Summer officially begins - time once again for the annual Whizbang Summertime-athon.
"Summertime", George Gershwin's 1935 musical setting of a poem by Dubose Heyward (author of the novel Porgy, on which Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess was based), has been recorded some 2600 times. And I'm going to play each and every version - really, really, fast.
Just kidding. But this week's show will feature versions of "Summertime" (completely different from those used in previous 'Summertime-athons', I might add.) alternating with our usual assortment of summer-themed material. So put some sun-block on your ears and tune in.
Tuesday 6/21/11, 8-10 PM. Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.
Sixty years ago, on June 14, 1951, the world's first commercially available computer, UNIVAC I, was delivered, thus precipitating the end of civilization as we know it.
The machine was 25 feet by 50 feet in length, contained 5,600 tubes, 18,000 crystal diodes and 300 relays. It had an internal storage capacity of 1,000 words or 12, 000 characters. In other words, it had less computing power than your average pocket calculator, never mind an iPod.
But things have changed since then. This week, a Whizbang salute to the Earth's dominant silicon-based life form.
And on the human side of the equation (You remember humans, right?), a tribute to Harry Nilsson, who would have been 70 this week.
Tuesday 6/14/11, 8-10 PM. Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.
One expects there to be lots of songs about love and lust, songs about being happy or sad, songs about dancing, food, flowers, animals, money, etc. But it's truly amazing how many songs there are about shoes. There are easily more than enough for an entire Whizbang, but we'll restrain ourselves to an hour's worth. In the immortal words of The Bobs, "Where does the wayward footwear go?"
Tuesday 6/7/11, 8-10 PM. Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.
This Tuesday is World No Tobacco Day
(and apparently Awkward Event-Name Day as well).
In its usual perverse fashion, this week's Whizbang will open with songs about setting fire to compressed wads of dried tobacco leaves and inhaling.
Tuesday 5/31/11, 8-10 PM.
Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.
The Bob Dylan 70th Birthday Celebration continues with Dylan songs performed by Antony & the Johnsons, Madeleine Peyroux, Greg Brown, George Harrison and of course, Sebastian Cabot, among many others.
Bob Dylan - singer-songwriter, author, artist, Grammy/Oscar/Pulitzer-winner and pitchman for Victoria's Secret, Cadillac and Pepsi - turns 70 on May 24.
He recorded his first album in 1962 and has released an average of at least one album per year ever since. Counting live albums, compilations and The Bootleg Series the total of official releases now stands, coincidentally enough, at 70.
By way of celebration, this week's entire Whizbang will be devoted to Dylan's best-known songs as performed by other artists, from early champions like Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary and The Byrds to contemporary performers like The Black Keys, Cat Power and Elvis Costello.
And the party will continue on Friday morning from 9-10 AM on my other show, Hepcats' Holiday, with even more cover versions of songs by His Royal Bobness.
Celebrating the many ways in which communications technology has made it possible for us to confuse and insult each other at distances and speeds unimaginable to even the previous generation, this week's Whizbang opens with a musical/historical overview, including songs about the telegraph, the telephone, email and texting.
Also: May 17 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Ram by Paul McCartney, his second post-Beatles solo album. It received very mixed reviews at the time but has grown in critical stature quite a bit over the years. Songs from that album as interpreted by They Might Be Giants, Aimee Mann, Screamin' Jay Hawkins(!) and more, during the second half of this week's show.
Tuesday 5/17/11, 8-10 PM. Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.
Yes, May 10th is Clean Up Your Room Day.
For those of you who have never actually done that, here are the step-by-step instructions:
And of course the I.C.W. will provide appropriate music for at least the first half-hour or so.
It also appears to be Aging Rock Star Week, with Donovan and Dave Mason turning sixty-five on the 10th and Eric Burdon turning seventy on the 11th, so attention must be paid.
Tuesday 5/10/11, 8-10 PM. Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.
First of all some disambiguation, as they say over at Wikipedia: Bird Day is always May 4th. National Bird Day is January 5th. And International Migratory Bird Day is always observed on the second Saturday of May. Is that quite clear?
The Intercranial Whizbang Hour chooses to celebrate Bird Day on May 3rd, rather than any of the actual holidays that fall on that date. This is because the other available holiday themes are either not very inspiring from a musical point of view - National Teachers Day and World Press Freedom Day come to mind - or else there just isn't enough material to do the event justice. Lumpy Rug Day (Yes, it's real - click for more info) is certainly worthy of attention but how many times do you want to hear "Magic Carpet Ride"?
There are, needless to say, bazillions of recordings of songs about birds, going back to at least 1905, so prepare to be given the bird for two entire hours on this week's Whizbang.
Tuesday 5/3/11, 8-10 PM. Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.
Egg Salad Week,
by another historical coincidence of astonishing synchronicity,
always directly follows Easter Sunday.
And yet some people continue to believe there is no order in the universe.
Songs about cackle-fruit to open this week's Whizbang.
Tuesday 4/26/11, 8-10 PM.
Rebroadcast Friday midnight after P5K.