Pieter Pastoor's blog

Bapu, ballads and ballots: Bapu Vaitla shares music that inspires, on Listening Lyrics, Oct. 28, 2022

Bapu Vaitla, running to represent district 1 on the Davis City Council, will talk about music and share tracks that inspire and galvanize all our efforts towards building a better world this Friday on Listening Lyrics.

From his campaign website: “Bapu Vaitla was born in rural India and spent his childhood in Chicago and Los Angeles. He came to UC Davis for his undergraduate studies, where he forged strong bonds with the social and environmental justice community in town, learning about the power of science to change the world.

"His professional career has been in the global fight against hunger. He earned his PhD at Tufts University, focusing on the politics and economics of hunger, and later did a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University on climate change and food security. As former chair of the Social Services Commission, he led Davis's groundbreaking public safety reform process, and continues the fight to make affordable housing a policy priority.

Timothy Walker on Listening Lyrics, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at 4 p.m.

Timothy Walker is a folk musician and singer-songwriter originally from the Atlanta area, but currently residing in Davis as he works on his PhD in English literature. He performs and writes music under the stage name Threadbare, Brother. His first full-length record, When the War is Through, was released in 2011. The album explores the themes of spiritual transformation in the midst of personal grief and uncertainty.

After a long hiatus from performing, he is working on a new set of songs that seek to portray the complexities of queer love, loss, and longing in the aftermath of religious trauma. Visit Timothy at https://threadbarebrother.bandcamp.com

Listen to this program over the air, via streaming on www.kdrt.org, via the show archives, or on most podcast apps under Listening Lyrics.

Paul Smaldino of The Small Dinosaurs to appear on Listening Lyrics, Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, at 4 p.m.

Paul Smaldino is the lead singer of The Small Dinosaurs, a strange band dedicated to singing songs about the little things that matter. Their first album, Household Songs, is entirely about household chores, and is available everywhere on the internet. Their second album, Dad Songs, is due out in 2023. Paul will most likely perform a song or two live in the studio. Listen in, get to know Paul, and lern a bit about little things that matter.

Listen to this program over the air, via streaming on www.kdrt.org, via the show archives, or on most podcast apps under Listening Lyrics.

Favorite songs and why we have them, 4 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 12, on Listening Lyrics

This will be fun. I have asked 6 people I respect to name a favorite song. Any genre, any reason. Their picks are a stunning example of why music moves us.

Listen in as I read their stories and play their selection. You will be moved by the songs.

Steve Beck of Needle will be live in the studio on Listening Lyrics, Friday July 29, 2022 at 4 p.m.

Steve Beck has been involved with music most of his life, from founding a leading musician portal in the early days of the internet, and speaking at SXSW, to releasing three acclaimed albums with his band Needle, and traveling the globe to speak to musicians on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

Needle blends Beck’s low-fi minimalist arrangements with Julie Cornett’s collection of lullabies and symphonic sagas. The duo's most recent release, The Long View, came during the pandemic. They enlisted Dana Colley (Morphine, Twinemen, Vapors of Morphine) to play saxophone on a few tracks, and Kramer (Low, Galaxy 500, Daniel Johnston) mastered the project. The Noise Room is Steve’s home on the web; he wrote or conducted most of its articles and interviews.

Listen to this program over the air, via streaming on www.kdrt.org, via the show archives, or on most podcast apps under Listening Lyrics.

Album of the Week, Johnny Cash, 'American IV: The Man Comes Around,' Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 4 p.m.

Text adapted from a review in The Guardian.

At 70, Johnny Cash was still defiant and still making country music with a rock 'n' roll attitude when he released American IV: The Man Comes Around in 2002. He was Robert Mitchum with an acoustic guitar. His ill health had merely given his odes to unrepentant bad boys a stinging resonance.

The title track rambles down the road to Armageddon, but this being the Man in Black, it's doubtful he'd be happy in heaven. He savours his role as a murderer in "Sam Hall," spitting with hate while grasping at life. Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" is given a sheen of weariness from someone who has battled his own drug demons, the sharp self-pity smoothed to a blurry mundanity. Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" goes from grand opera to a personal quest for fulfilment. Cash's vocals betray his fragility -- "Bridge Over Troubled Water" sounds like karaoke, Grandad-style -- but he still puts guest stars Don Henley and Nick Cave in the shade with his fury, humour and absolute cool.

Neil Nayyar, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, in a live interview on Listening Lyrics, Friday, July 22, at 4 p.m.

Neil Nayyar plays 117 musical instruments from around the world.

Chances are if you love a particular type of music, Neil plays it, and he plays it well. Classical, Bollywood, jazz, rock, and sounds from all over the world flow from this musician, but this is not the only amazing thing about him.

Neil’s parents credit much of his ability and love of music to Mozart classics he listened to while still in the womb. However, his talent didn’t surface until he was five years old when he took a drum class and wowed everyone, and this was just the beginning.

A lot of Neil’s talent and abilities as a multi-instrumentalist are natural, but he leaves nothing to chance. In fact, he practices his music six hours each day. The child prodigy is receiving training from 25 musical professionals both locally and internationally.

Neil holds the Assist Foundation’s world record as the youngest person to play all those instruments from all parts of the planet. The Assist Foundation provides a lot of resources for secondary education opportunities for young people around the world.

Telemakus shows us jazz fusion/funk, live on Listening Lyrics Friday, July 15, at 4 pm

Telemakus, 22, is an Indian-American composer/pianist/producer/UC Davis student who has worked on numerous projects and recently put out his critically acclaimed album, The New Heritage. Listing Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Butcher Brown as influences, Telemakus aims to delve into the jazz fusion/funk and hip-hop sound. His music is modern, yet pays homage to the past. He grew up listening to jazz and hip-hop, and taught himself to play the piano and make beats.

After honing his craft, he collaborated virtually during the pandemic to finish his album. It was never recorded in a studio, but instead was made through Zoom sessions, with individual parts sent back and forth online. His music, praised on Spotify, Apple Music, BBC 6 Music, Worldwide FM, The New York Times, and more, has amassed more than 2 million streams.

Listen to this program over the air, via streaming on www.kdrt.org, via the show archives, or on most podcast apps under Listening Lyrics.

Didar Singh Khalsa visits KDRT, Live on Listening Lyrics, Friday July 1, 2022 at 4 pm

Listening Lyrics is proud to present Didar Singh Khalsa. He has played guitars for 52 years, but started writing, singing and recording songs only six years ago, inspired by six consecutive trips to the guitar/songwriting camp taught by the amazing Richard Thompson. He claims the muse is relentless and not even very intermittent. Let’s test that theory.

This show will be broadcast over the air and streamed live at KDRT.org.

Joey Wisgirda (Big Joe Daddy ) is live in the studio, on Listening Lyrics, Friday, May 27, at 4 p.m.

Joey Wisgirda (Big Joe Daddy ) has been playing trumpet since the age of 9. He has studied jazz theory and composition with jazz legend John Tchicai, and performed throughout California with a diverse range of players that includes Joe Craven and Rick Montgomery (David Grisman Quintet), Fully Fullwood (Peter Tosh), reggae superstar Alton Ellis, Hamsa Lila, and John Tchicai. He has opened for such acts as John Scofield,  Galactic, Charlie Hunter, Bassnectar, Kraddy, and Tipper.

For the past decade, Joey has extended his musical efforts into the computer realm, using  soft- and hardware synths, and tying it all together with a Morrison Digital Trumpet (MDT) to morph from jazz and funk to breakbeats and dub. His live performances on Ableton and the MDT are cutting edge.

Listen to this program over the air, via streaming on www.kdrt.org, via the show archives, or on most podcast apps under Listening Lyrics.