WTM #1077: Winter as Indiscriminating Moodmaker

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies


21 December 2009 // 16.30-18.30

“In effect, members of the public are paying the salaries of people who make more money in a year than we will probably make in a lifetime. It seems a little rage is in order just now. Perhaps those who created this mess should be banished from the financial industry, not paid handsomely to clean it up.”
Aaron Fischbach,
New Yorker, The Mail, April 27, 2009

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.
Andrew Wyeth

Materio_* > Louis Dufort [Musicworks 101 / SOCAN ]
While The Cold Winter Waiting > Trentemøller
Saintly Acts of the Unchosen 1 > Bonny Finberg [Radio Joy]
Winter Weather > Benny Goodman [Swingin’ Christmas / TIM]
Saintly Acts of the Unchosen 2 > Bonny Finberg [Radio Joy ]
+ Heart Sounds [various] > Leo Pharmaceutical
Winter Wonderland > Johnny Mercer [Crooners at Christmas / Musicbank]
Jingle Bells > Frank Sinatra [Crooners at Christmas / Musicbank]
Saintly Acts of the Unchosen 3 > Bonny Finberg [Radio Joy]
Strawberry Sleighride > Pizzicato 5
My Best Friend is Jesus > Foundation
Baby Jesus > Maria Muldaur
Jesus Says Hell is a Place of Loneliness > Marjoe vs MC 900’ Jesus
Saintly Acts of the Unchosen 4 > Bonny Finberg [Radio Joy]
Dear Mr. Jesus > Power Source
My Name is Jesus > Mysterious Asthmatic Avenger
The Sin Bit the Sinner’s Head Off and Said Cheese > the Hutchinsons [The Antidote / Tiefdruk]
Jesus Put a Yodel in My Soul > Wanda Jackson
Equus [Grand Vehicule] > Olivier Capparos & Lionel Marchetti [Equus / Pogus ]
TV God Economics / God & His Many Friends
Cold Hard Times > Lee Hazelwood
Equus [Grand Vehicule] > Olivier Capparos & Lionel Marchetti [Equus / Pogus]
Guten Tag, Wie Gehts > Sibylle & Peter Sänger [Guten Tag / Teleac]
Wonderland Dub > Warp Technique
Drift > Roderick Packe
Winterworld Of Love > Engelbert Humperdinck

“Sometimes In winter I gaze into the streets / and walk through snow and city sleet behind your room / Now your gone girl, /
and the lamp posts call your name, / i can hear them in the spring of frozen rain.”
• Steve Katz “Sometimes in Winter”

Sometimes in Winter > Blood Sweat & Tears
A Song Produced While Floating Alone on Christmas Day > Susumu Yakota
Christmas Day > Red Star Belgrade
Winter Tale > Original Love
Yingle Bells > Yogi Yorgesson
Here It Is Christmas > Red Sovine

Now your gone girl, / and the times slow down til dawn / its a cold room / and the walls ask where you’ve gone
• Steve Katz “Sometimes in Winter”

I always play at least one winter show. I can continue to fascinate kids with little facts: that it is the first day of winter is the shortest day of the year. I try to show with diagrams and they lose interest.  The seasons always seem like a particular but suitably broad subject to spin off of. I like melancholic songs especially about snow fall and that glorious alone feeling of tromping through a big empty field of snow. The field of snow becomes this big meteorological/geographical metaphor for a meditative state. I remember being worked up about things and taking long walks through desolate fields in Michigan, treks that led nowhere except back home and then the feeling of being inside…

I used to like BST when I was a kid and impressed by bands that used jazzy maneuvers like BST & Chicago Transit Authority [and many others]. I even tried to like the David Clayton Thomas songs but ultimately my appreciation turned to annoyance and it took me 30 years to re-appreciate this one song. Do I like the rest? Not much. This song seemed to capture a certain late-teen angst, poetically rendered to amplify the importance of one’s own petty disillusionment’s. Anyway, now that I re-listen and re-read the lyrics, they come out as pretty good poetry albeit a bit affected and pompous. It was these proto-poetic songs that led me to Leonard Cohen and his novels, which are still truly wild 1960s adventures!

I am making a regular feature of xmas songs as well. Where does that come from? My daughter no doubt. My re-interest in the Beatles and pop music in general is due to my daughter, Paloma learning to really really love the Beatles. She is doing her oral report on the Beatles. She can sing a half dozen songs and is playing Norwegian Wood on piano.

Anyway, xmas songs was something I avoided at all costs for many years of djing. Except the most cynical and sarcastic and caustic. Now I think those songs are just as stupid as the worst upbeat xmas songs – like the converse like the flipside. Anyway, the new challenge is to find ones that are somehow able to plow through all the holiday BS and still come through as… Authentic or emotionally upright. But not to worry, I’m not taken in by the “new” xmas spirit. Most of it sucks but its best to not let the cynical / hypocritical hyper-capitalist advantage taking of this slim attempt at genuine ritual [by my daughter] get the best of you. It can give you an ulcer and as anti-acid tablet I always take one “Blue Xmas” by Bob Dorough and Miles Davis.

Many of the Xmas songs are supplied annually by writer-pundit Jose Padua,  Filipino redneck with the meanest bumper stickers on his Subaru like: JESUS WAS A FILIPINO and GOD KNOWS NO WRATH LIKE A PISSED-OFF COLLEGE-EDUCATED FILIPINO

I decided to feature Bonny Finberg’s long journey into night narrative with its vivid imagery and strong narrative diction. This led me to thinking of doing a few shows devoted to people I know, are friends with, have met, etc. These shows will be coming up. I decided to break up her hour story by injecting some contradictory and parallel songs thematically.

I will also mention a collaboration between David Meltzer, poet, musician, essayist and more, and Michael Rothenberg of Big Bridge Press. ROCKPILE is an interesting road show like a tent show without the freaks and tents “through 8 cities in the US to perform poetry/prose, composed while on the road, with local musicians and artists in each city. It will serve to educate and to preserve, as well as create, a history of collaboration and help to reinforce the tradition of the troubadour of all generations, central to the cultural upheaval and identity politics that reawakened poets, artists, musicians, and songwriters in the mid 1960s through the 1970s.The project will end with a final multi- media performance in San Francisco.” I will be featuring Rothenberg’s poetry in a future WTM.

2 thoughts on “WTM #1077: Winter as Indiscriminating Moodmaker

  1. You didn’t get the entire bumper sticker. It goes “God Knows No Wrath Like a Pissed-Off College-Educated Filipino WITH A MULLET” My mullet is my hair poem, my vilanelle to America.

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