“Catch Me If You Can” & “Modern Night At The Folly”

This week on Arts Magazine, actors Andy Massey and Preston O’ffill along with director Guy Gardner will be with us to talk about the Barn Players’ production of Catch Me If You Can.
Then, at 12:30, Andrea Skowronek and Crystal Robins will tell us about the City In Motion Dance Theatre production of Modern Night At The Folly. Tune in for all this, plus the latest edition of Russ SimmonsFreeze Frame!

Wednesday MidDay Medley presents Shy Boys + The Brannock Device + J. Ashley Miller & Quadrigarum

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shy Boys + The Brannock Device
+ J. Ashley Miller & Quadrigarum’s R v B

Mark plays New & MidCoastal Releases from: The Architects, The Life and Times, Shy Boys, Brannock Device, Quadrigarum, Schwervon!, The Fog, Not A Planet, My Brothers & Sisters, Jose Gonzales, Crocodiles, Kiya Heartwood, and more.

At 10:30, members of the band Shy Boys, Collin Rausch, Kyle Rausch, and Konnor Ervin join us LIVE in our 90.1 FM Studios. The KC based trio is heading out on tour. Their self titled, debut album was released on High Dive Records, and was #1 on Wednesday MidDay Medley’s The 114 Best Recordings of 2014. More info at: www.shyboys.bandcamp.com. Shy Boys play the Eighth Street Taproom, in Lawrence, KS, on Thursday, February 26, at 10:00 pm, with J Fernandez, and The Fog. Shy Boys play Harling’s Upstairs, 3941-A Main Street, KCMO, on Saturday, February 28, at 10:00 pm with J Fernandez, and Karma Vision.

At 11:00 Bernard Dugan, Jr. and Jason Beers join us to talk about, The Brannock Device, formed in 1995, with guitarist and vocalist Jeremy Schutte. We’ll spin a few of the band’s earliest recordings. The three original members of the trio: Bernie, Jason, and Jeremy, will reunite for the first time in six years to play The Brick, and officially release an album that was recorded 12 years ago! The Brannock Device play a 20 Year Anniversary & Album Release Party at The Brick, 1727 McGee, KCMO, on Friday, February 27, at 9:00 pm, with special guests: Black Luck and The Heavy Figs.

At 11:30 Mark talks with J. Ashley Miller, who with his trance band Quadrigarum, composed and produced a new operetta called, R v B, featuring six actors and an octet of curated musicians. In conjunction with their grant from the Charlotte Street Foundation, each performance is a singular event, featuring site specific compositions, fiercely performed and captured with high definition cameras and recording equipment. The performance features two agile drone instruments, known as ‘Chariots’, designed and built by founder and conductor of Quadrigarum, J. Ashley Miller. Quadrigarum performs R v B, March 7 & 8, la Esquina Gallery, 1000 W. 25th Street, KCMO. Doors open at 7:30 pm, the performance begins at 8:00 pm sharp (no late entry). Tickets are $10.00 and seating is limited to 50 people per performance. More info at: www.charlottestreet.org or www.quadrigarum.brownpapertickets.com

Show #566

Author Sam Harris Gets Spiritual (But Still Hates Religion) and Catholicism and the Movies

Sam Harris Gets Spiritual (But Still Hates Religion)

Along with fellow religion-haters Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris is fiercely smart and never wishy-washy. So when his new book on “waking up” to spirituality arrived in our office, we did a double take. What? Is one of the most militant leaders of the new atheism movement getting soft? Not quite. The famous skeptic is just as edgy–and angry–as ever.

When Catholic Morals Controlled Hollywood

After you watch the Oscars, let’s go back in time to another era, when one of the most powerful forces in the movie business was none other than the Catholic Church. From 1934-1965, the Catholic Legion of Decency rated movies from the official Catholic moral perspective, giving out A’s for acceptable and B’s for objectionable. The dreaded “C” for “condemned” was reserved for movies it deemed immoral, like the 1956 dark comedy Baby Doll. From February 2014.

John Mulderig, Catholic Movie Critic

As the chief film critic for Catholic News Service, John Mulderig hands out Catholic movie ratings–A’s, L’s, and O’s–to all the major movies that hit theaters. Extreme nudity or violence will take you into L-territory, but there’s only one true deal-breaker that warrants the loathsome O for “morally offensive”: a clear flouting of the teachings of the Catholic Church. He spoke to senior producer Laura Kwerel. From February 2015

Jarekus Singleton, John Paul Keith, The Megaphones, Seth Glier, and Jason D

If you’re reading this in the Nashville area, you’re sitting at one corner of the Americana Music Triangle.  The triangle, anchored by Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans, spans the South, the cradle of all American popular music and the birthplace of one of the greatest cultural explosions in the history of humanity. It will coordinate cultural sites and drives like the Mississippi Blues Trail, pointing pilgrims to shrines and tourists to weigh stations where they can participate in the story of the blues, country, bluegrass, rock and roll, gospel and soul. It’ll be a great venture, and we certainly look forward to being one of those destinations for international visitors seeking the magic of America’s musical legacy.

I thought about the Americana Music Triangle this week as I pondered our lineup for Feb. 11. Even more than most weeks it taps the full range of classic American roots and in some cases re-mixes them in crafty ways. We’ll hear from a big Nashville band that borrows from second line jazz, Staxy soul and Southern hip-hop. We’ve got a blues man from Jackson, MS who knows no boundaries. And we close the show with a nod to Sun Records and blistering early rock and roll.

The latter is our friend Jason D. Williams, madman of the boogie woogie piano. He arrived in our lives on a winter’s night in 2011 at the Loveless. Gobsmacked, I wrote this the next morning: “The barn became a honky tonk and a church at the same time. (Williams) beamed a thousand watt smile. He played behind his back. He played lying down on the top of the piano, and did a tumbling routine off onto the floor. . . And he pulled the audience in with funny, sometimes strange and rambling banter. No wonder this guy’s reputation precedes him; he’s full-on Dixie dynamite.” In the years since, Jason D. has made an album with Todd Snider and further burnished  his reputation as a must-see roots artist. The piano is under-represented in today’s Americana scene, but it wasn’t always thus. Jason D. will take you back to a time when Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Fats Domino and Professor Longhair drove that amazing percussion instrument with 88 keys into the rock and roll history books.

Our bluesman, the latest in a string of striking young phenoms to grace our stage, is Jarekus Singleton. He’s an intense 30-year-old who has clearly paid some dues but whose musical dreams seem to be panning out. His debut album just came out on the legendary indie label Alligator Records (Albert Collins, Koko Taylor and recently on our stage Selwyn Birchwood). He and the project have already been nominated for multiple Blues Music Awards. Singleton told a radio interviewer that the album’s title Refuse To Lose sums up his approach to life, and indeed there’s steel in this guy’s delivery and guitar playing. The title track is one of the best riffs on the “nothing’s going to stop me” theme I can recall, with its patient approach to delivering the words and great dialogue between voice and guitar. And Jarekus can play that “six-string girlfriend” too brother, with a scorchy, burnt tone and clear melodic statements. He can also smoke it slowly with a jazzy passion that suggests Carlos Santana. I predict many of you, not least our boss John Walker, will come unglued over Singleton’s singular style.

I want to also be sure to direct your attention to our opening set, where we’ll start the show with a blast of horn power and a rhythmic foundation that’s uncommon even on our stage. The Megaphones are Nashville’s dangdest fusion band, a wild experiment that’s been coming together over the past three years under the direction of native Nashville saxophonist (and MCR Alum) Rahsaan Barber. The vision starts with a New Orleans ready brass band capable of butt-shaking funk or second-line strut. The horn players are some of the city’s best jazz guys, so they can play and interact with ease. Then on top of that, you’ll see not one vocalist but two – liquid singer Jason Eskridge plus eminent rapper Crisis – who play off one another dazzlingly. They call it hip-hop soul; it’s that and more. They’ve been honing their sophisticated party sound for a while, but they released their debut EP just a couple of months ago, so Music City is still getting to know them. I don’t know a finer or more complete expression of the New Nashville than the Megaphones.

Rounding out the bill will be a couple fellows I’ll be hearing for the first time. Seth Glier is a very busy songwriter and artist who fuses love songs with a social conscience. He’s evolved from acoustic music to modern pop through canny collaborations. And he’s a veteran of Daytrotter and the Cayamo Cruise among other laurels, enjoying great press love on the way. And John Paul Keith cycles us back to Memphis, because he’s a guitar-slinging artist who embraces that city’s century of soul and rock and roll. He’s a working colleague of the divine Amy LaVere and he’s the new band leader for the awesome Thacker Mountain Radio show. AllMusic calls him a “power pop savior.” I’m more than a lot intrigued.

So triangulate your way over to Music City Roots this week, where we’ll present all points of the musical compass. You may fall off the radar and get lost forever in the Americana Music Triangle, but we’ve been living that way for years now and we’re that much happier for it.


Our guest this week on Art of the Song is singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, Awna Teixeira. During her formative years, Awna toured and did street performances with The Derby, The Red Eyed Rounders, and the all-girl, country-folk band Barley Wik. In 2005 she joined Allison Russell and the Canadian touring band, Po’Girl. Since then the group has toured internationally and created five albums. Awna, while still working with Po’Girl, is currently embarking on her first solo project. We visited with her in our Albuquerque studios.

Pelican Bay Solitary Confinement Case Update and Architect’s Human Rights Code of Ethics

Illustration for episode – Solitary Confinment by Stan Moody
This image was recently used during the campaign supporting the recent Pelican Bay (and statewide) hunger strikes.

Pelican Bay Solitary Confinement Case Update

We bring you an update on the Pelican Bay Prison Solitary Confinement Case. As you may recall Pelican Bay Prison had more than 1000 prisoners in long term solitary confinement at 10-20 years or more. The Center for Constitutional Rights and its lead attorney Jules Lobel have been challenging this practice for a number of years since 2012. Recently, the state of California in an effort to blunt the lawsuit has transferred some of the named plaintiffs to other prisons. Their theory, once we’re rid of the plaintiffs maybe we’re rid of the lawsuit. CCR and Jules Lobel went out to California to argue that this is not a Constitutional practice. That transferring a person from Pelican Bay to another prison in California should not blunt the lawsuit and in fact CCR we should be able to challenge solitary confinement in those prisons as well. The judge agreed and now the CCR case will not just challenge Pelican Bay Prison solitary confinement practices but those in other prisons throughout California.

Attorney Jules Lobel:

Because of 3 hunger strikes and our litigation the California prison officials are now instituting reforms. They realize they have to do something.
There are over 1000 people in solitary. When we started the case 500 people were there for over 10 years.
Because of the reforms they’ve made under pressure from our litigation there are now only 230. Still 230 people for over 10 years is a huge amount.
They’re also moving people out not only to general population prisons, but to other solitary units in other prisons. Other SHOES, its called Special Housing Unit.
Four of our ten plaintiffs are moving to another SHOE to a place called Tahachapi and the defendants say, they’re no longer part of your case.
That’s what the argument was about. The argument was about whether or not you can expand the case beyond Pelican Bay.
If you were at Pelican Bay and transferred to another prison, still in solitary, you’re still part of our class.
The judge accepted that we can expand the case, rejecting the state’s argument.
We bifurcated the trial so we could have a relatively quick trial on Pelican Bay. The fundamental question for Pelican Bay trial is whether keeping people for a prolonged period of time in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay is cruel and unusual punishment.
We also have a claim in that way that they are placed there. It violates due process.
These guys only get reviews every six years. So, you stay in your cell for six years and then after six years somebody comes and reviews whether you should be kept in solitary.
No state in the country has six years. Usually its 30 days, 90 days, six months, maybe at most a year.
California unlike most states puts people into solitary simply because they’re a member of a gang or associated with a gang.

Guest ” Attorney Jules Lobel, has litigated important issues regarding the application of international law in the U.S. courts. In the late 1980 s, he advised the Nicaraguan government on the development of its first democratic constitution, and has also advised the Burundi government on constitutional law issues. Professor Lobel is editor of a text on civil rights litigation and of a collection of essays on the U.S. Constitution, A Less Than Perfect Union (Monthly Review Press, 1988). He is author of numerous articles on international law, foreign affairs, and the U.S. Constitution in publications including Yale Law Journal, Harvard International Law Journal, Cornell Law Review, and Virginia Law Review. He is a member of the American Society of International Law.


Architect’s Human Rights Code of Ethics Petition

In our coverage of psychologists involved with torture continuing to hold their professional licenses to practice we look at a similar concern with licensed architects who design prisons, solitary confinement cells and death chambers. Research has show that the design of a prison can influence many aspects of prisoners lives including recidivism rates. Recently, the American Institute of Architects rejected a petition to censure members who design solitary confinement cells and death chambers.

Raphael Sperry:

In 2013 when the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture announced that spending more than 15 days in solitary confinement was a human rights violation and we’re aware that people in the United States are routinely held in solitary for years if not decades, and that there had been dozens of supermax prisons that housed thousands of people in those conditions, specially designed for that purpose, that really tipped the scales.
That was really shocking to realize the same tools that architects use everyday trying to make the world a better place for people can be used to torture and kill people.
The question of what constitutes a torture chamber is complicated. There are many buildings that have been used to house prisoners in solitary confinement that were never designed for that purpose.
There are a subset of prisons that are designed for solitary confinement. They’re usually called administrated segregation units.
Supermax prisons are the most egregious. There’s no space for people to eat together. There are no tables with seats clustered around them even.
The recreation spaces that prisoners have a right to go into for an hour a day, are shrunk down to size that they’re for just one person.
You guys are probably familiar with ADX Prison in Florence, the Federal Supermax which is supposed to be the most secure supermax in the United States.
In that facility they actually have showers in every cell. The prisoners then actually don’t have to get into the hallway. They might walk by somebody elses’ cell or walk by somebody elses’ cell to get to a shower.
The AIA has a code of ethics for members and it already had a statement saying members should uphold human rights in all their professional responsibilities.
It’s not directly enforceable. If members set out to design a space intended to kill somebody or to torture them or degrade them which is a human rights violation. AIA is not prepared to take any disciplinary action to someone who does that.
We were asking them to simply add a rule that clarified if a member designed a space that is intended for human rights violations specifically execution and prolonged solitary confinement that it would be clear they’re in violation of the code of ethics and then AIA could take disciplinary action that include censure and expelling them from the institute.
The National Board of Directors gets to set the ethics code for the whole organization including all the chapters. They took in our petition. They took in all the letters of support we sent in.
Then they didn’t communicate with us . . they referred it to an internal group. They never let us know who was on that panel. They sent a brief letter back to me head of the ADPSR saying that they weren’t going to make the change and they were concerned about potential anti-trust violations and how hard it would to enforce.
Lastly, they don’t want to restrict their members from designing any particular building type. I just found that to be the worst.
To me if you’re going to be a professional and take on the responsibility of protecting public health, safety and welfare every time you put your pencil down then there should be limits to what you do with that specialized knowledge.
To us its not a political issue, its a human rights issue and they said they’re an organization that’s for human rights. It didn’t seem right to us that they should pick and choose which human rights they’re ok with and which ones they would restrict.

Guest – Raphael Sperry, president of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), a 32-year old independent non-profit organization. He researches the intersection of architecture and planning with human rights with a special focus on prisons and jails, and advocates for design professionals to play a larger role in supporting human rights in the built environment. He directs ADPSR s human rights advocacy, including ADPSR s petition urging the AIA to amend their Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct to address buildings that violate human rights. He was the first architect to receive a Soros Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Foundations, hosted jointly by the University of California at Berkeley College of Environmental Design and Berkeley Law School, in 2012. He is an active member of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice and a leader of its subcommittee on sustainability.He holds an M.Arch. from the Yale School of Architecture and a BA summa cum Laude from Harvard University.



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