Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
In anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday back in 2009, I adopted the theme “Grub & Gratitude” for a late November radio program.
As always, holidays can be stressful or controversial, but for this musical journey, I decided to avoid some of the social, historical, or political aspects associated with the problematic relationship between the so-named pilgrims & so-called Indians.
Even food & friendship can be examined with a cultural lens, but it is food & family & friendship that this mix celebrates. Hopefully my notes will add thematic insight while the playlist offers auditory delight.
At the same time, these tracks set a regional mood rooted in the south where food & family connect to community, where the physicality of blues/folk/rock/country/pop are forever in tension with the spirituality of gospel music. Watson hailed from North Carolina and Williams from Alabama, with the latter dying before he turned 30—on the road from Knoxville, Tennessee, with the requisite mystery & morphine to add to the myth.
A few secrets I’ve learned over the last decade of my cornbread career include making it in a cast-iron pan, preheating the pan in the oven & melting real butter in the pan while I prepare the batter, & being generous with baking powder & organic sugar in the recipe. The preheated butter helps form the perfect golden crust on the cornbread & the extra pinches of sugar & baking powder keep the cornbread fluffy.
Hailing from Arkansas, known as “King of the Jukebox,” & having once played in a band called Rabbit Foot Minstrels, Louis Jordan was one of the most popular African-American musicians of the twentieth century. “Beans and Cornbread” was recorded in 1949.
Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul - Thanksgiving Day
One of the first Thanksgiving songs that I ever heard, the love & tenderness in this one gets me every time.
“The Annotated Mixtape!”
- Design a playlist or mixtape of roughly 5 to 15 (really, no limit in either direction is required) songs that represent you or a theme that interests you: you as a person, you as a student/professor/activist/writer/parent/child [fill in the blank with word or vocation that embodies you], you in relationship to this time in your life, you as you interpret the changing of the seasons, you as a consumer of pop culture, or some other theme that you can articulate.
- Create an “annotated playlist” document to accompany this mix. To do this, don’t just choose your favorite songs; explain how the songs develop or represent a theme, supporting that explanation through reflection about yourself and your relationship with music.
- Document formats for your playlist’s commentary may vary, but at minimum will include a title, an introduction, & a complete list of songs chosen, with artist’s names & comprehensive or selected comments for each song or section of songs.
- Share this mix or playlist with your friends as a gift (mix CD with handmade booklet containing your annotated commentary/liner notes, Facebook ‘note,’ playlist distributed using various interactive websites or music programs created for this purpose, etc.)
I've been mixing music & making playlists for as long as I can remember. Before my first days as a DJ on 88.3 FM in Southfield, Michigan back in 1985, my family made mixtapes for long roadtrips, taking votes from each of the Smiths about which songs to include. Even as a preteen, I was obsessed with consuming music, buying albums, & making amateur mixes with my mock radio commentary recorded on one of those hand-held cassette players with the built-in microphone.
All semester, I've dreamed of designing the “Annotated Playlist” assignment as an alternative (or addition) to the reflective letter required of writers to be included with their Final Portfolios in English 1010 or English 1020. To teach this idea, I've decided to annotate a playlist of my own, in this case the songs planned for the sixty-sixth edition of the Teacher On The Radio program, which airs each Monday night on 88.5 FM in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Slightly Stoopid – Blood of My Blood
Suzanne Vega – Blood Makes Noise
Frightened Rabbit – Fast Blood
Doug Burr – Blood Runs Downhill
Peter Gabriel – Blood Of Eden
Eels – Fresh Blood
Queens Of The Stone Age – The Blood Is Love
Death Cab For Cutie – Meet Me On The Equinox
Editors – Blood
Editors – No Sound But The Wind
Thom Yorke – Hearing Damage
Lykke Li – Possibility
Bon Iver – Blood Bank
Bon Iver & St. Vincent – Rosyln
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Done All Wrong
Grizzly Bear – Slow Life
Urbantramper – Eucharist
Jars of Clay – Nothing But the Blood
Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Norah Jones – Young Blood
Annie Lennox – Love Song For A Vampire
Monday, November 9, 2009
U2 – Disappearing Act
U2 – Sixty Seconds in Kingdom Come
Blk Jks – Standby
Blk Jks – Skeleton
The Dynamites and Charles Walker – Do The Right Thing
The Dynamites and Charles Walker – Can’t Have Enough
The Dynamites and Charles Walker –The Real Deal
Rickie Lee Jones – Wild Girl
Rickie Lee Jones – Old Enough
Rickie Lee Jones – Eucalyptus Trail
Rickie Lee Jones – The Gospel of Carlos, Norman and Smith
Rain Machine – New Last Name
Rain Machine – Driftwood Heart
The Flaming Lips – I Can Be A Frog
The Flaming Lips – Silver Trembling Hands
The Rural Alberta Advantage – Sleep All Day
The Rural Alberta Advantage – Four Night Rider
The Rural Alberta Advantage – In the Summertime
Kris Kristofferson – Holy Woman
Kris Kristofferson – Let The Walls Come Down
Kris Kristofferson – Good Morning John
Rosanne Cash – I’m Movin’ On
Rosanne Cash – 500 Miles
Rosanne Cash – Long Black Veil (Feat_ Jeff Tweedy)
R.E.M. – Until The Day Is Done [Live At The Olympia]
R.E.M. – Little America [Live At The Olympia]
R.E.M. – Harborcoat [Live At The Olympia]
Monday, November 2, 2009
First Breath - first breath
Pink Floyd - Speak To Me / Breathe
Pink Floyd - Breathe (Breathe In The Air)
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Pearl Jam - Breath And A Scream
Pearl Jam - Just Breathe
R.E.M - Try Not to Breathe
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Fields Are Breathing
Telepopmusik - Breathe
The Prodigy - Breathe
U2 – Breathe
Jimmy Buffett - Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On
Leaves – Breathe
Mike Peters - Breathe
Alexi Murdoch - Breathe
Sarah Brightman - You Take My Breath Away
Melissa Etheridge – Breathe
k.d. lang - The Air That I Breathe
Anna Nalick - Breathe (2 AM)
Tony Sims - One Breath
Tony Sims - Last Breath (Tunnel of Light)