Monday, July 13, 2009

16 Days with No Music

Sixteen days to go, that is -- out of a total of 21. During the Three Weeks, we're not supposed to listen to music...leading people like me to drive ourselves insane. This is about when I usually reach my breaking point. For a perpetual headphone-head like me, who likes to walk around with a soundtrack to everything, it's hard to just give up my iTunes -- let alone, the 15 CDs that I always carry around, because I am Old School like that.

sayid tries to find some talk radio

Finding something good to listen to during
the Three Weeks:
How not to get 'Lost'
Here's a few of the tricks I've worked up.

* The Lost Rewatch.
Listening to TV shows is fun! Especially when you're in a forlorn cubicle and the only other sounds would be Manhattan commuters damning each other to eternal purgatory with their horns. Nothing beats a fight scene with no words -- where, for 5 entire minutes, you hear a whiz, then a boom, then the sounds of someone clubbing someone else's brains in. How do you know who won? If they're still speaking at the end. The first four seasons are free to watch (or listen to) on the Lost website.

We can't stop praising this site. Books, old radio shows, and even TV and Smashing Pumpkins concerts are all up here, for free. But we're not concerned with any of that -- not for another 16 days, anyway. The Naropa Poetry Institute just provided a massive portion of their archives, which includes Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti lecturing and reading poetry. And there's also (ahem) a few Jewish spoken-word shows by me.

* Authors Talk about Cool Stuff
I can't tell you why, but Neil Gaiman's 7-minute speech from the PEN World Voices convention is really, really beautiful. Something to do with talking about the Chronicles of Narnia and not being able to go home again, I guess.

* AM Radio
I used to hate listening to talk radio. Everyone was either rabid right wing or rabid left wing. Even supposedly funny people like Rush Limbaugh, whose views I couldn't take seriously from the start, stopped being funny when you started realizing how many people were listening to him, regarding him with UTTER SERIOUSNESS AND DEVOTION. I had a friend (uh, acquaintance) (actually, we almost got suspended for beating each other's lights out) who literally took notes during Michael Savage.

It wasn't until much later that I discovered the joy of AM radio. By far, my favorite was Coast to Coast with Art Bell, who invited every manner of supernatural nut, and a bunch of people who actually did know things, onto the show. He'd talk for hours about UFO abductions, telekinesis, paranormal phenomena and the Yeti -- and every moment was a window into the life of someone I'd never have otherwise known about.

There are several other worthwhile non-musical radio shows that you have to check out -- the two essentials are Car Talk and, of course, A Prairie Home Companion -- both available free online, both new episodes and a 14-year archive.


Michael S said...

I'm checking out right now. And I love Car Talk! I have no mechanical ability at all but I feel like I do from listening to Car Talk, like when my sister's car was squeaking and I told her it might be the tie rod ends. I have no idea what that means but that's what they always say on Car Talk. This American Life is another really great show that my wife and I listen to on long car rides.

Jessica said...

I always wanted to listen to those shows about paranormal stuff [I was obsessed with The X-Files from 5th-12th grade], but it never actually seemed to be on the air... when do they air that Coast to Coast show (assuming it actually is broadcast in Cleveland...)

matthue said...

Art Bell just retired (for something like the fifth time), but the show is still on the air:

And it looks like someone does air it in Cleveland.

Marie said...

1) I can't believe you carry around CDs AND an mp3 player!

2) How about some jello biafra spoken word too?

matthue said...

OK, rock! I did a search for Jello stuff and found a ton on ... including this track called "Beat around the Burning Bush." I wrote a story with almost the exact same title, but never realized I'd lifted it off him.

But here's the mp3:

frumsatire said...

You forgot accapella and church music - no instruments.

What about the BS heter of non-live music?

matthue said...

hey, if YOU wanna be a goy and jam out to church music, don't bring it on MY blog, yo -- oh, hell. unless it's GOOD church music. like black baptist churches in the south.

but, seriously -- non-live music is a heter? i am so cut off from CDs....

Wil Roepke said...

Glad you mentioned some NPR shows - though I still have to add that basically can keep you busy for years.

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