Archive for September, 2009

The Street Parade Returns to KRNL

September 30, 2009

The Street Parade has been on a several year hiatus from radio, but it has returned this fall, Tuesday afternoons from 5-6 on 89.7, KRNL from Cornell in Mount Vernon (or at least 3 out of 4 weeks–depending on how department meetings go on the 4th week). Feel free to listen here–unless you happen to be one of my many readers here in the 20 mile radius and can actually get it on the radio.

Here is the playlist from week 1, Sept. 29, 2009:

Earl King “The Street Parade”
James Booker “Make a Better World”
Allen Toussaint “Mr. Can Can”
Dr. John “A World I Never Made”
Curtis Mayfield “People Get Ready”
George Harrison “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”
Dr. Lonnie Smith “Jack Ass”
Dr. Lonnie Smith “Where It’s At”
Les McCann “Let it Lay”
Les McCann “North Carolina”
Wild Magnolias “Brother John is Gone / Herc-Jolly-John”
Eddie Bo “When the Saints Go Marching In”
Earl King “Street Parade”

Yes, a few glitches in there. I was going to play the funky Lonnie Smith’s “Where It’s At” with the extended funk Jam “North Carolina” back to back, but I was having trouble getting the right songs cued so, well, I just went with it and played a couple others. They sounded good anyway. And it turns out at the moment there’s only one CD player in the station which means I can’t cue up the next song, so I’m fumbling for a new CD between songs which is a bit clunky, but it’s college radio, you know?

I won’t be around next week for the show since I’ll be in North Carolina, but I’ll be back on the air, Tuesday Oct. 13. See ya then!

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The Bombaman Videomaster!

September 29, 2009

I’ve been enjoying my nephew Jay’s newfound skill at movie-making. Definitely a director in the works. So here are a few for your enjoyment, two of my favorites (I particularly like the title of the first one, “side effects from melatonins”):

Fall Catch-up

September 28, 2009

Well, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted anything on the blog. It’s been a busy few weeks, so a few random updates.

First, we had a couple of really excellent events at Cornell. First, we had a great visit from “Farmer John” Peterson. I showed his movie “The Real Dirt on Farmer John” to my nature writers course and then he visited and spoke with us. He’s a genuine and generous figure. The students and I really loved meeting him (for me, so much so that I hope to go spend some time working on his farm next summer so that I can talk with him and try to write about his experiences and his farm). That evening we had a free community screening and he spoke there as well. A great night. Many drinks with him afterward at the Lincoln Wine Bar and a great experience all around.  A few days later, we had our 4th annual “Global Voices” reading with Maxine Case from South Africa and Milos Durdevic from Croatia. This, too, was a splendid evening. They met with some students in the afternoon and discussed their countries, their backgrounds, the arts in their countries, and what it means to be an artist, etc. Then they gave great readings in the evening and were really generous in their discussions about being writers from very troubled parts of the world. Both events were a great way to kick off this year’s visiting writer’s festivities. Up next is fiction writer Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum on Oct. 15.

I gave a public talk at Cornell a while back on my own poetry and creative process (I say “talk” and mean it that way–it was really an open discussion with the audience rather than some formal lecture). I read some new poems that I haven’t shared yet which was a great experience, and the feedback from the audience was quite encouraging and useful. I’ve never really talked about my writing process so intimately with an audience before. A totally new experience for me and really quite useful; I thought about my work in ways I hadn’t before, both from the pressure of articulating ideas for an audience and from the questions and observations they made. And who knew I could have such a useful discussion with an audience about the semi-colon as metaphor!! 

Then, I’ve been buried under a class on American Nature Writers that I just finished. It was a wonderful class filled with passionate, curious, engaged students. While it generally kicked me in the butt just to keep up with the class and other assorted work through the month, it was one of the best classes I’ve had at Cornell. If you’re interested in some of their thinking, feel free to check out the class blog here.

Then this evening I just watched the first installment of the new Ken Burns documentary on America’s National Parks. Now, I’ve never really been too keen on Ken Burns as an individual (his tone of voice just wears me down when I hear him speak–I’m pretty sure I don’t want to sit and have a beer with him), but he does some pretty incredible work. And this one seems like it might be his best. It’s beautifully filmed, well written, and incredibly important as we look at the future of the planet in these uncertain times. What struck me from the very first moments, though, was how much I could have used this documentary in the class I just finished. Everything went to the heart of discussions I’ve been having with my students for the last month. I’m sure it will become part of my collection for this class on nature writing, particularly the passages drawn from John Muir. If you missed the first installment, don’t miss the rest! This is at the heart of what we mean by “America.”

Next up, a trip to Asheville next week to visit my sister-in-law and spend some time hiking in the smokies and exploring some brewpubs (what else?).

More news soon!