This week I happily discovered some long-lost bluegrass in my minidisc collection. Apparently, right in the middle of my frantic move from Edmonton to Beijing, I recorded two episodes of Prairie Pickin’ without ever listening to them: 14 and 21 March 2002. I then made the mistake of not labelling the discs, so they got lost in my pile of non-blank “blanks”.
Well, I’ve seen these two mystery “blanks” for a long time now, but only this week did I find the time to pop them into my player and see what was on them. The rest is history, as they say. So I’m now listening to and editing these two shows that are a little over a year old. They’re a little rough, actually, as they come from the beginning of Doug Ritchie’s presence on the show.
In one of the shows, I found a real treasure: “A Member of the Blues” by Lonesome and Thensome, my favourite bluegrass band (from Edmonton, even!). I recall that at the time they were working on recording their first album. I wonder if it’s been produced by now?
During my year’s time in China, I’ve struggled with how to express myself politically while living in a country where it isn’t safe to do so. For example, people in China generally hate the American government. They talk about the U.S. invasion of Iraq (2003), but are quite isolated from the discussion and dissent going on around the world. Yes, there were anti-war protests in Hong Kong, but it would surprise me if the media in China reported this. Protests are illegal in the rest of China.
So I am left wondering how I can join and contribute to the discussion going on elsewhere in the world. Well, I listen to CJSR, a community-based radio station in Edmonton, the BBC news, and I read some of the independent media columnists on the Internet.
Here, I give the following two audio clips which were taken from the “Jay and Penny Show” on CJSR, and I encourage you to give them a listen as these are things you won’t hear elsewhere in the media.