Apocalypse + Music = Thoughts about structures

When I first saw the name on the email, the name looked familiar, but I couldn’t place it.  Phillip Barcio.  It turns out that he wrote a fabulous review of Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption for the Western Humanities Review!  That’s why it sounded so familiar!

The email was at the same time was both intriguing and ethereal.  Phillip Barcio, an arts journalist, essentially asked if I would be interested in coming on his podcast Apocalypse Mixtape” to talk about how I view apocalypse the ten songs that would sustain me afterward and why.

Intriguing – I’d never thought about the average person putting those two thoughts together.  Of course my mind immediately went to the dark, classical music, the symphonic metal, anger and destruction.  I said, “Sounds interesting!” We’d tape in three weeks.  I sat down and started playing with music ideas. But then ego got involved: what  would sound symbolic? Lofty?  What was it exactly that I was trying to say about me with my music selections.  I put it aside because I didn’t like what I was trying to make fit.   Phillip emailed me two days before the taping.  “Are we still on? ”  Accckkkkk!  No!!!! 

I hurriedly revisited my mixtape selections, played with them, added, subtracted, thought about why  they were there on my list in the first place.  I wrote him back.  “No, I’m not ready.  I am having trouble putting together a selection.  Can we reschedule for Monday?  I get you the list by this evening.”  He agreed, and the pressure was on.  I ran through some ideas, I went through my playlists, my CDs, my memories, and most importantly let my ego go.  I put together the list within the hour, double checked lyrics to make sure I’d remembered them right, sent it off and asked him for an outline of what might be asked.

“Your idea of what apocalypse means to you, some information about Bitterroot and why you chose the songs you chose.  Talk Monday!”

Monday’s conversation was amazing.  Phillip Barcio is a writer who is interested in art and what it says in the larger conversations.  He is a great interviewer, a great listener and someone who requires the person he’s talking with to open their hearts, their mind, and dig into the bigger picture of the meaning of culture, and apocalypse within our culture.  We covered so many topics, and it truly became a conversation rather than an interview about history, race, politics, societal and cultural structures that are in place to keep the social hierarchy in status quo.  So what happens when the above is out of balance in power, justice, humaneness?  That’s what my episode on “Apocalypse Mixtape” is for.  

The song’s we will discuss:

2) After the Gold Rush – Neil Young
3) Welcome to Lunar Industries – Clint Mansell (opening to the movie Moon)
4) Don’t forget About Me  – Simple Minds
6) Orinoco Flow – Enya
7)  Graceland – Paul Simon
8) Peg – Steeley Dan
9) I Wanna Get Better – Bleachers
10) Hoe Down ( Rodeo Symphony ) Aaron Copeland.


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