Archive for March, 2011

poetry alive!

March 31, 2011

Call us progressive. Wait – that’s been done already.

National Poetry Month begins tomorrow but here in Vermont we just couldn’t wait. The observance began a day early with tonight’s opening event at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier.

Poet Baron Wormser

Poetry Alive! is officially underway. It’s a month-long, citywide celebration of the art with contributions from local poets (all abilities, amateur to professional) posted in 70 local business and public locations along with readings, workshops, and all kinds of other special events. Former Maine state poet laureate Baron Wormser opened the festivities tonight with select  readings from his collections Impenitent Notes and Scattered Chapters. Among my favorites were “Taxi“, “Ode to Time”, and “Four Bands”.

I’m very pleased to be part of things this year, my poem “Ice Storm” is among those posted at the library for the next month.

This is the second year of the project, a joint effort between the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and Montpelier Alive!, the downtown business association. Last year featured 70 poets and 40 businesses. This year there are 170 poets, and 70 local businesses participating! Montpelier’s been plastered with villanelles, sestinas, odes, haiku, free verse…you name it. The whole town’s erupted in words.

If you take one message away from all of this, it should be that poetry is an ‘everyday’ kind of thing, not something to be reserved for special occasions or those with an above average degree of education. Poetry began as a spoken tradition and became more formalized as time went on. This month’s project offers the best of both worlds with printed poetry – everywhere – along with a full schedule of readings and discussions as well.

A grand celebration. To which we say, – Word.

meeting a hero

March 30, 2011

(photo by Bret Gilliam)

Ever have one of those moments where you actually get to meet someone whose work or artistry you’ve admired for a long time?

I had one of those moments Saturday night.

I’ve enjoyed David Mallett‘s music since I played it on my first radio show back in 1985.  That was just a couple of years after his “Open Doors and Windows” album came out (it was still a 33+1/3 “album” back then…). I immediately took to his deep, rumbling voice and acute observations on life in his native Maine in evocative songs like “Northern Lights” and “Snowbound” and “Photographs and Memories”.

It’s music that’s come to mean all the more to me now that I, too, live in New England.

You know his music even if you don’t know you do. His most famous lyrics go, “Inch by inch, row by row, all I need is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground. Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow. Someone form them from below, ’til the rain comes tumblin’ down…” Yep – Dave Mallett wrote the ‘Garden Song’.

He came to Randolph’s newly renovated Chandler Center for the Arts this past Saturday night. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything – I’d been waiting over 25 years to hear him perform live! And it was everything I could have hoped. The old songs had worn well and the new ones were welcome but not so new as to remove themselves completely from the familiar sphere of sound. I started writing down the set list to share here with you but the truth is I just kind of got swept away and forgot to take notes before too long. I can tell you for sure he sang these:

  • All Right Now
  • My Old Man
  • 10 Men
  • The Painter
  • At the End of the Day
  • Somewhere in Time
  • Our Love is Like a Red Red Rose
  • Midnight on the Water

…and the ‘Garden Song’ too. No ‘Northern Lights’ unfortunately, maybe next time. After both generously long sets David Mallett came out and sat down on the edge of the stage to chat with fans who had clustered there. I was one of them. He patiently nodded, signed programs and other memorabilia, laughed, and despite looking a little drained from the show he took the time to genuinely engage with everyone who had a story, a recollection, or praise to share.

When Mallett introduced the song during the show, he seemed to get a kick out of the fact that his most famous song had become so thanks to its performance on ‘The Muppet Show’. Here’s that memorable scene, as John Denver tries to keep his cool even as the watermelon and hyacinths are singing along with his rendition of Mallett’s ‘Garden Song’.

playlist #152 (3/28/11)-mud season mix

March 29, 2011

World of Music
Pgm #152 – Uplifting tunes to help us rise above the reality of mud season
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm ET – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Babacar: Ignane / Musica Négra / Estela 20 – (SENEGAL)
Andrea Echeverri: Ya Yo No / Andrea Echeverri / EMI 12220 – (COLOMBIA)
Vinicius Cantuária & Bill Frisell: Mi Declaratión / Lágrimas Mexicanas / EOM 2110 – (BRAZIL / USA)    *NEW*
Hermanas Ferrin: Quien Dice Que Yo / Mi Linda Guajira / Virgin Records 8484172 – (CUBA)
Dub Is A Weapon: Turmoil / Vaporized / Homegrown Music Network 38 – (USA) *NEW*
Lotfi Double Canon: 7oukouma / Khalas mixtape, vol. I / (download) – (ALGERIA) *NEW*
Lök Batan Folklore Group: Qalx Ayaga Azerbaycan (Stand Up, Azerbaijan!) / Azerbaijan – Traditional Music / ARC Music 2318 – (AZERBAIJAN) *NEW*
“Telephone” set:
Ruben Blades: El Telefonito / The Best / Globo Records 80718 – (PANAMA)
Baetúria: Teléphone / MIDEM Sampler 2008 / MIDEM 2008 – (SPAIN)
Telmary Diaz: Que equivoca’o (How true it is) / A Diario / DM Ahora Records  2006 – (CUBA)
Bole 2 Harlem: Ya Selam / Bole 2 Harlem / Sounds of the Mushroom V.1 – (ETHIOPIA)
11 Acorn Lane: Le Sexe au Téléphone [Redial] / Painting Coconuts / – (FRANCE)
Salute to the now-defunct BBC Caribbean service:
The New Islanders: Caribbean Cruise / Music of the Caribbean / Intersound 8906 – (TRINIDAD)
Calypso Rose: Back To Africa / Calypso Rose / CMG 2308 –  (TOBAGO)
Kali: La Biguine des Enfants du Bon Dieu / Caribe! Caribe! / Putumayo 153 – (MARTINIQUE)
Oswin Chin Behilia: Zikinzá / Liber / Otrabanda Records 10 – (CURAÇAO)
Indian sax man/bandleader Rudresh Mahanthappa plays at Flynn Space this Friday night. Here’s a taste of his music with another group:
Miles From India: So What / Miles From India / Times Square Records 1808 – (INDIA)
Malouma: Gamly / Nour / Marabi 46819 – (MAURITANIA)
Chopteeth:  Struggle / Afrofunk Big Band / Grigri Discs 1001 – (WASHINGTON, D.C., USA)
Great cover tunes:
The Lost Fingers: Billie Jean / Lost In The 80s / Sony 88697556082 – (CANADA)
Augusto Enriquez: Bohemian Rhapsody / Rhythms Del Mundo / Decca 13188 – (CUBA)
Los Mocosos: Spill The Wine / Shades Of Brown / Six Degrees 6570361049 – (SAN FRANCISCO, USA)
El Pollito de California: No Es Nada Extraño (It’s Not Unusual) / Perversiones Flamencas / Zimba 9221212 – (SPAIN)

tunes for the season

March 28, 2011

This week’s World of Music features more upbeat songs to get us through mud season including great covers of songs like “Billie Jean” and the “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

We’ll also have a musical tribute to BBC’s Caribbean service, which went off the air last Friday after more than 70 years of introducing the world to the politicians, artists, musicians, and news-makers from the region.

World of Music is a mud-flappin’, slap-happy spring mix of blues, jazz, poetry, and  world music every Monday from 3-5pm ET on the Radiator.  Online, or at 105.9FM if you’re listening in Burlington, VT.

watch your kids and mini coopers

March 26, 2011

How is spring coming along, you ask? Here’s a recent post from
my neighborhood Front Porch Forum. It’s one of many of its
kind to find its way on the Forum in recent weeks.


Tue, 22 March 2011

I haven’t been in Huntington very long so this is only my 2nd
mud season road experience but the Bert White Road could
certainly swallow my car, especially beyond Handy Road, but
in general just about anywhere. And it is only the 2nd day
of Spring!


(photo from my friend Rich. Who also lives in my area.)

bbc caribbean

March 26, 2011

It happened quietly, but the silence is significant as it marks the end of an era that began over seventy years ago.

Yesterday was the final day of broadcasting for BBC’s Caribbean service.

The service went on the air in 1939 during World War II with “Calling the West Indies”, a program featuring West Indian soldiers reading letters to their families at home. In the years since then the service became a vital resource as the only regional source of information, offering a broad perspective and analysis on topics ranging from politics and poverty to the brilliant music and literature of the islands.

This past January the BBC announced that a 16 percent reduction in governmental funding was going to lead to the closure of many of its foreign broadcast services. Besides the Caribbean, closures are also coming in Serbia, Portugal, Albania, Macedonia, and Africa.

Here’s a nice wrap-up of BBC Caribbean’s final day on the air yesterday.

And check out this slideshow: the BBC Caribbean in pictures.

un peu plus tard

March 25, 2011

Spring will be a little late this year
A little late arriving in my lonely world over here
For you have left me and where is our April love old
Yes you have left me and winter continues cold

As if to say that spring will be
A little slow to start, a little slow reviving
That music it made in my heart ’cause time heals all things
So I needn’t cling to this fear

It’s merely that spring will be a little late this year
Yes, time heals all things so I needn’t cling to this fear

you don’t say.

March 25, 2011

Quote of the day from a musician friend of mine: “That’s the problem with being bipolar. You never know if you gave a great concert, or if your illness did.”

playlist #151 (3/21/11)-viva la primavera!

March 21, 2011

World of Music
Pgm #151 – Springy songs for the first full day of the new season!
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm ET – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Michi Sarmiento y sus Bravos: La Primavera / Colombia! The Golden Age of Discos Fuentes / Soundway 8 – (COLOMBIA)
Emilie-Claire Barlow: O Pato (The Duck) / The Very Thought Of You / Empress Music Group 443 – (CANADA)
Enzo Avitabile: Canto ‘e Primavera / Napoletana / Edizioni Musicali 5378 – (ITALY)
Mariza: Primavera / Fado Curvo / Times Square Records 9033 – (PORTUGAL)
Delbon Johnson: It’s Always Springtime in Nassau / Calypso / Putumayo 205 – (BAHAMAS)
Jiang Ting: Spring in Tianshan / Dance / MA Recordings 66A – (CHINA)
Tom Jobim: Águas de Março (Waters of March) / Tom Jobim / Sem Limite 73145487642 – (BRAZIL)
Jane Monheit: Waters of March / Come Dream With Me / N-Coded Music 4219 – (USA)
Alon Nechushtan: Spring Soul Song / Words Beyond / Buckyball Records 24 – (USA)
Massak: World of the Living / Haïti Marketplace / Harmonia Mundi 54115 – (HAITI)
Lucho Bermudez y sy Orquesta Sabanera: Arroz con Coco / Cartagena! / Soundway 26 – (COLOMBIA) *NEW*
Hilde Hefte: Vakker Natt (Quiet Nights – Corcovado) / Bossa Nova Around The World / Putumayo 306 – (NORWAY) *NEW*
Zé Miguel Wisnik: Primavera / Pérolas aos Poucos / Maianga Discos    901 – (BRAZIL)
Mercedes Sosa: Gracias a la Vida (Thank you to Life) / The Best of Mercedes Sosa / Mercury 536234 – (ARGENTINA)
Queen City Hot Club: Swing Gitan / Queen City Hot Club (self-produced) – (MADE IN VT)
Tony Whedon: Things To Pray To In Vermont / Live at the Black Door / PoJazz    1 – (MADE IN VT)
Jason Anick: Nuages / Sleepless / Magic Fiddle Music 1 – (USA)
John Dodge: Toro Toro / Greetings From Bridgetown / Path of Stone Records 21010 – (USA)
Maryem & Ernie Tollar: Il Matar (The Rain) / Cairo to Toronto / ROM 9 – (CANADA)
Ismael Lô: Dibi Dibi Rek (The Wounded Heart) / The Best of Ismael Lô / Wrass    31 – (SENEGAL)
M.R. Shajarian & Kayhan Kalhor: Rain / Night Silence Desert / Traditional Crossroads 80702 – (IRAN)
Shawna Lenore & Darrell Kastin: Voz Que Se Cala / Mar Português / Vagabundo Music 2011 – (OREGON) *NEW*
La Fragua: Blackbird / de los Andes a los Beatles / Antara 758 – (ARGENTINA)
Rocky Dawuni: Sun is Shining / Tribute to a Reggae Legend / Putumayo 303 – (GHANA)
Café Tacuba: Las Flores / Re / Warner 967842 – (MEXICO)
Baster: Redemption Song / Kaf Gong Reggae / Baster Productions 7 – (LA RÉUNION)

might as well be…

March 20, 2011

World of Music has taken a short hiatus the last couple of weeks (partly prompted by that juggernaut of a snowstorm two weeks ago) but we’re springing back today with a cheery bunch of tunes for the fist full day of Spring.

We’ll check out covers of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” and “Sun is Shining”, along with seasonal classics like Jobim’s “Waters of March”, and several different songs titled “Primavera” (“spring”).

World of Music is a vernal cloudburst of blues, jazz, poetry, and  world music every Monday from 3-5pm ET on the Radiator.  Online, or at 105.9FM if you’re listening in Burlington, VT.

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