Monday, April 29, 2013

Headphone Devotionals (TOTR 199)

All Songs by U2

3 Sunrises
Miracle Drug
Crumbs from Your Table
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Wave of Sorrow
Trip Through Your Wires
God, Pt. 2
Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses
The First Time
Drowning Man
Unknown Caller
FEZ-Being Born
All Because of You
If God Will Send His Angels

Monday, April 22, 2013

Loose Ends (TOTR 198)

Richie Havens – I’ve Gotta Go

Taj Mahal – Leaving Trunk
Al Green – So You’re Leaving
Aretha Franklin – I Can’t See Myself Leaving You
Otis Redding – I Can’t Turn You Loose
James Brown – Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose
Rebirth Brass Band – (I Feel Like) Busting Loose
Alabama Shakes – Hang Loose
Amos Lee – Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
Dan Fogelberg – Loose Ends
The Rolling Stones – Let It Loose
Grateful Dead – Loose Lucy
Son Volt – Loose String
My Morning Jacket – Leaving on a Jet Plane
R.E.M. – Turn You Inside-Out
Erick Baker – From the Inside Out
Cat Stevens – The First Cut Is The Deepest
Waylon Jennings – I’ve Been A Long Time Leaving (But I’ll Be A Long Time Gone)
Everybodyfields – Leaving Today
Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses) – Down The Road Pt II
The Cave Singers – At The Cut
Paul McCartney – Cut Me Some Slack
Iron and Wine – Free Until They Cut Me Down
Time Sawyer – Cut Loose
Lord Huron – Ends Of The Earth
Kings Of Leon – The End
The Doors – The End

Monday, April 15, 2013

Longer (TOTR 197)

Of Monsters and Men – Slow And Steady
Van Morrison – Slim Slow Slider
The Lumineers – Slow It Down
Erick Baker – Slow the World Down
Dawes – Stories Don’t End
The Dirty Guv’nahs – The Country
Brandi Carlile – Take Me Home, Country Roads
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – Tennessee
Jake Bugg – Broken
Bob Dylan – Slow Train
Ray Charles – The Long and Winding Road
Al Green – As Long As We’re Together
Dire Straits – How Long
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Long Time Gone
Doobie Brothers – Long Train Runnin’
Dave Perkins – Long Eleven Road
The Band – Long Distance Operator
Casey Neill – Long March of the Exiles
Dr. Dog – How Long Must I Wait
Andrew Bird – Too Long
Bonnie Raitt – Too Long At The Fair
Dan Fogelberg – Longer
Billy Joel – The Longest Time
Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home

"We Are The Revolution": Get to the Backdoor Playhouse for Marat/Sade (but please don't sit in the front row)

The spring production this year at Tennessee Tech’s Backdoor Playhouse under the direction of Mark Harry Creter leans towards the loony agitprop of the avant-garde. Creter seems to have devised a rotation, alternating classic, cheesy, crowd-pleasers with dark, message-oriented downers that really let the fringe-flag fly!

This year the pendulum swung too far into the perverse and absurdist territory, as though the ghosts of modernism have crawled from the 20th century into our postmodern present to push all our buttons and bomb our comfort zones. 

They’re doing Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss (it has a longer, wordy, more pretentious title, too), and both metaphorically, suggestively, and somehow literally, the lunatics appear to be running the asylum. It's no accident that Technical Director Colin Forsyth put a cage around the stage. Things are just that weird. 

Taking place inside an asylum, accentuated by the metal bars that separate the cast from the crowd, this play attacks the senses from start to finish. In the minutes building up to curtain time, inmates appear to lounge and fidget on the stage while some ambient Sigur Ros pipes through the theater speakers. A foreboding door at the back of the stage must open to let the rest of the cast in, making an obnoxious cranky sound.

About this time, you’re wondering why you’ve wasted 2 hours of your time and perhaps twelve dollars, too. For the rest of the night, you’ll be verbally assaulted by local acting sensations Andy Davis, David Davidson, and Josh Rapp. Only the younger Rapp (as The Herald) is fully-dressed, looking like someone who has spent too much time watching Moonrise Kingdom or Time Bandits.  

Davis as Jean Paul Marat and Davidson as the Marquis de Sade duel half-naked,  hurling rhetorical barbs and verbal violence that unpack the true meanings and social criticisms of the play. Both are such fiercely capable actors and deeply creative individuals that you can really feel them indulge themselves and us with these roles, even as you wish they were a little more covered up.

There’s absolutely nothing respectable and plenty offensive and off-putting about the script. The cast’s delivery of the questionable material contains some comic relief, more than welcome given the generally chaotic macabre of the whole miserable vibe.

Frightfully, the play’s message gets to you despite yourself. You get swept-up in the 19th century rhetoric about the benefits of revolution and a questioning of religion. We somehow manage to see our contemporary world through the lunatic lens of this text and begin to question everything. 

Is our everyday decency a mere fa├žade to paste over our indecent urge to conform, submit, and generally abide by all external authority, no matter how unfair and fatuous that authority might be? Are the people in prison actually freer than those of us who walk around dutifully in the pseudo-freedom of middle-class acquiescence?

This play doesn’t fit conservative little Cookeville, which is of course why Cookeville needs this play. Creter’s visionary direction of the Playhouse continues to take us where we don’t want to go, yet once we are there, we’ll thank him for pushing us over the edge. The layers of meaning in Marat/Sade are multifaceted, but they return us again and again to some harsh realizations and heady revelations.

At the core of these swirling interpretations is the sobering but obvious observation that the prevailing social-order shows the real sickness and insanity of our world. The so-called pragmatic reality, the gross inequality of haves versus have-nots, of “power-over” others, of financial and military corruption—you know, the usual order of things—all these factors remain so outrageous that we ignore them, even though we see injustice all around.

But not everybody goes along meekly. People today in social movements describe a reality that some characters in this play suggest, where the only solution is a revolution, and as one of the members of asylum-cast declares, “We are the revolution.” We need not agree with the playwright or the characters about the exact details of such a possible (or impossible) revolution, but any person who is prescient to present reality can acknowledge the root causes of why people still call for one.

You can see Marat/Sade every day this week except for Wednesday; Thursday night is the late show. Saturday also includes a matinee. 

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton 
under the Direction of The Marquis de Sade.

A play by Peter Weiss

Directed by Mark Harry Creter

April 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. April 18, 2011 at 10:00 p.m. and April 20, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 senior citizens and $5 for non-Tech students. Tech students are FREE with their ID.

Go to for more information.

Monday, April 8, 2013

You (TOTR 196)

Sam Cooke & Soul Stirrers – I’ll Come Running Back To You
Al Green – You’ve Got A Friend
Ben Harper – Waiting For You
Aaron Neville – You’ve Got To Move
Alabama Shakes – On Your Way
Matisyahu – Shine on You
Rodriguez – I Think of You
America – I Need You
Erick Baker – You Won't Cry Alone
Wilco – You Are My Face
Erick Baker – You Won't Cry Alone
The Lone Bellow – You Never Need Nobody
Marcus Foster – You My Love
Reindeer Section – You Are My Joy
The Raconteurs – Top Yourself
A Perfect Circle – Thinking of You
Nirvana – Come As You Are
Peter Gabriel – Lay Your Hands On Me
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – How Do You Keep Love Alive
My Morning Jacket – Look at You
Mumford & Sons – Where Are You Now
Of Monsters and Men – Your Bones
Sufjan Stevens – We Are What You Say
All Saved Freak Band – You Haunt My Mind
Jars Of Clay –Show You Love
Gungor – You Are The Beauty
Keith Green – You Are The One

Monday, April 1, 2013

Feast of Fools (TOTR 195)

Percy Sledge – You Fooled Me
Aretha Franklin – Chain Of Fools
Rufus Wainwright – April Fools
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Stiff Necked Fools
Dennis Brown – Cold Hearted Fools
Peter Tosh – Fools Die
UB40 – I’m Not Fooled So Easily
The Temper Trap – Fools
Minus The Bear – Fooled by the Night
Fiction Family – Fools Gold
Phillip Phillips – A Fool’s Dance
Bruce Cockburn – Feast Of Fools
Eagles – Certain Kind Of Fool
The Doobie Brothers – What A Fool Believes
Paul McCartney – The Fool On The Hill
Deep Purple – Fools         
Grateful Dead – Ship Of Fools
The Doors – Ship Of Fools
Robert Plant – Ship Of Fools
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Fooled Again
Richie Havens – Won’t Get Fooled Again