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Interview with Wendell Berry



Poet, Essayist, Farmer, And Novelist Wendell Berry

We’re members of each other—all of us—everything. The difference is not whether you are or not, but whether you know you are or not. Because we’re all under each other’s influence. We’re all are affected by one another’s others lives and decisions. And there is no escape from this membership.

Wendell Berry is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer.

The author of more than forty works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Berry has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

Born in 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky, his writing is grounded in the notion that one’s work ought to be rooted in and responsive to one’s place.

His nonfiction serves as an extended exploration of the good life: sustainable agriculture, appropriate technologies, healthy rural communities, the pleasures of good food, husbandry, good work, local economics, fidelity, frugality, and reverence.

Interview with Shana Ritter, January 21, 2011

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Jack Kerouac's "Blues & Haikus"





In the spring of 1958, just a few weeks after cutting
Poetry for the Beat Generation, producer Bob Thiele suggested making a second album -- quite a daring notion, considering that the first album would prove so controversial that it wouldn't reach the public for a year -- and Jack Kerouac agreed. Instead of pianist Steve Allen, however, Kerouac insisted that he be accompanied this time by two good friends, tenor saxmen Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. With Cohn doubling on piano, the resulting Blues and Haikus is a stunning duet between speaker and saxmen, working spontaneously in this peculiar mix of jazz and voice, in which the saxmen do get their solo spots around Kerouac's work. There's much more of a sense on this album of a conscious interaction here between Kerouac and his accompanists, and the album is more arch but also more intense and more imposing than its predecessor.
-- allmusic

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Jazz Gangstaz 5 : KMTN 96.9





Back when I lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the mid-to-late 1990s, I was fortunate enough to serve as a DJ for the local radio station, KMTN 96.9 FM. One of my slots was the Sunday night jazz show, playing mostly-mellow jazz cuts from 6pm-midnight as a way to wind down the last hours of the week for the valley. I got a little restless with the straight-ahead jazz format and so invited my then-new friend DJ Edubious to sit in with me for a couple hours towards the end of the show.

We spun funk, hip hop, acid jazz, groovetronica, breaks and all manners of music that one could argue existed on the outher fringes of the jazz universe. We didn't have any format to follow, no commercials to play, probably not a ton of listeners either… so we just got irie and tag-teamed musical selections back and forth, whatever we felt like playing.

The station manager must've never tuned in during those late hours as I don't think we we're spinning what he intended for me to play. We always got a kick out of thinking "I bet this is the first time Pharcyde / Funkadelic / Groove Collective has ever been played on Wyoming radio." Some of these tracks sound rather dated now -- a time capsule from the acid jazz/Ubiquity Records/Greyboy-style 1990s -- but you can sure tell we're having fun and kickin' it loose 'n large across the vast airwaves of Jackson Hole, eastern Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone landscape.

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Gary Snyder * NCTV interview 2008



An wide-ranging interview with poet, essayist, environmental activist and philosopher Gary Snyder on NCTV: March 2, 2008. Lots of good conversation on his upbringing in Washington State and his current home in the Sierras.



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Robert Michael Pyle's "Buterfly Big Year"



Author, naturalist and leading lepidopterist Robert Michael Pyle was interviewed today on KUOW, a Seattle-based NPR station, about his latest book “Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year.” Here’s a review of his latest tome from Booklist:

Kenn Kaufman wrote the wonderful Kingbird Highway (1997) about his attempt at a “Big Year,” an effort to find more birds in one calendar year than anyone ever had before. Pyle, author of the equally wonderful Chasing Monarchs (1999), in which he followed the migrating monarch butterflies, decided to try a butterfly “Big Year” and the present book is his delightful travelogue of butterfly hunting around North America. True to his other inspiration, Pyle’s paean to the mariposas (Spanish for butterflies) is as much about the people he met and the places he chased his sometimes elusive prey as it is about butterflies. Pyle keeps things low-tech: Marsha, a cottonwood-limb butterfly net; his 35-year-old Leitz binoculars; and a bunch of field guides, maps, notebooks, and mechanical pencils. Many pints of beer (all mentioned by name) are consumed; many fellow naturalists met up with; and many insect bites, minor injuries, vagaries of weather, and car repairs are dealt with, until by the end of the year Pyle had seen 477 species, all of which are listed in the appendix. This one is great fun. --Nancy Bent

Bob is a good friend of mine through my work with him at North Cascades Institute and it was a pleasure to hear his stentorial voice coming across the airwaves on this sunny first day of February.



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Gary Snyder * 3.5.09 * University of California - Berkeley



A poetry reading by Gary Snyder on March 5, 2009 at the University of California - Berkeley.



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Photos copyright Christian Martin, 2009.

The Day the Music Died II: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia



Jerry passed on 15 years ago today. As a way to mark the occasion, I'm posting an old cassette tape, recently digitized, that I recorded from a tribute hosted on KLCC 89.7 FM in Eugene a few days following the tragic news. It is a mix of Dead Air host Downtown Deb and the other DJs reminiscing blended with a fine selection of tunes from Garcia's vast repertoire. Listening to it now brings back that sad week in August 1995, though I think it is important to feel joy for his time here on Earth and the gifts that he gave us and not get bogged down in the feelings of loss.

Happy listening, and keep on truckin'!



Check out another rebroadcast from KLCC
celebrating the legacy of Jerry Garcia here.

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Gary Snyder * 3.12.87 * University of California - Berkeley



A poetry reading by Gary Snyder on March 21, 1987 at the University of California - Berkeley. Enjoy!



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Tom Waits Tales



Spoken word revelries from Tom Waits on his 2008 "Glitter & Doom" tour. Ain't nothin' else like Tom tellin' a tale...



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An interview with Tom Robbins * Bellingham, WA * 5.14.09



I had the amazing opportunity to interview the legendary author and psychedelic spelunker Tom Robbins on stage at Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham, Washington on May 14, 2009. We gave a reading from his novel B is for Beer to a sold-out audience in the outdoor beer garden, accompanied by live music, skits and general revelrie.

At the end of the event, I joined Tom on stage for a conversation -- I had over 20 questions prepared and rehearsed, though got less than half-dozen out. He was particularly interested in me asking him "How did you get started as a writer?" This question set him up for a delectable riff involving Elvis, a dwarf in a green suit, a blonde-in-distress and secret underground lakes beneath Graceland. Photo by Scott Glackman!




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Saturday Morning with DJ Christafari : KMTN 96.9



Just for fun, here's another recording from way back when I was the Saturday morning DJ for KMTN 96.9 FM in Jackson Hole, and had the special job of coaxing the town awake and out in to the day -- whether that meant using my music to get people out of bed and to the slopes or to their jobs, proper song selection and pacing was essential. I always loved the notion that I was spinning the soundtrack for thousands of people as they began another day in the Hole. I also had to handle the morning snow and weather reports, lost dog announcements, a 1-hour world beat show and an on-air garage sale-type-thing called Trash & Treasure.

The region reached by these radio waves is home to ski bums, cowboys, billionaires, spud farmers and movie stars. DJ'ing to the local musical tastes required reaching a careful blend of bluegrass, reggae, funk, folk, classic rock, jam band and other genres that don't typically sit next to each other. This episode shows me attempting to find the balance with the Allman Brothers, Allison Krauss, Blue Traveler, Morphine, Ani Difranco and Bob Marley. One other note -- I tried to talk and play commercials as little as possible, especially in the early hours, and tried to spin as many consecutive songs as I could.

This set appears to be from the springtime shortly before I moved on to other work -- I could take working
every Saturday morning at 5 am for only so long-- and some of the song selections are now cringe-worthy to my ears, but still, it serves as a fun time capsule recording from my stint as a small town disk jockey in Wyoming in 1998.




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Gary Snyder * 5.27.09 * KUOW FM Seattle



Podcast featuring Snyder interview on KUOW 94.9 FM Seattle, May 27, 2009 + Gary Snyder on Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" via NPR 2008 + "Poetry Off the Shelf" profile, June 2008

Poet Gary Snyder returns to Seattle for reading
By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times staff reporter

Back before all the asphalt, the cars and the strip malls, this was a forested glade, where Gary Snyder, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, would beat a path into the woods to his secret camp, to snug down with the quiet night, dreaming a fifth-grader's skinned-knee dreams.

One of America's most celebrated environmental writers and a lifelong conservationist, Snyder returned to his boyhood home Tuesday in Lake City. He is in town for a reading tonight at Benaroya Hall, part of the Seattle Arts & Lectures series.

Known for his writings imbued with sense of place and love of nature, Snyder reflected on how the local landscape has changed since he first explored its tangled woods as a boy, and how loving and knowing a place is the first step to preserving it.

Long before he grew into one of America's most famous Beat poets and was immortalized as Japhy Ryder, the fictional hero in Jack Kerouac's "The Dharma Bums," before he put down roots in California and crisscrossed the Pacific, over and over, to study Buddhism in Japan, Snyder grew up here, living with his parents on a subsistence farm.

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Africa Unite! : 96.9 KMTN Jackson Hole, WY

A recording from my archive collection of radio shows I did on KMTN 96.9 FM in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the mid-Nineties. Every Sunday night, I'd hunker down in the studio, a short bike ride from my log cabin on the compound, to host the long-running 6-hour Jazz Sessions show. As this mix shows, my definition of "jazz" was pretty loose. For this hour, I started out playing Africa-inspired jazz music, and then branched out from there. Lots of people liked the freshness and creativity I was bringing to the air waves, but I always remember one phone call from a listener very upset that I had deviated from the traditional jazz format and I was ruining his Sunday nights. Ah well. Had to keep myself entertained too.

Enjoy!



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"Salmon Worship: Is It Wrong?" Pt. 2




photos by Chrisitan Martin, copyright 2009

A fundraiser for the Liam Wood School of Fly Fishing and River Soldiering featuring David James Duncan, Sherman Alexie and Jeffrey Foucault; WWU * 9.25.09 * Bellingham, WA. Part two. Download by subscribing to Radio Free Fundi via links at the top of the sidebar, or stream below.




"Salmon Worship: Is It Wrong?" Pt. 1



A fundraiser for the Liam Wood School of Fly Fishing and River Soldiering featuring David James Duncan, Sherman Alexie and Jeffrey Foucault; WWU * 9.25.09 * Bellingham, WA. Part one. Download by subscribing to Radio Free Fundi via links at the top of the sidebar.