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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution

The Essay
Show #556
Collecting Sound
David Gunn

For those of you who don’t know who we are or what we’re doing up here, I can explain. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I will, because we, Kalvos and I (unless you’re Damian?), occasional dabble in the Incomprehensible. But in a good way. Which indirectly brings us back to our reason for being here, because we have a good way to explain who we are: flash cards!

First of all, we’re a radio show. A radio is an invention of the Paleolithic Age that converted paleoliths into audio frequencies, also known as "sound." Hunter-gatherers of the day collected these "sound" to play back at a later time for entertainment. Ten thousand years later, that’s pretty much what we do, except that we don’t have to simultaneously watch our backs for grumpy woolly mammoths. Another key difference: we don’t eat our interviewees--not unless they’re irredeemably appalling. And we have it on good authority that this evening’s entertainment has nary an irredeemably appalling tune on it.

Paleolithic Man typically played back his "sound" in what cultural anthropologists called a "cave"--a naturally-occurring hollowed-out area in the earth that was the prehistoric equivalent of the ground floor unit of a Motel 6. We, on the other hand, play back our "sound" In The House, which is not so much a physical structure as it is a state of mind. I would explain that, however I have something else on my mind instead.

The 2009 MacArthur Foundation grant winners were announced recently, and once again, due to another so called administrative error, Kalvos and Damian were left off of the list. You’d think that after fourteen years--that’s how long they’ve known of our existence and yet passed us over--we’d be used to this annual snub from John and Cathy. But, no; we aren’t. Like having one’s tonsils removed with only a sharpened clarinet reed, it does hurt--so much so that we’ve decided to un-dedicate this episode of In The House to them. Sure, this may damage our chances to get that free loot in the future, but sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe. And we believe that you, our listening audients, need to write to the Foundation at 140 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, and, in your own words, describe how Kalvos & Damian perform such a noble public service that MacArthur money is long overdue them. If you can’t think of anything to say, we can. And, in fact, have! For details, see Kalvos at intermission. If intermission has already come and gone, as have we all to some extent, please see him before the show.

Meanwhile, a radiophonic show awaits. It’s the five hundred and fifty-sixth in a series but the very first one held in the presence of two live bassoons. And sure, not all of our programs have lived up to the high standard that our listening audients hope for. However, as noted before, we can practically guarantee you that this one will. So join us, won’t you? (as if you have any choice in the matter), "In The House."