Charleston

Jun 19

We’re traveling and so we recorded a few shows ahead of time.  So I can’t do anything on the radio about Charleston, and I don’t know that I would or should anyway.

But I do want to write a little bit here before our day in London starts.

When a person of color, or a person of a non-Christian faith, does something horrific, the narrative is about the group or groups to which they belong.  And just as often, when a white or (nominally) Christian person does a similar act, the narrative shifts to being about mental illness, and how surprising the act was.

Of course we have to talk about mental illness, and of course a fully healthy person doesn’t do these things (though lets steer clear of making this yet another chance to stigmatize those with mental illness).

But we can’t end the conversation there.  I think we have to think about how children are raised — with love or with hate, and with active conversations about race and class and differences and privilege.  And about guns.  When those conversations are not part of our culture, it’s not at all surprising that these killings keep happening.

I don’t know anything about the Charleston killer’s childhood beyond what has been reported, and I don’t know if that’s all been accurate. I’m not saying a thing about his parents.

But I do know that he walked into a place that welcomed him and sat down next to people who were raised to welcome visitors with open arms and open hearts and open minds.  He at least pretended to pray with these loving people, and then he stood up, looked around at them, these people who had welcomed him and prayed with him, and he shot them to death.  With a gun given to him by his parents.

It’s reasonable to ask why I’m posting about this on the website for a children’s radio show.  Jessica Luther, an Austin mom, posted this on Twitter yesterday:

“A 5yo black girl survived last night by playing dead. Surely my 6yo white son can survive a conversation about why she matters.”

Maybe naively, I think part of that conversation can be started and facilitated through music.  Music that celebrates love and difference and play and fun and history and the future.  Music that gets kids dancing together, spinning together, singing together, holding hands together.  Music that asks interesting questions and hopefully gives parents a chance to talk about some possible answers.

So, put on some music, hold your kids, and, if the time is right, have a hard conversation about what happened.  It can only help.

Love you all.

As usual, Elizabeth Mitchell (here with Dan Zanes) is a great place to start.  Hopefully the embedding will work:

P.S. Please don’t make the narrative be just about the South, either. South Carolina has some amazingly wonderful and loving people, and every state has its problems. Certainly there are regional issues but these are not issues unique to anyone or any state.

 

 

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2015-06-20 Playlist & Stream

Jun 17

Lots of fun with Lucky Diaz in-studio!

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – Electric Car
Lucky Diaz in-studio

[WJFF/KCMJ/KUTX – I’m From Barcelona – Collection of Stamps]

2nd set
Nick Drake – Pink Moon
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
Dick Dale – Miserlou
Yellow Whale – Mr. Tinkly Pants (new)
The Not-Its! – Raise Your Hand
Electric Company bumper
Mike Doughty – 27 Jennifers
Todd McHatton – Ooh Shiny
ID
[KUTX – The Travoltas – Public Skool]
[WJFF/KCMJ – Eric Herman – Time Machine]

3rd set
Red Yarn – Ain’t Gonna Rain (new)
ID
Earth Wind & Fire – Shining Star
Us 3 – Cantaloup
Lazy Bones bumper
Dog on Fleas – Do You Wanna Know My New Dance Step?
ID
They Might Be Giants – The Guitar
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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2015-06-13 Playlist & Stream

Jun 10

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – I Am Not Your Broom
Lunch Money – Somehow a Frog Finds a Pond
ID (frog bed)
The Impressions – It’s All Right
Barenaked Ladies – Things
Recess Monkey – Lighter than Air (new)
ID
Fountains of Wayne – Trucks
[WJFF/KCMJ/KUTX – Zee Avi – Don’t Worry, Be Happy]

2nd set
Walter Martin – Sing to Me (feat. Karen O)
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
XTC – Do What You Do
The Bazillions – Super Hero Rock Band (new)
1977 bumper
Play Date – Cardboard Box (new)
Matthew Sweet – Scooby Doo
ID
[KUTX – Lucky Diaz – Tres Ratones]
[WJFF/KCMJ – Primate Fiasco – Doggy in the Window]

3rd set
the Good Miss Padgett – Mommy’s Lips
Alastair Moock – You Might Be a Girl (premiere) (playing Northampton’s Parlor Room 6/27) (All Kinds of You And Me)
ID
Red Yarn – Grizzly Bear (new)
Ratboy Jr. – What Does the Farm Do? (new)
Talking Heads – Stay Up Late
ID
They Might Be Giants – Computer Assisted Design
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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2015-06-06 Playlist & Stream

Jun 03

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – Flying V
Bunny Clogs in-studio
Okee Dokee Brothers – Big Rock Candy Mountain (w/ Hubby Jenkins from Carolina Chocolate Drops)
ID
[KUTX: Lunch Money – Miniature Things]
2nd set
Alejandro Escovedo – Sad and Dreamy (the Big 1-0)
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
Babe the Blue OX – Surfin’ Minnesota
Michael Franti & Spearhead – Hey World (Remote Control Version)
Tribe Called Quest bumper
Rhythm Child – Everybody is the One
ID
[WJFF/KCMJ: Bears & Lions – Pancakes]
[KUTX: Elska – The Land of Lost Socks]
3rd set
Wunmi – Rainbow
Matt & Kim – Hoodie On (kid edit) (new)
ID
Turkey Anderson – There’s a Knot in the Lace of My Shoe
Strumero – Jalon
Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke
ID
Flans ID
They Might Be Giants – Vote or Don’t
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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2015-05-30 Playlist & Stream

May 30

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – Put It To The Test
Doubleclicks in-studio
[KUTX/KCMJ/WJFF: Whirlygigs – Sittin On a Cloud]

2nd set
Elena Moon Park – Sol Nal (Asian Playground) (new)
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
Terri Hendrix – Nerves
Superchunk – FOH
Bag of Hammers bumper
Jimmies – Every Day’s a Holiday
Terrible Twos – When I Get To Eleven
[KUTX: Mates of State – Jellyman Kelly]
[WJFF/KCMJ: Justin Roberts – Fruit Jar]

3rd set
Pointed Man Band – Gypsy Whale Waltz (new)
Telephone Company – Mustache
ID
Lucky Diaz & the Family jam Band – Lines and Dots
Harmonica Pocket – Raindrops (new)
The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
ID
They Might Be Giants – Read a Book
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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2015-05-23 Playlist & Stream

May 23

It was fun to talk to Don Tate; check out his website!

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – Robot Parade
Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble – Cumbe
ID
Joe McDermott – My Cat Can Fly
Loretta Lynn – High on a Mountain Top
ID
Laura Freeman – Indigo and Violet
Dean Jones – Sing Like a Sparrow (feat. Felice Brothers)
ID (Mister G at ACL)
Mister G – Cocodrilio
[59:00 version – Lunch Money – You Are Here]
[KUTX version – The Que Pastas – Gene the Brave]

2nd set
Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
Fugazi – Waiting Room
ScribbleJim ID
ScribbleMonster – Chocolate Milk
97x bumper
Frank Turner – I Still Believe
Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band – Skunk Strut (new)
ID (Lucky at Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock June 6)

3rd set
Interview with Don Tate
The Deedle Deedle Dees – Bring ‘Em In
Jazzy Ash – Backyard Camping
ID
Recess Monkey – Get Your Ticket (new)
Cornershop – Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook remix)
ID
They Might Be Giants – Got Getting Up So Down
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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Radio Nerd Dog Whistles

May 18

You might have seen this post I did over at Zooglobble about how to introduce someone to the current world of music for families.  (And Dave Loftin did one too.)  That was based mostly on the playlists from the first couple of weeks on the air at KUTX, but obviously only the songs from people who were doing music for kids.

I thought it might be worthwhile to look at the rest of what we’ve played early in our tenure here on KUTX.  I sort of think of these as what political hacks call “dog whistles” — things with multiple meanings, except where in dog whistle politics the additional message tends to be “I think them gays are icky too but need not to say that out loud,” my additional message is more like “Hey, music nerds, you’re safe here.”

So far, the radio nerd dog whistle songs have included:

  • Brian Eno, I’ll Come Running – I still remember in the early fall of 2005, when we’d first launched, another volunteer at Valley Free Radio coming up to me and saying, “You know, I thought what you were doing was interesting and stuff, but it was when I heard Eno that I really got what you were doing.”  It’s no surprise that it was the third song we played on KUTX.
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, Lovely Day – Yes, this was on the Zooglobble list too, but it fits here too, because (a) it’s originally by Bill Withers, one of the finest songwriters and singers in history; (b) Elizabeth and Daniel have a long and amazing musical history outside of family music; and (c) I really wanted to also play Withers’s Lean On Me, but don’t think I can play that without crying yet (listen to this show and read this post for why).  I’ll get there soon.
  • The Ramones, Spider Man – It’s the Ramones.  No explanation really needed.  (As an aside, I filled in for my friend Elizabeth McQueen in doing an interview with John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants for her great podcast This Song.  His choice for the song to discuss was the original Batman theme.)
  • Asylum Street Spankers, Sliver – Again, this is on the Zooglobble list, but here because (a) the Spankers only did one (amazing) family record and (b) it’s a Nirvana cover, and a song that is not obviously something you’d play for kids.
  • Mates of State in-studio – I could have held onto this until later and gotten more songs in, but this seemed totally perfect to me.  I mean, sure, part of it is that I just adore MoS, and one of my great joys is that they did a Guided By Voices cover on the Science Fair CD (the end, with their kids singing? gets me every time).  But again, it signals something about our show that I don’t think any other show for families does (or if they do, I don’t know about it).  Those were two songs by a really well-respected internationally touring band that you cannot hear anywhere else in the world!
  • Prince, Starfish and Coffee – again, like the Ramones, probably doesn’t need much explanation, though I will also note that this is a bit of a shout-out to the many Minnesotans resident here in Austin.
  • Carrie Rodriguez in-studio – Carrie’s Sacred Heart Project is fascinating and gave us an opportunity to share some Mexican history — musical and otherwise — from someone whose music I think is accessible to kids without being aimed at them.  I’m also trying to be more intentional about having Spanish language songs in particular.  And again, her second song (“Lake Harriet”) was about one of Minneapolis’s lovely lakes.
  • WillieUnveiledWillie Nelson, Won’t You Ride in My Little Red Wagon? – It was frustrating not to get get Willie into the first week’s show, so he definitely was getting in the second.  He’s so fundamental to Austin music (there’s a statue of him!) that it was a necessary wave to the history of the town.  Plus, uh, he’s Willie Nelson.
  • The Pixies, Tony’s Theme – Same category as the Ramones, really.  I figure a lot of current parents grew up on the Pixies (and Nirvana, etc.), and the rest at least heard them on (sigh) “Alternative Classics” or whatnot.  This song (and Prince, too, I suppose) makes a particularly good example of us finding kid-friendly songs from bands that most do not do that, and not just songs that get contributed to kids’ compilations (though nothing’s wrong with that).
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Ever since I heard this done on 89.3 the Current, I’ve felt like it’s one of the very best versions of a song with roughly 34 millions versions of it out there.  Sharon Jones, of course, also appears on the Baby Loves Jazz releases, and does a fine job there, but the Dap-Kings…well, they’re ridiculous.

I still feel like we’re in introduction mode and will be for quite a while.  This week, the nerd whistle songs will include Loretta Lynn, Dean Jones with the Felice Brothers, Louis Armstrong, Fugazi, Frank Turner, and Cornershop.  Should be fun!

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