Bill Callahan. What a man. He gives us inspiration. He feeds us our bread and butter. Perfect for setting an intimate mood for conversation, pondering about life, or just crying. His melodic voice mellows us into a depressive state, reminiscent of Leonard Cohen’s older moods, before he fell in love with the shifty francophone lifestyle. Billy’s congas and classic use of the Wurlitzer coupled with his soothing, earl grey tea-vocals add a unique undertone to his melancholia. If you’ve heard of Sam Amidon but felt that it made you want to cry your eyes out and your eyes ran dry, try Bill Callahan. Billy straddles the fence between depression and utter bliss.
On October 5th, Radiolab came to Cleveland’s State Theatre with the live show Apocalyptical—a blend of science, music, visuals, and life-size dinosaur puppets. The theme of the show was endings: they covered subjects from the end of the reign of reptiles on Earth to facing the end of life with Parkinson’s disease. Radiolab, a WNYC radio show and podcast, is the project of Oberlin (and WOBC!) alumni Jad Abumrad (’95) and Robert Krulwich (’69). Their infectious storytelling powers attracted an audience consisting of about 98% old people and 2% Oberlin students.
Somehow this bullet being shot through water has something to do with dinosaur extinction. Jad explained it better than I ever could. Photo courtesy of Yvette Chen.
Accompanying Jad and Robert were comedian Ophira Eisenberg, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, On Fillmore bassist Darin Gray, and guitarist Sarah Lipstate. The musicians definitely captured that signature smooth soundscape of a traditional Radiolab episode, while adding their individual flairs (seriously though, have you seen Glenn Kotche’s setup????). Ophira Eisenberg made a lot of jokes about her name.
If you haven’t checked out Radiolab yet, you can find their podcasts here.