Sedge Thomson's West Coast Live, San Francisco's Radio Show to the World!

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Today, SEDGE THOMSON, presents Not Always Benign birds, bugs, plants  show.  

 

The droll botanist AMY STEWART brings in plants and bugs of peculiar powers, not always good for us. 

 

BRIAN KIMBERLING’s novel, Snapper, observes the inner realm of an Indiana birdwatcher’s life. 

 

And THOR HANSON, whose chronicle of Feathers, the Evolution of a Natural Miracle, describes the garb of dinosaurs and sparrows. 

 

It's Sedge's flaneur files.  

 

Insights abound. 

 

Laughs, too. 

 

J. Raoul Brody and Mike Greensill make the pianos soar. 


This week, SEDGE THOMSON present the COOL TOOLS, COOL TUNES show.

The wired and rewired tech thinker KEVIN KELLY explains why humans will forever be tech newbies.  He reveals his coolest tool which help with sandwiches, he says.

Author ANNE LAMOTT marvels how her Some Assembly Required made it past her son Sam' vetting.  It's a sequel to life, to Operating Instructions.  She also explans how clothes shrink in closets -- it has to do with lack of air circulation.

RUBBER SOULDIERS play extended verisions of Beatles songs - as Lennon-McCartney produced Iron Butterfly-length cuts for FM Album Oriented radio from another era instead of their 2:42 pop songs.  The groove is suppled by the ROWAN BROTHERS and DAVID GANS. Dance along.

MIKE GREENSILL is tripped up by technology yet improvs a solution with his own human wit.

Delightful show.  

 

 

 

 

Today, SEDGE THOMSON, presents our One Has To Have a Sense of Humor show.  

 

SEDGE and the audience laugh with the stories of British comic EDDIE IZZARD

 

and American, sometimes ex-pat, DAVID SEDARIS.  

 

-- ROFL!

 

ROY ZIMMERMAN sings "TMI" and a bit of KLAUS FLOURIDE - JUMBO SHRIMP beach band closes the show. 

 

It's Sedge's flaneur files.  

 

Insights abound. 

 

Laughs, too. 

Today, SEDGE THOMSON presents TROPICAL SPIRIT. As first Harvey, now Irma and no doubt other cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and gales transform the tropics, let's hear the spirit of those places. 

 

SEDGE talks with GILBERTO GIL of Brazil, CHUCHO VALDÉS of Cuba, and the ebullient RAY KANE, much missed, of Hawaii.  These masters with good humour and elan celebrate musically and in words a spirit and sound that we hope endures despite the changes wrought by climate change

From Sedge's flaneur files.  

 

Insights abound. 

SEDGE talks with CELIA SACK, proprietor of the antiquarian and new cookbooks and her customers from around the U.S. and the world at Omnivore Books in San Francisco. 

 

This show is from Sedge's flâneur files.  Topics range from Syrian cooking to the trends through the centuries of how we cook.  We hear from customers, including Van, a man growing oyster mushrooms in his basement in Buffalo, NY, and his girlfriend Abigail, whose family runs a farm-to-table store there.  In San Francisco, they're looking for ideas and books to "export." Chefs stop by.  A food photographer.  It's a bustling hub built around volumes of ideas and directions on ways to make our daily need to eat pleasurable, companionable, and aesthetic.

 

It's hot.  It's Labor Day Weekend celebrated with barbecues and other kinds of cooking.  What better accompaniment for your day that time in Omnivore Books for an hour.

Today, SEDGE THOMSON, interprets INTERPRETATIONS. 

 

SEDGE talks with TIINA NUNNALY and STEVEN MURRAY, renowned translators of Scandinavian literature. It's their words we read when hooked by STIEG LARSSON's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy which sold a squillion copies and was made into at least two film versions. And why did Steve choose Reg Keeland as his pseudonym?   And what is the connection with Oakland Tech?

 

And one of the great interpreters of SHAKESPEARE -- IAN McKELLEN who performs a scene for the political interpretations that follow. 

 

 

Together with Sedge they divine truth from song and story as we link the past and present to guide us to the future. 

 

Insights abound. 

Today, SEDGE THOMSON, continuing his skyward look as we anticipate the Great Eclipse of 21 August, with TIMOTHY FERRIS, whose popular accounts of astronomy delight and inform us. He helped produce the gold record aboard the Voyagers carrying earth sounds and music into deep space.

 

Musically, JACK CASADY of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna plays with  BOX SET. He talks about his studies of English folk songs. Also, THE WAYBACKS offer musical time travel. 

 

J. RAOUL BRODY sits in for his fellow star Mike Greensill. 

 

Click to hear SEDGE'S ECLIPSE REPORT from Los Cabo's bo airport, July 1991. It lasts about 3:30, 3 minutes less than the eclipse! 

 

SEDGE THOMSON, continues his skyward look to anticipate the Great Eclipse of 21 August, with DAVA SOBEL, whose account of Copernicus's life and his mathematical revelation that the sun orbits the earth put him at risk from the science deniers of his day.  

 

Musically, we take the measure of Canadian  THREE METRE DAY, featuring lap guitar and antique pump organ;

and JOHN WESLEY HARDING and members of the Decembrists who channel the folk protest songs of the 60s to current issues. 

 

Mike Greensill plays an astronomical song. 

 

Together with Sedge they divine truth from song and story as we link the past and present to guide us to the future. 

 

Songs and insights abound. 

 

 



Today, SEDGE THOMSON brings us ZOË KEATING, whose cello compositions of looping magic inhabit listeners' imaginations, film and tv scores and for a musical spine for many radio shows including RadioLab.  

 

She and author ELI BROWN, whose erudite and funny account of a Pirate Queen and the chef she holds captive is a sea-going feast in Cinnamon and Gunpowder

 

Together with Sedge they explore the artistic life and its twists of life's course. 

 

And, of course we hear Optimist and the premiere of an unnamed new work in progress.  All from this past weekend at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. 

 

Sedge also has an eclipse report as we link the past and present to guide us to the future. 

 

Songs and insights abound. 

 

photo: dhetzel

 

 

Today, SEDGE THOMSON brings us JUDY COLLINS, whose musical influences shaped her songs, books, filmmaking and activism. 

 

As she embarks on a summer and autumn tour with Stephen Stills at 78 we hear how her blind father instilled a creative fire that's carried her all her life. 

 

Songs and insights abound. 

 

We bring the past and the present to life to guide us to the future.


Sedge Thomson will be at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco July 29 and 30 for a "Discussion Thingy," the opening act of ZOË KEATING's evenings of her looped cello orchestra.  He'll be joined by Zoë and author ELI BROWN and others,  For more information and tickets:  zoekeating.com/perform.html

 

 


Sedge, who likes to travel with a watercolor sketch book, finds living masters who depict the natural world on to paper -- 

JOHN MUIR LAWS - whose many guides and on-line tutorials show us a new way of observing

PATRICIA CURTAN - Her drawings, prints and sketches of fruit and vegetables grace the 40 year colloborations with Alice Waters in the Chez Panisse cookbooks and menus.  Her love of printing connects with food and the plants

TOM KILLION -- He boyhood admiration for the works of Japanese print masters led to his own use of the wood-block printing tradition to depict the American west, sometimes with poet Gary Snyder, and as a counterpoint to his time in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Sedge Thomson will be at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco July 29 and 30 for a "Discussion Thingy," the opening act of ZOË KEATING's evenings of her looped cello orchestra.  He'll be joined by Zoë and author ELI BROWN and others,  For more information and tickets:  zoekeating.com/perform.html

 

 

 

 

In Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck set out to find what are American’s Like Today — that was in 1960.

 

Today, we hear from the author’s son,  THOMAS STEINBECK, an author himself, about growing up a Steinbeck, the mysteries of the cypress planted by the Chinese in Monterrey, at take on American politics viewed from the Revolutionary War through Vietnam.

 

And BILL BARICH who travelled in Steinbeck’s wheel tracks of Travels with Charley to find a current America — where the individual remains noble while the mass seems to go off the rails at times, in his Long Way Home.

 

We bring the past and the present to life to guide us to the future. today.



SEDGE celebrates the summer and the appeal of wide-open spaces and the language and food and life found in them as we commence our new series of one-hour broadcasts.  (New time in San Francisco, Saturdays 1PM, yet highly listenable all week via our website - just to the left -- on any internet-connected device you use.) 

DON EDWARDS, with a Cowboy song

GRETEL EHRLICH, poet, on her seven seasons in Greenland on the ice speaking Greenlandic and eating seal

KEN WALDMAN, Alaskan poet and fiddler 

SEDGE THOMSON on The Bluebloods of the vegetable world -- the Redwoods 

NORA MARKS DAUENHAUER, the acclaimed Juneau-based poet and translator of her native Tlingit language guides us through the language and the best way to cook salmon by the river. 

We dine well on the ideas of the past and present guiding us to the future. Keep apprised.  Sign up to the mailing list!


On this Independence Day weekend, Sedge continues his shows linking the wisdom of the past with ways forward in the follies our our present.  He brings us:

Hedrick Smith on what has happened to the American dream,

the annual WCL reading of the Declaration of Independence, as read aloud on 2nd July, 1776, in Philadelphia, and

some gold ol' American friviolity with the Whiffenpoofs.

This is the first of our one-hour show format, commencing this weekend.

In couple of listening areas, there is a vestigal 2-hour show that features Phil Lapsley on the phone phreakers and musician April Verch.

Both shows conclude with Dan Bern imitating the Beatles.

 




A day of dappled summer light and good humor and music from the main stage of the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival in Laytonville, California. SEDGE welcomed:

Musician

U. UTAH PHILLIPS

the late great story teller, union organizer, rail rider, and songsmith (1935-2008).

Musician

GREG BROWN

one of America's best loved folk and blues musicians.

Musician

ROSALIE SORRELS

a.k.a. Rosa Bizarrio, the famous outlaw Queen.(Her birthday today!)

Musician

ARLO GUTHRIE

folk singer who, like his late father, Woody, is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice.

Photo of KWF stage courtesy
Kate Wolf Memorial Festival

Musician

BRUCE COCKBURN

one of North America's great political songwriters.

Musicians

THE WAYBACKS

performers of a bluegrass offshoot self-described as "crabgrass", as our house band.




SEDGE sits under a palm tree with 

GEOFF DYER - Who is not afraid to travel in circles, both in fact, and in his own mind, to find merriment, truth, and unexpected insights from his peregrinations?  It's a good chance this master of procrastination will illuminate some unexpected pleasures of travel in screamingly funny ways, as Geoff likes to say.

PAUL THEROUX - Who would take the train from London to Asia and back, or live in Africa, or wander in cities avoiding the well-known and who loathes vacations?  Paul as travel writer and novelist contributes to ways of sensing the textures of our world, and passes on ways to survive being asked for your shoes at gunpoint. 

MARY ROACH  - Who would go try out a NASA-designed test loo so the rest of us could know how to pack for a trip to Mars and what will protect the astronauts from radiation?  This is her account of what she found on her travels.


RINKER BUCK - Who would think of taking a prairie schooner pulled by three mules along the Oregon Trail.  Rinker did, and he did it, too.  This is his account of following in the ruts of migration's path.

MIKE GREENSILL at the moveable piano looks for a pub with a warm beer.

SEDGE talks with     

JEANETTE WINTERSON - author of Gut Symmetires, Oranges Aren Not The Only Fruit, Sexing the Cherry, Art Objects,  and many other explorations of memory, time, experience and identity with candor and humor

GEORGE TAKEI
His authobiography describes how his father coped with his Japanese heritage and prepared him for leading the pluraistic Star Trek cres as SULU

U. UTAH PHILIPS & ROSALIE SORRELS
The late, great story teller tells us how to develop better narrative "gaffs" and the demonstrate the hilarity and compassion in folk music. "Soup!" - the solution to all social ills.

THE FOREMEN
Sing comically about folk music.

And a pre-fame lagniappe with MICHAEL FRANTI

MIKE GREENSILL, piano
DIANE HIDY, piano

SEDGE welcomes conversation on how words are formed, and lost, in type, in paint, and in our brains:

Author

DIANE ACKERMAN

the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry talks of aphasia, One Hundred Names For Love: A Stroke, A Marriage, And the Language of Healing.*

Author

CHRIS MOORE

the author of twelve hilarious novels, including the international bestsellers Fool and Bite Me, with his latest, Sacré Blue.

Typographer

CAROLINA DE BARTOLO

typography and design history educator and the author of Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting.

Musicians

SF JAZZ COLLECTIVE

an all-star jazz ensemble comprising eight of the finest performer/composers at work in jazz today.

Vocalists

OUT OF THE BLUE

Oxford's premier all-male a cappella group stops by on their US Tour.

The Mellifluous

MIKE GREENSILL

on Piano.

With additional music from Dan Bern and The Refugee All-Stars

*Much of this show is from a sluicing soggy 31 March, 2012.  Mr. Paul West, Diane Ackerman's husband, died at 85 in 2015, three years after this interview with her.

SEDGE THOMSON marks the holiday weekend with the audio picnic you can take anywhere:

MARIEL HEMINGWAY  -  The actor and food maven talks her all-popcorn fad diet and her more balanced life now, enhanced with her grandfather Ernest's demi-tasse spoon collection

NILOUFER ICHAPORIA KING - Immigration from Persia to India to San Francisco -- A hundred-years old cuisine that transcends boundaries and politics, and why she won't go for a Parsi pizza.

CARBECUE - Alfred Cary likes to cook on the manifold of his car.  A feature once offered by Rolls-Royce - the engine hot plate

CHARLES PHAN  - Proprietor of the renowned The Slanted Door and other Vietnamese restaurants.  Among his secrets, how to choose the best fish sauce

MARION CUNNINGHAM - She channeled Fannie Farmer, and longs for the days when she changed differentials in a service station.  In memoriam!

JULIA CHILD - She changed the way Americans eat -- though we still most of us don't prepare eel as she did in France

BOB CANNARD & ALICE WATERS   -  The accomplished and hilarious grower of fruit and veg reveal his technique for looking through compost.  And Alice talks stone fruit season and ways to prepare.  The founder of Chez Panisse samples a crisp Sedge makes from her Fruit cookbook.

With music from THE WAIFS and MIKE GREENSILL

Sedge refers to an article in the New York Times. 

 


With the chaos in our land, our gift to you is two hours of calming laughter, discussion and music inspired by Zen Buddhism 

  • Annie Somerville, Greens Executive Chef, author of the new "Everyday Greens: Home Cooking from Greens, the Celebrated Vegetarian Restaurant" and "Fields of Greens".
  • Scoop Nisker, a voice of counterculture radio in the Bay Area for 35 years, originally as a KSAN DJ, he is a Buddhist teacher and writer whose latest book is the generational retrospective "The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom".
  • Noah Levine, author of "Dharma Punx", in which he chronicles his own transformation from self-destructive punk rock rebel to Buddhist student, and the reasons he believes these two seemingly opposed worlds can coexist.
  • Fenton Johnson, author of "Keeping Faith: A Skeptics Journey" who was raised with Christian Trappist monks in the American South, abandoned organized religion, then began to reexamine faith through the Zen Center.
  • Norman Fischer, author of "Taking Our Places", is a Zen priest, teacher, poet, former abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, and founder of The Everyday Zen Foundation, an organization created to broaden the reach of engaged Buddhist practice.
  • David Chadwick, author of "Crooked Cucumber".
  • Wendy Johnson, organic gardener, fervent defender of the earth, and former head of the Zen Center's Green Gulch Farm.
  • Artist Mayumi Oda.
  • Cyril Pahinui whose spirit of aloha, musical intelligence, great ear, and killer chops make him one of Hawaii's most respected and beloved slack-key guitarists, and Patrick Landeza, one of the stars of a new generation of slack-key songwriters..
  • Music from piano player Mike Greensill.

 

Today -  Sedge feature conversations about mothers and motherhood (and fathers, as necessary to this...) with

MAYA ANGELOU, with her son GUY JOHNSON on motherhood, poetry, and becoming herself through red beans and rice, 

 

Image result for maya angelou

TILLIE OLSEN, on political demonstrations and writing and being a mother, and being in the SAT test.

 

Image result for Tell Me A Riddle Tillie

ANNE LAMOTT, with observations on her self as mother, 

Image result for anne lamott operating instructions

 

Image result for Ruth Reichl Not Mother

RUTH REICHL, about NOT becoming her mother and, 

MARILYN YALOM on the history of the breast.  

Image result for Marilyn Yalom breast

Please sign up to the mailing list for the most current information, at WCL.org, or via text to 22828  Enter the word Sedge.  And listen to each week's show  via the Listen button to the left in the center column.

SEDGE THOMSON presents our Pre-Exisiting Condition Show, insuring you good listening regardless of what Congress does, 
and welcomes guest-hosts CASE CONOVER & MIKE GREENSILL who in turn welcome:

 

Author

J. MAARTEN TROOST

with Headhunters on my Doorstep, recounting his hilarious misadventures island hopping in the South Pacific in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson after a stint in rehab.

Author

ALEX SOOJUNG-KIM PANG

the renowned Stanford technology guru with The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul.

Doctor

DAPHNE MILLER

explores the frontier between modern medicine and the natural world in Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us about Health and Healing.

Singers

CONSPIRACY OF BEARDS

the 30 member male a capella choir performing the songs of the legendary poet, novelist and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.

 

Musician

GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV

the South African-born, Colorado-based troubadour brings us the sweet sounds of his new album The Weatherman, telling stories of miles and landscapes, and the search for a sense of place.

Singer

WESLA WHITFIELD

the Bay Area's premier cabaret singer, performing with the Mike Greensill Trio at the new Society Cabaret September 4-15.

The Multi-Talented

MIKE GREENSILL

our house pianist. And more, including your audience true stories...  we hope you'll join us!

The sport, the art, the lifestyle of SURFING. Featuring interviews and music from throughout the ages, with:

WILLIAM FINNEGAN, author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, perhaps the best surf memoir ever written 

DAN DUANE, surfer and author of Caught Inside: A Surfer's Year on the California Coast. 

PETER HELLER, author of Kook, what Surfing Taught me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave. 

FRED VAN DYKE, surfing legend; one of the first surfers, in the mid-'50's, to move permanently from California to the North Shore of Hawaii. 

BOB WISE, designer of Wise Surf Boards teaches Sedge to catch a wave!

DICK DALE & THE DELTONES, known as the King of the Surf Guitar, he pioneered surf music in the 1950s, drawing on Eastern musical scales and experimenting with reverberation. 

WHYS, the all-women's high-energy Japanese surf band. 

WALT KEALE & LT SMOOTH with Chris Lau and Bill Griffin bring us soothing music from the shores of Hawaii 

In Connection with March for Science Day and Earth Day SEDGE THOMSON presents thinkers, scientiest,s growers and the story of those who find how we humans can live on the planet with care gleaned from knoweldge and plesaure.  It's all connected.  And as the EPA gets thwarted and protections for our lands are removed, I hope temporarily, we must note these short-term and short-sighted policies are not what thinking and reflective people want if the earth is to continue serving us with its bounty.

NOVELLA CARPENTER, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.

LISA HAMLITON, whose book Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness, depicts growers as stewards of the land and their pace of life.

JANE S. SMITH, author of The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants.  

DAVID MAS MASUMOTO farmer, author, Heirlooms: Letters from a Peach Farmer

JESSICA PRENTICE, author of Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

WES JACKSON  farmer, philosopher and author of several landmark books on sustainable agriculturel.  Recepient of the MacArthur grant, founder of The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas.

HOT BUTTERED RUM the five piece progressive bluegrass band carry us to the mountains and back with their stunning instrumental and vocal virtuosity. 

 

SEDGE THOMSON PRESENTS:

JOHN FOWLES - a rare visit from 1996 when the reclusive author left Lyme Regis and came to talk on West Coast Live.  The author of The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Magus, The Collector and many other books talks of his love of nature, detestation of cities, then necessity of learning to hunt and his revulsion by it, of the fossisls he foound and of the  love he enjoyed..

MARY GAITSKILL - noveist and short-story writr whose authentic, humorous and emotionally complx characters reveal a clear-eye take on we humans.

CLAIRE PEASLEE - Our naturalist has an ode to Spring and periodicity as we mark one of the holidays of rebirth.

THE NIELDS - The millenial sextet of rock and ameri-australia-cana light up the start of the show

SHANA MORRISON - the singer-songwriter is in with her band.  She's got great material, and chops she earned with her dad, Van.

JOHN SEBASTIAN - with his jug band, a custom tub to thump and the connetion between fol, rock n roll and current rap-pop.

MIKE GREENSILL - the non-gobsmackable pianist.


 

 

 

SEDGE THOMSON presents The Literature of Politics.  His guests all began with poetry celebrating human justice and obscure political causes.  Then they ran into the reality and pleasures of finding audiences with their art. 

Author

JONATHAN LETHEM

the genre-bending author of The Fortress of Solitude and many other award-winning works of fiction stops by with his new novel, Dissident Gardens. The demands of art meet the realpolitik of political actions.

Author

NORMAN RUSH

author of the best-selling classic and National Book Award-winner Mating brings us his long-awaited new novel Subtle Bodies. Leftist politics meet complicated male-female relationships.

Author

SJÓN

Icelandic poet, novelist and lyricist published in 25 languages. He collaborates with Bjork and performed with The Sugarcubes as Johnny Triumph. His three novels, The Whispering Muse, From the Mouth of the Whale, and The Blue Fox link Icelandic myth and current politics and the history of punk music.

Musicians

HOT BUTTERED RUM

the five piece progressive bluegrass band carry us to the mountains and back with their stunning instrumental and vocal virtuosity.

Musicians

THE BILLS

the high impact acoustic folk music quintet from the West Coast of Canada, renowned for their instrumental virtuosity, lush vocal arrangements and exuberant live performances.

The Brilliant

MIKE GREENSILL

the UK born, SF based jazz and cabaret piano man who we're pleased to call our House Pianist.

Sedge Thomson presents Memory, Speech, and Movement - Freedoms   # 1212

 

 

WILLIAM BENNETT TURNER - author of Figures of Speech: First Amendment Heroes and Villains, exploring the colorful cast of characters who have played roles in important First Amendment controversies.

 

CHARLES YU, author of the award-winning novel How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe, about the adventures of a time-machine mechanic.

 

OSCAR HIJUELOS -- A story of perserverance, immigration and imagination - the first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, and his memoir, Thoughts Without Cigarettes. Oscar died in 2013 yet his story of immigration is pertinent today.  A lovely conversation.

 

KEVIN KELLY - former executive editor of Wired Magazine, and a man who knows What Technology Wants.

 

The GREENCARDS -- Australian immigrants based in Texas 

 

TANGO #9 - The Astor Piazzola reincarnation

 

MARSHALL CHAPMAN - The rollicking singer song writer

 

RUBBER SOULDIERS

David Gans and the Rowan Brothers bring us their improvisational approach to the music of the Beatles.RUBBER SOLDIERS - The Rowan Brothers and David Gans channel the Beatles

 

MIKE GREENSILL at the piano

 


                                                                    Malcolm McDowell, Sedge Thomson*

Sedge's guests today on the Movies --
 

STANLEY DONEN - director Singin' in the Rain, Charade many others 

 

CHARLES BURNETT, director of films of the African-American experience, winner of MacArthur award

 

MALCOLM McDOWELL - From Oh Lucky Man! to Clockwork Orange to Star Trek -- he tells good stories 

 

RANDY THOM - Master sound designer for the movies . Winner of Oscars, acclaim, and steady work

 

CHRIS BARRON & MARK VOS -- on the history of vIsual effects and matte painting, The Invisible Art 

 

JOHN GREGORY DUNNE - master screen-writer who collaborated with his wife Joan Didion gives a primer on the film business 

 

And Sedge talks a bit about the feature film he produced, Kepler's Dream showing at
the Sonoma International Film Festival, March 31, Fridary evening, Sebastiani Theatre. 

*Photo above by Elizabeth Becker, Port Townsend Leader
 

*Photo below by Larry Gay, West Coast Live                  Charles Burnett, Sedge Thomson

 

 

Sedge Thomson welcomes:

Author

DAVA SOBEL

author of LongitudeGalileo's Daughter, and The Planets, now with A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos.

Author

IAN W. TOLL

acclaimed author of Six Frigates and now Pacific Crucible; War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942.

Author

THOMAS STEINBECK

the author of Down to a Soundless Sea and In the Shadow of the Cypress presents an enthralling new piece of historical fiction: The Silver Lotus.

Musician

J WESLEY HARDING

with a backing band featuring members of the Decemberists, touring with the new CD The Sound of His Own Voice.

Musicians

THREE METRE DAY

acoustic modern roots trio from Canada, complete with violin, slide-guitar and pump organ.

The Modern

MIKE GREENSILL

on piano.

SEDGE THOMSON serves a delicious lunch for body and mind: 

GORDON EDGAR, author of Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge brings us the fascinating history of one of the world's most beloved cheeses in Cheddar: A Journey to the Heart of America's Most Iconic Cheese.

JOHN MUIR LAWS, artist, naturalist, author and educator renowned for his field guides, here with his latest, The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling.

FERGUS BORDEWICH, the political historian offers some perspective in his new account The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government.

RITA HOSKING TRIO, the soulful Americana and bluegrass artist and friends bring us captivating songwriting and storytelling.

MIKE GREENSILL, our talented, wise and witty house pianist ties it all together. And More!

 

SEDGE THOMSON welcomes guests who speak on life-changing matters of health and happiness:

NORA GALLAGHER - her book, Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic, describes coping with her rare eye disease, that gave her an insight into the world of the moment;

DANIEL SMITH - his account of coping with anxiety in Monkey Mind has some brilliance for all of us;

LANG LANG - brings us a private concert of his own brilliance.  He gets a speeding ticket for playing molto molto vivace;

Music group TRIO DINICU, fisherman HANS HAVEMAN,  naturalist CLAIRE PEASLEE, pianist MIKE GREENSILL.

 

 

 

 

 

The McCarthy Era Redux - Paranoia to Pronoia 
Sedge Thomson presents wisdom for these times.  As the NY Times, the BBC, the Guardian, and others are sullied, keep your eyes on how public radio is treated.  Weak leaders create fake enemies of the press and others.   
 
ADAM CURTIS  -- British filmmaker on the use of fear to rule.  His documentaries include The Power of Nightmares, Hyper Normailisation.  He studies the use of fear - and lies - that leaders use to mainipulate society;
 
HAYNES JOHNSON -- Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Age of Anxiety, how the techniques of Roy Cohn and Joe McCarthy are used to create fear -- Hear how the 4 years of the McCarthyism went, and why it resonates today.  Roy Cohn was the current president's mentor;
 
ROB BREZNY, author of Pronoia, ways to find happiness in fraught times.  The author proffers ways to look at the world for happiness and gratitude, in a clear-eyed way, glossed, but not Panglossian; 
 
ADAM PHILLIPS - British psychiatrist on staying sane in disruptive times.  He's learned much about human behavior and resonses to provocation and the role of fear;
 
LAURENCE GONZALES - author of Deep Survival describes survival skills and how to anticipate danger.  How does one think about the idea of survival in everyday life and prepare for extraordinary circumstatnces.

JUSTIN BUA - Grafitti aristst whose classical art training blended with street smarts and street cred shaped T
he Legends of Hip Hop.
 
Plus music from The Bills, Wesley Stace (John Wesley Harding), and Greensky Bluegrass.
 
This is real radio, and real ideas, and real people. These moving, engaging and funny conversations about issues of our day are accompanied by great musicians.
 

 SEDGE welcomes presents voices of song and wisdom, hope, inspiration and laughter:

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO, the phenomenal South African acapella choir who sang with Paul Simon and Michael Jackson sing for us;

JAMES McBRIDE, author of The Color of Water and The Good Lord Bird, among other best-selling novels informed by his life, his music and his wit;

MAYA ANGELOU, whose thoughts on red beans and rice, motherhood, literature and spirituality and struggles will uplift you and make you laugh.  She's joined by her son, born when she was 17, also a poet, GUY JOHNSON.

The T-Sisters and Mike, back up JAMES McBRIDE for a spiritual with saxophone.

MIKE GREENSILL on piano.  We are real radio, real people, real ideas.

Sedge Thomson talks about how our internet bubbles isolate us; how President Eisenhower led in a racially-charged time while warning about the military-industrial complex; and about the nature of facts and inner truths with

 

ELI PARISER-- author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You -- and how the google, facebook etc and algorithms undermine democracy in their pursuit of "personalizing" your pages;

 

and 

 

JIM NEWTON, biographer of President Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower, who led through a racially-charged era and with prescience warned us about the "military-industrial complex;" 

 

and

 

GLORIA STEINEM and JEAN SHINODA BOLEN who connect the inner truths with the external world of "facts" and how to keep truth grounded in reality through Jung and feminism. 

 

These moving, engaging and funny conversations about issues of our day are accompanied by great musicians. 

SEDGE this week features two significant, engaging, and funny interviews about freedom, the quest for it, the human practice of enslaving others, and the travails of migration between the US and Mexico.  We do not limit ourselves to 140 characters of calculated insults; rather we seek illumination through thoughtfulness, imagination, and humor.

Nobel Laureate TONI MORRISON discusses the human history of slavery and how telling stories and making music keeps human creativity alive in dire times. She is the author of Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon.

LUIS ALBERTO URREA researched a brilliant and moving account of the "walkers" who seek to cross the infernal heat of the Southwest Desert and encounter the Border Patrol.  Luis finds human stories on both sides of the border.

We brace our thoughtful guests with LINDA TILLERY and THE CULTURAL HERITAGE CHOIR, GREG BROWN, and BELA FLECK and VICTOR WOOTEN.

Mike Greensill is our audio gaffer's tape with some gorgeous piano pieces.

Toni Morrison receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Photo courtesy NY Times.

 

 

 

 

 

Poets and navigators have in common the need to know where one is -- accurately -- this common point is called "the truth."  Without it, ships founder, planes crash, self-driving cars fail, emperors are encouraged in their delusions and lose their power. 

Today we hear from scientists, explorers, oceanographers and a mountain climber.  All explore this planent and all see the climate change.  Their lives are amazing as you will hear:

JIM WHITTAKER, author of Life on the Edge, his memoir of mountain climbing, sailing, and starting REI.  The importance of the out-of-doors for the first American who summitted Mt Everest. 

SUSAN CASEY author of The Wave, an astonishing book about colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves and the surfers who seek them out.

HOWARD ULRICH, Alaskan fisherman who survived the 1958 Lituya Bay megatsunami, largest in recorded history at 1720 feet tall.

DICK DALE, known as King of the Surf Guitar, he pioneered surf music in the 1950s, drawing on Eastern musical scales and experimenting with reverberation.

DANIEL LENIHAN surfaces from the Bay for just long enough to be interviewed about his book Submerged: Adventures of America's Most Elite and Extreme Underwater Archeology Team.

DONOVAN HOHN, author of Moby Duck: the True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea.

SUSAN FREINKEL, author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story, taking us through history, science and the global economy to assess the real impact of plastic in our lives.

Plus some thoughts on walls.

 

Photo by Robert Rohde http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Issues/ClimateChange/GlacierRetreatInAlaska.html

 

 

 

The West Coast Live production office has been laid low by the flu.  
So we're keeping the show going this week with several appropriate guests, including Michael O'Brien (of Karl and Carl) interviewing Lance Boyle, apparently in charge of entertainment for the inaugural.  Also when SEDGE welcomes:

Historian

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN

with her book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, on which the popular new movie Lincoln is based. How Lincoln chose his cabinet

Poet

GUY JOHNSON

author of such acclaimed works as Standing at the Scratch Line and Echoes of a Distant Summer, the West Coast Live poet laureate one year.

Historian

KEVIN STARR

the American historian best known for his multi-volume series on the history of California, collectively called Americans and the California Dream

 - The great ebullient man died this week at 76 in San Francisco.  He kept California together in his writings.  We'll hear a couple of interviews, one about the Golden Gate Bridge, which, with his vitality depicts the vim of this state over time.

 

Singer

MARY WILSON

founding member of the world's most famous female trio, the Supremes, who has gone on to have a successful career as a solo singer and humanitarian.

Musician

PEPPINO D'AGOSTINO

with STEF BURNS; the audacious guitar duo.  MIKE GREENSILL at the  piano.

"God, I miss the Cold War!" - Judi Dench as "M"

DIY Bumper Sticker in the Wild

This week SEDGE THOMSON brings us reflections on some issues of the day: A man who lost the popular vote by more than 3 million votes is due to take office, with plans to destroy health insurance for tens of millions of Americans, reinstating pre-existing condition clauses and denying health coverage to many more.  His proven labile scofflaw behavior of ignoring conflict of interest laws, nepotism laws, refusal to reveal his finances, and tax returns, to perhaps hide his indebtedness to Russian billionaires or business dealings with China, may distract us from the systematic dismantling of laws and organizations established for the well-being of our civil society.  His invocation of GODWIN'S LAW to attack the national security agencies dealing with external threats creates havoc, which may be intentional, who knows what is true at this point, with his buffoonery.

So we focues on what is known, and through reflection about the past, illuminate the present:

SETH ROSENFELD - Author - of Subversives on how the FBI fed information to Ronald Reagan to help him become Governor and President, as the result of the Berkeley birthed Free Speech Movement.  We hear how the FBI supplied covert and personal information to Ronald Reagan shifting votes in elections, an echo of current events.  After years of court cases and Freedom of Information Acts, some of this history is now known.;

STEVE SILBERMAN - author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and The Future of Neurodiversity, which won a major scientific book award, for his account of Autism, our human need for different kinds of people, and the struggle to overcome prejudice fake news about vaccines.  This week Donald Trump and Robert Kennedy Jr met to discuss their ill-informed and dangerous anti-vaccine measures which, if their wacky ideas are acted on, will imperil Americans' health;

MARK BOWDEN - author of Worm: The First Digital World War - How the US government was unprepapred for hacking and internet attacks in 2009.  And as we've seen is recent months, the vulnerabiliity remains real, credible and dangerous.  We learn about Bay Area-based SRI and their attempts from the deck of the Internet Clipper Ship to braves the gales of malware;

And to calm us from the news of the day,  DAROL ANGER and THE FURIES along with the Canadian refuge of ENSEMBLE CAPRICE;

MIKE GREENSILL proffers a thought.

 


SEDGE THOMSON presents a two-level broacast from the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum and Room X

A.S. BYATT -  in her droll and perceptive style about perceptions in art, musuems, and the magic of certain Djinn guides;

SIMON SINGH -- whose physics interests lead him in the political world of the 17th century mathematics and Fermat's Enigma, where how to solve a puzzle may be more important than the answer;

JOHN FENSTERMAKER - plays the Skinner Organ in Room X about the Florence Gould Theatre and we hear from the restorer

Tips on Travel with KARL and CARL - travelers with their own perceptions who know their Conde from their Nast;

WESLA WHITFIELD, MIKE GREENSILL, DEAN RILEY - The trio adds a new chorus to a song from Oklahoma!

and a surprise improv visit....