Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall? (Tom Russell)

Here’s another video via Scott McLemee. Seems appropriate since yesterday was May Day:

We got fundamentalist Muslims
We got fundamentalists Jews
We got fundamentalist Christians —
They’ll blow the whole thing up for you
But as I travel around this big old world
There’s one thing I most fear —
It’s a white man in a golf shirt
With a cell phone in his ear.

May Day: “To Fan The Flames of Discontent”

Via Scott McLemee at Quick Study, with a further comment at Crooked Timber. And here is a link to the Little Red Songbook, “to fan the flames of discontent.” Back in the seventies I had the good fortune to meet a couple of old Wobblies who had worked the docks in Seattle and knew people who had survived the Everett Massacre. Back then I had a friend named Blake, a hell of a guitar player who knew all the songs. Happy May Day, Blake!

Bonus Track: Shawntay Henry, a high school student from the US Virgin Islands, reads Robert Hayden’s poem “Frederick Douglass.” Henry won the Poetry Out Loud competition yesterday.

Second Bonus Track: A Mayday story from 3QD.

Very Cool Music

With an interesting backstory. Check out Dengue FeverCambodian rock music. I had heard something about the band last week on one of NPR’s news programs & today Terry Gross did an interview with lots of music that I heard while drive to work. Immediately ordered the new CD, Venus on Earth. So, go catch Dengue Fever — you won’t even have to be bitten by a mosquito.

Bach Cello Suites (III)

3/1 — Prelude: This sounds like practicing scales. I return again to the pedagogical nature of these pieces. But what sweet, dramatic teaching / learning. Busy & thoughtful at the beginning, rising energy through the middle but still meditative, then those urgent pauses, trying to think of exactly the next thing to say, in the last moments. I imagine hearing this through an open window on a summer day, someone nearby practicing. And I mean practicing in all the sense of the word. The end feels more like a beginning. I often have the sense of inhabiting a room when I listen to these pieces, or a series of rooms in a large building.

3/2 — Allemande: Delicate steps. A folk tune. A tripping rhythm, skipping hand-in-hand. I hear voices trading parts. William Blake’s Songs of Innocence.