Saturday, March 14, 2009

happy pi day+
saturday morning with 3 - count em 3 - generations of benefield women in the immediate area - 4 if you count the continuing impact of my mother margaret jean benefield on my surroundings. later on i'll happily find nick spitzer and american routes on the internet in a continuation of the love of music old and new which she began in me. more about that later.
but first a new discovery: pi day.
it took me a little time to figure out why 3.14 is pi day. there's a group that doesn't have to go pack to its mathematical memory to figure it out. they actually want to know how many of the infinite numbers of pi you've memorized. they have a few other clues on how to celebrate pi day. my daily bleed provides a better description of pi and its day and a quote from some other intellectuals on the subject:

1998 -- US: Pi in the Sky?: At the Exploratorium in Frisco, California, mathematicians assemble, as usual, to celebrate pi (3.14159 etc.). One of probably dozens or maybe hundreds of such assemblies worldwide at which people sing songs & recite poetry about pi, have pi trivia quizzes, & eat pie. (Pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, is a
mathematically irrational number, & is thus considered to be a symbol for the mystery of the universe.)

Moe: "When the roll is called up yonder I’ll eat pie."
Curly: "Pi r²?"
Moe: "No, pie are round; cake are square."
Curly: "Oh."Moe: "No, O are round, also ."

i probably won't spend too much time pi'ing but i guarantee i'll spend quality time later in the day with american routes after finding when it's on on the public radio link over on the right. as i probably mentioned before, nick spitzer who is american routes attended the same college as i did. for this reason my latest alumni magazine includes an article on him and the show: digging routes. i recommend the whole article if you have the time and interest and include the introductory portion that speaks to me as a true believer and a show description by spitzer himself:

A Saturday afternoon, maybe a Sunday. You might be driving;
you might be in the kitchen chopping onions. The radio is on, and when you notice the hour, you flip it to a certain NPR station, just in time to hear the rolling opening bars of “Tipitina,” Allen Toussaint’s interpretation of the Professor Longhair classic.“You’re traveling on American Routes, from Basin Street Station in New Orleans,” comes the voice-over: "songs and stories from the bayous to the beltways, from crossroads to crosstown, from coast to coast.” The voice, which belongs to Nick Spitzer C’72, is at once laid back and revved up, friendly but
erudite, somewhere on the wry edge of folksy. As Jelly Roll Morton breaks into “Doctor Jazz,” or Nat King Cole slides into “Route 66,” or Louis Jordan digs into “Five Guys Named Moe,” Spitzer offers a teaser of the week’s installment. It might be the Medicine Show, with rollicking songs of lovesickness and snake-oil healing; it might be Classical Routes, with the likes of Gershwin, Gottschalk, and “Concerto for Cootie”; it might be The Spirit World of New Orleans, with odes to voodoo queens and interviews with Fats Domino and a Louisiana Creole healer. Or it might be a live performance of Arlo Guthrie’s “The City of New Orleans,” as he and Spitzer ride the train of that name, riffing down to the sea.Whatever—for the next two hours, if it’s at all possible, you’re not budging. You’re cruising.
Spitzer himself describes the show as a “Creole document,” explaining that “it contains Creole music, like Zydeco and the roots of jazz; it
contains creolized forms, like the way that Klezmer or country music and rock ’n’ roll represent minglings of culture to create new music out of old traditions; and it’s an assemblage of many different styles that makes the totality of what is a kind of aesthetically creolized, purposely creolized, mixed and mingled document.”
here's a couple of other all purpose blues sites with history and music connections: blues history and the blue highway
i'll close with a seque i think is worthy of the name. roy rogers and dale evans are part of my way back musical history including their signature 'happy trails to you'. during my psychedelic period quicksilver messenger service brought it back to me in a way which, as they noted, blew my mind. after a rambling and wonderful trip around 'who do you love' they provided a 'coda' of a soft happy trails. i can't find a video version of the latter, so here's the original by roy and dale:

Labels: , , , , , ,


Blogger Clay Eals said...

Great to see your American Routes post that invokes Arlo Guthrie's version of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans." Goodman often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis and effects of "City of New Orleans," and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,050 interviewees and even contributed the foreword.

You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography.

To order a second-printing copy, see the "online store" page of my site. Just trying to spread word about the book. Feel free to do the same!

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515 home
(206) 484-8008 cell

3/15/09, 3:07 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home