|I felt secure ignoring the first alarm, because the clock’s fast, and I'd set a second one. Back to sleep. “You think that cat is full of urine?” someone said in the dream. “Jeez, look at that one.” But the phone was ringing.
THE PHONE WAS RINGING. I got up, grabbed for it, looking at the silent alarm with hate and fury: you failed me! Just when I needed you most! But the station was just calling to make sure I’d be there in 15 minutes. Why sure! Of course! No problem!
Downstairs the coffee was hot and ready; I made sausages, squeezed all the fun out of each until it was a slightly healthier but unappealingly withered bag of pork fragments, washed it down with juice, had a few cups of coffee, and got ready for the day. The phone rang at 7:40, and we were off.
I am so tired of talking about this. I know, I know: boo frickin. As Oscar Wilde said, the only thing worse than having to talk about your book is not having to talk about your book because you were preempted by junior varsity lacrosse scores.
Five more interviews under the belt I would be wearing if I hadn’t chosen these pants today. I’ve prepped, as much as you can, by calling up the websites to see what the hosts look like, or what the station uses as a handle. Happy to be on Z-Roq! Hey, great to be jamming with K-MAJ. Thanks for having me on . . . on . . . okay, you’re KFPG, what is that, the Fippig? The Kif-Pig? Help me out. Radio stations websites may be one of the uglier genres in the internet: most hail from the pile-one-piece-of-crap-on-the-other style we knew and loved in 1997; some have these vestigal leftovers from the days when everyone knew they had to be on the web, but didn’t know quite why – just that they had to offer “streaming” content and “interactive” features. So you get a Video of the Month lifted from someone else’s site with a little comment box. Of all the media out there, radio is the one that doesn’t translate well to the web; take away its essence – people talking into a microphone in a small, cement room – and you’re left with nothing but publicity photos and the assertion that such-and-such will get you up in the morning and put a smile on your face. (As opposed to the other morning hosts, who are resolute in their desire to send you back to sleep with a bitter scowl etched in your features.)
Holy Crow: just checked the schedule, and I have FORTY MINUTES with a Christian talk station tomorrow, 3 to 3:45 CST. Well, listen in, if you wish. Forty minutes is actually easier than ten. Forty, you can stretch. Stretching is good. Cramming makes me talk fast. Like today’s podcast, for example – I remembered, d’oh, it’s Thursday; best get to it, then. Between interviews I
I haven’t listened to Pink Floyd’s “Animals” in a very long time; the Shuffle feature decided I wanted to listen to a lyrically unimaginative allegory about the odd similarities between people and beasts (why, some are dogs, and others are sheep! A gold star on your sophomore essay, Master Waters.) This album came out my first year in college. I can still smell the Ozium. Listening to “Shee” brings it all back – the pervasive sense of alienation, loneliness, confusion, failure, all wrapped up in the aroma of compacted socks in the laundry basket and the desperate but unconvincing conviction that I was somehow different, and hence better, because I felt things. Oh, felt them so deeply. Me and no one else.
But all these years later: hats off to David Gilmour; I assume he’s responsible for that great crashing riff at the end that blows away the entire dour dank mood of the album like an atom bomb. All in all, I prefer it to anything else in the Floyd oover; Dark Side is brilliant, in the sense that music for the headset stoners can be brilliant, but it’s also overplayed and suffers from the usual lyrical deficiencies of the genre. Say, did you know that people often turn to religion and / or worldly pursuits to dull the pain of existence, with its attendant constant intimations of mortality? S’true, man. “Wish You Were Here,” the much anticipated followup, is one of those albums that seems made for concerts. By which I mean you can get up and leave your seat and go take a leak and buy a beer and come back and they’re still going on about it. Oh, and it’s about Syd Barrett, who took acid and went nutters on
everyone, which was apparently a great tragedy for Western culture akin to J. D. Salinger’s silence. “Animals” is just as long, but somewhat better. The target of the massively wealthy rock group’s scorn, however, seems to be men who are reasonably content in their office jobs. If there was any justice the world would have best-selling authors who took time off as a middle manager to write brilliant scathing novels about bitter stick-thin tyros who parlayed three chords and fashionable scorn into a license to get his groinal area pogo’d by interchangeable doxies while he suckled on a magnum of good champagne. Nightly.
But of course:
Is there anyone luckier than the drummer for Floyd? Talk about an undemanding job with great benefits.
“The Wall” is overrated as well, sunk by Roger’s monotonous fixation on the sullen bruised fetus inside his head. It wouldn’t be a Floyd album without him, of course, but it wouldn’t be any good without Gilmour. As the subsequent solo albums demonstrated. Then again, “The Wall” asked the question that bothers us all: how can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat? To this day I pose the question to Gnat. She, too, has no answer.
Well, it’s something different to listen to. Tonight I listened to two dozen tots try their hands at the Yamaha catalog: recital night. Gnat played “London Bridge,” and in keeping with her tradition of doing something delightfully wrong every recital, she played the left hand part an octave lower than any one else. Gave it a certain earthiness, I thought. We’ve been going through agonies over piano lessons lately – see tomorrow’s Quirk for details – but tonight she decided to stick with it. Fine with me. I’m quite glad, since the Friday afternoon piano lesson has been a tradition for a year and a half now, the End of the Week, and I am loathe to give up traditions. They are easily sundered as it is.
New tradition around here, of course, is the Friday podcast. Twelve minutes. This week: notes on the book tour, and a demonstration of the thesis that every era gets the Batman music it deserves. Have a fine weekend! See you Monday.
And buy the book!
Sorry. Couldn’t help it.