I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 04, 2017 - 11:37 a.m.
Yesterday I ventured into the Road Warrior Wasteland west the Hudson; as Hamilton said, "Everything is legal in New Jersey." What brought me to make the trek? The opportunity to record a radio show on WFDU. My dream of introducing great music to the world even gave the courage to do the show with Brian Norton. It takes me about two hours to get to Fairleigh Dickenson campus where the studio is but that's only because the bus time from City Island does not hook up well with the bus time from The George Washington Bridge to FDU. It's actually a fairly easy run almost due west from here.
Brian picked me up at the bus stop and drove us to a diner for linner, we arrived around 4 PM. I had a delicious chicken, bacon, and cheese sandwich. Is that important? Yes, it's food. I try to project my world view here, food looms large. Then we were off to the station.
The station has three channels, HD1, HD2, and HD3. HD1 changed format to retro radio, so I no longer do my shows with Brian on it. For now, it will be a special on HD2. As it's not Brian's regular show we needed a name. Brian didn't tell me that till minutes before we started recording. I came up with the highly original, Wise Madness. Should I do this regularly? It's a difficult schlep but I was thinking I could do one four-hour show a month or a weekly one-hour show and I'd record four at a time. An advantage of the latter is that Brian could join me for one show a month. It's tough for him to commit another four hours a month as he has the weekday overnight show from 1 AM to 6 AM. He does that live.
So far Wise Madness is snake bit. The first time we tried recording it the regular HD2 studio was being used and we had to record in "the closet," a tiny studio with only one mic. There is a sign there warning people to not touch the "record in mono switch." Before we got there, somebody did. That meant the show was not recorded at all. This was take two.
This time we get there and what do we fine? Someone else was using the HD2 studio and once again we were relegated to the closet. Then there were some technical glitches. I went into an adjacent room while Brian worked on it. He did but he didn't realize I was in the next room and waited for me to come back. I waited for him to finish what he was doing. I left the room because it's so tiny it would be easier for him if I weren't there. We did work it out and started recording. We didn't do the show in real time. We just recorded the host segments and Brian will interpolate the music. I had sent him the files via dropbox. A benefit of prerecording is that we can do retakes. I forgot to announce the songs the first break; I just announced the artists. Have I mentioned that I'm an idiot?
The show was in two parts. The first was music from NERFA. The second was three-part harmony if you don't count well. It went pretty well. When Brian has it ready to air, I will let you know. We were going to do a second show but someone else had to use the closet. I'm going to have to come back next week. I hope we get to use the HD2 studio. It's much easier if we each have our own mic.
We finished earlier than planned as we only did one show and just the host segments. Brian had many hours to kill before going on the air so he drove me to the George Washington Bridge where I can catch one of the frequent shuttles that cross it to Bus Station on the New York aka the civilized side. As soon as he dropped me off I realized I should have walked across. I was in the wrong place for that. Next time I will investigate where the pedestrian path starts and if it's early enough and the weather is nice I'll make the walk.
I just thought of looking on Amazon Prime to see what they have by Raymond Scott. I've written about him before but not for years. You have heard his music though you might not know it. In 1943, he sold his music publishing writes to Warner Brothers and Call Stalling then often incorporated them into WB cartoons.
I told you that you knew the music. He later became an innovator in sound engineering and experimented with multitracking at the same time as Les Paul, without the commercial success. He then moved on to electronic music. He wrote a classical piece. Do a search, he did some remarkable stuff. Amazon music gives a list of related artists. I'm pretty sure Raymond's list is unique, it includes Count Basie, Cab Calloway and … Frank Zappa. I've been listening to "Soothing Sounds for Baby: Volume 1", one of his electronic albums as I write this. I was, it became unbearable. Hey if you experiment you sometimes make mistakes. Failure is always an option.
I have no idea what I'm making for breakfast. I'm going to go downstairs now and find out. This should be exciting.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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