Archive for April, 2009

Taintradio

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Friends, Horse & Buggy Press project on April 23, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

Saturday morning the wife and I are headed to the mountains for a week. A rambling and side-spur oriented post here to keep you occupied until RG returns. If the nostalgia weighs you down, chalk it up to the spring weather and the pleasing effect of beautiful music.


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Bookmark it, stream it live, listen, and enjoy. Fantastic stuff in a variety of flavors, and some great people manning the DJ booths. Check out the roster and the playlists. Hit the tip jar if you feel so inclined.

Taintradio

Brilliant name; ya gotta love transitive verbs that can double up as nouns. and operate as slang contractions too.

This morning I thoroughly enjoyed Kevin Spurlock’s “Outside the Box” three-hour set. I treated myself to purchasing an album by Corinne Bailey Rae after being introduced to her.  Soul. . . full. (Both the set and the Corrine Bailey Rae tune, remember how exciting it was to hear Erykah Badu’s first album? This reminded me of that moment and then some, check out her Corinne Bailey Rae myspace page and turn the volume up on her free play sample songs)

Bob Rogers of Raleigh and Dave Tilley of Durham are the driving forces —and two of the DJs—behind this.

I asked Bob what taintradio was all about…

“Basically I think the point I hope to get across is that we really are an alliance of independent producers. When I recruit someone for taintradio I make it a rule never to ask them what they’re going to do on their program. I think that’s an improper question for us to be asking. I really don’t care what they play. All I ask is that they play whatever they really want to play, not what they think some theoretical audience wants to hear. I have been around radio people and programmers most of my adult life and I am sick to death of everybody’s theories about what they think people are ready for. Fuck that. We expect nothing less than self-indulgence from our program hosts. Play what you want to hear, not what you think I want to hear. Anything less than that is just boring.

Revoltingly,
Bob.”

Back in the mid 90s, Dana Kletter — a fabulously talented musician, songwriter, and singer; look here for one of the best essays ever published in the Independent, it chronicles the insansanity of the music biz; in an alternate universe Dish (one of a few bands Dana was in, blackgirls and Dear Enemy being others) is putting out their fifth album and playing sold-out shows on their world tour while Louis Aragon and Paul Eluard read poems to a captivated audience between sets — introduced me to Bob.

Bill Daley. Gives the best slide show talk you'll ever experience.

Bill Daley. Gives the best slide show talk you'll ever experience.

I was looking for a part-time job to complement the meager hours I was getting at the Rockford Cafe while getting H&B off the ground in the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed manner that can only come from the optimism of being 23 years old and recently emerged from the cocoon of a crafts-centered enclave like Penland . . . . where you eat breakfast next to the William Daleys and Hoss Haleys and Evon Streetmans and Amos Kennedys and Warren Mackenzies of the world, drinking coffee from mugs handmade by hippie chicks who would suggest exploring the moonlit-filled woods until dawn when you get bleary-eyed from working in studio.

 

Bob’s word processing company, Rogers Word Service (sporting one of the best tag lines ever written… “consonants and vowels for every occasion”)  was a bit of a safe haven for musicians and artist types who needed flexible work schedules.

“Bob, I’m taking the band on tour for a couple of months.”  “That’s cool, have fun and stop in when you get back to town.”

“Bob, I’m broke and got some bills, can I work every day for the next week?”  “Oh, sure, have a seat, you want some coffee?”

“Bob, the press just broke, I’m not going to make it in today, I gotta figure out how to fix this puppy.”   “That’s cool, good luck.”

We typed up hand-written student papers (wow, that sounds dated huh?), transcribed meetings sent in from RTP companies, designed resumes, and attacked whatever else came through the door. I was the methadone man. I transcribed reports that doctors phoned in after meeting with clients. I can’t say as I miss hearing those stories or trying to make coherent sentences of Dr. Goode butchering the English language (“was he hitting the meds himself?” I always wondered), but I do miss seeing Bob, Dana, Brad, Karen, and some of the other regulars.

Some of the highlights and interesting things I experienced or learned in my time there…

–Ticketmaster’s phone number was 834-0000, Rogers Word Services was 834-4000. Sat morn at 10 when ticketmaster opened, you’d get calls from people thinking they dialed ticketmaster and wanted to buy tickets for walnut creek shows. Occasionally, fun was had.

–Bob was some sort of counter-intelligence spy back in his (Cold War) Army days. I think he said he joined that division because he wanted to be able to read Doystevsky in his native tongue.

–I remember getting back from studio one day and catching Bob on his WSHA show letting the just released Hendrix Plays The Blues album play in its entirety. I taped it and to this day the cassette is still working and kept in my car’s high rotation shoebox stash. (I did buy the album on disc for proper listening outside the car environment)

–watching Bob handle salespeople who came in asking for …. “Roger.” Priceless.

wsha-cover1–Bob started a newsletter for WSHA and I designed it. I remember Bob and I carrying 2,500 copies in some rather heavy boxes up three flights of stairs to the station. (Later I realized most designers have the printers take care of delivery and they use things like hand trucks) We collaborated on five issues over a few years. I looked forward to this project and still think the cover design I worked up was pretty decent. I meant to evoke the feeling of Blue Note album covers without just ripping them off. I did wish that Bob and I would have got to call the thing “program guide” like we wanted to, but the station director thought “gallery” was the way to go and hailing originally from Africa Emeka was used to a dictatorship leadership model and enjoyed the executive privileges he afforded himself as head honcho. 

–getting to work with Dr. Charles Brown and creating a family genealogy book for him along with Bob and Dana’s help. The genealogy went back five generations to Anderson Brown Sr. “Grandpa,” a freed South Carolina slave. I made ten covers with handmade paper and hand-sewed those copies. For years after we finished the project I used to see Dr. Brown—then in his late 70s I believe—making the rounds in the locker room of the Y after his workout and as I changed and headed upstairs to play pickup. I like to think Dr. Brown is still around and saying hi to Willie and the guys. I still see him there in my memories anyway.

Radio Radio

Posted in Durham on April 23, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

well I just called WUNC 91.5 FM and told them I’ll donate far more than the $15 I did this year if  they choose to run Democracy Now instead of BBC in the morning.

We’ll see what happens. Holler at ’em if you feel the same.

WNCCU 90.7 thankfully does carry Democracy Now but it airs there in the evenings and I prefer it in the morning (that’s what she said).

Eno Restaurant article

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Durham, Friends on April 22, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

Interesting article in today’s N&O includes details on Coon Rock Farm’s Eno Restaurant and Market which will open in downtown Durham in the near future.

I like that the tables for the restaurant will be made from trees felled on the farm. Local indeed.

And I give the logo an A+ (and not just because I’m friends with the designer, Jimmy Holcomb).

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Rails to Trails

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience on April 21, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

Tired of this system of

s p r a w l h e r e
s p r a w l t h e r e
s p r a w l e v e r y w h e r e

and watching every road become a bigger road and more roads go in all over the place;

the area around your drinking reservoir move from being a nice rural area and a place to go hiking or star gazing to becoming more exurb crap as elected officials inevitably fall in line with the developers to put in more subdivisions (mold infested wallboard anyone?), Supercrapmarts, and strip mauls?

Then do something about it, man.

Old Man McCloud in all his soapbox wisdom suggests five things for this week.

1. Write your local officials (city council, county commissioners, DOT local staff, planning commission; cc them all on the note) and tell them what you would like to see instead of more sprawl and more auto centric planning. Be specific. If they don’t hear it from people, you can be sure they ain’t going to provide it on their own.

2. Follow up when they don’t respond, or give you a generic “thanks for your input.” Ask them what they will do to make improvements become a reality and avoid the landscape becoming homogenized.

3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 every three months or so. Drop in at meetings if you have the time and energy..

4. Join Rails to Trails; maybe someday those abandoned tic and weed infested rail corridors will be put to use.

5. Drop your AAA membership and join Better World Club
Unlike AAA, they don’t lobby for more roads and interstate miles. That is just one reason to switch. Plus with a basic membership you get 5 free miles of towing compared to 3 miles with AAA. Yes, you get the travel discounts and map benefits etc that AAA provides.

Ante up $17 extra per year and get roadside bicycle coverage, included with this is a membership to the League of American Bicyclists and you get a free subscription to Bicycling Magazine.

“Rain Gardening” authors at the Regulator-Tues, May 5

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Horse & Buggy Press project on April 21, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

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Helen Krauss and Anne Spafford, NC State horticulturalists and authors of Rain Gardening in the South: Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge, and Everything in Between will be giving a presentation at The Regulator Bookshop. This is the debut title from Eno Publishers, Elizabeth Woodman’s venture out of Hillsborough.

Tuesday, May 5, 7pm.

Expect a fun, entertaining, and informative talk—made even more fun and informative if you buy a book to take home! (afterwards you can stroll down Ninth Street and wonder how long it will be before someone opens up a decent place to eat on the strip, does Blue Corn Cafe really justify having three storefronts? I don’t think so)

Long live print and book publishing, who knows how long this internet thing will be around. Probably not for as long as ferns or the horsetail plant have been on this planet.

Downtown Durham Artwalk

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Art, Durham, Event on April 21, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

It was this past weekend.

We had a pretty good time here at the Bull City Arts Collaborative (BCAC, pronounced bee-cack). I met some new folks and got to catch up with some old friends. MJ, our guest artist in the foyer gallery, bravely (or it was it simply an act of masochism?) stayed for the whole thing and got to endure more than a few folks who instead of taking in her work on the wall or the moderate priced cash n carry prints she had brought in, instead wanted to show MJ their photography portfolio. On their i-phone. People. Puh-leez.

I managed to sell a few low dollar things and drop some cash in my bike fund which was nice.

Anyway, weigh in over at Bull City Rising if you want to share your two cents about what you liked, what you didn’t like, where/how you think the event can be improved. I’m sure the Arts Council folks will be checking BCR for feedback and as well would be interested in feedback directly if you prefer that route.

Me. I vote for doing it once a year, not twice a year, and combining it with a two or three band concert at Central Park or Carolina Theatre in the evening so attendees and exhibitors can gather round at the end.

Just like the Full Frame Festival, for me the biggest disappointment about the event is the lack of places to get a snack, a meal, a cup of coffee (a good one) or a beer in between films/artwalk stops.

Ain’t much going on in downtown (and half of these joints keep their doors closed half the time). Yes, it’s better than it used to be but that ain’t saying much.

Maybe someday the powers that be will drop a new road construction moratorium and diverst some funds to fix the loop and revert the one- way tangled mess of north/south freeways–and resulting lack of interconnectivity–nto a functional two -way transportation pattern and entrepreneurs will think of setting up shop in these parts. I know a few folks jonesin’ for a pizza joint.

Hey Mr. Steinbrenner how’s that new stadium working out?

Posted in 21st century life, Aesthetic Experience, Sports on April 19, 2009 by horseandbuggypress

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love it, Cleveland scores 22 runs in one game and some dude is suing the Yankees because they wouldn’t let him go take a pee break during the seventh inning stretch because they were singing God Bless America. (whatever happened to take me out to the ballgame?) According to the sports illustrated article they apparently put chains across aisles during the singing of God Bless America. Hmmm…

go Bronx Bombers.

How much do those tickets cost?