2016-03-12 Playlist & Stream

Mar 13

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – Science is Real
Interview – The Tumble Podcast makers
Strumero – There’s So Much Good
El Tule – Topo Chico
ID
The Deedle Deedle Dees – Tres Muralistas
Mister G – El Leon y La Luna
ID

[KUTX – Rock and Read Promo
KUTX – Baby Loves Jazz – Bouncin’ On The Bed

[WJFF/KCMJ – Baby Loves Jazz – Bouncin’ on the Bed

2nd set
Suz Slezak – Leather Winged Bat
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
The Not-Its! – Motorcycle Mom
Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Radio Radio
Ben Folds Five – Theme from Dr. Pyser
ScribbleMonster – All Ready to Go!
ID

[KUTX – MeltdownBoogie Promo
[KUTX – Frances England – Paint a Picture

[WJFF/KCMJ – Frente! – Open Up Your Hear And Let The Sun Shine In

3rd set
ELO – Mr. Blue Sky
Red Yarn – Wake Up (premiere) (Wake Up & Sing)
ID
Sugar Free Allstars – Can You Picture That? (new)
Sweet Honey in the Rock – Freedom Train
ID
They Might Be Giants – Boat of Car (brass band)
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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“I want to stay connected to everyone.”

Mar 03

Tomorrow is Liam’s 14th birthday. It’s also the anniversary of the day that last year, Eric made the decision to remove his ventilator. Because this year I’m hoping to focus on the former, I’m writing some words now about the latter, looking through my Facebook messages and emails with Eric from the time.

ericbaseballA few days earlier, the subjects of our messages were mundane (though of course we all knew things were going downhill). I’d gotten a message from him asking if we’d sent a Bite Squad gift certificate.  We had, but it apparently arrived with no indication of its source. (Confidential to Bite Squad: Maybe tell recipients the name of the folks from whom they’re receiving a gift certificate!)

And then, on March 3, Eric must have posted something suggesting that the end was near, as I asked him if he was “heading into, I don’t know the right word, the final run.”

(Scrolling through Eric’s Facebook page to find what he posted, it is a hell of a challenge to get through the March 11-12 posts without just weeping.)

Aha! Found it. He posted a link to a column entitled “Death, the New Normal,” which discussed the process of getting used to death as one gets older. The column closed with Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Dirge Without Music,” a poem I also quoted in a piece I wrote during the process and, if memory serves, in the eulogy I gave at his funeral. The poem ends, famously, with “But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.”

Deep down in the comments thread, after friends noted their own refusal to approve or be resigned, Eric wrote: “On the other hand, resignation must come, eventually.” He was ahead of the rest of us. Honestly, he’s still ahead of me; I am still pretty damn far from approving.

(As an aside, as an epidemiology dork, I love that the fact that the previous post from him was a link to a story about a psychology journal banning the use of p-values.)

Anyway, so, I wrote to him on the 3rd asking if I was reading his post correctly. He agreed that he did feel he was getting through the end: “I’m so tired all the time and I sleep a ton. My only desire is to stay connected until the time comes.” And: “I’m thinking of working with hospice on stopping the vent, a matter of weeks. All I need from you is to stay connected.”

I asked about the alternative to removing the ventilator; he responded: “The alternative is to sleep more and more as things progress. It seems I could shorten that and be more aware when I pass.” In response to my question about whether awareness was a goal: “Since I want to stay connected to everyone I want to stay aware rather than fade away, although fading away may be more peaceful.”

My response: “I can see how having some measure of control could be appealing and a way to make it your process rather than the disease’s or a machine’s, if that makes sense. It also must be difficult to plan your own end, though once you’ve accepted it I assume it is easier.”

Eric responded without dancing around it: “Picking a day is really freaky. I’m still looking for some wide advice from hospice.” I said I hoped they had some wise advice, since I sure didn’t. His arms were tiring out, he wrote, but he said he wished he could have a time frame so he could plan. Without any firm predictions, he made his own plan and chose a date (March 12). A few days later, we talked about the process; he was frustrated that there were still details to be set up (I learned later that the IV provider was hesitant to let the doctor prescribe IV pain meds, fearing it was too close to assisted suicide, so they ended up with patches, I believe). “Once all of that is set, it will go better,” he wrote.

battleThen the day before, we messaged some more about logistics, and I sent him a photo of the setup that our friend Paul Hagstrom set up for digitizing some old Battle of the Band videotapes; he was glad his kids would see it eventually. He wrote me after he got back from getting the IV line done: “I got to experience some spring like weather on the way [home], which was nice. See you tomorrow.”

Around the same time, my mom was sending him daily—lovely—emails, with stories about me, about grandkids, about goats—about what Eric called “regular things.”

Her, on March 10: “I have no words of wisdom. I will just observe that you are living until you die, as you intended, and I admire you immensely. You are teaching again.” Eric responded: “It’s funny, I think a lot about my maternal grandmother lately, who had a long slow death from cancer. I have a funny feeling she’s helping me get through this. She handled her death with a lot of grace.”

He continued: “I don’t need words of wisdom, I just like hearing from people. My days are full of sleep. Let’s hope tonight is too. We talked to the girls about the fact that my vent won’t last much longer and we grieved together. I’m getting a large IV at the hospital tomorrow because the nurse couldn’t do it at home, but then I’ll be coming back home. That’s how they will administer the sedatives on Thursday. I feel 90% peaceful about it, and 10% nervous, which I think is reasonable.”

Actually, you know, another quote from my mom’s emails feels about right—something I’d forgotten until going back through my emails tonight. She told him a story about a conversation she and I had when I took a semester off to work on Paul Wellstone’s first Senate campaign, and finished it: “You know that your girls are going to be remembering what you taught them. They may not be dropping out of college to work on somebody’s Senate campaign, but the things they have learned, and are learning, from you are settled into their bones, and will serve them well.”

She was right. A couple of days later, Eric died, on as close to his own terms as could be achieved with ALS, teaching all of us around him until the end. And staying connected to everyone. I’ve written about it before, but the extended periods of eye contact he made—with every single person in the room, and, I firmly believe, with so many more people by extension—made it so Eric fulfilled his fundamental goal:

“I want to stay connected to everyone.”

Still connected.

Still miss the hell out of him.

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2016-03-06 Playlist & Stream

Mar 02

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – L M N O
Lloyd Miller – Henry Box Brown
ID
Waco Brothers – Fox
Moonlighters – Makin’ Wickey-Wackey- Down in Waikiki
Polyphonic Spree – Reach for the Sun
ID
Quiet Company – Kindness

[KUTX – Rock and Read Promo
KUTX – Justin Roberts – Polar Bear

[WJFF/KCMJ – Justin Roberts – Polar Bear

2nd set
Matt Heaton – Down By The Bay (new)
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
Sugar Free Allstars – Monster Truck (new)
Miss Universe – Our Lips Are Sealed
Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band – Thingamajig
Los Lobos – Heigh Ho
ID

[KUTX – MeltdownBoogie Promo
[KUTX – CandyBand – Ode to Joy

[WJFF/KCMJ – Koo Koo Kanga Roo – Lava Tag

3rd set
Ponds & Fleshman – Here Comes the Summer
ID
Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown
Angelique Kidjo – Battu
Sugarcrash Kids – Drums
ID
They Might Be Giants -Put It To The Test
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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Family Music Meltdown during SXSW — All the Details

Feb 28

Win a VIP bag for your family at the 3rd Annual Family Music Meltdown happening at Pan Am Park on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 3-7 pm.

final_meltdown16

This very special annual music event is a favorite with Austin families! Now in its third year, Family Music Meltdown won’t disappoint with an amazing lineup, including TWO Latin Grammy winners (Mister G and Lucky Diaz) along with the 2015 Austin Chronicle Musician of the Year, Gina Chavez!Advertisement

Activities include:

  • Hands-on science activities with the Thinkery
  • Trampolines courtesy of Springfree Trampoline
  • Austin Humane Society will be doing crafts with the kids (and they’ll be bringing some dogs who are adoptable)
  • Craft stations

Food and drinks will be available from Emoji’s Grilled Cheese Rosarito’s Food Truck and Uncle Louie G’s. Blankets, picnics, and lawn chairs are welcome!

What: Family Music Meltdown

When: Wednesday, March 16, from 3 – 7 pm

Where: Pan Am Park’s Hillside Theater, 2100 E. Third Street, Austin

Cost: FREE!

Register to win a VIP bag stocked with swag and snacks!

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Rock & Read — All The Info In One Place

Feb 28

Gather your friends and family on Sunday, March 20, 2016 for Rock + Read, a free book and music fest happening at the Domain.

final_rock_and_read

Get out and enjoy one last hurrah of Spring Break / SXSW 2016 with this fun book and music fest! Both kids and adults will enjoy the great lineup of musicians. In between sets, BookPeople will be on-hand in the storytime tent with an amazing lineup of local authors who will be reading stories from their books, doing activities with the kids, and signing books. This event is FREE and open to the public.

The Music Lineup:

Local Author Lineup:

In addition to the live music and storytime tent, there will be Easter crafts for the kids, jumping on one of the Springfree Trampolines that will be set up throughout the Domain II, and local vendors!

Thanks to our sponsors, The Domain, Austin Diagnostic Clinic and Springfree Trampoline, for making this event possible.

When: Sunday, March 20, 2016

Time: 1 – 5:30 pm

Where: 3220 Amy Donovan Plaza, The Domain, Austin

Cost: FREE!

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2016-02-27 Playlist & Stream

Feb 24

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – Nonagon
Ozomatli – Opposable Thumbs
Jim Cosgrove & Jazzy Ash – Love Comes Back (new)
ID
Mariana Iranzi – Hola Hello
The Gourds – Fossil Contender
Mekons – Oranges & Lemons
ID (sxsw)
The Clash – Lost in the Supermarket

[KUTX – Rock and Read Promo
KUTX – Papa Crow – Daylight in the Swamp

[WJFF/KCMJ – Papa Crow – Daylight in the Swamp

2nd set
Brian Eno – Over Fire Island
Elizabeth Mitchell – Winter’s Come and Gone (in-studio)
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
Fastbacks – One of These Things
babe the blue OX – Surfin’ Minnesota
The Good Ms. Padgett – Lollipop Nightmare
Molly Ledford & Billy Kelly – To The Woods
The Not-Its! – Washington DC
ID

[KUTX – MeltdownBoogie Promo
[KUTX –

[WJFF/KCMJ – Baby Loves Jazz – Bouncing on the Bed

3rd set
Dr. John – Iko Iko
Sugar Free Allstars – I Can See It Now (new)
ID
Frances England – Explorer of the World (new)
Turkey Andersen – Marco Cannonball Polo (new)
Father Goose – Flying Machine
ID
They Might Be Giants -So Crazy for Books
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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2016-02-20 Playlist & Stream

Feb 16

1st set
They Might Be Giants – It’s Spare the Rock
ID
They Might Be Giants – Flying V
Tom Jones – What’s New Pussycat?
ID (MossFest 3/6 10-4)
Sara Hickman – Goop’s In It
Gina Chavez – Bug Bug (in-studio)
ID (FMM 3/16)
Golden Smog – Pecan Pie
Metamora – Little Potato
ID
Geggy Tah – All I Want To Do Is

[KUTX – Rock and Read Promo
KUTX – Renee & Jeremy – You’re My Best Friend

[WJFF/KCMJ – Ella Jenkins – Somebody’s Talking About Freedom

2nd set
Craig Finn – Forever Young (in-studio)
ID/prep to Rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
ID
The Go! Team – Buy Nothing Day
James Kochalka Superstar – Hockey Monkey
97x bumper
Fountains of Wayne – Laser Show
The Jam – Batman
The Not-Its! – Bring Your Friends (new)
ID (Rock and Read 3/20)

[KUTX – MeltdownBoogie Promo
[KUTX – Frances England – I Scream, You Scream

[WJFF/KCMJ – Frances England – I Scream, You Scream

3rd set
Tim Kubart – Last Turn Home
The Groundwork Music Orchestra – Ride My Giraffe
ID (Boogie 3/18, Noho Meltdown 3/26)
Moona Luna – Panorama (new)
Gap Band – Oops Up Side Your Head
ID
They Might Be Giants – What Is a Shooting Star?
They Might Be Giants – Spare the Rock

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