Showing posts with label Four Songs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Four Songs. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Four Songs: Signing off

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I'm talking about the bite-sized offering from the Revolution 21 empire, Four Songs. Obviously, you had a different opinion.

And Four Songs is no more. The bottom line is that it didn't increase listenership. Thus, there's no point in continuing. So there you go.

The other audio offering from Revolution 21, 3 Chords & the Truth, will be sticking around. For now.

I'm doing a lot of reassessing nowadays. I had thought there was an opening for a "Catholic" media effort that was cultural in focus, rather than explicitly apologetic and rooted deep in the Catholic ghetto. Now I am not so sure, because I have come to believe that Christians -- particularly Catholics -- just don't "get it."

I don't think Christians, as a whole, grasp the importance of engaging the culture and trying to bend it -- even if it's just by a little -- via means other than voting for Republican shysters (How has that worked out for you so far?) and staging "sound-and-fury" protests and boycotts of all manner of infidel crapola.

Again, how's that working out for you?

Catholics and other Christians have become known primarily for what we're against. No one knows what we're for . . . including us, at least a lot of the time.

Trouble is, we say we serve a Savior who got Himself crucified for what he was for. Because of Who He said He was.

Well, Catholics, you can have your ghetto. Delude yourselves about the tremendous impact you've had on American culture . . . as everything you allege you stand for gets shoved further and further into the "lunatic-fringe" margins of American society.

Me, I'm going to keep trying to find a way to do what I do while maintaining a clear conscience. And I'm going to try to do it while being who and what I am. Above all, that would be Catholic.

And I don't know how that's going to work out.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Four Songs: Yesterday Once More

This week on Four Songs: five songs. It was necessary -- one of the songs is by John Denver, and a "make good" was in order.

IN MY DEFENSE, I didn't pick the music. That was done according to what was hot with the record-buying public . . . in April 1975. Unfortunately, John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" was big back then.

Unsurprisingly, I would have picked differently. But they don't let 14-year-old kids program Top-40 radio stations, and that's how old I was when this episode of Four Songs was done. Live. Through the facilities of the Big 91, WLCS radio in Baton Rouge, La.

In all its amplitude-modulated glory.

And glorious it was. So glorious that I was sitting at the kitchen table, early the morning of April 17, 1975, with my portable reel-to-reel tape recorder patched into the earphone jack of my clock radio to preserve a piece of WLCS forever.

It was a Thursday. Gary King was the morning man.

WLCS was one of Baton Rouge's two Top-40 blowtorches. Radio 13 -- WIBR -- was the other. 'IBR had some great jocks, and a friend of mine even was a part-timer there when I was in high school . . . but I was an 'LCS man.

No offense to WIBR.

Of course, by 1976, I was firmly in the camp of Loose Radio (WFMF during its album-oriented rock salad days). But I'll always love Double-U ELLLLLLL CEE Ess . . . even though it died in 1983, a few months 1984, a year after I married a KOIL woman from Omaha.

And if you're under, say, 30, you're not getting this conversation at all, are you?

LET ME EXPLAIN. Once upon a time, there was this thing called radio -- AM radio -- and we listened to it on "transistors," which were like iPods, only affordable. And better.

An iPod only can bring you the few hundred songs you load into it after illegally downloading them off the Internet or legally buying them on iTunes. But a transistor radio, that could bring you the world, baby.

All for free. And without the threat of a lawsuit by the music cops.

The world first came to my bedroom on a transistor radio tuned to WLCS. I also could tune in the whole wide world on WIBR, or maybe WTIX in New Orleans -- and sometimes KAAY through the ether from Little Rock at night -- but I mostly dug those rhythm and blues . . . and rock 'n' roll . . . and countrypolitan . . . and a bit of ring-a-ding-ding, too, on the Big 91.

What it was, was the breadth of American popular culture at my fingertips. And British Invasion, too.

Never was education so fun. I turned on the radio just to listen to some tunes, and I found myself under the spell of a thousand different tutors -- friendly voices from morning to overnight -- playing for me the breadth of musical expression . . . or at least the musical expression that charted well. It is because of 'LCS, 'IBR, 'TIX (and later, 'FMF) that this Catholic Boy has catholic tastes.

Your iPod is cool and all, but it can't do that.

SEE, THE DEAL IS that I can't repay the debt I owe to WLCS, for one. I can't repay the debt I owe to Gary King, that friendly morning voice on this episode of Four Songs.

For a spell there, King's was the voice I woke up to, got ready for school to and ate breakfast to. He played the hits and told me what the weather was outside, and Gene Perry gave the news at the top and bottom of the hour.

Back in the day, radio was a well-rounded affair.

King's also was the friendly voice that answered the studio line when an awkward teen-ager in junior-high hell would call to request a song. And his was the friendly voice that would take time to chat for a bit when that kid -- or his mother -- sometimes thought he had nothing better to do . . . like put on a morning show.

I didn't know it then, and Gary King (real name: Gary Cox) probably didn't know it, either, but what he was doing was being Christ, in a sense, to a lonely kid and his -- come to think of it -- lonely mother. I shudder to think what one of today's "morning zoo" shows would do with rich material like me and Mama.

That is, if the zoo crew answered the studio line at all.

Via the AM airwaves, I made a human connection with WLCS and Gary King. I needed that. We all need that. And you can't get that from your iPod, though some of us will try to give it, because you have to work with what you have.

BEFORE APRIL 1975 was done, Gary King was gone. He originally was from Kentucky, and one day the call came from WAKY, the Top-40 powerhouse in Louisville that Gary grew up listening to.

On his last show, Gary's ending bit was "convincing" Gene Perry that he could catch a bullet in his teeth if the newsman would just help him out on the gun end. It didn't work as planned . . . which means it worked perfectly in radio's "theater of the mind."

I think I shed a tear or two.

And a couple of years later, I was learning the ropes at WBRH, Baton Rouge High's student-run FM station. And 33 years later -- after various pit stops on the air and hot off the press -- here we are at Revolution 21, trying to figure out what "radio" will be in this new millennium . . . right here on the Internet.

Thanks, Gary. I can't repay you in full, but maybe this will make a nice down payment.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Four Songs: Stoned again


Bob Dylan sez:

Well, they'll stone ya when you're trying to be so good,
They'll stone ya just a-like they said they would.
They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to go home.
Then they'll stone ya when you're there all alone.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.

Well, they'll stone ya when you're walkin' 'long the street.
They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to keep your seat.
They'll stone ya when you're walkin' on the floor.
They'll stone ya when you're walkin' to the door.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.
AND IT'S the God's honest truth.

This may have something to do with this week's episode of Four Songs, but I don't want to give it all away. Y'knowwhatImean, Vern?

So I guess you'll just have to download the bite-sized musical offering from the Revolution 21 empire and hear for yourself. OK?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Four Songs: Dynamic range, as it were

Human communication is all about dynamic range -- kind of like music.

And, like a badly mastered, overcompressed and severely squished (technical term, there) recording, it just doesn't sound right when everything we have to say to one another is via screaming.

YOU NEED dynamic range. In addition to the screams, you need the whispers, too.

Me, I come from a family that was a lot better at screaming than whispering. Not a good thing. Just like it's not so good when folks just can't let 'er rip now and again.

So that's what the theme of today's Four Songs is all about . . . from a whisper to a scream.

It's Four Songs, the bite-sized program of musical wonder from Revolution 21.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Four Songs: Taking the week off

Four Songs is taking the week off.


Why? Because we can. And because I'm kind of tired. It's been one of those weeks.

We'll try concentrating on getting 3 Chords & the Truth out the door this week.

S'alright? S'alright.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Four Songs: Dust for Lent

Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.

IT'S LENT, and that's one of two things the faithful might hear on Ash Wednesday as they receive ashes on their foreheads. The other would be "Repent, and believe in the Gospel!"

Dust. Ashes. Repentance. Mortality. Lent is not about warm fuzzies and attaboys. It confronts us with the reality of our fallen existence and ends by reminding us of The Way Out.

And the price Jesus paid to make it so.

So, this episode of Four Songs
is about dust. And that's all I'm sayin'. It just seemed appropriate.

Download it now. You have to do something for Lent.

Friday, February 01, 2008

3 Chords & the Truth: The right spot

You've got to know when to pick your spots.


Like knowing when to play a song that makes a hell of a point -- and strongly so -- but that also will give some listeners of a "faith-based" program a royal case of the reds. That's what we're doing on this edition of 3 Chords & the Truth, because there's a point to be made.

I CALL IT "The Truth" half of 3 Chords & the Truth.

What is it? Not gonna tell you that, because that would just be a great big "spoiler," now, wouldn't it.

So what you're going to have to do is go here -- or just use the pod-O-matic player on this page -- and listen to the Big Show for yourself. I guarantee, it's worth your time.

And while you're at it, download 3C&T's bite-sized companion program, Four Songs. Both, especially this week, exemplify "music with a message."

Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Four Songs: Something to be against

The world, you know, would be a boring and homogeneous place if we all were for the same things . . . had all the same opinions. It would be terrible, I think, to have nothing to argue about.

BUT THERE ARE some things -- some attitudes -- that it's really important that we all be against. There are some people who ought to be marginalized, because they so proudly proclaim what is the absolute worst of us.

Not surprisingly, a lot of the time, odious ideas and malignant sentiments surface in the heat of political battles. It's happening now, and that is what this episode of Four Songs is all about.

Listen. And think.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We're walking to New Orleans

We're doing a little time traveling this week on Four Songs.

So, welcome to New Orleans. It's 1961, and the music is mighty fine. Mighty fine, indeed.

AND WE'LL BE hearing not only from the Soul Queen of New Orleans, but also from the best fender and body man in the Crescent City.

If you want to know who that was, you'll have to download the show, now, won't you?

It's Four Songs . . . and it's four songs. We call it the bite-sized show from Revolution 21.

So pop open a Jax (provided you are of legal age, of course) and enjoy the sweet sounds of a turbulent age.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Catholic (and catholic) imagination

What is "the Catholic imagination"?

That's a good question, and I'll bet scores of people have scores of different definitions for "the Catholic imagination." The Rev. Andrew Greeley even wrote a book about it.

And we're tackling it on Four Songs.

Whatever your definition, I think the "Catholic" (and the catholic) imagination has, as a non-negotiable element, some recognition that the everyday can be extraordinary . . . and holy.

I think it also embodies a profound respect for the sanctity of human life, as well as that of nature.

And I don't think you have to be Catholic to have a catholic imagination or worldview. I think you just have to be open to a lot of things, have a passion for "the least of these" in the world and know in your heart of hearts that It's Not All About Us.

ON THE LATEST EPISODE of Four Songs, we're naturally taking a look at the Catholic -- and catholic -- imagination as it manifests itself in music. It might be a little tricky putting into words what we're talking about here, but when we have great artists like Kate Campbell and Pierce Pettis -- and Rodney Crowell, too -- singing it . . . well, then we know it when we hear it.

So check out Four Songs and hear what we're talking about. Listen now or download for later . . . we're not particular so long as you drop by the party.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Welcome to 3 Chords & the Truth

We're startin' somethin' today. Really, though, it's what we've been doing for a while here at Revolution 21.

WE STARTED OUT with the Revolution 21 podcast to get our programming legs under us. Now we progress to the next step, 3 Chords & the Truth and its sister program, Four Songs.

Four Songs
debuted Wednesday. Now its 3C&T's turn.

And what exactly
is 3 Chords & the Truth? Well, it's not a radical departure from the old Revolution 21 podcast . . . it's more like a podcast plus. Furthermore, to be brief about it, the name is what it is . . . "three chords and the truth," to reference legendary songwriter Harlan Howard's famous definition of country music.

ANYWAY, here's what we say about 3C&T on the Revolution 21 website:

3 Chords & the Truth exists in many realms as Revolution 21's flagship program. We rock. We roll. We're blues in the night. We play with a twang . . . sometimes.

Listen to
3 Chords & the Truth enough and you'll discover that we like old-school punk rock. That we have an attitude. That we can be ornery -- and thoughtful, too.

You will discover that we like to put together oddball sets of all kinds of music that somehow, someway make thematic sense. You will discover that we can be artistic and cultural bomb-throwers, because we think our society is complacent and self-centered . . . and entirely too self-satisfied with the violent and vapid societal space Americans have created for ourselves.

If you listen to
3 Chords, you'll find we love Father, Son and Holy Spirit and embrace our Catholic faith. We try not to be self-righteous about that, being that we usually find ourselves stuck squarely in Screw-Up City as we gaze longingly up toward the new Jerusalem.

In short, here's what your host and potentate, the eccentric but benevolent Mighty Favog, is aiming for with
3 Chords & the Truth: A mix of thought-provoking, challenging and sometimes just plain fun music, both Christian and mainstream, covering a wide variety of genres -- rock, hip-hop, punk, techno, folk, blues . . . you name it. You can’t put it in a neat little niche.

Kind of like life, ain't it?

We don't segregate our music, and we don't segregate faith from living life. No matter how messy that might get at times. Sensible folk have a word for people who get all holy one day a week and put all that stuff in a drawer till Sunday rolls around again.

I think it's "phony."

Same deal for Holy Joes who would be horrified if you knew they had a secret thang for Metallica because that's
Not What Christians Do.

Oh, really?

Fakefakefakefakefakefake. Fake.

Working out this whole faith-life thing can get gloriously messy. But, c'mon, it's not exactly a matter-antimatter thing, where you're risking a planet-obliterating explosion if you mix the two. In fact, it can be kind of invigorating . . . if you let it.

And, at its core, that's what
Revolution 21 and 3 Chords & the Truth are all about. Come on along for the ride. It'll be a wild one.
TUNE IN. Turn on to the Big Show, as we call it. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Here it is . . . Four Songs

Alrighty then . . . here we go. Available right now, for your downloading and listening pleasure, is the newest program from the Revolution 21 new-media empire.

We call it Four Songs.

AND THAT'S what it is, too. Four songs.

Four Songs is centered on a theme specially picked by your host, the Mighty Favog, for whatever reason known only to himself. And to you, once you listen to this offering from Revolution 21 that's just perfect to entertain you, amaze you and enlighten you during your daily commute, during lunch or whenever you have time for . . . four songs.

The inagural episode of Four Songs, I suppose you could call "When Terrible Things Lead to Good Music." And we begin our musical journey in the early days of the Great Depression, an era of economic and societal tumult that gave us not only great art, but art that endures to this day . . . more than seven decades later.

THAT'S ALL I'm going to tell you here. Blabbing any more than this would be sooooo giving everything away.

Just go to the Revolution 21 program-download page and check Four Songs out for yourself.

C'mon, surely you have time for four songs.