Tuesday, December 3, 2019

We Are Home (TOTR 373)

Aired Monday, December 2, 2019
Annual Advent-Christmas mix
Mt. Joy - Every Holiday
Langhorne Slim - Deck The Halls
Frank Turner - The Graveyard Of The Outcast Dead
John Legend - By Christmas Eve
The McCrary Sisters - Away In A Manger
Lincoln Brewster - O Come O Come Emmanuel 
Sara Groves - Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Page CVXVI - Comfort, Comfort Now My People
Sandra McCracken - Justice Will Roll Down
Liz Vice & Hannah Glavor - Refugee King
Elizabeth Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Happy Traum, John Sebastian - Singing in the Land
Sandra McCracken - Go Tell It On The Mountain
Emmylou Harris - Cherry Tree Carol
Bifrost Arts - In Labor All Creation Groans
Skylar Gudasz - The Sounds of Christmas
Salt Of The Sound - Coventry Carol
Andrew Peterson & Andy Gullahorn - It Came To Pass
The McCrary Sisters - No Room At The Inn
William Billings, The Tudor Choir, Doug Fullington - The Psalm Singers Amusement: Emanuel
Mike McCready & Johnny Cash - Matthew 25; Luke 4
Johnny Cash - Here Was A Man
Dan Fogelberg - Christ, the King
The Oh Hellos - Mvmt IV, “Every Bell On Earth Will Ring”
Sandra McCracken & Josh Garrels - The Space Between
Josh Garrels - Hosanna
Wilder Adkins - Christmas Dance (Snow Drop)
Furture of Forestry - We Are Home
Andrew Bird - Auld Lang Syne (snippet) Listen to the complete audio archive of this show here: https://soundcloud.com/teacherontheradio/totr-373-we-are-home

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

No Depression (TOTR 372)

This show aired on Monday, November 18, 2019 with guest co-host Rick Quinn. 

Uncle Tupelo - No Depression
Uncle Tupelo - Whiskey Bottle
Uncle Tupelo - I Got Drunk
Uncle Tupelo - Sin City 
Uncle Tupelo - Chickamauga
Uncle Tupelo - Gun
Uncle Tupelo - Acuff-Rose
Son Volt - Bandages & Scars
Son Volt - Highways & Cigarettes
Son Volt - Cocaine & Ashes
Son Volt - Roll On
Son Volt - Route
Son Volt - Tear Stained Eye
Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard - Big Sur
Son Volt - The 99
Wilco - Please Be Patient With Me
Wilco - Impossible Germany
Wilco - Handshake Drugs 
Wilco - One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)
Jeff Tweedy - Having Been Is No Way To Be

Wilco - Via Chicago

Friday, November 15, 2019

Let It Ride - The Farm Special (TOTR 371)

Originally aired on Monday, November 11, 2019. 
Includes an interview with Douglas Stevenson from the Farm.

The Farm Band - Lord’s Work
The Farm Band - Keep Your Head Up High
The Farm Band - Being Here With You
The Farm Band - Let It Ride 
The Farm Band - Prayer
The Farm Band - I Believe It
The Farm Band - Tennessee Scrap Iron Man
The Farm Band - Cotton Eyed Joe
The Farm Band - Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
The Farm Band - Bailes de los Changos
Dead and Company - Tennessee Jed 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Too Late - An All Saints 2019 Mixtape (TOTR 370)

Art Neville 
December 17, 1937 - July 22, 2019

Dr. John aka Malcolm John Rebennack Jr. 
November 20, 1941 - June 6, 2019

Roger Kynard "Roky" Erickson 
July 15, 1947 - May 31, 2019

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker 
August 19, 1939 - October 6, 2019

Robert C. Hunter
June 23, 1941 - September 23, 2019

Peter Tork aka Peter Halsten Thorkelson
February 13, 1942 - February 21, 2019

Ric Ocasek aka Richard Theodore Otcasek
March 23, 1944 - September 15, 2019

Neal Casal
November 2, 1968 - August 26, 2019

Leon Redbone aka Dickran Gobalian
August 26, 1949 – May 30, 2019

Rachel Held Evans 
June 8, 1981 – May 4, 2019

Mary Jane Oliver 
September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019

The Neville Brothers - Maori Chant
The Neville Brothers - Spirits of the World
Dr. John - Peace Brother Peace
Dr. John - Iko Iko
The Silent Comedy - All Saints Day
Hope and Social - All Our Ghosts
Roky Erickson - If You Have Ghosts 
Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
Jerry Garcia - The Wheel 
Cloud Cult - Dance for the Dead
The Monkees - Shades of Gray
The Cars - Just What I Needed 
Tanya Tucker - Bring My Flowers Now 
Anais Mitchell - Dyin Day
Conor Oberst - I Don’t Want To Die (In The Hospital)
Devandra Banhart - Memorial 
Neal Casal - Too Late
Grateful Dead - Ripple 
Jim James & Teddy Abrams with the Louisville Orchestra - Back To The End Of The World
Monsters of Folk - Dear God
The Liturgists featuring Rachel Held Evans - Saturday
Amy Ray & Justin Vernon - Let The Spirit
Neal Casal - Property of Jesus
Leon Redbone - If We Never Meet Again This Side of Heaven 
Warren Haynes & Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi & Devon Allman & Robert Randolph & Jimmy Hall & Sam Moore & Keb' Mo' & Brantley Gilbert & Dr. John & Pat Monahan & John Hiatt & Taj Mahal & Gregg Allman & Widespread Panic & Trace Adkins & Vince Gill & Martina McBride & Eric Church & Jackson Browne & Zac Brown & The Allman Brothers Band -Will The Circle Be Unbroken From a show that originally aired on Monday, November 4, 2019. The complete audio archive of this show is here:


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Tech’s Rendering of the Musical Ruthless: Ridiculous and Worth It

Opening the play on Halloween, with shows running through the Saturday of Homecoming weekend, Tennessee Tech’s Backdoor Playhouse unveils a spooky spoof, with director Mark Creter’s interpretation of Ruthless: The Stage Mother of All Musicals by Joel Paley and Marvin Laird. This madcap murderous musical mashup is sure to make most smile, if not make us a little bonkers in the process with all the plot twists and inside jokes.  

Many of the amazing plays that Creter has staged in his decades at the helm of Tech’s theatre program have relied on an over-the-top degree of artifice, producing the kind of plays where you know that the playwright is messing with the audience, the kind of plays where the dramatic art-form tests its boundaries and the fourth wall wobbles and finally falls, leaving the audience members asking for more or asking what just happened. 

Sometimes Creter experiments with drama, sometimes with comedy, and sometimes like now, with musical comedy. Ruthless fits right in Creter’s wonderfully weird wheelhouse, but in an entirely loony and light-hearted way. His musical director Mendy Richards, choreographer Megan Randolph, technical director Jeff Kean, stage manager James Alder, and the rest of the behind-the-scenes staff always deliver something strong, better than this cozy college town deserves. This show is a meditation on the idea of “talent” itself, but it helps that Creter’s cast overflows with talent.

A case in point of how crazy this play is and how great the cast are, this comes in the character of Lita Encore, played perfectly by Chelsea Holland  A theatre critic within the plot is not to be trusted, and Holland’s boisterous belting of the song “I Hate Musicals” makes its point clear. This play should not be taken too seriously; rather, it should not be taken seriously at all.

For all its stunning silliness, Ruthless offers wonderful commentary on the trickiness of talent and the snares of stardom, all behind the power of a predominantly female casteven Playhouse regular Andrew Neal plays a female character. 

The delightful yet disturbing mother-daughter dynamics between an excellent Erin Sullens and campy Caitlin McMahan as Judy and Tina Denmark are the core of the story. Samia Anderson’s sassy supporting part ends up playing a crucial pivot on which the entire plot turns, from slow-burn bizarre to completely batty. 

There are so many twists and turns in Ruthless, and while we have tried to avoid spoilers here, even reading this review might elicit too much anticipation. Be warned: this is not a play where you need to suspend disbelief long enough to get looped in, but rather, this is a play where belief and disbelief should both be left in the car before crossing the threshold into the theatrical space. Ruthless is ruthless in how it renders expectations ridiculous. Go, laugh, and have a blast.

-this review has also been submitted to Cookeville's daily newspaper the Herald-Citizen.

Performances of Ruthless at the Backdoor Playhouse in the Jere Whitson Building at Tennessee Tech will begin on October 31 and continue November 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9 at 8:00 p.m. ; with additional performances on Thursday, November 7 at 10:00 p.m. and a special matinee performance on November 9, at 2:00 p.m.; tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for all students; the box office opens at 7:15 and takes cash, checks and credit cards. 
For further information call 931-372-6595 or visit our homepage at www.tntech.edu/bdph

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Writing About Your Relationship with American Music - An American Lit Assignment

How will you write about music? What do you need to say the songs that fill your earbuds and define your life?

I am asking you to write about music, because like writing poetry, writing about music for me has been a spiritual and social survival skill, and I want you to at least test this genre of prose for your personal life toolkit, making this more than just another assignment with a due date.

Surviving the strange emotions of love and adolescence with so many Beatles choruses carrying me through; putting myself to bed in elementary school with John Denver singing “Sunshine On My Shoulders” on the tiny personal turntable; watching and re-watching the movie American Graffiti with a special sentiment for the songs and especially for the DJ Wolfman Jack: performing Lennon and Jagger and Simon and McLean songs with my basement air-band The Rebellion; these and so many more primal memories remind me why popular music is not just the soundtrack of my mundane life, but the Holy Spirit choral lifeblood of a much more meaningful life.

What I want the would-be music critics in this class to get is permission to express how music has made and remade them as people, to place us inside the life stories that go with so many songs. While I am happy to entertain as much lyrical analysis as we had poetry analysis, I worry that if you only stay with the lyrics of your personal American songbook, we might miss on other aspects of how the music has infected our entire beings. 

For the deep-cuts, dedicated, and discerning music fans, writing about music, is not just like writing about literature. Good writing about music is a form of literature in itself that conveys an amazing depth of feelings, making music writing memorable on its own terms. Good writing about music possesses the power to turn others onto music that will also change their lives. 

There are long and winding stories that go with the songs so significantly, that for us as fans, the songs over time become inseparable from our stories associated with them. Perhaps this next blog will be an opportunity for you to weave your stories into our mental, emotional, and spiritual associations that go with particular songs. 

So in addition to the simple lyrics analysis, which remains welcome and comparable to the close reading we did with poems, allow this blog to be a testimony and a telling of your relationship with popular American music. Allow your imagination and passion to have fun with this, keeping in mind that the “professional” music writers invoked to inspire you felt led and called and even convicted to write about music. 

Perhaps you share some of that fandom passion on your own terms, or maybe just maybe, you can allow some of the creative passion from this section of the class to rub off on you and help you tell a story about music that might inspire your peers and your professor.  

Details -800 words absolute minimum;
must be about American music, could be about a song, an album, a concert, a scene;
your writing genre could be personal reflection essay/personal memoir about music;
as long as American music is featured prominently, this could be a first-person non-fiction narrative; Writing about gospel-blues, Gaye, Dylan, Dead, sixties music, etc of course is encouraged, but only if you have passion for those artists covered;
If you want to fall back on the lyrical analysis prompt, feel free to go for it Putting this out there to share with other instructors who might want to do a similar assignment.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Down In The Flood (TOTR 369)

Woody Guthrie – Pretty Boy Floyd
Dylan – Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie
Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
Dylan – Tangled Up in Blue 
Flatt & Skruggs – Down in the Flood 
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Wanted Man 
Jeff Tweedy – Simple Twist of Fate 
Dylan – Hurricane
Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man
Dylan – Maggie’s Farm
John Doe – Pressing On
Dylan – Isis
PJ Harvey - Highway ‘61 Revisited
Wyclef Jean - Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
The Staple Singers - A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall
Joan Baez - Forever Young (live)
Grateful Dead - It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (live)

The complete audio archive of this show is here: https://soundcloud.com/teacherontheradio/totr-369-down-in-the-flood

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Before Us - for Kurt Eisen RIP (TOTR 368)

"Before Us - for Kurt Eisen RIP" aired on WTTU 88.5FM in Cookeville, TN on Monday, October 21, 2019.

Photo of Kurt Eisen's locker in the Tech Fit, shared with me by a friend.

Jackson Browne - For A Dancer
Warren Zevon - Keep Me in Your Heart
Bob Dylan - Things Have Changed
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark
Sarah Jarosz - When Doves Cry
Valerie June - On My Way/Somebody To Love
Conor Oberst - Lenders in the Temple
Bob Dylan - I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
Wilco - Capitol City
Wilco - My Darling
Wilco - Before Us
Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
Grateful Dead - Brokedown Palace
Leonard Cohen - Waiting for the Miracle
Johnny Cash - In My Life
Tom Waits - Somewhere
Richard Thompson - Wall of Death
Bill Callahan - Lonesome Valley
Bruce Cockburn - It Won’t Be Long
Bruce Cockburn - Joy Will Find A Way (A Song About Dying)

Bruce Cockburn - Festival of Friends

audio archive is here:
For Kurt
3 September 2019

note: written in love
first by hand
in a Cookeville coffee place
I know that this is not all that 
there is
I know there is humor & hope too
next time I will write that poem


I wanted to write you something
sweet or profound
but nothing comes quickly
not to pen or tongue or typewriter

there’s nothing sweet or profound
about this painful diagnosis
this palpable distance
what a long way we are

from the parties at the Osburns 
on Maple in the aughts
or your once pilgrimage
to Pumpkin Hollow

we’ve both wandered & traveled far
but your journey 
these last years
seems bent toward a different distance

landing in a gap
between the worlds
between this life &
whatever heaven awaits

of course I pray 
for a sweetness sometime
even a reason something 
anything to explain the suffering now

but it’s hard to get the head
from here to there
when pondering the already
arbitrary awful of 

a disease meeting a body
a body begging God for 
a different outcome even
a different world for

a better reality than this bitter brew
even in this same broken world
in all its tender broken beauty
love is still a world of

global warming
gun massacres & 
maddening cancers
all the arbitrary suffering 

that is just not
supposed to happen
to people
like you

Kurt, after a dream 

There you are 
we are at the door
of what must
be our work

you are stronger

our conversation
isn’t long
but I am 
surprised to 

see you
looking so good
but when
I wake

from the dream
it is 4am &
I am 

the only thought
that remains
after the dream

is that I have 
resurrection body

I don’t want
to wonder when
or wait to 
get the news

that you are gone
but part of me
just has to believe
the promises of God

we are just holding
you at the banks
of a special river

waiting for the 
boat that only
now you must 

crossing over 
has come for you
as it will come
for all of us 

one day
and I have to 
believe that when 
you get on that boat

that something better 
and more beautiful
waits for you
on the other side