Basement, April 2, 2011
Town Hall in New York, NY
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Basement

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SS: So how you coming on the basement?

GK: I got a start on it. Just taking a break.

SS: Good. I didn't hear you throwing things away. Are you? Throwing things away?

GK: I'm going to, yes. I'm just trying to get things scoped out first.

SS: I hope you do something about your collection of LPs.

GK: Don't worry about it.

SS: I'm not worried. They're sitting there gathering dust and mold ----- eventually I suppose they'll just disintegrate -----Do you want me to do it? I'm serious. I'll do it. You could leave the house for a couple hours, go get a coffee, and when you come back, they'll all be gone. How about it.

GK: I already had my coffee. Thanks.

SS: You're never going to listen to those and you know it. Those Johnny Mathis albums, Jackie Gleason's Music for Lovers? Percy Faith? Come on.

GK: Some of them are valuable. Don't laugh. They are. I looked up that Tarriers album on eBay and it's worth money.

SS: How much?

GK: Never mind.

SS: How much?

GK: Fifteen bucks.

SS: I'll pay you fifteen bucks to throw it out.

GK: I'm going to throw out some of them and some I'm going to listen to once I get the turntable fixed.

SS: And when is that going to be?

GK: As soon as I get around to it.

SS: You've been saying that for years.

GK: I can't even get at the turntable ---- it's behind those stacks of boxes full of glass jars. Old peanut butter jars and mayonnaise jars and jar lids. Like hundreds of them. I don't know why we're keeping those.

SS: Those are mine. They were my mother's. Those were her jars.

GK: Okay, but they're just jars. Your mother died 15 years ago.

SS: I'm well aware of when my mother died. I don't need you to remind me when my mother died.

GK: You're saving her old Hellman's mayonnaise jars? And her hundreds of salt and pepper shakers?

SS: Don't touch those. I mean it. Don't-----touch------those.

GK: I didn't.

SS: That's good.

GK: How about the dish towels. You've got old thin dishtowels with holes in them.

SS: Those are my mother's old dishtowels. I dried dishes with those when I was ten years old and my mother used to stand there and sing and sing and I'd sing with her------ you think I'm going to throw those away in a dump????

GK: I guess not. And probably not the stuffed animals either ---

SS: Tigger? Boo-Boo? Ellie the Elephant? Roger the Badger?

GK: I wasn't suggesting that they go.

SS: If they go, I go.

GK: We'll keep them. That's fine.

SS: I'll throw away some of the glass jars if you'll throw away your tape cassettes. ----- We don't even have a cassette player.

GK: I'm going to transfer some of them to mp3s.

SS: When?

GK: When I get around to it.

SS: When might that be?

GK: Since when do we operate on a strict timetable around here?

SS: It just makes me feel bad that you hang onto this enormous collection of useless stuff year after year after year when you know you're never going to listen to it again.

GK: What's the problem? Do you need the space to store more stuffed animals?

SS: (PAUSE) That was cruel. (PAUSE) I'll tell you why. (PAUSE) Because most of that stuff is from your first marriage.

GK: It is not.

SS: Is so.

GK: It is not.

SS: It is. I looked.

GK: Very little of that was Joan's.

SS: I looked. It is.

GK: She took her stuff when we divorced.

SS: All that Tony Bennett? The Frank Sinatra? The Dean Martin?? You don't listen to that stuff.

GK: I used to.

SS: When you were married to her.

GK: Nonetheless-----

SS: Snuggling with Joan on the couch, having a drink with Joan, dancing with Joan-----

GK: How did we get talking about Joan? For heaven's sake. We were talking about cleaning out the basement.

JS: So clean it out. Get busy. Hear me? I'm talking to you.

GK: Mother?

JS: You remember. Good for you. See that broom in your hand? Start pushing it.

GK: I thought you were dead.

JS: Your mama is never dead, son. Your mama is permanent. Like Mount Rushmore. Your mama is always around. And I'm watching what you do and I'm going to keep helping you as long as it takes. (MUSIC)

JS (SINGS):
You clean that basement, clean that garage.
Toss that effluvia, all that hodge-podge,
All the stuff you know you don't need.
Songs you don't play, books you don't read.

It is spring, it's time to come clean
Rake up the dead stuff and make room for the green
Some stuff is borrowed and some is bought
You don't need all this junk you got
Throw out the trash, let it crash and burn
Man thou are dust and unto dust you'll return

We are pilgrims, walking down the road
All bent down from a heavy load.
The materialism of the bourgeoisie
Throw it away and come and be free

Simplify. Let the walls be bare.
Give it away, the clothes you don't wear.
You got too much stuff, you know its true
And that's what your mama is telling you.

Throw out that trash, let it crash and burn
Man thou are dust and unto dust you shall return.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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