Category Archives: Radio

Birthday Boy!

Today is the birthday of our dear leader Dale!

We’ve talked here over the years of the gift that Dale has given us by starting the blog and setting a tone that we all appreciate.  Now let’s make a list of what gifts we would like to give Dale.

Here’s a poem for Dale’s birthday – although not quite up to the standards of Poet Laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler.

You’re honest,
decent, lovable,
and truly are first rate.
You’re charming,
unforgettable,
and clearly pretty great…

You’re dignified,
sophisticated,
gracious, sweet,
and kind.
You’ve got a lot
of talent
and a wit that’s
hard to find.

You’re cleaver, cool,
considerate,
and clean up really nice.
You’re worldly wise,
and wonderful
and full of good advice.

You’re fun
and entertaining,
not to mention
very smart.
You’re altogether awesome
and you’ve got a lot of heart!

What gift would you give Dale?

Ostrich or Monkey?

today’s post comes to us from tim.

you know i am finally there.

i don’t want to listen to the news anymore…

houston had a flood. did you hear?

donald trump had a thought… did you hear?

not only did I hear it i can’t shut it off.

my tv station in the morning plays the same story every 15 minutes from 4 am until 7 when they hand it off to the new york team who tells the national story of the day 2 or 3 times before i can get away and listen to it on the radio.

then I see all the pop ups from internet news, yahoo, google, whoever I have on my email news blasts

from huffington post or email blasts from my senators or local political folks, or people I like to hear from.

i have begun to do podcasts and downloaded music to stay away from the antimotivational news

but the twins are doing good, the lynx are wonderful again cmon lindsey whalen… and the vikings don’t suck yet. the timberwolves should be really wonderful this year. the soccer stadium is going to be fun and

the joy through sports seems shallow but it is kind of like taking pride in the guthrie theater and the minnesota orchestra or the st paul chamber orchestra the voyageurs national park, minnehaha falls or the fact that we have winter.

lots to pay attention to out there in the world. the news knows what people say they want to know about but i wonder if there would be a place for the good news station on the dial. i know i’d tune in.

what do you love most about the trail?

 

Songs That Make Us Cry

Today’s post comes to us from Steve.

So many issues ultimately come down to a chicken-or-the-egg controversy. For example, do we cry because sad music causes tears to flow? Or is it more that we get in such a funk that we play music we know will cause the waterworks to kick into high gear?

Some music makes me weep, and sometimes it is the same music that sends other folks into crying jags. But it gets complicated. Some songs that are sure to send many folks running for a box of tissues have no effect on me. I’ve read that Adele has done wonders for the sale of Kleenex, but she doesn’t get a sniffle from me. And I’m an easy weeper.

I just read an article that tries to explain why only some music makes us cry. If you are interested, the article is by NBC News, and here is the link: //https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-do-certain-songs-make-us-cry-ncna784801

What songs—if any—make you cry? I vaguely remember an earlier discussion on Trail Baboon that got into this. One surprising finding was that there is a song about a boat (of all things) that makes Baboons bawl. I’ll admit to being one of them. Here is an interesting You Tube video. It has an unusual intro that is worth listening to:

My strong hunch is that another song that makes me cry is one that also affects other Baboons. I think I’m the person who introduced Dale Connelly and Tom Keith to Eva Cassidy. I sent them a CD and a note to say that her songs make me cry, especially this one:

Of course, Cassidy died far too young, and I’m sure that is part of her impact on me.

I have long admired the special ability of Bonnie Raitt to sing what I call “heartbreak songs.” She sings many songs that involve a compassionate person talking about heartbreak in terms that seem utterly authentic. For me, heartbreak songs coming from Bonnie Raitt have more credibility than they could have from any other singer. I was touched when Raitt admitted, in a Scott Simon interview, that singing one of those songs in concert has a serious physical and emotional impact on her. As often as she has sung them, when she delivers one of those songs she is left drained and has to turn to other kinds of music in order to recover. Here is one of my favorites:

Some songs are so sad it isn’t a wonder that they make us cry. As a teen I learned to be careful where I was when I heard a song about a dead dog. So it is hardly surprising that a song like this next one would make people cry:

I mean—Clapton is singing to his dead kid, wondering if they would recognize each other in heaven! That’s pretty emotional stuff! (Pardon me while I blow my nose!)

One of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard was written by a very funny and impish guy. But I have it on good authority that this song also moves many people:

Seeing other people cry can make us cry. Here is an interesting example of that:

And—just to keep this post from being too heavy—here is a song so over the top and manipulative that I can’t imagine a normal person crying after hearing it. There is sentiment . . . and then there is maudlin weepy excess. A song that was designed clumsily to yank our heartstrings was one of Elvis Presley’s early hits. And here he is . . . with a bit of a spin. This is actually the (now dead) comedian Andy Kaufman singing one of Elvis Presley’s sappiest songs:

I need a tissue! No . . . after that one, I need a shower!

What (if any) songs make you cry?

 

Dove Lotion #Pine?

Today’s post comes from Occasional Caroline.

For the last few days I’ve been listening to the 50s station on Sirius radio in the car. It keeps me safely cocooned from unprepared-for onslaughts of anything related to Trumpelstiltskin.

Today I realized that I’ve mis-heard the lyrics to Love Potion #9 all these years. I always thought he “took his troubles down to Madame RUE, you know, that gypsy with the GOLD TATTOO.” WRONG! He went to Madame RUTH, the gypsy with the GOLD CAPPED TOOTH! Clear as can be.

Is satellite radio that much better? Is my hearing improving in my old age? Have I achieved a zen-like state where the clutter of the everyday is swept away and only crystal clarity exists? Am I the only one whose been singing along wrong for decades?

This makes me question every song I’ve ever heard; who knows what other misconceptions I’m living under?

Have you ever mis-heard lyrics?

The Essential Albums

Header photo by Will Folsom via Flickr.  License CC 2.0

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbindsale

The radio station The Current, KCMP (89.3 FM – MPR’s answer in 2005 to the fact that a hefty chunk of  its listeners were middle aging), has taken on compiling the 893 most essential albums of all time.

Back in mid-April they asked listeners to help by sending in their votes for individual listeners’ “top ten” albums.

What constitutes an Essential Album? According to Jim McGuinn, The Current’s program director, these are the albums that, if your house was on fire (and there was no such thing as an iPhone), you would run in and grab before they burned. They are the albums that may have changed your life, or perhaps that got you through important life changes; the albums you would want with you on a desert island along with that volleyball.

The station received around 8,000 votes from listeners all over the world – with over 14,000 albums receiving at least one vote.  Beginning Thursday morning May 5, the choices will be unveiled and played from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. each weekday through next Thursday May 12, and over the weekend from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Current expects to unveil album #1 around 7 p.m. on the 12th. I should add that this is during their spring pledge drive.

Even though The Current’s voting is over, let’s do a Baboon poll:

What are your top 5 – 10 essential albums?

 

Advanced Social Media

Many thanks to the gentle baboons who have kept this blog going for several months and especially the past few weeks while I’ve been distracted by work.

Our Fall Membership drive is underway at Fresh Air Community Radio – we’re in the middle of the second week of fundraising, just two days away from the scheduled conclusion. Just recently I’ve been preoccupied helping friends like the Morning Blend hosts (pictured above) as they try to get listeners to call 612 375-9030 to make a contribution.

KFAI_SignIf you’ve never listened, you should give it a try. The most baboon-friendly show on the schedule is Stone Soup, Wednesday mornings from 10am to noon. I often hear host Pam K. playing music that was, or would have been, featured on the old MPR Morning Show.

But that’s no surprise. Our station has many personalities, literally and figuratively. We are the antidote for anyone fed up with tightly formatted radio. While the most popular stations in town strive for stability by trying to sound exactly the same whenever you tune in, we are like the flowing river. Stick your dial at 90.3 / 106.7 FM and you’ll find that you can’t listen to the same station twice. No matter what you think you’re going to hear, it’s always going to become something else.

KFAI_State_FairSome people look at that and say we’re hanging on too long to an outdated model, suggesting that the volunteer-based grab bag approach to programming where individuals use the medium as a form of self-expression is a hippie artifact. They say we’ve got to step into the digital age and create a coherent multi-platform brand that is consistent and predictable and is tied to something more marketable than the quirk factor.

But I look at the digital age and see an environment where any form of media that’s seen as monolithic and prepackaged is at risk of being overwhelmed by thousands of small-time operators who are creatively and subversively employing the same tools as the big players.  And I don’t think subversive is too strong a word.  After all, we have a broadcast frequency in a major American city, and we routinely hand it over to just ordinary folks so they can be heard.

In that sense, community radio is the original social media.

If we were Facebook, we’d give everyone their own show, and I do sometimes encounter people who think they can walk in the door  at KFAI and have an on-air slot within days.  After all, they have excellent musical taste!  Unfortunately, we’re limited by the number of hours in a day, and new program hosts soon find out having your own weekly radio show is a more demanding commitment than simply posting your thoughts and putting up a cat video every now and then.

But it is an enticing thought.

If you had a radio show, what would it sound like and what would you call it?