Department of Silliness/Congress of Wonders

It’s a wet, sluggish Saturday, but on the radio, what joy. A Grateful Dead Marathon hosted by David Gans, our local Dead expert…Ever since my youth in Los Angeles hideously bucolic suburb (Tarzana) I’ve had fun listening, and writing down the names of the songs and the groups. I’d end up with long lists in .005 rapidograph scribble, as if getting them down was going to serve me someday. As with everyone else, ‘band name inventing’ is a sideline of mine.
I only rarely get the time to do anything like that now, though I do find myself running for a pen while repeating in my head: “Mance Liscomb, Mance Liscomb” til i could get it written down.

In the middle of the music marathon, a hilarious comedy skit began with a pseudo old-man calling to pigeons: “Here pidgy pidgy pidgy…” and another ‘old’ man comes up to the bench, and fogey merriment ensues. It turned out to be a group called Congress of Wonders. Missed them completely in my youth, but am making up for it. Pigeon Park is the name of the five minute gag, full of fogey-defamation so thrilling to post P.C. ears. In a different sketch I hear a doorbell ding-dong followed by a cheery “A-bomb calling!”.

My plan: make you have to learn some of it, to make up for  your own misspent youth.

The other killer performer was Ken Nordine, creator of the music genre now known as Word Jazz. His bit was entitled: “How Are Things in YOUR Town?”. Turns out this poet/voice-over millionaire had a very long, fruitful career, being sought out by Jerry Garcia, Tom Waits, David Bowie and hosts of others in need of a golden voice. Further research reveals that he died a mere two or three weeks ago in February 2019. He had an amazing 70 or more year career.

Last night I chanced upon “My Beautiful Broken Brain”, a Netflix documentary about a 35 yr old filmmaker/ad agency creative  named Lotje Sodderland, who had a stroke. Charlie and I watched it until it grew too late to continue. This TBI survivor  revived a couple of days after the stroke and immediately began documenting her experience on her iphone–which led to meeting another filmmaker, and ultimately getting help from David Lynch, and becoming a reality.

No one at Schurig Center (formerly Marin Brain Injury Network) had heard of it.
I consider it required viewing,  owing to the fine editing and startling creativity it used to get the watcher to experience a bit of Lotje’s brain activity.


~ by jacquiephelan on March 4, 2019.

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