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“I thought I was on a kind of playdate, right? Then Killian starts playing, and I was like, Oh, really? The kid was totally schooling me.”

Never Mind the Pity: How Killian Mansfield's Dying Dream Turned into the Making of a Miraculous Album.
While still hospitalized, Killian puts together a dream list of musicians he’d like to work with, focusing on those who spend time in the Catskills. E-mails are sent, calls made, favors asked. He wants to make the record a love letter to the idyllic, eclectic swath of America where he’s lived the past few years. As the responses come in, however, the project shapes up to be far more ambitious than anyone first imagined. Among those who sign on are Dr. John, the legendary New Orleans songwriter; Levon Helm, the drummer for the Band; Kate Pierson of the B-52s; the Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian; and Todd Rundgren. Ralph agrees to put off all other work in the studio. Killian, meanwhile, compiles a list of songs that, in some way or another, are connected in his mind to integrative therapy. He sees “Scratch My Back,” by renowned bluesman Slim Harpo, as a reference to massage; “Express Yourself,” the funk classic, is chosen to give props to the Cancer Dancers, a group that reaches out to sick children through dance. “Kiss” he deems “one of the greatest love songs ever written,” love being perhaps the best integrative therapy around. Topping his “dream list” of collaborators is David Bowie, with whom Killian imagines recording a uke version of “Starman.”
[more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Oct 19, 2009 - 34 comments

Goodbye, Teddy

Edward M. Kennedy, Senator from Massachusetts, has died at age 77. After a rocky youth (including scandals of cheating and reckless driving), Kennedy followed his brothers into politics, making health care his cause, and eventually went on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Anticipating his own death, he had been trying to create a quick transition for his replacement as a vote on health care reform rapidly approached.
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 25, 2009 - 659 comments

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