Ralph Nader and prog

Nine hundred reviews! We rock! :-)

I went to see Ralph Nader speak today; he was being hosted here in New Haven by the Yale Political Union and the Connecticut Green Party. He was an excellent speaker and is obviously a very, very intelligent guy, judging from the way he answered — in a refreshingly direct manner — some pretty tough questions coming from Yale’s few right-wing students. I for one am somewhat more typical for a Yalie, being pretty left-wing, and Nader appealed to me a lot. One thing he said struck me in a progressive rock context. He was talking about freedom of expression is somewhat stunted by the fact that the media is entirely corporate-controlled, and no normal person is really able to reach out and communicate to large amounts of people. “You’re a brilliant violinist in the middle of the south Sahara desert.” Given my views on mass media, I agreed and in the meantime made the obvious comparison to the situation that progressive rock finds itself in.

For my music class, “Musical Cultures of the World”, our assignment for each unit is to find a piece in the Western tradition that is influenced by whatever music the unit is about. The first unit was on Indonesian gamelan music; I used the title track from King Crimson’s Discipline. The second unit, which we’re now wrapping up, is on Native American music; I used “Dum Dum Tambora” from Canción del Sur by Los Jaivas. I believe the next unit is on Indian (as in, Asian Indian) music - not sure what I’ll use for that one.

I’m currently in the middle of training for WYBC - the Yale Broadcasting Company. WYBC has both a commercial FM station (which happens to be New Haven’s #1 station, with 50,000 listeners) and a student-centered AM station. I’m planning to get a progressive rock show on the AM station next semester. WYBC does broadcast over the Internet, so anyone interested in tuning in could do so from anywhere in the world. Cool stuff.

In order to go to Sunday at ProgDay, I’m missing both The Flaming Lips and De La Soul in New Haven. Oh well, it’s a good tradeoff, and I’ll still get to see Sunny Day Real Estate.

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