The Calliope, yeah, that keyboard with the pipes coming out of it. That creepy thing. Whats that all about?
Dr Kirsten Zemke delves into the weird and wacky history of Calliopes, from The Circus to Baseball.
Sly & the Family Stone - Life
Buffalo Springfield - Broken Arrow
Tom Waits - Calliope
Kirsten's speaking about the Mbira, the handheld device that kind of looks like a piano, right? With Konono No.1's, Paradiso, Björk's Earth Intruders, and Jens Lekman's, A Little Lost showcasing this harmonic little number with a huge sound. Dr. Zemke has done it again, folks.
This weeks topic is a little different, the Dirty Blues... Stumbling across this niche genre while researching the jugs, Kirsten was attracted to what she found. With tracks like The Topper's Baby Let Me Bang Your Box, Blind Boy Fuller's What's That Smell Like Fish?, and Bo Carter's Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me, we discover a whole new type of persuasion.
This week, Kirsten's in with the ukulele for us. Tiny Tim's Livin' In The Sunlight, Lovin' In The Moonlight, James Hill's The Satisfactory Waltz, and Eddie Vedder's Sleeping By Myself, as well as a special final track, just for a listener. While Kirsten educates Mike on the roots of this special number, apparently Tess knows a thing or two as well...
Kirsten's back. Fighting fit and ready for us with... The Whisky Jug! Mikey's sceptical, but can Kirsten sway his feelings on this humble piece of pottery with the Whistler & His Jug Band's Pig Meat Blues, Mungo Jerry's classic hit, In The Summertime, and 13th Floor Elevators's, You're Gonna Miss Me?
Kinky, sensual and RSI-inducing, Kirsten has a yarn about castanets. From courting women to expensive resin and string, if you've ever wondered about the origin of these Pipi-shaped clackers, wonder no more. Mikey and Kirsten talked about and over Lucero Tena's Mi Dulce Mulata, The Crystals' Uptown and the smooth clanky-clanks of The Johnson Brothers' Hernando's Hideaway.
Is it distortion? It is overdrive? Is it intentionally grainy or are my ears deceiving me? 50 years of defining rock 'n' roll and yet the fuzz pedal just brings up more questions than it answers. Your favourite ethnomusicologist's looking at Jimi Hendrix' Foxey Lady, Sonic Youth's Starfield Road, and MBV's Only Shallow in an attempt to settle your wildest queries.