years
  • Lookout Hill
  • Plenty of Hornpipe

Parents write

Sometimes it turns out that people who have kids are also articulate and funny writers and bloggers. That might not seem remarkable but from what I know about parenting, demonstrating intellect WHILE caring for tiny people that stagger about and are super super cute is truly admirable. Way to go. These are some sites I've found or that have been recommended:

www.iwasareallygoodmom.com This is really just a promo site for the book I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids. But I think it sounds good. I heard the authors of this book interviewed on Manic Mommies (great podcast!).

www.amalah.com Love this. Her chronicle of tribulations with her son's Thomas the Tank Engine track is just twisted (and hilarious).

Purple is a fruit Just found it but looks like it will be closing up at the beginning of 08. So hurry and read now!

Baby Daddy Steve Almond makes me laugh. Good thing.

Pam Dolan on parenting Blogger for a CT paper/site. Recommended!

And now it's time... Last week's (11/14/07) Beef Jerky Time playlist. Thanks to the folks who have stopped me to say nice things about the show.
  • Lady: Regina Spektor
  • Cry: Godley & Creme
  • Come Into My World: Kylie Minogue
  • Car Jamming: The Clash
  • Old School Joint: Missy Elliott
  • You Give Love a Bad Name: Bon Jovi
  • Now I'm Your Mom: David Byrne
  • I Don't Care: Love Whip
  • B Boys Will B Boys: Mos Def & Talib Kweli
  • IMpossible: Figurine
  • The Sun Always Shines on TV: a-ha
  • I'm in Love with What's-Her-Name: Dr. Frank
  • Friday Night: Lily Allen
  • Time to Build: Beastie Boys

Film scraps

I've been writing down my favorite movie quotes for awhile. I wonder what they say about me? An expert could probably use these to triangulate my exact age, beverage of choice, last DVD purchased (and whether Will Ferrell was involved)... Here's a list.

"I'll go... I'll go... I'll go..."

"...as a smell, it gets inside of you. So the next time you go into the bathroom after someone else has been there, remember what kinds of molecules you are in fact eating. "

"Your theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, your methods are sloppy, and your conclusions are questionable. You are a poor scientist..."

"Looking good, Billy Ray!"

"I see split ends are universal."

"Thank you, Adolf!"

"You framed an Asia poster?"

"Technically, it is brain damage."

"Put... the candle... BACK."

"Your concerns are my concerns."

"I wish I were a woman of 37 in a long black dress and a string of pearls."

"I love lamp."

Here's another list--playlist from 11/7/07 Beef Jerky Time! Another show selected from the old Chelsea House Folklore Library.
  • Magdalina's Dance: Bert Jansch
  • Wagoner's Lad: Jean & Lee Schilling
  • The Fox Hollow Song: The Pickin' & Singin'Gathering
  • Farmer's Almanac: Happy & Artie Traum
  • The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood: Bert Jansch (Loren Jansch, vocal)
  • Mad Tom of Bedlam: Bill Vannavar
  • That Old Gang of Mine: Martin, Bogan & the Armstrongs
  • I'll Stay Around: Pine Island
  • Cluck Old Hen: Eric & Martha Nagler
  • Flash in the Pan: Bob McCarthy
  • Vermont Farmer's Song: Margaret MacArthur
  • No Spare Parts: Jaime Brockett
  • Careless Love: John Koerner
  • Reincarnation: Bob Holmes
  • The Non-Smoker's Liberation Front Anthem: Freeman & Lange

Blood Harvest

Happy Halloween! It's the time for slaughtering animals for winter, the traditional "blood harvest." Grain harvest (like John Barleycorn) is in August. Then the fruit harvest is September. And October gets the creepy one. The veil between the worlds is thinnest tonight and it's a great time to visit a graveyard and visit with spirits and ask questions of the unquiet dead.

Also a good time to listen to some graveyard smashes: here's tonight's creepy playlist.

Beef Jerky Time, 10/31/07
  • The Queen's Funeral March: Henry Purcell
  • Every Planet We Reach Is Dead: Gorillaz
  • Blasphemous Rumors: Depeche Mode
  • Toccata & Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565: J.S. Bach
  • I Am Stretched On Your Grave: Sinead O'Connor
  • Danse Macabre: Camille Saint-Saëns
  • The Golden Section: Coil
  • Chainsaw: Skinny Puppy
  • In the Hall of the Mountain King: Edvard Grieg
  • This Corrosion: Sisters of Mercy
  • The Unquiet Grave: Fir Soar


I think I already mentioned that I'm moving house at the end of the month--it's such a horrid process. Where did I get all this STUFF? And then I pack it, lug it around, get it somewhere new and put it in my closet to move again next time.

Anyway, my brain is fried from moving logistics/ . Here are 2 playlists at once so they don't get stuck in some closet, man!

Beef Jerky Time, 10/10/07
  • A Good Egg: Leo Kottke
  • Blossom: Jimmy Ryan
  • La Luna: Bert Jansch
  • Hobo's Song: Fred Holstein
  • 16/16: Garcia & Grisman
  • Leather Boots: Red Heart the Ticker
  • Jackknives: Red Heart the Ticker
  • Tell Me That It Isn't True: Bob Dylan
  • Grey Eagle: Byron Berline
  • Lady Margaret: The Mammals
  • Liberty: Bryan Bowers (autoharp)
  • Katie Cruel: Bert Jansch f/ Devendra Banhart & Beth Orton
  • Follow Me To Carthage: The Mammals
  • Pachysandra/Sunday Driver: Gordon Stone

Beef Jerky Time, 10/24/07
  • Trem Two: Mission of Burma
  • Tennesee Stud: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band f/Doc Watson
  • Let's Call It Off: Peter Bjorn & John
  • Her Halcyon Days: New Radiant Storm Kings
  • Tamacun: Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • Maleta Prestada: Pepito
  • Cologne: Trans Am
  • Filet of Sole: The Dead Milkmen
  • 2080: Yeasayer
  • You Spin Me Round (like a record): Dead or Alive
  • Tribulations: LCD Soundsystem
  • Love Vibration: Josh Rouse
  • You Never Know: Goldfrapp

No show October 17, 2007

Sorry, I have an evening appointment so no show tonight!! I'm already working on my Halloween show though. Should be spooooooky. Or something like that. Back next Weds., OCt. 24 at 7pm. L, K

Another buffer moment

This is my second post about fingernails, which is perhaps shamefully insipid, but they're on my mind.

So I found having fingernails is actually good for something. Specifically they offer SOME protection, if hit at the right angle, from slicing off the end of your entire finger. Even after reading this disgusting mandoline injury post over at amalah.com, I rashly decided to slice some summer squashes on a mandoline without using the protective hand-grip thingy. (Because frankly a curvy tall yellow squash doesn't really FIT in the hand-grip thingy.) So I was slicing away and OW! I sliced right through my right ring-finger fingernail, into the quick underneath a little bit, and then...stopped. I did not complete the motion by lopping off a huge lateral slice of my finger. Um, thank you fingernail!!

Also, I'm discovering that a 4-sided nail buffer is an excellent writing aid. If you are the type of person who has ever needed to take smoking breaks while writing (which I used to do at one stage of my life: code word "college"), may I recommend a nail buffer for all your future writing projects. Filing, smoothing, buffing and polishing seems to take the same sort of nervous fiddly energy that used to make smoking so enjoyable. Because writing words is like doing reps with weights--you need a BREAK while you prepare for the next set. Other ways of taking those mental breaks--obsessively checking internet news sites to see if anything interesting happened while you were writing those last 2 sentences.

Here, a little bit later than usual, is the playlist for Beef Jerky Time, version 10/3/07.
  • Amelia: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • Around the World: Daft Punk
  • My Rights vs. Yours: The New Pornographers
  • (Nothing But) Flowers: Talking Heads
  • Now That You Got It: Gwen Stefani
  • The Night Starts Here: Stars
  • Dollar Take: Amy Correia
  • Smiley Faces: Gnarls Barkley
  • Love You To: The Beatles
  • Hots on for Nowhere: Led Zeppelin
  • Cellphone's Dead: Beck
  • Green Eyes: Coldplay
  • Drive Until He Sleeps: Ui

Spice rack confessions

Psst! Yes, I used to be THAT kind of cook. The one who churned out boring slop. The one who believed that foods have "their own flavors" and don't need anything so banal as tasty seasonings. Then I had a stirfry at a friend's house that was actually YUMMY! I'd become accustomed to my own stir-frys, which were dull, limp and broccoli-laden. This new stirfry was broccoli-laden too, but it was spicy! Piquant! I wanted more!

Since then I have been trying to make more effort in the spice rack world. It's not like I'm a total tyro in the kitchen. I did get that "Chef Pre-employment" certificate you know. But I am also sickly addicted to recipes--just like I can't play impromptu piano but always need the sheet music. Here's the spice rack jazz I'm trying to pull off these days.

Cardamom pods: Put these in black tea with some sweetened condensed milk, pepper and coins of fresh ginger.
Marjoram: I am so in love with marjoram. Does thyme bore you? Marjoram it up. Sprinkle over a chicken and bake, for example. Add to stew.
Rosemary: I use it for lamb dishes. Only for lamb dishes. Otherwise I'm afraid I'll get sick of it.
Basil: Pasta sauce. Chili. Hamburgers. Summer squash.
Oregano: Pasta sauce. Greek food.
Star anise: A surprise in curry. Or slice pears in half, scoop out seeds, and poach with a few sections of star anise.
Paprika: Take your leftover pie-dough and knead in a bunch of grated cheese. Roll to about 1/2 inch, cut into strips and sprinkle with paprika. Bake til browned: cheese straws.
Cayenne: If you are sick, eat a clove of raw garlic. Chew til it's a slurry and really slosh it around in your mouth before swallowing. Then, mix boiling water with a spoonful each of honey and lemon juice, and a generous dash of cayenne. Mix and drink. You may be cured! Repeat as needed.
Mustard seeds: fry in a little oil until they start to pop. Grate a cucumber and squeeze out as much water as you can. Mix with yogurt and toasted mustard seeds—good on spicy Indian dishes.
Cumin seeds: Make the catch-all burrito. First, fry leftover rice with cumin seeds and chili powder. Put rice mixture in a flour tortilla along with salsa, grated cheese, and anything else you've got lying around (grated carrots? canned beans? seaweed?). Wrap up and place on oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until cheese starts to leak out.
Also, keep black bean chili paste in your fridge door. Makes a pack of ramen halfway gourmet.

Now for last week's Beef Jerky Time playlist (9/26/07). It's all from the new 2-CD set, Little Darla Has a Treat For You, vol. 25!!!!!
  • Travel Writer: California Oranges
  • Gone Too Far: Hell On Wheels
  • Canción de Viernes: Cooper
  • Coka, I'm Fine: My Little Airport
  • Arms: Aarktika
  • Moon Balloon: RF & Lila de la Mora
  • Slave: Linda Draper
  • Ventricle: Ponies in the Surf
  • La Fiebre de Carlos: Corazon
  • Far Away: .tape.
  • Pac Man Fever: Sprites
  • Switchboard Girl: Future Conditional
  • Ion Crush: Jatun
  • You Are Mine: Cdatakill

A Tizzy!

Things are in a bit of an upheaval this month (but in a good, cleansing way). So for now, just an update of the last 2 playlists from Beef Jerky Time.

9/12/07 show
  • Incredible Hulk theme
  • Don't Stop Believin': Petra Haden (from comp CD Guilt by Association)
  • Blood on the Waves: Plane
  • Heaven: Club 8
  • Tentang Cita: White Shoes and the Couples Company
  • Starlett Johansson: The Teenagers
  • I Love You, You Imbecile: Pelle Carlberg
  • Drivin' Me Wild: Common f/ Lily Allen
  • 2080: Yeasayer
  • Guyamas Sonora: Beirut
  • 2HB: Venus in Furs (Velvet Goldmine s/t)
  • Can I Get Get Get: Junior Senior
  • Crockett's Theme: Manual
  • Boyz: M.I.A.

9/19/07 show: songs that already take me back to summer 07
  • MacGyver theme
  • Incredibly Drunk on Whisky: Memphis
  • Jique: Brazilian Girls
  • Someone Great: LCD Soundsystem
  • D.A.N.C.E.: Justice
  • I Wish (Bundle of Contradictions): Forro f/David Byrne
  • Mexico: The King of France
  • 1234: Feist
  • Acceptable in the 80s: Calvin Harris
  • af607105: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • I'm Trying: Milosh
  • My Punishment for Fighting: The Rosebuds
  • Lightbulb: Mezzanine Owls

Bach Mnemonics

As I described on my show last week, here's my personal shorthand for remembering which Brandenburg Concerto is which. In case you wanted to know.

#1: Remember as "Number ONE!!! Numero uno! First place!" Bigger sound with more types of instruments (oboe, bassoon, etc.). Noisy and jolly. Makes sense for it to come first.

#2: Two starts with T. Trumpet starts with T. This one is trumpety.

#3: This one is 3 threes. 3 violins, 3 cello, 3 viola. A stringy thing.

#4: Four starts with F. Flute starts with F. (Or it could be a recorder... still flutier than the others.)

#5: There are 5 fingers on each hand. You need all of them to play the crazy harpsichord cadenza that goes on in this one.

#6: Just 6 players--5 strings and a harpsichord. That's the least instrumentation of all. Sparer.

9/5/07 radio show playlist!!
  • Maxwell's Silver Hammer: John Bayless in the style of J.S. Bach
  • Jesu, der du meine Seele/Wir eilen mit wchwachen, doch emsigen Schritten (BWV 78): Bach Ensemble, Joshua Rifkin
  • Sinfonia to Cantata No. 29: Switched-on Bach, Walter Carlos
  • Brandenburg Concerto #5 in D major, Allegro (BWV 1050): Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman director & harpsichord
  • Goldberg Variations #1 (BWV988): Baby Einstein Music Box Orchestra
  • Sinfonia for Double Orchestra in D Major, Allegro assai, by Johann Christian Bach, born 9/5/1735: Eugene Ormandy & the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring: Leo Kottke
  • Bourée: Jethro Tull

Coffee Table

Let's review. Here's a list of magazines our household subscribes to:

National Geographic
New Yorker
New York
Vanity Fair
The Smithsonian (gift)
Mother Earth News
Rolling Stone
The J. Peterman catalog (good reading!)

Is that a lot? I think my mom said that when I was a kid we got 56 periodicals at one point, though some of them counted as "research." Other magazines kicking around: we borrow The Economist every week from a kind subscriber. Also I often get Bust as a present. I like bitch but don't buy it often. We used to get Premiere and when it folded we were sent Us Weekly to run out our subscription. Crazy. I love Us but can't get past the pricetag so won't subscribe. (Clever of them, because then I spend $3 more when I buy it on the stand.) I like Vice and Complex but they're hard to find in New England. I am fascinated by the hydra-like Radar. I think we have 3 separate premiere issues of Radar. It just refuses to die!

We'd probably like to also get Interview and Cook's Illustrated. I have a secret desire to subscribe to Latina. If money was no object I might get the Burda mag that has sewing patterns right in it, plus I like Threads and the UK edition of Marie Claire. I subscribed to Interweave Knits for a while but it made me feel guilty because I never got around to knitting 1 thing from it. I also like magazines about things I'll never do in person, like climbing or surfing or skateboarding or fabric arts.

Here's today's Beef Jerky Time playlist! (Today's!!!! That is, 8/29/07.)
  • Soap theme
  • Dogs of Lust: The The
  • Drug Test: Yo La Tengo
  • No Aloha: The Breeders
  • I Love You: King Biscuit Time
  • Lightnin' Hopkins: REM
  • Why I Write Such Good Songs: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • Lightbulb: Mezzanine Owls
  • Imagination: Erasure
  • Fiesta: The Pogues
  • St. Elmo's Fire: Brian Eno
  • If You Were Here: The Thompson Twins
  • Pretty in Pink: The Psychedelic Furs
  • Fire in the Twilight: Wang Chung
  • No Rain: Blind Melon

On air next week, I promise!

Sorry for another canceled-at-the-last-minute show last night (8/22). Another family fever kept me at home. (Funny how these keep turning up on Wednesdays?!) For the record, here's the playlist for last week (8/15). Got next show ALL picked out--please tune in Weds, August 29 at 7pm for some 90s gems like the Violent Femmes, Luscious Jackson, the Breeders, Oasis, RHCP, plus a small John Hughes tribute set (gotta have those once in a while).

8/15/07 Beef Jerky Time
  • Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous theme
  • Put Your Records On: Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Candylion: Gruff Rhys
  • Lazy Lover (Free mix): Brazilian Girls
  • Take on me: A-ha
  • The Chills: Peter Bjorn & John
  • The Cosmic Door: Crystal Skulls
  • Losing My Edge: LCD Soundsystem
  • Being Boring: Pet Shop Boys
  • Things Can Only Get Better: Howard Jones
  • Procession: New Order
  • Merry Making at My Place: Calvin Harris
  • Hijo de Africa: MC Solaar

OM Queen

Just got back from a few days in Madison, Wisconsin, where we attended a wedding at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. It was fun and we even got to explore Madison a little—found an excellent bookstore (Avol's) near State Street, and on Saturday we saw the incredibly well-populated farmer's market ranged all about the Capitol. Let's see--last time I was in Wisconsin was when visiting friends near Chicago and we drove up to see the sacred white buffalo in Janesville, although unfortunately the buffalo was "closed" when we got there. So it was fun to visit the fabled land of cheese and beers. Yes, I did have "brats," plus Spotted Cow beer which seems to be a local thang.

We changed planes in Milwaukee on our way which put me in mind of the girl, S, who held the title of "OM Queen" in our high school. I don't know how it worked because I wasn't there, but apparently a bunch of Old Milwaukee (that is, "OM") was consumed by the "bad" kids and they crowned S with the empty beer case when they were done. She seemed proud of her title. What a legacy! As a sidenote, it's interesting how underage drinkers seem attracted to beers that some adults consider crappy. I'm thinking Keystone, Coors Light, Bud, Labatt 50, Golden Anniversary. It's a price-per-quantity thing I guess—I can get a box of 12 Genny Cream Ales for the price of about 5/6 a pack of Wolaver's Organic India Pale Ale.

Playlist! From 8/1/07 (sorry, missed the 8/8 show due to a fever in the family). Note: Tracks this color are a little Marie Antoinette set. Thank you Sofia for an awesome movie. <3
  • The Colbys theme
  • The Songs that We Sing: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Acceptable in the 80s: Calvin Harris
  • Jique: Brazilian Girls
  • Ceremony: New Order
  • What Ever Happened?: The Strokes
  • King of the Wild Frontier: Adam and the Ants
  • Hong Kong Garden: Siouxsie & the Banshees
  • Crown of Love: Arcade Fire
  • These Days: Nico
  • Night of the Furies: The Rosebuds
  • This Charming Man: The Smiths
  • This Night Has Opened my Eyes: Pipas
  • Pity You: Devo
  • Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance: Frank Zappa

Stickie revelation

I enjoy the "stickies" feature on my Mac at work. If I'm doing a project and have a little thought, I open up stickies and write it down. Then I can close the program again without even having to "Save as...," and it's still there later. Love that. (It's such a responsibility to think of a name and location when forced to "Save As..."). For today's blog, I am cutting and pasting one of my sticky notes. I think it speaks for itself.

Strange things I ate when young:

  • houseplants, especially succulents with small leaves
  • bouillon cubes (beef especially)
  • flowers from the garden (lilac, violet, nasturtium, petunia)
  • condensed soup straight from the can (cream of celery and beef vegetable were favorites)
  • uncooked pasta
  • frozen hot dogs
  • raw hamburger

Here's the 7/25/07 Beef Jerky Time playlist:
  • Webster theme
  • Sad Song: Au Revoir Simone
  • The Upstairs Room: The Cure
  • Bi-pet: Lali Puna
  • See You On the Moon: Great Lake Swimmers
  • Earthquake Weather: Beck
  • Past in Present: Feist
  • Socks, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll: Buffalo Daughter
  • Coat Check Dream Song: Bright Eyes
  • Fresh Pond Parkway: Land of the Loops
  • Black Hole: Technicolor
  • Soft Revolution: Stars
  • Everything Will Be Alright: The Killers
  • Dessert Song: Takako Minekawa
  • One Night in Bangkok: Murray Head

Never enough Duran Duran

To me, "new wave" means something like "Sounds a little like New Order, or The Cure, or Duran Duran, or other jangly/sensitive/synth-laden 80s pop." Or put another way "sounds really good and I like it." I'm always happy to find new bands that sound like new wave to me. It all started when I discovered Stars and Figurine and Godzuki about 7 years ago. The latest crop that is pleasing me includes Josh Rouse, The Rosebuds, LCD Soundsystem, Milosh, The King of France, Au Revoir Simone, Nouvelle Vague, and even Bonde do Rolé and Cansei de Ser Sexy, although they're a little more disco and freak-freak than new wave. Still excellent though. I completely agree with Sasha Frere Jones in this week's New Yorker when he says "In my house, Duran Duran-ness is something one works to achieve." I'll just point out that I read that today, Thursday, and played Duran Duran with no prompting yesterday, Wednesday.

It feels good to like some new music. So good I think I'll play some on the radio. Here are 2 playlists at once: this week's and last week's Beef Jerky Time rundowns. Hope you're liking the show! Please feel free to contact WVEW with feedback about my, or any, show.

  • Hardcastle and McCormick theme
  • Dear Mr. Man: Prince featuring Cornel West
  • Time to Get Away: LCD Soundsystem
  • Now Now: St. Vincent
  • Mexico: The King of France
  • You Make Me Feel: Milosh
  • Save A Prayer: Duran Duran
  • Summertime: Josh Rouse
  • D.A.N.C.E.: Justice
  • Who: Odyssey
  • My Punishment for Fighting: The Rosebuds
  • La Dola Rosa: The Communards
  • Turn: New Order
  • It's Over: Milosh

7/11/07 (partially inspired by Rolling Stone's 1967 issue)
  • CHiPs theme
  • Kiss the Break of Day: The Mammals
  • The Operation: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • New Song: Howard Jones
  • Happy Birthday: Stevie Wonder
  • Shoulder Length: The Sea & Cake
  • The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil: Jefferson Airplane
  • Black Day in July: Gordon Lightfoot
  • Borderline: Madonna
  • Over You: Lost Dakotas
  • Over You: Echo & the Bunnymen
  • So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star: The Byrds
  • Katie Cruel: Burt Jansch featuring Devendra Banhardt
  • Creeque Alley: The Mamas & The Papas


OMG, this website is crazy! This is the site of a store in Paris but is much much more. For one thing it has an awesome soundtrack, which is not really something I expect from a website. Also check out the dance class pics under the "More" tab. Do not click if you have dial-up or dislike cute robots: www.colette.fr

Personal revisionism

An odd thing happened to me this week. It was one of those connective moments, when something you used to believe or think about when you were a kid gets re-illuminated or redefined much later on, when it's all but forgotten. Some mild examples are: The first time I saw Annie Hall, I didn't get how Alvy Singer was talking about therapy and that if didn't work, he was going to Lourdes. Later, I found out that Lourdes was a place of holy pilgrimage where people go for miraculous healing. Then I suddenly got Alvy. Or I never understood that in the Dead Milkmen song "Bitchin' Camaro," the Doors cover band described and the song they sang was actually a version of "Love Me Two Times" by a real band called The Doors. Later when I discovered the Lizard King and his crew, I realized Bitchin' Camaro made.. a tiny bit... more sense. I love these little mysteries we set ourselves as young people, simply by not fully understanding or absorbing the world yet. Then they are solved later in a lightning strike of amazement and realization. "OHHHHH! That's it!!!"

So here's what happened this time. I was listening to an audio-book called "Justice," narrated by the author, Dominick Dunne. (I'd always thought DD's Vanity Fair articles were a little high-falutin', but he's a great narrator and refreshingly frank about his gossip-collecting.) Anyway, the first piece in the book is a VF article published in 1984 about the murder of his daughter Dominique and the subsequent trial of her killer. While he was narrating, I suddenly realized that I'd actually read the article in 1984. I'd forgotten almost all of it except for one striking image: in his opening remarks, the DA held up a watch and timed off for the jury how long it took Dominique Dunne to die of strangulation. He did this for 4 agonizing minutes. That image hit me and I never forgot it. I even remember what song was playing on the radio after I finished the article and was mulling it over--it was "New Song," by Howard Jones. Whenever I hear it I think of that courtroom and that poor girl.

Now, in 2007, it's back. I was listening to the tape and I heard those lines and I realized where this image I'd been holding on to FIT into a bigger story. Maybe it doesn't sound that weird when I write it down. But it is fascinating to me to think that there are still little personal mysteries that I'll be stumbling on and unravelling throughout my whole life. I'm never going to "get it" all. I am grateful to have a good enough memory that when little pieces show up later on, glittering pennies on the sidewalk, they can be picked up and slotted into place, making my picture of the world a tiny bit more complete.

Radio news: Regular listeners will know that I took the evening off on Independence Day and there was no Beef Jerky Time broadcast. Here's what I played the week before though (sorry so late in this update!):
  • Silver Spoons theme
  • Sound of Silver; North American Scum; Someone Great: LCD Soundsystem
  • 1 2 3 4: Feist
  • New Day: Kate Hevnavik
  • Lightbulb: Mezzanine Owls
  • Backyards of Our Neighbours: Au Revoir Simone
  • Quero te Amar: Bonde Do Role
  • Destroy Everything You Touch: Ladytron
  • 5:55: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Warm Tears: Alsace
  • Winter in the Hamptons: Josh Rouse

Changing my mind

Ever noticed when you argue with somebody about politics or music you rarely ever change their mind? And yet whenever I try it I am so FERVENT and really act like there's some hope that my brilliant rationale will make the other person say, "Oh my goodness, you are completely right! What a fool I am! I find that I totally agree with you!" Oddly, this has never happened to me in all my years of heartfelt arguing. So next I wonder, do people ever change their minds at all? When was the last time you changed yours? I have forged about in my lumber-room mind and found there are a few things I've flip-flopped on. For instance:

Kate Winslet
: Back around Titanic and before, La Winslet annoyed me. As I have told many, "she looked like she smelled like milk." However sometime around Holy Smoke and her speaking out about being airbrushed to look thinner, I changed my mind. Now I LOVE Kate Winslet! She is so rockin'. Also poppin'.

Beer: For many years I devoted my spare time to the study of beer, mainly through its consumption. I liked all kinds and had revolving favorites. I even tried my hand at home-brewing. But lately I have lost my taste for it... it's just... bilious. Sometimes a cold one is nice on a hot afternoon or to relax after work. But basically, bleh.

Tom Cruise & Brad Pitt: Used to think they were cute in the 80s and 90s respectively. Now I think they're wierdo jerks. (Main reasons: crazy couch-jumping and wife-leaving, respectively. Guess I'm Team Aniston.)

Kale: This used to be the worst nastiest vegetable anybody could serve me. Worse than parsnips or mangelwurzels or celery pulp or creamed escarole or other icky greens and roots and stuff. But now? Kale is my fave food! It's so healthy-looking and healthy-tasting and full o goodness, like vitamin K and iron and whatnot. Bring it on. Kale has not changed, but I have changed for kale.

So think about it... have you changed your mind, even about something small like kale? That's a start!

Here's last week's Beef Jerky Time playlist (6/20/07). Theme should be obvious I think.
  • Price is Right theme
  • So Nice (Summer Samba): Astrud Gilberto & Walter Wanderley
  • Summer Song: Chad & Jeremy
  • Summer Song: James Yorkston
  • Summer Heat: Bert Jansch
  • Children of Summer: Color Filter
  • Endless Summer: Follow the Train
  • We're Gonna Save the Summer: The Pearlfishers
  • Hung Up with Summer: Big Star
  • Cruel Summer: Bananarama
  • Summer Breeze: Seals & Crofts
  • Summertime: Kenny Chesney
  • Summer Wind: Frank Sinatra
  • Bummer in the Summer: Love
  • theme from "Endless Summer": Laika and the Cosmonauts

Quickie post

Here's a super-fast update on the playlist for the 6/6/07 show. Peace OUT!

  • Trapper John, MD theme
  • Glory: Radical Fire
  • Hong Kong Garden: Siouxsie & the Banshees
  • Super Zero: Linda Draper
  • My Lip Gloss: Lil Mama

  • I Sat Down: Hal
  • Raspberry Beret: Prince
  • Quero Te Amar: Bonde do Role
  • Destron: Takako Minekawa
  • Great Northern: Blessed Light
  • Mexico (Every Last Buffalo): Through The Sparks
  • Elevator Love Letter: Stars
  • Heatstroke: Magic Bullets
  • Young Folks (cover): Dawn Landes

Where's SE VT Roller Derby?

Roller Derby is back and Brattleboro needs a team. Or a league. Whatever. I have been doing some research and found out that:
  • you don't need any special track for roller derby, you can use a "flat track," i.e. gym, court or rink surface
  • roller derby so rocks and loud music & cool outfits are de rigueur
  • it really needs to have a life of its own because I don't think 1 person can pull together the amount of person-power that a vibrant RD operation would need (besides teams and refs, you also need scorekeepers, timers, medical people and oh yeah, an audience... maybe a coach)

But wait, how do you "play" roller derby anyway? If you're into reading, download the Women's Flat Track Derby Association "Official Rules." If you'd rather have a blow-by-blow description, check out HowStuffWorks.

Or if you really need a visual, I've enjoyed the following videos so far:
Ghetto Stiletto: A Day at the Roller Derby
Roller Derby Explained
Plus youtube has a gazillion RD videos, including Pioneer Valley Roller Derby stuff. PVRD's own website is at: www.pioneervalleyrollerderby.com

OK, so can we please get rolling around here?! I'm excited! Email me at logomachia at hotmail dot com if you have ideas for VT roller derby. I think a practice location might be a good start...

Hey, wanna know what got played on Beef Jerky Time last week (6/6/07)? Here it is y'all, pure rock n roll:
  • Police Squad theme
  • Let It Rock: Bon Jovi
  • Stone Free: Jimi Hendrix
  • This Fire: Franz Ferdinand
  • Crazy on You: Heart
  • Separate Ways: Journey
  • Hard to Explain: The Strokes
  • Moby Dick: Led Zeppelin
  • Rock this town: Stray Cats
  • One Way or Another: Blondie
  • Back Where You Belong: 38 Special
  • Jiving Sister Fanny: Rolling Stones
  • Rattled: Traveling Wilburys
  • Hot For Teacher: Van Halen

Job Lists

I just like to know what kinds of jobs are out there in the Brattleboro VT area. I know that there's plenty of retail stuff. If you don't want to do the merchandising thing, what else? A couple local institutions are big enough to have "career opportunities" listings on their Web sites.

World Learning, aka School for International Training.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital--if you're a nurse or a "tray handler," you may be in luck
Marlboro College--usually professor-y stuff, obviously.
There's also the Marlboro College Graduate Center
Windham Southeast Supervisory Union--local schools

Troubled times, caught between confusion and pain. Distant eyes, promises we made were in vain... WAIT, that's the lyrics to Separate Ways! Summer's almost here--rock'n'roll with the windows down, man.

Last week's radio show recalled (5/30/07):
  • 6 Feet Under theme
  • The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Heart: Sufjan Stevens
  • Take Away: Missy Elliott f/Ginuwine
  • Crown of Love: Arcade Fire
  • Breaking the Girl: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Hotel Song: Regina Spektor
  • Filet of Sole: The Dead Milkmen
  • New Day (online edit): Kate Hevnavik
  • Three Little Words: The Mondo Crescendo
  • Fergalicious: Fergie
  • An Electronic Address (remixed by Printed Circuit): Figurine
  • Smile (remixed by Mark Ronson): Lily Allen
  • Office Boy: Bonde do Role

  • Galangation (Diplo mix): M.I.A.
  • Anti Love Song: Betty Davis

Fuzzy Summer Days

I don't know what is more exciting, 1. getting carded for buying alcohol after several years of NOT getting carded any more, or 2. rediscovering the sharp carbonated joy of Genessee Cream Ale. Or what about having 1 happen because of 2—ahhh, happy summer is here again. Genny Cream Ale brings back warm memories of long-light evenings on the front porch with my parents sipping this fine beer from the old-stylee pull-tab cans. Now that sweet mystery can be mine. Pop a Genny and join me. Crissssp!

Radio playlist comin' up. Beef Jerky Time as of 5/23/07:
  • Mighty Hercules theme
  • I Don't Believe: Paul Simon
  • Backyards of Our Neighbors: Au Revoir Simone
  • I Wanna Have Your Babies: Natasha Bedingfield
  • Cuckoo: Maria Eriksson
  • Coming Back: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • Just Can't Get Enough: Nouvelle Vague
  • I Want the One I Can't Have: The Smiths
  • Bottom: Voltique
  • My Mood Swings: Elvis Costello
  • Me & My Imagination: Sophie Ellis Bextor

  • Phantom Limb: The Shins
  • I Wish (Bundle of Contradictions): Forro in the Dark f/David Byrne
  • I've Been So Right: Ray Wonder
  • Lest I Forget: One AM Radio
  • Sweetie: Josh Rouse
  • Boplicity: Miles Davis

discontent: It's a good thing

Did you know I used to be involved with a little zine called discontent? The website has been very recently updated with a wee history of the thing.

Hey, here's the playlist from last week's Beef Jerky Time. Good times!
  • Falcon Crest theme
  • Sombre Reptiles: Brian Eno
  • Don't You Worry: The Beloved
  • Quiet Town: Josh Rouse

  • 5:55: Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Sweet Thing: Van Morrison
  • Little Fluffy Clouds: The Orb
  • Glorybound: The Bible
  • Enjoy the Silence: Depeche Mode
  • Untitled III (remix by Two Lone Swordsmen): Calexico
  • The Weaker Soldier: Palace
  • Dead Souls: Joy Division
  • Jane Mary, Cry One Tear: Swans
  • My Love: Justin Timberlake


I had another dance DJ gig last weekend and am still traumatized by what happened. Can you get PTSD from DJing? Basically I was prepared for a certain crowd (the people who liked what I did last time and asked for more 80s music this time), but they weren't there! Instead some of the peeps who were there were not digging my tunes (I know because they said so!), and I didn't have anything else. I just am not well-trained in the live DJ thing. I'm used to radio and there's a big difference, apparently. When it comes to "giving the people what they want" on the spot, NOW, and helping them have fun and dance again in the next 54 seconds OR ELSE, I pretty much failed. Plus I had technical difficulties which made me look like even more of an idiot. I feel bad about getting frazzled and apologize to all the dope dancers there who maybe felt like my set was a bit of a trainwreck. Hmmm. It's like I was asked to tell a few funny stories at a small dinner party and when I got out there, it turned out I was in a big comedy club full of strangers with a spotlight on me and no real material.

Anyway, I'm glad to be on WVEW and able to expand and explore on my own time and in my own directions. THANK YOU for listening to Beef Jerky Time! This Wednesdays show--more cool new music I found on the Internets (sic).

Sean Connery: Alive

The other night, around 2am, I became concerned about Sean Connery. Is he OK? The last time I thought this way about somebody it was Bobby Short, and then later he DIED. So I'm not trying to be morbid, but I do think about famous people that I like who are, um, "seniors," and I hope that they're doing OK. I found this website called "Dead or Alive?" that tells you whether or not people are still around. Did you know that Lena Horne is still alive? And Joan Fontaine? And Claude Levi-Strauss (98!)? And Luise Rainer (97!)? It's heartening to know these things. Check it out if you're wondering about somebody...

What did I play last week on Beef Jerky Time? A lot of great vinyl, that's what. Here's the rundown:
  • Family Ties theme
  • Let's Go All The Way: Sly Fox
  • Automatic: Pointer Sisters
  • Simply Irresistible: Robert Palmer
  • Loverboy: Billy Ocean
  • I Can't Wait: Nu Shooz
  • Burning Up: Madonna
  • Crackpot History & the Right to Lie: Adam Ant
  • Manic Monday: The Bangles
  • Cruel Summer: Bananarama
  • Electric Avenue: Eddy Grant
  • Don't Let Go: Wang Chung
  • New Song: Howard Jones
  • Everything She Wants: Wham

A few interesting websites

I'm full of potato chips and falafel right now so even though it's my weekly time to update my blog (during my hilarious and eclectic radio show "Beef Jerky Time" on WVEW-LP), I'm feeeling a little sluggish.

If you live in Brattleboro and it's before June 1, 2007, click over to the Best of Brattleboro to vote (one vote, one voice) for your personal faves in the area. Please try to keep it in Brattleboro--like don't say your favorite restaurant is in Walpole or something. That's not an official rule, that's just my personal plea.

Somebody (thanks K!) sent me a link to a book promo website made by Miranda July, who turns out to be a fascinating person I'd never heard of. (There are many, trust me.) Click the link then keep clicking to be charmed and jealous of Ms. J's coolness.

Also, apparently I am the last person to find out about Chewbacca's blog, which hurt me with laughing when I scrolled down through its full insanity. Mom, don't bother following this link--it's not your cup of tea!

Which reminds me of Just My Cup of Tea, a style blog that fascinates me with its dedication to materialism. Also fundraisers for people in Kenya are featured, so it kinda balances out.

Here's last week's Beef Jerky Time playlist. Thanks for keeping it tuned to Prof. K!
  • It's a Living theme
  • Slow Wildcat: Essexboy
  • Haunted Valley: Godzuki
  • 1 2 3 4: Feist

  • You Don't Know Me: David Byrne
  • Goldfish Bowl: Stereophonics
  • Planeta Engraja: Lineland
  • The Comeback: Stars
  • The Trawlerman's Song: Mark Knopfler
  • Stardate May 2--Atacama Desert
  • Suivez la Piste: Saloon
  • Levis: Flin Flon
  • Planar Cluster, Planar Burst: Mahogany
  • Float On: Modest Mouse
  • I Was Stabbed to Death in this Very Doorway: Steward
  • Bedside Manner: Celeste
  • Cloudy Sixth: Fort Dax

Don't deprive yourself cuz life's too short.

I was "reading" a book lately and found this great paragraph. Actually I was listening to it in the car. With a long commute every day, I'm all about audio books. Here's the quote:
"I call that the fanaticism of sympathy," said Will, impetuously. "You might say the same of landscape, or poetry, of all refinement. If you carried it out you ought to be miserable in your own goodness, and turn evil that you might have no advantage over others. The best piety is to enjoy -- when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth's character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight -- in art or in anything else. Would you turn all the youth of the world into a tragic chorus, wailing and moralizing over misery? I suspect that you have some false belief in the virtues of misery, and want to make your life a martyrdom."

What do you think? Wish I'd had this rationale handy back in college and needed a few excuses for feeling delight--very often. It's from Chapter 22 of Middlemarch, by our lady George Eliot.

Playlist from last week's radio show: It was an exploration of song, with a couple poems thrown in for Poetry Month (the cruellest month).
  • Cibell in C: Henry Purcell
  • Viens, Mallika... Dôme épais, from Lakmé: Delibes, performed by Mady Mesplé and Danielle Millet
  • Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme, Chorale: J.S. Bach, performed by the Bach Ensemble (Joshua Rifkin)
  • Thing Singing Club: Thomas Arne, performed by the Hilliard Ensemble
  • Casta Diva, from Norma: Bellini, performed by Maria Callas
  • Zefiro Torna: Monteverdi, performed by Tragicomedia
  • next to of course god america: e.e. cummings
  • Hélas Madame: Henry VIII, performed by I Fagiolini & Concordia
  • Der Vogel fänger bin ich ja, from the Magic Flute: Mozart, performed by Gerald Finley
  • Chi il Bel Sogno di Doretta, from La Rondine: Puccini, performed by Kiri Te Kanawa
  • Come Again--Sweet Love doth now invite: John Dowland, performed by Virelai
  • The Old Flame: Robert Lowell
  • Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno!, from L'Italiana in Algeri: Rossini, performed by Cecilia Bartoli
  • The Lass of Patie's Mill/I Like the Fox, from The Beggar's Opera: John Gay, performed by The Broadside Band

Fork-tender chicken with lemon and green olives

Here's something I've been working out lately. A scrumptious melt-in-your-mouth chicken recipe. Crockpot is strongly (and highly) recommended.

16 chicken thighs, bones & skin removed
1 lemon, zest & juice thereof
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup (or more) green olives, pitted and halved
1 cinnamon stick
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
olive oil
2 T turmeric
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T flour

One great thing about crockpot cooking is there's plenty of time for the mise en place (i.e. getting ready in advance). Here's how I prep the night before:
  • in 1 container, store olives, lemon zest and cinnamon stick
  • in another, store onions, garlic and ginger
  • in a 3rd, marinate chicken in the lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon plus extra juice)

Then, in the morning:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Dump in chicken and arrange so it's in a single layer (do more than 1 batch if you have too much chicken). Sprinkle on 1T turmeric plus the red pepper and flour.
  2. When chicken is starting to brown on 1 side, turn it over. Sprinkle on other 1 T turmeric. (Feel free to go crazy with lots more turmeric. It helps prevent cancer!)
  3. When chicken no longer looks very raw on the outside, transfer to crockpot. Do NOT clean pan yet!
  4. Add olive-zest-cinnamon to crockpot. Spread around.
  5. If needed, heat a bit more olive oil in pan. Put in onion-garlic-ginger mixture and saute for about 5 minutes. Then, pour in chicken broth and stir around to scrape up any tasty bits sticking to the bottom. Pour all into crockpot.
  6. Cook 8-10 hours or more. I sometimes start on Low and stir halfway through, then turn up to high to really tenderize the chicken. Or you can just leave it on high (or low) the whole time.

Serve with couscous and a veggie. Serves 4 with minimal leftovers.

For radio listeners, here's the Beef Jerky Time playlist from last week!
  • The Bed's Too Big Without You: The Police
  • This Will Be Our Year: OK Go
  • Isaac: Madonna
  • I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar: Jonathan Richman
  • Quedate Luna: Devendra Banhart
  • Waves & Echoes: Portal
  • Four Winds: Bright Eyes
  • Bongo Bong: Manu Chao
  • Mushaboom: Feist
  • Mary Is Alone: Dry Ice
  • Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above: Cansei de Ser Sexy
  • Rich Girl: Gwen Stefani feat. Eve
  • Sycamore: Bill Callahan
  • Quiet Town: Josh Rouse
  • Ezy Ryder: Jimi Hendrix

Failure to Shop

Recently I received a small tax refund. (Thank you, deductions!) I wisely put about 55% of it into savings. But I wanted to take the rest and SPLURGE, man! Just because I suffer from a shopping disability doesn't mean I can't keep trying! (This disability manifests as stultifying indecision and anxiety when presented with more than about 5 choices... or 5 stores... or more than 5 minutes in a store that has more than 5 choices.) So I asked my family to accompany me to the mall. It's an adventure--a drive of about an hour and in a different state.

I was so sure I'd make it this time, and come away with tens of dollars of new duds and a whole new style. I did some research by reading "Lucky: The Magazine about shopping." I figured what I needed was layers, A-line knee-length skirts, lace accents, grays and greens and creams with maybe some splashes of color. A New Look silhouette with some gauzy bits and tailored bits. Simple, eh? Except I was not so lucky after all. I just can't shop! I need to have all items presented to me personally by knowledgeable and slightly stuck-up sales people. I'm incapable of sifting through things by myself. I lost momentum after the 2nd store I went to--Banana Republic--and bought only 1 thing in the course of 3 hours. It was a nice camisole however, so that's a layer that's lacy and fulfills 2 of my criteria in 1 piece.

Fortunately it all turned out for the best. I'd forgotten I owed a big chunk of a medical bill, and that I would need to buy some new tires at the end of snow-tire season. I'll have just enough money left over from my camisole purchase to afford these things. Thank you "failure to shop"!

Here's the playlist from last week's (4/11/07) Beef Jerky Time.
  • Charles in Charge theme
  • Incredibly Drunk on Whiskey: Memphis
  • Take a Chance on Me: Abba
  • Candylion: Gruff Rhys
  • Was a Sunny Day: Paul Simon
  • Ping Island/Lightning Strike Rescue Op: Mark Mothersbaugh (Life Aquatic s/t)
  • Destroy Everything You Touch: Ladytron
  • Don't You Want Me: Human League
  • Fat Children: Jarvis Cocker
  • Maneater: Nelly Furtado
  • MechaMania Boy: Devo
  • Tea for the Tillerman: Cat Stevens
  • Rehab: Amy Winehouse
  • Step Aside: Tobias Hellkvist

No show tonight: April snow!

Dear listeners, if you are tuning in to wvew.org to hear me today, 4/4/07, my sincere apologies! I'm staying safe at home on a grisly slushy night. Presumably my last "bad weather" excuse of the season though. Please tune in next week for some songs of spring, dance music, strange electronic noises, all the usual treats.

Here's last week's playlist, while I'm at it. Keep it cozy and tuned to WVEW, mates!

  • The Benny Hill Show theme
  • Always Stuck with Leaving: Japancakes
  • Ballad of Maxwell Demon: Shudder to Think
  • The Only Man in Town: Moose
  • You Can't Push Me Away: The Sinking Ships
  • Roller King: California Oranges
  • End of the Day: Beck
  • Within You Without You: Beatles
  • The Casio Fight Song: David Shouse and the Bloodthirsty Lovers
  • Drivin' Thru My Heart: The Donnas
  • Tele-fone: Godzuki
  • Knock 'Em Out: Lily Allen
  • Around the World: Daft Punk
  • Marilu: Serge Gainsbourg
  • Why Do You Have So Much Fun Without Me?: Barcelona
  • edit: hollAnd

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I just read in the latest Mother Earth News that the 2.3 trillion dollars we've wasted killing people and embarrassing ourselves in Iraq could have solved all our sustainable "green" energy needs FOR GOOD. I don't know what upsets me more, this outrageous misuse of money, or the whiny woulda-coulda-shoulda tone of the statement. I mean, it's not too late! Surely we could cough up another emergency 2.3 trillion dollars to spend on something useful? Makes up for spending so much on a stupid wrong thing? Evens things out, like? What are we, BROKE?

I've been doing a lot of work-related reading about water conservation and electrical circuitry. Wouldn't think those things are related, but it turns out that by saving electricity (by installing those new-fangled fluorescent bulbs, for example), you also help save the planet's finite water supply. That's cuz many processes used to make electricity, like burning coal or gas or oil, create pollutants that affect water quality. So use less of the stuff and you mess up the earth a tiny bit less. Plus one of these bulbs will also save you bucks because it lasts a lot longer besides using less wattage.

Also I learned that reusing and recycling materials can help the environment. Wait, was I supposed to know this already?! I was reading that the ocean is turning to "plankton and plastic soup" because plastic doesn't biodegrade, it just photodegrades into nasty little plastic bits. So what am I doing about it? Well, baby steps man. I've started asking for "for here" dishes at the cafeteria even though I'm really taking the food "to go." Then I take my dishes and cutlery back to the cafeteria for washing instead of trashing them. Also I've become guilty about using plastic bags to buy bulk foods. If I'm such a hippie that I'm buying bulk, why am I using so many baggies and twist ties? So I'm trying to use Mason jars for bulk stuff now. Just get the tare weight first and mark it on the jar, then fill and label.

Also I'm so proud of our low-flow air-assisted toilet. It's a Gerber. Not the baby food company, the toilet company. If you're in the market for a new throne, check one out! (Or similar low-flow thingy.) It works better than our old leaky toilet, and with less water.

Sources: National Geographic depressing issue about how the oceans are messed up. The book "Hold Your Water! 68 Things You Need to Know to Keep Our Planet Blue." ESFi online resources, especially booklet on assessing circuitry in your home. Mother Earth News magazine.

Here's last week's playlist, BTW!

  • Fantasy Island theme
  • Autour du feu: Maritas de Plata
  • La Iguana (son jarocho): Los Lobos
  • Una Linea di Dolcezza: Bert Jansch
  • Banderilla: Calexico
  • Tientos: Carlos Montoya (guitar)
  • Piedras Negras: Laika & the Cosmonauts
  • Veinte Años: Buena Vista Social Club
  • Memories of Madrid: Herb Alpert
  • Desaparacido: Manu Chao
  • Hotel California: Gipsy Kings
  • Soul Sacrifice: Santana
  • Malagueña: Mantovani & his orchestra
  • Chan Chan: The Mammals
  • Saga gitane: Manitas de Plata

G@# d%$# it!

No more poetry-quoting. Begorrah. I have taken to using fake swear words. Or whatever it's called when you say "darn" instead of "damn." I am finding them much more amusing and satisfying than real swears, in most cases. (Though there is still one word that I can't find a substitute for, as it's such a satisfying way to express my ANGER in one little syllable.) Here are some I like: crikey, crumbs, rats, drat, SHOOT!, motherflipper, garrrrrr, goshdarn, and my favorite, "fudge cakes!"

Here's Beef Jerky Time from last week (3/14/07). A little chunk by Japanese artists in there. (From * to **) I feel like this was a better show than the last as I wasn't bloody sick. (Ah yes, "bloody" is another good one!)

  • Fall Guy theme
  • Snow (Hey Oh): Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Idlewild Blue: Outkast
  • Cosmic Rays: Helium
  • Take Me Out: Franz Ferdinand
  • Limbo: Throwing Muses
  • Fluorescent: Gwen Stefani
  • Back on Me: Urge Overkill
  • Luck of the Irish: Shonen Knife*
  • Everybody Knows: 800 Cherries
  • Kahimi au Telephone: Kahimi Karie
  • Never/More: Takako Minekawa
  • New Rock: Buffalo Daughter**
  • I Can't Sleep: The La's
  • Curragh of Kildare: Bert Jansch

It's that time again

It's the time of year when I think of this rather long sentence:

Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The Droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe course y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye, -
So priketh hem nature in hir corage:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages -
And palmers for to seken straunge stronde -
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

I'm sorry if this doesn't match the General Prologue you have at home. I found it at this Long Island University site, which also includes a groovy .jpg of the manuscript page.

Anyway, yes I am ready for spring. Funny, since winter only appeared about a month ago, after a wicked long fall.

Here's the playlist for last week's "Beef Jerky Time":
  • What's Happenin' theme
  • Bayside Drive: Manual with Syntaks
  • Alone on the Homestead: The Mammals
  • She's Lost Control: Joy Division
  • If You Leave: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  • Empty Shell: Cat Power
  • Fiesta: The Pogues
  • Axcerpt: Mekons
  • sn: hessen
  • (Not Just) Knee Deep (Part 1): Funkadelic
  • I Want to Be A Cowboy: Boys Don't Cry
  • Trem Two: Mission of Burma
  • The Preacher: Horace Silver

Dear Scientists

I've noticed that you have been working on some interesting new drugs and procedures, dear scientists. Now I don't have to ovulate more than 4 times a year, and I can control what kind of cholesterol my liver makes, if any. Plus I can have my eyes shaved with a laser! And all of these convenient procedures are so new that nobody knows the long-term effects! But I would like to make one suggestion. I have been bothered a lot by my fingernails. They keep growing and I keep having to cut them. I'm thinking if I could stop their growth voluntarily, it would save me a lot of time in life. Time I could spend doing other, more important things. Please let me know about your plans for making fingernail retardant, dear scientists. Who is working on this? Hurry up, if possible. Thanks. Prof. K.

Last week's radio show was robot and outer space music. Here's the list:
  • Knight Rider theme
  • batteries (can't help me now): Figurine
  • I've Been Hittin' on a Russian Robot: Boris the Sprinkler
  • Space Oddity: David Bowie
  • Intergalactic: Beastie Boys
  • Evil Robots Underground: Flash-C
  • Escaping the Game Grid: Technicolor
  • Mr. Roboto: Styx
  • Rocket Patrol: Mathlete
  • Cellphone's Dead: Beck
  • Mobira: Printed Circuit
  • Proto Eleven: The Elevator Drops
  • Aging Astronauts II: Mary Timony
  • Otra Dimension: La Monja Enana
  • Space Base: Laika & the Cosmonauts

Cocoa and animals

I am big on chocolate, and lately it has become a daily passion. Hot cocoa in particular. When I was little, one of my favorite poems was this one by Christopher Morley:

Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers I think;
When I'm grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these.
What do YOU choose when you're offered a treat?
When Mother says, "What would you like best to eat?"
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It's cocoa and animals that I love most!

The kitchen's the cosiest place that I know;
The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
The cocoa and animals waiting for me.

Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
But they don't have nearly as much fun as I
Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
And Daddy once said, he would like to be me
Having cocoa and animals once more for tea!

I find out that now I'm grown up and can have what I please, cocoa is just what I need every day around 2pm. Sometimes I have it mid-morning as well. Recently I discovered from reading New York magazine that fancy-pants gourmet-type cocoa may be called "drinking chocolate." They have some TASTY reviews of drinking chocolate in the 2/7/07 issue, and also check out another round of reviews done 3 years earlier on 1/12/04. Earlier one also includes a concocting recipe. YUMMM!

I think I've only had drinking chocolate once, at the Burdick's in Walpole, and it almost killed me. It was like mainlining 5 chocolate bars at once. I'm content with just my powdered cocoa in either milk or hot water. And maybe some animals now and then.

Here's the playlist from my Valentine's-a-week-late-because-of-snow show, 2/21/07:
  • Here Come the Brides theme
  • Alone Again Or: Love (live)
  • You Are What You Love: Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins
  • Wear Your Love Like Heaven: Donovan
  • Beautiful: Goldfrapp
  • Everything About It Is a Love Song: Paul Simon
  • Do You Feel the Same Way: Bob Marley & the Wailers
  • Passion Play: Sugarhill Gang
  • The Perfect Kiss: New Order
  • Love Will Tear Us Apart: Susanna & the Magical Orchestra
  • Fidelity: Regina Spektor
  • Halleluia I Love Her So: Joe Williams
  • Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe: Barry White
  • Give Me the Love: The String Cheese Incident
  • You Do Something to Me: Frank Sinatra

Pass the Poutine

I've been going through a bit of a Canadian phase lately. May in
large part be due to my watching the Kids in the Hall Megaset,
complete seasons 1-4, which makes me feel like I'm living right
in Toronto. Also I highly recommend a movie called "Comedy
Gold," a doc about Canadians (with interviews with Dan Aykroyd,
Dave Thomas, Tom Green, Lorne Michaels, and many many others)
and their comedy oeuvres (Codco, This Hour Has 22 minutes, SCTV,
Wayne & Shuster, Air Farce, etc.). Which reminds me, last week's
Beef Jerky Time was an all-Canadian show. Since Canada is a huge
country and not, say, Kansas City, I don't think it really has a
"sound." But I'm always thrilled to find out that various
interesting or odd people or groups turn out to be Canadian. I
was helped by this Wikipedia list.
(This reminds me of an old & great edition of "This American
Life" all about what it means to be Canadian--check it out here:

Beef Jerky Time playlist 2/7/07
  • Kids In the Hall theme: Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet
  • The Jessica Numbers: The New Pornographers
  • Burning in Love: Honeymoon Suite
  • Where Evil Grows: The Poppy Family
  • Promiscuous: Nelly Furtado
  • Fight for Love: 54-40
  • Stove/Smother: Sloan
  • Safety Dance: Men Without Hats
  • Down by the Rio Grande: Cajun Ramblers
  • We Built Another World: Wolf Parade
  • Reunion: Stars
  • One Night Love Affair: Bryan Adams
  • Rise Up: Parachute Club
  • Everybody Knows This is Nowhere: Neil Young

Google & iTunes rethunk

It has come to my attention that maybe Google isn't ALL THAT. BoingBoing usually has good posts about what sneaky things the Googs are up to, and they also link to Google Blogoscoped which is already more than I want to know about the issue. If you don't want to use Google because you don't want to get involved with search-term records or cookies or access logs or censorship issues, you can still use Google via Scroogle, which I understand is set up to ping Google with your search requests without actually keeping track of you. By the way, thanks Google for buying and hosting my blog...

Another online discovery is the iTunes music store. Yes, I'm a very very late adopter on this one. I am only now discovering the joy of downloading songs for 99 cents each. I have spent almost 4 dollars so far and it feels so CRAZY, like I'm dumping my life savings into the penny slots in Vegas, one damn penny at a time!

Here's last week's playlist for Beef Jerky Time (1/24/07)--the children's show.
  • Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries theme
  • See You on the Moon: Great Lake Swimmers
  • Peter Pan: Sunshine Day
  • The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers: Winnie the Pooh s/t
  • Yodelers: Raggedy Ann and Andy
  • Little Hiawatha: Disney 7"
  • "The Bean, the Straw and the Coal": narrated by Danny Kaye
  • Algebra Spaghetti: Mild Euphoria
  • Chim Chim Cheree: Bill Lee, from the Mary Poppins s/t
  • The Friendly Beasts: Sufjan Stevens
  • I Had a Rooster: Pete Seeger
  • The Great Stone Fire Eater: narrated by Christine Price
  • Berceuse: Gaubert (Bob Johnson, piano; Julia Older, flute)
  • New Sound: Tony Borello

New format (slightly)

Because I only seem to post once a week with the playlist from my most recent hour of Beef Jerky Time, I've decided to stop calling each post "Beef Jerky Time [insert date here]," because it's getting kinda boring. Instead I'll try to incorporate playlists into each post with a modicum of artfulness, when possible. Though some weeks I might still just be throwin' out playlists alone, I promise to TRY TO INCLUDE SOME OTHER CONTENT for you. Let's just say I've been a little busy lately, and probably will be for some time to come, but I'm doing my best, yo.

So the news this past week: I was asked to co-DJ a dance party and it was so wicked fun I can't even believe it. I felt like I had the Ring of Power or something, because my previous ideas and careful plans went right out the window when I got a taste of what happens when you play Justin Timberlake and similarly CATCHY stuff for a crowd. What happens is that as a DJ I got beat-happy, and I was extremely reluctant to play anything that wasn't the absolutely best and danciest shit I could think of at that very moment. It was a scary and exhilirating edge to be perched on--the feeling that with one wrong move a whole happy roomful of people would suddenly sit down and ignore what I was doing. Fortunately my set was only an hour because that's about how long I could last at that outrageous pace before passing out. It was amazing and strange to feel like people's behavior depended, in a way, on me just pushing a button. I hope I can retain some semblance of my own musical tastes should such an event ever take place again. I did play the Pogues, Duran Duran, and The Beat, so I didn't completely abandon my choices to the siren song of Nelly Furtado's Promiscuous...

On to radio updates. This week's show (1/24/07) will be a children's hour--stories and songs. Stream it live at 7pm Eastern at WVEW.

Last week's list:
  • MacGyver theme
  • Le Rendez Vous: Manu Chao
  • In the Dark: Toots & the Maytals
  • Bamboleo: Gipsy Kings
  • Karma Coma: Massive Attack
  • There She Goes: The La's
  • Celestial Soda Pop: Ray Lynch
  • A New Career in a New Town: David Bowie
  • Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad: Derek & the Dominos
  • Fool's Gold: The Stone Roses
  • Chal Chamali Bagh: Krodhi soundtrack
  • Fisherman's Dream: Emerald

Beef Jerky Time: 1/10/07

This week's playlist:
  • T.J. Hooker theme
  • Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3: Ian Dury & the Blockheads
  • Overkill: Men at Work
  • Last Living Souls: Gorillaz
  • Walking in My Footsteps: The Police
  • Still Ill: The Smiths
  • PYT: Michael Jackson
  • Sissyneck: Beck
  • If there's a Heaven Above: Love & Rockets
  • The Dream: The Cure
  • Alive: Pearl Jam
  • Sell My Soul: Midnight Oil
  • Anticipate: Ani diFranco
  • You'd Better Get Yourself Together: Gigolo Aunts
  • Pachysandra: Gordon Stone

Tolkien's birthday: radio special 1/3/07

First Beef Jerky Time of the year, and it's a special show dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. As I explained on-air, I've been feeling especially "Tolkien-y" lately as I just finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy (my first successful holiday run--I often try to read it around the solstice time but leave off somewhere in the first volume). John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892. There's certain music that seems to go with his work... for me anyway. It tends to be British (ish), a bit odd... sometimes plangent, sometimes jolly. I can't say enough excited, good things about the concept of Middle Earth. Yes I am a tremendous geek. Here's what got played.
  • Dolente: In the Nursery
  • The Black Swan: Bert Jansch
  • The Greenland Disaster (Sealing Song): Figgy Duff
  • "The Departure of Boromir," from The Two Towers: read by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Dark Island: Thistledown
  • Fine Horseman: Silly Sisters
  • "Of Herbs & Stewed Rabbit," from The Two Towers: read by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Ramble On: Led Zeppelin
  • Boy in the Gap/Banshee/Music in the Glen: Barde
  • "Farewell to Lorien," from The Fellowship of The Ring: read by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Gone Beyond: Akron/Family
  • The Road to Lisdoonvarna/The Lark on the Strand: Patrick Ball (celtic harp)
  • Gollum's Song: from The Two Towers soundtrack

Twice as Long! Beef Jerky Time: 12/27/06

Last show of the year was TWO HOURS long. That's twice as much Beef Jerky. Here's the playlist. Chewy!
  • Mork & Mindy theme
  • Temptation: New Order
  • Nin-com-pop: Lali Puna
  • For You Blue: The Beatles
  • O Venus Bant: Super Madrigal Brothers cover Alexandre Agricola (1446-1506)
  • Illegalize It: Trans Am
  • Blood in the Air: Ui
  • Look Up: Stars
  • Blood of Eden: Peter Gabriel
  • Perfect Skin: Lloyd Cole & the Commotions
  • Stay Up Late: Talking Heads
  • 24 Robbers: Apostle of Hustle feat. The Huskys
  • Voices Are Your Best Friend: Glissandro 70
  • Fruit Belt: Lederhosen Lucil & Kid Koala
    These last 3 from a CD for kids of all ages called "See You On the Moon!", from Paper Bag Records. Thanks 'bird!
  • It's a Man's Man's Man's World: James Brown (RIP!)
  • Go Out & Get It: John & Beverley Martyn
  • Look Back in Anger: David Bowie
  • Karate Man: The Super Friendz
  • I'm the One: Material
  • The Crunge: Led Zeppelin
  • Resistance Is Futile: Jets to Brazil
  • Drawbridge: Barons
  • Dirty Martini: Joe Jackson Band
  • On My Radio: The Selecter
  • Stereotype: The Specials
  • DesCartes: Brideshead
  • The Last Time: Gnarls Barkley
  • I'll Come Running: Brian Eno
  • Facing East: Thievery Corporation
  • Dayvan Cowboy: Boards of Canada