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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #53
Pasto and Antipasta
David Gunn
Sixty-two years ago this afternoon in a little café in the industrial sector of Las Vegas, Gustav Holst was improvising Fibonnaci chordal sequences on a mandolin loaned to him by an admirer who closely resembled the antithesis of Marshal Tito. As he free- associated atonal triads atop klezmerian do-wop progressions, the once-crowded eatery gradually emptied of all but the heartiest trenchermen. A sudden yen for pasto and its gastronomic opposite, antipasta, caused Gus to set down his instrument for a moment while he summoned the waitstaff. An innocent wave of his hand later, he was crumpled on the linoleum, having pitched headfirst out of the canoe. Even before the check could be totaled and administered, he had died. At that precise moment, however, give or take poetic license, Igor Sikorsky, known primarily for his radical aviational ballet, "Le Sacre du Helicopters," was inventing one of the most revolutionary musical instruments of the early 20th century, the hornswoggle. Rarely heard today and at the top of the endangered instrument list for 60 years, the only known hornswoggle is used by the Krupajama Parlor Band at the annual Whiskers six-draw tournament in Kuala Lumpur. I had a recording of it ready to play, but touchy associates with scowls and threats here at the sesquistudio convinced me to leave it in its protective vinyl case. Still, a last-minute pledge of fiduciary support to this station -- the call letters of which you'd recognize in an instant, should I happen to mention them -- might allow me to change my mind, such as it allegedly is.

At any rate, welcome to "Le flambeau oriange," Year number 2 of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour, now beginning its third season of innovative radiophonic programming exclusively from high above the very center of the earth's core, whose pedantic heat is even now forcing those well below us to doff furs and break out cool refreshment, which we, as usual, sorely lack.

A hundred and thirty-some Mays before the Igor Sikorsky incident, on a Wednesday, England begat author Edward Bulwer-Lytton, whose name shall forever be linked to the first line of one of his many novels of questionable merit, "It was a dark and stormy night." Some years later, also on a Wednesday, the English Department of San Jose State University sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a competition that asked its entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. From time to time during this program, I will read selected entries, such as: Her face was lined like a patchwork of meandering rivers strung together over a bed of waffles. I will not, however, read my own entries, since they never made it to the finals. I don't know if that means they were too bad to be good, or vice versa. What I do know is that this portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour is brought to you by this portion of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Sesquihour. Any rebroadcast, retransmission or other use of the cleared throats, malleable opinions, or randy attire of Kalvos & Damian without the express written permission of somebody with legible penmanship is strictly conjecturable.

Let me hasten to add, however ... oh, never mind. And now, live and simultaneously on tape from an exotic locale amidst the swarthiest waitstaff this side of Amsterdam, it's time to heed the call of Kalvo.


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