Jazzcast 1

Hello and welcome to my first “jazzcast”, a jazz podcast that serves as an alternative to my regular podcasts. I love jazz music – overall I probably listen to more jazz than any other genre, but my knowledge of contemporary jazz artists is not strong. This first jazzcast is dedicated to new music in 2014. How do I do it? In part by getting recommendations from Dave Sumner, who has a weblog called Bird is the Worm and has a weekly column at eMusic’s Wondering Sound page. It’s where I picked up a bunch of the music on the podcast.
The music you’ll hear comes from all around the world: Canada, Denmark, Israel, Brazil, the U.K. and even the United States. Cordame, I Think You’re Awesome, Oran Etkin, Juliana Cortes, Polar Bear and Ed Palermo are  among those artists featured today.There are many different styles played this hour, but it’s all great –  I hope you enjoy.
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My 2nd Podcast

Hello and welcome to the newest PB Podcast. Hope you enjoyed the first PB Podcast, and if you haven’t heard it yet, it should still be available on brennick.net. Today’s podcast doesn’t have any theme whatsoever – I started out with the first song (“Breakdown” by Alice Russell) after hearing an ad for the new season of Mad Men, then played whatever song I was thinking about while hearing the first song. The results are songs from the 1960’s through today.

I will say that the song by Asa – “Ok, Ok” reminds me of what is happening in Nigeria right now, with the kidnapped girls and Boko Harum. Very scary.

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I started a Podcast


I decided that I wanted to share music with others and so I started recording podcasts to share with others. The podcasts are about 1 hour and will consist of ‘general’ music that I like. To share the podcasts I got a website and started a weblog called brennick.net. I haven’t seen too many podcasts that play ‘general’ music – general as opposed to genre-specific. The only one I’ve heard that I listen to consistently is Radio Free Wohlman done by Dave Wohlman. I started listening to his podcast 7 years ago, and I’ve heard every podcast he’s put out in that time at least once. I urge you to listen to his podcast.

When I was younger I used to make mix tapes for people, then moved onto putting together CD’s of music. Doing a music podcast is the next logical and technological step. The change with the podcast is that I am introducing the podcast and songs between sets in the way a DJ does on the radio.

I started out by recording two podcasts, trying to learn how to use the technology I have to build the podcast. I wanted to have a consistent opening to my podcast, and I put together a fairly complicated set with music, voice overs and sound effects. After listening to the opening countless times I decided to scrap it and have a simple introduction (for now).

After listening to the 2 podcasts I completed, I scrapped them and wondered if I would ever move forward with the project. I was still having technical problems, and I really don’t like to hear myself talk. I then sat down and really learned how to use the equipment properly and have recorded some podcasts that are much improved. There is a lot more improvement to make, but the music is excellent and the transitions between songs work very well.

My goal is to have one new podcast every week. I may also have an occasional special podcast that might be more genre-specific. I’m thinking about doing a semi-regular jazz podcast and perhaps an occasional blues podcast. I’d like to get a consistent audience for the podcasts – I’d like to have people listen and validate what I’m doing. Please listen and make comments and suggestions – I’ll be looking to improve what I do (and maybe find an intro I actually like).

Thank you for your time and ears.

Podcast the First

Hello and welcome to the first PB Podcast. I hope you enjoy the music I’ve put together for you. I am still working out some kinks in broadcasting, and have been away from the mike for too long. I hope to improve on my speaking skills.

Today’s podcast starts with a set about mornings. The second is about sunrise, while the last two are songs I wanted to hear. I don’t really have an overall theme – the goal of the podcast isn’t to have one them for the hour (I’m not trying to continue Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour, and I certainly don’t have Eddie Gorodetsky as my producer).

I have some new songs that have been on my playlist – 2014 has started out well for new music. I also have dipped back into the 1960s’ and 70’s for some tunes – I think they all go together pretty well.

I’ll hide the playlist at the end of the blog – I think it’s better to listen to the music without knowing what will be played next. I put the playlist out so you can track down the music you like. I hope that there will be some songs and bands that I can introduce to you.

So enjoy the morning with today’s Patrick Podcast.

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Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

What is America?

In 1960, at the age of 58, John Steinbeck set out on a quixotic journey to search for America. Having lived in New York City for the last ten years, he felt that he had lost touch with what “the people” of America was like. Although he said his plan was “clear, concise, and reasonable,” naming his vehicle Rocinante after Don Quixote’s horse gave a truer sense of what he thought lay ahead. The discoveries he made 54 years ago still resonate today.

One of Mr. Steinbeck’s first observations was that people were losing their accents, and that as a culture we were becoming homogenized through radio and television. “Communications must destroy localness, by a slow, inevitable process.” He longed to travel the back roads rather than the interstates, where the surrounding areas were a blur, but he could not escape the highways.

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In 2014 the trend has continued. It’s not the lack of accents but the loss of regional cultures that has affected America. Local businesses and restaurants have been under assault by national stores and restaurant chains so that downtowns have become ghost towns. By 1960 the rise of the shopping center had taken over the newly-created suburbs and was slowly taking over small towns as well. We’ve gone through a period where shopping centers were eclipsed by self-contained malls, the malls losing favor to a return of outdoor shopping centers (The number of abandoned malls has led to websites that are dedicated to “Dead Malls“.This article shows photos of 9 abandoned malls).

When Mr. Steinbeck reaches California he finds himself fighting with his sisters over politics. 1960 was the close Presidential election that pitted then Vice-President Richard Nixon against John F. Kennedy. Steinbeck’s family was Republican, but he had ”work[ed] closely with migrants and bindlestiffs on California ranches. Those relationships, coupled with an early sympathy for the weak and defenseless, deepened his empathy for workers, the disenfranchised, the lonely and dislocated, an empathy that is characteristic in his work. [Center for Steinbeck Studies biography].”

His sisters had remained Republican, and they fought venomously over politics. Mr. Steinbeck said that he felt that these politically-charged arguments were happening privately, but in public many people wouldn’t discuss politics. The country was on the edge of a new era of politics and hoped that silence would keep tide of change at bay.

Looking back we can see what happened politically in the 1960’s – a flood of anger and change that has unfortunately been beaten back by a last desperate attempt to return to the 1950’s. Political discourse has not remained private, but has become a national pastime. Political campaigns in the U.S. have not changed much in the course of our history. What is different now is the rise of money in campaigns and the Republicans switching their priorities from legislating to waging an endless political campaign. As long as money is the main fuel of politics the country will continue to suffer.

After California Mr. Steinbeck goes to Texas to visit his rich in-laws. A man of precise words, Steinbeck says “no account of Texas would be complete without a Texas orgy, showing men of great wealth squandering their millions on tasteless and impassioned exhibitionism.” John Steinbeck did not come from a wealthy family, but he had to temper his criticism of the rich, as he recognized that he was now one of them.

Before returning home the author makes a visit to the American South, where he confronts the racism that would define America in the coming decades. Integration in New Orleans’ schools caused a furor and gave rise to overt racism that was fueled by newspaper and television stories. The was a group of “stout middle-aged women who, by some curious definition of the word ‘mother,’ gathered every day to scream invectives at children.” These Cheerleaders drew a big crowd and Mr. Steinbeck stopped by to take a look. Although the conservatives on the Supreme Court would like us to believe that racism is over, recent stories about Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling remind us that racism is still a big part of America. And though the overt racism we see today seems to be limited to old white men, there is still institutional racism that needs to be addressed.

John Steinbeck’s writing is wonderful throughout the book. His gift of language reminds me of why I enjoy reading. Even with the homogenization of America he is able to describe unique vistas and individual portraits of the people he met. What I see 54 years after he wrote the book is an America that has seen cosmetic changes but still retains the character of 1960.