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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #21
A Show of Boredom
David Gunn
Bon radio. Existentially, Vermont is to October as peat moss is to a Harlequin Romance paperback book. Yet for all their dissimilarities, they both have something extraordinary in common: the utter absence of ....

It's Alaska Day here in the athletic foothills of the Green Mountains, whence radio station WGDR, known far and wide as being unable to broadcast either far or wide, broadcasts. Alaska Day, a day of amorphous unrest and musical homogeneity, a day of sudden urges to launder, a day of pedantic congestion -- yea, a day without a guest composer-o-the-week, which may make this, Episode 21 of Kaliban & Domino's New Music Sesquihour Expansive, seem even more expansive than normal.

Forty-eight October 14ths ago, former dirigible aficionado Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. Due to nearly half a century of fiscal restraints, it has only recently been repaired. Today is also the Feast Day of Saint Callistus, a third century pope who favored readmitting adulterers and murderers to communion long before it was fashionable to do so. And, 929 years ago today, the Battle of Hastings took place, in which Normandy, in an amazing display of geographic legerdemain, was invaded by its next-door neighbor Alaska.

October 14 is literally awash with birthday boys and girls who, as fate would have it, played pivotal roles in Alaska Day. From William Penn (born 1644) -- to whom the Eskimos taught quakerism -- to Dwight D. Eisenhower (born 1890), president of Alaska in the 1950s, to John Dean (born 1938), Alaskagate attorney and felon, October 14 remains a significant date to individuals who consider it significant. The day is also full of folks who nulified their contracts with mortality, including Nizam al-Mulk, the spunky vizier of Seljuk sultans Alp and Malik, and a great fan of Venetian opera composer Marc Antonio Cesti, which is particularly odd since Nizam preceded Cesti by nearly 600 years.

Alaska Day -- a day when no guest composer dared to bask in WGDR's radiophonic spotlight. But, no matter. We still have plenty of musical entertainment and other recorded debris for your listening pleasure, including but not limited to the following announcement, which follows the following sesqui-announcement.

The preceding announcement was brought to you in part by this portion of Kaliban & Domain's New Music Sesquihour Expansive, which in turn will have been brought to you by the following announcement, quid pro quo, pro mambo.

Today's absence of not only a guest composer but also of any reference whatsoever to "le flambeau oriange" allows us to spend more time on those radiophonic features on which we've recently skimped, such as Double Reed Corner, Song Cycles Of Inert Gas, Music of Electrical Appliances, and of course the Best of the Sesquihour, mark 4, in which we yank listenable snippets out of episodes 16 through 20 and thoughtfully juxtapose them in a purportedly enjoyable context, similar to listening to music in an elevator when suddenly discovering one's trousers are six inches too short. "The Best of" will be up soon.

Which brings Alaska Day full circle, from the tundralike Athabaskan nosal harmonies, all the way to, heh-heh, Kalvos.