Monday, May 2, 2016

Playin' rondo variations on the sciatic nerve

Grump, grumpy, grumpola, to grump, or not to grump... do you see where this is going? Do I? Should that be "Do eye" just to be contrary and upset grammariticians? No, I'm not just trying to cover up for my lack of posts, or the fact that I'm now behind by three radio show links on my own blog. If I thought anyone actually read any of this or listened to my shows through the posted links in any sort of regular fashion, I'd be horrified. Something is wrong. I'm having the worst attack yet of pain from the sciatic nerve. It's so bad that I can't think off hand if this is the beginning of week three or week four of this go'round. I'm out of any kind of painkillers, and it will be another two hours before there will be a bus to the market. My spine is now making complaints. I wonder if has to do with the rainy weather? My skin condition has been acting up - it's not supposed to be painful but it is at times, and I seem to be in one of those times. It's enough to make me wonder if there is a doll somewhere that looks like me with any number of pins stuck in it.

I've been goofing off and watching movies again. Last week, all but one of the movies I watched had some bearing (not that much really) on my radio show. I've just deleted a couple of paragraphs about the interconnectedness of the movies I watched. I shall try to get back to pondering such things a little later - after I get to the store and purchase a giant bottle of Aleve. For now, I'll just catch up with posting the last few weeks of radio shows.

I'll start off with the program from April 16th. The legislature in my state has had a major push to decriminalize the use of marijuana. The bill passed the Senate, but once it got to the House it became the unhappy subject of legal shenanigans. A committee decided to delay, stonewall, and obfuscate by re-writing the bill, and took out the decriminalization part in favor of just discussing regulations. They passed their version to the next committee, which put everything back, plus added a clause which would allow folks to have two plants for their own use. (The two plants thing was standard, if unacknowledged, 'look the other way' practice in Vermont some 20 years ago.) With the "four-twenty" a few days away, I thought I'd do a show featuring viper songs of the 1930's. ("Four-twenty" is a pot culture reference, and a day on which "smoke-ins" are held to encourage repeal of anti-hemp and anti-marijuana legislation. It grew out of a meeting of students at the appointed time to search for a fabled abandoned field of pot. These things take on a life of their own.)

The above, by the way, is one of my most played shows on Soundcloud. It was almost lost - the station's recording computer program burped and ate my show. Luckily, one of the DJs wanted to hear it, didn't know about my recording and posting my shows, and set his home computer to record the program. His volume was set a little high and there is a bit of distortion - particularly during the first few minutes - but I'm extremely grateful the show was saved, and that someone likes my show enough to record it. Another listener used to record it on cassette tapes and send them out to his friends.

Up next, the show from April 23rd, which took note of the birthdays of Lionel Hampton, Shirley Temple, and one of the show's Patron Saints and Goddess of Song, Ella Fitzgerald. It was also the start of Passover. In all of the surviving radio shows which are generally available, there are only a couple which even mention it. Those two mentions were from "The Eternal Light", a drama series. I assume that shows like "The Goldbergs" had Passover themes, but those shows are not among the survivors. So, for friends who celebrate the holiday, I included a segment I made last year which edited together scraps found of a NYC Yiddish radio station. Included in that segment, the Barry Sisters sing "Yiddle Mitn Fidl" in both Yiddish and English.

Just as a by the by kind of thing, "Yiddle With His Fiddle" was the most successful Yiddish musical ever filmed. (I think the actual citation is that it is the most successful movie in Yiddish.) It starred Molly Picon, a wonderful entertainer now largely forgotten. I screened a 16mm print of it when I lived in NYC, but don't remember much of it. I can't find a reference to this anywhere, but I'm fairly certain it was a stage show long before it was a movie. I have a memory of discovering that a theatre on Second Avenue (or was it on Third?) on the Lower East Side whose existence was endangered had been where the show played, with Molly Picon as the star.

And that brings us to the most recent show, which "played a few" for the birthdays of Blossom Dearie, Duke Ellington, Kate Smith, Lorenz (Larry) Hart, and Bing Crosby. There were also segments for Walpurgisnacht and May Day. Whew! Too much to do, not enough time. Many years ago, I did a show called "Bing and..." which was only Bing Crosby and various other performers in duets and etc. It was, I think, the most fun I ever had in the 'doing' of one of my shows. Maybe this Saturday I'll do more for Bing. And Kate Smith only got one song. Few now remember  that she was a jazz baby singing "hot" songs.

Well, now that the posting of the radio shows has been caught up, I can go writhe in pain until it's time to catch the bus. I shall try to get back later (today, tomorrow, or whenever) to record impressions of the movies I've watched, as well as the garden and this year's attempts at Spring.

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