Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Coast to Coast

There's nothing better than waking up on a weekend morning, turning on the radio and listening to some NPR, unless it's actually having an NPR program come over to your place and broadcast a show live from your living room. Well, last Saturday we reached a sort of compromise NPR and I; they came to Joe's early in the morning to tape one episode of West Coast Live for next week and then they broadcast another live in the afternoon. I slept late and came for the second one because I like live better anyway. And sleeping late.

They had all sorts of fancy guests. The Holmes Brothers were there, but I'll put their drawings up later. And then they had Edith Grossman, who is officially the first translator I have ever drawn. And, if I'm going to start drawing translators, it's good to start with the woman who mediates for Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Cervantes. It just looks better on a resume.

In the Second part of the show, Calvin Trillin came out and read some of his poetry. Jo thought he was very funny: "This guy's hilarious," she said. "That's why they pay him so much for the poetry," thought I. (He is the highest paid poet in the country.)

Ali Eskandarian, an Iranian born folk singer raised in Texas and now living in New York (like you do) was up next, introduced by Judy Collins. If you want to be taken seriously as a folk-singer, it has to help to be introduced by Judy Collins.

Finally, Judy Collins, an emerged folk singer from the West Village played a couple of songs to finish the show up. She was introduced by Ali Eskandrian which helps if you want to be taken seriously as a folk singer.

Judy Collins has a voice like Judy Collins and that's a pretty good compliment for those trying to parse the metaphors at home. During her second song, she had a slight tickle in her throat and, as she addressed it by coughing a bit and changing the phrasing of her song to compensate, I found myself glowing with admiration not just for a lovely performance but for an entire career . . . There's something about watching a woman perform live on the radio while struggling with a cough to make you appreciate how confidence and experience can compensate for any problems that might pop up along the way . . .


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