Column

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

A Prairie Home Companion: From Panic Attack to Paradigm Shift

Thanks for articulating the inarticulated worries in my brain, Ed! PHC has always been a great conflict for me -- I love the music Keillor spotlights and the literary bent of the show, but I don't enjoy his cornball humor and penchant for singing over his guests. So I can't say I'm sad to see him go. But it's always worrisome when something that's such an institution undergoes great change. Now that you mention it, though, "change" in this case might just be a great opportunity, and now I'm excited to tune in.

I was formulating my comment and then I read Stacy's.

".......but I don't enjoy his cornball humor and penchant for singing over his guests. So I can't say I'm sad to see him go."

It's Thursday so it must be EasyEday (feel free to use that EasyEd). But still no ND notifications!

I have just filed for a trademark on EasyEDay Hal, and am also awaiting word from the White House on my petition for a National HoJo Fried Clam Day.  

Note sure how I duplicated while editing but I did.

I would only add here that I enjoy these "broadsides" a lot.  

NOtifications...they seem to have been working consistently until today for me...

PHC never clicked with me for the same reasons Stacy mentions.  That said, the Chicago Tribune carried Keillor's column in the editorial/political section for a while (think I read he stopped writing it) and though I don't agree much with his politics, I admire his ability to write, in that way he is quite compelling.

Was in FL last week for four days, saw fried clams on the menu at several places, thought of Ed, Hal, and Will.  And as I was driving along the beach road on Captiva I stopped to snap a picture of a roadside sign marking the address of a mansion called "Mellow Yellow", which made me think of Donovan SuperFanHal and Dennis Nyman.

Since Jack is kind enough to leave not one, but two albeit slightly different comments, let me respond to the subject of Keillor's humor. Rather than see it as 'cornball' as has been mentioned above (although I'm not sure what a cornball is since we get ours on a cob or in a can or even frozen), my take has always been that he the G-Man has a very sophisticated sense of humor that perhaps is more rural than of the city-type. I spent five winters in the Twin Cities so maybe that's why I see it a bit different. Whatever it is that he projects, it has always made me feel comforted...even when I'm not listening. And as for his singing, I love me a baritone and his is exceptional. I really did watch him channeling Elvis one night before the show started, and he was brilliant. 

Not sure why I haven't received a missive from Mother Jones saying: "We need 50,000 signatures now...back EasyEd's petition and tell Barack Obama you want a National HoJo Fried Clam day".  I think we are all agreed this is a great idea and long overdue.  As for PHC, I hope it does evolve in a way that satisfies the long time faithful, and can win some new folks over as well.  As noted, the music has always been great, and that isn't likely to change...

When Garrison leaves the show it will mark the end of America as we now know it.

I think that more or less was my premise as I began to write this column, but I am now quite optimisitc that there is a great opportunity to not only contnue offering an array of stellar musical talent, but that Thile will broaden and expand the audience. America as we now know it has long ago stopped being America as we used to know it. That's not meant to be a qualitative staement, but an observation that things do change. Sometimes for the best, and sometimes not. Hopefully in this digital world of ours, past episodes of APHC will continue to be made available as a touchstone.

Having covered Watkins Family Hour a few months ago, which allowed me to run into Chris' recent news re: APHC, and having just seen him and his Punch Brothers at Bluegrass Situation, I'm assured the show is in good hands. However, Garrison isn't one who can be replaced....Chris will hopefully build a show with his own mark.  I remain always optimistic.

Chris guest-hosted PHC a couple times last year, and I found it off-putting, like he was trying to do a dead-on Garrison Keillor impression, down to how GK speaks. But now that the show is his own, I hope he'll do his own thing with it. I see lots of potential for greatness.

Chris is far more Chaplin to Garrison's Keaton.....I hope he finds his own voice for the show.

Terry...I love that line. Be advised that I might just have to steal it. 

It's yours E.E.!  For free.

Ear of the beholder. I thought Chris Thile did a brilliant job on those shows. Sounded to me like he was trying to preserve the low-key tone of the show, not to imitate Garrison Keilor. Right now I'm listening to PHC live (Sunday morning in Sydney) with guest hosts I'm With Her. The program is in good hands.

Good column, Ed. I wonder how we, as a greying audience will get the nostalgia bug fulfilled 'til we're dripping gruel from the sides of our mouths. I'm already gagging on re-runs of the Car Guys, so please no Prairie Home Companion re-runs. Maybe I'll be able to make the transition.