Rhubarb, November 24, 2012

The Town Hall

New York, NY

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Listen (MP3)

GK: The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is an 80-foot Norway Spruce that was cut down in New Jersey (CHAINSAW) and put on a truck and taken through the Lincoln Tunnel late at night (TRUCK IN TUNNEL) and hoisted up with a crane (SFX) above the skating rink and you're there because you're on the maintenance crew ---- usually your job is poisoning pigeons (FN EVIL CHUCKLE), tossing bread crumbs out that give them heart attacks (PIGEON CORONARY), but for the tree raising you're the guy who takes the lights out of the box and pulls them up on the pulley to the guy on the cherry picker but where is he? Where's Joe? (TR: FRANK? FN: Yeah? TR: Joe called in sick. He's got a cold. FN: A cold???? TR: Get in the basket, Frank. FN: Me????? TR: C'mon, let's go.) And in the basket you go. (CHERRY PICKER) And up in the air. You've always had a fear of heights. (FN FEAR & NAUSEA) And you try not to look down as you hang the lights round and round and round the tree (FN FEAR AND NAUSEA) higher and higher up the tree (CHERRY PICKER, WIND) there are 30,000 of them (FN: Oh my gosh), and it's all up to you, this icon of New York (SS OFF: YOU LEFT A BIG EMPTY SPOT THERE. FN: WHERE? SS: THERE) so you head down to the empty spot (CHERRY PICKER) and you were pretty sure you knew how to operate this cherry picker but you shove the joystick into the slot that you think means stop (CHERRY PICKER GOING WILD, TURNING FASTER AND FASTER)...

GK: ...and the thing is spinning so fast you can't remember where the joystick is or the emergency brake (FN SPINNING) and then the arm goes way back (SFX) like a pitcher going into his windup and (CATAPULT) it throws you high in the air (FN FLYING), a high pop fly over Manhattan (SFX) and up onto the top of the Chrysler Building (FN LANDS, WOOZY) and you grab onto the aerial and sit there dazed 77 stories in the air (DISTANT TRAFFIC BELOW) looking down at Lexington Avenue and only gradually are you aware of birds around you (PIGEONS), dozens of pigeons, then hundreds (ANGRY PIGEONS), glaring at you, and pecking at you (FN OUCH), sharp pigeon beaks (FN: STOP THAT), and you inch away from them and now your legs are over the edge (DISTANT TRAFFIC BELOW) ---- (FN: HELP!!!! ECHOES) (PIGEONS) Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie?

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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