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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for October 2011

Dateboook: October 31 – Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween! According Historian Nicholas Rogers the origins of Halloween are typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain,” derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning “summer’s end.” It was a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead. There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen. To ward off these spirits, the Gaels built huge, symbolically regenerative bonfires and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice.

Halloween is also thought to have been heavily influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Falling on November 1st and 2nd respectively, collectively they were a time for honoring the Saints and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach heaven. By the end of the 12th century they had become days of holy obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory and “souling,” the custom of baking bread or soul cakes for “all crysten souls.” It was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that the holiday was introduced to the United States in earnest. Initially confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-nineteenth century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the twentieth century it was being celebrated coast to coast.

It’s Monday, October 31

The Annual President’s Concert of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at Murray State is dedicated to relief for Japanese Band Music programs which have lost facilities and instruments. Music begins at 7:30 p.m.tomorrow in Lovett Auditorium and includes Yasuhide Ito’s Gloriosa based on ancient melodies and chants. Donations are welcome at the door.

The City of Mayfield and downtown churches host an October Fun Fest tonight from 5 to 7. There’s a costume contest at 6 at the courthouse front. Broadway, South and 7th Streets are closed for the safety of trick or treaters. First Baptist provides hot dogs and drinks for kids.

Author Sam Kean is this year’s Gary Boggess Distinguished Lecturer with a presentation tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in Room 1212 Jones Hall. His 2010 book The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements has earned acclaim.

About 250 station friends pledging at will meet the fundraiser goal. Please contribute today. Thanks.

the morning cram [crowded house edition]

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The Human population just hit seven billion this morning.

NPR reports just two centuries after the world population was 1 billion, we’ve now hit the 7 mark. Some are worried about overpopulation while others contend many hands make light work.

Kentucky~     Some local Amish really don’t like that orange warning sign. Fulton is trying to take out the trash.   OVC football scores are in. The Department of Education wants to track alternative schools. Gubernatorial candidates face off in their last debate tonight.

Tennessee~ The state is trying to figure out what to do with wild hogs (the animal, not the movie).

Illinois~  SIU is hosting Native American life and culture celebration. Elementary Schools are improving across the state.

Weekend Energy Preview 10-29

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Here’s what’s in the mix for this Saturday night’s Weekend Energy. This week’s show is so terrifying, it’s like all of the world’s pumpkins enacting their revenge and embarking on a horrible carving frenzy. It’s the harrowing Halloween edition of Weekend Energy and this year… it’s truly scary. If you’ve got a weak heart, suffer from motion sickness or are under 42 inches tall, you may want sit out this wild ride. Happy Halloween!

Sure, kind of like this…. I guess….:


The Death Set – They Come To Get Us (Designer Drugs Remix) – This Australian art-punk group The Death Set is completely awesome. I was drawn to a collection of Designer Drugs remixes and this one sounded interesting. I was right. The original version is brash punk-pop mayhem, with screaming flying vocals, an anthem chorus and an absolutely chugging beat. If you’re a fan of Kap Bambino, you’ll love The Death Set. Check out more music on their website – I love, love Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap – manic perfection. They wisely teamed up with Designer Drugs for a remix of this song, who gave the song more structure, without losing the energy, thus resulting in a more solid listening experience. Structure, though, can barely contain this group, whose live show, I could only imagine, would be unforgettable. I couldn’t find a video for They Come To Get Us, so check out this awesome video for Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap instead.

Figure – Boogie Man & Mr. Hyde – See this week’s “Featured” below.

Meller – Robot Monsters (Neelix Remix) – What’s a Halloween show without some wicket psy-trance? I can think of few things scarier than robot monsters. Zombies – slow and dumb, Vampires – turn on some lights, Werewolves – lame, Aliens – don’t be ridiculous. Robot monsters, however, are the result of mankind’s overzealous ambitions. Robots are only getting more and more complex and lifelike. The internet is pretty much their brain, okay, so every time we enter into Wikipedia is like feeding their memory banks and making them stronger. It’s only a matter of time before they rebel. The other day my printer rebelled and jammed up all of the remaining paper I had, thus making me late and unprepared. This is only the beginning.

Flux Pavilion – Haunt You – My feelings about Flux Pavilion’s music are uncomfortably stable. Haunt You is an ambitious, atmospheric, and complex dubstep track, with absolutely haunting female vocals. It’s very stylistically similar to Flux’s other tracks like Bass Cannon, his remix of Cracks by Freestylers, and the remix of MIA’s Internet Connection, in that they have an introspective, delicate quality unlike the hardcore abrasive dubstep sound that seems to be becoming more and more popular. Flux Pavilion is dubstep for the intellectual. Haunt You is an awesome example of this from his EP Lines in Wax.



If you’re looking for a great Halloween mix, look no further than Monsters of Drumstep Vol. 2. I’ve got two cuts from this album on the mix this week and I’d honestly play the whole album if I could. Boogie Man remixed by Oblivion opens up the show with the awesome sample “you’ve found him.” Later on I’ve got Mr. Hyde, which you can check out in the YouTube ‘video’ below. I also had on my shortlist the absolutely insane track Monster’s Revenge and the remix of the Nightmare Before Christmas song This is Halloween. Figure is without a doubt the highlight of this week’s mix and therefore wins Halloween. Check out Vol. 1 too, especially the tracks Vampires and Aliens.

Almost Made It

Anglo Satellite & Les Petits Pilous

Big Black Spider remixed by Les Petits Pilous almost made the cut. Actually, it was a grand oversight that it didn’t make the cut. It’s such an awesome, rambunctious song, with one of the strongest and most memorable beats I’ve ever encountered. It’s not a new song by any means, I’ve had it in my iTunes forever, partly why I simply forgot about it. I think the picture on the YouTube ‘video’ below pretty much sums up all thoughts about the song. The song actually sounds like a big black hairy spider terrorizing a small Wisconsin town.

Second Hour Rewind

The second hour rewind is the previous week’s first hour. Featured artists include Ill Saint M, Golden Bug & Rodion, Sneaky Sound System, Penguin Prison, AutoKratz and more! Do The Washing Machine by Golden Bug & Rodion is one of those songs that you might wish you could forget, but find such a desire hopelessly unfulfilled. Despite its awkward intro, once it gets going, it doesn’t stop. Lavinia Claws’ infectious lyrics over a bouncy, freaky chorus will have you nodding along all week. I’m still not sure how to “do the washing machine” if this is some kind of dance move or bizarre euphemism (I’m thinking the latter). Regardless, the music video is top notch, easily in my top 25 favorites ever, though it does little to explain anything and only further complicates the matter.

“Crank up your stereo, bust out the strobe light and kick up the bass.”

Weekend Energy has been blowing out car stereo systems, upsetting the neighbors and enhancing the night life of western Kentucky every weekend since July 2007 on WKMS. Host Matt “McG” Markgraf pours through hundreds of songs each week to create “the loudest show on public radio” featuring the best techno, dance and electronica from around the world. Weekend Energy airs Saturdays on 91.3 WKMS from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Stream it live on Saturday nights.

Hear the show streaming online or else.

Good Read: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

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Peter Pan
by J.M. Barrie

Buy this book on Amazon

(Your purchase supports WKMS!)

Product Description:

Peter Pan is the popular character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with mermaids, Indians, fairies, pirates, and (from time to time) meeting ordinary children from the world outside. The most popular story, the most often reflected in movies, is “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”/”Peter and Wendy”– Peter brings Wendy and her brothers to Never Land, where he has a climactic showdown with his nemesis, Captain Hook.

Kala Dunn says:

I started reading Peter Pan because I heard it was going to be a topic of discussion on the Diane Rehm Show.  I finished reading Peter Pan because I fell in love with the delicate and finely-woven world J.M. Barrie creates.  Often adult readers overlook the value of books classified as “children’s literature,” though in actuality Peter Pan is not a children’s book.  It’s a book about the nature of humankind, about a confrontation with mortality, about putting away our darker thoughts and finding illumination through our personal light.  The storyline is fantastic—flying children, vindictive alligators, and smart-mouthed fairies—but the meaning is true.  Witty and fun, bittersweet and beautiful, Peter Pan offers us a chance to explore a fairyland in which we will ultimately discover ourselves.

This “good read” was inspired by a recent conversation on The Diane Rehm Show.

Click here to check out more Good Reads.

Written by Matt Markgraf

October 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm

“Home On The Range (With My Prairie Home Companion)” – From the Rotary Club of Murray

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Many thanks to the Rotary Club of Murray for crafting this song for their October 27, 2011 meeting! Try singing-a-long and have fun!

(With My Prairie Home Companion)

Oh give me a home where Keil-lor will roam,
On the floor of the C-F-S-B.
Where we shall all see, a cast fill-ed with glee;
It’s live and it ain’t on TV.

Home, home his-to-ry.
A show we all should go see.
Mu-sic and sketch, lot’s of hu-mor to catch,
A once-in-your life place to be.

How of-ten we’ve heard, some en-cour-a-ging words;
From the sounds of Nin-ty One Point Three.
Now we can go-to view a live show,
And be in on Mur-ray his-to-ry.

Home, home on the range,
Where the cast and mu-si-cians will play.
No-vem-ber the fifth; this sure ain’t a myth.
Com-pan-ion is com-ing our way.
(Prairie Home, that is!)

Written by Matt Markgraf

October 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

Why I Am a “Dollar a Day” Contributor to WKMS – A Sad Tale of Procrastination and Remorse

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Here’s a wonderful story by a WKMS contributor from Fulton. Thank you so much Baker for sharing this story with us and for letting us share this story with listeners:


Why I Am a “Dollar a Day” Contributor to WKMS – A Sad Tale of Procrastination and Remorse

Once upon a time – not so long ago – those of us in Northwest Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky had a fine NPR station. WKNO in Memphis had a 100,000 watt translator in Dyersburg which had a fine signal both in Union City, where I worked, and at my home in Fulton, KY. They had a news and talk format that was similar to what we hear on WKMS today and I loved the programing. I was a Member and I contributed a few dollars a month by automatic deduction from my checking account. I thought I was doing my part.

One morning when I switched on my radio as usual expecting to hear “Morning Addition”, I was shocked to discover that in the place of my favorite NPR station was a new Christian broadcasting station. This had happened with no fanfare. My favorite station was just GONE! I soon found out that, due to budget restraints, WKNO had been forced to sell the transmitter and the license at Dyersburg in order to raise cash!

I was hurt and I was resentful. I called that very day and canceled my membership. I couldn’t understand why they would take “my” station off the air without at least giving the listeners an opportunity to “step up to the plate” and save the station. I would have given more, if only they had asked!

It took me a while to come to the realization that they had been asking all along. Twice a year they had a pledge drive and I had noticed that they usually seemed to come up a little short. I guess I assumed that the big corporate sponsors would make up the shortfall. I could have done more, but the programing went on and I was happy and content– right up until that fateful morning when “my” station went off the air.

Now we have the new WKMT station at Fulton and I can again get my NPR fix, full strength, 24 hours a day! One thing is for sure, I will never again be complacent about my new NPR station. I signed up for a “dollar a day” membership to WKMS and if the current pledge drive seems to be coming up short, I will dig a little deeper. I don’t ever want to wake up again and find that NPR is gone from my radio dial!

Baker Thompson
Fulton, KY

Written by Matt Markgraf

October 28, 2011 at 10:11 am

Datebook: October 28 – Japan’s Largest Inland Earthquake 120 Years Ago

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The Mino-Owari Earthquake, also known as the Great Nobi Earthquake, was a large earthquake that struck the former provinces of Mino and Owari in the Nōbi Plain area during the Meiji period in Japan, on October 28, 1891. It is the largest known inland earthquake in Japan. Based on the scale of destruction, it has been estimated to have had a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter Scale. It is also one of the largest earthquakes in the world’s history. When the fault line broke, the height difference between the two sides was approximately six meters.

It’s Friday, October 28th

The PennyRoyal Area Museum invites everyone to the retelling of The Bell Witch Story with County Historian William T. Turner Monday at 6 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children. Costumes are welcome. The Museum is at 217 East 9th Street in downtown Hopkinsville.

Tomorrow the Third Annual Zombie Walk in Paducah starts at 9th and Broadway at 5:30 p.m. Monetary donations benefit Paducah Renaissance Alliance and canned food donations go to the Family Service Society. Walkers dressed as zombies trudge along the sidewalks to Maiden Alley. People over 14 aren’t allowed to wear masks. At seven there’s a Walk After Party and Punk Rock Show at Maiden Alley.

The Marshall County Exceptional School benefits from the Companion Animal Hospital’s 2nd annual chili cook off tonight from 6 to 9 at the main pavilion at Mike Miller Park, Benton. The McKendrees perform live bluegrass.

What do you think? Have you a moment to click pledge now to support this public radio service online at Hope so. Thanks.