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Compiled By: Arna Zucker

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Beyond a Song (Series)

Produced by ISOAS Media

Most recent piece in this series:

Beyond a Song: Dick Connette (Part 3 final)

From ISOAS Media | Part of the Beyond a Song series | 01:00:00

Connette_3_prx_small DICK CONNETTE (PART 3 final) : PUBLISHED ON PRX  8 / 11 / 2017 
 originates in BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA and is sponsored by:

Host Rich Reardin talks with  New York City composer, musician, and songwriter Dick Connette. Dick Connette was born in 1951 in New York City. In 1969 he went to Harvard, intending to major in Mathematics, but soon switched his concentration to Music and American and English Literature. After graduating in 1974, cum laude with a degree in General Studies, Connette moved back to New York City, where he studied percussion (snare drum, marimba, tympani) privately with James Preiss. From 1979 to 1992, under the pseudonym A. Leroy, Connette was active on the downtown scene, running his own Soho recording studio, and working as a freelance musician/composer, often in collaboration with choreographers, video and film makers, and theater artists. Since 1992, Connette has worked under his own name, most notably devoting himself to writing music and songs based on American folk and popular traditions, under the project name Last Forever. He first worked with singer Mimi Goese (Hugo Largo, Ben Neill), and then, a few years later, with Sonya Cohen, daughter of the New Lost City Ramblers' John Cohen, niece of Pete and Mike Seeger, and the granddaughter of composer Ruth Crawford Seeger and musicologist Charles Seeger.

 In 1997 Nonesuch released the first Last Forever CD, chosen by the New York Times as one of the year's top releases. fRoots in a feature article said the album "deserves to be shouted from the rooftops … the whole record is a thing of wonder." In 2000 Nonesuch put out Last Forever's second CD, Trainfare Home. According to fRoots it was "more varied, evolved even, than their first," and Sing Out! called it "fascinating" and "one of the best releases of the past year.”
In 2015, around the time of the final Last Forever album, Acres of Diamonds, Sonya Cohen, full creative partner in the project for over 20 years, died from cancer, aged just 50. Since then, Connette has continued to write and arrange songs out of the American tradition, under the new project name Too Sad for the Public, working with singers Suzzy Roche, Ana Egge, Rachel Garniez, Gabriel Kahane, Rayna Gellert, and Chaim Tannenbaum.
 In New York City, there have been concert performances of Connette’s work at St. Ann's Church, Dance Theater Workshop, the Kitchen, PS 122, the La MaMa Annex, the Knitting Factory,  Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, and Central Park's SummerStage. He has received grants from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Art Matters, and The Beard's Fund. In 1990 he won a Bessie New York Dance and Performance Award, and in 2009 he won a Grammy for his work on Loudon Wainwright III's High Wide & Handsome.
  The Studio and the Label 
 In 2005, Connette and Tony Award-winner sound designer Scott Lehrer opened up 2nd Story Sound, a recording studio gut-rehabbed out of an old industrial building on the Lower East Side of New York City. Rufus Wainwright, Anohni, yMusic, Linda Thompson, Bob Neuwirth, Marc Ribot, Jake Shears, Michael Daves, Nico Muhly, Hazmat Modine, John Scofield, Chris Smither, Suzzy Roche, Duncan Sheik, Geoff Muldaur, Chis Thile, Aoife O'Donovan, Dave Douglas, and Julian Lage have all worked and recorded there.
 In 2009, Connette launched his record company, StorySound. It began as way of re-releasing his Nonesuch Last Forever CDs, but has since then expanded considerably. StorySound has put out 15 CDs, including albums by Loudon Wainwright III, Gabriel Kahane, Rayna Gellert, Chaim Tannenbaum, Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout, Margaret Glaspy, Rachelle Garniez, and the Joe Boyd-produced Nick Drake tribute, Way to Blue. The label has grown, naturally enough, out of the social and professional life of the studio - the sessions, the pantry hangs, the players and producers, engineers and arrangers, composers, singers and songwriters that are part of its daily life, and has no grander ambition than to make a good home for music that Connette cares about.
 Selected press for Last Forever
 "The music is a teeming mix of pop, folk, blues, Cajun and Appalachian styles, unified by Mr. Connette's finely focused sensibility and the eloquent storytelling of Sonya Cohen in her superbly inflected vocals … the long ago and far away are inextricably bound to the here and now … compelling, even haunting." 
 - The New York Times
 "Last Forever offers a particularly intriguing view of music we often take for granted, at once fresh and familiar and, quite often, hauntingly beautiful." 
 - The Washington Post
 “Dick Connette’s vision of Americana seemingly encompasses jazz, vaudeville, minstrelsy, the New Deal classical composers and orchestrated pop. His songs are beautifully crafted, highly melodic and full of memorable lyrics.”
 - fRoots
 "Connette's originals celebrate –  and then revitalize – the sturdy and enduring wisdom of the folk song … entrancing." 
 - The Philadelphia Inquirer
 "The spare, stately arrangements combine traditional and modern instruments in ways that obliterate the binaries of classical and folk, sophisticated and simple, high art and low. Stunning."  
 - The Arizona Republic
 "The songs are classic Americana, spellbindingly re-imagined. Intricately constructed and beautifully recorded."
  - The Tennessean|
Musical selections include: Buddy's Blues, The Last Campaign, He's a Bad Boy, Mr. Olio, Liberty City (Part 1), Nearest Cloud, Kind of Dumb.

This program is "Evergreen" and not necessarily date specific. 

For more information, visit BEYOND  A SONG.COM

The Emotion Roadmap: Take the Wheel & Control How You Feel (Series)

Produced by Chuck Wolfe

Most recent piece in this series:

Successful Leadership Coaches Influence Clients' Emotions, Thoughts, and Behaviors

From Chuck Wolfe | Part of the The Emotion Roadmap: Take the Wheel & Control How You Feel series | 45:01

Chuck_speaking_small Hear how one client used the Emotion Roadmap to save her company over $20,000. Also learn how emotions influence thoughts and thoughts influence behavior. Finally we close the show with a conversation with a woman about why so many men don't see the need to live in a clean home. Fun conversation.

A Way with Words (Series)

Produced by A Way with Words

Most recent piece in this series:

Pig Latin (#1463)

From A Way with Words | Part of the A Way with Words series | 54:00

Babyshower_small In a futile situation, English speakers might say that we're spinning our wheels. The French have a phrase for the same situation that translates as to pedal in sauerkraut. The Illustrated Book of Sayings collects similarly colorful idioms in other languages. There's a Turkish expression that literally translates as Grapes darken by looking at each other, and means that we're influenced by the company we keep. In Latvian, there's an expression that means  "to prevariate," but literally it translates as "to blow little ducks."

An Austin, Texas, listener says he and his buddies are throwing a baby shower for a dad-to-be, but they're wondering what to call a baby shower thrown for the father. A man shower? A dadchelor party?

We go back like carseats is a slang expression that means "We've been friends for a long time."

The political terms liberal and libertarian may look similar, but they have very different meanings. Both stem from Latin liber, "free," but the word liberal entered English hundreds of years before libertarian.

Half-filled pots splash more is the literal translation a Hindi expression suggesting that those who bluster the most, least deserve to. Another Hindi idiom translates literally as Who saw a peacock dance in the woods? In other words, even something worthy requires publicity if it's going to be acknowledged.

Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a puzzle of Container Clues, in which one word is inserted whole into another to create a new word. For example, if the definition is "kind of potatoes," and the clue is "She is in mad," what kind of potatoes are we talking about?

A Carmel, Indiana, teacher is puzzled to hear younger colleagues pronounce the words kitten and mitten as KIT-un and MIT-un, with a noticeable break between the syllables. Linguist David Eddington of Brigham Young University reports that this phenomenon, called glottalization, is a growing feature of American dialect, mainly among young women in their 20's and 30's, particularly in the western United States.  

A New York City caller wonders why we refer to clothing as duds. The term dates back to the 1300's, when the word dudde referred to a cloak or mantle of coarse cloth. Over time, it came to refer to shabby clothing, and eventually acquired a more neutral meaning of simply "clothes." The earlier sense of "ragged" or "inferior" may also be reflected in the term dud, denoting something that fails to function.

For English speakers of a certain age, Film at 11 is a slang phrase means "You'll hear the details later." It's a reference to the days before 24-hour cable news, when newscasters would read headlines during the day promoting the 11 p.m. broadcast, when viewers would get the whole story, including video.

The exhortation Grab a root and growl is a way of telling someone to buck up and do what must be done. The sense of grabbing and growling here suggests the kind of tenacity you might see in a terrier sinking his teeth into something and refusing to let go. This phrase is at least 100 years old. A much more rare variation is grab, root, and growl. Both expressions are reminiscent of a similar exhortation, root, hog, or die.

Is the term expat racist? Journalist Laura Secorun argues that the word expat implies a value judgment, suggesting that Westerners who move to another country are adventurous, while the term immigrant suggests someone who likely moved out of necessity or may be a burden to society in their adopted country.

In much of the United States, the phrase I'll be there directly means "I'm on my way right now." But particularly in parts of the South, I'll be there directly simply means "I'll be there after a while." As a Marquette, Michigan, listener points out, this discrepancy can cause lots of confusion!

Why do so many people begin their sentences with the word So? In linguistics, this is called sentence-initial so. The word So at the start a sentence can serve a variety of functions.

Ix-nay on the ocolate-chay in the upboard-cay is how you'd say Nix on the chocolate in the cupboard in Pig Latin. English speakers have a long history of inserting syllables or rearranging syllables in a word to keep outsiders from understanding. The pig in Pig Latin may just refer to the idea of pig as an inferior, unclean animal.

This episode was hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett and produced by Stefanie Levine.