Sacred Songs, Part 11: The Garden Is Open

Year: 2020
Original format: MP3

When I started this I thought it would be ready in time for the beginning of summer, hopefully in a world that had gotten more or less back to normal. Obviously things did not work out that way. But it did eventually get done, and at least we still have music. That’s something.

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Revolution #92, Side 2

Year: 1992
Original Format:
cassette
Subtitle: “Non-Stop Happy Times and Space”

Most of these quotes I used for the liner notes were lifted from a Dave Barry column, which gives me an excuse to quote this tribute Steve Martin wrote when Barry left the Miami Herald in 2005:

Dave says he wants to spend more time with his family. But I hesitate to tell you that Dave’s family is a hash pipe and some old Playboy magazines. Yes, Dave has written many funny essays that have appeared in our nation’s newspapers. However, most of his material is plagiarized from his own mind. Often, a funny idea will come to Dave, and then he will use that idea in one of his columns. Also, he will sometimes have a perfectly legitimate sentence, and then twist that sentence all out of shape so it will read funny. Another device that he uses is the old trick of putting the punch line at the end of the sentence or paragraph. These tactics are abhorrent.


And, by the way, you know how he often says, “And I’m not making this up?” Well, he made that up. Dave Barry, and I am not making this up, loves Satan.

In truth, if Wikipedia is being truthful, Barry is an atheist of Presbyterian extraction. Nonetheless he is the co-author of a forthcoming book called A Field Guide to the Jewish People.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere really. It’s Sunday. Here’s some music.

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Revolution #92, Side 1

Year: 1992
Original Format:
cassette
Subtitle: “Non-Stop Happy Times and Space”

This one pretty well sticks to its theme — revolutionary songs from various decades, though where is the Clash, younger self? — for the first half-hour, and then it goes rogue. I know why, too: I was dying to show off my acquisition of the recent Robert Johnson box set, a very hip item at the time. Then it gets all strange and psychedelic at the end, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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Sacred Songs, Part 10: Get Outside

Year: 2020
Original format: MP3

Virus or no virus, spring is upon us; the sun is shining, the birds are singing, flowers are erupting violently into color. Times are weird but I recommend getting outside however you can, whenever you can, for as long as you can. This music will sound fine on your headphones, but even better on a speaker that lets it out into the open air, maximum volume please; don’t worry about your neighbors, they’ll love it.

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The Sound of Smoke and Mirrors, Side 2

Original Format: cassette
Year: 1991

You know, I only just now realized that “S&M” could also be “smoke and mirrors.” (Not just “Spaniards and Mexicans.”)

Anyway… as I listen to this now, there’s a lot of good stuff in there, but there seem to be all kinds of perplexing left turns. It must have made some kind of sense at the time.

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The Sound of Smoke and Mirrors, Side 1

Original Format: cassette
Year: 1991

Full title: The Sound of Smoke and Mirrors: Radio Venus Vol. 3

Liner Notes:

SMOKE

The scientists at Operation MOFO began to panic as the mysterious transmissions continued. All their strivings to reach the truth were futile; as the evidence mounted, their confusion only multiplied. Attempts to track the signals back to their point of origin pointed to an increasing number of random locations throughout the galaxy. Like figures in a hall of mirrors, they seemed to be coming from everywhere at once. This engendered a profound identity crisis in the MOFO team: if all their knowledge could not help them solve this, their most important question, then what good was it? Truth was shrouded in mist; science was useless; the universe was thoughtless and disordered.

So after much reflection, they elected, in the end, to give up science. Operation MOFO was disbanded, its equipment sold or destroyed — except for the satellite dish and the tape recorders. Ex-MOFO volunteers continued to use these to monitor and record the transmissions. But now they no longer questioned, only enjoyed; no longer seeking truth, but only beauty.

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