Archives

May, 2018
Ep#93: Prince and the Technician

Ep#93: Prince and the Technician

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In 1983 Prince hired LA sound technician, Susan Rogers, one of the few women in the industry, to move to Minneapolis and help upgrade his home recording studio as he began work on the album and the movie Purple Rain. Susan, a trained technician with no sound engineering experience became the engineer of Purple Rain, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and all that Prince recorded for the next four years. For those four years, and almost every year after, Prince recorded at least a song a day and they worked together for 24 hours, 36 hours, 96 hours at a stretch, layering and perfecting his music and his hot funky sound. We interviewed Susan, who is now a Professor at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, for our upcoming NPR series, The Keepers — about activist archivists, rogue librarians, collectors, curators and historians. It was Susan who started Prince’s massive archive during her time with the legendary artist.

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Ep #92 – The Working Tapes of Studs Terkel

Ep #92 – The Working Tapes of Studs Terkel

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In the early 1970s, radio producer and author Studs Terkel wrote a book called Working. He went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. The book became a bestseller and even inspired a Broadway musical. Working struck a nerve, because it elevated the stories of ordinary people and their daily lives. Studs celebrated the un-celebrated.

Radio Diaries and their partner Project& were given exclusive access to these recordings, which were boxed up and stored away after the book was published. Stories of a private investigator, a union worker, a telephone operator, a hotel piano player, and more.

As The Kitchen Sisters warm up for our new series “The Keepers,” stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, historians, collectors, curators—keepers of the culture—we share these stories gathered by the ultimate Keeper: Studs Terkel.

Notes from The Kitchen Sisterhood / Spring 2018

Notes from The Kitchen Sisterhood / Spring 2018

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Dear Friends,

These Notes spring from a recording session we did last week in the basement studio of American Zoetrope where The Kitchen Sisters SF HQ is located. We were rehearsing the story we’re presenting on the Radiotopia Live 6-city East Coast tour that starts on Monday.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the legendary poet and proprietor of City Lights Bookstore, was in the studio when we arrived. For over a decade now, Lawrence, who just turned 99, has come into the studio almost every week with our sound engineer, Jim McKee, to record hundreds of his poems. They thought their work was complete, but about a week ago Lawrence realized there was one poem from his book A Coney Island of the Mind that he had missed. “I Am Waiting.” Lawrence stayed for our rehearsal, gave us his seal of approval and asked if he could jump on the bus as we roll from Atlanta to Boston.

There’s a lot of people’s projects in these Notes and a lot of news from The Kitchen Sisters. But at this moment, the most important item to us, is Lawrence’s poem. Lawrence wrote it some 60 years ago, but you’d swear it was yesterday. We hope you will take a moment and read it, maybe even aloud.

We hope to see lots of you at Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco on June 7th! And hope to see the rest of you on the road on the Radiotopia Live Tour, May 7-13.

Keep it rolling…

Davia & Nikki
The Kitchen Sisters

Radiotopia Live East Coast Tour

The Kitchen Sisters Present… and 6 more of your favorite Radiotopia shows go live on the road for a night of podcast magic. Host, Roman Mars. Come find us. Atlanta + Durham + DC + Brooklyn + New York + Boston. May 7-13. Get tickets here: radiotopia.fm/live

What We’re Watching

Movies

Hale County, This Morning, This Evening, a quiet, moving documentary from the Black Belt of Alabama. The first film by RaMell Ross. Lyrical, evocative, intimate moments of people in a struggling community.

Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable. The legendary street photographer Garry Winogrand left 10,000 rolls of undeveloped film when he died suddenly at age 56. Director Sasha Waters Freyer dives deep into the life and art of this visionary.

Wild Wild Country, directed by Chapman and Maclain Way on Netflix

Plays

The Gangster of Love, a new play by Jessica Hagedorn now at the Magic Theater

Three Tall Women, written by Edward Albee at John Golden Theatre. Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf & Alison Pill, need we say more?

Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts I, II, III: A new American Odyssey by Suzan-Lori Parks at ACT, SF


Books on our Shelf

“It was late October 2012 and Hurricane Sandy was coming up from the south. It began as a tropical wave in the western Caribbean and quickly morphed into the biggest Atlantic hurricane on record. I had rushed back to the city to be with Lou when it made landfall. We watched the storm as it blew in across the Hudson River. Then the black water rose up over the banks, crossed the highway and turned our street into a dark silky river. 

Two days later I went down to the basement to have a look at the equipment and materials I had assumed were soaked but still salvageable. Nothing was left. The seawater had shredded and pulped everything. Even the electronic equipment was now a lumpy gray sludge. At first I was devastated. The next day I realized I would never have to clean the basement again…”

From All the Things I Lost in the Flood by Laurie Anderson

A Reckoning by Linda Spalding

How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul illustrated by Lauren Tamaki

The Historian As Detective: Essays on Evidence, Robin W. Winks, Editor

This Immeasurable Place: Food and Farming from the Edge of Wilderness, Recipe’s from Hell’s Backbone Grill by Blake Spaulding & Jennifer Castle with Lavinia Spalding

Fly Ranch, Nevada: In 2016, Larry Harvey and The Burning Man Project purchased 3,800 acres some 30 miles from where the annual Burning Man Festival takes place. Part of the vision behind the purchase is to expand the ten principles at the heart of Burning Man — civic responsibility, communal effort, gifting, immediacy, radical self-expression…  On Saturday, Larry Harvey went to The Big Playa in the Sky. What a vision of ritual and community he inspired.

“Larry Harvey, the guru-like driving force behind Burning Man, the globally celebrated anti-establishment, anti-consumerist festival that he and a friend began 32 years ago on a San Francisco beach, died on Saturday at a hospital in San Francisco. He was 70.” Read the New York Times obituary of this Nebraska born visionary.

How One Museum Curator Is Bringing Burning Man Out of the Desert
The outré scene of unrestrained revelry and cutting-edge art in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert comes to the Smithsonian.

Keepers We’re Following

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama

Events and Exhibitions We’re Attending (or Wish We Were)

New Strands Festival, A New Thao Nguyen Musical Project, ACT, May 19

Glen Canyon: A River Guide Remembers. Legendary river man, Ken Sleight is at the center of this homage to Glen Canyon. Opening night at John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, Utah, Friday, May 4

Hiroshi Sugimoto, B.C. at Fraenkel Gallery, SF. Just closed. Dang. But Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller’s The Poetry Machine and Other Works opens Thursday, May 3. And you know we would walk on hot coals to hear/see their installations. 40 Motets was one powerful, exhilarating, haunting experience.

Bowling Parties We’re Throwing

Bowling with GraceThe Kitchen Sisters 3rd Annual Bowling Party and Fundraiser, Thursday, June 7, Mission Bowling Club, San Francisco.

Come bowl or come hang with a whole new array of Celebrity BowlersAlice Waters, Cecilia Chiang, Rebecca Solnit, Michael Pollan, Judith Belzer, Wendy MacNaughton, Armistead Maupin, Ayelet Waldman, Amy Tan and more. Come for the shoes or come for the schmooze.  

All funds support our new series, The Keepers — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, collectors, curators, and historians — keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. The Keepers premieres on NPR’s Morning Edition this June.

Get tickets here

I Am Waiting
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting   
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier   
and I am waiting   
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming   
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona   
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored   
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find   
the right channel   
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth   
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed   
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered   
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did   
to Tom Sawyer   
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting   
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again   
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn   
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting   
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

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A renaissance of wonder

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